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Category Archives: It’s All in the Family

In Your Bag

I woke up one morning and realized that my daughter has more bags than I could ever buy.

Well, she does own more pairs of shoes than I do, too. The number of pairs can very nearly rival Imelda Marcos’ collection, to my family’s amusement.

I went over to where she was watching Barney and rummaged through her “countless” bags, picked one at random as she danced and watched me like a hawk.

I empty the contents onto her bed.  She was talking non-stop — not to me, but to the bits and pieces on her bed.

Times have changed. The tides have turned.

And the contents of baby’s bags have somehow evolved.


Meeting Mr. Right

This guy has a formidable resume.  He’s my perfect blueprint for Mr. Right.

(photo taken from

This did not deter me however from sending him a message that he may have received quite often in the course of his busy life; there is something about him beyond his credentials that defines who he actually is and where his heart lies.  And despite his stature, his humility stands out.

I caught Francis Kong on Facebook and was astounded that he actually replied and agreed to my request.  See, from his Wall, you pretty much have a sense of how he spends his day —he is extremely busy.  Yet he is cool, calm and collected.  Launching a new concept in consultancy and selling, he saw the need for an “army of consultants” rather than that of sales people.  He has authored books on entrepreneurship, life-changing habits, finance and more.

True to form, he is gracious enough to grant this simple interview.  Excerpts:

Should you combine your many passions or should you choose just one?
I always believe in Focus.  Narrow your target objective but deepen it in terms of excellence and skills.

Following your dreams at any age: how does one do it?
Dreams come true only when the dreamer wakes up and do some work.  Study.  Study.  Study.  Prepare.  Prepare and Prepare and do not allow distractions to come in between your goals.

How do you spend time to relax? Do you still have time for a break?
My relaxations come in spurts.  I have mini-breaks through out the day and even during work.

What top 3 life lessons did you learn that can help others like me?
Love God first and have an intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He then grants you the ability to know and understand His Word (Bible) and equips you with the power to obey and steer your life towards the right path for success.  Love your neighbors.  Never allow greed or money to take priority but use your God-given talents to serve others.  Be honest, be truthful and maintain humility at all time without relaxing your efforts in leveling up all the time.  Every blessing is a test on our character while every test is a blessing in disguise.

Is there something you wish to achieve more?
Doing more training in the international scene.

Many years ago, I remember coming across this author while browsing in a bookstore (because the money I wish I could spend on great books was instead spent on meals) that changed my perspective in life:  He inspired me to dream big and to turn this dream into reality.  I am living the dream now, and the bonus is that I have been lucky enough to meet the inspiration behind it.  Thank you, Mr. Francis.

Celebrity Feature on janicesheilah


SO EXCITED to announce something WONDERFUL here on my blog VERY SOON !!!

Please don’t forget to subscribe to my blog.

Many thanks and continue living that awesome life 🙂

Top Three Work Desk Must-Haves

Take a look at your work desk right now.

What are the things you see? Do you have everything you need within your reach? Do you have everything organized down to the last muffin crumb or did you suddenly realize you accidentally stuffed your document in the garbage bin and instead put the empty Skittles packet on file?

A friend once made comment that these items can be a form of security blanket, much like that grubby toy or unwashed blankie you couldn’t let go of when you were still this small.  Brother #3 calls it nambabangil (translation: whatever).

Here’s a list for starters:

Number One: Bookstore Finds – notebook, pen, paper, paper clips, filing folders, scissors —you name it, you’ve got stuff that can rival a mini bookstore

When everything you need is at your disposal (courtesy of


Number Two: Grocery Items – food!  candy! Need I say more?

Heart Stoppers for Champions (courtesy of RayaGr)


Number Three: Fill-in-the-Blanks-Here – dental floss (a college friend has it still, within arm’s reach), moldy cheese (don’t ask me, it’s NOT mine), toys (I babysit while I work), a photo of something or someone which you occasionally stare at? (definitely not mine)

What are the top three items you cannot live without and need to see on your work table every day, 24/7?

3 Parenting Rules I Love To Break

I spoil my child —seriously, I do. Now, sue me.

Now I do not advocate that you go against the law; rather, I’d like to think I am doing my best to work with what little resources I already have just so I can peaceably raise a child who is already wonderful to start with (aren’t all kids angels, to start with?), without sacrificing happiness and good intentions.

Rule #1: If it doesn’t work, don’t push it. 

When sleep is the least attractive option (photo courtesy of sskies)

It’s nearing 11:00 PM and Gabby is far from feeling sleepy.  I tried luring her to bed with nursery rhymes but instead she’s shrieking and swaying to Psy’s Oppa Gangnam Style.  She didn’t ingest anything carbonated, caffeinated or drug-laced; it’s boundless energy that hasn’t dipped since 5:00 AM of the same day.  With dishes waiting in the sink, an unfinished web mock-up waiting to be integrated into an e-commerce site and a continuous lack of sleep in a span of three or five days, I closed my eyes and counted to ten.  Instead of scolding her, I bit my tongue, handed her her stuffed little Teddy to hug while dancing and offered her about three warm spoonfuls of easily digestible cereal.  At the end of the chorus she said, “Enough” then plopped herself on her side of the bed, still giggling.  When I handed her her Dinosaur toothbrush, she was already between sleepiness and wakefulness.

LESSON LEARNED: I was no longer concerned about going beyond her scheduled bedtime; what’s important is being sensitive to and respectful of what she wants (as long as it’s not harmful to her) as much as being aware of her needs.

Rule #2: Sweet doesn’t always spell H-A-R-M-F-U-L

Sweets for the Sweetest (photo courtesy of stock.xchng)

My daughter doesn’t like chocolates overmuch; but she loves gummy worms and Skittles.  I don’t deprive her of sweets in a way that when other parents may have shouted “Stop it!”, I proceed to offer her one more tiny handful.  Most times, she indulges but sometimes, she just doesn’t want to touch the stuff —although she picks up a small packet from a grocery aisle and hugs it till we reach the cashier section.

LESSON LEARNED: As long as she brushes and gargles her teeth after every sweet treat, I see no harm in offering her a tiny portion.  But when I want to indulge myself, I hide behind my work table and nibble on jelly beans and Skittles.

Rule #3: Stop complaining, it’s Barney Country

Sometimes, you’ve got to hand it to this moppet for effectively quieting even the most rambunctious of kids (photo courtesy of

There are days when Barney really gets to me…but some kids can’t seem to get enough of the purple dinosaur! Respectful of my daughter’s TV choices, the TV is eternally stuck on Barney channel that I wouldn’t be very worried in case the remote disappears (I would console myself into thinking it’s lost somewhere in the tree house amongst Baby Bop’s toys).

LESSON LEARNED: Buy another set, or do something else while the Boss is entranced by the moppet.

What are the top three things your child has done (or hasn’t done!) to change your life forever?

Steak It’s Gonna Be

1,195 days ago, I was flat broke.

The movie that’s playing in my mind as I stand on my soapbox right now: I was walking home one night pretending to clear my mind when in fact I only had one peso in my right-hand pocket. I ignored my screaming stomach and pretended that I will be unwrapping a tightly-packed sizzling steak as soon as I get back to my $50-a-month bed-space, when in fact all I had in my body-bag pockets are three sachets of soy sauce, one packet of crispy pork rinds and one cup of rice encased in plastic wrap.  I ate dinner in tears, but at least I had a three-peso mobile load credit.

Couldn’t even afford a plateful of carbonara sauce

I was over six feet deep in debt and only had Johnny Depp as inspiration, not aspiring to meet him in person, because merely looking at him in the eye as he smiled from the covers of a tattered fashion magazine I felt as if I have already attained a positive credit report.  I went to sleep that night and silently screamed a prayer.  There were only two words in my prayer and it was the most fervent: Help me!

Three things saved me that night and it had nothing at all to do with my efforts: faith, steak and Johnny Depp.  I wanted to be like Vanessa Paradis so I worked myself out of my 1,000-lb frame.  I quit my job and applied for a new one which was quite further up the road so I had to walk farther each day to save up on fare.  And I mentally noted how savory a piece of medium-rare steak once tasted when I was treated to dinner by a college buddy and this motivated me to save up earnestly for a future I do not want to plan on.

Just to distract you, here’s a view to the screenshot that’s playing in my mind:

Summer goodness in every bite

Well, I hate giving out advice even to those who solicit it.  I pretend I live in a fairy tale where I can have my happily-ever-after clincher, but I do not pretend to know everything.  Funny how things turned out because I left that new job (yet again!) because my daughter came into my life and blessed me immensely, I still have to taste that ever-haunting medium rare slab of meat, and I have outgrown Johnny.

Looking up similar experiences posted on the Internet, it’s amazing how miracles are happening every single day.  Even children are never spared from wonderful occurrences:  He indeed has a great story to tell his future sons and grand kids.

When you wake up in the morning, what motivates you the most? May you be blessed beyond compare as you spend your day as another person’s inspiration.

Pasta Primavera or Whatever You May Call It

Pasta Primavera or Whatever You May Call It

Happy Halloween!

Life can be like a plateful of spaghetti. Sometimes.

Spent the day doing exactly three of the best things I used to dream of:

1. Sharing a plateful of sweet spaghetti with my daughter in a busy fast food joint and I don’t even remember if I used extra catsup on the sauce

Whatever your poison is, make sure it’s cooked al dente

2. Playing “tickle wars”

Regularly invest in great bonding time

3. Falling asleep (well, I did it first and she followed suit) with my toddler holding me tight

You’ll never know when sleep overcomes even your greatest intentions to stay awake

What is the best thing that happened in your life after you discovered spaghetti?