Tag Archives: education

Sun Life knows its way to a mommy and a woman’s heart

They say that being a mother is the greatest job a woman could have. While the experience of motherhood is something that is not the same for every woman: some experience it early in life, while others (like me) take time to go through it; the worries and concerns of a woman towards her offspring and her spouse is the same.

Am I doing enough? Am I giving enough? AM I ENOUGH? 

Motherhood, they say, is when your heart beats for your child and your spouse, and almost barely for yourself. It is pure, selfless and harrowing at times. Where 24 hours is barely enough think about the chores at home, the times you need to spend with the husband and even plan about the kid’s future.

That is why “Mommy’s Day Out,” a recent event of Sun Life Philippines,   gives recognition to a mother’s selfless love by devoting one full day of pampering, learning and self affirmation to mothers.

The event, attended by mommy bloggers and online influencers, began with a lecture headed by Michelle Alignay, a family psychologist specializing in family studies. During her lecture, Alignay shared some key points and powerful affirmation techniques to the attendees on how they can balance being a mom, being a wife and being their own person all at the same.

This particular piece hits closer to home for me. As a wife, career woman and a person of many interests and side hustles, I can’t even barely make time for my supportive and loving husband. Imagine adding kids to the equation? I wrote before of my struggles in conceiving and how there are times, I am thisclose to giving up on having kids. While my heart always breaks into thousand pieces thinking of what could have beens if only parenthood came naturally to us after marriage. I would have a sassy grade schooler by now, who probably inherited his father’s winsome features and his mother’s stubborness; I would have been frazzled to heavens trying to balance career, family life and my interests/hobbies; I could have been saving up for that danged kid’s education and future.

Thankfully, Alignay’s lecture on devoting time for yourself, making your marriage work, and preparing for your family’s future is something that even I, can relate. Her message about devoting time for the husband, and making your marriage work strikes closer to home. For me and the husband, we have our movie nights where we geek out on superhero franchises and action movies. We also make it a point to travel together, which allows us to discover new things, not only about the places we go, but also with each other. We talk our plans, our dreams and our struggles as a couple.

When talking about future kids before felt like discussing about landmines because of our fertility struggles, we have become more open on how we still want to have kids, regardless on the process it will take. It can either be through science (we have yet to explore other more advanced methods) or maybe through adoption. While going through the adoption route is still a long way down the line, it’s still something we seriously consider.

No matter how the future kiddo gets handed to us by life, the husband and I agree on one thing: we want him to have a good future. One where he can explore his full potential and get the best education possible, without being hampered by financial concerns. If my future kid wants to explore UP or go to Keio or Tokyo University, who am I to stand on his way?

During the event, Sun Life Cluster Head Mylene Segismundo shared potential tuition costs to some of the country’s best universities 10 to 15 years down the line. To say we were flabbergasted is an understatement. The cost of education has become so expensive that, as a parent, you have no choice but to prepare for it. Segismundo shared that Sun Life’s “MyFutureFund” provides parents the capacity to get ready for their children’s education without breaking the bank and without putting  dent on their wallet. More importantly, “MyFutureFund” removes the worry of being able to provide for a good education to their kids from mommies and daddies.

Admittedly, the highlight of the day was the oh-so-wonderful full body massage generously arranged by Sun Life for the mommies and bloggers present. The venue was the beautiful, luxurious Onsen Spa at the I’M Hotel.

With every knead and pressure applied on my body, I can literally feel my stress, worries and all the bad vibes literally melting away. It was soooo good.  Onsen Spa at I’M Hotel does a good job of bringing the Japanese/Korean onsen/jimjimbang experience and I am loving the long yukatas, the darkened rooms with piped-in music and yes, the free-flowing green tea served on the spa reception area. I must have dozed off because the next thing I know, my friendly massage therapist, Rem lightly tapping of my shoulder. A sumptuous dinner at I’M Hotel’s Bloom Restaurant proved to be the perfect way to cap the evening.

I’d like to thank Sun Life and their friendly PR guy AR for having me during the event. I am not yet a mother, but I am a wife and career woman who also have the same struggles like any other woman thrust into family life. I may not have kids as of yet, but I still worry about their future. As reflected on the short film, “She Says, She Says” – I worry.  I worry that I may not be good enough, or ready enough when they come. I worry that I might not become a good mom. I worry that I will become one of those mommies who nag and helicopter-parent and work, but still fail to provide for their needs.

I worry that I, myself, might not be enough.

But thanks to the learnings and realizations of that day, I know that I will be okay. Me and Sun Life, we can make motherhood work.





PR: Applications for 2016 Aboitz college scholarship programs now open

In the Philippines, the best way to change your life and your future is to get the best possible education you can get. 

While getting a university degree is not as expensive in the Philippines compared to other countries, the cost is still considered prohibitive especially in a country where the minimum wage is still below PHP 500 in 2015. 

For bright young students dreaming of a good college education, take advantage of existing scholarship programs issued by the government and the Private sector. 

One of the organizations that continued to support the Filipino youth when it comes to achieving more in life is the Aboitiz Group. As one of the country’s leading business organizations, Aboitiz gives back to the country through various socio-civic undertakings. 

One of these programs aim to help qualified college students continue and complete their studies through the Aboitiz College Scholarship Program (ACSP), which aims to   support and inspire students to value, appreciate, and make the most of their education. 

ACSP provides students with financial assistance to cover tuition (100%) and miscellaneous expenses, book requirements, and transportation needs. 

Students will also be guaranteed:

  • On-The-Job Training (OJT) in the Aboitiz Group 
  • Participation in the Aboitiz Future Leaders Business Summit (AFLBS) 
  • Participation in the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.’s Kool Adventure Camp

To qualify for the ACSP, the applicant must:

  • Be a full-time 1st to 4th year incoming student of an eligible college or university.
  • Be pursuing a degree in Accountancy, Business/Management, Information Technology, Psychology, Engineering, or Pre-Law.
  • Have a final average grade/cumulative overall GPA (Grade Point Average) not lower than 85% or its equivalent;
  • Not have a failing or incomplete grade;
  • Not have a record of any form of disciplinary action; and,
  • Must have fully completed and submitted all application requirements on time.

“Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) believes that a good education is the powerful foundation exceptional leadership is built on. We are therefore supportive of programs such as the ACSP that champion academic excellence and shape tomorrow’s leaders,” Txabi Aboitiz, AEV Chief Human Resources Officer, said. At present, ACSP is supporting the education of 44 college students nationwide.

ACSP is part of the Aboitiz Group’s Future Talents Program, which also includes the Aboitiz OJT Program, AFLBS, and Aboitiz Speaker’s Box Lecture Series, as well as business unit initiatives such as AboitizPower’s Power 101 series, AboitizPower Distribution’s Cadetship Program, UnionBank’s Management Trainee Program (LEAD), and Pilmico’s Junior Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science Congress

For more information regarding ACSP application requirements, screening, and selection timetable, please email careers@aboitiz.com, visit careers.aboitiz.com, or follow AboitizCareers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Lessons learned from “It’s not about the Coffee”

I was lucky that my boss brought me along for “It’s not about Coffee: Leadership Principles from the former president of Starbucks International, Mr. Howard Behar”, a half day talk and book signing activity held at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).

Let me tell you about my general behavior when asked to attend seminars. If I really like the topic (usually when it’s about public relations, creative design and marketing) I will be alert and responsive, furiously taking down notes and laughing on the really witty parts. But if it’s something I am vaguely interested, you can bet my sorry ass that I’ll be battling sleepiness by the time the clock strikes 2PM (usually the ungodly hours of 1 to 3PM) and praying to God that He transport me somewhere where there is food and usually massive pitcher of pineapple juice (or water)…or better yet coffee!

Anyway, I digress. Suffice to say, the seminar earlier was a great combination of simple and interesting. There was no annoying highfalutin, business-y type words that I have come to equate with rashes growing on my skin (example of business-y words: risk-reduction management, proactive, strategic analysis). Simple and direct and to the point.

KG gets her booked signed by Mr. Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks International

Mr. Behar’s management style and tips to his attendees were very direct and simple: “It’s all about the People”. In every organization, it is the people who makes the difference. The thing is, all of this starts with us, the members of our organization. Mr. Behar’s shared the one of his top principles is to ensure that we “Wear One Hat”, this goes beyond staying to your role in the company hierarchy but to be “who we really are, no matter where we are”. Whether at work, at home and within our society in general.

I love this idea. Why do we have to change who we are just to ensure that we fit in or that we act according to what other people want us to be?

After the seminar, I had my book signed by Mr. Behar. I plan on finishing it within the week. The seminar made me take stock of what I know right now. Maybe, it will not hurt if I start working on what I dream to be. I’ve been going on and on about taking my Masteral in Communications but I haven’t finished the process and I am still worried about tuition. It doesn’t hurt that I got to see the inside of AIM’s campus, where my boss is an alumni, and wow—I was just so floored and envious of the students.

There’s no harm in aiming for the highest star, right?

So, where did you get your diploma?

I grew up thinking that the world–in spite its frailties– is a pretty fair place.
You study well, graduate with distinction, get a job and do well. This is how you establish yourself. The fact that you didn’t graduate in one of the premium universities is almost irrelevant.

Well, that’s what I thought. And I thought really, really wrong.

There will come a time that the name of your school will be the preference for many companies, and surfing the classified ads can put serious dent to your self-esteem. Your chance to land your dream job depends on the university you went to. Never mind if you are an honor student and a consistent dean’s lister, but if you haven’t graduated from the big three (in the Philippines, that’s UP, Ateneo and La Salle) — there is a chance that you won’t even make it to the short list of multi-nationals and even foreign companies. Sucks, I know but that is the way the world works. I personally know someone who works in HR who really confirmed to me that even her current company always specifies this line when putting out an ad to the Sunday classifieds: “Preferably a graduate of (insert top three here)”

Before narrow-minded individuals react to this post, let me clarify that this blog is in no way pointing any fingers or blaming schools or graduate from these schools for being the top-of-mind of HR personnel. Who can blame them really? We must also admit that the quality of education on these schools were really top-notch, especially in UP where my sister is a proud alumni. There’s something with the way subjects are taught and students are molded that makes them confident and consistent achievers. In my current workplace, I am consistently in awe of kids barely out of college who communicate really well and speak confidently and flawlessly. Sadly, I never got that from my university, through I am proud to say that my University has taught me to be resilient, hardworking, tough and street-smart. With the measly tuition fee that I pay the school (the cost of two Starbucks Venti Coffee Jelly), I graduated with distinction and the kind of knowledge that made me a productive and reliable individual. The same way that graduates from the big three has ingrained the kind of values that geared them for a successful career in politics, business and entertainment.

I am sure it would have a made a HUGE difference if I graduated here

So, you say: “Obviously, you don’t have any issue with this. So what’s the point of this post?”

The point of this post is that maybe we should learn to roll with the punches, and truly, truly be able to prove ourselves and our capability. We can never change our respective alma mater (unless you get the sick pleasure of having a diploma made in Recto) but we can always prove our current companies that it’s not really the school that’s important in choosing your employees, but it’s more of gauging our capabilities. It’s not the brand printed in the mast head, it’s your dedication to your work.

There are opportunities that I didn’t get and jobs that I wasn’t considered just because my diploma shows a different logo and university name than what was expected. Did I take offense? No. Was I sad? Yes.

But life isn’t really known for being fair and just. You just have to learn to roll with the punches, and deliver more than what is expected.

Masteral woes and blues

I never thought that going back to school could be so hard.
As I’ve probably mentioned before, I am in the middle of processing my requirements for my Masteral class. I decided to go back to school after securing the blessings of my other half.

So anyway, for today I decided to finally settle the issue on the missing transcript of records. You see, I graduate university 10 years ago and in the course of the time period between getting on the stage and graduating, to finally finding my niche in my career–I managed to lose that one important document.

Suffice to say, while shuttling between floors and trying to complete my clearance prior to getting the transcript, I kept asking myself, why I even dared attempt to go back to school. The things I used to do when I was 17 like shuffling for clearance, dealing with annoying cashiers (Didn’t I already wrote about annoying cashiers with no spare change or in my university’s case NO COPY OF OR on their windows–had to get it to the guard), and apathetic school personnel doesn’t sit well anymore with my jaded ass.

Finally–after a stressful hour shuffling to and fro, I completed clearance and was ready to submit it to the Records office so that I can get my new copy of my transcript of records:

transcript application

I finished in time for a quick visit to Graduate School to try pass my requirements. This is where the story turns hellish. I arrived to an empty office (where employees where rushing out to do whatever) — save for the “boss” (I think) who was yakking on the phone for like centuries. Apparently, she was busy talking about insurance to the person on the other line. after like 30 minutes (yes, I counted) she finally finished her conversation and motioned for me to enter the office.

I asked if I can be allowed to apply for examinations (for the MA) — even if my transcripts are being processed — the registrar refused to hear me out and reiterated that I submit the transcript as it will prove that I graduated. I offered to show my diploma–no, she says, that will not suffice. The diploma will not prove that I completed the course.

What the f@ck, woman? Last time I heard, diplomas are proof enough that I graduated from THIS school, the same university that I am applying for. She advised that I look for a copy of the TOR or else, I will have to wait another sem to apply for my Masterals. She showed no sympathy (not that I asked for it) for my excuses. A part of me wanted to believe that she is effing raring to go back to her phone conversation.

To cut the story short–I have yet to finalize copy of my application for Masterals and my chance for further education hangs in a balance, no thanks to my missing TOR.

I hated unsympathetic old crones who spend office hours yakking over the phone with her insurance agent. I hate the fact that the TOR got lost. I hate the fact that I am running out of time. I hate the fact that enthusiasm is not enough to begin further education.

Most importantly, I hated the fact that I am willing to study and spend for it–but good old Pinoy inefficiency and lackadaisical attitude is making it hard for me.

Oh God, please pray for me. I hope I make it this sem. I don’t want to lose this enthusiasm.

Nippon No Arashi: bringing SexyBack in text books!

How can I get a copy of this:

This picture is a property of: http://twitpic.com/2k7eci

Photo – not my property. Full Credits go to owner

I’ve already posted a notice on Facebook PLEADING for all my Japan-based friends and family to send me a copy of this text book which I heard, is distributed for FREE for all elementary, junior high and senior high kids. (Oh, how I envy you right now) I am willing to pay for shipment, and if you should charge a minimal amount.

Right now, I am praying that any of my Nippon-based friends and family will see to it in the goodness of their hearts to make this their early “Christmas-New Year-Easter-Birthday-and all the holidays combined” gift for me. Seriously, I will really consider this a great favor.

“Nippon No Arashi” aims for these kids to be more interested in their country (HOW COULD THEY NOT BE???) and their culture. Hey kids, you should appreciate your country more! take it for someone whose greatest mission in life is to DISCOVER JAPAN personally. My Stormy Boys will act as “tour guides”, by introducing each chapter of the book and by going to the places of interest featured on the said tome. Wow! These kids are waaaay lucky!

So, there you have it. My Stormy Boys are not only look good when singing, dancing, hawking products via CMs, acting or generally goofing off — they are also bringing SEXY BACK to Nippon’s educational system.

Gambatte Kudasai!