Working On My “Must”

For the longest time, I’ve been dreaming of getting myself published. I know that I can reduce my insights and knowledge into written articles. However, I’ve been setting this aside because of one thing — my fear of anything English.

English was (probably still is) my Waterloo. I try to veer away from engagements where I will be required to say or write something in English. However, upon reflection, I thought that I was not getting any younger. The gap, however, between where I was and what I want to materialize was widening. So I made that bold decision to finally write.

However, my fear of anything English went banging every time I tried writing. Then suddenly, it dawned on me that I can tap friends to help me. I don’t need to do all alone. And as I expected, a friend gamely assisted me — giving a quick glance at what I write before I post these.

Thus, the birth of this blog.

She would sometimes insinuate that I don’t need her help for my English. But, at the hindsight, it was not really the English I was bothered about. I just need an extra eye to quickly pore over my articles that will give an assurance that all will be okay before I hit the release button.

Now, I tried not to bother her anymore. Confidence is gradually sinking in. I believe that I am getting better in working my way towards that dream of getting published.

Gerry Robert’s talk about Entrepreneurial Book Publishing in the recently held NATIONAL ACHIEVERS CONGRESS PHILIPPINES (NACPH) 2016 strengthened my resolve about getting published. In that event, Robert cited many reasons why writing a book is important. Let me mention some that I noted:

  • Pulls business prospects to you
  • Provides you with phenomenal opportunity leads
  • Makes you an instant authority
  • Helps you get speaking engagements
  • Makes closing sales easier
  • Provides you with enabler to get more business

Robert repeatedly clarified to the attendees that all can get themselves published. And I do agree with him. That was why I took the extra step of attending his book-writing boot camp. It better equipped me in inching my way to that dream.

Let me share with you my take-away during the NACPH. There were a lot but I would like to focus on one. Let me share his “8 Steps to Publishing Success”.

  1. Know your primary objective — Simply ask yourselves what will the book do for you (not the reader).
  2. Write the right content — You can use the “Be a Reporter” strategy.
  3. Design an awesome cover — Even if we don’t want to judge a book by its cover, how the book looks outside matter to a lot of our target readers.
  4. Capture leads — Meaning use it to create a database of your potential business partners.
  5. Differentiate yourself — You can leverage on the book to set you apart from other professionals or business.
  6. Global publicity — Books can be used as your business card in the global marketplace.
  7. Get other people to pay the cost — You don’t need to cover all printing cost for you to get published.
  8. Make it a must — Don’t set book-writing as your goal but your must.

There were so many things I got from listening to Robert. What I have here is just teaser on what you can get by attending the NACPH and his boot camp. So I am abetting all of you to not miss the next run of these events. Go ahead and Google the next schedule.

One final thing that I got from Robert that I am bearing in mind now is this:

Make your dreams your MUST, not your GOALS.

He said that in life we don’t usually get our goals but our must. So never forget this.


Note: NATIONAL ACHIEVERS CONGRESS PHILIPPINES (NACPH) 2016, “The Pursuit of Wealth and Happyness” with Mr. Chris Gardner as Keynote Speaker was held at SMX Convention Center in SM Mall of Asia. The event was brought to us by Laurus Enterprises (LAURUS) and Success Resources Pte. Ltd. (SRPL) with Light Network Channel 33 as the official media partner.


PS: Get Gerry Robert’s book The Millionaire Mindset.

Sing Your Heart Out

Last November 13, I received an invitation from a friend (Lavi Peñaverde) to attend a soiree. I would like to decline because I made plans that day. A scheduled voice lesson coincided with the soiree.

Yes, I am also trying to hone my gift in singing. Not that I would like to pursue this as a career. But I would like to somehow carry a tune especially that I am sometimes invited to host events. I need to be ready in case the situation calls for it. Also my singing is sort-of operatic, so I am taking voice lessons to help me make it sound contemporary.

Anyhow, I was ready to say “NO”. But then, I realized that I keep on getting invitations from this extraordinary friend to attend soirees, and from what I recalled I actually attended none. Then, I took a second look at her SMS and noticed that the soiree was musical. It would feature his brother — Rogelio Peñaverde, Jr. (a.k.a. as Jun Peñaverde) — the operatic Tenor from NYC. So I thought it would be a great chance to witness a world-class talent perform. Thus, I took my phone, cancelled my lesson, and replied to Lavi in affirmative.


It was an experience that I would never forget.

For the longest time, I thought operatic singing was passé. And I hate to admit this but I always thought that this is something that I need to keep hidden from others (my usual singing). Though my office mates would tease me during karaoke sessions because I couldn’t help but sing that way — with vibrato.

I remember my voice teacher when I started eight sessions back (after hearing me sing for the first time). He asked if I was trained in operatic singing or if I was part of a choir. I bashfully replied in the negative (for both questions) and shared that I just keep my career within the confines of the bathroom. I have no formal training in singing. 🙂 Honestly I was not comfortable that every time I sing it would always sound operatic. I tried the strategies I got from the voice lessons. Still I find it hard to control the vibrato.

At the soiree, when it was time to end the gathering, the host announced an invitation for a community singing. My God! All were singing their hearts out! Operatically! I was so enthralled! I was in a group where no one was telling me to stop singing operatically. Skill-wise, I was really behind than those who have attended the soiree. I believe, however, that with more lessons I can actually be a part of this group.

Also, in that soiree I was able to rub elbows with some famous guests (not just with Jun Peñaverde). These included Mark Anthony Carpio (UP Madrigal Singer’s conductor) and Allan Cosio (the famous painter, sculptor and tapestry artist who achieved and inspired so many with his work).

That musical soiree gave me both a realization and an inspiration.

It made me realized that operatic singing if “done properly”, using the right piece, is really heavenly. Listening to the performance of Jun Peñaverde and the rest of his Family — Lavi, Maricel and their amazing parents — then to Allan Cosio and other equally powerful performers and artists made me wanted to go inside my bathroom (and sing my heart out in an operatic way). It enlightened me that singing, in whatever genre, is still singing — a way to attune your soul to the universe.

It also inspired me to continue pursuing my voice lessons. I know that career-wise, my dream is a path that may not coincide with singing. However, the voice lessons will help me hone that God-given gift. And I am sure that one-way or the other, I can use this gift in pursuing my life journey.

Friends, we all have our secret gifts – singing, dancing or what-have-you. Sometimes we keep these from others, and ensconced these gifts in an ivory tower. Because we are bothered about how people will react once they learn about our gifts. We need to realize, however, that we should never be ashamed of these gifts. God gave these gifts to us for certain reasons. And I am sure that it includes enabling us in our journeys.

Now I am pushing you to go ahead and take those gifts out of your hiding place. Hone  and share them.

Let the world see and enjoy what you got.

PS: Witnessing Mr. and Mrs. Rogelio Peñaverde, Sr.’s duet of “Maalaala Mo Kaya” made me believe that there is FOREVER. 🙂 duet

Stretch Yourself…

To stretch or not to stretch…

I am a nerd. Aside from exercising my brain, I also exercise my body. I am now a firm believer of exercising after getting the results of my annual physical exam. LOL.

…I do dragon boat three times a week.

…I also box three times a week.

…I plank for four minutes and eighteen seconds straight daily.

…I also run for 20 minutes a day.

This whole routine started about a month ago (except for planking and running which I started more than three months ago). If you would want to know if it was easy, I’ll honestly answer that it was not. It was hard starting this routine. But believe me that it is all worth it, and these activities sort of complement each other.

I vividly can recall my experience with planking.

It was given to me by Wanna to push me to lose weight — the 28-day challenge she got from Social Media. I was hesitant at the outset. I, however, told myself that I had nothing to lose but the opportunity to be healthy if I wouldn’t try. So I gamely obliged.

The first day was fine — 20 seconds. The second day was good as well — another 20 seconds. The next was still okay — 40 seconds. Not until I realized that it rapidly stretched the time to 60… 90… 120… up to 240 seconds by the end of 28 days. There was a rest interval of one day every after 5 days. The pain, nonetheless, was real and agonizing every time it stretches.

I dreaded the day in the challenge where I know that the time would start to increase again. You see, the challenge will  let you start with several seconds but after a day or two, it will stretch you by increasing the time between 50% and 100%. Stretching myself was really hard. But I somehow sort of able to get the technique – I had to distract my mind.

I would think of anything that would take my mind away from the physical pain that I was experiencing. I distracted myself by thinking of happy thoughts (yes, like in Peter Pan). Sometimes I counted from 1 to 100 instead, then back again from 1. Sometimes I would think of the plans for the day — say lunch meetings. There were times where I sang a fave song in mind.

Until… the pain was gone.

Now I do this for four minutes and eighteen seconds straight. My body got so used to this that my day is not complete without doing it. And the result was amazing. Together with my other exercises, I reduced my pants’ size from size 36 to size 31.

Friends, similar in life, we have our aspirations — to become a famous trainer, successful businessman, or a well-loved homemaker. One thing that we need to realize is that for us to realize our dreams, we need to stretch ourselves. If we keep on doing the same tired, non-productive activities repeatedly, then don’t expect that your plight will improve.

You have to stretch yourself by trying things you’ve never done before. Explore doing things that would lead you closer to your aspirations. You may try a cooking class, join legitimate network marketing companies or attend a toastmasters meeting. Just make sure though that all of these are align to your life-goals.

I understand that for many it may be a bit scary and hard. This is because we are not certain with what will come our way with the things we will be doing. Also, it is hard because we will be pressed to do things we are not used to be doing. I am encouraging all of you though to not focus on the hardships and pains that come with it.

If it can help, try distracting yourself. How?

…Look at what is waiting for you at the end of the journey.

…Imagine the effect to your loved ones.

…Or, simply go back to your DEEPEST WHY.

What is important is that you stretch and do something productive (consistently) to realize your dreams.

Again, let me emphasize this… You need to stretch yourself! Test your limit!

Share What You Know

When I was in college, I would always volunteer every summer to teach Math in the Affirmative Action Program (AAP) of UP Lawod.

The AAP-Masbate was a UP Pahinungod program handed over to UP Lawod. From what I recall, the Pahinungod decided to stop the AAP in my province (for some reasons I could not recall). So for the love of Masbate, the club decided to take over.

Several of us underwent training with UP Pahinungod in how to properly handle our desired subjects to teach. There were several points shared to us. The one thing, however, that I would never forget was the message that was overly emphasized to us by the trainer. AAP is never a venue to showcase how good you are in the subject but it is an avenue to abet and help promising high school students enter the University of the Philippines (UP).

The whole program got me excited. I remember my first time to volunteer and the preparation I’ve done.

Racked my brain before the start of the program just to make sure that I understood the topics well. I would read my outline of topics and the materials several times just to be sure that I had a good appreciation of my subject. Pored over the materials once in the morning and once before going to bed. I did this for about two weeks.

(I find it mind-boggling though that I would exert so much effort in preparing to teach. While years before that, I would not touch my Math textbooks to study.)

I did this for several years…

The regular volunteer teaching experience in the AAP taught me the importance of putting the interest of others above mine. In this case, prioritizing my students’ learning experience over grandstanding just to showcase my Math prowess. Believe me when I said that it was new to me because before I usually pounce on every opportunity where I can subtly flaunt to others that I was better. LOL.

Also, my students’ feedback and the realization brought by these instilled in me the love for teaching. Few of them shared that they felt empowered with the way I taught the subject. Some even shared that they found renewed liking for Math. There were those who shared their hope for me to teach them regularly the subject. Hearing all of those encouraged me to take my teaching role seriously.

Aside from getting an avenue to helping my students, the experience helped me and sort of  changed my life in so many ways. Let me share three of these:

…It significantly improved my confidence in public speaking when I used to be a timid nerd (who would whisper the answers to my seat mates in a graded recitation). I got used to standing so many times in front of so many people that reporting in college up to hosting national conferences now seems to be not a problem.

…It whetted my appetite to never settle to what I just know. It encouraged me to continuously explore and read on different subjects. In short, it built in me the need to always keep abreast with the things happening around me.

…It helped me find opportunities to earn extra income when I needed it. When my mom had difficulty sending regular allowance after my father’s death, the experience helped me get a job as paid tutor to students from all levels. I earned extra from teaching basic Math to preparatory students to teaching Masters-hopefuls in answering their case studies.

These are just few of the things I gained from teaching. I can mention a lot more. However, I have no intention of enumerating all and brag about the things I have gained.

So what is it that I would like you all to do?

I am encouraging you to try your hand in teaching, or just share whatever it is you think you are good at — paid or not. Share what you know to people who are young in age, in experience or in mind. Believe me when I said that the experience can do a lot to change or improve your life — both financially and not.

But aside from improving our lives, I would like to emphasize the one best thing that you can gain from teaching (that I would say can never be quantified). Teaching can give you opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.

So go ahead and try this noble profession.


PS1: I taught before at UP Diliman and Far Eastern University. And now, I just accepted a teaching load at DLSU-Manila. I am exploring the culture of our different universities, and would like to know what will work with my style. Probably I’ll do this full-time.

PS2: Try these teaching resource.


“Don’t wait for teaching to become fun again: plan for it! Unshakeable is a collection of inspiring mindset shifts and practical, teacher-tested ideas for getting more satisfaction from your job. It’s an approach that guides you to find your inner drive and intrinsic motivation which no one can take away.  Unshakeable will help you incorporate a love of life into your teaching, and a love of teaching into your life. Learn how to tap into what makes your work inherently rewarding and enjoy teaching every day…no matter what.”



Based on Dave Burgess’s popular Outrageous Teaching and Teach Like a PIRATE seminars, this book offers inspiration, practical techniques, and innovative ideas that will help you to increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator. You’ll learn how to:

  • Tap into and dramatically increase your passion as a teacher
  • Develop outrageously engaging lessons that draw students in like a magnet
  • Establish rapport and a sense of camaraderie in your classroom
  • Transform your class into a life-changing experience for your students

This groundbreaking inspirational manifesto contains over 30 hooks specially designed to captivate your class and 170 brainstorming questions that will skyrocket your creativity. Once you learn the Teach Like a PIRATE system, you’ll never look at your role as an educator the same again”

Rest But Never Quit

More than a year ago, I had a sudden urge to skip dragon boat training.

At the hindsight, my brain cautioned me that I never skip weekday training (except when I was assigned abroad). A part of my brain, however, suggested that it was justifiable because a lot of more seasoned members were skipping training, too. The other part argued that it was never in my nature to miss training so I should not do it. But somehow a voice soothingly ended the arguments in my mind by justifying that it will just be ONE TIME.

So I have decided to skip one weekday training.

The problem was…

…I liked the feeling of not waking up really early.

…I loved the absence of pain allover my body after the training.

…I  was also not missing the foul Manila Bay scent that filled my car’s interior.

With these, that one day absence became a week. It became a month. That month became a year. Until I eventually stopped attending training.

One time, while doing some errands for my daughter, I met a team mate. She asked me when I was coming back. I just smiled at her. Seeing my team mate, however, brought me to the time when I was regularly attending training. I went back to the reason why I joined that sport.

Joining that sport was a long-time plan to help me conquer my fear of waters (which, by the way, I did) and to improve my health. And, it dawned on me that a part of myself misses the sport and my team. So, I made that decision to go back.

It was really hard going back because it felt like starting from zero — physically, mentally and emotionally. My body was not used to the rigorous exercise anymore — not to mention that I now weigh almost 20 pounds heavier. I tried to cope with the other members but I ended throwing up several times during land training.

One realization occurred to me. I had to start again — from the bottom.

Friends, we all have our life goals. The journey, however, to realizing our goals is not easy. It is not as smooth as we hope it should be. It can actually be compared to the challenges in climbing Mt. Everest — or probably can be 100 times tougher. These challenges are sometimes too Herculean that we justify quitting under the guise of resting.

Always bear in mind that the temptation to quit is stronger as we inch our way closer to the peak. I encourage you, nonetheless, to fight that urge to quit. Never let those temptations destroy your resolve to pursue your life goals.

Yes, it is okay to take a rest. However, just take a rest to recoup your strength and revisit your plans. Never make that pit stop the end of your journey. Otherwise, you will find yourself where you have started, or could be worse. And you will have to do things all over again.

I’d like to end this with this poem, by Edgar A. Guest. This is something for you to ponder.

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about

When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–

You may succeed with another blow,

Success is failure turned inside out–

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far;

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

~ Edgar A. Guest

PS1: I started attending again weekday training starting August 29.

PS2: I am strongly abetting you to read Never Quit by Edwin Cole

“Stress. Change. Crisis! Everyone know what it’s like. Everyone has been tempted to walk away, forget it, give up. “Crisis is normal to life,” best–selling author Edwin Louis Cole teaches.”

Day dreaming when you’re not getting any younger…

Last July 28, I indulged El Presidente TMC by serving as test speaker and evaluator in their club contest. Of course, I always say “Yes” to the mother club of  my home club (I-Connect TMC). I delivered the very first speech I drafted in my whole life (with the assistance of a friend, Pabs Samson) – DAY DREAMING. I delivered it for my COMM 3 (Speech Communication class) as final project. Thank you El Presidente for having me.

It was fun listening to the evaluators. Imagine four feedback in one delivery, a dream for many toastmasters. One feedback that I like most is when I was told to include in the speech the impact of day dreaming to where I am now and what I do. LOL. Of course, I forgot that the speech was written more than 15 years ago. I should have updated the material.

Looking at myself now. Yes, I still find time to go back to my dreams. Every morning while jogging near my residence, I would think of the things happening in my life and the status I want to attain. Dream car… Dream house… Zero debt…

It provides me with catharsis – a temporary escape from my reality. It also gives me constant reminders not to settle with what I have and where I am. Though it scares me sometimes that my dreams are so big… Some might call these “unrealistic”. I’m also not getting any younger. I sometimes wonder if I’ll be able to realize all of these.


Whether you dream big or small… Whether you’re seasoned or not… What really matter is YOU KEEP ON DREAMING.



PS: I-Connect TMC meets every Saturday, 3:30pm to 5:30pm at Dome Cafe, Ground Floor, Shangrila Mall. Join us. Send me a message here – via comment and we will contact you. BTW, I won’t post your comments. I will be the only one who would be able to read this.