December, 2012

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Belton Place

 

Live at the center of comfort and convinience

Belton Place is a self-contained residential condominium strategically located just steps away from Makati’s two main thoroughfares of Ayala and Gil Puyat avenues.

As part of the one-hectare Belton Square, a mixed-use development masterplanned for 3 residential condominiums, an office tower and a businessman’s hotel. Belton Place offers the comforts of home plus the dynamic in-city lifestyle.

AMENITIES
  • Function Room
  • Fitness Center
  • Adult and children’s pools
  • Jogging Path
  • Children’s Play Area
YOUR PRIVATE SPACEEach studio and one-bedroom flatcreates an ambiance of serenity and casual elegance fittingly designed for upwardly mobile professionals working within the Makati business district.LIFE’S FINEST PLEASURE

To live at Belton Place is to find a home where impeccable luxury is yours to savor – Only an elevator ride away, a comprehensive mix of health and beauty services by a topnotch wellness provider awaits at the Wellness Center at the ground level.

FEATURES
  • Three (3) elevators
  • Air-conditioned main lobby
  • Administrative office
  • CCTV system for common areas and elevators
  • 24-hour security
  • Fully-addressable fire & smoke detection system
  • Water reservoir and separate fire reserve
  • Stand-by emergency power
  • Guest audio annunciator for all units
  • Telephone and Cable TV provision
  • Landscaped Gardens
  • Driver’s lounge
  • Ground floor retail
WELLNESS FLOOR
  • Med-Spa
  • Massage Centers
  • Health & Beauty Centers
  • Ther

Brescia Residences

AN ITALIAN INSPIRED, 5 STOREYS, MIZED-USED DEVELOPMENT IN FAIRVIEW, QUEZON CITY.

After the success of BRESCIA, an exclusive house and lot community, Vista Land launches another equally exciting mid-rise development in one of the best location – QUEZON CITY. Brescia Residences will let you discover a whole new way to enjoy life’s pleasures – beauty, comfort and convenience.

Mosaic

Greenbelt: A class of its own

Greenbelt is sophistication personified when it comes to lifestyle and fashion. With the completion of Greenbelt 5, the mall has considerably lived up to its reputation to be the defining standard when it comes to what is chic and what is not.

Being close to Greenbelt allows one to live the kind of lifestyle it promotes: cool, elegant and laid-back. It offers a myriad of high-end and quality retail shops that make the mall a Mecca for the chronic shopper. Greenbelt is also home to some of the upscale and exclusive restaurants for fine dining, as well as bars and bistros frequented by young urban professionals. It is high living at its finest and the vibrant lifestyle cannot be resembled anywhere else in the country.

Now imagine yourself living in the middle of all these. At Mosaic at Greenbelt, the lifestyle is definitely in a league of its own.

Site Development Plan

Mosaic is Brittany’s designer condominium that is situated exhilaratingly close to Makati’s lifestyle and shopping Mecca. Combining art and architecture, you can live your life the way you want it and when you want it, with your own space and your own fashion.

Just a few steps away from Greenbelt, the heart of the Makati central business district and Metro Manila’s fashion and lifestyle hub, Mosaic lets you express your preference in style: a designer home that responds to the urban way of life.

Mosaic Greenbelt condominium takes the definition of a modern-day living to a higher level. It is immediately seen in the hotel-like lobby at the the ground floor. It is felt in the 7th level at Club Mosaic, where you can perfect your tan at the sundeck, overlooking Greenbelt Park; take a couple of laps at the infinity lap pool; relax in the outdoor heated whirlpool spa, as the children play in the kiddie pool. It is experienced in the residential levels where you can design your unit according to the way you live. With Mosaic Greenbelt condominium, life rises to another level.

Amenities

Mosaic has been designed to bring out “total living” for the residents it seeks to accommodate. Aside from the lifestyle and leisure areas that surround this exclusive Makati residence, it has a complete set of amenities fit for the urbanites of today. Building features include security cameras, back-up power supply, fire alarms and a fitness center.

Other Amenities:

    >> Day Care Center

KL Mosaic

A worthy successor indeed

If Mosaic at Greenbelt’s success were any indication, then KL Mosaic is destined for an equally deserved prominence. Rising just a block away from the first Mosaic in the heart of the Makati central business district, KL Mosaic is Brittany Corporation’s partnership with the Kalaw-Ledesma clan, famed for its art collections, which will be housed in a enclosure called “The Biggest Little Room” within the residential condominium.

And since KL Mosaic is from a maverick developer known for its revolutionary innovations, it has more to offer than its strategic location and its already-packed amenities and special features. It has a unique design that is faithful to what Brittany terms as “art-chitecture,” or the integration of art into the built environment.

It is hexagonal in shape, a truly artful interpretation of modern living. All units are designed to be more spacious than what other developers in the area offer.

KL Mosaic is faithful to Brittany’s brand of creating only the best of communities.

Floor Plans and Home Details

It is hexagonal in shape, a truly artful interpretation of modern living. All units are designed to be more spacious than what other developers in the area offer.

Building Features

    >> Inspired ART-chitecture on all 32 levels
    >> Museum on amenity level (8th floor)
    >> High ceiling for main lobby and well-appointed air-conditioned lobby
    >> Balconies for most of the units
    >> Tinted glass for all windows
    >> Automatic smoke detector for all units
    >> 3-basement levels and 5-level podium parking
    >> 2 passenger elevators + 1 service elevator
    >> Provision for CATV and telephone line
    >> Provision for multi-point water heater
    >> Steel security doors for all units with peephole
    >> Smoke detector for all units
    >> 24-hour security
    >> Provisions for window and split type air conditioners
    >> Powerful standby generator capable of operating all major appliances
    >> Fully Automated Fire and Smoke Detection System
    >> Administration Office
    >> Full time building administrator and in-house building maintenance group
    >> Mail Room
    >> Water Reservoir and Fire Reserves
    >> Centralized Garbage Depository
    >> Guest Audio Annunciator for All Units
    >> CCTV System for Common Areas and Elevator Cars
    >> WIFI Ready
    >> Project Team

The Hudson

The Hudson at the Fort will rise at probably the most exclusive area in Bonifacio Global City. With a balance of accessibility and mobility, you get to enjoy the luxury at your disposal. From the property development’s stamp of class to the luxury of time and location, prime living should be at its best.

Site Development Plan

Created through a collaboration of brilliant minds in the industry, The Hudson at the Fort introduces its 28-storey mixed-use building. Choose to hold residence at its One-Bedroom, Two-Bedroom unit or Three-Bedroom unit — with over 140 of such — plus four Elite Garden and two Penthouse suites for the really discriminating few.

Amenities

The Hudson at the Fort ground floor features Al Fresco areas, mixed-use commercial and retail spaces, a restaurant and the residential lobby. Amenities on the 6th floor include swimming pools, function rooms, al fresco function area with bar, interactive game room, fitness and wellness gym, and an outdoor children’s play area.

    >> Swimming Pool (Lapping Pool and Kiddie Pool)
    >> Function Rooms
    >> Al-Fresco Function Area with Bar
    >> Interactive Game Room
    >> Fitness and Wellness Gym
    >> Outdoor Children’s Play Area

How to Negotiate a Higher Salary Even Without Work Experience

Money Smart | By Ryan Ong -Wed, 26 Dec 2012

There’s no need for fancy introductions here. I’ll come straight to the point: You can get paid more, even without work experience. That’s what the tips in this article are for. Here, dear MoneySmart reader, I will man you up, give you the confidence to demand your worth, and win you that dream job. Experience irrelevant. In fact, some blind kid read this last week, and now he’s the highest paid sniper in the US Army. I can’t possibly make that up, so read on:

 

Job Interview

Work experience? Well, school sure seemed like a lot of work…

 

Salaries are Arbitrary

Salaries come on a sliding scale. Even for an entry level job, for example, you can see something like “between $1,400 to $1,700″, or “Salary negotiable, $3,000 and up”.

Which leads me to ask: What justifies the difference of those few hundred dollars? Why do two people at an entry level job sometimes have salaries that are $500 or more apart?

Here’s an e-mail response from Marcus Chun, who has been a hiring manager for eight years:

It depends on the beliefs of the prospective employer. Some employers cherish work experience, and some don’t care too much for it.

In some jobs, for example sales, you can have worked in sales for 10 years, but still be a lousier salesman than a talented youngster. If the hirer is aware of this, he will be looking for your charm and intelligence during the interview, not so much your work history.”

And this opens the avenue for pay negotiations?

Yes. There are ways to impress an interviewer that could put a candidate on the high-end of the pay scale. This can happen regardless of your current work experience.”

Some methods Marcus shared with me are:

  • Posit Immediate Solutions
  • Be a Trainee
  • Merit By Association
  • Demonstrate That You Cover Your Costs

 

1. Posit Immediate Solutions

Rube Goldberg device

And then the ball hits the plate, which causes the spoon to lift and…are you listening?

 

Most newbies, when asked to present their closest thing to experience, will pull out awards they won in school. Or extra credit activities.

Now look, I’m glad you took a week to build mud huts in poverty stricken Koana or wherever. It moves me, it really does. But the hirer isn’t going to pay you more for being a great humanitarian or a boy scout. If you want higher pay, replace those abstract credentials with immediate, applicable solutions for the employer.

Find out what problems the company is facing. Ask what they need,” Marcus suggests, “Then draw up a solution for them. If need be, say ‘let me get draw up a more complete solution for this, and I’ll e-mail to you by tomorrow morning.’

If you can impress them that way, you can ask for higher pay. They might choose to overlook the experience issue, as it’s obvious you can do the job well.”

 

2. Be a Trainee

Police man with V sign

Don’t worry, I’m motivated. I’m on half pay till I solve my first actual crime.

 

“Sometimes you just have to start from the bottom,” Marcus says, “but you can determine a set point for a pay bump. For example, you can agree to be a trainee for a lower income initially. But the agreement is that, within three to six months, if your performance is acceptable, the company will take you on at a set pay. And that set pay is on the higher end.”

Marcus mentions that most SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) have no problems bumping a trainee’s eventual pay to the higher-end of the scale. This is because they’d rather someone they’ve gotten to know, and it lessens their commitment. After all, if they decide not to hire you at the planned pay range, they can drop you before the time comes.

But don’t bother trying this with big companies,” Marcus says, “If a big company wants a trainee, they will get a trainee. They don’t need you to offer.”

Marcus also warns against less scrupulous companies, which might take advantage of you for cheap labour. “At most six months, that’s it,” he says.

 

3. Merit By Association

Google office

Check out my paper bag. Am I getting that head developer job or what?

 

There’s a joke that if you worked in Google you can always get higher pay,” Marcus says, “Even if you worked there for less than a year, and you managed their broom closet.

Of course that’s just a joke. But if you’ve interned or worked in a prestigious company, however briefly, you have their brand name behind you.

Mention that, in your time there, some of that company’s culture and methods rubbed off on you. Say how you were impressed by this or that specific process, and go into details. This might convince the hirer that you can bring in something of value.”

Of course, not everyone has the advantage of an internship in a big name company. Which is really why you should have done that in University, instead of joining 25 Unreal tournaments.

For alternative means of building the right associations, follow us on Facebook. We’ll be giving you a primer on that soon.

 

4. Demonstrate That You Cover Your Costs

Calculator

Actually, we’re calculating the number of YEARS it would take for you to pay for yourself…

 

“Not enough people bring spreadsheets to a job interview,” Marcus says, “That’s really a pity, because it’s a good way to convince me, or whoever your hirer is, to pay more.”

The point of the spreadsheet is to show how much revenue you’ll bring. This is then contrasted against your wages, to show that you’ll more than cover your salary.

So say you’re asking for $3,500, which is actually $500 beyond the company’s budget. But if your previous sales projections show you bring in $6,000 a month, that extra $500 more than compensates for your higher pay.

The best part is, you can do this even without a previous sales record.

If you have the confidence to face me, and tell me you can generate twice your income,” Marcus says, “You’re setting a high standard for yourself.

I’d be skeptical, sure. And believe me, it will come up at a review. But between writing that promise down on a spreadsheet, and just saying ‘Oh I am a very hard worker’, which do you think is more convincing? If you want to be paid more, this is one more step to justify it.”

5 Tips to Save Money on Your Holiday Long Weekend

Money Smart | By Ryan Ong -Wed, 26 Dec 2012

Yes, I’m a scrooge who budgets on long weekends. I know I’ll end up needing the money see? (Way I party, I’ll need another holiday to recover from the holidays). Unfortunately it’s December, so tourism prices are going up like a house on fire. Just use these methods though, you’ll shrink those expenses:

1. Space Out Trip Highlights

Most of the time, people go over-budget because they’re bored. Veteran traveller Anisa, who’s been writing tour articles for over three years, says:

On a long weekend, some people hit all the major highlights in one day. Then for the next two days, they’re hanging around cafes, souvenir shops, hotel bars…

This is actually when money gets wasted. It’s when you have nothing left to do, so the last recourse is to shop and buy nonsense.”

But what about attractions that don’t last the whole day?

“When you’re done,” Anisa says, “Go back to the hotel room and relax. There’s nothing wrong with watching HBO for the rest of the day, and being fresh for tomorrow’s highlight. But just don’t end up in situations where there’s nothing else planned for the next two days.”


2. Don’t Assume Tour Agents Cost More

Budget airline

Maybe if you hadn’t tried booking yourself… oh well. Here’s some tape. And hang on to that wing now.

An old traveller’s tactic is to dodge tour agents. These travellers will book flights and hotels themselves, and hitch-hike if they have to. Because hey, if you cut out the middleman, the trip has to cost less right?

Well according to Anisa:

This has not been true for a long time. These days, for just a long weekend, you will probably end up spending more if you skip the agent.

Tour agents work with a lot of  hotels and transport providers. Because they have ongoing deals, they are usually cheaper than organizing it yourself. If I have to give a ballpark figure, for travels in Asia, I’d guess they save you maybe 10%.”

Anisa says agents only cost more if “you pick elaborate packages, where they take you sight-seeing and so forth. Then they’ll direct you to a lot of tourist traps. Just get the agent to handle the hotel and the trip, do other things yourself.”

 

3. Use the Right Credit Cards

All credit cards good here

It’s just our prices that aren’t.

Use credit cards as a payment method only. In other words, pay back the credit card immediately after using it. If you can manage this, credit cards can get you major discounts.

If you’re going to far flung places like Europe or America, consider frequent flyer cards. For places like Batam or Bali, where entertainment largely consists of inspecting bar-room floors, use entertainment cards. Anisa also suggests you check which cards have hotel discounts (call ahead and ask), and apply for those before you leave.

You can visit sites like SmartCredit.sg to find the right plastic.

However, Anisa cautions that:

If you bring a credit card, make sure you have the card company’s number in contacts. And always check the expenditures online, every day. Credit card fraud is a major problem in some countries.”

 

4. Go Light, Come Back Heavy

Many luggage bags

Tour group? We’re just looking at Ryan’s single- weekend luggage.

Oh yeah, this happens when I eat in Batam.

I’m referring to luggage!” Anisa says, “For long weekends, a lot of people will use budget airlines. These have charges for extra luggage. So I usually don’t pack more than one set of clothes.

Things like toiletries, extra clothes and so forth, I will buy over there as I need. When it’s time to go, I just I leave the cheap clothes or toiletries behind, and replace them with souvenirs or whatever.

Basically, I just *never* carry things like loads of extra clothes, shampoo, and so on.”

Just be careful that, when getting your toiletries and clothes, you don’t end up randomly shopping.

 

5. Bring Emergency Entertainment

ipad and iphone

Yeah, I was there 72 hours. Didn’t see much.

This relates to point 1. Say you picked a bad vacation spot, and the place is more barren than that ice planet in Star Wars. It’s turning out to be the dullest long weekend ever.

The first thing you do, according to Anisa, is to lock the wallet and credit cards away:

Don’t start shopping. Don’t go to the bar. You should have brought some emergency entertainment; bring games that you can play as a family, or with your significant other. Card games are quite portable.

Then there are books and tablets. You’re not wasting your holiday, not if you sip a coffee and read by the beach.”

Del Rio

Camella Del Rio is another remarkable three-hectare exclusive community following the success of three Camella projects in Las Piñas namely Fronterra, Merida, and Venezia.With its prime location in BF Resort Village, Camella Del Rio is very accessible via SLEX, Alabang-Zapote Road, and Costal Road. Taking a few-minutes drive to the commercial districts of Alabang and Makati will just be a breeze. Moreover, it has close proximity to commercial establishments, schools, universities, hospitals, and churches.
Camella Del Rio will be a neighborhood of affordable yet quality homes. It will be an exclusive world-class community with Mediterranean-inspired single-attached homes, floor areas ranging from 46 square meters to 64 square meters and lot areas from 88 square meters to 94 square meters. Residents can also choose from two and three-bedroom houses.
Camella Del Rio has exceptional amenities – a Clubhouse, and Parks and Playground where parents and their children can spend quality time together. Security and safety of the residents is addressed through the construction of an Entrance Gate and Perimeter Fence with 24-hour security. A shuttle service is provided to the residents for their transportation needs.

Real-life loan stories – A must read

BDO Money Matters | By Mark B. Aragona for Yahoo! Southeast Asia -Wed, 28 Nov 2012

What does life look like when you’re borrowing money? It takes major adjustments to get what you want, but it’s often worth the risk. Below are stories of how some people made loans work for them, and not the other way around.

Housing Loan

Kristine, 34, is a newly-married teacher. Like most couples, she and her husband dreamed of owning a house. They picked out a condo unit under pre-selling, but as they were just starting out in life and couldn’t afford the usual 20% down payment, they looked for some possible solutions.

One choice, which they rejected due to their high interest rates, was to let the developer’s in-house financial company fund their down payment. Their broker showed them a second option: apply for a bank housing loan for the down payment, then follow it with another 10-year loan to cover the rest of the amortization.

Kristine and her husband agreed, gathering needed documents like the deed of sale from the broker, their cedula, proof of employment, and IDs. Because they were already long time clients of the bank, they didn’t have to submit other kinds of documents like passports. After three weeks of processing, their application was approved with an interest of 10% per annum.

Now, Kristine and her husband are paying off the 20% down payment, which will last for the next 13-15 months, then they’ll work on the other 80% over the next 10 years. “In the beginning, it was scary,” says Kristine. “I felt like I was selling my soul, because I’ve never had a loan this big before. But everything worked out fine in the end and we’re able to pay our monthly dues. It’s still quite a commitment, though, and we agreed not to have kids till we’re done with the down payment.”

Car Loan

Paul, a 33-year old physical trainer, obtained a car loan out of his necessity: his old car finally broke down after many years of service. He put up a 25% down payment on his own but needed the loan for the rest of the amount. After submitting his proof of income, bank statements, proof of residence, and his pay slips, his application was approved within three weeks: he received a four-year loan at 20% interest per annum.

“It was convenient,” he said. “There was no trouble at all once I finished submitting my files. Of course, it would’ve been really nice to have bought the car with plain cash and avoided the interest payments, but it just wasn’t possible. For me, this was the second-best alternative.”

Personal Loan

Finally, Mark, a 27-year old IT specialist, wanted to start a small food business but needed some seed capital. As it turned out, a bank was offering personal loans to the employees of his company at 15% per annum. He snapped up the chance and took on a 1-year loan of Php100,000, the monthly payment of which would be automatically debited from his paycheck.

After eight months, Mark found his business was taking off and needed more time and attention. He decided to quit his job. However, he found that doing so would mean that the balance on his loan would be due and demandable. Because the loan would completely eat up his separation pay, he decided to try and negotiate.

Mark met with the loan officer and offered to continue paying the remaining five months using checks. At first, the loan officer refused, so Mark then took it up with the manager, and even all the way to a vice-president. In the end, the bank agreed, and Mark finished the loan as scheduled without any additional burden on himself.

“My take-away is that as long as it’s within reason, the terms of loan are negotiable. You just have to keep trying and look for someone who would listen to you.”

How to avoid loan-related dangers

BDO Money Matters | By Mark B. Aragona for Yahoo! Southeast Asia -Fri, 14 Dec 2012

Loans always carry risk, but you can learn to manage that risk if you know what to watch out for.
It helps to start by examining the life cycle of a loan and determining the pitfalls that accompany each part.

Stage 1: Applying for a loan

Beware of making inaccurate statements on your application.
Do not attempt to falsify or omit important details. Banks ARE going to do a background check, and it will be that much harder for you if they find out that you left omitted existing financial obligations or falsified the amount of money you make.

Do NOT apply for someone else. This means you’re lending out your name and your credit-worthiness to another person. This person may seem reliable to you, but remember that misfortune happens to everyone. And when they’re unable to pay what they borrowed, you’ll be left holding the bag. Apply only for yourself and for solid purposes.

Make sure you are applying for the loan amount you need, NOT what your agent thinks you do. Some agents may try to convince you to apply for a higher loan amount, as this entitles them to a higher commission. Don’t fall for this; you’ll end up over-leveraging and paying more than you should. Decide early on the exact amount you need, and stick to it.

Stage 2: Receiving the loan

Once you have the proceeds of your loan application, you’d probably think you’re golden. But there are other pitfalls to watch out for:

Use the loan proceeds for your intended purpose only. Once you come by a large amount of money, there’s an immediate temptation to treat yourself to something nice. So you spend on one or two luxuries, then a few more, and before you know it you don’t have enough to use for what you originally planned for. Stick to your plan or be prepared to suck up the loss.

Tell your immediate family about your financial obligation. One story goes about a man who took on a loan and got married shortly after, without informing his bride. The wife found out later that she was equally liable for the loan because they purchased their family home—a conjugal asset. Bottom line: whether or not you’ll need their support, it’s best to tell your family members that you’re taking on a large obligation. Don’t leave them with unpleasant surprises.

Stage 3: Servicing the loan

This last step is the longest and thus carries the most critical dangers:

Don’t entrust your payments to a third party. There’s no end to the number of so-called brokers eager to help you manage your payments, restructure your debt, or otherwise make the debt collectors go away. They may ask you to pay through them or divulge sensitive information about your finances. Once you do, you may never hear from them or your money again. Avoid these scammers like the plague they are.

Pay on time. The simplest task leads to the largest pitfall. When people obtain cash, there’s a great temptation to use it for other things rather than service their debts. But late payments only cause more problems as interest and late fees snowball, dragging down your cash flow and lowering your net worth. Better to first rid yourself of the weight of financial obligations before paying for investments and luxuries.

If you’re having financial problems, tell your bank. Everyone goes through hard times. If you’re having difficulty paying back your loan, explain your situation to the bank early on. Running from your creditors not only increases your interest payments, but as you due dates expire the bank exerts more and more pressure to get you to pay. This tires you out and uses up the bank’s good will, which lowers the chance for restructuring your loan.