Browsing Date

February 2014

Outventure Office and Shop – The Partners

Advocacy, Entrepreneurship, Friends and their Interests, Life in El Nido, Music and Arts, Outventure, Palawan By February 25, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments

When I started looking for a space to lease in January 2013, I was really looking for a place to put the milk tea shop and the booking/ticketing office slash travel agency. (Outventure was not really supposed to be a travel agency, it is supposed to be a payment services outfit, but I found out that in El Nido, there is no distinction among booking office, ticketing office, travel agency, and/or tour operator – they are all the same). I was looking for a space to put the Outventure office because I needed a business permit and physical address. I started looking in January 2013 for a place in a not-so-busy area of El Nido where rent was reasonable. It took me nearly a year and 4 potential spaces before I found one some time in September 2013. Serena Street is probably the third busiest street in El Nido but it was what I found. I had a personal deadline and  it seemed I was running out of time and choices.

So I found a space and it was bigger than what I intended. I needed to fill it up. And that’s when I decided to fill it up with items from my micro-entrepreneur friends. Friends that I have found when I still had Kikayism – an online reseller; and participated in and supported the Global Pinoy/Yabang Pinoy advocacy. I still believe in and support that advocacy. In the Outventure shop, all the items we sell are made in the Philippines.

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Yabang Pinoy is a Filipino pride movement which envisions every Filipino being proud to be Filipino.
Mission

Yabang Pinoy encourages its volunteers to live happy, passionate, and meaningful Filipino lives by effecting positive social change. The organization hopes every Filipino will realize the greatness in bearing the citizenship.

If Filipinos will be conscious of the small great changes they can do, they will understand the purchasing power of P1. For every foreign product in the market, there are comparable local options. If Filipinos continue to look more to them for consumption, demand will make better the economy.

Yabang Pinoy also hopes its volunteers will influence their own social circles to spread the word about thinking Filipino. To be infectious, they must always be ready to address negative comments or news about the Philippines and the Filipino people.

Company Overview

Its advocates and volunteers are the young and idealistic Filipinos who spearheaded change in the mindsets of their countrymen. They want to convert “closet” Pinoys into Shouting Proud Pinoys, Filipinos who share the impassioned spirit and love for their country with fellow Filipinos and people from around the world. This change, they believe, will happen because they are starting it now. We are the change we want to be.

Description
Yabang Pinoy is a Filipino pride movement which envisions every Filipino being proud to be Filipino, believing in fellow Filipinos, and patronizing Filipino ideas, concepts and services.
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I tapped into my network and partnered with entrepreneur friends who were willing to lend me their items, without paying for them outright. I was minimizing my start-up costs and my friends were very supportive. Now, the Outventure office and shop carries these items, on display and on sale.

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Palamuti by PJ Valenciano 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/palamutibypjvalenciano
https://www.facebook.com/palamutibypjv
Website: http://www.palamutishop.com/us/

Description

Palamuti by PJ Valenciano (Palamuti Storytelling Jewels) are made by a woman who was inspired to create from the complexities of women, which transcends to accessories for every woman. Behind every piece is a vision of creating customized and original costume jewelry for today’s modern woman using different materials, mainly incorporating an element that is proudly Filipino. All handmade Palamuti costume jewelries and accessories are products which are painstakingly improved through a continuous process of learning and refining techniques that fuse both modern and traditional methods, and are guaranteed to be one of a kind. Each individual piece is not only an expression of art, beauty, and style, they are interwoven with the stories of the wonderful women who have been inspirationally instrumental to the birth of these pieces.

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Outventure Office and Shop – The Team

Design, Entrepreneurship, Life in El Nido, Outventure, Palawan By February 12, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

In my life, I have been blessed with friends who are creative artists and entrepreneurs – and this has always been an inspiration to me.

My mother loved travel. When we were growing up, she always said, “Go on all the field trips and educational tours. Go on any out of town trips. They may be expensive and maybe we can not always afford it, and we may not be able to give you a lot of money, but the experience will be a gift and a treasure for you.”

Or at least something like that.

So we grew up traveling with her and even with our father, who for his part hated traveling, but was, at first, being a lawyer for agrarian reform cases in the provinces of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, and then later on assigned as a member of the Department of Agrarian Reform‘s Adjudication Board in the provinces of Aurora, Laguna, Marinduque, and Romblon. Later on, my mother would let me arrange all her trips with her group of friends, always at least four of them, sometimes as many as twelve, to El Nido, Boracay, Batanes, and other places. I was her personal travel agent. I booked the tickets, arranged the rooms, the boats, the guides, and everything else in between. Her friends started to tell me that I should start a travel agency. I laughed, but they said it would have made my mother happy and proud if I did.

As a daughter, especially after my mother’s passing, I have tried, in my little ways, to make her proud, or at least make something out of the inheritance that she left me. I lost all of it in Naga City when I had Wharf Galley in Avenue Square, but in exchange, I learned a lot, and somehow think earned a masters in business administration or something along that line because of that experience. So I let go of the bar and went back to travel. These days, when I help people out with their travel plans and arrangements, I do so as I would my mother and her friends. It is in her memory that I put up Outventure – because it would have made her happy and proud.

Outventure started out online BUT it did not feel that I am a legitimate business if I did not have a physical location. I worked hard to put up an office. When I was looking for a space to lease, I was looking for one for Outventure. So I could not afford spaces that leased out at Php25,000 to Php35,000 per month.

I love milk tea. I have been a fan of Nai Cha since my days in the university when the fast food chain Chow King came out with it. I was always going to Bubble Town for my milk tea fix when I was still in Naga City. El Nido did not have milk tea and it sounded like a sound business idea to put up one.

So I worked on the idea that my space should be big enough to hold a milk tea shop or booth at the very least, and be the Outventure office. The boutique was a side story. It was not meant to be a priority. I was just told that if I had Outventure as a booking and travel services office, it would also be a good idea to have some souvenirs or other items to sell in the space, because that’s what everybody else did. I did have some stocks from Kikayism and Thriftista Shop – my online shops, so I thought, yes, that could work. On the side.

We started working on the logos.

Folding 8 did the Outventure logos and sent me these studies.

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Outventure Office and Shop – The Beginnings

Design, Entrepreneurship, Life in El Nido, Outventure, Palawan By February 9, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 5 Comments

When my mom passed away in early 2011, I decided to come back to my home province of Camarines Sur, some 450 kilometers south of Metro Manila, to be with my father who was alone in our family house. I managed a small rock bar for a month called Wharf Galley Rock Cafe that was located along Elias Angeles Street in Naga City. I set up my own business, but decided to keep Wharf Galley as a trade name, for the bar that I put up at the second floor of Avenue Square, a lifestyle center located in Magsaysay Avenue – the night life strip of Naga City. I ran it for nearly a year but closed it in February 2012. I went back to Manila and took some much needed rest. I was invited back to El Nido to sub as a high school science teacher at the school where I taught grade schoolers back in 2005 in July 2012. After a few months back in El Nido, I finally decided that I wanted to come back and live here.

Although my first big business was the restaurant and rock bar in Naga City, and the first one to ever have a physical location, it was not my first venture into enterprise. I had an online shop called Kikayism that I and my friend PJ Valenciano put up back in 2009. I had another online thrift shop in 2010 that had web pages in Multiply and Facebook and partnered with Xend for the shipping. Kikayism was a participant in the Global Pinoy Bazaar at the Rockwell Tent in Makati in 2010. I made a lot of friends and contacts in the Yabang Pinoy network. Though to be honest, and this is going to be the first time that I will openly admit this, my first business ever was when I was nine and I was selling candies and snack food to my classmates during recess. I saved a lot of money from my small scale enterprise in my grade school years and deposited my money in the local bank. I was such a funny kid because my family was not poor and I really did not need the money to send myself to school or anything. I just liked the entire process of going to the market at the end of the day, after school, to buy stuff, and sell them.

When I closed Wharf Galley in Avenue Square, I took back with me a wealth of extremely important business lessons. It seemed like I did a very expensive crash course in entrepreneurship. I made a promise to not give up on being an entrepreneur but also vowed that I would start a smaller enterprise next time, probably with just one or two staff. I wanted things simpler, and of course, easier to manage.

I started the early stages of planning in January 2013. I made and studied business plans for a milk tea shop, a boutique, a bakery, a laundry shop, and a travel services company (not really an agency). The hardest step was looking for a place to lease in El Nido. I wanted a small and inexpensive space to lease because I did not want another 208 sq.m. place with a 30-member staff. I wanted a simpler life and a smaller business. The planning stage took nearly a year, and four different locations all over El Nido that did not fall through. One owner changed her mind about leasing, another did not push through with construction, another could not give a proper contract, another one was too far outside of town, until finally, some time in September, I found a place. Construction was started in early October and I documented this process as best as I could. All the photos here were taken by my Samsung S4.

October 15, 2013

2013-10-15 16.53.29 copy

2013-10-15 16.53.11 copy

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La Plage Beach Bar and Restaurant, Corong-Corong, El Nido, Palawan

Palawan, Restaurants By February 5, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , 3 Comments

There is a cool little spot in Corong-Corong beach for someone who wants to just lounge all day, enjoy spectacular sunsets, along with some good music, drinks and food. I tell everyone about this place called La Plage. It is one of my favorite places in El Nido, as well as my daughter’s. Its spacious grounds, dogs, and shallow beach is good for kids who like to run around, chase after dogs and pups, and go dipping in the water.

We lived in Corong-Corong for the past eight months and we walk to La Plage when we want to eat. This part of El Nido directly faces west and its cushions make for a relaxing place to lay down and sip Pinacoladas, Thai Mojitos, and Mango Sex on the Beach. The place is owned and ran by a French couple, Bastien and Alec, along with some Filipino and French staff.

They hold parties with DJs and sometimes live music too. We were there for New Year and had such a great time.

In Corong-Corong, there aren’t a lot of restaurants to go to. There are Greenviews Resort and Restaurant and Stunning Vistas Resort and Restaurant, but other than that, there isn’t anything else. Through the months, a few little places have cropped up, like Ailyn’s Beach Resort and Sunset Bar as well as the little bar of Talindak Beach Cottages, but amongst all of these places, La Plage remains to be my and my daughter’s favorite.

If you are coming from El Nido town proper on a tricycle, look for this sign and this part of the road:

La Plage Sunset Bar and Mediterranean Restaurant, Corong-Corong Beach, El Nido, Palawan

La Plage is located on the right. Tricycle fare is Php15 per person.

If you are coming from Puerto Princesa, look for this sign and this part of the road, on your left:

La Plage Sunset Bar and Mediterranean Restaurant, Corong-Corong Beach, El Nido, Palawan

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Jellyfish Sting First Aid and Related Lessons

Family, Life in El Nido, MOMents By February 2, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , 10 Comments

I have been meaning to write this post as this happened three and a half months ago but I have been extremely busy. I used to blog everyday. Before I moved to El Nido, I posted something twice or thrice a day. One would think that with my moving to El Nido, to live in a native cottage that is roughly 15 square meters, with just the most basic necessities, without air conditioning and television, far away from the city, I would have more time to blog. As it is, I have barely written anything noteworthy since I sort of officially, permanently, moved here half a year ago.

Anyway, my 4-year old daughter and I went to an afternoon party at a beachfront restaurant along Corong-Corong Beach where we live. At the party, my daughter found one of her best friends, our 5-year old French neighbor, and together, they went swimming. They were out on a paddle board, while two Filipino boys ages 10-12 were on two surf boards following along and keeping watch. I was sitting on a bench on the beach, watching all of them from a distance.

I saw my daughter waist-deep in the water, as she had probably fallen off the paddle board, and heard her screaming “Help! Help!” while making frantic wading motions in the water. I ran towards her as fast as I could. By the time I got to where they were, my daughter Lia was already lying face down on one of the surf boards with one of the local boys. One of the boys had managed to fish her out of the water and up on the board. She was quiet but breathing heavily. I called out her name, and she slid off the surf board. She ran towards me. I was unsure of what was happening and I immediately took her into my arms, and felt the stings on my arms and my stomach, where her legs had touched my skin. “Ah, jellyfish!” and I put her back. There was no way I would be able to carry her myself back to shore so I borrowed the surf board from the boy and paddled us both back to shore.

On the shore, I walked towards the restaurant and calmly asked for a glass of vinegar. I poured the vinegar all over my daughter, all over her stomach, arms, hands, legs, chest, as well as on her face and ears. The owners and the staff came running to assist. She still had a lot of tentacles wrapped around her hands and legs. We picked them off of her one by one. We used two full glasses of vinegar on her.

My daughter was crying but not screaming. She was very brave and strong. I kept asking her if it hurt and she kept saying yes but she was very calm. She kept asking me to take her home and give her a bottle of milk that she takes as comfort food. I rushed her home up the path to the road, into a tricycle, off again into the street, down the path at the back of our house and all the way home to our cottage by the beach. I gave her a quick bath and gave her some paracetamol for what I expected would be a quiet night of applying hot water on the stings every now and then.

The locals said she would be fine, that there was nothing else I should do, that the stings would start to get itchy the next day but everything would be okay.

That’s when I took a photo of her right leg.

2013-10-20 17.12.32 Lia legs 1

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