Friday, December 19, 2014

How do you want to be remembered?

Such a tough question.

Have you ever asked yourselves how you would want people to remember you when are already gone? What if you suddenly die without having the chance to tell the people around you what you feel? What if after reading this, you will fall into a deep sleep never to wake up again?

What if tomorrow never comes?

I personally want to be an inspiration to others. I want to be remembered as someone who did not give up her dreams despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I want to be remembered as someone who lived a life that will restore your faith in humanity. I want to be remembered as a kind and compassionate person, a dedicated and inspirational individual.

I don't want to be remembered as someone rich, intelligent, or sexy or beautiful. I don't want to be remembered by the professional title that I have nor by the talent that I possessed (if ever I had one). Those are all superficial and don't even last.  

I want to be remembered as someone who have loved so much and who have fought hard for it. Someone who always forgives and offers help where it is needed the most. Someone who sacrificed for love and family.

But I also want to be remembered as someone who enjoyed life, who savored the blessings life had to offer. I want to be remembered as a lover of food and movies, a voracious reader, and a fun and interesting conversationalist and someone who has full of ideas and ideals. Someone who has a very contagious and unique laughter and who laughed with the simplest or corniest jokes.

By answering that question, I think you will also determine the purpose of your life and by that, live so people will remember you for leading a purpose-driven life.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What would you ask God?

Yes, life sucks. It suffocates. It literally takes your breath away. This is true not only to our own personal lives but to everyone in general. We face too many challenges and we encounter too many situations where an explanation can never really be fathomed by human minds. 

And so we wonder, is there really a God? Sometimes, when we are faced with adversities too big for us the hurdle, we question if God is really present..we question His reasons.

And we also wonder, when in the midst of triumphs, victories, happiness, success and elation, how good our God is? How powerful and wonderful He is? We wonder as always and we try to find answers to questions we know that can never be answered because the answers do not lie here on earth. Answers are laid beyond life, beyond earth.

They say that it is better to believe that there is a God and later when we die, know that there is none than live believing that there is no God then later, realize that there is. They even say that there is no harm if we believe although I strongly disagree because history will tell us that we witnessed immeasurable human sufferings because of our beliefs (example: Jesus' crucifixion, mass killings of the Jews during Hitler's years, and now, the terror brought by ISIS who are killing innocent people believed to be Christians).

I believe in God. I believe that He created life and everything we see around. He even created the angels who unfortunately turned their backs on Him to be like Him. But I have too many questions that I could not find any answers to. Listed here are five of the questions I would ask Him first if I will be given the chance to do so.

1.  Where did God come from?
    - Are you not wondering where God really came from? Does He has a Mom and Dad too? Where did He acquire His immense Power? I think that maybe if we'll know where He really came from, we will understand better our origin. This may be a bit of an immature question but don't you wanna know too?

2.  Why do you love us so much?
      - I may need to be reoriented why He loves us that much enough to sacrifice His only begotten Son to be crucified by His own creations. Does the bible say so? I don't read Bible that much but I know that that book does not really explain why He loves us. Or I could be wrong. People always say that because God loves us, he blesses us with tangible and intangible things, that even sufferings, failures, and sorrows are forms of blessings from Him to mold and build us the be who we are meant to be. Why?

3. Are we alone in the universe?
  - If God created everything, it means all that is present in the outer space - stars, meteors, moons, planets, solar systems, gases - everything in the universe is created by Him. But, is the planet earth the only habitable planet? Or is there another "Earth" outside our own where humans or other living creatures also live? Personally, I believe there is since Universe is so vast that it's impossible that we are alone. But can God please confirm this belief?

4. Is it true that our lives are already plotted even before we are born?
    - Then  what's the use of our free will if we are already destined to be somebody inspite of anything? Forgive me if I may sound too naive. I just could not bring myself to believe that despite our choices, we will end up to be who we should be in the future. So, even if I kill myself to become a lawyer, if I am destined to be a loser, I will be a loser. Well, that's not so comforting.

5. Why do people we love turn their backs on us? and more questions..
    - Why do the people we love are the ones who easily leave us, condemn us, push us to the corners rendering as immobile? Why do they find it hard to forgive us when we have wronged them? Why do they find it hard to understand us? Why do the people we love so much are the primary source of our unhappiness? I just can't reconcile it.

Do you have your own list of questions for Him? You never know, He will reveal His answers now.

Or do you have answers to my questions?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Your rights and benefits as an employee in the Philippines..

This post is quite technical as compared to my previous posts and might bore you to death but since I promised "random thoughts on random things" material, this include these kind of posts.

Anyway, I thought of writing this to benefit fresh graduates who are about to embark on employment, those who are about to be employed, and those who are lazy enough to read some highly technical explanations on the basic rights of the workers in the Philippines. We all should be vigilant in protecting our rights as members of the work force.

This is applicable to employees under private sectors only as governed by the Labor Code of the Philippines. Government employees' rights and benefits are governed by the Civil Service Law.

This is a simplified version and the information gathered are very basic. If you need to know more, better consult with your HR or your lawyer, as the case may be. It would help if you will also read the laws cited in this article for details.

1. We have the right to be treated with dignity and the right to a gainful employment.

2. Male and female employees are entitled to equal compensation for work of equal value and to equal access to promotion and training opportunities. 

3. Discrimination against female employees is unlawful. It is also unlawful for an employer to require a condition of employment that a woman employee shall not get married, or to stipulate expressly or tacitly that a woman employee shall be deemed dismissed upon marriage.

4. Minimum age of employment is 18years old.

5. No employee can be dismissed from work except for a just or authorized cause, and only after due process. 

Due process means - written notice specifying the ground for dismissal. The law  requires the two-notice rule (Notice of violation and notice of termination.) Note: the employee has the right to be heard prior to termination.

Just Causes for Dismissal:

1. Serious misconduct
2. willful disobedience of employer's lawful orders connected with work
3. gross and habitual neglect of duty
4. fraud or willful breach of trust
5. commission of crime or offense against the employer, employer's family member/s or representative
6.other analogous cases
         ** Probationary employee who has not meet the prescribed standard of 
             performance of the employer during the period of his/her probation is also a
             just/valid ground for dismissal.

6. An employee must be paid his or her wages for all hours worked. Prescribed numbers of hours worked is 8 hours a day. In excess of this hour will entitle an employee an overtime pay (with the exception of employees who are considered managers or members of the management staff. The employer however has the prerogative to pay them of OT.)

7. An employee is entitled to a day-off of not less than 24 consecutive hours after six days of work. Schedule must be well communicated to the employee. We are also entitled to at-least one hour meal break which is non-compensable or unpaid.

8. Employees' wages must be in a form of cash or legal tender and must be given not less than once every 2 weeks or twice a month at intervals not exceeding 16 days.

9. The employer must pay the employee the minimum wage prescribed by law. The minimum wage as of June 2014 is posted in this link:

Note: Non-payment of the minimum wage may cause the revocation of business license, will expose employers to penalties, and will entitle employees to back wages. Employers can also be made liable for damages.

Also, failure of the employer to release any benefits or reduce the benefits already enjoyed by the employees for a certain period of time made by the employer consistently and deliberately and has ripened into a company practice (offered by the employer as incentive to attract and retain employees and to increase the morale of the employees) is considered DIMINUTION of benefits and is frowned upon by law. Remember that the company may give more than the minimum prescribed under our labor standards but never LESS.

Minimum wage earners are not required to pay income tax. Employers should not deduct income tax from their salaries.

10. Employees are entitled to a safe and healthful working condition. The employer must provide every kind of protection to employees against injury, sickness, or death.

11. Our employment is an employment-at-will. We cannot be compelled to work if it is against our will. It will be tantamount to involuntary servitude UNLESS when the assignment is based on a lawful order. As employee, you may be guilty of insubordination or willful disobedience if you refuse to perform the job you are paid to do.


 1. We are entitled to receive not less than the minimum wage prescribed by law for every 8 hours work plus overtime pay in excess of 8hours. Note: Below is the prescribed OT pay % and sample computation:

2.  Employees are also entitled to a Night Shift Differential of additional 10% on his/her hourly rate for each hour of work between 10PM to 6AM. But this benefit is not available to the following: (1) Government employees; (2) retail & service establishments employing not more than 5 workers; (3) kasambahay; (4) managerial employees and members of a managerial staff; (5) field personnel and those whose time and performance are unsupervised by the employer.

3. Employees are entitled to five (5) Service Incentive Leave (SIL) with pay provided the employee has rendered at least one year of service. If your company is already giving you a vacation leave of not less that 5 days, you are no longer entitled to the SIL.

The SIL may be used for sick and vacation leave purposes. If you have unused SIL at the end of the year, it is commutable to its money equivalent. But the use and conversion of this benefit may be made on a pro-rata basis.

4. For pregnant women, you are entitled to a Maternity leave of 60 days if normal delivery and 78 days if caesarian section delivery. The SSS is the agency that is tasked to provide the maternity benefits in lieu of wages. The maternity leave may not be included in the computation of 13th month pay for the calendar year.

5. The male employees are entitled to a Paternity leave of 7 calendar days with full pay to be used after delivery. He may be allowed to take a leave before or during delivery as approved by the employer. However, unlike the SIL, if the paternity leave is not availed of, it shall not be convertible to cash.

6. Solo parents are now entitled to a 7 days parental leave under RA 8972. A solo parent is an individual who is left alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to the following:

7. Women who fall victim to violence as defined by RA 9262 (Anti-VAWC Law) are now also entitled to 10 days PAID leave on top of the granted leave under the law, under company policies, and under collective bargaining agreements. The only requirement to avail of this benefit is to provide a certification from the Punong Barangay, Brgy. Kagawad, prosecutor, or Clerk of Court that an action relative to the said matter is pending.

8. Under RA 9710, women with "gynecological disorders" that would require surgical procedures are entitled to special leave benefit of 2 months with full pay based on her gross monthly compensation. This is however non-convertible to cash and non-cumulative if unused.

10. All rank and file employees are  entitled to 13th month pay of not less than 1/12 of the total basic salary earned by an employee in a calendar year provided such employee worked for at least one (1) month during the calendar year. (see Presidential Decree No. 851).

11.  Employees are entitled to separation pay where the termination is for just causes:

* 1/2 month pay per year of service if termination is due to the following:
                  1. Retrenchment to prevent losses
                  2. Closure or cessation of operation of establishment
                  3. The employee is suffering from a disease not curable within a 6-month
                      period and his employment is prejudicial to the employee's health and the
                      health of his/her co-workers.

* 1 month pay per year of service if termination is due to the following:
                 1. Installation of employer of labor-saving devices
                 2. Redundancy
                 3. Impossible reinstatement of employee due to valid reasons not attributable to
                     the fault of the employer such as closure of the company or the position no
                     longer exist.

12. Employees are entitled to a retirement pay of not less than 1/2 month salary for every year of service upon reaching the age of sixty (60) or more but not beyond 65 years old and have served the company for at least five (5) years.

13. Employees are also entitled to benefits under Employee Compensation Program (ECP) designed to provide a compensation package to public and private sector employees and their dependents in the event of work-related sickness, injury, disability, or death. This can be claimed in SSS for private employees and GSIS for government employees.

14.  Other Statutory benefits, payment of which must be remitted by the employer to the applicable agency. A portion of the contribution must be paid by the employer and a portion to be paid by the employee.

- Phil-health Benefits
- Social Security Benefits
- Pag-ibig Benefits


 As workers, we have so many rights but we should remember that our rights stop once the rights of the employers begin. Among their rights are:

   1. The right to select who to hire.
   2. The right to formulate company policies that are not contrary to law, morals, public  
       order, and public policy.
   3. The right to assign tasks and responsibilities to the employees and to set standard of
   4. The right to transfer employees.
   5. The right to discipline employees (ex.  to suspend).
   6. The right to terminate employees.(ouch!)

Let us not sleep on our rights BUT we must not ABUSE them. Let us work and perform excellently as employees. It is important to be granted with our rights but we should be worthy of them. Our relationship with our employers should be a "give and take" kind. It is still important that we are both happy working together.

For more information, you may inquire from or visit the site of the Bureau of Working Conditions and/or DOLE:Bureau of Working Conditions.

 Sources: Labor Code of the Philippines
                DOLE / BWC
                Experience :D






Thursday, May 29, 2014

I need to keep these in mind..

I am in a very sad situation right now and I am experiencing emotional turmoils. In times like this, I always find comfort in reading inspirational quotes that not only reminds me that life is life but also lifts my spirit and allows me to move on and proceed.

Here are my top 20 quotes that I hope could also lift up your spirit. Apart from reading and understanding this by heart, you must never forget to pray to God. He can heal all broken hearts and can mend broken souls.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Being Brutally Honest: Pouring it all out

I'm turning 28 this year. I am working. I am studying law. I am bored. I am tired. And my life seems to lack that sufficient sense of direction. I am not happy.

I am a simple person with simple wants and simple joys. I delight in eating full and watching movies. I feel good spending time with my family. I love my job and I feel so accomplished about it. And I could spend my entire life doing what I do now.

I dream of being a lawyer. It's a childhood dream. But it's a very difficult dream to achieve. The sleepless nights, financial constraints, time to study well, volume of the subjects to be studied, and the impossible level of difficulty of the subject matter are just too much. This is a dream that needs 101% attention or time if you really want to succeed. But of course, I can't give that much. I love working.It's my bread and butter so I need to maximize my time and try to force my brain to work despite the exhaustion. It's difficult but I have to continue because people expect me to be great and to be someone important in the society. It's a very challenging feat.

I am a simple person and I do not want to complicate my life. I don't wish to become rich or to become a well-known person. But my life is just that - complicated.

I want my family to be proud of me when and if God allow me to become a lawyer. It would be my family's greatest pride, I bet. If I will attain that dream, it will change my whole life. It will open floodgates of opportunities for me to better my life. 

But then, what I really want at this point in my life are these:

I want to get married to a man that I don't want to spend my lifetime without and build a family of my own. I want to have a child already and feel that love they said that we can only feel when we give birth to another human being. I feel envious of my friends who already have their kids. I am envious of my sister whose joy of life is Baby Zie. It's like having a child will help me build a better future for myself.

I'm turning 28 and yet I feel that all that I am doing right now don't really amount to anything. This life of mine lacks purpose.

I am tired living a life based on the expectations of other people. It's hard to always be mindful of what they will say if you will take a road less traveled and follow your real dreams.

I'm tired of asking myself these:

"will they feel bad if I say this?"
"will they get angry if I say I don't want this anymore?"
"will they get hurt if I follow my heart?"
"will they be disappointed if I refuse to mind what other people may think?"
"will they be okay with the idea that I live a simple life?"
"will they turn their backs on me if I say that I am not happy with what they want me to be?"

I am tired. I want to settle already. I don't want to wake up one day wondering what have I done with my life.

But then life is not that simple.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Glimpse of the Past : Relevant to this day

Once upon a time, I wrote in my website (which is free! - an article that is still significant to me and perhaps to everyone to this day. I wrote this during a time when I had a misunderstanding with my family. It was not a jab towards them but it was more of a reminder to myself that we all deserve to be happy.

I'd like to share it to you..

We are the architect of our lives

Posted by Kareen Grace on January 15, 2013 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (1)    

I once posted in my facebook status that "If I cannot be anything you need, I cannot be anything you want". I want to somehow explain or elaborate on this. This fact just came to me in the midst of an emotional struggle with one of the most important persons in my life.

Each of us has our own principles, views, and beliefs in life. Yes, we do ask for comments or advises from people we trust to somehow help us in coming up with better (sometimes, less evil) decisions. But at the end of the day, we come up with decisions that greatly reflects what we believe, what we stand for, what we strongly feel about. Those decisions may not always be favorable and agreeable to the people around us and to the people who love us. But it is our decision. If anything goes wrong or if in the end, we realize it was a wrong turn, nobody will fall for it but yourself. Unless you base all your decisions to what other people may feel, may think, and may say. Of course, it is a given that we must not harm other people and that we should live harmoniously with the world. But when it comes to your own happiness, will you let others decide for you?

Our family only wants the best for us, yes. Our family does not want to see us struggle, yes. They do not want to see us harmed or hurt, yes. Simply because they love us. But I don't think influencing our decisions about the major areas in our lives goes with it. This is not about being self-centered or being rebellious. This is not about proving that you are your own person. This is about asserting your right to happiness. And our family is supposed to be the first persons to support us. They may view things differently but they should still be there for you no matter what your choices are. For as long as you do not destroy yourself, for as long as you do not harm others, for as long as you do not waste your life, your family must be able to respect your decisions.

Perhaps, they see things on a different perspective. And we should understand that. We should respect that. They have valid reasons to be concern about how we manage our affairs. But I don't think it is right to be greatly influenced by it to the point that you will lead a life they want you to have but not the life you want to live. If they want to change you and the way you see things, and you will allow them to do it, you might as well be imprisoned. You will become a remote-controlled (but completely capable of thinking) fellow. You will never be happy. You will never be free. And it is a very awful situation to be in. Unless you're still a teenager, I think your family has a valid reason to guide you to the right path.  I think teenagers are misguided by what they see around them nowadays but that's a different story.

My point is, as adult, we should be able to decide for ourselves without having to seek for the approval of our family. Because at the end of the day, what's at stake is our happiness. We should freely create our lives. we should be the architect of our own lives. We should be the one to define our lives. Not other people. Not anyone.Too cliche' but it rings truth.
And our family should never turn their backs on us if we choose to do so.
In my case, they never will.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Online Status: How Influential is it?

The world at present times is, arguably, attached to social networking sites. Most people can't stand not checking their accounts on a daily basis. Others even make a living for it. Among the most famous social networking sites are Twitter, Instagram, and of course, Facebook. There are also other sites that allows for virtual "social interaction" such as gmail chat, yahoo chat, youtube, and yes, even gaming sites like LOL (League of Legends), among others.

It can no longer be denied that the internet technology has enveloped the world at the fastest pace possible. One is no longer "connected" without it. Businesses, in order to march apace with the technological development, have to up their marketing efforts online to "belong" and to remain relevant. And especially, to gather more patronage.

Of course, what I am saying here is a known fact although I cannot firmly say that these observations have scientific or statistical back up. I am merely stating the fact before my eyes.

So anyway, I am not about to devout this blog to discussing how technology plays in each of our lives. That is beyond my brain cells can weave since I am no expert. But I will be stating here my observations on how these sites, particulary FACEBOOK reveal much of ourselves and how we are as a person and as members of our ever dynamic society.

Well, I'm sure you love to post facebook statuses. "Status" as far as I know, is supposed to be the expression of our current state of mind or the written expression of our current thoughts. Most often, this facebook service serves as the avenue of most people to tell their facebook friends what occupies their time, what they are doing, who they are with, etc. Facebook also allows the users to post photo statuses which I really think encouraged the "selfie" revolution.

These statuses, most of the time, elicit heartwarming feelings, laugh, fear, and even annoying feeling within me. I am not sure if you feel the same but there are several statuses that really irk me. Although, of course, it is not up to me what other people want to post on their personal space. Afterall, it's really personal and to be technical about it, it's protected by the free speech clause of the Philippine Constitution or the universal freedom of expression. However, there are things that I strongly think that we should not post since it might work to our disadvantage.

To make it simpler, I will be enumerating, in no particular order, all these types of statutes that really grind my gears and why they do so.

1. FOOD PHOTOS. Okay, it might be too shallow for me to be annoyed by statuses flooded with mouth-watering food but what the heck, it really does. Online community termed it "food pornography". It irritates me because it doesn't help me resist my urge to eat. It even escalates my desire. Of course, apart from that reason, there is this crappy and famous reason that not all people have the capacity to eat the food you eat and you should be sensitive enough not to flaunt your lavish food spending when others can barely eat three times a day.

2. SELFIES. I am not really irked by anyone posting selfies. It's the "in" thing now. What irritates me is when the post becomes TOO FREQUENT, like on a daily basis. Come on. How many times do we need to see your pretty face, your sexy body, your gorgeous get-up in a day or week? We get it. 

3. OOTD (Outfit of the Day). Unless you are a fashion icon or a celebrity endorsing clothing lines, will you please stop posting what you wear everyday? Well, I guess it is acceptable for you to do so when you really look gorgeous. Whatever.

4. PERSONAL QUARRELS. It is of no major concern to us whether you are angry at your boyfriend, friends, or family. I think it is TOO PERSONAL to share the details of your quarrels with anybody. Most especially, it becomes too "scandalous" when you tag the person you are angry with. Aside from the fact that it won't help solve the problem (it might even deepen it), it will also be very difficult for you to reconcile. It might even breed extreme hatred. Words can kill relationships that could still be saved if you control yourself and not inform your facebook friends how angry you are with the other party and how "stupid" they are. Worst case scenario, you might be held liable for slander or libel. That would really suck.

5. REJOICING BECAUSE OF THE MISFORTUNES OF OTHERS. It is the height of human insensitivity when people post something that rejoices for the misfortunes of other people. You cannot just say that "they deserve" what they are going through because you certainly don't know shit about what they really are going through and nobody deserves nor loves to be under a very unfortunate situation. You would not want to hear other people saying that they are happy about your bad situation, right?

6. FALSE NEWS. You should refrain from posting news that are unverified because this might cause panic, public outrage, or public disorder. You cannot just post without personal knowledge or unverified information as critical as "there is a tsunami warning" or "there is a bomb somewhere that is about to explode" when there is really none. Leave that to the experts or to the proper agencies to announce. Unless you are a reporter, I think you may do so as a call of duty BUT of course, it must be a verified report otherwise, it will be a breach of responsible journalism.

7. SCANDALOUS PHOTOS OR GROSS PICTURES. Really? I don't think I need to explain why this is included in my list.

8. SEX VIDEOS OR PORNOGRAPHIC VIDEOS. Obviously, Facebook is not the proper venue for you to reveal your sexual perversion or your sexual tendencies. There are people who cannot tolerate these materials because it is repugnant to their sense of morality. If you are posting these kind of videos to humiliate a person, beware because we already have a law that punishes acts relating to making and disseminating sex videos online. 

9. SPREADING GOSSIPS. Never use your facebook accounts to spread negative gossips. Even if it were true, you are not authorized to spread them. Learn to value and understand the 'It's-none-of-your-business" concept. You got time for that? It really is a waste of time to talk about other people's personal affairs. Better talk about ideas or good deeds or any positive thing. The world might become better because of you.

10. GRAMMAR. I cannot personally claim that my grammar is perfect. There are some errors in my sentence construction or the appropriateness of terminologies I use. But I can say that I am coherent. Please be more conscious on how you construct your sentences. You will become a laughing stock to your friends if you post something only you can understand. Although, that takes some nerve and a little over confidence but please, if you cannot really say it properly, "mag tagalog ka na lang"..or "mag bisaya na lang ka..". You know what I'm saying?

At the end of the day, it is still your decision whatever you want other people to know about you through your social networking accounts. But regardless of the fad or the craze and regardless of the evolution of social interaction as we know it in the midst of internet age, we should remain responsible and accountable for all our deeds. We should maintain that high standard of morality in all our dealings. We should retain the values that our parents taught us and instilled upon us. Your attitude online will really reflect your character and your personality. People will judge you by how you manage and carry yourself online.

Employers now are marching apace with the technology and are now considering your online behavior in determining whether you will fit their requirements and whether you deserve to be part of their organization.

Truly, the virtual world plays a big role in our lives now. Even the number of "likes" in your posts becomes your validation that you belong and that you are accepted. It has become one of the affirmations that you have many friends and that there are numerous people who like you. Admit it or not, the facebook "likes" boost your confidence that you are significant to the lives of others. Gone are the days where we FREQUENTLY meet our friends face to face and talk the real talk not just through online messages or "comments" or "likes" or "shares".

Social Networking sites are good tools in order for us to remain connected with our friends and families especially those who are living far from us. It even assist us in doing or performing our business transactions. But we should put a certain limit to it. Lahat ng sobra ay masama.