Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pursuing a Hobby

Got this article from I am reposting it here to remind me to delve into baking and pursue it as a hobby and eventually make it as an additional source of income.

7 Advantages of Attending Cake Decorating Classes

1. Develop your cake decorating skills.
Unless you are naturally gifted with the ability to decorate cakes, your only two sources of skill in this aspect are cookbooks and cake decorating classes. And while you can learn the basics of baking cakes from a cookbook, decorating cakes is not that easy to learn. Cake decorating requires special skill that requires hands-on demonstration by an instructor and actual hands-on practice too. This is where these classes come in.

2. Learn more decorating tips and techniques.
Even if you’ve mastered the basics of cake decorating, you can still benefit from cake decorating classes. Through classes, you will pick up special tips and learn new techniques you haven’t tried. You can also venture into areas of specialty that you have not yet explored. For example, if you are already a whiz at decorating birthday cakes, a wedding cake decorating class will help you hone your skills at decorating wedding cakes, which are definitely more intricate. You can also get more special techniques, such as 3D sculpturing, fondant cake decors, air brush painting, string work methods, gum paste art, and so on.

3. Turn your hobby into a profitable venture.
There are cake decorating classes that can teach you how to make money out of your love for baking and cake decorating. These courses can teach you how to develop a business plan, identify your market, and develop special skills that will give you an extra flair. You can also build a network that you can take advantage of through your instructors and your classmates. And you can also use the projects that you do in class as your personal portfolio.

4. Provide feedback and encouragement as you learn.
While learning how to decorate cakes, an honest instructor or an encouraging classmate can both give valuable contributions to your learning process. It helps to have an instructor point out the things you can do better so you can improve yourself.

5. Get your creative juices flowing.
Being surrounded by cake decorating instructors and enthusiasts will surely get your creativity going. This will inspire you to come up with more ideas for cake decorations. You can even swap ideas with your classmates as you learn from one another.

6. Connect with people who share your interest.
Being interested in something that your family and friends are not able to share in can be quite frustrating. What about those times when you’d like to share an achievement or to gush over a new decorating style you’ve come up with? Having friends who also decorate cakes will surely come in handy in those situations.

7. Online cake decorating classes allow you to delve into your passion from home.
There are also many online cake decorating classes these days. Although hands-on training is highly preferred, an online class is a good place to start.If You enjoyed this post, you might like:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Vote Puerto Princesa Underground River in the New 7 Wonders of Nature

See for yourself why you should vote for Puerto Princesa Underground River.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Team Building at Pugo Adventure, La Union

This was an overdue post.
The team building was held last Sept 26.
The best part of this team building, well aside from the bonding and the winning of Starbucks voucher, is the conquering of our fear of heights...yes, we all took the longest zipline!
We all can say, "I survived!".


Starting a new business especially for young entrepreneurs has never been easy. Because of competitions, startup business owners are looking for alternative marketplace to sell and promote their products. One venue is the bazaars. Bazaar is an ideal place for moms, students, travelers and bargain-hunting shoppers to make a quick stop and shop for whatever budget they may have.

Here are some Bazaars that you can join and visit:

World Bazaar Festival 2011

World Bazaar Festival 2011 will be organized at World Trade Center from 2nd December to 18th December 2011. This great event will be held in Manila, Philippines. It will stay for 17 days. Approximately over 500 exhibitors are supposed to be participating in this leading international event coming from across the world. Thousands of domestic and international buyers will participate in this event. The participants will get latest information about the household consumable goods.

Venue: World Trade Center Metro Manila
Start Date: 02-DEC-11
End Date: 18-DEC-11

Worldbex Services International
488, Boni Avenue, Corner San Joaquin Street, Mandaluyong City, Philippines

Triple Treat Tiangge

Dubbed as a bazaar and latagan in one, the Triple Treat Tiangge will only have three runs this year. Latagan is another way to selling that works by displaying wares on the floor similar to that of a barter market.

The Triple Treat Tiangge will run on July 16, 2011, Saturday from 10am to 7pm; October 15, 2011, Saturday from 10am to 7pm; and December 4, 2011, Sunday from 9am to7pm.

The event will be at the Bahay ng Alumni,
Ramon Magsaysay Ave., U.P. Diliman, Quezon City.

For more details about the event, you may send your queries to

Garage Sale Sundays

Garage Sale Sundays is a gathering of about 50 sellers in a flea-market environment. One of the draws of the event is the reduced prices of the goods for sale.

The sale is held every Sunday starting May 22 at the 99 Timog Triangle along Timog corner GMA Network Drive corner Samar St. in Quezon City.

Cost: You can lease a 7ft by 6ft space for only P200. To join the list of approved sellers, please email with the heading “I want to be a seller for the Garage Sale Sundays event.”

Bazaar Love Triangle

Bazaar Love Triangle is every Saturday of the year from 12nn to 9pm. The event is at 99 Timog Triangle along Timog corner GMA Network Drive corner Samar St. in Quezon City.

For those who are interested, you may email with the subject “I want to join the Bazaar Love Triangle” for the guidelines and details.

The Holiday Rush Bazaar YEAR 3

When: December 3 & 4, 2011
Where: @ Rockwell Business Center Ortigas

Now on its 3rd Year, The Holiday Rush 3 shall feature OVER 140 CONCESSIONAIRES selling clothing apparel, shoes, accessories, toys, gadgets, specialty food/pastries and many more gift items for the Holidays. TONS OF GIVEAWAYS and MORE exciting SURPRISES are in store for the whole family, such as PHOTO OPS with Santa Claus and His Elves, goodies for kids and much more!

Cris + 639178278928 / + 639172466887
Dore + 639178261810 / + 639228924918

Secret Santa Bazaar

When: December 8 & 9, 2011
Where: @ The Tents Alphaland Southgate

Looking for a gift for your special loved one, family members, friends or even your Secret Santa? Too busy to buy a gift for your boss, officemate or Kris Kringle “baby”?

Visit us at The Secret Santa Bazaar @ The Tents, Alphaland Southgate Tower, Chino Roces cor EDSA on December 8 and 9, 2011! (Also accessible via EDSA MRT with adjacent entrance at Magallanes station)

The bazaar shall feature concessionaires selling clothing apparel, shoes, accessories, toys, gadgets, specialty food/pastries and many more gift items for the Holidays.

Watch out for FREEBIES, RAFFLE ITEMS and many more SURPRISES during these bazaar dates!

Cris + 639178278928 / + 639172466887
Dore + 639178261810 / + 639228924918

Christmas Bazaars Can be Profitable (


Food Recipes to Try

I just happen to find this interesting site,, they have a lot of food business ideas...I am planning to try these recipes, with the help of my sisters.

Fish Longanisa

1 kg minced fish meat (Milkfish, tilapia etc.)
1 tsp all spice powder
1 tbsp ground pepper
Pig casing
1/4 cup atsuete
1 tsp MSG (optional)
1/2 cup garlic
Cooking oil
1. Cut the fish fillet into cubes and pass through the grinder.
2. Mixed all ingredients and blend well.
3. Stuff manually in a pig casing.
4. Tie it with a cotton thread in equal distance of about 2 inches.
5. Pack in polyethylene bag.
6. Store in freezer for longer storage.



Fish balls is very popular street food snack that is best served with a sweet and spicy sauce or with a thick black sweet and sour sauce. Fishballs is primarily made of fish meat mixed with chopped vegetables, spices, beaten eggs and cornstarch.
1 kilo fish (lapu-lapu, talakitok, apahap, maya-maya, or carp)
2 carrots
2 potatoes
1 head garlic
2 eggs
3/4-1 1/4 cups cornstarch
ginger, pepper, salt,
vetsin and soy sauce
Kitchen knife
Chopping board
Measuring cups
Frying pan
1. Boil fish for 3-5 minutes in water with ginger.
2. Strain and put in a container. Remove the heads entrails, skin and bones. Flake the fish
3. Peel and chop the carrots, onions, garlic and potatoes. Mix and combine with the fish flakes
4. Grind. Add the eggs, salt, pepper, vetsin and cornstarch.
5. Mash and form into balls.
6. Boil fish stock. Drop fish ball one by one into the boiling fish stock. Drain
7. Deep fry in hot oil.
8. Store in sterilized bottles, add 2% brine solution (1 tsp salt for every 4 cups water)
9. Cover and boil for 1 1/2 hours
10. Store for 12 days



Siomai is either steamed or fried. It is commonly eaten with a dipping sauce composed of a mix of soy sauce, calamansi extract, and chili sauce. The “Original Siomai sa Tisa”, one of my favorite, is very popular in Cebu, it comes with a siomai chili sauce, which has a spicy flavor that complements the dish, best partnered with puso (hanging rice) and soft drink.
Pork Siomai
1 kg ground pork (suggested proportion of fat to lean meat is 1:3)
1/3 cup chopped water chestnuts or turnips (singkamas)
3/4 cup chopped carrots
2 tbsp or 4 cloves minced garlic
2 medium or 1 large minced onion(s)
bunch of spring onions or leeks
1 egg
5 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
5 g seasonings
50 pcs. large or 100 pcs. small wanton or siomai wrapper
Soy sauce, calamansi (lemon or kumquats), sesame oil and chilli paste (for the sauce)
Siomai Cooking Instructions:
1. Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl.
2. Arrange 10 wrappers in a tray, and weigh 100 g of siomai mixture. Place 2 tsp of meat in each wrapper until nothing is left unfilled. Each wrapper will have 10 grams of siomai.
3. To enclose, gather up the edges of the wrapper and gently fold it so that it forms a basket shape, with the top of the filling exposed. Press lightly as you pleat each side. Or, if you don’t want to expose the filling, use a bigger wrapper. Do the same to the remaining meat mixture.
4. Meanwhile, boil water and brush steamer with oil.
5. When the water gets to a rolling boil, arrange the siomai in the steamer and let stand for 15-20 minutes, longer for larger pieces.
6. Serve with soy sauce, calamansi and sesame oil. Chilli paste is optional.
Siomai Chili Sauce
1/8 kilo Chillies (Siling Labuyo)
3 tablespoons cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
dried shrimp or meat finely chopped or grind (Adds more flavor but optional)
Siomai Chilli Sauce Cooking Instruction:
Combine chopped chillies, dried shrimp or meat and minced garlic then simmer for around 20 minutes or till most of the water has evaporated. Add oil, simmer and stir well.


Holiday Fruitcake

1 cup (250 mL) chopped dried apricots
1 cup (250 mL) chopped dried figs or raisins
¾ cup (175 mL) brandy
1 cup (250 mL) unbleached white flour
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) baking powder
2 eggs plus 2 egg whites, slightly beaten (or ¾ cup/175 mL) liquid egg substitute
½ cup (125 mL) frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted
1 jar (284 mL) maraschino cherries, drained and patted dry
1 cup (250 mL) chopped pecans
1 cup (250 mL) chopped walnuts
½ cup (125 mL) powdered sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted
1 tsp (5 mL) water
1. Place apricots and figs or raisins in a small bowl. Pour brandy over fruit. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand overnight at room temperature. Drain. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 300?F. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in eggs or egg substitute and ½ cup (125 mL) orange juice concentrate. Stir in cherries, pecans, walnuts, apricots and figs or raisins. Mix well. Pour batter into a 2 L loaf pan that has been sprayed with vegetable cooking spray.
3. Bake fruitcake for 2 hours. Cover cake with foil. Bake for 15 minutes more, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cake cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan. Remove cake from pan and place on wire rack to cool.
4. Meanwhile, combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over cake while cake is still hot. Cool completely. Wrap cooked cake in plastic wrap, then in foil. Store in refrigerator.


Hamonado is a special recipe especially during Christmas in the Philippines. Since Christmas is fast approaching, this recipe is also perfectly good idea for business. This delicious Filipino Christmas delicacy comes from different recipes like pork hamonado, chicken hamonado, and pork-pina hamonado. Some ingredients may vary in other recipe but basically the cooking process is still the same. Here is a hamonado recipe which uses buko juice to make this food item more flavorful.

Filipino Ham

1 kilo of pork or chicken (depends on your preferred cuts)
3 cups buko (young coconut) juice
3 tbsp calamansi juice
3 tbsp soy sauce
5 tbsp brown sugar
2 medium size onions
cheese cut into chunks
Bring into boil the meat using the buko juice. When the meat becomes tender and half of the buko juice is gone, add the calamansi juice, sugar, onions and soy sauce into the pan. Set aside to marinate pork for about 1 to 3 hours. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Put cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve Hot.



Siomai Sauce
1/8 kilo Chillies (Siling Labuyo)
3 tablespoons cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Dried shrimp or meat finely chopped or grind (Adds more flavor but optional)
Procedure in making siomai sauce:
Combine chopped chillies, dried shrimp or meat and minced garlic then simmer for around 20 minutes or till most of the water has evaporated. Add oil, simmer and stir well.
Fishball Sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 tbsp. sugar
1 cup water
1 slice siling labuyo
1 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in
1-2 tbsp. water
Procedure in making fishball sauce
1. Mix the sauce sauce, vinegar, sugar, water and siling labuyo in a saucepan.
2. Let it boil then add cornstarch.
3. Cook over medium heat until slightly thick.- recipe found at
Siopao Sauce
2 cups beef stock
1 piece star anise or ½ teaspoon five spice powder
2 tablespoon cornstarch diluted in 4 tablespoons of water
¼ cup onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
A dash of ground black pepper
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
Procedure in making Siopao Sauce
1. Heat the saucepan and pour-in the beef stock. Bring to a boil.
2. Add the onions, garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, salt, ground black pepper, and star anise then simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Make sure to cover the saucepan to trap the steam. Add extra water as needed.
3. Turn of the heat then filter the liquid using a fine-mesh kitchen strainer. This is done by pouring the simmered mixture on a strainer with an empty bowl below to hold the liquid.
4. Heat a clean saucepan and pour-in the filtered mixture. Bring to a boil.
5. Add the cornstarch diluted in water then stir continuously until the texture becomes thick.
6. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool down then transfer the Siopao sauce to a serving container. – recipe found at
Lechon Sauce (Litson Sarsa)
1/2 kg pork liver
2 cups water or more
1/3 cup onions, minced
2 tbsp garlic, minced
3 tbsp lard to saute the onions and garlic
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup bread crumbs (toasted and crumbled)
1 tsp ground black pepper
salt to taste
Procedure in making Lechon sauce>
1. Broil the pork liver until half done, then grind or chop very finely.
2. Add water and squeeze the extract through a cheesecloth.
3. Mix the liver extract with the sauteed onions and browned garlic, powdered crumbs, vinegar, sugar and salt.
4. Simmer in a pan over medium heat until thick and the liver is thoroughly cooked.
5. Add the ground pepper last.

Lumpia Sauce
1 head garlic crushed
1 tbsp. Vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Soy sauce
1 1/2 cups water
Salt and Pepper to taste
Procedure in making Lumpia Sauce
1. To prepare the sauce get a bowl, pour the water, cornstarch, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix together, beat it until it is thoroughly mixed. If it is slumpy, get a strainer.
2. Fry garlic until brown and set aside.
3. Into the heated pan, pour the sauce and stir it constantly until mixture thickens.
4. Top it with the fried garlic.


Grilled Squid with a twist Tasty and light grilled squid, stuffed with onions, tomatoes and wansuy. Recipe courtesy of Nestle.

1 kg.medium-sized, cleaned, heads and sac removed, approx. 14 pieces
2 tbsp. MAGGI Seasoning
2 tbsp MAGGI Chili Sauce
½ tsp salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. sugar
Filling: combine
4 pcs. tomatoes, chopped
2 pcs. onions, chopped
½ cup chopped squid head
½ cupchopped wansuy (optional)
1 tbsp chopped garlic
18 grams MAGGI Magic Sarap
1. Marinate squid in MAGGI seasoning, MAGGI Chili sauce, salt pepper and sugar.
2. Stuffed squid cavity with the combined filling and then seal the opening with a toothpick.
3. Grill the squid, occasionally basting with marinade. Slice into rings before serving. Serve hot.


How to Make Homemade Squash Catsup

4 cups squash, pureed
1 c red sweet pepper, chopped
1/3 c onions, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
21/2 c vinegar
3 c sugar
3 tbsp salt
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp water and boiled
2 tsp grand black pepper 1/2 strawberry red coloring dissolved in 1/4 c water
12 drops allspice solution
12 drops cinnamon solution
4 drops paprika solution
2 drops hot pepper extract

household cups funnel
teaspoon ladle
knife steamer strainer or cheesecloth
aluminum tray or any wide container
wide-mouthed deep cooking pot
sterilized bottles with caps
How to Prepare Stock Spice Solution:
All spice solution — Boil 4 tsp allspice powder in 1 c water for 10 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth
Cinnamon solution — Boil 3 tsp cinnamon powder in 1 c water for 10 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth
Paprika solution — Boil 6 tsp paprika powder in 1 c water for 5 minutes Strain through cheesecloth
Hot pepper extract — Mash 48 pcs “siling labuyo” in 1 c water and boil for 3 minutes. Strain. Store Stock spice solution in clean covered bottles for future use
How to Prepare Squash Puree
1. Wash squash and divide along grooves. Peel and remove seeds. Cut into thin slices. Measure
2. Steam 5 minutes. Add 1 1/4 water for every 12c of squash
3. Mash and pass through strainer until fine. Add chopped red sweet pepper, onions and garlic. Mix thoroughly
How to Prepare Squash Catsup
4. Boil vinegar, sugar and salt for 3 minutes. Add squash-spice mixture and cook 10 minutes
5. Add cornstarch solution and black pepper and cook for another 10 minutes with constant stirring
6. Add the required amount of spice solution (allspice, cinnamon, hot pepper extract, paprika) and food coloring. Continue boiling until catsup consistency is reached.
How to Preserve Catsup
7. Pour mixture into clean bottles while hot. Half seal bottles
8. Arrange bottles in a big deep pot. Fill the pot with enough lukewarm water, not to exceed neck level of the bottles
9. Boil for 15 minute. Seal bottles tightly. This catsup may last for 1 year without any changes in taste and aroma.
Source: Food and Technology Research and Development Program NIST (NSTA)


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Live in Manila this Octoboer!!! The Musical Play - Next to Normal

I will really watch this whether I am alone or with friends. :)

These infos are obtained from


Act I
Suburban mother Diana Goodman waits up late for her curfew-challenged son and comforts her anxious and overachieving daughter, Natalie. Dan, her husband, then rises to help prepare her family for "Just Another Day." But when her lunch-making takes a turn for the bizarre with sandwiches covering the table, chairs, and floor, the rest realize something is not right. As Dan helps the disoriented Diana, Natalie hurries off to school and the refuge of the piano practice room ("Everything Else"), where she's interrupted by Henry, a classmate who likes to listen to her play — and clearly likes her.

Over the ensuing weeks, Diana makes a series of visits to her doctor, while Dan waits in the car outside, questioning how to cope with his own depression ("Who's Crazy?/My Psychopharmacologist and I"). Diana has suffered from bipolar disorder coupled with hallucinations for sixteen years; Doctor Fine continually adjusts her medications until she says that she doesn't feel anything, at which point he declares her stable. Natalie and Henry grow closer until one day he professes his love for her ("Perfect For You") and they kiss for the first time. Diana witnesses this and realizes that her best years may be behind her, but she misses feeling her high highs and her low lows ("I Miss the Mountains"). With her son's encouragement, she flushes away her medication.

A few weeks later, Dan looks forward to dinner with his family ("It's Gonna Be Good"), but when Diana emerges with a cake singing "Happy Birthday" to her son, Dan and Natalie are devastated. Dan holds Diana and explains that "He's Not Here". Their son died sixteen years ago from an intestinal obstruction before Natalie was born. Natalie storms off. Dan mentions a return to the doctor, but Diana refuses, saying that he can't possibly hurt the way she does ("You Don't Know"). Dan tries to coax her into trusting him, and their dead son joins them onstage, convincing his mother to trust him rather than his father ("I Am The One"). In her room, Natalie vents her anger to Henry, then refuses Diana's apology as her brother watches and taunts her ("Superboy and the Invisible Girl").

A few days later, Diana starts work with Doctor Madden. As her son rises to assert his presence ("I'm Alive"), Dan and Natalie doubt the sessions are helping, but Doctor Madden proposes hypnosis to help Diana discover the roots of her trauma ("Make Up Your Mind/Catch Me I'm Falling"). Finally, Diana agrees it's time to let her son go. Diana goes home to clean out her son's things, pausing to listen to a music box ("I Dreamed a Dance"). Her son appears and dances with her, then invites her to come away with him ("There's a World"), and she does.

At the hospital, where Diana lies sedated and restrained, with self-inflicted gashes to her wrists, Doctor Madden explains to Dan that ECT is the standard course of treatment for drug-resistant patients who are imminently suicidal. Dan goes home to clean up after Diana and decide what to do ("I've Been"). The next day, Diana lashes out at Doctor Madden, refusing the treatment ("Didn't I See This Movie?"), but Dan arrives and convinces her it may be their last hope ("A Light In The Dark").

Act II
Diana receives a series of ECT treatments over two weeks.[45] Meanwhile Natalie explores clubs and drugs ("Wish I Were Here"). Diana returns home from the hospital, but she has lost nineteen years of memory ("Song of Forgetting"). At school, Henry confronts Natalie about her avoiding him, and invites her to the spring formal dance ("Hey #1").

Dan and Diana visit Doctor Madden, who assures them that some memory loss is normal ("Seconds and Years") and encourages Dan to use photos, mementoes, and the like to help Diana recover. Dan gathers the family to do so ("Better Than Before"), with minor success, but when Natalie pulls the music box from a pile of keepsakes, he whisks it away, leaving Diana puzzled. Her son appears, unseen ("Aftershocks"), while Diana tells Dan there's something she's desperate to remember that's just beyond her reach. When Henry arrives looking for Natalie, Diana is given great pause, studying his face and asking his age. He reminds her of someone. Unnerved, Henry hurries up to Natalie's bedroom, to convince her to join him at the dance the next night ("Hey #2").

Diana returns to Doctor Madden ("You Don't Know [Reprise]") who suggests she further explore her history and talk more with her husband. Diana goes home and searches through the boxes of keepsakes, finding the music box, Dan tries to stop her, but the memories of her baby son rush back ("How Could I Ever Forget?"). When Diana confesses remembering her son as a teenager, and demands to know his name, Dan refuses and instead insists they need to return for more treatment ("It's Gonna Be Good [Reprise]"). Henry arrives to pick up Natalie, who has dressed for the dance, just in time for both of them to witness an agitated Dan grab the music box from Diana's hands and smash it to pieces on the floor.

Diana confronts Dan, wondering why he perseveres after how much trouble she's given, while upstairs, Natalie asks Henry much the same question ("Why Stay?"). Dan answers, echoed by Henry, both vowing to stay steadfast ("A Promise"), but just as both couples embrace, their son reappears ("I'm Alive [Reprise]"), sending Diana running to Doctor Madden, asking Natalie to drive her, leaving Dan and Henry behind.

Diana asks Madden what can be done if the medicine has missed the true problem. With her questioning comes the realization that it's not her brain that's hurting: it's her soul ("The Break"). Madden assures her relapse is common, and suggests more ECT ("Make Up Your Mind/Catch Me I'm Falling [Reprise]"). Diana refuses, and though Doctor Madden urges her to continue treatment for her chronic, deadly disease, she thanks him and goes. Natalie, waiting outside, is distressed to learn her mother has left treatment, and Diana explains herself ("Maybe [Next to Normal]"), opening up to her daughter for the first time. She urges Natalie on to the school dance, where Henry awaits to comfort and embrace her ("Hey #3/Perfect for You [Reprise]").

Diana tells Dan that she is leaving him, explaining that he can't always be there to catch her; she needs to take a risk and deal with things on her own for once ("So Anyway"). She goes, leaving their son with him. As Dan wonders how she could have left him after he stood by her for so long, their son approaches, telling Dan he's not going anywhere ("I Am The One [Reprise]"). Dan grows more distraught until at last he faces the boy and calls him by his name for the first time: Gabriel.

Natalie comes home to find her father sitting alone in the dark, in tears. She comforts him and turns the lights on in the room, before assuring him that the two of them will figure things out ("Light"). Henry arrives to study, and Natalie tells him Diana has gone to stay with her own parents. Diana is alone and still hurting, but hopeful. Dan visits Doctor Madden hoping to talk about Diana, but stays to talk about his own struggle. Once again Gabriel watches over them all, as life goes on.

[edit] Musical numbersNote: The song titles are not listed in the program

Act I
"Prelude" – Orchestra
"Just Another Day" – Diana, Natalie, Gabe, Dan
"Everything Else" – Natalie
"Who's Crazy" / "My Psychopharmacologist and I" – Dan, Doctor Fine, Diana, ensemble
"Perfect for You" – Henry, Natalie
"I Miss the Mountains" – Diana
"It's Gonna Be Good" – Dan, Natalie, Gabe, Henry, Ensemble
"He's Not Here" – Dan
"You Don't Know" – Diana
"I Am the One" – Dan, Gabe, Diana
"Superboy and the Invisible Girl" – Natalie, Diana, Gabe
"I'm Alive" – Gabe
"Make Up Your Mind" / "Catch Me I'm Falling" – Doctor Madden, Diana, Dan, Natalie, Gabe
"I Dreamed a Dance" – Diana, Gabe
"There's a World" – Gabe
"I've Been" – Dan
"Didn't I See This Movie?" – Diana
"A Light in the Dark" – Dan, Diana
Act II
"Wish I Were Here" – Diana, Natalie
"Song of Forgetting" – Dan, Diana, Natalie
"Hey #1" – Henry, Natalie
"Seconds and Years" – Doctor Madden, Dan, Diana
"Better Than Before" – Doctor Madden, Dan, Natalie, Diana
"Aftershocks" – Gabe
"Hey #2" – Henry, Natalie
"You Don't Know" (Reprise) – Diana, Doctor Madden
"How Could I Ever Forget?" – Diana, Dan
"It's Gonna Be Good" (Reprise) – Dan, Diana
"Why Stay?" / "A Promise" – Diana, Natalie, Dan, Henry
"I'm Alive" (Reprise) – Gabe
"The Break" – Diana
"Make Up Your Mind" / "Catch Me I'm Falling" (Reprise) – Doctor Madden, Diana, Gabe
"Maybe (Next to Normal)" – Diana, Natalie
"Hey #3" / "Perfect for You" (Reprise) – Henry, Natalie
"So Anyway" – Diana
"I Am the One" (Reprise) – Dan, Gabe
"Light" – Diana, Dan, Natalie, Gabe, Henry, Doctor Madden


Diana Goodman
Dan Goodman
Natalie Goodman
Gabriel "Gabe" Goodman
Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden

Reserve now your tickets, click the link below.

My Ilocos Getaway!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Let Your Negative Emotion Save You, Not Enslave You

Got this from Adam Khoo's newsletter.

As human beings, all of us possess tremendous potential. We just do
not make full use of our immense capabilities. Everybody has theability to develop successful relationships, build a successfulbusiness, become the best in their field, make a million dollarsetc... All it takes is learning the right strategies and takingmassive action.
So, what stops most people from taking action and using their full
potential? Whenever I ask this question, the same reasons seem to
come up. Many people will admit that what stops them from taking
action is 'fear', 'uncertainty', 'doubt', 'depression',
'frustration', 'anger', 'laziness' or 'feelings of helplessness'.
Many salespeople don't succeed because they have the fear ofgetting rejected. Many people who have the desire to start abusiness never do so because of their self-doubt and fear offailure. Many people who experience adversity do not take thenecessary actions to turn their life around because they feel too
depressed or frustrated. In other words, NEGATIVE EMOTIONS are the
main reason why people do not take action and realize their full
BUT Negative Emotions Serve a Positive Purpose. They are Signals that
We Need to Change Something.
So, if negative emotions are so 'bad', why do we have them? Why dothey exist? ! I believe that our creator did not give us negativeemotions to limit us or to punish us. In fact, negative emotionsserve a positive purpose. They are signals that tell us that weneed to change something. They are giving us the message that weneed to either change our perceptions or our actions!
The Positive Message of Fear
Throughout our lives, our minds will create the emotion of fearwhenever we face something new or challenging. The salespersonexperiences the fear of being rejected. The presenter experiencesfear before going on stage. So, why does our mind create this
feeling of fear? Fear is an emotion that signals to us that we need
to 'get better prepared'. This feeling is giving us a message that
in order to deal with the challenge ahead, we need to gain moreknowledge, skills and resources to succeed. That is a usefulmessage, isn't it?Many people are surprised to know that I still feel fear before Igo on stage to give a talk, despite having been a professionalspeaker for the last 15 years.In fact, 3-4 days before any speaking engagement, I start feelingthe fear that hundreds of people will be listening to me andjudging me. I have the fear that I may not live up to theirexpectations. This fear signals to me that I have to get prepared.It motives me to plan way ahead. I spend hours doing research on mytopic, writing a powerful speech and crafting my slides. This feardrives me to rehearse my speech in my mind over and over againuntil I know exactly what to say, how to say it and when to say it.The moment I am fully prepared to give my absolute best, my fear isat a minimal. I have made use of my fear to help me constantlydeliver my best each and every time. I can imagine that if I had nofear, I would not have bothered to have prepared so hard and wouldprobably have given a lousy speech.
So, it is perfectly normal to feel fear. Everybody gets scared,
both ordinary and extraordinary people. The difference lies in howthey deal with it. Unfortunately, most people allow their fears tolimit them from taking action. They get the fear of public speakingso they avoid it completely. They will never dare to speak inpublic.
Frustration Signals to Us that We Have to Change Our Strategy
Another common negative emotion that many of us may experience is
'frustration'. Frustration is an emotion we feel when we are not
able to get the result we want despite repeated attempts. Mostpeople allow the feeling of frustration to overwhelm them so muchthat they get angry and quit ever attempting it again. Haven't youbeen so frustrated at something or someone and said to yourself,'whatever!', threw your hands up in surrender and walk off?
Once again, Frustration is there to give us a message. It serves a
useful purpose. When we feel frustrated, the signal is telling usthat we have to change our strategy. We have to do somethingdifferent, to get the results we want. One of my students is aninsurance advisor (specializing in corporate insurance) that wasgetting so frustrated with her job that she felt like quittingafter three months. She was getting frustrated that despite makinghundreds of calls to prospects, she couldn't even secure anappointment. She kept getting rejection after rejection.When she attended my 'Patterns of Excellence' programme, I told herthat as long as she did not listen to the message of herfrustration, she would never reach her sales targets. Herfrustration was a clear signal that she had to change her strategyin the way she engaged her prospects.Upon reflection, she realized that whenever she said that she wasoffering 'corporate insurance evaluation', people closed theirminds and immediately said that they weren't interested. Shedecided to use a different strategy. She would call her prospects
(bosses of companies) and say, 'I am a corporate strategy advisor.
Do you have the intention to list your company on the stock
exchange?' That statement immediately got their attention.
If their answer was no, she would say, 'do you realize that ifsomething happens to you, the shares you own in your company maybecome worthless? Your loved ones may not be able to sell theshares to extract its value. Could you spare a few minutes to learnhow to assign a market value to your company so that it can be
easily sold in the future?' By using this unique approach, her
appointment rate shot up and she increased her sales by 400% in
just 6 months.
So, you can see that 'negative emotions' like fear, frustration,anger, depression and disappointment are not really bad at all.They can really help us to become much more successful. We justhave to ensure that they serve us and not immobilize us from takingaction. So, whenever you experience a negative emotion, listen tothe message and act on it. And once you have heard the message,breakout of the negative emotion so you no longer feel bad aboutit.

The Simple Truths of Service Movie

The Simple Truths of Service Movie: "Albert Schweitzer said, "I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: The ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." Reflect back on some of your proudest moments. I'm willing to bet that some version of you serving others is part of this memory. It feels good and gives us purpose...the joy it brings infects us and all those around us. I invite you to watch a true story unfold of a young man who changed an ent"

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Philippines-Japan Friendship Month

The Japan Foundation, Manila is kicking off Philippines-Japan Friendship Month with another edition of their popular film festival, Eiga Sai. Running from July 1 to 10 at the Shangri-la Plaza Mall, the festival will be running free screenings of contemporary Japanese films. Here’s a guide to what you’ll be seeing.

Festival Schedule (Shang Cineplex, Cinema 4):

JULY 1 (Friday)
Opening Night by Invitation at Cinema 2
Departures (131 mins ) 7:00 PM

JULY 2 (Saturday)
The Chef of South Polar (125 mins) 1:00 PM
Departures (131 mins ) 4:00 PM
The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones (139 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 3 (Sunday)
Summer Days with Coo (1:38 mins) 1:00 PM
The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones (139 mins) 4:00 PM
The Chef of South Polar (125 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 4 (Monday)
Yunagi City, Sakura Country (118 mins) 1:00 PM
Villon’s Wife (114 mins) 4:00 PM
Climber’s High (145 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 5 (Tuesday)
Your Friend (125 mins) 1:00 PM
One Million Yen Girl (121 mins) 4:00 PM
Feel the Wind (133 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 6 (Wednesday)
One Million Yen Girl (121 mins) 1:00 PM
Climber’s High (145 mins) 4:00 PM
The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones (139 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 7 (Thursday)
Feel the Wind (133 mins) 1:00 PM
Climber’s High (145 mins) 4:00 PM
Your Friend (125 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 8 (Friday)
Your Friend (125 mins) 1:00 PM
Yunagi City, Sakura Country (118 mins) 4:00 PM
Departures (131 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 9 (Saturday)
Departures (131 mins) 1:00 PM
One Million Yen Girl (121 mins) 4:00 PM
Villon’s Wife (114 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 10 (Sunday)
Summer Days with Coo (1:38 mins) 1:00 PM
Feel the Wind (133 mins) 4:00 PM
The Chef of South Polar (125 mins) 7:00 PM

NOTE: Admission is free. Tickets are issued one hour before screening. All films will be shown with English subtitles. Schedules are subject to change without prior notice.

Aida - The Musical

Aida Broadway logo.jpg

Finally, after how many weeks, I have decided to book tickets to watch Aida the musical...the eve of my birthday! :)

Surfing the net so I could get a general story of this musical and I found all this in .  Happy Reading!

Aida (also known as Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida) is a musical with music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry Hwang, and produced by Disney Theatrical.

Aida premiered on Broadway on March 23, 2000, running for 1,852 performances until September 5, 2004 (34th longest running Broadway musical). The musical also ran from 2001–2003 and from 2006-2007 during two US national tours, and also ran in international productions which performed in different 20 countries, and is still performed in international productions, regional theatres, colleges and high school productions.

Aida was nominated for five Tony Awards and won four Tony Awards in 2000, including Best Musical Score and Best Performance by a Leading Actress. Aida was also named by Time magazine in 2000 as one of the top ten theatre productions of the year. The First National Tour production was nominated for nine National Broadway Theatre awards (now "Touring Broadway Awards") and won five awards, including Best Musical, Best Direction, Best Actor, and Best Actress.

The Aida (2000 Original Broadway Cast) [Cast Recording] won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. A song from Aida, "Written in the Stars" (recorded and sung by Elton John & LeAnn Rimes), reached #2 in the Billboard US adult contemporary music charts, and #1 in the Canadian contemporary charts.

BackgroundThe show is performed in two acts based on Giuseppe Verdi's Italian-language opera by the same name, the scenario of which was written by Auguste Mariette. The musical originated from a children's storybook version of Verdi's opera written by the soprano Leontyne Price.[1] The book featured illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon. The rights were acquired by Disney studios for a proposed animated feature film. Development on the film was shelved, but the source material evolved into the stage version.


Act I

In the Egyptian wing of a modern museum, a man and a woman touring the exhibit catch each other's eyes. A statue of Amneris, a female Pharaoh, comes to life ("Every Story Is a Love Story") and transports them to ancient Egypt, where Radames, captain of the Egyptian army, and his men are returning from an expedition through the land of Nubia, Egypt's long-time enemy ("Fortune Favors the Brave"). When his soldiers capture a group of Nubian women, he is captivated by one of the women, Aida, who tries to free herself by out-dueling one of his soldiers. Radames forces her to wash his back, but she refuses, saying that although the Egyptians took everything from the Nubians, they will never take their spirit ("The Past Is Another Land"). Radames saves her and the other women from the copper mines by sending them to the palace groundskeeper instead, but sends Aida as a handmaiden to his betrothed, Princess Amneris. Radames' father, Chief Minister Zoser, greets his son with news that the Pharaoh is dying, and Radames must prepare to become the next ruler of Egypt ("Another Pyramid"). Unbeknownst to Radames, his father is poisoning the Pharaoh in order to accelerate Radames' ascension to the throne.

Radames's Nubian servant, Mereb, is a young man who has learned the tricks of survival in Egypt. While delivering Aida to the princess, Mereb recognizes her as the daughter of the Nubian king under whom he had served during his days in Nubia. She commands him to keep her identity a secret, lest the Egyptians kill her ("How I Know You"). Presented to Amneris, Aida is liked immediately, and she perceives that the Princess' love of fashion only serves as a mask of her insecurities ("My Strongest Suit"). At a banquet, Amneris and Radames learn from the Pharaoh that they are to marry in seven days, leaving the captain distraught that his days as an explorer have ended ("Fortune Favors the Brave (Reprise)"*). Together, he and Aida share their dreams and regrets ("Enchantment Passing Through").

Later that night, Amneris worries about her father's illness, and finds in Aida someone who understands and encourages her ("My Strongest Suit (Reprise)"). Bursting into his fiancée's chamber, Radames steals a moment with Aida to share his growing attraction to her. Aida is taken by Mereb to the Nubian camp, where she reluctantly submits to her people's pleas to lead them ("Dance of the Robe"). When she implores Radames to help the Nubians, he opens his heart by giving his possessions to them ("Not Me") and declaring his love for Aida("Elaborate Lives"). Unable to fight her feelings any longer, she falls into his embrace. Their bliss is interrupted by news that Radames' armies have captured Amonasro, king of Nubia and Aida's father. Unable to comfort her, Radames leaves Aida in distress. Rallying her people, Aida assures them that Nubia will never die ("The Gods Love Nubia").

Act II

Aida, Amneris, and Radames are entangled in conflicted loyalties and emotions ("A Step Too Far"), that Aida might be a traitor to her people as she loves Radames, that his love for her could end his life as he knows it, and that he does not show the attention that Amneris deserves. Aida and Mereb bribe their way into Amonasro's prison cell, where she is reunited with her father. Mereb hatches a plan to escape with the king during the commotion of Amneris' wedding. To save her father and her nation, Aida must betray the man she loves ("Easy as Life"). Meanwhile, Zoser discovers Radames' affair and warns his son that it could cost him the throne, but Radames no longer shares his father's ambitions ("Like Father, Like Son"). After an emotional bout with his son, Zoser orders his men to find Aida and kill her.

At the Nubian camp, Aida receives a written apology from Radames for the thoughtless way he acted upon hearing of Amonasro's capture ("Radames' Letter") and for his lack of showing affection. When Egyptian soldiers arrive seeking Aida, another Nubian, Nehebka, sacrifices herself so that the princess can live ("Dance of the Robe (Reprise)"*). Now even more determined to leave Radames forever, Aida goes to say good-bye to him over Mereb's objections ("How I Know You (Reprise)"). Radames informs Aida that he is calling off the wedding. Aida knows that this would ruin her father's escape and tells him he must go through with it ("Written in the Stars"). Radames agrees, on condition that she escapes to freedom on a boat he will provide. The heartbroken lovers part, but Amneris has overheard their entire conversation and tries to face the fact that her upcoming marriage is a sham ("I Know the Truth").

News of Amonasro's escape disrupts Amneris' wedding. Radames learns the truth of Aida's identity when he arrives at the docks just as she is about to board his boat with her father. Although he is angry that Aida hid this from him, she says she never lied about loving him. In the ensuing chaos, Mereb is mortally wounded by Zoser, and Radames makes possible Amonasro's escape by cutting the rope tied to the dock, but Aida stays with Radames and a dying Mereb. Zoser flees, and Mereb dies in the arms of his kind master and beloved princess. Radames and Aida are then arrested for treason. At the ensuing trial, Pharaoh announces Zoser's apprehension and sentences both Aida and Radames to be buried alive. Amneris reprises her role as a future Pharaoh by convincing her father to let the lovers die in the same tomb, an act of mercy for two people she has come to love. Facing death, Aida looks to Radames for strength ("Elaborate Lives (Reprise)"). As they are slowly deprived of light and air ("Enchantment Passing Through (Reprise)"), Radames swears he will search through a hundred lifetimes to find her again if he has to.

Back in the contemporary museum, the spirit of Amneris reveals that as she became Pharaoh, the lovers' deaths gave birth to a reign of peace between Egypt and Nubia. She watches as the modern man and woman are strangely drawn to each other. They are the reincarnations of Aida and Radames, finding each other in a new beginning ("Every Story is a Love Story (Reprise)").

**"Fortune Favors the Brave (Reprise)", the instrumental "Dance of the Robe (Reprise)", the Overture and the Entr'acte are not featured on the Original Broadway Cast Recording or the International Recordings of the production.

Principal roles

Aida - Daughter of Amonasro and Princess of Nubia. With her royalty unknown to all except Mereb, who recognizes her as princess, she is taken into slavery with the rest of Nubia, but attracts the attention of Radames.

Radames - Captain of the Egyptian army, son of Zoser, and fiancee to Amneris. He is expected to succeed the Egyptian throne after the Pharaoh's death, but finds himself intrigued by a Nubian slave, Aida, instead.

Amneris - Princess of Egypt, daughter of the Pharaoh, and fiancee to Radames. She is renowned by all for her fashionable ways. Aida is given to her as a gift to be her handmaiden, by whom her true nature is seen: that she is merely using this fashion-driven identity to hide her own insecurities.

Mereb - A Nubian servant to Radames, who was taken captive by Egyptians as a youth and has served among them ever since. The first to recognize Aida as Princess of Nubia, and the first to tell the other Nubian slaves about it with hopes that she can set them free.

Zoser - Chief Minister of Egypt and father of Radames. He highly anticipates his son's succession to the Egyptian throne and does all he can to make it arrive sooner, including poisoning the Pharaoh.

Nehebka - Nubian slave who speaks to Aida as a representative for the Nubian people.

Pharaoh - Father of Amneris and King of Egypt. One of the arrangers of Amneris and Radames's much-delayed wedding, he is secretly being poisoned by Zoser to speed up Radames's succession to the throne.

Amonasro - Father of Aida and King of Nubia. He is taken into slavery by Egyptians after Aida and Radames have fallen in love, and commands Aida to break all ties she has to the Egyptians.

Musical numbers
Act I

"Every Story Is a Love Story" - Amneris
"Fortune Favors the Brave" - Radames and the Soldiers
"The Past Is Another Land" - Aida
"Another Pyramid" - Zoser and the Ministers
"How I Know You" - Mereb and Aida
"My Strongest Suit" - Amneris and the Women of the Palace
"Fortune Favors the Brave (reprise)" - Radames
"Enchantment Passing Through" - Radames and Aida
"My Strongest Suit (reprise)" - Amneris and Aida
"Dance of the Robe" - Aida, Nehebka and the Nubians
"Not Me" - Radames, Aida, Amneris and Mereb
"Elaborate Lives" - Radames and Aida
"The Gods Love Nubia" - Aida, Nehebka, Mereb and the Nubians

Act II

"A Step Too Far" - Amneris, Radames, and Aida
"Easy as Life" - Aida
"Like Father, Like Son" - Zoser, Radames, and the Ministers
"Radames' Letter" - Radames
"Dance of the Robe (reprise)" - Orchestra
"How I Know You (reprise)" - Mereb
"Written in the Stars" - Radames and Aida
"I Know the Truth" - Amneris
"Elaborate Lives (reprise)" - Aida and Radames
"Enchantment Passing Through (reprise)" - Radames and Aida
"Every Story Is a Love Story (reprise)" - Amneris, Nehebka


Lyrics | - Every Story Is A Love Story lyrics
Scene 1

Scene 2

Scene 3

Scene 4

Scene 5

Scene 6

Scene 7

Scene 8

Scene 9

Scene 10

Scene 11

Scene 12

Scene 13

Scene 14

Scene 15

Elaborate Lives

A Step Too Far

The Past is Another Land

Fortune Favors the Brave

Not Me

Dance of the Robe

Written in the Stars

Radames' Letter

How I Know You

Another Pyramid

The Gods Love Nubia

Like Father, Like Son

My Strongest Suit

Enchantment Passing Through

I Know The Truth

I Wish

The Grand March

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I can die as fast as possible, or I can live a brilliant life.

That title is Liu Wei's motto...
watch and be inspired.

Lost his arms from an accident at age 10, Liu Wei from Beijing never gives up living strong. He managed to do everything with his feet and started to learn to play piano at age 19. His dream is to become a musician. He just turned 23 and he won the China's Got Talent Show on Oct. 10, 2010. In the final, he played piano and sang the song "You Are Beautiful", perhaps his vocal is not the best render of this song, but the power and inspiration of his zest for life won him the final. Bravo! Liu Wei's motto is,"I have two options - I can die as fast as possible, or I can live a brilliant life. And I chose the latter." Congrats to Liu Wei!

Liu Wei's quotes:

"To me, there are 3 things can not be missed in life - air, water and music."

"There are only 2 paths in my life for me - either to die as fast as possible, or to live as brilliant a life as I could."

"I don't feel that I am that different from other people. Normally everyone is used to do everything with one's hands so your hands are more flexible. There is no rule saying that you can't do things with your feet."

"A man should be responsible to his dreams. My dream is to become a great musician."

"I know if I want to do it better than other people, I have to put in more efforts"

On the note he wrote on the paper in this clip, it says'"

Walk on, at least I have a pair of perfect legs."

His mother said in the clip,"Sometimes his legs would cramp, he couldn't put any strength on them. He has worked harder than normal people."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Heart Sings

Today, I woke up with a song that is reverberating in my ears...wondering why I suddenly thought of it!
It's been a long time since I last attended a Sunday worship and be part of Christian fellowship.

For this, I vow to renew my spirit and open up my soul to God's whispers.

This has been my favorite worship moves me all the time.

Then again, I checked on all my hillsong MP3s and I found tons of my favorites. Here they are, happy listening! I am sure you will be singing along!

Monday, June 20, 2011

This is a favorite article I read from this site

Finding the Meaningful and Simple Pleasures in Life
by Karen Kuebler

I have a picture that hangs above the table in our breakfast room that has had significant meaning to me since I was about 10 years old. I first saw this picture when I was a young girl, and then purchased a copy about 25 years ago. You know when a picture speaks to you, and evidently this picture has spoken to me for 40 years or more! More...

It is a picture of an old man sitting at a table, about to partake of a simple meal and is bowing in prayer. He is wearing a comfortable green plaid wool shirt, and in front of him sit a small loaf of bread, a knife, a bowl of soup, a large book and a pair of reading glasses.

Why does this picture mean so much to me? I looked at it closely this week and thought a lot about it. I was touched on a variety of levels. I will attempt to express how I am affected by this picture, although this isn’t in any specific order.

To begin with, the man is blessed with what is most important to sustain his life. Perhaps he is single or widowed and doesn’t share a companion, but he is content with himself. He is surrounded by shelter, warm clothing, a simple but adequate meal, something substantial to read and challenge his intellect -- and eyeglasses to enable him to read!

Secondly, he is displaying meaningful appreciation and gratitude for these few simple pleasures that are most important to sustain life. It made me think how often we forget about the core elements that are most important, and start to worry about so many side issues that are mostly out of our control.

This man is NOT dealing with the complex issues of war, the state of the economy, whether his CD’s are earning 2% or 5%, or whatever horrific news might have occurred that day.

There is no sign of a television, radio, telephone, newspaper, or other forms of stimulus we have become accustomed to. What appears most essential in this picture is the ability that the man has to communicate with a higher power, be content with himself, and appreciate simple moments and pleasures.

This is especially meaningful to me right now. It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day news and worries that are so far beyond my control. In addition to political and economic worries, we each are dealing with our own personal family issues and troubles. We tend to magnify smaller problems in our lives far beyond the significance they deserve.

So what if it’s a bad hair day? Make-up can’t hide the dark circles and I’m looking older than I would like. If it sounds like I’m trivializing these things, it is because I suffer from discomforts such as these more than I care to admit.

Somehow, this picture brings back the serenity I seek and helps me to feel grounded whenever I look at it. What is most important in our lives during this time of fear and terrifying distress? I need to focus on what I can control, and be thankful for the simple things in life that help me make it through one day at a time.

Maybe it was coincidence, but tonight I made a loaf of homemade bread and potato soup. It was the most comforting and satisfying meal I could have had on a rainy night. (Plus I knew I was saving money!) Coincidently, after eating dinner I passed by the picture which touched me once again. I stopped and really took the time to observe what was going on, and what the artist was trying to tell me.

I came away with a message that life is self-sustaining. We will need to continue to make our individual choices in light of whatever political choices are being made by those beyond our control. We will need to continue to make choices that will allow us to sustain ourselves and our families, in spite of the economic conditions of the world. Challenging? YES! Impossible? NO! We can survive the tough economical times, one step at a time and one choice at a time.

We have the “choice” to invite peace, serenity, and comfort into our own life each day. Sometimes, during one of our bad days, we might make the choice to invite chaos and anger to join us. Knowing this, we can consciously make changes to recreate a peaceful environment and/or sense of self. It’s simply a matter of deciding what our real objectives are and what we want to accomplish that day or evening.

I have discovered that often when I'm experiencing feelings of distress, I don't always make the wisest financial choices. I might justify spending because I've had a rotten day or because I deserve it. I have often rationalized going out to eat as a way to comfort myself. It becomes a vicious cycle -- I'm feeling stress and then I add to my stress by making financial choices that stress me even more later!

Some of the most simple concepts are the most difficult to practice. Sometimes a visual or physical reminder, like my special picture, can help keep us mindful of what is most important to us. Identify or create your own “cues” to help you feel grounded when life is feeling too complex.

It really is the simple moments in our lives that matter the most. My mother used to say “Do you realize we are creating a memory right now?” What a simple, yet profound message. Your simple moments will create tomorrow’s memories. I hope that your days and weeks are filled with many simple moments that you will appreciate and enjoy while you are experiencing them.

I'll close this article with a favorite quote of mine from "The Little Prince" by Antoine De Saint-Exupery: "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

Sari-Sari Store

It's my rest day, I just woke up and I picked up my laptop and surfed...and I found this site

It's been my dream for a year now to put up a sari-sari store, but I have been putting it off.

I'm thinking where will I place it if every corner in our place you can see a sari-sari store, just at least 5 meters distance from each other. :)

Then who will manage it, since I am working in the upper North, and is 7hrs bus ride away from where my family lives.

This site inspired me, plus the vision and mission of the company is so motivating, that I want to offer to volunteer one day of my rest day. To give something to your community is one major vision and mission of this venture.

Please see for yourself.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 French Film Festival in Manila

I wish they're showing all these in Baguio also.

The only fortunate time I was able to watch french films in the cinema was when I was still in Malaysia, way back 2008. My friends and I really set time for two of the french films showing that time.

Paris, Je T'aime - this film inspired me to go to France and learn the language which until now I haven't act on. :)

Tell No One - this one is a thriller, we were engrossed when we watched this movie...sadly some scenes were scensored.

My liking for french films started when I saw Amelie and Love Me, If You Dare all in DVD. I floundered in trying to understand by just hearing the french words spoken, not relying on the subtitle. :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Life At Work

(Sharing another article that I read from, enjoy!)

How to Stay Happy at Work

How often do you get the Sunday evening blues? Every now and again, or every week without fail? If it's the latter, maybe you should think about moving on. But lots of people find themselves in the situation where they're not ready to move jobs just yet, perhaps because they've only been in the role a short time, or because they want to gain more experience. So if you find yourself in the situation where you're in a job that is okay but not brilliant, or that you really need to see through for a period of time, what can you do to make it more interesting and - dare we say it, more fun?

Here are some suggestions:

Positive Thinking
Focus on the positives, what do you really like about your job (come on, there must be something)? How could you incorporate more of that into your working day? Remind yourself of the other positive aspects of your work: your friends and colleagues, for instance.

Challenge Yourself
Find new challenges. One of the reasons that we can get restless in our job is, quite simply, boredom. Think about ways in which you could make your role more interesting. Perhaps you could volunteer to mentor new staff, or spend some time every week shadowing people in other departments to get a broader perspective on the business? Discuss your ideas with your manager.

Flexible Working
Is there scope for you to work more flexibly? Working from home one day a week, for example, could give you more variety. This is not an excuse to get up late and lie around watching daytime TV, though you'll need to be able to show some output for your time away from the office! Again, discuss the options with your manager.

Learn More
If you feel you're not being stimulated enough mentally, consider doing some training or a course that is work-related: it will give you new insights, help to keep you fresh, and will be a useful addition to your CV when you are ready to move on.

Network more. If meeting new people is not already part of your role, find ways to incorporate it. Meeting people and getting fresh perspectives can help you to keep yourself interested and interesting. If there don't seem to be many networking opportunities where you are, create some! Organize a team outing, or arrange for you and your colleagues to meet up with staff from another part of the company.

Have Some Fun
Inject a bit of fun into your workplace. That could be as simple as croissants on a Monday morning or a team drink on Friday afternoon. Or it could be a more structured social event. Your work colleagues don't have to be your bosom buddies, but you'll enjoy your working day much more if there's a bit of banter and humour around. Just because your work is a serious business doesn't mean you can't have fun while you do it!

Improve Your Social Life
Make an effort to do more interesting things outside of work. If your working week consists of getting up in the morning, going to work, coming home, having dinner, slumping in front of the TV and then going to bed, your job is going to have a disproportionate impact on your overall mood. Try to fit a couple of social engagements into your week - a dancing class or an art exhibition, perhaps, or just a catch-up with friends you haven't seen for a while. Having something to look forward to during the week will help to make it more bearable.

Prioritise Your Workload
If you find that your problem is you're working such long hours that you don't have time to have fun outside work, let alone in the office, you need to tackle this. Get used to prioritizing your workload - negotiate extensions to deadlines if necessary and make yourself leave the office on time at least 3 nights a week. Most of us have periods when we're extra-busy and end up working long hours, but if this is happening to you routinely, you need to get out of that rut.

What's Eating You at Work?

(This article is obtained from I find it so helpful and sharing it here.)

Mad that you were passed over for a big promotion again? Livid that the bootlickers always seem to get ahead in your organization? Perhaps it's time to consider whether the anger itself, however legitimate, is holding you back. Evidence suggests many of us are walking around the office feeling resentful, though we may be unaware of the cumulative toll bitter actions take on our careers and coworkers.

According to a report by Donald Gibson of Fairfield University and Sigal Barsade of Yale University, one out of four employees is substantially angry at work. The study, "The Experience of Anger at Work: Lessons from the Chronically Angry," indicates most workers are not so angry that they're ready to cause the boss physical harm, but they are angry enough to sabotage him.

Workplace anger is not only potentially harmful to the organization, but it can also cause serious health problems, including chronic anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and heart disease. Learning to deal with your anger constructively will improve your well-being and make you a more desirable and promotable employee.

Why Are So Many Employees Angry?
According to Gibson's survey, workplace anger is most often directed at an employee's supervisor or the organization in general. "Feelings of anger at the individual level are a signal that a wrong has been committed or that goals are being blocked," Gibson says.

I spoke with twelve employees from a variety of businesses about their anger at work. Each felt that one or more of the following caused the anger:

Employee was promised a raise, promotion or important project, and it did not happen.

Employee was told to do something he felt was wrong or incorrect.

Employee could not live up to a supervisor's expectations, because the expectations were too high or continuously changing.

Supervisor was a micromanager and criticized employee frequently.

Employee felt better qualified and skilled than his supervisor.

Another employee doing the same job made more money.
Sometimes the anger may stem from outside sources. Many times, employees are dealing with stressful events in their own lives, and the resulting anger can carry over to the workplace. Divorce, a death in the family, financial pressure, and serious illnesses can all cause an individual to become overwhelmed and irritated. Rarely are we taught to deal with loss and stressful situations, so we tend to bury those feelings, which can turn to anger or rage over time.

Steps to Control Anger Constructively
We all become irritated or angry every now and then. What can we do to control that anger and be more constructive? Gibson, who cowrote "Managing Anger in the Workplace" as a follow-up to the survey, offers the following strategies for controlling anger:

Avoid anger as much as possible. This doesn't mean suppress your feelings, but rather improve your outlook on yourself and life so there are fewer situations in which you would become angry.

Think about your anger and determine if it really makes sense given the situation.

Control your physical response to anger by doing constructive things, such as exercising, getting enough sleep and avoiding alcohol. The healthier you are, the more likely you are to respond appropriately to situations.

Let go of unmanageable anger. Many situations will be out of your control, so it is important to let go of this type of anger. Ask yourself, "Can I resolve whatever it is that's causing this anger?" If you can't, then you need to let it go.

If you feel anger and are having a difficult time dealing with it, see if your company has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAP providers typically allow employees to see therapists in these circumstances. You don't have to live in a state of bitterness, anger or rage. If you deal effectively with your anger, you will increase your chances of being promoted at some point -- and of being an effective leader when the time comes.
When Anger Strikes:

Take several deep breaths.

Repeat a calming word or phrase in your mind, such as "relax" or "stay calm."

Slowly count to ten.

Ask yourself, "How would my favorite leader handle this situation?"

Avoid tensing up your muscles. As soon as you can, close your eyes and consciously think to unclench your jaw and loosen your muscles.

Listen to your favorite music.

When you're feeling angry after you leave work, change clothes as soon as you get home. This simple gesture will help you change your state of mind.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Colayco's 10 Commandments to Achieve Financial Freedom

Commandment #1: Pay Yourself First
Commandment #2: Define your financial target at each phase
Commandment #3: Stop spending on things that depreciates in value
Commandment #4: Protect your greatest asset: Yourself
Commandment #5: Grow with the economy and beat inflation
Commandment #6: Trust the power of compound interest
Commandment #7: Assess Risks and Options
Commandment #8: Make Money Work For You
Commandment #9: Invest and Diversify
Commandment #10: Use the Power of One

Investing Your Money

To all of you out there who is wary of what to do with your hard-earned money or has a surplus of it, check out the schedule below for a very practical investing seminars.

Pera Mo! Palaguin Mo! Workshop
Date & Time : Saturday-June 11, 2011,
Location & Venue : 7th Fl. Citystate
Center Condominium, 709 Shaw Blvd.
Oranbo, Pasig City
Regular Learning Fee: Php3000

Who: Ideal for those who are serious about taking control of their personal lives by preparing their own financial plan to be wealthy.

Why: This workshop will equip you with the skills to make
your own Financial Plan to be Wealthy. It will also equip you with the right Investing Mindset. Armed with these, you will be on your way to financial independence

INVESTability – The Stock Market
Date & Time : Saturday-June 25, 2011,
Location & Venue : Pasig City TBA
Regular Learning Fee: Php2000

Who: Ideal for individuals who would like to understand the
basics of the stock market. Individuals who are considering
investing in stocks or those who have some stocks but are not really knowledgeable on the stock market.

Why: This seminar will equip you with the information and
strategies needed to invest in stocks prudently. Learn what aa stock is and how does it work, how do you grow your money
through stocks. Discover the challenges of stock investing and what it means to be a serious stock investor and how to be a conservative stock investor taking advantage of diversifying your portfolio through stock ownership.
Note: This seminar will NOT teach you to become a stock
trader. Investing is about long term wealth generation.

PISObilities – Wealth Within Your Reach
Date & Time : Saturday-July 16, 2011,
Location & Venue : 7th Fl. Citystate
Center Condominium, 709 Shaw Blvd.
Oranbo, Pasig City
Regular Learning Fee: Php1000

Who: Ideal for individuals who would like to take control of
their finances. Because money management is a family affair,
the seminar is also ideal for couples.

Why: This seminar will equip you with the basics of proper
money management – spending, savings, planning and
investing. It will help you make sense of their financial goals in life and introduce instruments, which will help you achieve it.

INVESTability – Fixed Income Instruments
Date & Time : Saturday-July 30, 2011,
Location & Venue : Pasig City TBA
Regular Learning Fee: Php2000

Who: Ideal for individuals who are considering investing in
debt securities (i.e. government securities, corporate papers
etc.) or those who would like to know more about available
investment options. This is also ideal for those preparing their investments for retirement.

Why: Fixed income instruments is all about ‘lending
investments’ such as government securities, corporate papers, bank products etc. These can give you fixed regular
investment income. Fixed income instruments also play a big
role in managing risk and portfolio diversification.

PISObilities – Wealth Within Your Reach
Date & Time : Sat. - August 13, 2011,
Location & Venue : 7th Fl. Citystate
Center Condominium, 709 Shaw Blvd.
Oranbo, Pasig City
Regular Learning Fee: Php1000

Who: Ideal for individuals who would like to take control of
their finances. Because money management is a family affair,
the seminar is also ideal for couples.

Why: This seminar will equip you with the basics of proper
money management – spending, savings, planning and investing. It will help you make sense of their financial goals in life and introduce instruments, which will help you achieve it.

InvestED – Analyzing Stocks
Date & Time : Sat. - August 27, 2011,
Location & Venue : Pasig City, TBA
Regular Learning Fee: Php3000

Who: Ideal for individuals who have basic knowledge and/or
experience in stock investing. Note: familiarity with investing concepts, the stock market and some stock investing terms will be an advantage.

Why: Learn how to spot stock trends and the like using
information readily available to the average investor. This
seminar will equip you with the knowledge to make better
stock investing decisions. This seminar is about ‘fundamental analysis’ techniques.
Note: Technical Analysis will not be discussed in this seminar.

Pera Mo! Palaguin Mo! Workshop
Date & Time : Sat. – Sept. 10, 2011,
Location & Venue : Pasig City, TBA
Regular Learning Fee: Php3000

Who: Ideal for those who are serious about taking control of
their personal lives by preparing their own financial plan to be wealthy.

Why: This workshop will equip you with the the skills to
make your own Financial Plan to be Wealthy. It will also
equip you with the right Investing Mindset. Armed with these, you will be on your way to financial independence.

INVESTability – Mutual Funds
Date & Time : Sat. – Sept. 24, 2011,
Location & Venue : Pasig City, TBA
Regular Learning Fee: Php2000

Who: Ideal for those who are considering investing in mutual
funds and would like an unbiased view of the pros and cons of investing in mutual funds in lay-mans terms.

Why: Mutual Funds are considered the greatest democratizer
of investment instruments. You can start investing for
Php5000. But since it is not common knowledge, many people are skeptical.

If you are a previous attendee, you get 50% off the learning fee. Kindly call 6373731 or 41 for more details.

Francisco Colayco in Private Conversations - Part 1

Francisco Colayco in Private Conversations - Part 2

Francisco Colayco in Private Conversations - Part 3

Francisco Colayco in Private Conversations - Part 4

Francisco Colayco in Private Conversations - Part 5

Francisco Colayco in Private Conversations - Part 6

Francisco Colayco in Private Conversations - Part 7