2018 Week 21: ICON 2018

May 21-27, 2018

I was able to register and attend the ICON 2018. ICON is short for Investment Conference, organized by Randell Tiongson. The registration fee that I paid in March was Php 2,000.00. I felt at that time that it was quite expensive but I still wanted to go so I adjusted my budget a bit to make room for this. And after the conference, I felt that it was money well spent!


The conference was jampacked with speakers from different fields. It was so inspiring to listen to all their presentations and stories.

Here are the different speakers:

  • Randell Tiongson – gave the opening and closing remarks. He talked a little about the current Philippine market condition.

  • Ann Cuisa-Lindayag, CEO of Traxion Tech – talked about Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. It’s good to learn a little about this topic since I’ve been hearing and reading headlines about this but didn’t really get to read deeper about it. And a girl for a CEO? How does she do it?

  • Mylene Lopa, Chief Marketing Officer of Sun Life Financial Philippines – talked about her journey to prosperity. She presented some statistics about Filipinos when it comes to money, emergencies, savings and investments. But what I won’t forget is about her personal story where even as a manager in her 30s, she did not still have a million and that her Php 300,000.00 savings are just all in the bank. So a friend advised her to consider other forms of investing. So she invested half of her savings and religiously added Php 10,000.00 per year to her investment account. She earned her first million after 5 years.

  • Marvin Germo – his discussion was mainly about the stock market and when to buy, hold sell using the moving average method.

  • Wilson Flores, President, Kamuning Bakery Cafe and Philstar Consultant – his topic was about how to catch a diamond in things that look like there is already nothing good out of it. He did not have any powerpoint presentations. He only had a small piece of paper with him. But his stories and tips were still very powerful. Here are some of his tips: be an optimist, have a heightened awareness about everything that’s happening around you, cultivate your creativity, do not decided based on emotion, do nut rush, be patient, be a nice person, be quick in analyzing, always be humble, try to be well rounded by reading / learning about different things. Also remember that in everything negative, there is good in it.

  • Carl Dy, President of Spectrum Investments, a property guru and speaker – his focus was about hotel investing. One hotel they are marketing now is Hotel 101 Fort.

  • Sean Si, President of SEO Hacker

Another person with an inspiring story as he became CEO at age 22. There were a lot of bumps in his journey but he was able to make it. Even he himself cannot believe where he is now considering his background (ex. Failing grades in school, first business proposal was a 1-page bond paper). He also published a book entitled CEO at 22. Of course I grabbed a copy, got him signed and a picture with him and his wife hehe. Fangirling mode on that time.


↑Sean and his beautiful and supportive wife.

  • Aaron Say from Frist Metro Securities

His topic was also about stock market investing. He summarized it into 3 Ps – purpose, process, patience.

  • Jairus Ferrer

I missed some minutes of his talk because I went out to buy the book of Sean Si and there was a long line. But Jairus’ topic was about iFarms, a blockchain-driven application that lets users, especially farmers trade directly. This allows consumers to buy directly from local farmers. I love this idea. This eliminates too many middle men and so, farmers will have higher chances of profits.

  • Marilen Montenegro, Founder of Marilen Styles, Interior Stylist, Product Stylist, Digital Content Creator

She’s the wife of Hans Montenegro. And according to her, she’s in good terms with Miriam Quimbao who happened to attend the afternoon session. Chismax hehe. She shared how she transitioned from modelling to digital entrepreneurship. My main takeaway from her talk is to know your passion, work hard for it, and go fro that big idea no matter how hard it is.

  • Denise Cacanando, Founder of Ovalese and Noblese, Artist, Entrepreneur

She was home-schooled and her parents did not send her to college. Her dad just sent her to their friends in Manila to work in their businesses as an intern. Her dad wants her to learn the ropes by starting from below. She’s now an artist and an entrepreneur. She’s also the daughter of another speaker, Dodong Cacanando.

  • Rex Mendoza, RFP, Founder and Managing Director, Rampver Financials

What a cool guy! Bursting with energy all throughout his talk to think that it’s already in the afternoon! His topic was about trailblazing success in investing, business and in life. We have to know our why, for what and for whom.

What struck me the most was about having both options instead of having to choose just one – Luxury AND Charity over Luxury vs. Charity, Employment AND Entrepreneurship over Employment vs. Entrepreneurship, Family AND Work over Family vs. Work, Provide AND Deprive over Provide vs. Deprive. I still remember until now his tone of voice every time he says WHY NOT?! to having both of those instead of choosing just one.

Another story he shared. He was finishing late one night, it was date night, and he has an early speaking engagement the following morning. What to do? Have the date night then travel to Baguio at night with the wife in his Maserati because  WHY NOT? Such powerful phrase when combined together. And yes, he truly owns a Maserati as confirmed by Randell haha! Because, WHY NOT?


↑Prior my turn, he got conscious because people started taking pictures with him so I had to wait for him to finish combing before we had our picture taken hehehehe!

  • Dodong Cacanando, Founder of Semilya Farms

Another inspiring story. He is a constant in the ICON for the past years. He was a former country manager of HP until he decided to go into farming in Mindanao. His main source of references in farming was the bible. It was a struggle at first but he was able to turn things around in their farm. His point that I cannot forget is that farming is a business and farmers should act like entrepreneurs.

Farming is always close to my heart this is our source of income and I remember all those struggles in tilling the land only to be met with low market prices. I haven’t lost faith yet that someday soon, I will make it happen that farming will be a sustainable source of income! Someday soon.

It was a very long day but there’s nothing to complain about because I learned a lot from all of the speakers. I want to attend next year’s session again, this time with the boyps so hopefully it will materialize. And I will make sure that I will have my picture taken with the speakers. They were all around the place and they were all approachable. It’s just that I was shy sometimes to ask for pictures and I’m not a selfie expert hahahaha!

I saw in one of the FB posts that next year’s session will be May 25!

2018 Week 20: Barangay Election | Mt. Ulap Climb

May 14-20, 2018

May 14 was barangay elections so I was still in Baguio on Monday. I was not happy about the results in our barangay but it is what it is so…..anyway.

Highlight for this week though: climb at Mt. Ulap. It was a dear friend’s birthday climb and she invited me, which I said yes to because I also wanted to visit Mt. Ulap.

NOTE: The succeeding narrative is based on how we did our climb and this post may not really be helpful if you’re specifically looking for a detailed itinerary and expenses.

We left Manila on the dawn of May 19 and we reached Ampucao, Itogon at around 5:30 AM. We rented a van so travel time was fast.

We registered and had our breakfast at the barangay hall. But we were informed that we can only start our hike by 9 AM because they are letting the day hikers go first. There is also a 24 hour limit from the time we hike up until the time we hike back. Meaning to say, if we start hiking to the summit at 9 AM, we should be hiking back down at 9 AM the following morning. I think this is their way of controlling too much crowd at the summit. They also have a limit of accommodating just 500 climbers per day. That’s good to know.

And so as planned, we started hiking around 8:50 AM on May 19. And we reached the campsite at 2:30 PM hehehehe. It was really a slow-paced hike, which was good especially for me because my fitness wasn’t 100% ready for this hehehehe. And also, we took lots and lots of pictures along the way.


↑Of trees and mountain ranges


↑That is Mt. Sto. Tomas as seen on the way to Mt. Ulap


↑This is abundant on the trail. Beautiful flowers of a bush.


↑My favorite part of the trail because of the tunnel formed by the branches of the trees.


↑The famous Gungal rock.

We pitched our tents and started preparing dinner upon arrival in anticipation of the rain. True enough, it rained at around 4:30 PM but good thing that it stopped after around 30 minutes and it wasn’t that strong. We were also able to witness a little bit of sunset when the sun wasn’t covered by clouds.


↑Trying to catch what was left of the sunset.

We had socials after dinner where we played some games. The punishment when you commit a mistake is to take a shot of Tanduay mixed with iced tea then 4×4 gin with sprite and calamansi. I had a lot of shots at first but I made sure to master the game because I don’t want to drink anymore hahahaha!

We called it a night by 10 PM because we wanted to wake up early the next morning for sunrise.

We woke up early the next morning for sunrise and to climb up the summit. Watching the sunrise or sunset will always be my favorite activity when I’m outdoors. We were lucky to witness it because it wasn’t as cloudy that morning.


↑Beautiful sunrise. What a lovely day.


↑Obligatory picture at the summit of Mt. Ulap


↑Picture with Mt. Santo Tomas because somewhere at the base of that mountain is our home sweet home hehehe.

We had breakfast by 7:30 AM, fixing our stuff by 8:30 AM and went back up the top of the hill where the summit can be seen once more for a group picture. I almost didn’t want to join but it was for a group picture so ok, fine hahaha.



We started hiking down few minutes before 10 AM. We took the shorter route that exits at Santa Fe. We were back down at 12 PM. After a very quick change of clothes for most of us, we started our trip back.

Another friend and I dropped off near Baguio as we still had errands to do. The rest continued on with their trip back to Manila.

My friend and I had a quick shower in the city proper and went to Don Henrico’s after for a super late lunch. We parted ways after to attend to our own errands.

Some things notable on this mountain.

  • There is a store near the camp site where you can buy some stuff especially in case your food isn’t enough
  • There is a CR
  • There is water source! No need to bring extra water for cooking
  • The Ampucao trail is not all assault so there is time to catch your breath after every few meters of assault
  • Most of the trail is covered with trees. For the grassland part, hello umbrella.

Estimated expense is around Php 2,000 -2,500, including personal and group porters, van rental, group expenses for food and butane, and personal expenses for snacks along the way.

The end.

2018 Week 19: Weekend at Home | Mother’s Day

May 7-13, 2018

I was in Baguio last weekend for the Barangay elections last May 14. On Saturday, my sister, nieces and I hiked Mt. Yangbew.

After the hike, we dropped by the hospital in La Trinidad to visit my uncle who was undergoing dialysis that day. It was just supposed to be a quick visit but all the aunties who were there cannot stay with him until his dialysis was completed so they requested us to stay with him instead. Fortunately, his wife arrived at 5 PM so we can leave earlier than planned. We had dinner at McDonald’s before going home.

On Sunday, my sister-in-law invited us for lunch to celebrate Mother’s Day. We are missing the parents but I am glad that somehow, we get to go out for lunch once in a while.



↑Happy fiesta!

We went our separate ways after lunch. I attended the late afternoon mass at Divine Mercy.

The BF and I also went out for dinner. I was hoping we could go to John Hay but it was raining so we opted to just dine at Fortune Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant which was at the city proper. We also discussed some wedding related stuff hehe. Totoo na talaga ito besh hahahaha.





↑Happy fiesta round 2! Hahaha!

The end.

Mt. Yangbew Climb

Last May 12, 2018, I was able to finally visit Mt. Yangbew (also known as Mt. Jumbo) in Tawang, La Trinidad Benguet. I did this for 2 reasons: a) in preparation for the Mt. Ulap climb the following weekend; and b) to road test my running shoes if it can withstand the mountains too because my hiking shoes has gone brittle as it has not been used for so long so it’s uncomfortable to use for a longer climb and I don’t want to buy a new one hehe.

I brought along my sister and 2 nieces with me.

Our itinerary:

  1. We rode a La Trinidad bound jeep and dropped by Pines Park in KM. 4. This is just a short ride. La Trinidad terminals are In Magsaysay and Rizal Park below City Hall.
  2. From Pines Park, we crossed the bridge to go to the jeepney terminal bound for Tawang. The bridge is on the same side where we got down.
  3. We asked the driver to drop us off at the Tawang barangay hall. Fare is Php 10.00 so that’s around 6-7 kilometers.
  4. From the road where the driver dropped us, we had to walk up the street to reach the barangay hall. Not too far though. It’s just around 200-300 meters.
  5. My sister registered us and we were given tickets. Php 30.00/pax.
  6. We walked back to the jump-off to Mt. Yangbew. You will actually already pass by this on your way to the barangay hall but since registration is needed, go to the barangay hall first. You may opt to ride back but it’s also just 15-20 minutes walk from the barangay hall to the jump-off.
  7. At the jump-off, we just showed our tickets to the one inspecting and then we were on our way to the summit. No orientation or guide as there is only one trail and you won’t really get lost. We started our hike at 11 AM.
  8. We took our sweet time going up the summit. It took us about 1 hour but I know 30 minutes is doable for some. We met someone selling ice candy near the summit so we bought some. Yum especially with the summer heat!
  9. We stayed at the summit for an hour where had our lunch of boiled eggs and banana there. My niece also vlogged a little hehe.
  10. We left the summit at 1PM. Same way down. It took us around 40 minutes this time which is good because it started to drizzle when we reached the jump off.
  11. We just waited for a jeep that will bring us back to Pines Park.



↑Jump off


↑Picture with the kayabang (basket which Igorots use to carry their goods, mostly their vegetables)


↑Ice candy at the top!












↑Lunch of boiled eggs and saba at the summit.




↑Pictorials at random rocks on the way down.





↑Group picture

2018 Week 18: House Blessing | Food Trip | Passport Appointment | Unimart

April 30 – May 6, 2018

I am so happy that I was able to secure an appointment for the BF’s passport renewal. I started checking the site almost everyday, at different hours since March and was not lucky since then. There were no available dates since June. On April 30, I tried again in the evening hoping that this time, there will be slots because April is about to end. And boy was I lucky! Hehe. I was even able to change the schedule to a week earlier because when I double checked with the BF in the morning, there was a conflict with his schedule. Luck was on my side that day. I was thinking that most people might have gone to long breaks as May 1 was a holiday, hence slots were still available in the morning hehe. Anyway, I am just thankful he now has a schedule. Hopefully it goes well from here.

My friend had her condo blessed so another friend and I went to her place. The place was small so her visitors were in batches hehehe.

From the friend’s condo, we proceeded to Ayala the 30th because my other friend hasn’t been there yet.

We were feeling a little hungry (because that was already a few hours after lunch) so we went to Cafe Breton to grab some snacks. Here were our orders:


↑We shared one order of sausage platter with toast and each of us ordered caramel liegeois. All yummy but also super calorie and sugar loaded hehehehe.


↑We shared this order of blueberries and cream crepe. Super yummy!

After that, we went around the mall to check out the shops.

The plan was to also visit Estancia mall too but for some reason, we took our sweet time going around Ayala and it we just realized that it was already closing hours.

We were hungry again so we went to Capitol Commons to search for a place where we can eat. This time, we ended up in Peri-Peri.


↑Grilled chicke, mac and cheese, pita bread and salsa

On the way home last Saturday, I saw that Unimart has already opened! And so on Sunday, I went to check it out. The place is big and spacious too! It seems that the imported goods are cheaper there.  But the lettuce I bought was more expensive than in Rustans huhu. But anyway, at least I now have another alternative where I can shop that’s nearer the apartment hehehe.

The end.

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