Self Belief and Surprises

believe in yourselfWhen was the day you started to believe in yourself?

In my case, I can’t remember… but I’m sure it was not too long ago.

But when I started to believe, everything changed… all for the better.

I became a blogger, a food photographer, a book author, a speaker.  I became crafty, and all of a sudden I became assertive and a kinda tough momma.

I discovered a lot of amazing things I never thought I was capable of doing.

Little by little I’m becoming the person I want to be.

Change your beliefs and you can change your life.

Sounds familiar? I’ve read and heard it so many times, and yet I didn’t believe it the instant it came to me.

But, the moment I truly believe I feel a flow of NEW energy running through me.

It is amazing!

According to the dictionary, the definition of belief is: ” an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.”

Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you. – Oscar Wilde

Innately, within each of us lives a passionate, true self.  Call it, the highest version of ourselves.

The beauty of it is, It is always standing right in front of you, staring at you, waiting for you to take ownership of your life NOW and choose the beliefs that serve you well.

Our negative and fearful thoughts that we are ugly, fat, a douchebag or unworthy have controlled us, and those thoughts have been renting a place inside us for too long.  Don’t you think it’s time to reawaken the relationship with our true self that may have gone awry or twisted for so many years?

If you feel like you are sucking energy out of your life by your conditioned beliefs, realize the blame lies nowhere but with yourself. This may sound harsh, but it’s time for a reality check.

I had one myself when I realized I was living like a victim of all of my experiences. (Actually, I was more of a victim of insecure and jealous people around me.) One day I realized that life doesn’t define me — it’s defined by how I choose to think, act, and co-create with life through my innate nature.

Somewhere along our life experience we missed a cue to cross over from the conditions of our upbringing and spring into the true core of who we are and what drives us internally.

Every day, I start my day by looking at the mirror and saying this:

“Hey, you gorgeous!” if I’m in my most playful mood I say it in Filipino this way:  “Ganda mo, teh.”

I know it’s weird, but it lifts me up so high it feels like the universe is taking me for a quick stroll. :P

All the good things happen to me when I start believing in myself, when I start to embrace the idea that God has given me a gift. It’s a very special gift, and I’m the only one who has it.  So why am I too shy to share it?

Shame on me!

If you can close your eyes right at this moment, can you ask yourself what’s stopping you from believing in yourself?  Or WHO is stopping you from believing in yourself?  Take pride, my friend. We won’t get a second life.

So, do what you are tasked to do now.

Start believing.

Until next time, ladies!




Get a Free Unlimited Class Pass for The Work-at-Home Weekend Expo 2014


Get unlimited class pass for FREE!

Ready. Get Set. SHARE!

On October 25, 2014, at the Insular Life Multi-purpose Hall, the WAHMderful Life Community and Manila Workshops bring you the Work-at-Home Weekend Expo. For the very first time, all aspiring and budding work-at-home individuals will get together to learn and to showcase each of their products or services. We are inviting you to come and join us!

Promo Mechanics:

1. Like Joy Gurtiza on FB

2. Like Manila Workshops on FB

3. Follow @ManilaWorshops on Twitter (@ManilaWorkshops) and Instagram (manilaworkshops)



Here’s are the topics you can choose from:

Business Ideation: Profitable Business Ideas by Jeff Cua

How to Land Your First Virtual Assistant Gig by Marge Aberasturi

How to Create a Winning Business Plan & Reach Your Perfect Clients by Joy Gurtiza

How to Get (and Keep!) Your Freelance Writing Jobs by Tina Rodriguez

How To Succeed & Not Suck at Social Media Management by Grace Nicolas Bondad

Money Smarts: Beginner Level Investing & Personal Finance by Fitz Villafuerte

Legalizing Your Business the Hassle-Free Way by Dandy C. Victa

Retail Therapy: How to Set Up Your Import Business & Make Your Sales by Govind Daswani

Computer 101: How to use and care for your investment by Jennyfer Ang Tan

Be a Photo Editor: Basic Photo Editing & Photography Jobs by Kimberley Timbol-Reyes

Managing your Kids while Working at Home by Mariel Uyquiengco

Eating Right & Easy Meals when you’re a Busy-holic by Lourdes Labii


See you at the EXPO!




What I Learned at Veni Flores’ How To Make Thoughts Happen

How To Make Thoughts Happen

I attended Veni Flores’ 3-hour talk on How To Make Thoughts Happen in Prestige Tower, Ortigas yesterday.

This is the first motivational talk I attended this year.  The truth is, I’m more of a book lady than an attendee.  (I will comfortably read the books of Tony Robbins, Stephen Covey and my new favorite Shawn Achor in the comfort of our house.)

The premise behind the How To Make Thoughts Happen is CHANGE. You will not grow unless you choose to change.  If you want to lead a better life you have to change your way of life.

Awesome, right?

Or to say it another way, “The biggest choke hold on leading a beautiful life is the mind set and skill set of the owner.”

I took notes during the talk. In reviewing them on the car back, I underlined a couple of take-aways:

Life is not happening to you, it is happening for you.

Life gets rough from time to time and many things happen that are out of our control. BUT, what we CAN control is how we CHOOSE to react and PERCEIVE these events and our ATTITUDE going forward. By adopting an attitude of life is happening for us, rather than to us, we can make sense out of many tough situations.

Most dreams fade away on the direction of how.

The how will show up when you get clear on what you want. Focus first on what you want without regard to how you will make it happen.

It’s never about your resources; it’s about your resourcefulness.

If you are resourceful, you will get the resources. People always act on the basis of what they believe. If you want to change their actions (or your own) you have to change their beliefs.

And my favorite…

God gave you unique talents and gifts for a specific reason. You are designed to create and serve others.

And as a human being, we have an incredible opportunity to use our talents and gifts as a force for good and make a heroic difference in the world. Have faith in our ideas and take action on them. Otherwise, we’re squandering the beautiful gifts our Creator has blessed us with.

There was so much more.

This only scratches the surface of what I learned. Truly, this talk was a gift to me at this time in my career. If you are serious about taking yourself to the next level, I highly recommend you attend Veni Flores’ How To Make Thoughts Happen. It was educational, life changing and fun-packed too (the truth is, I was giggling all the time).

The talk can be summed up as to somewhat religious awaking, and emotional knock up (backed by science), all rolled into one.

For me Veni is the Tony Robbins of the Philippines.

Cheers Veni!


- Joy

Are You Feeling Happy Today?

concious happinessAre you happy today?

Today, I choose to write about happiness. I always believe that when we are happy it makes the people around us happy too.

Do you have this feeling that there is this one specific day in your life that you can be impossibly happy because things doesn’t go your way or you simply feel down like shit are everywhere?


Let me share with you one of the popular Filipino proverb:

Kung maikli ang kumot matutong mamaluktot.

A few years ago I heard a different version:

Kung maikli ang kumot e di kumuha ng mas mahabang kumot.

Makes sense right?

Come to think of it, e bakit ka nga naman magtitiis sa maikling kumot kung pwede ka naman kumuha ng mas mahabang kumot.

Like happiness, when your day seems cloudy and lifeless go out your way and make it bright and lively.

Get the point?

Of course you will argue and you will tell me boldly that it’s easier said than done.

Well, if that’s what you think. That’s what you think! Keep it and hold on to it tight I’m sure no one will try to take it away from you, but if you are open to hear what works for me and probably might help you too I’m inviting you to continue reading.

Recently, I come to believe that happiness is a choice. Regardless of your situation and your circumstances you can choose to be happy (on the contrary you can choose to be sad or miserable if that what makes you happy. and it’s all up to you).

You get it?

When I wake up sad or lonely or just plain unhappy. I entertain myself (no, not that kind of entertaining). I listen to Britney Spears (yes, I’m a fan), I take pictures, I cook, I blog, I write to God, I looked at random photos in Pinterest, I listen to TED talks. I work on some personal projects that I find interesting (like my brand new project  Sometimes, I clean the house… sometimes. This is the point where I consciously make myself happy and I’m making a choice to be happy. If nothing works I sleep all day.

Make a list of things that makes you happy.  If it’s as simple as drinking a 1.5 coke in one sitting or chewing 5 different gums altogether. Do it! We define happiness differently.

If today, I caught you in the state of pure sadness.  Please go ahead and tuck yourself again in bed. The moment you wake up ask yourself a question whether you will choose to be happy or continue to be sad.  The answer is all up to you and regardless which you choose I still hold a high respect for you.  Sabi nga nila…  lilipas din iyan.

Have the most beautiful Monday ladies!




How Visuals Can Help Kids Learn Fast?

learning through visuals

What is your teaching style?

If you ask me, I don’t have anything specific.

But today, I wrote the days of the week in a manila paper and posted it right in the heart of our living room.  I’m completely driven by my friend’s FB post on how she is using visuals to help her kids in school.  I’ve heard about the idea and I have read a couple of articles on how visuals can help you learn fast, not just kids but everyone. I’ve been holding off the significance of manila paper for the sheer pleasure of procrastinating things and my innate katamaran (laziness).

I read that based upon research outcomes, the effective use of visuals can help my kids not just to learn fast but essentially to:

  1. Decrease their learning time

  2. Improve their comprehension

  3. Enhance their retrieval, and

  4. Increase their retention

Pretty amazing right?

So, to kick it off I wrote the days of the week in a manila paper (like what I already mentioned earlier).  I asked Lily to draw something beside the name of the days so she can easily remember it.  She draw a sun beside Sunday, a ball for Wednesday because it’s her PE day and a chef hat for Friday because she told me she wants to cook pancakes every Friday.

According to Haig Kouyoumdjian, Ph.D.

There are countless studies that have confirmed the power of visual imagery in learning. For instance, one study asked students to remember many groups of three words each, such as dog, bike, and street. Students who tried to remember the words by repeating them over and over again did poorly on recall. In comparison, students who made the effort to make visual associations with the three words, such as imagining a dog riding a bike down the street, had significantly better recall.

learning through visual imageryThis is our first manila paper I’ll be writing updates on how it’s helping my Lily and I’ll be posting more manila paper at home.  I promise I’ll take pictures and share it with everyone.

Meanwhile, I want to encourage you to share your teaching style.  You wouldn’t know who you will inspire, like what happened to me when I saw my friend’s post in Facebook. I’d love to hear from all of you!

Thanks for dropping by ladies.

See yah!





Why I Don’t Want to be Ordinary: 2 Reasons Mediocrity is Killing Me

quote marieforleoYou feel it, right?



You, the plain and simple YOU.

If you frequent my blog and are my regular reader by heart, chances are we share something in common.


The urge to be less ordinary. A little less mediocre.

All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating, and mediocrity is easy. Stay away from easy.  – Scott Alexander

I am mediocre.

The truth is, I’m addicted to mediocrity. It’s the easy way around. No opinion, no idea to share, no conviction of anything, doesn’t side to any argument. I’m the typical boring person.

But the truth is, it’s killing me.

I remember growing up having big dreams. I remember dreaming of becoming a TV newscaster and an English teacher when I grew up.  In college I thought of starting my own magazine publishing company after I graduated. Heck, I even dreamt of becoming a poet.

But none of those dreams came true, though.

After I graduated from college I worked on mediocre jobs. After a couple of years I became a wife and a mother of four, sitting all day in front of my computer doing a work-at-home mediocre job and wait for my husbands’ pay. I don’t complain; life is good, we all get to eat and can send our children to a good school.

But in all honesty, I am by far an ordinary soul waiting for things to unfold in front of me. How many mothers like me do that? Sit all day and wait? A lot, right? A lot of mediocre souls like me.

It’s easy being plain and simple.

But no matter how mediocre my life is, I just can’t shake the feeling that this isn’t it.

This isn’t the life that is mine; it’s not the life I was built for. 

We’ve all got our own version of mediocrity – what’s yours?

OK, don’t get me wrong. I truly respect those mothers who stay home to mind their household and children.  I know that we all walk in different paths of life and I respect the fact that my version of mediocrity is different from everyone else’s. I’m not setting any standard of mediocrity here. So feel free to share your version of mediocrity and I promise I won’t play judge. :)

My version of mediocrity is to stay at home, work on my mediocre job that brings in a little pay, and do unexciting daily tasks because I have nothing else to do and I’m pretty stuck. The best part is, I’m used to it.

So one day I indulged myself in solitude and realized my reasons why I should unstick myself from being mediocre and start aspiring for greatness. Here are my 2 reasons:

1. I don’t want my children to be mediocre. To be plain Jane or plain Joe. I want them to be the BEST that they can be and the only way I can teach them that is by becoming a good example.  I want them to look back and tell themselves, “My mom was never a loser. My mom fought long and hard to achieve her dreams and never settled for mediocrity.”

2.  I don’t want to deny God’s gift to me. I always think that each of us was born with a gift from God – besides life, of course. He sent us here to perform a special mission for him; he equipped us with talents and skills ready to be called upon if we are persistent enough to hold on our tasks. My favorite web TV host said it best:

“The world needs that special gift that only you have.” —Marie Forleo

I’m 34 and I’m just starting to admit that I’m living a mediocre life.

Well, I’m thankful that I’m not in my 90′s, in my death bed reciting the things I should have done when I’m still capable.  I still have a loooooooong way to go.  In fact just recently I wrote down a bucket list, one that plays closest to my heart is having a school soon and becoming a popular book writer, so popular that it will be translated in many languages so I could reach out to as many as I can.

I feel ambitious.

But who the hell cares?



A couple of weeks ago I attended a John Robert Power Workshop for free through Mommy Bloggers Philippines.

I’m so grateful for the experience. We were taught voice communication, social and business etiquette. The experience was exhilarating, I became really serious about saving money to enroll in their full course in the next quarter. I’m enthralled by the teachers; they are all well-dressed. They walk like true professionals. They speak with grace and elegance. You might think that if you finish the whole course you will be like them: elegant, graceful, resonating control and leadership. It’s one of the many steps forward I’m taking this year to move away from the status quo to become who I really want to be.

It’s one baby step for me.


Now it’s your turn…take your first step to greatness. Believe you can, read more than you watch, surround yourself with winners and promise to yourself to be the best that you can be regardless of what other people says about you.  Be brave my friend, you can do it.

Talk soon. :)




Celebrating Mother’s Day

Have you been with a group of people and told yourself;  I belong here.

I’ve been with a group of people and it doesn’t come out as a statement but rather a question.

I belong here?

Just this morning I sat in front of my computer, I looked at my Facebook pictures with some friends and pointed out a specific group of people and I told myself in bold and almost reassuring tone; I belong here.

mother's day

With these ladies, I think that when we get together, we don’t just bring with us a bagful of our life’s grievances to share with one another and become each others judge of who has the most miserable life.  BUT, we carry with us our very own Pandora’s box ready to be opened up for those who wish to see it and regardless how ugly what is inside the box, believe it or not, we appreciate it.

When we get together it’s not another girl talk shebang session.

We get together and open ourselves to each other.

We complain about the difficult people in our lives.

We talk about the inner demons we are presently fighting.

We boast our misfits. (We literary “boast” our misfits to each other, crazy huh?)

But the beauty of it all is not;  “Help me I’m helpless” but “Listen to me, I can get pass through this…”

I had my share.

When I was in my darkest times, they listened and offered comforts. I remember myself saying a prayer back then;

God, thank you for bringing these people in my life when I most needed them…  They are not perfect, actually… most of them seem CRAZYYY (they laugh at the silliest joke, they say the most ridiculous things, they lost their selves when we are all together). Oh gosh, God… they’re EXACTLY like me!


Happy Friday ladies and advance happy mother’s day!

See yah!




8 Signs of Reading Readiness

When my youngest daughter turned 4 in September 2013, I realized she was still not familiar with all the letters in the alphabet. She only recognized the letters L, C, F, I, Y and A.

I read that by age 4 children should identify at least 10 alphabet letters, especially those in their own names. Though she identifies those letters in her own name, she only knows 6 alphabet letters. I know it’s not a big deal; I can teach her four more letters and she’s on track.


My husband and I are planning on enrolling her to Preparatory on June 2014, and by then she will be 4 years old and 9 months. Just the right age for K12 curriculum, but to get to Preparatory, the school prefers that the child knows how to read. So we thought of finding her a place to learn to read since I know and I admit with all my heart that teaching is not my best trait.

I did more research to find out if Lily, at her age, can be taught to read.

And this is what I found out:

The age at which a child is ready to read can vary dramatically.
Children can start from the age of three years old on up to eleven years old and beyond, but generally reading occurs between the age of four and ten years old.


The age of readiness or desire to read can be easily determined by paying attention to the clues that children freely provide.

Here are the 8 signs of reading readiness:

1. Your child pretends to read.

Check!  Every time my phone beeps for a text message, she asks me if she could read it and will utter random words pretending to read my text message.

2. Your child maintains phonemic awareness or knows the sounds that letters make.

3. You notice your child takes interest in the environments written words on street signs, cereal boxes, TV, magazines, flyers, books, etc.

Check again!

4. Your child looks at pictures and tells a story or repeats a known story in her own words.

Check! She has this little book she always asks her eldest sister to read to her. One time she was standing at my side while I was doing the dishes and asked me to listen to her read.  It was very impressive because she even know when to turn to the next page.

5. If your child can add the missing word to an incomplete sentence presented orally.

6. If they can define or give the meaning of simple words.

7. If they use left to-right progression.

8. If they can pronounce their own first and last names.

Check, check, check!

She’s READY!

I saw an ad about a reading class in the same building where my two other kids take their music lessons.

Awesome! I immediately went to inquire.

I was greeted by a nice lady who introduced herself as Teacher Ging.

She patiently answered all my questions and addressed all my concerns. She didn’t ask me to enroll my child right away but asked me to think it over with my husband because the commitment of bringing Lily three times a week at school requires a solid yes on our part.

She is amazing. If that was someone else they might have asked me for a down payment because I wasted her time by talking to me.

I’m having a good feeling about the school…

When I got home I told my husband I found a school where Lily can be taught to read. I was ecstatic, and I told him straight away we will enroll Lily there. I told him about the school and my conversation with Teacher Ging; he didn’t say a word and remained listening until I finished my story. ( He can’t control my excitement, he knew I was sold and nothing he would say would convince me otherwise.) When I’m done talking he just said… “OK.”

That’s it! We reached a mutual decision to enroll Lily. :D

It’s been three months since Lily first stepped into The Reading Station (TRS). And let me be the first one to tell you that they are worth every penny.

lily at school

One day I came across a research about the “Best Way to Learn How to Read” (funded by National Institute of Health, updated in 2012).

There are three important aspects of reading.

Part 1: Phonemic awareness, or learning the individual sounds that constitute a language. For example, “buh” as the sound of “b”

Part 2: Phonics, or the letter-sound relationships available in the language

Part 3: Exposure to the meaning of the written word by reading to the child as well as having the child begin to read independently

After 10 hours, Lily passed Part 1. She knows all the sounds of the letters. At 25 hours she could read three-letter words and decode words when she encountered them for the first time. Now she’s into Part 3.


Her progress is faster than expected. I feel like she’s getting one school year of education in three months.

My husband was very impressed with Lily’s progress; he asked me to enroll Ruben, 5 years old, in their summer program to speed up his reading skills. We were worried that Lily would read better than Ruben after summer and we don’t want Ruben to be left behind.

After only 5 hours, Ruben can read game instructions from an iPad all by himself.

My husband and I were thrilled.

The school has the most loving and patient teachers! They know their craft.  They are passionate about the things they do every day. Regardless how tiresome their day was, you will always be greeted by their most sweet smiles.

IMG_4715 Isn’t it the ideal school you want to get your children into?


The things they do are just wonderful!

Next time again ladies!

*PS* For those who have been asking about the address and contact number it’s The Reading Station, 6th Flr. Northridge Plaza, Congressional Ave., QC.  0917-7217634 or 412-0200



Our Adorable Easter Activity

easter egg huntWe had an adorable Easter egg hunt at home!

My husband and I decided to get colorful plastic eggs this year and stuff them with candies and some coins!

We hid sixteen plastic eggs all over the house and the first to find the most eggs get a special prize.

It was fun!  It was so fun that they ask if we can do it again tomorrow.  My husband explained to the small kids that it can only be done once a year, but committed to doing scavenger hunt once a month.  The kids were very delighted by the idea and I was stuck with another list to add to my already long to do list. (Disclaimer:  I’m not complaining, really… I’m actually grateful that another creative and very cool idea was added to my list.)

I’m also including some pictures I took from last year’s Easter Egg painting activity.  I bought a box of egg decorating kit at HMR for P20 and I very surprised that it went a long, long way to make my kids busy and bring out once again their creative side.easter decorating kit This is my two big girls all excited to start painting.

IMG_1560Isa is busy blowing the egg to dry.

IMG_1565Look at our Ruben in full focus writing something on his egg.

IMG_1581Lily as she carefully put stickers on her egg.

IMG_1578 This is the finish product, the one that has MC written on it was made by Elise.  The egg that has stars was made by Slide. The purple or the dark pink, was made by Ruben, he grips the egg so tightly it almost break, see the cracks?  Lily’s egg didn’t make it to the picture, she was so hungry she peeled off its skin and ate it all. :D

We all had a really, really good time!  It was all affordable and memorable too!

What was your kind of Easter celebration?

Share!  I really love to hear it.

Thanks for looking ladies!

Have a blessed Monday!









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