Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Special Spot

I had the best Jollibee experience today. I can't describe it in a lot of detail now... but I'll do so in mid-April. Let's just keep the suspense for now.

All I'll say is: I'll never look at Jollibee the same way again. :-) Bee happy!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Brightest Spots of 2007

How do I measure 525,600 minutes? How do I measure a year in my life? In bright purple spots, of course! I had at least one major bright spot for every month of the year.
  • January: In my desire to be better a marketing professional, I decided to start my Sales and Account Management role at DDI. My dad always said that you can't excel in marketing if you haven't even sold a can of milk (or in my case, a workbook).
  • February: There were two major family affairs in the same week on this month of hearts - my Lola Pining celebrated her 88th birthday and my cousin Kristine got married (and I was the emcee!).
  • March: My friends and I organized Singles Anonymous, a singles party on March 3 at Mugen Bar in Metrowalk. Well, I didn't meet Mr. Right, but I met lots of new people, got free drinks, and played Cupid for a dear friend (and was successful!).
  • April: I spent four glorious days in silence at the Karis retreat house in Tagaytay during my annual Holy Week Retreat. Click here for more.
  • May: I spent the entire month in Chungchukbukdo, South Korea with the Rotary International's Group Study Exchange program. Louie, Jules, Lyn and I really enjoyed the 30 days of Korean culture, including the delicious food (my favorites include pajeon, hotak, bibimbap, and of course, kimchi!), bells, mountains, temples, the language (and the characters!), and the wonderful, hospitable Rotarian hosts. Click here for my Korean ABCs photos.
  • June: I spent a lot of time editing the manuscript for Extraordinary: Stories for Aspiring Leaders, our book project with the Management Association of the Philippines. It's my first "grown-up" book! It'll come out before the middle of 2008; stay tuned for more details.
  • July: I was thrilled to represent the Philippines for the International Marketing Meeting in our headquarters in Pittsburgh and meet counterparts from all around the world. As an added treat, I saw my first Chihuly exhibit (amazing!) and had a fjupy reunion in San Diego with Trixy and Julia, and an 18-hour reunion with Ursula in Los Angeles.
  • August: I wrote 2 stories in the first set of 12 books of the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation's Great Men and Women of Asia - Children's Series. Launched last August 30, I'm very proud of Khan: A Teacher of Everything and A Lucky Doctor. Click here for photos from the book launch.
  • September: My colleague Bing introduced me to ATD Fourth World in May 2006 (where I had my first-ever storytelling session for YPC!). What a blessing to meet the ATD community, and particularly making a special connection with Nina Lim-Yuson and Sana Sta. Ana. In a serendipitous turn of events, we had a successful fundraising event Travel Books for a Cause in September at Museo Pambata, and a second one in November at A Different Bookstore.
  • October: The month was marked by deadlines, both work and non-work related. All the interview reports for the 2008 Asia Business Leader Awards (ABLA) were due (I was the regional coordinator for this project... whew!), as well as the submission for the 2007 PBBY-Salanga Award.
  • November: Preparations for our 30th anniversary and CEO's 10-day visit in January were in full-swing! To add to that, there were so many client projects (but I can't complain, of course!) all at the same time.
  • December: My sister came home to join the special recognition tribute for my dad's 30 years at Nestle (wow!) and to spend Christmas with us. I just wish there was more family time, except there was just so much work to prepare for an exciting and uber-busy January with the ABLA in Seoul and our 30th anniversary here in Manila.
Whew! 2007 was definitely a great year for me. I'm sure 2008 will be even more exciting, with lots more bright spots and stories to tell. I can't believe it took me this long to write though. I wonder how long it'll take me to write my To-Do List for 2008? Sigh...

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Brown Paperclip in the Shala

Today was my third yoga class at Vinyasa Yoga Center in Emerald Avenue. I smiled when I saw a brown paperclip inside the shala, along the wall where I parked my bag and water bottle. I guess it's a small sign for me to keep going, no matter how difficult. But, hey! I felt much more flexible today than I did in my first two classes. Yoga is part of my 100-day project to look fabulous for my upcoming 30th birthday! Eeeep... you can do it, Nikki!

There are some pretty cool poses: Upward Dog, Downward Dog, Cobra, Warrior 1 and 2, Boat, Bow, Pigeon, and more. I wonder if there's a Paperclip pose...? Hee-hee. Well, I just Googled "paperclip yoga" and here's what I found on this site:

The first limb of yoga is the Yamas, or abstentions, and the first Yama is non-violence. We can practice this abstension from violence with ourselves by abstaining from negative self-talk, which is an act violence to wards the self. By utilizing this simple "Paperclip Exercise" we can explore the amazing power of positive thinking, and begin to understand how we can destroy ourselves, sabotage our goals, and crush our spirits through negative thinking. Just for today, fill your left pocket with paperclips, and whenever you make a verbal or mental negative statement about yourself, this is a demeaning, judging, analyzing, criticizing or labeling statement, you transfer a paperclip from the left pocket to the right. When you run out of paperclips, just begin moving them from right to left. At the end of the day, take some time to reflect on what areas of your life, your beliefs and your behaviors seem to be in conflict. Set an intent to begin to make supporting, motivating and encouraging statements to yourself instead-just as you would a child, student or friend. This exercise will help you to find a way to use the power of positive thinking when addressing, assessing or coaching yourself.

How's that for great yoga-paperclip positive philosophy?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Predictability of Paperclips

I had to post something for Bookmark today and, lo and behold - as expected, I saw several paperclips on the way to the post office on Emerald Avenue. Here are some snapshots for evidence (and yes, I finally figured out how to send the photos from my phone camera via Bluetooth!).

Given that I saw several paperclips on previous trips (click here and here) to the same post office, I wasn't at all surprised to see them this time around. I was actually expecting them. I would have felt cheated or betrayed if I didn't see any.

Wouldn't life be so much more simple if we could predict the future just as accurately as my post-office-paperclip sightings? But of course things aren't that simple.

Friday, February 01, 2008

A Paperclip to Start My Year

I was walking back to the office from The Richmonde Hotel when I saw a white paperclip with blue spots. I had to smile to myself, thinking: A paperclip sighting is a great way to start my new year.

February marks the "start" of my 2008, considering how busy my January was with our CEO's 10-day visit to the Philippines and my 4-day trip to Seoul on the same week! I've been on ludicrous speed (yes, the stars turned plaid) since November and it took its toll and led to a week-long bout with the worst flu bug. I'm just so happy I actually have time to blog now, except I don't know where to start. There's so much catching-up to do; there's so much I want to write. I think I'll start with writing my year-end reflection, then proceed to listing my Things To Do for the new year.

What were the brightest spots of 2007...?