This year has been a lot harder than expected. The recession hit well before I could secure my usual contracts which delayed everything by around 3-4 months and an overall affect due to budget restraints of losing around 8 months off our original plans. I cant really grumble as we pretty much have it easy except for the distance. At a time when many are losing jobs you have to value the fact that I have been able to secure work. Aprils been busy with Zoei back in Cebu while I have been away and my in-laws have been busy getting the internet cafe ready to open before the big party in December. I’ve been very lucky with having a good family base in the Philippines that allows things to develop while I am away. Most people I talk to who have operations going on struggle to trust relatives and it seems to be a trend but doesn’t mean that everyone is the same. Like most people in any country there are a lot of good but the few rotten apples rot the barrel for everyone.
When I first looked at the internet cafe as a business there was a lot of negative thoughts on it coming in from the forums on how it wasn’t a good business. But one thing I have realised is that if you want to be successful you don’t need one business you need several. Most businesses are operating at low incomes and like the days when I was involved in the bar trade my mentor at that time worked that its all about saving money not spending it. Which is why his bar was one of the thriftiest businesses in the West… But it was a success where others had already failed at it. I’ve learned over the years there is no unsuccessful business just people that are unsuccessful at running them.
Getting back to the getting prepped up it cost me nearly £700 for my plane ticket for the return which seemed a bit steep but its also to do with heading home so late in the season. Ideally November would have saved at least a couple of hundred off the air ticket. But one thing a lot of people don’t realise is that flying out of London is often cheaper than flying from your local airport. For me its around £200 cheaper than Birmingham airport and I generally get the National express coach which I have also booked in advance for around £34 one way. They do a return ticket but its not valid for the length of time I will be out of the country. So expensive leaving the UK this year but it might be one of the last runs for work although I hope to add a couple more trips as it helps develop the business ideas in leaps instead of having to save and juggle our incomes to suit our needs. But like I said we cant grumble we can literally sit in the Philippines now without needing to expand our little ventures but my commitment isn’t just to direct family but also to help other members which in turn will generate several off shoot businesses which I can really see things developing but not in a so public or direct manner but cash flow from many directions which in turn helps a lot of people develop futures for themselves they may not have had the opportunity to do before.
There is a common mistake many people make with places such as the Philippines in trying to change it. The thing is your part of a community in a street, town, village, wherever you are if you want social responsibility help outside your gate develop ideas and if people see it working it will naturally spread. If it doesn’t then so be it at least you tried. There is something I noticed a lot this year is that people are tired of Charities milking people for things as they no longer trust the majority of them especially the larger ones. But to be honest if you want to donate something I will happily put it to some use that is viable and sustainable. But also if you want to do something your in control of take a look at Kiva if you ask me about charities I don’t agree with blind donations because it only encourages corruption. They simply aren’t transparent and public enough with everything. But I do have time for M.I.A. which helps a lot of people in Cebu although a relatively small charity.
Bags are pretty much packed although this week will be a weigh in driving my suitcase all the way to Worcester on Saturday just to fill it with the last items and get it weighed. I don’t think I’m over weight but its already full even with the expansion part of the case. Might reduce my hand luggage by swapping my trolley case for one of those large supermarket bags may sound funny but the bags are a couple of ounces where a small “flight bag” is around 3kg. Those extra 3kg makes a big difference to getting all my stuff in as it could be 1.5kg of Cadburys chocolates for giveaways and some Thornton’s for April lol.. will see though as I have things like my hard drives, laptop, projector, mini media centre and I am hoping to get a studio lighting kit for my camera (Reminds me and my camera!"). Every year it seems I end up leaving all my clothes behind to make room for all the gadgets and gifts this year doesn’t look to be an exception to the rule although I like my new shirts so hoping I can squeeze them in somewhere.
Well think that’s pretty much it everything packed and ready to go few weeks left until 15th of December when I fly off home but pretty much there but might squeeze a mini BB Box to go with the last one for some last minute supplies but also might use it to offload some of the luggage that isn’t breakable. Big issue is it takes 2 months by sea freight.