Thursday, November 9, 2017

5 Things Clothing Brands In The Philippines May Learn From Uniqlo

Photo Credits: Preview Chicago
I’m a diehard Uniqlo fan. And no, I’m not doing this because I’m getting a GC. Today, after a long long time away from the blogosphere, I just decided to write about my most favorite fashion brand. It’s not just about the great quality of clothing that they produce but a trip to any Uniqlo store is like getting a lecture on how fashion brands and their fashion stores should be.

Below are some things that I like about Uniqlo which many fashion brands -- especially the ones in the Philippines – may learn from.

1.       No more ugly fitting rooms.

In college, I have learned that around 70% of buying decisions are done in-store. What does this mean to fashion brands? It means an ugly fitting room is the gravest of sins! Before Uniqlo, I was never loyal to any fashion brand and what I noticed is that brands don’t really care that much about how their fitting rooms look like. In fact, I’ve experienced fitting clothes in a tiny room with boxes of clothes on the floor. That experience was made more unforgettable for me because I was already working as a Trade Marketing Assistant back then in an FMCG company. While I understand that in-store managers should really do everything within their capacities to make their stores look pretty, I cringe to the fact that they have neglected the most important part of a clothing store – the fitting room. This is where the customer finally decides whether or not he or she will buy the clothes.

Now, Uniqlo changed all that. In most Uniqlo stores, they have more than five fitting rooms – and their competitors only have around two. Uniqlo’s fitting rooms are well-lit, well-ventilated and well-designed – the ones their competitors have function as stockrooms sometimes. Uniqlo’s fitting rooms are very organized and they have one dedicated assistant for each fitting room in every store to attend to your needs – their competitors’ fitting rooms are almost always hard to find and you are -- more often than not -- left on your own.

This, I think, is why Uniqlo is a success here in the Philippines. They had specially answered to the need for a more convenient fitting (and decision-making) experience that their competitors had clearly taken for granted.

2.       Not too much lights (and merchandising for that matter) that makes shopping easier and more convenient.

Another thing that I don’t understand with some clothing stores is that they put too much light on their displays – too much light that I remember fanning myself because it almost felt like Indian summer inside a fully air-conditioned mall. Did the in-store managers even care about the heat coming from the gazillion of lights that they installed? What more if you saw that they focused their energies on putting up a pretty store (which became hot because of the lights) but their fitting rooms were ugly? Talk about external beauty right? (pun intended)

I’m glad Uniqlo changed this too. Because of Uniqlo, not all fashion brands are about external beauty only. Uniqlo doesn’t have to put elaborate lights that only make the temperature inside the store rise  making the overall shopping experience -- poor. They don’t have to put too many mannequins and displays that only adds clutter than value. Uniqlo had successfully adapted the Japanese culture of minimalism which allowed them to focus more on what matters to their customers.

3.       It’s now easy to find the item that you want from other branches.

Gone are the days that when you try to ask an in-store assistant for a size of a particular item in other stores and then they’ll respond, “Ay, hindi po namin alam eh.” I mean, we are already in 2017 and we are now using computers to track the movement of our goods real-time and we can’t even maximize our resources to assist our customers?

Again, Uniqlo refused to follow the norm. Their in-store assistants use an app on their mobile devices to track inventories that help customers be informed where they can find the item that they want with the size that they want. They can even tell you specifically how many items of your size are there left in the store that you want. 

*mic drop*

4.       Great fabric quality and design that is good for every day use.

With no intention to brag whatsoever, almost all of clothes are from Unqilo. What can I do? I was bedazzled not only by their products but also of their way of conducting their business. Quality and design-wise, Uniqlo is the kind of brand that I can definitely use every day. Designs are not too loud without sacrificing style. And workmanship is par excellence. I don’t remember repairing a button yet from any of my long sleeves and short sleeves bought from Uniqlo. It’s a sign that the quality of the clothing is high.

Oh, by the way, I worked for a clothing brand for men before called Dean & Trent. (Anyone familiar with the brand?) Anyway, the owner decided to discontinue the brand in 2011 but from the whole experience, I learned a lot about putting up my own business.  Also, I learned that one the ways to check the quality of a workmanship of a clothing is to check if the buttons were sewn well.

5.       Customer service with a Japanese touch.

I know this is just a small thing but I really like it when the cashier receives and returns my card with both hands and then slightly bows – Japanese style. It feels elegant – like I am some monarch shopping in their store. But this is the point of customer service right? To give the best service to our customers.

Uniqlo did this excellently. It’s like a adding a cherry-topping to the already good experience you’ve had when you entered their store -- and upon exiting it.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

3 Reasons Why Benedict Cumberbatch Will Play As Young Dumbledore In Fantastic Beasts (With Supporting Photos)

So I saw The Imitation Game yesterday and though I wasn’t particularly thinking about Dumbledore or anything to do with Harry Potter, I thought I saw the young Dumbledore there.

Yes, I think Benedict Cumberbatch will play as young Dumbledore and as a Potterhead, he has my approval. (Haha! As if Jo Rowling needs my opinion about this.)

But anyway, the whole Imitation Game movie seemed like a foreshadowing of what may come for Cumberbatch. The role that he played, some imagery in the movie and many other things.

Below are the reasons why (I think) Benedict Cumberbatch will play as Young Dumbledore in the next Fantastic Beasts movies.

To all Cumberbatch fans, you’re welcome.

 1. If Grindelwald will be played by Johnny Depp, we need an equally strong male actor for Dumbledore – or better.

Warner Brothers picking Johnny Depp to play as young Grindelwald actually makes the list of who will potentially play as young Dumbledore shorter.

And there is no doubt that Benedict Cumberbatch is such a talented being. He had been nominated (and won) countless of times for his movies such as The Imitation Game, Sherlock, Doctor Strange and many others.

It will be a meh if Warner Brothers will pick an actor which won’t match Johnny Depp’s energy.

Yes, we are talking about no other than the Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore in here. It's not going to be easy.

2. Cumberbatch was so good in being gay without appearing too gay.

Cumberbatch’s character in the movie, Alan Turing, is a cryptanalyst and mathematician who built a machine during the World War II which decoded the German ciphers. This helped the United Kingdom win the war against Germany.

Turing, in real life, is a practicing homosexual and during those times homosexuality was considered a crime in the UK. He allegedly committed suicide through cyanide poisoning in 1954.

Did you see any Dumbledore parallelism there?

First, you should know by now that Dumbledore is gay. Rowling let him out to the open 10 years ago. (Click this link if you don’t believe me.)

Second, although Dumbledore did not deliberately commit suicide, he planned for his own death to be administered by his most trusted friend, Snape.

Lastly, Turing is a celebrated practitioner in the fields of computer science, mathematics and cryptanalysis. Dumbledore is one of the greatest wizards ever lived.

Cumberbatch was so good in portraying Turing. I have no doubt he will do excellently in being Dumbledore.

In the movie, it was the small things that Cumberbatch do that gave me some clues that he was actually portraying a gay character. Also, the boy playing the young Turing was brilliant.

It was only during the second half of the movie that it was openly revealed that Turing was gay and then boom! That explains all those nuances and subtle expressions. Brilliant!

Some say the young Dumbledore in the next Fantastic Beasts movie will be openly gay. So, it won’t be subtle and faint. (Click here to know more.)

But what the hey! All the more that I became excited as to how Cumberbatch will do it this time around.

3. The Imitation Game movie prepared him for the big role.

There are many scenes in the film that made me jump from my seat and point to the screen while screaming, “That’s Dumbledore!” But don’t get me wrong, I did not enjoy the film just because of that.

The Imitation Game is a huge masterpiece in itself and it should be seen by wizards and muggles alike.

Below are some the scenes I was talking about – with some screenshots from the film.

a. Inside the train.

No that is not Professor Dumbledore aboard the Hogwarts Express. That's Alan Turing. This is the first scene which started me imagining Cumberbatch as young Dumbledore.

b. Christopher Morcom looking at young Alan Turing with affection

Do you see young Grindelwald and young Dumbledore? No that's Christopher Morcom and the young Alan Turing.

c. Young Alan Turing waiting for his friend in the school’s frontyard

No, those are no Quidditch balls inside those trunks. Sorry.

d. Young Alan Turing feeling down  because Christopher did not arrive at the school

I thought I saw Hogwarts' windows.

e. Alan Turing successfully decoding the German ciphers along with his teammates

Just like Dumbledore being good in what he does.

f. Alan Turing under investigation

Dumbledore had his vulnerable moments too.

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Friday, December 30, 2016

7 Things About Die Beautiful

This review may contain some harsh comments but that doesn’t mean that the movie is altogether
ugly. The 42nd Metro Manila Film Festival is made of ultra-high quality films – what more can I ask for?

My goal is to give my best (and also my most brutal) review of the films with the desire to help the filmmakers and actors alike. The Golden Age of the Philippine Cinema is here and these people need inputs and insights! This is what exactly I am trying to achieve through this blog.

Before anything else, I’d like to congratulate all the people behind the film “Die Beautiful”. I hope these inputs help you in your next films – or whatever.

1. Very impressive concept

I like the fact that this film banked on Paolo Ballesteros’ superb make up transformation skills. That skills set is impressive and I would love to see it in a movie. I believe this is also one of the reasons why Die Beautiful won the hearts of many – it was already loved even before it came out. Now for filmmakers this is double-edged sword. Can it live up to the expectations of the discriminating crowd or will it just settle for being one of those highly entertaining films? Or can it do both?

Overall, Die Beautiful is a likeable film. It may not be my most favorite Filipino film ever but still undeniably raised the standard of quality of local films. This is how films should be like!

2. Good and bad actings

There are two people who stood out in the film – the actor who played Barbs and then Joel Torre. 

Barbs is so good you would believe the role was intended for him – or that he was involved in the conceptualization of his character. He owned it – even outshone Paolo Ballesteros at some point. All his lines and nuances are all in the right places at the right time. This guy should be thrown more projects!

On the other hand, Joel Torre was scary! I have seen him do dark and sinister characters before but his performance here is just amazing. He should do more projects like this.

While there are good actings, there are also remarkably bad and unconvincing actings. I got disappointed with Iza Calzado and the guy who played the high school crush of Paolo Ballesteros. These are pivotal roles and I thought the actors for these should have been carefully chosen.

The role seemed to be not for Iza – but as they say there are no wrong roles. Despite this, I knew Iza could have done better. I really loved her in “Milan”. Can she channel what she did in that movie again in her next projects?

About the guy who played Paolo’s high school crush, there is something that’s telling me that this guy is not for “serious” projects like this. He can play roles in feel-good, light and comedy movies but Die Beautiful is just not one of those films.

3. You could have “milked” some more the 7-day wake

The whole film centered on the 7-day wake of Trisha, Paolo Ballesteros' character. It is on each day of the wake that the anticipation for the make-up transformation of Paolo Ballesteros is being built upon. All the make-up transformations of Paolo are fantastic. And this is remarkable to me because make-ups and prosthetics are things that I don't remember Philippine cinema is excelling at.

Because of this very powerful material  (Paolo's make-up transformations), I believe that the 7-day wake should have been developed some more. For example, the make-up transformations can have a pattern – allowing one to lead to another – to build up a much better momentum for the story. Or connections should have been established between the make-up transformation characters and the stories for each day.

The mind loves patterns and connections. By using this insight alongside a raw material that is already powerful in itself, I believe that the film will be able to outdo itself.

4. Emotions checklist

In every film that I watch, I always do an emotions checklist. A film should be able to convince or confuse the mind while it tickle the emotions and activate the imagination. Below are the emotions I remember during the film.

a. Funny – The film is funny. Thanks to Barbs and his witty lines. Also, Paolo Ballesteros did well.

b. Scary – It doesn’t have to be a horror film to induce fear. Thanks to the excellent acting of Joel Torre playing the homophobic father of Paolo.

c. Drama – The film, of course, also has drama. Which Filipino film doesn’t? However, there are not much crying in this film – which is a little bit sad because the film has a great opportunity. At some point, I even found myself waiting for it. I am not looking for dragging drama scenes but there are parts of the film that should have been developed some more to inspire some sobbing.

d. Love – Two more elements that should have been explored more is the love between Paolo and his adopted daughter and also the love between Paolo and the guy who died of leukemia. I felt it fell short on those aspects – even though the film itself testified on the importance of these two relationships for the lead character.

e. Curiosity – The film gave us all a glimpse into the lives of the “beaucons” or beauty contest joiners. While I laud the film for taking this road less traveled, I think that it did not necessarily excel in it. It just did okay. I was waiting for more “aha! moments” about the lives of the beaucons. What are some of the remarkable things that world should know about them? The film already had the chance to tell that important story. It should have fully arrested that opportunity.

5. Cameo performances

What are the cameo performances of famous celebrities in indie films for? Are these just for PR stunts or because the story itself calls for it? 

I believe Die Beautiful excelled in this aspect. The appearances of Iza Calzado and Eugene Domingo are excellent. I just have nothing much to say on the acting of Iza. And also, on the wig and overall appearance of Eugene Domingo as a recognized fashion designer. I just don’t think fashion designers “overdo” it. Eugene Domingo did well in acting though.

6. Some far-fetched, unresolved and unconvincing ideas

Below are some unresolved issues inside of me because of the film.

a. How the guy who died of leukemia confessed that he had been stalking Paolo for so many years after that fateful night is just too far-fetched and unbelievable. It was too contrived. I believe the writers could have done better with this one.

b. The reunion scene of Paolo with his ate, Gladys Reyes, was unsatisfying. Aren’t they friends when they were younger – Gladys was his "ate" and the only one who truly understood him? They don’t even have a mother anymore! How can the writers be so un-generous with their protagonist like this?

c. How the adopted daughter of Paolo grew up so fast that the movie started with her being pregnant is just too amazing! Should the movie really have to start with that premise? Even without it, the film will stand.

7. Anti-climactic or just bad ending?

Okay. Let me begin by saying that the film had successfully created sequences that were so solid for an ultra-satisfying climax to stand. However, until now, I am not sure if I’ll call the film anti-climactic or the ending is just so bad. 

Anyhow, below are some of the better endings that played in my mind.

a. Barbs and friends stole the body of Trisha for additional suspense and thrill. This was followed by a car chase or someone getting hit by a bullet. It can be Barbs – and then Barbs dies beautifully too as he laid down his life just to fulfill the last wish of his friend. I dunno. Something like that.

b. Joel Torre turned out to be gay too and buries his son's body peacefully.

c. Trisha wakes up from a very long dream. Cuts right through the scene where he will answer the question, “If you were given the chance to live again, who would you be and why?”

Overall, I still believe that Die Beautiful is an awesome film that is worth-watching. I am so proud to be a Filipino – especially nowadays. Also, only quality films deserve lengthy reviews. They are worth the time.

Thank you for the opportunity, Die Beautiful.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

4 Things I Like The Most About Coconut Mogu Mogu

1. Not too sweet  For the past weeks, I’ve been finding myself reaching out for coconut Mogu Mogu whenever I visit convenience stores. I even get the 1 liter size from time to time.   The reason why this is fast becoming my most favorite drink of all time? It’s not too sweet.   Mogu Mogu claims that there is real coconut juice inside the bottle. Perhaps it’s one of the contributing factors why the flavor is great with just the right amount of sweetness.   Some people go for healthier drinks nowadays and no wonder, like me, they are going for the coconut flavor too – though all of Mogu Mogu flavors are good!  2. Yummy nata de coco  Aside from the fact that nata de coco is healthy, it’s also very yummy.   I am just so glad that nature has a way of giving us yummy and chewy desserts so that we don’t always choose the high fat, high sugar and high calorie ones.   3. Cutest packaging  Unarguably, Mogu Mogu has one of the cutest and the most eye-catching packaging among all those that are in the shelves.   I realized packaging must be unique too so that it’s easier to find.  4. Super refreshing when cold  A cold coconut Mogu Mogu is one of the best things in the world. Really, next to water, it’s what I search for whenever I feel thirsty.

1. Not too sweet

For the past weeks, I’ve been finding myself reaching out for coconut Mogu Mogu whenever I visit convenience stores. 

I even get the 1 liter size from time to time.

The reason why this is fast becoming my most favorite drink of all time? 

It’s not too sweet.

Mogu Mogu claims that there is real coconut juice inside the bottle. Perhaps it’s one of the contributing factors why the flavor is great with just the right amount of sweetness.

Some people go for healthier drinks nowadays and no wonder, like me, they are going for the coconut flavor too – though all of Mogu Mogu flavors are good!

2. Yummy nata de coco

Aside from the fact that nata de coco is healthy, it’s also very yummy.

I am just so glad that nature has a way of giving us yummy and chewy desserts so that we don’t always choose the high fat, high sugar and high calorie ones.

3. Cutest packaging

Unarguably, Mogu Mogu has one of the cutest and the most eye-catching packaging among all those that are in the shelves.

I realized packaging must be unique too so that it’s easier to find.

4. Super refreshing when cold

A cold coconut Mogu Mogu is one of the best things in the world. Really, next to water, it’s what I search for whenever I feel thirsty.

Thank you Mogu Mogu for coming to the Philippines!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

3 Things The Viral "Sandy Hook Promise" Ad Taught Me About Advertising

sandy hook promise viral ad evan bbdo new york1. Relay the message. Use advertising if necessary.

In advertising, message is king.

Everything depends on it.

Sand Hook Promise has a solid message and I believe this is what made all the difference.

“No cares to see the signs of gun violence.”

Banking on this solid brand message, they were able to conjure a mind-blowing ad that relays it.

Indeed, no one could care to see the signs of gun violence because we are so busy in our own little fantasy world.

Heartbreak only comes after the effects of gun violence had finally been realized.

2. If the message is powerfully relayed, it becomes a solid ground for the call to action to stand on.

“Gun violence can be prevented. Sandy Hook’s advocacy is to help us read the signs.”

Some ads fail to relay the message with enough clarity and impact that sometimes, even the message has to be “explained”. This shouldn’t be the case.

The message itself must be relayed clearly and powerfully enough so that it becomes a solid ground for the call to action to stand on.

When a message is relayed clearly, the audience themselves voluntarily clamor for the call to action or “What’s next?” on their own.

When this happens, the call to action is anticipated not contrived.

3. You can use an entirely different ad as a springboard for the “real” ad.

Sandy Hook’s ad tried to hook its audience into a story which was enchanting and exciting on its own – only to find out that that was not the “real” story it was trying to tell.

And then during the resolution part, I told myself “Yeah, I didn’t see that.” – which was exactly the point!
“No cares to see the signs of gun violence.” 

After feeling a little bit bad about myself, the ad itself offered a solution through the call to action part which was what Sandy Hook Promise is all about – reading the signs of gun violence everywhere and helping them prevent it.

Sandy Hook Promise is a non-profit organization in the US which was led by some of the family members of the victims of the shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School last December 14, 2012.

Learn more about the organization by clicking here.

More power to Sandy Hook Promise and BBDO New York!

Watch the ad below.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

3 Lessons I Learned From The Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Movie

1. Don’t judge a beast by its cover.

Newt Scamander will pass for an animal rights activist in the modern day time.

Even in the magical world, the magical beasts were mostly feared and misunderstood. They have the capacity to kill and destroy. But that’s because not too many are like Newt, a magizoologist, who dedicated his life training, taming and understanding them and even studying their benefits to the wizarding world.

Without Newt’s influence, there may be no Buckbeak nor thestrals which are very important creatures in the whole Harry Potter saga.

For muggles or no-maj’s who are clueless, Buckbeak is the giant bird which Harry and Hermione rode on during the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie. It’s the same bird that you’ll also see in the front cover of the book with the same title. It was illustrated by Mary Grandpre for Scholastic.

Thestrals, on the other hand, are the invisible winged horses being used by Hogwarts to transport its students from Hogsmeade to the castle. The thestrals are very powerful magical beasts that its tail hair was the one used to create the Elder Wand, the most powerful wand ever made.

One of the things that I learned in Fantastic Beasts is that we can’t always judge anything or anyone through the outer appearance. What’s ugly or scary is not necessarily evil.

The exact opposite is Grindelwald, which was described by Rowling as charismatic and brilliant. This wizard turned out to be one of the most dangerous wizards of his time until he was defeated by Dumbledore.

This character is to be played more extensively by Johnny Depp in the next Fantastic Beasts movies. Can’t wait!

2. Do not suppress your magic.

This blog is by no means supporting any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, divination or any related practice whatsoever.

I’d like to consider magic as a metaphor for our innate talents and skills which, I believe, we should develop and hone.

Rowling made a beautiful story through the Fantastic Beasts movie about the magical children who denied and suppressed their own magical abilities. Because of persecution of the witches and wizards in the past, some children with magical abilities chose to hide their abilities. This character was portrayed by the young man named Credence Barebone. 

And we know what happened to Credence. He became an obscurial for suppressing his magical abilities.

I believe that this is not too different in real life. One of the most tragic things that could happen to anyone is to deny himself of the development and enjoyment of his talents and abilities just to avoid persecution. 

Rowling made a persuasive invitation to discover and develop our talents and skills by painting a perfect (and scary) image of what can happen to us if we don’t – an obscurial.

3. Hufflepuff’s are not duffers.

“Everyone says Hufflepuff are a lot o’ duffers.” –Hagrid to Harry, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Among the four houses in Howarts, Hufflepuff may be the most unpopular one. 

It was said that if you are courageous, you go to Gryffindor. If you are a pureblood, you belong to Slytherin. If you are brilliant, you may be sorted to Ravenclaw. All the rest, go to Hufflepuff.

But Rowling, being who she is, is a huge lover of the underdogs and the unpopular ones.

Hogwart’s representative for The Triwizard Tournament during Harry’s time was from Hufflepuff – Cedric Diggory. And then Newt Scamander, the star of the first Fantastic Beasts movie, is a Hufflepuff.

In the world of J.K. Rowling, the bullied and the downtrodden ones take the center stage. 

I sincerely believe  that this is the reason why her books are loved by many. 

That includes myself.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

4 Things About Subway That Impressed Me

1. The power of choice and customization

I really like restaurants (and other products and services) that allow their customers to choose and customize what they will get. In Subway, they allow the customers to choose everything – the flavour of the Sub, the bread to be used, the size, the extras, the veggies, the sauce and whether to make it a meal or not. This works, I think, because when there is more freedom, the customers become more involved in the process. When there is more involvement, there is more fun. Plus it comes rare too as not too many restaurants (and other products and services providers) offer this.

2. Fresher and healthier ingredients

That night, I was actually looking for a new and healthier option. (I think I’ve memorized all the restaurants inside Robinsons Galleria already). So even though Subway is an overpass away from the mall, I pursued it.

Subway actually became a perfect choice for what I was looking for that night. Looking for something new? Check! Looking for something healthier? Check! It is Subway’s brand promise actually – eat fresh and healthy. Subway provides a better alternative for those who are already sick and tired of the run-of-the-mill (and sometimes unhealthy) choices.

3. Simple and organized ordering system

From the starting point to the cashier, Subway’s ordering counter makes sure that the customers are guided in every step of the way. First, I was made to choose the flavour – I tried Steak and Cheese. Second, the bread – White Italian for me. Third, the size – 6 inches. Fourth, I have to choose the extras – I said yes to cheese. Fifth, the veggies – I chose all. Sixth, the sauces – I chose Southwest and Honey Mustard because I like it spicy and sweet. (Customers are allowed up to two sauces of choice.) And lastly, I upgraded it to meal – I chose Lay’s over chocolate chip cookies. And I chose iced tea for drink. I really like that I am also the one who will get my drink from the dispenser.

4. Very friendly crew members

Well, they have to because patience is much needed when there is more customer involvement in the ordering process. Some customers may change their minds too easily and ask too many questions – just like me. But they were all so polite and accommodating.

Kudos to the people behind bringing Subway to the Philippines!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

3 Things I Understood About Putting Up A Business While Eating At Angel's Burger

I wasn’t particular hungry tonight but there is something about Angel’s Burger, a 24/7 burger and hotdog stall in the Philippines, that made me come to it. Perhaps, Angel’s reminds me so much of all those sleepless nights when I quit my job to become a freelancer and all I did was write, write and write. I am in that “write zone” kind of night again and maybe that’s why Angel’s popped into my head.

And so I set off into the night only to come back with a blog post idea in my head. These are the three things that I understood about putting up a business while eating my favorite footlong hotdog (with coleslaw and hot sauce) at Angel’s Burger.

1. Availability is king.

No matter how good and no matter how affordable your product is, if it’s not available, it won’t sell.

I remember three remarkable lessons from the past that are aligned with this statement.

First, when I was still working for Lamoiyan Corporation (makers of Hapee toothpaste), there was a season when the most popular toothpaste brand in the Philippines, Colgate, disappeared in the shelves of the supermarkets of the biggest mall chain in the Philippines, SM. It was one of our highest grossing seasons in terms of sales not necessarily because buyers shifted voluntarily to Hapee. But because their brand was not available. I knew back then that the people from Colgate are in big trouble.

That’s when I learned my biggest lesson on availability and distribution management. I realized that no matter how much we, as marketers and manufacturers, work our assess off, if our toothpastes won’t make it to the shelves of our distribution channels, our work are in vain.

Way back in college, I don’t remember being excited about my classes in distribution and channel management. Then in the real world, I realized that the availability of the product is actually as important as manufacturing. This totally changed my perspective in my work as a Trade Marketing Assistant.

My second lesson is now when I am practicing as a real estate broker. In our business, location is king. The philosophy is no matter how beautiful and no matter how affordable your towers are, if they are in bad locations, they will be very hard to sell. In fact, the other side can also be true. If you have an ugly tower in a high-demand location, chances are people will still – at the very least – inquire about your project.

My third lesson is about McDonald’s. I read somewhere before that what made McDonald’s popular is not because it had the best tasting burgers and fries in the world. They key  – as the author discussed – is because it made itself very much available to everyone. It may not serve very tasty food but when the price is right and it’s fast, convenient and available, most likely, it will sell. And sell McDonald’s did!

So, there really are a huge lessons on availability and distribution management. For people like me who would like to put up a business, let us not put availability in the backseat. Some businesses placed it in front like Angel’s and look at where they are now.

2. Price is queen.

The key – I believe – is becoming lower than the competition in terms of price. Let’s say Angel’s biggest competition is Jollibee’s Yum burger. Even without checking out the price, I know that Angel’s win in this category.

But not only that, Angel’s even introduced a new purchasing scheme – the perpetual and the never-ending “Buy 1, Take 1” promo. Through this, buyers were placed under the impression that they can actually buy two for the price of one. In Tagalog, we even have a term for it – “sulit”. Or getting more of what you pay for.

But of course, Angel’s is not doing a sacrifice sale every single day. That is called suicide, not business. The price for two is actually the price for two. Period. No special promo going on.

But what Angel’s unlocked is this – all else equal, Filipinos will most likely choose the product that has a freebie over the one that has one.

3. Overall quality and taste are the heirs to the throne.

Personally, I like Angel’s footlong hotdog with coleslaw and hot sauce. With its price, I find it even tastier than the schubligs, bockwursts and other foreign-sounding sausages you buy in cinemas. You see, when you are stingy, the price becomes part of the overall quality and taste. Haha!

But no, seriously. Angel’s got some hotdog that is good enough for a repeat purchase with a low barrier to entry in terms of price and availability.

Kudos to this burger stall that has kept me company during those sleepless and hungry nights while doing some overthinking – just like tonight.

P.S. Photos were taken on a different day.

Monday, November 14, 2016

3 Things I Like About Train To Busan

1. Not a typical scary movie.

When I was young, I saw a movie entitled The Others by Nicole Kidman. At a young age, I already know that The Others is different from the other scary movies that I usually see. Not so much of annoying and deafening sound effects. Not so much of scary make-ups. What I realized upon seeing The Others is this – I can actually be scared by the depth of the story and how intelligently the plot was masterplanned. The Others definitely elevated my taste in scary movies that it became difficult for me to appreciate movies from the same genre henceforth.

Until Train to Busan came.

TTB ended the long drought of my appreciation for horror movies. Finally, there’s a new scary movie that I can actually like. Just the right amount of sound effects. Perfect make-ups to portray the zombies. Superb acting by everyone – especially by the main cast. And above all, a good story to base all these elements on.

2. All emotions in a single film.

TTB scared me and made me laugh and cry at the same time. I call it a “complete film”. When filmmakers attempt to create completes film, I praise them in my mind. I sincerely believe that the enjoyment of their audience is their top priority. For one, it takes careful planning to plot out each and every emotions in the film. You cannot just place the emotions anywhere you like – it will be a disaster. I believe there's a plan or a certain sequence that must be followed and it takes a highly skilled filmmaker to successfully plan let alone execute this.

3. Koreans are master filmmakers.

I thought Koreans only excel in love stories and dramas. I even counted myself once as a fan of hit TV series such as Stairway To Heaven and Endless Love. For a season, I also became curiously addicted to Korean movies and this is when I discovered awesome movies such as “Sunny”, “Man From Nowhere” and “Windstruck”. These movies are from varying genres such drama, action, romance and comedy. And these - I believe - are some of the greatest movies ever made.

Adding TTB to the list of my favorite Korean movies, all the genres are now complete. In my mind, I am now convinced that Koreans as master filmmakers.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Magic Of Thinking Small

Washing the dishes is such an overwhelming task for me. Earlier, I just washed the dishes and
utensils that I used last night -- I'm a work-in-progress, I know.

When I stood in front of the sink and looked at the task ahead of me, I already felt spent. Still, I went on and touched the first plate.

"If only there's an easier way to do this," I said to myself. When I was about to touch the first spoon, an Aha! moment came upon me.

We get overwhelmed easily because we think of the task at hand as a whole. To solve this dilemma, we should think about the smaller steps in completing the whole task. We should think small.

When this thought became "complete" in mind, an extra jolt of energy was formed inside me that made the whole task of washing the dishes much easier.

In fact, I am here now in front of my laptop writing about this newly found discovery.

Perhaps you have a task that you continue to procrastinate upon because merely thinking about it already bogs you down. It can be a huge task at work or a new exercise program that you want to start -- but never did.

Or it can be as simple as washing the dishes and any other task at home -- just like what I had earlier.

When you find yourself overwhelmed by a task at hand, stop thinking big. Start thinking small.

It worked for me. It will work for you too!

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." -Lao Tzu

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Miracles from Heaven

Perhaps God is giving me a chance to mourn.

Earlier, I decided to watch "Miracles From Heaven" -- alone. It is a story of the miraculous healing a 10-year old girl from Texas who was suffering from an incurable disease. One day, she and her older sister climbed a dead tree near their house just like what they do when they were young. While climbing the tree, she and her sister met an accident and she fell inside the hollow dead tree. When she was rescued and brought to the hospital that's when her healing started to take place.

There were so many scenes in the movie that made me remember the last few days of my grandma at the hospital. I cried so many tears in this movie even only during the first 10 minutes. Perhaps it was my time to cry now. When I was at the hospital until the burial of my grandma, I decided to be strong. I did not cry much. I have to be strong for the family. Someone has to entertain the guests and to help my eldest aunt in making sure that everything is running smoothly.

Above all, the movie reminded me to be steadfast with my faith. And that everyday is a gift from God. If we treat each day as a gift from God -- a special favor -- I believe that we will have a more grateful heart. And a grateful heart complains less, sees the positive side more and is happier.

I actually have so many things to say about having a grateful heart by treating each day as a gift, a miracle, and I believe that the movie came to me at the right time. But for now, I am going to say no more and just allow you guys to see the movie for yourselves. Enjoy!

Friday, April 10, 2015

4 Business Principles That May Help Startups

A few days back I had the awesome privilege to talk to two amazing people named Nap Garcia and John Martin Figuracion, founders of a startup called ProTEES Project. The project offers high quality shirts for groups and individuals with advocacy -- at no cost. I fell in love with the idea the first time I really get to know about it because I really believe in the genius of mirroring other causes using one's own business.

Because of that extended talk with Nap and John, I realized that there a lot of ideas a marketing professional like me can offer to those who are contemplating or currently putting up a startup business. I myself am a startup founder and my business called #BOTV is still on the works. I will definitely work on this project right after I am done will all these present commitments -- isa-isa lang.

Anyhoo, below are the 4 business principles that are stuck inside my head and ready to be shared anytime to any startup founder who may need it.

1. Business Model Canvas

What I really like about this tool created by Alexander Osterwalder is that it outlays in a single sheet of paper everything that you need to know about your business. It allows you to enumerate your Key Partners, Key Activities, Key Resources, Value Propositions, Customer Relationships, Channels, Customer Segments, Cost Structure and Revenue Streams in one place. Looking at them in one place gives you a sense of unity and oneness that should be present in all the elements of your business. Without this "solid feel" about your business, it's almost very difficult to describe it in a few words -- let alone starting it. By looking at everything that you need to see about your business, you must be quick in recognizing patterns and even roadblocks that shall allow you to strategically improve on things before you finally run your business idea. The Business Model Canvas is a wonderful creation and it's free! Download it here.

2. Positioning

What often startup founders forget because, sometimes, they become too enamored with their ideas is the importance of the "positioning" of their brand. Positioning (in my own word) is simply how your customers view your brand. It must be simple, single and solid. Before you launch your business to the market, make sure that your co-founders can explain the brand using just a few words. In fact, allow other people (in a mini-FGD, perhaps, during the conceptualization of the business) to describe to you your brand. If they find it hard it to describe your brand using just a few words, you have a problem. Tweak everything that can be tweaked -- your brand name, your logo, your tagline, your Business Model Canvas, your ads and etc. -- until you arrive at a satisfactory description of your own brand rendered by other people.

3. Blue Ocean Strategy

I learned about the Business Ocean Strategy way back in 2007 and I still believe that it is one of the greatest business principles ever invented. The book basically argues that to win in a market competition, a business need not compete. Instead, it must create its own "niche" away from the bloody ocean of competition where everyone is killing everyone. To be able to create one's own "niche", it must be able to differentiate itself from the competition. BOS suggests a practical way of doing this. Having the competition as the basis, a business must be able to Eliminate, Reduce, Raise and Create certain elements of it. For example, Ton Ton Thai Massage was able to create its own niche for itself by eliminating massage oils in its services. It then raised the use of garments in lieu of massage oils. Because of this, a certain segment of the market which dislikes massage oils during massage is being catered. Also, some market segments prefer stretching than rubbing which makes them a perfect target market for Ton Ton Thai Massage. Do not forget though that the end of BOS is encapsulated in two words -- value innovation. The result of BOS-ing your business must drive down the cost and drive up the innovation.

4. Simplicity 

One of the most prized possessions that I have as a marketing professional is the book called "Simplicty: The Secret To Effective Marketing" by Sunny Goh. The book basically guns for a single principle and that is, without suprise, simplicity. In everything that you do, never deviate from this principle. Some startup founders commit the error of spending time, energy and money on some things that can be acquired in the future because they become too excited. I say, if your business requires you to spend so much money on the onset, you are in for some hard business. Remember that you have to work as fast as you can to gain the ROI. So, as much as you can, spend and focus on things that really matter for the business.

*Please feel free to share this blog post to your friends and teammates.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

3 Major Takeaways During Personal Collection's ALFA-1 Launch

It was an honor to be invited by one of the biggest direct selling companies in the Philippines, Personal Collection, during the launch of their advanced men 's care line called ALFA-1. It was held at Blue Water Day Spa in San Juan. Here are my three major takeaways from the event.

1. A complete set of ALFA-1 products. ALFA-1, as a brand, encourages all men to use only products formulated for them. They say that men have thicker, tougher skin than women because of higher levels of testosterone and larger amounts of collagen and elastin. They say men also tend to have larger pores and oilier skin. As a product, ALFA-1 is infused with CoolActiv Technology, a unique formulation that gives a superior overall clean, a fresh scent and an extremely cool after-feel. During the event, I got a shampoo, facial wash, body soap, body lotion and body spray. How's that for a loot bag, eh?

2. Opportunity to meet ALFA-1's endorser. Albie Casino is ALFA-1's newest endorser. I may not have been able to really talk to him but my fellow bloggers liked him so much. They said he was nice, down to earth and approachable. No wonder why he was chosen to be the endorser of this important brand by Personal Collection.

3. Awesome experience at Blue Water Day Spa. Though it was only the first time for me to attend an event by Personal Collection, I would say that they already have the knack for making a blogging event really fun and enjoyable. Although they could have done the launch at just any events place but they chose to go the extra mile and decided to hold it at the heavenly Blue Water Day Spa. We were offered foot, back and massage at the theater room while we were watching Captain America. It was my first time to experience something like that as I was accustomed to going to regular spas. I really like the experience and I'm definitely be going back to Blue Water Day Spa!
Overall, it was an awesome experience. I can't wait to be invited again to the next events of
Personal Collection!

To know more about the brand, please like their Facebook Page.

Friday, January 23, 2015

3 Tips To Declutter Your Life This 2015

Are you feeling guilty because of the too many purchases you made during the holiday season? Did it make you feel stressed than happy and elated? Do you feel the need to declutter and go back to living a simpler lifestyle? Perhaps you're in for some simplication treat at the start of this year. Below are three things that I'd like to share with you as you begin this season of letting go.

1. Have a Declutter Plan. First, take a step back and think how you are going to go about this whole simplification process. What are the things you want to remove from your list of possessions? What activities are you willing to let go this year? What items do you have that you can now live without? Decluttering is such a fun thing to do. What more if you were able to think through the whole process and achieve it successfully? It's double the relief! Plus you can help others too by simply sharing how you went about your whole decluttering process.

2. Take out your empty boxes and trash bags this year. It's because you will use them for the items you will let go. Don't wait for the items to speak to you and tell you to let go of them. Have a box or a trash bag ready by labeling them with what you intend to place inside them. Sample labels include For Sale, For Gift Giving, For Donation and etc. One day, you will find this whole process useful and you will thank yourself for it. It's all about being intentional and proactive. For example, in my country, the Philippines, I know that every year a lot of people get affected by the typhoons (God forbid this year.). Even though in my mind, I wanted to avoid this kind of thought, I know there's a fat chance that many Filipinos will be homeless, cold and hungry again because of the typhoons. It's been happening for years. Instead of avoiding the thought, why not do something about it such as pooling in one place the things that I can donate to the (would be) victims of typhoon. If the need comes, I will be one of the firsts to help out. What an incredible privilege!

3. Sign in at OLX. This 3-letter name is starting to make a huge difference in my life. It's so aligned with my goal to declutter and what's good about it is that it gives me the opportunity to earn by just simply desiring to own less. Because of OLX, there are more incentives to live a life of less clutter and at the same time form the habit of earning through selling the things I don't need anymore.

Monday, January 5, 2015

#Fasting2015 Day 1: Rest

Today marks the first day of our #Fasting2015 at Victory Ortigas. As I reflect on my newly written faith goals for this year, God impressed in my heart the word "rest". How amazing can God put words inside my head at the right time! It's because after reading my faith goals a few times, I felt a little worried. How will I be able to accomplish all these things? 

Then it hit me. The battle is not mine. It's God's.

"...and he said, "Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, "Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's." -2 Chronicles 20:15

Upon realizing this, I immediately ran away from the computer and headed to my room. Then I locked the door and started talking to God. Then a bird suddenly perched upon my room's window. Now, an event such as this doesn't always happen. Birds won't perch upon our windows because they aren't always fully open which means there is not much space for the birds to move around. The birds usually prefer electric wires. But not only that. The next second, the bird did something extraordinary. It began tapping on my window. As I waited for what it's gonna do next, I muttered the name of my Lord and Savior "Yeshua" and then it flew away.

Then I found myself tearing up as I was reminded of the things that the King said in the Bible involving birds.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" -Matthew 6:25-27

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny ? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." -Matthew 10:29-31

There are two things that I got from these verses.

On the first verse, God is telling me not to worry about my faith goals for everything is to be accomplished by Him. The battle is His, not mine.

On the second verse, God is telling me that I have no idea how valuable I am to Him. Wow.

Brothers and sisters, our God is clearly a romantic. How he delivers His messages to his sons and daughters in subtle but powerful ways! Right now, my mind is totally blown away and I am admittedly "kinikilig" while I was writing this. How can I help it?

It's only Day 1, church! My prayer is that may you find "rest" in God as you begin this new season. Remember. The battle is His, not yours.

"For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen." -Romans 11:36

Thursday, December 4, 2014

3 Reasons Why You Should Give Perfumes As Gifts

1. The recipient will remember you every time he/she uses the perfume. Did you ever wonder why certain smells evoke some emotions and bring back old memories to us? Well, there’s a science behind it. A smell travels through the olfactory bulb which is responsible for processing smells. And the olfactory bulb is part of the limbic system, the emotional center of the brain. This is why some smells bring back old memories as well as emotions. Consider this. The moment the person opens the gift and discovers that it is a perfume, there is a fat chance that he/she will try it right away. And guess what’s the last thing on his/her mind before he/she opens it? You. So if you want to make a mark on somebody, consider giving him/her a perfume.

2. Filipinos (among other people in the world) are crazy about perfumes. This one needs no rocket science to confirm. The reason why the perfume business in the Philippines (e.g. Prescripto, Aficionado and the like) is such an awesome industry is because Filipinos like feeling good and smelling good. We are among the races who practically take a bath every day. For us, smelling good is a very basic thing.

3. Perfumes are non-expensive, easy to carry and are considered as luxury items. There are expensive perfumes and there are affordable perfumes. Aside from this, perfumes are very easy to carry so it’s less hassle for you and the one you want to give the perfume too. Also, perfumes are considered as luxury items. Just make sure to pick the good ones.

Hey guys! I’m selling perfumes called Grances. It’s available at 12ml, 30 ml and 60ml. We have gift packs too composed of (a) 2 bottles of 60ml; and (b) 2 bottles of 30ml variants of your choice. You can choose from Green Apple (bestseller), White Lace (bestseller), Rain Kiss Leaf, Dew Happiness, Santorini Blue (Men) and Navy Coast (Men). For orders, please send me, Mark Delgado, a message at 0998-367-0545 or at 0915-339-4455.

Here is the price list:

  • 12ml - P199
  • 30ml - P299
  • 60ml - P399
  • 2 bottles of 30 ml with basket and ribbon - P599
  • 2 bottles of 60ml with basket and ribbon - P799
I have testers. Let's meet up! Just contact me using the numbers above.

Friday, November 7, 2014

3 Reasons To Visit RenewHub Spa in Manila

There is not much clutter inside the spa. It's minimalist.
That's why I like it so much.
1. Away from the action.

I admit it. If you're not from Sta. Mesa, it may be hard for you to find RenewHub Spa. Well not that hard. Because honestly it's just near LRT 2 Pureza Station and then you will have to ride a pedicab to bring you down to Building 28 A-11 GSIS Metrohomes along Anonas Street. It's just that not all pedicab drivers are aware of the whereabouts of the spa. But believe me, it's all worth it when you find it. If you're the type of person who likes nesting in places that are hard to find and away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this spa is the perfect spot for you.

2. Quality service.

This is not a paid post. I am doing this because RenewHub delivers everytime I go there. Everything that they offer is awesome and awesomely priced. I usually go for my pedicure here with the best pedicurist in town, Ate Juliet. She is very detailed and makes sure that my nails are clean before she declares "It's done." She had never let me down. No other pedicurist had done it better than her.

3. Affordable.

Their 1-hour massage is at P299. They also have body scrubs and paraffin treatments. The owner is actually a dermatologist and she has a skin clinic beside the spa. You really just have to go and check out this place.

They are closed every Monday. They open at 2pm and closes at 12mn. Give them a ring at 949-1137 or 0925-473639.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

3 Reasons To Shop At Island Rose

Roses for your Ms. World? No problem. Island Rose is the
official flower sponsor during the Ms. World Philippines
2014 pageant.
1. Quality.

The very website of Island Rose is about quality. (Check it out at It's one of the most navigable e-commerce websites I have ever visited -- no kidding here. It's fast and simple. Less frills. Less clutter. It's ideal for people who know exactly what they want and want it quick -- without sacrificing the quality. Since the first touchpoint of most customers is through online, you can already say a lot how the people behind this business do it. And true enough, as I click through the pages of the website, one thing is impressed on my mind -- Island Rose is about quality. You can say that you can get roses and other gifts anywhere else but there is no denying that it is Island Rose that had perfected the art and science of "delivering fresh roses to the ones you love". And you know too well that when giving to the ones you love, quality is of utmost importance. I believe this is what Island Rose is about.

2. Great business idea.
The awesome website of Island Rose.

It was last year when I first heard about Island Rose in a webinar about best practices in e-commerce in the Philippines. When I first heard about it, I knew that it was a great business idea. First, it's unique in its own niche. Before and after I heard about Island Rose, I've never heard of any other business that delivers fresh roses to anyone anywhere which can also be ordered online. There can similar businesses to Island Rose but they haven't reached me yet. Second, it's focused. By its name, you will know already what it's all about -- roses. By focusing on the most popular flower in the market, it has become an excellent business in its own respect. Where there is focus, there is excellence. And third, it's revolutionary. In its website, it was said that in the year 2000 the business sparked a revolution in the Philippine flower industry and e-commerce retailing. This means when I was in Grade 6 and long before Lazada and Zalora, Island Rose is already doing e-commerce. Being a digital marketing consultant myself, this blows my mind incredibly.

3. Love.

A screenshot of their Deals page. My favorite items are
all here especially "Forever" which is found at the
upper right hand corner.
If there is yet another great reason why you should get flowers for your sweetheart from Island Rose, I believe that it is love. You can be a Filipino professional who is working abroad and is looking for a way to send roses to your sweetie-pie here in the Philippines. Or you can just be here looking for a way to make your honey-bunch feel extra special by having her favorite flowers delivered at her office. I believe Island Rose is the one for you.

Check out their website at My favorite item so far is "Forever" which can be found at their Deals page.

Friday, September 19, 2014

7 Personality Types Single Men (Who Are Looking) Should Avoid Becoming

This list is inspired by Pastor Joseph Bonifacio’s talk during the recently concluded Act Like A Man Summit held last September 13, 2014 at Victory Greenhills.

1. Mr. Hindi Ko Na Kaya

Some men confess their feelings to women they like just because they “can’t contain it anymore”. Men, if there’s one important virtue that we must cultivate within ourselves, we know too well that it is self-control. If you’re planning to confess your feelings to the woman you like just because of your uncontrolled emotions, we have a problem. What you should do (and you should know this by now very well) is, first, tell your plans to God. Pray and make sure that this is an act of faith and not just any impulsive reaction to your emotions. Ask God for guidance. The confession must be Spirit-led. After praying, ask for prayer and guidance from your Victory Group leader or from someone who you trust can give you godly counsel. Lastly, have a clear action plan in your mind. What if she says “yes” that you can already pursue her? What if she says “no”? Whatever the outcome is, thank God. But let your confession to the woman you like be not just a mere confession. Have a clear action plan in your mind and let God bless it.

2. Mr. Pa-Bestfriend

Some men intentionally choose the “bestfriend route” just to “test the waters”. While befriending someone you like is permissible for a certain period of time, overly doing this eliminates the opportunity to “walk above the waters”. Men should be clear with their motives and must actively pursue the woman that they like. Tama na ang pa-bestfriend!

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Hebrews 11:6

3. Mr. Oversharing

Some men tend to overshare things to the women they like and are friends with as part of their “testing the waters” tactics. They tend to make someone they like prematurely “involved” in their personal lives just to get the “feel” of it. If you have a tendency to do this, beware. You are not doing a great job guarding your heart and also the heart of the woman who had captured yours.

4. Mr. Serial Dater

The rule of thumb is simple. Don’t date her if you don’t have any plans of pursuing her for marriage. Sounds too much? I say, do not be conformed to the pattern of this world (Check out Romans 12:2). While most people in our generation will say that dating is normal and that there’s no need to bother becoming different, I say Joshua Harris did a great job in writing his book entitled, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”. In his book, he pointed out the importance of keeping away from sin at all cost and also the value of purity. Jumping from one date to another often leads to compromise that it’s not anymore a wonder why pre-marital sex had become a norm in our generation. Even when most people do it and even when it hurts to wait, do not ask her out for a date yet if you don’t have any plans yet of pursuing her for marriage.

5. Mr. Feeling Heartthrob

Some men had become too "handsome" that they had passively forgone the opportunity to pursue someone they really like. Women had become too easy to get for them. Most of the time, relationships that started where men did not exert efforts to pursue the woman do not last long. In his book entitled “Wild At Heart”, John Eldredge said that inside a man’s heart are three important things: a battle to fight, a beauty to rescue and an adventure to live. Zoom in on “a beauty to rescue”. The idea is simple. The woman that a man worked hard to pursue is a woman to be treasured.

6. Mr. The-Lord-Told-Me

This is an appeal for both men and women. Please. Be careful in using the phrase “The Lord told me…” In the case of a man pursuing someone he likes, using this phrase is a red flag. You can’t ask someone out for a date with you using this phrase as a compelling reason. Be guided.

7. Mr. The Buzz ng Bayan

When you have plans of pursuing someone, do not tell it to everyone. The most that you can do is to ask for prayer and guidance from your Victory Group leader or from someone who you trust can give you godly counsel. Also, stop making “parinig” over social media. Be a real man and tell it straight to her in faith during the right time!

“Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”

Song of Solomon 8:4

Don't have a Victory Group yet? Join us every Saturday, 6PM, at Robinson's Galleria. You may contact me via 0998-367-0545 or 0915-339-4455.

*This post is good for sharing.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

4 Things I Learned About Manhood from Pastor Gilbert Foliente (Act Like A Man Summit 2014)

It was a great honor to be listening again to Pastor Gilbert Foliente during the Act Like A Man Summit held last September 13, 2014 at Victory Greenhills. I won’t forget that he actually is the first pastor I have ever listened to in Victory U-Belt when I was still a college student in UST - still a non-believer during that time. Years had passed and I am a Christian now, he still has the same effect on me. He is still the same witty and funny preacher who is full of wisdom of the Lord. I honor you, Pastor Gilbert!

Below are the 4 things I learned about manhood from Pastor Gilbert during the summit.

Please feel free to share this to all the men in your life.

1. Real men are secure with the Lord.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:26-27

Pastor Gilbert reiterated to us the importance of knowing that we are created in the image and likeness of God. He said that this is one of the greatest gifts God has given us – to be created in His own image and likeness.

Perhaps this is also why we, including our bodies, are considered sacred. To add, seeking to destroy someone is considered as a grave sin. Killing someone is tantamount to destroying a creation to whom the very image and likeness of God had been endowed.

Pastor Gilbert told us that our security must come from the Lord. Fundamentally speaking, our self-image must be rooted with the fact that we are created in God’s image and likeness – and not with any superficial and temporal things we can find in this world.

2. Real men provide.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”

Genesis 2:15

I appreciated it when Pastor Gilbert specifically pointed out that work is not a result of the fall. Even before the fall, God already appointed Adam to become the keeper of the Garden of Eden. We are made for work. Thus, work must not be despised nor be considered as a punishment. It is a gift, a special appointment, from the Lord. Other creations can’t do it – only us.

Years ago, I was able to read a popular book called “Wild At Heart” by John Eldredge. He said that while Eve was created inside the Garden of Eden, Adam was created outside it. For him, this spells a lot of difference. Man is wired to go outside the house, haunt and come back with food for the family. The woman, on the other hand, is intended to be inside the house and become its keeper. Though modern times had tweaked this a bit, I believe we are all still wired in this pattern. This observation by Eldredge, I believe, supports the claim of man being the worker, hunter and provider for the family. With the woman, he forms a wonderful teamwork.

3. Real men protect.

So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. 9 Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”

Ruth 2:8-9

Don't be confused. Boaz is not Ruth's father. Because of this passage, I was able to get a sneak peek of the love story of Boaz and Ruth. It is one of the greatest love stories in the Bible. Boaz is the man! In this passage, he gave specific instructions to Ruth for her safety.

There’s also a passage in the Bible that talks about a time when Boaz found Ruth sleeping near his bed. But Boaz, being a real gentleman and a man of God, did not take advantage of Ruth. He was after her purity. Real men are protectors – not defilers of women. Aside from this, real men are protectors of his whole family.

4. Real mean lead.

But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

Genesis 3:9

This is a short but a truly insightful passage. I believe that God knows who ate the forbidden first, being the omniscient God that He is, but why did he ask the man first about it?

Is it because Adam is His favorite and that He cared less for Eve? Nah. I believe it’s got to be more than that.

Adam is the one appointed to take care of everything in the Garden of Eden. I believe that means including Eve. Being God’s appointed, it is but just right to ask him first about their whereabouts and what the two of them had done – regardless of who ate the forbidden fruit first. It’s interesting how Adam responded to God’s interrogation afterwards. Here’s Genesis 3:9-12. (Bold, italics and underline mine) Look closely.

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

God’s query is a simple question answerable by a yes or a no. “Have you eaten from the tree?” Interestingly, the man answered with a statement, which I believe now, even in the present time, which is trillions of years (or more) after the creation, can be described as a statement that is somewhat defensive and passing the blame on others – first on the woman and second on God.

When Adam was expected to take responsibility, he pointed his fingers to Eve and then to God.


Real men are secure with Lord. Real men provide. Real men protect. Real men lead. Thank you very much Pastor Gilbert Foliente for the lessons that you shared to us. Thank you too to Pastor Dennis Sy and his team who are behind the Act Like A Man Summit 2014!