11.25.2014

An "Agent of Change"

I wasn’t capable of writing a post last month because my mind was preoccupied with options for changes in my family, triggered by several signs, strengthened later by a letter from the National Visa Center of US.
Most of those changes it turned out, would require other changes affecting some members of my clan and my husband’s clan, so it was indeed hard to think about them, much more to talk about them. But once again, I’m the only person who could open up a topic about changes that directly affect my family, and it was hard because I’m not a sweet talker, I was a Systems Analyst for thirty years writing and giving instructions about specifications, and I had to choose the most specific words in sentences that were direct to the point. I did the best I could, but as usual, some if not most of those affected were not pleased with my “requirements” or requests to go about some changes. That was understandable and the main reason why there is such a short course for change management. Maybe I need to undergo that course first.
Sometimes it is disappointing to consult a life coach or a counselor because you will be told to go back to your past so that with their help you will be able to understand your present difficulties. I tried to do it on my own and it was hard at first because I couldn’t find any connection.  Until I looked at myself at a different perspective, a more positive perspective with the premise that God placed me in this situation because He loves me.  Thank God, I found the answer!
I now understand that I am an “agent of change”.  Understanding that did not happen instantly.  My recent activities like looking for an online job helped me understand that.  There was this job that I liked a lot I felt it was for me until it was awarded to another applicant. I studied this applicant’s credentials and I was amazed because she was a Russian but had masters in English and English Literature and had several job experiences related to writing in English. I just told myself, they chose the right person.
I realize now that I can be an agent of change because of my experiences since I was a child. The earliest I could remember was playing a lot with my brother and cousins in an airstrip of an airport where we had a family restaurant, and for a 4 year-old child like me it was an endless playground. I was surrounded by relatives, there were my cousins, grandma, uncle and aunts.  I could understand only English at that time. 
Suddenly, we were in a city, some of the relatives I used to be with were no longer around, my brother and I had many playmates and our playground were the streets.  These playmates said we were rich because we had two buildings though the highest was just a four-story building.  I couldn’t believe that because we were staying at the ground floor of the other building, it really looked like a basement because it had a low ceiling but the floor was always very clean.  There were other people at home whom I felt were our relatives but they said we were not related at all. After a while, I believed we were rich because my grandma was referred to as “Donia” or a rich woman by the lady at the ticket booth of a theater who let me and my brother enter the movie house for free. On Christmas Day, I saw my grandma giving away big paper bags of goods to the street children.  Once in a while, I could see some new dresses and bags in my closet.  Whenever my brother and I got sick, we would be given a new toy to cheer us up.  I could understand a mixture of Tagalog and Ilonggo at that time.
When I was 8, we were in another city.  My playmates were speaking in Cebuano so I learned to speak and understand the language. A year before that, my grandmother passed away.  The next thing I knew was we were already in Manila, reunited with my aunt at her apartment in Caloocan City.  My brother and I were transferred to St. Joseph Academy, a private school there.  My mother and aunt thought of having a beauty parlor and dress shop so they looked for a place to make that possible and they found one in Manila also, somewhere in Sampaloc.  My brother and I were transferred to a public school.  Before we graduated from elementary, we were at another place where my mother revived the restaurant they had in Mindanao. It was near the Manila International and domestic airports. 
I can’t remember when was the time we transferred to 20th Ave. in Cubao, Quezon City because I was already studying in Manila as a first year high school student.  My brother and I had to be transferred to another school in the vicinity, it was called Quirino High School.  As usual, my favorite subject was Math, and my favorite teacher was my Math teacher who told me I was indeed intelligent, Ms. Aurora Venida.  We didn’t learn to know more about each other because I had to stop studying for a while to be able to take care of my youngest brother who was 3 years old. I knew how it was like to be rich, and our situation at that time was quite different. Sometimes there was not enough food to eat. But the apartment we were renting was big so who would say that?
This house where I am now was the longest I have stayed, even as a single woman. It used to be occupied by Ms. Venida, my favorite Math teacher I mentioned earlier but it was not from her where we learned about this house because she migrated to US long before my family transferred here. But even when I was already married to her nephew, the son of our landlord whose house was right beside ours, I preferred to stay in another house, until my in-laws requested us to watch over this house meaning for us to transfer to this house while they were at the US, as immigrants. Our eldest daughter was 10 years old at that time.
There were six companies I worked for, from the time I started working.  Two of those companies were worth staying until retirement, but one closed, while the other one was a private agency under Marcos that was why it had to close after the “People Power”.  To implement changes, companies usually hire consultants who are not familiar with the employees of the company. The recommended changes can be “brutal” to most of the employees  especially when cost cutting is the objective. These companies have no choice but to implement those changes, just like the company I worked for which closed down. We were suddenly called to a general meeting at the canteen where the General Manager, after explaining the status of the company, announced that it was our last day in that company, we could get our separation pay then pack our things. We were all crying, including the General Manager.
As the “House Manager”, I usually implement changes fast. My husband got used to follow those changes that were new learnings to his children, not really changes.  I have no tolerance for dilly-dallying, my husband knew that. I mellowed down when we started to bring our adopted special child to school where we practically became pupils also, supporting our special child.  But also because of this child, I realize there is no time to procrastinate because we her adoptive parents are not getting any younger and are not getting any richer.
We have to grab every opportunity that will help us sustain our health, increase our meager income and our special child’s development so that the people who will take care of her when we are gone will not be burdened too much nor for too long. I have no choice but to ignore the people who would still be skeptical or resistant to the changes we need after allowing some time for awareness. One of the most important among the objectives of these changes is to reverence our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. This is also the most important legacy of change I would like my children to remember, since our bodies will continuously require changes in food, habits and activities over time.
The photo shown here was my painting based on a photo I’ve shot during my tour at the Underground River of Palawan. The tour guide told us that we might not see the same stones we have seen when we come back especially if it would take long for us to come back. The title of my painting was “The Prayer” because I was praying hard half of the time I was painting it because my son was sick, though it was just a group of stones undergoing changes. This whole picture of changing stones is so beautiful, isn’t it?  It was God’s work!
Thank you God, for all the opportunities, to write this, and to be part of the Dance of Faith art exhibit that started last November 24 at the “Pamanang Bedista” (San Beda Heritage Center) where this painting is on display for one month along with my two other paintings of the Underground River of Palawan and the other Dance of Faith artworks!


9.30.2014

Instinctive Compassion


Belonging to the first batch of trainees implementing TCM therapies at San Lazaro Hospital, I was tasked to assess a patient at the TB ward based on TCM and perform the therapy the patient needed at that time.
In front of me was a body that was all skin and bones. After gathering information from the relatives of the patient,  I was looking for some flesh where acupressure may be applied with or without a gadget but there was none.  I learned that some if not most of these patients go to the hospital when they already have difficulty in breathing.  Once they are relieved with an oxygen tank, they're main complaint would be incessant coughing.
I knew what to do to relieve the complaint, but I admit when I saw the body that looked like a living dead, I had a mental block I didn't know what to do.  The body reminded me of a corpse of a child that I sew after it was autopsied, when I was a Medical Technology intern at the National Children's Hospital.
But this patient is living, my compassionate nature prevailed and my first instinct was simply to comfort him, regardless of his complaint. I got my comb gadget and combed his scalp because I knew it would comfort him.  That made him look relaxed so I came to my senses and thought of the best way that would stop his coughing by scanning that magical comb gadget on the lung meridian of his arm.  His coughing stopped and by the time I left he was already sleeping.  I did the same to the next two patients who complained of incessant coughing and I was glad the same result was achieved:  incessant coughing stopped and they became sleepy. Only one out of the three was awake when I left, but that was because she won't stop telling me her stories.  She told me though that what I did made her feel relaxed and sleepy.




8.31.2014

A New Beginning


I'm getting ready for a new beginning.  It was unexpected, I mean to seriously pursue a new career as a Doctor of Naturopathy which can be realized two years from now if I will remain persevering.  
Last June, I painted "A New Beginning" showing the transition from the darkness of the Underground River to the green color of nature.  The sights I've seen inside the Underground River were just amazing but the transition to the green color of nature was so refreshing so I thought that could be a very good symbol of a new beginning, I didn't know it was an exact symbol of what I will be starting two months later. 
Starting on Thursday, I will be attending 50 hours of orientation at Green Life Center for Alternative Medicine with preceptorship at San Lazaro Hospital where it is also located. This educational institution was integrated to the Department of Health and is now the education partner of Tianshi Philippines, the Philippine branch of Tiens Biotech Group which manufactures state-of-the-art health gadgets and supplements based on the principles of TCM.
I have started the week preparing for this new undertaking.  The remaining days and hours might not be enough but I have enough passion to share whatever I've learned to help some people in pain. I will be bringing the gadgets I know that can help in pain management which is the focus of the training and practice for three days starting Thursday.
My painting, "A New Beginning" is for sale and I hope it will finally be sold so I can buy the latest Tiens gadget, the Acupoints Treasure Multifunctional Apparatus, an electroacupuncture for green acupuncture since it is needleless, and that will surely help me in this new career. For pain management though, I hope to prove that the Tiens Multifunctional Head Care Apparatus can relieve any pain even in other parts of the body aside from its versatility in managing illnesses involving the head.




7.28.2014

God's Birthday Gift to Lyca


 Even before Lyca's 12th birthday last July 24, God's birthday gift for her was already waiting to be picked-up in a warehouse. It was a wheelchair custom made for her special needs.



Lyca's stroller doesn't fit her anymore, a pillow has to be placed on the seat to lessen its "C" curve that caused her scoliosis, and the strap of her bag serves as its head rest.
At last, a new wheelchair though large to be brought inside the car, was custom fit to correct Lyca's scoliosis and the thigh position she got used to which is prone to hip dislocation.
The wheelchair has fixed thin pads under the arms
 to keep her from leaning on one side..
A foot rest based on the length of Lyca's legs 

And a pad at the middle of the seat to
correct the position of Lyca's hips and legs
A head rest measured exactly for Lyca's head...




Dra. Maria Regina Cunanan-Espinosa did all the measuring.

The wheelchair has harness and table top too


How we wish we can bring this wheelchair with Lyca 
wherever she goes !

Thank you Dra. Espinosa and UCP Wheels for Humanity!
Thank you Latter-Day Saint Charities!  Thank you Lord!!

7.04.2014

"Dance of Faith"

"Dance of Faith" is an art exhibit celebrating women, art and spirituality. It is participated by 6 women artists from different age groups, the youngest 9 years old. I was one of the artists and my artworks, which are oil paintings, were inspired by the Underground River of Palawan except the portrait of my special child Lyca who was my inspiration to join the exhibit.  Featured here are my paintings in the exhibit where I "walked my faith", my "dance of faith".

"The Challenge"
Size:  15" x 20"
Medium:  Oil Paint
Instead of heeding to my request to paint this piece from my shots of the Underground River of Palawan, my professional artist brother Gabriego challenged me to do it.  This year, 2014, I accepted the challenge when I had the opportunity because I believed that challenges are what life is all about.  We face some amount of challenges, some big, some small, but all of them to make us grow into better persons each day of our lives.



"The Prayer"
Size:  18" x 12"
Medium:  Oil Paint
The most truthful title for this piece is “The Prayer”.  This was a copy of an artwork of God found at the Underground River of Palawan.  Every attempt to copy a detail of His artwork from a photo I shot was coupled with praises and adoration for His creation. Every attempt to highlight a detail was coupled with a prayer for a miracle.

"Mama's Angel"
Size:  12" x 14"
Medium:  Oil Paint
Who else can dream for this blind and multi-handicapped angel than the person she first called “Mama”? That person is Bel Venida (my artist name),  her adoptive mother. It was this child, Lyca, who brought me back to painting. 

"A New Beginning"
Size:  16" x 20"
Medium:  Oil Paint
The Underground River of Palawan is only one of the evidences of God’s existence,  and a reminder to people that He can make miracles happen any time, they just need to have faith and believe that He exists even in the darkest places, whether in a person’s thoughts or in the darkest spot of a cave. The journey in the dark always ends and leads to a new beginning.

Aside from my special child Lyca, I have never expected that the artworks I found at The Underground River of Palawan will tremendously inspire me to give my best to paint on canvas some of God's artworks on the walls of this river. It was very awesome to realize that they were all done through stone formations, and that God conversed with me and said "I love you" to mankind through small mineral stones on June 12, 2001.





6.29.2014

Dance of Faith

Now ongoing until July 13, 2014 at the Health Hub of SM Center Pasig (beside Tiendesitas in Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines), "Dance of Faith" is an art exhibit celebrating women, art and spirituality. It is participated by 6 women artists from different age groups, the youngest 9 years old. I was one of the artists and my artworks, which are oil paintings, were inspired by the Underground River of Palawan except the portrait of my special child Lyca who was my inspiration to join the exhibit.  Featured here are my paintings in the exhibit where I "walked my faith", my "dance of faith".

"The Challenge"
Size:  15" x 20"
Medium:  Oil Paint
Instead of heeding to my request to paint this piece from my shots of the Underground River of Palawan, my professional artist brother Gabriego challenged me to do it.  This year, 2014, I accepted the challenge when I had the opportunity because I believed that challenges are what life is all about.  We face some amount of challenges, some big, some small, but all of them to make us grow into better persons each day of our lives.



"The Prayer"
Size:  18" x 12"
Medium:  Oil Paint
The most truthful title for this piece is “The Prayer”.  This was a copy of an artwork of God found at the Underground River of Palawan.  Every attempt to copy a detail of His artwork from a photo I shot was coupled with praises and adoration for His creation. Every attempt to highlight a detail was coupled with a prayer for a miracle.

"Mama's Angel"
Size:  12" x 14"
Medium:  Oil Paint
Who else can dream for this blind and multi-handicapped angel than the person she first called “Mama”? That person is Bel Venida (my artist name),  her adoptive mother. It was this child, Lyca, who brought me back to painting. 

"A New Beginning"
Size:  16" x 20"
Medium:  Oil Paint
The Underground River of Palawan is only one of the evidences of God’s existence,  and a reminder to people that He can make miracles happen any time, they just need to have faith and believe that He exists even in the darkest places, whether in a person’s thoughts or in the darkest spot of a cave. The journey in the dark always ends and leads to a new beginning.

Aside from my special child Lyca, I have never expected that the artworks I found at The Underground River of Palawan will tremendously inspire me to give my best to paint on canvas some of God's artworks on the walls of this river. It was very awesome to realize that they were all done through stone formations, and that God conversed with me and said "I love you" to mankind through small mineral stones on June 12, 2001. 

5.31.2014

"Under the bed" spacers



Since the start of the year, we've been preparing our bedroom to accommodate bedspacers for a much needed income. A lot have been done to accomplish this, like renovating an area where we can transfer our big bed, selling the big round table that occupies the area we renovated (looking for the buyer of the round table took too long), and finally buying a double deck bed for the bedspacers. We were planning to get only 2 bedspacers though my son was insistent that the room can occupy more.

By February we were already looking for prospective bedspacers but didn't publish that in a public site other than Facebook, since we preferred friends. By mid-Febr
uary however, our pet cat gave birth to four kittens under the double deck bed! It was good that the cat immediately transferred her kittens to another area then another area again, under a single bed made of wood inside a small room we temporarily converted into a store room. That made me think that maybe we can transfer that bed to the bedroom for bedspacers so we can accommodate 3 bedspacers.

Looking for 3 bedspacers all aspects to be considered is not easy I realized, so we just waited for interested friends and my son found one before the Holy Week.  There were preferences to be discussed however which did not happen because of emergencies and one latest event:  our pet dog gave birth under the bed made of wood, and kept her six live puppies under the bed all the time. It is only at this time of writing that she allowed her puppies to be more exposed because 3 of those puppies are now lying beside the bedroom door.

I guess those puppies can now be transferred to our temporary store room, I just need to fix it so it will be more conducive for them to stay in. 









4.10.2014

Only my soul is weeping

My body's eyes couldn't weep, I wonder why
Although my mind says "I want to cry"
To get rid of this feeling of grief
Or at least make it brief

Only my soul is weeping I guessed
Hoping that I will soon be blessed
Reaching my Lord with all my might
Until my soul sees His Light

"Heal my mind, my body and spirit Oh God!"
"Shower my soul with Your Light my God!"
That I may touch my daughters with Your Light
That I may touch my son with Your Light



3.14.2014

What is "CRM"

In a retail store, customers come and go. The store owner recognizes an old customer by seeing a familiar face, but never knowing any other information about that customer, not even his name. That scenario should be in the past, no longer at present.

Today, an application on managing information about customers can be found from different developers around the world. This application is called CRM or Customer Relationship Management. Here is a definition of CRM that I found in Webopedia:

"CRM entails all aspects of interaction that a company has with its customer, whether it is sales or service-related. While the phrase customer relationship management is most commonly used to describe a business-customer relationship, CRM systems are used in the same way to manage business contacts, clients, contract wins and sales leads."

Leads originate from several sources like seminars, trade shows, or even a simple chat in Facebook or other social networking sites. It would be good to record not only the information about a lead but also the source for statistical analysis later.

When a negotiation with a lead is made, such as sending a quotation to a lead, the lead should be converted to an account if it is a company, or a contact if it is a person. This conversion process can be automated by a CRM application. The nature of the negotiation made with the account or contact, like the quotation sent, should be recorded as a “Potential”.

As long as a “Potential” is not categorized as a “closed sale”, the expected revenue is not final and the “Potential” will be in the “Pipeline”. A good CRM application can show these types of transactions so that they can be monitored and followed-up.

The essence of a CRM I believe, is not only knowing what a customer will need based on information that was recorded about him, but also making each time spent on a customer valuable and can be a possible source of a potential revenue or customer experience.

2.25.2014

Enjoying new computer applications

I didn't know what post to write for this blog because I've been focusing on encoding data in the sales application of Tiens since the cut-off is every 24th day of the month. After that I also encode a summary of the same data in a CRM application for a different objective.

Perhaps it was not just obligation that forced me to focus on completing these encoding tasks which are coupled by checking and monitoring, I simply enjoyed doing them because both applications are user friendly. I never liked encoding, it is such a boring task for me. But I easily appreciate computer applications, and I like discovering all their features if I found out they are easy to use. If they're not easy to use, I don't waste my time.

I am relieved that I don't have to think hard what post to write. It feels good to say that I'm enjoying so though those simple feelings will create just a short post, I'm contented to just write about them.