Back in February 2019, a reverse-mentor L&D friend generously shared with me her time over drinks and snacks at Pancake House.

My retirement was three years away and my mantra was “dig your well before you are thirsty.” I fell in love with giving talks and facilitating workshops, but didn’t have a clue how to get started in the industry. Freelancing was an alien concept for me.

She gave me what I counted as revolutionary advice at the time, “Look for training partners.”

Fast forward to 2023. I am so grateful for partners who trusted me to train and coach their clients. Actually, they found me; I didn’t hunt them down and asked them to give me a break. A happy serendipity? No, God has opened doors. But were it not for my friend’s advice, I wouldn’t recognize them as opportunity knocking.

The Center for Global Best Practices, under the skilled leadership of Henry Belleza Aquende, MBM, Hon. DPA, appointed me as its course director and master trainer for PSDM. It didn’t feel like work, because PSDM is one of my passion subjects. My favorite was running a four-part series for the department heads and professors in the Philippine Military Academy. Yes, that PMA.

Meantime, my partnership with LJMB Training started when I guested in Master Louie Banta‘s podcast. After that one thing led to two others, I am so honored to be tapped to coach some of their clients.

It helped that last June, I was certified as a professional transformative coach by the Singapore-based Coach Masters Academy. One of my 2024 goals is to be certified by ICF at ACC level next year. Wahoo!

God willing, a third major collaboration will materialize next year. No, I’m not telling. I don’t want to count my chickens before they are hatched.

Also, I had the privilege of giving corporate talks on topics such as purpose, satisfaction, and core values. Toastmasters training has paid off big time!

Wait, there’s more! There’s the surprise of being voted again as one of the Top 100 Filipinos on LinkedIn for 2023. Kudos to VB Consulting, Bless Baluyot and the rest of the hardworking organizers. I look forward to knowing more experts and making new friends.

I’m so glad to have joined Philippine Society for Talent Development and BFJ Corporate Education where I meet people who are incredibly generous in sharing what they know. Saves me a lot of mistakes and heartaches.

All these won’t be possible without the steadfast support of my darling wife Lucy. When I was grappling with imposter syndrome, she’s always the one to infuse fresh optimism into my spirit.

One last thing. If you are training service provider, I invite you to ponder: what learning do you see your clients need which you don’t have the module for, but I can create and deliver one for you? If you have an idea, drop me a PM and let’s collaborate!

Thank you to all who have been a precious part of my journey. May the Lord establish all the works of your hands in 2024!


Gratitude Post: God

December 29, 2023

Does God have an emotional need to be thanked? Isn’t it that the height of altruism is to do good without expecting anything in return? If so, why is it a moral stigma to be ungrateful?

My take is that the answers are not philosophical, but relational. Being thankful to God is a win-win. It’s a mystery, but here goes: God already has complete and utter joy within Himself, but He also takes special delight when we thank Him, much the same way a dad feels happy when his child thanks him.

So where’s the other win? It’s on us. Gratitude is the lubricant of life. It’s not true that we must first be happy so we can be thankful. Brene Brown pointed out, “It’s not joy that makes us grateful, it’s gratitude that makes us joyful.”

Thankfulness trains us to focus on the half-full rather than the half-empty; we can always work to fill up the whole glass later. It keeps us balanced, gracious, and (dare I say it?) sane. Without thankfulness, we will degenerate into grumbling and morose brutes. This gives us a clue why we disapprove of ingratitude.

So what am I thankful to God for? I am amazed at how God has been good to me and my wife Lucy. Consider a recent example. I had a medical condition that made me rush to the ER last October, and a very competent doctor attended to me.

That same condition recurred about a month later. As I went to the same ER, I was hoping it would be the same doctor. Even though it was a different shift, yes, it was the same doctor. Same skill, same compassion, same relief.

Don’t say “the devil is in the details,” God is in the details. I can cite the big picture, like how God provided for our needs throughout the years. I can also regale you with vignettes, like how each time our car had a deflated or punctured tire, there was always a vulcanizing shop nearby.

I invite you to start not just each year, but each day, thanking God. After all, if gratitude is indeed the lubricant of life, then my heart needs a regular oil change.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23


Remember these classic beauties? Be careful, because you may be revealing your age!

My wife and I were decluttering the stuff in our attic and came across my old Walkman and Apple Ipod. They’re obsolete now, but who would have thought that these once-hot gadgets would go the way of the dinosaurs? And don’t get me started with the cassette tape that the Walkman used to spin, play and record.

Then came this insight: what old stuff within ourselves that we need to declutter and junk? How about…

Old thinking. Are we secretly suffering from imposter syndrome? Are we seeing the world the same way day after day? Are we relying on an old routine and wonder why we have the same head- and heartache again? Now is a good time to reflect and replace them with new, growth, and abundance mindsets.

Old emotions. Here’s an uncomfortable exercise. We usually write gratitude posts of what went well this year. But what about the areas that did not go well? Do we find ourselves regretting that we should have done this or that? Are we harboring some grudge against somebody? Are we living in fear and worry for too long? I know it’s easier said than done, but letting go of negative emotions will make us free and light as we welcome another 365 days.

Old skills. The doomsayers are warning that AI will one day steal our jobs. I would add, if not AI, then the younger, smarter, hungrier upstarts will. The skills – hard or soft – that served us well in the past may become irrelevant or replaceable before we know it. Therefore, a good question is: what new skill(s) do we need to have to stay ahead of the game? If not a new skill, can we add a fresh dimension to our existing skillset?

Albert Einstein famously said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” Indeed, if we want to enjoy breakthroughs and climb new heights, we have to junk whatever self-limiting beliefs and capabilities we may harbor. Then embrace what is new, useful, and positive. The time is now.


In the comic strip Peanuts, there was a panel where Lucy decried, “This year was just like any old year! We’ve been handed another old year!”

Well, unlike Lucy, we have the power to turn next year into a truly new year. We can even make next year our best year ever. That’s why December is a great time to plan how to make that happen.

Here’s how: create three major goals that are actionable, measureable and time-bound. To spur your thinking, here are my goals as examples.

Financial: Set aside XX pesos from your salary every 15th of the month.

Collate your actual, average monthly expenses from January to November (you can add December later). Then deduct this from your monthly pay, and if you have something left over, plow that into a new bank account as “pay yourself first” or “forced savings.”

If we are not mindful in telling our money where to go, we would keep on spending and before we know it, we’ll be asking where did your money go. This way, you can build up more savings for the proverbial rainy day or to be plowed into investments.

Physical: Wake up 30 minutes earlier and do brisk walking, at least four times a week.

What is that one, simple thing that can multiply your vitality? Your plan has to be specific. “Eat healthier” doesn’t mean much, unless you rewrite it as “replace carbs with vegetables at dinner.” If your new year’s resolution is “get back in shape”, what does that even look like?

With my age, day job, and side hustle, I need energy more than money or time. Rather than complaining I lack energy, the smarter mindset is to increase my energy. For that, I have resolved to do that 30-minute walk, at least four times a week.

Notice I kept my self-promise and expectations under control. If I were to vow one hour every day without miss, I would likely set myself up for failure, frustration and finally, fall away. Baby steps aka small bets are okay.

Self-development:  Study at least one book a month about coaching, critical thinking or communication, then put them into practice for upskill.

I’m passionate about the Three C’s I listed above. I know that I am my own best asset; the better I am, the more value I can give to my clients. But I noticed that I tend to read a book, then put it on a shelf.

What I would do differently is to “devour” the book by extracting its key concepts, then try it out on people, and gain new skills. Truth to tell, I can even add those new learnings in my training materials and offer something fresh to my audience.

So there you are. Three goals to make my 2024 a fresh year, not a rehash of 2023.

Now it’s your turn. What are your goals?


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