Category - Featured

From the corporate world, to the beach!

“Learn from one passionate woman’s story in pursuing success from the corporate jungle to one of the world’s leading tourist island.”

Making a big decision is also taking a high degree of risk. It allows you to feel proactive — making things happen rather than waiting for them to happen to you. Success doesn’t come into one’s lap. SUCCESS, my dears, is pursued.

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Photography by: Mr. Gian Bacuyag

Valerie Geraldez, co-founder of family-run guesthouse Agos Boracay Rooms + Beds and a licensed real estate broker, was an account officer for the Aboitiz Power Corporation, before she decided to take the leap that would change not only her career, but her life in a 360 degrees turnabout.

Deciding to work for herself was one of the most important decisions that launched her eventual fate to success.

In her words, “leaving the ‘steady’ life of the corporate world to move to Boracay Island and to establish Agos Boracay together with her brother Micah competing with over 500 other properties,” was “unconventionally what I needed.”

Not only did they establish Agos and did it well, but she also passed the Real Estate Board early this year, adding yet another accomplishment to her prowess.

A Hollywood ending didn’t come easy to Valerie’s lap though. She had fought hard to stand firm by her decision of making it in the entrepreneurial world. She spent days and nights in developing strategies to market the business. She partnered with online and local travel agencies, bloggers, and enlisted the guesthouse in Tripadvisor. Her hard work didn’t fail her and soon enough, guest reviews started pouring in, topping the rankings in Tripadvisor and eventually winning Tripadvisor 2015 Traveler’s Choice award, making it to the Top 15 B&Bs/Inns in the Philippines and also receiving the Guest Review Award of Excellence from world leader online travel agency Booking.com. Word of mouth from fulfilled guests was and still is Agos Boracay’s biggest advertisement. All thanks to Valerie’s and her brother’s dogged efforts.

Affordable Hotels in Boracay Agos Boracay Rooms and Beds (37)

Photo source: http://www.pinoyadventurista.com/

Starting something new is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle — it takes a lot of pieces and patience, but once you have enough in place, you begin to see the whole picture. Being relentless, professional, and driven in investing in herself and in the company 100% all throughout were the key pieces to Valerie’s entrepreneurial ride.

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Photography by: Mr. Gian Bacuyag

Putting up a business on your own is not an easy feat. Failure is never far behind sometimes looming on every step of the way. But success could just be trailing beside it all throughout! That’s why it is important to always put your trust where it should be – on yourself. But as a business owner, sometimes you can be your own worst enemy.

At the closing of my interview with Valerie, said confided that, “If I could only go back in time and undo all the mistakes and heartaches along my journey to success, I would be gentler with myself and relax a little.”

Regular Mall V. Outlet Mall

As any battle-scared shopper would tell you, “Live for discounts!”

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And like any other helpful shopaholic, he or she would point you to outlet malls.

Say what? Outlet malls? Like any other typical Western phenomenon engulfing this country, the concept was imported from the United States. Cebu has one now, simply called, The Outlets.

THE OUTLETS AT PUEBLO VERDE

THE OUTLETS AT PUEBLO VERDE

Outlet malls are made up of outlet stores, which are essentially manufacturer-branded stores like Adidas or Nike. “Like in the regular malls,” you say. Well yes and no. Sure you can find the mall brands that you normally patronize or obsess about, but Outlet Mall shops have the reputation of giving you better deals than stores at the regular malls.

Why?

Two main things:

1. Outlet stores carry old and new items. The out of season items they carry would not be available at the regular anymore but these are available at the outlet stores and they offer them at a significantly reduced price; and

2. Because it is cheaper to open an outlet store over a normal retail store at the regular mall. Regular malls have excessive fees because a regular mall offers many other extra amenities for the shoppers. These amenities are not available at most outlet malls which operates on the basic. This can only be good news for the shopper because lower rent for the outlet stores means they can offer their products at a cheaper rate.

In Cebu, and for the rest of the Visayas and Mindanao area, the only outlet mall existing so far is The Outlets at Pueblo Verde. It’s located just before the entrance to MEZII. The Outlets carries a lot of brands and sure enough, most of the products are sold at high discounts.

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THE OUTLETS AT PUEBLO VERDE

Aside from a wide selection of outlet stores carrying popular brands, restaurants are present in the area too. And even a boxing gym! Work-out before a marathon shopping, anyone?

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Plus, if their motto is to be believed, they are on sale every single day of the year! That’s more than any regular mall could offer, for sure.

Now, before you splurge all your 13th month pay and Christmas bonuses, remember that Christmas comes earlier at outlet malls.

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Lunch Around The World at The Marriott

At Marriott Cebu’s Garden Cafe, lunch is a colorful international affair.

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When you only have lunch time to go around the world, an eclectic plate and palate is your best bet and greatest weapon!

My first stop was at the salad station, fronting a wall of wines, and flanked by the fresh fruits station.

I started with an appetizer of half a citrus from the Americas, Korea’s tangy kimchi, and chunks of Greek cheese from the antipasti station that I ate with a small portion of Marriot’s version of NYC’s oh-so-scrumptious Waldorf salad.

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I spent my second trip to the buffet at the Japanese station and enjoyed some melt-in-your-mouth Salmon. I would have gone for seconds except that the other stations had beckoned and sadly, I only have one stomach.

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A third trip landed me at the Thai curry station where I get to choose my own ingredients with the assistance of a chef on stand-by! Minutes later, a steaming bowl of curry was delivered to my table.

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The Filipino cuisine and the meat-loving countries are also greatly represented with chicken, pork, and beef dishes cooked into familiar comfort eats such as caldereta and roasts.

Dessert was a hearty episode as it brought me right back at home, wherever you consider that to be! Homemade and unpretentious desserts in shot glasses and generous slices of cakes and pies.

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Before I knew it, lunchtime has come and gone and instead of the usual afternoon sun, the skies started drizzling over Marriott’s pool area, the view from the Garden Cafe. Now that almost all the continents have been covered for lunch, time to think about dinner!

Cebu City Marriott Hotel’s International buffet starts at 12nn – 2pm and is priced at P850 per person.

What Does Your Facebook Timeline Say About You? Part 1

Facebook Timeline, personality, you, your Facebook Timeline

Do you like posting your selfies and OOTDs on your Facebook Timeline? If yes, did you know that it reflects what kind of person you are?

Most of today’s generation has been shaped not only by family, environment and personal experiences – but by social media in majority. The most common and widely used social media today is the Facebook. 

Now, what does your Facebook Timeline has to do with you?

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Want an effective marketing story? Check your headline

headline writing tips

On social media, marketers are finding value in relevant and interesting stories in presenting their clients’ messages or promoting their products online. If they learned the basics of writing, it is that the headline of a story is as important as the opening of the story, if they wish for their target audience to read from start to finish.

The headline is considered the critical part of your content because it is often the reader’s first interaction with your brand. The effort you exert in putting up your story will go to waste if you will not give the headline equal attention you did with the body of the story. It may be comprised of just 140 characters or less but it has a big impact on your brand.

So, to avoid wasting your efforts, you must really take the headline seriously.

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Leveraging technology for Cebu tourism

Cebu tourism

Promoting and showcasing Cebu tourism, food, people, culture, and heritage has leveled up, as technology becomes one of its drivers.

This will be shown through the Technotour Amazing Adventure Challenge (TAAC), one of the highlights of the upcoming Cebu Business Month (CBM) held in June. It is open to companies and individuals who like to embark on adventures and team-building activities while learning Cebu’s culture and heritage along the way.

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Social media and health promotion: Doctors turn to the Internet to push personal health advocacies

health promotion

Not long ago, there was a man who was operated in a hospital. It was an unusual operation that got some practitioners involved chuckling and grinning and recording moments of the procedure. The video got viral, got the patient humiliated and got some of the healthcare professionals suspended.

Incidents like this can cause a nagging fear among doctors, nurses, medical technicians and their fellows when social media is presented as a tool for health promotion and when relentless white knights invite them to engage, to be active on social media.

“Whether doctors choose to engage in social media or not, they cannot ignore its implications,” said Dr. Pat Rich of the Canadian Medical Association during the Healthcare Social Media Summit 2015 last February in Cebu.

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Why leveraging digital payments can help SMEs cope with ASEAN integration

digital payments

Starting a business in the year when ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) integration was hot on every businessman’s tongue can be daunting, and so is ensuring a long-running enterprise gets to survive the expected demand under a larger, if not freer, market.

Whether you’re a starting entrepreneur or a veteran business owner, it’s about time to check that suggestion made by an official from global financial group MasterCard about leveraging digital payments or electronic payments not just to improve your bottom line but also to prep you up for international customers that will come when the ASEAN integration is fully here.

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OLX.ph, Istorya.net use own platforms to educate public on online buy and sell

online buy and sell

With many people going online and becoming aware of the perks of e-commerce, two websites—one described as Goliath and the other as David—made it an integral part of their platforms to educate the public on responsible buying and selling.

In the first Kapihan tech talk show initiated by TechTalks.ph, a non-profit, independent community of business, technology, and start-up enthusiasts, at Radisson Hotel yesterday, OLX.ph and Istorya.net showed that two channels with different teams can work harmoniously at proliferating the practice of online buying and selling.

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