2018 Week 24: Strategic Planning Part 1 | Super Bum

June 11-17, 2018

We had our part 1 strategic planning last Thursday. The whole team participated. While it was brain draining, it was good to listen and digest the kids’ inputs. It was also an opportunity to let some of them take the stage by letting them be the presenters and just be in the sidelines as backup. They were hesitant but I know it’s good for them so I insisted still hehe.

Part 2 will be for a smaller group and the output of that session will be the concrete steps we need to take especially in the area of digital transformation.

I was so happy for the 2 holidays this week. I was just a bit sad that I was not able to maximize it. But I’m still happy that what I did, even though not much, made me happy hahahaha.

On Tuesday, I did the laundry and grocery shopping. I am now loving Unimart in Capitol Commons. It’s generally cheaper, the place is clean and hopefully it remains that way. The wet section especially is clean and organized.

On Friday, I cooked all the meat I purchased last Tuesday hehehehe.

On Saturday, I just played FarmVille all day.

On Sunday, I had to go out because I need new office shoes. I don’t want to buy but my office shoes that I abused in the last 1.5 years gave up on me mid last week. I did not even notice that it was starting to deteriorate hahaha. Well, the shoe shopping was unsuccessful. I’ll try again next weekend. In the meantime, hello sandals.

What else? Oh, the nephew who stayed with me during his OJT is now graduating! Woohoooo! He can’t anymore ask for allowance from me. He has to start earning ASAP hahaha! He is inviting me but it’s a workday and I can’t take a leave that day so congratulations na lang and I’m so happy he’s finally graduating nyahahaha!

And that’s it. Have a great week ahead.

2018 Week 23: Nutrition Farming Seminar

June 4-10, 2018

I registered my auntie and I to a Nutrition Farming seminar offered by Agribusiness. I saw their advert in FB. The seminar was last June 9, 2018.

Initially, the seminar is inclusive of a farm tour in Cabanatuan. However, days prior June 9, I was informed that there will no longer be a farm tour because the plants have already been harvested and there was nothing to see. I hesitated at first but still checked with my aunt if she’s still interested even if without the farm tour. I just wanted to make sure because she’ll be travelling to Manila from Atok Benguet just for that.

It was a good decision to still attend because we learned a lot! Sulit ang Php 1,500.00. The funniest was that the speakers frequently go to Atok Benguet for talks. The venue is just 4 kilometers away from my auntie’s home hahahaha! But she said she never heard about them. Also, one of the speakers’ host is my auntie’s batchmate hehehe.

The main speaker is Ka Maning who is known to be the father of nutrition farming. With him is his son JR and , another consultant.

There were only a few of us. I had the chance to talk to a farmer from Dumaguete. He travelled to Manila just for that.

Another young participant is a haciendero from Sariyaya Quezon. They have a vast property there (as in by the hectares). They don’t have farm tours at this point but they’re planning to have one in the future. In fairness, cutie si haciendero hahahahahaha.

One other girl participant was from Bulacan. They have a rice field which they want to convert into a farm and she wants to learn some techniques on how to go about it.

The other girl is from Batanes! She wants to have a farm there because vegetables are so expensive in their place because of transport.

There were I think 15-20 participants all eager to learn. We finished at around 4 PM.

Thanks to that seminar, we were able to get a shop’s name in Cubao that sells seedlings. I’ll check it out one of these days to compare prices.

My auntie and I went to Quezon City Memorial Circle to check out the plants. Unfortunately, the area we went to last year was already closed due to the MRT construction. The shops have been dispersed in several parts of the area. And there are fewer shops now and since it was raining, most shops were closed.

On to dinner! We were supposed to eat at Romantic Baboy in Tomas Morato. However, the line was long so we just went to Megamall to feast at Vikings hehe. That’s my belated Mother’s Day and advance birthday treat for my auntie. Sabay na para tipid hahahaha.

The rain that night was crazy strong! But happy tummy so it offsets the inconvenience of walking through the strong rain just to get home hehe.

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↑Lafang to sawa. At anong petsa na wala pa rin sa vocabulary ko ang diet hahahaha! Hay Mylene!

The end.

2018 Week 22: Hello, Bonglo

May 28 – June 3, 2018

My cousin graduated from Senior High School last June 2, 2018 so I decided to attend. They live in Bonglo, Atok Benguet. So from the office, I traveled straight to Baguio on Friday night. I took the 10 PM trip, which was a wrong choice because I arrived in Baguio around 2 AM and the first trip going to Atok via van was at 4 AM! I decided to just drop by KFC to kill some time before I proceed to the van terminal in KM 5, La Trinidad.

My arrival at the van terminal was perfect timing this time because the first trip was just waiting for 2 more passengers and we can be on the road earlier than 4 AM.

I reached my auntie’s place around 5:30 AM. It was not raining that weekend thank God, so I waited for the sunrise to take some snaps hehehe.

The graduation ceremonies started at 9 AM (but call time was 8 AM) and ended at 2 PM! We had a late lunch at Loyung’s Restaurant in KM 51. My brother and family met us there too.

My cousins had some guests over in the evening. Some of them were starting to get wasted hahaha! They went house to house so they already had some drinks in other houses before reaching my cousin’s.

 My original plan was to go back to Manila in the evening but they requested me to spend the night so sleep over it is.

We traveled back to Baguio on Sunday.

I accompanied my auntie to have her uniform sewn. We went to the orchidarium after to buy pots for cactus. We didn’t find any. But while looking for a place to eat at the Dangwa station, we spotted a farm supply that sells the size we were looking for. Buy na! But we still lack 105 pieces. The search is not yet over.

I was thinking of taking a chance at the terminal since I have nothing else to do but there were a lot of people. I just went to Starbucks to read 1 chapter of our required office reading while waiting for my evening trip.

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↑ Sunrise at Atok. Waited for this instead of taking a power nap after a long trip.

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↑ View of Benguet’s mountain ranges in my auntie’s place.

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↑ Kurenai flower.

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↑Cactus. Planning to propagate this.

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↑What a dainty flower.

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↑Graduation venue. No pictures of my cousins as I have not gotten permission from them to post it here.

The end.

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!

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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.

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↑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?

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↑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.

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↑Of trees and mountain ranges

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

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

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

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↑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.

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↑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.

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↑Beautiful sunrise. What a lovely day.

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↑Obligatory picture at the summit of Mt. Ulap

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↑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.

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↑Campsite

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.

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