Top 10

Based on a conversation I had earlier with my friend, Kumi.

Top 10 things one must never show to anybody else:

  1. Feelings
  2. (until 10) Irrelevant


Top 10 things one must always show a person of interest

  1. Chemistry
  2. (until 10) Tension

Fitness First (well second, really)

Amazingly enough, I’m still at this whole fitness obsession 1 week later.

I’ve reached my 10k steps/day goal. But I’m trying to make it consistent.

I’ve ran once (lol I promise you that’s a big leap from my always a couch potato routine). And I’ve been trying to increase the distance of the walks I’ve been taking regularly. Even my cleaning is cardio. I downloaded these 2 apps to help me with my goals. One for body workout and one for yoga.

Even my eating has been healthy. Except for when I’m back at home with my mom on weekends though. Which means I have to bring home my running stuff with me when I’m there to offset the food I’ve been stuffing in mouth.

I actually woke up extra early today to do my workout routine (and was not so pleasantly reminded that I need to buy a mat when my fluffy stomach met my dusty floor). When that felt like it wasn’t enough, I scrubbed my floor.

I feel good actually. I don’t think I’ll lose my flab by June (hello Barcelona beach, have you met my flab?) but waking up early to do something other than grunt and complain about how it’s too early for life is actually good for my mood the rest of the day. Even going to sleep exhausted (and not just because of work YEY!) feels lovely.

I should do cross fit next? No? Ok. Let me be consistent on this one first.

Tonight, I will try out my condo’s pool. I’m paying for it monthly! I might as well get my money’s worth right? But not if it’s full of people I don’t know. If it is, I’m going running. :)

Oh Hey It’s April!

It’s been crazy, 2014. And it’s only been 4 months. Welp! 8 more months of crazy!

In bullets:

  • Work’s been awesome! I’ve never been in this much high since… 2011?
  • Finally getting my hands dirty and learning more about Product Management.
  • I’ve spoken in several events (both internal and external) and I’ve presented so many times I don’t think I can be nervous about it anymore… I think.
  • I’ve been to Jakarta and Singapore.
  • I might be going back to Barcelona. I’ve fallen in love with this city. Take me back over and over again.
  • Oh and I’m going to Norway and Budapest in August.
  • Where to next, work?
  • I’ve met so many people. It’s overwhelming.
  • Made new friends. I’d like to think I’ve kept the old.
  • Sorted out several personal issues. I still have some major ones left to tackle, but I’ll get there.
  • I MOVED OUT! Well not completely. I’m just renting a condo now in Makati. 10 minute walk away from the office because I couldn’t take commuting in Manila anymore. 2 hours minimum to get my ass to the office. No thanks! I’m still gonna go home on weekends.
  • Have I mentioned that work’s been amazing?
  • I don’t think I’m going to San Francisco anymore. HULT can wait.
  • I’m trying to get back to that fitness regime. Not to look fabulous anymore but just to fit into my old jeans. :p
  • Trying to target 10,000 steps per day starting today.
  • Yesterday, my target was 5000. I reached it even before I got home.
  • Last night, I couldn’t sleep in my new condo. I guess my body just wasn’t used to that much space. But boy, did it feel lovely.
  • I woke up this morning and for the first time in years since I’ve been working: I’ve had time to have breakfast.
  • I don’t have any problems with being alone. I actually like it. When it’s 11pm and the building is quiet, and I’m on my own. I sit down on the recliner that’s provided by the unit, open the book and I’m good for the rest of the evening. I would stay that way all week if I could.
  • I miss my ate and my dad. They’d be laughing at me for being on this first time being independent high.
  • My job’s been pretty amazing. Can’t wait til Barcelona.


Yesterday’s # of steps: 7000/5000 (I forgot the actual count and I deleted it)


That SanFo Thing

Sometimes I get really mad because my circumstances (and lack of finances) prevent me from being San Francisco doing what I wanted to do: studying, living on my own and being a different person.

And then when I really think about it, I’m glad I’m not there and I’m here. Because if I wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be able to do all these awesome things or learn all these cool stuff and finally realize what my passion is: my work.

That sound cheesy and boring but it’s true. I really love Product Development. I’m not great at it. At least, not yet. But it’s something I really want to be good at. And I’ve been struggling to find that one thing I want to be great at for the longest time. And now I have. So I’m glad I’m still here. Discovering this. Learning by doing.

This is the first time I actually picked up a book that was related to my work and non-fiction. I even read the introduction. And I devoured it. Every single word. Excited to go back to work to see how I can make real what I just found out.

And it feels really good.

So yeah, maybe SanFo can wait. I have to be here now and do this.

This Whole Binay Incident

What really irks me about this whole Binay incident is that the segment who voted/will vote for them do not have access to Social Media or any of the news sites. I doubt that this level of detail is given to TV news reports and/or radio.

Because Feelings

I am so overwhelmed by the opportunities that are being handed to me left and right. Speaking about what I do, sharing what I know to other people and learning from peers, and the many chances given to me to pack my bags, ready my passport and just go — to a place I haven’t been to and experience things that I haven’t even dreamed of. My heart is bursting and my brain has conditioned itself to be a sponge.

I am less angry right now. At the people who antagonize me and what I do or the people who doubted my capabilities. At all the curve balls that the universe thought would be a good way to rile me up. Less angry. But I still get really pissed off. Sometimes.

I’m still trying to learn not to dwell. On the things that have happened but didn’t end the way I hoped it would. On what’s supposed to be mine but the universe decided to hold on to it for the meantime. On the things that were actually mine but taken away. I still spend hours upon hours focusing on how I’ve been disappointed.

I guess that’s why I’m still 50/50. I should be jumping up and down on my table right now, screaming to the galaxies because I am excited. For the things that are about to happen. But there’s a weight on my shoulder that’s keeping me on my seat with my chin on my hand. But at least there’s a silly grin on my face that’s pretty hard to wipe off.

And I think that’s the tiring part. Trying to figure out how I really feel at the moment. Am I happy? Am I tired? Am I disappointed? Am I excited?

I don’t think it’s that bad though — to be confused. And to have doubts. I should just learn not to spend 6 out of 24 hours trying to wrap my brain around those doubts and disappointments trying to figure out a way to work around them. I should just learn to let this “being ok” thing happen naturally. Because it will. Eventually.


[typical conversation I have with myself when the office is empty and quiet]

Achievement Unlocked

I just got back from a Podcast session talking about Product Development and it being a growing industry here in the Philippines.

So I had to talk about my own understanding of the position, the methodologies I’m using to source requirements, what it means for the company blah blah blah.

I loved it. Very much. :) I never really realized how much I love my job until during the session. Albeit, I had very poor choice of words (I didn’t know the right buzzwords, thank you very much), and I was rambling more than half of the time, but I really enjoyed talking about Product Development as a topic.

So wow.

I’m ready for my next one! Well no, but I wouldn’t mind doing another one in the far off future. Probably when I’ve finally learned a buzz word or two.

On Conquering Fears

I’ve been afraid of speaking/presenting in public for as long as I can remember. Even small group presentations scare the shit out of me. My stomach turns, my palms get cold and clammy and I stutter. I end up a stuttering mess.

This from a girl who took up so many confidence-building workshops back when I was a tween (hello Taekwon-do, Theatre, Voice Lessons, and Piano Lessons).

I think the problem for me there is my ownership of the topic.

3 years ago, while CashCashPinoy was still starting out, my boss went out of town so I had to go in his place to do a radio interview about the then budding industry which is e-commerce. I was scared shitless. I couldn’t sleep the night before and I felt like I was plunging head first into a bottomless pit.

I knew the business like the back of my hand. And all I had to do was echo what I knew.

But during the interview, I was speechless. It was a radio interview. I could just pretend that the DJs were just random people asking me about CashCashPinoy and block out the thought that there were millions of faceless people who were listening ┬áin on the show. Friends, afterwards, told me I did a good job. I knew I could’ve done better. But I was scared. I was scared that I would sound stupid. That I would say something I shouldn’t be saying. That what I would say wouldn’t make sense. I was terrified of failing. At the same time, I was terrified of the thought that I might end up disappointing the people who were counting on me to make our brand “shine”.

After that, my boss knew better to send me to things wherein I would have to talk in front of people I didn’t know. He’d still send me to meetings wherein I’d have to talk to big shot people like VPs of something something or Director of this and that and I’d talk to him about how intimidated and scared I was the entire time.

And that fear never really left me.

Well, until fairly recently.

I guess it came to a point where I just didn’t have a choice. There was nobody else to send.

2 weeks into working here at AD, my boss sent me to this meeting with all of the big bosses of different e-businesses. I was the youngest of the group in my Doc Martens and Elbow-patched blazer and messy hair. I felt like nobody took me seriously. But I knew that despite their age, despite their tenure, I knew just as much as they did… maybe even more. So I started talking. I started giving a different opinion from what they collectively agreed to. Not because I thought that I knew better, but because I simply thought that there has to be another way to do things.

The opportunities to challenge myself and this irrational fear of owning my position and my knowledge didn’t end with that.

I guess that’s one of the good things with working in a fairly international environment. Working at CashCashPinoy, I was surrounded by different nationalities– French mostly. (both internal and external). Here, there are more! I’ve gone head to head with Singaporeans, Scandinavians, Indians, Indonesians, Hungarians, etc.

When my new boss suggested that I should target doing a presentation in next year’s Functional Gathering week (it’s a gathering for all middle-management employees — supposed subject matter experts — wherein some people are asked to show off their best projects to be questioned and criticized albeit silently by the rest of the group), I said NO WAY immediately. No way was I going to just stand there while my peers think bad thoughts about me, my project and my company.

Then I went to the FGW (which is another story) and I realized that there is absolutely nothing to fear. These guys— they’re no better than me (well some are, actually). They’re also just there to learn, like me, and figure out what actions will be best to take for their own company’s improvement… LIKE ME.

This Friday, I agreed to do a podcast interview for Product Development Thought Leaders. I will be representing the company. Basically I’d have to talk about being a Product Manager and Product Development. For a good hour or 2, I entertained the thought of backing out because I figured I didn’t have anything to say. I know shit about being a Product Manager. I’m just playing all of this by ear. And then I realized, I can talk about that. That being a Product Manager is all about trying to find things out. Trying to find out the best solution to a problem. Trying to find out the best direction to take to improve things and the business. And it’s an ongoing discovery process.

So I figured, if I can do this interview, I can do a presentation in the next FGW, I can do IMMAP (ok, maybe not), I can talk about what I’m doing to anybody.

So yeah, I’m not afraid anymore. And not because I realized that I’m good at what I’m doing or anything. Nothing cheesy like that. But it’s all because of people who forced me to do this. My old boss and my new bosses who pushed me in situations wherein I have to keep my cool, put on a brave face and try to keep my voice from shaking while I talk about the things I already know like the back of my hand.

Well actually, that’s a lie. I’m still scared of speaking in public. Voicing out my thoughts and having people question them. But, I’m not paralyzed by this fear anymore. I’m afraid, yes. But so?

I figured, if I’m going to be the next Marissa Mayer, I’m gonna have to go through this. (lols) But kidding aside, there’s nothing to be scared of really. So ok, people will criticize what I will say, question my beliefs and thought process, but there’s always something to take home from those kinds of experiences. There’s always that chance that maybe they’re right. And I have to take those maybes with me and think again about what my own ideas, beliefs and thought processes. In the end, there’s a 50% chance that what I take home will just make me better at what I’m doing and because of that, give better results and better opportunities for the projects that I’m working on.

Cheesy? Probably.

But this is me rambling in an attempt to give myself a pat on the back because seriously, during the radio interview, I nearly peed my pants. And look at me now, looking forward to the next presentation I will be doing.

Maybe it’s another story if I’m surrounded by good looking guys and I would have to present in a bikini…

I think starting tomorrow I will pepper my sentences with the words “fundamentally” and “existential”. I doubt I’ll have any conversation that would allow me to use those 2 words, but I can improvise.