Crochet Corals

I attended the a crochet workshop conducted at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design at the College of Saint Benilde. I enjoyed the experience, and it was a pleasure to see absolute beginners learn crochet.
We were given patterns and yarns for a sea slug and a starfish. Since the theme of the workshop was coral worlds, we were tasked to learn how to make underwater creatures.
I have used crochet as a way to de-stress and unwind. Attending events related to the craft has enabled me to meet new friends and also appreciate the craft more.

Here’s to more opportunities to exchange ideas with fellow crocheters, and learning more tricks to improve my craft!

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International Design Conference

Yesterday, I had fun at the International Design Conference 2019. It was held at The Eye at Green Sun, which was a hotel and conference center dedicated to the arts. I saw my friends Donna and Mariel there, and I also got to learn some insights revolving around the theme Design Futures.

Here are my key takeaways:

  • 3D printers and automation in the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution should not hinder craftsmen from creating. Rather, it should foster collaboration between technology and manual craftsmanship to create better output.

  • Creativity is still the same, whether it is aided with technology or not.

  • People should be the center of design, not profit.

I am truly privileged to be part of this conference. I hope that I can apply my learnings to my work, as well as influence my decision-making process as a design thinker.

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Innovating Myself

A few days ago, I attended the Innovator’s DNA Coffee Collab at the new HiFI Campus at the College of St. Benilde. I learned that the quality of the innovation is based on the condition of the disruptor. Having reflected on the discussion we had, I realized that I have a long way to go to be an innovator in this rapidly-changing world. But at 33, I am still hungry to learn and grow.

They say that it is never too late to follow one’s passion. As a writer and blogger, I get to attend various conferences where the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR or 4IR) is discussed. I went to school and graduated with a Humanities degree, but I ended up working in finance and risk management. To say that I veered away from my degree in the workplace is an understatement. However, it is only now that I am my own boss that I realized that I did not stay far from my degree after all.

My liberal arts education has helped me analyze and think critically in an age where specialization and practical skills are in focus. My drive to innovate has also led me to attend seminars, conferences, and learning opportunities. And amidst all the books I have read and conversations I have started, I know by now that I can never fully be an innovator unless I trust the process and surrender myself to the will of God.

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To help myself in this journey to maximizing my skills and increasing my chances of succeeding in the current labor landscape, I have decided to answer the activity we have been assigned to during the Innovator’s DNA event. I had a buddy during that time, and he was an interesting conversationalist and professor. Now that I am accomplishing this assignment on my own, I hope that I will be inspired to never stop learning, and to find ways to reinvent myself in a limitless technological atmosphere.

  1. What personal experience or journey brought you here, into your current role?

    I have been blogging for two years now, and I use my website to share the insights that I have learned throughout my learning and creative journey.

  2. What issues or challenges are you confronted with?

    I am currently recovering from the recent passing of my father from a terminal illness. I am also looking for a corporate job while finishing my freelance projects.

  3. What about your current situation (work/personal life) frustrates you the most?

    I am frustrated by the bullying I have received on dating apps. Guys there would call me “lesbian” and other derogatory terms just because I sport a pixie (no offense to gays and lesbians. There’s nothing wrong about being gay, but I’m straight.). I am also struggling to find a good man to date in real life because I am not the conventional Filipino woman. I have short hair, I think independently, and yet I am still a devout Catholic. Most of my friends are discouraging me from dating because I am disappointed with the dating pool. I refuse to give up, though.

  4. What are your most important sources of energy and happiness in your work and life?

    I enjoy knitting and crocheting. Those two hobbies keep my hands busy as I feed my mind through books and podcasts.

  5. Watch yourself from above (as if in the helicopter). What are you doing? What are you trying to do in this stage of your journey as an innovator?

    I am blogging, attending conferences, listening to podcasts, reading, and networking.

  6. Watch our collective journey from above: what are you trying to do collectively in the present stage of your collective journey?

    We are all trying to connect with each other and hoping that these connections can go beyond social media and into real-life conversations that can spark lasting change.

  7. Given previous questions, what do you now need to ask yourself?

    What if you fly?

  8. Imagine if you could fast forward to the very last days of your life, when it is time for you to move on. Now look back on your journey as a whole, What would you want to see at that moment? What footprint do you want to leave behind?

    I want to see the exact moment when I decided to give myself the chance to learn more so that I can innovate in the age of the FIR.

  9. Now return to the present and crystallize what it is that you want to create, your vision and intention for the next 3 months to 3 years. What are the essential core elements of the future that you want to create in your personal, professional, and social life? Describe as concretely as possible.

    3 months- I want to be a graduate of a short course that can increase my chances of getting employed by equipping me with the latest technological and soft skills.

    3 years- I want to be a manager in a company that enables me to communicate to others and provide empathy to our stakeholders. Also, I hope to be settled with a partner or husband while still continuing my learning journey.

  10. What would you have to let go of in order to bring your vision to reality? What is the old stuff that must die? What is the old skin (behaviors, assumptions, mental models, etc.) that you need to shed?

    My fear of failure, my limiting belief, and my fear of technology.

  11. Who have been your “guardian angels” and helpers in your journey and who do you need as helpers in your future journey as an innovator?

    I am blessed to have my family and best friends who believe in me when I tend to put myself down. In the future, I hope to have a supportive boss and husband who can help me maximize my skills. Most of all, I must never cease to give myself a seat on the table.

I am ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead. For now, I will take this learning journey one day at a time, as I innovate to be the best version of myself!

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. 

PCC Public Forum

Yesterday, I attended the Philippine Competitions Commission’s Public Forum on the Philippine Competition Act with special focus on the PCC Leniency Program. 

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It was my last conference before I begin work this Thursday at a company near home. 

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My key takeaway is that competition benefits consumers by empowering them with choice. It is the PCC’s obligation to ensure that this is not abused, and that businesses play fair in their operations. 

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I find PCC’s conferences informative and straightforward. This is my fourth PCC conference, and it is fitting that my last one prior to returning to the workforce is with them. 

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I am thankful for learning opportunities that allow me to sharpen the saw and broaden my horizons.  

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Here’s to more learning opportunities in the future! 

Manila Fame 2019

Yesterday, I woke up to a postcard sent by my good friend Nurai. She’s based in Germany, but she posted this from Spain while she was on holiday. 

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It was the ideal preview to my artistic day ahead. I rode the LRT 1 and hailed a tuktuk to take me directly to the World Trade Center. 

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I went to the Manila Fame to immerse myself in Filipino artistry. My short visit last Friday was too brief, and I really wanted to spend more time at the fair. 

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I started my visit with some refreshing liquer de calamansi. 

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Then, I had some good coffee.  

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I dropped by the Handcrafted by Harl’s booth because I love their advocacy in supporting differently-abled artisans. I bought a handbag from them last year, and it’s still serving me well. 

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I joined a leather-crafting workshop for only Php50. I made a leather coin purse with the help of their talented deaf-mute artisans. 

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I ended up being the empowered one because I learned a new skill and got to learn from a differently-asked person.  

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It was lovely to see fashion influencer Lolaandrogynous at the fair! I totally dig her style. 

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I also bought small trinkets from another social enterprise, Kilus.  

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I got to appreciate the finer details during this visit.  

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I finally got to try 1st Colonial’s sili ice cream and it was delicious!

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I had a wonderful evening at Manila Fame and I’m very proud to be Filipino.  

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I ended my day with cheese sticks, so I’m also doing the same here. 

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Here’s to more opportunities to be proudly Pinoy! 

Back At It

Yesterday, I was at CITEM to prepare for my three-day stint as a NAIA Buyer Services Representative. 

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I had lunch at the canteen, and I felt very lucky to be given this opportunity to serve our country, even if it’s just for a short while.  

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I attended the training and orientation, and was given this cool badge. I also got passes to the Manila FAME happening later week.  

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I can’t wait to assist VIB (very important buyers) at the airport from tomorrow until Friday! It is an honor to be part of this group, and I am sure that I will be able to apply my training to other aspects of my work and life. 

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Here’s to more opportunities to apply myself and serve others!

Sunday Recoupment

This week has been pretty intense. I survived a traumatic job interview with a company who misleads their applicants. I was lucky that I trusted my instincts and left. 

I also got into a violent incident in the train, which didn’t stop me from attending a seminar at AIM.  

These incidents made me feel tired, so I ordered Japanese food to keep my spirits up. I had the omu curry rice at Kimono Ken, which is a restaurant that I’ve been frequenting since my uni days. I had a delicious lunch and I will definitely be back!

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I capped off my lunch with my usual Assam milk tea at Serenitea. 

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It’s easy to bounce back from setbacks as long as I learn from them in order to prevent them from happening again. In this case, I learned to research thoroughly on the companies I apply for, continue to trust my instincts, and maintain my composure whenever I am attacked in public. I believe I was able to do so as I was offered a seat on the train by a kind gentleman. 

Here’s to more lessons, foodie adventures, and milk tea! 

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. 

Healing and Hugs

Yesterday, I got to enjoy my day after my transformation of work conference at AIM.

I checked out the Peek-a-Book exhibition at the Ayala Museum for my first stop.  

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Here are my favorites: 

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Then, I got myself some milk tea from Teaberi. Their cup looks fab with my cozy from The Attic Yarn and Craftery! 

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I went for some pampering at a salon.  

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I got myself some trendy hairpins! 

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I rode the MRT and the LRT.  

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Then, it was cuddle time with my furry friends at Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe Sta. Lucia branch. 

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I ended my day with a healing mass officiated by Fr. Fernando Suarez. 

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I prayed for my terminally-ill father, as well as for my jobhunting journey.  

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It doesn’t take much to make me happy. I just need some art, hugs, and healing from the challenges that each day brings. With faith and positivity, I know that I got this.  

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.  

Core Advocacy

Yesterday, I joined a workshop on growing my income at the Human Nature Flagship Store.  

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I joined my fellow Core Advocates in learning and sharing on a Saturday afternoon. Our colleague, Lei, was the enthusiastic resource speaker.  

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The lecture was practical, and well-received! I will definitely use the SMART goals in planning and organizing. 

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Building my empire sounds daunting, but it really is achievable. I have to consistently practice effort and creativity in order to earn more and be more!

Here’s to more learning this 2019! 

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. 

Knitting Anniversary

Today is my knitting anniversary! It’s been a year since my fateful Knitting Adventure at the Banaue Rice Terraces. It was where I first learned to knit. The lesson wasn’t easy for me, and I did struggle at first. But with a lot of practice, I did get the hang of it. And I even re-learned how to crochet along the way!

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To celebrate this important milestone, I crocheted and knitted this infinity shawl using chunky yarns from my favorite notions store, The Attic Yarn and Craftery. The ladies behind this local shop has become my friends, and it is touching how this friendship has also become a source of strength and inspiration for me to keep going. 

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My knitting and crochet abilities are in line with my goal to diversify myself through continuous learning of skills. You may be wondering how this connects to my goal to work in a corporate setting. Well, knitting and crochet has taught me patience, perseverance, resilience (especially when I would drop a stitch and have to start over!), creativity, and imagination. I have also learned these skills from scratch through workshops (like the advanced crochet one I attended with Mayown last year). If I can train my mind and hands to manipulate yarn, needles, and hooks, then I’m sure that I am ready to learn new programs, business platforms, and skills. 

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I have also started a new scarf using the knitting needles that came with my kit at Banaue. Using these 6mm bamboo needles again is humbling, as I recall the awkward stitches that I have made 365 days ago in the mountains. Now, I am in my room in the city, with pop music blaring in the background. I have yarn from Pasig, the yarn bowl that I gifted myself with on Valentine’s Day, my first knitting needles, and the determination to keep going. I have amazed myself with how far I’ve come in my creative journey. 

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I know that this is only the beginning. 

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Purposeful Saturday

Yesterday, I attended a meeting for a brand that I have been supporting for many years now. It was fun to interact with other ladies who also advocate for the brand. I can’t wait to see how our ideas can translate to better marketing strategies for this brand, and I certainly look forward to more collaborations with this brand in the future on an advocate basis. 

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The meeting surprised me, because I realized that I have so many ideas to contribute and share. I am truly passionate about this brand because it gives back to communities that need work. It empowers people through dignified wages. And as both a core advocate and an end user, I am happy to help them improve by sharing my expertise. 

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After my fruitful meeting, I went to Barkin’ Blends to spend time with their friendly resident doggos. 

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It warms my heart that my favorite doggo, Ella, is always this excited to welcome me to the cafe. 

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Spending time with her and the other doggos is priceless, and the comfort they bring is second to none. 

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For dinner, I had Tapa King, which is a favorite from my childhood.  

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I also had a cookies and cream frappe from Farron Cafe. It was delicious!

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And before going home, I watched The Girl in the Orange Dress at Cinema Centenario. It always feels like home for me in this microcinema. I have a favorite seat there (G5!), and it’s the best way to end a productive day. 

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I’ll always support brands that promote goodness and purposeful living in my own way. And in the course of my journey, I’ll find ways to unwind by spending time with dogs and supporting local films. Here’s to more purposeful Saturdays!

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.