For you, this 2017: Your Most Amazing Self Yet

I usually write  a somewhat elaborate new year’s wish on every first of January.  (At least I’ve been doing so since 2012.) For many reasons worthy of another post, it has taken me three and a half months to finally release one for this year. And this may be the simplest by far:

Dear You,

This year, I hope you become your most amazing self yet, even if it means letting go of things that previously made you feel amazing.

That is all.

Have a great year.

BOOK NOTES: Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In

My colleague Nim gifted me Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In for my birthday last year. It couldn’t be more apt. I just turned 29, which meant I have just one more year on my so-called “twenties”. It is, indeed, a very good time to look back at the past decade of learnings, mistakes and whatnot, and move forward to a better, (hopefully)more mature me.

But after reading the book, what I immediately thought was, hell, had I read this years ago, I could’ve prevented some of the mistakes and negativity that creeped into me from time to time throughout my career. Books truly are mentors of a kind.

Which is why I then handed it over to my cousin, Raya. She’s not into books, but she just graduated from university and is out looking for a job. I thought it was worth the try to hand her the opportunity to learn the things I would’ve wanted to in my early twenties.

And for every body else (as well as for my future self), here are my notes and quotes from the Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, which is the first out of the 24 books I promised to read this year. Continue reading “BOOK NOTES: Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In”

For you, this 2016: People You Want to be Like

A couple of years back, I told Jim Ayson, my late boss, that one of my personal laws is to surround myself with people that I want to be like. I was pertaining to him.

Before I met Jim for the first time, I had googled him extensively. I found, among many others, that he was labeled one of “The Internet’s 10 Most Influential Filipinos” by The Web Philippines back in 1999.

This was his vision for the Internet at that time:

He hopes for the Internet to be available not only among the upper classes, but to the masses as well. However, “I’m not part of an ISP, so I can’t do anything about bringing down cost. But I’m interested in sharing my talents with NGOs and the government sector to see how we can develop web sites that can effect real change and development, and thus indirectly make the Internet beneficial and relevant to more people,” Ayson added.

“For 1999 I am excited about developing two business-to-consumer e-commerce projects under the aegis of PhilMusic and WebMarket. These include PhilMusic Direct, which is a CD retail operation aimed for the overseas market – selling OPM CDs abroad – and CD Manila, which is for the Philippine market, taking orders for specialty imports and used CDs.”

17 years ago, way before he worked for a telco, he was already thinking about Internet access for all and e-commerce. He was also the Founder of Philmusic, a musician, writer, photographer – an all-around artist.

So yeah, I decided that I wanted to work for this guy. After our meeting (he was cooler than I expected), I stalked him again, pulled his profile photo from a social network, and pinned it on my vision board. Yes, I did that.

Fast forward to today, I still imitate many of his ways, in the hopes that “the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree”. Well he was a pretty grand tree. And I hope, that in my lifetime, I can be as grand.

I’m grateful to have chanced upon a such a great person – not everyone is as lucky. But the people we surround ourselves with is an ongoing choice. And so this is my wish for 2016:

Dear You,

This year, I hope you surround yourself with people you want to be like.

Maybe find a Jedi Master, or Harvey Specter, or Jim. It will do you good for the soul to have someone to look up to, who will listen when you disagree, or throw you into the wild to fight with the wolves when you’re ready.

In your everyday life, choose the friends, and family, and colleagues you spend time with. Be around people who are kind, who treat others with respect, and give you enough space to grow.

You are the average of the people you spend the most time with. So set that bar high.

Happy New Year. 🙂


Wishes from the past years:


There is one bad thing about being at the top of your game: at one point it ends. But then there is also one good thing about being on the low side of your game: at one point, it also ends. Continue reading “Plateau”

For you, this 2015: Be Mindful

I had a good talk with Lucille over wine right before the holidays. And it mostly revolves around her 2015 resolution: mindfulness. It’s interesting because mindfulness is a word I have overused in the past year.

I have gone to such point that I’ve obsessed about tracking myself in an attempt to be more mindful of everything that I do. Take note: Daily. With graphs. I measured my sleep hours, food intake, steps taken, workouts, finances, computer activities, travel time… I have transitioned from the happy-go-lucky, don’t-really-care-about-anything backseat kid to the person who absolutely needs to be behind the steering wheel and taking control.

I realized that time cannot be stretched. It is not a train that can be stopped midway, and it will keep ticking, no matter what we do or say or feel. Also, our minds and souls and bodies have limited spaces and energy, and so despite our desire to consume the world, and to explore every beauty, and to be present in every event, we can only really fit so much within ourselves and throughout our lifetime. Continue reading “For you, this 2015: Be Mindful”

Just to Thank You

I wanted to write an elaborate note, detailing how the year has been and has not been and things like that. But then it’s already two days after my birthday and I haven’t said anything yet. I think way too much sometimes.

So I guess I should say it in the simplest way possible: Thank You.

To you people. For your greetings and thoughts and gifts and hugs. Especially the hugs.

And to the universe. For all the things that worked well. For all the things that didn’t work as planned. And for all the things that came afterwards. (Especially the things that came afterwards.)

The universe has remarkably odd ways of throwing pleasant surprises. And when they come, it is always worth the wait.

So I’m 28 now. And it’s probably just another piece of this huge puzzle we call Life. Another dot to connect the rest of my memories to.

Nevertheless I’m off to build my constellations. Open myself up to things unknown. And place bets. And be brave.

30-Day Challenges: Freedom from Fried and Hahaha

Georgia O’Keefe died in March 6, 1986 and was born again 9 months later on December 7, 1986 as… Me. Well, isn’t that funny. The truth is I don’t know her. At least not yet.  I was browsing through one of my favorite blogs, Brain Pickings (trust me, this is the perfect place to hang out in when you want to feed your mind and artsy soul) and chanced upon this quote by the said lady:

“Anyone with any degree of mental toughness ought to be able to exist without the things they like most for a few months at least.”

It is almost fate, since I really just went online this lovely morn-eve to announce my next two 30-day challenges. Continue reading “30-Day Challenges: Freedom from Fried and Hahaha”