Monastery of the Transfiguration Retreat

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For the Holy Week, I decided to go on a retreat with my partners from Truly Wealthy Realty – Stef and Chastine, at the Benedictine Monastery of the Transfiguration in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. I am, by nature, an extrovert. I love being with people. The nature of my job requires me to be accessible so that’s why I’m always online. But for this retreat, I decided to “unplug” myself – at least during the day. I switched my phone to flight mode – no facebook, instagram, calls or texts. It was a challenge to be sure but a refreshing experience.

The monastery is run by Benedictine monks and is famous for their pyramid shaped church and delicious Monks Blend coffee.

Cost: 850php/night

Inclusive of:

  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals (buffet style)
  • snacks
  • unlimited Monks Blend coffee

For reservations, contact Dom Paco at 0929-586-0649.

bukidnon + monastery of transfiguration 6Dining Area

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Prayer Room

The whole place is so quiet and peaceful. It’s the perfect place to go soul searching or write a book . I spent two days reading, writing, reflecting and praying.

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What I gained from my retreat was:

  1. Time with God. I was able to spend time with God without any distractions (my cellphone is my biggest distraction). This time I got to worship and pray without getting distracted.
  2. Time alone. Even though I’m a very sociable person, I have found that it’s still important to take time to just be alone. I took this time to pray about my direction in life, reflect on the lessons I’ve learned and strategize about how I can improve.
  3. Peace. It’s not that I wasn’t at peace before the retreat, but going on one allowed me to come to terms with what I couldn’t change and do something about the things I could change. Also, it gave my aching muscles time to recover. Ever since I started CrossFit, my muscles seem to be permanently sore.

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What about you? When was the last time you went on a retreat? In this fast paced world of ours, it’s great to take time to be alone with God. It’s like diving in a pool of cool water in the middle of a scorching hot day. You’ll come out feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to conquer the world again!

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.



The Last Stretch


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Do you give up too soon?

Just recently I started doing CrossFit at CGYFit. CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program that incorporates elements from high-intensity interval training, plyometrics, weightlifting, powerlifting and gymnastics. It’s a pretty brutal combination that is designed to push you to your limits.

I’ve been going to the gym regularly for almost 2 years already and although I enjoy it, CrossFit is a whole new ball game. It tests my endurance and pushes me to the next level both physically and mentally. In CrossFit you are given a specific time frame to complete the WOD (Work Out of the Day). As soon as you finish the workout, you yell out “time!” and your time is recorded. Most WOD’s are just under an hour. So it’s fast, its furious. And you get to rest only when you are done. It’s often difficult to finish the whole cycle within the time allotted if you are new – unless you are already in excellent physical condition. The coaches are pretty strict with form too. If you execute it incorrectly it’s considered a “no rep” and you have to do it again. CrossFit not only allows you to compete with other people but also with yourself. Because every workout is timed, you get to track your progress.


What I learned by doing CrossFit is that the last minute counts even more than the first. On the last minute, the coaches don’t allow you to give up. They motivate you and do everything to keep you going. You have to keep on pushing until the clock stops ticking. It’s easy to keep going when you are still starting out – when you still have the enthusiasm and energy to fuel you. But on the last minute, when you just want to collapse because you are already dead tired, that’s when it counts the most. It’s no longer strength that drives you, it’s heart.

Success is a lot like CrossFit. Before you can achieve success, you have to put in a lot of hard work. You have to endure hardships, face different trials and overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. But if you don’t give up, you will reap the reward. Many start out strong, but so few finish the race. Why? Because most people give up on the last stretch.

 It’s always too soon to quit.

The last stretch is where it counts the most. This is where you do your best and give it your all. The last stretch is what makes the difference. It’s what separates the winners from the losers.

 Always make your goals and dreams greater than your discomfort. – Gary Ryan Blair

According to Gary Ryan Blair, every person who has ever been legitimately successful has formed the habit of doing things that others don’t like to do. This includes pushing yourself a little bit more when you feel like giving up. And this is why an epic life is achieved only by a minority of people – 5% of the population. So few people stretch out of their comfort zones. They prefer to live life on the sidelines – safe and secure. Living an epic life requires an enormous threshold of discomfort and inconvenience because of the many sacrifices involved. Living an epic life requires that you stick it out till the end.

Everyone is running a race. How are you doing with yours?

Don’t give up no matter how tired you are. Rest if you must but don’t quit. Finish the race. The last stretch is where it matters most.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life!




The Power of Commitment


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The ability to commit wholeheartedly – this is what separates the achievers from the dreamers.

We all want to achieve something. But so few actually do something about it.

What is commitment?

It’s about trying again one more time after getting rejected again and again.

It’s about waking up early on a Sunday even though you’d rather sleep in to serve at kid’s church.

It’s about meeting a client even at short notice because you want to provide excellent service at all times.

True commitment inspires people and attracts them to you like moths to a flame. A person committed to a cause will attract loyal followers. Why? Because people buy into the leader first before they will buy into the vision.

Commitment always comes before success and it is mainly tested through action. It’s easy to say something but doing it is another story. When you are committed, you will not only say it, you will also follow through.

In the early 1950’s, a man named Corbin Sanders was forced to close his once-successful restaurant due a change in circumstance. At 66 years old, he was forced to live on his Social Security check of $105 a month. Then he had an idea. He had a delicious chicken recipe that everybody loved. He would sell his chicken recipe to restaurants and in return, he would ask for 5 cents for every chicken sold. So he got into his car and traveled all over America to meet up with restaurant owners. His recipe was good but he got rejected again, again and again. In fact he got rejected 1,009 times! On his 1,010th try, he finally found someone who agreed to buy his recipe. The rest is history. He eventually opened his own restaurant and today, the  restaurant he founded, now has 18,000 outlets in 114 different countries. The name of his restaurant is KFC.

If C. Sanders was not committed to his goal, he would have stopped after one or two rejections. Had he done this, KFC wouldn’t exist today. This is the power of commitment. First, you believe in your product. Second, you act. Third, you keep going.

Many people are afraid to commit to something (or someone) mainly because they are afraid they wont be able to follow through. But if you don’t commit, you wont be able to achieve anything worthwhile. The most successful people I know are also the most committed.

According to John Maxwell in his book The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, there are 4 types of people.

  1. Cop-outs. People who have no goals and don’t commit.
  2. Holdouts. People who don’t know if they can reach their goals so they are afraid to commit.
  3. Dropouts. People who start toward a goal but quit when the going gets tough.
  4. All-outs. People who set goals, commit to them, and pay the price to reach them.

Now the question is, which one are you?

Every time you commit to something and follow through, you build your sense of self-esteem and self-worth. That is why it is also important to choose which causes to commit to. Know what you really want to fight for.

You have to be uncompromised in your level of commitment to whatever you are doing, or it can disappear as fast as it appeared…  Excellence isn’t a one-week or one-year ideal.  It’s a constant. There will be days when you don’t feel on top of your game, or meetings in which you aren’t at your best, but your commitment remains constant. No compromises. – Michael Jordan

What do you want to commit yourself to this year?

Choose wisely. Then follow through.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.


Let Go and Let God



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There is true freedom in surrender.

Too often in life we are tempted to want to take control of everything, especially for those who are “doers” like I am. I am the type of person who can’t sit still for an extended period of time (unless I’m reading a book). I always want to move around and do something.

One thing God has taught me this past year is to be “still and know that He is God.” There are times when the best thing to do is nothing. For some, doing nothing may be easy. But for me, that’s a challenge. Waiting and doing nothing does not come easy to me because when a situation arises, I immediately want to do something about it.

It was only last year when I realized that waiting is not only about being patient, it’s about being faithful. God will reveal to you his perfect plans in His own time – and not before that.

 We are here not to be successful but to be faithful. And if success comes with your faith, then praise God. – Mother Theresa

I’d just finished reading a book entitled Unstoppable – The Incredible Power of Faith in Action by best-selling author and speaker, Nick Vujicic. Nick was born without limbs. And yet that did not stop him by living life to the fullest and sharing God’s amazing love. I look at Nick and marvel at God’s incredible grace, at how He has used this man to inspire millions of people around the world to embrace life and accept Jesus. There are many people who have a complete set of limbs yet they wallow in self-pity and focus only on themselves. I look at Nick and am amazed at how much he has done for others. However, he wasn’t always this way. There was a time in his life when he tried to commit suicide because he didn’t want to burden his parents anymore. It was only when Nick finally let go of his doubts and insecurities that he started being able to inspire people and make a difference. God used an imperfect man (a man without limbs!) to fulfill His perfect plan.


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Sometimes we focus too much on ourselves that we fail to see God’s amazing plan for us. Had Nick focused on his “disability” he wouldn’t be the amazing author and evangelist he is today.

When I started Truly Wealthy Realty with my partners three years ago, I was focused solely on becoming a successful real estate broker. But when I started attending bible study and church service at CCF, I realized that there are things that are more rewarding than financial success. Of course, I don’t discount that. I still fully intend to be financially successful, but that desire has now come second to serving God. He will always be first with me. The moment I decided to let go and let God, tons of blessings seemed to pour into my life. Truly Wealthy got an exclusive contract with a developer to market a project in Iligan, I became Top Broker of the year for 2014 and this year, I’m finally starting my own bible study group together with a good friend from church.

I’ve never been more inspired and in love with God as I am today.

God + 0 = more than enough

God is more than enough for me and all I will ever need. Everything else is just a bonus.

What about you?

Do you feel like you are always striving to achieve an ever-elusive goal? Do you feel like you’ve been working hard but nothing is coming out of it?

Action is important. But there comes a time, when we have done all we can,that we sit back and let God move. The ability to let go and let God, allows our faith to grow. We need to fully trust in His plans for us for they will always be good, pleasing and PERFECT.

Let go and let God.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.


Where Does Your Money Go?

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In this day and age of consumerism, money can so easily slip through our fingers like water. And if we are not careful, our hard-earned money can disappear in what seems like an instant. Commercials, magazine ads, the internet, billboards…they all tempt us with the promise of instant gratification.

Buy this, and you will be happy. Buy this and you’ll become more beautiful, or smarter or healthier. It’s only too easy to slip into the habit of spending all our money and then some. This is why, I’ve decided to be intentional in the way I manage my finances.

Most people use this formula in spending their money:

Income – Expenses = Savings 

Then I came upon this formula while reading the book Think Rich Yuppies by one of my good friends (who happens to be an amazing author and speaker), Sha Nacino.

This is her formula:

Income – Savings = Expenses

If you spend first and save what’s left, there won’t be much left to save. So instead, save first. And then spend what’s left. This is called paying yourself first. To some, this maybe a new idea. How can one “pay” himself? The answer is, through saving.

Investing starts with saving.

You can’t invest if you don’t have any money saved up.

Think about it. When you receive your salary, you pay Rustans (when you go grocery shopping), you pay Globe, Jollibee, the tuition, electricity bills….the list is endless. But what about you? The one who earned this money? Don’t you deserve to be paid for your efforts as well?

Saving money is hard mainly because we feel like we never have enough to begin with. But it’s something we all need to do. My mom instilled in me the discipline of saving in grade school. Whenever I received my allowance for the week, I would immediately set aside a portion of it to be deposited in my bank account (yes, I had my own bank account in grade school).

Today, as a real estate broker (of Truly Wealthy Realty), I receive income in bulk. So I have to really discipline myself not to splurge and spend everything at once (no matter how tempting it may be). As I don’t have a regular salary, I need to find ways to make my money last.

Here is what I do with my money:

  • 10% tithe
  • 10% tax
  • 20% stock market
  • 20% forced savings (when this accumulates, I then invest the money elsewhere)
  • 10% education fund
  • 5% giving account (gifts, treats for my family)

I basically live on 25% of my income. Now if you are not accustomed to saving, you can start on saving 10% of your income every month. Then you can increase it to 20% later on. According to studies, to achieve financial freedom, you need to invest AT LEAST 20% of your income. That’s the minimum. So that when you are 60 years old and can no longer work for a living, you won’t have to rely on other people (like your kids or relatives) to support you in your old age. If you save 20% of your income and invest it in the stock market, bonds, mutual funds or other investment vehicles, you will have 10 million by age 60. You will have money to buy gifts for your grand children, medicine for yourself, maybe go on a cruise once a year… Now this is the life! But you can only have this life if you discipline yourself to start saving NOW.

Most of the yuppies I know look at me like I’m crazy when I say “I’m saving and investing for my retirement.” They go, “You are too young to even think about retiring!”

But the best time to invest for your retirement is NOW. Not in some far off future, not tomorrow, but today. Time can pass by swiftly. It’s better to prepare as early as possible so we can have the future that we want. Let’s practice delayed gratification. Let’s start paying ourselves first.

What about you?

Are you investing for your future now? There is no time like the present to start doing so.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life!


To Love or Not to Love?


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Human beings, by nature, yearn to love and be loved. We all want to have that special someone whome we can share moments and memories with. And yet, when true love comes along, we surround ourselves with walls to avoid getting hurt. We tend to withdraw early into the relationship to avoid the pain. We put up defenses to avoid being vulnerable.

I have always been like this. I have never allowed myself to love anyone fully because I didn’t want to be vulnerable. Why put yourself at the mercy of one person? And so, I have always held back with love.

Then I realized, by holding back, I was only cheating myself out of my happy ending. How could I experience true love if I didn’t allow myself to love truly, madly and deeply? (Enter Savage Garden song) I’m so fearless when it comes to other things but when it comes to love, I can be such a chicken.

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return. -Moulin Rouge

Since my theme for this year is Fearless 2015, I’m applying that theme to love as well. For the first time, I won’t be afraid to love unconditionally, to love fully, to love truly. I want to be able to love people the same way God loves me – unconditionally and without limits.

If you love truly, you can never lose, as love is always beautiful.

It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. -Alfred Lord Tennyson

What about you? Are you holding back from love because you are afraid of getting hurt? You risk losing more if you don’t open yourself up. Don’t be afraid to go all out. When you find the right person, it will be worth it.

Be fearless in love.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life!


Keep Planting

árbol en las manos

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When I started the realty with my partners, we had nothing but the passion for it and the faith to see it through. We didn’t have experience, money or contacts. But we persevered anyway. Why? Because we loved it.

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Yesterday, we celebrated the 3rd year Anniversary of our realty. Plus, we had our awarding ceremony for October, November, December, Q4 2014 and for the year 2014. I got a few awards including November Top Seller (Iligan Branch), 4th Quarter 2014 Top Broker (Iligan Branch) and Top Broker for 2014. (Read full post at Truly Wealthy Realty’s official website HERE).

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Being a real estate broker hasn’t been an easy journey. But it has been a very rewarding and fulfilling one. I enjoy my job and most of the time, I don’t even feel like its work. I get paid to do what I love to do. How cool is that?

If there is one thing I’ve learned by being in this business, it’s the importance of planting. You have to keep on planting, and planting, and planting…Because eventually you will harvest. Life is an echo. We get back what we give out. And it has been that way for me.

If you give out love and kindness, you’ll enjoy lasting friendships and good relationships.

If you work hard and genuinely care for your clients, you will get referrals and loyal customers.

What about you? What are you planting today? Good or bad, you will eventually reap what you sow. Once you find what you love to do, don’t stop planting for one day, it will be harvest time.

Plant wisely. Plant consistently. Plant faithfully.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

– Alex



Patience is a Virtue


Patience is a virtue. My college roommate used to say this all the time.

I am, by nature, a very impatient person. When I want something, I want to get it immediately. Waiting, for me, was nothing but a waste of time.

But I changed. Why? Because I had too. When I became a real estate broker, I couldn’t very well act in an impatient manner towards my clients. After all, the customer is always right. And so I learned to be patient.

Over an hour ago, I drove to Xavier Estates to get a new listing from a client. After an hour of waiting, he still hadn’t showed up. He also wasn’t answering my calls or texts. Finally, he picked up! Only to tell me he would be late for one more hour. So I decided to drive to Uptown Condotel and wait at York Right Café. If I had to wait for one more hour, I might as well wait in comfort. Also, I could use the gift certificate the owner gave me (thanks again Princess Lalwani!).

Being in sales has really taught me a lot of things. Patience is one of those things. But it’s not something that comes automatically (at least not to me). You have to decide to be patient. And when the time comes that your patience is tested, you have to stand by your decision even when it isn’t easy to do so.

Patience is the companion of wisdom.  ~St. Augustine

I welcome instances like this, instances when I am tested, because it forces me to grow. Growth isn’t easy, it isn’t comfortable, but I believe that it is always worth it.

What about you?

Do you feel like you’ve been working on your business for years but it still isn’t bearing fruit? Be patient. You will reap what you sow. Keep on patiently planting.

Do you have someone in your life who has been pushing you to your limits? Be patient. There’s a reason why people are the way they are. Maybe that person needs your understanding now more than ever.

Do you feel like you’ve been waiting for true love, for prince charming but all you’ve been attracting are frogs? Be patient. God is preparing someone for you. You’ll meet that person in God’s perfect time.

Patience is a virtue.

Be the best person that you can be.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life!


You Are My Strong Tower

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Life is full of twists and turns. It goes up and down, it turns left and right. One moment we are up – happy, fulfilled and confident. And in an instant, everything can change.

Last year, my friends and I went on an Asian tour: Vietnam-Cambodia-Thailand. On our first day in Vietnam, we went to Cu Chi Tunnels. It’s an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in Ho Chi Minh City, the base of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War.


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The tunnels were 2 hours away from our hotel, so we had to take a van along with other tourists to get to it. On our way back from the tunnels, I fell asleep on the van. When we got back to our hotel, I discovered all my money was gone! Don’t ask me how much it was, but it was a LOT of money because it was for our entire 9-day trip.

I know now I shouldn’t have brought it all. I shouldn’t have fallen asleep. I should have been more careful. A million “I should haves” flashed through my mind. But what’s done is done. It was only the first day of our vacation, I couldn’t dwell on that loss for the entire trip! I didn’t want to ruin our vacation. So after about 2 hours of moping around, being comforted by my friends and feeling depressed, I made up my mind to get over it and enjoy the rest of my trip. Whoever took my money probably needed it more than I did. So I “give” it to them freely. Anyway, God will return it to me a hundred fold.

Nothing is permanent. Everything can change in an instant. And when that happens, how you react is your call. As for me, the trials I encounter are just an opportunity to trust God more. Every loss, every heartbreak, every disappointment brings me closer to God. He is my strong tower, my refuge, my source of strength. He has never let me down and I know he never will.

What about you?

Do you feel frustrated, angry or confused with life?

Turn to God. He will comfort you, guide you and show you what to do.

He is my strong tower and He can be yours too.

When you can’t see God’s hand, trust His heart. -Emily Freeman

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.


Write Your Life’s Script


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I love to write.

Writing for me is the catharsis for my emotions. It allows me to express my feelings and let my voice out. Most of the time, I write about my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I also write to tell my story.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. – Maya Angelou

Last year, as I was driving home from Cagayan de Oro for the Holidays, listening to an audio by Bo Sanchez, I was hit with an epiphany. I keep on writing about the past, why not write about the future for a change? The future I want.

According to Bo Sanchez, most people treat their lives like a telenovela. They just watch. You don’t know how much power you have. You have the power to write your own life’s script. God himself has given you this power. He wants to empower us to take control of our lives. Everything we want is at our fingertips. We just have to reach out and take it

It was in high school when I discovered the importance of writing down my dreams. I would write down everything I wanted to have or achieve – whether it was high grades, a dream destination or the future that I wanted for myself – I wrote everything down.

Dreams on paper, gain new power. If you don’t write your dreams down, then they are merely wishes. When you write down your dreams they become “goals”.

Goals are dreams with a deadline.

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. -Walt Disney

What do you want in life? Start writing everything down. There is only one rule: When you write, don’t place limits on what you want. No goal is too big, no dream is too crazy, no ambition is too high. Sky is the limit.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.


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