Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone!
May the Lord shower His Blessings in the years to come!

At long last, I have the time to blog! Thank you for always checking if I have new things to share. Hopefully I can post all the things I want to tell you this Christmas break.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Online Business and more

I was recently interviewed for a consultancy job and surprisingly most of the questions were about my experiences on my online store, mylittlebaker and not about what can I do for them as an IT consultant. The questions were about my online customers, internet payment and deliveries plus website management.

They were so interested that what I thought to be a simple panel interview became an exchange of ideas that I forgot being nervous. They were interested on what kinds of payment I have and what I would recommend as a payment facility for an online business. One of the interviewers engages on website development and would like to know my opinions on e-commerce so that it will be helpful for his clients.

I was asked in what kind of payment facility I would recommend for website transactions, are they really secure and are there really reliable payment processing companies available for the Filipino businesses willing to go online. I answered that companies considering adding online payment facilities to their website must first make sure that it is really what they want for adding this feature would take considerable amount of money and they must take also into consideration the risks of having an online payment facility on their site.

There are companies that offer safe and secure payment processing facility here in the country, there is no need to look abroad for it. On such company is YESpayments - The Payment Processing Professionals. YESpayments has been processing Internet payments since 2003 in the Philippines. This is YES IT Corp's 15th year in the Philippines. They are the first Philippine Payment Gateway to pass the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) annual security Audit and has 24/7 personal support in the Philippines.

If companies and individuals having an online business is thinking about putting an online payment facilities on their site, my advice is be sure you really want to have one, research on the payment facility companies so that you will know your options, know the pros and cons on putting one on your website and then decide if you are really want to have one.

My interview ended pleasantly with everyone there leaving happy, the exchange of ideas was great and I get to talk about my online business which I am proud of.

Monday, October 06, 2008

My Cellphone is LOST

I was a victim of a pickpocket today at 6am in the morning. Crossing Aurora Blvd in Cubao this morning someone bumped me from the side but I ignored it for I was anxious to get to the other side to ride the FX. When I rode the FX I noticed my backpack pocket was open, but it seemed nothing was missing for my wallet was still inside and in prominent view.

After a few minutes as we are moving, someone’s cellphone ringed I remembered my cell and began looking for it in my bag but it was not there. I tried very hard to remember if I placed it in the bag, I just had it charged and remembered holding it before leaving the bedroom but can’t be sure if I put it in the bag. I usually misplaces the cellphone, even the remote of the TV when I am at home and at times forgot about it for a day or two so I was not overly concerned about not having it with me today.

During my break, I called home to ask if they could look for my cell in the house for I can’t remember if I indeed brought it, and told them about how I found my bag opened as I got inside the taxi.

My only regret is my cell number, I had that number 0917-9863772 since 1997. The contact numbers I have it recorded in my notebook since I changed cellphone almost a year ago. I bought my cellphone in Divisoria 168 and the only value to me is its TV feature. Texting and calling using that cellphone was a pain. Recalling that have saved the pictures and videos on it on my computer and there was no compromising pictures saved calmed me.

Lesson Learned?
That you can never be too complacent or too trusting of people. I grew up in Cubao, lived there practically my whole life and this is my first time to experience being "victimized" in what I believe is my turf and knows the people on the streets(the barkers, street vendors and even the beggars). We must always be vigilant of our surroundings no matter what time of day it is.

I have plans buying a new cellphone before the end of the year anyways, what happened today made it sooner than later. To all my friends I maybe asking your contact numbers again when I buy my new cell.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes - Sabi ni Jollibee "Share"

I am proud to say that my son Lorenzo is a very generous person. One of the toughest things that any parent could teach their kids is the right values, this is one of my fears – that I may not be able to teach him good values. Being respectful, friendly, generous, kind, industrious and self reliant these are the values I want my son to have.

Being a working mom I have this fear that I may not be able to teach him the right values for I work six days a week. So far my five year old have most of these values in place, but I realize you have to continuously work at it.

Sabi ni Jollibee “ SHARE”
A few months ago there was these TV program at GMA7 called “Jollitown”, it was a show featuring Jollibee characters it airs every Sunday morning and my son loves watching it. One the things greatly impressed upon him was about sharing and my son regularly reminds us about it. He would say the phrase “ Sabi ni Jollibee share” on anything he wants to take part in.

Like I am using my laptop and he wants to use it, he would say “ Sabi ni Jollibee share” , so he can use it or if we are eating and he likes the food I have in my plate, or if I am reading something he would say “ Sabi ni Jollibee share”. It is nice that he understand the concept of sharing and there are times that it can be a bother when he insists on “sharing” but at least he is also reminding us on the value of sharing and serve as good examples.

“Maduling-dulingan kaya tayo”

There was this time when my son and I were eating breakfast that I forgot to get a sausage from the serving plate until there was only one piece left. It was a new product we recently bought so I have not tasted it yet to see if it was really good. I ask my son if I could have the sausage because he seems to love eating it. What my son did shocked me. He picked up his fork got the sausage then held it up, then declared “Maduling-dulingan kaya tayo”.

I was speechless, I did not know if I would burst out laughing or crying. The “Maduling-dulingan kaya tayo” phrase was from the Fita commercial about a single Fita biscuit left to be shared by two friends and ending up both of them having to eat different flavors of the biscuit sandwich.

I was shocked because I will likely not going to have my taste of the sausage if we have the “magduling-dulingan tayo” for I will only be imagining that I tasted the sausage since my son is holding the real sausage. So I sighed and finished my breakfast promising myself to eat the sausage first when we have it again another day.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Students' Blog Writing Activity

I just finished teaching about the basics of blogging and social networking to my students. I enjoy teaching about these topics because its one of the activities I love doing online and seeing how my students are interested and asking questions on blogging really make me happy.

As a conclusion to a very interesting semester I organized this blog writing and social networking activity to measure and get feedback on how much they learn from our classes.

To my students please click this link to proceed to your online activity

Go to Digitized Youth

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Mini Library

Since Moving in our new home last month I am slowly filling up my bookshelves again, arranging the study room to accommodate my husband’s, my son’s and my needs. I would like to think of the room as a mini library, where my son and I study both our lessons(I teach and he is in kinder) and my husband can continue his work away from the office.

The study room was one of my requirements in looking for a new house, I grew up in a two bedroom house where the whole family sleep in a room and the spare room was rented out. Studying then was done in the dining table when there is no one using it. I wanted my son to have his own space for studying as well as for playing.

Looking at the room now I noticed the books I collected this past years and it contained an interesting mix of technical books, business books, baby and parenting books and books on baking and chocolates. There are also magazines like yummy, entrepreneur, good housekeeping, smart parenting and prevention. I have other books still in boxes some of them I already decided to donate while others are in storage to be brought out if I needed them.

I love reading books and taught my son to love them too. As of now my son’s book collection in our bookshelf is more than mine. I usually buy him new books once a month or if I happen to see a book that could supplement his lessons in school.

For myself, I am slowly collecting books on business and marketing. Having my own business I realize that I need to continuously read about business management and marketing. I even collect ebooks so that even if I am out of the house and have a spare time I can read/study. When I found out that Ned and Ardy Roberto releases marketing business solutions book I became interested in knowing more about the book and if it could help me. I read their column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer so their book is on my to-buy list.

I believe that to be on top of your game you have to continuously improve yourself. Learning does not stop when you graduate from school, it actually is the beginning.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

DSL at Last!

My PLDT MyDSL is finally installed today after almost 3weeks of waiting. My experience in having this connection was filled with horror, frustration and anger. I was really disappointed with the service I received in getting this pldt account. I have been a subscriber of pldt dsl since 2002 and this is my third time to get a dsl account and so I was not a newbie in how things work so I was really surprised how my expectations were not met.

I will blog the details soon, just let me catch up on whats happening online.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I want my DSL!!!

It's been a week since I moved to a new house and its also been that long since I have surfed thru my PLDT Dsl and I miss it already. I rely heavily to the internet, I have an online store, I get my information for work online and its part of our family's everyday life.

I am already frustrated, disspointed and angry. My PLDT phone and DSL was supposed to be connected DAYS AGO. I got a call last monday Aug 18, on my mobile from PLDT asking if my phone was already installed and I said not yet, but can they please install it that day if they can. The caller said they can't do it that day for its already 4 in the afternoon and I should just wait for it in the next few days.

So I waited.

And waited..

And still waited even when my husband is already threatening on not going home because there is still no INTERNET! (My husband you see is an online gaming addict and must maintain or move up his levels or whatever)

So by friday I called PLDT to follow up, to my surprise my records show that the phone is already installed. (A SHOCKING Discovery). So the agent told me to still wait a few days more as they will again put an urgent status on my "REQUEST".

I don't have a grudge on PLDT for this is my 3rd time to have a PLDT and MyDSL account but this is the first time it happened. They promised my 5 working day installation and I am already on my second week of waiting. I would like to make an appeal to PLDT, maybe its your contractors who are remiss of their duties for before I moved in, the landlord told me about their problems on their PLDT phone specially for repairs and the likes. The new house is only a few streets away from our old one.


........ I'm still waiting... and don't know whe will I connect once more to the internet.

Blogging from Home - The BOOK!

I got my copy of the Blogging from Home book by Janette Toral last thursday night. I was so eager to read the book as I will be conducting a seminar/workshop on blogging and podcasting next month.

The book is an easy read, full of mind maps, screenshots and features that will guide you on blogging specially if you are just starting to blog. For the experienced blogger it is a handy reference for you to take your blog to the next level or to maximize the potential of your blog.

As a professor, I give high points to the book for presenting the technical details in a very simple and straight forward manner. It will be a joy to read and follow even if you are a newbie blogger or an experienced one. I am letting my mom and dad read it for I am teaching them blogging soon as I have my dsl set up.

The book is a great gift to give to friends specially if you are persuading them to blog like I do or if they asks for your guidance while they are blogging and you can only help them thru text messages for you are not physically able to meet. I already ordered two more books to give to friends. I can't wait to give it to them.

Congratulations to Janette Toral for this wonderful book!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes - Quiapo

"Mommy I am sad, sakay tayo LRT, punta tayo Quiapo

para bili ako ng kapatid"

It was my mom's birthday yesterday July 12, and my brothers came to wish her a happy birthday. My brother Jon brought with him his family and so my son was happy to have his cousins to play with. I was not at home then for I was in a strategic planning workshop in school. I came home aroung 5 in the afternoon and my mother told me about her visitors that afternoon.

I was wondering where is my son Lorenzo for he did not came rushing to greet me as he always do. When I went to our room I saw my son playing on the bed and I ask how is he. He replied "Mommy I am sad, sakay tayo LRT, punta tayo Quiapo para bili ako ng kapatid". Then he tearfully told me about his cousin Matt and his brother Jet and that they are gone now and he has no one to play with, and he wished he has a brother too.

I told him that he has no brother as of now but maybe if he can wait till next year we can have one. Still depressed about now having a brother now I just told him that we love him and we are a family naman.

This morning he woke me up and told me that we can go to Quiapo today to look for his "kapatid". I told him that it is not that easy and we have to go somewhere else today. He went to church to pray to Jesus for a brother or sister and then drove his grandparents crazy about what to eat as they go to the mall.

I don't know where did he get the idea of buying a sibling at Quiapo but we do go to Quiapo as a family, we go to church there sometimes and buy toys and even our pet birds we bought in the area, maybe that is where he got the idea you can buy anything you wish for there. I asked all our family members if they told him to buy a brother in Quiapo but they denied it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

God is gracious, God is good

I wanted to celebrate my 10th year of teaching with a bang. I did not intend to have a career in teaching; I did not know I have the “calling”. Maybe it was already there but I did not recognize it.

I was very active in High School, a girl scout and a Red Cross volunteer I practically spent three years teaching about scouting and first aid. But I am quite in the classroom. I took my college years seriously concentrated in my studies and did not join any extra curricular activities, very opposite of my high school life. Maybe that is why I forgot about teaching, that it comes naturally for me, that I was trained to teach during my years in high school.

It was my dream to share what I know specially about IT, the Internet, blogging and now social networking but I found it hard to have a venue to share my knowledge, others I tried sharing how to blog felt insulted and view me as a show off. I just want them to enjoy what I do and reap from the benefits of these technologies.

Last month I thought that I can forget my dream and just be content with teaching, I have felt that I want to do more than just “teach”. I was ready to go up the ladder, take the helm or something. In short, I felt I was ready to be a manager, an administrator so I can share my vision, my dreams but I can’t see that happening in my academic career. I just prayed and let the Lord’s will be done. There were many frustrations and disappointments along the way in my academic life but I just can’t seem to totally cut myself off from teaching.

Then something happened yesterday, I thought that I would just be sharing my thoughts/know how on IT when I faced PLMar’s new university president and school officials. They were insisting on automating the student records with barely the IT infrastructure and people to do it. So I shared to them my views, past experiences and offered my services, I had no hidden agenda I just want to help the school then they formally ask me to be in charge of the university’s ICT development and ask me to join the two day strategic planning session of the university to plan the next steps we have to take in the next 5 years and ICT was its major consideration. And they even thank me for being in PLMar.

So today, I am ready to present my 5 year ICT plan to make PLMar an ICT-enabled university. It’s a lot of work, less sleep but I am happy, I even get to plan the ICT training program for all faculty and staff of the university to equip them when PLMar Go Online and offer online courses.

I thank the Lord with all my heart, now I know why despite of all efforts, I still did not have a teaching load at PUP this semester, its because He as a much bigger plan for me.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Managing a Business with IT

I am teaching Management Information System(MIS) to Business Administration students this semester. I am trying to finalize my syllabus for the subject to keep it updated with the current technology and at the same time find ways to make it more interesting to my students. It is hard to teach a subject to students that feel that the subject is of no interest to them. That is what I discovered in teaching Computer subjects to students taking up non IT courses; it’s hard to keep them motivated and is most of the time not interested in what you are teaching.

MIS is a very demanding subject to begin with and is one of the subjects in school that has a high failure rate. The subject requires an Information System Plan design project with a presentation/panel defense at the end of the semester, besides teaching about the really technical aspect about how to manage an enterprise which include IT facilities.

I was looking for ways that would make the subject more interesting and at the same time present the subject matter relevant/necessary for their course. After reviewing some books on the subject and even reviewing my notes I have while taking up my master’s degree, I decided to present the subject as a crucial aspect of managing a business today with IT playing a major part in its success and approach the subject in the viewpoint of a businessman. That got my students interested and alert during the three-hour lecture period.

My next topic to discuss is Information Technology, detailing the hardware, software, networks and databases needed to be considered in an enterprise. Hardware and software topics would not be a problem but I am having a difficult time in deciding how extensive should I teach computer networking.

I would like them to appreciate the technical side of it as well as make them understand how networks operate. I would also want them to know that aside from investing money in putting up a computer network for a company, this network must always be 100% operational or else the company loses money every time it is down. A Networking monitoring service must be in place so as to prevent or minimize network downtime.

There are so many aspects of networking I would like to discuss in a small amount of time. Maybe sticking to the managerial viewpoint would be wise way to do it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Decade of Teaching

This is my tenth year of teaching in college. I started teaching in PUP in 1998 where my students was just a two years younger than me. I teach computer engineering subjects then. I was invited by my former department head Engr. Rafael Oquindo to teach in my alma mater PUP. I was a computer programmer/developer before I started teaching in PUP but as part of my work I also train newly hired programmer trainees in our company and had been a resource person on Information Technology on several seminars before teaching in PUP.

I guess I have the calling/passion for teaching. I love teaching, when I teach I forget everything, my problems, my worries and everything else in between. What matters are the lessons I would like my students to learn. What I would like to achieve now in teaching is to teach senior citizens, or adults who don’t believe that they can still learn to operate computers and I would like them to enjoy the benefits of the Internet. Maybe even teaching kids about computers would be fun.

As I celebrate my tenth year of teaching, I would have liked to teach on where it all started even for just once a week, but some circumstances did not allow me to teach there this semester. I have taken a leave of absence in PUP last semester to pursue my business and I have no regrets. I also started to teach in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina(PLMAR) last year and I teach there this semester for a few hours everyday and the rest of my time is devoted to my family and my online business.

As I look back these past ten years, I cherish the memories I have of PUP, my students who are also my friends that until now I have in contact with and my colleagues. I am what I am today because of the trainings I gained from teaching. I did not just teach, I also learned. I was taught about leadership and resourcefulness.

I would like to thank my mentor, Engr. Rafael Oquindo, who trained me to be proactive, independent, shared the joys of researching and believe that I can do things once I set my mind into it.

At present my priority is my family and my business. I do not know if I will go back to teaching full time but I am not closing my doors to any opportunities coming my way. There are several schools offering me teaching posts but as of now I would concentrate on my redesigning mylittlebaker(way overdue!) and my Christmas Product line.

PLMAR have become my new academic family, I love the camaraderie and the joys of teaching the school is giving me. I hope to share and contribute the skills I have to PLMAR.

For the past ten years I have devoted myself to teaching and loved every minute of it. Now I would like to give the same devotion to my business, I feel the time is right. I have to do this and when I give it my all I know I will succeed!

This is the inspirational quote I always keep in mind these days.

“ I deserve the best and the best is yet to come.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2008

Here is my list for the writing project Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs in 2008. This is a writing project of Janette Toral that would be identifying new and emerging blogs that are making an impact to its readers in 2008. My list is composed of blogs I regulary read and helps me in my life, whether in my work or my personal activities.

Manila Foodistas
basta food love ko!

Filipino Voices
- thought provoking ideas on current issues and events

Visit Sagada
- always want to visit Sagada, very informative specially for people who wants to visit

The Not So Talented Dj Montano
- love his posts, he is so brave in sharing his innermost emotions and I've been reading his blog since March

- relaxing read, informative

Jd's Niche
- I met her during the ICT Training Workshop for Women Empowerment on UP last month and both declare we would be busom friends, a mommy, a fellow academic, people person just like me. Her blogs serves as a source of inspiration and reflections for me.

Mar Roxas for President in 2010
- I like the blogger's convictions in his belief for Mar Roxas to be our next President although I don't know yet if I will vote for him

Pinoy Mountaineer
- informative, the blog convinces you to try mountain climbing even once in your life

Anak ni Kulapo
- kaaliw nung adventures and misadventures nya

The Wisdom Journal
- nice ideas, great food for though, been practicing some of them already

A Free Vacation?

I have been getting this phone call lately about having won a free 3 day hotel accommodations at Days Hotel for 4 persons, all I have to do is to go to their office somewhere in Ortigas to claim the prize. But I have to bring my husband with me and there is something like a presentation we have to listen to first.

I have been getting these calls while teaching my class, and the noise level in school is high so that I didn’t get clearly the details the caller on the phone was telling me. I ask her to call on weekends instead. Since me and my husband works there is no opportunity for us to claim the prize of that free hotel accommodation anytime soon. I am also wondering how they got my information, I’ve been to different seminars and conferences lately and dropped my calling cards to different booths on those events so maybe they got it there though I can’t remember any particular company that asked me if I am interested on a vacation.

I don’t get good vibes about the “prize” I won but having free accommodation at Days Hotel got my attention that I now have this idea of having a family outing/adventure out of town. It would be great if this “prize” has no strings attached. In my mind I have been planning for that “vacation” already, checking out the Days Hotel info in the web, looking at their branches and estimating if we can afford to travel at times like this.

I don’t know if eventually I will claim that prize but the idea of traveling and going out of town have been planted and is growing in my head and if I am given the opportunity I would like to take my family to Davao City. It’s a shame that there is no Days Hotel in Davao City. Nevertheless I can find an Affordable hotel in Davao City.

Why Davao?
I would like to go there because I can mix business with pleasure. Pleasure because my son loves crocodiles and there is a croc farm there, also I like to go to Davao Pearl Farm and they say its heaven to spend your days is the beach just being lazy with your laptop. It would also be a good business move to visit Davao since there are always people from Davao inquiring if I can deliver my products there, maybe I can meet them and strike a deal?

It would really be a golden opportunity for me and my family to take a vacation especially if it is free, I can dream can’t I?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Paypal Verified!

Finally! I have my own Paypal account. Just got it verified. I am an occasional online buyer and now with Paypal I could increase my online buying activity without the fear of having my credit card hacked.

As a site owner I see many doors of opportunities opening up for me. My husband joked about even putting a link on my site asking people to donate. Kidding aside I am thankful that we have PayPal in the Philippines. It is great to think that there is like an “e-money” for online transactions.

I am still trying to learn more about my Paypal account, there are still things to set up like the bank transfers, sending money, security tips and shopping online. I have to learn these things before I can confidently use Paypal.

My next step?
Helping my husband create his own Paypal Account.
Isn’t it fun?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

House Hunt

Finding an affordable house or apartment to rent nowadays is really hard and looking for one in a place like Cubao with a beautiful, spacious kitchen(so I can bake with ease) was like finding a needle in a haystack. Of the dozens of houses I had looked into these last two months only two passed my criteria and one of them was already taken unfortunately. Luckily for me I acquired the other one, a townhouse.

Many might think that I am crazy to move from my existing apartment to a more expensive one at a time like this, when all prices of basic commodities are continuously rising. Don’t worry there are times I think so too. But when I think about the reasons and the benefits I would gain in moving into a new house it counters the other “sane” reasons to stay in our current apartment.

I planned to move into a newer spacious house so that I can make more chocolates and baked products than in the cramped space I have now. I can accept bigger orders for I know I can handle it more if I have a bigger place to work in.

I also believe that if all of you regularly or stays sick most of the time, and then it’s time to get out of that house and move into a new one. I feel that living in our current house is not anymore beneficial for us, we get sick most of the time( mostly coughs and colds and at times flu). Plus since it’s a rental and the landlord plans to raise the rental fee but would not repair the house(leaking roof, clog drains and so on) so why not just move to another house, it might cost much higher but the living conditions is much better.

Why is this location?
Well it is because my son is enrolled in this area and his comfort is our priority. I hope to enroll him in UPIS next year so we can move in Marikina or Cainta area.

Why not buy a house?
Everybody dreams of owning one. I do too. We already bought a lot and would be available to build our dream house in five years time. We also have a house already in Marikina but we choose to live in Cubao for the convenience of my family.

At these trying times many might say that what we did might not be “sane”, all I can say is that we plan to be more proactive and productive to earn more and that there are other ways to save money.

Actually the real dilemma for me is my next purchase – A CAR.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Keeping Track

These past few weeks have been hectic for me, preparing for school, house hunting, attending seminars and events, having last minute summer bonding with the family and planning protocols on moving out from our current house to moving in another while everyone of the family works and continue on their usual daily routines.

I allot time for seminars and events, to an entrepreneur like me it’s a great way in meeting people, finding great ideas and gives me the needed information in helping me run my business. I usually look for seminars or events in newspapers, on E groups which I belong to, on websites of products or services I am interested in and also on different organizations offering services on business enterprises.

I usually have regular events I go to like the coming Fil Negosyo Expo this month and Food Expo usually on held on August. This coming months is crucial for me, my mother is retiring from government service and just told me she wants to engage in business but is unsure on what to do. So I thought why not expose her to different businesses through seminars and Expos? In that way she can have the feel and observe first hand what businesses today she can engage in and see how this business is being run.

So regardless on what’s going on in our household, I still need information on Filipino Events or seminars specially related to business. Just as luck would have it I found a website where you can browse through upcoming events and you can even Add your Filipino events on their site. The site is called Filipino Village and is presented a real village complete with hospital, church, schools and even a city hall. You can click each one to see information related to schools or other places. Now looking for upcoming seminars and events is a lot easier and hassle free.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Introduction to Culinary Entrepreneurship

I attended a seminar about Culinary Entrepreneurship yesterday, organized by NEW(Network for Enterprising Women) and HDI Resource held at the TOPAZ 1, Mandarin Suites, 4F Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao, Q.C.

The seminar introduces the participants about what Culinary Enterprise is and gives basic tips on marketing, operations, costing and management of these kinds of enterprise.

I attend the seminar to get a bird’s eye view of the industry and assess if I can venture further in it. As many of you know I have an online store offering chocolates and baked goodies (mylittlebaker), and I am looking for ways to expand it further through maybe a food cart in the Mall or a snack bar.

The speaker Anthony Brendan Yu was great, he is frank and really gave his views on the Culinary Industry the perks and the risks. You can really see his passion for the industry (he has several Jollibee franchises) and shared his secrets on how he succeeded in being an entrepreneur.

He concentrated to the tools, skills and mindset we must have to be truly a success in our business ventures. As he said, these things you can practice not just on your business/career life but also on your personal life as well.

The seminar was short and it just stimulated my appetite for more info on Culinary Entrepreneurship luckily they will be having a Two Day Comprehensive Seminar on the subject in August. I am still thinking about it if I would attend since these kinds of seminar do not come cheap.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Why Health is Wealth?

It took me almost two weeks to start blogging again, I was depressed most of that time. When I get sad or emotionally down I can’t bring myself to write on my blogs. There are so many things I wanted to share but I can’t seem to form the words, to express what I feel.

Last May 6 was supposed to be our 8th Wedding Anniversary and there were great plans on how me and my hubby will spend it. But unfortunately we had to spent it in the hospital to check my swollen right foot, I was in pain and can’t use my right foot to walk or even stand on.

What started as what I thought just a small blister at the sole on my right foot turned out to a big monster source of pain and inconvenience. From what I thought was just a corn(callus) that I had months ago I discovered that it was one nasty wart and now it is infected. I did not consult a doctor about it before because I thought it was just a corn and many advised me that it is common and it will go away on its own. It continued to grow to a point of like having a mongo seed under you feet when you walk but still I ignored it thinking it will go away sooner or later, besides where will I have it checked? Is there a doctor for this kind of mundane things?

So after months of ignoring it and going on with everyday life came the climax so to speak, we went to a summer outing, 2 days of swimming and seafood. A day after(a Sunday), my “corn” started to swell like a volcano made of too much skin and it now hurt bigtime. But still I waited for it to go away, walking gingerly.

I was already preparing for a very busy week ahead. I had a shopping trip to Divisoria to outsource packaging material on Monday, a hot Anniversary date on Tuesday, baking day on Wednesday, a product presentation/taste test for a big Restaurant chain on Thursday, a get together with my high school barkada and a networking/meet-up event with e-business and e-commerce industry players on Friday and finally a facial with my mom on Saturday. Not to mention that Mother’s Day is coming up.

But when I woke up Monday morning my right foot had several more little blisters and my volcano started to become more like araneta coliseum at the size of a one peso coin. And my foot started to swell. I called my husband at the office and told him to take the next day off at work and I think we have to go to a doctor.

The next day, still thinking it was just a skin problem we first went to a dermatologist first at the advice of a relative and from there we were shocked with what he said. He said that it was a wart and asks why did I just came to him now, he can’t remove it and I need surgery pronto! So we went to St. Luke’s Hospital and went to a surgeon for a consult. He said that it is a plantar wart and is infectious, the wart swelled due to long hours soaked in water(swimming) and another wart is starting to grow near it plus and the other blisters were in fact allergies. I told him about the seafood I consumed and it aggravated my condition.

So after siphoning the blood/pus in my swollen warts he told me to not eat chocolates, seafood, eggs and chicken for 10 days so that my blisters can be gone and just clean my wound/wart with soap and water. I need to wait for the swelling to go down and the swollen skin to fall off so that he can assess if we will proceed with the surgery to remove the wart.

I was so disappointed with myself, not taking care of myself and my health lead me to this situation. Opportunities were lost and plans not pushed through as I became immobile for the rest of the week. Went into depression and just spent my days reading all the Harry Potter books( yes, all 7 of them) and playing with Virtual Villagers2. Not even bothering to go online and see all the opportunities I lost that week.

I realized that Personal Health is important, even just a measly foot blister must not be ignored. Before I just endure the pains I feel thinking of the medical cost. But now I promised myself that I will start to take care of my health and stop abusing my body.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Social Networking and eBusiness Event of the Year is Here!

Be a Delegate @ the Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2008

I won a seat to be a delegate for the conference, I would like to thank Fiera de Manila Inc. and the Club for this opportunity. Being a social networker is alreadly a part of my daily life for many years now and I know that the topics to be discussed in the 2 day conference will enrich my life further.

The Social Networking and E-Business Conference Philippines 2008 is anevent geared towards:1. Companies who wants to see the potential of social networks foradvertising, word of mouth, and reaching out to users with big socialnetworks for collaboration.2. Current, start-up, and upcoming players in the social networkingindustry who would like to gain insight and share perspective as tohow this industry is evolving.3. Internet users who are interested to find out how this dynamicspace will change in the years to come.

The conference is organized by Fiera de Manila Inc. and the Club and will be held at Hotel Intercontinental, Ayala Avenue, Makati City on May 20 and 21, 2008.

Register as a delegate at:

Limited exhibit booths and corporate sponsorship package available.Parties interested can email Fiera de Manila at orcall +6328960639 or 37.

Register as an exhibitor at

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Great Summer for Lorenzo

One of the joys of being a kid during summer is going to new places, playing all day and meeting new friends.

Last May 2 and 3, we joined my mother’s office summer outing at a resort in Pampanga. The two day summer outing is the last outing that my mother joins in before she retires this July.

My son Lorenzo was in heaven, he got to swim and play with new friends. Since my son is an only child he seldom has kids his age to play with and the outing was an opportunity for him to develop his social skills.

It was bittersweet when we were parting with his new friends, he invited them to visit us at home. I am so proud of my son’s friendliness and generosity. Making him feel he is loved greatly and is supported in what he is doing made Lorenzo confident and giving towards others.

I hope at that even when my mom retires my son’s communication with his new friends remains.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Job hunting?

Its summer again and with another batch of my students will graduate this coming May. They are at the moment job hunting and as there are so many job fairs all over the metro lately, I would like to share to them some tips on job hunting.

  1. Apply for jobs that matches you skills, however if there are certain jobs that you would like to have but at present you don’t have that skill or skills, you have to enroll in additional courses to have that skills. It will take time to study but if you are determined to have that job, you got to work hard for it.
  2. While waiting for job interviews or while still job hunting, take this opportunity to build up your portfolio. If your field is on web programming or design, create websites even on free websites or offer your services for free to family and friends, these sites will give you the opportunity to showcase your skills and would be useful during job interviews. It is also the same for programming.
  3. Create a blog, this is another way to build up your portofilo, regardless of your field, make it your professional blog, write about what interests you. For example you are a Culinary graduate then create a foodie blog.
  4. Create a winning resume, prepare your resume from the interviewee’s point of view, use the job advertisement as a guide to your resume and include experience and education to support your skills, be 100% correct on spelling and grammar and print your resume in a white high quality paper.
  5. Use technology to your advantage. There are so many job ads website you can subscribe to, regularly visit them for new job posts. Learn new skill online, some of them are even free. Look for resume maker online if you are still in doubt on the resume you have created.
  6. Lastly, be prepared. Before going on interviews, research on the company, its background and products, reflect on why you want to join that company and how you can be an asset to them. Review/study about the job position you are applying, you interviewer may ask questions pertaining to certain technical or specific skill needed for the job.

    Happy Job Hunting!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Healthy Indulgence

I was deep in food research last week in search for Japanese inspirations, going around malls, supermarkets and restaurants looking for the perfect Japanese inspired desserts(It’s a hard job but somebody has to do it) when I saw the article about Japanese restaurants in Yummy Magazine. Through the magazine I discovered Kozui Green Tea Café.

I was having a tough time finding green tea ingredients for my baking needs and tried calling Kozui, a green tea café and was thankful that they indeed sell different varieties of green teas. Since it was a weekend and we were scheduled to go out as a family we decided to check out the café at the same time buy the green tea I needed.

I started drinking tea when I vacationed in Hongkong a few years ago and since develop a habit of drinking them although I am a confessed coffee addict, so I was really looking forward to visiting Kozui.

Kozui is located at Tomas Morato, Quezon City. They have a variety of food and beverages with green tea or tea as an ingredient. We ordered Matcha Lemon Teaz and Jasmine Lemon Teaz for our refreshements since it was a hot afternoon, a ham and egg sandwich, a shrimp tempura and Tearamizu and an Oatmeal tea cookie for dessert. Everything was delicious we were full and happy. I even bought 2 more oatmeal tea cookies to take home.

I was really a healthy indulgence, it was the first time I went home after eating out where I felt light and refreshed. Often times when we eat out I feel so full that I have a very heavy feeling afterwards.

Anthony, the owner is very welcoming as well as his staff that we really enjoyed eating at Kozui. It was an enjoyable evening that promises a return visit. There are still other food and desserts that I am looking forward to eat like their tea lattes, anmitsu and the intriguing green tea cheesecake.

Kozui Green Tea Café is located at 258 Tomas Morato St. corner Scout Fernandez, Quezon City, Tel No.(632) 413-2705

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Food Crisis or Money Crisis?

These past months we are hit with continuous rise in the prices of gasoline, cooking oil and flour but what shocks all of us is the price of our staple food, RICE. If only the price of oil/gasoline is the one that is going up many of us may ignore it for most of the population does not have their own cars so we are not directly affected, but when the price of RICE went up everybody stopped and took notice.

I for one could not fully comprehend why the price of commercial rice is on the record high some reaching 50 persos per kilo, since there is no rice shortage and we see in the news warehouse after warehouse full of sacks of rice. The videos of people lining up for hours in the summer heat just to buy 2 kilos of NFA rice is really heart breaking, this should not have happen to an agriculture country such as the Philippines.

As the budget/purchasing officer of the family I feel the pinch of our situation now, it’s just not happening in the country but when you read the news, its happening worldwide, from the richest countries to the poorest ones. One can’t help be afraid and ask what is happening? Have we overpopulated the whole planet to have this kind of crisis? I am still looking for answers on these ones.

Our family is affected by the situation, we are now conscious of our consumption of almost everything especially food, even our shopping behavior have changed. Before when we go to the groceries we just buy anything we want without regard if we really need them, now when I go to the groceries I just buy the necessary items. I also now practice consuming what is in stock at our pantry before buying anything else.

I have a pantry where I stock noodles, canned goods, milk, tea, biscuits and most of the time there are items in there that get shoved at the back, gets forgotten and thrown out after a few months because it’s expired already.

As a baker I also feel it as almost all ingredients necessary in baking had gone up, what can I do to sell my goodies? There is no other choice but to increase the product price also.

So what can we do to get through this Money Crisis?

I got this tips from Pinoy Smart
1. increase your income
2. spend wisely; manage your expenses
3. do both

The first option is easier said than done; but if you have the drive, patience and persistence you can do it. However, it may take some time before you can get a significant rise in your income.

The second option is also not easy to do especially if you have been used to unwise spending. However, managing your expenses properly can have immediate positive results and allow you to get more for your hard-earned money. Kung wais ka sa paggastos ng pera mo, mas malayo ang mararating nito kahit na walang dagdag sa iyong kinikita.

I agree with Pinoy Smart, we Pinoys are madiskarte, and a resilient people we need to thinks of ways to get through this crisis, we must think of new ways of adding to the income of our family like taking on part time jobs if we have to and most especially spending our hard earned money wisely.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Creating Product Awareness

I read an article from a business section of one of the leading broadsheets a few days ago and one night my husband and I got to talk about it. It was about creating an awareness or buzz about your product/brand and in doing so you can create a demand for your product.

We talked about how do we apply that to my current business considering also the changes I plan to make for my business. There were many things I am considering right now, making my made-to-order business to include catering.

The article gave examples about some companies in the country getting services of PR agency to create the “buzz” about their products. It tells the story how a PR agency transforms a juice drink to be synonymous to a certain brand. It also shared some tips that PR Agency in the Philippines do to make sure their client’s Ads a success.

Lessons I learned from this article are; Ads need not be expensive to guarantee success of the product, Ads must be noticed by the right consumer that are willing to pay for the goods or services that you are selling and getting your customers’ point of view is an important part of the development of the marketing strategy.

I hope I can practice this lessons when its time to implement the changes for my business.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Summer Activities for kids

It’s summer once again and for kids it means fun, fun and more fun. But for a child like my son who loves school this summer time is “boring”. He has frequent tantrums now a days for there is not enough to do and he misses school and his classmates. It’s one of the disadvantages of being an only child, there are no other kids to play with. I decided than one solution would be to enroll Lorenzo to a summer activity and I looked around and here is what I found out:

Learn a new sport
My son is overweight and his pedia encouraged us to give him more physical activities.

I found an Ad about it Milo Summer Sports Clinics on the newspaper and called the MILO hotline (02) 914-7111 and discovered they have various sports activities to choose from karate, swimming, basketball, bowling, taekwondo and other sports catering to different ages. I am considering enrolling him on taekwondo but my husband thinks it’s too soon.

My son loves to swim so a swimming lesson is another choice we are considering, I am still looking for the appropriate swim school Milo has them but still I want to have many options. I visited the Marikina Sports Park if they have a summer program and also inquired at Bert Lozada Swim School

Art Lessons Anyone?
My son also loves to sing and dance, it maybe in the genes as his lolo was a great dance instructor, plus I got so inspired from his performance at his recognition day. So I look for organizations that offer dance and art classes. I found out that Teatro Marikina has a Summer Art Workshop and is offering at a small fee. They offer Dancing classes. Art classes, Children’s Theater, Voice lessons and even lessons for different lessons. I also found out about PETA’s Summer Art Workshops.

Academics in Summer?
My son really want to start reading books so I got an idea maybe I can enroll him at children’s preschool offering summer readiness at math readiness programs but being cooped inside a classroom during summer is not much fun and I could always teach him at home.

So many choices and if it is only up to me I would like to enroll him at least to classes but since many of the schedules overlap with each other I have to just pick one and then choose any a different one next summer.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Congratulations Nicole!

I attended last night the elementary graduation of my inaanak Patricia Nicole at Roosevelt College Cainta. It was a very memorable affair, as the graduates are receiving their diploma there was a video presentation on the side of the stage featuring the picture of the graduate and what he dreams to be when he grows up.

It was very refreshing so see so many young people that are so positive about their future, we got to see their dreams and I realized that as adults we have to help them make their dreams a reality.

Nicole is very special to me, she is my “first” baby. I got to take care of her when she’s just a year old, I would usually borrow her on weekends and buys her tons of baby stuff. With her I got to feel what it is to be a mother, the long nights of feedings, you feel torn when you have to leave her because you got to work.

Nicole wants to be a chef when she grows up, and since I love baking maybe starting this summer I’ll start informally teach her the joys of baking.

Congratulations to a very special girl in my life!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Social Networking and eBusiness Conference 2008

Being in a social network opened many doors for me, I made friends, got invited to free seminars and even helped in making my dream of starting an online business a reality. As an educator I use social networks to be always in touch with my students, make sure information disseminations is easy and swift to reach them in order to supplement what we learn inside the classroom.

I also use the social network to keep in touch with family and friends all over the world and to also easily communicate with colleagues. We can’t escape it, social networking is becoming the norm, a ways of life. It makes time and distance almost insignificant, long distance relationship bearable.

The event Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2008 is a very significant event and reflects the signs of the times. It shows that social networking and eBusiness is here to stay and grow bigger in the years to come.

The conference is organized by Fiera de Manila Inc. and the Club and will be held at Hotel Intercontinental, Ayala Avenue, Makati City on May 20 and 21, 2008.

Why would I like to attend the conference?
I would like to attend the conference to meet people with the same beliefs like me that social networking is here to stay. As an educator, I would like to improve myself and in doing so it would enable me to spread and share the benefits of social networking to my students and the academe.

One of my objectives this summer is to teach my parents how to use the Internet, teach them to communicate with our relatives abroad through social network sites, teach them how to blog and reach out to people with their same interests and beliefs. And the conference would give me insights on how to reach out to people like my parents that as of now are technically challenged.

As an entrepreneur I would like to open more opportunities for my business and the conference would help me improve my business through Internet marketing, affiliate programs and business networking.

Want to win passes to the event? click here

Monday, March 17, 2008

New ways to listen and learn

I got a free iPod shuffle when I bought my laptop last year and since then, using it changed many things for me. I am not really fond of listening music though the use of earphones but since listening on my iPod I gotten the hang of it.

I don’t just use it for listening to music, I also use it in listening to podcasts and recently I got this habit of listening on audio books on self help topics like the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen F. Covey's bestseller on personal effectiveness and the Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I even found audio books on IT and business management topics.

The use of this small gadget is proved beneficial for me. I also have reflective, refreshing music played on it specially when I am traveling or I listen to audio books that I know will help me improve myself.

At present I am looking for audio on the teachings of the church to help me reflect this Holy Week. I read recently that the church is trying to bring the teachings of the Lord to the people through the use of technology like the Internet and for me this is very welcome for the at least you can find information readily about the Church. Even the “Pasyon” would have a Videoke in CD version available for the next generation to practice and appreciate.

I also would like to give an iPod to my father so that he can listen to his favorite “oldies” anytime(without torturing us with it all day on the radio). If only I can buy one for him or maybe win one for him. Maybe I will try my luck here: Register to win a new iPod shuffle at Camera World Auction.

The benefits of new technologies give us is changing the way we do things with ease and help us improve ourselves even at a press of a button.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lorenzo's Nursery Recognition Day

This morning was Lorenzo’s Nursery Recognition Day, after weeks of practice for the program and a year of studying; we finally attended the conclusion of Lorenzo’s Nursery Classes. The school said this day is the gift of the children for us their parents, it was a special and happy day for everybody.

We enjoyed the special numbers prepared by the children, Lorenzo even conducted the National Anthem(I’ll upload it in You tube soon). They showcased the skills and talent they had developed throughout the school year, they danced, sang and even performed a short play. It touched my loving mother’s heart how eager and good all of them were during their performances. I got teary eyed when the children sang then gave roses to their parents as a culmination of the ceremonies.

The Awards
Even though I attended their daily rehearsals I have no idea what awards would be given or if my son would receive any but just before the awarding portion got started my son whispered in my ear that he has 3 awards. To our surprise my son got the Most Friendly award! (I am one proud Mama indeed!). He also received Best in Mathematics and Reading, and is Top 5 in the class.

The Competitive Spirit
The biggest surprise I had was when Lorenzo cried during the awarding of the top 3 honors. He cried because he does not have a medal, that is when I realized how competitive my son was. It was a surprise for my husband and I for we are not that competitive. We told him that its ok, he is in Top 5 it’s enough and I motivated him that next school year we will study even harder together so he can be Top 1.

All in all I thank the Lord for giving me a bright and loving child and promised to nurture him to be the best that he can be.


Our Manila Ocean Park Adventure

We visited the newly opened Manila Ocean Park located behind the Quirino Grandstand at the Rizal Park on my birthday last March 8, a Saturday with my husband Samuel, my son Lorenzo and my Mom. We have been waiting for the chance to visit the park since last year. The Park which was supposed to open December last year was finally opened last February 29. As a Filipino I am very happy and proud that finally we have our own Oceanarium in the country that showcases our rich marine life.

Since it was a Saturday the Ocean Park was full of visitors, we spent almost an hour waiting in line due to heavy crowds mostly groups of families just as eager to get in. There are food stalls in the lobby of the park where you can eat before you get in the oceanarium proper. It’s a good advice to eat before entering the oceanarium for it takes 2 hours to fully tour it and food and beverages are not allowed inside.

Some Information about the Manila Ocean Park I got from its website:

The Manila Ocean Park’s Oceanarium promises a "deeper experience" as it features an assortment of colorful fishes and invertebrates indigenous to the Philippines and Southeast Asia contained in 12,000 cubic meters of seawater.
The Oceanarium journey is divided into six sections and each section will carry a Filipino name: "Agos"; "Bahura"; "Buhay na Karagatan"; "Pating"; "Ang Kailaliman"; and "Laot".

It replicates the water flow from a fresh water source that eventually leads to the open ocean, creating a model of interconnectedness between land and sea. It then takes one through the different depths of the sea showcasing each area’s beautiful and natural inhabitants

Its main attraction is a 25-meter long, 220 degree curved acrylic walkway tunnel. Visitors will be exploring the secrets of the ocean and surrounded by such underwater wonders without actually getting wet.

Other attractions we saw
The Park’s other attraction includes a multimedia exhibit/activity hall where children can participate in art/craft activities that aims to educate them in the importance to taking care of our marine environment. There are also a shark and an octopus mascots to keep the kids entertained.

The fish spa – another attraction on the park is this latest spa craze. On the second floor of the park you get to soak you feet in a pool filled with “doctor fish”, these fish feeds on dead skins cells of your feet and the whole process is pain free although you might feel a tingling sensation when they “feed on” you. My son and I tried it out and we enjoyed every minute of it. Although it costs P100/person is a great way of relaxing your tired feet from all that walking plus it’s educational and a great bonding experience for me and Lorenzo.

There is also a souvenir shop at the end of the tour. Other sections of the park are still under construction like the mall and the hotel that is said to open late this year.

My Oceanarium experience:
The experience was awesome! We got to hold a real live starfish, watch the sharks and fish being fed, saw a big spider crab and imagine playing with dozens of fish under the sea. To tell you the truth I am afraid of the sea but I love watching marine life(I have a 30 gal aquarium) so, going to the oceanarium is a great experience for me and my family and I have it all on video! (I’m still trying to edit them so I can upload it on You Tube.

As we leave the park I just hoped that it will be well maintained for I see myself visiting it over and over again.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Preparing to own a car

I’ve been putting off buying a car for years and since its will be beneficial for my family and my business I have decided that its time to have one. One reason I’ve put it off is because I don’t want to drive and that is the condition my husband gave a few years ago when I asked him if we could buy a car for he does not want to drive too. He has a quick temper and I get scared easily, plus I usually day dream while traveling or on the road not a good practice when you’re the one driving.

I asked advice from one of my uncles who is a company driver and he advised me to learn how a car works, its parts and information about cars or any other vehicles I am interested with. He advised me to enroll in a good driving school and he refused to teach me informally due to the fact it will be hard for both of us because of my zero knowledge in cars or even on motorbikes. I plan to enroll in a driving school this summer.

I am planning to buy a car before the year ends and I have plenty of time to learn about cars. What I do now is to familiarize myself on the different models of cars, I am also reading up on engines for I receive advises on what kind of engines to look for if I ever buy a second hand car. I am also more observant now while traveling, observing how the driver drives and navigate traffic. It sometime is scary when you think of driving around Manila.

I’ve always dream of owning a Honda car and recently came across an information about Honda launches VCM 643 and I got fascinated reading about engines and how it works. I have still a long way to go before I am driving my own car but at least learning about them is a move to the right direction.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Birthday Wishes, Hopes and Dreams

It’s my Birthday today, and I made the conscious choice of spending it with my family than at work. The lure of my work is really hard to refuse but at the end of the day what is more important is the family, the people you love most.

This day we will spend it in Manila Ocean Park, a new attraction here in Manila, maybe a dinner in a restaurant as the day end. There are only two kinds of food that I usually like to have on my special day one is spaghetti and a cake with candles so that I can make a wish as I blow them.

I don’t really have a wish list for my birthday for I don’t expect to receive any gifts but I have my secret hopes and dreams. I stopped expecting gifts from other people but what I would like is to accomplish and acquire my wants through my own hard work. It’s much rewarding that way.

As I grow older I realize that I reflect more on where I am at my stage in life, what I want to achieve in a year, in five years time and what steps I would take to achieve them. This year is very crucial for me, there are so many things at stake in the decisions I make.

The Secret Wishes
I would like to have another child soon. As my biological clock ticks ever so loudly I would like to get pregnant again, it may not be possible this year but next year definitely.

I want to have a Kitchen Aid mixer. I want one in red or pink. Do you know that I mix all my baked goodies by hand (I use a wooden spoon or spatula) unless the recipe explicitly says to use a mixer? This mixer is not cheap and since it’s not a necessity I won’t buy one unless I have saved for it.

I want to widen my role in the academe. As I mark my ten years in teaching I am ready for the next step, to make/conceptualize academic programs, create special trainings and conduct more extensive researches.

I want to volunteer in orphanages. I am searching an orphanage where I can spend my free time taking care of children. I believe I have so much love to share and it is one ways of thanking God for the blessing He has given me.

The Hopes and Dreams
One of my dreams is to treat my mother with a trip to Hongkong and China. My mom is a great shopper and a great way to bond with her is with a shopping trip!

I want to own my first car before the end of this year. Of course I got to learn how to drive first.

I want to have a physical store for my business and find the right people to help my operate it.

These are only for 2008 as for the next few years I’m keeping those secret dreams in my heart.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday Lorenzo!

Happy birthday, dearest one,
Sweet child of my heart!
We've become one family,
Of which you are a part.

And so I sing out equally
To all of those who are
Mine by blood or fortune blessed,
No more, no less my star!

We are one in love and joy,
In fondness and in worth,
And so as one we celebrate
This day, your day of birth!

As a mother I believe that we must also celebrate the day that we bore our children. It is a celebration for entering into motherhood as much as a celebration of birth by the celebrant. Words cannot express what I feel today, so much happiness, so much love.

At this time I only have 3hours of sleep preparing for my son's birthday party held in his school but I don't mind. I would have made my own peom for Lorenzo but at this time words seems elusive. So I got this special poem from Nicholas Gordon for express what I feel for my son Lorenzo.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Edible Giveaways

I am constantly trying to try out new things for my business and throughout last year there are inquiries about edible giveaways for weddings and birthdays. At present I am in the research and development stage in producing edible giveaways for weddings and birthdays. Maybe other events would follow as I improve my skills in crafts and arts.

I receive suggestions encouraging me to join Philippine Wedding bazaars and events so showcase my products and that is my target for this year. Weddings have become a big industry in the country and many business opportunities are available if you know how to tap the market. My main focus my wedding giveaways is to showcase the Filipino culture in my designs, that is why I am looking for materials that shouts “proudly pinoy” as guests would see them.

My dream wedding was to have a Filipiniana theme wedding but I did not have one. Wearing a gown made of Piña, maria clara styled of course and have to whole entourage wear Filipiniana inspired designs and all details like invitations in bamboo holders down to the giveaways was really my dream. But when I realized that having a Filipiniana theme wedding is expensive, I opted to the modern theme but at least I got my other wish to make my wedding “engrande”.

So now I get to design wedding giveaways “filipiniana inspired” to bring out the romantic feelings of the Filipino lover and parts of it is edible too.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Chocolate Bunny for a Very Special Kid

We are going to a birthday party this Sunday, he is a playmate of my son and is the son of my husband’s boss. My son loves to play with him and always asks us when can he play with him again. The only issue that my husband raised when I was thinking about what to give for a birthday gift is what do you give a child so basically have “everything”? or can have any toy he wants. Obviously we are in a dilemma then my husband suggested “why not give him one of your delicious chocolates? But not the ordinary ones, make it something special”

So I decided to give him one of my chocolate bunnies, it is made of pure solid chocolate and what kid would not want to have a special chocolate just for him. The tricky part was, where to put it, so I looked around for a water bottle for kids and got just the right one, a Bugs Bunny water bottle.

Everyone should be given special chocolates once in a while and to receive them on your birthday make it even more special.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lorenzo’s Study Time Made Easy

Lorenzo’s final exams are coming up, and making sure that he is ready to take his exams is one of my responsibilities as a parent, even a working one. My son at his age is not an easy child to study with, there are times he gets distracted or stops at the middle of our study time and decides he is already finished studying and would like to do another activity. Lucky for me I had the foresight to allocate a quite corner for our study time and they were told at school to study their lessons before going to sleep at night.

Strategies I have to help Lorenzo study:

Have a routine – we have our study time after dinner every night even on weekends. Giving him a set activity where he can study his lessons or learn new things helps him form good study habits.

Make studying fun – Lorenzo does poorly in writing, as this is his weakness I make up stories or sound effects while teaching him/practicing to write to make the activity fun and interesting for him.

Have supplementary activity books available – I regularly buy books related to the topics he have at class, I do this so that he can practice writing and at the same time review his lessons he had in schools. His schools books are not allowed to be answered at home unless it is an assignment and having another book related to the topic he wants to color or write on makes him enjoy studying better.

Teach him to love books – I love to read books and every time we go out and see a bookstore I usually go and browse inside. We made it a habit whenever we go out and see Goodwill bookstore to go inside and let our son look at books he wants and let him buy one book every visit, or more if he’s really been good. Now he refers to his bookshelf as his library and we read one or two books before we sleep.

Invest in flash cards
– One of the most treasured materials we have is his flash cards. I remember my husband buying it a week after Lorenzo was born it is an eight-pack collection of cards alphabets, Numbers 1-10, colors, shapes and others. He bought it for 300 pesos and I am very thankful he did, even if we waited for 3 years before we can use it. I use them as supplements for the lessons like what is the first letter each picture have? I usually make it as a card game where we split the cards between us and we take turns putting a card in the table and give the starting letter for each card and who ever puts all his cards in the table first wins. I usually let him win for every time we play the card game I win too, he learned more through this game and we had fun doing it.

Supplement with Online Materials – there are many websites for children that helps kids with their lessons and at the same time they have fun learning them. My son regularly visits websites where he can play games with his favorite cartoon characters. Just be sure you review the sites yourselves first so you know what your child is absorbing online. I usually guide him to the topics I feel he needs to study before I allow him choose other topics or part of the website he wants to go. You also have to supervise him. My son knows how to navigate aand go to his favorite websites(we have them bookmarked) but still you must also be on hand if he has questions or if he goes to a site not appropriate for his age.

Don’t cram! - Oh that saying is true whether you’re in nursery or in your masters course or at work. It would be difficult to cram studying with a four year old for they have short attention spans and both of you will feel the pressure. I usually start reviewing Lorenzo for major exams two weeks before, just insert a topic during every study time until he knows it. By the time the actual exam days arrive you are both relaxed and eager to start study time.

Lastly, TRUST you child that he knows what he is doing. When he says “I know that already Mom”, stop and move on to the next topic.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Keeping the Love Alive

Having children is great but sometimes it takes its toll in the relationship as husband and wife. My husband always complains about the lack of privacy and time spent for just the two of us. We even spent these valentines day with our son, “how romantic” hehehe. I just promised him that our anniversary is coming up and we can make up for the lost opportunities then.

One luxury we give ourselves as a couple is checking into hotels even once a year. We love the sense of privacy it gives us, gives us a break from the hectic activity as a family. It is the time we renew our love for each other and or simply put it gives us a chance to just be us, as a couple, as husband and wife. Even just for a day or two we focus on romance, keep the love burning so to speak. We just check in the hotel then go out to enjoy the day as a couple, watch a movie, window shop and eat at our favorite restaurant.

We don’t go too far, because you never know what emergency will pop up on your absence, there was even a time when our helper quit when we were away. Going to long vacations is not our style, we both have demanding jobs. And thinking of just traveling out of Manila in this traffic make us tired. Maybe when our son is older we may try vacationing in the province but as of now we will just stick to Metro Manila.

We usually look for hotels online and see if the amenities are to our liking and we book ahead. Great news for us is the increase in the available hotels in Manila and the whole country, there are really hotels to cater to everyone, for families, balikbayans and even just for couples like us who from time to time like to relax. There are even Value Hotels in the Philippines available online. It makes it easier for us to choose what hotel we would like to go to.

As our anniversary nears I would be busy planning a great romantic weekend for husband and me or if I can’t wait for it, maybe I can ask for a romantic getaway as a birthday gift next month.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Parental Achievement

I have just paid my son’s last quarter tuition fee and I felt an overwhelming feeling of achievement. I gave the Lord a heartfelt thank you message as I receive the final permit and receipt. I have finished paying Lorenzo’s tuition for this school year and coughing up twenty nine thousand pesos for a whole year in nursery is no joke. As any parent would understand, giving your children the best education that you can provide and afford really matters.

I believe that the primary years of education is important, it is you child’s educational foundation. Once your child have these strong foundation you can be assured of your child’s performance in school till college. It is also one of the gifts my parents gave all of us kids. They sacrificed so that they can send us to a good private school in elementary and then let us loose in high school and college to public schools. We even graduated in state universities.

I love every minute I have studying in all my schools; I am even the one that requested my parents to allow me to enroll in a public high school and because of my strong foundation during my formative years it served me well through college.

It’s not that I frown upon public elementary schools, it just that I would like to give my son the best that we can as parents. I am an educator and I know how good our educators are in public schools.

There are just advantages to having your child on a private school, one is the student-teacher ratio, and it is much smaller at a private school. I am assured that my son will be given proper attention in class.

Another reason why I chose a private school for my son is the lessons given. Being a child of both parents in the Information Technology field my son is exposed early on using computers, multi media and the Internet. So in an ordinary class set up my son will have difficulty in following lessons. This is also encountered by my friends as their children too are exposed to information technology and their children get bored easily at just an ordinary class setup.

Another benefit my son acquired in his school is the good study habits, I will be forever grateful to his teacher Manel for it. My son always asks to study before bedtime, it has become our routine, every night even during weekends and vacations after dinner we go to our room to study his lessons, we review all his notebooks and books and make his assignment if there is any. What a nice start in life, my parents tell me to continue this practice as he grows older.

I am thankful for the fruitful year my son have in school and as the end of the school year approaches I will savor every minute of it and share with you all of the lesson learned I experienced as a parent having a son go to school for the first time. It is also my achievement as a working mother, allocating time for study time and keeping track of his progress at school is an achievement in itself as my son not an easy student most of the time.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Chocolate Roses Anyone?

It’s February again, the love month.

It is the time to reach out and tell people that they are important and they are loved. I remember when I was in grade school my mother has this gift wrapping paper full of small hearts and I asked her what she is doing with it, she replied that she was cutting the paper into small half-inch sized hearts and come valentines day she gives them to her friends at the office. Mostly, the small hearts are pinned on the clothes to let everybody know that it’s Valentines Day. Since then I also started giving those small paper hearts to friends and family but nowadays I give chocolate roses.

Chocolate roses can be considered a 2-in-1 gift this valentine, instead of just giving roses and chocolates separately your can give both. I remember the thrill in receiving a bouquet of roses during Valentines Day but those roses wilt after a day or two, but receiving chocolates gives me an all time high. Chocolates are my passion, even the smell of them makes me happy.

This Valentines day give chocolate roses to your loved ones and make them feel special. I make these choco roses in various colors, just visit www.mylittlebaker .com for details

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

In Search of the Right Business Opportunity

My mother is retiring in a few months, and she has expressed her interest in venturing into a business with me. There are two choices I am considering to venture out into a full time business. As of now my online chocolates and baking business is a part time only, I only bake when there is an order and it follows that I earn only when I have orders. But if I make it as a fulltime business and put a physical store then maybe I can have a regular income from that biz. My problem is there are too many risks involved especially monetary risk and my brand is not that known.

Another option it to have a franchise business, the brand is there and the business is already working. But my problem with franchising is there are so many available now that it’s really hard to choose what will work for you.

I am also considering getting a franchise like a food cart business and then sell my products along with it. I don’t know if that is allowed but at least it’s an idea. I am also surfing the net for franchising options they have abroad like the Singapore Franchise Opportunity and compare them with local franchises.

So from here till the time my mother retires I just have to really study all my options and consult with her what will work for both of us.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Looking Forward to a Challenging Year

This year is a challenging year for me; I have big responsibilities to shoulder and crucial decisions to make. I got a little depressed when 2008 started there are so many things I want to achieve this year but I realized that I have to sacrifice some things to achieve them. So for these past two weeks I started soul searching and prayed to the Lord to always guide me

My mother is retiring this year and as a loving daughter I am taking full responsibility in taking good care of them. Actually one of the reasons why I ventured into business is to have an opportunity have a business partnership with my mother, she is a great cook. Working after retirement will be beneficial financially and physically. My mother is a workaholic; she even goes to the office even when she’s on leave. That is why I am considering on having a physical store wherein she can supervise during the day at her own pace. I even have a line up of would be salespersons on standby.

I am also planning to move to a new house by summer. My business is growing and the place that we have now is not enough when I start baking. I need to give my baking business its own space too. I need to find a bigger house. It would also help in controlling the food intake of my son, he just so love those cupcakes.

Considering buying a car, an owner type jeep will do. I am considering supplying establishments of my baked products but having no means to transport them is holding me back. Even buying supplies is getting hard as I order by bulk on certain ingredients like a sack of flour(25kgs.) and still use public transport. Driving lessons here I come.

On my academic work, certain opportunities are opening up and I am considering them. I figured I can’t leave the academe just yet. The opportunities in this area of my professional life is very challenging and exciting at the same time. I thought I’ve given up on my dream on being a department head but it seems God is giving me another chance to be one.

We also acquired a piece of real estate as an investment, a future dream house. Paying amortization and saving up for that dream house got me motivated to work really hard.

On the business side I also would like to join bazaars and trade fairs to promote my business. I am also considering having another business partner to share the load on the baking side of things. That way I can have time for other things.

I have my reservations too.

What if I need to choose between the work or the business?
What will I choose?
Do I really need to choose?
Or should I really look for a business partner?
What if my business don't pick up as I thought it would?
Can I do all of these things?

I also have other plans that I realized might not work out this year like having another child and enrolling on a doctoral degree program. But you never know, with lots of prayers and hard work I might have my cake and eat it too before 2009 comes along.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Healthy Choices

I sold more baked products last Christmas than chocolates, and demands for them continue to come in but I noticed that my son added more weight due to availability cupcakes and sweets at home all the time.

Since last year I have been trying to make my son lose weight encouraging eating more fruits and limiting consumption of chocolates and sweets but it is hard when they are readily available anytime of the day.

Making the right and healthy choices
I would like to make my family live a healthy life starting this year and even though I have orders for baked products and sweets I am now starting to develop healthier baked goodies.

I already started with my sugar free and low cholesterol oatmeal almond cookies and gave them as gift for my diabetic relative last Christmas and they really loved it. Now I’m developing healthy cupcakes filled with fresh fruits, oatmeal and using low fat ingredients that are good for the heart.

The verdict?
They love it, even my customers love it. I’ve already sold apple oatmeal and banana flavored cupcakes to very happy customers and their kids.

Sugar Free?
I’ll try sugar free cakes and icing next and maybe sell them this coming valentine.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A Year, A New Hope

A new year for me means a new opportunity to better oneself. To avoid past mistakes and apply what you have learned from them. It can also mean a new life ahead, a promise of a greater future.

I am surrounded of young people, some at the crossroads of their career life, some already making a head start for the life they always planned to have. A few of them have me to help and support in any decisions they make, they are my cousins, some just graduated from college and currently deciding to move on to a new job and some deciding on what courses should they take to make their dreams come true. Some are friends who are on the crossroads to work abroad or stay here in the country. Even I just got unsolicited advice from well meaning relatives to just stop working here and go abroad to work.

Work or a source of income. They say money make the world go round, some dreams cost money like house and lot, cars, clothes etc. That is why choosing the right career path or the right company to work in is crucial. But in order to be accepted to the company you would like to work in, also involve planning. You have to do research about the company what they do and do you really think it can help you achieve your goals and you also have to market yourself for them to hire you.

Resumes are an important to get you hired, even my husband and I who both applied to new companies/institutions this past year had to redesign our resumes to land the jobs we want. There are many websites available to help you construct a great resume and some offer resume service wherein they can actually help you come out with polished resumes.

So prepare you resumes carefully, it’s the first step in impressing your future employers.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

I would like to greet everyone A Happy New Year!!!

And may your year be filled with Blessings from the Lord.