Tag Archives for " learning "

Get marketing lessons from my Medium blog!

I am currently attending Jomar Hilario‘s Unlocking Success Secrets : Marketing Mindset Webinars. It’s a two-part webinar series that will hopefully change my mind into a full marketing droid (just kidding).

One of its assignments is making YouTube an ultimate hangout for learning and posting the lessons on our blog. For a change, I tried putting the marketing lessons on Medium. Continue reading

Cashflow Game 101 Event: learning about game and life

Let's play!

Let’s play!


(This was the testimonial I sent to Jomar Hilario a day after volunteering for the Cash Flow 101 Game. He read it last May 26 on his Free Weekly Webinar.)

For the first time since knowing Jomar, I made it to his seminar volunteer list. I tried doing the VA Summit last November 2013, but the others had faster fingers than me.

As an Online Mentoring Club 3.0 member, I was privileged to sign up as volunteer. I did not get the confirmation until Friday night, so I did not know what will my Saturday was going to be until I got the notice. I made it! I’m going to finally see how this game in played! Continue reading

4 The Exceptional Things I Have Learned during the First Ever Virtual Assistant Summit 2013

Snapshots of what you missed (if you weren't there): fun games. Christmas gifts, fun people, and answered questions. :)

Snapshots of what you missed (if you weren’t there): fun games. Christmas gifts, fun people, and answered questions. 🙂

I was super glad to be one of the participants of the first ever Virtual Assistant (VA) Summit 2013. The Luneta Hall of Bayview Park Hotel Manila was packed with top-caliber Filipino VAs, aspiring VAs, employees, and entrepreneurs. Our mentor, Jomar Hilario, hosted the summit.

Eight speakers, including Jomar, took turns in imparting empowering messages, heartwarming stories, easy-to-do action steps, and a lot of a-has.

It was fitting to note that the first ever Virtual Assistant Summit 2013 took place on the 150th Anniversary of one of our heroes, Andres Bonifacio. I think it’s because Bonifacio fought for what is for Filipinos – their land, their country, their freedom. Same with us VAs (and newbies, even wannabes), we have gathered in one event to sought another way of having financial freedom, time, and pursuit of our passion.

What I love about the summit was that each speaker were given 15 minutes to answer questions on each table. I was so humbled to be asked questions, too, even if I was not a speaker, because I am already a virtual assistant. I hope my seat mates learned something from me (a big shout to Table #6!)

Moreover, it was great to see people in the flesh because we only see each other online! 🙂

It was great to learn from these exceptional Filipino Virtual Assistants!

It was great to learn from these exceptional Filipino Virtual Assistants!

So, what are the exceptional things did I learn from the first ever Virtual Assistant (VA) Summit 2013?

1. Marvin Macatol – A VA needs 3Es to Nurture (endowment, energy source, and endurance), 4Ps to Watch Out (priorities, progress, phrases, and posture), and 4Cs of Getting Gigs (connect, communicate, correspond, and contract).

2. Mr. Clement Wong (Managing Director, SocialMetric Pte. Ltd.) – A VA’s best bet is education. It is best to invest in 200 hours of education a year! Later, Mr. Marcus Ho (SocialMetric Pte. Ltd.’s Operations Director and a best-selling author in Singapore) said that they look at a VA candidate’s suitability and eligibility when hiring the best person for their company (thanks to Sir Marvin for correcting data here!)

3. Noemi Cariaso-Mora – techonology is a VA’s frenemy. A VA has to stay focused. And it’s okay to ask for help.

4. Joyce Villarisco – one is never too young to start thinking big (and having a Rich Dad mindset!). Joyce is the YOUNGEST Filipino VA that the circuit knows – she left school to pursue what she wanted. And I think she got more than what she asked for.

5. Shawi Cortez – a VA is and should never confined in a four-walled home office. She has traveled many countries that even I could not pronounce correctly and still earned money. If she can do it, so can we!

6. Franz Escolastico – time management, doing tasks in advance, and having a ME time made her earn money as a VA and at the same time play violin in different music gigs. She even played two songs for us! (Get well soon, Franz!)

7. Joanne Vergara – a Filipino can become a VA – that’s a fact. But Joanne taught us that it is also possible for a Filipino VA to become a leader through empowering one’s online team.

Feast Builder JC Libiran sealed the summit deal when he shared to us that we VAs are not only earning money at home and are with our loved ones most of the time. We are serving somebody else’s mission. JC and his wife also shared God’s faithfulness in us. JC gave these inspiring insights after the video message of Bo Sanchez, Philippines’s leading Catholic preacher.

Bro Bo. Sanchez and Feast Builder JC Libiran gave empowering messages.

Bro Bo. Sanchez and Feast Builder JC Libiran gave empowering messages.

Everyone went home happy, thanks to the Christmas exchange gifts, 1 minute dances, and new friends.

Attending the VA Summit was a great way to start my week-long break for an out-of-the-country trip (hey, did we say that a VA is not confined in a four-walled home office?). I will bring with me the exceptional learnings that I learned and the online friends that I finally met.

Next year’s VA Summit is on November 29, 2014. So if you already got a 2014 calendar, I suggest you mark it red.

Super thanks to our mentor, Jomar Hilario, for making this event happen (and kudos to the volunteers, too!)

Super thanks to our mentor, Jomar Hilario, for making this event happen (and kudos to the volunteers, too!)!

Courage: Doing it Afraid

post-op trending image

This is my “trending” (surprisingly shocking, to others) Instagram photo a month a day after my thyroid operation. I got back to my wedding singing gig! Honestly, if this is God’s grace, I don’t know what it is.


What really, is courage? Is it facing a battle for others to feel safe again? Is it standing up for what is right? Is it facing the music? Is it jumping off a 50-foot cliff, or diving the deep ocean? Or is it reaching the highest peak despite not having enough supplies and tired feet?

It has been a month and 5 days since my total thyroidectomy operation. It was an overwhelming experience, yet I could not seem to find a time to sit down and write the story. But then, I told God I was ready to become a miracle worker.

This, my family and friends, is my story of courage.

For those who knew my medical condition, you may remember that I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism since 2008, with additional nodules inside (for those who didn’t, well, now you know why this voracious eater was not getting fat). It started with one nodule at the right thyroid lobe. Last summer, the ultrasound scan showed there were 7 nodules in both right and left lobes of my thyroid. It seems the visitors were not oriented much of the Reproductive Health Bill. My endocrinologist suggested for a biopsy of the biggest nodule (measuring one centimeter), which I obliged.

The pathologist said he could not commit whether it the overstaying nodules are good or bad. Based on the shape of the specimen (as seen in the microscope), he cannot clearly say if it is just a normal nodule (which is still bad because it might grow bigger and choke me. Oh geesh, small is really terrible!) or papillary carcinoma.

Upon seeing the results, my endocrinologist gave the verdict: the best option is a thyroid operation. My thyroid will be removed.

The next four months, I asked five doctors to see my biopsy results. Who knows? I may get a different answer. But I also prepared for the inevitable. I signed up for a health maintenance organization (HMO) that my company provided for its employees. A friend, whose spouse underwent a thyroid surgery, selflessly gave me tips on what to prepare (from the hospital to the schedule of operation to post-operation must-dos). I prepared a checklist of what to prepare.

All along, I was praying for a twist of verdicts. But all the doctors said the same thing: stop taking care of most likely “unwanted visitors.”

I again sat down and rethought of what took place in the last few months. Then I saw myself writing this in my prayer journal:

“I’m done dilly-dallying. Scared as I am, I am ready to have a smile on my neck. I am not worrying anymore, which was surprising even to me.
Send me and lead me to the best doctors and nurses, to the clean and best equipment, to the best medicines, and to a comforting bed with all those I love and respect surrounding me.
I promise to follow. I want to become a miracle worker.
Today, I am surrendering my ailing thyroid to protect the rest of me. You know better than I.”

This was where grace entered and the blessings just kept pouring.

The surgeon, recommended by my endocrinologist, was suddenly listed as one of the accredited surgeons of my HMO. A few months ago, his name was not included in the list. During our first meeting, he saw the possibility that the nodules are only colloids, so he could save some parts of my thyroid.

I targeted my office clearance (I had to do this because I will be out for a month) to be finished within a week. It was all signed in six days.

A week before the operation, I wrote this in my prayer journal:

“The next Monday, by the time I write this, I am in my hospital bed, part of my thyroid gone, resting from the operation. I don’t know if I am already thick-skinned in these kinds of situations (I never had a surgery before), but I just feel that everything’s going to be great. I feel that someone has to think that not all that others heard or experienced will happen to me. If somebody has to think that I am going to get through this, it should be ME.”

Then, the day of the operation came. It was Monday, the 23rd of September. It was raining hard outside the hospital.

Hours before the operation, I read the Day 23 Faith Declaration written in Bo Sanchez’s book, How Your Words Can Change Your World: “I trust in God completely even when things do not go as I expect. By waiting and by calm I shall be saved, in quiet and in trust my strength lies. In Jesus’ name.”

Somehow, I could not seem to swallow the words: I trust in God completely even when things do not go as I expect.

My surgeon’s initial diagnosis was that the nodules in my thyroid were colloids, so it is possible that a part of the organ will be left. That’s what I wanted.

What if God has another way?

I breathed deeply. I calmed myself by reading the faith declaration again.

Then I whispered, “God, I am here because I trust You. Let us get this party started.”

Then, my stretcher arrived. I was wheeled to where the party begins.

It took close to four hours before the start of my operation, as my surgeon was still finding his way to the heavy rains that day. I remembered being so asleep due to the injected medicine for relaxation, but I always woke up without the groggy feeling. During those times, I ushered prayers and songs (and I asked for linen each time because it was freezing cold).

My surgeon and anesthesiologist talked me out on my next run when they arrived. Then, as the anesthesia was about to be injected in my dextrose, I closed my eyes.

I woke up. It was freezing cold again. I was in a different room.

“Nurse, ang ginaw!”

Wait a minute. Oh gosh. Did I just hear my voice?

It was a bit hoarse, like someone held it. But it felt that nothing has changed.

The nurse placed linen on me when I said, “May boses ako.”

I continued talking, “Recovery room na ba ito?”

“Opo ma’m,” the nurse replied.

“Salamat po, Diyos ko,” I said as I tried to find my rosary. I saw it taped a few inches away from my hand. I also felt a white set of gauze below my neck. The nurse also applied cold compress in my neck.

“Ano’ng oras na?” I again asked.

“Five o’ clock na po, ma’m.”

“Maulan pa din?”


After twelve hours, I was back in my hospital room. I was confident enough to say “Hi!” to my mother with a big wave. A few minutes later, my mother told me what happened: my thyroid was removed.

Everything in me felt silent. Then I breathed calmly and said, “Ok na ‘yun. Kung anuman ang nakita nila, natanggal na.”

I continued thinking of how I would look and feel like at my recovery. Still, the events that took place still amazed me.

I had none of possible post-operation complications. Two days after my operation, I was home.

A week after the operation, I was back in my endocrinologist’s clinic. She told me that the pathology report showed that my left lobe nodules are of the colloid type. But the right lobe with the biggest nodule has papillary carcinoma. This was the reason the thyroid was removed. She added that she will get back to me within the week to confirm the report, as it stated that the papillary carcinoma is “microscopic.” She explained that if this is very small (hence, microscopic), there is no need for me to undergo a radioactive iodine (RAI) procedure.

Two days later, I received an SMS from my endocrinologist: “Hi Ann. No need for RAI. Please see me next week for your medicine.”

With this experience, I kept on thinking of what Bo Sanchez wrote about courage.

Courage is about surrendering everything to the Lord, even if you are scared.

Courage is telling God, “This is what I want,” yet adding, “Your will be done.”

Courage is holding on to God’s grace, yet taking one step forward.

Courage, indeed, means doing it afraid.

It is with hope that you found many lessons, cried, laughed, and above all, was amazed by God’s grace.


I took a month’s off from my full-time work to, get this: update this site, take FREE Brainbench exams, and read a lot of books! More on them on the next succeeding posts!

2 25 Best Free Android Apps

Here’s a list of 25 best apps from Mashable. Do you have them on your phone?


Ever since I got myself a smart phone early this year, I became more aware of apps, particularly Android Apps.

Recently, Mashable released its list of 25 best Android Apps.

I have some of the mentioned apps on my phone:

1. Gmail

2. Evernote

3. Instagram – it took me a month before finally getting this without errors. Boo on that.

4. Pinterest

5. Skype

6. Candy Crush – this is embarrassing, but I’m in Level 35 on my phone and Level 10 on Facebook. Somehow, my phone Candy Crush won’t connect to Facebook. Anyway, I open my Candy Crush Facebook so I can give lives to my hooked friends.

How about you? What do you think is the most interesting Android App among the list? Be sure to share on the comments below. I would love to hear from you!

Photo credit

Is Working From Home a Dead-End Job?

I saw this video from WSJ Live a few weeks ago. The video is about Yahoo! employees who work-from-home being reported back to work.

Yahoo! employees reporting back to duty is actually good. According to the interviewee,If a work-from-home person wants to get promoted in his company, he must go back to the office and be seen – literally. Staying at home to work is a dead-end job.

Here’s the video: Working From Home Is a Dead-End Job

Are you in favor of working from home as a dead-end job? Let me know by placing your comments below. Just be nice in commenting!

Video blog: Opening one’s self to change and embracing opportunities

“Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can, there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.”

Sarah Caldwell

In this video blog, I shared my story on how I thrived in companies that have Quality Management System (QMS). I think being in companies with QMS helped me become organized and seek out ways to make a work process fast without compromising efficiency and quality of work. It also paved the way for me to take higher responsibilities.
When you are given a new responsibility, think again. It may lead you to many doors of success.


Video blog: Delivering the best results

“You can have results or excuses. Not both”

I admit – when I said “yes, I’ll do it” to the project that I mentioned in the video blog, I heard myself saying, “Ann, think about what you just said: you only have three days before the presentation, your director said she’ll come back in the afternoon to see your work, you are not sure if the voice over recording that you did will be converted smoothly, and this will be the first time you will be doing an editing project that has voice over and sound!”

What a bad case of promising something that I have never done before (kids, don’t try this at home and anywhere).

But I was determined to deliver the best result. I somehow knew that I could do it. Well, even if not, I believe I will remember the lessons from the experience.

What happened next also surprised me: my colleague showed me an online audio converter. My files were converted smoothly. I was able to put together the voice over file, images, and text to the editing project without a glitch. I finished the project in a day, just in time when our director arrived to see it.

I use ProShow Producer 4.5 for my editing projects. I also used Online-Convert.com for audio conversion.

Pardon the dog barking on the background. I was busy talking about what happened. 🙂

Quote credit

Video blog: Dedication to work

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”

Vince Lombardi

In this video blog, I shared my experience on dedication to work.

I am so blessed to have worked with people with great work ethics. They were like virus (a good one) that infected me. I was inspired to go to work because I learned something new each day. I was also glad that my work paid off – I got the trust of the management, awards and incentives, and most of all, I saw that the people I guided during their training also made a mark in the organization.