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:

IMG_6957

IMG_6960

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.

IMG_6951
Yellow Mandala | Canon 550D
IMG_6954
Grafted Gymnocalycium mihanovichii | Canon 550D

IMG_6970

IMG_6978

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.

IMG_6987

IMG_6994

IMG_7000

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?

Google My Business Workshop Seminar

13394010_10154087851615090_4818176404787421841_n
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.

13419015_10154092019020090_1317213092850362492_n
(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! 🙂