That Time of the Year Scribble

Reaching a point that I am no longer too young and perhaps not even too old rather stuck somewhere in between. Trap to where I may be, I run through some realizations that my years has taught me. These are facts, my realities, random thoughts, or simply an occasional personal reminder.

  1. Float calmly.
  2. It is never as it seems.
  3. Know who you really are.
  4. It is better to listen than talk.
  5. Answer yes or no and not half way.
  6. Unearth the beauty in every situation.
  7. Talk to Jesus like talking to your bestfriend.
  8. Follow your commitment with no buts and ifs.
  9. Being lazy is innate so always drag yourself if you must.Lazy Garfield
  10. Once in a while, it is fun to slurp a bowl of ramen alone.
  11. Too many shallowness in the world, dig your own depth.
  12. Never allow other people’s perception define who you are.
  13. Stand firm with your own standard despite the bandwagon.
  14. Give in to your cravings. Your head will bug you if you resist.
  15. You don’t need many friends; you only need few real friends.
  16. Apply a no phone policy when you are with family and friends.
  17. Go out of your work space once in a while to freshen the mind.
  18. Store memories with your head and not just through your icloud.
  19. Be in the moment and stop overthinking what’s up with tomorrow.WriteNowNa at Las Casas Filipinas
  20. Set your own phase at work without pushing too roughly at yourself.
  21. There is that triumphant feeling when you sleep for 12 hours straight.
  22. Converse and be with people. Look at them in the eye. Drop the phone.
  23. Don’t feel guilty after eating a lot over a good meal. Be thankful instead.Enjoy Bagnetta
  24. Love your work. It shows when you do and results get messy when you don’t.
  25. Monday morning is always a struggle unless you are waking up to ride a plane.
  26. Conversation without comprehension and proper listening becomes worthless.
  27. You are not entitled to explain your life (the success and failure of it) to anyone.
  28. When it gets overwhelmingly stressful, find your comfy corner and breathe there.
  29. Good, mundane, or even not so good—live the moment. There’s no better choice.
  30. Negative actions of others is not supposed to drastically change your solemn mood.Punta Fuego Pool 1
  31. A lot of people and situations will test your patience, earn the mastery of being patient.
  32. You are done proving yourself, just always do the job well and not to solely please others.
  33. If you don’t begin with small steps or quit over a mishap, you cannot accomplish your goals.
  34. Tag of war happens everyday—the endless delicious food choices versus the depreciating value of metabolism.
  35. Pick a happy crowd. Being with grumpy people and around a judging environment can drain a positive energy.happy crowd
  36. When traveling or going to new places, capture the moment with your eyes and not with your camera phone all the time.
  37. Avoid negative and rude people. No matter how hard you train yourself to stay positive, they will still somewhat take a toll on you.
  38. You can’t be too busy meeting special people over coffee. Don’t hesitate to let go of those just using you. (At this age, you already know who’s who).
  39. Know when to continue and when to completely stop. Quitting is not always a sign of weakness but can be a hint of bravery—step up when it is too much.
  40. Some people will always ask the foulest questions and give the harshest comments in a know-it-all tone. Aim for a half smile, positive reply, and walk away. No sense to prolong a conversation unless you are in a battlefield mode.
  41. Be brave enough to find your happiness. Don’t settle on your comfort zones; you can’t go far there. Don’t survive, live! We are not a zombie. Take chances, explore the risks. Embrace your mistakes as it happens and learn from it. Fail if you must but don’t linger there. Fight happy!

Balloons

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Life Begins After Coffee

Every Monday morning is mostly a struggle. What makes you go up? Work. Meetings. School. Presentation. Perhaps yes to all but there must be one simple reason without digging dip… maybe a cup of coffee? It is another Monday and the last for July, trying to focus and make the day productive with caffeine-related thoughts, are you up for it? Collating another batch of feel-good coffee thoughts to inspire the sluggish head.

Now wanting to get a mug after seeing the images, have a merry Monday! Enjoy the new week’s adventure!

I should be working now after the many gulps on my messy coffee mug! 🙂

 

When Visiting Japan

For many, Japan is one of the best countries to visit with its distinct culture, array of food, and the overall travel experience from its people, technology, and sceneries. Many Filipino travelers have picked Tokyo, Sapporo, Osaka, and Kyoto as their top must-go cities in Asia.

WriteNowNa at Kyoto Japan

Heian Shrine, Kyoto

As you pack your luggage and all ready to leave, here are some things to expect when going to the land of the rising sun.

1.Not everyone can speak English – even most hotel front desk officers or Starbucks baristas cannot converse effectively. But they are very kind and would be willing to exert an effort to somehow understand what we are trying to say. Practice the point system—like point the food you want from the picture menu with a smile.

2.Room is very small and bathroom smaller – whether you book from a hotel or Airbnb, you get to live in a really tiny space over the duration of your stay there. Anyway, you did not go to Japan to stay in a hotel so room size should not be a major problem.

3.They are a right-hand drive so direct your cautious eyes accordingly – coming from a country that has least respect to pedestrians, I kept on saying “aww” and “arigato” because drivers would automatically stop at the pedestrian crossings without a chase (as it should be).

4.Get ready to get lost on their train station maze – the transport system is very sophisticated and it is a delight to ride a train, even explore an underground shopping mall at some stations.

Japan Train Station Maze - WriteNowNa

Finding Our Way in Tokyo

5.When you are on the escalator, it is not an option to choose which side to stand if you are not moving up – make sure to be on the “left” and not block the way on the right where people will pass.

6.Smoking is very common and they do it just about anywhere – we even pass by at a restaurant that appears like it has fog machine inside because of the cigarette smoke fume from customers.

7.Lineup for matcha green tea or other food they love – this is serious, the queuing can go for one to two hours or even more! Yet they do it patiently, no cheats to sneak and no whines while on the line.

8.True to its promise, this is a real haven for ramen and coffee fanatics – most shops offer delicious ramen and strong fresh coffee brew even those stores that look strange, uninviting, and isolated.

Japan Coffee Shop - WriteNowNa

Somewhere in Nagoya

What amazes you the most? Looking forward to the next JaFun adventure!

Learn How to Successfully Work from Home!

I started my digital marketing career as a Content Writer and Virtual Assistant. I had a sensitive pregnancy and OB advised to stop my stressful job in advertising. It was not the bed-ridden type and I was still allowed to move, even teach part-time. But working a lot has been my life so going lay-low started to itch and knew the need to do more. While 4-month pregnant, I started exploring the possibility of working home-based but was not lucky to get a “real” client. Getting jobs from online freelancing portals was heartbreaking as the rate was way low and the load too much. Until one friend told me to apply for a writer and VA post with an office in Metro Manila; my bosses and colleagues were all Moms with strong professional background but have decided to work home-based to focus more on their families… the rest is history.

One of those brilliant Moms is Paula Uy, she now owns her own VA company. Paula is generous to share her expertise as she opens a great opportunity to people wanting (even dreaming) to work from home.

Virtual Assistant 101 with Paula Uy

Scope covers relevant topics, as follows:

  • Be informed about the variety of work–from-home opportunities available to you. You may already have the skills needed to become a VA. There are many overseas companies who outsource a variety of tasks — from social media management, content creation, administrative duties, and so on.
  • Know what you need to get started. You’ll get clued in on what you need to invest on in order to become a VA. You’ll find out what equipment or digital setup you can get to be an efficient and reliable VA.
  • Get clued in on how and where to find clients. Find out which online platforms or resources you should check out for job leads.
  • How to ensure you don’t get scammed. As with all other ventures, it helps to know which companies and clients are legitimate. You’ll get tips on how to spot possible scammers.

On top of this, what excites me is the evaluation on the most suitable work-from-home job for you based on your current skill level. I would not really discern “online marketing field as the work of my life” if I did not start as a Virtual Assistant.

The workshop is for two hours and will be held at Gather Café, BF Resort Drive, BF Resort Village, Las Pinas City.

There are slots available on the following workshop dates: June 5, 7, & 8 at 6PM. Just pick your preferred day and register for it.

Early bird: PHP 600.00 per person
Regular rate: PHP 800.00 per person

The early bird rate is available until May 20 only. Regular rates will apply after that.

Get ready to welcome your new career.  Register now!!

 

Tagaytay and its Beautiful Churches

Tagaytay is a go-to place for day tours and weekend escapade but it may not be the most solemn place to visit during Visita Iglesia (unless you are staying there). We tried going to these beautiful churches on a Good Thursday as part of our Lenten itinerary but we did not get beyond Casile Road as the traffic was not moving.

Lent or not, you can always pay a visit as these parishes offer a corner of solitude all year round.

  • Pink Sisters Convent – This is our favorite sanctuary. Writing a prayer request, seeing the nuns in pink praying near the altar, and experiencing the tranquil environment is always worth the trip.

Address: Brent Road, Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, 4120 Tagaytay City

Pink Sisters Convent

  • Our Lady of Lourdes Parish – It celebrates a lot of weddings and always full with crowd filling the patio on Sundays

Address: Tagaytay – Nasugbu Hwy, Silang Junction North, Tagaytay, Cavite (near Serin Ayala Mall)

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Tagaytay

  • Tierra de Maria – The chapel is easy to find with the huge shrine of Mama Mary but get ready to squeeze inside as the chapel area is really small.

Address: Tagaytay – Calamba Rd, Tagaytay, Cavite

Tierra de Maria Tagaytay

  • Ina ng Laging Saklolo – We usually attend a mass here with fewer crowd and the location is windy.

Address: Tagaytay – Calamba Rd, Tagaytay, Cavite (near Crosswind)

Ina ng Laging Saklolo Parish Tagaytay

Adding up to the list is Caleruega. It is in Batangas but still very near Tagaytay; wrote a separate blog back in 2015 and it remains to be an ideal destination for prayers.

Photo source: Facebook page and/or website of each Parish, if any.

On Freelancing: Craft Your Own Standard

Being a freelancer requires a lot of focus and demands a strong will to deliver on time, quality output. Perhaps there is never going to be a valid reason to not submit a deadline and we  must respect our commitment no matter what—rain or shine, wifi or none, feverish or not, with or without water and electricity… we do our job. At this stage of our career, we don’t have much luxury for vacation leaves or any form of leave in that context; unless it is way too critical and our clients simply understand our rare situation. I say rare because we can’t always run an excuse that we are sick or we have no internet access. It is frustrating to work with fellow freelancers giving so many scapegoats  and this behavior can give the entire freelancing community a negative impression.

Build our own standard and live it no matter what the circumstance offers us.

  1. At the onset, say no if you cannot submit from the given schedule of client; don’t get all the jobs  you cannot finish on time or worse, you cannot accomplish at all.
  2. Be more resourceful and don’t just stop when there is a technical hindrance. When you suddenly get a poor wifi connection at home, perhaps there are hotspots to consider or coffee shops to visit?
  3. Learn to troubleshoot when there are glitches as we have no local number to call the corporate’s IT department.
  4. Work in advance to avoid cramming. Come to meetings on time.
  5. Ideally, drop personal reasons as an attempt to escape what’s due.
  6. We all have so many things on our plate and to say we are “busy” is an insult to other people who are also busy but can perform well.
  7. Give client a heads-up for unavoidable scenarios leading to a possible delay of project submission.
  8. Do not just vanish. Answer calls and messages. At most time, we cannot acknowledge at once but get into the habit of calling back and replying within a 24-hour timeframe.

On Freelancing: Craft Your Own Standard - WriteNowNa

We choose our job and we must aim to excel in doing the tasks mandated to us; eye on properly serving clients following our strong professional protocol.

It’s Not Just the Shawarma

Most of us love eating shawarmas and kebabs. Now we see a lot of kiosks selling shawarma on-the-go and some with a buy-one-take-one treat. This is perhaps the most famous food to define Middle Eastern cuisine in the Philippines but it is not their sole entrée.

Middle Eastern cuisine is the cuisine of the various countries and peoples of the Middle East including Arab, Iranian/Persian, Israeli/Jewish, Assyrian, Kurdish, Cypriot, and Turkish cuisines. Some commonly used ingredients include olives and olive oil, pitas, honey, sesame seeds, dates, sumac, chickpeas, mint, rice, and parsley. Some popular dishes include kebabs, baklava, yogurt, and (of course) shawarma (Arabic word that means “turning”).

There are a couple of good places to dine when around BF Homes and yes, it is not just shawarma the we crave. There was even a week that Hubby and I ate a Middle Eastern food for four consecutive dinner just because we can’t get over hummus (mashed garbanzos and olive oil) with pita, chicken kebabs plus the garlic sauce, and basmati rice! Budget for two can cost about Php500 to 800.

  • Shawarma Snack Center (SSC)

42 President’s Avenue BF, Homes

El Grande Arcade, 316 El Grande Avenue, BF Homes

SSC is one of the oldest resto of its kind in the village and has expanded to two branches in the vicinity. The food is good but service not superb so I recommend for you to just enjoy the meal. They have made a lot of improvements on their ambiance but maybe a more welcoming staff can enhance the experience?

Shawarma Snack Center BF Homes

  • Tix Mix

215 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes

They have a good service among the other restos listed and the meal taste authentic but a bit pricey. Server not at all passive and gives his recommendations. No chicken chelo here but they have a yummy chicken biryani. Perhaps they can just create a more inviting outdoor façade? And don’t run out of hummus, please.

Tix Mix BF Homes

  • Uncle Moe’s Shawarma Hub

106 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes

Food has a small serving but still enjoyable although it is quite a struggle to get the attention of their servers despite the small rectangular structure of their restaurant. I wonder if they behave unenthusiastically with their other branches?

Uncle Moes BF Homes

  • Mister Kabab

Second Level, SM City BF Paranaque, BF Homes

We were a fun of Mister Kabab long ago (since their original Quezon City branch) and glad that it opened a resto nearby just last December 2018. They are consistent in delivering delicious food along with a not-superb service. And just curious why at SM BF, they put on the table a bland hummus and burned pita?

Mister Kabab BF Homes

There is just one restaurant  that we will never visit, Behrouz; all-time terrible service we cannot tolerate and menu list mostly out of stock. We tried coming back hoping for an improvement but there was just no effort.

Despite some bad reviews, I will still dine and love every moment eating kebabs from our top four list here! Their strong flavorful taste is just worth going again and again.

Note: Images c/o Facebook Fanpage

What to See at Las Casas Filipinas

Stepping into Las Casas is like having time-travel back to the old Philippines. It was enchanting to walk the cobblestone roads and enter homes of over a hundred-year-old. The cruise to the river and the swim at the beach sum up an ideal getaway for the family. It is a memorable place to spend a weekend with mostly warm and welcoming resort staff.

Home to Jose Acuzar’s collection of restored Spanish-Filipino houses, this resort in Bagac, Bataan is a reflection of Filipino craftsmanship intricately curated into a world-class historical haven.

Speckled with classic architecture, grandiose landscape, and spectacular waterworks, there is surely beauty to behold anywhere you go. Hop on the Tramvia and traverse along cultural routes through. Go on a fluvial adventure by taking the balsa, and see the casas in a totally different angle.

Las Casas also takes pride in being the only Philippine hotel to have received several international acclaims. Among its prestigious recognitions are being part of Historic Hotels Worldwide, and being awarded as Asia’s most excellent destination in 2017.*

Here’s a preview of your next trip!

WriteNowNa at Las Casas Filipinas

WriteNowNa at Las Casas Filipinas

WriteNowNa at Las Casas Filipinas

WriteNowNa at Las Casas Filipinas

WriteNowNa at Las Casas Filipinas

WriteNowNa at Las Casas Filipinas

WriteNowNa at Las Casas Filipinas

WriteNowNa at Las Casas Filipinas

WriteNowNa at Las Casas Filipinas

WriteNowNa at Las Casas Filipinas

WriteNowNa at Las Casas Filipinas

WriteNowNa at Las Casas Filipinas

The view is completely mesmerizing and the feel can be surreal! But not to burst the bubble and to manage expectations, here are the other realities when you get there:

Accessoria 2

Accessoria 2

  • We were at Accessoria 2 and our room has the only veranda at the building, the beach view is wonderful along with the sunset! Room is spacious but facilities not very nice. Broken hangers and doorknobs, not a clean flooring,  and we were served with a smashed coffee cups and it took them one day to replace it on top of doing three follow-ups.
  • House Keeping service is very slow and it takes a while for them to answer a phone call.
  • Hotel walkway has piles of extra beds and not a sight to behold when getting into your room.
Hotel de Oriente

Hotel de Oriente

  • Breakfast buffet at Hotel de Oriente has no brewed coffee on the first day; the staff said only instant is usually served. I requested if they can prepare brewed on the second day, alas… they did!
  • The kitchen crew is very consistent of not refilling the food plate asap. You get to finish your breakfast without having a taste of the scrambled eggs and longganiza unless you are willing to wait…
  • The Filipino and Italian restaurants found inside are good but a bit pricey considering the taste and size of serving. To go outside and sneak for dinner, it t takes about 20km drive to a nearby mall.
  • There are still a lot of constructions situated at the entrance but it will surely be exciting to see the finished designs in two to three years’ time.

Hopeful that *Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar  Management is open to improve these aspects of the resort so they can fully offer a grander experience to visitors. Afterall, it is still a “Salud, Buena Vida – Mabuhay!”

The Grinch at Work

Christmas is a season of loving and giving. This is also good time to be more understanding of everyone around us. Grab along a cheerful spirit and the holidays will surely bring wonderful memories.

But as much as we aim to be all positive and happy, there are just people that can still drive as nuts with their actions towards work. They are just peeking negatively at their will like a Grinch and it’s just very hard to contain their presence. While waiting on a coffeeshop for my next meeting, I can’t help but relate some random Christmas images to somewhat “Grinchy” scenario at work.

Reindeer about to fly

There is a deadline due for the day and they know it. You expect the report on the mailbox but nothing is there. They have agreed and committed to submit but where is the file? As professionals, we don’t need constant reminders of our deliverables. We must work on it… no buts and ifs. We just cannot reason out, taka sudden vacations, and fly like Santa’s reindeer then assume a new task without first accomplishing what was agreed.

Surprise Christmas gifts

You have conducted a meeting to scope the project and have neatly identified the assignment of each team member. You finished the meeting—all set and ready to execute… as you start implementing the work, here comes add-ons from here and there! Additional major activity not initially mentioned but now added because of its so-called “importance and urgency”. Why wasn’t this raised during the planning stage again? For sure, this is the kind of surprise I’m not excited to accept. Would you take it?

The many smiling elves

I see all nodding heads at the boardroom and smiling faces on the presentations, so you think client is happy? A nod and smile are good signs, right? Approve, yes! Until you get a call asking for a total revision because apparently, you did not meet the big boss and he did not like what you just presented to his nodding minions; then of course they cannot endorse the deck to him… not a single one took the courage. Perhaps at first, they liked it but when the big boss says otherwise, they immediately turned their back without defending what they just approved.

Sad Christmas bell

Have you met someone who is always negative despite accomplishment? Those who would linger on the failures and gossips even after a winning pitch? You are all set to be merry and bright but she is the sole soul in the office who remains frowning and no inspirational-kind-of-talk would cheer her up!

The Owl

While there are some with no respect to office hours and what would have been a no-work holiday. He adores giving tasks just when you are about to sign off and sending endless to-dos tagged as “rush” just before you sleep. So there, the team is forced to go wide awake even during wee hours and push to deliver.

Confused Santa


Being indecisive prolongs the project at a high cost and uncertainty can lose the team’s momentum… so really, what are we going to do? No matter what is our corporate position, we make decisions. Evaluate thoroughly and stick to it. It cannot be yes today and no tomorrow or in between an hour after.

These are just an unfortunate few encounters but thankful to have worked with more people professing good work ethics and delivering excellent output.

May our work be constantly productive and successful.

May our Christmas be surrounded by people who are true and loyal.

May we remain optimistic whatever we do and obedient to our Jesus wherever we go!

A Merry CHRISTmas to You!

Career Talk to Grade 10 Students, What to Say?

Early this November, Hubby and I were invited to conduct a Career Talk to Grade 10 students (fourth year highschool); the Guidance Counselor requested us to individually share some pointers regarding work and our overall thoughts about possible college courses to pursue. He was assigned to discuss Performing Arts while I was to tackle Management/Marketing.

I have not really thought much of my career journey and still clueless on what to say other than the adventure—how one ended up to another and thus leading to what I do now. It was fun preparing the deck as I recall my days in highschool, in college, in masteral and all the work I’ve done up to landing into online marketing—it was quite a lot of jobs!

WriteNowNa Career Talk

Students and professionals alike and whatever path we are taking, I realized that there are special traits that we must live on everyday; this may serve as an appropriate reminder to keep us on the ground. Yes it may sound like a cliché but as a practitioner and giving advice to the future of Philippine manpower, it still make sense to reiterate these attributes:

  • Eye on your goals
  • Stay motivated
  • Continue to persevere
  • Be nice to people
  • Make sure to give your best
  • Work (the) hard—est!
  • Love what you do
  • Invest on your skills
  • Be open to opportunities – JUMP!

I must say these additional to-dos play a huge part to secure success, too! Something that they can apply now, no need to wait.

  • Know your grammar by heart
  • Hone your writing skill
  • Get that habit of reading
  • Learn proper presentation skills
  • Earn the confidence to speak in front of the crowd
  • Have that hunger to learn more
  • Get in control of your emotion

I’ve seen many who struggle to get a promotion just because they can’t write properly and  cannot talk confidently well. Or they simply refuse to learn something new. They become stagnant given their position and merely stop growing. We don’t have to be a master or first-class presenter but we just have to own the stage when it’s given to us. Whatever is our chosen career path, there is always a long letter to make and a tedious report to present… we should be able to harness those skills while in school then apply all together in our career. What’s that one best advice you heard when studying and what would you give now to those asking for it?