Saturday, September 13, 2014

6 Ways to Thrive and Survive in Italy

This applies to people who are actually considering to stay in Italy and make it their second home, (job or whatever). While it takes time to adjust to a new country,  taking these 6 considerations to heart may make the process a bit easier. These are borne experiences I had after 10 years of staying in pasta land.

1. Learn the language - You dont have to be perfect at it, but you have to know how to strike a simple conversation. This is all about the 90 percent of Italians who don't speak the "million dollar language," (english). While I've made up the figures, more of it comprises the city of Naples. Without learning the language, going out to buy, or do something is a frightening proposition. Speaking the language is one step further to independence, and a shield to being a total imbecile. 

2. Bring your family on board - You have to see for yourself, the everyday hardship of struggling with homesickness and loneliness. Then you can add to the equation, and as a result; a broken family because of father's, or even mother's extra-
curricular activities. Family on board means bringing your wife, children,  or even siblings to be with you through a petition or through the direct hire program. It may not guarantee as a prevention to bigamy, but in times of financial constraints 2 sets of income are better than one.

3. Health is your number one priority - Remember when the body is not in sync, you can't work. In Italy, when your sick, you are left to fend for yourself because everybody is at work. Although, healthcare can be almost free in Italy, with the right connections, it is a serious burden to be in. 
Speaking with sincerity, as Ive experienced being bedridden for 3 years because of Pott's disease. When your sick in pasta land it can be very ugly.

4. Finding true friends - Friends that do not cloud your senses because of envy or hatred. But because they honestly want you to do the right thing. Filipinos living in Italy are in competition with each other. They would do anything to get ahead, even if they have to chop your head for it. If that doesn't work, they would back stab you with words or make gossips about anything, just to put you down. True friends are literally finding that proverbial "gold in the streets."  

5. Do not be "deep in debt" - while having debt is a given if you are living abroad, being "deep in debt," is burying yourself in a monetary quandary. It is applying one loan after the other. Buried so much with payables, you can hardly keep up. The result; you can't keep up with your obligations thus having 
more money problems and destroying your reputation. I've heard a lot of stories about Filipinos relocating to another Italian zip code because of being "deep in debt."

6. Travel and see the world - while some people constrict their time in Italy as pure business, others like me, mix business with pleasure. If you are a resident of Italy whether temporary or permanent, you are given the privilege to go to other European countries without the burden of applying for a visa. As long as the country is occupied by the Schengen Area, (The Schengen Area is the area comprising 26 European countries that have abolished passport and any other type of border control at their common borders, also referred to as internal borders), then you are good to go. While we have different set of ideals on dealing with stress, for me travelling is a stress-buster that recharges my human battery. A good idea if you want to work a many number of years in Italy.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Generosity & Blessings

I was planning to write a subject about photography, but a wind of wanting to say "thanks," intervened. The year 2014 has been a "banner," year for us, so to speak, and has brought abundance in every shape or form. This year brought us to new places for months in consecutive fashion. We finally met friends for life. Financially speaking, material things overflowed on our coffers. There is great happiness when you are free from worries, but what we realized is that, there is more joy when you reached out and be generous once you are in that specific situation. By generosity, we do not equate it solely on sharing material things, but by sharing your time, talent and even a shoulder to cry on. 
Generosity opens up a whole new world of opportunities and friendships. It reveals your inner self and your potentials as an individual. When I was offered the job of teaching the Filipino community about the basics of computers, I was hesitant because of my zero knowledge in teaching. But when I realized that it can help me improve in public speaking, gain new friends  and improve my love of computers, I obliged. I realized that without the generosity of sharing what I knew, I would simply be limiting my personal growth and impede a multitude of blessings to flow. Being generous is also intertwined with sacrifice. Teaching would meant getting up early on a sunday morning for almost 3 months. 
But after everything it was all worth it. I came to know people on a personal level, not just because of gossips and hearsays. We broaden our world with generosity. Money would come everytime we need it, sometimes even more. Being generous and serving people are also connected in some level. It can lead you to prosper in a specific business. The more people you serve the more wealthy you become. The next time you are faced with the opportunity of service to others and being generous in the process, do not hesitate. For here lies the greatest blessing you will ever receive in your life.

Friday, August 01, 2014

The Simple Investment

The third article was harder than what I've expected. Since time shrunk out as the years passed by, writing has taken a backseat. Anyway, got the nerve to push that finger on the digital keyboard and tackle something important. Did you ever heard of the clich'e, "be an OFW, save some money, go back to the Philippines and start a business." It has been said a million times before, but the results have been the same. More OFW's have been slave laborers until even after 60 years old. They come back to the Philippines with nothing to support their remaining years. 
Since I have been accustomed to ride against the waves and not go with the tide, I made it a point to start a simple investment. It would require a miniscule capital, but it has the potential to be huge in terms of financial gain. That investment is network marketing. Apart from the majority of eyebrows raised, this endeavor gave me a chance to imrpove various facets lacking on my personality. The ability to talk to people with ease, to be business-minded on a specific level, and to prepare myself for the financial future. The whole point of this subject is not whether network marketing is a scam or not, but to be able to jump and try an opportunity, (with careful analyzation regarding legitimacy, documents etc.), that comes your way. 
Since the above-investment utilizes leverage, ( The ability to influence a system, or an environment, in a way that multiplies the outcome of one's efforts without a corresponding increase in the consumption of resources), it was a perfect way to jump in the entrepreneural band-wagon. The problem with a typical OFW is usually not the capital, but an idea for a business venture. What business to put that capital to good use. Since network marketing is an "idea made," the only thing to do is dole out the cash for capital. Not all people are made for network marketing, but for the few who have a bigger picture in mind and who would want to have time and financial freedom; then this is the business venture fit for you. 2 things to consider when you jump in on a specific network marketing company. First, you have to endorse a product that you have tried and personally believed in. Second, value for your money or the capital you put in. Most people or OFW for that matter, get stuck in their situation because they are either too afraid to try, or they are fickle-minded enough to part ways with their hard earned cash.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The 2nd Smallest Country in the World

Our very first time to join a tour would definitely pave the way for more to come. Monaco dubbed as the "second smallest country in the world," is a haven for people who want to relax as well as gamble. It was also the premier location were Ian Fleming's Casino Royale was shot. The whole trip would have been perfect if not for the weather, which was drizzling, surprisingly, on a cool December morn. The whole place was so clean that you can't even see fallen leaves. 
While the city would leave you in awe, the cars would equally grab your attention. Ferraris, Range Rovers and Aston Martins roam the small roads on an ordinary day. A quick research
concluded that before, Monaco did not imposed taxes on its residents, hence, it would make sense to buy properties in Monaco and make it your second home. Since much of Monaco was situated in the territory of France, it relinquished majority of its acres to the french people, resulting in imposition of taxes for foreigners. 
The country's main source of income is thru casino and gambling, hence the birth of Montecarlo, a region of Monaco, where majority of casino and gambling sites stood. For everyday visitors, you are welcome to enter a particular casino, but citizens of Monaco are prohibited. The only advantage of being a Monegasques, (a citizen of Monaco), is exemption from taxes. For Formula 1 afficionados, Formula One Monaco Gran Prix is held each year. Fast races passing by the Circuit of Monaco which started way back 1929. 
It was indeed a glamorous city where the rich and famous, would stop once in a while to enjoy the view. After passing by Monaco, we went to Nice (pronounced neece), France to enjoy a sumptous dinner hosted by Kentucky Fried Chicken. Also passed by this beautiful Russian Cathedral also in Nice.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Starting Anew

As I celebrate my 10th year here in Italy, I've decided to re-construct my blog into something better. Call it starting from scratch or a new beginning. I was getting a little bored on the content and how it looked. So I dug deep into the theme options of blogger, and found something that would add some spice, and a little make-over. I also deleted all of the past entries, since the topic would be starting anew. For me, I think it is important to kick-start a new beginning from time to time. 
Even Michael Jordan had to re-do himself after venturing off to the wilderness of baseball. He came back a much better person, and a nastier basketball player. It is also a chance to get back at something I was passionate about from the start, and that was writing. Writing had taken a backseat from my other activities which includes; being a network marketer, computer technician/instructor, caregiver, traveller, part-time photographer and    poker player. 
All of these activities were meant for me not to get bored easily, and a chance to find out where I'm good at. It also gave me an idea of topics to write about. I did that when I had this blog at the start, but it was riddled with mistakes and it was really just a mess. Now I can start writing my adventures again from being in the world of pasta and pizza, to venturing off into unknown places, and doing some of things I'm passionate about.

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