Archives for January 2014

Tapping the Power of Mentorship

The Philippines faced a lot of challenges the past year and it will continue to do so in the coming years.

Globe and its #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014 ask this question:

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The 2010 data from the National Statistics Office reveals that there are 92.34 million Filipinos. This only shows that the biggest resource of the country  is its people. I see people as assets and it is only fitting to invest on their potential. The gift I can give to the Philippines is MENTORSHIP.

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A mentor actually sees potential in a person even before a person realizes it. Imagine the people you can motivate to do better in life by being a mentor. I believe each one of us has some skill, talent and knowledge to share to others that can empower them to live a better life. In my own life, I reach out to people when I needed to learn something. And this is not even in a traditional classroom setting. It is just an informal and casual method and I learn a lot just the same. Several times in the past, I called on a friend who used to work for the family to teach me how to cook dinuguan and kare-kare. She is my mentor when it comes to cooking.  I also seek the help of my cousin to learn photography. Even if he lives faraway, we use Facebook to communicate.  I consider him my photography mentor.  A mentor is a positive influence in someone’s life.

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Here’s how I think Globe can do mentorship with #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014 :

1. Choose a pilot site to implement the project.

2. Get 5 ideas from the pilot area to know what they want to be mentored on.

3. Crowdsource through social media who are willing to volunteer as mentors for any of the 5 ideas.

4. Plan and implement the mentorship program.

5. Monitor feedback from community and modify program to enhance it.

There are other ways to approach this idea. Globe can also setup an internet portal where people can enlist as mentors and specify their skills and expertise. Others can enlist as mentees and specify what they want to be mentored on.  The portal then can match mentors and mentees. From there, mentors and mentees can swap contact details and start the transfer of knowledge.

Industry experts can be tapped to develop a training program on their expertise.  For example, Bamboo can donate an hour of his time teaching musically-inclined kids about songwriting.

Products of mentorship tend to gain confidence and develop self-reliance.  Mentorship is a  gift that keeps on giving.

How about you? “If there is one thing you can give to the Philippines, what is that gift?”

It is your turn to answer.  Write it on the comment space  below. If my idea is chosen, Globe will pick a winning comment. Winner will receive an iPad 2.

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LPA and Agaton Blues

I have experienced flooding before- in 1979, 1999, 2011. It happens to us with a more than a decade interval. I did not expect it to come too soon.  The non-stop raining for the past two weeks was something to be concerned about.

My cousin and I were chatting about how my aunt reacted to the flooding in their street.  She described it as ‘thrilling’ because it has been stationary near their gate for days.

This  was our version of thrilling by Sunday afternoon, January 19.
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We even managed to build a makeshift fort for our dog to prevent him from jumping into the water.
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By late afternoon on Sunday, the water level already rose.
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My friend who lives near the river already evacuated their families.

In the evening, I got a text from my boss about a tweet from Prof. Mahar Lagmay, executive director of Project NOAH. I verified it. True enough I got the same information. Prof Lagmay is an expert I asked about flood maps before and I trust his assessment.
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This made us decide to prepare for flooding. From previous experience, we know the flood-prone areas in the house so we quickly vacated the area.

Remember my living room last Christmas?
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We emptied it. Almost.
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We transferred the furniture to my Aunt’s house.
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Their living room turned into a bodega. We reinforced the furniture legs with plastic cups.

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That afternoon, my aunt already secured her plants on the waiting shed bench.

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We slept tight when the 11:30 PM warning of Prof Lagmay had passed.
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When we woke up, we are still dry. However, heavy rains kept pounding. The Tropical Depression Agaton showed its strength after being categorized as a low pressure area (LPA) for more than a week. The water level of the mighty Agusan River rose.

Then, my living room had two inches of flood. Yes, we still have power and my aunt was able to watch her favorite teleserye.
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My aunt’s porch was flooded. We were grateful that the living room was dry.
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My rooms were still safe and dry.
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The dogs were safe and dry.
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By Tuesday morning, rain was reduced to drizzles and the water in my home was slowly receding. It was cleanup time for us. My aunt started scooping out flood waters to the pail and I carried those pails 50 steps away to my bathroom. It was a good workout.
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We did the same thing with my living room that by Tuesday afternoon, my floors were squeaky clean. I purposely sat on the floor to show you how clean it is. Pardon the fashion faux pas.
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We had time to roam around the neighborhood and the streets were still flooded.

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There are still thousands of families in the evacuation centers. I know someone who lost their home. I know someone whose brother had to be rescued.

My beloved city is under the state of calamity. I am fine. My family is fine. But there are still thousands who are homeless. The water level has not yet subsided.

Please keep us in your prayers.

Good health matters

I have always been a chubby kid.

Me and my auntie

Me and my auntie

My mother admitted to me once that she did not like having a thin kid. She feared someone might think she was not feeding me well. being chubby was okay with me but all the pinching I got for my chubbiness did not bode on me well so I told my mother that I would lessen my milk intake. At that time, I was drinking milk like water.  The diet I imposed on myself worked. I grew and lost the weight.

Me and Mama

Me and Mama

Thankfully, I was never too thin nor too fat growing up. I have always maintained a healthy weight… until last year. Based on the food posts I did last year, you know I enjoy eating so much. I only posted what I made. Some of the stuff I ate are on Facebook. HA! As a saying goes, “Once on the lips, forever on the hips.” I managed to break the overweight mark. It alarmed me that I went to check my cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Thankfully, they are at a normal range. My conclusion: I am simply fat.

The lab results.

The lab results.

Even before the New Year, I already started exercising through Zumba.  Thanks to Zalora I got new rubber shoes on sale. I use these for exercising.

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I have not adjusted my diet yet but I am inspired by what Erwan Heusaff did. Check out this video.

How about you? What are plans to stay healthy this year?

5 Ideas to Try for 2014

I am doing well with the gratitude project.

I came across different ideas to jumpstart the New Year.   There is no harm in trying them. If you accomplish a thing or two, well and good. If not, 2015 is just around the corner. My point is that you do not have to stress yourself  and worry about not achieving anything. Just enjoy the journey. Sometimes when we over think things  and set our expectations high, we put ourselves up for disappointment. Just make an effort and find the thing that will motivate you to make this year the best year ever.

1. Self-improvement.  It is said that it takes 21 days to change a bad habit.  This means you cannot change something overnight.  I believe in taking things one day at a time. If you make small changes every day, eventually you will achieve the transformation you want in due time.

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http://www.pinterest.com/pin/105271710012928899/

2. Self-Worth. I believe that no person completes another person. God already made us complete with His love. What we can do is love ourselves in a manner that pleases the heavens.

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3. Live in grace. Nobody’s perfect so you have to stop trying to be one. Instead, try to live life with dignity and grace.

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/77968637273056627/

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/77968637273056627/

4. Exercise. This is something that is hard for me to do. I need to be motivated to do this regularly. I am getting there. I found this list worth reading to push myself to make an effort.

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http://www.pinterest.com/pin/46513808625453035/

5. Save. We cannot predict what the future brings. We can surely prepare for it. Here is a saving scheme from Kuripot Pinay. You might want to try this one.

52 weeks

How about you? Care to share new ideas for 2014?

The 4Fs of the Season

Family. Friends. Food. Faith

This is a rundown of what happened over the Holidays.

By December 3,  my Christmas tree was up.  I pushed myself to do it by that time or else I would never be able to do it in the succeeding days.

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 The city lit up, too. I love how they used old water jugs as Christmas lights. Can you tell the water jugs in one of the photos below?
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We always celebrate Christmas in a simple way. We just cooked spaghetti, dinuguan, ham and pudding.

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As promised, we had cupcakes. We bought the cupcakes and I made the frosting.
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Oh, we made our favorite… the mango float!
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Mango is a favorite ingredient that, in one party with friends,  we had mango roll, mango bars, mango sago and mango (the fruit itself).

My Christmas vacation was full of gathering with family and friends.
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I also invited my cousin over so we can bake cookies and cake and we can bring them for another cousin who invited us to her home for coffee.

The cookies were divine. They are of the melt-on-your-mouth kind.
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And look at the chocolate cake!
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Who would have thought we baked them in a oven with a broken door?
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There was a problem with the mechanism on my oven door. While checking on the cookie, I opened the oven door only to realize I could no longer close it tight. I pushed it hard that I broke the handle. We baked the cookies with an oven door ajar! Adding to the stress, my cousin mistook the baking soda for flour. The chewy cookies we baked tasted bitter. It was the most stressful afternoon for her in her more than 15 years of baking experience. But we are doing this again once I get my oven fixed. Yes, we never give up!

Of course, the Christmas season is best celebrated with kids. My nephew enjoyed our simple gift we gave him on New Year’s Day.
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Yes, we now own a fireboat. I checked with the captain for status yesterday. The fireboat had mechanical trouble!
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Amid the festivities, we remember the reason for the season, the One who came into this world and died for us to save us from sins. Thank you, Jesus!
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How about you? What did you do the past two weeks?