Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011 : Emmanuel by Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ




Emmanuel by Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ

Isang dalaga'y maglilihi
Batang lalaki ang sanggol
Tatawagin Siyang Emanuel
Emanuel

Isang dalaga'y maglilihi
Batang lalaki ang sanggol
Tatawagin Siyang Emanuel
Emanuel

Magalak isinilang ang Poon
Sa sabsaban Siya'y nakahimlay
Nagpahayag ang mga anghel
"Luwalhati sa Diyos!"

Isang dalaga'y maglilihi
Batang lalaki ang sanggol
Tatawagin Siyang Emanuel
Emanuel

Isang dalaga'y maglilihi
Batang lalaki ang sanggol
Tatawagin Siyang Emanuel
Emanuel

Isang dalaga'y maglilihi
Batang lalaki ang sanggol
Tatawagin Siyang Emanuel
Emanuel

Kahuluga'y "Nasa atin ang Diyos!"
"Nasa atin ang Diyos!"
"Nasa atin ang Diyos!"

- - -

Kuya B (3 yrs. old): "Mama, whose birthday is it?"
Kuya B's Mom: "Anak, we're celebrating the birthday of Jesus."

I had not heard those words mentioned in a looooonnnnnnggggg time.
So much so that I consider myself blessed to have been reminded of
the true reason for Christmas.

A Blessed Christmas to you and your family!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Day in the Life of an Overseas Filipino

The December 2011 Calendar

My goodness, how time flies! I can't believe it's been a week since M and I moved
into our new home. I'm really happy that the family is finally together again.

As you can see, we're starting over... I thought it was about time we made a
calendar for our Christmas activities... Unfortunately, we didn't have a printer,  
so I hand made the calendar instead. 

Yes, moving overseas is not just about packing your bags and leaving; more
so when there are kids involved. This move has long been planned and prayed 
for. Our non negotiable: we'll do this only if the family can be together.

I share this because I know many Filipinos dream of living overseas. Don't 
just jump and take the plunge. Pray and discern. Research and prepare as
much as you can. 

If you're leaving a spouse or child behind, give yourself a deadline for how 
long you will be apart. Learn from the mistakes of others; there are way too 
many broken OFW families. Refuse to be a statistic!

A new adventure has begun. It is scary and exciting at the same time. We 
continue to pray for His blessing, guidance and grace.

p.s. I just realized that I did not say much about what my day is like... It's 
not all set yet... However, the goal is for me to do VA work during the 
evenings so that I can take care of M during the day. 
... Oh yes, the calendar photo is dark as it was taken late in the evening...  
Computers and toddlers don't exactly work well together...  As such, I have
limited my computer use to late at night... 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy 11/11/11!

I was trying to be cute when I took this picture.
Little did I know that it was a sign of things to come.

M and I started the day by reading these books:
Ang Mabait na Kalabaw
Go Baby Jaguar
Daniel and the Lions
Once Upon a Potty

Had breakfast... Checked emails... Made calls...
Then it was off to the bankS to settle stuff...
Oooh, the Soderno @ Molito Tent is up.
Can't wait for the Soderno Nov 18 Opening!
Boy was it hot!

Walked over to Jollibee for a quick lunch.
I decided to try the Jollibee Chicken and Mushroom Pasta.
Hmmm, can you guess the taste by the appearance??? LOL.

Rushed off to a seminar that shall not be named!
Staff: The Seminar starts at 2:00pm. You are 8 minutes late.
Me: But the traffic was terrible and I travelled so far!
Staff: Be early next time. You need to fill up the forms BEFORE 2:00pm.
Me: Can I submit the forms now and just attend the seminar next week?
Staff: No. Come back next week.
Me: Grrrrrrrrrrrr...

Dropped by SM and bought a few stuff.
Oh yeah, it was still super hot outside!!!
Who said 11/11/11 was a lucky day???
Yes, I was still on Grrrrrrrrrrrr mode....

 Decided to cool down with a Serenitea Okinawa Milk Tea
50% Sweetness with Pearl and Panna Cotta
Ahhhhh... Things were beginning to pick up...

Now THIS reaaaaallly made my day!

Got home just in time for Skype with H.
Had breaded chicken for dinner.

Watched the kids while they were at play.
Z fished out this hammering set from the "parked toys" area.
Suddenly, this old toy was cool again.

Ended the day by putting M to sleep.


11/11/11 is part of my 101 Things in 1001 Days Challenge... I'm quite happy that
my documentation for 11/11/11 turned out a lot better than last year's and the year before's.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Setting Up a Home Management Notebook System



Sometime during my first year of marriage, I ran across Simple Mom's Home 
Management Notebook System. I didn't think much of it then as it was just H 
and I. However, now that we have a toddler in the family, there's a real need 
to be more organized with the way we manage our home. 

In a nutshell, a Home Management Notebook is a home version of a work 
planner. It's most useful for:
- Work At Home Moms: there's the challenge of getting work done at home
- Homeschooling Moms: the home has to function as the kid/s' school too
- Large Family Moms: the home seems to need more organization when there's 
  more than 1 child around
- Busy Moms: the moms who manage multiple projects at any given time  
- Organizing Junkies: for those who want to do things just because 

If you're interested in setting up your own Home Management Notebook 
System, here are some free resources that can help get you started:
* A Bowl Full of Lemons has an inspiring reader challenge
* First Day of My New Life provides a useful list of printables  
* Design Finch also provides free printables

The family's big move is now set. The storage box sitting by the door is a physical 
reminder that big changes are on the way. I pray that I can continue on with my 
work at home set up; but I am keeping myself open to all the opportunities of my 
new home. If you haven't guessed yet, setting up a Home Management Notebook 
System is my current mental and emotional blankie. Better and brighter days up 
ahead!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pinterest is so addicting!


Lately, something has been keeping me up late at night... It's that offbeat little
site called Pinterest! Pinterest is a virtual pin board that allows you to organize
and share all the interesting stuff you find online. Talk about eye candy; Pinterest
has got me dreaming and drooling for good eats, exotic locales, beautiful clothes
and more!

And it's not just me!!! Apparently, it's now Techcrunch worthy =)

If you think it's all look and see, well, there are people out there who actually
challenge themselves to create stuff they find on Pinterest.

If you're looking for something new to do or if you're feeling curious about
what people elsewhere are doing, drop by Pinterest and be amazed at what's
happening around the globe.

Need a pinterest invite? Subscribe to Pinay Mom Adventures and send an email to:
emailmamamia@gmail.com

Monday, November 7, 2011

05 Nov '11 Manila Virtual Assistant Seminar


Whoopee! Pinay Mom Adventures is nearing it's 100th Post! As a way of celebrating,
I decided to pay it forward by giving a short sharing at the Nov. 5 How to be a Virtual
Assistant Seminar. Yes, I attended this Seminar last April 2010 and have been a Work
at Home Mom since then. Who would have thought huh?

And yet, I could not help but feel excited by the new insights gained from the Virtual
Assistant Seminar. New tools, new approaches and new friends. Thank you Jomar,
staffers and attendees; I had a blast! See you all online!

If you missed the Nov. 5 Virtual Assistant Seminar, you may want to check out the
online version here:  http://bit.ly/onlinevaseminar


Image courtesy of Jomar Hilario

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sesame Street New Season: Math and Science focus



I have to admit that when I was a kid, I adored Sesame Street. Well, I still do. Sesame
Street was a fun and educational show that I could easily watch in the morning or
in the afternoon (tv time was dependent on my school schedule). Back then, it was
NORMAL to be bilingual. The kids of our generation spoke --- and can speak ---
English and Filipino; thanks in part to The Muppets. And yes, we didn't make a big
deal out of it. It was what it was.

So, if Sesame Street can teach the kids of today English and Math and Science, then
I'm all for it!


p.s.
M is still not allowed to watch tv. We're still holding out for when he hits 2 yrs old.
By then, we will definitely stick to a few select tv shows. Of course, Sesame Street
will be on the list.


Video courtesy of ABC News

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

3 Tips on How to Successfully Complete the VA Seminar Assignment


*** December 2014 Update ***

Technology changes and so must we. Use the tools that are recommended in
the VA Seminar. Yes, Blogger may not even be there anymore. Good luck! :)

--------------------------------------
After more than a year of dilly-dally and delay, I am FINALLY doing the VA
Assignment for the Virtual Assistant Seminar. You see, I attended the VA
Seminar last year and I've been working as a Virtual Assistant for more than
a year now. It's been really great. Now, it's time for better and brighter things.

So what's the VA Assignment for? Well, it's supposed to serve as my online
portfolio. Of course, if I had done the VA Assignment last year, like I was
supposed to, I would now just easily send my resume to prospective clients.
Unfortunately, I didn't. Soooooo, I've been working on it lately, again.
Reality bites huh.


3 Tips on How to Successfully Complete the VA Seminar Assignment:

1. Plan
    Most people dont finish the VA Assignment because they feel overwhelmed
    by what needs to be done. STOP! Affirm yourself that you're going to
    get it done.
 
    That being said,
    a. Decide on when you will work on the assignment. Daily? Weekly?
        I suggest scheduling this to coincide with your inspired moments.
    b. Decide on which tasks to work on first. Don't expect to do it all at the
        same time.
    c. Look at what others have done. Gain some inspiration and get some tips
        on how to go about doing it all.
    c. Join the FB Group and ask questions from others as needed.

2. Do
    Just do it. One step at time. Rest when you feel tired. Afterwards, work on
    it again.

3. Check then Act
    If you noticed, Check then Act are nicely bundled together. Why? Avoid
    the common mistake of analysis by paralysis; move move move.

    At the end of each week, assess what you've accomplished. Check to see
    if you're progressing as planned. Make the necessary adjustments so that
    you can work better towards completing your goal of submitting your
    VA Assignment. Stop only when you're done.


My Progress
I'm probably 15% done; still have a looooooong way to go. I am terribly
resisting the urge to just get the VA Assignment done and over with.
It's important to do a good job because completing the assignment will
result in more online mileage; it will show if you put in the effort or if you
did things half baked. Patience truly is a virtue.


Need a little more motivation? You might want to read this and this on why
I use blogger.


Want to know more about the VA Seminar I attended?
Click here for details on the Online Virtual Assistant Seminar:
           http://bit.ly/onlinevaseminar

Go here for more details on the Virtual Assistant Seminar (Live Event):
           http://bit.ly/vaseminarlive


Image courtesy of bludgeoner86

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Holstee Manifesto


The Holstee Manifesto is just what you need to start your week on an inspired note.
A great week to all!


Image courtesy of Holstee

Friday, September 16, 2011

S&R Sale on September 14 - 18, 2011


The much awaited S&R Sale is here again! The S&R Sale is on from Sept 14-18, 2011
with Shopping Hours from 8:00am to 9:00pm. Stores taking part in the S&R sale
include: Bonifacio Global City, Congressional, Alabang and Aseana-Baclaran.

Remember to fill up that raffle coupon. The lucky winner gets one Mercedes Benz!
Raffle draw is on October 31, 2011.

Drop by and take home cartloads of premium shopping at great savings!


Image courtesy of S&R

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Here's the Proof! Statistics on Filipino Online Usage

47% of the Philippines' urban population are Internet users... This increase has 
been consistent across different regions, social classes and age groups, with a 
marked increase among 15- to 24-year-olds from 57 percent to 71 percent this 
2011. - Synovate (Philippine Daily Inquirer)


 Image courtesy of invesp

The Philippines is one of the Top 10 Growing Countries in E-Commerce Usage.


Image courtesy of Philippine Daily Inquirer

And there's no denying that the Philippines garnered the highest online fan votes
for the 2011 Miss Universe Pageant. Big Congratulations to Shamcey Supsup for
being the 3rd Runner Up of Miss Universe 2011.


As a Virtual Assistant, I sometimes get asked if Online Marketing is just a fad;
if it's really necessary or it's just some hype created by a select few. I hope these
numbers have convinced you enough that Online Marketing is here to stay.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Starbucks Creme Brulee Macchiato + New Breakfast Items


September 13, Starbucks Phlippines will once again be offering the Starbucks
Crème Brûlée Macchiato. What's so great about the Starbucks Crème Brûlée
Macchiato? Cream,  caramel and chocolate, of course!

Starbucks Crème Brûlée Macchiato
The warm flavors of the Crème Brûlée Macchiato are a perfect companion for
every day. It’s a creamy mix of crème brûlèe flavored syrup and freshly steamed
milk marked with intense Starbucks espresso, topped with velvety foam and
finished with a roasty, dark caramel drizzle on top.

You can enjoy your Starbucks Crème Brûlée Macchiato hot, iced and as a Frappucino.


Starbucks Breakfast Menu
Need another reason to drop by your nearest Starbucks store? Look no further,
the new additions to the Starbucks Breakfast Menu are definitely worth a try!

In Search of Something Sweet
- French Toast with Maple Syrup
- Banana Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Looking for Something Savory
- Roast Chicken Egg Cup Toast (think quiche)
- Spam, Egg and Cheese on Cornmeal Bread
- Turkey and Chicken Ham, Egg White and Emmenthal on Whole Wheat
  Cornmeal Bread
- Vigan Longganiza, Egg and Mozzarella on Whole Wheat Pandesal
 
Definitely Not just Vegetarian
- Spinach, Artichoke, Mushroom and Mozzarella on Rye Bread
- Spinach, Feta and Egg Wrap

 Yum yum yum!



Image courtesy of Starbucks

38,000 Millionaires (US$) in the Philippines by 2015


Over the weekend, Z mentioned that Php50million in the bank is the bare 
minimum for a Pinoy to be considered rich these days. 

I wondered, How many people actually have this much assets??? 
Well according to Julius Baer - "The Philippines will have 38,000 millionaires 
(in US$) by 2015". Hence, the Php50million number.

I'm not quite sure when Php50million became the gold standard but I must
admit I wasn't paying attention when this figure was pegged. I mean is this
really an exact science? And if it is, what should it mean to me?

If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there. - Yogi Berra, 
American Baseball Player and Team Manager

The short conversation that I had made me realize how much I've changed 
through the years. You see, 10 years ago, I was like other people; listening 
and believing others who had a definition for rich and successful. This brought
me some heartache because I was apparently chasing after things that were 
unimportant to me. 

At some point, I woke up and realized, "Hey, wait a minute, this isn't what 
I want." I then started making life choices based on what I assessed would 
work best for me.  I'm happy to say that at this point, I'm quite happy with 
the decisions I've made.

Some people will scoff at what I said and write me off as naive. But you 
know, the thought of that doesn't really bother me. C'est la vie. We all have 
our own reasons for being. Others have the right to be them, I have the right 
to be me, and you have the right to be you. 


Image courtesy of areasauburnphotos


p.s. So what about the state of our economy? Don't get me wrong, the more
financially stable we are as a people, the better. But I'm less hung up on
the ultra rich. What I'm hoping for is for the Philippines to have a stronger
middle class.

You don't need Php50Million to be middle class. But you do need enough
money to have a home, provide for your children, retire comfortably and then
give some to those still trying to get there.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Start Now and Use Blogger


Starting something new is a difficult thing. You may have your reasons, here are some
of mine:
- There's always tomorrow.
- It's too hard.
- What if?!?
- It's gonna explode!
- Do I really have it in me to do this?
And on, and on, and on....

Yesterday, I asked everyone to make a wild guess on what The Sartorialist, 
Vosgesparis, and Ode Boutique had in common.

The usual answer: fashion, style, artistic and black + white. Okay these
are all true. But....


THE ANSWER:  Blogger.com


Whaaaaaat?!? Yes, this is a "technical" post of sorts...


The Sartorialist
Yes, The Sartorialist has been using blogger since time immemorial. You don't believe
me? Use the original URL: http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com and see where you'll end 
up. Okay, he recently switched to Wordpress. But there's no denying that he did really 
well when he was still using blogger; think Time Magazine 2007 Style and Design 100
and paid advertisements from fashion brands.

VosgesParis
I love VosgesParis for its minimalist zen type approach to home design. VosgesParis 
is obviously an artist. But I love the fact that that she mildly tweaked her blogger theme
to make it all her own. 

Ode Boutique
Who would have guessed that Ode Boutique is running on Blogger. Even more
surprising is the fact that web developers now get paid to do Blogger design and 
development. I'm sure hard core developers will be screaming in protest. In the
end, it boils down to what works for the client. Interesting!!!


And so, to all who've been deliberating and delaying on starting their 1st website,
my suggestion to you is this: Start Now and Use Blogger. Blogger really is the
simplest thing to use. You can always move on to other platforms. What's most
important is that you take that first step and get yourself online. And......

May that first step bring you to better and brighter things!


Image courtesy of Blogger.com

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What do these 3 sites have in common? --- It's not what you think!









What do these 3 sites have in common? --- It's not what you think! 
Make a wild guess and send me your thoughts. 
The answer comes out tomorrow. 
Enjoy!


Image courtesy of the sartorialist, vosgesparis and odeboutique.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

3 Homeschool Activities for 1.5yrs


As I've mentioned here, I am still trying to get my act together when it comes
to M's homeschooling program. I started yet again a few weeks ago when it
dawned on me that M had hit the 1.5yr mark. So far so good.

3 Homeschool Activities we've been doing lately:

1. Read Books
I now make it a point to read a few books to M first thing in the morning. We
usually read what's available but I try to buy one new book every two weeks.
We then rotate the books to prevent boredom from creeping in.

I know some people like to read to their children at night. Great too! It just
doesn't work as well for us. Reading books at night is more of a quieting
down before bedtime activity for us.

2. Read Playcards (Glenn Doman)
We're back to our playcards and M seems to enjoy reading them. I really need
to create new cards because we're almost done with the current set. We still
don't watch tv so an e-version is not yet in the plans.

I just realized that I never got to properly explaining what these playcards are
all about. I'll try to talk about them more in one of my next posts.

3. Play Play Play
I would love to say color or write but in reality, M doesn't seem to enjoy these
activities yet. It's usually a case of me doing the coloring with him playing beside
me. We've already gone through an entire coloring book and he still hasn't
warmed up to it yet. Looks like I'll have to try again next time.

M really enjoys playing at this point. Thankfully, Kuya Z is more than willing to
share his toys. The challenge is for Mama to create fun + learning play for M.

Other activities I've got lined up:
- Tot Trays: I am specially interested in the trays that are focused on teaching
  practical life skills. I've begun gathering materials and we'll be working on
  these soon.
- Math Playcards (Glenn Doman): Hmmm, I have to create them first!
- Singapore Math: I still have to figure out when and how to teach the concepts
  to M. If I'm in town this October 8, I'll be seeing you all at the Singapore Math
  Learning Festival at the AIM.
- More more more... I've been so blessed to have come across so much material
  online and offline. The possibilities are endless! It's now are matter of choosing
  activities that will help M the most.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Whaaat??? Flash Cards at 1.5 yrs?!?


The energy of a 1.5yr old is just mind boggling! Thankfully, there are times
in the day when M himself decides that it's time to slow down the pace a bit.
It's hard to miss, he will suddenly grab his books then sit on the floor to read.

I make it a point to read to M first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
Any other time is free for all. Apparently, Mama's words are sometimes just
too slow for the pace that he likes.

I recently bought M a pack of the Dora the Explorer Preschool Flash Cards.
Sorry to burst your bubble, I too would love to be the perfect crafty mom.
But I'm not, I buy when there's no time and/or no energy to make.  The grand
plan was to use the flash cards for a future memory game. Of course, I couldn't
resist, I opened the pack and M and I now look at the shape and color cards
every so often. Later on, we'll rotate the cards and then look at the number cards.

Okay, I can imagine a few of you saying: "Whaaat? Flash cards at his age?!?
Poor M!" But I beg to disagree. He doesn't see them as flash cards in the literal
sense. I do believe that he considers the cards as just one of the stuff thats
around to play with and explore.

"How sure are you that these flash cards are not causing M psychological nor
emotional trauma blah blah blah blah blah???"
Well, his favorite shape is not circle, nor triangle…  But Baaackpaaack!
See, M is very much a kid who's having some fun :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thank you!






Thank you Teacher Weena for this heart warming message!
And a big thank you to everyone for your love and support!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

How to Conquer Overwhelm


The cheque is in the bank. The kid is tucked in. The hubby is prepared for our big 
move. And yet I can't shake off the feeling that something is amiss. Why why why?

3 Things Im doing to conquer the Big Overwhelm:

1. Revisiting my Goals and Priorities.
Im blessed because I can still afford to be a WAHM. However, being a WAHM
doesn't mean I have all the time in the world to do the stuff that I want to do. 
Yes I've managed to get rid of the travel time but I'm just as busy as when I had the 
corporate job. 

One activity I've had to rethink is homeschooling. My homeschooling attempts
have been on and off. It seems more realistic to do it less frequently but more
consistently for a longer period of time. Meaning, I should ditch the grand plan
of homeschooling everyday because 3x a week is really more sustainable. Then
when we do our big move; M will probably attend school; I will just focus on
providing quality after school activities. This makes more sense than me worrying
that M isn't getting the education that he needs.

2. Embracing my humanity.
I am not a superwoman. And it's okay that I am not. So some things are not
working out in the way that I'd want them to. No use kicking myself on things
that are clearly unrealistic. I can accept that certain things don't fit. I can adjust. 
I can create new plans. I can do other things to achieve the same end goals.

3. Recharging my spirituality.
I definitely need to get my prayer time back into gear. I need God to enlighten me
on what needs doing and what needs pruning. I need Him to provide me with
courage and strength for the challenges up ahead. And I need Him to teach me
to appreciate the blessings and opportunities that I'm overlooking. Oh yeah, only 
He can assure me that things will work out.

I guess I'm like most women; trying hard to be a superwoman when all I really 
need to be is myself.


Image courtesy of daedalust

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Giant Foam Blocks



M occasionally plays with his folding sleeping mat. He pushes it around, stomps
on it and hides behind it. I can only imagine what he'd be doing if he had his hands 
on these giant foam blocks! Unfortunately, they're not readily available here.

I've been toying with the idea of heading over to the Uratex Factory and having 
something similar done. However, that would translate to me owning another 
thing to sell, leave behind or ship out (depending on how attached we get to it). 
And, that's my dilemma. Oh well, maybe next time.


Images courtesy of Google Images

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

McDo Philippines is giving away FREE COFFEE


McDonald's Philippines is giving away FREE COFFEE this August 8 - 12
from 4:00am to 10:30am. I'll be honest, free coffee is not a compelling enough
reason for me to head over to the nearest McDonald's store (5 minutes away
via car or jeep). However, I am a sucker for Sausage McMuffin. Hmmm,
I sense a forthcoming trip to McDo...

Click on the McDo Philippines FB Page for the details.


Image courtesy of McDo Philippines

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A DFA Red Ribbon Experience


Anyone who's been overseas or headed there will tell you that every so often, your
new home may require a Red Ribbon (Consular Ribbon) of your documents. This
needs to be done at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) --- old building.

Whaaat???

The new DFA is where Philippine Passports are processed, that's along Macapagal
Highway. The old DFA is where the Red Ribbon for documents are done, that's along
Roxas Boulevard. I will repeat that again, the old DFA is along Roxas Boulevard.
One more time, the old DFA is along Roxas Boulevard.

If you've never been to the old DFA, be extra careful not to believe people who tell
you there's another old DFA building --- oh, it's just 5 minutes from the real DFA.
Unfortunately, I've been to enough satellite offices to know that government offices
come in all shapes and sizes. Fortunately, my B.S. detector was working despite the
heavy rains --- that office looked way too small to be the real DFA. I'm sure the
numerous documents there belonged to other people whom they've duped into availing
of their services.

I thankfully found my way back to the real DFA and got my documents after an hour
or so of waiting. Oh yes, I just had to pay Php100 at the real DFA cashier.

So again, the old DFA is along Roxas Boulevard.

Department of Foreign Affairs (old)
2330 Roxas Boulevard
Pasay City, 1300
Philippines


Image courtesy of DFA Philippines




Sunday, June 26, 2011

What is a Digital Nomad?

Image courtesy of kangotraveler

In the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of people
hopping off from one country to another. Real people who've decided to ditch regular
life as we know it to head off to some other part of the world. You may know them
as digital nomads, location independents and vagabonds. Tim Ferriss of the 4 Hour 
Work Week, you sure put a lot of icing on this cake.

I had a funny conversation with my mom on why digital nomads, location independents
and vagabonds exist. You have to understand, there are many Overseas Filipino
Workers aka OFWs living and working in various parts of the world. OFWs usually
go overseas because there are better job prospects overseas. Yes, it is usually a case
of necessity. Most would rather be at home with their families; if only...

On the other hand, digital nomads, location independents and vagabonds, go overseas
for more personal reasons. They usually just want to experience what life has to offer
in this side of the world. Yes, a great number of them are here in Asia. Lo and behold,
a bunch of them were recently in my backyard for their MBA. They're here to try out
the food, the culture and the slower pace of life. Of course, it's a plus that their Dollars
and Euros go a long way here.

Mind you, this lifestyle is not just for slackers. A good number of them are
entrepreneurs. And how do they manage that? Virtual Assistants, like myself, are
hired by these digital nomads, location independents and vagabonds to ensure that
work gets done even while they're in some tropical isle.

If you're wondering, Is this for real? Or, Has the world really changed that much?
Oh yes, it most definitely has.

My life as a Virtual Assistant is taking on a new direction; hopefully for the better.
I will try to post more on this. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My 2011 Mid Year Assessment

Image by fboyd

I'm a bit disappointed with things. For the longest time, I've been
trying to be disciplined about the frequency of my blogging. In the
first half of 2011, I've attended this and done this just to keep the
momentum rolling. I was blogging pretty regularly this April and
May until reaaalllly bad internet connection started the decline.

Excuses. Excuses.

Now that Im back at square one, allow me to share with you the
learnings I gained when I was in better form.

1. SEO is a discipline.
Yes, I HAD proudly hit the Google Search front page for "Pinoy Mom".
Whooooppeeeee! And then --- I stopped blogging --- and now I'm back
to 3rd Page which is really nowhere because nobody checks the 3rd
Page.

Lesson learned: First work on getting to the top, then work on staying
on top.

2. Promote Promote Promote
This might come as a shock to some of you but, I'm a pretty private
person. It just so happens that I like to write. Anyway, I've been
blogging for 2 1/2 yrs now but not that many people knew that. When
I finally out-ed myself as a blogger, I was pleasantly surprised by the
encouragement I received from friends. Oh yeah, that helped improve
my blog stats too.

Lesson learned: There are people out there who're wanting and waiting
to read your story. Be bold and let them know that you're online.

3. Live your best life.
I am pretty blessed because I'm in a happy place. Life is not perfect
but I'm finally at a point where I'm enjoying the ride. Of course, it
wasn't always this way. Once upon a time, I too had a job that just
paid the bills. But I didn't let it end there. I went about finding
what life had to offer. I'm not totally there yet. But I'd like to
think that Im on my way there. As a bonus, I get affirmed by those
who've told me they've been inspired by the blog.

Lesson learned: You deserve the best that life has to offer. Take
baby steps if you must but dont stop until you're where you're meant
to be.


Don't you stil have the rest of June?!?

If you think this assessment has come out too early, it hasn't. I
have big stuff headed my way in the next few months. My options -
work scared or work excited. I'll be honest and say I'm forging ahead
with a cocktail of both. I will update you all as things progress. Wish
me luck!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Exploding Watermelons in China

>

This is definitely something that I do NOT want ending up on our plate!
I don't get it and I don't want to start getting it! I hope people learn their
lesson and stop overdoing it with the chemicals.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Philippines is the Social Networking Capital of the World

Image courtesy of Nations Online

According to 24/7 Wall St., The Philippines is the Social Networking Capital
of the World!

Im sure this comes to no surprise for most Pinoys. I'm probably not the only one
to notice a decrease in emails and sms, and an increase in Facebook posts from
friends. How about hanging out with friends? I think that has gone down
too --- people don't bother to meet up as much because the latest news is on
Facebook for all to see.

Facebook is actually quite useful. You have to understand, most, if not all Pinoys
know at least one person who has moved to another province or another country
(any OFW reading this???). Relationships are highly valued in Filipino culture. Thus,
it is only normal that we Filipinos find ways to connect to family and friends. Thank
you Facebook for making things a lot easier for us.

However, bragging rights aside, we Filipinos just have to be careful that we're not
overdoing all this. Sure, Facebook is a great means of communicating with others.
But let's not allow Facebook to hamper our personal and professional lives. It's
important that we strike a balance between our online and offline activities.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Be Gentle

Image courtesy of lrargerich

Discipline
- "In the field of child development, discipline refers to methods of modeling 
character and of teaching self-control and acceptable behavior." - Wikipedia

Since day one, we've encouraged M to be gentle with people. M is allowed
to rough up his toys as much as he pleases but with people, he knows  
enough to be gentle. 

Our small successes:
- When M was a newborn, I would tell him while BF, "Be gentle." I'm proud
to say that M has only bit me twice.
- When M was a few months old, I would allow him to touch my face. I
would always say, "Be gentle." I'm happy to say M never got into the 
habit of hitting people.
- When M was more than a year old and hitting could have turned into 
a way of venting out frustration, M remembered that he should be gentle
with his cousins.
- Just this weekend, at 1 year 3 mo.s, M sat beside Lola C, his 90+ yr 
old great-great-grand ma, and gently caressed her arm. Yup, 1 chalk up
for being gentle.

"Be Gentle" is a simple, loving and age appropriate way for us to teach M
discipline. We're starting young because good habits don't just happen overnight;
good habits need to be developed over time. I hope this encourages you to
discover simple, loving and age appropriate ways to teach discipline to your
child.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5B


Oh my gosh! Just read the news, Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5Billion.
I will definitely be on the look out for news on Microsoft's plans for Skype.

You have to understand, H and I use Skype everyday. Why? First, because
it's free. Second, because the quality of one's conversation tremendously
improves when it's a face to face communication. I've noticed that OFWs
who use Skype have better family relationships than those who only use
audio communication. 

I'm oh so hoping that Microsoft's plans for Skype include retaining the free
plan. I guess it's now a game of wait and see.

How to Praise a Child

Image courtesy of Kneff Photography

Did you know that when it comes to praising --- you can have too much of 
a good thing? 

I'm sure you've heard parents and teachers say this one too many times, 
"Great job!" Heck, I do this too! However, if not done properly, adults
could be producing "praise addict" children. A praise addict child is one
that needs constant praise. This can turn into an insecurity when pleasing
others becomes the child's main motivation. The need for praise can become
a hindrance for learning when the child avoids challenging activities because
he/she feels the outcome will not be praised.

Let me emphasize that nobody is contesting the need to praise a child. 
Instead, we're being asked to reconsider the way we praise a child. Aha!

Back then, we were told that a child should be affirmed of his/her innate 
goodness. The child is praised for a job well done --- "Great job!" This is
to emphasize that being a good person and accomplishing a task well are
two independent things.

Nowadays, parents and adults are encouraged to help a child appreciate
what he/she has accomplished. "Start by focusing on what a child is doing 
rather than how you you feel about what the child is doing." - Teach Preschool

Here are some examples:
- When a child asks, "Do you like my painting?" turn it back to the child 
and ask him/her, "What do you like about your painting? or ask him/her 
to describe what they like about their painting to other children
- When a child asks, "Do you like my tower?" get the child to discuss the 
process of making it, "How did you make that tower?"
- Describe by stating the details you observed, for example,"You decided 
to use green paint", "You started at the top of the paper"
- Focus on the process rather than the end result, for example letter grade, 
"What did you have to do to get that grade?" "How does getting that grade 
make you feel?"
- Acknowledge a child by stating what they have done, "Look how you are 
climbing up the ladder?" "I remember when you could not kick, now you 
can kick. Kick this box". - Dan Hodgins

Hmmm, I know it sounds a bit like extra work. However, it's nothing more
than just paying attention to the child and what he/she is doing. Aha! That
is something we really should be doing. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Proudly Pinoy - Congratulations Manny Pacquiao!

Image courtesy of Reuters

I've never watched an entire Manny Pacquiao fight. I know it's sounds unpatriotic.
Sorry, I just don't have the stomach for all that pain. I take a peek here and there and
then I look away. I'm quite content waiting for the final outcome.

Congratulations Manny Pacquiao! Happy Mother's Day Aling Dionisia! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

5 Ways to Enjoy Your Money


Yesterday, I gave a short sharing on Variable Life Insurance. By doing so, I
touched a sensitive chord for some of you. A good many Filipinos loathe the
word insurance. Why? Insurance forces you to think about death --- not a very
pleasant topic. Did you know that Traditional Life Insurance is a noble thing?

Why?
It will financially help those you leave behind. However, if you prefer
to hear practical over noble, Variable Life Insurance just might interest you.

So what makes Variable Life Insurance different from Traditional Life
Insurance?
Traditional Life Insurance is purely money set aside for your family.
While Variable Life Insurance has an insurance component and an investment
component. The insurance portion ensures that your family will be getting
money in case of your demise.  The investment component ensures that you
have a source of funds; the value of which is based on the investment
performance of the insurance company. Think of it as you using the insurance
company to be your broker.

Here are the different reasons H and I have availed of different Variable Life
Insurance plans. Better yet, think of it as ---

5 Ways to Enjoy Your Money:

1. Education Fund
- If you have a child, you've probably thought about your child's college
education. Sadly for some parents, it has moved from 'What's the best school
for our child' to 'What's the school we can afford'. The tuition fee costs are
really no joke! Thus, expect H and I to use one Variable Life Insurance
policy for M's university school fees.

2. Retirement Fund
- One day we just might decide to go into teaching, mission work, community
development, farming, etc There may or may not be money in these endeavours.
But we don't want money to be a hindrance to doing what we want to do. So,
we can use another Variable Life Insurance for day to day expenses.

3. Renovation Fund
- We've seen it happen. Old houses that suffer neglect because their owners
did not set aside money for their maintenance and upkeep. We told ourselves
we want to be able to renovate our home when the time comes to do so.
Where's the money going to come from? You guessed right, another Variable
Life Insurance.

4. Bucket List Fund
- H and I haven't decided on this yet. As advocates of simple living, we've 
trimmed down our wants list. There are fewer things on the list --- but
they've actually turned into Precious Few. Top of mind: a trip around the world! 

5. Emergency Fund
- This is the fund that we hope we never have to use. If we had our way, we'd
be strong and healthy until we're old. Calm, peaceful and while asleep sounds
like a good way to go. But if we ever needed funds for something, we'll surely
be glad there's money kept away for that.

I'm sure you can think of other ways to enjoy your money. Remember that
it's free to dream! As for living the dream, that's even better. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

3 Things You REALLY Should Know About Money


This special delivery really put a big smile on my face. My Variable Life
Insurance Policy is finally fully-paid! I am a strong advocate of getting 
Variable Life Insurance because I think it is one of the most useful finance 
products on the planet. Before you start thinking INSURANCE?!?, please 
read further and then decide.

A few years ago, I was a Financial Consultant of PRU Life UK. It was a 
one year stint but the lessons learned there were priceless! 

I know there are a lot of Finance Gurus out there. I am NOT one of them. 
I am just sharing with you my experiences in the hopes that it will help 
you secure your own financial future.

3 Things You REALLY Should Know About Money:

1. You REALLY have to prepare for retirement.
If you're in your 20s or 30s, I'm sure you'll agree with me that life is all 
hustle and bustle. But once you hit 40, you're suddenly faced with the 
reality that 60 is a real age and that you just have 20+ good years left 
to set aside funds for retirement. 
When I say retirement I don't mean lying in bed to vegetate. I mean being 
kind to yourself, getting out of the rat race and finally pursuing those 
interests that you still wish to pursue. If you don't prepare for retirement, 
you will find yourself still needing to work. Or worse not being able to do 
what you should already be doing.

2. You REALLY want to have your own money in your golden years.
I've seen it happen. Friends who delay getting married because they have 
to financially support their parents. Im sure their parents did not do this 
on purpose. No parent in their right mind would delay their children's 
happiness --- nor jeopardize their own... 

Yes, that's the other side of the coin. When you become financially dependent 
on someone, you unknowingly give that person a certain degree of authority 
over you. Your every purchase just might get scrutinized. You just accept 
the "well meaningreminders" because you need financial help.

It's a difficult situation. Yet, so many Filipinos are in this predicament 
because people accidentally forgot and / or ignored advices to establish 
adequate funds for the future.

3. You REALLY can create a better life for your family.
Most successful married couples that I know share this one trait: husband 
and wife have goals that they are trying to achieve together. A lot of 
planning, communication and effort goes into making goals happen. Having 
goals serve as a deterrent for idle time. Really important as boredom can 
produce not so smart ideas. Also, having goals requires you and your 
husband to go go go do something. 

If I look at what H and I have accomplished and still hope to accomplish,
I am proud of the small victories we've had with our entrepreneurial projects.
Sure, we've had our own share of glitches. We just had to learn and move 
on. Just a suggestion, be wary of people who give great advice but magically 
never made any mistakes in their life. That'll be a first. Oh yes, I am also 
excited for the things that we have yet to do. Better things are still on their 
way.

3 Things You REALLY Should Know About Money are 3 reasons 
that encouraged me to get a Variable Life Insurance Policy and most 
importantly to complete the payments.

In my succeeding post, allow me to share with you my other experiences 
with Variable Life Insurance.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

TED talk Arvind Gupta: Turning Trash Into Toys for Learning

Video courtesy of TED

Last week, I talked about 3 Ways of Getting Affordable Toys. Some of
you were not impressed: "You have a 1year plus toddler". Fine fine.

Today, allow me to introduce to you Arvind Gupta, an Indian Toy
Inventor who turns trash into toys. Do not knock it 'til you've tried it.
Arvind Gupta's toys are something else. The toys are simple enough
to make. It's what the toys can do that are amazing.

It makes you wonder, why hasn't anyone in the country thought about
something like this?

In case you're serious about trying out Arvind's toys, here are some links
to help you get started:
- Arvind Gupta's book: Low Cost Equipment for Science and Technology
  Education free pdf
- Arvind Gupta's Free Films
- Arvind Gupta's YouTube channel

Monday, May 2, 2011

Starbucks Happy Hour


I just heard --- Starbucks Philippines wants to help us beat the summer heat
with their ice cold Frappuccino!

Your favorite Frappuccino is available at half-price only this May 2 - 8, 2011
from 12:00nn to 2:00pm.

This had better be true! Plan to grab a Mocha Frappuccino later :D

World Bloggers' Day 2011 - May 2 at SM Cyberzone (SM Cubao)

I’m Celebrating World Bloggers’ Day 2011
Theme: The Roles of Bloggers

Initiated by Cebu Bloggers Society, Inc.


Later today, I'll be joining other Manila bloggers in celebrating World Bloggers' Day.
The Manila leg will be at SM Cyberzone, SM Cubao (located at the basement),
1:00-6:00pm, organized by the hard-working Azrael Coladilla.

World Bloggers' Day was started last year by the Cebu Bloggers Society. Yes, it has
a strong Filipino following; but World Bloggers' Day is slowly gaining international
appeal. The Philippines does have a strong blogging community.

The 2011 World Bloggers' Day theme is The Roles of Bloggers. Quite timely as
there was some controversy awhile back on the Manila blogging community. At
that time, bloggers were being accused of being Big-Bad-Bullies. Then again, this
could all have been a case of print media black propaganda???

Lots of hoopla but no follow through. I'm just thankful that the blogging community
is past that. The focus really should be on providing quality content to the readers.
That's just my humble opinion.

Check out World Bloggers' Day for more details.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton

Click on the link to see your wedding invite courtesy of The Royal Channel

Today April 29, 2011, the whole world - or at least those who are loyal subjects of the
Queen -  will stop to watch a modern day fairytale: The Royal Wedding of HRH Prince
William and Catherine Middleton.

Once upon a time, Teacher Weena was in a 'lil trouble as her kids were dreaming up
their own royal weddings :) Yes, it's not everyday that a girl becomes a princess. LOL

3 Things You Can Do to celebrate The Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William and
Catherine Middleton:

1. Visit the The Royal Wedding official website
Drop by the The Royal Wedding official site and get a glimpse of the preparations
that are being done to make this day perfect for Prince William and Kate. The cake,
the flowers, the reception; they're pretty much all there except for the wedding dress.

2. Send your Best Wishes
Yes, you can congratulate the happy couple by uploading a video on YouTube here.
Seriously! The deadline to upload your video is today.

3. Watch The Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton
Local tv, cable or YouTube, your choice. I'm sure there will be plenty of coverage
for the Royal Wedding. Do expect this to go on the entire day.

The wedding starts with The Service at Westminster Abbey. Then continues with
The Procession; a horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets of London. Then
ends with The Reception at Buckingham Palace.

Congratulations and Best Wishes Prince William and Kate!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Friendster Deadline to Export Data is May 31, 2011


In case you haven't heard, Friendster will soon be the social gaming website of choice.
Facebook is on the top spot of being the social networking website of choice. Ahhhh...
What a world of difference one word can make.

If you still have important photos, messages, blogs plus plus, now is the time to use 
the Friendster Exporter to export your data. Here's the head's up: Friendster will erase 
all your data after May 31, 2011. 

Expect things to slow down once people hit panic mode. Don't delay, do this today.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Free Kindle Reader + Free Do The Work Ebook


Whooppeee! Thanks to Jomar, I have 2 new toys!

1. Kindle
Apparently, you don't need to own a Kindle to be able to read books
in Kindle format. Amazon has FREE Kindle Reading Apps!!! Just
choose the Kindle Reading App that you need, download it and voila,
you can now read books in Kindle format.

Why is this great!?! The last time I tried purchasing a book from Amazon,
I needed to have a U.S. shipping address. Let me correct that, Amazon did
not want to ship to the Phl. I haven't tried purchasing a book from Amazon
since then. And now, I can just order a Kindle version and get the book that
I want anytime anywhere.

It gets even better - - - I can use Kindle to read books for FREE!

2. Do The Work
Just this April, I discovered that I missed out on getting a FREE book that
I wanted. Yes, some new writers pre-launch their new books before the
physical books hit the bookstores. The free books are usually available
for a limited time only. So if you hear of the news too late, that's it, sorry
for you. Talk about the power of visualization, wishful thinking, call-it-
whatever-you-want-to-call-it: I now have my first FREE ebook!

Do The Work is Seth Godin and friends' latest book project. It's available
for free for a limited time only. Get your free Kindle copy here.