Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Trying to get my creative juices flowing

I had written down some great ideas on how I could make 2017 more meaningful.

One of them is to be more creative.

And, I figured out that this blog is one of those places where I can exercise it.

So, starting tomorrow I will be posting one photo daily of anything that happened within the day. 

I have already started this on Instagram. I decided to extend this to this blog.

I might miss some days. But, what matters is my mind will keep on creatively looking for moments to share.

Looking forward to making this a habit.

Cheers to a creative 2017!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tokyo, Japan (Our Best Travel Experience Yet)

My girlfriend and I went to Tokyo on a winter season (December 2016). It was just for 2 days (not enough time) but we had so much fun.

Japan has always been on top of our travel list and we're glad to say that we could already cross it off our bucket list.

Here are some of the things we love about Tokyo:

1. The transportation system

During our entire stay, we relied on their trains as our main form of transportation. It was quite daunting at first when we saw the complicated subway map. But, in just a few hours we actually got the hang of it and I must say that I really love it. It was so efficient and well planned. It will never make you think of traffic again.

Nakamise Shopping Street

2. The people are disciplined (and generally nice)

We live in a place where people could get so rowdy disobeying all the rules. We noticed that the Japanese people followed every single traffic sign and general city rules. This makes the place so safe. Plus, the people are nice. You could easily ask for help and they would try their best to do so even if there is a language barrier.

Some yummy Japanese street food

3. The food is glorious

All the food we ate in Japan were delicious. From ramen, to chicken and even fast food! Seriously. I don’t know why. But, the food there is amazing. Even 7-Eleven had some pretty good and healthy choices.

At the Hamarikyu Gardens

4. A mix of old and new

It is absolutely awesome how in the middle of a busy urban setting you could see very well preserved old gardens, temples and culture. This I think is what makes Japan unique. The mix of modern and ancient culture is something you’d notice in almost every area.

Sensoji Temple

5. There’s so much to explore

Tokyo is filled with so many places to go to! I must admit that 2 days wasn’t enough. We should have stayed there for a week but we didn’t have that much time. Tokyo is so huge you need a lot of time to be able to go to all the good spots and places. Did I mention Tokyo is just a small part of Japan? There really are so many places to explore in the land of the rising sun.

I could go on and on but that would make this post a really long list.

It is obvious how we really enjoyed Tokyo. We fell in love with the city and hopefully we will be able to go back — maybe another place in Japan next time.

Ueno Park
With Hachiko

Here are some video clips from the trip:

Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Meaningful Christmas

It's the most wonderful time of the year again!

Christmas season is here.

Gift giving, parties, travels, food and more.

Different countries spend this day differently.

However, for us a meaningful celebration is when the family gets together. That's how we do it here in the Philippines and that's how my family celebrated it this year.

It was a ton of fun.

We bonded over food, games, gifts and did a lot of dancing!

It has been a crazy busy year for all of us. Having this reunion and seeing everyone together having fun even for just one night made this celebration extra special.

This is something I would never trade for anything.

I'm so glad my Christmas celebration this year was quite meaningful.

I hope yours was too.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thank you, Casey Neistat

The first thing I saw when I opened YouTube tonight was Casey Neistat saying goodbye to his daily vlogs.

Check out his farewell video here.

After over 5 million subscribers, 18 months and over a billion views he is finally calling it quits.

I must admit that part of me felt really sad.

I've been hooked with Casey's vlogs. There's so much creativity, passion and inspiration with all of the stuff he shares.

It's quite hard to find someone else who is as crazy, passionate and determined as him.

However, I admire and respect him for ending it for all the right reasons.

His daily vlogs (or daily mini movies) started as a way for him to challenge himself to be creative every single day.

Then, long story short it started to become easy for him. He found his rhythm and it wasn't a challenge for him anymore.

That's why he's moving on to other things.

I believe he is not totally abandoning YouTube. But, he will be doing other creative stuff that would challenge him more.

So, thank you Casey Neistat for the inspiration.

Thank you for the reminder to keep challenging myself and not staying complacent.

Your YouTube channel will always remind me to keep hustling every single day of my life.

Looking forward to your next adventure!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hebrews 10:25

One thing I really enjoy doing is having fellowships with the young people at our church.

There is always so much to learn from them.

The more I hear about their lives, the challenges they face and the problems they encounter, the wider my perspective in life becomes.

That means I see my life in new ways, I would realize how blessed I am, I get insights I never really knew about and a lot more.

This is why I think these meetings should never stop (see Hebrews 10:25 of the Bible). It's amazing what it does to my personal life and the group.

I thank God for fellowships like these.

I feel blessed to have these people who encourage me and help me strengthen my faith as well.

By the way, if you are ever in Cagayan de Oro City and want to come join with us don't hesitate to contact me! We'd be happy to have you around.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

The Very First Marketing School Event Here in Cagayan de Oro City

Today I was invited by Xavier University's Junior Marketing Association to talk about Digital Marketing.

It was fun and memorable.

But, more importantly it was fulfilling and rewarding.

Being able to share what I am passionate about is something I enjoy doing.

Plus, there's nothing quite like seeing students learn from your experience. I saw how they were eager to learn. For sure, they would be brilliant marketers in the future.

I hope to be able to do more of these.

The organizers did a great job kickstarting "Marketing School" here in Cagayan de Oro City.

I'm so glad to be part of it and I'm so happy that the city is starting to see how important these kind of events are.

Cheers to more marketing events in the future!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The One Important Thing a Remote Team Should Do

I have been working with a remote team / company since 2009.

I am still with the same people except the company has grown significantly since then.

After thousands of work hours, hundreds of different locations, gallons and gallons of coffee, multiple computers and Skype calls, I believe I can clearly determine the one important thing a remote team should do to keep it healthy.

Over communicate.

Yes, the word "over" should be there. You need to go beyond the usual virtual text chat.

Working in a remote company is obviously way too different than working in an office.

In an office, you can just talk to any one at any minute of the day. You just sit side by side. You can crack jokes anytime and just stay in the water cooler with your colleagues if you want.

You won't experience that in a remote team.

You still need to schedule chats, meetings, Skype calls and Hangouts. You won't even get a response right away.

It's like you are living in isolation.

This makes it very important to over communicate.

For my team, we do daily meetings. Even though these meetings can be done just once or twice a week, I made sure we do it daily so we get to at least to talk to each member of the team face to face.

Speaking of face to face, I require the team to do video chats. Getting a webcam is pretty cheap. Chances are your computer already has one. There is no excuse not to show your face.

In our team, we don't care how you look. Some men don't even have their shirts on (on rare occasions) during meetings. It gets too hot in the Philippines though. You can't blame them. 

We do all these things just to make sure everyone in the team does not only look at their computers the entire week. There should be some form of interaction with everyone.

If you are not doing this, you will definitely notice that the overall productivity of your team will be affected. I've seen so many good employees leave just because of this.

So, make sure you communicate more than the usual. Get in touch with everyone in your remote team. Talk to them about everything -- their hobbies, their families, what makes them happy, all of those.

Over communication has kept our remote company healthy throughout all these years. I'm sure it will for you too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Now I know why I love procrastinating

I have always wondered why I tend to procrastinate in the middle of an important task.

Here's my typical workflow:
  1. I start the task.
  2. I get those creative juices flowing. 
  3. I procrastinate.
  4. I procrastinate more. 
  5. I realize that the deadline is almost there.
  6. My brain turns into panic mode.
  7. I get stuff done faster.
I used to reason out that I'm doing it this way so that my mind could go on panic mode. I kind of like working under pressure. 

But then everything made sense when I saw Adam Grant's TED Talk on "The surprising habits of original thinkers."  (Video below).

He emphasized how original thinkers are always late to the party.

That means they don't rush to do things first. They might have started something. But, they hold off and tend to make a better idea out of it. 

These original thinkers are basically procrastinators. 

Procrastinating gives them time to think and come up with better ideas. 

I won't say that I am confident that I am an original and creative thinker. But now, I think I already have a clear explanation why procrastination works wonders for me. 

Holding off on a task I started gives me time to think and consider ideas. This makes the final output better than it should have been if I rushed to finish it. 

If this is a great way to keep me thinking creatively, then for sure I'd keep this habit.

Here's the full video of Adam Grant's TED talk: 

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