Innovation Journey

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Yesterday, I visited the newly-opened HiFi Campus at the College of Saint Benilde. I was there for two talks: the Innovator’s DNA Coffee Collab and The Founders’ Journey to Impact Entrepreneurship Engaged Talk. Both forums were informative, but it was the first one that really resonated with me.

Ms. Judith Claridades hosted the Innovator’s DNA afternoon. We were composed of individuals from various backgrounds, age groups, and perspectives. We had an interest in how innovation and the mindset that commands problem solving through design can improve our lives and uplift our present human condition.

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Ms. Claridades focused on the importance of the self in the innovator’s journey. Being self-aware is the first step in bringing forth positive change. After all, it is only by effectively improving our own selves that we can begin sharing our skills, talents, and ideas to help others along the way.

It was also worth noting that empathy is essential in innovation. We cannot influence others if we are stuck in our own worlds and refuse to feel the pain that others have. It was humbling to be reminded that innovation is not just an act that benefits our physical beings, but our spiritual growth as well. When we help others, we feed our soul, and this is how we leave legacies that make the world a better place.

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The Founders’ Journey to Impact Entrepreneurship was also interesting as Anna Meloto-Wilk, the president of Human Nature (a brand I love so much, that I actually sell their products on my online store- BUY NOW!) was part of the panel. I’ll never get tired of listening to Human Nature’s story from its humble beginnings to being one of the leading social enterprises today. As a Core Advocate for the brand, it is inspiring to watch our president unceasingly sharing our values to audiences that need more goodness in their lives.

As a blogger and freelance writer, I am always looking for inspiration to improve my craft and grow my mindset. It is always a treat to feed my brain with stories that uplift others while discussing how problems were solved through design thinking and empathy. Innovation should not be a big, lofty idea that is beyond everyone’s reach. Rather, it must be something that we practice by habit and instinct with each endeavor that we tackle each day.

We can all be innovators, if only we are determined to share what we know and believe in!

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Motivation Mondays

Yesterday, I got to visit Clock In - Ayala Vertis North for the first time. It’s awesome to have a beautiful coworking space close near my house. It is also home to several networking events, which is also the reason why I was in the building. 

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I was there for Motivation Mondays, a series of talks for yuppies on interesting topics. Last night, we discussed Goal Diggers. In line with the theme, we fueled up on delicious vegetarian food and coffee. 

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The evening’s guest speakers were Maura Alvero of Vela Manila, and Fabien Courteille of Plush and Play. It was inspiring to hear about their stories of purpose and determination. 

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My key takeaways were:

1. Become a platform for creatives- create a brand that will foster a community of photographers, writers, advocates, and target consumers.

2. Go on until your people don’t need you anymore- work until the people you train can carry on without you  

3. Start with why

4. Keep hobbies that can become your outlet

5. Be vulnerable 

6. Persevere for others  

7. Know what’s for you

8. Be open for collaboration

9. Different minds foster creativity

10. Get to know the people you are working with 

11. Cultivate relationships  

It was a different kind of Monday and I was happy to have learned insights from social entrepreneurs. I look forward to more purposeful Mondays to come! 

In_Pact Asia 2019

I was fortunate to be a delegate in the In_Pact Asia 2019, a conference on inclusive impact at the Asian Development Bank. I attended because of my passion for social enterprise, which I apply to my Human Nature online dealership.   

Please support me by making a purchase on my Human Nature Online Shop!  Every purchase supports communities in need and sustains my micro enterprise. Thank you! 

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I started my day with a hearty breakfast at the famed ADB cafeteria.  

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The delegate wristband was cool as it was embedded with spinach seeds, which makes it grow when it is planted.  

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I also got to connect with Mariel, a familiar face from my previous conferences in an educational institution. It was lovely to chat with someone from the inclusive business space.  

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My key takeaways from the conference is that diversity drives businesses to foster collaboration. This will drive inclusion in the sense that no one is left behind, and ethical business decisions will help workers thrive amidst the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Also, social enterprise is key to sustain communities and to empower women to make a difference in the age of fair trade. 

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It was a privilege to attend the fireside chat that featured Human Nature’s President Anna Meloto, who shared how Human Nature empowers women (particularly mothers) to have stable careers while caring for their families. 

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I got to enjoy ADB’s notable cuisine and interact with like minded individuals. Learning about industrial trends is the reason why I attend seminars and conferences. May this be the start of more productive events that allow me to share, exchange ideas, and realize my place in the bigger picture of business and social impact. 

Family Business Approach

Yesterday, I encountered a lady in the MRT who was forcing me to give her space. Since there wasn’t any space anymore inside the train, I fought for my place in the packed car. When we arrived at Cubao station, she violently pushed me just as passengers were leaving the train. I fell on the guys who were seated before I hit the floor. I was in shock, but luckily, I didn’t sustain any injuries and I didn’t lose anything.  

I made it AIM in Makati in one piece!  

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I was able to attend the invitation-only Developing and Growing the Business Family Segment Forum. 

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It was amusing to see my middle name on my nameplate instead of my surname. I guess the intern mistyped my name! 

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My key takeaway for this forum is that risk management is an important part of assessing the family business. By capitalizing on areas with potential for earnings and managing risks, businesses built by families can survive financial and personal obstacles. There is a science behind developing family businesses, and it’s more than just ensuring that its members are having harmonious relationships. Because as it was discussed in the forum, harmony does not equate to unity. 

Future of Work

Yesterday, I started my morning with some taho! 

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I was in a cheerful mood for my conference at AIM.  

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The conference, entitled Transformation of Work in the Asia-Pacific in the 21st Century: Key Policy Implications discussed how the workforce should adapt in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

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As a freelance writer and blogger, I am confident that I am using technology wisely in promoting my message of mindful living and handmade life. However, I am also jobhunting, so it’s important that I am aware of the skills that are necessary to continue being relevant in the workplace. I am happy that there are conferences like this, and that I am able to learn that soft skills are the key to staying on top of the automation of work.  

Climate Change: Justice For All?

Yesterday, I started my day with some taho before boarding the MRT.  

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I reached the ADB in less than thirty minutes! I must say that the MRT is improving. 

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I represented my blog at a roundable discussion entitled Climate Change: Justice for All?

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It was a huge honor to be invited once again by the ADB. 

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I learned that agribusiness, renewable energy, and ecotourism are some gender-sensitive examples of climate change adaptation  

It is also important to note post-disaster and pre-disaster operations in order to know the areas for improvement in vulnerable areas.

It is also essential to instill empowerment among ALL individuals to reduce vulnerability and to better manage disaster risk. 

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I was delighted to have the famous ADB crinkles again for snack. 

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I got to do some work at the library. 

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I wore my Hiblahi handmade earrings which I purchased from my GK Enchanted Farm trip last Saturday. 

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I knitted while listening to some podcasts.  

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And I had burger steak from Trattoria Gourmet’s at the ADB Cafeteria, which is managed by the same staff at its original Shangri-la Mall restaurant back in the nineties.  

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I dropped by St. Clare Monastery after finishing my work as I was thankful to be given the chance to spend a day at ADB and join in the round table on climate change. 

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It is still my dream to work at ADB! I am claiming it, and certainly praying for it.  

5th BIRLA Breakfast Forum

Yesterday, I attended the 5th BIRLA Breakfast Forum at the AIM. I woke up early to commute from Quezon City, and I must say that it was worth it.  

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AIM hosts insightful conferences and seminars to the public, and I always attend them whenever I’m free.  

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Being in a classroom is also fun, and I enjoy asking questions to noted professionals.  

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I knitted before yesterday’s forum began.  

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And I enjoyed the session as it was all about Jewelmer, a company that I believe in. I purchased a pendant from them during my first year of working in 2009, and I am impressed that the company’s principals has instilled corporate values to its second generation family managers employees. 

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I have learned that to overcome international borders, one must take advantage of technology,  social media to entice millennials, and still host events for the primary market in order to not alienate them. I am truly thankful to have been invited to this forum, and I’m sure that I can apply all my learnings to my future job. 

SWS Survey Review 2019

Yesterday, I started my day with a P2P ride to Makati.  

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I bought puto from the vendor at the bus station, and it was very good!

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I went to AIM for the 2019 SWS Survey Review and it was insightful. 

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Then, I proceeded to Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe to play with my doggo buddies. 

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I ended my day with some kimchi rice at the weekend bazaar near my parking space.  

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I had a productive Friday which was a balance of learning, cuddling, and eating! Hopefully, I’ll receive more invitations to learning opportunities and seminars. 

Risk Management Masterclass Day 3

Yesterday was the third and last day of the Disaster Risk and Crisis Management Masterclass. 

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I learned that rather than have survival hacks, we must implement systems in order to reduce or contain risks during disasters. 

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After class, I went straight to Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe for some cuddle time with Ella and the other resident doggos.  

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And for dinner, I had binatog! 

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Life is all about the systems we put in place, and the places we go to in order to live to the fullest. Let’s maximize our resources and opportunities in order to create possibilities not just for ourselves, but for others as well. 

Risk Management Masterclass Day 2

Yesterday was the second day of the Disaster Risk and Crisis Management Masterclass series at the Asian Institute of Management. I had the Sicilian Pasta Salad with pesto dressing at Juju Eats to kickstart my day.  

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I reached my destination in a heartbeat thanks to the improving MRT.  

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A case study got everyone in the Masterclass awake and in high spirits for the information that was going to be imparted to us. 

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I learned that there are careers in risk management, and there is a need for people to lend their expertise in preventing mayhem from ensuing before and after each disaster. Communication also plays a key role in improving systems in place and informing the general public. 

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After the class, I went to Landmark Makati to buy some essentials for my family.  

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It was nostalgic as my family and I used to shop for groceries here when I was a kid.  

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I also went to St. Clare Monastery to offer eggs and pray for my special intentions.  

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Again, the MRT wowed me with cool AC and efficient crowd control on the way home.  

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I ended my day with some Fried Chicken Master!

I am thankful for yesterday’s learning opportunity, and I look forward to the last day in the masterclass series!

Risk Management Masterclass Day 1

Yesterday, I got to attend the first day of the Masterclass Series on Disaster Risk and Crisis Management. Before commuting to Makati, I ate my usual pesto pasta salad from Juju Eats. 

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It was gloomy when I reached the venue, AIM. 

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The classic staircase greeted me again. 

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And I was welcomed by learning. My key takeaway is that disaster risk management should start at home and it should be a personal responsibility. Some examples of these are knowing earthquake safety procedures and converting to energy-efficient appliances. 

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I had a productive afternoon and it’s always fabulous in Makati.  

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I knitted during the P2P ride going back to Quezon City.  

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I can’t wait to learn more in the coming days at AIM!

Future of Work

Yesterday was a productive one. I had a conference on Developing a Future-Ready Filipino Workforce for Competitiveness and Shared Prosperity organized by the Asian Institute of Management and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. 

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My key takeaways are: more than producing new jobs, employers must improve tasks in order prepare their workforce for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Tasks which involve empathy, compassion, and human touch such as massage can still be handled by people. Other tasks such as training and manufacturing may be handled by machines and computers, but people are still the ones who think behind the process and operate them. People must continue to work together to build a more human-centric workplace in an age of automation and cloud systems. 

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Before going home, I received kisses from this fluffy doggo at Vertis North. I don’t know him and his humans, but I think he likes me!

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As I rejoin the workforce in the coming months, I look forward to lending my opinions, expertise, skills in communication, and thirst for knowledge in order to continue to be relevant in the digital age- and to still be likable to both people and dogs!

2nd Dev Forum: Disaster Risk and Crisis Management 2018

Yesterday, I attended the 2nd Dev Forum hosted by the Asian Institute of Management. It was a day of learning and networking, but first...

...I had delicious Tapa Queen from Tapa King for brekkie.  

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Then, I heard early morning mass at Greenbelt Chapel. 

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Finally, it was time for my conference! 

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My key takeaways are that we can only primarily rely on ourselves for help in these rapidly changing times, so we need to be prepared for disasters and crises. Shifting our mindsets and doing our part to effectively communicate what is happening will be helpful not only to save our own lives but to governments and NGO’s as well. 

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It was an honor to be there again, AIM! Here’s to more learning opportunities to come! 

Justice for Women at the ADB

It was an honor to attend the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women at the Asian Development Bank. I was also a guest at last year’s celebration of gender empowerment, and I was grateful to be there again to show my support for this worthy cause. 

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I am humbled to represent my blog, and to be able to be at ADB again. 

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The bank inspires me with its strong stance to further the cause of gender equality. As a woman, I am proud to be a guest at an institution that recognizes my potential in society. 

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It was a treat to see this year’s Christmas tree at the library. 

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And no trip to ADB is complete without a cuppa from Starbucks!

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I was able to knit prior to the meeting. 

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Then, I had lunch at the ADB Cafeteria. I bought pizza slices from Gourmet’s Cafe, which used to run the now-defunct Trattoria Gourmet’s at Shangri-la Mall. The crew from Shang were there, and they still remember me! It’s heartwarming that they still know me after all these years. 

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Their pizzas brought me back to 1999! Still delicious. 

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By the time the forum started, I was already full and caffeinated enough to listen to the esteemed panel speak about their work in fighting gender violence. 

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The panel have all mentioned that shifting our mindset to be inclusive of all genders and to think of everyone equally is key to preventing gender violence.  

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I am happy that I was able to make time for this forum because it has empowered me to speak out for women. I am using my blog not just to give myself a voice, but to motivate other women to leave their partners if they are abused. Together, we can build a safer society that is kind to all genders. It is my dream that I can continue empowering women in my own small way, with every blog entry and solo dining experience that I share!

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Leniency Program of the Philippine Competition Commission

Yesterday, I did my civic duty by participating in a meeting on the Leniency Program of the Philippine Competition Commission. It was my first time at their new HQ at the Vertis North Corporate Center, and I was impressed with their spacious and beautiful office.  

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I knitted while sipping on coffee before the meeting. 

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I learned that any business may avail of the leniency program in exchange for information on illegal practices by juridical entities. Former employees and agents may also voluntarily disclose information regarding practices which violate competitveness, such as price fixing. 

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It is important for me to attend learning opportunities such as this meeting because I need to be updated with current trends and laws in the business environment. I cannot afford to stay complacent. Through my website, I am able to share what I have learned and network with colleagues in various industries. 

I am lucky to have access to conferences and seminars, and I look forward to upcoming events that will allow my mind to gain knowledge and insights. 

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Philately Saturday

Last Saturday, I attended the Pilipinas Philately Forum on the hobby that changed my life. Philately has been a passion of mine during childhood, and while I am no longer active in collecting stamps, I still find it fascinating. Thanks to stamps, I became passionate about research, history, and art. 

It was quite fitting that the forum was held the Museo ng Sining inside the GSIS complex.  

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I went to the event with my grade school friend Ginny and her sister, Angel. It was fun to spend the event with fellow philatelists. 

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I liked the vintage vibe of the ladies room. 

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And I couldn’t resist buying stamps and a drawstring bag featuring the Philippines’ first postage stamp!

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The museum was a beautiful venue for a meaningful forum. 

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I even knitted while waiting for it to begin.  

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I learned that in the current digital age, stamps still have a place in society as they preserve history and promote peace through correspondence. 

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This setup makes me happy. It features my new bag, my knitting needles and yarn, and the water bottle sling crocheted by the vendor I met outside St. Jude

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Of course, I simply had to take a photo with my history crush, Dr. Jose Rizal!

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I am glad that The Philippine Postal Corporation has established Pilipinas Philately to organize and promote stamp collecting among hobbyists in the country. They plan to open a philately museum next year, and utilize social media to connect philatelists with the latest trends in stamp collection and snail mail. 

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Before going home, I bought these handmade earrings from The Class Act during their pop-up at The Block. 

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l had an amazing experience meeting fellow philatelists, reconnecting with an old friend and her sister, and supporting handmade. I am eager to see how stamps can continue being relevant in society, and how my love for handmade will carry on as I attend learning opportunities whenever I can. Here’s to more letters, stamps, and memories with friends!

Malacañang Museum Tour and Lecture

Yesterday, I was privileged to attend the lecture on  The American Imperium in the Philippines in Text and Urban Design: The 1905 Report on Proposed Improvments in Manila by Prof. Ian Morley of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. It was held at the Malacañang Museum and Library. 

I started my day with a cuppa at Starbucks.  

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Then, it was time for the lecture and tour. It was my first time at the Malacañang Palace, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I also learned heaps from the lecture. Concepts like alterity and history as futurology were discussed, and I realized that how much we appreciate and value space depends on how we prioritize our well-being.  

I will let these photos speak for themselves, as I had a wonderful day. I hope that I will be able to return to Malacañang someday.  

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SME Competitiveness

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending the SME Competitiveness Under Institutional Reform and Technological Change conference. It was organized and hosted by the Asian Institute of Management and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. 

But first, I enjoyed my morning commute by taking the P2P to Makati. I slept comfortably during the two-hour traffic.  

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It was my first time to go to the Makati Diamond Residences, and it was really nice!

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Since it was an SME event, I wore my Marikina-made Renegade Folk sandals with pride. 

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My seatmate, Esiel, is a Management lecturer at the University of Perpetual Help. It was helpful to have a teacher beside me as we got to exchange insights throughout the day. 

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Another SME product that I proudly wore was my Noah fanny pack from Rags 2 Riches.  

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AIM also partners with ADB on several studies, so we had a regional take on the industry landscape as well.  

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Lunch was a networking event, and it was a delicious way to digest all the learnings that were presented by the esteemed panel.  

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By the time the ensaymada was served, I was already inspired to continue supporting SME’s, especially those that help marginalized communities through social entrepreneurship. I sell Human Nature items through my online store, so I know first-hand how important technology is in business today. If the private sector and government will continue to work together to ensure that everyone has access to the right resources to setup their own businesses, then more Filipinos will be able to become thriving entrepreneurs. At the same time, the academe should continue researching on ways to support entrepreneurship in the country and the region. Lastly, we must all utilize the technology that is available to us to patronize business that have a heart and are locally-made. 

Together, we can all build a competitive atmosphere for businesses to thrive! 

Energy Technology Innovation for Gender Equality

Yesterday, I attended the launch of publications by the Asian Development Bank’s Gender Institute. They are studying technology innovation and how it is forwarding the cause of gender equality in South Asia. 

But before anything else, I had my customary photo by the ADB auditorium.  

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I had Vietnamese lunch at the bank’s cafeteria. My bun cha was delicious and healthful. 

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I also crocheted while waiting for the event to begin. 

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The bank is full of simple reminders to treat each other better. 

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I was especially delighted that the event was held at the ADB Library. It is a striking venue. I have enjoyed hanging out here in between sessions during the conferences I have previously attended here.  

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And I was happy that they served chocolate crinkles. The ADB crinkles are well-known, and many foodies have acknowledged them as the best in the country. 

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The event was attended by colleagues in the bank, the academe, and other experts in gender studies. 

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I have learned that energy innovation must always have the advancement of gender equality in mind. Without inclusiveness, we cannot say that there is innovation in the first place. Energy allows technology and development to be enjoyed by more people, including women. In order to advance energy innovation, there must be fair pricing, sustainable energy sourcing, technological development, and the inclusion of women experts in the conversation. 

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I hope to have more learning opportunities at the ADB in the future! Thanks for having me!

Climate Change Forum Day 3

Yesterday was the conclusion of the Climate Change Adaptation Forum 2018. I focused on risk management in the age of climate change, and I was able to listen to experts from the government, the academe, and business talk about utilizing risk management to prepare for changing times. 

I have already made it a personal tradition to have full-body photos taken by ADB’s signage outside the auditorium. 

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I was able to crochet in between sessions to keep my brain alert. 

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The talks I attended have inspired me to have a resilience-based mindset in order to adapt in a fast-changing world. 

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Before leaving, I reconnected with my new friend Shayne for some photos around the bank. 

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I had a wonderful time this week at the ADB, and I hope to have more chances to return! There are heaps of topics being covered in their conferences, and it is always a pleasure to represent my blog.

I look forward to keeping the conversation on climate conservation going.