What Dreams May Come

Grassroots community Technopreneur Bootcamp. Investor Meetup for portfolio founder. Press Brief. Awards night for bossings. Packing up for new spaces. Talking about solid teams. Reporting about globalization strategies. Sharing about La Prospective case studies. Talking on air to scale the opportunity of democratizing access of capital for commercializeable science and technology. This wraps up my major stuff for the week.

Now, I am giving myself the time to unwind and write before facing week 49 head-on. I was telling my classmate earlier how lutang this week has been, and how next week will continue to be, to which she shares the same sentiment. I tell her how I’ve lately been feeling more weight of owing so many things to so many people, that I’ve overlooked the virtue of being myself for myself. She ended up saying, “wow, that’s deep.”, to which we ended up just laughing it off – the lutang kind.

But seriously, as I prepare for my trip tomorrow, with the mission of highlighting the greatness of Filipino innovations and innovators among the people I will meet across the region, I will have to admit that I am getting the jitters. Not a lot of people will believe that I am an introvert, considering the kind of work I do, but I am. I simply keep being consistent at pushing myself outside my comfort zone, because I know all this is for a greater purpose, one that is well beyond my own.

This morning, my professor in strategic management and technology foresight challenged me in front of class. He told me that I am already in the thick of efforts to put PH science and technology forward, and that this needs to be sustained.

Several weeks ago, my bosses challenged me to think bigger, i.e. to dream bigger. Everyday is always a learning experience that allows for a bigger world view of matters. I am reminded of this coming fresh from doing reports on international prospective deployments, and the implementation drivers and methods of global strategy. This could not be more timely as I plan my roadmap for next year. On theory and practice, cheers!

So in spite of the stress, the discomfort , the frequent instances of being lutang, the breakouts, I am still honored and grateful for the opportunity to execute these things. I have never prayed for an easy life; rather, I would always pray for a meaningful one.

Much like supporting folks who are in it for the marathons and not the sprints, I’ll have to amplify my cheerleader skills to my best capacity (aha! so this was what those high school cheerleading stints were for! #ConnectingTheDots) for them. This is for myself AND for them.

My colleague would remind me that dreams that don’t scare me aren’t worth achieving. Perhaps he makes a good point. The path to technopreneurship is not easy, it’s a steep upclimb, and being in a role that supports them entails the same.

I remember a couple of years ago, in the thick of not seeing the deeper purpose of the things I was doing and taking up the most of my time, my fervent wish would be to do things that would enable others. It was one simple dream.

And now as I sit and type in front of my laptop, I realize I am living my dream. And this living dream is allowing me to dream bigger, dream brighter, for myself, more so for others.

We are all that we can be.
It is okay to be scared, so the fear can transform us to face bigger things.
I’ll do my best to raise the PH innovation flag high. *sweats*
PH S&T geek technopreneurs, I believe in you. I believe in us!

#CommunityDevelopment

Day 1: My Work #7DaysOfGratitude

So our intention for yoga class this morning was Gratitude. As I usually do take the time to recognize the little things that make life awesome, like the 1st sip of morning coffee or hot chocolate, or breathing in and out deeply and feeling the air course through my body, here is a more structured way for me to share other more catch-all stuff I’m grateful for. Part 1 of my #7DaysOfGratitude offering?

My work.

Why? 7 reasons:

1. Gripping intellectual dialogue at the workplace a.k.a. The Incubator a.k.a. The Foundation is ubiquitous. Case in point:

Boss 1: We need to rethink these strategic matters. (In reference to hackathons–) We should have an orgathon, or something.

Boss 2: Ah, an orgathon. That’s good. As long as it’s not an orgy.

See? My hunger for stimulating discourse and green tendencies, satiated.

2. Mentorship by alpha geeks, under-the-radar greats, and awesome people who blend executional caliber with social impact.

Back in the time when I was relatively immature, I had a judgment and mental model against rich people. It must have been shaped by the context of a feudal, island-culture thing. I am so happy to discover how wrong I’ve been in this judgment, as I am finding myself surrounded by financially successful people who have the heart and mind to help others through the market relevance of their ventures, and even taking the energies to mentor those who are in the journey of going through the lower end of the Technology S-Curve, in the pursuit of fostering more success stories in the ecosystem.

PH Startup community people, why you so awesome?!

3. Arguments on how to serve people best.

Now, for the benefit of those who aren’t familiar about business incubation, two of the things it is about are that it’s psychological and emotional. It is beyond dealing with ROIs and balancing portfolios. If anything, it is about fostering shared ownership. As The Foundation and its founders learn together, I love how there is that deliberate effort to spur objectivity, to build the ability to critique internal tactics and operations in the pursuit of translating it to actionables for improvement.

4. Diversity. Different folks. Different strokes. Common Thread.

The people I work with all come from different backgrounds. The common thread? They are all smart. I am in awe of how my new colleague who is younger than me can poke holes at an assumption in the spirit of creating a more robust program. I love how I am learning that there are different types of rich (boat, commercial plane, private plane, space – you get the idea) through side conversations. I love how my teammate has become comfortable with sharing his story on his own regrets as a student in the past, and using that as a story to encourage students now to maximize their opportunities. I love how I have co-conspirators who have a deep sense of their individual why’s and have the ability to thread these to the advocacy of The Foundation.

5. Passion.

There is not one day since I’ve first stepped inside The Incubator that I have not felt this. It just overflows. More so, heading over to different communities in the country has allowed me to discover more movers and shakers, whether as entrepreneurs, community volunteers or supporters. The more amusing part is they don’t even know it. Such humble people. And it always gives me major #Feels whenever I discover stories of grit. Take the likes of this student startup who participated in the latest competition of The Foundation, didn’t make it to the last cut, but stuck to their idea. I listened to them pitch at a Soc Ent competition over the weekend and they now have a pretty awesome prototype. The whole hall was in awe. That’s pretty bad-ass market validation for them. Another story I love to share is the one of our founders from the 1st batch who came all the way from Tawi-Tawi, underwent a pretty rough childhood, dreamt big, and funneled that ambition to execution. And yes, his team has been generating several millions in revenue in short of a year from graduating The Foundation’s program.

6. Convergences.

Others subscribe to worklife balancing; I subscribe to worklife integration. The things I’m learning now in technology management, or the stuff I learned before on finance and portfolio management, economics and ecosystems all makes much more sense now. Even the stuff I’m learning in yoga about the importance of self-awareness, of embracing a long-term mindset and appreciating the journey are things I see manifested in the stories being fostered in The Foundation. People often tell me that I must be busy, considering how often I work on weekends, or that it’s weird when they discover I’m an introvert in spite of doing community work. Well, being a #StartupGroupie is a lifestyle, and cannot be compartmentalized as a 9-to-5 thing. And my introverted apprehensions to get myself out there is trumped by my hunger to discover more wonderful stories from people that are worth emulating – those with deep, solid foundations, those that combat the building foam of glamorized images of startup life.

And this leads me to my 7th bit:

7.Being giddy about doing another post on sharing the specifics of what I do

…which I will do soon.

My friends keep asking. Even my dates keep asking. Would make sense to just write about it, yeah?

So there. Item #1 of stuff to be grateful for – being in the wonderful web of IdeaSpace. Onwards!

Thank you, Universe!

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I no longer have patience

Penny for one’s thoughts to lifehack.

Ioadicaeu's Blog

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“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with…

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TLW

So I saw this on my Facebook news feed the other day, and could not help but blurt out in laughter:

I’m happy to know that I’ve moved on from what otherwise seemed like an intense stretch of emo days. Given that I’m a relatively transparent person, and that I don’t really mind telling people what’s up if they ask, I ended up receiving a myriad of advice from different people recommending different things. The bits of advice were so diverse, and all seemed to be at the extreme ends of the spectrum. However, this bit reigned supreme, and is my favorite of them all:

Hello love. Our conversation regarding your journey towards finding your mate stuck to me and got me thinking. If there is one thing I learned about love, is that in order to love we have to be vulnerable. Vulnerable and humble.

I am not saying you don’t know this yet.

If you do, I want to affirm that in my experience this is really true.

Regarding (insert other friend’s name here)‘s advice that you have to find someone smarter than you, although it is a challenge, it is very doable. I am surprised that within your network, you haven’t found many intellectual equals or superiors. Maybe they’re intelligence isn’t manifested through articulation.
Also through experience, I can tell you that sometimes it’s much harder to date someone who is as smart as or smarter than you simply because ideals clash and intelligent people are less likely to compromise on their views because they are so sure of themselves, sometimes too sure. I am talking about myself and some boy here, not you darling.
So in my experience, although I dated men I could respect, I didn’t feel respected or heard, or appreciated. So my wish for you is you find a man you can respect, but also someone who can appreciate your strength and your power, who is not afraid of or intimidated by you.
So whether you find a man who is an intellectual, or someone who may not be your equal in terms of I.Q., it doesn’t matter. Both will have different yet equal qualities of worth to bring to the table. What matters is your attitude towards love or romantic relationships. We are so used to nurturing ourselves, and being proud of our accomplishments, of people looking up to us. But love and romantic relationships are not about us, if we want a truly rewarding love life. They are primarily about what we see in someone, how much we believe in someone, are willing to commit, nurture and take care of someone. My advice to you is don’t rush, as I have rushed at some point, and even fell flat on my face because of rushing. Find a man you respect, you trust and you know will stretch your growth spiritually. Someone who will bring out the giver in you, as it is such a maturing experience to be the one who listens, and understands, and at the same time being listened to and understood. I don’t doubt you will find this kind of love. But if it isn’t love you are looking for, well there isn’t anything I can say about that. But as someone who has been through it, I say pray for this kind of experience. Don’t go for a relationship that only skims through your being. Look for someone who can shake you to your core, and will enable you to grow even more spiritually. You’re on the right path. Good luck!
When I initially spoke of finding someone I could respect, I was equating respect with intelligence.
I was wrong on that note. I found men whose intellect and accomplishments I respected but whom I was supremely turned off by because of their arrogance and perceived superiority of self. So never again will I limit or reserve my respect for people who have proven to be smart.
What I respect in someone now is someone who embodies kindness, diplomacy, compassion, tolerance.
As someone who was very stubborn, I didn’t have much of these qualities. But loving someone who did humbled me, and softened me, and I am so much happier for it.
Just sharing my thoughts my love..
Have a great day!

Beautiful, isn’t it? Lucky me to have friends with such wonderful perspectives.

I suppose at the end of the day, when people give advice, it is ultimately up to you whether you subscribe to them or not. A rule of thumb I use when sifting through different viewpoints?

  1. Does the advice-giver practice what he/she preaches?
  2. Do you and the advice-giver share mutual goals and perspectives in life?
  3. Are there areas in the advice-giver’s life that you want to imbibe in your own life as well, in relation to the topic being advised at hand?

If your answer to all 3 is a fat YES, then it’s worth considering. At the end of the day, we are all captains of our own ship, and we are accountable to our own actions and outcomes.

So yes, I am allowing myself to blog re touchy-feely things after realizing that the 1st schoolweek of the sem isn’t even over yet, and I’ve been assigned >1,000 pages worth of readings. Upside? Skimmed through them and they mostly seem worth the read.

Okay, back to reading. Haha.

A happy Monday to all!

My Heroes

“Come back when you’re done saving the world.”

This is perhaps the most iconic lyrical phrase I hold on to in the sphere of OPM. And in the spirit of celebrating the Philippine day of Independence and recognizing that this effect was caused fundamentally by the movers and shakers of the times, allow me to share a list of my Filipino modern-day heroes! In order of the timeline of meeting them:

  1. My Parents – I was born and raised in a love story that involved a lot of grit, persistence and sacrifice in the hope of rearing children with better tomorrows. It was only when I graduated college that my aunt (of all people) revealed my mom and dad’s Capulet-and-Montague-esque love story. Up until this day, my mother refuses to make this mushy, whereas my dad leverages on this to shower my mother with compliments. That’s love. 34 years to date! The details deserve a separate blog post of its own!Parents
  2. Ralph Cecilio (see last sentence of this article) – I will never forget how he referred to me as a moron in the other honors’ section of my batch in fourth year high school. He was astounded at how I literally cut my sources, pasted it on my metacards, and then wrote my source. Haha. Of course, I will mostly remember him for making me feel privileged, as I was one of the lucky ones in my city of Cagayan de Oro to have learned the intricacies of Shakespearean literature through a mentor of such fine caliber and passion. It isn’t so bad to end an argument by being equipped with this line:  “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” – Hamlet (1.5.167-8)
  3. Nicole Curato – Well-celebrated, this woman is. Fundamentally, I will always remember her as the teacher that sparked my notion of  challenging the status quo, gaining courage to ask existential questions and dwell on the pivotal why’s of life. My most memorable elective in my undergraduate life in UP will have to be her Socio 10 class. It’s not everyday that you get opportunities to argue with your professor on the validity of a greater Being, and rationalizing points to debunk/support Nietszchean principles. She gave that opportunity to her students! Doesn’t hurt that she happens to be a renowned debater, a beautiful face, a beautiful brain, a TOYM awardee.
  4. Solita Monsod – This woman probably needs no introduction, but it was being in her class that helped me understand why the universe led me to the path of studying Business Economics. I remember calling my mother freshman year, airing out ugly sobs, asking her why I had to deal with consumer behavior and the elasticity of goods (to which she answered: sige lang, anak). It was through Prof. Winnie’s class that the fundamentals of economic theory were given life and meaning and relevance. I still geek over Lorenz Curves and Gini Coefficients. And it’s not everyday that you get a prof who comes to class, bravely crying because she is in awe of how some students have remained to value honor before excellence i.e. taking low grades and declaring mistakenly overrated grades in the spirit of honor, in the spirit of integrity, amidst examples that exhibit otherwise (proud of you, classmate!). It also ain’t everyday that your prof writes about your class at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, expressing how stimulated she is by the debates and ideas that boomerang within the confines of the classroom. More so, it’s not everyday that you get a threat from one of the greatest Filipinos of today that she will haunt you from her grave once she finds out if any of her students have sold out and contributed to the brain drain problem.
  5. Nancy Siy – My most admired yoga teacher. I am amazed how revolutionized her way of living is. I remember taking my 1st class at Bliss with her as my teacher. It was by being in her classes that I understood the essence of Yoga further beyond asana, where true yoga is hard, where yoga is union – of the mind, of the body, of the heart, of the breath. It was in her Jivamukti classes (literally translated as liberation of the soul) that I encountered the virtue of learning, unlearning and keeping an open mind. It was by being in her classes that I had more focus, as I was assured that yoga was about non-judgment, that it was about 6-billion individual paths to bliss, that it was about opening your heart and following it, that the courage to come up to inversions and have the heart literally higher up the sky was a figurative way of pushing the heart up and forward. It was primarily through her influence that I’ve decided to take on the path of adapting a vegan lifestyle. Loka Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.
  6. IdeaSpace Team – These people justify my self-proclaimed title as groupie of the good. These are the people, the brains, the hearts behind the advocacy. Marrying innovation, entrepreneurship and technology development as the catalysts to nation-building are what these people stand for. I feel greatly privileged to be working with them. The hashtags #Overheard #GottaLovePH and #CharDotComDotPH have been inspired by hearing / eavesdropping on so many wonderful things I tune in to at the incubator. Added bonus? These superstars shun high power distance indices and so are very much open, approachable and generally awesome amidst their greatness. And did I tell you about Dave, Brenda and Miguel? Fortune favors the brave. These IdeaSpace bagets are also paving their unique stories in building the advocacy and cultivating more homegrown stories of technopreneurial excellence.
  7. Prim Paypon – His brainchild called The Dream Project is a story I will never get tired of sharing. I was doing figurative somersaults when I met Prim and basked in his passion of seeing a better Philippines and devoting his energies to make that happen. As a person who walks the talk, he’s keen on wearing Filipino, which I think is one of the simplest, most sensible ways to (1) emanate Filipino pride (2) support the local economy. What made my jaw drop was discovering his personal pain growing up and witnessing him harness from that pain, inspiring people around him to dream better dreams, and more so achieve them. #BoomPaypon!

Being in the thick of inspiring stuff at The Dream Expo Manila, allow me to share my dream: and that is to be a groupie of more pinoy stories of excellence, passion, compassion and awesomeness. The light and love in me honors the light and love and each and everyone of you!

Itaas ang bandera, mga katoto!

Fresh Eyes

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Okay, so this probably isn’t the most compelling image that would rake in potential reader pull, but perhaps this may very well be the best graphic that encapsulates my week, my month even. In spite of the fact that I’ve been fairly preoccupied the past few days and found myself in a long hiatus from leisurely writing, here I am now, getting this window of opportunity to write, to express.

Ahh, opportunities.

The month isn’t even over yet and I have had the privilege of being introduced to a myriad of wonderful ideas and the people who live by them. In less than two weeks, I have been involved in or eavesdropped on conversations that dwelt on the current paradigm of our country, referring to how our collective thinking is so “out of sight, out of mind”, and how this all aligns with the deeply entrenched “island thinking”.

Some days ago, there was an open door meeting in the conference room, and I happened to catch an anecdote where someone shared of her experience on doing unfamiliar things as being thrown deep into the water and how that compelled her to develop her own paddle.

Last week, I started entering a space where a wonderful quote would greet me every morning:

“I was born poor, but poor was not born in me. And it shouldn’t be born in you either. You can make it. Whatever you may wish to do with your future, you can make it. It gets dark sometimes, but morning comes always. Challenges breed character. Character breeds faith. In the end, faith will not disappoint. You must not disappoint.” 

Stuff worth happily cringing for, yes.

The week prior to that, I get the chance to have lunch with such a wonderful person, talking about life, family, passions, and making the world better. I take the time to extend my thanks to this person for sharing wonderful ideas, and she responds by saying that there are no accidents.

This month, God knows I have done a lot of writing – pages and pages of them. I have recently discovered how it’s starting to feel less of an obligation, and more of a ubiquitous activity. In the course of reacting on readings, on putting context in proposals, I have come across eye-opening empirical studies on the various constructs that revolve around technology, economic development, and even international relations. This is somehow awakening the dormant dreamer in me to serve the world in a more magnanimous scale. Is this a sign to go past my daily Duolingo habit and be open to the world in declaring that my ambitions go far beyond hitting the right accent of saying “omelette du fromage”? Time and grit will tell.

Ahhh, how wonderful it is to breathe the same air as the people who advocate for inclusive growth. Beautiful stuff.

One of the econ graphs that always stuck to me was the Lorenz curve. It intrigues me how history has showed us that time and again, tipping the scales too much and disrupting the organic balance of things, political conditions included, has its self-corrective omens coming (read: the French revolution, abolishment of apartheid, Philippine independence, etc.!!!).

Now, I find myself all giddy to join the mission and put forward the opportunity of inclusiveness, equitability, and yes, meritocracy. I am excited to work with an organization that is led by a  paragon of meritocracy. Reminder to self: live by the precepts of honesty to self, hard work and competence.

It is also refreshing to come across people who are born rich, but empathize just as much with current social conditions, adapting a wide and mindful view of the world and are currently taking active measures to make things better.

Zomg.

Is my wish coming true? Am I really living amongst warriors of social change?

Knowledge transfers. Passion spillovers. Can’t wait.

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