Saturday, August 18, 2007

Incredible Mumbai

Mumbai is a 9 hour flight via Singapore. Also known as Bombay (old name) and is the commercial capital of India. Bollywood is here. I arrived 12 midnight and the airport is good although lacking modern airport equipment- far from high-tech SG and HK. A renovation is on going apparently. Queue at the baggage carousel and immigration was not good. Lots of visitors looks confused where to go. Much like NAIA in Manila.

This city surprised me a lot. I did not actually thought of India as still third world, but indeed it is. Traveling from Mumbai airport to my hotel at Nariman Point is an eye opener. Mumbai is in the same situation as Manila, maybe even worse. You can see slums right after exiting airport. It's 12 midnight and lots of people are roaming the dim streets. And some topless guys sitting or just walking at the road side (pretty much like Pasay!). There are lots of homeless folks sleeping on the streets (just like Quiapo or Carriedo!). There are bunch of uniformly colored black small cars (not aircon) all over the roads and even up the fly overs.

The next day: Beggar knocks on car doors (looks worse than Manila). Black crows outnumber pigeons. I saw a cow on the street, the chauffeur told me nobody owns it. The Nariman point is like Baywalk in Manila only longer (4km) and cleaner. A man with his monkeys is dogging me to his monkey dance-- for a fee of course. Lots of people on the streets just walking or sitting around (waiting for job?). Hard to go around the busy streets or the slums as i can be easily spotted as foreigner in this part of the world.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Camera Lens - Basic Info

Here are basic info about lenses.

Lenses are classified into wide angle, normal and telephoto. It is measured by focal length (in mm). Digital cameras and camera phones mostly have wide angle lenses ranging from 8mm-35mm which is ideal for group pictures (taken within a short distance). For normal lens, like 50mm, you need few steps back from the group to get the same picture composition as the wide angle. And for zoom lenses you need to move away farther from the group to take the same composition. Basically thats the concept.

There are also two types of lenses -- prime and zoom. Primes has fixed focal lengths (no zoom- e.g. 50mm, 24mm) and zoom lenses has a range of focal lengths e.g. 14-70mm, 70-200mm which you can adjust instead of moving physically.

A shot during the foto fest. I was the last guy at the back but able to get some good shots. How? Using my 50mm lens. Its interesting how this lens can take picture through small openings. Here is a sample shot.

The blur on the lower right and upper left are actually the arms, ears, nose hehe of those in front. It was just a small opening to take this shot.

Below was taken from outside the cage but looks like I am inside the cage hehe. The screen is actually about 2x2 inches which is too small for my lens to sneak in.


Friday, August 10, 2007

I smell curry..

Curry - a pungent dish of vegetables or meats flavored with curry powder and usually eaten with rice (east indian cookery).

Pungent - strong and sharp (e.g. body odor???)

Body odor - malodorousness resulting from a failure to bathe.

Source: Wordweb

Monday, August 6, 2007

Nursing or Accounting?

There is a big big difference between a CPA and an accounting graduate. Just like a Registered Nurse and a nursing graduate or a Lawyer and a law graduate.

The CPA exam is second lowest after Bar exams when it comes to passing rate. The good thing is, there is a high demand for certified public accountants both locally and internationally. BUT, maybe just like the nurses, CPAs need to spend 2-3 years in a reputable audit firm to be marketable abroad.

In Baguio City, current tuition fee for B.S. Accountancy is at average of 15K per semester (about 9K in 2000). While my estimate is 30K in UST, 40K in DLSU and atleast 20K in smaller universities. After graduation, a six month review will cost 10K maximum (7K in 2001). And thats it.

A senior auditor (3-4 yrs experience) in Middle East, Singapore or other parts of Asia Pacific, would normally start at around Php130K monthly. In the US at least Php200K, and Europe at least 250K.

Looking at the numbers, for a career outside Philippines, there is no big difference between accounting and nursing except for the starting pay. Nurses are likely to start at a lower pay but will eventually catch up. Forget about working environment blah blah.

The difference actually lies here in the Phils. First, the cost of education. Accounting is cheap. Nursing is almost no different to Medicine (because of some opportunists?). Second is the demand or availability of jobs. There is probably more jobless registered nurse than certified public accountant in this country. I have seen jobless certified public accountant (just months after passing the exam) and they look suicidal hehe. The pressure and expectation is just too much. But honestly, right now, not one CPA i know is jobless. The problem for nurses is the fact that local demand or job opportunity heavily relies on the government. Private health care is for the rich and so we only have few large private hospitals.

Financially, I think nursing is a high risk and accounting is more secure. Of course, ideally, the financial aspect should only come next to a more important factor... whatever it is.

“The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.”
- Oscar Wilde

By the way, there was a foto fest last week in Glorietta sponsored by Philippine Star.

One booth is selling lighting equipment and they thought the best way to promote is to let consumers have a try. Here is my attempt on one of the models (click image for best view).

Her name is.... Angelica Panganiban hehe. True enough serious photography is an expensive hobby. Lenses, tripods, bags, printers etc... all expensive.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Nursing or Accounting? - Part I

I have heard this question in a funny radio commercial the subject i don't remember.

It's a question among parents whose kids are about to enter college. Most parents would not object though to whatever course preference their children has. But there are many high school graduates who would answer "Dko alam!" or "Kahit ano!" when asked about what to take up in college. And in such cases parents will decide and most probably ask the question "Nursing ba o Accounting".

My younger sister is taking up Nursing; maybe because she has no other particular interest and everyone is taking up nursing. She was lucky to avail some scholarship during the first two years. But now, I am starting to realize how unreasonable schools, hospitals, review schools and those benefiting from this nursing frenzy. The total cash outflow for one semester is at least 35K (UC). Fees in UC is known to be cheaper than other schools in Baguio. In Manila, i think the expense is similar in those smaller schools. For UST, FEU etc. my guess is atleast 40K per semester. The fee includes tuition, training and other miscellaneous. Training cost is mostly payment to hospitals where they do "duty" or nursing service. They work for the hospital and they pay the hospital. Sounds illogical. More cost comes when they do community service-- just like medical missions. They spend for travel, food, accommodation and others at a minimum of 2K a week. After graduation, they will take review for the national licensure which i think will cost 30-50K! And there are more licensing exams they need to take before considered ready for "export'.

Ok, so how much is the average salary of nursing entry level in the U.S.? According to this site, at least Php100K a month (gross pay). Really good compared to our Phil. standard. BUT, there is not a good chance for a fresh graduate or newly licensed nurse to get there. The increasing number of nursing graduates is too much. There is increasing cases of nursing applicants getting duped by illegal recruiters. There are lots of nurses who end up "caregivers" in HK or Middle east. To make it short, after spending too much in college and passing licensure exams our new nurses are still far from getting that paycheck. While the owners of those nursing schools and review centers are enjoying millions in earnings.

Part II - Accounting