Steady Saturday

The weather yesterday was lovely. It was cold but with a burst of sunshine. After my Saturday Mass, I thought of taking a long walk somewhere in National Taiwan University. My friend and I cancelled our plan for lunch so it was me-time.

I had a mini recollection of the things I need to do. I missed being quiet and just listening to my own thoughts. Although I ended up confusing myself right after, at least I have some concrete actions on how to realize certain things. When the sun was about to set, I rushed home to jot down my plans. I hope 2014 will be a year filled with accomplishments, big and small. Bahala na po Kayo, Lord.

Kuala Lumpur

Last week at work was probably one of the busiest. We were preparing for a meeting in Malaysia  and the preparation that went with it was just too much. This is just the "planning" meeting for our upcoming annual conference in September. I could just imagine how hellish it will be come the months of July, August and September.

Anyhooo. As usual, I did not have time to visit other places. I stayed mostly in the hotel, but thankfully our hotel's located at Bukit Bintang, it was easy to spot malls and stores to get pasalubongs.

Our boss treated us to the Sky Bar of the Trader's Hotel which has a really excellent view of the Petronas Towers.

The business trip was exhausting, but still I'm glad I can visit several places while 'working'. I tried my best to squeeze in some nasi lemak time and a quick cup of Old Town.

The Pavillion in Bukit Bintang houses Madam Kwan's, Old Town Coffee, Nando's and even J.Co's Donuts. I also bought a small box of J.Co's for my colleagues to try because the line at the newly-opened Krispy Kreme in Taipei is just ridiculous.

You can do your last minute shopping for pasalubong at Pavillion's Mercato- their local grocery. Although our host said it is more expensive compared to other grocery stores, you'll surely find what you need- traditional white coffees, Beryl's chocolates , Famous Amos cookies, and other local stuff.

How to buy stocks with COL Financial

 Image borrowed from

So the day has finally come! Midway through the third week of January 2014, I finally bought stocks in a property and consumer company. 'Buying stocks' sounded like I'm some rich girl, but please don't get me wrong. I'm only capable of investing an small amount of money since I'm just a newbie in all things investment-related. I will try to share my experiences here in this blog, and would also want to learn from those who are into investing.

EIP Scheduler
Days after opening and funding my account, I edited my profile and created my EIP  (Easy Investment Plan) Schedule. This COL feature sends you an email reminder when it is time to invest your money. To do this, just go to the Trade section of your COL page and look for the "EIP Scheduler" tab. Fill out the stock code of the company you wish to invest in, and the amount you want to buy over time. 

You can schedule your investment every month, depending on the frequency you want (weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually). Select the start date, which will be your regular buy date until your indicated duration- minimum of 6 months, maximum of 3 years. To be safe, I chose the day after payday as my "buy date."

For the full tutorial on creating an EIP Schedule, watch this COL tutorial.

Buying Stocks
Now let's say that today is your "buy date." Your homepage should look like the screen cap below when you've signed up for EIP Scheduler. Click "Buy Now" and it will lead you to Steps 1-3. 

Step 1 will show you your order details. 

Review carefully the details before placing your order. Clicking on "Preview Order" will take you you to Step 2 (no screen cap image), which will show you the main board of the company you chose to invest in, with all the detailed information of the company you chose (stock price, %change, high, low, trades, volume etc.)

After typing in your password and placing your buy order, Step 3 will show you your order confirmation. 

For a step-by-step guide on buying stocks, watch this clip

For a quick start-up guide, I suggest watching this video.

That's it. Buying your stocks with the help of the EIP Scheduler function makes it easier. From my understanding, since I'm doing EIP, I need not worry a lot about the ups and downs of the market; but for traders, gains and losses are like a heart attack and aneurysm. My brother once told me how he was not able to sleep for a few days after he lost quite a huge sum of money in stock trading. Following his words of wisdom, he told me to just be patient with EIP, and not to try trading if I'm not ready. Noted, Dihia.

Looking back

Last year I failed to make a "year in pictures" entry because I was too lazy and lacked inspiration. But because I had so much motivation from the outpour of blessings I've had this year, I recalled every moment worth remembering and tried writing them down. I promise to write more this year, and to never forget every significant event, no matter how big or small.

January 2013- Got me a new phone because my Blackberry went Deadberry.  Went home for two weeks. Broke the silence and finally had peace. Short reunion with friends and families. We opened our Lasaret Time Capsule and was surprised about the letters we wrote for ourselves and for God.

January reunion

February 2013- Worked for the whole of Chinese New Year, around 13 days of straight work because colleague had to travel to Shanghai to spend time with his family. Mid to late February I was asked to submit my resume to an organization, had an interview the day after, and they wanted me to start immediately. I still love my newspaper job and told the bosses I'd help part time.

Chinese New Year 2013

March 2013- Hence the start of juggling two worlds- part time and fulltime jobs. Worked my ass off day to night. The only rest I had was at lunch and a short nap. I don't even know why or how I managed to do this but I did it until May, when I finally realized why our Boss up there had to put me through hell to experience heaven. More on this later.

April 2013- My lovely aunt from the US, Auntie Emi came home for a short vacation with my cousin Jay, to visit Lola Mary. They knew it was the last time they'd see her. My brother, James also came home for his annual vacation. So rare for the three of us to be together. I missed my two brothers' kulitan. They used to wrestle a lot and play Undertaker, The Rock, Brethart etc.

Uy siblings

With Auntie Emi and Jay

May 2013- May is the most eventful month, I think. My college best friends Joy and Kaymee visited me for a much needed bonding and catching up. We stayed overnight at a hotel, and the remaining nights at my old apartment. I love them girls so much and I'm thankful that even if we're miles apart, nothing has ever changed. Quoting Joy, "Our friendship has not withered but instead has grown stronger."

Month of May ended in a sad note as I left my newspaper job and the best colleagues in the world. Then that shooting incident that marred TW-PH relations. My new work permit was submitted days before the incident took place. Worried sick that it wont get approved, but I prayed and told myself I will accept whatever is His plan. I was ready to go back home.

June 2013- Perhaps God laid out a plan which included extending my stay in Taipei. My work permit was approved because it was an extension of my permit for the part time job. To make the story short, if I didn't take the part-time job, if I didn't work morning to night, no work permit for me because the Council of Labor Affairs stopped processing work permits a day after the shooting incident.

After the good news, I had to look for a new apartment and I'll be forever thankful to my newspaper colleagues who helped me find one. After moving in (special thanks to good friends Ate G, Hana and Gustl who lent a hand in carrying boxes), I flew to Saigon for a short vacation with mom, and a side trip to one of my dream destinations, the Angkor Wat. After our vacation, Lola Mary passed away in her sleep. Auntie Emi went home, to say goodbye.

July 2013- Started full-time with my current job. Cant remember anything spectacular for this month, except for that wonderful hike to Elephant Mountain.

August 2013- Organized a training program in Singapore for work. Mini reunion with cousins and my goddaughter, Alyanna.

September 2013- Celebrated my 4th year of being away from home. Attended the annual conference for work in Mongolia. Stayed there for four days but failed to see the country side.

October 2013- Was given a mini surprise by my church family. Blew four or five cakes, the most I've blown since ummmmm birth. It was a rather simple celebration with good friends. I'm afraid I'm getting used to *not* celebrating my birthday. Went home for my friend Mylyn's wedding. Mylyn is the sister of one of my best friends, Monnette. Then my mom's eldest brother, Uncle Jun, passed away. An earthquake struck Bohol and Cebu and reduced century-old churches to rubble. Seeing photos of the collapsed churches I visited once or twice in my lifetime was just too saddening.

November 2013- After the earthquake, came supertyphoon Yolanda that hit the eastern part of the Philippines. More than 6,000 dead, thousands homeless. Helped organize a small donation drive with friends and sent items from Taipei to Capiz. Praying that year 2014 will bring them hope to build a new life. Ended November with a short trip to Yingge, north of Taipei.

December 2013- Flew to Tokyo for work, my first time in Japan, and also my last trip of the year. Met up with my classmate from NCCU Mandarin class and he gave me a mini tour of his home country. This marks my third Christmas in Taipei with church family and friends. Although I terribly miss my family, my friends and I made sure that we'll have a great celebration of Christ's birthday. And to cap off the year, I signed up for a COL account, hoping it'll be a good venue to invest.

So many things not listed here, so many things to be grateful for. I look forward to 2014. Thank you, 2013!


Happy new year from me and the rubber ducky (unfortunately, it burst into a flat disc the day after we visited)

Happy 2014!

Happy New Year! We bid goodbye to the year that was and welcome 2014 with a fresh start. New year, new beginnings. Here's to a great 2014!