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Category: Learning

I’m Reading ONLY 12 Books This Year. Here’s Why

In 2012, I discovered, which is like the social network for readers. I just joined and I almost forgot about its existence after that. But in 2014, I began to be more intentional in keeping track of the books I read. So I decided to list the books I read on And in 2014, I joined my first ever Reading Challenge.

I read 40 books in 2014, 60 books in 2015, and 52 books in 2016.

Truth is, it wasn’t really difficult for me to read that much, because I have a lot of titles on my Kindle. Whenever I got some down time–if I need to wait in line, or wait for someone who was running late for an appointment, or even when I am commuting in a bus, train, or taxi–I would take my phone out and read on my Kindle. But I would also bring some printed books with me from time to time.

This post isn’t about how to read a lot of books in a year. I will write a separate blog post for that. But for 2017, I am deciding to slow down in reading books and be more intentional, read more slowly, and deliberately implement the lessons I learn from these books. I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction books in the past 3 years or so and I want to make the most out of these books.

A Note-Taking System for Books I Read

I recently blogged about taking notes from the books I read. I’ve been experimenting on a note-taking system lately. Back when I was still reading lots and lots of print books, my habit was to use a 3X5 index card as a bookmark and take notes from there. Sometimes I would also write on the margins of the book, underline the statements that strike me and put big exclamation marks on the pages that get to me.

But these days, I’m reading ebooks most of the time. I have a Kindle Fire 8.9 and I have the Kindle app installed on my laptop, my desktop, and in my Android phone.

I’m trying a new way of taking notes–I want to gather the highlights, comments, insights, and questions that occur to me while reading a particular work… and put them here in the blog. For, I will post notes on books related to business, career, and anything about a young professional’s life. If you want to check out my notes on any other book I read, you may need to check out my personal blog,

image credit: danielfoster via Flickr

For each book notes blog post here, you should expect the following types of notes:

Why You Should Take Notes from Every Book You Read

Learning is never over, especially after College. You need to train for your job. If you want to advance in your career, you also need new skills and new set of knowledge to pound into your brain.

They say that experience is the best teacher. Most of the time, they assume that it should be your OWN experience. But that’s not true. A lifetime isn’t enough to experience every lesson there is to learn.

To make the most of one lifetime, you better talk to people, ask about their experiences and the lessons they learned. While face-to-face conversion is great, there is another way, which can sometimes be more efficient and just as effective: Reading books.


Just an aside, here’s my previous post on how I choose books; and another one on WHY I read books in the first place.

A lot of us read books for different reasons–to be entertained, to learn new things, to kill boredom. But throughout history, lives changed, wars erupted, and the world was never the same, thanks to books and the ideas behind them.

If you are into reading books, you should take your book-reading experience to the next level. TAKE NOTES! Here’s why.

10 Tips to Make the Most Out of the Manila International Book Fair

The Manila International Book Fair is THE biggest event for bookworms in the Philippines! This year, it runs from September 17-21. If you haven’t gone there yet, here are 10 tips to help you make the most out of this event.

By the way, my book “May Powers Ka to Be #SuperEpic” (a book on leadership for young people), published by OMF Literature starts selling there. Its cover price is P75, but you’ll get a 30% discount. You’ll just have to pay P52.50 to grab a copy.


How to Listen to a Podcast via the Stitcher App

It’s no secret that I love, love podcasts! I have one–the Happy Yuppie Podcast. But I also listen to countless other podcasts here and abroad. They entertain me, keep me less bored while traveling or waiting for a friend who’s running late.

If you need more reasons for listening to podcasts, check out this post.

If you want to listen to a podcast on the go–while you’re driving, or stuck at the train or a bus, or taxi, maybe, I can only recommend one app to help you with that: Stitcher!


Stitcher is not just a platform for podcasts, it’s also a platform for what is known now as “On-demand radio.” It serves audio content or radio that you can access wherever you are, whenever you want to.

Stitcher is available on both Apple App Store and on Google Play Store for Android.

It’s totally FREE!

How to Subscribe to a Podcast via Stitcher App

Don’t worry if you feel like you’re a total newbie in listening to podcasts. There’s always a first time. But once you get the hang of it, you can easily do it over and over.

Follow along our screencast below and just do it step by step. You won’t get lost. Promise!

Check out the slideshow below for the steps you need to take to install and make the most out of Stitcher Radio.


While I want you all to listen and subscribe to my podcast, I would also encourage you to listen to other podcasts. Check out my list of Recommended Podcasts.

If you don’t like the slideshow, check out the Screencast below.

Featured App: Track the Books You Read with Goodreads

After two years of avoiding Booksale and other bargain bookstores, I finally kicked out my most expensive vice: buying books. I have also given away, probably close to 200 books because our house can no longer contain them.

I may have stopped buying lots of “physical” books, but I still have lots and lots of ebooks–a lot of them came from friends and from… you know, the Intarnetz.

I can’t help it. I’m a voracious reader. I read anything under the sun–from Admirals of the World War II to personal finance books. I’m also a big Sci-Fi and Fantasy reader. I’ve read the poetry of Lourd de Veyra and even the historical stuff of Ambeth Ocampo.

I can go on and on… but you get the drift.

Are you a reader, too?

There’s this great app that allows us to track our own library and the books we read: Goodreads. It has a website and Smartphone app.


Since the middle of 2013, I finally started tracking the books I read. But that’s not the only thing that Goodreads do. Here are four ways to use Goodreads:

How to Make the Most Out of Your Commute Time

Metro Manila is just one big transportation mess! Lines are long pretty much everywhere during the rush hour. Every morning from about 6 to 9:30 in the morning, the queue up to the MRT and LRT stations is a kilometer long! Taking the bus is not a viable option either. Unless you want your commute time to increase by 300%!

Really long lines at MRT North EDSA Station. Photo courtesy of Kit Cabullo

That’s probably not the kind of increase you want.

But here’s another piece of news that’s bound to draw a sigh and loathing: the MMDA told commuters to expect even heavier traffic in the Metro up to 2016! I didn’t realize there was still room for worse traffic. Aaargh!

For a lot of Pinoy yuppies, travel time usually lasts anywhere between 1-3 hours every single day!

Three hours of commute time per day is equal to 15 hours per working week and 32.5 days in a year!

That’s just terrible! A total of 32.5 days lost in unproductive, uncomfortable time!

Between your home and the office lie countless adventures and possible mishaps.

You wait for 30 minutes just to get a bus that’s not so full and willing to stop for you.
A bus conductor then shoves you into a sea of people in the aisle of the bus. But already, the people inside are like sardines packed inside a can.
You hurry to the MRT (Metro Rail Transit) and find out that the line is a kilometer long.
Then you have to walk past five blocks just to get to your office.
And on top of that, it’s hot and humid!
By the time you get to the office, you’re sweaty, feeling harassed and just about ready to flare up at your officemate, your friend, or whoever happens to be near!

5 Reasons Why You Need to Listen to Podcasts

Podcast what?!

That’s the usual question when people hear the term podcast. For some, it kinda evokes some techie stuff that can induce nosebleed.

But don’t worry. The short answer is that a podcast is an audio program broadcasted not on the radio, but on the Web.

FM Stations broadcast different programs. In the morning, 93.1 RX has The Morning Rush, Jam 88.3 has the Morning Breath, and 90.7 Love Radio has the Tambalang Chris Tsuper & Nicole Hyala (not sure of the spelling. ugh).

Here’s the long answer from Wikipedia:

Podcasting is both a converged medium bringing together audio, the web and portable media player, and a disruptive technology that has caused some in the radio business to reconsider some of the established practices and preconceptions about audiences, consumption, production and distribution. This idea of disruptiveness is largely because no one person owns the technology; it is free to listen and create content, which departs from the traditional model of ‘gate-kept’ media and production tools. It is very much a horizontal media form: producers are consumers and consumers become producers and engage in conversations with each other.

I’m a newcomer when it comes to listening to podcasts. But once I started, I got hooked. So far, I listen to 10 podcasts regularly. I mention some of them below.

So why do you need to listen to podcasts? Here’s my five reasons.