How life has been going

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Before my previous post, it’s been almost five months since my last published blog. Honestly, a lot has already happened between the months I was off of my journal. It wasn’t really good at first. In fact, it felt like I was in a quarter life crisis. It was a long and painful process, especially that I wasn’t with my family. In September, everything was already making sense. It became clearer to me of what I wanna do with my life. Though the plan I wrote in my post late last year (See: Taking a leap of faith) didn’t happen, the experience opened the door for me to start reaching my ambitious dream, to be an entrepreneur.

They say ‘the beginning is always the hardest.’

True enough, it took me two years to finally start creating a business. After my 24th birthday, I started thinking about getting paid for my hobby. I and a friend started reading about setting up a photo booth, creating and buying hand props, watching photoshop demonstrations in youtube, etc. In less than a month, we made it! By December, we got four clients right away. Presently, we already served around 20 clients while at the same time doing our corporate responsibilities. Soon, I know for sure, I can focus more on this venture as I bid goodbye from my job in the corporate world.

It’s so amazing how tireless you become once you’ve done something that you love. I say it to myself repeatedly that work isn’t actually work anymore. To see people smile on my camera actually means a lot in capturing their moments with friends and family. It’s totally a different fulfillment than a 4.0 in performance rating.

But what is more meaningful is that I think I passed the first challenge – to start my first move. It truly feels great to finally gone over that line that separates me from entrepreneurship. I understand that the photo booth business will not really make it so big, however, it’s an achievement for me to finally sell something to people I don’t know.

Goods for households

Last Christmas break, I was researching about products that can be easily done at home – something that is manageable and useful to households. I did this to prepare my family for my supposed resignation last January. I wanted them to be ready because I know that my road outside the corporate world won’t be easy, ultimately for having no fixed income every month. I want them to be independent of me for the mean time while I am making my way through.

Then, I thought about the dishwashing liquids – manageable and useful to households.

People are not really particular with the brand. There are some who even use ‘bareta’ as dishwashers. So I thought, this might be easy to sell. Also, it’s so easy to prepare. We only struggled to find suppliers of raw materials. But after that, all were set. In less than one week, we sold all the 16 liters we made. Thankfully, it’s getting a right response from consumers.

When it seems like the quality of the product is notable, I decided to bring it here in Davao and be a supplier to restos. Since April, we have two regular customers already. I pray that it will pave a way to more, bigger and satisfied customers.

‘Lucky’

One of the things I planned to accomplish this year was to purchase a van for business. I’ve been thinking about this since 2016 but I can’t find a concrete reason why I wanna buy it. Then come last quarter, I realized what purpose it may serve me eventually with all the plans I’ve been thinking. Right now, it can’t serve its real purpose. But for now, I’ll use it to serve our clients for the photo booth and dishwashing liquids, and for those who wanna rent it as tourist van.

Last April, we were able to acquire the van. Thanks to Toyota Otis for a very smooth and quick transaction! My mom named it ‘Lucky’, claiming that it will give luck to our life as we work harder.

Right now, I’m so excited to focus all my attention on this ventures. I’m so positive of all the developments that can happen along the way. I know we have a lot of potentials to uncover to open for bigger and worthy opportunities. Knowing that all other successful businesses came from small ones makes me hopeful and optimistic that someday we can also make it, just like them.

That’s what keeping me busy for how many months already. I am preparing myself to a journey I have never been before. I am planning for my future that finally, I can say that this is what I wanted to do with my life. That part of my life when I felt lost drove me to find myself. And I have no one else to thank for than our Almighty God. Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings, challenges and opportunities. Indeed, there is always purpose in whatever circumstances we are into. Just trust the process.

Rich dad, poor dad

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Earlier, I went to Tagum City, an hour and a half drive from Davao, to deliver a dishwashing liquid to a friend’s family business. It was raining so hard and thought I might not deliver the goods that time since I already became worried about the condition of the river under the bridge I will pass by going back to Davao. The river used to overflow and thought na baka mastranded ako. Thankfully, the odds were in my favor. I delivered the goods.

But you know, fate has its own ways.

At the most unexpected time, I think I’ve seen a real life ‘rich dad’ right on my very eyes. At the time when I just wanted to leave the place due to the bad weather condition, God has assured me that something important is waiting for me in the ‘tindahan’. Kahit umuulan pa, I decided to get out of the car and see Tita Edith.

It was our first time to meet. She is the mother of a colleague in JNJ. They learned that I was selling dishwashing liquid so they ordered bulk for their ‘manukan’. It was in the center of the wet market where there is so much traffic (I meant, traffic of people that could be the potential customer for their business). I ask, ‘magkano po ang rent nyo dito?’ She told me 31k. I thought it was too expensive but then she assured me that it might be expensive in value but the return is way better than cheaper places.

That moment, I know for sure, she means business!

We were talking for probably more than an hour. Just talking about businesses and giving me bits of advice that perhaps would help me as a startup. She shared with me how light her life is for making money and others work for her – how she spends time doing what she love, how light her schedule is, how she can do other things in her most convenient time. It seems like a life well-lived.

For about an hour, I felt the positivity. She repeatedly told me to just simply shoo away the worries and negativities that might cross my mind. ‘Just do it.’ I can sense that she was very passionate about what she’s been doing. By sharing with me her attitude and mindset towards her business, I felt like a little child being taught about the fundamentals.

Rich dad, in the book, knows pretty well how dreams can be turned into realities. She does, as well. She kept telling me na diskarte lang ang lahat.  And I couldn’t agree more! My hopes were up that I could still make it by doing my own Diskarte. I’m pretty confident because for the past years, I know I’ve been doing a lot of it. (Lightbulb moment: Maybe I was trained for it? hehe.)

Suddenly, I asked myself, why is it so easy to believe her than to the people in coat and tie?

She hasn’t finished college, even born in a financially-challenged family. Yet, drove her way up. She talks about experiences while others talk about what they believe in. She shares advices she learned herself while others share what the book says. She shows her life as a proof while others show others life as a proof. This experience had me thinking that not because they are more professional looking does it mean they know things so well, especially in the field of business. You never know, the ‘rich dad’ that will inspire you wears only shorts and tees.

As what they say, the goal is to be rich, not to look rich.

Thank you, Tita Edith, for inspiring me to do better, for motivating me that I can do it with my perseverance and for reminding me that nothing is impossible with Him.

This shall commence everything! I am way more excited now than ever. :)

PS: Yes, I have my own brand of dishwashing liquid. :)

Budget and Travel Itinerary (For 8): Canyoneering | Kawasan Falls | Whale Shark Watching in Oslob | Sumilon Island

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Six months after my first jump into the mysteriously beautiful river of Matutinao, I came back to double the experience, this time with friends for more than 10 years. It still gave me a lot of chills and still as enjoyable and mystical as my first. Finally, a repeat happens!

Anyway, just like my previous post on the same trip, I’d like to share our itinerary and budget for eight pax. And this time, with Sumilon Island in Oslob and City tour that includes Temple of Leah and Taoist Temple for budget of less than Php 4,500.00 – a test to show that the previous itinerary (including contacts, accommodation, etc) really works. :)

DAY 1: OCTOBER 31, 2016

TIME DESTINATION / ITINERARY BUDGET (PHP) BUDGET per pax (PHP)
1:00 PM Robes Pension House 2,100.00 262.50
1:15 PM Lunch: Larsian 56.00 7.00
3:00 PM Van (City Tour) 2,500.00 312.50
4:00 PM Taoist Temple NO FEE
4:45 PM Temple of Leah (Entrance Fee) 400.00 50.00
6:00 PM Sto. Nino Church + Magellan’s Cross NO FEE
6:30 PM Grocery (Snacks for 2 days) 1,519.70 189.96
7:30 PM Dinner at Paulitos (SM Seaside) 999.00 124.88
9:00 PM 2 Taxi: Back to Robes 310.00 38.75
9:30 PM Freshen up + socials
TOTAL 7,884.70 985.59

Supposedly, we arrived in Cebu early in the morning. However, due to ‘operational limitations’ of Cebu Pacific, we arrived at around 12nn. This means that we have limited time to explore Cebu City. And truly, we were all in a rush visiting Temple of Leah, Taoist Temple, Sto. Nino Church, Magellan’s Cross and our lunch in Larsian.

We rented a van via Robes Pension House for only Php2,500.00 for four hours of use. For eight heads, I think this is not bad especially that the temples are on highlands that only habal-habal and taxi (aside from private cars) will dare to drive thru that will cost hundreds as well per head. So we decided to use their service for convenience while it’s cost-effective.

If you can be in cebu as early as possible the better so you can enjoy every spot you’ll visit.

DAY 2: NOVEMBER 1, 2016

TIME DESTINATION / ITINERARY BUDGET (PHP) BUDGET per pax (PHP)
2:00 AM Wake-up Call
3:00 AM 2 Taxi: Robes Pension House to Cebu South Bus Terminal 125.00 15.63
3:20 AM Arrival in terminal
3:30 AM Breakfast at 7Eleven 416.00 52.00
4:00 AM Bus: Departure to Badian (Ceres Bus with signage ‘Bato via Barili’) 1,176.00 147.00
7:00 AM Arrival at Matutinao Church (Sto. Tomas Church)
8:00 AM Start of Canyoneering 12,000.00 1,500.00
2:00 PM Done Canyoneering
4:30 PM Bus: Going to Oslob 480.00 60.00
6:30 PM Arrival Oslob Terminal
6:30 PM Bus: Going to Oslob Proper (Julie’s bakeshop as landmark going to lodge) 248.00 31.00
7:00 PM Checkin in New Oslob Village 2,000.00 250.00
7:30 PM Dinner at ihawan 760.00 95.00
9:00 PM Freshen up + socials
TOTAL 17,205.00 2,150.63

We decided to take 4am trip to Matutinao in Cebu South Bus Terminal. There’s nearby 7Eleven so you can have your breakfast there or better yet, take it from your groceries. :)

We arrived in Matutinao before 7pm and we were surprised by a breakfast prepared by Kuya Yoyoy and his wife. We went to the drop off area before 8am, however, the jump off point was totally different from the first time I went there. We have to trek for around 30 minutes and it wasn’t easy!! Mind you, the moment you hear the flowing river, the descend gets steeper.

The reason behind the changes is politics due to misunderstanding of LGUs of Badian and Alegria. Anyway, Canyoneering will always be a one-for-the-book experience! So better get ready of your action cams (and batteries) to better document your experience. :)

PS: Budget to canyoneering is already PHP 1,500.00 including lunch and gears. 

DAY 3: NOVEMBER 2, 2016

TIME DESTINATION / ITINERARY BUDGET (PHP) BUDGET per pax (PHP)
4:00 AM Wake-up call
5:00 AM L3 Van: Transfer to Whale watching area 800.00 100.00
5:30 AM Arrival in Whale watching area
6:00 AM Start of registration + orientation 4,000.00 500.00
7:00 AM Done with Whale watching
7:15 AM Boat: Transfer to Sumilon Island 2,000.00 250.00
9:30 AM Back to New Oslob Village Included in L3
10:00 AM Freshen up
12:00 NN Checkout
12:00 NN Nuestra Immaculada de Concepcion
12:30 NN Van: Going to Simala 1,500.00 187.50
2:30 PM Arrival in Simala
3:00 PM Van: Back to Cebu City (including City tour and transfer to Airport) 1,000.00 125.00
5:00 PM Arrival in Sto. Nino Chruch (Thanksgiving for safe travel)
5:30 PM Lunch + dinner 960.00 120.00
7:30 PM Van: Taboan (pasalubong) KKB
8:15 PM Van: Going to Airport
TOTAL 10,260.00 1,282.50
TOTAL TRAVEL 35,349.70 4,418.71
                                                     SOUTH CEBU TRAVEL, DONE!
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Sumilon Island

I always tell this to those who comment in my previous post that you better be early in whale shark watching registration area so you can be in first batch. Like what we did, we’re done before 7am. Hence, we can afford to stay longer in Sumilon Island.

If you’re not visiting Simala Church, you can check Tumalog Falls. It’s one of the best places to visit in Oslob.

So there, If you have questions, feel free to message me. If you’re only a group of five, you may also want to check my previous post about South Cebu Adventure.