Archives for April 2015


Do you fully understand the impact of ASEAN INTEGRATION for your small business or even how will it impact your job as a freelancer? I have tried to read the ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY HANDBOOK for Business 2012, but I haven’t finished it yet. Basically, the member nations, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao DPR, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam commit to “hasten the establishment of the AEC (Asean Economic Community) by 2015 and to transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour and freer flow of capital.”

*Image from ASEAN Economic Community Handbook for Business 2012

*Image from ASEAN Economic Community Handbook for Business 2012

As set out in the ASEAN Declaration, the aims and purposes of ASEAN are:
*From this link:

– To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavours in the spirit of equality and partnership in order to strengthen the foundation for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations;
– To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries of the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter;
– To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields;
– To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in the educational, professional, technical and administrative spheres;
– To collaborate more effectively for the greater utilisation of their agriculture and industries, the expansion of their trade, including the study of the problems of international commodity trade, the improvement of their transportation and communications facilities and the raising of the living standards of their peoples;
– To promote Southeast Asian studies; and
– To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations with similar aims and purposes, and explore all avenues for even closer cooperation among themselves.

Reading the handbook, it states that there are four pillars to the AEC: 1) Single Market and Production Base; 2) Competitive Economic Region; 3) Equitable Economic Development; and 4) ASEAN’s Integration into the Global Economy. These four pillars is really to make ASEAN more competitive globally.

Given that we are striving for a single market and production base, there will be a:
1. Free flow of goods;
2. Free flow of services;
3. Free flow of investment;
4. Freer flow of capital; and
5. Free flow of skilled labour

Given these things, it’s really important that we get to understand what all of these will do to our businesses. On April 16, 2015, Manila Workshops will be running a webinar on ASEAN INTEGRATION. It will be from 7:00 to 9:00 PM s please feel free to share this webinar with everyone.

You can sign up using this link:


To know more about the ASEAN Integration, you can also visit:

Girl Stuff Nail Polish Bloggers’ Elite Summer Collection

Let’s talk about unique ways of promoting your products and services. I always believed that the best advertising campaigns are those that get your audience or consumers to promote your products also. These campaigns get key influencers who really believe and trust the products that they endorse. Speaking of key influencers, I recently attended an event that had a campaign that was so smart and unique. It was the event of Girl Stuff Nail Polish to launch their Bloggers’ Elite Summer Collection.

Girl Stuff Nail Polish 3

Girl Stuff Nail Polish 5

Girl Stuff Nail Polish 4

Girl Stuff Nail Polish 2

With these pictures, you would have thought that this event was just the usual nail polish event launch with ladies giving attendees a manicure. Well, we did have that but what made this event interesting is that it was actually the launch of the Blogger’s Elite Summer Collection. Girl Stuff got four shades of its nail polish and named it after four of the widely followed, sassiest lifestyle, fashion, mommy and beauty bloggers. It was a great idea  since these four ambassadors were people who truly believed in the brand.

The colors from the Bloggers' Elite Summer Collection

The colors from the Bloggers’ Elite Summer Collection

The four Girl Stuff Blogger Ambassadors

The four Girl Stuff Blogger Ambassadors

The bohemian pink has been named after the blog AskMeWhats. Behind this blog is working mom Nikki Tiu. An HR professional who moonlights as a make-up artist, Nikki is a nail art enthusiast who absolutely adores the color pink. The moment she laid eyes on Girl Stuff AskMeWhats, she fell in love with it. “Girl Stuff’s bohemian pink is not the usual pink shade that you see in other polish brands. AskMeWhats is an extraordinary , very feminine shade. Kind of like an orchid because of its lilac undertone. What’s more, it reminds me of my Mom whose favorite color is lilac. This perfect blend of pink and lilac reflects a very young, cheerful vibe just like my personality. “

Fashion entrepreneur, event organizer and blogger Christina Decena’s Struttingonsunshine blog inspired Girl Stuff’s sky blue shade. “What struck me the most with this blue shade is its brilliance! I see sunny skies and cerulean seas… This shade speaks to me. It’s like a dreamy cruise in a bottle!” she enthuses. “It’s the perfect shade for me because it encapsulates my wanderlust for the world!”

Girl Stuff’s lime green shade reminds blogger Jackie Go of a tropical paradise. “Girl Stuff totally nailed it with this shade. It has captured the calming hue of nature. And this type of shade works well with any skin tone. So it’s a perfect shade to frolic in this summer.” A mother of two and a model, Jackie’s blog Go Jackie Go is a channel for spreading good news and good vibes to women.

An editor-in-chief of a baby magazine and my dear friend, blogger Frances Amper Sales’ sunnier-than-the-sun disposition is best captured in Girl Stuff’s chartreuse shade. “This yellow shade is so bright and happy, you just won’t be able to ignore it! It’s bold and fun!” she pronounces. On her Topaz Horizon blog, she shares stories of her many roles as a woman.

Girl Stuff Nail Polish Bloggers Elite Launch 2

Girl Stuff Nail Polish Bloggers Elite Launch 5

Girl Stuff Nail Polish Bloggers Elite Launch 4

I’m really impressed by this campaign that they ran. This is really a unique way of involving brand ambassadors and a unique way of involving your users in your marketing campaign. In times like these where word-of-mouth really matters, they found a unique way to create brand awareness and possibility an increase in purchases.

I had a great time in this event. Thanks, Marilen, for the picture!

* Girl Stuff Bloggers’ Elite Summer Collection uses their well-loved sophisticated gel-type formula to turn four fun shades into sassy, shiny, trendy and long lasting polish! Girl stuff is made in France and free of harmful chemicals!

To know more about the products, please visit:
FB: Girlstuff Forever
IG: girlstufforever

On to the Next Goal… And the next…

I just finished answering a list of questions for an interview for an online magazine. One of the questions about my business got me thinking. The question was what are your short term goals and long term goals for Manila Workshops (my business)?

I’m a goal-oriented person. What that means is that my life’s purpose is based on achieving results. Shucks. That sounds so boring and not fun. Which lead me to think, is being goal-oriented a good thing? Or am I missing the real purpose of life by setting goals?

*Image from Death to the Stock

*Image from Death to the Stock

First of all, the reason why I set goals is because i’m the type of person who loves seeing getting things done. Placing a checkmark beside a task that I have accomplished gets my adrenaline moving. Ticking things off gets me inspired again to tick another one off my list. Setting goals is just something I do.

Second, achieving goals bring me closer to the destination I want faster. I just feel that going with the flow will be a waste of time (but that’s just me). I tried surrendering once to the will of the wind, but that didn’t work out quite well. I didn’t regret it though because i learned a lot of things about myself.

And lastly, setting goals prevents me from feeling lost. I’m a deep thinker and a flaw is that I think of things too much. You’ll realize that when you think of things too much, you tend to get lost. Personally, setting goals brings me back to my ‘here and now’. It gives me a clear direction on where to go, what to do and what to prioritize.

But what I need to introduce into my life is to enjoy the journey, too. My husband often tells me that it is about as much the journey as it is of the destination. Yes, we can all be happy and celebrate when we accomplish tasks. We need not mindlessly breeze through all of the tasks and hurriedly accomplish it all. We (I) need to savor every moment in this lifetime.

So before you go on to your next goal, let’s celebrate LIFE.