Living an Extraordinary Life, Surrender

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Halfway into this life, I still believe in this. Oftentimes, I find myself wondering if God really loves me because if He does, He wouldn’t want me to suffer and just give me a good life in a silver platter, right?

Wrong.

Given that I have worked so hard every moment of every day, I never really placed God anywhere in that journey. I never gave Him the chance to lift me so I ended up worrying too much about everything. I seek for Him when I was already in trouble but often forget to thank Him when I am okay.

Hardwork in the Lord

 

Despite everything that I do for a living, I was still struggling emotionally and financially.

What was lacking? It was the acceptance that God is there, ready to lift every ounce of burden in my heart and mind…that all I needed was to ask for His help.

The Bible promises so much about better lives for all of us, all we need to do is seek, ask, and it will be given to us, BUT, we should work for His glory, always.

God has shown His immense love for me through my family and friends. I am so overwhelmed with their love, patience, understanding and support. Financially we are still struggling but He has given me a vision that everything will be well for our business in His time. These challenges have made me appreciate little blessings and deeds that I tend to ignore everyday, I am beyond thankful for this.

Challenges make us human and as humans, we are worthy for God’s love.

Surrender it all to Him.

Living an Extraordinary Life, On Not Giving Up

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Time check, 3:28AM.

I’ve been awake for about an hour or so when I realized that I needed something to eat. I’d normally drink coffee in times like this but I found nothing but Twinings Earl Grey tea on the cupboard. Shoot. After about a minute or two of contemplating whether I’d suck it up and go back to bed hungry or do something else, I found a carton of ready to cook champorado mix peeking from our heap of biscuits, cereals, cookies and stuff: heaven sent!

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You see, life is oftentimes like that. We seek or aim for things and get disappointed if we couldn’t find or get what we really wanted without realizing that God, the Being up there, has a greater purpose.

I came across the story of Mr. Gerald Raymundo, a guy who got into a freak accident while playing golf – an unfortunate event that turned his life upside down and inside out: he lost his job, his money, his ability to walk and eventually his wife and kids. Despite it all, he remained hopeful that everything will turn out right. And indeed, it did. In the midst of his trials, he put up a company and earned more than enough to support himself.

He inspired me so much to dream, hope, and make use of the talents God has given me. He made me realize how blessed I truly am. I have the ability to walk, my husband and kids are with me, we do have a profitable business (which, by the way, is barely new in Cebu but already gaining a steady flow of clients) and I have all the means to look for the money that I seldom have. If I really want it, I have what it takes to make it big, all I need is a little push and tons of faith in His plans.

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So why should I give up? What right do I have to give up? NONE.

What I need to learn now is the ability to FULLY trust Him for His awesome plans and  thank Him in advance.

Lord, give me the inner strength to persevere,
to hold on, to never let go!
Give me the courage to always love no matter what happens,
In Jesus’ name, Amen!

 

Living an Extraordinarily Beautiful Life, the start of a journey

Today marks the end of the Sinulog festivities and the Papal visit, but today, I stayed home with the kids to witness both events on the television and live stream simultaneously. How pathetic, you might think. Both are meaningful to me yet I chose to stay home and be with the kids. God will bless me more if we stay home and feel the true meaning of the festivities online and on national TV rather than bring them there and I worry too much.

Pope Francis’ Encounter with Youth hit me to the core.

I cried bucket of tears just by listening intently to the messages of the youth and the Pope’s response to their questions. Do I sound funny? Can you feel hypocrisy here? hehe but no, I am serious and boy, that little time I spent in front of the television has somehow restored my faith in the Catholic community. Yes, I have problems with the community itself, not in my Catholic faith. Not that I have personal issues with any member but in the community as a whole. I have lost compassion and faith in my church. Priests marrying here and there, money issues, the gossip within the community…it was draining whatever faith I have for my Catholic brothers and sisters. Just when I was about to give up, His Holiness Pope Francis arrived and turned my world upside down. I couldn’t explain how I felt earlier, it was like the feeling of freedom after a confession, magnified 10 times. Yes, that intense. I was crying the whole time and realized how selfish I am to feel pain when there are so many people around me who are in much harder situation.

His talk also encouraged me to continue loving and believing in Him despite life’s shortcomings because His plans are always greater than our plans, that I can still worship Him even if I do not go to church often. This is a huge change on me and I feel the need to document this journey, so…

Pope Francis Quote

I want you guys to join me in this very personal journey, a journey I call 40 Days of Living an Extraordinarily Beautiful Life

A good friend of mine, Mauie of The 24 Hour Mommy gave me a copy of this special book:

40stories_1stChapter_Page_01The author, the preacher in blue jeans, Bro. Bo Sanchez, asks his reader to read one story a day and expect the reader’s life to change in 40 days. But God has given me a very low EQ so I finished the whole book in 2 days, haha!

In the coming days, this trying hard to be good momma will read (once again!) a story a day and post the answers to Bro. Bo’s questions on a post. It will not be daily (for sure, given my oh-so-crazy schedule!) but I will finish the 40 stories, that’s a promise.

 

Kublai Khan Opens 4th Branch in Robinson’s Cybergate Cebu

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On January 16, 2015, Kublai Khan opened its doors to food loving Cebuanos in Robinson’s Cybergate Cebu. Cebuanos are known for their love for food and the people behind this branch has invested on this. Usually, there are three things that people look for in a restaurant:

  1. The value for money experience
  2. Quality food
  3. Great Service

According to Ms. Dolores David Buenaventura of La Susana Foods, one of the owners of Kublai Khan Robinson’s Cybergate Cebu, they will ensure that Kublai Khan Robinsons Cybergate will meet all three.

Kublai Khan Cebu

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Kublai Khan is an Eat-All-You-Can Mongolian restaurant serving the Cebuanos since 1999. The first Kublai Khan opened in Country Mall on March 3, 1999, a few months later, Kublai Khan Ayala opened in September. Around October 2014, Parkmall opened its doors and the 4th one is the one in Robinson’s Cybergate Cebu.

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Kublai Khan’s meals are very flexible and affordable. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians like me will find the perfect meal for them in Kublai Khan. One can choose from a wide array of meats and vegetables.

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Cebu Bloggers with the owners of La Susana Foods, Susana Cabrera David (in gray) and Dolores David Buenaventura (in pink). Not in the photo is the store’s other owner, David C. David.

Kublai Khan branches:

  1.  Kublai Khan (Country Mall)
  2. Kublai Khan (Ayala)
  3. Kublai Khan (Parkmall)
  4. Kublai Khan (Cybergate)

Soon to open this month:
Kublai Khan Ayala Food Court
Kublai Khan SM Bacolod

Visit their Facebook page for more updates: Kublai Khan Facebook

Our Journey to Frugality: How it Started

I used to call myself a shoppingera, because really, I shop a lot before. But no, I am not a fan of signature clothing or high-end gadgets, di ko kaya yun, but I easily get pleased with little things like spray colognes, branded kids clothes, ball pens, notepads, washi tapes, etc. then the sad reality hit me: I was spending money on stuff that I do not need! It’s time to change my bad spending habits!

The realization didn’t happen overnight of course. It took me a long time to get over it.

Who doesn’t love shopping?!?

But it wasn’t the worst, the hardest part was the shopping withdrawal stage. HARD in all its possible meaning! It took me a loooong time to actually convince myself that I don’t need those things, that my kids are okay with Unbranded clothes, that we can actually live without eating out every day, and that it’s okay to wait for a certain movie to be available online.

So what made me change my ways? Lack of funds. There’s no point in denying that we hit rock bottom because I was already a WAHM yet still shopping like I was earning 100 grand a month!

Did I change right away, no? Of course not.

So, what were my steps in achieving a total frugal lifestyle without making myself a tightwad?

  • Ditch ENVY. Keeping up with the Joneses was one of the culprits of my addiction and by stopping that, I realized that a simpler life is achievable if I stop looking at the other side of the fence.
  • I stopped the bad habit called window shopping and only go to the mall if I really needed something. No, I didn’t save anything from not going to the malls because each penny I saved went directly to many more important matters like bills and grocery products. What is it with malls that one gets hungry every time he or she goes there? Are they putting something on their air conditioners to lure us to eat?
  • We cook our own food. Quick cook and restaurant food are both expensive. Enough said. But hey, we indulge once in a while, nothing wrong with that. It keeps me sane.
  • We don’t buy toys. Seriously. Perhaps I am just privileged to belong to a family with members who doesn’t get tired of buying toys for my kids. I buy them toys — toys from McDonalds ;) Are my kids deprived? No. They will ONLY feel that way IF we encourage comparison between what their friends have and what they have at the moment. Don’t compare, make them learn to appreciate their toys, make them toys, etc. The list is endless. The trick is to not let them feel that they lack something.
  • Buy second hand. This is something that I am good at. Why buy brand new if you can buy it used?
  • We decided to homeschool. It is not actually cheaper, but you are sure that every penny spent benefiting your children.
    Hey, being frugal isn’t bad unless you become a tightwad. Get it for free if it’s really free but learn to respect entrepreneurs, by paying for their goods, if they’re not. Haggling to get it at a very low price or for free is a no-no. That’s disrespect.

Mayaman ka na ba sa kakatipid mo? Wala ka na bang utang?

No and no. I still have tons of loans to pay and I am far from being rich. So why am I still doing this?

Because like homeschooling, it’s the lifestyle that I have decided to embrace. It is what’s best for my family at the moment and we are okay with it.

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Starting on a Clean Slate Once Again

As I was waiting for my turn to pay my dues in the electric company office yesterday, I found myself writing a post in a journal to address my boredom (they were serving number 700++ A and my assigned number was 900++ B — horrific, isn’t it?): things to do, things to buy for the business, writing off some and this post. I hate it when I am not doing anything because I tend to over think things which, oftentimes, causes paranoia. I jotted down everything to keep my mind from wandering.

clean-slate

New year, new life. The universe has handed us another 365-page blank book, giving us the liberty to fill its content with either positive or negative things.

In my case, it’s more like copy-pasting the content from the previous years, this time revising portions of each page so at least I could come up with a better sounding version at the end of this year, if that’s isn’t too much to ask. I am not a failure. In fact, I consider myself a work in progress, we are all works in progress, so never think otherwise.

I’ve had my share of ups and downs, and like any other sane human being, sometimes I question the Lord if He is really fair (I know, it’s kinda sick!) because I could feel that I am the kind of being who is always at the other edge of the knife, the rough side. But who am I to question the plans of the Lord? If this is His way to prepare me for the good things tomorrow, I can manage to carry the burden today. Others are in much harder situations, I have no right to complain at all. And once again, I do believe that God doesn’t play favorites, everyone’s going through shit, one way or another. Some are just so good at filtering them *wink*.

Financial worries, relationship issues, I went through it all. A lot has happened in 2014 which helped me understand that we cannot force people to stay in our lives. Cutting ties is never an easy task, but I came to realize that it is OK to do so when a certain relationship is already going nowhere. Best friends? Relatives by affinity? Oh, they have hurt me so bad that I can no longer see myself talking to them personally or online. I take comfort in knowing that I never treated them unfairly.

Perhaps I should just start re-planning and re-organizing my itinerary in this journey called life. Reevaluate my goals, whether in life or my long term plans and start with another clean slate.

Who else wants a fresh start?

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Of New Years and New Beginnings…Hello 2015!

This isn’t the first time that we celebrated New Year in a different place, surrounded by different sets of people. But today, we are facing the new year without the comfort of our respective families. We are celebrating it islands away from them.

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Thank you 2014!

You started so well and ended damn better! There were so many inevitable downs and unexpected ups, yet I am still here. The tears you brought made me strong, and with pride, I show off my scars and welcome 2015 with a grateful and hopeful heart

Salamat, maraming salamat!

With a grateful heart, we bid adieu to 2014 and welcome 2015 with hope and big dreams.

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Unlike in the previous years, I won’t be making any promises, like the 52-week saving challenge, Project 365, I will do this and that blah blahs, etcetera, this year. I have grown to realize that while they’re not necessarily crap, they work for some but definitely not on me. I am too undisciplined for that kind of organized thingy.

What I need to work on now is our finances — kinda touchy subject haha and yep, our big dreams. We’ve taken the first step so I urge myself to push it some more (yes, URGE is the word because as I have said, I lack discipline). I am a hard worker but easily gets sidetracked with nasty comments, self-doubt and lack of funds — things that can easily be solved IF I believe in myself and what I can do.

With a humble heart, I welcome 2015 with so much hope. Happy New Year!

Celebrating Five Core Filipino Values with Krem-top’s Change for the Better Campaign

“Thank you.” I never expected these words from a trisikad driver.

You really can’t blame me if I no longer expect common courtesy from other people. I came from a place where, sadly, common courtesy and politeness are no longer common. Rudeness, on the other hand, has become a day to day experience that I have come to agree terms with. My attitude towards someone depends on how he or she treat me. Either that, or ikaw ang mababastos.

Sad, right?

Things has changed though when we transferred to Cebu. People here still practice “thank you and welcome”, neighbors greet you “good morning, afternoon or evening”, and total strangers help you without expecting something in return. For them, it is their social obligation to help someone in need and not just because they will be paid for it.  During my daily commute I got lost so many times, and time and time again, the Cebuanos I’ve met have not only shown me WHERE to go but also HELPED me find a way to get there. There’s an enormous difference between being pointed to with “Doon!” and “Sakay ka ug paduong Parkmall, nay O1K diha, sakay ka nya ingna nga manaog ka SM (Ride a multicab going to Parkmall, there’s another multicab there with O1K number, ride that one and tell them that you’ll get off SM).” People in Cebu still care.  These incidents opened my heart and eyes, and restored my hope in humanity again.

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This is why I felt so privileged to have been invited to the round table discussion of Krem-top’s Change for the Better Campaign. It was like, wow! So timely! I realized how blessed I am to be in a place where the core values of Filipinos are not just written and taught but also practiced every day.

These values were discussed by Dr. Mina Ramirez, phenomenological sociologist and president of Asian Social Institute.

Dr. Mina Ramirez

  • Mapagpasalamat – Filipinos are very thankful despite and in spite of. We always have something to be thankful for. We always have this smile on our faces even in depressing situations. It is innate to us to attribute life’s blessings no matter how big or small to a higher being and I see nothing wrong with that. It is in fact, a trait that I am proud of. No matter how tough life is, I sulk, yes, but at the end of the day, I look forward to a brighter tomorrow.
  • Matatag – We are resilient. Filipinos can easily adapt to changes and has this distinct strength and motivation to overcome difficulties, drawn from the love we have for our family. In fact, when asked how they are, Filipinos would always reply with “Okay lang”, it’s like saying “I’m okay/alright/good”.
  • Mapagmalasakit – Love begets love, as care begets care. By nature, Filipinos are compassionate. Our love for our family are inevitably extended to friends, neighbours and other people within our outside our respective communities. We serve because we feel that we can fulfil our duty to the higher being by being of service to our fellowmen.
  • Magalang – Filipino show respect in so many ways. The use of po and opo when we talk to someone older than us (or someone of authority) is one, and pagmamano. It is natural for us to respect, not just the feelings of others, but also other people’s emotions, properties and ideas. We are polite by culture.
  • Masigasig – When Filipinos dream of something, they strive and fight so hard to achieve it. It is very common for us to dream not for ourselves but for the whole family and loved ones. Hardships mean nothing to us if the prize is “kagihnawaan” for our families.

We have little to live by, but we have so much to live for. – Dr. Mina Ramirez

There is still a chance to keep the core Filipino values; we just have to start within ourselves, practice it every day and pass it on to our children. Thank you, Krem-top for leading the #changeforthebetter campaign.

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Entrepremom is one proud #bidachanger – are you?

Follow Krem-top’s Campaign on the following media pages:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alaskakremtop
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kremtopph
Instagram: http://instagram.com/kremtopph

 

Hello, New Life! | Our Cebu Journey

Have faith in your journey. Everything had to happen exactly as it did to get you where you’re going next. – Mandy Hale

The Move

I have been wanting to make a post about our move to Cebu but couldn’t find the time to gather my thoughts and put it online, until today.

Everything is still blurry.

We have lived a decent life in Cavite, not grand and not in poverty either. My kids didn’t have everything but we made sure that their needs were met. Then the offer to relocate to Cebu came and we just have to grab it so *poof* we were in Cebu in 3 months!

Marcelle and I took the plunge. We left Luzon with nothing but our baking and cake decorating supplies, our small oven, a few clothes. Read: 2 large boxes and 5 bags. We technically started with TONS of loans and nothing in our pocket. But we are positive, we had no choice but to be positive about the outcome. After all, we both wanted to make it big, didn’t we?

This, again, is another leap of faith.

entrepremom in mactan

We are forever grateful to our families in Cebu who helped us from the very start: my cousin Shine and her husband Charles, Tito Chito and Tita Elvie and of course, Graziela. They ensured that our move was smooth and stress-free. Of course, the move wouldn’t be possible without the push and help from our families in Luzon.

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So what are we doing here?

We will still be making cakes – helping families and individuals create memories through our cakes. I firmly believe that we are destined to do this. This is where we are good at, so why leave it?

November 8, 2014 – we opened our Project Happiness Bakehouse office in Arcada 5, Highway Tipolo, Mandaue City.

custom cakes cebu | cebu customized cakes | cebu cakes10407492_10152594810049495_4210867127059768571_nLittle by little, orders are starting to come in. We are VERY hopeful that we will be successful here, that Cebuanos will soon appreciate our creations.

In less than a month, we already have orders! God is soooo good! Here are some of them:

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How we are coping

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No one said that it’s going to be easy. I admit that it’s damn hard. But we have to maintain positive vibes in our hearts and mind for this whole thing to work. Without the positive outlook in life, all our efforts will eventually go down the drain.

We bring back the glory to God, for without His grace, we are nothing. We survive each day with His grace and we can conquer all these challenges with His help.

God has been working wonders through family and friends who serve as His instrument to send His graces. Maraming, maraming salamat. We can repay you in time.

Unboxing: Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Junior

“How to Manage Your Money”

say what?

Though I could say that I have an entrepreneurial spirit, I admit that I suck at managing money. No matter how much I earn, I always, ALWAYS end up with less or worse, balance is below zero. It happens all the time. But life is good, it always is. I learned my lesson the hard way and I am slowly recovering. I am now listing all expenditures and relieving myself from ‘retail therapy’. You see, this kind of therapy will not, in a way, treat your problem but instead works like a band-aid — and you know how band-aid works: it only conceals the wound AKA debt.

Rising from the debt pit is hellish. It is a scenario that I don’t want my kids to experience someday. I want to instill financial literacy on them as early as now. Enter Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Junior kit!

Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Junior

As you all know, Dave Ramsey has pulled thousands of Americans from the debt pit before, during and after the recession period. I am a fan of his envelope system and I firmly believe that if it worked for them, why won’t it work on me? In all honesty, I tried it when I was working  full time and studying part-time for my B.S. degree. It worked for 2 years, it did. I just do not know why it won’t work now. Wait, I know, the D word! I lack discipline now because perhaps I have other people to consider like husband and kids? Probably.

But anyhoo, let’s move on to this post’s topic: Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Junior

I got mine from a fellow homeschooler, the whole kit costs P700 here though it is being sold only for $14.39 (P604.39) on Amazon — plus shipping to the Philippines, customs taxes and all, my… P700 was a steal!

The Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Junior is advertised for kids 3 to 12 years old. I should have bought two for my 9 and 3 year old kids BUT I don’t think we can afford 2 kits these days so I only bought one. Let’s see if we can work around on one kit for the two of them otherwise, I’ll improvise, improvise, improvise. That’s the gift given to us moms, right?

Dave Ramsay's Financial Peace Junior
What you will get:
  1. Battle of the Chores audio book
  2. Calculator
  3. Crayons
  4. Quick start guide
  5. Parent guide — a must read!
  6. Give, Save and Spend plastic envelopes
  7. Dry-erase chore chart with pre-printed chore labels
  8. Dry-erase marker
  9. Stickers
  10. Five refrigerator magnets and a magnet frame
  11. Junior’s Activity Book with age appropriate activities and lessons

Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Junior Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Junior Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Junior Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace JuniorThis financial lesson is part of our third term lessons so I hope that the kids will learn something from this not just for school but for life. This is something that I wish my parents have taught me when I was younger.

Kids these days are so lucky to have readily available materials for lessons like this. Walang ganito noon! They’re colorful, unlike the Johnson and Johnson alkansiya noon. I personally believe that life skills are far more important than any academic lesson they’ll learn in school hence this financial literacy lesson. We will post our review on our homeschooling blog.

Hope this works!

 

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