MYMP: Make Your Mentor Proud! (Confessions of an X-Instructor)

Lately, I’ve been meeting or chatting with my former students who have made a mark in their own fields and it makes me so proud to have been part of their lives. Former students who come up to me and say “thank you for being my teacher” make me so happy and fulfilled.

You see, I never really dreamed of becoming a teacher. For me, it was just a coincidence that I needed a job and (luckily) MSU gave it to me. I was even reluctant but I grabbed it anyway because at that time, I needed money – which is not a very nice motivation to do something.

I wasn’t really equipped with the proper tools for me to become an effective teacher. I didn’t have any Education background (although I come from a family of teachers). I only had an idea of how to teach based on how my former teachers taught me. From being a college student, I became an instant college instructor – who had to pretend that I knew what I was talking about. Maybe I was a slightly good actress, an impostor, because some of my students believed in me. But I knew, deep down inside, that I wasn’t who I pretend to be. I was a bit insecure, not so sure about myself, I knew I had to get more training and experience to qualify as an “IT Professor” in a state university.

I knew that my good grades in college wasn’t enough. My students deserved more. But at that time, I had to teach – in the best way I knew how. I could say I did my best to give to my students what I had. Through the years, I learned that it was better to “inspire” my students to explore more and discover their potential. It was crucial for me to motivate them, at least push them in the right direction. I knew I could not give them everything they needed, a little inspiration could do more.

I am glad that I think I did that. Somehow, I made a difference in the lives of a few of my students. Not all of them may be great in the IT field, but they are still doing well in their own chosen careers. My heart beams with pride for their success. I am the “motherly” type of teacher. I feel good when I know that some of my students are better than me. And most of the time, I really encourage them to do better and excel. Unlike other instructors who get insulted by questions from smart kids or “compete” with their students, I like making my students feel that I appreciate and believe in their potential.

To all my former students, thank you for teaching me a lot of things in and out of the classroom. Thank you for making me a part of your life and for making me proud to be your mentor. 🙂



The “Letting Go” Process

How do you let go of something or someone that you think you need in order to survive? It’s like letting go of oxygen. You think that if you let go, you’ll never survive. So you just cling on for dear life, even if it kills you slowly in the process. But do you really have to hold on for survival? What if it’s best for you to just let go and maybe…you never would have to “just survive” but live the awesome life you deserve?

Letting go has never been easy. May it be with material possessions that we are so attached to, dreams and ambitions that we are so focused on, and most especially, people whom we love but are not good for us. Sometimes we lose people to death – which, I think is much easier because we know we can never bring the dead back so at some point, we just give up and let go, naturally. But it is much more difficult to let go of people who are alive and are so much in our lives.

When the relationship is so bad – it destroys the people in it – and there’s simply no more way to make the relationship work, there’s no other choice but to say goodbye and let go. Yup, easier said than done. This wasn’t taught in school. We are left helpless and unable to cope with the stress and emotional turmoil this crisis brings us.

I was in this situation for the longest time. It was more than hard to let go, it was killing me. It was crazy. I held on because I was so attached and it seemed like my life revolved around him. My happiness depended on his time and attention. I had nothing else more exciting going on with my life. And the worst thing was, I was ready to give my dreams up just to be with him – which he never really asked or wanted. I was so convinced that he was the only one who could make me happy that I was willing to take risks.

Until he hurt me so bad that it was so hard to take anymore. I had to give up and let go. Of course, it wasn’t that easy. There were times when I’d go back to my old self again and just “be happy” with the kind of treatment I got from him, just as long as he was in my life. But I knew there was something wrong with what I was doing to myself. I read books and blogs and just connected with people in similar situations. Sometimes, it’s all you need to know. That you are not alone.

It was hard and painful but I knew I just had to let go and move on with my life. I knew I deserved to be treated with more respect and love and that I didn’t have to “work” for that. And you know what’s funny in this world. It can be really ironic. Just when you’ve made your mind up and are letting go, the other party steps up and the whole process could be confusing. You just want to succumb to the temptation of having him back. But it needs a lot of self-love and self-respect to move on and really let go.

For me, you don’t really have to push someone away or go somewhere as an escape. It’s more of going inside and working on yourself. Because in the first place, you don’t have to let go of a person if he’s treating you right. So how come you are in this situation anyway? Would you believe that you are somehow responsible for the way he’s treating you? Somehow, we teach people how to treat us. So, if you feel that he’s not treating you right – threatening you, blaming you (for no reason at all), and intentionally doing things to hurt you – you have to speak up and let that person know how you feel. And if that doesn’t work, if you feel it’s really going nowhere.. then, let go!

So, when it’s really time to let go, what do you do? How do you go about it? It’s tough. But one thing that worked for me is loving myself more (and more) and focusing on my dreams and my vision of the future. Somehow, it got me busy and took my mind off him. I had more important and interesting things going on with my life. I got excited about life again. I realized that I am OK with myself. I don’t have to be with someone to be happy. I can go out and enjoy the company of so many people. And just knowing how I want to be treated and not tolerating bad behavior was almost enough.

It also helps that I have a lot of things going on with my life now. I can focus on my dreams and ambitions and there are lots of interesting people that I’ve met along the way. 🙂

Thanks Ems for the nudge to write about this. I don’t know if this is applicable to you though. Haha. 🙂 And Laiza (and myself for the inspiration)… I’ve been wanting to write this for the 2 of us. 😀

A Tribute to Our Hero Ninoy

Almost everyone is rejoicing coz it’s a holiday today. But do you know why? Most people don’t give a damn to find out why (including me), as long as it means an additional day off from work, more sleeping time or maybe more FB or shopping time. But maybe we ought to know why the folks declared this day as a national holiday.

Yesterday while I was strolling at SM Megamall, a nice display at the Atrium caught my attention. It was all about our national hero, Ninoy. Here are some photos displayed:

Ninoy’s story is very inspiring. We can be heroes. There are simple things we can do to help our country. Simple things like segregating our wastes or not throwing trash anywhere. Like performing at our best in our jobs. Or following traffic rules. Together, we can make Philippines a very desirable place to live in.

Investing in Stocks Through Citiseconline

I have finally opened an account at Citiseconline last August 19 (Quezon City’s Day). It was the holiday I have been waiting for – a holiday at Quezon City – but not in other parts of Metro Manila.

I did not buy stocks right away because I wasn’t very sure of what to buy. After a little research and reading Bo’s ebook on How His Maids Invested in the Stock Market, I finally chose my top 3 companies. My choice was based on whether I was already a customer of the company and on its stability. I have so much to learn and it makes me excited! 🙂

I have also learned a lot of useful tips from the Truly Rich Club. It’s a really awesome club where our mentors teach us how to invest in the stock market the right way to avoid losing money. So if you are new to the idea of investing, don’t worry. Just look for the right mentors to guide you. 🙂

A True Friend.. is someone just like you!

To All the Wonderful Girlfriends Who Have Touched My Life, Thank You… for

Accepting me for Who I am
Believing in my potential
Comforting me when I’m sad
Delighting in my successes
Empathizing with my struggles
Forgiving me when I hurt your feelings
Giving me your time and attention
Hugging me..often
Inspiring me to do my best
Just loving me
Keeping my secrets
Listening with your heart
Making me want to be a better person
Never judging me
Occasionally disappointing me because you’re just human, too
Pointing out my good qualities when I forget
Questioning me when you’re afraid that I’m about to do something dumb
Respecting my boundaries
Sharing my hopes and fears
Telling me the truth
Understanding me, even when I don’t understand myself
Valuing my ideas and opinions
Willing to do anything you can to help me
Xtending to me the benefit of the doubt
Yearning to hear from me when I’m miles away (just like now)
Zinging with joy…just because…we’re friends!
– Adapted from Blue Mountain Arts book (A True Friend)

I love you girls! Thank you for being in my life and for keeping in touch. For all the good and bad times we’ve shared…

Missing Choki…

I watched Hachiko at HBO again last Sunday and I couldn’t help but cry again. I just miss my dog Choki.

He was a gift from my x-landlord. He was just a cute little pup when he was given to me. He was the first (and only)  dog that I owned. We had other dogs at home but I co-owned them with my brothers. So I really spoiled him.

It was hard for me because I had to look for caretakers for him when I had to go home to Mangagoy or Davao. I even had to bring him to Hannah’s house (miles away from our rented house) to be sure that he’s in good hands. He was one spoiled dog and I loved him a lot. He gave me so much joy every time he greets me and wags his tail like crazy when I go home.

And one day, he just got sick. It tore my heart to see  him suffer so much. Suddenly, he won’t eat, even if I put the food in his mouth. He would shiver and vomit. I couldn’t sleep well because I could hear him making sounds as if asking for help.

I went to the city veterinarian to ask for help and he gave me a syringe with the medicine in it, gave me specific instructions on how to inject it to my poor Choki. I came home and gave Choki the medicine. I thought he would be better. But the next day, he was dead. =(

The Negosyante in Me (My Entrepreneurial Side)

I love being an entrepreneur. I have been selling products and services ever since I was a kid. In this post, I want to make a list of the products and services I have sold so far and the things I learned in my entrepreneurial journey. 🙂

1. Service: Pulling uban (white hair) from my lola/lolo/papa – This wasn’t originally on my list but well, I earned money from it (even when I was just 5 years old) so I guess I can consider it as one of the earliest services I sold. 😉 GAIN

2. Product: Ice candy – I loved ice candy so much when I was a kid and during the summer, when almost all kids in the neighborhood are looking for a yummy ice candy, I thought of making my own: kalamansi (or orange juice) and chocolate (milo) flavors. I sold it for 1 peso each. GAIN

3. Product: Nata de Coco – My family (aunt and uncle) ventured into this nata de coco juice when I was in high school. Every Sunday when I go back to the Pisay dormitory, I would bring packs of the Nata de Coco juice and put them in the dorm’s refrigerator. At first, I would “tambay” (hang out) beside the ref so I could monitor who gets the nata from the refrigerator but I soon got tired so I just left a note instructing my customers to be honest and put their payment on top of the refrigerator. I had 5 pesos for every pack (40 pieces) of nata juice that I am able to sell. GAIN

4. Product: Champorado – When I was in college at MSU-IIT, my lola used to give me tabliya (chocolate made from cacao). During the rainy days, I thought of making champorado. Since the landlady was charging me a high price for using my rice cooker to cook the champorado – according to her, it takes a long time to cook – I asked my dorm mates if they want to buy champorado from me. I was surprised to know that they were more than willing to buy the champorado from me for 5 pesos per cup! I made a lot of money from that because they loved my champorado since it was made from delicious tabliya made by my lola. 🙂 GAIN

5. Product: Cellphone casing – Do you remember the 5110 and 3210 models from Nokia? When I was in college, they were the most common cellphone models and people kept on changing the casing and keypad of their units. When I went home in Davao, I found beautiful designs at Lots for Less so I bought around 10 or more designs. Unfortunately, I really wasn’t able to sell them because most of them didn’t fit the cellphones. This was the first time that I realized how difficult it is to sell products like these. LOSS

6. Product: Mary Kay – When I was already working at MSU-GSC and had extra allowance from my CHED scholarship, I ventured into direct selling/networking. My good friend and successful entrepreneur, Ate Leny, showed me the products and I was really interested in the products. I wasn’t very excited to sell them because they were very expensive and I had doubts if the people I know would be willing to buy a lip gloss that costs 550. It was my first time to sell and network aggresively, going out of my way to ask for referrals, really visit and give demos on how to use the product, and join business seminars/trainings. I had a hard time with this venture because I had to allow my customers to pay me in installment and sometimes it’s hard for me to follow up and ask them to pay. However, I learned so much from this and I also met a lot of people. GAIN

7. Service: Encoding/Printing – My ex-boardmates and their friends were looking for cheap encoding and printing services so I thought of offering this to them. The cheap ink refill for printers allowed me to make a lot of profit from this venture. GAIN

8. Product: Sari-sari store and Carinderia – When my cousin Gerly, went to GenSan to look for work, she lost all her work documents so I agreed to open a mini sari-sari store and carinderia for her. It was really hard work and I learned how to haggle for prices from her. We were doing well in the business but had to stop because she finally landed a job in a tuna company. GAIN

9. Service: Part-time instructor – When I had a hard time paying for my brother’s tuition (nursing), I had to look for extra income. I worked as a part-time instructor at ACLC-Gensan for 10 straight hours during Saturdays. It paid well but I felt that I was pushing myself too far (working for 10 straight hours on Saturdays is not easy) and I felt I no longer had a life so I quit. Eventually, after a year of resting from doing part-time work outside of MSU, I got an offer from Stratford College and since I needed the extra income, I sold my services again. GAIN

10. Service: ODesk (Virtual Assistant) – When I moved to BQ(Bachelor’s Quarter), I had a neighbor who allowed me to use their WiFi connection for only 200 pesos per month. Also, I had so much extra time so I looked for an online job at ODesk. I learned so many things from this: software/tools for online collaboration and speaking to and working with a non-Filipino (British & American) employer whom I’ve never met in person.

All in all, I can say that I sell IT-related services best. Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of hard work and determination. I made this list because I am currently looking for ways to earn more income because of the needs of my family and because I want to create jobs for those who are in need. According to Brian Tracy, “The most important factor in achieving great financial success is not the money. It is the kind of person you have to become to earn that money and then hold on to it.”

My Journey to Financial Freedom: An Update

I’ve attended 2 company-sponsored seminars (Entrepreneur Startups last Aug 6 and Personal Finance 101 last Aug 8) that have greatly increased my financial literacy. The 2 speakers (Marvin Germo and Marjun Tugano) were brilliant and very good at what they were doing. I am so grateful that my current company takes so much care in its greatest asset, its people, that it sponsors these free talks and seminars, choosing only the best speakers they could get.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned from the 3-hour Entrepreneur Startups talk by Marvin Germo:

  • IT’S TIME! – Now is the right time to start. It is best to start a business when you’re young, and not when you’re almost or have already retired. Why? Because there’s greater room for mistakes when you’re young. I’ve read a lot of business books and most of the successful entrepreneurs, if not all, have always made a lot of mistakes and failed a lot of times before they were able to make it big in business.
  • Learn how to sell! – Of course, if you want to be successful in business, you must know how to sell. And this is one of the skills I must improve on.
  • Branding is important – It represents the “promise” of your business, a shortcut to your reputation, the “image” of your business
  • Things to look out for in a franchise company: Historical net earnings of the company, failure rate, franchise satisfaction, and years of company tenure
  • Create a system – The reason why McDo is the largest restaurant in the world is because of their efficient and effective system. So if you’re planning to put up your own company, you should also create a system where the processes are well defined, proven and tested to work.

Here are the things I’ve learned from the 2-hour talk given by Marjun Tugano on Personal Finance 101:

  • 6 ways to getting rich:
  1. Increase Cash Flow – by earning additional income and managing expenses
  2. Manage debt – consolidate and eliminate debt
  3. Create emergency fund – ideally, you should have a 3 months worth of monthly salary in your savings account for unexpected emergencies (sickness and if you suddenly lose your job)
  4. Ensure proper protection – through insurance
  5. Build long-term saving
  6. Preserve your estate

Marjun said that for our country to move forward, we have to stop the trend wherein parents live with their children and depend on them for survival when they retire. How? Of course our generation should start preparing for our retirement as early as now. We should not rely on pension because it really isn’t much. And as we age, although our responsibilities decrease, our medical expenses increase. Hence, our savings and investments must also increase through time.

Also, in Marjun’s talk, I learned that, two things could happen to us in life: either we die too soon or live too long. Haha. And either way, it is a problem – if we aren’t prepared. His advice: while still young, invest in life insurance so that if you die too soon, it won’t be a burden to the people you’ll leave behind, especially when you are the bread winner in your family. And as you age, you can divert some of your income to investments like stocks or having your own business.

He also told us that we should only choose to have good debts (when you get loans to start a business) and not bad debts (impulse buying of things you don’t really need using credit cards). Get out of debt NOW!

My Story:

In my post on what is my first step to financial freedom, I mentioned that I am happy to have my monthly savings. I think some of the people who read my blog got the wrong impression that I have sooo much money because some people suddenly want to borrow money from me! Haha. Well anyway, I was thinking of getting some of it to invest in stocks through Citiseconline last July but I ended up with spending almost all of my savings for IPL (Intense Pulse Laser) treatment. Slimmer’s World gave me such a nice deal that I wasn’t able to resist it. Anyway, back to the savings account. It was depleted because my brother’s tuition and medical expenses kept on getting higher. 😦 Sometimes it got to my nerves but of course, I won’t stop sending my brother to school and helping him get his nursing degree especially now that he’s about to graduate in a few months. 🙂

Marjun’s talk really made me happy because I felt that I really made a good decision in buying a life insurance from Sunlife at an early age of 22. Aside from that, I am also investing in “kabaong” or coffin by getting insurance from St. Peter. Haha. Sounds gross? Well, I just don’t want to be a burden to my family if I die too soon. And I want their lives to go on even when I’m already having Starbucks in heaven. 😉

So even if I got a little disappointed with how my savings account got closed, I just cheered myself up because I could always start saving again and hopefully this August, by God’s grace, I could start buying stocks through Citiseconline. I am really excited to learn more about investing through stocks and hopefully I would be able to get all the education and training I need to succeed. =)