Key Learnings from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families


Last Nov.20, 2004, Rache and I had the chance to attend Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s on “Family!” seminar in Henry Lee Irwin, S.J. Theather in Ateneo de Manila University @ P1,000/ticket! It was an awesome experience seeing one of the most respected inspiring personalities that I admire ever since I was in college 10 years ago. It was also a very insightful seminar and complimented with the audiobook on 7 habits of Highly Effective Families (which I just finished listening this week), it gave me a new sense of direction on where we want our family to be. This is to share with you my key insights and I hope you learn something from them too:

1. Personal Management vs Time Management. You should manage your life based on what is important to you and aligned with your personal/family mission statement rather than managing appointments and activities. Your calendar should start with the personal and family events, 1on1 with people, relationship building activities rather than meetings, activities, and appointments. One of my favorite songs from the broadway musical, Rent, was able to capture this in the song Seasons of Love — “Measure your life in Love” (not in terms of seconds).

2. Eliminate the C’s and focus on the B’s. We should eliminate the emotional cancers of the family or relationships –> Complaining, Criticizing, Comparing, Competing. Rather, the focus should be on something you can Be — Be more patient, Be more forgiving, Be an example. Rache would always reminds me that we should not compare ourselves or whoever to another person. I realized that this applies to all relationship with direct reports @ work, family and colleagues. Also, in the past, my motivation is based on an endless competition to be the best among the rest. One of my key insight is really to focus on improving yourself and seek to be your Best self.

3. “Etos, Patos, Logos.” — The global philoshophy of influence. Often our influencing models is based on the fairness principle of give and take or based on position power. Power comes through honor & integrity and influencing through patience and gentle persuasion:
a). Being an example of Kindness and Trustworthiness — Always say Please, Thank you, Loved to served, I love You, How may I help? The absence of it, would surely be noticed and I’ve learned this from experience (i.e. when you ask a contact number from another person via text, sometimes we forgot to say thank you and this means alot to the other person; or in badminton, if somebody goes down because of losing his balance, the mere gesture of offering a helping hand means alot)
b). Seeking first to understand then be understood — Always understand first the person your talking to in their own frame of reference. Easier said than done, but it is truly rewarding if your able to do so. One of the ways to do this is to make sure that you truly listen to the person talking until she finishes communicating her point of view. Sometimes, we ended up thinking of a rebuttal already, respond immediately after a few sentences.
c). Changing people by changing their scripts — Each of us is a product of the scripting by our family upbringing — good or bad. The Holy Scriptures is a source of true scripts that we should follow to change any negative scripting we recieved in the past.

4). Emotional Bank Account Deposits — I’ve already been in a situation where I experience over withdrawing my emotional bank account with another person at work and it ended up with a word war III. It was a direct result of always withdrawing from the EBA by not delivering promises, not following through on agreements, and basically not understanding the person. At home, I also sometimes do this with my wife by being selfish, not being considerate, and not seeking first to understand. I learned to continously deposit through:
a). Listen twice as much as you speak – understanding the person from their own frame of reference. The example of the talking stick really helps alot to illustrate the power of this concept. We also need to understand that a deposit is different from one another and it is critical that we understand what is a good deposit for that person.
b). Sincerely apologize and acknowledge if you have apologized before for the same mistake. Initiate the apologies even if you are the one that have been offended by another person.
c). Don’t hold grudges by readily forgiving and forgeting. Simple but powerful concept if you truly honestly forgive and only remember the learning from the experience.
d). Appropriately Give and Receive Timely Feedback. It is important to give a timely feedback given with love to the person. Often times, specially Filipinos, we were not trained to give upfront feedback and this hurts our relationship.
e). Make and Keep promises. I find this specially important in marriage where you would think that you already have a huge emotional bank account that you can withdraw sometimes by breaking your promises. No wonder, there are marriages lasting 27 years but still ends up in separation.
f). Express Kindness and Courtesies by all means. Specially in this day and age of technology, expressing thank you and extending courtesies through text and email is extremely important when you don’t see the person just the message.
g). Spend Quality time with the family. I often neglect this specially if I’m engrossed on reading blogs or desperately needing a badminton fix. I forget that being at home is not the same as spending quality time.

5). The Essence of the Family — is to communicate people’s worth & potential so that they can also see it by themselves. Parents are still the most influential people to the young. The family should be brought up with the following scripting/ mental models:
a). Focus on intrinsic worth vs. a comparison based identity (never compare!)
b). Focus on self vs. on image (which is socially defined)
c). Peace of conscience (integrity) vs. peace of mind (external peacefulness)
d). Discipline is upfront agreement on natural consequences. To discipline without love is a form of punishment/ rejection.
e). Keep affirming them. ” I love you and I believe in you! “
f). Be a model, mentor, teacher, and organizer to achieve a beautiful family culture.
g). Develop a family mission statement to achieve the significance stage of family life.
h). Develop Family Traditions! — on birthdays, going on vacation, family rituals.


AA BBQ and Metro Sports in Cebu City

I’m in Cebu for a business trip and an account engagement in Metro G. What I love about my local business trips would be three things: Getting to know people, Great local food, and Badminton! I’m very happy that I was able to accomplish all there objectives aside from the business of course 🙂

1). Domeng aka Ricky Martin of CBD. I had a great time talking to the Domeng (the CBD Person assigned in Cebu) and I got to know him better. I’m always amazed at how colorful the lives of people. In fact, I just learned that Domeng married his long time girlfriend within a one month’s notice! (No she was not pregnant and that is the interesting part on why this happened). Second thing, I learned that he has three girls already spaced equally 4 years apart and his “bunso” (the youngest) was born on Jan. 18 — one day before Aidan was born, Imagine that? There has been alot of stories and I’m glad that I was able to get to know this person better. I was hoping to get to know another IT officemate, Tanya but unfortunately there was limited occasion to do so.

2). AA BBQ House the original — a must eat in Cebu for your sinugba cravings. At last, I finally was able to eat in the original AA BBQ house in Cebu. It erased my memory of the AA BBQ house in greenhills which serves cooked frozen fish and lousy sauces. I liked the sinugba fish and squid that we ordered together with their soy sauce in chili and sliced tomato. Don’t order the chicken. Our bill was 1,000 for the four of us and we ordered alot of fresh grilled food!

3). Metro Sports Badminton — home of Cebu’s badminton addicts. Playing badminton rejuvenates me but the downside is I’m awake for a couple of hours after playing (we ended 11pm). You have to pay 100 per person in the entrance which is consummable for either two (2) mineral water, or one (1) gatorade, or (2) potato chips. The courts are taraflex and 150 per hour. When we stopped playing at 11pm (when I took the shot above) there are still a few people playing. This is one of the badminton courts in cebu the opens as early as 5am in the morning and closes late until 12nn or even 2am according to Domeng.


Samsung 7 Mega Pixel Camera!

Originally uploaded by pinoy.

Wow! A 7 Mega Pixel Camera! Just a few weeks ago I was evaluating the standard sales phone for a company and I’m just looking at the latest 1.3Megapixel 6630 from Nokia. Who could imagine that the convergence of digital camera and mobile phone is just around the corner. Read on:


Singapore Travel Hacks!

Nama Chocolates from Sapporo, Japan
Originally uploaded by pinoy.

I would normally go to Singapore about three (3) times in a year, and during my latest trip last March 9, I learned three (3) travel hacks (Great tips to make your trip enjoyable):

1. Best Pasalubong from Singapore — Royce Nama Chocolates! I first learned of this chocolate secret from an article from inquirer written by Reggie Aspiras (Jan. 6, 2005) and she is right it is Sinfully delicious! I spent some time looking for it, but finally I was able to find the two retail outlet: one in basement 2 of Takashimaya where the Cold Storage is located; the other one is in Tower 3 in front of Carrefour. The first time I visited Taka, the Nama Chocolates were out of stock. I’m glad I was able to purchase the next day, I bought the Champagne and Mild Cacao flavor (S$12.80). Your not a certified chocolate connesiour, if you haven’t tasted this. If you can read japanese, visit Royce Website. NOTE: The nama chocolates is packed with dry ice that is good for 5 hours so you need to put it in the ref in your hotel and in the airplane, you could ask the stewardess to store it for you in a cold place.

2. Reserve the best seat in the plane 1 day before! Are you the type of person that have a favorite seat in the plane? If you are like me, who would like to reserve the aisle seat in the front exit row, then calling a day before to reserve your seat is a must! Remember this Singapore Air Check in number: 65-6243-2546. You can also visit the singapore air website to check-in.

3. Free cable Movies from Movielink! This hack is a little complicated, but if you are the type of traveller who want to watch movies in your cable and you don’t agree with the price of one movie (S$16 + gst), you can try this out. The ondemand or schedule movies is controlled by the movielink or cable box that connects the cable outlet and the TV. It is so easy, you just need to bypass this box and connect the TV directly to the cable outlet. I’ve tried this at the Grand Hyatt hotel which uses Movielink services. Enjoy!


Ahiya Pierre’s Engagement

The Complete Family
Originally uploaded by pinoy.

Congratulations and Best Wishes to Ahiya Pierre and Atchie Irene! This is the first time for me to attend a chinese engagement party and it was unfortunate that we missed the first part of the ceremonies. Nevertheless, I started to appreciate the beauty of the Chinese traditions and proud to be part of the Lim-Uy family. I’ll let the pictures do the talking –> Pierre & Irene’s Engagement Party Photos @ Flickr


A preview of the Bicol Caravan

Our friends are planning a trip to Donsol, Sorsogon in Bicol this summer via a road trip. I was fortunate to have a business trip in Naga and Legaspi this past 3 days that I was able to learn the way and took some pictures as a sneak preview of our upcoming vacation. Thanks to the CBD manager, JayR assigned in the Bicol area, for showing us the way around. Here is a preview of the trip to Bicol and some tips to make the road trip enjoyable:

1. Photogenic but shy Mt. Mayon.

If it is your first time to visit the bicol region, the view of Mt. Mayon will be breathtaking and awesome. If your intentions are pure according to the local folklore, you should be able to see mayon clearly (picture on the left taken at around 7am in the morning enroute to Legaspi). Otherwise, you’ll only be seeing Mayon wrapped around white clouds (picture on the right taken @ the Cagsawa Ruins at around 2pm). Learning, have your cameras ready and take the first opportunity to shoot Mt. Mayon when the clouds are clear.

BTW, its best to visit the Cagsawa ruins during the weekday when there is no tourist. You can also buy cheap handicrafts in the tiangge and don’t forget to buy mazapan pili.

2. The beautiful Naga.

Naga is an ideal place for stop over on road to Donsol, Sorsogon (3 hours from Naga). It took us 8 hours to arrive in Naga but on the way back to Manila it took us about 10 hours. In both instances, we left at around 6 am in the morning and you’ll arrive at around 4pm. Naga is the one of the big cities in Camarines Sur, and one of the places where the per capita income is similar to Manila. (Note: Bicol region is one of the poorest region in the country with the lowest per capita income similar to mindanao). There are a few places to explore here which includes:

a. Basilica Minore, Naga. Home to the miraculous image of the Patroness of Bicolandia, Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia. Thousands of pilgrims flock to this site during the September celebration of the Peñafrancia Fiesta just to visit and venerate the virgin.

b. Magsaysay Strip – This is where Malate meets Libis in Naga. One of my colleagues in college in DLSU, Junjee Abela, started the trendy restaurants that you can find in the now famous Magsaysay St. of Naga City. Five years ago, he started Chili Peppers with the vision of having a hip place for sales agents/ transients and the fallen eagles in Ateneo de Naga. After 3 years of successful operation, the other trendy restaurants opened including the asian food inspired, Coco Leaf, and the local coffee house, Bean Bag Coffee. BTW, when you eat in Chili Peppers, don’t forget to other their killer foods which includes: Baby Back Ribs, Bangus Tail, Squid, and the Sinigang Bicol styel with coconut.

Since Naga, is the center of religious observances, there are no hanky panky places in the city.

3. Enjoying the road trip to Bicol.

a. DVDs! Bring a car with TV/DVD installed and bring alot of DVDs of movies that you have not watched before. What I found effective was, watching the mushy Filipino movies of Judy Ann, Regine, Aga, Piolo, etc. and for sure, you won’t fall asleep. If you want your passengers to sleep, put in the music of Nora Jones and Josh Groban and guaranteed this would rock your passengers to sleep.

b. Fresh Food Galore. This is the time to enjoy the food of the southern provinces of Laguna, Quezon and Bicol region. Here are some potential places to eat:
–> Palay-Isdaan in Pagbilao, Quezon. Enjoy eating lunch in a hut amidst ostriches, birds, snakes, crocodiles. There are videoke terminals in some of the huts so that you can sing while eating. The Tilapia is very good and you can taste its sweet freshness.
–> Bulwagang Salakot, Ave-sol Shell, Gumaca, Quezon. My mom and dad recommended this place, and they vouch for the freshness of the food, clean restrooms and the best coffee in that region. When we ate there, we don’t like the inihaw na tilapia, and squid. JayR actually did not recommend this place because the place is old and the food is not anymore that great.
–> Lita’s Carinderia, Atimonan, Quezon. I have not eaten here but this one is located facing the ocean and boasts of fresh fish and squid. There are alot of people stopping over in this restaurant.
–> La Cucina Salud, San Pablo, Laguna. A garden restaurant near Villa Escudero. There are alot of signs pointing to this place but I did not have the opportunity to stop over. I’m sure the ambiance would be great.
–> Biggs Diner in Bicol. Eating breakfast here is a must. Not that the food is great, but at least you can say that you have eaten in one of the successful diners concept in the Philippines. Bicol is the only region where Jollibee is not the number one fast food chain because of the strong equity built by Biggs in this region and a wider assortment of food.

This is just a preview of our upcoming Bicol Caravan. I can’t wait to go back to the Bicol region with Rache, Aidan and our friends!


Green House Bistro — Trying Hard to be like Sonya’s

Green House Bistro, Tagaytay Highlands. OK to try once. This garden restaurant lacks its own personality and it reflects in the quality of food and ambiance.

You won’t miss green house bistro in Highlands because it is located in the corner of the road going to the midlands and to the Batino Exit. Your meal starts with dalandan juice, toasted foccacia, and onion soup. Then followed by Salad with a choice of white and balsamic vinegar dressing. Main course is Pasta with a choice of white/red sauce and a wide variety of toppings. The meal ends with blue berry cake, tart and tea.

What I like about green house bistro? The healthy food options, garden ambiance and relaxed atmosphere. I like the toasted foccacia, variety of choices for your salad/pasta toppings.

What I don’t like about green house bistro? The powdered Dalandan juice, ordinary Salad dressings & Pasta selections, forgettable dessert, and trying-hard-to-be-like-Sonya’s feel.


43 Things We Love About Brobo!

Dearest Kuya Yin,

Even though you are far far away,
It feels like you are only an arms away,
Your laughter, kindness, and personality,
Are always remembered by your friends & family.

Happy Birthday! Hope you love our gift below!

43 Things We Love About Brobo!


How to beat the free account limits in Flickr!


Uploading 100+ pictures / month even with a 10MB bandwidth limit!
A free account in flickr is limited with a 10 MB monthly upload (bandwidth) limit which refers to the amount of bytes you upload to flickr and not the amount of disk space. So any pictures you upload in flickr is already included in your 10MB limit even if you delete the pictures in your flickr account. But after each month, you’ll get a 10MB again.

The way to beat this limit is to resize all your photos to 800pixels in size before uploading it to your flickr account. This should be OK since you would only want to show the pictures via the web and not really print it. Also, a free account assumes that you keep your original sized pictures in your hard disk. I use Picasa 2 to resize a batch of pictures to 800 pix in size. Download Picasa here , then once installed just select the all the pictures you want to resize, click on export and in the image size option: resize to 800 pixels. Here is a proof of concept of uploading 100 pictures with only 84% of the bandwidth used for the month –>

Use the Power of Tags to classify your pictures instead of using sets.
A free account is only limited to 3 photosets, so if you want to survive and have more classification of photos — use Tags. Here is the tags I use to classify my pictures –> Tags. Remember that the more pictures that are tagged with a tagname, the bigger font it will be. Also, carefully used your sets that can be used with whatever photos you upload. I would recommend naming your set as follows: “my favorites, all about me, all photos.”

Create an “All Photos” set
Photostream views is limited to the 100 most recent images for a free account. But if you want to view all your pictures at one go, create an “All Photos” see all your pictures.

Don’t use flickr free account to store your original image online.
Storage of smaller (resized) images is the default for a free account. So it is useless to upload a 1-2 Meg picture files since you won’t be able to see it. Might as well resize it already. Of course, there’s an upgrade option for the serious ones (like me) who would want to store my original pictures online as backup and for printing later on. For only $42/year, I can store all my pictures online with unlimited disk space with 1gb of bandwidth/mo!

Enjoy these cool flickr groups/tags
1. Squared Circle with Mosaic of Squared Circle
2. Long Line with Mosaic of Long Line
3. In Numerical Order
4. Stick Figures in Peril
5. Street Art
6. Flapface
7. Self Portrait
8. Sunset
9. B&W
10. Ballistics

Here are more power tips on making the most out of flickr
> Upload Bandwidth Usage
> Create an email address for uploading via phone/email
> Create your own flickr address
> Tips for Flickr Beginners [Life Hacker]
> Digital Photo Tips [Life Hacker]


Di and Maong’s Zoobic Detour

Picture 015
Originally uploaded by _Anne.

My friends had a fun time in zoobic and here are the exerpts of their adventure as narrated by Maong:

“As planned, Diwat and I manage to leave my place a little after 5am and was in Pampanga 45 minutes later. Though we missed the first part of the show, we managed to still catch the last few balloons lifting off. Entrance was P100 so a lot of people, including us, opted to watch from the parking lot. Though we did enter the grounds a few minutes after to join Joy and her family. A few hours later, after a BIG breakfast of salted eggs, tomatoes, spam, pampanga’s best, fried eggs, rice and tuna-i think (provided by Joy), we decided to leave the air field and explore north. After exhaustively searching Lonely Planet, we just decided to go zoobic.

Zoobic, is an experience by itself. For those of you who has visited the tiger safari in calatagan a few years before, you’ll be reacquainted with some of their resident tigers and then some. For P295 you will first ride an enclosed jeep inside an enclosed field where you will meet some of the adult tigers. To make them come near the vehicle, one of the guys will lure them with a live chicken. By this time, Diwat and I were screaming at the guy who was baiting the tiger–he was, in our opinion, very sadistic as he was torturing the chicken before the tiger ripped the poor bird in half. After that we went to the serpentatrium then the petting zoo. In the zoo, there was this very interesting bird called cassowary. What makes this bird interesting is that after the female bird lays the egg, she sets off to find another mate leaving the papa bird to take care of the egg.–hmm…..we might not be the most intelligent species after all!

The petting zoo was like avilon but better since some of the animals are free-roaming. After that, we were able to take a picture with an 8-month old tiger cub. And then, we set off to see the tigers that were caged. Apparently, there are 2 groups of tiger in the zoo, they are kept separate because they will kill each other. So after a month the caged tigers are set free at the enclosed field and those who were free are caged.

After the cages, we went to savannah where they keep the ostriches, pot bellied pigs, goats and sheeps. Basically, it is also an enclosed field where all the animals are free-roaming. After a day at the zoo, we were brain-dead. We got a bite to eat, recharged a little and started our way back home. hope you guys can join us the next time around.

>i posted some pictures from our trip at”

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