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Looking Back To Where It Started

I've decided to share something about my college days. I had a chance to study at the College of Law in Mindanao State University, Marawi City.

If it's beautiful, you'll never forget it. That's how I describe the place where I have the most fond memories kept in my heart. I'll share another part of the, though. To sway it, I'd like to share with you that I had seen this beautiful scenery before and it's under siege now.

I won't talk about the negative side of things. There are other ways to address it, especially taking advantage of the love that our Father in Heaven has given us. Let's pray for safety and for His endless mercy. Such a lovely place is also very legendary, many people would start telling you tales that all of its corners can attest its validity. Well, students from across the southern part of the country and even those from the metro flock here for quality education. The best thing that I had here? It's the resilience of being a government scholar. Here, life is different. You'll have all kinds of test, even the literal and the figurative meaning of it. Have I told you that we eat in plastic bags [not in plates sometimes] because we want to save water? We want to save time, too. It's always raining. I wasn't able to practice being a fashion apprentice because there's no way I can keep my clothes so tidy all the time. Imagine the lifestyle that I had as a student. I love everything of it, though. And I'll never forget it.

Winner of Apprentice Asia Graces Sun Life's Live Brighter Campaign

What it's like to be with successful people when you're in the process of reaching your dreams? These days, the era of identifying millennials to show off their true nature is tremendously popular. They're very active in pursuing passion projects that are really disrupting for better results. The shining generation are full of dreamers with the spirit of achieving success by taking advantage of what's already within them. I'm talking here about innate talents that have been ignited to reach one's goals by using all available resources these days. That's what makes me believe in the live brighter campaign of Sun Life here in the Philippines.

It's even more enticing if you get to know the people who have moved mountains to be successful and are able to inspire all of us. Obviously, I was so lucky to attend an event graced by the first ever winner of the hit reality show "Apprentice Asia," Jonathan Yabut, wherein it's a happening that gathers bloggers and financial advisors so we could listen to his story of how he rose from humble beginnings to become a successful businessman and an in-demand motivational speaker.

 Jonathan's story is very inspiring as he told us the real reason why he won the prestigious competition. He said that "I won because I was the most prepared contestant," and it really made me believe that preparation is key to achieve success.

Yabut, who served as Chief of Staff for AirAsia for a year after winning the reality television show hosted by Malaysian business mogul Tony Fernandes, now manages his very own JY Consultancy & Ventures, which operates in Manila, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. It's an exciting venture because he's on his way to be at par with my favorite motivational speakers such as Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar and more. Since I'm collecting self-help books, I'm also planning to buy his published pieces.

In front of eager bloggers and financial advisors, Jonathan shared about the key principles that catapulted him to fame and success. He also emphasized the importance of serving a social purpose. After all, millennials love to give back to the community since it's an inspiration to keep improving one's work.

Aside from that, I'm so excited to keep the secret recipe to success and apply it on my daily tasks so I can be successful. With Sun Life's continuous efforts to spread awareness about financial literacy, I'll also be inspired to add my investment portfolio whenever I'm ready. I have only one so it's really beneficial to keep it growing.

Aside from Jonathan Yabut, Sun Life Financial advisor JP Cruz also spoke, providing bloggers an peek at his own career, as well as his personal journey. Personally, I learned a lot from him after he told us about how he reached rock bottom in both his finances and his love life, and what he did to overcome the struggle. As a present successful Sun Life advisor, Cruz interestingly mentioned similar thought to what Yabut emphasized: that is to have a deeper reason for the work one pursues. For Cruz, he was able to do it by helping people achieve a lifetime of financial security. Definitely, this will inspire more millenials to join the bandwagon of brighter future and well-balanced lifestyle.

"There's so much inspiration to be had in this Live Brighter Session, between Jonathan's and JP's stories. I'm sure that the bloggers who joined us in the venue and even those who tuned in via Facebook Live found motivation to continue pursuing their dreams and finding a purpose to serve," Sun Life Financial Advisor Recruitment Manager Fin Bernardo said. "We hope that this also opens to them opportunities that they can enjoy if they become a financial advisor. It's a career that's definitely meaningful, and at the same time financially rewarding." 

"Live Brighter Sessions" are set to be held in Cebu and Davao. For more details, follow @sunlife on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Interested to become a Sun Life advisor? Visit Sun Life Advisor to learn more.

Matteo Guidicelli And Sun Life Launch Vlog On Investing

I've been reading a lot of books lately. I'm even updated with the latest K-drama news. However, I've been contemplating if I have the complete knowledge so far. What about financial literacy? Am I still afraid to think about it? Or am I just too lazy to spare something for the future? Well, it will get in the way of buying the latest clothes and accessories offered to fashion lovers. It will also affect my travel plans.

Two months from now, I need to maintain my investment tied up with a certain company. Even so, I'm still thinking of withdrawing it before the term is over. Luckily, I had a chance to think things so many times. I can't be wrong when it comes to financial security.

Luckily, I had a chance to attend the launching of a series of vlogs (video blogs) by actor Matteo Guidicelli, in cooperation with Sun Life Asset Management Company, Inc. (SLAMCI). It aims to teach Filipinos about how investing can help make their #lifegoals come true.

I've been working with Sun Life Asset Management Company, Inc. (SLAMCI) for almost two years since I really believed in their efforts to spread awareness about financial literacy. We all know that it will surely lead to financial independence.

Going back to the event, the vlogs are Dubbed "Make It Mutual," and it will tackle topics relevant to personal finance, such as growing one's money, beating inflation and investing regularly.The best thing about this is that the modules shall be demonstrated in themes familiar to them, like travel, fashion, and fitness, among others. See? It will help me manage my finances so I can travel, shop and invest at the same time.

It will be easy for all of us to access the vlogs since all videos will be shared through social media. In fact, the first video is already accessible through Sun Life PH Facebook.

Matteo has also shared some thoughts about the new campaign lately. "I am thankful for the opportunity to lead another financial literacy campaign for SLAMCI. It's definitely relevant and timely," Matteo said. "I myself have life goals I'd like to pursue, and I'm happy to share that ever since I "made it mutual" with SLAMCI, I've been well on my way to achieving all those goals. It would be great if more Filipinos can experience the same."

The campaign is also the latest in SLAMCI's efforts to boost financial literacy among Filipinos. It's really for all of us to learn and apply in our lives. After all, saving money is part of our everyday living. Basically, the campaign"Make It Mutual" aims to encourage Filipinos to invest in mutual funds so they can achieve their life goals. The company was also behind the "Slam The Scam" campaign which likewise starred Matteo, who shared tips on what to consider when choosing an investing company in order to avoid dubious organizations. That was the project of Sun Life Asset Management Company, Inc. that was launch last year.

I'm so amazed with the message shared by the President of the company. According to SLAMCI President Valerie Pama, the company is committed to helping more Filipinos discover the benefits of investing so they may reap its rewards. The commitment is even more relevant these days since many people are already seeking for knowledge about financial management, specifically about mutual funds. "We all have goals that we'd like to accomplish, such as buying a house or a car, traveling to a dream destination, or planning a wedding. These are goals that require a significant amount of money, and sometimes, Filipinos become discouraged knowing how much they need to raise to be able to fun their dreams," she said. "We'd like to show them that by saving and investing in mutual funds, all their dreams can become a reality. They simply have to "Make It Mutual."

Lastly, the "Make It Mutual" campaign is just the first of Sun Life's series of financial literacy initiatives this year. We will be given a lot of opportunities to learn from the company. According to Sun Life Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa, more will be launched in this coming days as Sun Life rolls out its Financial Independence Month campaign in June. "We remain committed to this cause. Sun Life is always eager to promote it in ways that are creative, relatable, easily understandable," she said. "We will never tire of advocating financial literacy to Filipinos."

Fiction Writing In The Philippines As Told By Irene Jurado

Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze. - Carolyn Gold Heilbrun

I love to read ever since I was child. When I was in grade-school I attempted to write a story but ended up only with snippets of scenes. Then life happens. I became busy being a teen, a college student, an employee and now a mother. But my love for reading did not change. It was only when I read a book; Interim Goddless of Love by Mina V. Esguerra awaken my secret dream to write again. So I read more books written by Filipino authors and join the #romanceclass community. It's my happy indulgence. When an opportunity came to write our own story and submit it, I took a chance. Nobody said it was easy especially for an aspiring writer like me. It took a lot of effort, years of practice and commitment before I could finally sent out to the world the story of my heart.

I am sharing this hoping to inspire some people who has a secret dream of writing too :)

My post will focus on Romance fiction

1. Fiction Writing in the Philippines
(Encouragement for aspiring writers)

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer article dated March 7, 2016

"Today, more romances in English are being published and made available to Filipino readers than ever before."

That being said, anyone who loves to read books and believes in the magic of romance: the happily ever after; have the opportunity to write his or her own love story.

Here's some of the tips I learned when you want to write your story.

A. Read a lot of books in different genre. Young Adult, New Adult, historical romance, contemporary romance, etc.

B. Read about different main characters and love interest. Here in the Philippines, most stories revolve around an ordinary girl meeting a guy who is ultimately rich and handsome and ends up with a happy ever after. You could explore more. Your main character can be an empowered woman who is working in a corporate world who meets an equally smart business tycoon. Or a chef falls in love with a rival chef.

C. Learn from the experienced authors. And aside from writing your story, you need to look at the technical side like finding a good plot, vocabulary, grammar, and how to use the punctuation marks appropriately.

D. Learn from the critics and readers. There are three different type of readers (source Mina V. Esguerra)

1. The encouraging reader
2. The encouraging critic
3. The critic - honest/brutal/harsh

E. Write anything that comes from your heart and what you truly enjoy. Writing should make you and the readers happy. It shouldn't give you too much stress. When you enjoy what you do, the words and ideas will flow naturally.

2. Popular fiction writers in the Philippines

Here's a link of the Famous Writers from the Philippines :

For romance, this is my personal list of popular fiction writers:

1. Mina V. Esguerra
2. Six Delos Reyes
3. Tara Frejas
4. Ines Bautista-Yao
5. Anne Plaza
6. Agay Llanera
7. Jay E. Tria

There are a lot more of awesome authors that you can discover by joining the #romanceclass community group in Facebook.

3. Resources to improve writing novels

1. Attend writing workshops. There are people who offer writing workshops for free or you can enroll in a workshop to improve your knowledge in writing skills.

Here's the latest workshop that you may want to attend to from Mina V. Esguerra

#romanceclass intro: May 20, 2017

2. There are a lot books that will help you improve your writing skills. You just need to find a book that works for you. Mine is #romanceclass textbook by Mina V. Esguerra.

Here is the link where I bought the book by Mina V. Esguerra.