Comfy Travel Shoes

What kind of shoes do you wear during travel?

Traveling with kids, plus the fact that we prefer commuting abroad, gives me no other option but to wear comfortable shoes. Number one on my list is rubber shoes. I wore my pink Nike shoes when we went to Hongkong. The same set of Nike shoes walked the streets of London, Scotland and Northern Ireland. I brought it together with a pair of Anne Klein boots (not included in the picture because my mom borrowed it during her Australia trip).

Northface was the theme of our European trip. You should see our Northface traveling bags, one even costs almost P30k! But NO we didn’t buy them. Northface is one of our clients and they offered to pay Northface items in lieu of cash. WHY NOT?! So on top of the bags, Gary got himself a pair of hiking shoes while I got another rubber shoes. Looks bulky but they’re so light and comfortable. I brought them to Europe with another comfy but “not-so-durable” boots. I left the boots in our hotel in Switzerland.

For Singapore, I enjoyed my red Toms. (Enjoyed it so much that the color faded)

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In preparation for our Japan trip, I thought of buying myself a Japanese brand sneakers, Onitsuka Tiger. I’ve tried it once and it’s like walking barefoot! Chos! Di nman pero magaan talaga sya. But since South Korea came first, my Onitsuka will have to experience Seoul before (God knows when) Japan.

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Seoul 2013 part 1

I decided to divide my blog about Seoul into parts so that I won’t be overwhelmed.Ang dami ko gusto ikwento and I have to start writing now before I forget them altogether. So to start, tulad nga ng kinakanta ni Gary Valenciano… “bitin na bitin ako… ooowoohow…” That’s the best way to describe our vacation. lol

We arrived at Incheon Airport past 8 in the evening. It took us another hour to transfer to the arrival/immigration area (via train within the airport) and to get our checked-in bag. We then took the Airport express train to Seoul. The usual 90 minutes Incheon-Seoul travel by bus or private car was cut to approximately 45 minutes. We transferred to another line to reach Phil House, where we are staying. Look at their website and what you see is what you get. We got the triple room with terrace for the four of us (Gary, me, Zach and Lia). For Marcus, Rex and Dexter, 3 dorm bedspace. I tried to ask if they can give them another triple room instead sincetatlo na lang sila naiwan, unfortunately wala na available. Dorm type kasi kinuha ko for all the employees sana. Btw, Rex and Dexter are Gary’s brods who happen to be consultants. Obviously, sila lang ang na-approve ang visa.  Going back, Phil House is clean, the people are nice, there’s pantry where you can cook/eat, the place is very near restaurants, convenience stores and train station. As for the dorm, it costs 500++ pesos per night, perfect for backpackers. So kung tutulugan lang ang hanap nyo, then I’ll recommend this hostel. But for families especially with kids, I would prefer a better place to stay.

Past 12am Korea time (They are 1 hour ahead) with 10 degrees temp (malamig na sa akin yan), we looked for a place to eat. May nakita kami isang restaurant na bukas. The owner-cook-cashier-woman doesn’t speak english. Hindi nya maintindihan yung ‘not spicy’ at ‘noodles.’ In short, kumain kami ng maanghang, at ang kids di nakakain. We had few bottles of beer and we went back to the hostel past 2am.

The next day, sinuka lahat ni Gary ang kinain nya. And he had stomach flu for 2 days…

Royalized

Recently, I’ve invested in another business. Money invested wasn’t so big but the earning potential is. Despite my lack of skill in terms of ‘Sales and Mktg,’ I decided to be a distributor of Royale Business Club Inc because I personally use their products. Forgive me, but I am one of those typical Filipina women who wants to have fairer skin. So I am a fan of their glutathione soap and soon I am planning to try their glutathione pills plus other wellness products. Also, they’ll be releasing BB cream (they partnered with Korean and French companies), so I can’t wait to also try one of those.

Going back to my business. So far I am benefiting from it because I get products I personally use at discounted (distributor’s) price and I already have regular customers who they themselves have given me good testimonials about the products they use. But I would want to take another step further. I want to get people to be distributors like me because it’s where the maximum earning potential is.

As I’ve said, I am not a Sales person so I don’t want to give you flowery words. Just see what their products are and let them speak for themselves:

Wellness:
1. Ascorbic Acid
2. Fiberich
3. Spirulina (Superfood)
4. PRIME (multiVitamin supplement)
5. Diabetwatch
6. Grape Seed
7. fitShape
8. rIQall (Memory and Mental Alertness)
9. L-Gluta Power
10. Pinkish Glow (Gluta + Alpha Lipoic Acid + Vit C and E)
11. Performax (Anti-ageing formula for men)
12. Richarge (herbal drink mix)
13. 8-in-1 coffee, choco drink and corn powdered drink mixes

Beauty:

1. Pinkish Glow cream and toner
2. L-Gluta cream, soap, lotion and deodorant
3. L-Gluta power Anti-ageing cream and facial soap
4. Kojic papaya soap
5. Organic Lipstick
6. His and Her perfume

To top it all, Royale Business Club is 100% Filipino owned. What do you think?

 

I heart RL

We buy majority of our clothes from Ralph Lauren. But no, we don’t buy them here, it’s so expensive! Like for instance the shirt that we bought on sale online costs P6000 at Greenbelt 3! Whoa!

What we do is we check-out the RL site for sale and good deals especially during the -ber months in time for Christmas. We order using our sister-in-law’s account (or sometimes we just tell her what we want), so that the items will be delivered to her house. Btw, she lives in the US. So she accumulates all our purchases, most of the time together with her purchases from stores when she sees good deals, and sends them all in time for Christmas.

From shirts, polos, socks, shoes, sandals, caps, polo dress, shorts, pants, jackets… almost everything at the most reasonable price. So we don’t do much shopping here for clothes anymore especially for kids. Once, my eldest son told me that I haven’t bought him clothes for years and I immediately told him, “Excuse me, majority of your clothes are from the US and they’re RL!” End of conversation.

They’re so affordable that I bought these sandals with heels so high that I’m having a hard time wearing them. So can anyone remind me again why I bought them. lol

Just a few from our RL loot last December 2011.

Looking forward to our December 2012 batch, which reminds me… let me check RL website now.

Closure, finally!

On our way to Tarlac yesterday to attend the mediation, my husband and I were expecting nothing, though we were hoping and praying that the meeting would finally be fruitful.

On our way to the mediation, we saw the very same model of sports car that hit us. We were forced to use SCTEX to avoid heavy traffic (which we never did after the accident). It was raining like it was the day of the accident. And unexpectedly, we passed by the hospital where we were confined. Are these signs?

At the mediation, I heard that the amount they were offering wouldn’t even pay for the Lawyer’s fee. I got disappointed again but I prayed for His will.

At the mediation, something unexpected happened. My husband said his piece. It was short but expressed everything we’ve wanted to say in years. He said to the other party that… “we were never after his money. We didn’t even ask for moral damages. That we were the ones hurt but if he has been cooperative that day of the accident, it wouldn’t have reached this far. That what we are asking him to pay now is just the sum of the actual expenses incurred over the last two years. That we have given him so many chances to prove himself. That we pushed through with the case to show him that he should not run from his responsibilities. That he is lucky that his lawyer talks to us with his heart. Among others…”

We finally agreed with the amount (meeting halfway). But again it was not the money that closed the deal. It was the fact that we were able to attain our objective of meeting the person, telling him how we felt and letting him realize that people are to be respected and mistakes faced.

Thank you Lord. Justice has been served. We can now move on.

It can be tiring…

I take this moment to rant about something that has been bothering me for days. You see, my husband and I have been working so hard to what? To give our family a good life and our children a better future. But more than that, we are deeply thankful for being able to serve God and others. Unfortunately, some people can be insensitive? ungrateful? or just plain (sorry for the word) stupid.

It never entered my mind to take advantage of people. I can continue running my business even for the sake of maintaining my employees. I don’t expect people to give me credit for anything I have provided for them because it all came from the real Provider. I just want them to strive harder and be deserving.

It is a challenge to be generous, because sometimes you have to keep reminding yourself that what has been given to you is not really for you (And usually it’s not just the amount that you can conveniently give). But more than that, it is a great challenge to provide for people who you think don’t deserve any of it. Or those who are not happy for what you can give them. Then again, who am I to judge?

Rose among the thorns

The Mobile App Team of Search Opt Media, Inc is now mobilized (no pun intended) and yes I am the only female in the group. I must admit that I am the “newbie” here in terms of project management, development and implementation. Yes I have implemented an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system years ago but with this fast changing field, I now feel obsolete.

You might ask why I allow myself to go down the hierarchy when I am already the wife of the CEO, uhm I mean the Vice President and Corporate Treasurer who basically handles everything except Marketing and Operations. Plus I have my coffeeshop to attend to.

Simple. It’s the challenge of really learning the craft and being able to say that I am one of those few people who developed a (successful) iPhone/iPad App. And yes, because I am a daydreamer. :)

When can we move on?

After almost 2 years, I finally saw the person responsible for our vehicular accident. I’ve heard so many things about him. Negative things to be exact. Aside from the fact that he did not help us when we were thrown at the embankment (obviously hurt, rain pouring hard and our children crying), he did not even ask how we were when he went to the hospital. All he said to my husband was, “Nka-compre ka nman diba?” (He was referring to our comprehensive insurance).

Despite his behavior, we agreed that he will just shoulder the hospital bill just to make us feel that he did not abandon us. In short ‘pampalubag-loob.’ We just wanted to move on with our lives and forget about everything. The important thing for us is that we are all safe. But what he did was, he gave P40k and that’s it. 3 adults and 3 children were hospitalized plus the fact that I was under general anaesthesia during my knee surgery and he would think that that amount would be enough. We should have paid for it instead (part of it will be taken cared of insurance anyway). We were not asking for financial assistance, we were expecting him to be responsible for what happened. That made us decide to file a case instead.

To be honest, I want to move on and forget about all these. Each session that we attend reminds me of the FEAR, PAIN and ANGER that I felt that day because I can’t imagine how some people can really be mean. Plus the fact that I almost lost one or more family member/s. And I don’t have a choice but to remember every detail of it because when in case we would be asked, we should be prepared.

The encounter yesterday with Mr. Michael R. Tiqui (from Bulacan) made me realize that it would take more time for us to move on.

Bits and pieces

So many things are running on my mind and I just have to let it all out;

1. I have this diary/organizer where I list all my activities for the day. The more items checked, the more accomplished I feel. But lately, I noticed that items on my list are not directly related to work; Kumon, Taekwondo, bank, grocery, bills. In short, I’ve been busy driving for my kids and running errands. It’s so frustrating! But at the end of the day, I have to keep reminding myself that my family is more important than work and I should be thankful for the privilege of being a hands-on mom/wife.

2. I am a considerate and generous person and some people tend to abuse. I cannot tolerate those people. They wouldn’t hear a thing from me but they’ve cut for sure what could have been more.

3. A good friend just gave me ref magnets from Singapore, Malaysia and Korea. I LOVE ref magnets! :) I started collecting during my work-related local travels. So when I go to Singapore this July I don’t have to buy anymore… uhm maybe one from Universal Studios lol.

4. Speaking of travel, I can’t wait to pack our bags again and go. I am excited to see Singapore and Malaysia for the first time and hopefully Indonesia as well. But to be honest, after this, I don’t know when’s next. Traveling is expensive. All I can do is put my hands together and pray for more. :) Btw, I’ve seen a batch mate at St. Petersburg and instantly I fell in love with the place. Aaaarrrgggg…

5. I miss reading. It’s one of the things I REALLY love. No time is not an excuse of course. I’ve proven last year that at least 10 pages before sleep is workable. I’ve read a lot of books last year. I have to buy myself a book one of these days. Or maybe re-read some I have at home. I just have to start reading again. Period.

Search Opt Media, Inc. gets an International Award

Running a business with clients from US and Europe is an achievement itself. But receiving an INTERNATIONAL ARCH OF EUROPE AWARD is far from what the Founder (Francis Gary Viray) and I ever imagined.

Ok enough for drama. So what is the award all about and how did we get it?

According to the Regulations of the IAE;

1. The award is presented in recognition of those companies or organizations in different countries throughout the world that further their reputation and position by implementing and promoting quality culture.

2. The award recognizes and encourages the contribution of companies and organizations to quality, continuous improvement and customer satisfaction as well as improving relations with employees, suppliers and all those associated with the company.

3. The jury which designates the companies awarded will be formed by the leaders of those companies having received the award in previous years for their merits and contributions to quality and excellence in those companies which they direct. (We still have no idea who voted for us).

We were supposed to receive the award at Frankfurt tom (April 30). I’ve already asked for plane itinerary from our trusted travel agency and checked the hotel at Frankfurt where we stayed when we were there last year.  Unfortunately, we overlooked the participation fee amounting to 3,900 euros! All in all we would spend more than half a million pesos to personally receive the award. It would have been nice to be part of the awarding ceremony but it wouldn’t be practical. Anyway, present or not we already have the certificate. Indeed a milestone for the company!