ann exceptional virtual assistant

Last month, I saw two kinds of freedom in Tagaytay.

For others, going to Tagaytay in July is already a post-summer getaway. However, I work from home anyway, so honestly, I can go there when I want (aside from the fact that it is just a one-hour journey from where I am. That does not include traffic).

Last month, I am blessed to visit Tagaytay twice – with different sets of people. With different sets of people, I saw two kinds of freedom.

FREEDOM FROM FEAR

On my first trip to Tagaytay, I went with several participants of the Date with Freedom: 2015 Virtual Careers Summit and Seminar. Almost a month after the event, one of the participants sent me a private message on Facebook: “Help, my Date with Freedom friends and I are going crazy.” Although not the type that needs mental consultation, I felt their need of talking to a virtual professional like me. After the several Date with Freedom participants decided on a day and a venue, I sought the help of Positively Awesome VA Jones Mancilla in preparing a productive day.

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Thanks for joining me in Tagaytay, Jones! Let’s go back!

A productive day indeed! After instructing them to sit down based on their DISC scores (to prevent the friendly ones talking all the time), we started the activity with a prayer and short sharing of stories (I forgot to bring a box of tissue on this part). The Date with Freedom participants that were with us were all mothers. They are keen in becoming the best mothers that they can be while helping in the family’s income.

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Writing their 100 Whys.

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Working (and helping each other) on their first tutorial slide!

Jones and I then gave them 15 minutes to either continue writing their WHY reasons or starting their first tutorial slide (two of the assignments in the Date with Freedom event). Then they have 10 minutes as a break from what they were doing and at the same time ask questions from us.

On the first set of the 15-minute and 10-minute activities, Jones and I saw what they needed – they needed to see someone doing the same thing that they were doing. All along, they were afraid that they might be the ONLY ONE in the world doing the assignment! On that day, they got their freedom from FEAR.

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Girls on fire!

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Yes, they went to Tagaytay just to know and feel that they are not alone in their Date with Freedom journey. Well, it’s worth it.

Currently, the moms are sending and receiving support from a Facebook Group. They are working on their assignments “one slide a day” (see Jones’ awesome blog post about this. It will definitely help you, too!)

FREEDOM OF HAVING THE TIME

I was back in Tagaytay ten days after. This time, I was with my virtual professional friends. We planned the event three weeks after invading Los Baños, Laguna (we missed each other, I guess). It was the day of learning from the stock market (courtesy of The Stock Market Crusader, Jonas San Luis). Well, we need our hard-earned dollar currencies to work for us by looking for legitimate ways, right?

In the afternoon, we played Cash Flow Game 101 (moderated by Mr. Jun Gamboa of the International Marketing Group). We also had a short course on the Rich Dad Poor Dad mindset.

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Oops, we did it again.

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Jonas taught us Stock Market 101 in the morning!

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We played the Cash Flow Game 101 in the afternoon. Thanks, Sir Jun!

Aside from learning financial literacy, we felt the cold breeze, visited the Puzzle Museum and ate the best bulalo in the Philippines.

I am happy to be in a company of happy people like my virtual professional friends. We may not be office mates, but we experience the same realities of virtual careers. What I love about them the most was that you could reach out to them if you need help on your virtual career. I am blessed to have these people in my life.

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In between activities, we ate a lot…

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…of bulalo (among the other food on the table)…

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…visited the Puzzle Museum…

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…and we ate more. 🙂 Shawi, thank you for literally extending your warm hospitality to us!

Truly, I am grateful for the freedom of having the time to go out and smell the flowers with my virtual professional friends because we can (and we sometimes need to feel Mother Nature’s elements).

I do not know which freedom you are now, but I want you to know that being in one of them is good. If you are in the “freedom from fear”, I pray you would get to the “freedom of having the time”. If you are in the “freedom of having the time”, well, you should join us next time. You see hope instead of fear, gratefulness instead of complaints, and you get to experience it with people who have the same exceptional mindset as yours.

Just a final thought: Tagaytay is one of the most beautiful high places in the Philippines where you see the mountain ranges and trees. It was like looking to their beautiful future.

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Ann Kristine A. Peñaredondo

Ann Kristine A. Peñaredondo is the social media engineer, writer whiz, content marketing strategist, podcaster and training & development specialist exceptionally rolled into one.

She's the amazing half of The Joy and Ann Show, the audio podcast for the jovial and amazing Filipino Freelancers. She's also the author of the e-book, "Small is BIG".

When she's experiencing a writer's block, she laces up and goes for a run. Follow her on her official social media everywhere.

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