Morning Routine

These days, I spend the first two hours of each morning at the garden. My mom once told me that everything looks so serene at 5:00 in the morning and after finally having the strength to wake up that early, I had to agree.

Our garden is usually a blend of colors but at 5:00 in the morning, everything looks like it’s desaturated and under a blue filter with an opacity of approximately 25%. It’s not the depressing kind of blue. Rather, it’s the kind of blue that makes you want to sit back and enjoy your cup of hot tea and patiently wait for the sun to show up.

I recently took on the responsibility of looking after my mom’s Echeveria collection and I’ve been trying to apply the things I learned from various articles online. I wasn’t born with a green thumb, but taking on this project is such a huge responsibility so I try to lessen the casualties as much as possible. I make it a point to water them once a week, give them enough sun, and make sure they are healthy. The Echeverias are looking fine, so far. As a matter of fact, I noticed some mini Echeverias this morning:

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Pups also started to appear in some of our cacti. It takes so much time and effort to nurture these plants that’s why my mom and I were thrilled when we saw the teeny tiny versions of our cacti and succulents.

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Yellow Mandala | Canon 550D

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Grafted Gymnocalycium mihanovichii | Canon 550D

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I usually spend the whole two hours at what I call the “propagation station” and monitor the progress of the herb cuttings and some of the succulents. Majority of the first batch of herb cuttings I planted during my grandfather’s birthday died so I tried use a different technique in propagating the second batch of cuttings.

It’s a nice break from all the articles I’ve been writing and crafts I’ve been doing. I have to admit though, there are days when I feel extra impatient. I understand that it takes some time for the plants to grow, but sometimes I can’t help but feel like it’s taking forever to see any progress. There are days, however, when I’m rewarded with blooms from our plants. I must say, seeing their beauty makes the whole waiting period worth it.

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The last picture is actually a Spearmint. I removed the flowers after taking the picture because according to some articles, the leaves begin to taste bitter once the flowers appear.

 

It’ll take a few more weeks for the pups and herb cuttings to grow into healthier and well, much older versions of themselves. Until then, we’ll have to continue our morning routine and take good care of every single one of these plants.

How about you? What’s your morning routine?

Wipeout

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Technically, this still falls under The Sunday Currently. The q&a will come back next week. For now, I just want to write about this wipeout.

I look graceful in the picture, don’t I? It’s like I’m expecting the pain but there’s no way out so I have to deal with it. This priceless moment was captured by my uncle during an epic sunset surf session in Dahican. I say epic because it’s the first time that I mustered up enough courage to catch waves that are taller than me. I’d usually freak out and bail, but Panggoy, a local surfer pushed me to commit. And I did.

I’m posting this picture because in a way, it’s similar to what’s currently happening in my life right now. You know when people tell you that there are highs and lows? Well, they forgot to tell you about how high the highs are, and how low the lows are. In my n years of existence, I’ve experienced highs that are probably higher than Mt. Everest, and lows… well, let’s just say I’ve experienced hitting rock bottom…and staying there for as long as I want. It’s not that I had no plans of rising up again, no. It’s just that when you hit rock bottom, you begin to lose hope. Of course inspirational books will tell you that you are stronger than your circumstances, but those are things that you already know and in all honesty, don’t need to hear when you’re struggling.

My wipeout on the photo looks nasty and yes, it WAS nasty. I swallowed a lot of salt water, the leash got tangled in my legs, and I experienced some cuts from the corals. However, despite that struggle, I went back on the board and paddled all the way to the lineup. I rode all the waves that came after that, and I believe that we should also apply that when we experience struggles in real life.

The first time I surfed, I only managed to kneel on the board. I was scared of falling. I was too conscious. The only time that I managed to stand on the board was when I decided to let go. Who cares if you fall off the board? Everyone falls off their boards at some point. Even the professional surfers fall. Wipeouts are inevitable.

I read somewhere that wiping out is an underappreciated skill and I agree, 100%. Wipeouts allow you to reflect on the things you did wrong and create a new strategy. There are things that you learn during a wipeout and more often than not, those are the things that stick. Not only do you discover a lot of things about yourself; you also become resilient.

Wipeouts are humbling and while I hate it when they happen, I also know that they come with lessons that need to be learned – both on land and in the water. You become stronger with each wipeout and that should mean something. We’ll keep experiencing wipe outs in our lives and the intensity will vary. Some, you can shrug off easily while some will push you down and make it impossible for you to breathe. You will want to give up at some point and those are the times when you shouldn’t.

When all is said and done, what matters more is that we get back on our boards and paddle once more.

Of Cranes and Dreamcatchers

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An Army of Cranes | Canon 550D

I learned last year that paper cranes symbolize peace, truth, good luck, longevity, and good health. I’ve been mesmerized ever since. According to Japenese tradition, anyone who has the commitment and the patience to fold a thousand cranes will receive their heart’s desire because they recreated the elegant bird’s beauty and loyalty. Legend has it that Sadako Sasaki, a girl with leukemia, attempted to fold one thousand paper cranes while she was in the hospital. Unfortunately, she died at the age of 12. Her family, friends, and classmates folded the remaining paper cranes for her – a true testament of what these paper cranes symbolize.

Now, let’s talk about dream catchers:

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Sweet Dreams | Canon 550D

I started collecting dream catchers back in 2005 when I was still living in Baguio City. They were sold at the stalls along Session Road and I’d buy from them whenever I had enough money. I remember leaving Baguio with 25 dream catchers, all in mint condition. More than the design, I was fascinated with the story of the dream catcher.

Legend has it that thousands of years ago, Iktomi – the great teacher of wisdom- appeared to a Lakota spiritual leader in the form of a spider. Using a sacred language, Iktomi told the Lakota elder about the cycles of life: our lives begin as infants and when we grow old, the younger generation will take care of us as infants which then completes the cycle. However, as we go through the different life cycles, we become exposed to good and bad forces which can steer is in the right or wrong direction. The dream catcher, according to Iktomi, will help the people reach their goals and dreams. It will catch all of the good dreams and ideas and travel all the way down to the sleeper underneath. The bad dreams will just go through the hole and perish once the sun rises. Inspired by the story, I started making my own dream catcher.

So… what’s the connection between the two?

I figured you’d be asking that by now. Well, two weeks ago, I kept my hands busy with folding paper cranes and weaving a big dream catcher. I planned on making a thousand paper cranes but since I didn’t have enough time, I decided on a different number. It took me two days to finish folding all of the paper cranes (and writing a short message inside each one) and weaving the dream catcher. My hands were dead tired, but since these handcrafted gifts are for someone special, I didn’t mind at all.

People usually think that expensive gifts are key to making someone happy. I believe otherwise. For me, what’s more important is the amount of work that you put into something. Like they say in the world of business, it’s all about the story.

Also, this labor of love is for someone who’s celebrating his birthday. Happy birthday!😉

 

 

 

 

Google My Business Workshop Seminar

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Google My Business Poster | (c) Avel Manasala

When you graduate from the university, you think that finally, you can stop studying and learning. Well, that thought is indeed inviting. However, once you begin to apply for jobs or work for offices/companies, you realize that it’s a different playing field. The rules have changed, and you need to keep up. You then go back to browsing articles online, learning what needs to be learned, and equipping yourself with the tools that you need to prepare you for your career.

Since I decided to take the leap of faith and become a social entrepreneur, I have to keep looking for resources, services, and tools to help me grow and manage my business. As a social enterprise that’s based in Cotabato City, it’s even more difficult to reach out to clients because of all the bad publicity. People usually think of Cotabato as a place of war and that’s definitely not the case. For quite some time, I’ve been thinking of ways to reach out to more people, I’m just fortunate that I was introduced to Mr. Avel Manansala of Google Business Groups – General Santos City.

He then invited me to attend the Google My Business Seminar Workshop which was held at STI College Gensan. Through the seminar, I learned about the different Google products that I can use for Eco Choices. It’s funny because I’ve been using the Google search engine and Gmail since around 2006 but I had no idea that they also offer products that can help you put places on the map (Google Maps), rate and review establishments (Google Local Guides), and keep track of clicks and site visits (Google My Business). Mr. Marcus Foon, the GBG community manager (GLOBAL) based in Singapore,  answered our questions and gave us tips on how we can maximize Google’s products and features such as this one:

Map

People usually use Google Maps to look for specific places and directions. I had no idea that it can also be used to display some of your products, input some information about your business, answer queries, and post reviews. I was also stoked to see Eco Choices on the map! So yeah, if you want to find us, just type Eco Choices on your Google Map and you’ll find us. You can also leave a review so we know how to improve our business.

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(c) Avel Manansala

About thirty entrepreneurs with different products and services attended the seminar. We were all given a chance to talk about ourselves as entrepreneurs and share our products and because of that, we were able to network with each other. I’m sure  we all Googled each other after the workshop.

We were also interviewed by Rean Hazel Hacosta of TV Patrol Soccsksargen:

 

The Internet is a powerful tool that should not be limited to the use of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While it’s no secret that these social media platforms help boost online presence and improve business, there are other products and services offered by Google that can help you closely monitor your business.

Mr. Avel and Mr. Marcus, thank you once again for the opportunity. I learned so much from you. Until next time!:)

 

5 PM

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5 PM | IMAC

“It’s five in the afternoon

Your eyes are the size of the moon

You could ‘coz you can so you do

We’re feeling so good

Just the way that we do

When it’s five in the afternoon”

–Panic at the Disco

(Disclaimer: I know the lyrics says “nine in the afternoon”)

That song’s been playing in my head since five in the afternoon, ergo the title for this post. I’m not sure if this counts as a Project 366 photo but I’m uploading it anyway because well, at the end of the day it’s still a picture that I captured… today. Can you believe it’s already this dark at 5 PM?

I’m still juggling an awfully long list of things to do (and things not to do). I’m slowly easing back into the groove of things, which is great.

How’s your week so far?

 

Monday Moth

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Monday moth | Canon 100D

Since I saw this moth on a Monday morning, I’ll be calling it “Monday Moth”. I was on my way back to my workstation after taking more pictures for Eco Choices when I noticed that Marley was staring at something on the gate. That’s when I saw Monday Moth.

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Marley and Monday Moth | Canon 100D

At first I thought Marley was trying to ignore me because I insisted on giving him a bath this morning. I found it funny that he was sitting beside the moth and looking at it, as if trying to figure out if it’s something he can eat.

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Chillin’ on a Monday | Canon 100D

You probably think it’s weird that I’m writing about a moth and I don’t blame you. When I started with Project 366, I thought it was going to be easy, but I guess I underestimated the project. The tricky thing with  Project 366 is that at some point, you run out of things to shoot. I know it’s supposed to challenge your photography skills and creativity but sometimes you just feel like you’re shooting the same subjects, and then you decide to just  give up and do it next year, and then Monday Moth appears. Ding! Lightbulb!

Well, here’s to the remaining four days of the week! Cheers!

The Sunday Currently | 05

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“I’m glad to see that you’re finally creating plans for yourself”, he said. I have to agree, it’s been a while since I wrote down tasks and future plans on my mini calendar. I guess that’s what happens when you’re with someone who inspires you. Ack, cheesy but yeah… it’s been a while since I wrote cheesy blog entries too.

Reading

Articles and emails.

Writing
The Sunday Currently vol. 5 + plans :3

Listening
To the rhythm of the falling rain.

Thinking
Possibilities.

Smelling
That rich fragrant smell of shampoo.

Wishing
My back would stop hurting.

Hoping
For more steady rain in the days to come.

Wearing
A floral top and my favorite shorts.

Loving
The weather.

Wanting
A cup of warm green tea.

Needing
An extra pair of hands. Or a button that will automatically delete all of the negatrons in my Facebook feed.

Feeling
Inspired ❤

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