Monday, April 30, 2012

Why I Love Working from Home

Working from home has been my life for that past 3 years. I used to work in an office for almost 7 yrs. Recently, I received a few invitations from LinkedIn and private companies to work in an office environment. This led me to write a list of pros and cons, listing down the possibilities and I have decided to share it here.



No commute - No traffic

No expenses - fare, snacks, meals, pocket money

No uniform and no need to dress up every morning (unless you want to... sometimes I wear my sneakers and walking gear so that I can go walking immediately after work.)

Save time - no travel time wasted

Spend more time with family - meals, breaks, before or after work... travel time becomes extra time which I use to bond with my Lola and the rest of our family. Sometimes I go walking or join aerobics class.

Flexible hours and no work on weekends - Weekends is when I can do whatever I want like going to the mall, watching movies with friends. Sometimes, I work during weekends but that is by choice.

No pressure from the boss - Being a virtual assistant and freelance writer has so many perks and this one is among my favorites. I love working on my own without any pressure from my clients. They just let me do my work and they don't really intrude. I just have to deliver what they want done and that's it!

Earn dollars - You can earn as much as you want! Sky's the limit when it comes to home-based work, especially if your skill set is amazing. You can have as many clients as you want.

Choose good and kind clients - There is a very high demand for Filipino Virtual Assistants in the U.S., Australia and other first world countries. For the past 2 years, I have been very blessed with gentle and generous clients who have been very good to me. God is good! :)


Must have a clean, silent home office where you can work in peace - working at home can be distracting, especially if you have a family. The good news is, all you really need is a quiet corner where you can focus on work and get it done on time. I am blessed to be living in a fairly quiet home.

Human contact is limited - conversation is limited to the people at home. This makes it easier to concentrate on work. I can always go out anytime if I crave conversation with my friends.

No healthcare, social security, 13th month pay, Christmas bonus, stock options or retirement plans

This last one is not really an issue if you know how to manage your time and money and if you are highly skilled. You can earn millions if you want to. Again, sky's the limit!

And so, home-based work won hands-down (again!). Working freelance is especially enjoyable because you can manage your tasks to maximise the hours that you spend on work. There is another perk that I forgot to include. Your clients can become your mentor, especially if they really like your performance. That means you grow professionally and your skill set continues to grow too! Some clients may even offer to sponsor your move to their country so you can join their company.

At the end of the day, I am confident that this is what I am meant to do. I love being a writer and I enjoy working from home so I am very grateful. How about you? I would love to hear your story. Please feel free to leave a note or two. :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"What On Earth Am I Here For?"

There comes a time in every person's life when we ask these questions:

"Who am I?"
"What is my purpose in life?"
"What on earth am I here for?"

... or some other question similar to the ones written above.

I have asked these questions many times... especially these days. I guess I am going through the run-of-the-mill mid-life crisis. lol. Being a writer has brought so many wonderful people and memories into my life. But there are times when I am plagued by so many questions - including this one - "Am I meant to be a writer?"

This is one question that truly hurts. Because I love being a writer and I am at my element when I am writing. However, I just can't help but ask that question sometimes. Especially when writers' block strikes. Because I know that this is my gift, I am also aware that if I don't take care of it, use it to bless others and give praise and thanks to the One who gave me this gift, I might lose this gift forever. And that is what scares me the most.

A still small voice inside me tells me I am overreacting. Maybe I worry too much. I should worry less and do more good works instead, the still small voice tells me. I do know one thing, God has given me so many wonderful gifts, which I will continue to use and cultivate, so that I too might grow as a Christian, as a person, as a daughter, granddaughter, niece, aunt, friend and of course, as a writer.

I have one very special dream that I have been circling around and trying to avoid - to write beautiful music for my personal Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I am not a poet. I wish I could be a good one. I barely know how to play the piano and guitar. I used to play a mean ukelele but that's all in the past. Yes, I do air drums, air guitar, even air piano. lol. And I love music! I love, love, love singing. A part of me wants to get this dream going already but something else is stopping me. That nagging thought that I am not good enough to write music. Yes, I do need an extra supply of confidence for this part of my life too. So that someday this dream of mine will come true.

Yes, I believe that my God is awesome! And He makes all things possible. So enough doubts for now! I want to live life the way He would want me to live it... with much zest and gusto and chutzpah as I can muster. And yes, I do need that small mustard seed of faith. Because I believe in Jesus, I believe that my dreams can and will come true. And I say, "a thousand welcomes Lord Jesus Christ!" Thank You, Jesus! I will praise Your holy name forever and ever. Amen.

Thank You!

Wow! This is the first time this year that I felt normal. My mood has been stable all day—no anger or loneliness. I was too immersed in my chores; too busy accomplishing a single task at a time to give in to my mood swings. This is the first time this year that I felt a genuine sense of accomplishment, something to be proud of, even if what I did were menial tasks—doing the laundry and cleaning my room.

I guess it really helps to have a plan. Now that I’m starting to understand my condition and actually opening up to my loved ones about it, things suddenly seem easier to handle. I feel like a load has been lifted off my shoulders. My heart suddenly feels lighter, my spirit free.

I owe most of this newfound freedom to my Creator - the One who makes all things possible. My daily readings have helped tremendously to give me direction; it has helped me find a safe haven amidst all the confusing things that waylay a poor traveler like me.

It gives me comfort knowing that after I reached out to Lola, she has accepted my invitation and opened her mind to my condition, even going so far as asking questions after she read the handout that I shared with her. It soothes my soul to know that Lola is trying to understand what I’m going through, without any judgment or bad words.

It also helps to know that I have friends who remain open-minded, understanding and infinitely kind, even after they found out about my illness. It gives me hope for the future, the knowledge that I am not alone in this journey. That makes it possible for me to get excited about this adventure I’m on once more, knowing that there will be rocky paths ahead but secure in the knowledge that God has His stewards in place, ready to pick me up when I fall and help me pick up the pieces of my shattered life.

See at this point, life isn’t so bad. I know things won’t always be this normal and my mood won’t always be this stable but it helps to know that I now have a direction, a plan, and that it is possible to be focused and actually accomplish something at the end of the day.

Thank you for all your blessings Lord. I praise your name from now until eternity. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

A Lesson in Humility and Obedience

God has demonstrated the wonder of His power in the past and He will do so again in our days. All He is looking for to do this is a people who are obedient to His word and humble of heart. He does not want us to take the glory for His work as He knows this will lead to our — not His — destruction. Humility and obedience often go together and are essential components of any work of God. Let us seek to develop them so that we will see God work His will in and through our lives and our community of faith.

Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6 (3)

R: The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
1 When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing. (R) Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” 3 The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad indeed. (R) 4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the torrents in the southern desert. 5 Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. (R) 6 Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, they shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves. (R)

My Gratitude List for Easter

Wow! It's been a while since I've written down the things that I'm grateful for. I'm not sure why but I've been avoiding it for weeks now. Call it laziness or spending time on less important stuff or being too preoccupied with work but I think it all boils down to two things -- fear and slight discouragement. I know that probably doesn't make much sense but those two combined can be quite volatile. All I know is that I need to get back into the habit of writing down the things that I'm thankful for because it adds more meaning to my daily life. It's like a daily habit that I need to cultivate because it helps remind me that no matter how bad things go, no matter how awful I feel, no matter how things appear, God always provides. And so, I'm back, stronger and more upbeat! At least, I hope so. lol.

Today is extra special coz it's Easter Sunday so I need to give an extra shout out!

Thank you Heavenly Father for sending our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to save us! Thank you Lord Jesus for coming here on earth and making the ultimate sacrifice -- dying on the Cross to save sinners like me! Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to strengthen and cleanse us on a daily basis! Thank you Lord Jesus for being our constant pillar, our inspiration, especially when our crosses get heavy! Thank you for being the best role model, for setting the best example, for lifting up our weary hearts and spirits, for never letting go, no matter how far away we run from you, for being our Good Shepherd! I love you Lord Jesus and I always will! Please forgive my sins and iniquities! Blessed be your name now and forever! Amen.

Thank you God for the gifts of life and love, the gift of salvation, which we celebrate today. Thank you for the gifts of loving family and friends who not only understand but bear our crosses with us. Thank you God for being our center. May your love reign in our hearts always and forever.

Thank you God for inspiring us to move mountains. Thank you for sending your instruments to guide us. Please use me Lord Jesus to build God's kingdom here on earth. Thank you for erasing the confusion and the doubt and for standing by me while I was struggling with those doubts. Thank you Jesus for never giving up on me no matter how bad things got, no matter how much I rebelled, no matter how much I fought, You prevailed Lord Jesus. And now, I'm sure that you always will. Thank you Jesus, Amen.

As I start this new week, may you remain as my center, may you continue to light my path, may you continue to guide my steps and lead me closer to you, our source, guide and goal. Please cleanse me Lord Jesus, through the power of your Holy Spirit, and help me renounce the things that are blocking your grace from enveloping my heart, my mind and my soul. Teach me to serve you in every way I can and please give me the wisdom, enlightenment and discernment so that every opportunity will be used for the benefit of our Holy Church, and even stumbling blocks will become opportunities for me to put you first Lord Jesus. Once again, Lord Jesus, I surrender to your Holy will, I deny myself, I will carry my cross and follow you Lord Jesus. Please walk with me always, this I ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

I Can Make Dreams Come True!

I found this in my drafts folder. This was from a year and a half ago. Just thought this is worth sharing. :)

"I Can Make Dreams Come True!"

Wow!  Honestly, that statement I just made took a lot of guts.  lol.  I'm not usually the bragging type, though I can be a chatterbox when someone encourages me, and I tend to have an opinion most of the time, but I really am quite careful about crossing the line between proving myself and showing off.

This entry, however, did not come out of the blue.  It came from weeks of wonderful events and blessing that I can't help but get teary eyed sometimes (char!) whenever I think of what God has showered upon me.  And of course, my compulsion to help and offer support has inspired me to write about what's been going on in my personal and professional life.

After years of waiting, I think I've finally found what I've always wanted.  But I won't reveal that just yet.  I work from home, have been doing that for more than two years now.  I must say, the difference between working from home and working at the office is truly tremendous.  But there are moments when I miss the office environment, particularly the shared meals with laughter on the side, the endless teasing by "kulit" officemates (me included), the water cooler breakthroughs (my friends and I did our best thinking near the water cooler back then), and the general comfort that comes from working with lots of people.  Special shout-out to my friends! :)

However, working from home is much more rewarding, not just financially, and enjoyable.  Imagine not having to waste travel time, avoiding pollution, waiting for a ride in the pouring rain, eating home-cooked meals every single day -- those are some of the many reasons why I feel more comfortable working from home.  If you're one of those people who would like to set up their own business online, then you're in for a treat.  During the next few weeks, I'll be writing about that too.

Going back to the reason why I boldly made the statement "I Can Make Dreams Come True" and how this can help you, I have one word for you -- mentors!  These days there are so many influential people to follow on the internet, special shout-out to our new leader, President Noynoy (who's such a humble person, by the way).  The best ones, however, are mentors not because they want to earn from you, they coach because they love what they're doing and wish to share it with others.

As for me, I'm still finding my foothold in this mountain that I'm climbing, but this sure is fun!  One thing that keeps me going though is this -- "with God all things are possible."  I choose to be a blessing and I ask God each and every day to use me to bless others.  That's the main reason why Pinoy Dream Builders was born.

This has been quite an exciting week for yours truly.  Things have been moving super fast over the past few weeks.  Work has been a bit hectic, so has my online training ... but one thing's for sure, I'm grateful for both.

Well, this week, just yesterday even, I took a chance that I never would've made -- I asked for someone else to help me achieve one of my goals.  Sure, it was embarrassing during that moment but the rewards that came after it was awe-inspiring.  I got to talk with one of my favorite mentors -- something that I don't usually do, at least not these days.  It was such an amazing experience because not only did I dare to chat with Mr. Jomar Hilario himself, I also got such a generous gesture from my boss -- he said it was a bonus for working hard!

Well, you can imagine my excitement!  I couldn't wait to tell everyone at home about it.  My lola, aunt and two uncles were bombarded with the information over and over again ... I'm joining Jomar's workshop and seminar on August 13-15, 2010!  The best part is, my boss will sponsor me!  Wow, that really got me psyched about the whole thing.  I was so inspired that I couldn't stop watching videos and reading online ... absorbing so much information that I could barely stop.  Slept at midnight.  Woke up really early this morning.  Very inspired right now.  :)

The thing is, I now realize that dreams don't just involve getting your dream job or building your own business empire -- dreams could also mean living the life you've always wanted, going to places you've never been, physically or otherwise, finding the right girl/guy, having a loving family,

Seriously though, I've been doing so much over the past couple of weeks that I really haven't had the time to write anything on my blogs, even on Pinoy Dream Builders.  But one thing that the whole experience has made me realize is that I do have the capacity to "Make it Happen" and that "I Make Dreams Come True" to quote Mr. Bo Sanchez.

This means that for Pinoy Dream Builders, it's on!  At the moment I'm planting seeds and this is so much fun!  Our common goal is to build dreams -- whatever your dreams are, I'm here to help.  For new visitors, please feel free to leave a line or two.  I can't wait to hear what you have to say on the subject of reaching for your dreams, well, let's reach for the stars while were at it shall we?  :)

Forgive me Lord for my rash judgments

We do our neighbors injustice when we judge them. Surely we wouldn’t want to be judged ourselves.

Lord, forgive me when I am quick to judge. Help me accept everyone just as they are and see them the way You see them — through the eyes of unconditional love. Amen.

Thank you Lord for your gift of forgiveness. May I be your instrument once more. Thank you Jesus! Amen.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yes, Lord Jesus, I Will Serve You...

If we desire to serve the Kingdom of God and let Him know that this is what we want for our lives, then He will definitely take up our offer of service. I very much doubt whether any of the Apostles knew exactly where their commitment to proclaim the Gospel would take them — Thomas to India and China, Andrew to Greece and so on. Yet, this did not cause them to hold back. They surrendered everything and opened their lives to the Holy Spirit. We must all do the same if we want to live the fullness of our faith.

Acts 4:23-31
23 After their release Peter and John went back to their own people and reported what the chief priests and elders had told them. 24 And when they heard it, they raised their voices to God with one accord and said, “Sovereign Lord, maker of heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them, 25 you said by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of our father David, your servant: ‘Why did the Gentiles rage and the peoples entertain folly? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand and the princes gathered together against the Lord and against his anointed.’ 27 “Indeed they gathered in this city against your holy servant Jesus whom you anointed, Herod and Pontius Pilate, together with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do what your hand and your will had long ago planned to take place. 29 And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness, 30 as you stretch forth your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 As they prayed, the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Practice Happiness with Gratitude

A 2009 study found that happier people are less likely to develop heart disease a decade later. “Happiness is a skill that can be learned,” says psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. According to Lombardo, to improve your level of happiness you need to learn application, gratitude and exercise. Apply your values and strengths to develop a life of meaning, practice gratitude and appreciation for what happens in your life, and get regular exercise. Research shows exercise is as effective (if not more so) than anti-depressant medications for people with depression, says Lombardo.

Read More:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Indeed, Our God is an Awesome God!


The discovery of the empty tomb is a bit of a no-brainer when it comes to charges against the veracity of the claims to the resurrection of Jesus. There were guards outside the tomb and so there is literally no way that His disciples, a motley crew of a few simple men, could have masterminded such a coup. Let us not give such a scenario a second thought and get on with proclaiming the truth of what happened — Jesus is no longer in the tomb; He has risen from the dead.

Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed; let us then feast with joy in the Lord.

John 20:1-9 (or Luke 24:13-35)
1 On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” 3 So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. 4 They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; 5 he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. 6 When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 7 and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. 8 Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. 9 For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

The nature of the gift of salvation is enormous. There are many ways in which to view it and just as many ways in which to interpret it. The basics are the same, namely that our sins have been forgiven and we are offered the gift of eternal life. Whatever we do when applying the gift of salvation to the world, let us always remember the basics. Otherwise, we will be anchorless in a very stormy world.

Colossians 3:1-4 (or 1 Corinthians 5:6-8)
1 Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.

We glorify the Lamb who once was slain and was risen and is now seated at the right hand of God. Praise You Lord Jesus. Thank You Heavenly Father. Come Holy Spirit, I need You. Amen.

They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.

Acts 10:34, 37-43
34 Peter proceeded to speak and said: 37 “You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. 40 This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible, 41 not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Thank You God. Amen.
Happy Easter everybody! :)