Filipinos are one of the most laid-back workers in the whole world – a thorough look on public holidays

According to officeholidays.com, the Philippines currently has 24 public holidays for 2019. Regardless of the day the actual holiday will fall on, Filipinos will be taking a break from their work for about 8% of the total working days in a year (with Saturday being considered as a working day). This percentage of holidays is actually one of the highest all over the world! Can you believe that?? Let’s compare it with some countries.
In terms of the economic powerhouses China, US, UK, Singapore and Japan, Japan has the most number of public holidays with 21, followed by China with 19, US and Singapore with 14 apiece and with the UK at the last spot with a measly 8 public holidays. So what gives? In terms of richer cultures such as in China and Japan, holidays are more but they do not easily reflect the economic status of one country by way of the number of times an employee will be off work (and actually get paid). Let’s then look at some of developing countries similar to the Philippines such as Thailand and Malaysia. Thailand has 22 public holidays, which are within range against the Philippines, and economically – wise, they are not too far off. Malaysia has 20 public holidays for 2019, but they are sure to be more developed than the Philippines economically by a notch (or even several notches). With this, does it mean that the economic status is not directly proportional to how many times an employee gets off work due to public holidays? A lingering question that is still awaiting a concrete answer.
Aside from public holidays, employees are also entitled for paid annual leaves mandated by the government in which companies should abide to. Let’s look at this angle to somehow check whether this can be considered as the answer. Let’s consider all employees that have on-board  with a company for less than a year for comparison purposes. Philippine employees are entitled to 5 days annual leave, which is the lowest compared to all the countries we tried to compared with here in this blog. China also has the same number of allowed annual leaves while Thais are entitled with 6 annual leaves and the Singaporeans gets 7 leaves annually. Malaysians on the other hand, gets 8 days leave annually while the Americans and the Japanese gets 10 apiece annually. And the finally, probably the luckiest of them all, the Brits gets a staggering 25 days (at least) of annual leave. With that being said, being one of the lowest entitlement on annual leaves, are Filipinos now considered as overworked and totally underpaid? There is still no concrete basis so we need to look on this further.
Combining both the public holidays and the approved annual leaves, we then resorted to the following hierarchy:
1. United Kingdom – 33 days
2. Japan – 31 days
3. Philippines – 29 days
4. Thailand – 28 days
5. Malaysia – 28 days
6. United States – 24 days
7. China – 24 days
8. Singapore – 21 days
In this manner, the Philippines is ranked 3rd among the highest number of combined holidays and annual leaves, only inferior to Japan and the UK. Please take note that local holidays are not considered here in this study, so it is safe to say that the total holidays can increase (applicable most probably to all countries mentioned here as well). But considering that the Philippine Employment culture discourages absenteeism in any manner, most Filipinos are forced to work even on Holidays or even to the point of not availing their annual leaves. This is mostly true with fast paced Philippine companies and is a prevalent culture then and up until now. The culture is that the longer you render / avail leaves, the lower your working performance can be percieved, and this should stop.
In summary, Philippines may be at the forefront of having the highest number of annual leaves and public holidays but there are still a lot of Filipinos complaining that they do need time off work. But with all the mandated leaves / holidays every Filipino employee is entitled to, how come they don’t avail it? Here are some of the top reasons:
1. Company / Superior restriction due to work – related constraints
2. Working during holidays gets paid more
3. Recurring dilemma / notion that longer / frequent absences means lower working performance

If we are to weigh in on the situation, we really have a reason to complain. But if we just need to understand the employee rights, we really don’t need to complain that much. We just need to make sure to keep being professional even with long absences, doing what is tasked and do more as you can. This way, the stereotype of long absence means low performance will be erased from the Philippine culture. The Philippine employee workforce is definitely as competent as anybody else in the world, we just need to lead them through it by example.

Sources:

https://www.officeholidays.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_annual_leave_by_country

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Most popular coffee shops in the metro – a coffee quality review

Coffee shops are spewing all around the Philippines like mushrooms. This is mostly due to the ever growing fondness of coffee by the locals most probably influenced by Western countries particularly the U.S. Nowadays, big coffee shop franchises are marching on a small but loyal market that has made coffee drinking a lifestyle, and are not stopping since.

Here in this blog we would like to tackle the distinct tastes of the biggest coffee shop franchises in the metro right now. They will be analyzed through the same coffee concoction, which is the cafe mocha. The analysis will be based on the typical concoction serving, where there is no special alteration conducted.

  1. Starbucks – Starbucks originate from the United States and is one of the most, if not probably the most successful coffee shop franchises in the world. Its success is also present in the Philippines, and each branch will always be jam-packed during peak hours. In terms of its Cafe Mocha taste, its sweetness is on the high side, while the mocha flavor is evident enough to be distinguished. One espresso shot of it is enough to keep you awake but won’t keep you that way for the whole day. But nevertheless, it has its own taste that almost every coffee lover craves for and keeps on coming back.
  2. Seattle’s best coffee – another coffee shop franchise that originate from the U.S., Seattle’s best coffee actually came in first to the country ahead of Starbucks, but couldn’t quite create a larger stir but still has the staying power up until now. Its Cafe Mocha is also on the high side of sweetness while its mocha taste is very distinct. The single espresso shot does give the over-all flavor without overpowering the mocha, in which is the main aim of this concoction.
  3. Figaro – Figaro is a homegrown coffee shop franchise. Long before the influx of foreign coffee shop franchises, Figaro has been doing it locally. It has quite a respectable success and has staying power and establishment since 1993. Its cafe mocha has a respectable sweetness and is on just the right amount. The mocha flavor is somewhat indistinct to almost becoming disappointing but what makes it better is the richness of the espresso single shot.
  4. Bo’s Coffee – Another local pioneer and coffee shop franchising, Bo’s Coffee started in Cebu, in the south side of the Philippines. If Figaro owned the North, Bo’s Coffee dominated the South. Its Cafe Mocha has the right amount of sweetness and has a very mocha taste, which is essentially right for the concoction. The espresso shot is not that strong but should keep you awake for a respectable amount of time.
  5. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – Another coffee shop franchise that originated from the U.S., its southern California origins has influenced the coffee drinking experience inside their shops. Its Cafe Mocha has a the right amount of sweetness and its Mocha has a little bit buttery taste, which is probably deliberate to make it more distinct. What makes it stand out is the strong espresso as it provides a certain kick that keeps you coming back.
  6. Costa Coffee – A relatively new coffee shop franchise player in the country, Costa originated from the U.K., and is the largest coffee shop company there. Its Cafe Mocha has the right amount of sweetness as well as the distinct Mocha flavor.  A little drawback is the the effect of the single espresso shot but could still be respectable enough.

There is no actually the same Cafe Mocha concoction. Each shop has its own setting and style, and it is up for us coffee lovers to choose whatever fits our fancy!

What would you do if…

What would you do if you were to travel without worrying about time and money?

What would you do if you can turn back the hands of time and revisit the same time, same place and the same person you have met?

What would you do if you’re given the chance to be a child again?

What would you do if you are given the chance to love the same person again?

What would you do if people will listen to you no matter what you say?

What would you do if you can end the war?

What would you do if you can view only one horizon, what would it be?

What would you do if you can express all your emotions in just one sitting?

What would you do???

 

C’mon and tag me up!

Screenshot

With the help of used-to-be military exclusive GPS or Global Positioning Satellites, any one can learn the exact location of where they are actually in. Anyone can tag him/herself on their location at any given time, and tell everyone about it through social media. If you are in China, you can tell everybody by using a smartphone. If you have traveled and arrived at the United Kingdom, you can shout to the world that you are there by activating your GPS, tag your location, and share it through social media. Basically where ever you are, you can tell everybody where you are in through this amazing geo-tagging feature of every smart phone that we have right now.

The main drawback of this feature is that if it is used too much, it can complicate some things. Some people will tend to use this feature too much, it can attract some unwanted personalities to draw in to your life. Even if you are in the outskirts of Scotland, any one can know once you have shared to social media. This is a concern for all of us as it can be used against us eventually.

GPS features can be tricky at times, so make sure use them with caution. Safe travels are happy travels!

Traveling in strange lands

May it be traveling or just plain accidental, staying or dropping by in an unfamiliar place can sometimes be a bit awkward and the feeling of uneasiness is definitely inevitable. For example, staying or traveling in Japan will create a misconception that communication will be a big problem (in which it actually is), though it shouldn’t hamper a backpacker to not go into an adventure on that very nice country. Take for example in Tokyo, it is the country’s main business district, won’t give you much problems if you are articulate in using the universal language. On the other hand, Osaka, though a little more in tune with the traditional Japanese feel won’t give you problems either. There would be inevitable problems to encounter if you feel like trying out the outskirts and deeper areas such as Gifu, but hey, that shouldn’t prevent you from trying out that place don’t you? 🙂

What’s even more challenging is that there are places that can generally understand English but couldn’t quite converse straight in English. It’s a bit challenging but definitely worth trying. Take for example the islands of the Philippines, the small island of Coron could give you challenges but the sights there couldn’t stop you from trying. And in Manila or in Cebu, unlike the other places in that country, one can truly feel at home with its rich global communication skills.

The world has a large mix of languages and dialects. Mankind has agreed to use one language in order for everyone to at least understand each other. If it isn’t there are other ways to communicate, and it should not be your excuse to explore the world!

The colorful flora – nature’s colorful wonders

Fascinating color combinations of flowers

 

What makes traveling enjoyable, aside from experiencing unforgettable adventures is the beauty of nature, seen by you first hand.  Whenever I have the time traveling to parts of the nature where it is finest by own vehicle or even by taxi, I always find time to take pictures of flora and even sometimes fauna.

A nice color combination

What makes me fascinated about plants, most particularly its flowers is its colors. They are so vivid and the combination of colors are right on. It is a proud testament that nature has a fun way of saying, “I’m the first to dictate fashion and graphical design, and you’re all just going to follow me”.

Even leaves can give the best color combination

So even while doing budget travels, there is always a cheaper way to enjoy the scenery by looking those greenery and most of the time colorful things. In my opinion, it is always a must to behold on nature’s wonders. Because it is always a the rightful reminder that everything happens not just by the sake of happening, but it was intended to happen that way and it always has a reason and purpose.

Sun will rise and set and so on and on

Gifu, Japan Sunset

What’s keeping me fascinated about the Sun’s behavior, may it be sunset or sunrise, is it always remind me of hope, future and the beginning of an end or the start of the ending. With its majestic and mystical appearance, one can often wonder what will the next day or the coming day will become. And going to the Asian beaches, one can truly enjoy the sight this astronomical sight is doing.

We all need to travel sometimes to unwind and forget for a while the busy and tiring days, may it be for adventure travels or budget travels, it may probably be a must for everyone to at least embark on it just to reset the mind and body and get all refreshed to seize another day, and sunsets and sunrises makes me and/or you reminded of it.

Fascination over something that is basically there and most probably will stay can often be overlooked and missed. The Sun might always be just there, rising and setting, but it is always there to remind me that everything must be done to accomplish something and everything has been done and you cannot change it. Emotive as it may seem, I will always be amazed at the sight of the sun setting and anticipate its rising on the next day.