Freelance Mistakes: What I Learned in Starting my Journey

I love learning and I dream of going freelance all the way. So when I decided to dive into freelancing, I did not expect that what I’m doing can be a mistake most freelancers do, with or without experience.

The Pandemic Reminded me of my Dream

When I started my career in training and product development, I have this desire to always learn and improve myself. I have learned all the tools I need to use, communicate effectively across various levels of organization, and manage my projects effectively. Back then, I dreamt of being my own boss, and providing my services to businesses who would benefit from my expertise. So when the pandemic happened in 2020, this dream has become my lifeline to continue and move forward. To hope for a better future.

My journey to freelancing is a tough one. I have been going back and forth in my mind whether or not to dive into the freelancing industry. Maybe because of fear, or maybe because I am not familiar with the freelancing landscape. However, when I decided to become a freelancer, everything just fell into place.

Right now, I am learning a lot about marketing, design and development. I will be using my blog as a diary of my journey. So if you are interested to go with me, just hit up the subscribe button. 🙂


For the past months, I have been trying my luck on freelancer platforms to offer my services on my niche but have failed. I am not able to get even one client, and most of my time has been about preparing resume, preparing my portfolio and honing my skills. If this is effective, I will not be frustrated with my process. So I have decided to attend the Philippine Online Freelancing Conference and get training on how to start freelancing.

freelance mistakes of a stressed black male entrepreneur working on laptop in park
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

After attending the training, I realized about the 3 mistakes I have been doing all along:

Talking about my service.

I focus on the words that would impress the potential clients for so many time that I start to realize if it is really effective. I realized that to be successful in freelancing, I need to put the right offer in front of the right market. What does this mean? I need to find a client with a problem that I can solve and offer my services instead of just talking about my skills.

Selling my service right away.

When someone has a problem and looking for a solution, it has been default for me to offer my services, what skills I have and the certifications I gained. However, when a client needs a problem to be solved, he/she doesn’t care about my skills and certifications (though they still look at it though). Their first instinct is to know if I can solve their problem.

As a freelancer, I learned to have a consultative approach, meaning, look into the client’s problem first, dig deeper and analyze a solution for them. That way, whatever proposal I send will be tailor-fit to their concerns and will be accepted with wide open arms.

Impressing clients with my freelance portfolio and experience.

Similar with the previous mistake I did was to send proposals focusing about me and what I can do, instead of solving the client’s problems. In freelancing, one of the edge that premium freelancers do is they help their clients solve problems, not just offer their services. The portfolio and experience will come naturally once I have solved a couple of problems. But at the core of it all, the driving force for freelancers should be to extend help to businesses in a way that their services will solve their client’s problems.

Learning To Freelance

As I start this journey of freelancing, I am taking up as many online courses I can find to gain my knowledge and skill in this path I have chosen. The course I recently took, Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help, really helped me a lot to absorb all the concepts and lessons. To learn more about this course, check out my post, Understanding more about Learning.

What’s Wrong with the World?

A quick break from learning more about software product management, I just wanna share my thoughts about what is wrong with the world based on the daily bread devotion I just read.

FAMILY. When you check for news, articles pop up simultaneously when celebrity couples divorce, or children abandoned, or families divided.

COMMUNITY. People will hear gossips about a neighbour, or a crime that happened which could have prevented, or schools getting attacked by teenagers who are angry at the world.

CITIES AND PROVINCES. People are calling for accountability for governors, or mayors for policies that hurt a lot of people, and state leaders who are called to serve, are the ones who use their position to gain power, and use this power for personal gain.

COUNTRY. Racism is very rampant, not only in the US, but in other parts of the world. Government leaders are either deaf to the calls of the people for a unified government response to unexpected events, or inefficient in conducting their duty to the nation. People are more divided than ever, and security is a word much really needed in a place where there are a lot of chaos, and we are in a time of digital surveillance easily connected to each other. Nation leaders are a cause for division, instead of unity, and policies are drafted not for the majority but only for the elite few.

Truly, we are in a world where one can easily just look around and ask, what’s wrong with the world?

What's Wrong With the World
What’s Wrong with the World comic strip by The Comic Irregulars under CC BY SA 3.0 found here:

G.K. Chesterton, an English writer, philosopher, lay theologian and literary and art critic, posted a reply to a question asked by the London Times during the turn of the Twentienth century, “What’s Wrong with the World?” His reply?

“Dear Sir: Regarding your article ‘What’s Wrong with the World?’ I am. Yours truly,”

I agree with G.K. Chesterton. In this world where chaos and confusion reign in the hearts of people because of what is happening around them, it is impossible to find peace within if we will not look into ourselves and ask, am I contributing to what’s wrong with the world?

Repentance. Humility. Forgiveness. Love. We have to look within us and desire, most of all, to change for the better. To become a better person. To encourage another person. To forgive our enemies. To put down our ego. To learn that it’s not about us.

As humans, we are naturally selfish, but if we look within, and look above for a chance to change to become better, I am pretty sure change will come, for the better. Not only for ourselves, but for our family, the community, the city, the country. Change will come for the whole world, if it only starts with us.

To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.”

G. K. Chesterton

Are you ready to take on the challenge? Your choice.

Understanding More about Learning

For the past month, I have been working on my coursera course entitled, “Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help”. To those of you who do not know me, I am Yza from the Philippines (you can call me wy-za) and I am a working professional with more than 6 years experience on product development, particularly for Product Management. Lately, I am really interested with programming and I want to learn more about web development and game development.

With this in mind, I enrolled in the course and true enough, there are a lot of ideas that debunked some myth on study strategies, as well as solidify some techniques that I have been doing already when I was still a student in the university.

So what about the course? Learning How to Learn is based on the book A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel in Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra) by Barbara Oakley, Penguin, 2014. It is divided into 4 weeks where you will work on each week for approximately 2-4 hours a day. This is one of the courses I enjoyed learning in Coursera.

So let’s start with everything I have learned:

Learning is an active phenomenon that involves newly formed synapses in the brain attributed to thinking. These newly formed synapses are influenced by a variety of factors such as the memory, sleep and emotions.

For researchers, they have found that as humans, we have two different modes of thinking. The focused mode and the diffused mode.

In the focused mode, our brain is concentrating intently on one thing that we are trying to learn or understand. If we compare this mode as a pinball game, the focused mode is where the ball goes through the rubber bumpers in a path that tightly close to each other. When the ball (thought) goes through the familiar thought pattern (orange), it bumps immediately; thus, easily getting and understanding the idea we are trying to learn.

Screenshot from the video: Introduction to Focused and Diffuse Modes in Coursera course

How about the diffuse mode? For this particular mode, it is like the relaxed state of our mind where our thoughts are working in the background to create new thought pattern and new approaches to a problem we are working on. Let’s go back to the pinball game. In the pinball game, when the ball (thought) is moving around where the rubber bumpers are widely spread out, the ball is able to go through spaces never before reviewed, to which it can touch never before learned ideas or thought patterns. This mode is usually when our thinking bulb lights up, and new approaches can solve problems we are trying to identify.

Screenshot from the video: Introduction to Focused and Diffuse Modes in Coursera course

The difference between the two? The focused mode is usually happening when we are trying to learn heavy concepts where the resources and problems are already provided. Since we are reviewing these new ideas and we want a familiar thought pattern to be established in our brain, we go into this mode and try to concentrate to easily identify and learn these new concepts. Whereas the diffuse mode is happening when we are normally in our relaxed state and our subconscious mind is doing the hard work on the background, giving new ideas and new thought patterns.

Chunking, Recall and Illusions of Competence

In learning, there is a concept called chunk. According to Barbara Oakley, chunks are pieces of information, neuroscientifically speaking, bound together through meaning or use. Chunking is the process of binding these pieces of information though meaning. Much like a puzzle, the chunks are the pieces of puzzle you put together, and chunking is the process of connecting these pieces together to create one big picture.

To form a chunk in learning, we need to have a focused attention when trying to learn, understand the pattern of the ideas and the connection in each pattern of idea, and lastly, practice again and again to gain context of the whole concept.

Screenshot from the video: What is a Chunk, from the Coursera course Learning How to Learn

Since we now have an idea about chunking, how do we keep our learning on track? We have to consider the importance of recall and illusions of competence in learning. Based on Jeffrey Karpicke’s research entitled, “Retrieval Practice Produces More Learning than Elaborative Studying with Concept Mapping” published in the Journal Science, when trying to learn, simply looking away from the material and recall what has been read is much more effective than just rereading the materials. His conclusion after observing students study a scientific text is that in the same amount of time, by simply practicing and recalling the material (or draw concept maps to recall the material), the students are able to learn at much deeper level. This retrieval process during learning allows our brain to begin forming chunks, and in a way, create a foundation for the concepts that we are trying to learn.

So as Barbara Oakley emphasizes, recall, which is the mental retrieval of key ideas, is more focused and effective when learning. However, other approaches in learning like merely glancing at a solution or rereading it are some of the common illusions of competence in learning. Also, just merely highlighting the sentences does not really help in learning and is also considered another illusion of competence in learning. Instead, we can test ourselves if we learned the material by recalling key ideas, and instead of highlighting mindlessly, we highlight only those main ideas very carefully and adding words or notes on the margin or on our notebook to help us fully grasp the ideas.

Procrastination and How to Overcome It

Now that we have learned about the basic concepts in learning, it is no doubt that when we are trying to learn something, especially in in-person or online classes, there will be times when we will try to set aside those tasks we are not comfortable with, only to catch up once the deadlines are near. This is called procrastination and once it becomes a habit, its long-term effects is bad for our future as it shares features with addiction.

See the source image
from under Creative Commons

So, how to avoid procrastination? Barbara Oakley presented some techniques to avoid and overcome the temptation to procrastinate:

  1. Do the Pomodoro technique — this is setting aside 25 minutes of our time with uninterrupted focus to do the tasks we need to do and learn the concepts we need to learn, followed by a bit of relaxation.
  2. Realize that it is perfectly normal to have a few negative feelings when beginning a learning session. What is important is to just get on with it and eventually, we will feel better about it.
  3. Focus on the process instead of the product. Process is the flow of time and the habits and actions associated with it. Product is the outcome. For example, I need to finish a project. Instead of focusing on the outcome, which is the project, which can take a lot of time and energy and the negative feelings associated with it, it is better to focus on how long we are going to achieve the outcome, like spending 30 minutes each day to work on the project. One way to focus on the process is by doing the pomodoro.
  4. Recognize the cues that launches us into procrastination and change them. This could mean shutting our cellphone or keeping ourselves away from social media if it distracts us from focusing on our learning session.
  5. Develop a new ritual for your learning session. For me, I learn easily with an acoustic instrumental background music while learning new ideas. So I purchased a headset to drown out the noise, go on Spotify and focus. I also easily recall ideas if I write these in my notebook. For you, it may be a different scenario but the point is, what makes you easily learn, you set aside time and do it every time you are on your focused mode and trying to learn.
  6. Space out your learning sessions. This is called spaced repetition. If we are trying to learn, it works best if we try to retain the information by repeating it it over and over, not within the same day, but practicing it the same number of times within several days.
  7. Believe that you can do it. This is the most important part of changing our procrastination habit. One way to do this in times of weakness is to develop a new community like hanging out with colleagues who learn the same thing, and helping each other avoid procrastination.
  8. Write the daily or weekly list of tasks in a planner journal the evening before. As based on research, this activity helps the subconscious mind grapple with the tasks on the list, and then work on accomplishing them the next day. Though we just have to make sure to plan our quitting time also.
  9. Eat your frogs first thing in the morning. This means doing the most disliked tasks and most important tasks first, using the pomodoro technique. This allows us to finish what needs to be done, and as the law of serendipity states, Lady luck favors the one who tries.
  10. Delay rewards until we finish the task. Rewards are what makes us reach for that learning goal, really.
  11. Lastly, get a good night sleep. Various research has already proven that when we have enough sleep, it allows our brain to wash away toxins and our brain cells to shrink, giving more space for new information to be retained.

What’s Next for Me?

The reason I wrote this blog is for a project, to identify what I learned from this course and how to apply it in my life. To be honest, the process of starting this blog, and then writing it, and then the goal of finishing it has become my application for the learning experience! Haha!

My initial goal for taking the course is to make it as a starting point of preparing myself for taking the other online classes I have enrolled in programming. I realized I am a great procrastinator, and if I want to improve my life, I need to upskill myself, learn new habits and work towards my dream role of becoming an interaction designer (which is related to UI/UX designer) and developer. I have been fascinated with programming since I studied in the university 10 years ago but life made me choose another profession. Now, my thoughts are hunting me — what if I worked on learning programming, getting certificates and working for the world’s best companies that put first learning, would I be happy right now? So there, this is the reason I am writing this blog. 🙂

So, let’s talk about this project. First, I chose to write a blog since it is easier for me, and I learn easily when I write. Second, merely the process of doing this project is already an application of the course! I have little motivation when it comes to online classes because I would rather: 1) sleep, 2) browse social media, 3) continue doing tasks for my work, 4) watch Netflix, or 5) just play with my rescue dog and cat (note: they are really adorable!). So you see, I have a lot of distraction and it takes lots of willpower.

But as Barbara Oakley said, one of the best ways of being effective in your learning is to use mental tools and tricks to inspire and motivate yourself. So here I am, doing the very tricks I learned in this lesson in finishing this blog. haha!

So far, these are the things I did to help me kickstart my learning sessions in all the courses I enrolled:

  1. I bought a planner for 2020 so I can write down all my tasks: both for work and for the online classes. I also bought another one for 2021 to help me prepare for the next year! We all know we need to reset and look for greater things as 2020 has been a bit harsh lately. (I am in the Philippines, so here is just what happened this year: Taal Volcano eruption, Coronavirus Pandemic, No work for several months, Typhoon Quinta, SuperTyphoon Rolly, and now, there is Typhoon Ulysses that hit our area).
  2. I started sleeping by 10pm or 11am, as sleep is an important factor in learning easily. I used to sleep around 12mn or later due to work. Now, I need to balance work and personal life.
  3. When I am watching the videos, I take down notes in my handy notebook. Recall is an effective approach, so what I do is after I watch the videos, I write down what I have learned. It helps me practice if I remember anything and try several problems.
  4. Highlight only what is important. Before, I love highlighting! To the point that my book becomes a colorful mess of doodles. But I realized, it is important to highlight only the main ideas and then I started putting my own comments beside these highlights. On my notebook, I created a quotation section where I put the main idea then I put my comments underneath it.
  5. I use pomodoro with my online stopwatch. This is really effective for me. I am greatly distracted when I have a task I need to do, my mind tends to wander somewhere else. With the countdown time on full screen, I am reminded to finish within the given timeframe.
  6. I stay away from distractions. For me, the greatest distraction is reading news always, and social media. That little notification bar on top of my phone? You bet it keeps me away from finishing my tasks. So what I do every time I am on learning session is working on my laptop instead using my phone, then I use Spotify to play low background instrumental music while writing recalling the ideas I have learned. I have the online stopwatch also to keep me grounded. So far it works for me, and I will keep on doing it while learning my other courses.
  7. Have a definite time for learning. I am working from home, so taking classes after is my schedule. However, I realized that learning 1-2 hours a day for the same course is like a spaced repetition, so now, I am doing it myself to avoid any burnout.
  8. Eat my frogs first thing in the morning. This is my greatest challenge of all. I usually delay those uncomfortable tasks, to which I end up thinking about it the whole day, and my pending tasks getting longer and longer at the end of the day. It is hard, but I am working on it one step at a time. Since I now have the list of daily tasks, I look at those list and prioritize. Then I try to get on with it. True enough, as what Dr. Oakley said, after sometime, it feels better (well, given the fact I have a sense of accomplishment after I finish it early in the day).

So there! I hope I shared bits and pieces of what I learned from the course, Learning How to Learn by Barbara Oakley. How about you? Are you also on your learning journey?

Maybe this course can help you! Or if you are a reader, you can get the book, A Mind for Numbers and I am pretty sure you will get lots of techniques. So until next time, always keep safe wherever you are in the world right now, and enjoy learning!


McMaster University. (Coursera Course). Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects. Taught by Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski. Course taken October – November 2020.

Karpicke, J.D. and Blunt, J.R. (2011). Retrieval Practice Produces More Learning than Elaborative Studying with Concept Mapping. Published by the Science Journal, Vol. 331, Issue 6018, pp 772-775 & retrieved from on Nov 12, 2020.

2020 Quarantine Diary

It’s been a while since I last posted here in my blog, maybe because I was too busy, or I have other priorities than writing my thoughts here and sharing it to you, my dear reader.

person holding hand sanitizer

Photo by Anna Shvets on

However, the universe has a way of saying, “Stop and Chill”. Last March 17, our Philippine government has declared an Enhanced Community Quarantine, generally a lock down, to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All schools closed, only essential business remain open, and travel is restricted, whether by air, land or sea. The country was gripped with shock and fear as the infections of the virus continuously rise, and the normal daily routine stopped. Not only has this happened in the Philippines, but all over the world. Most governments have guidelines and strategies in place to prevent the spread of the virus, but as this is unexpected, most people were caught off-guard. Everyone has to stay home, practice sanitary hygiene and hand washing, and most especially, keep themselves protected, so as to help the community, rather, the whole country, in its fight against the coronavirus.

So what did I do during this time? Like most Filipinos, I stayed home. For the first month, I was lucky enough to be able to work from home and get paid. However, since we are from the publishing industry with schools as our client, the inevitable has happened. Our company has to tighten the budget to avoid layoffs for its employees. Most employees went on a NO WORK NO PAY setup, only the managers and the officers were on skeleton workforce. We are still part of the company, but we are on floating status.

There were uncertainties and this season has allowed me to reflect on my goals, my career, my life. For sure, everyone will become a different person after this pandemic, the only question is, will I emerge for the better or for the worse?

I chose to become better even if the situation is not. Luckily, I got accepted into Code In Place, an experimental online course offered by Stanford University for free to learn the basics of programming and Python. The universe has not let me down. I have something to work on while everything is out of control.


The Code in Place online course lasted for 5 weeks, mostly 6 weeks since we have a final project to work on. During this time, I have learned about programming basics, and Python. I really enjoyed this class as there are a lot of students I can ask questions if ever I get stuck with an assignment, and a class section that feels right like college. Even before, I already dreamt of becoming a web developer, or software engineer, but the universe has other plans. I am loving my coding experience and in my next posts, I will be documenting my progress here in my blog as I start my journey to becoming a web developer. 🙂

For now, the situation may be uncertain for many of us — you or your loved one has been affected greatly by this pandemic, either your business has closed down, you were laid off, you got the virus, or you have experienced difficulty during this pandemic, I feel you. Know that you are not alone. Let us choose to become better one day at a time.


What is Love?

Recently, I’ve come to reflect about my personal definition of love when a friend asked  my perspective on it. It was such an abstract concept that people tend to give various definitions to it based on their experiences.

After contemplating on love, I’ve realized this is my personal definition:

Love is experiencing extraordinary moments that accumulated over time, then somehow choosing to love the person no matter what. Love is a choice and committing to that choice over and over again. True love without sacrifice is meaningless.

As humans, it is our nature to think first about ourselves, but if you have chosen to love the other person, sacrificing your own self for what’s best for the other, you have experienced true love.

Even if you think the person does not deserve your love but still choose to love that person over and over again, that’s true love.

Love is not a responsibility but a choice. If it’s a responsibility, then even if you don’t want it, you’ll do it anyway. Like you’re obligated. But if it’s a choice, you are deciding to love the person and accepting the consequences connected with that decision. You are owning your love for that person.

Is it applicable to any type of relationship? My above definition is definitely applicable to romantic and familial relationship. But what about spiritual? About love for friends? About love for oneself? About love for one’s country?

I think it will all boil down to one’s freedom of will. Humans are given the freedom to choose, the freedom to say yes, to say no, the freedom to believe or not to believe, the freedom to trust, or not to trust. I think it all boils down to that power to choose given to us. But how do we use this power in ways not destructing but encouraging to people? How can we use this freedom to lift others up instead of pushing them down?

I think it is all about love. And as with any type of relationship, whether for your family, whether for your friends, whether for your significant other, whether for a higher being that you believe or not, it will always be a choice to love and receive love. A choice we are given to show the true meaning of life on this earth.

What about the spiritual definition of love?

I always remember what Paul said to the Corinthian church about love in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 (Contemporary English Version):

Love: The Universal Spiritual Gift

 If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have love, I’m nothing. If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever.

Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth.

Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

As for prophecies, they will be brought to an end. As for tongues, they will stop. As for knowledge, it will be brought to an end. We know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, what is partial will be brought to an end. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, reason like a child, think like a child. But now that I have become a man, I’ve put an end to childish things. Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known.

Now faith, hope, and love remain—these three things—and the greatest of these is love.

With the above spiritual definition of love, it will always be hard to comprehend and apply such if we are face to face with pain, hurt, anger, sickness, doubt and problems. But I guess love is a universal spiritual gift given to us by the One true creator of love.  If we receive that unconditional love from the creator, I think it will be easier to give love to others. But above all, I think it will always be a choice for us whether to give the love that we receive, or not at all.

At the end of the day, I have pictured the love that Jesus has showed me all my life:

Even though I am not patient and want my own way, He is still patient with me and teaches me to put others first.

Even though I am lost with my identity, He has given me a new life. The old has gone, the new has come.

Even though I am a complainer, He is still patient with me, hearing my concerns, loving me and doesn’t keep a record of my wrongs. He has erased my transgressions from east to west.

Even though I didn’t feel loved growing up, He still died on the cross to show how much He loves me. He could have wiped the people from earth, He could have judged me and condemned me but instead, He showed love in its highest form. He showed love through sacrifice. He showed power in love when He chose to love you and me despite our past, our sins, our problems, our ego, our accomplishments, our rejection of Him. He still chose to love.

That for me, is the true definition of love.

Then, I realized,

Love is always a choice. It will always be a choice.

A choice to give love. A choice to receive love.

And in life, we always live with the consequence of that choice.

I Write Because..

I write because I see.

I write because I read.

I write because I feel.

I write because I laugh.

I write because I get sad.

I write because I think.

I write because I listen.

I write because I am angry.

I write because I am hungry.

I write because I am happy.

I write for myself.

To express.

To inspire.

To encourage.

To release.

To hope.

To continue.

I write because I love.

I write because I feel loved.

I write.

Sometimes. Oftentimes.

For no reason at all.

I just write.

How I Started Reading for Pleasure

I’ve started 2018 right by reading a couple of books despite my busy schedule. It’s difficult to squeeze in time for reading when I’ve got other activities, but I’m sooo loving the feeling of being encouraged, empowered or inspired after reading a book so I’m going to keep on this pace.

Last year, a friend of mine recommended that I use Kindle just so he can give me the book he recommended. It was easy to download the app, but quite difficult to actually receive the book if it’s purchased in the US and I’m here in the Philippines. After so many back and forth, I was able to receive the book, and the rest is me buying a bunch of books from Amazon, and getting encouraged. 😁

I love reading fiction whether romance, suspence, science fiction or a thriller even before I became a Christian. However, after becoming one, it has been a struggle to read books I know would not help me in my walk with God. So, when a colleague recommended a Christian fiction novel way back when I was in GenSan, I started devouring on these kinds. Since then, I always set aside part of my income for books to read during free time. And now with ebooks, not reading a book will just be some lame excuse.

Here’s the books I’ve read and I’ve been wanting to read, for my future reference:


Read, Wanting to Read

Left Behind Series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

  • series of Christian novels dealing with the End Times
  1. Left Behind
  2. Tribulation Force
  3. Nicolae
  4. Soul Harvest
  5. Apollyon
  6. Assassins
  7. The Indwelling
  8. The Mark
  9. The Desecration
  10. The Remnant
  11. Armageddon
  12. Glorious Appearing
  13. Kingdom Come

Loren Legacies by Pittacus Lore

  • series of young adult science fiction
  1. I Am Number Four
  2. The Power of Six
  3. The Rise of Nine
  4. The Fall of Five
  5. The Revenge of Seven
  6. The Fate of Ten
  7. United as One

Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers

  • series of five historical fiction novellas about the women of the Bible
    • Unveiled
    • Unashamed
    • Unshaken
    • Unspoken
    • Unafraid

Sons of Encouragement by Francine Rivers

  • series of five historical novellas about the men in the Bible
  • The Priest
  • The Warrior
  • The Prince
  • The Prophet
  • The Scribe

Elizabeth Elliot books

  • Passion and Purity
  • Let Me Be a Woman
  • Mark of a Man
  • Quest for Love

Eric and Leslie Ludy books

  • When God writes my Love Story
  • The Set Apart Woman

Joshua Harris Books

  • I Kissed Dating Goodbye
  • Not even a Hint
  • Boy Meets Girl

Other books by Francine Rivers

  • Redeeming Love
  • Atonement Child
  • Mark of the Lion Series
  • The Masterpiece
  • Bridge to Haven

Dan Brown Books

  • Angels and Demons
  • Da Vinci Code
  • The Lost Symbol
  • Digital Fortress

The Year we Became Invincible by Mae Cuito

Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Gateway to Dreams by Teresa Ward

Journey to Heaven by Marvin Besteman

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Vol. 1 & 2

The Smuggler’s Quest by Lily Bear

A Warrior’s Faith by Robert Vera

Relationship Rules

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
— Carl W. Buechner

The past few weeks have been very busy in work, and there’s less time for me to write my thoughts here. However, I still made the conscious effort to read after work so here I am, sharing bits and pieces of what I learned about the book I’ve read.

First off, my reason for reading this book is to obviously understand how romantic relationships work. I thought, maybe I need to learn about this aspect of life before I actually try to dive into it. I think I’m ready for a relationship, but after reading this book, I realize there are lots of things to learn! Haha!!! Plus, most of my girl friends are in a relationship so it’s really hard when they’re going through a tough time and I don’t even know what to say to console them. So here I am, admitting I’m very rusty in my idea of dating and romantic relationships so I’ve scouted books about it.

After scanning Amazon, I’ve bought Relationship Rules by Janice Hoffman for just about $5 (kindle version). It is quite a quick read, with about 12 rules about relationships discussed by the author. It is more like a guidebook for both men and women on how each can wiggle through the world of their romantic relationship. This book includes advice on what to do specifically addressed for men, and then women afterwards.

I’ll be sharing the 12 rules mentioned in the book here, and if you’re quite interested to specifically know more, you can also buy the book. I’m not affiliated in any way with the author, but I guess her guidelines about romantic relationships helped me a lot as I’ve used her book to give insights to a friend who recently went through a breakup. While reading the book, it was also easy for me to pick a verse or two from the Bible that might relate to those rules.

So, without further ado, here’s the 12 Relationship Rules outlined by Janice Hoffman in Creating a Love that Lasts:

  1. Help your partner succeed in making you happy. Leave hints, notes, or wish lists. In this way, a woman can get what she wants without asking directly, and a man can feel successful in making his partner happy.
  2. Listen without interrupting. Refrain from giving unsolicited advice or suggestions. Practice putting yourself in your partner’s shoes.
  3. Help your partner relieve stress. Women relieve stress when they can talk freely about their emotions and feel heard and understood. Men relieve stress by disassociating themselves from their thoughts and feelings.
  4. Appreciate your partner for their efforts, big and small. Men are motivated by being appreciated; women are motivated by acts of caring.
  5. Know how men and women keep score in a relationship. Women grant points for the positive things men do, say, and give. Men give women big points for being let off the hook and for being appreciated.
  6. Every day, pledge to give your partner one loving act, one affectionate gesture, one kind word or compliment. Never miss an opportunity to tell your partner how much you care.
  7. Know when to take a time-out. Make sure you schedule time to talk later. Women especially need to know they won’t be forgotten or blown off.
  8. Set aside time to spend together at least once a week. This is your time to reconnect, not to discuss finances, children, or careers.
  9. Be aware of how you spend your sexual energy. How you behave around the opposite sex will have an effect on how you relate to your partner.
  10. Take responsibility for your own happiness. By doing this you will find more peace and joy in your life.
  11. Actively practice forgiveness, both for your partner and for yourself. We all make mistakes. Forgiveness is the foundation of a strong relationship.
  12. When you love someone, tell them. Never assume they already know.

The rules I’ve shared here are exactly the points of Janice Hoffman in her book, but she also added specific advice for men and women on how these guidelines can be applied in real situations. To be honest, these concepts are eye-opening for me and once I’m in a relationship, I’ll be sure to refer to these rules. 😊

How about you? Do you agree with these rules? Do you have experiences that may relate to one or more of these rules? Hit the comment button below if you do! 😁

Back to Basics

I’ve been contemplating these past weeks whether or not to dedicate this page to purely my career goals. As you may have noticed, I’ve deleted some of my posts that reveals the personal side of me, well, maybe because I wanted to focus on helping people know more about educational technology and as it happens here in the Philippines. But heck, it has been quite hard not to share both the good and the bad things that happen to me, which, in one way or another, could inspire some of you.


So, I’m trying to redesign this part of my online life. I’m thinking of posting all my work-related stories to my other blog page, elearninginph, and just inspire you here with all my personal stories about what I experience about life. If you think you wanna keep your feeds clean and professional in one-way or another, feel free to unfollow me. 🙂 But if you want to be inspired, just allow me to share my life with you.



Now that I’m older, I’ve realized that keeping my life private is a better way to live life. I’m able to share bits and pieces to a few of my friends, and it’s less time to manage my online and social media life. But when I first set up this blog page about 10 years ago, my goal is to just keep writing, and let my introvert self share bits and pieces to the world. It is my way of growing and expressing myself.


So now, after 10 years, I’m going back to the first reason I’m blogging — to just write and express myself.

Thus, the title for this post is Back to Basics.



In the next few days, I’ll be deleting my work-related posts here. Instead, I’ll be sharing my experiences about the places I’ve traveled, books I’ve read, people I’ve met, movies I’ve watched, ideas that inspired me, and lessons I’ve learned about life. You will get to know me better, as I would be writing — no holds barred.


So there. 🙂


Lineage of Grace & Sons of Encouragement

For the past month, I have been reading the book series Lineage of Grace and Sons of Encouragement by Francine Rivers. I have been affected by these books in such a way that it is necessary to blog about the wisdom and the faith I’ve learned along the way.


For my next series of posts, I’ll be sharing my thoughts about each book as an answer to the Seek and Find portion. I hope that you’ll bear with me and be encouraged eventually.


To start, I’ll give you a background as to why I’ve chosen the series. As a Christmas present, a friend gave Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. I enjoyed reading the book as it allowed me to immerse into the author’s unconscious and conscious mind about the protagonist’s coming of age while in the university. It talked about love, death, depression, sex and how these can affect the person mentally and emotionally. However, the after-effect of the book made me go back to the reason why I veered away from books dealing with such things:


Depression is just lurking any time of the day, and my mind is a battleground I need to defend from the enemies. Whatever I put into my mind will affect me spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually. Books and music are my weapons to keep defending my battleground against the enemy.


I have been depressed for a few days, so when I chanced upon Francine Rivers (my fave author) and her book series in Kindle Store, I bought the books and was not disappointed so far. Here’s a quick description of each series:


  • Lineage of Grace is a book compilation about the stories of five women in the Bible who have become part of the lineage of Abraham to Jesus Christ. These women — Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary — have been mentioned in the Bible for their faith in God, and their stories tell about the risks they have to take to show their faith and fulfill their calling. This book has been 2009 Retailer’s Choice Award winner, and no wonder why. I have finished 3 of the 5 books and I felt compelled to write my own realizations to share to you.
  • Books included: Unveiled, Unashamed, Unshaken, Unspoken, Unafraidlineage-of-grace_300


  • Sons of Encouragement tells us about the stories of five men in the Bible who supported and stood behind the heroes of the faith in their journey to lead the people of God. These men — Aaron, Caleb, Jonathan, Amos and Silas had their hearts turned towards God. As each man responded to God’s call to support His chosen leaders, each became a man with courage and purpose, and eventually changed the course of history for the Israelites, and for anyone who believes in God.
  • Books included: The Priest, The Warrior, The Prince, The Prophet, The Scribesons-of-encouragement_3001

So there. A short description apt for the series of posts I’ll be writing in the next days or weeks. Though these series have been only a work of fiction; these, however, definitely gave me an idea on what could have transpired during the old testament times. It arouse in me faith like no other, especially when reading the miracles God made through Moses and Joshua. I admit, I have a hard time reading through the old testament, but these work of fiction gave me a reason to look forward to reading those stories in the Bible again.


For anyone interested in reading the books in the series, I highly recommend it! You can even refer to the Old Testament stories in the Bible if you wanted to have a peek at what will happen at the end. Hehe.


Lastly, the books are good for group discussion with its Seek and Find portion. Definitely, if you’re up to learning more and applying it to your daily life, you can answer those and have a conversation with your trusted friends. These will be a good introspection practice on your end. 🙂