30 Things Before 30

They say that you have a lot of time when you’re 20, that’s okay. 

But now that I’m half way done with the ‘glorious 20s,’ I say that no matter how much you try to get things right when given a chance to do or have it, sometimes, you just need a few more tries to get it… just right. And you got to do them and learn from them in your 20s. You have to fall, fail and be fooled (sometimes!) so that you know what suits and best for you. 

I find myself glorifying my good old energetic days lately- Trying almost everything and finding something new each day. When I moved here in Singapore, I felt like a boring old maid struggling to live life while coping up to herself losing each piece day by day. (Haha. Yes, an exaggeration but it’s quite close.) 

My diagnosis is I am putting so much pressure to myself that I panic for not living my life the way I know how it should be. So today, I’ll be back to be a blessing to others and making other feel happy about their lives. And since it should begin with me, I’m sharing some of my 30 things before 30 (I removed some too cheesy goals) just like my 25 things and looking forward.

1. Witness the beauty of Sakura and join “Hanami.”
2. Eat pizza or have wine/coffee while sitting at front of the Trevi Fountain.
3. Learn Flamenco in Spain.
4. Pay all our loans and raise funds for parent’s retirement. (Filipino thing! Haha)
5. —
6. —
7. Read a book while enjoying Maldives with a beer.
8. Experience & learn how to make mojito in Cuba.
9. Cook a dish for a house party.
10. Learn a new language and use it.
11. See the beautiful Angkor Wat.
12. (Party for Dad’s 60th!) Appreciate the Aussie way of life.
13. Eat Pho Ga in Vietnam.
14. Learn Cooking.
15. Walk in streets of Tokyo and ride a train.
16. Drink local beers in Laos and Germany.
17. Have 2 successful businesses.
18. —
19. Skydive.
20. Watch in open air cinema in Kamari & take a photo of the sophisticated Santorini.
21. Have a photo with Eiffel Tower.
22. Ride the Trans-Siberian Express across Asia.
23. Ride a gondola.
24. Live in a foreign country for 3 straight months.
25. Climb up the Great Wall of China.
26. Have a photo taken in Roman Street.
27. —
28. Host a house party.
29. Find my passion.
30. Maintain a good blog that I can always read and reminisce the good old days.


Last month, I just crossed out the 24th in my list: Live in a foreign country for 3 straight months.


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Grab that International Conference!

You might have high expectations on this post and expect that I’ll be able to feed your hungry passions for blogging and connections but this is highly derived from personal experience that you might or might not relate (if you don’t dare to be a little crazy).

For the past 2 years, I have been invited to the following conferences:

with famous Indonesian Bloggers, Nonadita and DianParamita,
and the famous Political Filipino Blogger, Tonyo Cruz.


Southeast Asian Blogger’s Conference November 2011, Bali, Indonesia
Blogfest Asia 2012- November 2012, Siem Reap, Cambodia

And yes, to my juniors and friends who are inspired with my craziness, here are some of the things that I think I did to be able to be invited –have airfare, hotel accommodations, meals and tours paid by the organizers and had the opportunity to meet awesome people in the region.

1. Travel or Socialize. 

I got my first invitation to the Southeast Asian Blogger’s Conference in 2011 (here’s from a Cambodian friend and blogger’s post whom I met in the Bali Conference and organized the Blogfest Asia 2012) from a guy who coincidentally had the same interests and college degree as me (I met him when I was traveling in Jakarta earlier that year). As a backpacker who blogs and documents about my personal thoughts on the place I travel and how I can show that place how it is to be a Filipino, probably, he thought that it’s easy for him to pick me up to attend from the Philippines since I got a so-so decent blog, a flexible personality (euphemism for not high maintenance. Haha) and will say “yes” in a week notice and without notice on what I’m supposed to do. 🙂

Growing up, I’ve attended a lot of conferences as a Girls Scout, SK Chairman and a campus writer so I think I learned how to smile when they put you on spotlight. 🙂 So, when someone invites you so that they can fill in an empty slot for a blogger’s conference, grab it! It’s a win-win, you’ll need to do a lot of smiling but that’s the start of your unlimited opportunities.

2. Keep an open mind in meeting people, online and offline. 

For some people, the internet gives them freedom to be themselves, say anything they want that sometimes they couldn’t say or do offline, freedom from geographical limits and distances, and from judgments and long list of qualifications that our “normal” world requires. Just like what we normally do in our everyday encounter with people when we do our usual routine, we have to keep an open mind whenever we encounter people online, never judge and be responsible in whatever you post. You never know, that person might be the organizer of the biggest conference in Asia or you’re being stalked by the organizers, watch out!

3. Search for opportunities. Create opportunities.

I am always saying this, “if you feel like there’s no opportunity for you, create one” cause that’s the only time you’ll feel accomplished on that “something” that you are very passionate about. Just like when you say “I want to win a lottery” but you never bet your favorite numbers, opportunities sometimes are within your reach, you’re just too intimidated with them.

Search for conferences in whatever level you want (regional, national, worldwide) and maybe you could also search for the qualifications that’s consistent in their lists and try to have some of them in your things to learn or achieve because you have to go nearer to your goal by building foundations on their basics. (i.e. blog that has been maintained for years, accreditation to group of bloggers, etc)

Have your strategy in your online image and be consistent, unless you have a character that you’re playing and trying to have fortune on, it’s important to be consistent with you self offline and online.

And don’t forget that blogging is a form of social media, so include in your strategy the consistency with your social media network profiles.

4. Just do it.

One frustrated friend once told me that I was lucky to have been invited, maybe it’s because I was a consistent honor student in elementary and high school. Whaaat does it have to do with blogging? Do people ask you nowadays if you were first honor in kinder then they respect you upon knowing that you were? It’s all about your present self. Some people might just be so lazy to share their experiences thinking that it’s too normal but you have to remember that what’s normal for you might not be normal for some people on the other side of the world. And of course, if you’ll have amnesia someday like one blogger said, a blog is a good tool to use to remember! haha.


The bottom line is just do it. It will lead somewhere someday.

Think about why you would like to blog. My friend and a wonderful wife and blogger, Lhen Crystobal, always remind me that bloggers should not lose themselves in the process. We should remember why we enjoy doing this from the very beginning.

5. Get in touch with the right people.

After you have given opportunities, never forget about the experience and the people. If you want to be taken seriously, take things seriously online and offline. It’s a small world and the Internet makes our world smaller than it used to be so post, email, follow and get in touch with those people that you want to be associated with or you want to learn from. 

But at the end of the day, everything depends on your passion and where you want to go because knowing your destination will help you figure out if you have arrived.

For the fun side of the Southeast Asian Blogger’s Conference, here’s what the lovely Indonesian Entrepreneur, Ollie’s compilation of the fun times:






Be Body Beautiful at any age: Spiral Aging

Since I just turned 26 and I am aware about the changes that take place in a woman’s body, I’d like to support Wacoal’s campaign of spreading awareness about the changes in our bodies and how to feel good about it by Being Body Beautiful at Any Age. 

Did you know and did you realize that the skin’s turning point is at 25 years old. How about the body? 

Wacoal’s Human Human Science Research Center, since it’s establishment in 1964, has collected a total of more than 40,000 women’s body measurement and has also tracked and study the changes in their body in the span of 30 years. The results were the changes in body shape brought about by age is a fixed rule that can be drawn in a spiral. In Wacoal, it is called as “Spiral Ageing.”

Spiral Aging is a principle that women undergo three major physiological changes associated with aging throughout a 30-year period from 16 to 46, and that with these as turning points, women experience major changes in their physique.


Around reaching 24-26 years old, once a woman’s body matures, basal metabolism starts to slow down and when women reach 38 years old more or less, a sharp increase in weight occurs as well as other shocking changes. Then there comes 40, the age when work and family demands increased and when weight gain and change in body accelerate. 


We have to be careful about our lifestyle and the way we take care of our body because these contribute a lot to the changes that are happening. The age-related changes can’t be stopped (so take more photos while you’re 20!) but there are ways to slow down or reduce them like exercising regularly, having a healthy lifestyle and diet, and wearing the right underwear. Don’t forget the fun in your lifestyle and relationship too! 

Note: I’ll be blogging about the breast and hip aging soon. Information about the study is from Philippine Wacoal Corporation. You can also reach them in Facebook & Twitter.


Hari Batik Selalu

Sibika at Kultura is the subject in elementary where young Filipinos learn history and enhance awareness of their cultural and social ability and distinction among other nationalities. In my case, that’s when I first fell in love with batik.


According to researches, Batik is a cloth that is traditionally made using a manual wax-resist dyeing technique which is an ancient art form that has said to have existed in Egypt where it was used to wrap mummies and was practiced in China, Japan, India, Nigeria and Senegal. But the Indonesian batik that we know nowadays  is especially from Yogyakarta and Surakarta which has notable meanings rooted to the Javanese conceptualization of the universe.

I’d like to announce for October 2 to be the Batik Day (haha) but UNESCO already acknowledged the beauty of batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on October 2, 2009. So today, it’s an honor to support Batik Day and will not just  be blogging about it but will also feel awesome wearing it!


The cape batik that I’m wearing in the photos is made by Riana Kusuma of Indonesia which is done in summer colors with beautiful flowers manually drawn in it. But I’m always thrilled to see the different batik designs that talk so much about where they actually come from.

Growing up, I associate batik with Indonesians and what I admire about them very much is how batik serves not just as a national costume/ national identity but how they actually enhance and incorporate it in their everyday lives (reason why I always wonder how we can also use Filipiniana daily cause it would be nice to wear your identity, right?).

What I also like about Batik is it normally adds sophistication to an outfit. Due to its limited availability in the Philippines, I always find Filipinos who appreciate and wear Batik very sophisticated and smart, surprisingly upon knowing them, they really are (like my elementary teacher who first showed me a batik scarf)! So probably, it’s a good idea to wear it! haha.


Here’s one of my favorite bags which I got from Jakarta when I sang my heart out upon realizing a dream last year and seeing batik in its country of origin for the first time was an amazing feeling.

And just like what one of the most prominent techie women and batik lover in Indonesia, Shinta Dhanuwardhoyo, have told me and I’d like to tell you, “The beauty started long time ago, then it’s your turn to pass it on.”

What I learned about Surfing

On top of my list when I was in my early 20s (Goodness! I’m saying this now!) was to surf, first was to climb a mountain. I usually have a timeline for my plans, Climb a mountain: 18, Travel abroad: 25, (both were realized before the deadline by the way. haha) but for surfing, it was just in my list but I never believed in actually doing it. 

I learned lessons from my first ride (hoping to get a chance for a second ride) that remind me on how I should look at life when not riding the waves:

1. Impossible really becomes not possible if you never give it a shot. My list doesn’t say that I should be a professional surfer but for a long time, I was thinking that even just trying it… is absurd. 

The photo below shows how scared I was on my first try:


2. Patience is always a virtue. Life is not designed to be flat, it has ups and downs, right and wrong, but we have to keep the faith and keep moving. If you didn’t ride the wave the first time, be more alert and try it the second time. If you fall, hug the board tight and try again. After a few try, you’ll know. 🙂
As cliche as it is, “something that does not happen doesn’t mean that it won’t happen.”

3. Listen & use your senses. In today’s world, everyone wants to talk which oftentimes make things complicated. In surfing, you need to use your senses, don’t just look, listen and feel the waves coming. Listen to the wind blowing, look at the waves beside you, quickly close your eyes to feel the waves and concentrate on your senses. You can’t afford to lose a wave cause you might not experience one anymore!


4. Sometimes, you just don’t have the chance to backout, so rock it! Sometimes, life gives us things that we think we don’t need but is actually for us to experience and we have to be brave enough to try what’s in-store for us out there. Most of the time, we need to risk then our lives will never be the same again cause it just gets better.

5. It will always be hard to keep the balance, but only the wise can do it (Read: wise- with knowledge & experience of falling and standing up over and over. haha).


6. Be prepared (you can’t afford to miss one wave, remember?).

7. Enjoy the ride. There’s a feeling of euphoria when riding a wave, it’s addictive. The feeling before, during and after riding a wave is indescribable but you can never tell a story about only “after the ride,” it needs to be a whole process to make the story complete so you have to enjoy every second of it.


FREEDOM. It was a liberating feeling to ride the waves. 
Awesome Idea: What I always do is to imagine the feeling when I was riding a wave, then I imagine my worries as the wave- scary and huge…after a few breaths, rode over my worries, then they go away! 
Maybe that’s a good idea for you to try surfing, so you’ll know what to imagine when worries come again!

So here is what I’ve found out in my hard drive, my “chimpanzee” first ride:


*This was a quick trip to Zambales, read the whole story here.



Japanese Free Papers in SE Asia


I am a media person.  I grew up watching TV, reading magazines and listening to radios that led me to pursue some works in the media industry. I then got very passionate to advertising, marketing and to the platform that doesn’t limit information only in tri-media, the world wide web.

But being exposed to publishing in the Philippines for quite a long time, I can say that ‘free papers’ are becoming a  trend now and unlike the former notion that since they’re-free-they-don’t-have-good-info, I noticed that they are now becoming ‘glossier’ and thicker. 

But as I started working for the Philippine Primer, I got more and more exposed to a several Japanese free papers in the Southeast Asia and I started to wonder if this trend is from Japan just like the famous Hot Pepper. What do you think?



When I had a short chat with Philippine Primer’s President, Hiromichi Fujita, I realized that Japanese people are having a hard time doing business abroad because of the language and since there are many of them who are interested in investment and business in developing countries like the Philippines, the more they need information in their language that can truly assist them to maximize opportunities in business and life. 

Surely, blogs are helping (like the blog of my wonderful CEO, Motokatsu Sunagawa and the one from guy with the small eyes, Takuya Oka) but I think free papers are still the best for the Japanese to maximize their stay in the country or for the local entrepreneurs and brand to take advantage of these high-end market. I looked for some of the helpful Japanese free papers in Southeast Asia:

LAOS

They have Taste of Laos for Laos!

VIETNAM

Photo is from http://aab.co.jp

According to AAB Inc., Vietnam Sketch is the first Japanese information magazine in Vietnam that is issued monthly. The main targets of the magazine are travelers from Japan and Japanese people residing in Vietnam. It covers highlights of Vietnamese trend, cultural information and living information. The magazine is distributed to 500 and more places for free in addition to distribution to travelers via travel agencies. Their websire has obtained the wide range of readership in both Japan and Vietnam.



Heritage Japan is a media that appeal to tourists and business people who travel to Vietnam. The magazine is distributed to 1,400 Japanese companies in Vietnam and it is considered a reliable medium among local Japanese publications. 

Wise Weekly free paper is also now being distributed in Ho Chi Minh. IT was first distributed in Bangkok.



Photo from http://fujisan.co.jp

CAMBODIA




Krorma Magazine is a bi-monthly magazine in Cambodia for the Japanese residents and tourists.









SINGAPORE

There are many Japanesse in the lion city but I’m more familiar with JPlus, the Total Lifestyle Japanese Magazine published by Comm Pte Ltd. According to its CEO, Connecting People, Communicating with the World” Through our media, COMM strives to foster the relationship between Singapore and Asia through creating “Communication Platform”. We, as a leading Japanese media in Singapore and Asia, believe in bringing people together, introducing good quality businesses for the people, and creating a lifestyle that enables people to have better, and more enriching life.”




But aside from Jplus, Singapore also has Mangosteen Club, a monthly Japanese magazine.












INDONESIA



Indonesia is also one of the favorite SE countries of the Japanese. In Bali, Japanese travelers and investors are flying back and forth. I was awed when I had a vacation there and noticed that most of the locals even speak Nihonggo making a vacation so much easier for the Japanese. And of course, Api Magazine always make their lives easy-riffic!




THAILAND

According to Fujita san, maybe the SE Asian country with the biggest number of Japanese is Thailand with an estimated count of 40,000. No wonder they have around 14 Japanese free papers there! And here to name a few:


Wise Weekly is a very popular weekly free paper that captures the biggest percentage of Japanese in Thailand. The information that they give is concentrated in Restaurants, Beauty, Schools, and several other industries that help businesses. They also circulate in Vietnam now in Ho Chi Minh city.



WOM is one of my favorites for its petite size and beautiful layout.





DACO is also distributed in Thailand every month.

















PHILIPPINES

Philippine Primer is monthly lifestyle Japanese magazine in the Philippines that connects local entrepreneurs to the Japanese market. Launched in 2008, it works closely with the Philippine Department of Tourism in publishing various information about F&B establishment, beauty and learning info, the updates on art, sport, business, history and culture. The magazine and website are published ad moderated by Primer Media, Inc. and aims to assist the Japanese expats, residents and tourists in the country.

I don’t have information on free papers in MALAYSIA, BRUNEI and MYANMAR so if you know some, just please leave a comment on this post! But in addition, there’s also a Japanese free paper in INDIA, Chalo. Chalo is a free monthly free paper in Japanese in New Delhi.
Photo Source: kyodonews.jp

JPy Magazine is a lifestyle magazine for Asian women in Southern California. It was established in 2006 and the first issue was launched in 2007. Their motto is “Happiness is Infectious” in which it acts as an innovative portal connecting global women working towards achieving their goals and dreams in LA with real success stories of actual people. In addition, the quarterly issue of JPy offers the latest tips and information for enriching the lifestyle of LA’s women.

Pocket Page Weekly is the famous Japanese free paper in HONG KONG.

And I’ve found out that there’s a Japanese Media Network and the association of Southeast Asian Japanese free paper, Asia Furipe Editors, that help each country’s free paper to share and recommend information about their respective countries. 

There are also magazines like Domo, J-Style, Move, Concierge, G’day Japan, KauKau, You Maga, etc which I find interesting as well. 

I wonder if there are some Filipino free papers abroad since there are so many Overseas Filipino Workers.

As I trace and research on the famous titles of free papers in the Philippines, I adulate how most of them are owned and managed by Hinge Inquirer, the magazine arm of Inquirer Group of Companies. Free papers based on interests, location and lifestyle..name it, Hinge Inquirer has it!

Note: All photos were taken from the internet.

Unlimited Philippines

It’s amazing how everything that is ‘unlimited’ becomes a hit in the Philippines. I remember when I was in Jakarta and when I was looking at the billboard and TV ads, I noticed that everything says ‘gratis’ and I wonder if it’s what help them sell the product to the Indonesians.

So Filipinos like unlimited and Indonesians like gratis or free


Here’s the Globe (one of the largest telecom companies in RP) unlimited call & text ad which I saw in EDSA:



So it’s not just Globe, I remember Sun Cellular was the first to become famous with Unli Call & Text for P15 when I was in college which was a benefit for me since I just want to talk and hated text that time.


Then of course one of the biggest, SMART:


Don’ be surprised why the Philippines is the texting capital of the world. Haha.

Well, since rice is the staple food for Filipinos, why not have the ‘Unlimited Rice?’ Mang Inasal is a very successful example of this then other small food chains or even the small-time food vendors follow:


But it isn’t just Mang Inasal in the big scene, also the famous Japanese fast-food chain, Tokyo Tokyo which has a famous promotion of ‘Eat all you Kan-in’ (Kanin is rice in tagalog).


Well, if you’ll think about it, the unlimited fad is indispensable for the ‘necessities’ (mobile charges & rice are important for Filipinos) but how about the leisure or luxury?

I went to Perfect Swing Driving Range for a meeting and I noticed their ad that says ‘Only 240 on a Two-hour Golf Driving Range Session with UNLIMITED BALLS! 

Then I passed by an aesthetic clinic with an ad of UNLIMITED WARTS REMOVAL.

I feel suffocated of unlimited. haha. Then, why not have UNLIMITED PIZZA WITH UNLIMITED ICED TEA too? Amazing, yea? Papa John’s does it. haha.



I think we’re just thinking of unlimited ideas. Hopefully not ideas on how to make another ad or promo with ‘unlimited.’ 🙂

Oopss! As of June 26, 2012, there’s an addition to the long list of ‘UNLIMITED!’

NOTE: All photos are from the internet.