Archive of ‘Self Development’ category

True Beauty


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Beauty is relative. It differs from time, culture and place. I just finished re-watching 200 Pounds of Beauty and I was struck by the lengths a lot of people go to in order to be beautiful. Surgery is no mean feat. There are a lot of risks involved. But studies show that more and more people are willing to go under the knife to achieve what they perceive beauty to be.

I was one of these people. I’ve always disliked my nose and so way back in high school, I decided that when I grew up, I was going to get a rhinoplasty. AKA a nose job. I was contemplating about finally doing it last year. I already researched about it and found a good surgeon to do it. But then I changed my mind.


Because I realized that having a better nose wouldn’t necessarily make me happier. So I decided to just accept the one I was born with.

True beauty isn’t only about how good you look. It’s about attitude.

How you carry yourself and how you treat others, that’s what will really make you beautiful.

A confident and kind woman is more beautiful than someone who is more attractive but insecure and treats others badly.

Do you want become more beautiful? Own it. Carry yourself with confidence. Be kind.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

No amount of plastic surgery can really make you happy. We will always find something wrong with ourselves. What we can do is to develop not only our physical but inner beauty as well.

Let your true beauty shine through.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.


Midcon 2015 Videos

To those who missed the 2015 Midyear Conference in Bulacan, here’s a short video of what happened on the 2-day conference. The videos were able to capture a lot of the fun moments we had during the conference and part of the winning speech of the Impromptu Speech Champion from Division F – Leo Nogas.



The 2016 District Conference is going to be on April 28-30 at the Grand Convention Center, Cebu.

Registration Rates:

  • P 4,500 – Until Oct 18
  • P 5,000 – Oct 19 – Dec 31, 2015
  • P 6,000 – January 1 – March 31, 2016
  • P 6,500 – April 1 to onsite

Hope you can join us! It’s worth it.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.



I’m Writing A Book in 90 Days (Or Less)!

I did it! I just signed up for Sha Nacino’s 90-Day Book Writing Challenge. I’ve always enjoyed writing. I’ve kept a journal every since I was in grade school up until now. Writing is my catharsis. I feel that there are just so many things I can do when I write. I can express myself, share information, inspire and motivate people…When you speak you are only limited to your immediate audience. But when you write it down, there’s no telling how far your message can go.

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We all have a story to tell. We all have something to share. We all have knowledge we can impart.

If a story is in you, it has got to come out.

-William Faulkner

There may be someone out there who needs your story. But you will never know who you can help by writing your story down unless you just do it.

It has always been my dream to write a book. The problem is, I don’t know the first thing about writing a book. How do you choose a topic? How do you organize everything you want to say? How do you publish a book?

You can make anything by writing.

-CS Lewis


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The 90-Day Book Writing Challenge of Sha Nacino promises to provide a system on how to do all these and more. According to Sha, you can write a book even if you’re busy and even if you are not a writer. I certainly hope so! Because these days, busy seems to be my middle name. Between managing Truly Wealthy Realty, Toastmasters and my ministry, 24 hours never seems to be enough.

We make time for the things that are important to us.

Someone once told me, when something is important to you, you don’t find the time to do it. You “make” time. So this is me, making time. This is me, taking a leap. This is me, acting out in faith. The course will be starting on February of 2016. This means  I should be done with my book by April. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Target date for the book launch is going to be around June 2016.

Wish me luck guys!

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.



For those who want to join Sha’s 90-Day Book Writing Challenge, click HERE. Let’s write our first book together!

Toastmasters Midyear Convention 2015 – Bulacan (Day 2)

I wish I could say the 2nd day of the Midyear Conference dawned bright and clear. But I can’t because it didn’t . In fact, I woke in the midst of Typhoon Lando. I never really knew the meaning of commitment until that day. All I wanted to do was go back to sleep! But since I was the contest chair for the Evaluation Contest, I had to get up early so I could be at the Contestant Briefing at 7am.

contest host alex zetaPhoto by Leo Nogas

As much as I love competing, I also love hosting. So when Sha asked me to chose between judge or contest chair, i chose the latter.

midcon 2015 toastmaster hero sha nacinoTest Speaker – Sha Nacino (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

The test Speaker, Sha Nacino, gave a speech entitled “Make Your Passion Your Profession”. It was a speech I could relate to since I also believe in doing what you love for a living. She was then evaluated by the 11 contestants in the Evaluation Contest.


evaluation champions

  • Champion: Erika Ilagan – Division A (Mystique Coolture TMC)
  • 1st Runner Up: Arthur Park – Division B (Diamond TMC)
  • 2nd Runner Up: Raxel Ann Gonzales – Division D (Barangay TMC)

After the contest, there were 2 more Educational Sessions. Since the theme for the conference was Toastmaster Hero, we got to listen to two Filipino heroes tell us about their experience and how they managed to come out triumphant despite all odds.

toastmasters philippines midcon 2015 jonathan yabutThe Apprentice Asia Challenge Winner – Jonathan Yabut (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

Jonathan Yabut is the first Apprentice Asia Challenge Winner. I learned 3 things from him that day.

First, work smart, not hard. According to Jonathan, he won the challenge not because he was smarter or better than the other contestants. He won because he chose to work smart.

Second, learn to say no. There are so many opportunities in the world today. If you want to succeed, you have to learn to say no to some of these opportunities. Because you can’t possibly take advantage of them all. The key to success is focus.

Third, leadership is about other people. It’s not about you. The true value of leadership is in stepping back, not standing out. It’s about allowing others to shine.

midcon 2015 + toastmasters jonathan yabut

toastmasters philippines midcon 2015 maid to madeRebecca Bustamante – Maid to Made (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

Once a domestic helper in Singapore, Rebecca Bustamante is now the founder and president of Chalre Associates, a multinational recruitment firm for senior management executive positions.



  • Toastmaster of the Year 2014 – Pearl Villamarzo
  • Area Governor of the Year 2014 – DTM Johnny Uy
  • Division Governor of the Year 2014 – Division A Governor Lito Baldisimo

IMG_5310Toastmaster of the Year 2014 – Pearl Villamarzo

midcon 2015 + toastmasters area gov of the yearArea Governor of the Year 2014 – DTM Johnny Uy

DTM Johnny “Pawe” Uy led his area to be the first distinguished area in the world. Now that’s excellence.

Division Gov of the yearDivision Governor of the Year 2014 – Division A Governor Lito Baldisimo

midcon 2015 day 2Toastmasters from Division F

midcon 2015 + toastmasters alex zeta

midcon 2015 midcon 2015 commiteeMidcon 2015 Working Committee

toastmasters philippines midcon 2015 gabby

Midcon 2015 Chair – Gabriel Go Balauag

We all had a blast during the 2015 Midyear Conference. Kudos to Gabby, the Midyear Chair and the rest of the Midcon team for making this possible.

The best part of organizing the Midcon is everything that happens after it. I’ve been a Toastmasters since 2006 but it was only when I chose to actively lead when I found my greater purpose. Toastmasters is not only about attending two meetings a month. When you choose to lead, it can be so much more. For this conference, we focused on igniting the participants passion. To be more cognizant of the everyday heroes around us and become heroes ourselves. Through conventions, new leaders emerge.

-Gabriel Balauag (Midcon 2015 Chair)

discon 2016 commiteeDiscon 2016 Promotion

 I’ve been attending Toastmaster Conferences for years and they have always been a blast! The 2016 District Conference is going to be on April 28-30 at the Grand Convention Center, Cebu.

Registration Rates:

  • P 4,500 – Until Oct 18
  • P 5,000 – Oct 19 – Dec 31, 2015
  • P 6,000 – January 1 – March 31, 2016
  • P 6,500 – April 1 to onsite

Hope you can join us! It’s worth it.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.


Toastmasters Midyear Convention 2015 – Bulacan (Day 1)

Last weekend, I, along with a few other Toastmasters from Division F, flew to Manila to attend the 2015 Midyear Conference of Toastmasters held at St. Agatha Resort in Bulacan. I was excited for this conference because I’ve never been to Bulacan. I was also excited for our contestants to win in either the Evaluation or Impromptu Category. As the Club Extension Chair for Mindanao, I had to be there. I was hitting many birds with one stone.

toastmasters philippines midcon 2015Photo by Ed Fabonanmidcon 2015 toastmaster hero 6Photo by Ed Fabonan midcon 2015 toastmaster hero st agathaPhoto by Ed Fabonan

The program started with a parade of the members from all Divisions, the District Officers and Midcon and Discon Chairs. It was then formally opened with a short message from District 75 Director Boi Archie. The message was short and sweet mainly emphasizing the theme for his term, Change Your World.

district director boi archie toastmasters philippinesDistrict 75 Director Boi Archie (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

toastmasters hero midcon 2015 alex zetaWith our Evaluation Contestant and the President of Central CDO TMC, Eddie Garbosa and the President of the #recharged Iligan Toastmasters Club, Archie Velasco.

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Then the Impromptu Speech Contest came after, followed by numerous educational and break out sessions and the District Council meeting.

midcon 2015 toastmaster hero toastmasters of the day

The Toastmasters of The Day for Day 1


midcon 2015 table topics winners

  • Champion: Leonardo G. Nogas Jr. – Division F (Iligan TMC)
  • 1st Runner Up: Michael Malazarte – Division C (PICPA Cebu TMC)
  • 2nd Runner Up: Daryl Ponard – Division G (Pines City TMC)

toastmasters philippines midcon 2015 pj lanotPJ Lanot (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

Education Talk No. 1: Heroism on Communication

PJ Lanot is a TV and events host, commercial model, restauranteur and motivational speaker. He is a leadership, marketing and communications speaker for DTI, Trainstation and AIB Training.

toastmasters philippines midcon 2015 5Raul S. Manuel (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

Education Talk No. 2: Heroism on Community Development

Raul S. Manuel is the National Director for Convoy of Hope Philippines, a faith-based organization that leads in humanitarian initiatives across the Philippines. Through Convoy of Hope, thousands of malnourished children get food to eat, medical screenings and more.

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midcon 2015 toastmaster hero toastmaster hero midcon 2015

Breakout Session #1:

  • Global Accent for Global Toastmasters
  • Mastering Protocols
  • Crafting and Delivering Tall Tales

Breakout Session #2:

  • Improv Storytelling
  • District Council Meeting (District Officers, Club Presidents and Vice Presidents for Education)

division F toastmastersToastmasters of Division F – Heroes Night

Day 1 ended with a bang with Fellowship Night: Heroes Cosplay. I had so much fun running around and taking photos with the different super heroes. There were the usuals – Superman, Spiderman and Batman. And there were the more creative ones like Super Inday and Ironman – Leo’s version of it anyway. midcon 2015 toastmaster hero ed fabonanPhoto by Ed Fabonan

iron men of toastmastersHere’s a photo of the two iron men of Toastmasters. Can you spot the difference? :)

midcon 2015 toastmaster hero 2The District Trio posing in their super hero costumes

midcon 2015 toastmaster hero starwards familyAn entire division was all decked up in Star Wars theme. Princess Leia was out there somewhere.

midcon 2015

midcon fellowship night

And this is it for Day 1 of the Midyear Conference! Day 2 post coming soon!


For those who want to join the next Toastmasters Conference in Cebu, you may contact me for details. I guarantee, you wont regret it!


Midcon 2015 Impromptu Speech Winners

midcon 2015 table topics winners


Impromptu Speaking is something that most people fear, because when you stand up to speak in front, your brain has a tendency to stop functioning. But here in Toastmasters, we’ve not only perfected it (almost). We made it into a contest. Now you may be thinking, who’s crazy enough to join an impromptu speaking contest? Who would subject themselves to such torture?

Well apparently, there are a lot of crazy people in Toastmasters. And I’m one of them. Please don’t judge me.

For this years Midyear Conference, we got the chance to witness the best impromptu speakers of the 11 divisions in District 75, compete for the championship in Table Topics.

The contest quote was:

It is in moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.

-Tony Robbins

All the contestants did an awesome job. But there can only be one winner.


midcon 2015 table topics winners

(Left to right) Michael Malazarte,  Leonardo G. Nogas Jr.,  Daryl Ponard

  • Champion: Leonardo G. Nogas Jr. – Division F (Iligan TMC)
  • 1st Runner Up: Michael Malazarte – Division C (PICPA Cebu TMC)
  • 2nd Runner Up: Daryl Ponard – Division G (Pines City TMC)


The newly hailed Table Topics Champion with the District Trio (District Director Boi Archie,  Program Quality Director Dulce Ranosa, Club Growth Director Chin Talaver) and PDG Vic Navales.

leo nogas table topics championPhoto by Ed Fabonan

table topics championLeo and his Division F family (Photo by Alden Llona)

toastmasters philippines table topics championPhoto by Alden Llona

And it’s a back to back win for Division F! Leo and I won in the Table Topics contest in the same year so we have the exact same trophy :)

In fact, our Back to Back Victory Party is this Sunday.

table topics champions iligan toastmasters division F

It’s a great thing to win contests yourself. But it’s another thing entirely to help someone else win. I wasn’t as nervous when I competed in the Table Topics Contest (read full post HERE) in the District Conference in Palawan. But seeing my mentee step up on stage, it almost gave me a heart attack. But I shouldn’t have been nervous. Leo gave an awesome performance. I’m glad the perpetual trophy is staying with Division F!

Congratulations to all the contestants and to the winners!

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.


Are You Busy or Productive?


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According to Thomas Edison, being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is accomplishment. Seeming is not doing.

There was a time when I thought that being busy was the same thing as being productive. So I would fill my days with an endless stream of tasks. There seemed to be no end of the things that I could do.

Then one day our consultant asked us to write down how many clients we were able to contact in a month, how many we’ve met and the number of deals closed. Once I saw my numbers, I was really shocked. I’ve only met this number of clients in a month? But I felt so busy!!

The numbers made me realize that being busy wasn’t the same as being productive. I was just filling my days with mostly meaningless activity that did nothing for my bottom-line. Being busy made me feel like I was accomplishing something. But that was just it – a feeling.


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Then I came across Tim Ferriss’ book – The 4-Hour Workweek. It was mainly about the complete embodiment of the Pareto Principle into your life. The Pareto Principle states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In the business, this can be translated to – 80% of your sales, come from 20% of your clients.



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If you truly want to be productive, eliminate the 80% that is not contributing to your bottom-line and focus on the 20% that is bringing you results.

The first thing I learned from The 4-Hour Workweek is, prioritize.

Eliminate all meaningless activity and focus on what matters. For a real estate broker this means focusing on making calls, setting appointments and meeting clients. The more clients you meet, the more chances of closing a sale. Sales, is after all, a numbers game. That’s the Law of Probability.

There is never enough time to do everything but there is always enough time to do the important things.

-Brian Tracy

The second thing I learned is, outsource.

There are things that only you can do (like meeting clients and closing deals) and then there are things that you can delegate. You don’t need to do everything. We all have 24 hours in a day and it’s vital that we use our time wisely. Time is today’s greatest commodity.

When we first started Truly Wealthy Realty, my partners and I did everything by ourselves. Aside from the front-end tasks, we also did the back-end tasks such as us paying the bookkeeper, depositing checks, updating our inventory and the endless paperwork involved in closing deals. The time we spent doing paperwork cut into the time we could have spent meeting new clients and closing deals. If we wanted to be the number 1 realty in Cdo by 2018, we needed to hire someone who could do this for us so we could focus on growing the realty. So, just last month, we hired an Executive Assistant. This turned out to be a great decision as this allowed us to focus more on our main goal, which is to grow the realty.

The third thing I learned is, work smart.

Most of us end up working hard instead of working smart. Instead of spending a lot of time each day doing certain tasks, set it up so almost everything can run on autopilot. Create a system for doing things to make it faster and easier for you.

“Focus on being productive instead of being busy.”

-Tim Ferriss

When it comes to business, productivity is more important than time. This means that if you can finish your work in 4 hours each day, then you don’t have to work 8 hours a day. 8 hours a day is the standard for employees. But we don’t have to conform to that. Develop a system that will allow you to complete your work in the fastest time and then you can spend the rest of the day doing other things that matter to you.

I work an average of 6 hours a day (sometimes less) because I want to spend time on other things that are also important to me such as working out, Toastmasters and my ministry. I believe that true success is achieving balance in one’s life.

There has never been so much opportunity as there is today. You can live the life you have always dreamed of if you just learn to prioritize and work smart.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.




Step Out of Your Comfort Zone



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According to Neale Walsch, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

A comfort zone is defined as a place where one feels at ease and comfortable, without stress.

We like our comfort zones. Why wouldn’t we? We feel safe, comfortable. Why should we need to change anything?

One word. Growth.

If we are not growing, then we’re regressing. If we are not moving forward, we are moving backwards.

There is no such thing as standing still. Everything is in constant motion. We need to try new things that challenge us to grow, to learn, and to become better. We won’t know how far we can go if we don’t push ourselves to the limit.

I’m not a sporty person. Growing up, I was never good at any sport. I was terrible at ball sports and mediocre at racket sports. My brother, on the other hand, was a natural athlete. He could adapt to any sport – whether it was basketball, swimming or soccer. I preferred to read books, write and play the piano.

Then a few months ago, a friend of mine invited me to try CrossFit. It’s not only a type of exercise, it’s now a competitive sport. CrossFit workouts include a mix of Olympic weight lifting, high-intensity interval training, gymnastics, calisthenics, plyometrics and powerlifting. It’s not your ordinary workout program. It can really take you to the next level physically.

Although I wasn’t the “sporty type” I’m very competitive. So I decide to try it. On their free trial, I got the best time for women at the time. I completed the workout in a little over 4 minutes. This greatly encouraged me to sign up the following week.


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Through CrossFit I got to do a lot of things I didn’t think I could do. Such as do a rope climb or deadlift 145 lbs (which is more than I weigh!). Check out my rope climb video below 😛

CrossFit is just like life. There may be a lot of things you think you can’t do – because you believe that you’re not smart enough, skilled enough or pretty enough to do it. But how will you know unless you try?


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We can never fully experience life if we live it on the sidelines. We’ve got to step out on the court and play the game.

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.

– Brian Tracy

Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but somehow the fear of failure has always stopped you?

Try it now.

Step out of your comfort zone. Try new things. Open yourself to different experiences. When you do, you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve when you just open your mind to the possibilities that surround you.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life!



Fail Forward


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Success is 99% failure.

This was my quote during the Discon 2015 table topics contest. And I could totally relate to it. I have failed more times than I can count. And chances are, I’m not gonna stop.

When I was in college, I tried to join the Luce Auditorium Core of Ushers and Usherettes (LACUU). They are a prestigious group in Silliman University in charge of ushering people around the Luce Auditorium – the largest fully function theatre outside Metro Manila. Aside from getting to attend shows for free, they get paid! Ok, so the salary wasn’t great. But it was a pretty prestigious org to join in. I joined with a few friends of mine. First there was an interview and then a written exam. My friends got in. I didn’t even pass the interview.

I then tried joining the Silliman University Campus Ambassadors. They are a group of students tasked to welcome and guide visitors around campus. I joined with another friend. She got in. I didn’t. Yes, the rejections hurt. A lot. My mom even asked me “Anak, please stop trying to join these groups. I don’t like seeing you get hurt.”

Even as a broker I’ve had a lot of failures. One time I was site touring my client and I forgot the address of the property I was supposed to bring him to! (In my defense I was new then and I was unfamiliar with Cdo at the time).

Yes. I’ve been rejected a lot (especially in my line of work). I’ve failed a lot. But the bottom line is, that’s part of life. That’s part of success. If we have to fail, then we might as well fail forward. Learn the lesson and move on. No experience is ever wasted because we always learn something worthwhile in every experience.

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yes. I’ve failed a lot and im not afraid to say it. Because I know I wont stop messing up. No matter how careful I am I will make mistakes. Of course I’m going to do my best but in the event that I do fail, I will learn the lesson and move on. Embrace each failure and learn from it.

And the contest, yes I did win it. The champion in Impromptu Speaking – who could have that thought I would win something like this? But I won only because I’ve failed more times than I can count.

Failure is an event, not a person.

-Zig Ziglar

What about you?

Do you feel like you are failing in your career? Your love life? Your health? We have all been there. Take heart and don’t give up. No problem is big enough for our God. He is sovereign and he will help you.

I’m not afraid to say that I have failed. But in my failures I have chosen to fail forward.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life!


My Take on Heneral Luna

Heneral Luna is a movie about courage and love for country. In the movie, Heneral Luna was portrayed as a General who would die for his country. Although he came from a rich family, he didn’t just stay within his comfort zone. He could have lived a comfortable life and yet he chose to lead the country in the war against the Americans. He was a brilliant strategist, President Aguinaldo’s best general and a fearless fighter. Yet, it’s ironic that he died not in battle but in the hands of his fellow Filipinos.

heneral luna

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The main thing I learned from the movie is this: Anger gets you nowhere.

Heneral Luna was a superb general. He knew how to attack, when to attack and when to retreat. Yet in the movie, his clear limitation as a leader was his temper. He would have periodic outbursts of anger and he would say things in rage.

Fools give full vent to their rage, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

-Proverbs 29:11

I believe as a leader, your main responsibility is to lead yourself. If you can’t hold back your temper, how can you be effective in leading others?

heneral luna movie

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You may be the most intelligent and talented person on earth, but if you can’t work with other people, then your influence as a leader will be severely limited. You wont be able to be the best that you can be both as an individual and as a leader.

I could relate to Heneral Luna because I used to be at the mercy of my temper. As the eldest of three children, I became accustomed to telling people what to do and then expecting them to obey me. Tact wasn’t something I had as a child.

You attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.

-Dale Carnegie

If you want someone to do something, it would be so much easier if you got him or her to like you first. And then ask them nicely. Because then, they would “want” to do it instead of them just being compelled by you. As we often say in Toastmasters, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

Over time I learned to be a team player. Because really, no person can achieve anything of lasting value alone. You need a team. Even Jesus had his 12 apostles.

 Anger gets you nowhere.

 Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook at insult.

-Proverbs 12:16

All in all, Heneral Luna made me feel proud to be a Filipino. The courage he showed in fighting for what he believed in is something we should all emulate. We often take this freedom we have now for granted. Let’s remember to live for our country as so many died so we could have the freedom that we now enjoy.

May you live a Truly Wealthy life!


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