Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Balesin Island: Around The World in 3 Days!

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I never thought it would be possible. Travel the world in just under 3 days!

In one island.

Imagine 7 great destinations. The sights, images, food, and culture of the most amazing cities in the world. All in one place. It is not an island. It is BALESIN.

Our friend, Eliza and Billy Valtos, invited us two weekends ago to celebrate with them their eldest son's 13th birthday. I was excited! I have heard of Balesin from my friends and I can't wait to check if the rumours are true.

Yet I was also apprehensive. You see, I developed a fear of flying in very small planes a couple of years ago. To this day I haven't agreed to flying in these type of planes, not even if it meant convenience and cutting travel time. 

Waiting for Balesin's private plane in Alphaland hangar.

The catch with Balesin is, the only way going to this island is through a 25-minute small plane ride. I braved this one and decided to face my fear and be true to being the Pinay Explorer that I am. 

Was I thankful that I went!

First off, the plane that took us to this tropical island paradise is a 31-seater Dornier 328-100. It flew as smooth as silk! Eliza and Billy were very encouraging, and my husband was holding my hand all throughout the flight. Fear gone down the drain. Whew! 

When we landed, it was as promised. Rumours are true. It is dreamy. The world completely all in itself. We experience it all in Balesin Island Club. 

It is an exclusive private membership resort and leisure club found in an island in Quezon, south of Luzon, owned and developed by Alphaland. There are 7 themed villages that took its inspiration from the world class beach destinations: Bali (Indonesia), Mykonos (Greece), Balesin (Philippines), St. Tropez (France), Costa del Sol (Spain), Phuket (Thailand), Toscana (Italy). 

We were greeted with refreshments of fresh buko juice and quickly had an orientation of the whole island and its top notch recreational facilities and amenities. We were carted off to the Reception for check in. Our home for the next 3 days was a big casita in the Bali Village.

Catch my next blog for our amazing experience of the different countries...

Keep Walking!

The Pinay Explorer


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Show Me The Money: A Kiddopreneur Field Trip to the BSP Museum

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Around 40 Kiddopreneurs participated in this exclusive field trip to the BSP.

We visited Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas last week and we were treated not just with the history of Philippine money but we also learned how money is printed.

The Kiddopreneurs troop to the BSP Museum!

They learned the story of money through time in the Philippine history.

This is a special field trip exclusive to more than 40 Kiddo-preneurs and their parents. We were toured around the BSP Museum and saw how money evolved through time. 

As a bonus treat to our kids, they get to print their own money with their own faces! How cool is that? In just a little over two minutes they were done with their signature, choice of bill, and color of money.  
Add your signature, choose your bill, and your color!

Then you're done. Print your own money!

Show me the money!
But in the real world of money, did you know that it takes 300 days or 10 months to produce and print Philippine money? It takes that long and it is very expensive to print. There are several steps and processes to undergo in printing before these bills and coins are issued to the public. That is why we need to take care of our bills. We should not crumple them, tear them, or fold them. 

Tita Maiki shows us how to take care of our bills.
The coins for this matter, are worth more in their actual value than its monetary value because of the cost of the metal. So make sure you spend and use your coins! Don't keep them...

Do you know what happens to the old, crumpled, dirty, torn, or damaged bills?  Can you still use them? 

Well, don't fret. If you still have them, just go to your nearest bank and exchange them for crisp, new ones. The bank will gladly do this for you. They will then surrender these damaged and old notes to the BSP headquarters in Quezon City where the actual money is printed and they will shred it! 

Here's an actual souvenir of shredded paper bills! Cool!
The kids also played different interactive games inside the museum like puzzles and guessing games.

Games like this make the museum more fun and interesting for kids!

The most fun is a game of guessing the prices of basic commodities such as a bar of soap, a can of corned beef, a kilo of rice, and other things that we use in our everyday life. It would be good to know that BSP's main task is to ensure the price stability of goods. For the mommies and daddies, this is the best exercise for us to know who goes to the supermarket! The kids played as a team and came up with their best guess. Well, your guess were as good as ours! 

The Kiddopreneurs were put to the test to see if they know the price of their favorite goods.

Team 1 emerged as the winners! Congratulations kids!

Deputy Director of the BSP, Tito Diwa Guinigundo also graciously honored us with stories of how Philippine bills and coins are designed and made. From different selection of artists, we now have award winning designs of 6 denominations of bills and 7 denominations of coins. Do you still remember what these are?

1. P1,000                         1. P10
2. P500                            2. P5
3. P200                            3. P1
4. P100                            4. 50 centavos
5. P50 and                      5. 25 centavos
6. P20                              6. 10 centavos and 7. a 5 centavo coin

Do you know what the biggest denomination in the Philippines, and perhaps, in the whole world is? This is real, and by far, the biggest, in terms of size, and value, in monetary currency. There are only 1,000 pieces issued for this commemorative P100,000 peso bill for the Philippine centennial.

The Deputy Director also gave us precious advise on what to do with our money. He answered all our questions, including how to get his job! 

Thank you BSP team for giving us a great tour and for the loads of freebies we took home. 

This commemorative P5 coin is issued to celebrate the EDSA Revolution which by the way is the day we toured the BSP Museum. How apt!

My youngest son, Jaime, is so happy to be receiving more money!

A commemorative P1 coin celebrating the 150th birthday of Dr. Jose Rizal. Notice that the face profile is facing front, and not the usual facing side.

Thank you Tita Maiki and Tito Quinto and the KP Team for this amazing tour. Now we are wiser about money. 

Andrea and Jaime with Tita Maiki doing their last minute interview about what they learned in the museum tour.

To know more about one-of-a-kind experiences like this one, go to their FB page or send an email to kiddopreneur@gmail.com.

Keep Walking!

The Pinay Explorer

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Feature Blogger of the Month (Migs Yusay): Things I Learned in the Kiddo-preneur Bazaar

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This year we are donating all our earnings to the Typhoon Yolanda victims.

I am sharing my son Miguel's article he wrote for his school paper about his experience from the Kiddo-preneur Bazaar he and his siblings participated in last November, 2013.

Here is his experience:

Things I Learned in the Kiddo-preneur Bazaar

When Typhoon Yolanda struck, I knew I had to do something. My brother and sister were thinking the same thing. Manila wasn’t hit by the storm, but we really wanted to help those who were. What could we do? We were just kids thousands of kilometers away with little money. Then, we remembered the Kiddo-preneur Bazaar. 

Last May of 2012, we joined this one-day bazaar where kids get to sell their products and earn their own money. The bazaar’s advocacy is to Earn, Save, Invest and Donate. 

It is started by Tita Maiki Oreta and her daughter Brielle to help kids from 3-16 years old learn and experience how to run their own business. In that event, we won the Highest Sales Award and gave half of the total profit to Alay Pag-asa Foundation.

We won the Highest Sales Award last April, 2012.

When we registered again into the program for the Christmas Bazaar on November 30, 2013, we thought that it was really just a one-day affair. 

There were many things to take care of, like the supply of goods, the accounting and managing of money and stocks, advertising, and the booth setup. It took us many weeks to prepare and get it all ready. 

We also had school and homework to attend to so we had way less time to prepare than the last time we joined the bazaar, which was during the summer break. Nevertheless, the preparations were complete with much help from our parents, and we were ready.

We chose to sell cookie butter, Human Nature products, Bayani Brew iced tea, and iPhones. We chose these products because they were popular and in demand at the time. 

Biscoff Cookie Butter Spread and Human Nature products made by Gawad Kalinga communities are the best sellers!

When we arrived at the venue, we had to set up our booth and products. When the customers came in, we started asking people around to go to the booth and gave free product taste. 

Initially Andrea and Jaime had difficulty asking people but they were able to get over their shyness eventually. I acted as the cashier but had a hard time using my math skills to calculate the change while communicating with multiple customers at the same time. 

At the end of the day we were exhausted and couldn’t wait to go home but then when the awarding came, we were pleasantly surprised. We couldn’t believe it! Our booth had won again! We sold almost 256,000 pesos worth of goods, in just four hours! We got the trophy back for the second time. 

We won the Highest Sales Award for the second time in a row. 

When we went on stage to receive the trophy, we paused and called a moment of silence for the Typhoon Yolanda victims - the reason why we worked so hard.

Looking back at the Kiddo-preneur Bazaar, I thought about why we achieved our goals. We didn’t have the fanciest booth design, in fact it was quite simple. We weren’t near the entrance of the bazaar, too. What made us successful was that our products were popular and we were able to advertise them really well through social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

These flyers were posted by our Mom in Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
What we learned were social skills, math skills, and planning skills. Another driving force was that we had a cause to support and a a lot of people shared and believed in our cause. 

I learned how to be patient and to be a risk taker in the bazaar, mostly because I had to listen and understand the customers with their unique requests and I had to talk to people I don’t know. 

I learned how to be a good communicator with other people and my siblings because I had to handle requests coming in from customers while telling my siblings to advertise our products. Being a good communicator that day trained me to talk and listen to people more the right way so that they were persuaded to buy our products.

The bazaar has so many kiddopreneurs that rival the customers' attention, so we had to learn how to stand out.

So the next time you see a situation that moves you to do something, just remember that you can help by having your own business, even a small or a temporary one. No matter how small your contributions may seem to be, in the end, you are giving to something worthwhile. 

Oh, let me tell you how it ended. We earned almost 23,000 pesos and we gave it all to our school’s fund drive to “share a meal and share a home” in Tacloban. You never know, you can actually make a difference in someone’s life, and be a source of their joy and hope. 

My sister Andrea serves our cause with a smile!

Here are some of the lovely and generous people who have supported our kids' cause and brought a smile to families in Tacloban. 

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you! 

If you want to find out more how you and your kids can join the Kiddo-preneur Bazaar, check this link and like their FB page:

Kiddo-Preneur Facebook

Keep Walking!

Pinay Explorer

Monday, January 20, 2014

Feature of the Month: Garage Sale at Tangile

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Here is a garage sale this year you don't want to miss. Promise.

Among our 17 participants, we are featuring items from the homes and bauls of celebrities such as Daphne Osena-Paez and Imee Marcos. 

Celebrity blogger/TV host Daphne Osena-Paez will share some of the items from her beautiful home.

Imee Marcos is set to let go of her most interesting items from her bauls and aparadors.

Be sure to be there early to get the first pick. We open our gate at 8 am. January 25-26, Saturday and Sunday only, at 8 Tangile Road, North Forbes Park, Makati.

Here are some best value finds to expect from our garage sale:

Check out our FB Page to see more items:


See you there!

Keep Walking!
Pinay Explorer