Friday, May 25, 2018

How To Register As A Taxpaying Freelancer And Get A BIR Receipt

      So you’re a freelance artist/writer who wants to pay taxes and get a BIR receipt. The first step you should take is go to your Revenue District Office (RDO), this is the BIR office that issued you your TIN. But you still don’t have TIN? Then, go to the RDO that has jurisdiction over your residence and apply for one ( I don’t think there are documents needed here, but just in case, bring a valid ID and some cash). Click HERE for a list of Revenue District Offices.

      Once inside your RDO (this is assuming you already have TIN),  go to the counter for NEW REGISTRATION (tell the guard you’ll be registering as a new taxpayer so he could point you the right window). Tell the NEW REGISTRATION officer in the window that you want to register as a FREELANCER (Professional), tell him you’re a writer or an artist, and he’ll then give you a list of documents to procure (it will most likely include a barangay certificate, a birth certificate (if you’re single) or a marriage certificate (if you’re married). You only need to submit photocopies of these documents. The officer in my RDO told me to get a certification from the company where I submit work as a freelancer  but I just told him that the said company doesn’t issue such document, which is less bother.

      Get all the documents in the list and go back to that officer and I can assure you that he will guide you through the process of registration. Tell him that you want to avail of the 8% Tax Rate (provided in the TRAIN Law) which will not require you to pay a monthly percentage tax, just the quarterly and the annual, of course. This tax rate (8%) is much easier to handle, the officer told me. No need for an accountant to settle your tax obligations.

      You will then be required to fill up Form 0605 (this will cost you 500 pesos) and then Form 1901 (this is free). Don’t be shy to approach your officer if you have any questions (on how to fill up the forms or the number of forms to fill up or how to proceed through the process). Remember, you are paying his salary. Okay, not yet, you’re still not registered. But you’ll be helping pay his salary soon. After you submit these forms, you will be required to buy a ledger/s or a journal/s and attend a seminar (within a week) which will be held in that RDO, and then, you will be handed your crisp Certificate of Registration (COR) the same day of the seminar or the next day or depending on how alert your officers are. Then, you’d be asked to deal with a printing company to have your receipt printed (this will take a few weeks.) Paying taxes now is mostly online (of course, you have to make a trip to the bank) so it'll just be a breeze. 

      There, give yourself a pat on the back, you're a taxpayer now, take pride in being of help (no matter how microscopic) in building this nation.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

`Buti Pa Ang Latte, Gaya Ng Saging, May Puso

      So we were inside this cafĂ© and I was looking at my latte, wondering if there were three hearts there or four or more when one of my companions suddenly asked, “Do you still have contacts with (she mentioned a married former friend)? How is he?"
      I don’t know, I thought, probably still fantasizing over a pretty single colleague of his who he thought was fair game (what an idiot!). But I just smirked and didn’t say anything and I looked back at my coffee, which was inviting and seemed delicious. I would allow no horrible thoughts to distract me from enjoying my coffee. Our form of relaxing after a grueling window-shopping (lol) at the mall was to have a cup of delicious coffee. Coffee’s known to alleviate depression (you’d be depressed after failing to buy the things you like) and protect the heart and liver, but drink too much of it and it will give you anxiety and insomnia.

      At home, I often drink my coffee black and without sugar. Why? To suffer, that is.

      People are temporary, coffee is forever. Hundreds of years from now, when this world is ruled by  zombies or robots or aliens, the few remaining post-apocalyptic humans will still sip cups of coffee while they brainstorm on how to continue surviving, which will just be futile, as humans deserve to  obliterated.

      Afterwards, the zombies or the robots or aliens will discover coffee.

Monday, April 9, 2018

A Few Notes About Rabies (Do Not Eat Dogs, Rabid or Not)

      So, just a few days ago, there’s this news about people who got infected with rabies after killing and eating a rabid dog…

       Around ten years ago, I was inside a passenger jeepney and was on my way home from Intramuros when we (me and my fellow passengers) noticed something wasn’t right in the man seated on my immediate right: he had a bandaged right hand, he was sweating profusely and was moaning and groaning; he seemed having difficulty breathing and in a hell lot of pain. His wife (who was seated in front of him) grimly explained (while the jeepney was unloading passengers in front of Manila City Hall) that he was bitten by a dog a few days ago and that the dog exhibited signs of being infected (with rabies) before dying. They were on their way to San Lazaro Hospital ( a government hospital in Manila that specializes in rabies).

       I didn’t know at that time if it was accurate but I read or heard somewhere that a man severely infected with rabies would sometimes act like a mad dog, that is, bite and infect another person. And among the passengers at the time, me and the man seated in front of the jeepney whose back was turned to him were the most vulnerable once the man unleashed his rabid savagery. He could either bite the nape of the passenger in front of him or lunge at my arm—it would be like a scene straight out of a werewolf movie. That’s the only time that I wished I had a gun loaded with silver bullets.

      Not wanting to take any chances, I thought of alighting at Recto Avenue even though Tayuman street was my destination (San Lazaro hospital was at the middle of Recto and Tayuman) but I stayed on, only scooting a little farther away from the man when the passengers on my left disembarked.

      The husband and wife alighted at Quiricada Street, where the hospital was located, and I said a little prayer for them.

      It is summertime now, the time when the risk of getting rabies is very high, so be careful, vaccinate your pets (no, aquarium fish shouldn’t be vaccinated) and don’t let them roam the streets. Avoid stray dogs, wash your wound thoroughly and immediately go to a doctor when one bites you, moreso if the bite’s unprovoked. An unprovoked bite from any animals (dogs, cats, rats, etc) should immediately be looked into a by a doctor, especially if the animal’s behaving strangely and aggressively.

      Aside from dogs, another rabies virus-carrying animal that people should be extremely wary of are bats. Lots of bats are infected and most of the time, their bites (their teeth are small) go unnoticed, so avoid these flying vampires, and when bitten, rush to a doctor; never dilly-dally about it. If you see a bat inside your house, immediately shoo it away or kill it (if it’s aggressive) and then check for bite wounds. Bats, if not infected, would not wander inside a house with people. And no, a bite from a bat will not turn you into Batman. 

      Rabies is almost always fatal and death from it is a very painful one, avoid it all cost. And do not eat dogs, whether they're rabid or not. They're man's best friend. You do not betray and eat your friend, you take care of them.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Benadryl Tumblerbach, er, I mean, Benedict Cumberbatch Is Everywhere

Gentle storm
Rage my way
Fall in love with me
Fall in love with me
Fall in love with me
Every day...

      I was listening to Elbow’s excellent new album, Little Fictions, when I decided to look for a video of my favorite track there, which was “Gentle Storm.” And guess who I saw there (see video above), it’s the smart-looking and brilliant British actor Teddybear Lumberchat, er,  Benedict Cumd—, Cubm—, Cumberbatch. The actor, he plays Doctor Strange and Sherlock Holmes, is simply everywhere. I saw him in a Sesame Street rerun and in a David Gilmour concert, singing Roger Waters' part in the song "Comfortably Numb" and in the photo below, you can see him photobombing U2.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

I'll See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon

      Exactly 45 years ago today, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon (a prog rock concept album about madness and death) was released— and went on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time (it spent a mind-boggling 937 weeks on the Billboard album chart). It is often considered as one of the greatest albums of all time. Methinks it’s the greatest album of all time. But then, I’m always a bit biased when it comes to Pink Floyd. I even think that the double-album The Wall is the second greatest album of all time while Animals and Wish You Were Here are tied at third spot.

      But back to the The Dark Side of the Moon, I remember being massively blown away when I first listened  to it. Everything in it was perfect and awesome--musically and lyrically, even its iconic cover (which didn't bear the band's name and the album's title; just the prism (see photo above)). It's a thoroughly creative and artistic album--it begins with a heartbeat, then a scream and ends with a song about the fragility of life. It's an album that demands you to listen to its entirety, no skipping of songs, no shuffling. And the best way to listen to it? In the dark, undistracted, with the best headphones your money can buy.

      Forty five years old, and it still sounds pure and pristine, a timeless masterpiece. And yeah, they don't make albums like this anymore.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Bea Alonzo On Our Mind

      So we sat there mesmerized—six males: two on my right, three on my left, and me—opposite her. We were inside a passenger jeepney. She was, I thought, in her mid twenties, very pretty,  resembling Bea Alonzo a bit, nay, she was probably prettier than Bea. She’s got flawless milky white skin from head to toe, alluring figure that probably measured 36-24-36. She was dressed casually, a tank top and green Bermuda shorts.  The word head-turner would be amiss in describing her. Even the driver, I thought, was spellbound, as the vehicle would stall every now and then. Within two kilometers that she was inside the jeepney, I knew, the two young men on my right had fallen in love.

      Then, she reached for her purse, put out some coins and then, tried to hand it to the driver. “Mama, bayad po,” she said.

      And with that, a few hearts were smashed.

       Her voice sounded like, I don’t know, it sounded like the mixture of newscaster Mike Enriquez’s grating voice  (minus the clearing of the throat and the infamous “Ekskyus mi po!”), Gollum and Godzilla.

      And she was a (Holy Mackerel!) HE!

      “Alam mo, bakla,” said the visibly gay man who we didn’t notice was sitting beside her (or him), “perfect ka na sana, babaeng-babae ka na sana kundi lang diyan sa boses mo, e. Magpa-opera ka na kasi ng lalamunan!”

      “Mahal `yon, gaga!” she (or he) laughed with that ominously male voice, his Adam's apple quivering (which we just noticed)  before turning to the driver again. “Mama, para na po!”

      The vehicle stopped and the pair alighted, with obviously  masculine moves, while we remained seated there, stunned, flabbergasted, shocked, and staggered. The despair was palpable, the silence excruciating.  The vehicle’s engine started again, but it stalled again after a few meters, and it wouldn’t start again.  

      Even the vehicle was brokenhearted.