It’s Official! I’m a Student Again

Since we moved to the USA in 2015, I’ve been thinking of advancing my education in my chosen field–youth work. After some consideration, I decided not to pursue youth ministry, but instead pursue a Master’s degree in Youth Development. I only discovered this program when I did a Google search about educational opportunities related to youth work.

This program is part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA). It’s a consortium of several universities in the great plains area of the United States (Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, and several others).

Through GPIDEA, member universities are able to share resources and offer different courses that helps make the online offerings more robust and cost-effective. My home university is Missouri University or Mizzou. Continue reading

How to Subscribe to Podcasts

Podcasts are an awesome way to learn and be entertained. They could keep you company on a long drive, or when you’re stuck in traffic.

For the uninitiated, according to Wikipedia: “A podcast is an episodic series of digital media files which a user can set up so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user’s own local computer or portable media player. The word arose as a portmanteau of “iPod” (a brand of media player) and “broadcast”. Thus, the files distributed are typically in audio or video formats…”

If that still sounds Greek to you, here’s (hopefully) a simpler definition. A podcast is like a radio program broadcasted over the web. You can listen to it on a website, or download the episodes to your smartphone or mp3 player.

How to subscribe to podcasts

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

I love reading books. I started reading some longer novels when I was in 5th Grade. It was a bit of a challenge back then, but I didn’t stop. And that made a lot of difference in building my imagination and my appetite for reading more books.

Back in College, a friend introduced me to C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia and to JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. My life was never the same. And so, year after year, I would be reading books, novels, and short stories.

I didn’t really keep a record of how many books I read in a year. I didn’t even keep track of their titles. But I would remember a lot of them. I used to frequent BookSale, which is a used bookstore in the Philippines, looking for books by authors that I liked. I did have a running list of authors in my head–Asimov, Bradbury, Dean, and a lot of Sci-Fi authors. I was also frequently surprised by the number of Christian authors that I stumbled into while kneeling down on the floor browsing through book after book under the shelves of BookSale. That’s how I discovered Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz.

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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,

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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: Continue reading

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!

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