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Summer of 2008: Love for Philippines, Rogin E Update, and Taking OAP to the Next Level

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Summer of 2008 is a turning point in my life. As we end the summer season, allow me to share with you my own reflections and learnings.

1. The more you explore the Philippines, the more you will love it.
I went on a blogging sabbatical and decided to explore the beauty of the Philippines. Just this summer, I've been to Coron in Palawan, Basco/ Sabtang in Batanes, Batad in Banaue, Bolinao in Pangasinan, 100 Islands in Pangasinan, Pahiyas in Quezon, Caramoan in Camarines Sur, Donsol in Sorsogon, Calaguas Islands in Camarines Norte, Callao Caves in Tuguegarao, and Palaui Island in Cagayan. I met Filipinos along the way who love the Philippines because they see how beautiful it is. This is the spirit behind OAP's advocacy. I would like to show the world how beautiful the Philippines is, so that each Filipino will love their country.

2. I'm committed to improving the quality of the blog posts in OAP.
I'm taking OAP to the next level both in terms of quality and frequency of blog posts. Also, I have resolved to decline tasting previews or accept free stuff to blog about. Favorable reviews cannot be bought and I want to be objective. In the next six months, I will be writing my book Our Awesome Planet: Philippines. I would like you to be a part of it. I'll share more details about how you can contribute to the book. Also, I'm looking for a publisher who will publish an awesome book about the Philippines. If you know anyone who may be interested in this partnership, please shoot me an e-mail.

3. How to leverage blog as an effective decision making tool.
Thanks to all the parents who helped us in deciding the school for Aidan. We were able to narrow down the best pre-school for Aidan based on independent comments and suggestions from OAP readers. I plan to post our research on the different schools available in Manila.

4. You attract people with the same "core identity".
Via OAP, I was able to meet foodies, travelers and passionate Filipinos who love the Philippines. This is the single biggest reward that I get from Our Awesome Planet. Thank you for all the support and watch out for exciting things in the next few months.

5. To be a maven, you need to be emotionally independent.
I'm usually not affected by criticisms. I actually welcome them because I learn a lot. I would not tolerate, however, vulgarity in any form or shape, especially if the comments become personal attacks that degrade other people. I'm thankful to all the OAP friends who send me letters of support to continue what I am doing.

6. Public Accountability via Rogin-E contest does not work for me.
The Rogin-E biggest losers contest was really good but it did not work for me. I was able to go back to the gym but it did not help in controlling my habits in eating and restaurant hopping. It is another failed attempt for me at losing weight and I congratulate Carlos Celdran for his awesome transformation. I'm now a user of Rogin-E vitamins because I feel the difference in terms of the energy it provides me. I need to be more accountable to myself and modify my eating lifestyle

7. I hate moderating the comments.
I tried to moderate the comments for a few days as suggested by Carlos Celdran but I discovered that I hate it. I've decided to moderate the comments after publication as usual. I would also like to call on the readers to refrain from impersonating another commenter’s identity. You know what I mean. I also use the website address of commenters instead of their email address as the hyperlink of the commenters' name to protect their privacy.

8. I love P&G but it’s time to move on to a higher calling.
I am lucky to experience working in P&G. (I honestly believe that P&G is the Best Company in the Philippines (period).) I learned a lot from my 13 years career in P&G in the areas of coaching other people, project management (got certified in PMP), creating innovative information solutions, and developing winning business strategies. This is the summer that quelled the what-ifs. The road is forked and I decided to follow my passion instead and go full time as a professional blogger and internet marketer in the Philippines. By being independent, I remove any conflict of interests in future projects


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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

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wow, this is great! i had just resigned from my work to pursue my artistic career and also give blogging a shot(im not really a writer but i'm trying ;p). your blog has inspired me in so many ways... i mean, i've always loved to travel but i feel that my love for local travel has been intensified because of OAP. the same goes to being nationalistic :) thank you and God luck!

awesome list of places! i'm doing coron this july (by hook or by crook) after 3 years of dreaming of the place. the philippines has so much to offer, but unfortunately, most people do not realize how beautiful it is until they have to leave it. sigh. best of luck with your book! fully supportive reader here. please let me know if you're interested in marketing in m'sia. =)welcome to the ex-P&G'ers club.

Anton, Break a leg! :)

Wow, what a thrill that you get to take the plunge as you move one to the next phase of your life. All the best and enjoy the beauty of Philippines as we see it in your eyes.

Anton, Break a leg! :)

Hey, good luck to your new endeavor. And here's to more wonderful posts from you!

It's the perfect photo for the entry. Where was it taken?

Taking a leap of faith... inspiring. Goodluck Anton!

Between Bites
http://www.janedchua.com

Well said Anton! I admire your courage and passion. I know OAP will continue to inspire people and we'll all be proud of the Philippines. I hope your book will be realized soon. Good Luck!

Congratulations on taking the leap! I'd love to hear more about your WOW Philippines adventures! =)

wow, from p&g to professional blogging. you give hope to twentysomethings like me who have chosen the cube life grudgingly. :)

PS. if only they had people like you hosting those lifestyle/travel shows on tv instead of models-slash-actresses-slash-feeling connoisseurs.

PPS. incidentally, i still don't know what to do with My B.A. in English. hoping to find out at tomorrow's Q showing!

All the best to you! :) I've been a follower for quite some time now, but first time commenting. I admire you and salute you for following your dreams ... hope I can do the same some day.

I really, really enjoy reading your blog and I'm looking forward to your future posts!

Congratulations, Anton! It's also my dream to leave my full time job to pursue other endeavors but it's not the ight time yet :) Looking forward for your next posts and your book too!

Congratulations on your achievements, Anton, and for having the guts to follow your passion. I'd wish you luck, but I know that you have the determination to make your dreams come true :)

hi anton. it's great that you are able to pursue your passions. reading your blog is like a daily caffeine fix. looking forward to your future posts.

I'm a huge fan of your blog, Anton. Your passion for food, travel and enjoying life are strongly reflected in this blog of yours. :) The path ahead of you sounds exciting! I'll be cheering you on!

Good luck in your new endeavor, on taking that first step into a larger world. Your decision to decline the freebies and the tasting previews is about time because I believe that for a truly authentic review of a place, you have to show up unannounced and incognito. That way, you get the true feel of the place. No pretentious airs of importance, no pompous presentations, just the food. I will miss the freebies that you give out, though. Hahahaha...

And I'll be glad to contribute to your book, in any way, except monetarily, of course. Hahahaha... I'll be more than glad to share my own food finds, my travel tips and experiences, etc.

Keep it up! And I hope this change doesn't affect the quality and frequency of your posts!

I'm so looking forward to the book. You're very brave to accept the failed attempt. Good luck on the new adventure.

Having done the same thing myself, I know what a scary leap of faith you're making. I wish you lots of luck as you pursue your passion, and I hope you'll be even more successful now that you can focus fully on OAP.

And I have to say, I am impressed and terribly jealous of all the places you've managed to visit in just a few months! I bet you'd be one of the highest scorers in that map quiz on the Phils. I got a pathetic D. :-(

Can't wait for you to write about Donsol! That was a truly magical experience.

Way to go Pre. Good luck to your new chapter in life. Hopefully mine will be coming soon =)

ANTON!!!

you raaaaaaaaaaaaaaakkkkkk! :)
hehe. congrats! i wish i could do the same, live my dream and earn while doing it. :) isang araw magagwa ko din yun! thanks for being such an inspiration! sana mameet naman kita one day. hehe. pati friends ko, adik na din sa blog mo kc lagi kita pnopromote. lol. haha.

bsta bsta! kaya mo yan! hay sana mura lng ang book mo pag lumabas, dahil gsto ko magkaron ng copy. papakita ko sa mommy ko sa bicol. hehe. :)

Quitting your day job, huh?

Looking forward on a new and better anton/OAP. Otherwise, there will always be Aina Luna's lurking around the corner.

Congratulations, Anton!

To think it's a June 12 post. :-)

Happy Independence Day!

Looking forward to more of your helpful blogs. Just hope your taking in a modest lifestyle does not mean you won't be blogging about restos anymore.

I just found out you're also contributing articles in 'Proud to be Pinoy' magazine -- the Pinatubo trek article.

I can personally say your blogs has helped me in deciding what to do and where to go next.

Way to go to your more dedicated blogging!

best of luck with your new life chapter! it'll be exciting to see where the blog and the travels take you and the family.

Huge step to problogging and I have faith in your abililties. I know you can do it. I will support your book project. J

....lol! good luck to entire family....hey you know how i found out HOW BEAUTIFUL 'entire' PHILIPPINES was....is by 'travelling alone' by buses 'long distances'....my first short travels ALONE around metro manila is when i was 7 years old....my first main long distance travelling alone was when i was 13-14 years old....that was possible and it happened coz i was 'broken hearted' from my jr. hs first love....i didnt know how to cope-handle'first love'....i was overwhelmed with the strange feelings....my frustrations drove me to run away from home-school for weeks sometimes months when i dont know what to do with him lol!....so sometimes i was months in south a week in northern part a month in east months in western part of the philippines trying hard to overcome my feelings fromaBOY....i love the islands i love the barrios town folks i was always welcome in any strangers home so in return i did my best to COLOR their town fiestas or parties by sometimes either the 'miss' to inspire the boys to come out from their caves or the 'clown' for younger boys-girls....a younger 'politician'like to older seniors town hall meetings sometimes an 'angel'to some town churches sometimes i have a need to show my 'tomboyish'if i needed to win any towns games-competitions cash prizes for my one way fares so i can go home and back to school happy lol!....later i sent them each small token of appreciations-gifts 'thank you' cards for temporarily 'adopting'me all their kindness plus from all the community fun i experiencedwith them i never met or knew them before i just 'drop' by....by instinct lol!....years later i just take long distance buses not knowing where they are bound destinations going to be i just pay for the farthest route and there....the beautiful philippines all for my eyes to see all for my feet to wander all for my brain to register all to share with the rest of YOU and the WORLD to see lol!....

All the best in your future endevours, Anton! It really is more fulfilling and meaningful if you're passionate about what you do...there is purpose. If you love what you do, you don't have to work a single day in your life...

Looking forward to your Awesome posts!

I wish I oculd go to those places.

Congratulations and good luck on your new endeavor!

hi anton!! id say it's always good to take a big leap and just follow where your guts and heart tells you to go. at least, whatever happens from this point on, you won't look back and say "what if?" good luck on your new book which id be soooo glad to help Ü looking forward to more awesome entries from you!!

hi anton! eversince a friend told me about your blog, i have been hooked. even my husband would tell me to check your blog before going out of town so we could go to the resto you recommend.
all the best to you!

I'm in AWE of your decision. In life, if we don't risk anything, we'll never know how far, how wide and how unimaginable those heights are that we can reach. You go Anton!!!

Your blog has been very helpful to a wanderlust, and a food lover like me =) I am sure that you will succeed in your upcoming book and other projects. More power to you and Godbless!

wow... admire you for taking that great leap....
i cant remember when ezra introduced your site to me... basta ang naaalala ko lang dami kong nakukuhang ideas and all from this... even the way i spend my time during my out of town escapades mejo nainfluence na ng blog mo... :D

im glad and proud na merong filipino who's doing real good with blogging...

hope i'll have your courage to take leap too... :D

goody luck!

What a great and inspiring post! Good luck on this next phase of your life. Will continue to read your very well written and informative articles as they come. Yours is one of those great blogs that made me want to blog myself.

truly an inspiring post about following your bliss! best of luck, and will continue following OAP. btw, here is a link to the interview i did with you regarding school options for Aidan:

http://www.cismanila.org/data/news_articles/2008_04_tulay.pdf

Hi Anton, will miss seeing you around but will definitely continue to visit your blog regularly.

Your blog really helped my friends and I plan for our Ilocos trip last weekend. Thanks and all the best :)

....majorities of filipinos are truly good-kind hearted-minded people no doubt about that....but many have been victims and now some became radicals and has LOST SOULS coz of poverty ignorances 'macho macho' images false pride 'irrational
state of the minds'caused by greed attachments to violent weapons kidnappings rapes robberies organized crimes international politics and even terrorism activities.....so they lost their true 'good' filipino-ness and became part of philippines 'decaying' social deseases dragging the whole entire country into international embarrassments lost of billions thrillions worth of foreign investments coz of fear pictures of inconsistencies worst of all their criminal or illegal activities resulted-dragged the entire social infrastructures into 'unnecessary' chaos angers controversies confusions divisions that ended in 'more' unnecessary crimes-activities....leaving behind the supposedly filipinos PRIORITY which is their TRADITIONAL CULTURES of bayanihan part of filipinos creativity unlimited talents may it be agricultural social economic spiritual educational scientific activities like local entrepreneurships from handcrafts wood works carpentry hand weavings hand sculptures fiestas religious gatherings sports competitions neighborhood parties communities celebrations o school field trips where every filipinos 'normally' take pride in producing running leading in the past decades centuries....hopefully these LOST SOULS individuals-groups will turned around and join the 'normal' traditions of the rich cultural world admired filipinos to regain a lot of their lost glory.... formal crazy or not....lol!

Your change of career is really a big leap and I admire you for living your life with passion. I've been your avid reader for so long now and I have shared it with most of my officemates and friends. I'd like you to know that you truly made a difference with your blog. More power and good luck!!!!

....OUR AWESOME PLANET brand name of anton rache aidan joshou diaz ....is a future 'multi million dollars' entrepreneurships....no doubt about that if oap brand name is a patent trademark exclusively for anton rache aidan joshou diaz as future family COMPANY BRAND NAME lol!....

....OUR AWESOME PLANET brand name of anton rache aidan joshou diaz ....is a future 'multi million dollars' entrepreneurships....no doubt about that if oap brand name is a patent trademark exclusively for anton rache aidan joshou diaz as future family COMPANY BRAND NAME lol!....


Hi Anton,

Thank you for inspiring me with your posts! Keep it Up!

Anton you made the right decision. May the force be with you

Wow, a very brave move, indeed. My heart leaps each time I hear stories of people finding their passion and following it boldly...

You just tugged a string, Anton. A few more weekend getaways and I might be taking the same path... haha... (Well, at least following my passion, but be sustained by blogging... maybe not yet.)

All the best! Stay blessed!

This entry made me more proud of you than ever before. I admire your dignity and courage in every single way. You're so lucky to have a very supportive family. Good luck on your new endeavor, and may God bless you in every step of the way. Say hi to rache, hugs & kisses to the kids! :)

I've actually known for quite a while now.. Hehehe..

But you know we (readers) love you and support you all the way!!

Fuel the drive Anton! :)

hi anton.. finally got to meet you and rache at the Avenue Q show last Friday. anyway, God bless on your new endeavor. keep on blogging!

You truly live up to your blog name: AWESOME!!!!!! Ü I will look forward to your awesome posts and your book! All the best Anton! I support you in your endeavor!

No. 8 in this list is a big surprise for me, but I am glad that you did. There is actually LIFE after the "Best" company in the Philippines, it's YOUR LIFE. Good luck in exploring this new chapter; looking forward to reading your book. See you around!

Anton, good luck bud! I have enjoyed reading your blog every now and then. That's quite a leap you're taking but if you have a passion.....go for it! Keep me updated once your book is published. I'll be recommending your book to people visiting the Philippines.

good for you anton =) good luck and see you soon for more fun (a.k.a. full of adventure) trips ahead . . . .

looking forward to purchasing a copy of your book and having it signed by you . . .

regards to rache!


Anton, re "I have resolved to decline tasting previews or accept free stuff to blog about."

BRAVO!!!! BRAVO!!!!!!

Wow! I am speechless... you are brave... and you have guts. I hope you are not foolish ;-)
Wish you all the best for the future and for your new projects. You can always count on me if you need a picture ;-)
Best regards from (rainy) Belgium.
Ingat kayo.

PS. Your blog don't accept gmail addresses. It says they are invalid?

anton rache aidan joshua remember gmmahoney mentioned about her wish that aidan should have 'nature' photo sessions with gmmahoney's school mates from the 70's in one of p.i. local eco tourism park that's because gmmahoney's high school 'adopted sister' is also married to an ethnic chinese like you gmmahoney loves her HS adopted sister lol

Why not publish your book yourself? http://www.central.com.ph/publish/publish.html

sometimes 'destiny' must be it .. to serve the best 'public' service .. the best outcome..

Hi!

Nice site! helpful features and tips... keep on sharing the experiences from your travels, specially the accommodations, things to see and do etc.. etc.. i am a travel bug also and i make it a point to make it a bonding time as well with my hubby and daughter, that is why i find your site an angel when planning a family getaway ...keep it going! thanks heaps!!!!!

Hello Anton. Your blogging adventure has certainly gone a long way. All the best to your greater adventure ahead!

Wishing you and your family the best!!!
May God bless you more!!!

Hi Anton,

Your blog popped up in my search for Palaui Island, Cagayan.

Your blog's been very informative and inspiring. It just spurs us to explore, try and enjoy. Thanks for sharing.

I just started blogging, after commitment hurdles. I hope to enjoy blogging and sharing as you have, for many years. More power!

Shameless plug: http://januaryroads.blogspot.com/2011/05/palaui-sunny-quiet.html

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