Before I Was A Mom

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Cheers to all mothers out there!

This morning, after receiving numerous text messages, FB comments and emails from relatives and friends I decided to create a new post.  And what subject matter am I considered an expert? Motherhood!  I’m sure that you and I agree, experience is the best teacher.  We may all have our ups and downs as far as motherhood is concerned, but each one of us has a unique story to tell.  Here’s mine:

I have been married to the man of my life for 20 years, that is, if we reckon from the date of my civil wedding, or 19 years if reckoned from my church wedding date (that’s why I wear two wedding bands!).  We are blessed with three wonderful children. My eldest and only boy just turned 18 last Friday.  The other two are age 15 and 10, both girls.  I have been a stay-at-home mom for the last 10 years.  I think this is the best and most fulfilling job, but is also the  most demanding.  Sometimes (or should we say most of the time?) it seems that 24/7 is not enough to manage the children and the home.  I used to divide my time between my family and my corporate job. It has been my dream to become a fulfilled professional, given my two university degrees – excelling in my field and at the same time keeping a happy home and family.  It was tough, especially without my husband with me all the time to manage the household and our growing children as he is working abroad most of the time. Thanks to skype and yahoo messenger for video calls, but there’s no substitute for the personal care that he can provide and the quality time spent together with the family. While my husband is out of the country, I am both father and mother.  I had to be reasonably tough as a father at the same time gentle as a mom in order to bring out the best in them, thereby maintaining a happy family life. From marketing to cooking to washing clothes to driving the kids to school to carpentry to simple electronic repairs to tutoring to fixing clogged pipes, I easily fit into my role as both dad and mom.

Before I was a mom, I never thought I am capable of all of these.  My children say I am a “supermom“.

At least now that I am earning-from-home through oDesk, I can still be very productive and get to apply my education and work experiences to earn an honest  living online.  Bonus point is that I already have the time I need to do other stuff that interests me since work time is very flexible to a freelancer.  At anytime, I can opt for a vacation, or do crafts making, cross stitching, watercolor painting, baking, reading, and gardening…..and blogging too!  It has been very fulfilling for me to be earning extra money while at home. Although I no longer have the privilege of receiving company paychecks and bonuses, and my 40 hours workweek in an office has now become 24/7 at home,  I am happy with this set-up of having more time with my family while earning the same amount of income.  In fact, now, I earn even more than I used to in the real corporate world because 1 day pay there (8 hours) can be earned in just 1 or 2 hours online.

I dedicate these sacrifices not only to my own family, but likewise to very important women of my life – my Mom and Mom-in-Law.

If there is a diploma for motherhood, a lot of us would have received one and even graduated with honors.  From conception to birth to their first word and first steps, and likewise to their own marriage, we mothers always have an important role.  From whom did we learn all these if not from our own mothers, with all their love, care and sacrifices.  We share this special day with them too.  To my Mom and Mother-in-law, happy mother’s day! I love you both….

Let me share excerpts from what I searched online on the topic:

I salute all moms who chose to work from home.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

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Sow A Good Seed and Reap Good Harvest

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It’s Labor Day today (May 1)!  I congratulate all hardworking Pinoys including fellow freelancers from all over the world for giving your best!

Today is one of the rarest days that I don’t get to work on my contracts, simply because there is not much to do as all assigned tasks have been completed and that the other information I need to get going is yet to be sent to me.  I saw this as an opportunity to write a post and update my oDesk milestones.  It’s my second year as a freelancer on oDesk.  I became a member April 2009 and had my first job May 2009. Todate, I have established a really good reputation as a freelance professional, gotten numerous job offers, worked with quality employers, and still maintain numerous contracts on an ongoing basis.

Working remotely is quite a challenge.  From the initial job application, to the interview, to being able to convince the employer that you are the best choice for their job requirement, to working on every task and producing the required quality output on time.  I can’t be thankful enough to my employers who believed and continue to believe in my capabilities, and who put their utmost trust to somebody they have not met in person. They are likewise very happy to recommend or refer me to others. This is one factor that motivates me to do the best in every job, more so when the employers articulate their appreciation through an email or skype chat.

Employer from Ontario, Canada:

Employer from London thru the Project Manager from Poland, asked for references:

Employer from Florida, USA:

…and the result:

From a UK employer:

Employer from Idaho, USA:

Another employer also from London recommended me to a friend of his from Brighton, GB:

…and another UK client:

…and still another:

A big thanks to my previous and current employers.  Rest assured that I will continue to give my very best in every task assigned.

 

Local Funds Transfer Became Even Better!!!

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Philippine contractors are surely thankful for the enhanced LFT.  The beta launch provided a direct transfer of oDesk funds to Philippine banks with a $1.99 oDesk withdrawal fee (free for the first try). Particularly for BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands), there is no incoming foreign remittance fee.  Other banks charge around P50 to P200.  In my post about my first try of the LFT, I hoped for oDesk to revise the beta lauch to make it at par with the best features of Paypal’s $1 withdrawal fee and shorter remittance period of 2-3 days.  I received below email from oDesk regarding the official launch of the LFT, and lo!  The LFT became even better! What with an even lower fee of $0.99, and 2-3 days processing!  LFT will now definitely become my choice of withdrawal method!!!

Below is the notification on the official launch of the LFT:

Thanks to oDesk for always listening to requests, suggestions and recommendations from contractors who’d want to maximize their earnings.  Kudos!

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Local Fund Transfer vs Paypal

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In an effort to address the clamor of Philippine contractors for a better withdrawal method, oDesk announced the beta launch of the Local Fund Transfer method. This new method is being considered as a low cost, direct (to Philippine bank) withdrawal method. These are the main features of the LFT as claimed by oDesk.

What is Local Funds Transfer:

  • Transfer funds directly to your local bank account. No third-party payment providers are involved. You deal directly with oDesk.
  • Your first withdrawal is Free! Thereafter, each withdrawal is just $1.99.
  • oDesk offers a very competitive exchange rate that in most cases will beat the other payment providers. You can see the last oDesk exchange rate on the withdrawal form before you withdraw funds.
  • You will receive your funds in 5 business days or less.

Since oDesk’s announcement of the beta launch last December 2010, Philippine contractors rejoiced at the promise of savings from withdrawal fees,and for a more efficient payment system with a better exchange rate. Many became curious, tried the new method and had their piece of good and bad experiences.  The “sigurista” in me deemed it best to become a spectator first before diving into the pool.  I’d like to ensure that everything will go as planned. Most of the time there is an advantage at not initiating a particular action unless one is 100% sure that the desired results would be obtained.  Visiting the forum and reading from other contractors’ experiences gave me a better glimpse at the situations I might find my funds into if I decide to use the new method.  Some say the method is confusing…others say there is not a remarkable difference in exchange rate from the other methods like Paypal or Payoneer….and still others say they’re happy as there is another equally good alternative.  Many believe in the saying “experience is the best teacher” and so do I. Okay then…now its my turn to dive.

Step 1 – setup LFT as another payment method with my Bank of the Philippine Islands account.

Step 2 – Withdraw my oDesk funds into my chosen payment method/s.

My first try on the LFT was February 10, 2011. I decided to withdraw from oDesk into both LFT and Paypal at the same time, with equal amounts of $285 each. Here are snapshots showing the exchange rate comparison between the two methods:

For LFT, the rate is higher compared to Paypal – at least by 0.277. On this, oDesk’s promise that the new method offers a “very competitive exchange rate that in most cases will beat the other payment” proved to be true .

From LFT, I should be expecting about P12,145.56 to hit my bank account.  Should there be rate changes from the time the withdrawal is processed up to the day the funds hit my bank account, I believe the amount will not be substantially different.

Paypal on the other hand, will be sending me P12,066.61. There is about P78.95 difference, and LFT at least gave me additional budget for a Jollibee or McDonalds meal….not bad. In this aspect, thumbs up for LFT…it got 1 point score.

How long did I wait for the money to hit my bank?

My estimate from February 10 (Thursday) withdrawal:

LFT – 3 to 5 business days into bank….so more or less by February 17 the funds should have reached my bank account.  And because February 12 & 13 are weekends, therefore not considered “business days,” those were not considered in counting the days. The actual date I receive the funds was February 16 (Wednesday), or 4 days from withdrawal.

PAYPAL – 2 to 4 business days into bank…I should receive the funds more or less by February 16, Saturday and Sunday also not considered in the counting.  I received my money on February 14.

Although with LFT there is longer waiting period, oDesk still delivered its promise for a maximum 5 business days.  But, Paypal proves itself better than the LFT, especially for contractors like me who are in a rush to get their fund transfers. Okay, 1 point for Paypal….they tie in score now…

But wait…..

The actual amount credited into my bank account from Paypal was only P11,916.61, and not P12,066.61.  There was P150 incoming/foreign remittance fee charged by the bank….and that means my daughter will not get her 2 orders of Kiddie meals with free toys.

From the LFT remittance, the actual amount I received was P12,190.41 and not just P12,145.56….a higher rate therefore was used by oDesk which is P42.773 instead of P42.3390 as indicated in the notification. This could be the prevailing rate at the time of the remittance, not at the time of withdrawal, hence rates could vary.

Based from this, the effective exchange rate difference is $0.434.  The total amount difference between the two methods I used is now P273.80. My daughter can have 3 kiddie meals with toys.

In sum:

Now, which payment method is the best?

It will really depend on the contractor’s personal circumstances.

If one is in a rush to get their funds the same day (to pay utilities or bills etc. and avoid surcharges on late payments), Payoneer Debit Card is the best, but the big disadvantage is that the deductions are substantial.

Paypal is the next best alternative for those in a hurry, with shorter waiting time compared to LFT, but still, the disadvantage being the lower exchange rate and bank remittance fee charged by the banks.

LFT is the best when it comes to those who want to save on bank remittance fees since every centavo counts nowadays. One just needs to be patient and be willing to wait for max 5days. This method will prove to give substantial savings if it lowers the withdrawal fee of $1.99 to be at par with Paypal’s $1.

As for me, I’d like to have a payment method added….the COMBI….

It is a combination of the best features of the 3 methods – LFT with Paypal’s Shorter Waiting Period, a choice for Immediate Load like Payoneer at very minimal fee and a Very Competitive Exchange Rate.  Should this improved LFT be implemented in the official launch…..I’m pretty sure that oDesk will get everybody’s…

 

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L-O-V-E

 

“Love is the revelation of our deepest personal meaning, value, and identity. But this revelation remains impossible as long as we are the prisoner of our own egoism. I cannot find myself in myself, but only in another. My true meaning and worth are shown to me not in my estimate of myself, but in the eyes of the one who loves me; and that one must love me as I am, with my faults and limitations, revealing to me the truth that these faults and limitations cannot destroy my worth in their eyes; and that I am therefore valuable as a person, in spite of my shortcomings, in spite of the imperfections of my exterior ‘package.’ The package is totally unimportant. What matters is this infinitely precious message which I can discover only in my love for another person. And this message, this secret, is not fully revealed to me unless at the same time I am able to see and understand the mysterious and unique worth of the one I love.” – from “Love and Living” by Thomas Merton.

“But to love another as a person we must begin by granting him his own autonomy and identity as a person. We have to love him for what he is in himself, and not for what he is to us. We have to love him for his own good, not for the good we get out of him. And this is impossible unless we are capable of a love which ‘transforms’ us, so to speak, into the other person, making us able to see things a he sees them, love what he loves, experience the deeper realities of his own life as if they were our own. Without sacrifice, such a transformation is utterly impossible. But unless we are capable of this kind of transformation ‘into the other’ while remaining ourselves, we are not yet capable of a fully human existence. “from Disputed Questions by Thomas Merton


HAPPY VALENTINES EVERYONE!

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Another Payment Method for Philippine Contractors

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Its good news for Philippine contractors!  Thank you, oDesk, for finding ways for us to save on withdrawal fees.  I always use my Payoneer Debitcard (immediate load), and seldom my Paypal. These payment facilities have their own unique features, however, with the new payment method of Odesk direct to bank account, the latter proves to be the best.  Below is a re-post from Mollie Carter’s (of oDesk) post on the new payment method:

Submitted 12/16/2010
molliecarter 20 posts

If you are a contractor in the Philippines, we’d like to invite you to participate in our beta launch of Local Funds Transfer in the Philippines!

You’ve been asking for a better withdrawal method, and we’ve been working on it. We have a new local funds transfer withdrawal method for the Philippines that will allow you to withdraw Philippine Pesos directly into your local bank account for $1.99 per withdrawal.

Join Our Beta Program Today!
oDesk is offering Local Funds Transfer as a beta. We are also waiving the $1.99 fee on your first withdrawal. We are confident in the system — your funds are safe and after you add your bank and request a withdrawal, you will receive your funds in 3-5 business days. But, we’d like your help to understand better what’s working really well and what could be improved before we officially launch.

If you have any questions before or after you join the beta, please contact our Customer Support team directly.

Add your bank now to participate in this beta release.

What is Local Funds Transfer:

  • Transfer funds directly to your local bank account.  No third-party payment providers are involved.  You deal directly with oDesk.
  • Your first withdrawal is Free!  Thank you for trying this new service. Thereafter, each withdrawal is just $1.99.
  • oDesk offers a very competitive exchange rate that in most cases will beat the other payment providers.  You can see the last oDesk exchange rate on the withdrawal form before you withdraw funds.
  • You will receive your funds in 5 business days or less.

Your local bank may charge you an incoming remittance fee. oDesk does not earn any part of this fee. Please consult your bank about possible incoming remittance fees.  Because of oDesk’s banking relationships, there are reduced fees for the following banks:

  • Bank of Philippine Islands customers will not be charged any incoming remittance fees.
  • Union Bank customers will be charged a reduced incoming remittance fee of 50 Pesos.
  • Please see our help page for information on other banks.

If you are interested in participating in this beta launch, please click here to add your local bank.

You may also click here for more information.

Now, I can withdraw my oDesk earnings direct to my bank account (BPI or BDO for me).  From this payment method I get to save $0.01(odesk to payoneer) + $2.50 (about P110 for immediate load into my debitcard) + P200 (BPI charge for international funds) and another P352 (for BPI atm withdrawal charges). Wow! Thats-a-lotta-savings!

More power to oDesk! Gracias!

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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2010. That’s about 31 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 8 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 39 posts. There were 100 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 11mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was April 30th with 193 views. The most popular post that day was Employer Goes The Extra Mile.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were odesk.com, pinoyexchange.com, odeskpinoynewbie.blogspot.com, search.aol.com, and facebook.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for gold star, challenge, gold star image, gold star picture, and star images.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Employer Goes The Extra Mile September 2009
9 comments

2

My oDesk Debit Mastercard July 2009
23 comments

3

A Taste (and Test) of the oDesk Guaranteed Payment December 2009
13 comments

4

Wear The Employer’s Shoes September 2009
7 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

5

Resources July 2009
7 comments