Are you the victim? Choose not to be!

There was a time I felt really insecure about my credentials (or “lack,” thereof). In conversations where people would ask me, “Where’d you go to college?” or “What company are you with?”, I would respond apologetically, wondering why my life turned out the way it had, up to that point: college-less, credential-less, with only a career path paved in church work and ministry service, never in corporate like everyone else I knew. A million thoughts went through my head about who to blame for what I felt went wrong in my life. 

And, with every milestone on my resume came a ton of doubt, failure, loss and fear. Like, whenever I’d receive negative comments about my blog or hear my name mentioned in conversations about my kind of work or find out that this or that person didn’t like me, I’d blame my history or past that I was not good enough, not being educated enough, not this-that-whatever.
I played the VICTIM many times.

And guess what? 

It got me nowhere.
Have you been like me in the past? We are so obsessed with making ourselves the victim. We massage our souls with feel-good quotes and blame people, situations, finances, or anything, never ourselves, for our lives. 

It was only when I stopped blaming everything else and started working on ME that things would turn around. The only thing that I had to do was get out of that place in my mind where I was the VICTIM.

It is a daily decision to be a better person than you were the day before. Because life will happen, and every day we can experience unexpected outcomes. We can either let them keep us victims or we can get up and go forward.

Let REJECTION change the trajectory of your life so that you become a bette person.

Let FAILURE make you wiser, making sure you learn from your mistakes.

Let MISFORTUNE make you stronger, and decide you will never let life simply happen to you, but you will create your possibilities.

Let SICKNESS and chronic ILLNESS make you decide that life is meant to be lived fully, that it is selfish towards your family & loved ones if you don’t take care of your health.

Each day, we have the CHOICE to be a victim of our actions and decisions. Each day, we can choose learn from our failures, our mistakes, do what we can to repair the damage, and GET UP and GO again. 


Let’s choose to stop blaming others. Let’s choose to stop hindering our lives of greatness and start LIVING. Let’s choose to really find that role we are meant to play, whether it’s to be the best janitor in our building, or the best salesperson in our team, or the best business owner & employer for our people. Icons ask, “How do I make OTHERS great? How do I help change a life?”

Let’s contribute to things we can be proud of, whether it’s to finally clean up our mess of an apartment, or to finally run with that advocacy we’ve been putting off for months and years. No one thing is more “accomplished” than the other. If a clean living space will take you out of the victim mindset, start there. Just start something.

I challenge you in anything you do to go deeper within yourself, and think bigger, think powerfully, approach life positively. Work on yourself first. Choose to fix the mess inside, because nothing will make you as a human being feel more accomplished than when you are able to do things for OTHERS. People who achieve great things are never half-assed. They’ll be MASTERS of themselves first because they know that it’s in this mastery that they will get lasting results from helping others.

And so, refuse to be the victim of yourself and decide you’ve made enough excuses.

CHOOSE to live a GREAT life. An iconic one.


Make an impact more than an income.

Why do we work? Simply to get by month by month, day by day? Often, we will think nothing of putting in more and more time at our job, just to get that next paycheck, or go from one company to the next every in order to bump up our salary bracket. Sometimes we willingly put our life savings into stocks, real estate or a business venture that can’t even give us a guarantee of returns and where we have no real prior experience of success in.

Do we really BELIEVE that our lives are what we make it to be? Or do we read motivational quotes, feel good for a while, but go back to the same old grind, hoping for change? If we really do choose to believe our loved ones deserve to have the best, doesn’t it follow that we would choose to do things differently? If we sincerely believed our families deserve the best quality of life, is that “best” only dictated by how much of our income we can bring home every month, or how much we can save for a rainy day? 

Making an IMPACT on our family’s possibilities is and should be more than increasing our income. In being ABUNDANT and financially FREE, we believe that we deserve what the most impactful people in this world have: financial freedom and the ability to help many more people, because they have been blessed with much. 

The action of WORKING for income should help us and our families achieve the BEST QUALITY OF LIFE possible. It isn’t about just making money. People rich & poor make money all day, every day, but few are financially free because that’s all they work for: to pay the bills, pay the school, pay the food. The impact is “just enough”, never abundant. If we truly understood the meaning of living a truly FREE life, we would see the clear difference between abundance and simply having lots of money. 

So… are you working for income, or to make an impact? If you know the secret to abundance, the answer would be easy.

Update: Follow #thepurposefilledhustle to see posts on how I am running my business, writing my book and trying to #makeitblissful as I take care of my family and self through it all!

Have you ever thought what your life is supposed to be?

Many people, when they think about their lives say, “I don’t really need to be so rich” or “I don’t really care about money”. Perhaps you’ve thought this? I know I have. It wasn’t until I learned a very important mindset shift from financial wealth expert T. Harv Eker that I began to see my “money blueprint” in a new way. 

What is this truth? Having money makes you more of what you are. So if you are a helpful, giver-oriented person, more money makes you more helpful, giving and able to bless others. If you are an evil person, well then, money can make you more greedy, selfish and unable to help others.

Sometimes the people who say “no thanks” to business opportunities (especially the idea of residual income) are people who think nothing of putting in more and more time at an office job or contractual gig, just to get a big paycheck that will eventually run out. (I am guilty of this). Some people are willing to live their entire adult life jumping from one company to the next to augment or jack up their income. (Guilty, me.) Some will willingly put their savings into a business that can’t even give them a guarantee of returns and where they have no real prior experience of success in. (Guilty of this, too! And broke. Such a pity.) I thought putting a business based on my passions would be the answer, only to find after six years of blogging that, well, it’s not enough. I love it, but I’d rather do blog coaching for free that make a living out of it. But I can’t do that unless I find a solution in residual income. Because I believe we were meant for more than just to work 40-hour work weeks, for forty years! I don’t know about you, but I’d like to LIVE more than I work, because that means more fully alive days with these people. Why work so hard for decades, only to realize we were never truly with the ones we are working so hard for?

We grow up thinking that life is what is handed to us. “This is just how life is. Hard. That’s what it was for my parents, so it’s what it will be for me.” But really, life is what we make it to be. THAT is what being blissful truly means. Believing our loved ones deserve to have the best, and not being limited by what we haven’t finished in college, or achieved in business, or what is dictated by our savings. 

Being able to DESIGN A LIFE WE LOVE is not about working until the day we die, according to greats like Warren Buffet and Jim Rohn. Designing a life you love is about believing that we deserve to have what the 5% of the world have….not be content with living like the rest of the 95%. “I can’t be in the 5% of those who are financially free” is just a limit. We can get over it, if we choose. We have to get to such a mindset that living in freedom is more than money. We have to believe our children, parents, friends, colleagues and, country can be better — the best, in fact.

Can you see your life as it is SUPPOSED TO BE, not what it is right now? If you’ve felt like you just have to work and grind and hustle til the day you die or get too sick or too old, then think again. There is a MUCH better way. And I can’t wait to share it with you more through this blog.


Go, and grow: Spectrum Fair 2017

Our little coffee brand, Shophouse Coffee, is more a passion project than anything. When we began it as a business, we wanted to grow it while learning the ropes, in the same way that the shophouse culture of the Orient ties in family values with a homebased business.  It wasn’t until we decided to try doing pop-ups that we really saw how our brand could grow. 

Spectrum Fair Manila was actually the best choice we made for Shophouse Coffee in terms of leveraging on a great community of merchants and small businesses that have heart and soul. When my friend and Spectrum organizer Aly (of Aly Meets World) launched the concept over a year ago, it was new and exciting. It was also an event after my own heart, because everything was intentionally meant to be beautiful and meaningful. I don’t know about you, but having beautifully styled booths and an interesting curation of products appeals to me. I liked the approach of the entire event being an indoor “outdoor fair” concept, where you could shop, dine, lounge and meetup with your friends.

This time around, Spectrum will be this weekend, March 18 and 19, at the fabulous Whitespace. Expect the fair’s signature experience of fun-loving brands, chill-out live music, an array of food choices that will definitely have you asking for seconds, and the kindest, hands-on organizers you’ve ever met in Pia and Aly Arellano, the inspired mom & daughter duo that launched this much-awaited shop ‘n’ dine event of the year.

We are particularly grateful to Spectrum for having trusted us as a specialty coffee company that has found a home of sorts in this fair. It really is very close to our hearts, and it means so much when we get to popup here. Look for us; we are at our usual spot beside the stage. (Photo below from our last popup in September.)

Our little coffee bar will be there to serve up our bestselling Cold Brew Iced Mocha, Cold Brew Tonic with Lemon, and our very satisfying hot coffees. We’re serving coffee from the Philippines’ no. 1 coffee shop, El Union Coffee, so if you want to get your Elyu fix without going the distance, then you know where to head this Saturday and Sunday.

Bring your family and friends, have a cuppa with us and leave your troubles behind our colorful ribbon curtains. See you there!

Spectrum Fair Manila • March 18-19, Whitespace, Makati, Pasong Tamo Extension • Follow on Instagram @spectrumfairmanila 

 “Don’t build a business. Build a LIFE.”

 “Don’t build a business. Build a LIFE.”

As a working mom, it’s easy for me to simply say that it’s my family that drives me to work hard. When we got married, my husband and I both decided that we would live a dual income lifestyle, until one of us could afford to stop working and be a full-time stay at home parent.

It seemed like a good plan. After I had Vito, we were living quite comfortably. I had just begun my side hustle as a blog coach, and was gainfully employed as a department head in a marketing startup. I remember thinking, “Wow, I love being a work at home mom,” and I wrote about it passionately. It was around this time I also started experimenting with workshops and creating offline events for my readers, sold-out learning events that really boosted my brand.

Almost five years into this somewhat ideal lifestyle, I thought, “Hey, this is pretty great. Let’s have another kid, shall we?” and I got pregnant with my daughter, Krista. All the while, I thought “No sweat.” Vito was old enough to take care of himself in terms of self-care, and we were financially secure (or so we thought). Meanwhile my pregnancy was moderately publicized through my blog and social media channels because, well, that’s what bloggers did when they got pregnant. Krista’s birth was met with heaps of support from readers and supporters, and everything seemed pretty and charmed. It was the same old, same old. Work hard as working parents, earn our keep, make sure the family is provided for, saved up for, clothed, fed, and happy.

It wasn’t until one day, when Krista was two weeks short of her 9th month birthday, that we were stirred up out of our comfort zone. Ton got a phone call from his boss in the U.K., — that dreaded call no employee wants to hear — that the company was shifting gears, and redundants would have to force-resign. In short, our lifestyle as a dual income family was — in two short weeks — reduced to one: mine. 


It was then I realized something important. My “why” for working so hard was so small and basic: provide for our lifestyle; make sure the bills could be paid; make sure we have food on the table and a roof over our heads; set savings aside for whatever might come up. I never aspired for anything else, and so our level of capability stayed at that comfort zone. 

Our savings were OK but even if we could find another job for Ton and maintain our lifestyle, our state would still be the same. What if he or I lost our clients? What’s more, what if one of us gets sick and we can’t work? Savings and investments alone couldn’t and wouldn’t assure us. So when 2016 rolled in, I started to read books and listen to podcasts, but different from those I had listened to in the past. In the past, I would listen to podcasts and read books about blogging or freelancing, but hardly any on mindset, abundance and wealth. Having seen that my freelance pursuits alone would never be able to afford my family the true lifestyle I believed they deserved, as knew I had to do something different. It was during this time I learned about the power of clarity of the “why.” I’ve talked about having a “why” before as a blogger, but having an ultimate “why” as an individual in this world? That is something I hadn’t touched on.

Having a clear, big “why” that drives you as an individual is and must be so much more than just the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, and savings. 

We’re not talking about the ability to pay the bills or buy a house here. A “why” that drives us must be much more than having an “emergency fund” to fall back on (which we had, at the time). It must be so much more than “so I can afford tuition for the kids next year” or “I need to build my emergency fund.” These things are a given, we should be able to afford these things without aspiring for them anymore. Why are philanthropists able to help charities, for instance? Why can some people afford a high quality of life but at the same time make a difference in the lives of others, without compromising their own families’ lives?

“Don’t build a business to make money. Build a LIFE,” said one of my mentors and business partners.

When we start a business, do we stop and think of our ultimate “why” in starting it? Not the profits it will bring in, but the quality of life we will have while we grow that business? Most times when we start a business, we are laden with stress, just to make ends meet. We are burdened with lack when we don’t see results (and the payables are stacking up). We lose time with the ones we are working for.

Don’t work just to be able to pay the bills.

If we just worked for money, then we could very well do any job we wanted to. This is what I realized was doing with freelancing and setting up my own small business. While it has been good, I have always been trading off time for work. While we as a family could save, make some investments, Ton and I could never do so at a rate that would help us to free up more time for our kids NOW. I realized as my son Vito grew older, his needs were changing, too, and required more of my time. But because I have always been working, always in front of my laptop or phone or in a workshop, I missed out on lots of his needs. I wasn’t thinking bigger, beyond our obvious needs: tuition, living expenses, holiday fund, doctor’s bills. These were all for present value only.

I had to think bigger, think beyond just working for present value.

Last year, I began growing my third business. An angel in the form of a former blog client, sent me a proposal and I decided to partner with her in building this business with a solid passive income stream. It was a business I’d never ventured into before, at least with a success rate. But out of every business I’ve begun, it’s the business that’s given me and my family the best results financially, health-wise, and in terms of self-development. It’s made me a better person, wife, mother. It’s made running Make it Blissful even more purposeful, because I can see myself eventually doing my workshops for free, because this brand won’t have to be my entire source of income.

One of the best things that’s happened lately is that my husband even became a business partner, and we’ve been growing this new business together. I love it more than anything else I’ve started, including my brand, blog and all the wonderful things I’ve done in the past. Why? Because now I’m really doing a business that isn’t just paying the bills, but enabling Ton and I to create a good life, one that our kids can truly enjoy that is free of concern.

The goal is to DESIGN A LIFE we love where money is just a tool for us to be able to DO what we want, not what we work for. A life on our own terms means doing what we want — a business, or early retirement — with the people we want to do these things with, whenever we want to,” said Anthony Robbins.

That’s my ultimate why.

We are all going to work hard anyway. 

So if we are going to work hard anyway, doesn’t it follow that we should consider WHERE our hard work is going to take us? Are we going to work til we’re too old to enjoy our lives? Do we glorify the “hustle” so much that we forget to consider creating a passive income, which can enable us to stop working so hard, so that we can truly live instead of just make a living? Do we just work for Friday nights and the next vacation?

If we are going to work hard anyway, doesn’t it make sense to work on what will give us future value, so that we can really enjoy LIVING, without worrying? I hope we all are able to look at our lives down the road and really answer the question: “Am I working just to pay the bills, or to really design the life I deserve, that my family deserves?”

I’m excited for where we are right now as a family. My new business is a solution for everything Ton and I have planned for the future. We’ve learned to go beyond the paycheck-to-paycheck life. It’s all new, unfamiliar, challenging and we are constantly unlearning everything we thought we knew about having a business and working in a job. We are really finding our bliss, doing a meaningful business that is really helping others, not just ourselves.

Because in the bigger scheme of things, designing a life is really about being able to live it on your own terms.

Let me leave you with this thought from Warren Buffet, who said it perfectly:

Try something different to get something different (and two workshops to help you)

Try something different to get something different (and two workshops to help you)


One of the best decisions I’ve made is to try new methods and systems to get to different results. For example: I want 2017 to be the year when I firm up our family’s passive income stream. I’ve set up different investment tools in the past, of course, but this year I am going to dedicate much of my time to building a solid system for us. It’s different, but I am expecting a different (and very good, yes!) result, of course. I have been attending training, coaching sessions, and learning new methods, some way out of my comfort zone. The thing is, I’m willing to do this because I want a different result.

Try something different

At the start of the new year, it’s normal for many of us to feel “wired” to change things up. That is why we make resolutions, set new goals for ourselves, wishing and hoping this year will be “the year” we achieve what we’ve set out to do. We try on our own to make things work, but let’s face it: most of the time, we’ve failed on our goals and good intentions, even before we’ve started working on them!

Well, I’ve seen in the past that the things I achieved my favorite goals when I deliberately did something about them. Let me cite some examples:

  • In 2011, I took up my first blogging course and started to monetize my blog. It was the first course I ever paid for, which proved successful in helping my blog earn a national award (Best Home & Parenting Blog for 2011 Philippine Blog Awards).
  • In 2013, I started being coached by Jess Lively, intention & business coach, to help me beef up my services as a “blog coach.” Simultaneously, I did two blog branding courses with Blogging Your Way, which helped me to professionalize my brand. Both the coaching and the courses were a hefty investment, but instrumental to me setting up a thriving coaching business that has lasted to this day. They also helped me build the confidence to do my own writing workshops for bloggers.

It’s important to note that when I tried something different for my blog — courses, coaching, accountability, mentoring —, I achieved different results. Each course or coaching I went through helped me to level-up in my brand and business, and they also helped me change my mindset so that I would keep going towards my desired outcome. As a working mom, I wanted to keep on working from home, do something I enjoyed (if possible) and create something sustainable. Did all of those, thanks to trying something different.

You can try something different, too.

Our workshops this January may be different for many of you. You may have not tried doing a vision board in your life, or you may not have ever had any life coaching. I get it, but, I also know that some of my biggest breakthroughs have been during times that I tried something different than just doing things on my own. Who knows? It might be the same for you.

What’s the difference between our #makeitblissful Workshops this January? Here is a short low-down:


The main purpose of this workshop is to teach the actual science, mindset and purpose behind a tool known as a “vision board.” Vision boards are actual tools to help us achieve goals, desired outcomes, and generally have a positive, proactive mindset towards your life. They are used by leaders, high achievers, and professionals in many fields. You can learn how to make your own, too!
Sign up HERE to get our early bird rate: Vision Board Workshop, Jan 21st, 8:30AM-12NN



The main purpose of this workshop is to help you launch a “passion project.” This could be a business, a blog, a book, an advocacy, a health goal or whatever it is you are feeling strongly about. Whatever passion project your declare to begin during this workshop will have a timeline of 12-months, in which you will receive monthly tips &a encouragement, as you get closer to fulfilling your project. You will be part of a 12-month long private Facebook accountability group, after completing the workshop.
Sign up here for the weekday run at the Henry Hotel, Pasay: Get Blisstified, Jan 25th, Wednesday
Sign up here for the weekend option in Local Edition, Makati: Get Blisstified, Jan 28th, Saturday