Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Morning Walks


I am in a reminiscing mood a few nights ago coupled with too much tea that I couldn’t sleep so I decided to walk down memory lane and read some of my past journal entries. Yup, I do keep a journal and rereading journal entries has been quite helpful in healing past hurts and failures and I happen to chance upon a particular entry that never fails to make me misty-eyed. (This is just a lousy excuse for not being able to make an article for today’s blog! Hehehehe)

Pardon my “mushiness” today and the effect it has on today’s blog. Allow me to share “mushy” side of me. . .


It has been weeks but I still wake up at five in the morning, despite a long day at work the previous day or some gimmick until the wee hours of the morning. But unlike before, there was no phone call to wake me up and your voice on the other line that instinctively puts a smile on my face the moment I hear you speak. Now, I wake up on my own and drag myself to take that early morning walk to ease away the morning blues. No need for your constant prodding for me to start walking and get some exercise. I do that on my own now, much to my surprise.

I still remember our first morning walk together. It was a Friday morning, both of us haven't even slept a wink, decided to take a walk together. I can still feel the warmth of your hand against mine as we take steps together waiting for the sun to rise with our song playing on the diskman, unmindful of the other joggers' stares who happen to know me by face. After a few rounds of brisk walking, you decided to run and I being unhealthy at that time decided to just sit there on the pavement and watch you.

I wish you knew what thoughts were running in my head while I watch you run. For once in my life, despite my failed relationships, I could see myself finally settling down with this man running in front of me. In my head, I had a clear picture of you and me, taking walks together. . . until we grow old.

Perhaps I dreamt too much, being the usual dreamer that I am. But hey, who wouldn't be? Your words always seemed so sure, so hopeful and enthusiastic of our life together. The certain way you look at me, that stare so steady yet so calm, seemed to say that you care and always will. The warmth of your hand when you hold me told me you will always be here for me. Then again maybe I was wrong . . . but I don't want to be wrong. I will always have good memories of you despite those few times we have spent together and I want it that way. Call me foolish but aren't we all are when we are in love? So consider me more foolish than the average person in love. Despite this seemingly self-assured and confident career fa├žade, deep inside as Julia Roberts would put it, "I am just a girl, standing in front of a guy, asking him to love her." And I guess what hurts the most is that I am crying inside. I cannot, for love of my family and friends, cry and hurt openly. I know they will be hurt more than I am. So here I am, in front of this computer, alone in the confines of my office typing away all my emotions, hoping that after this, I'd feel much better. I know I have my faults. I am not denying that, specially with the sudden bursts of this erratic female hormones. But I just cannot take away everything I said. What's done is done. And all I have left are memories of what could have beens and what ifs.

Tomorrow is yet another day. And as usual, I'd be waking up at five in the morning, hoping to wake up with the ringing of my cellular phone. Then I'd be taking that morning walk again, alone. Deep inside, I know that someday, I will not be taking this walk alone. Maybe with someone else . . .or maybe with you again. But I guess I'm just left to hope and dream that indeed someday, I will walk hand in hand with somebody. . . and take that long walk to forever.

May 21, 2001 6:50 PM


CaRPe dIeM!!!


Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Market acceptance takes time

A recent discussion in the DigitalFilipino group sparked the question of readiness of government and large organizations to innovative social entrepreneurs of today.

I consider myself to be one. More than just earning a living, the objective of each DigitalFilipino StatsReport I come up with is to provide a picture about the industry, but making it accessible to the common Filipino by offering it at a cheap price. Recently, a friend of mine who is working in one of the biggest company in this country today said that she can't use my research for her report. It is because when meeting investors, data used are questioned from who is the source and how much did the report cost. If they find out that the cost of my report is P1,500 then the investors will immediately dismiss the information as not reliable.

All along I thought I was doing a great service to the community that I wish to serve. I could easily sell my report for US$1,000 filling it with graphs and tons of introduction and motherhood text so that it will reach up to 200 pages. But what is the use of the report if it will not empower the sector that I wish to help by making it unaffordable for them.

Being cheap or free does not equate to acceptance instantly. So I decided to just keep on doing my work and serve those who wish to benefit from it. I hope the time will come where government and big organizations will be ready to recognize entrepreneurs like me.
(Web)Working@Home: Specialize... then Diversify!

When we think about it, many of the things we do seem to 'snowball.' We come up with an idea, we work on it, we execute it. Then a second idea comes up as a direct result of the first idea. Along comes a third idea and it's very much related to the first two ideas. Even though it was never in our plans to get from the first idea to the third, they all seem to fall into place. They all... jive.

For many of us who make the Internet our virtual office, we may have many 'snowball moments.' In fact, our entire online existence may be one big snowball!

Let me give you an example of my own snowball: After I finished creating my first e-mail workshop and liked the results, I created several more that would help me earn money to support my sites. I never thought I'd be writing an e-book on the subject a couple of months later. It certainly wasn't planned.

Because of the e-book, I started another newsletter devoted to the topic of e-mail workshops so I can keep in touch with people who bought the e-book. It's also a free resource for people who want to learn more about creating and using e-mail workshops, e-courses and tutorials for their business.

And because of the e-book and its companion newsletter, another idea grew: not everyone's interested in getting their hands dirty in creating and writing their own e-mail workshops or eCourses so why not offer a custom e-mail workshop creation and writing service? It's still up my alley, and it is my expertise.

I'm experiencing diversity in my specialization: I start with my specialized field (e-mail workshops) then diversify within that field (developing and conducting e-mail workshops for my own use, writing an e-book about it, publishing an e-zine that's devoted to the topic, offering an e-mail workshop creation service).

If you look around at all the things the others are doing on the Internet right now, they're also doing the same thing: they're diversifying in their own specializations.

It's an oxymoron, really, but if you often have those snowball moments, you understand what I mean.

So... what's your snowball moment?

Next Week: How to Make a Sale *Without* Selling
Sometimes, it's better not to think of someone who comes to us as a "prospective customer" or someone we can convince to buy from us. If we work on building good relationships with people, they eventually will want to do business with us...





Monday, September 23, 2002

.:: Monday Girl: Ginia Braga ::.

FULL NAME: Virginia Gloria de la Paz Braga
NICKNAME: Ginia
D.O.B.: 23 February 1976
CURRENT LOCATION: Makati City, Philippines
ACADEMIC BACKGROUND: BS Industrial Engineering, University of the Philippines in Diliman
OCCUPATION/EMPLOYMENT: PinoyExchange.com, PEx, Inc.
JOB TITLE: Business Development Associate
INTERESTS/HOBBIES: Tennis, cooking

Working for one of the country's busiest web sites demands a lot of hard work from Ginia. Conceptualizing and marketing online and wireless promotions for different PinoyExchange.com partners take more than guts, especially if you're facing the obstacle of competing with the "bigger" groups who basically offer the same services.

"It's really challenging [since] PinoyExchange is one of the most visited and interactive sites," she says.

However competitive the wireless industry can be, Ginia believes that there is a place for anyone or any group who can determine and answer to what the people need. "There's really a lot of potential here. It's just a matter of time and effort -- lots of it! -- to turn that potential into something more tangible," she reveals.

In time, Ginia plans to run her own business or probably do something related to her college course. Or, settle for something more rewarding. "If I had a choice motherhood would be my only career! Several years from now I'd like to be running my own show so that I could spend more time at home with my son Hans."

---

Visit PinoyExchange.com


Thursday, September 19, 2002

Hi everybloody! I guess I've been away too long. I hope my head isn't good for the gallows yet ;) Haven't been able to update Monday's blog because of some unavoidable circumstances (including an OS that keeps getting errors). Hopefully, I'd be able to come back next week, in style.

Can't wait for the launching of w3o.org!


Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Breathe . . .Just Breathe . . .

There are really days at work that can get us down. I had one of those “challenging” times at work last week (and it lasted the whole week with some remnants of the stress early this week), just when I am about to write this blog on relieving stress. Great timing, as usual!

I’d spare you all the details that created the stress that nearly cause me my sanity (with the NBI people and Human Resource working together to terminate one of our employees!). I’d rather tell you about some of those little “tricks” I did to lessen the blow of stress, which can ease out those tensions at work. One can actually sum it up in three words . . . BREATHE . . .JUST BREATHE!

The whole time this seemingly chaotic week at work was happening all I did was simply BREATHE. . .JUST BREATHE. I just took a few moments of silence and breathed slowly . . . breathing away all the tensions and stress that came my way during the week.

Breathing reminds us that what comes in, must come out. When we breathe, we take in air (most of the time polluted air!), but it gets purified and comes out in another form. In the same way, all these challenges and trials that come our way comes out eventually, and purified in the process, making us better individuals. We need air to survive in as much as we need these challenges to make us stronger and wiser!

Breathing also makes us pause for a few moments necessary to compose our thoughts and ourselves. It relaxes our tensed nerves and calms our anxious minds. Sometimes it just takes a few seconds of silence to calm ourselves, allowing us to think better and face the challenge head on. (More oxygen delivered to the brain makes us think better!) Remember your first job interview when you were quite nervous you couldn’t think straight? And what did mom say? Breathe . . .just breathe. And it worked, right? (It worked for me and still does!)

Breathing energizes us. As our body and brain need oxygen to function properly, we need to breathe to get oxygen flowing in our system. Like in yoga class, correct breathing techniques are essential while doing the different yoga poses for it to be effective!

Breathing also draws us to our inner self and the ultimate source of all things. It makes us more grounded, rooted in our core values that can either make or break us in times of crisis. I personally feel a strong connection with my source when I breathe and close my eyes, drowning out the noise around me. Somehow you just know, everything will be alright, and you feel it.

And remember, at the end of the day after all those stress and tensions at work, let go. Go home, and I mean it! Go home and leave your work at the office! Have time for yourself and your family or go out with friends. Take your mind off work and stop talking about it to your family and friends! Though at times it helps to talk about it, there are also times when you just have to stop thinking about it. Talk about other things than work, like recalling younger days that brings out your funny and lighter side.

Here are other suggestions to relax after a day’s work I chanced upon a forwarded email:

1) Use the last 15 minutes of the workday to do low-pressure tasks. Clean off your desk, return one or two calls to people you enjoy dealing with. More importantly, take the time to plan and write down tomorrow's tasks. Trying to remember them will just keep your mind preoccupied all night.

2) Make a point of noticing the scenery on your journey home. Smell the air (if you’re not in the Metro area!), notice the trees or the sky. It will help distance you from the workday, relax you and remind you of a larger perspective.

3) When you get home, don't immediately launch into a litany about how tough your day was. Ask your family to also hold off on their demands for a few minutes to a half an hour. Use this time to change clothes, take a shower or a walk, enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of wine.

4) Establish rituals. Simple things like family dinners have gotten lost in today's busy lifestyle. Try to create "touchstones" at home that make you all reconnect. This can be sitting down once a week to a meal together, spending an evening together watching a certain show on TV, etc.

Breathe and smile! As someone once said “Upon dying, no one ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time at work!’”

So chill out W3O gals and hang in there! See you next Wednesday!

CaRPe dIeM!!!


Tuesday, September 17, 2002

(Web) Working@Home: Doing It Alone on the Internet Won't Cut It!

During the last week of January, I set my one of my promotional plans to action. I contacted a few e-zine publishers and asked if they'd be interested in doing a cooperative venture with me.

The cooperative venture? A customized version of a free e-mail workshop I created to promote my e-book. In the customized version, the e-zine publishers are the "sponsors" and the links in the workshop pointing to my e-book's sales page are their referral links. I'm selling the e-book through Clickbank so if they promoted the customized version of my e-mail workshop to their subscribers, the publishers earn when their subscribers purchase my e-book through their links.

While I was writing my introduction letter and offer, I realized no matter how hard I promote anything on the Internet, I won't get the kind of results I want unless I ask other people's help.

I'm a shy person by nature. I'm an introvert and I never go to parties or any social gatherings. Other than speaking at (very selected) events and conducting face to face workshops every other month or so, you won't catch me out of my home office. Although I do consultancy work for an international organization, I work right from home and only go out when absolutely necessary. And when I do go out, the neighbors end up asking my mother about her house guest. My mother would reply, "She isn't a guest. She's my eldest daughter."

The Internet isn't designed for a one-person team. Instead, the Internet thrives on the principles of cooperation and information sharing. Partnerships, joint ventures and mutual cooperation are the ideal models for the online environment.

And in order to develop successful partnership undertakings on the Internet, someone needs to take that first step. Thus, I know that online, my shyness won't get me far. It won't bring me my desired results. I won't achieve them unless I get rid of some of my shyness and muster enough courage to approach people and ask for their help. And it begins with a simple and direct e-mail introduction.

And really, that's all there is to it. I approach people, ask them politely and see if they're receptive and willing to work with me side by side. If they give me a no answer -- well, it's a good thing they didn't have to give it straight to my face!

But seriously, approaching someone on the Internet with sincerity and honesty is the only way to be successful online. No, it isn't the best way. It's the only way. Show anything short of that, and true success is going to be elusive. :o)

Next Week: Specialize... then Diversify!

When we think about it, many of the things we do seem to 'snowball.' We come up with an idea, we work on it, we execute it. Then a second idea comes up as a direct result of the first idea. Along comes a third idea and it's very much related to the first two ideas. Even though it was never in our plans to get from the first idea to the third, they all seem to fall into place. They all... jive.

Women in the New Economy

Recently, I got featured in article titled Women as IT Experts. There are a lot of great women in this field. However, I feel that their roles are often undermined and even discrimated. I've been through that. I'm not innocent to the reality that gender discrimination exists to date even in this field of information technology. A lot of men get threatened with aggressive women for it poses quite a challenge even though intimidation is not intended. However, there are men who know how to take advantage of such women too.

My advise to peers is to be strong, tough, and wise. You'll be knee-jerk at times, as everyone seems to go through such a phase. But once you get over it, learn how to use every good or bad situation to your advantage. If people discrimate or humiliate you, accept it graciously and with all humility. Any victory won through argument is short-lived. It is best to win a fight through your action that accomplishes your point of argument.

I've been put down by a lot of people so many times and even by people whom I thought were my friends. However, those experiences made me even more determined in accomplishing what I have to do. Learn from your mistakes and keep on growing. Stick with people who are achievers in their own way. Stay away from those who have a lot of negative emotions and insecurity in them for they can easily suck up your energy too. As they say, the kind of people you have around you as friends or enemies tell so much on the kind of person you are.

Be on your toes all the time if you wanna survive and thrive in the New Economy. Be wise.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

My Gerry Maguire Experience

"I will never ever get into government service!" Those were my exact words before my college graduation. Call me an ingrata persona having been fed by my mother's hard-earned labor in government service as a Clerk of Court even before I was born. I just totally disliked the idea. I saw how my mom would spend Saturdays and Sundays doing overtawad work and again and again, I would tell myself, this is not the life I want.

I wanted a glamorous lifestyle and make a big name for myself in the corporate world. Besides, all my batchmates were going to work for the big corporations and I'd hate to be the odd one. I'd be an Ayala or a Sy in time, they'll see.

And so, as the story goes, I did end up working for a big corporation as a brand manager after college. Slowly, I was realizing the fulfillment of my dreams. Yes! I made it alright!

But then. . . something hit me! I was sitting on my swivel chair in the confines of my cubicle one Tuesday night and TADA! All of a sudden, I started questioning the essence of my job, its fulfillment, its meaning. And the ultimate question: Am I truly happy with this job? And as if on cue, like Tom Cruise (who by the way is not my uncle though we kinda share the same surname and some of the killer looks) in Gerry Maguire, I was out of that promising career in no time despite the uncertainty of an economy scarce with good jobs.

Men and women for others . . . For the greater glory of God . . . Lux in domino . . .

These words echoed in my mind and I just found myself writing an application letter to the Department of Trade and Industry. (The Jesuits really were successful in brainwashing me alright during my college days!)

And . . .DYARRRAAANNN! I'm here amongst the civil servants of the new millennium at the Department of Trade and Industry, hoping to make something out of my life.

First day at work: Wow! This must be an easy job! Nothing much to do! The desks are empty! I will definitely enjoy this new job! He he he!

Mid-day of first day at work the realization sinks in: Opss! No things on the table because they practice 5 S! Not even a photo frame or pen holder on my desk (or at my officemate’s desk for a while!). At least my desk should be brand new. It's not yet here!

Second day: Good morning! So, do I have my desk now?

Third day: Is my desk here yet?

Fourth day: Where’s my desk?

Fifth day: So this is DTI. . . Can I have my desk now?

And so it goes. . .

For the sake of patriotism (?) and fulfillment (?), almost two years have passed since I made a brave decision to belong to the breed of selfless (?) and dedicated (?) people of the DTI. Though it might be too early to say before I bump my head and wake up from this hallucination, I am keeping my fingers crossed that indeed, I have found my place here. As the last line of Gerry Maguire says, "If the heart is empty, the brains won't matter."

Working for government has its merits. You get to travel, rub elbows with top level officials, wine and dine for free during classy meetings, attend various trainings, get VIP treatment with matching sampaguita garlands when you represent the office, etc. And of course, you get to learn and practice important virtues like patience (like waiting for your first paycheck which seemed like forever), perseverance (like trying your best to make ends meet in project implementation and getting reimbursed after), self-control (like avoiding saying those four letter words to people who never seem to understand your instructions). At the same time, I have learned to appreciate and respect other government people who have sacrificed so much (even their lovelife!!!) for the sake of public service. Contrary to what most people think, there are so many honest and competent government people I have worked with that I will always admire and look up to.

Yes, it is with the government that I started to enjoy the simplicity of life and the joy of working with the masses (though I do not suggest quitting your job now and start working for the government! I am not liable for any unpleasant result should you try working for the government!). But then again, I am writing this as a memoir to my days as a public servant. Back in the arms of the private sector more than a year ago, I have found myself, after that short yet memorable days with government, wiser, simpler and more patient. It was like a retreat from the corporate world that gave me the “break” necessary to find myself again. No need to be in the “in” crowd dining and hoping from one classy night spot to another because these were replaced with simple sharing of packed lunch at work filled with chikahan and bonding sessions. No longer do I need to be wearing the branded clothes for these government people taught me the value of being happy and contended with what we have because the best corporate suit anyone could and should wear in front of clients and associates is service with a smile and joy in one’s heart while working. It is loving what we do that makes work lighter and more enjoyable, which we should since most of our time is spent at work.

As I baded my “temporary” farewell from the government service (for a better financial stability), I will hold my head up high with pride to have belonged to the ranks of public servants and my salute goes to those I leave behind. And it is now that the realization that “happiness is a decision you make every minute” proves to be true. Whether I work in the public or private sector, my happiness depends entirely on me. I can choose to be happy or miserable even in the worst or best working environment.

I know there is this part of me that will forever stay with government and I will always bring those experiences with me even in the private sector. Hopefully, when I am older and richer (I hope my boss reads this!), I’d get the chance to once again work for the government. It was an experience worth more than my MBA degree (talk about opportunity costs!). It was an experience that has made a mark in my work attitude and my life’s values.


“WoRk To mAKe tHInGs better.
wORk bECausE yOuR iDEas nEeD a PLaCe tO Go.
WOrK bECausE iT’s pARt oF bEiNG gOOd to YoURsELF.
WoRK foR aLL YouR oWN rEaSOns.
LIVE wHILe yOU work.”

From an Anne Klein ad

Watch out for some stress relieving tips next week . . .until then – chill out W3O gals!

CaRPe dIeM!!!


Monday, September 09, 2002

(Web) Working@Home : Coffee, Tea, or Hot Domains & Products?

I'm a domain junkie. I like to buy domain names for the sake of owning them. A year ago, I'd buy an average of 2 domains every week. It was hard to stop when I became addicted to online shopping -- particularly to domain shopping sprees. But somewhere between buying my 31st domain and receiving my latest credit card bill in November 2001, I knew I had to take control of my 'addiction'. When I finally made my brain cells function properly again, I began milking my domains for what they're worth.

And oh, how I milked them! Two domains are now bringing in a combined $900-$1,200 a month, and no, it isn't because I joined any online MLMs. Another domain makes $300-$500 a month, while my latest online business is averaging $450 a month. (And that's on top of what I earn for my ghostwriting and copy-editing services.)

But before you start tallying up my earnings every month, let me tell you I reached this point of financial independence by sheer hard work and pure perseverance. I'm 26 and my own boss -- the CEO of my own Web Empire.

If you think you can make tons of money easily and quickly on the Internet, you're in for the biggest disappointment of your life. You can't get rich on the Internet if you don't know how to work it to your advantage. It took me a year to be at the point I am now, and I'm not even halfway to reaching my goals. I'm not filthy rich yet, but I do know I'm well-off working for myself than working for someone, and no way will I consider applying for another 9 to 5 job again at this point.

When life hands you lemons, turn 'em into lemonade, sell it so you can make money from them lemons. I didn't have lemons back when I started, but I did have domain names -- lots of them. I had a lot of ideas. I had plenty of time on my hands. When I dream, I end up dreaming in HTML. Writing is my profession, and nothing could be more conducive to a writer than the Web.

Information is valuable online, and if you know how to use it, you can profit from selling information on the Web. One of the Web's most popular and profitable formats for information is an e-book (or electronic book).

When I wrote my first e-book in February 2000, I thought putting it up for sale on one of the most popular online bookstores on the Web, US-based BookLocker.com, would bring in the dough. I was wrong. I had been dumb enough to believe if I put my product on the Web, people would instantly whip out their credit cards faster than my modem could get me online. In the 1.5 years I was selling my first e-book, I made 71 measly sales -- at $14.95 a copy, which I later reduced to $8.95 in hopes of generating more sales.

That's when I learned the 'M' word -- MARKET. As a writer, I thought all I had to do was write. I was no marketer, and I was a dud when it came to business. But if I wanted to succeed online, I had to learn how to market myself and my products. So that's what I did. I read and learned all I could about online marketing. I wrote e-mails to successful online marketers and asked them bluntly, "Are you really making more than $10,000 a month?" or "Can you give me statistics for this marketing strategy you're using?" or "What's the conversion rate of your sales letter?" Many ignored me, but those that did write me back, I learned a lot from. Some of them eventually became my JV partners and/or endorsed my products. (And those that ignored me, I continued to sling my blunt e-mails to until they either gave me an answer or told me to stop my relentless questioning.)

So a year and half after I released my first e-book to the world, I came out with my 12th (yes, it took me 11 e-books before I wrote the most successful one), and it had a domain to go with it -- emailworkshopshowto.com. Released only last December 2001, my e-book on creating e-mail workshops and e-mail courses has brought in over $5,000 in pure profit. In a few days, I'll be releasing a companion product aimed at getting even more people to buy my e-book, and I have high hopes of seeing those sales notifications many, many times in the next few weeks.

It never fails to give me a high -- seeing the "$57 credit card sale!" subject line from my online payment merchant in any given day. The nervous excitement I felt when I saw my 300th e-book order a few days ago was the same nervous excitement I felt when I received my 1st order more than 2 years ago.

So that's what I did -- I created a product, sold it from its own domain, and marketed it like crazy on the Internet. And that's just for starters! :o)

NB: Some of my income-generating sites, in case you'd like to see how I'm doing it online: emailworkshopshowto.com, emailworkshopsclinic.com, ewritersplace.com, and ezineadbargain.com.

Next week: Doing It Alone on the Internet Won't Cut It!

I'm a shy person by nature. I'm an introvert and I never go to parties or any social gatherings. Other than speaking at (very selected) events and conducting face to face workshops every other month or so, you won't catch me out of my home office. Although I do consultancy work for an international organization, I work right from home and only go out when absolutely necessary. And when I do go out, the neighbors end up asking my mother about her house guest. My mother would say, "She isn't a guest. She's my eldest daughter..."

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Wednesday Girl: Maria Lourdes Ann (L.A.) Cruz

Full name: Maria Lourdes Ann Cruz
Nickname: L.A.
D.O.B.: 15 July 1976
Current Location: Makati City, Philippines
Academic Background: BS Legal Management, Ateneo de Manila University (1997)
Master In Business Management – Regis, Ateneo de Manila Graduate School of Business (2000)
Occupation: Executive Assistant to the President & CEO, Gonzalo Puyat & Sons, Inc. (Bell Telecommunication Phils., Inc., Puyat Vinyl Products Inc., Puyat Steel Corporation, South China Resources, Inc., TAB Phils. Inc., IPI Pipes, IPI International, Consulate of the Republic of Croatia) Project Consultant, PhilWAPP
Interests & Hobbies: Health & Fitness, Yoga, Cardioboxing, Aerobiking, Movies, Reading, Cooking, Tea over a good conversation with friends

Wednesday Girl: L.A. Cruz

I always thought I’d be in court right now (not as an accused but a lawyer defending the rights of an accused.) Since I was young I have always wanted to be a lawyer, influenced by my mom who’s a clerk of court and hoards of her friends who are mostly lawyers and judges. But then in high school, my “geeky” self emerged as I remember squeezing all of my brain’s “techie” juices to finish a PASCAL and BASIC program in 20 minutes against other “geeky” high school students from various schools trying to snatch away the national championship trophy in one computer programming competition. I guess my “insecurities” as a young gal (since I don’t want to be called a “geek”) gave way so in college, I pursued my childhood dream and took up a pre-law course only to find out that I will not pursue law after all (though I went to Ateneo Law School for one semester right after I defended my thesis in my graduate school.)

From being a brand manager to a government employee to a part-time college professor (in a seminary!), here I am (dyaraannnn!!!), in the corporate world still trying to bring out the best in me amidst the pressure and challenges that go with working with a very “diverse” company. I remember being engrossed so much with my work that I totally forgot my needs as a person, more so as a woman. All the days of the week seem the same to me – they all mean working days. From my full-time job I’d be rushing to my part-time job as a professor. I was always in a rush, almost running, never walking and stopping by to smell the flowers (if ever there are in the busy and polluted sidewalks of Makati!).

“I was the woman of the 21st century”, I told myself. At first the adrenalin rush kept me going and wanting more. I was like an energizer bunny always on the go. And I prided myself with that. Then slowly the excitement faded. No more adrenalin rush. I don’t seem to be happy with work anymore. I dread the mornings when I have to wake up and force myself to go to work. I hated my work, and my life in general. I was so absorbed in my work that I almost lost the real me, trying to prove to other people that I can be good in everything I do. I suddenly lost the zest and enthusiasm I once had.

But today, things have changed. . .or should I say I have changed.

Now, things are definitely better. I love what I do – the variety of dealing with various industries, the excitement of an unpredictable schedule, the challenge of being the first female in my position and the “perks” that go with working directly with the top guy. My part-time consultancy with PhilWAPP has also brought me a different kind of fulfillment – getting in touch with my “geeky” self again and working with such young and talented people in the wireless industry. Work now is more of a “play” – fun and enjoyable, rather than a dreadful toil of labor. And the best part, I have time to go out and enjoy the simple pleasures in life I have long forgotten since I started to get involved in the corporate world.

How did I manage to do a 360-degree turn, you might ask? Well, let’s save that for next week and the succeeding Wednesdays.

Wednesdays are “chill out” days for W3O women, a mid-week break from the hustle and bustle of our work - from light and heartwarming little stories in the workplace, to a new discovery that wakes up our souls, to simple suggestions to relax our stressed nerves, or just about a good book recently read or a new-found excellent restaurant around the corner.

Wednesdays will be our day to bask in our womanhood . . .See you next Wednesday!

CaRPe dIeM!!!