Jul 312017

There have been substantial developments in the reform of the tax system. The President, in his latest State of the Nation Address, sought the assistance of legislators to expedite the approval of the tax reform bill. A significant amendment in this tax reform bill is the lowering of individual income tax rates and estate tax rates. While the lowering of these tax rates is greatly anticipated, I believe that there are other areas in our tax laws which must be given attention to in order to provide adequate relief to taxpayers.

Jul 302017

After almost 20 years, the government has finally recognized the need to enhance the current maternity leave benefits for women. In March, the Senate approved Senate Bill No. 1305 or the Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2017 on its third and final reading. Under the bill, female employees in both government service and in the private sector can go on maternity leave for 120 days, regardless of mode of delivery. Moreover, an employee who qualifies as a solo parent under Republic Act No. 8972, is entitled to a maternity leave of 150 days.

Jul 292017
Kammerchor Manila bags grand prizes at Italy and Spain

Kammerchor Manila has brought home 3 grand prizes from international choral competitions in Europe. Philippine Ambassador to Italy Domingo P. Nolasco, competition jury member Nancy Roman of the Philippines, and members of the Kammerchor Manila at the 8th Musica Eterna Roma held from 05 to 09 July 2017 at the Church of the Twelve Apostles in Rome, Italy. [via DFA] The church-based choral group won 1 st Prize at the 63rd Certamen Internacional de Habaneras y Polifonia in Torrevieja, Spain. The Filipino choir was also awarded the Grand Prix at the 1st Leonardo Da Vinci Choral Festival held in Florence, Italy. The group of 35 young professionals also received Gold Diplomas during the 8th edition of the Musica Eterna Roma International Choir and Festival Competition in the Church of the Twelve Apostles in Rome, Italy. Kammerchor Manila received the awards during their 4th European tour held from June-July 2017 where they performed in Austria, Germany, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain. In Torrevieja, Kammerchor Manila won: 1 st prize in Habanera, prize money of 12,000 euros 2nd prize in Polyphony with the prize money of 4,000 euros They performed "Marinero" and "Niña Mersé" for Habaneras. Their pieces for Polyphony were "Kaisa isa niyan" and "Gloria" in Polyphony. In their Italian leg which brought them to Florence, Kammerchor Manila won various categories and bagged the overall grand prize: CATEGORY WINNER: Mixed Choir Category – Gold Diploma Level 3 (96.25 points) Modern Contemporary Category – Gold Diploma Level 3 (97.81 points) Folk Gospel Pop Category Read More …

Jul 292017
Pinoy lumpia certified food craze in Wichita, Kansas

The Filipino favorite lumpia is now a certified food craze in Wichita, Kansas – thanks to the enterprising couple of Parsnipity Café. LumpiaPalooza [via Facebook] The fried spring roll that is present on every Philippine fiesta table and just about any Filipino gathering has been making the rounds of Kansas via the LumpiaPalooza food truck – in high demand and booked solid until October in events just 3 months since it started operations. The LumpiaPalooza food truck just wrapped up its appearance as the first food truck at the Sedgwick County Fair, and is now on its way to be set up in music festivals, business openings, fairs and breweries, reports Kansas’ Wichita Eagle. Writer Denise Neil in her article affirms the local craving for the Pinoy lumpia and describes how the fried roll went from a featured dish at the Parsnipity Café inside the Epic Center at 301 N. Main, to a dish of 40 variants rolled to events on a food truck. The Parsnipity Café signature item, the “long and skinny fried spring roll stuffed with ground beef, carrots, onions, celery, salt and pepper and served with a side of homemade sweet and sour sauce” has become a designer item stuffed with ingredients such as mac and cheese, chocolate chip cookie dough, blueberry lemon, taco-flavored, vegan, pepperoni pizza, and a whole lot more. Neil says the lumpia is in such an unexpected high demand that owners Chef Cynthia Wilson and General Manager Craig Bjork have solicited help from Read More …

Jul 292017
Josef Borja-Erece, youngest solicitor in Queensland, Australia

Josef Borja-Erece [via USQ] Josef Borja-Erece, credited as the youngest solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland and youngest law graduate from the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), is a Filipino-Kiwi. Erece, born to Filipino migrants in New Zealand, graduated with a law degree from USQ at the age of 18 years old after entering university at the age of 15. After graduation, he joined the Supreme Court as the youngest practicing solicitor in Queensland. Erece is also the founder of Starlight Legacies, a collaborative movement which provides a royalty-sharing platform to promote global unity amid diversity by “immortalizing and archiving as many souls as we can through recording respective though recording respective thoughts and stories.” Erece is also a literary writer for World XCV and has published books. The Fil-Kiwi’s entry in the USQ’s featured 50/25 describes Erece’s career pathing: “While he considers Law to be the social force which quintessentially binds us together and keeps the peace, Jozef is currently following an unexpected career path and precipitating positive change globally as the founder of Starlight Legacies – an interactive social phenomenon and collaborative movement which aims to promote global unity and respect, as well as the celebration of diversity in all forms.” Erece recently started graduate studies at the Australian National University in Canberra which he says in his recent Facebook post is “signifying my official return to the public scene.” After completing his LLM he intends to pursue a PhD towards an academic career in areas of Read More …

Jul 292017
Why Do Some People Work So Hard Yet Never Reach Their Dreams?

Chinkee Tan Are you always working overtime but still not getting enough salary? Or maybe you have a lot of sideline work, but still you can’t seem to pay off your debts. Or are you staying up all night to manage and promote your business but still you’re not earning enough? If you answered a resounding YES, then I want to remind you… MAKING MONEY vs. MANAGING MONEY Don’t just spend time making money. You should also allot time managing money. If you’re always working so hard, but still you’re not earning the amount of money that you want, it’s possible that you are not taking care of your resources. Maybe, your strategy in handling your money is wrong. Maybe it’s time for you to learn about new ways to handle your finances. Take your time so that you can learn. Don’t overwork and disregard opportunities for you to learn. As the saying goes, “Never stop learning because life never stops teaching.” “It’s not about how much money you MAKE, but how much money you SAVE.” Even if the money that you are earning is big, if the money that you are spending is also big, then it counts as nothing. Maybe you’re always so busy at work that’s why you have no time to manage your income. The long hours that you put in your work will not amount to anything without the proper handling of your finances. Always remember, “Everything in excess is bad.” That’s why we need Read More …