Thursday, February 20, 2020

Make Your Dream of Becoming a Book Author Come True

Are you an aspiring author?  

Have you always dreamed of writing your own book? 

Do you believe that you have a story to share? 

---------------------------



Books are my best friends. When I was a little girl, my favorite past time was reading. I remember spending a lot of time reading the book, Heidi by Johanna Spyri. It was my first storybook given to me by mom and it was my favorite. 

When I grew older, I enjoyed Harry Potter and Twilight. While reading, I feel like that I am totally in another world and it was a great way to escape the pressures of my teenage years. 

When life got more serious and I have problems, I still read books especially when I feel so down and sad. I was able to get through my first heartbreak by reading a lot. Some books that made a huge impact on me were, Purpose Driven Life, Rich Dad and Poor Dad, The Art of Emotions (which I got from St. Paul's and I don't remember the author) and surprisingly, The Confessions of a Shopaholic

There has always been a perfect book for every stage of my life. Whether it is to teach a lesson, help me understand what's happening, to give hope and inspiration or even to simply entertain. I found comfort and happiness by reading. Books are indeed gifts to us by the authors. 

And this is also what I also want to do -- SHARE THIS GIFT. This is reason why I have always wanted to write my own book. 

And the good news? My first book will be available this year. I am co-authoring a book for moms along with Asia's Book Writing Coach, Sha Nacino and 40+ individuals from different walks of life and location. There's no title yet but will keep you posted. :) 

It feels so surreal but this dream of writing of my own is slowly taking shape and that I am grateful. Just like what José Martí said, a man should ought to "Have a child, plant a tree or write a book" before he dies. :) 

Anyway, if you are also dreaming of writing your own book, then I'd like to encourage you to pursue that dream. It may seem like huge and a bit overwhelming but with the right guidance and support, you can definitely make that dream come true. 

To get you started, I'd like to invite you to join the WRITE A BOOK ONLINE SUMMIT on February 28-29, 2020. It's FREE and since it's online then you can join from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. 

The summit will feature 30 authors from the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, India, and Canada to share their insights on book writing and publishing as well as inspiration and tips to aspiring authors. 

http://bit.ly/FREEPass_WriteABookSummit

Some of the topics during the summit will include:
  • Why You Need to Write a Book
  • How to Get a Contract with A Big International Publisher
  • How to Be an Award-Winning Global Author
  • The Difference Your Book Can Make
  • Turning Your Pain Into Power Through Writing
  • How To Make Your Book An Amazon Bestseller 


Anyway if you are interested, sign-up here for FREE via this link:

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. :) 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Gas up for Php 20/L at Phoenix Petroleum on February 20

To celebrate their recent achievement of being hailed as the Marketing Company of the Year at 40th Agora Awards, Phoenix Petroleum will be offering their fuel products at Php 20 per liter on February 20,2020 from 10am to 12nn at participating Phoenix stations only.


List of participating Phoenix stations include: 
Luzon 
  • Phoenix C3 Road - 5th Avenue, A. Del Mundo St. Caloocan City (near 5th Ave. LRT 1 station)
  • Phoenix Marcos Highway - 17 Marikina-Infanta Highway, Antipolo City (near APT Studios of Eat Bulaga)
  • Phoenix Bahay Toro – Brgy. Bahay Toro, Mindanao Ave., Quezon City (near Lido Restaurant)
  • Phoenix Dahlia – Daisy St. cor. Dahlia Ave., West Fairview, Quezon City (near Falcon School)
  • Phoenix San Pablo 2 - Purok 6, Brgy. San Rafael, San Pablo City (near Blue Park Hotel)
  • Phoenix Sucat Skyway - Dr. A. Santos Avenue, San Antonio, Parañaque City (across Loyola Memorial Park Parañaque)
  • Phoenix Lalaan - Gen. Aguinaldo Highway,Brgy. Lalaan 1, Silang, Cavite (near Toyota Silang)
  • Phoenix Malvar - Luta Norte, Malvar, Batangas City (near Evergreen Subdivision & Luta Sur Elementary School)
Visayas
  • Phoenix SRP Talisay - South Road Property, Cansojong, Talisay, Cebu (near Ashiya Japan Surplus Trading Corp.)

Mindanao
  • Phoenix Lanang - Corner N. Arroyo St., Lanang, J.P. Laurel Ave, Agdao, Davao City (near Go Hotels)


IMPORTANT: Make sure you have a Phoenix PULSE Technology sticker to avail of the promo! In case you don't have one, they will be giving free stickers at the participating stations according to their FB page. 


Other Terms and Conditions: 
1. Promo is valid for cash, gift certificates, and credit transactions.
2. P.O., bulk, bus, truck, heavy equipment and fleet transactions are not included. Likewise, drums, and/or liquid containers are excluded from the promo. Valid for in-tank refills only.
3. Discount is non-transferrable to cash or credit.
4. The promo discount may not be used in conjunction with any other discounts or promotions including but not limited to Senior Citizen discounts, Diplomat discounts, PWD discounts.

Monday, February 17, 2020

What is Google Digital Garage?

Google Digital Garage is a special Grow with Google Programme that allows individuals to upgrade their digital skills. It features the most in-demand skills that can help you grow your business, start your online career or just discover something new. 




It features 40+ different courses under digital marketing, data and tech, career development categories from different providers such as the Deakin University, Darken School of Business, University of Virginia, University of Auckland, University of Helsinki and online course providers such as Coursera, Skillshop, OpenClassrooms, etc. 

The best part? It's FREE. All you need is just your google account. 

Popular courses in the platform include:  
  • Digital Tools for Everyday Tasks (7 hours) 
  • Search Engine Optimization Fundamentals (13 hours) 
  • Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals (11 hours) 
  • Technical Support Fundamentals (19 hours) 
  • Fundamentals of Graphic Design (14 hours) 
  • Business Writing (13 hours) 


Right now, I am taking the Fundamental Graphic Designs course by the California Institute of the Arts and it covers image-making, typography, composition, working with colors and shapes. I find the course really useful since I can apply the learnings when creating posters for my social media campaigns. 

I also love that the courses include video and transcripts which gives me the flexibility to watch or just read if I don't have earphones with me. 

In case you are busy and do not have the time to commit for a full course, there are also short courses that run for about an hour or so. Some of my favorites include: 
  • Understand the basics of code (1 hour) 
  • Understand the basics of machine learning (1 hour) 
  • How to increase productivity (1 hour)
  • Business Communication (1 hour) 
  • Public Speaking (1 hour) 
If you are starting a career as an online worker or freelancer, Google Digital Garage also have certification programs that you can add to your list of credentials
  • G Suite Certification
  • Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
I highly recommend this free platform because these online courses do not only help you learn something new but it is actually a great way to review what you currently know. As seasoned freelancers, it helps us become more confident with our current skills and it give us an assurance that our knowledge is up to date.  

They also offer a Build a Sales Strategy for your Freelance Business course which will teach you the sales methods that you need in seeking new clients and signing proposals. This covers creation of business proposals, marketing action, prospection files to closing contracts. 


Anyway, if you are interested, just go to https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/. Feel free to share your experience in the comment section below. Happy learning! :) 

Friday, February 7, 2020

7 Practical Gifts for Him Without Breaking the Bank

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and it is traditional for lovers to exchange gifts. Though chocolates, cards, and flowers are the most popular gifts for women, choosing gifts for men is just a whole new story. 

I am not sure if I am the only one who feels this way but I really find it really challenging to choose the perfect gift for boys or men in general. So for these Valentine's Day, I researched and found 7 Gift Ideas for Him that are practical, useful and budget-friendly. 

Gifts under Php 300

Gifts Php 500 and below

Gifts under Php 300


Celebrate this special day with everyone's childhood, Mickey Mouse. This statement shirt will surely let him know how true and original your love is for him. 

https://invol.co/clkubv
Product Description
  • Made of cotton
  • Embroidered Design
  • Regular Fit 



This limited edition Star Wars baseball cap will surely delight a true star wars fan and we're pretty sure that he'll love this since the force is strong with this cap. 



https://invol.co/clkuc1



Product Description

  • Size: 59 cm
  • Available in different colors: Red, White, and Black

3. Oxygen Grit x 11:55 Giftset for Men

A set perfectly made for the confident man. Feel refreshed all day with the citrus aromatic and woody notes of 11:55 Infinite Body Spray and walk the urban streets with confidence with the Grit True Punk Hair Wax. A water-based hair wax with a low shine finish and stronghold.

https://invol.co/clkuc3

Product Description

  • Includes Grit hair wax and 11:55 infinite body spray


Gifts Php 500 and below




Nothing beats a restful sleep. Kiss him goodnight with this Hosh Memory Foam Pillow. 


https://invol.co/clkubx


Product Description

  • Made of memory foam and bamboo fabric
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Ergonomic

5. Calvin Klein Socks Gift Set

Walk with him in style and comfort. These Calvin Klein Socks are made of cotton for ultimate comfort plus comes with a reinforced heel and toe design. 

https://invol.co/clkuc4

Product Details:

  • 3 pairs of socks with logo 
  • Ribbed cuffs
  • Crew Length




Gifts Php 1,000 and below

6. Adidas Own The Run Shorts

This Adidas Own the Run Shorts is one of the favorite choices. This gift is perfect for those who have an active lifestyle. Best for running. 

https://invol.co/clkuc2
Product Details: 
  • Made of quality and high-performance materials.

** Extra 25% off + Free Shipping on your first order. Use code: SEALDEAL No min. spend. P1000 Max. discount.



This pebble textured leather billfold wallet is a must-have. It is made of pure cow leather which makes it durable for everyday use. 
https://invol.co/clkuc6
Product Details: 
  • Comes with 2 bill slots and 4 card slots
  • Dimensions: L11.5cm x H9cm x W2cm

Thursday, February 6, 2020

How to Earn instead of Spend in Online Shopping?

Do you love online shopping?

Are you fond of scrolling online marketplaces like Lazada or Shopee during your free time?

Do you want to learn a secret on how you can earn money from your "favorite" hobby?

Let me share with you why I love affiliate marketing. During my free time, I love to check online marketplaces. In fact, I have Lazada, Shopee, Zilingo, Zalora apps installed on my phone.

https://invol.co/clktj1

Honestly, if you won't be mindful you'd be surprised that you have ordered a lot already. (Thanks to Cash on Delivery.) However, despite the temptation, you can't stop shopping online because of the great deals that you can find plus the convenience of having it shipped at home.

Can you imagine getting a new pair of socks, clothes or accessories below Php 10 or sometimes free? Toiletries, cleaning products, milk, diapers at 50% off or more? 32 inch TV for Php 500? YES, it exists. 
Anyway, I am not encouraging you to shop more. Instead, I'd like to share with you that if you are able to find really good products and good deals online then you can share those and get a commission for every sale using a unique affiliate link.


As an affiliate, it will allow you to use a platform to promote advertisers/ brands and earn commissions for every sale.

This is not limited to bloggers but instead, anyone who has a social media account (FB, IG) can join. You just need to share these deals with your friends, FB groups, etc.

If you are interested to become an affiliate for different brands like Lazada, Zalora, Klook, Metrodeal and many more, you may sign-up via this link: https://invol.co/clktg8

Got any questions? Feel free to comment below. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Tips and Tricks on Being an ESL Teacher

by Robbie Jean Lorenzo, Guest Contributor



One of my favorite philosophers once said, “Teaching is the highest form of understanding.” --- I definitely agree.

During one of my English for Freelancers online classes, when I asked my students for their expectations of the course and what they want to achieve, about 15 students said that they want to learn more about being ESL teachers.

I could give a few tips and do a few vlogs. But the best way for me to share about it is to write a post – so here goes.
  
How I became an ESL Teacher
For most of you who do not know my story, I started working at home fulltime in January of 2017. To cut the story short, I resigned from my toxic corporate job bought a laptop on loan, had internet installed in our house, and started looking for online jobs.

It was a really big leap. But this happened to be the start of my journey towards taking charge and full control of my life.

I saw a few ads about working as an online English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher so I gave it a shot and submitted my resume.

A day after sending my application via email (yes, that fast) I received a phone call that also happened to be an initial interview. The interviewer on the other line asked about my background, whether I had teaching experience, whether I was amendable to working from 6pm to 9pm (those are the peak hours) and whether I had a quiet, well-lighted room that I could use in online teaching.

Technical Check, Equipment and Other Specs

All of my answers were affirmative so I moved on to the technical check. Because I bought a new laptop, this part was quite easy. To know more about computer or laptop specs and other technical requirements for ESL opportunities, click here.

I also invested in a Logitech noise-canceling headset, that cost around P2,000. It’s quite pricey, but it turned out to be a great investment. The one I bought is super sturdy. I’ve been using it for recordings and client meetings, and sometimes my kid plays with it like crazy.

Plus, if you’re really planning to make a career in working online as an ESL teacher, you have to have your own headset.
  
Training and Demo

When I passed the technical check, I then moved on to the two-training. The meeting room we used was skype; we were around 10 participants so the line would always get crowded and sometimes would get cut. But it was a really cool experience.

We had a refresher on grammar, pronunciation, our students’ country’s culture, we were briefed on the demographics of our students- everything we need to know about the job was discussed in the training.

Then we got ready for our demo. Although not everyone passes the demo, if you fail, you can practice, try again, and just retake it.

Preparing for the Big Teaching Day

1. Toys and Props

A lot of ESL companies cater to Asians of all ages. The company I worked for catered to as young as 3 years old to as old as 75.

One great challenge that I faced was the inability of young ones to focus on the lesson. After all, they are a bit too young to grasp certain concepts and ideas. However, this shouldn’t be an excuse, and instead, it should be seen as an opportunity to reach out and teach kids English and communication skills.

Even though the module was colorful and made specifically for kids, I, the teacher, needed to reach out and explore other means to catch the student’s attention.

So, I borrowed my daughter’s toys, practiced my puppet voice, and started coming up with characters to help me teach. Later on, I made finger puppets, paper dolls, and other crafts to help kids really learn while having fun.



This not only enabled me to fully teach and let my students understand the lesson, it also got a lot of regular students who repeatedly booked my teaching slot.

2. Brush up on small talk

As I had different students of different ages, I realized that it was harder to establish rapport and start a conversation with adults than with kids. Imagine teaching a 75-year-old male Asian English terms and conversation skills. Not only will you run out of topics to talk about, but you’ll also find it awkward and uncomfortable if you keep asking him how he is or how the weather is.

To avoid uncomfortable situations like this, I started listing down possible small topics. Other than the weather or his predicament, I ask my students:

  • Sports – Do they have a favorite sport, do they watch basketball, who are the teams they love to watch and route for. You can try to find out if they are a sports fan. 
  • Food – If the class is in the morning, ask about what they had for breakfast.
  • Entertainment – This topic is a great conversation starter. It leads to a lot of subtopics and lets you get to know the person more. You can ask, “Do you enjoy watching movies?” If the answer is NO, follow-through by asking, “How about books? Music?”
  • Hobbies – Other than their favorite movie or book, a good topic is something like to for fun. Start by asking, “What's your favorite hobby?" 
 3.  Your best accessory is your smile

A lot of people take for granted the power of one’s smile. Your online presence not only provides the first impression that sometimes lasts a lifetime, but it also says a lot about you – a lot of things that you don’t need to explicitly say. A good smile says that you are approachable, friendly, open and easy to talk to.


 This is very important if you want to establish a good rapport, have a lasting impression, and later on, have regular students.

4. Mind your background

When I started teaching, the walls in our house weren’t painted yet. It was solid and bare gray. It was acceptable during the first two weeks. But a month after, the company asked me to either find a solid painted spot or place a tarpaulin with the company logo as a background. I opted for the latter.

This directive is actually quite practical.

Our goal is to make sure the students focus on what we’re teaching and learn the language. Anything distracting them would hinder our objective in achieving our goal.

We are, therefore, responsible, for everything that the student sees within the four corners of our screen. We need to make sure everything within those corners is tidy and non-distracting. We can do this by recording ourselves to see if anything is amiss.

What to Remember – Tips on Effective Online ESL Teaching

1. Ask Open Ended Questions – When engaging in a conversation with your students, make sure that you ask questions that allow them to explain further. Don’t opt for questions answerable by yes or no. That'll give them more opportunities to express themselves and practice speaking the language.

E.g. instead of asking your student, “Did you have fun today?” you can ask “What is the best thing you have learned today? 
  
2. Be Animated – Another good thing about recording yourself is you get to know yourself better. I have one student in my Freelancing Course who told me in one of our one-on-ones that when she recorded herself and watched the recording, it made her cringe. She didn’t like what she saw.

That reaction is quite normal. This just shows that we really don’t know ourselves that well. It could be a horrible or an interesting experience – it depends on your perspective.

It’s also an opportunity for us to improve our gestures and body language, online and offline.

Because our students won’t see every inch of us, we’ll have the opportunity to control what they see.

Get to know your gestures, where you put your hands, how you move your head and body, your facial expressions… There are a lot of things you’ll find out about yourself by doing this.

3. Always Encourage – Being positive can be contagious. Our job as teachers is not just to teach English, it’s also to believe in our students and push them further to learn the language.

The best teacher is someone who believes in his students.

Make your students feel that they can make it, that it doesn’t have to be perfect, and that every inch of progress no matter how small should be celebrated!

4. Take care of your voice

When I started teaching, there was one thing I always kept losing – my voice.

At that time, I was also singing for our ministry’s choir. I wasn’t really fond of drinking water in between teaching sessions or paying attention to how I breathe and take in air. This resulted in me having hoarse or no voice at all.

Not only was able unable to sing most times, but I was also unable to teach.

Because of this, I had to research further on proper breathing while singing and teaching, I had to drink a lot of water every day, and look up other ways to take care of my voice. It was, after all, my bread and butter.
  
A Noble Profession Indeed

It is with so much joy that I finished every class. It’s very true, teaching is a profession that is a mother of all other occupations. May it be teaching young students, professionals or people at the prime of their lives, nothing can give so much fulfillment than knowing that I was able to help out another person learn English and understand another language.

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