Transitions are Always Messy

When I was a child, I saw the highway in our small town transform from a dirt road to a paved highway. A lot of trucks and heavy equipment worked on the roads.

It took 2-4 years for the highway between our town and the next one got completed.

While waiting for it to be done, we endured traffic, dust, and a lot of inconvenience.

Similarly, when moving to a new house or apartment, it takes a while to make the house feel like a home.

Since moving to our new apartment, we dumped boxes and other things that we’re not yet ready to fix to the extra bedroom. It’s still a mess.

These images–the road under construction and a house yet to be fixed–just show how messy transitions could be.

Transitions in life or work will be messy. Which is why planning is such an important process to do beforehand. Part of careful planning is to define the Plan Z or the worst case scenario. Because even with careful planning, there are still a lot of factors that will compromise even the best laid plans.

People Come and People Go

Last May, we told our son Malcolm that he will transfer to a different school in the coming school year.

He cried.

He said that he will miss KJ, his bestfriend, and his teachers at Hickman Elementary.

We had to move to a new apartment, which is zoned in a different elementary school. It will help us save money and enjoy a bigger space for our growing family.

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Relearning the (Lost) Art of Listening

My elementary teachers often told us that we have two ears and only one mouth so we could listen twice more than we speak. This is an important reminder in the age of social media and incessant online noise.

If Facebook and Twitter posts are any indication, people chime in and post their comments within minutes, if not seconds, of a photo or status update. What’s even worse is that people drop all filters and say whatever they want to say online!

Have we lost the art of listening?

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Limitations are a Blessing

We often believe that if we only had a big amount of money and resources, we can pursue our dreams: start a business or a nonprofit, invest, and achieve what we want in life.

But it doesn’t work that way.

I have seen a lot of college students squander the many resources available to them. One of my housemates during my last year at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, owned a powerful computer and ate better than most of us at the house we rented.

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What’s in my backpack?

I carry a backpack when I go to the office. It’s the same backpack I carry when I travel for work. Here’s what inside my bag.

High Sierra Backpack

To begin with, I have a High Sierra backpack, which I bought at a discount store for about $24. It’s been with me for 3 years now. I like its construction, the number of pockets and compartments. It has been sturdy and durable.


I have a Dell Latitude E7440. It’s an older Windows laptop with Intel Core i5 processor. It was issued by the company I work for. It’s good enough for the work I do.

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Why I’m Getting a Less Smart (Dumber) Phone

After thinking about it for a few weeks, I finally gave in and ordered a slightly less smart phone. It’s not exactly a dumb phone, but it is sufficiently less powerful and less feature rich than my current Moto X4 AndroidOne.

Why would I do such a thing?

Avoiding distraction and smartphone addiction

I told a friend that I needed to rethink my relationship with my phone. Even though I am not waiting for a call or text message, I just take my phone out of my pocket and scroll mindlessly on social media or any website of interest.

This mindless scrolling is taking a toll on me and my attention. My wife has complained at some point that whenever she opens Facebook, she watches a video. Before she knows it, half an hour has passed!

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Parenting Tips: Lessons from three TED Talks

It’s not easy being a father. I thought I had issues with my dad while growing up. But now that I am a father of two sons, I understand how difficult it could be, and how I could easily make mistakes, too.

Here’s a few lessons about being a dad from a few TED Talks.

Glen Henry: It’s Okay not to know a lot of things about being a dad.

I may not be a stay-at-home dad, but Glen Henry’s talk resonated with me.

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Frequency Works! (Or Slow and Steady will get you there)

Remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? The hare may be really fast but it is the tortoise who finished the race.

Gretchen Rubin wrote “As a writer, I work every single day, including weekends, holidays, and vacations. Usually I write for many hours during a day, though sometimes it might be a sting as short as fifteen minutes–and I never skip a day. I’ve found that this kind of frequent work makes it possible to accomplish more, with greater originality‚Ķ”

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Something Unexpected Always Shows Up

Something unexpected always shows up. I’ve been learning this throughout my life.

Google Maps’ estimated time of travel is almost always shorter than the actual travel. If you’re planning an event or a wedding, a storm can derail your bets laid plans. I am so glad that it didn’t rain when my wife and I got married.

I learned the importance of Plans B and Plans Z when I organized an international event in 2014 and a very strong typhoon literally destroyed the venue of our event! Roofs caved in or the wind blew them away. Glass doors shattered. Electricity was cut off. The venue was literally unsafe after the typhoon.

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