Monday, November 30, 2020

Slow down, mama

It's December tomorrow. Holiday rush! I just realized I've only gotten a third of my gift shopping done. But we did finally put the pink tree up. And the house feels a lot more Christmas-y and so I'm beginning to feel it's time to rush-rush-rush the shopping and wrapping and sending of gifts! 

And then this old poem that I posted on my now-hidden mommy blog (remember Topaz Mommy?) popped up on my Facebook Memories and I took a deep breath and said, "No stress this year, Mama. Just enjoy the fact that you survived 2020 (fingers crossed) and you get to celebrate Christmas again."


Slow down, mummy, there is no need to rush,
Slow down, mummy, what is all the fuss?
Slow down, mummy, make yourself a cup of tea.
Slow down, mummy, come and spend some time with me.

Slow down, mummy, let's put our boots on and go out for a walk,
Let's kick at piles of leaves, and smile and laugh and talk.
Slow down, mummy, you look ever so tired,
Come sit and snuggle under the duvet and rest with me a while.

Slow down, mummy, those dirty dishes can wait,
Slow down, mummy, let's have some fun, let's bake a cake!
Slow down, mummy I know you work a lot,
But sometimes, mummy, it's nice when you just stop.

Sit with us a minute,
And listen to our day,
Spend a cherished moment,
Because our childhood is not here to stay.

Thank you, Rebekah Knight, for reminding me to just savor the moments of motherhood.

And then I saw this heartachingly tender lullaby of a mommy to her baby about slowing down, too. Mamas, get the tissues ready.

Beautiful song by Nichole Nordeman. Thank you for making songs about love, family, and God - what really matters in this broken world that's just rushing to destroy us all.

We all need to slow down. And this year just made us do it. Really enjoying the time I have with my family this year. I don't think I'll ever have this magical time with them again. 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Meet my calamansi plant, Min-Min

Let me tell you what's inspiring me these days. This is my calamansi plant. 

Our relationship was off to a bad start since I didn't know how to take care of plants. For a loooooong while it looked like she was going to be another plant I'd kill. She lost many of her leaves. 

And then after months of trying this much water and that much sun, I finally figured her out. And she's now sprouting so many new baby leaves and buds, like she's celebrating my understanding of her after all these months that must've been terrible for her.

Relationships are like that. Life is like that. You just have to keep trying to figure people out, figure life out. The trick is not to give up because when you finally get it, oh how you'll be rewarded ❤️

*This was my DAY 18 post of my #therestof2020 I'm doing over at Instagram. I wanted to reclaim 2020 and stop just waiting for bad things to happen. Instead I'm going to actively look for good things that are happening in my life so that I can look back at this year and say it was a good one.

Sweeping your girlfriend off her feet with the right engagement ring

Three things happened this week that can't be a coincidence: (1) I'm in the middle of watching "The Crown" on Netflix and thought that scene where the Queen asks Diana to choose her engagement ring from a tray of baubles was a bit sad; (2) my kids and I put up our Christmas trees - we have three! - and one of them is quite memorable because when he proposed Vince put my engagement ring in it for me to find but I couldn't find it haha, and (3) this guest post on engagement rings appeared in my inbox! So I'm publishing it!

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GUEST POST - At one point or the other, we’ve all searched for Miss Right. In the process, some individuals have found their missing ribs, while others are still on the hunt. Once, you’ve found the girl of your dreams, you feel on top of the world. You can’t wait to settle down with her and give her the best in life. Of course, you’ll also get to meet her parents and tie the knot. But in the midst of all these, getting the ideal engagement ring becomes an essential factor to consider, as it shows your undying love for your wife to be. Besides, your girlfriend can’t wait to show off her shiny ring.

But how do you find the right engagement ring? Here is a secret I will show you. Have you heard about the 4Cs? And I mean Clarity, Cut, Carat Weight, and Colour. Yes, these elements are essential in selecting the ideal ring for your spouse. Even GIA-certified gemstones revolve around the 4Cs. They determine the cost and quality of your precious stone.

It’s My First Engagement Ring Purchase

For you, this may be your first attempt at purchasing an engagement ring for your significant other, and you are confused as to which one to select. You’ve come across several options and terminology that you feel overwhelmed with information overload. Hit the brake and let me explain some things to you. Buying a diamond ring with the highest rating in each gemstone category (4Cs) does not necessarily imply that it will appeal to you more than one that slightly falls short of any of the 4C class.

By the way, your diamond ring does not have to meet every criterion to be perfect. Perfection is just an illusion in the world of jewelry. What is essential is having a gemstone that appeals to the user and comes at an affordable price – except you have tons of cash lying in your bank account to splurge on an expensive ring. Even at that, it does not mean a thing.

What Should I Do?

The first factor you have to consider when shopping for an engagement ring is your budget. Yes, you must have a price cap. How much can you spend on a diamond ring without affecting your livelihood? Your jeweler will provide you with a broad range of rings, each having an individual price tag that meets a specific pocket size. You don’t have to save for years before affording an engagement ring for your spouse. Remember, time is of the essence. While you are saving up, she is growing older, and someone else is already asking her out.

You can always get her a better jewel over time. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be frugal as well. Purchase a diamond ring you can afford easily. If you don’t know her ring size, get anyone she is using currently or has worn, press it against a bar soap to get its impression, and take it to the jewel store to get the right size. But if you are not all about surprises, then ask her.

Don’t Be in a Hurry

I understand that you have to tie the knot in no time. But don’t rush things, especially when purchasing an engagement ring. The last thing you want is to make a mistake. You can discuss with your jeweler about getting the ideal diamond ring for your spouse.

* This is a guest post, with my edits. To place a guest post, email for my rates. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Mommy mission: Make 2020 one of the best years in my kids' life

It's not news to say that this year is a really bad year for the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused millions of people to lose their businesses, their jobs, and worst of all, their loved ones. I didn't earn much this year. And since next year looks like it will be like this year, I'm thinking of closing down my sole proprietorship and just registering with the BIR as a professional.

Bad news all around, I know, but I'm determined to make the most of 2020 and 2021. I'm feeling hopeful. In fact, my words for 2021 are JOYFUL ANTICIPATION. I always get my word for the next year around my birthday (I just celebrated my 44th birthday!). This year's word is LOVE. When I blogged about that word, if you read the post (read it!), you'd get chills about how I predicted what 2020 will be like. So since God impressed upon my heart the words "joyful anticipation," I have hope for 2021. 

2020 gain: I learned how to cut hair!

These past 252 days, I've been doing my best to make my kids like our situation. Their world, just like everyone else's, was turned upside down. One day they were going to school and seeing their friends, the next day (and 252 days after) they didn't. No one can tell them when this will end. 

But here's where history comes in. We told them that the last great pandemic was in 1918 and it lasted two years. And that was when the medical and scientific community plus media weren't as modern as they are today. So we told the kids, "History says this should be 2 years, but science and medicine are more advanced now so it could be shorter!" Thanks, history!

We finally tried homeschooling. 

So one year down, one more to go! It sounds frightening but we just approach it one day at a time. Today, the goal is to stay safe, stay healthy, stay alive. I feel very accomplished every night and we're all in bed, healthy!

My kids may not be seeing their friends and relatives, but they do see them online from time to time and they're spending 24/7 with us! We may not have gone on vacations, but they literally didn't have school for 5 months and spent it lolling about eating, playing, and having fun. If that isn't a vacation, I don't know what is! We didn't eat out at our favorite restaurants (that's just McDonald's, Pancake House, and Bonchon, by the way) but we discovered so many restaurants during lockdown delivering amazing food!
Vince finally bought a 3D printer and it's been his joy all year!

It's not the best year ever but I refuse to see that my kids lost anything this year. Because at around June, I did. I got depressed. We missed Piero's Kinder graduation and that made me cry. We missed his debut in big school, and that made me cry again. We pulled out Vito and Inigo from their school and that made me weep. I lost much of my lucrative PR projects and that sent me panicking. I was just focused on what we lost that I couldn't see what we gained. And what we still have - each other. So many people have lost their family and friends. The fact that we're still together is a BIG DEAL. 

I'm going to celebrate that. Because I don't know how long I can celebrate that.

I now have time to take care of my skin!

So I've been careful not to show my boys that we lost anything this year. It's all, "Yeah, but look what we're able to do instead!" This year is when we get to teach our kids grit, flexibility, and just the sweet grace of appreciating what we have now. Because tomorrow is unsure and I want to model to them that that doesn't have to be a scary thing. 

We've spent the last 252 days watching movies and TV shows, vegging out to YouTube videos, playing video games, and sleeping late - all weekend treats pre-pandemic. We got new pet hamsters because, well, we now have time to actually care for a fur family. The kids play the piano, draw and paint, read, write books. They now have time for creating things because there's no more homework and 2 hours in traffic every day.  

The kids are forever making things, like this plushie car.

So yes, there have been losses but there have also been gains. I don't want them to see what they've lost (and seriously, they haven't lost much at all) and just see this time as one of the best years in their life. "The year Mama and Papa were just home. The year we bonded as brothers and became friends forever. The year we discovered what we wanted to do in our life (this is my hope!) because we had time to do all sorts of things. The year we learned so many things because Mama and Papa finally had the time to talk with us instead of rushing here and there. The year Mama wasn't cranky and tired. The year we were relaxed and happy and safe at home."

I don't want to make plans for 2021 or for Christmas even. Everything's just so uncertain. The plan is just to stay safe and survive today. But there is a joy in my heart because the ones I love most in the world are with me. And I've been forced by this pandemic to spend time with them and make that time count. Because who knows how long I have with them? 

This year's word is love. And I see now God's wisdom when He told me I'm going to need a lot of it this 2020. It's love that's making this strange year more than bearable. It's love that changed my mindset to look at this challenging year as an opportunity to be a better mommy (I was always the overwhelmed mommy!). And I am a better mommy now. The stressed out, rushed, always frowning, exhausted mommy was so 2019. And I hope even after this pandemic is over, she won't come back ever. I'm going to learn how to love the time I have, the rest I get, and all I'm learning this 2020. I'm going to embrace this year and the grace it has given me.  

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:21-23

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Review (book): "Mesa ni Misis" by Juana Yupangco

Juana Manahan Yupangco was my editor in chief when I was the market editor for BABY Magazine way back in 2014-2016. When we'd have meetings at restaurants and start looking over the menu, she would always bring up her newfound passion for healthy food and how to get our kids (and husbands haha) to eat healthy. There was this story we did for the magazine where Juana held up bunches of vegetables in her well-manicured hands for the photographer to shoot. Vegetables are not sexy, okay, but I swear I have never seen veggies so lovingly shot. It looked like a veggie beauty pageant. That's how much Juana loves vegetables.

So when she launched her NGO, Mesa ni Misis, and its beautifully shot Instagram and helpful website, I was not surprised. I was in fact full of admiration for her because most moms, myself included, are passionate about how we can give the very best to our kids. And our passion ends there. Juana decided she wanted the whole Philippines to benefit from a plant-based diet, too. 

Another thing I really loved was her insistence that healthy doesn't mean costly. I blogged before about how it hurts me when I watch news documentaries about our poor fellow Pinoys and they would use their daily wage of P100 to buy instant noodles. I grew up without money but we always ate so well. Boiled eggs, tinapa with grilled tomatoes, steaming hot champorado with dilis, lato salad, talbos ng kamote salad, adobong kangkong, nilaga, tinola, sinigang. I was never hungry. 

In my blog post Market Day!, I said, "I think I may have found a new advocacy. Wouldn't it be great if we can teach families in poor neighborhoods really inexpensive but healthy and delicious recipes? If you know any group that does this, please tell me. I would love to help!" 

That was in 2011. I never got to act on this advocacy. Lots of excuses (a.k.a. lots of kids haha) so when I saw Juana doing this and doing it so well, I'm just in awe. And I have got to help her in her mission!

On top of all the recipes she cooks to share on her website and all the feeding and educating programs she does in poor communities, Juana just launched her first book, Mesa Ni Misis: A Guide to Cooking and Enjoying Native Filipino Vegetables. I got a copy and here's my book review:

I love it! There are 40 recipes to try, from appetizers and main courses to dessert and drinks. All of them feature ingredients that can be bought from the palengke. No foreigners like quinoa, kale, or brussel sprouts in here! All familiar, all cheap, and therefore all stripping us of our excuses that vegetables are so expensive and hard to find.

Juana said, “In my recipes, I try to make cooking as easy and convenient and affordable as possible, so that eating healthy does not have to be hard. Most of the recipes are hearty meals meant to feed up to four people, with lots to go around.”

But even though Juana used humble vegetables in her recipes, all of them are so fancy! Just check these out:

Local ingredients, international flavors! Love it! Juana said, “I wanted to use local vegetables to create international dishes; this way, eating vegetables could still be exciting. Filipino food is not big on vegetables, and when we do have it, it’s topped with pork.” That would be my family - we always have pork or chicken while veggies are the tiny side dish. But with the pandemic (and advancing old age for me and my husband haha), it's really time for us to put fruits and vegetables front and center on our dinner table.

Let's help Juana in her mission of spreading the word that eating healthy is affordable, nutritious, and delicious. We'll not just be helping ourselves and our families, but every Filipino. How amazing is that? We can start by buying this cookbook!

“My hope is that by eating more vegetables, we will be able to help our local vegetable farmers, and in the long run, enjoy better health for ourselves and our families,” she added.

Prepare more healthy meals for the family with the help of Mesa Ni Misis: A Guide to Cooking and Enjoying Native Filipino Vegetables, available now on ABS-CBN Books’ Lazada and Shopee stores and in leading bookstores nationwide for only Php 250.00.

Visit for updates, information on how to help their programs, and events and activities. Watch the Mesa ni Misis channel for cooking tutorials. Follow Mesa ni Misis on Instagram and Facebook to be part of the plant-based diet community.

P.S. Congrats, Juana! Praying that your cookbook and advocacies reach every Filipino home!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Papel ni Juan helps public school students through affordable paper

Got a special package recently. Paper. A whole ream of bond paper, to be exact. As a homeschooling mommy, that's a big deal! What's an even bigger deal is this is Papel ni Juan, a Pinoy brand that made bond paper affordable for all of us schooling at home. The paper is manipis, though, and not super white. But pwede na, especially since we need lots of sheets for tests, print-out modules, and drawing and writing activities. Read on to learn more about this paper for a good cause!

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PRESS RELEASE - The public education sector is one of the most affected industries during the pandemic. Many students rely on self-learning modules (SLM) to get by schooling at home, but due to high production costs, there’s a shortage of SLMs. Up to four students end up sharing a module.

Papel ni Juan, a proudly Filipino brand of multi-purpose bond paper, is a brand with a purpose. With an affordable price point at only P130/ream, the brand wants to make paper accessible to everyone— starting from the students who are in dire need of their own SLMs. 

Each student has 16 SLMs per week amounting to one ream of paper. Even with its affordable price point, Papel ni Juan assures the quality of its paper as they believe that every Juan only deserves the best. Their paper is also 100% recycled, acid-free, and eco-friendly. More paper to print on means more modules to produce for more students. 

The local paper brand is also turning their plan into action by partnering with government offices, LGUs, and private organizations. For every 100 reams sold, Papel ni Juan pledges to donate five reams to selected partners. Current partnerships include the Office of the Vice President (Donation of 500 reams), Office of Valenzuela (Donation of 200 reams), A-HA Learning Center (Donation of 200 reams), and Save the Children through Project Aral (Donation of 300 reams), which also helps provide educational materials to the underprivileged. 

Help Papel ni Juan support their partners by buying Papel ni Juan. Their multi-purpose bond paper comes in short (P130/ream), A4 (P140/ream), and long (P150/ream). 

Know more about this brand with a purpose by checking them out on Facebook ( and Instagram ( For inquiries, you can reach them at or at 8293-1396 / 8293-1397.

*To be featured on Press Release Tuesdays, send it to

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Dream MCM house nestled up in the mountains

This gorgeous home may be located in Berkeley, California, but I can totally see it on an Antipolo hilltop. I had a dream a few years ago that I would live in a house in the hills overlooking Manila. The house in my dream didn't look like this (it was one of those tiny, container-van type homes) but I'm going to call this a dream house anyway because when I saw the photos and the view, I fell in love!

This home was designed by R.W. Ratcliff in 1952. I have a huge thing with old Mid Century Modern houses. I love their simplicity and lines and huge glass windows. I just don't know how those windows will work in earthquake- and typhoon-prone Philippines. 

I actually already live in an apartment that's surrounded by huge windows overlooking Manila. Every time there's an earthquake and a typhoon, those windows worry me no end. But most days of the year, I look out at the magnificent view in the east, west, and south and I am glad I live where I live.

That said, I still think a Mid Century Modern home like this one is a dream! Just look at the living and dining areas!

I also like that the hallway leading to the bedrooms is so bright because of those huge windows. I hate dark hallways. My imagination is too good. The bright light from these windows will banish those imagined fears away!

The bedrooms and study are awash with light. They're quite bare, but I guess if you have such an amazing view, your eyes would naturally look out instead of lingering within. However, I do love colorful walls and interesting artwork. So if this were my house, I'd splash those walls with oranges and turquoises and pinks.

The bathroom is very 50s-60s. Many MCM fans are strict and don't like updating bathrooms and kitchens, to keep it within the style. But I dunno. When it comes to the bathroom and the kitchen, I'd like it to be a wee bit more 21st Century. But not all the way to HGTV bland.

Gorgeous patio that looks out to the breathtaking view! I'd update the floor, put slabs of marble or stone tiles. Replace the patio furniture with wrought-iron and put green and tangerine cushions. Delightful!

Too beautiful, that view! You can tell the house was designed to look at that view. I love this house!

*Photos by Open Homes Photography, from Facebook group Mid Century Modern Real Estate World Wide.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Messenger Kids: What it is, how to set up your kid's account, and why my sons love it so much

A few weeks ago, Facebook launched Messenger Kids in the Philippines, and, boy, my two older boys are having tons of fun with it. It's really helped them connect with their friends and even make new ones (all friend requests are sent and approved by me!). That's why when Facebook sent me this press release and a fun cookie-decorating activity for the kids, I was more than happy to share with you.

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PRESS RELEASE - Messenger Kids is an app designed to allow kids ages 6 to 12 to have fun video chatting and messaging with friends and family in a parent-controlled environment. Parents in the Philippines will be able to download the app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store today. 

Amber Hawkes, APAC Head of Safety, Facebook, says, “Through our work with the Stairway Foundation, the Child Rights Network, and other safety partners in the Philippines, we learned that many Filipino parents are looking for ways to help their children stay in touch with friends and family during this challenging time, in a fun and parent-supervised environment. We hope that Messenger Kids will help them to continue to find ways to have fun, create, and engage with friends and family.”  

Ace Diloy of the Stairway Foundation says, “In a pandemic, children are not able to explore and socialize with friends the way they used to. Experiencing change and restrictions in both learning and play is especially challenging for children. We are glad to see that Messenger Kids has been designed with built-in parental controls and safety in mind, and also fun features that are age-appropriate and encouraging children to stay connected even as they are staying physically apart. We shall continue working with Facebook to help make the platform safe for children.”

As many communities are managing the response to COVID-19, with schools closed and people practicing physical distancing, parents are turning to technology more than ever to help their kids connect with friends and family, and looking to do so in a parent-controlled way. 

What it is:

Messenger Kids is a video chat and messaging app that helps kids connect with friends and family in a fun, parent-controlled space. For years, Facebook has been working with a team of experts in online safety, child development, and media, to help shape the Messenger Kids app. Facebook also continues to consult child safety advocates and educators to ensure that the Messenger Kids app balances parental control with features that help kids learn how to connect responsibly online.

Messenger Kids is full of features for kids to connect with the people they love. Once their account is set up by a parent, kids can start a one-on-one or group video chat. The home screen shows them at a glance who they are connected with to, and when those contacts are online.

Playful masks, emojis, and sound effects bring conversations to life.

In addition to video chat, kids can send photos, videos or text messages to their parent-approved friends and adult relatives, who will receive the messages via their regular Messenger app.

A library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks, and drawing tools lets them decorate content and express their personalities.

Messenger Kids gives parents more control. Parents manage the contact list and have visibility into how their kids are using the app. Parents control kids’ accounts and contacts through the Messenger Kids Parent Dashboard in their main Facebook iOS and Android app

What it's not:

It's not a social media platform where your kids can meet new people. So if your child is looking for friends, he'll have to get you to approve every person. There are no ads in Messenger Kids and your child’s information isn’t used for ads. It is free to download and there are no in-app purchases. Messenger Kids is also designed to be compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).

How to set up a Messenger Kids account

Every child account on Messenger Kids must be set up by a parent. 

Step 1: Download the Messenger Kids app on your child’s mobile device. Messenger Kids is available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

Step 2: Authenticate your child’s device using your own Facebook username and password. This will create a Facebook account for your child or give them access to your Facebook account.

Step 3: Finish the setup process by creating an account for your child, where you’ll provide their name and opt-in to any additional features. The device can then be handed over to the child so they can start chatting with family and friends.

Step 4: To add people to your child’s contact list, go to the Messenger Kids Parent Dashboard panel in your main Facebook app. To get there, click on “More” on the bottom right corner in your main Facebook app, and click “Messenger Kids” in the Explore section.

That's it! Now your kids have access to their friends and relatives and you get to see every photo and message they exchange. They can play games, join video chats, send funny photos - and you get to monitor everything! 

I am so happy my boys can spend time with their friends again in a safe environment. My sons aren't even feeling the quarantine anymore since they're always chatting with their friends after school (okay, that can be an issue so make sure you also monitor the time they spend on the app!). Thanks, Facebook, for the new Messenger Kids app. Oh, and for the cookie-decorating activity, too. My kids are having tons of fun!

*To be featured on Press Release Tuesdays, send it to

Monday, November 09, 2020

I'm 44!

I had a great birthday weekend and thank you all so much for the hundreds of well wishes over at Facebook and my DMs and Instagram! You guys! You made my 44th so happy. Thank you! 

I said on my birthday post on all my social media platforms that I was going to make myself pretty. I was going to put on makeup, blow out my hair, and put on a brightly colored dress because I want to document that my turning into a middle-aged woman (wait, I've been one since 4 years ago haha) is still oh so fantabulous. 

But motherhood happened. I was sleepy, my boys told me to nap nap nap, and so I did. And so this is 44 - chaotic, unshowered, hair in a messy pony, and TOTALLY LOVED!

Well, fine, I did draw on my eyebrows and swiped on lipstick so that I won't be too ugly haha but I'm 44 and I've learned that appearances may matter but I'm okay to let that be the first to go in exchange for a nap! And for hugs and kisses from the best little boys in the world!

Speaking of what I've learned, let me just quickly share with you 4 things I've realized now that I'm in my 40s.

1. Slow down. 

Maybe because I'm a mommy always telling my kids, "Slooooow down - you'll get into an accident. Gentle hands only so you won't break it. Take your time so you won't make mistakes. Slow and steady wins the race, guys." Maybe because I say those so often I've had to practice what I preach. 

I've mostly been setting goals since I was 13. I had planned on having all my dreams come true by the time I'm 30. And yep, they did. And you know what? It's not that big a deal after all. What do you do when you get everything you want and more and you're only 30? You set more and bigger goals. Well, that can be an endless pursuit of happiness that will forever elude you. 

So I slowed down instead, settled down, had babies. I opened myself up to what the world said I should try next and for the first time in my life, I started being generous with my life instead of taking from others. I just go with the flow now. It's much more fascinating and surprising, and oh so fulfilling.

2. Watch. Listen.

Oh, this was because of the 2016 elections. It's no secret I'm not happy with the current administration but we are a democracy so no matter what I feel and believe, I'm going to let this administration run its course. But to survive the disappointment, the shock, and the anger, I've learned to stop, watch, and listen. I won't yell at you anymore. I'll listen. 

Because of this, I've learned a lot about other people's lives and why they picked their choices. I may not be convinced they made the right choice - yes, even after all that observing and listening - but at least I can see where they're coming from. And really, it's a place of fear, anger, hate, and a feeling of being ignored for so long. That's why they wanted change, even if that change was for the worse for the nation as a whole. But individually, their lives improved or at least they felt seen and heard. For the first time, these people felt important. 

That's powerful. The lesson I took away from that is to make every single person count. Then their choices will be informed by validation, not by desperation.

(Blogged on Nov. 10, 2016: This is all our fault.)

3. I'm not important. 

I know that sounds terribly low self-esteem haha but if you at all know me, I have a really healthy self-image, to the point of conceit (at least that's how some people see my self-love). But the older I got, the more I understood that making my little self matter in this big world is not the point of my existence. What's more important is making this big world smaller so that no one ever feels little.

4. Love truly is the solution to everything.

It's my faith in God speaking. Or maybe my being a liberal hippie. Or maybe because I'm a writer and I truly believe in love, truth, beauty, and freedom. Maybe it's all of the above. You see, the older I've gotten and I've seen more of people and the world, the more I've learned that love soothes, comforts, heals, encourages, sustains, breaks through, lifts up, and changes every single thing in the world. Love for self, for others, for the planet. If we truly love, the world will be so much better.

I don't know why others grow old in hate, ignorance, and fear. I bless my age because it has given me wisdom and made me see that love solves every problem in the world. And it may look like there's so little of it now but if I just look, really look, and also pray (because it is not easy to love!), then there's so much love that I can give! 

And receive! Just look at my life! There's my dearest husband who has loved me for more than 20 years. There's our darling boys who shower me with hugs and kisses and the most honest conversations in my life. I have my family, my in-laws, my neighbors, my friends, and I have you! You who have stuck around even when I was so selfish and unlovable. It's all of you really, the reason why I've become a better person. 

Love is the answer to everything. It may have taken me 44 years to see that but I finally have. I am so grateful! 

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

My 5 steps to becoming a freelancer

Hi everyone! Just dropping by to share with you this video I made for my friend Ginger Arboleda's Love The Leap project. It's all about me sharing my 5 steps on how to become a freelancer. 

I gave this presentation to a Taxumo talk earlier this year (when the pandemic was just a murmuring in the shadows) and I decided I'd share it with my own dear Loyal Readers. Please watch it! I may be able to help you with my tips. I've heard from quite a lot of people that my seminars pushed them to take the leap and put up their own businesses. And let me tell you - they're more successful than me now! Wow! I'm so happy I was able to help so many people. I feel like my life is not a waste haha

Anyway, this is the very first video presentation I ever made. I was so stressed out haha. Do you think I can put up my own YouTube channel? I actually have a YT channel: Topaz Horizon. I only have my brand campaigns there because the brand required it, but there's really nothing there yet. If I start vlogging, what kind of videos would you like to watch? 

Okay, please watch the video I made for Ginger! And please tell me what you think! Thanks, everyone!