Kapanalig Sa Wala - Literally, one who also have faith in nothing, is a play on words and wasn't really intended to mean something. It was made in jest to call the atheist camp when I was still actively debating god in one of the demised public forums out there. I think walang pananalig (faithless) would have proven to be more precise but I think the intended humor will be lost.

Sunday, August 08, 2010


I have decided to update this blog but with less about atheism and more about some other stuffs. First an update related to my post "Back To Work". I was granted a 90-day temporary visa for "designated activities" with the activity "preparing for departure." On the last day of my visa, I flew back home to the Philippines and after a month, I started a bar in Laguna. I only closed it a little over a month ago as it didn't work as I wanted it to be. It ran a total of 9 months. It was fun and a good learning experience. Here's the post-mortem of what mistakes I committed and my explanation on why it happened. When I started it, I had a very clear picture of what I wanted to do. I wanted to operate a small bar that can be run by at most, 2 people. The four things that should be maintained with high standards are (1) the beer should be ice-cold, (2) the toilets should be very clean, (3) should be air-conditioned, (4) plays great music. My biggest mistake was that I didn't stick to my plan. My plan was to put up a bar in Laguna first not mainly for profit but more for learning the ropes, then I'd close it and move the business to a more profitable location either in Valenzuela City near Fatima University or in Meycauayan, Bulacan near Meycauayan College. Also part of the plan was that there would be no live bands. But things gone out of hand, the next thing I knew, we were hosting live bands regularly which greatly increased our operating expenses (show bands are paid per head, while equipment is rented per piece). It went on for nine months in the red before I finally pulled the plug. Mistake number two is that I let it run indefinitely without a clear time frame of goals. The third mistake I did was that I didn't put everything that's needed to make it succeed like capital infusion was done more like piecemeal rather than right from the beginning. There was a good reason why I shouldn't have put all the capital upfront but now with the benefit of hindsight I am inclined to say that it was not a good reason. The root cause of the issues is that I didn't have a business plan worked out on paper that include the financials and the time-frame for measuring milestones. So next time I do it, I'll write one up so I can have clear guideline on how to execute it. There are other valuable lessons I learned mostly on operations, marketing, and financial analysis but I don't want to go into details here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reading List

I haven't posted in a looong while so I am updating and so I will have something new to read myself :) . The reason is because I have been away from this space for a year now. I also haven't been reading fiction, science, and philosophy books lately. My list of recent books are very far from what I had been reading until last year. Nowadays, I'm consumed by something else. Here are the last books I have read, most recent first:

Bankable Business Plans - by Edward Rogoff (almost finished now)
The Soul Of The Corporation - by Bouchikhi & Kimberly
Financial Statements, A Step By Step Guide... - by Thomas Ittelson
Financial Intelligence For Entrepreneurs - by Berman & Knight
Fooled By Randomness - by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The Selfish Gene - by Richard Dawkins (first 3 chapters only)
Inside The Black Box - by Rishi Narang
Optimal Trading Strategies - by Kissel & Glantz
Game Theory, A Very Short Introduction - by Ken Binmore
Value Above Cost - by Donald Sexton

What I noticed is that I haven't slowed down reading - I have read all of them in the last two months - but my interest had changed significantly though I'd like to go back to reading more of the philosophy/fiction/science books. Three of the books above are about things related to my work (Narang, Binmore, Kissel & Glantz), the others except Dawkins (which I dropped for the meantime) are for general financial knowledge or related to business & branding. The Dawkins book is somewhat related to the Binmore book on game theory though they deal in different areas of knowledge. I don't have books on queue so I may finally go back to Dawkins.