Category Archives: Work

Musings of a COO : Like Family

Just wanted to share with you all a picture of our oldest employee.  She’s 78, and she’s been with our company for over 50 years.  50 years!!!  Can you imagine? And she’s still working to this day!

Slide1

Mrs. Moya, you are a treasure and an inspiration!  I cannot thank you enough for all that you’ve done, and continue to do for our company.  You truly are family!!!

Work-in-Progress Washi Wall

Our office just underwent a major renovation.  Aside from breaking down walls and re-assigning rooms, our entire space was re-laid out to maximize the total floor area of the office.

It was a pretty humongous undertaking, but I have to admit I am loving our new headquarters! :)  It’s definitely roomier, brighter, and more conducive to collaboration :).  Plus, it was nice to start the year in new digs! I can tell that our employees are both excited and motivated :).

A new office also meant a new room location for me :).  When I first moved in, the white walls were definitely screaming, “decorate me!!!”.  Hahaha!  You know what that means…project time!!!  Hahaha!  And for my first project, here is my Washi Wall!!!

Slide1

Since I didn’t want to drill any holes into my wall, I decided to “frame” my daughter’s artwork, as well as other interesting images with washi tape.  I am loving the work-in-progress so far! :)

What do you guys think?

I’m actually in no rush to fill in the space as I’m sure it will get filled with inspiring images in time.  For now, it’s my personal little happy corner in the office :).

Foodie Friday : Victorino’s

Christmas celebrations are always a good excuse to eat out :).

Just recently, my team decided to have our annual Christmas lunch and despedida for colleague G, at Victorino’s, one of the newer restaurants that just opened in Quezon City.

Specializing in Ilocano food, Victorino’s is one of those old houses that was transformed quite beautifully into a dining establishment.  At the ground floor, one can find the main dining area, a small area for selling Ilocano wares (blankets, dish towels, brooms, etc. etc.), a display of Heny Sison’s delectable desserts, and more Ilocano delicacies that one can purchase to take home (longganisa, bagnet, snacks, coffee, and more!).

Slide10

Slide09

Slide08

Slide07

The second floor houses the function rooms, perfect for private get-togethers or work meetings :).

Navigating the Christmas traffic to get to Victorino’s was quite challenging, and by the time we finally arrived, we were quite famished! To say that I was more than ready for a good meal was an understatement :).  Hahaha!

Ordering on a hungry stomach wasn’t quite a good idea either, as we ended up ordering much more than we should have!  Hahaha!  You’ll see below all the food we had, and I didn’t even post what we had for dessert!  Ayayay!

Anyway, we decided to skip the appetizers, and immediately went for soup and the main course instead.

We started off with an Ilocano specialty called Lomo-lomo.

Slide01

It’s a brothy type of soup with bits of meat, chives, and egg.  It is perfectly flavorful and very comforting :).

We also ordered kinirog, another Ilocano specialty rice with bagoong, longganisa, egg and pindang.  I love that it had such a generous topping of salted fish on top :).  As they say, kanin pa lang, ulam na!  This is the type of dish that I can have all to myself, if I just wasn’t watching my carb intake :).

Slide06

For our mains, we got 2 (yes, 2!) servings of Ilocos Best, a dish combining both bagnet and longganisa.  Can you say deadly?  Hahaha!  Did I mention that you should never order food on an empty stomach? ;p

Slide03

The bistek was also really good…

Slide05

…and the Prito na Tilapia was crispy, fresh and did not disappoint :).

Slide04

We also unanimously loved the Poqui-poqui, a grilled eggplant dish sauteed in onions and tomatoes.  It’s really a very simple dish, but so yummy and healthy! :)

Slide02

Overall, we had a very pleasant dining experience at Victorino’s :).

Two thumbs up for the restaurant ambience and decor (especially the native wood antique furniture), and another two thumbs up for the food!  Special mention goes to the kinirog and poqui-poqui, two of our favorite dishes that day.

Victorino’s is most definitely a welcome addition to the foodie scene in Quezon City.  It’s nice to have a restaurant that not only specializes in Ilocano dishes, but also makes available some specialty products that are sourced from the Ilocos region.

Should you have any balikbayan friends in town, this would be a good place to take them, especially if you want to give them a taste of Filipino food in a pretty, relaxed setting :).

VICTORINO’S, 11th Jamboree Street corner Scout Rallos, Quezon City, Telephone Number : +63 917 833-4148

Musings of a COO : Pitching In

One of the things I’ve repeatedly said that I love about my job is the opportunity it gives me to serve, and to do something good for others. Aside from my role as Corporate Communications Director, I also head our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Team.  It is my job to determine our company’s areas of focus, and the programs we support.

In the past 3 years, we’ve chosen to narrow our efforts to the fields of education, environment, and community health.  Collectively, we call our programs the SEED Initiative which stands for, Sowing to Educate, Empower, and Develop. We’ve offered scholarship programs to children of our employees, we’ve partnered with organizations such as WWF to teach grade school children about climate change, and we’ve held numerous medical missions to help uplift the health situation of Habitat for Humanity communities.

Slide1

Slide2

Slide3

While I’m so proud of the work we’ve accomplished, I usually have mixed emotions when doing CSR work.  Without a doubt, it is very fulfilling,  but many times it also makes me feel sad that the problem of poverty in our country is so huge and overwhelming and unfair.

Slide6

Slide5

In some cases, it even makes me feel hopeless and keeps me wondering if it is a situation that we will ever solve or eradicate.

During the times I start to feel overwhelmed by hopelessness, I have to stop myself and try to focus on the positive things we are able to accomplish as a company, and to remember the people who we have been able to help and who have benefitted from our efforts.  As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.  Applying it to this situation, it will take a mighty, collective effort, as well as a considerable amount of time, to instigate big changes in our country’s poverty situation.  What’s important is for people to continuously pitch in and do their share.  And hopefully, throughout the years, these little collective efforts will get bigger and bigger, and effect a big change.

The same can be said for the recent efforts that have gone into helping the victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda.  The destruction has been utterly massive, and I can imagine how, seeing the images on TV, one can feel so devastated and wonder if our people in the Visayas will ever be able to rebuild their lives again.

But the outpouring of generosity from various people, companies, church groups, NGO’s and industries have been so inspiring, it somehow restores my faith and makes me believe that we will definitely rise up from this tragedy, and that we WILL overcome this dire situation together.  In fact, it is because of the pro-activeness and tireless giving of these groups and individuals  that our medicines have been able to reach the far-flung towns that were badly hit by the supertyphoon.

Slide7

Slide6

Slide5

During these past two weeks, most of my time has been spent coordinating medicine solicitations for various municipalities in Leyte, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo, and spearheading the collection of relief goods from our employees.  This truckload of stuff, for example, was shipped to Ormoc, Leyte, to support the efforts of our Corporate Endorser, Congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez, who described the devastation as, “Parang an atomic bomb passed through the city!”

Receiving her text instantly made me feel thankful that Metro Manila was spared from the brunt of the storm, and at the same time privileged to be able to donate medicines and other goods that would be more than helpful to the survivors in her town.

Aside from Ormoc, Guiuan in Eastern Samar was another badly hit area.  Luckily, because of the generosity of the people behind Alphaland and Balesin Island, we were able to respond quickly to their need, and to fly some medicines to the wounded people there.

Slide4

Slide3

Slide2

It was quite an experience to walk into their private hangar, and to see the massive amounts of goods, waiting to be flown and distributed to the survivors. Again I felt extremely lucky to be on the giving end, knowing that our small contribution would make a big difference in the health and well-being of the people in Guiuan.

It is my sincerest hope that the kindness, compassion and generosity that I have witnessed and have been privileged to be a part of these past few weeks does not wane.  The road to rehabilitation will be long and difficult for the Visayas, but as long as the outpouring of support from our fellow Filipinos remains constant, as long as people continue to pitch in whatever little they can, I am sure we will prove to the world that together, we can indeed surpass this tragedy, and rise from it.

Musings of a COO : My Dad is a PLDTBossing!

Slide1

This came out in the papers a couple of weeks ago, and I just wanted to share :).

This is MY DAD, and I’m mighty proud of him!

This is such a wonderful recognition and affirmation of all his hard work, and all the sacrifices he made to build our company into what it is today.

Thank you, Dad :).  You truly deserve this :).

Thanks as well to PLDT Bossing/SME Nation for the honor :)

Musings of a COO: Keeping Up With Life

My work life is full :).  Full of fulfillment and blessings, yes :).  But filled with a busy, busy schedule as well, which brings with it a dose of stress and frustration.

:(.

Sometimes I wonder, “how did work life get to be so complicated and fast-paced?”  I always feel like I have to catch my breath!  Don’t you also always feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything you’ve set out to do? And my favorite, “I can’t believe it’s already May!  Didn’t we just start the year?”

The not-so-good news is that it looks like this warp-speed pace is here to stay.

The good news is, we need not be “victims” of our heavy work loads, and the challenges that come with it.  There are actually things that we can do to counteract the effects of stress!

There is so much to live for–family being the biggest reason of all.  Isn’t it incentive enough for us to make sure we live longer, happily and healthily so we can enjoy a better quality of life?

I always believe that everything in life is a choice–even the way you see things. You can either see the glass half empty or half full, bad or good, negative or positive.  And trust me, it is much better to see the lighter side of things rather than to be consumed by feelings of anger, sadness, or wallowing in a pool of self-pity.  It’s actually quite unproductive too.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t honor your feelings–it’s definitely detrimental to keep them bottled up inside.  But once you’ve had a chance to grieve, to cry, to shout, to throw a tantrum, or to talk about it for the nth time, just let it go and move forward!

While I know that is easier said than done (trust me, letting go is very difficult for me!), certainly, developing a healthier outlook towards life and knowing that setbacks only make us stronger and better, has helped to ease the stress, and has made me a happier person.  Coupling this with a lot of prayer and faith, has truly helped me to become a more peaceful person too :).

Aside from a positive attitude, squeezing in some exercise and taking the proper vitamins can also help us deal with the effects of stress.

I’m happy I found the kind of work out routine that not only challenges all the muscles in my body, but also gives me the benefit of mental and emotional release.  My excercise of choice?  barre3!  I love it!  At first, I was pretty skeptical (I’m really more of an aerobics person), but once I tried it, I was hooked!

And for vitamins, its Poten-Cee Forte all the way!  Ofcourse, I gotta love my own, right?  Hahaha!

Slide1

To be honest (and biases aside :P), Poten-Cee Forte is the only Vitamin C brand in the market that not only has 1000mg/1g of ascorbic acid, but also has a time-release formula.  What does this mean?  This means that our bodies are protected much longer than your regular Vitamin C in the market. Poten-Cee Forte was “designed to dissolve gradually over time, maximizing the capability of our digestive and circulatory system to absorb the available Vitamin C.”

“Because of this time-release formula, a steady amount of Vitamin C is delivered into the bloodstream—the right amount at the time we need it—making us enjoy its full range of benefits.  There is less anxiety over getting the right amount of Vitamin C in your body, and less worry about sustaining the supply of this immunity-boosting vitamin throughout the day.”

Other vitamin brands actually only offer 500mg.  While the usual dietary intake is from 150-500mg, because of poor eating habits, exposure to environmental toxins, a stressful, busy lifestyle and the prevalence of diseases, augmentation of our daily dose of vitamin c is necessary.

On the days that I forget to take my Poten-Cee Forte, my body feels really lethargic and heavy.  I already feel tired early in the afternoon, and feel like I struggle to make it to the day’s end.  No joke!  But when I do take it, I can really feel the difference in terms of my energy level!  Not only do I feel like I have enough energy to last me the entire day, but I also feel like I can keep up with my full schedule! :)

And I can’t remember the last time I got sick either :).  While the rest of my friends get plagued with colds every time the weather becomes schizo, I’ve been sniffle and sickness free for so long, thanks to the protection of Poten-Cee Forte!

Ask Chris Tiu, too :).  He feels the same way :).  He’s our current endorser, and he’s one to endorse only the products he believes in (and who wouldn’t trust that face?  Hahaha!  Isn’t he such a cutie pie?).  Just read about it in his blog :).

And here’s the Poten-Cee TVC with Chris and his mom, Leanne, that we released last month.

So there you have it.  My advice on how to keep up with life?  A positive attitude, exercise, and Poten-Cee Forte!

The stresses of work and the demands of a busy schedule should definitely not keep us from living happily, healthily, and more fully!

Dreaming of My Happy Place

Seriously, I. WANT. TO. GO. TO. THE. BEACH!!!

Yes, I am having a major hang-over from my trip to Palawan last week :(.  And despite the scorching heat, I cannot help but long to be in and dream about my happy place :).

*Sigh*

I just love the soothing sound of waves crashing against the shore.

Or how mesmerizing it is to watch the water as it creeps up the sand.

Ofcourse I wouldn’t mind sipping a cocktail and losing myself in my thoughts as I watch the clouds and sky stretch endlessly for miles either…

puerto princesa pchc

Slide3

sheridan pchc

Slide4

*Sigh* I love the beach.

 

Just in case you’re wondering, these photos were taken by me at the Sheridan Beach Resort and Spa in Sabang, Palawan.  Home to the Underground River, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World.

Musings of a COO: Health 4 Humanity

Being able to bring the gift of health to underprivileged communities is such a blessing :).

Last week, volunteers from our company conducted a medical mission at the KarismaVille Subdivision in Malabon.  It’s a project we have in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Philippines.

It was such a wonderful way to spend my day :).

Slide1

My IG post that morning: It’s a wonderful day for a med mission!  Let’s get these people healthy!!!

You can’t imagine how many people–kids especially–are sick nowadays.  Unfortunately, most people in the community can’t afford to buy medicines to help them get better :(.

Slide2

Slide3

Slide5

Slide6

Days like these are both fulfilling yet humbling.  It makes more obvious how my world is very different from theirs, and how I’ve been very fortunate in my life.

It kinda puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

Definitely, it makes me think twice before I start ranting about my problems :).

Slide4

Slide7

I am truly thankful for the generosity of our employees who helped make the med mission a success!

Their willingness to serve and to lend themselves to this cause is so inspiring!

Musings of a COO: A Night Out With My Girls

My girls and I have been working so hard lately, that I totally feel we deserve a break–a break from the stress and madness!  Hahaha!

As timing would have it, we were recently invited to WWF’s (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) Partner’s Night at Chef Jessie’s in Rockwell.  This event is held yearly, and is an opportunity for WWF to award the different companies that they work with, and that support their environmental advocacies.

We were not only honored to be one of the evening’s awardees, but we were also very excited at the chance to kick up our heels, get dressed in fancy clothes, and just be away from the confines of our office.  Hahaha!  Never mind that it was a work-related function–we were all just so thrilled to be able to have a night out! Hahaha!

We arrived at Chef Jessie’s just in time to find our seats, have a quick bite, and make the rounds of greeting our friends at WWF.

Soon after, we heard the name of our company called, so I had to go up the stage and accept the award.

The best part of the evening (aside from receiving the award, ofcourse!) was being able to meet Rovilson Fernandez and Marc Nelson, WWF’s brand ambassadors, and the hosts of that evening’s shindig.

Here is my team posing with Rovilson and Marc, as well as with WWF’s Chairman, Vince Perez, and President, Lory Tan.

Haaaaay!  To be in the presence of such cuteness!  Hahaha!

Seriously, though, I am very proud of the work my company has done with WWF. This year, we collaborated on a project called Kalakasan, Kalikasan, an environmental life skills program aimed at educating children aged 9-11 about the effects of climate change on health.  It taught them about the causes of global warming, and how we play a huge part in saving the environment even through small lifestyle changes. Students were also taught how to keep themselves healthy in the midst of the ever-changing weather patterns, and the increasing incidence of weather-related diseases.

The nice thing about the program is its trickle down effect.  It began with the teachers, was passed on to the students, who in turn shared the information they learned with their families.

It was a very successful collaboration so we will definitely be doing it again with WWF next year!  Hooray!  And it will be even bigger and better, with more schools enrolled in the program :)!

It’s initiatives like these that really make me proud of the work that my team does.  To be able to affect lives positively and to be a proponent for change is not just fulfilling, but it is also such an honor.  Especially lately that we can really see how “damaged” Mother Nature has become, and how we are feeling the effects of global warming, it makes every contribution to saving the environment all the more valuable.  And I’m glad that through this effort, our company is able to do its share :).

Okay, enough of the seriousness…Let me end this post with my final photo of that evening–a souvenir of the cuteness that is Marc Nelson. Bwahahaha!

Tadaaaaa!

Yes, ladies, that is my arm around his waist :)  Hahaha!  Yes, I have no shame. Hahaha!

It was definitely a fabulous night :).

Musings of a COO: “Extra” for a Day

My job definitely keeps things interesting for me :).  I can be doing something creative one day like working on a new packaging design with our artists, or I can be conducting a press conference on another day with a famous celebrity.  There are times when I’ll be handing out medicines in a medical mission, or attending board meetings for a good portion of the day.  Whatever it is I’m doing, it is always guaranteed to be productive and out of the ordinary.  In fact, there are hardly ever days that are alike!

Recently, I had the opportunity to be an “extra” in one of our commercials :). While I’ve made cameos in some of our other commercials in the past, this is the first time that my face actually has screen time, and is quite recognizable!  While I find the experience to be quite nakakaaliw, I’m also quite embarrassed about the exposure.  To be honest, I thought that only my back, or at most, my profile, would be seen.  I didn’t think that the director would be taking from another angle, and it was that other angle that made it past the cutting floor!  Hahaha!  Oh well.  I guess I’ll just have to chalk it up to another one of those experiences that I can live to tell my grandkids about.  Hahaha!

Anyway, just wanted to share with you some of the photos from the TVC shoot, as well as the final product, ofcourse!

The Set

Mareng Winnie and the “extras”!

Lights, Camera, Action!

With ASCOF Brand Manager, A :)

The production crew

With our director, Raul Ona

These were the “real” talents! Hahaha!

And finally, the TVC!  Please click on the link below :).  That’s me in the green blouse :).  No judging on the acting, please!  Hahaha!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdYwnbOzvHk

At the end of the day, I feel really blessed to have a challenging, at times unpredictable, but definitely very interesting job that I love–I’m really thankful for this.  But more than that, the best part is being able to contribute, to enable, to inspire and to support my colleagues in whatever way I can, and for myself, that I never run out of new things to learn, and experiences that make me a better me.