Category: Fine Living
The workaholic CEO’s guide to staying healthy
Mark Zuckerberg just won a gold medal in a jiujitsu competition. For a billionaire obsessed with the future of Meta, he has found time to pursue other passions and take care of his body. You can, too, with the tips below.
As a good business leader, we know that you think that the time and efforts you give to your company’s day-to-day operations is a precious investment. It is not hard to see that as the one helming the ship and making all these decisions, you are an integral part of the operation.
Therefore, investing in your own health and well-being not only is a wise choice for you as a person, but it is also the most logical one for the continued success of your business.
Suffice it to say, your health is the most important thing you have. If you take care of it, nothing else matters. Here are three easy ways to make sure you are healthy and able to keep up with all the demands placed upon you by your career and life.
Be more mindful about what you eat.
As a high-powered CEO, chances are that your schedule is packed, and your eating habits might be suffering as a result. To maintain your health and energy levels, important to make sure that what you put into your body is as good for it as possible.
That means avoiding processed foods and sugars whenever you can. Processed foods have been stripped of nutrients during the manufacturing process but still contain lots of salt, fat, and sugar, all of which are delicious for sure, but can negatively impact your health over time if consumed regularly.
This also means cutting back on alcohol consumption. Time to take account of your daily sip of your favorite brandy at the end of the day. Although there is no hard evidence linking casual to moderate drinking with heart disease risk–with some studies even suggesting the opposite–consuming more than moderate amounts of alcohol can contribute to high blood pressure and obesity—both risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Eat a healthy breakfast — Starting your day with a balanced meal is not only important for your overall health, but it is especially crucial if you are a busy executive who rarely has time to sit down and eat. A good breakfast will give you energy throughout the morning and help curb cravings later in the day, which could lead to unhealthy snacking.
- Eat protein and healthy fats at every meal — Protein can help build muscle mass and reduce fatigue, while fats give lots of energy. It is a combination that is perfect for executives who spend hours each day on their feet making deals or reviewing reports from subordinates. Such diets would typically include some type of meat at each meal. For instance, chicken breasts, eggs or fish fillets are both excellent sources of protein and healthy fats.
- Consume more greens — It is also possible to have vegetarian and even vegan diets with plenty of the macronutrients you need. Tofu makes for great, healthy vegetarian dishes when paired with vegetables like spinach or kale, which also contain plenty of vitamins, and grains, nuts, beans, and other legumes, make for excellent sources of nutrition.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day – Sometimes you might forget to take a glass of water. At least eight glasses, or about a liter of water per day, is recommended. Water keeps you hydrated, allows for your body to properly transport nutrition to your brain, maintain body temperature, and much more. You especially need water when dealing with high stress, high intensity situations like during long, important meetings or working out. Keep in mind that while about three to five cups of plain coffee a day is perfectly normal and can be part of a healthy diet, it is no substitute for a tall glass of water.
Make your workout a priority.
You probably know you should be moving more. The benefits of exercise have long been repeated over and over, in books, magazines, TV, and the internet. But busy as you are, it simply is not that easy to make time for it.
There is no other way to go about it. You need to schedule your workouts into your calendar as though they were meetings or appointments and treat them as such. The only way to make time for your workout is to make it a priority, equal in value to any other business meeting you have. It can be argued that it is even more important, as exercise can ensure that you will be able to keep healthy and capable of leading your company for years to come.
Once you have decided when and where those workouts will happen each week, stick with that schedule no matter what happens. If necessary, block out some additional time during the day so that nothing gets in between you and working out. After a while, the results will speak for themselves.
Get enough sleep.
Like exercise, getting more sleep is as important to your performance, mental and physical health as your diet.
Sleep helps with creativity and productivity. Without enough sleep, you are liable to make poor decisions, your memory can suffer, and you can have trouble absorbing critical information and solving problems.
Make sleep a non-negotiable part of your schedule, no matter how busy you are. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule is paramount to staying healthy, and it helps you deal with the stress of daily life and deal with other people much better. It helps if you can also invest in better sleep by buying a better mattress, or by making sure you sleep in a comfortable room with good ventilation.
If you are a workaholic CEO, it can be hard to find time to take care of yourself. But if you make it a priority, there are lots of ways for you to stay healthy without sacrificing your career. You just need to realize that choosing a healthy lifestyle is as important as any other meaningful business investment—and then stick with it!
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Eco-friendly resorts to consider for your summer getaway
Where to spend your next travel? Perhaps in these exclusive resorts placed in the country’s pristine beaches or tucked away in forest mountains.
As the peak for summer getaways approaches, there is still much time left for a quick or even a days-long breather from the hustles of the work week.
Better yet, spend such time off concrete buildings and off your gadgets and reunite with nature. The Philippines is rich with these locations where you can enjoy the summer breeze, the cool ocean waves, or the aesthetic of mountain areas.
Take note of these unique and stunning exclusive eco-friendly resorts that can be found within the country’s pristine beaches and mountain landscapes to make your summer getaway more fun and enjoyable. Enjoy nature at its most pristine.
West 35 Eco-Mountain Resort
Looking to unwind from the busy city life? West 35 Eco Mountain Resort might be for you. Perched atop of the mountains in Balamban, Cebu, the resort is only a few meters away from Cebu’s other popular local attractions.
West 35 is notable for its stunning 360-degree view of the Balamban Mountains, as well as a home to many unique ￼creatures, including a variety of birds, insects, and foliage that are endemic to the city.
Among the most striking features of the resort are the simple yet cozy aesthetics of its rooms. The rooms mostly have wooden furniture and neutral colored interior designs. The separate spaces for bathrooms, balconies, jacuzzies, plus an outdoor rest area overlooking the mountain views and perfect for campfire activities, further heighten the luxury vibes in these rooms.
West 35 also captivates guests with its food and restaurants. It grows and cultivates all of the organic vegetables used in their menu, from chicken, to seafood, to pasta. The food is offered by Haven Café, complemented by a stunning 360-degree viewing deck to enjoy the meal.
In addition, the resort also has many rooms for other leisure activities, including function rooms, and the kid’s playground.
Visit West 35’s official Facebook page or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary
While Palawan is known to be a home to numerous beaches and lagoons, The Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary stands out as it includes a four-kilometer shoreline, four private beaches, and waterfalls located in San Vincente, Palawan. Moreover, the resort also takes pride in its 28-hectare Turtle Bay Marine Sanctuary, which it serves as a shelter for marine animals. It has been protected by the island for the past 12 years. It protects marine animals, specifically, endangered green and olive ridley turtles where they mate and hatch eggs.
Along gorgeous beaches, Palawan’s premier eco-friendly resort is divided into two secluded coves with four private beaches having the perfect location for breath-taking sunsets.
The largest executive villas are located along the sunset beach. Both of those villas include a luxurious bedroom, a lounge, and a jacuzzi bathtub, with an additional large balcony for the premier villa. Meanwhile, their deluxe, superior, and suite rooms are built like modern but luxurious nipa huts.
While the rooms are designed with neutral colors and dominated by wooden furniture, Secret Paradise does not fail in giving off cozy vibes, with its enormous beds, loft rooms, and even balconies, as the rooms are overlooking the white sand beaches.
For inquiries or more information, visit www.secretparadiseresort.com or their Facebook page at Secret Paradise Resort; or email at email@example.com.
Nature’s Village Resort
This resort can be a worthwhile choice for staycations with its spacious and peaceful atmosphere.
Delivering sustainable efforts into traveling, Nature’s Village Resort offers a garden paradise, with a stunning view of Mount Marapara in Bacolod City. The resort is well-known for its distinctive lodgings, coupled with other amenities such as pool, outdoor park, and organic farm. Here, nature enthusiasts may enjoy the beauty of nature while experiencing the best resort experience at the same time.
The rooms were designed to harmonize with nature, as shown by the theme of earthly colors, wooden floors and furniture, and classic nature paintings in each room—all blending with the indoors and the outdoors.
Nature’s Village Resort aims to encourage eco-friendly tourism and promote sustainability agenda. As such, its dining choices come with ingredients that are harvested from its very own Village Farm.
Visit www.naturesvillageresort.com or Nature’s Village Resort on Facebook for more information.
Atmosphere Resort and Spa
A high-end boutique resort and spa is located along the stunning beach and coastal waters of Negros Oriental. Called the Atmosphere Resort and Spa, it has 44 modern boutique rooms, with California king-size beds and cool Egyptian cotton pillows.
Multimedia amenities, energy-saving air condition, as well as solar-heated waters and eco-friendly toiletries add a modern vibe to this luxury resort.
Atmosphere Resort and Spa has excellent dining choices, both on its restaurants and bar. The resort offers a variety of food choices, from seafood, to gourmet dining, to Western dining. Atmosphere’s restaurants emphasize healthy eating, and all of their menus and locations provide mouthwatering vegetarian and vegan options.
The resort also offers leisure activities such as scuba diving, fitness and yoga, among others.
Visit www.atmosphereresorts.com or their Facebook page on Atmosphere Resorts & Spa or @atmosphereresorts on Instagram for more information.
Nurture Wellness Village
The preceding destinations are good options away from the metro. Nonetheless, here’s another destination to consider for those looking for a quick and nearby getaway.
Located in Tagaytay City, a few hours’ drive away from Metro Manila, pioneer wellness and eco-friendly hotel spa Nurture Wellness Village carries a rustic-chic houses theme. Its rooms come with tea and coffee machines, multimedia amenities, and four-poster mattresses. The rooms even have access to remarkable private gardens.
Another remarkable feature of the hotel spa is its farm-to-table cuisine that offers fresh produce from its organic farms. The hotel’s dining choices come with various Filipino and foreign dishes. Aside from the exquisite dining experience, Nature Wellness Village also has a modest outdoor cafe and open-door restaurants for diners to appreciate scenic nature while enjoying their meal.
Guests can also relax by the holistic health and detox ￼services offered by the hotel, which include their massage services, facials, and body treatments. They can also enjoy the hotel’s fitness facilities, as well as pool activities and lounging at the poolside bar.
For inquiries or more information, visit nurture.com.ph, Nurture Wellness Village on Facebook, or @nurturewellnessvillage on Instagram.
(resort photos courtesy of their respective owners)
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Must-have books for wealth-building before you turn 50
Books contain a wealth of wisdom, including about building one’s wealth. These titles are worth keeping on your shelf.
While financial advisors, colleagues, friends and family, and of course, your personal experience could give insights about building wealth to finance your retirement, you could also turn to books.
From the classics to the recently published, here are some sources of wealth knowledge that you should read and learn from before you turn 50.
The Richest Man in Babylon
Several authors have come up with stories and ideas proven to be timeless, impacting generations succeeding them. On the subject of wealth, George S. Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” is one of such books.
Considered as one of the most inspirational books on wealth, “The Richest Man in Babylon” was first published in 1926. But the stories that made up the book are set in ancient times. Clason gave financial lessons in the form of Babylonian parables, which uncovered the secrets to keeping and building one’s wealth.
It was in 1926 when Clason started to write finance-focused pamphlets told through parables with ancient Babylon as the milieu. Such parables were handed out by banks and insurance firms. The book is a compilation of his famous stories.
Through storytelling, The Richest Man in Babylon turns financial principles into memorable nuggets of wisdom.
Think and Grow Rich
Across the different lists of books dealing with wealth, Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich is almost always included.
This classic self-help book holds lessons not only for wealth but success as well. Think and Grow Rich is based on Hill’s Law of Success philosophy. He elucidated his principles in the book by using the stories of the most successful people of his generation, including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Andrew Carnegie.
The book was originally printed in 1937. Even after Hill died in 1970, Think and Grow Rich has continued to be sold and remains influential to many people.
Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals
Just like Napoleon Hill, Thomas C. Corley also looked at wealthy individuals to examine what leads to financial success. He formulated 10 principles from years of research on his wealthiest clients, particularly their success habits in the day-to-day.
If you are curious about the habits of the wealthy and how you can incorporate them in your life, hopefully to become financially successful as well, the Rich Habits can be your guide.
9 Steps to Financial Freedom and The Ultimate Retirement Guide for 50+
Having the financial freedom to live the life you desire upon retirement is perhaps one of your financial goals. Suze Orman might be able to help you through her book, 9 Steps to Financial Freedom.
Orman’s book takes an emotional and spiritual perspective in approaching money matters. Her philosophy reminds you that “you are worth more than your money.” The book can transform the way you “think, feel, and act” on money.
But aside from helping pave the way towards gaining your financial freedom, Orman can also support you in planning your retirement in another book, The Ultimate Retirement Guide for 50+.
Seeing that retirement has changed and become more complex nowadays, she imparted advice and tools you might need.
Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required
Maybe you are not planning to retire after 50. Maybe you want to do it earlier.
Take Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung as examples. They retired in their early 30s and now spend their time travelling around the world. At 31, Shen retired having a million dollars. So how can you also “quit like a millionaire”?
A guide to wealth-building and retiring early, Quit Like a Millionaire holds a formula towards financial independence. The book covers developing a million-dollar portfolio, bolstering investments, and reducing expenditures without lessening quality of life, among others.
If you are also one of those who want to spend retirement seeing the world, you might want to prepare for that adventure by delving into this book of Shen and Leung.
Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement: The Secret to Freedom, Flexibility, and Financial Independence (& how to get started!)
This is another book to teach you about retiring early, with a focus on passive income.
Author Rachel Richards left her job and retired at 27 years old. But she could depend on passive income streams of more than USD 10,000 each month. So, in her book Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement, she provided lessons on how you could also be financially free earlier than you have imagined.
The book included 28 passive income models. Among the ways they could help are attaining “Financial Independence, Retire Early” without being a penny pincher, as well as establishing a consistent, long-term residue income to enable you to live life according to what matters to you.
(Photos courtesy of their respective authors and publishers)
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7 high-end hotels to stay in for your vacation
These luxury hotels around the country are geared up to bring fine living afresh.
How long has it been since you last traveled, or at least had a staycation by yourself or with your family? Maybe it’s time to take a break and de-stress from the hustle and bustle of your work week.
You do not even have to go too far to have that relaxing, even once-in-a-long-while escapade. Just book into one of these high-end hotels; then get your car ready anytime soon (unless you prefer to book a Grab car). If you are aiming for an out-of-town escapade, though, two new hotels in Northern Luzon and in the Visayas are included here.
Bookmark this list so you may keep it handy the next time you yearn for a quick unwind:
1. Hotel Okura Manila
One of the most awaited hotels to open in the country, this newest addition to what is now Newport World Resorts in Pasay City has been fully operational by the first quarter of this year.
Notable for its Japanese-inspired aesthetic, Hotel Okura houses 190 rooms. The most striking one, the Hinoki-yu Room, features Hinoki (Japanese cypress) wooden bathtubs handcrafted by Japanese artisans from Nagiso Town, Nagano Prefecture. Further exuding luxury in this room are separate areas for bathtub and rainfall shower, a high-tech Japanese bidet, multimedia amenities, and a Nespresso machine.
The hotel’s topmost floor has leisure and recreational facilities such as a fitness center and a 20-meter pool overlooking Manila’s skyline. Food is offered by Yamazato, a Japanese fine-dining restaurant with private rooms, and Yawaragi, an all-day restaurant serving Western and Asian specialties as well as high tea and cocktails.
2. dusitD2 Waves Hotel
With La Union already an accessible go-to vacation spot, especially for Mega Manila residents, the rebranded dusitD2 Waves Hotel, sprawled along the clean coastline of a 7-hectare property in San Juan town, is a good choice for a luxurious stay.
Now carrying the grandeur of the Dusit International brand since 2020, dusitD2 Waves Hotel features eight floors with about 216 rooms, some of which are overlooking the West Philippine Sea. It also has an elegant Olympic-size swimming pool, a health and wellness spa, gym, two world-class restaurants and two bars. For a family-friendly venture, there is a mini cinema, a library, plus a function hall that can accommodate up to 1,000 people for special gatherings.
3. Admiral Hotel Manila - MGallery
In the nation’s capital, its hottest 5-star boutique hotel opened in May 2022.
Admiral Hotel Manila – MGallery is striking for its design that evoke Manila’s Golden Age by reinterpreting classic and contemporary Filipino-Spanish design and architecture elements. This is coupled with “thoughtful touches, warm gracious service, and extraordinary gastronomical and mixology experiences,” as Matthieu Busschaër, the hotel’s general manager, shared in the hotel’s website.
Admiral Hotel has 123 rooms and suites which start at a spacious 31 square meters (sqm), coupled with free WiFi, pool and gym access, and plentiful dining options. These options include the Admiral Club restaurant, featuring a Filipino and Hispanic fusion tapas bar and an interactive dining catwalk centerstage table; an old Shanghai-themed Ruby Wong’s Godown; and a rooftop Coconut Grove bar, perfect for catching sunset views from the Manila Bay.
4. Swissôtel Clark
A Swiss-inspired luxury hotel that has been operational since March awaits travelers in the fully integrated Hann Casino Resort at Clark, Pampanga.
Swissôtel Clark has 372 contemporary rooms and suites (plus Swiss Executive Lounge for suite-stayers) with floor-to-ceiling windows, generously sized marble bathrooms, lounge chairs, and the latest guestroom automation technology. Guests can relax in a resort-style infinity pool and spa accented by sweeping mountain views at Pürovel Spa & Sport, the only alpine spa in the Philippines.
There are also various dining options to choose from, with 10 specialty restaurants serving everything from Asian street food delicacies to authentic Italian cuisine. To name a few, there is the in-house Nasi for Kapampangan fare, Markt for Swiss food, Spice for pan-Asian favorites, and Bar 20 for post-midnight drinks.
5. Grand Hyatt Manila
Delivering its Hyatt’s superior service for over four years, Grand Hyatt Manila in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig is surely a great choice for an uncompromised hotel experience. With rooms adorned with honeyed wood paneling, maple hardwood floors, richly veined gray-white marble bathrooms, spacious walk-in closet, and huge floor-to-ceiling picturesque windows, staying in one of the hotel’s 461 elegantly appointed guestrooms and suites is something individuals seeking a taste of the high life will go back to.
This experience does not stop with accommodation. Various dining choices await at The Grand Kitchen, The Lounge, The Cellar, Pool House, No. 8 China House, Florentine, and Peak. Aside from bringing grill restaurant, speakeasy, whisky bar, and music lounge in a single spot, The Peak also takes guests through an immersive culinary journey with Le Petit Chef, the tiny clumsy chef from France, via fun and engaging 3D animation on one’s dining table.
6. The Westin Manila Sonata Place
Located on the main street of the Ortigas Business District, this elegant hotel is slated to open later this year. Once it opens, you can choose from a wide range of room options out of its 300 luxurious rooms, from the Deluxe to the Presidential Suite. One thing is for sure: Every room features the signature Westin Heavenly Bed.
Guests will also get to indulge in three F&B venues, a swimming pool, a 24/7 fitness center, as well as an in-house Heavenly Spa by Westin.
7. Fili Urban Resort
Within the so-called “biggest lifestyle and entertainment destination outside Metro Manila” is a hotel that promises to redefine 5-star hospitality.
Fili Urban Resort is the first of three hotels that have opened in NUSTAR Resort and Casino, Cebu’s first integrated casino resort hotel. The hotel aims to give guests a distinct Filipino luxury experience, right from the reservation. For instance, guests can be picked up in limousines at the airport, then welcomed upon arrival at the hotel with the Fili signature drink.
The hotel, launched last May, features 379 rooms, a spa, pools, a hot tub, and gym. There are also butlers in every suite and villa of the hotel, as well as childcare and car rental service for a fee.
Making one is stay more exciting are shopping options in NUSTAR’s four-level 35,000-sqm mall, which will house VIP cinemas, high-fashion stores, and global and regional dining outlets.
Coupling amenities of the highest quality with top-notch services, these hotels are ready to give you fresh experiences of high-end living — a rewarding treat worth your hard-earned money.
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Is your standard of living commensurate with your standard of giving?
Should you give more? Give less? Or should you give at all? As we welcome the new year and think of meaningful things to do, Peter Singer, a philosopher, offers some suggestions, along with arguments to give more.
Imagine a small child, a boy, trying to cross a street. He’s oblivious of the oncoming 18-wheeler truck, whose driver was distracted by a message on his mobile phone and didn’t see the child.
You are just a few feet away from the child and could grab him by his shirt to save him. Would you save the child?
You probably would. No sweat. Doing so would take only a few seconds. You wouldn’t ruin your outfit or derail your busy schedule. Besides, saving the child when you have the power to do so, even if you’re not related to him, feels right.
A similar situation was presented by Peter Singer, a philosopher and the founder of effective altruism, in his book The Life You Can Save, which was published in 2010.
He argues that there seems to be a disconnect when we think of it this way: Consider the cost of your favorite drink at a coffee shop. The cost of that drink could save a child living in dire poverty somewhere in Africa or in some impoverished area in the Philippines. If you just donate that amount.
And yet, few of us do it. Those who give think of giving as something they do when they have enough. Some think we’re giving too much.
Here is Singer’s basic argument, verbatim:
First premise: Suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and medical care are bad.
Second premise: If it is in your power to prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything nearly as important, it is wrong not to do so.
Third premise: By donating to aid agencies, you can prevent suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and medical care, without sacrificing anything nearly as important.
Conclusion: Therefore, if you do not donate to aid agencies, you are doing something wrong.
Of course, we can think of objections to such a conclusion. Then again, ancient values, as pointed by Singer, have endured through millennia. For Christians, giving “is not a matter of charity, but of our duty and their rights.”
“The Hebrew word for ‘charity,’ tzedakah, simply means ‘justice’ and, as this suggests, for Jews, giving to the poor is no optional extra but an essential part of living a just life,” said Singer.
Muslims are required to give zakat in proportion to their assets.There is also sadaqa, which is optional and includes both money and labor.
Some objections are worth mentioning here.
Some say there is no black and white and that people are entitled to their own beliefs about giving.
For Singer, that is “moral relativism, a position that many find attractive only until they are faced with someone who is doing something really, really wrong.”
“We can and do try to stop people who are cruel to animals, just as we stop rapists, racists, and terrorists. I’m not saying that failing to give is like committing these acts of violence, but if we reject moral relativism in some situations, then we should reject it everywhere,” he said.
To paraphrase another argument: We may be responsible for the evils that we directly inflict on others, but there is no plausible argument that we owe something to those to whom we have done nothing wrong.
“At first glance, it seems perfectly reasonable. Yet there is a callous side to a philosophy that denies that we have any responsibilities to those who, through no fault of their own, are in need,” said Singer.
If we think this way, then probably we should abolish all those programs to help the poor, the jobless, and the oppressed since, after all, we have done them no harm.
The argument also doesn’t hold up if we consider climate change and the countries who caused much of the global warming. When we use products or benefit from schemes that benefit us despite the unethical practices behind them, we cause injustice unknowingly.
Here’s another one: Giving makes the world a better place, but “it is like a little kid buying a pack of candy, keeping one piece, and giving the rest away. It just doesn’t happen.”
That’s precisely the behavior that we want to change. What we do or how we behave is different from what we ought to do.
Strengthening the case for generosity
A 2021 report by Oxfam, a group of 21 charitable organizations, found that the 10 richest men in the world have more than the combined wealth of the bottom 3.1 billion people. Their wealth doubled during the pandemic.
Credit Suisse, in its Global Wealth Report 2021, said that the richest adult population, comprising 1.1%,owns 45.8% of the world’s total wealth, an increase of 4.8% from 2013. As for the bottom half, they own only 1.3% of the total wealth, a decrease of 1.7%.Talk about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
The World Bank, in a report titled “Overcoming Poverty and Inequality in the Philippines: Past, Present, and Prospects for the Future”, released in November 2022, said that while poverty fell from 49.2 percent in 1985 to 16.7 percent in 2018, inequality is still high. Approximately 17 percent of national income belongs to just 1 percent of earners, and 14 percent of income is shared by the bottom 50 percent.
What you can do
If you feel compelled to give, here are some steps you can take based on Singer’s suggestions:
- Check out www.TheLifeYouCanSave.com to find out more about effective altruism and which organizations have the most impact on the poor. You can also buy his book.
- Get a list of charitable organizations in the Philippines, do your research, and find an organization to support.
- Get your income tax return or an accounting of your assets and decide how much to give—whether it’s 1%, 5%, or 10% or more of your income or assets—and set how often you would like to give.
- Tell your friends about what you’re doing and try to convince them to give more, too.
What’s in it for you?
For a start, giving will make you happy or happier. A survey from the Social Community Benchmark Survey in the US revealed that those who gave to charity were 43 percent more likely to be “very happy” compared to those who were tightfisted.
Another study, the University of Michigan’s Panel Study of Income Dynamics, showed that those who give are 68 percent less likely to feel “hopeless” and also 34 percent less likely to be “so sad that nothing could cheer them up.”
Making money may make you happy. Giving more, however, may make you even happier, without necessarily making you feel poor.
Besides, you wouldn’t want that truck to run over the child, would you?
ANTHONY O. ALCANTARA is the editor-in-chief of Wealth Insights. He has over 20 years of experience in corporate communications and has a master’s degree in technology management from the University of the Philippines. When not at work, he goes out on epic adventures with his family, practices Aikido, and sings in a church choir.
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Eye-catching pieces: The seductiveness of investing in jewelry
The enduring allure of jewelry goes beyond symbols of wealth and status. It could embody something priceless that you can pass on to your heirs.
Dressing up, for some, may seem inadequate without matching pieces of jewelry. But beyond adding sparkle and completing one’s style, jewelry may have a manifold significance for every wearer. It has been that way for thousands of years.
Jewelry is one of the earliest art forms, with the oldest piece discovered dating back between 142,000 and 150,000 years ago. It was 33 beads made from sea snail shells, each measuring around half an inch long. Unearthed by archaeologists between 2014 and 2018 from a cave in western Morocco, these beads were believed to be part of how people expressed their identity through their clothing a long time ago.
Some of the other pieces of jewelry in prehistoric times were made from stones and bones. When social disparities became more apparent among people in the Neolithic period, jewelry also became a means to distinguish individuals and reflect their status.
Jewelry, throughout millennia, continue to hold value to the wearer. (Source: Pixabay)
Value of jewelry
Today, jewelry is cherished for various reasons. For one, people hold wedding rings dear to them as symbols of commitment and devotion. Engagement rings became more valuable and popular as well in the past decades, thanks to iconic engagement rings such as the Van Cleef & Arpels 2.88-carat diamond and 2.84-carat emerald ring of Jacqueline Kennedy, as well as Princess Diana’s 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire ring from Garrard.
Some people also value lucky charm bracelets, which they believe can bring good fortune, wealth, or love into their lives.
Jewelry also remains to be valued because of its link to wealth. And this is not only because they can manifest the status or power the owner holds. They could be worth millions and may contribute to one’s assets.
They can be eye-catching investments, but, like other asset classes, the value of jewelry may not significantly increase through the years. Looking closely at the qualities or factors that could affect the value of jewelry could be helpful, especially if one wishes to treat such pieces as investments.
Wedding rings have become a symbol of commitment and devotion. (Source: Pixabay)
Checklist before you buy
Russell Fogarty, former head of Christie’s jewelry department in New York and partner of Kazanjian & Fogarty, has a checklist that could help assess the investment worthiness of a piece of jewelry — vintage, high quality, in good condition, beautiful, and containing the manufacturer’s signature.
“If you check all those boxes, whatever you’ve purchased is going to increase in value over time,” Mr. Fogarty told Bloomberg.
Josef Sagemuller, a jewelry specialist at Salcedo Auctions, also noted the value of researching the jewelry that you wish to procure and invest in.
“Jewelry hardly ever depreciates in value, but you have to be aware of what it is you are buying, and do your research,” he said in a BusinessWorld report.
“When you choose to invest in quality stones and pieces, you will be able to hedge your savings and money from inflation, hyperinflation, and economic crises,” he added.
Wearing jewelry can be an explicit way to signify wealth, status, and power. (Source: Pexels)
Choose the rare ones
Known jewelers such as Cartier, Bulgari, and Tiffany may seem like good investments, said Sagemuller, as they usually hold on to their value as time passes. However, there is another factor to consider for widely-made jewelry pieces.
“The more common pieces that are mass produced will not appreciate as much as their haute joaillerie or high-end jewelry counterparts,” he said. “Always buy stones of high quality in as big a size as you can afford.”
As you look for jewelry to consider as an investment, experts also remind you to have patience, for it may take time for the value of some pieces of jewelry to appreciate. It is not easy to foresee whether a piece of jewelry could maintain or surpass its value.
You may check in with professional experts, and reach out to auction house specialists or collectors, who could share reliable insights into purchasing and investing in jewelry.
But while there are myriad considerations when looking at jewelry as a valuable asset, several experts agree that you should, of course, invest in jewelry pieces that you would love.
Beyond its monetary value, jewelry could signify something that is priceless to you. These precious pieces will stay with you for a long time and then eventually be passed on to your heirs to be cherished by them as well.
Now that’s a worthy investment you could make, too.
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Helping employees become resilient
As we celebrate World Mental Health Day, let’s re-examine how we, as leaders, are helping those who look up to us to have the inner strength and confidence to fight their daily battles.
As we come out of the global pandemic and economies start opening up, ensuring the mental health of employees remains a challenge for companies.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, we cannot shield employees from the stresses of life and work. There will always be demanding customers. Tasks and projects will unsurprisingly pile up. Technology will not always be reliable. Alas, things, without doubt, can and will go wrong from time to time.
In the face of setbacks and difficulties, how can organizations help employees build inner strength and resilience? As important, as leaders, how can we ourselves bounce back from adversity instead of burning out and breaking down?
Psychologist and author Dr. Rick Hanson says that the key to resilience is to develop the ability to turn passing experiences into lasting inner resources and to hard-wire these into our brains. Drawing from the concept of neuroplasticity, one can change the brain, as if it were a muscle, and lead it toward calm, grit, and courage, which are hallmarks of resilience.
As human beings, our evolutionary brains are programmed to seek out three basic needs: safety, resources, and connection. According to Dr. Hanson, if we can develop the inner strength that matches these three needs, we can become more resilient. Here are some ways you and your employees can cultivate inner mental resources for resilience.
- Train leaders to establish a psychologically safe work environment where team members can speak their minds and treat each other with respect and dignity.
- When faced with threats, help teams find emotional balance and calm by avoiding blaming, panic, and harshness.
- Install an ethics hotline to protect employees and allow them to stand up to wrongdoing.
- Provide information and learning opportunities on mental health and resilience.
- Ensure that employees have the tools and equipment they need. Having the right resources can give them the confidence and courage to solve problems and navigate gnarly situations.
- Communicate benefits often so employees can appreciate and feel good about what they enjoy as part of the team.
- Explore team enhancement and social responsibility programs where employees can connect with each other and the community at large.
- Establish a peer-to-peer coaching initiative to support employees with a lifeline when they are in distress.
- Celebrate team successes with simple and meaningful get-togethers and events.
When employees feel safe, resourced, and connected, they can develop their inner strength and become more resilient when times get tough.
They say that wise parents do not prepare the path for the child, but prepare the child for the path. Similarly, our role as leaders is not to perpetually protect our people from hard times but to ensure that they have the confidence and capacity to fight their own personal battles.
JUDY CAPILI is the HR Business Partner Lead for Financial Markets and Institutional Banking. She is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher (CMT-P) accredited by the International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA), having completed her teacher training from the Engaged Mindfulness Institute (EMI). She leads Metrobank’s weekly Mindful Moments, a 30-minute drop-in meditation and reflection session for employees who need to de-stress over their lunch period.
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Luxury electric cars for the sophisticated and environment-conscious
With the introduction of new models of luxury electric vehicles in recent years and the growing commitment of car companies to be “green”, we may be entering an inflection point for mass adoption of EVs by the rich.
(Editor’s Note: We have recently partnered with BusinessWorld to craft stories about enjoying the finer things in life—from cars to dining and travel, jewelry, and all things that make for “good living”. We hope you enjoy this first installment.)
Does it make sense to own a luxury electric vehicle right now?
It would seem so, now that Republic Act No. 11697, or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA), has finally become law. It will make it easier for Filipinos to shift to electric vehicles.
How? By creating a roadmap that will hasten the development and installation of charging stations, require parking slots for electric vehicles (EVs), set manufacturing standards for EVs and their components, and afford other perks that will promote the adoption of EVs.
These include exemption from excise taxes and the number coding scheme. What’s there not to like?
But there’s more to owning an electric vehicle. It can be a luxurious and sensual experience, not to mention that you’ll help save the environment, too.
Here are some of the best luxury EVs you can find – and drive – in the Philippines right now.
The BMW iX is touted as the carmaker’s “technology flagship” model, an all-electric Sports Activity Vehicle. Equipped with the proprietary BMW eDrive technology and its electric all-wheel drive, the iX is every bit the equal of its conventionally fueled counterparts with its exceptional range and impressive acceleration.
With an austere design language that aims for a modern and expressive appearance, the BMW iX is the brand’s take on the face of electric-powered mobility. In the company’s own words, the iX was designed to be “expressive, but not overloaded. Intelligent but not complicated. In short: a design that at first glance symbolizes a new form of driving pleasure”.
In terms of performance, the fifth generation BMW eDrive technology—including the high-voltage storage system, power electronics, and charging technology, alongside two powerful electric motors—not only delivers efficiency, but elevates the BMW iX’s power to that of a sports car: over 500 hp and noiseless acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in under five seconds.
Porsche Taycan GTS
Porsche’s all-electric Taycan line embodies the brand’s soul of performance. The GTS model, in particular, boasts 440kW (598PS) of overboost power with Launch Control, a GTS-specific drivetrain tuned for increased agility.
The GTS also sports the Taycan line’s Performance Battery Plus, providing it with a WLTP range of up to 512 kilometers, while the 800-volt architecture produces charge power of up to 270kW, reducing the burden of recharging and allowing you to cover long distances effortlessly.
All of this is wrapped up in the distinct and dynamic flyline. The athletic look of the GTS is enhanced by the standard SportDesign upper valance and the side skirts with inlays in black with the GTS logo. For the truly discerning drivers, there is an optional carbon SportDesign package that further accentuates the best form with carbon inlays for the lower valance and side skirts, as well as a GTS-specific rear diffuser in black with carbon side fins.
The unique GTS interior completes the experience, with the finely crafted, extensive coverage of Race-Tex, a circuit-proven microfiber material combined with high quality, smooth-finish leather in black.
Audi e-tron GT quattro
The Audi e-tron is the carmaker’s attempt to translate its fundamental design philosophy to the electric age. The innovation in drive technology is apparent in the style-defining characteristics such as the distinctive sill area, the specific daytime running light signature, and the absence of exhaust pipes.
Aerodynamically optimized from the intelligent air inlets at the front to the vented wheel arches and the striking rear diffuser, the Audi e-tron GT quattro is a car that leaves an impression. Meanwhile, the 800-volt lithium-ion battery integrated into the flat underbody offers extremely high performance, improving on the e-tron’s range of up to 405 km and 300 kW of power.
In this way, Audi’s e-tron GT quattro model promises progressive luxury and pure sportiness. With the proportions of a gran turismo – flat and wide with a long wheelbase – and the sculptural design of the body, it aims to deliver both power and performance.
The winner of World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year, and World Green Car at the World Car Awards, the Jaguar I-PACE is one of the most desirable EVs on the market. The I-PACE epitomizes the Jaguar DNA for the EV industry, combining elegance, aerodynamics, contemporary FIA Formula E Racing technology and contemporary British design to create a car unlike any other.
Jaguar’s I-PACE aims to be a reimagining of the brand’s classic balance of sports car focus and luxury craftsmanship. The dramatic, cab-forward profile, short overhangs and taut, muscular haunches give it a sense of gravitas, while the spacious cabin, with its handcrafted touches and technological innovations, gives it that touch of sophistication.
The Jaguar I-PACE boasts of a Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) range of up to 470 km, an acceleration of zero to 100 km/h in 4.8 secs (0-60mph in 4.5 secs), and a state-of-the-art 90kWh lithium-ion battery.
Lexus RZ / LS 500h Premier
Lexus made waves with the announcement of their commitment to push towards the complete electrification of their vehicles moving forward. This commitment was backed by the announcement of the Lexus RZ, the brand’s first foray into a pure battery electric platform.
For Lexus fans who can’t wait for it to arrive in the Philippines, the Lexus LS flagship sedan, IS sport sedan, RX SUV, and NX crossover all feature hybrid technologies that reduce vehicle emissions while providing the enhanced mobility and refined luxury that the brand is known for.
The LS 500h Premier, for instance, pairs a V6 3.5-liter direct injection engine with two powerful self-charging electric motors to deliver 354 horsepower with maximum fuel efficiency. It has Lexus’s signature Hybrid Drive — a seamless, optimal combination of electric power and fuel that makes for an environmentally-friendly, fuel-efficient drive designed for convenience and comfort.
The hybrid system has been carefully engineered to monitor driving conditions to intelligently coordinate both electric and fuel power sources when required, whether accelerating, in traffic, or cruising along roads. Furthermore, as the car travels, any excess energy is routed to the battery for charging.
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Style Guide for Men: Bringing the runway to the boardroom
Men may find it hard to introduce something novel yet sophisticated into their wardrobe. Why not take inspiration from the latest fashion trends on the runway this time?
Men’s fashion in the boardroom has evolved over the years. Back then, the suited corporate titans in leather oxfords were the staple figures. Today, you have the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world in a hoodie and a black shirt with the same decision-making power.
Let’s face it, we’re in 2022 and fashion trends can be worn by whomever loves what.
But if you wear uninspired clothes, you may not get the attention or earn the reputation you need to move up to the C-suite.
Since you are entering the board room, which is the most powerful room in the office, it wouldn’t hurt to do some power dressing in style. This shows you know how to play by the rules and you can bend them as well, if you will.
Now, let’s spice things up. We’ve handpicked a few looks from the 2022 runway for you so you can stride in style in that board room.
Runway trend #1: The sartorial look with the double-breasted jacket
This ‘70s fashion trend has been doing the rounds for quite some time, but in 2022, we’re seeing more double-breasted jackets hit the runway.
The double-breasted jacket carries an air of formality and will give you good posture as it pins your shoulders back with its wrap-around style.
Try recreating the runway look by pairing it with your collared long sleeves or collared polo, trousers, and black loafers.
Some of the well-known fashion houses, such as Versace, Hermes, Dior, and Louis Vuitton, have them in their Autumn Winter 2022 collection.
Runway trend #2: Standout with red
Adding a pop of color to your outfit wouldn’t hurt. Red surprisingly matches everything and can replace your neutral colors for a change.
If you have a red coat, you can mix and match it with some go-to wardrobe staples such as your long-sleeved or polo shirt, navy trousers, and a pair of loafers. Finish off your look with a pair of Clubmaster sunglasses and a leather belt if need be.
Red pieces were seen in Off-White, Givenchy, Prada, and Hermes.
Runway trend #3: The all-black look
The all-black look is always in. It never goes out of the fashion calendar and out of all the runway trends. This would be the easiest one to pull off, as it could work from day to night.
Try putting together your black polo shirt, leather belt, jeans, and low-cut boots, as if you’ve just stepped off the runway.
The all-black trend can be seen in Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, and Off-White.
Runway trend #4: The statement piece with leather
For a light day at work, put together an outfit that will make you look effortlessly cool. A dark leather jacket can be your statement piece.
Pair it with a trusty polo shirt, khaki pants, a leather belt, and white sneakers for a preppy-meets-edgy look.
Leather pieces were seen in Dolce & Gabbana, Dunhill, Fendi, and Hermes.
Now, let’s see you sport these runway trends with confidence when you enter the boardroom and make heads turn.
KRISTABEL PENAFUERTE is a Corporate Affairs Officer at Metrobank, in charge of the Bank’s internal communications and engagement for products and channels. Prior to her role in corporate affairs, she was into fashion marketing and was a freelance fashion stylist. She is also into film photography and is an advocate for local fashion designers.
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Discovering renewed creativity in retirement
Sometimes the artist in us comes out when we’re not preoccupied with all the things we used to do. We can take inspiration from Virginia Chua Uy, who, shortly after retiring, found time for a new passion.
What would you do when the rat race is won? Would you slowly walk out and be free?
Long after running the family business, or climbing the corporate ladder, what happens when retirement is at hand? Does one shift to the right-brain passions like art and music to put the creative juices to good use?
Vincent Van Gogh was somehow late into the game. He was more of an art dealer than an artist growing up, and got serious and picked up brushes only at the age of 28. Meanwhile, songwriter and two-time Grammy winner Bill Withers served in the US Navy before shifting to music at age 30. He didn’t release an album until he was 34.
“Butterfly on my mind.” Drawn by Ms. Virginia Uy at the lowest point in her life.
Van Gogh and Withers are of different genres and eras, but the imprint they left with “Starry Night” and “Lovely Day” made them and their works cultural icons to this day.
Indeed, anyone can learn new things and find an outlet to release or rekindle creativity even at the age of retirement.
Ms. Virginia Uy works on her first landscape.
This is how restaurateur cum painter Virginia Chua Uy, a Private Wealth client of Metrobank, makes use of her time these days. As a retired Human Resource head and interior decorator for Rosita’s, Inc. and Rosita’s Food, Inc., the humble and amiable owner of one of Cebu’s popular food chains finds herself immersed in a newfound love for painting.
Her employees describe her as a disciplinarian at work, but friendly and artistically expressive when it comes to her creative pursuits. We hunkered down with Ms. Uy to talk about her passion:
Each design is unique.
How did you get hooked into painting? Was this your passion growing up, or is this something new and exciting for you? What inspired you to take it up or rekindle your interest?
It started when we closed our restaurant business. I visited a friend who was painting. I wanted to do something I would enjoy outside dance. It was the first time I held a paint brush. I got interested and took up an eight-week course. I painted a beach scene on acrylic.
I kept going at it, painting various subjects and scenes. It got to a point that my teacher Cesar Castillo invited me to hold an exhibit, but I declined because of COVID.
Was I a natural? Was talent in my genes? I probably took it from my dad. He was into charcoal drawings, but also painted Chinese calligraphy using the Mopit brush.
My sister can also draw, and she makes dresses for her paper dolls.
Ms. Uy says the coco beads, leaves, plastic beads, metals, and straw that she uses in her artworks depict the multi-faceted nature of women.
What basic tools, skills and techniques got you started, and how have you progressed since then?
I started with acrylic on canvas. The Beach. I had finished at least 30 art works thus far and sold some already.
But I stopped temporarily when my husband passed away during the pandemic. I resumed shortly and started using butterflies as subjects.
But I have moved to other media as well. I painted on bags and sold many of those here in Cebu and in Manila. With the COVID outbreak, I now paint on face masks.
For those who want to take up their own creative pursuits, what advise can you give them?
We must learn every single day. Each day is a day for learning. We should not be afraid to learn. We learn from mistakes. We need to get back up. Life goes on.
I now paint with my niece. I like to teach her. I want to encourage kids.
I read the Bible and use God’s word for inspiration. My favorite chapter is Isaiah 54. It gives me strength.
Ms. Uy has become a prolific artist whose works that portray “freedom, release, peace”.
Finding renewed creativity in retirement is possible. Passion and inspiration are the key ingredients. This mother is no Monet, but her brush strokes are deliberate as she paints subjects that depict freedom and release: dancers, mermaids, sea creatures, fauna, and flora.
It is as if her hand at running the food business got better at a craft that is more inspiring, and the ability to release her newfound creativity fulfills her more than the occasional coin that her art brings to her brimming coffers.
Ms. Uy says she intends to paint more when she gets into the right mood. She intends to explore other media to inspire her audiences, as well as the Almighty who blessed her with her talents.
I wouldn’t be surprised if, as she finishes her next piece, singing:
“Just one look at you, and the world is alright with me.”
JOJO MARIANO is the head of Metrobank’s Private Wealth Division’s Support Department. He joined the Bank as a researcher immediately after graduation. He moved on to Planning and Oversight under the Strategic Planning Division, where he helped map the Bank’s strategic plan under four bank presidents. When not at work, Jojo likes to draw and write as an outlet, and is also into running, riding bicycles, and diving.