GINspiration — Life Lessons

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s life lessons for Baby Zeeka.

This year, as I promised to share more about my own personal thoughts, I’ll be sharing some intimate stuff today. I’ll be sharing with you the story of a part of my life where my insecurities run deep.

Let’s talk about beauty, what true beauty is and how my definition of beauty has evolved. Long post ahead! 😀

My Insecurities…

I was 3 🙂

We all give love, and want to be (liked or) loved, too. With this, since (they say) first impressions last, we want to look our best at any given time.

Early in life, my mom taught me that I needed to look good. As compared to my daughter now and how she is, I was the opposite. I hated wearing dresses. I was quite and shy. I loved running around, too. I was always the tallest in my class, and the biggest. These pictures that I’m sharing now was me when I was 3. Can you imagine? I looked more like a 6 year old girl.

Aside from my weight though, I looked very clean. I had an apple cut hair cut with neatly combed bangs. I had nice skin, because of how my parents and yaya took good care of me. When I was little, I remember my mom telling me not to run around too much, because I might trip and hurt myself. She said that scars last a long time, and it wouldn’t look good on my fair skinned legs.

When I was in grade school, I was a chubby kid. I always felt conscious about not being as slim as my classmates. I would compensate by studying hard to get good grades. Even when I lost a lot of weight on my way to high school (dropped from around 130 lbs to 107 lbs), I still felt heavy and big. I always wore a jacket because I was so conscious of showing my arms. Do you know that I only got over that when I was 25 years old? Haha! Talk about having major body issues.

Started losing weight when I was in Grade 6, so I was slimmer when I graduated 7th grade.
First year High School

I really did have issues with the way I looked. It’s not because I’m vain or anything like that, but it’s about my eternal lack of confidence. Up until now, people don’t know this, but I still get VERY self-conscious. Sometimes, when I go to events, I feel awkward. I don’t know why I still have voices in my head that tell me that I’m not good enough or that I shouldn’t be here because I’m not worthy.

2009 – Our wedding 🙂

My ever so patient husband would tell me that I’m crazy and weird to think that way about my body. He always assures me that I’m fine.

How I try to stop these thoughts …

I love observing other people — how they react to certain situations, how they cope, how they think, etc. In this journey of mine, what I’ve realized is that people don’t really care so much about the way you look. What matters more to them is who you are as a person — are you reliable? are you trustworthy? do you have integrity? are you honest and kind? are you caring?

I’ve seen movies, films, advertisements, etc. that constantly show us what our standard of beauty should be. They define the standards on what being physically beautiful is.

I was in my late 20s that I realized that people are too busy to care about the way you look. I then consciously made an effort to stop listening to the voices in my head, and committed to to the opposite of what the voice would say. I would wear anything that I wanted to wear. I would eat anything that I wanted to eat. I felt free.

What happened when I stopped listening to the voices in my head…

I started loving myself. I started to see my strengths, utilized these abilities and started to shine! I started seeing problems around me that I wanted to solve. I slowly saw things that I could do, and that eventually led me to find my purpose in life.

This was when my own interpretation of true beauty changed.

About my friend, Cat…

My friend Cat Arambulo-Antonio is the country’s representative for the MASJ Squad (MERZ Aesthetics Serendipity Journey) campaign. She’ll be sharing her journey alongside 10 women from other countries in Asia Pacific to redefine self-care and see it as something that is deeper: Self-love. I attended the launch, and Cat’s words (and the entire campaign) reminded me of my own journey.


“When you look good physically, you will feel much greater inside,”

Cat Arambulo – Antonio
Know more about Cat here: https://myserendipityjourney.com/meet_the_squad/cat-arambulo-antonio/

I, personally, was moved by this campaign about true beauty. Wanting to look good shouldn’t be looked down upon. If we feel good about ourselves and if we love ourselves, then we get to “see” other people. Oftentimes, what happens is, we divert our attention now from ourselves to other people — we focus on taking care and loving others, solving society’s problems and adding value to the world.

On Merz Aesthetics…


(L-R) Merz Asia Pacific Regional Commercial Director Conway Rappa, Merz Philippines Marketing Manager Judith Albano-Cantada, Cat Arambulo-Atonio, Merz Asia Pacific Regional Marketing Communications Manager
Kris Leong, and Merz Philippines Country Manager Jorge Libanan

Merz Aesthetics has been a driver of innovation in the field of aesthetic medicing since one of the first anti-wrinkle moisturizing creams was launched in 1953. They are a global, family-owned aesthetics and neurotoxin company backed by 110 years of trust and commitment.

“I definitely trust the treatments that Merz offers not only because it really works, but it has contributed to building my self-assurance,” says Cat.

I’ve looked at their products and services, and I’m really interested now to try out their services. Cat has been telling me about the wonders of Ultherapy and how it made her face look more elongated.

For more information on the Merz Aesthetics Serendipity Journey, you may visit https://www.myserendipityjourney.com and Like and Follow My Serendipity Journey on Facebook and Instagram. Also, visit www.merzaesthetics.com.


Yours truly with Cat Arambulo – Antonio and Sam Lewis.

When we talk about beauty, it’s really not just about what the human eye can see. It’s also about confidence, charisma and character. Life is not about getting people to like you, but it’s about loving yourself. It’s about wanting to be a better you everyday, so you can be of service to others.

Thanks, Cat and Merz Aesthetics for inspiring me to be a better version of myself again this year! Congratulations on this campaign, and may it inspire more women to love themselves!

I’ve been thinking about listing down my plans for this year, and I’ve noticed that most of them involve saving up money. It seems like I’ve just been listing down year after year the same plans, and just jacked up the amount that I needed to save.

Apart from money, I never get to fulfil my fitness goal. haha! I just had a conversation with my friend (shoutout to Paul!), and he said na “yan ka na naman eh!” (There you go again!). He was right. Since 2014, I’ve been saying that i’ll be healthy and fit, but after a few months, I become busy and forget that I “planned” to be fit.

But this year “seems” to be different. I think I would be able to run regularly and go to the gym regularly. Well, so far so good! I’ve been able to do that this December. I don’t get fat that easily, but I don’t also lose weight that easily. It’s like my body is “stuck” on where it is now, regardless of what I do or what I eat. So my goal is to be able to sustain running 10 kilometers without walking (just jog or run) like I used to. I just want to feel like I’m healthier than usual.

So, plan number 1 is to run at least 3x a week, so that I can build endurance again.

My next plan is to visit more places in both the Philippines (I want to visit all 133 cities in the Philippines) and the world in 2019. The places that I want to go to (where I’ve never been) are Korea, Malaysia, Australia, the US (yes, I have never been there!), Spain, Germany and Africa. Obviously, I haven’t built enough funds yet to go to these places so probably, one or two international destinations will do this year.

So, plan number 2 is to explore more places that I haven’t been to!

The next and the last plan probably that I’m going to share will now be related to my finances. I’m still a long shot from the amount that I want to save up for Zeeka’s College education.

My dream really is to have enough funds for her to go to any school that she would like to go to when she graduates. Whether it be MIT, Julliard, Yale, Harvard, Parsons or schools here like UA&P, UP, Ateneo, La Salle, etc., we should be able to give her that kind of future.

Plan number 3 is to increase our savings and investments for Zeeka!

I want to keep 2019 simple. I think this year, I will be more frugal on spending.

How about you? What are your plans for 2019? Care to share it with me?

Every year, we speak of resolutions that we want to fulfil and accomplish. My 5 year old daughter whispered to me yesterday, and asked me if I needed help with anything. I said that she can help me with the household chores, and then I asked her why she asked me. She said, “My New Year’s resolution is to help people.”

I had no doubt in my mind that she could fulfil it.

Then I thought about what made me so sure that she could. Why do most of us fail at fulfilling our New Year’s Resolutions? How can me make sure that we keep our commitments.

Here are some insights about resolutions that I can share with you:

Make sure that your resolutions are commitments that you can keep. It’s good to shoot for the moon and land among the stars, but still make sure that that “moon” is still within reach.

So when making a resolution, think about it really well and check if you can really do it. If it’s a habit that you want to form, check and see if you can actually do it at the number of times you want to do it and if you have enough time to do it. If it’s a financial goal, see if you have means, resources and capabilities to come up with the amount that you want.

Look at New Year’s Resolutions as a way for you to form habits. In forming habits, the most difficult part is really the first 21 days or the first month.

Make it easy for yourself to stick to your resolutions. Create reminders for yourself. Set aside time that when you can do the things that you need to do. In my case, one of my resolutions is to try to Blog / Vlog as often as possible. I love doing these things, so what I did was really to set aside time to do these two things. I blocked off my calendar (a set time in Google Calendar) just to do these things.

Another thing you can do is write down on sticky notes reminders that you can post in different locations in your house or in your office. It helps to see these reminders frequently!

The most important thing (like any other goal in your life) about resolutions is to rise up and try again in case you fail. Since it’s about conditioning your mind and body to follow a habit, there will be times when it will be difficult.

Just keep on trying and eventually, you’ll be able to keep your resolution and keep these new habits.

How about you? Do you have a list of resolutions that you intend to keep? Share it with me! Please use #GInspiration #MommyGinger

‘Til next time!

Mommy Ginger

The thing about social media is that it has made us more connected and distant at the same time. I’m online more than 12 hours a day, and it doesn’t help that I’m a blogger / vlogger by profession, and a co-founder of a technology – based startup. It does help though that my other business, Manila Workshops, is an offline events management company. At least I get to see people. 😝

You see, my life is an open book to a lot of people. I post pictures of my family, friends, the food that I eat, the tech features that we’re building for our app upgrades, the events that I will attend, attending and will be attending soon, etc. You have my entire life there for you to view and see by just looking at my IG (@gingerarboleda) feed and my Facebook newsfeed (http://fb.com/MommyGinger).

I do still think though that I want to get to know others more. There is an ineffable empty feeling inside that I need to fill. Thinking about last year made me crave for deeper relationships with family and friends. I feel the need to get to know each one of you (my friends and readers) at a deeper level.

Let me start by sharing a few questions and I’ll start the conversation by answering each one of them. I hope that you carry on this conversation and share with me your own answers. I’d love to hear from you. BTW, I got these questions from this link.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Ginger: Watch K-Dramas or work more 😆

What’s your favorite piece of clothing you own / owned?

Ginger: Probably a white shirt. No one notices that you’ve worn it again. hehe!

What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?

Ginger: I would probably travel and collect Funko Pops and try out skin care products from all over the world.

What would your perfect room look like?

Ginger: A medium sized room (I don’t have a lot of clothes) with a huge bathroom with enough room for all my skin care stuff!

How often do you play sports?

Ginger: I don’t play anymore, but I used to play basketball.

What job would you be terrible at?

Ginger: I don’t think I would be a cook or a chef eveeeer!

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning medal for?

Ginger: I have a skill in catching and picking up stuffed toys in arcades. haha!

What is the most annoying habit that other people have?

Ginger: When people stand SO close to you when they’re next to you in line for something.

What skill would you like to master?

Ginger: Currently? Video Editing.

What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?

Ginger: Hmm, tough one! I want to do a lot of things (if budget wasn’t an issue). Prolly, camping in Korea, trekking in Peru, Sleeping under the stars in Namibia, enter a volcano in Iceland, etc. SEE! I have a lot on my list 🙂

If you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, what would the finished house be like?

Ginger: I would probably build a house near the beach.

What’s your favorite drink?

Ginger: Coffee — a latte!

What game or movie universe would you most like to live in?

Ginger: That’s easy! The Marvel Cinematic Universe!

Are you usually early or late?

Ginger: Usually early… I don’t feel comfortable being late.

What pets did you have while you were growing up?

Ginger: Dogs. hehe! I used to bread American Pitbull Terriers 🙂

When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

Ginger: With their business and careers. 😀

What takes up too much of your time?

Ginger: Now? Everything! There is no specific thing.

What do you wish you knew more about?

Ginger: Three things — 1) Coding, 2) Video Editing and 3) Speaking Mandarin

What would be your first question after waking up from being cryogenically frozen for 100 years?

Ginger: “Where are the others?” 😁

What are some small things that make your day better?

Ginger: a cup of coffee, music (I really love listening to music, btw) and a hug!

Who’s your go to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?

Ginger: Maroon 5 or Sam Smith

What shows are you into?

Ginger: K-Dramas!

What age do you wish you could permanently be?

Ginger: My age now. I feel that I’m at an age where I understand more about life, but still yearn to learn more about different stuff and try out new things.

What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?

Ginger: Horror shows. Can’t sleep after 😳

What would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?

Ginger: Work out in the morning, shower, then spend the whole day in bed watching Netflix!

What is something that is considered a luxury, but you don’t think you could live without?

Ginger: Possibly all of the products that I use for my face. haha! Skin care products!

How often do you people watch?

Ginger: Oh my! I love doing this! Often 🙂

What’s the best single day on the calendar?

Ginger: I love Christmas! Dec. 25?

How do you relax after a hard day of work?

Ginger: I watch shows on Netflix 🙂

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

Ginger: It would probably be starting a business or marketing.

If you were dictator of a small island nation, what crazy dictator stuff would you do?

Ginger: Everyone should apply sunscreen every two hours.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?

Ginger: Living on their own. 🙂 You learn how to become more independent.

Would you rather go hang gliding or whitewater rafting?

Ginger: hmmm… hang gliding?

What’s your dream car?

Ginger: None… In the first place, I don’t drive, so I don’t really mind having a “basic” car.

What are you most looking forward to in the next 10 years?

Ginger: Expanding the business and being “fit” again.

If all jobs had the same pay and hours, what job would you like to have?

Ginger: I would still love to have my job now… naaaks! Seriously though, I love doing the things that I’m doing now.

What’s the best way to start the day?

Ginger: Run outdoors!

What movie title best describes you or your life?

Ginger: haha! Miss Congeniality? (I love Sandra Bullock)

If you suddenly became a master at woodworking, what would you make?

Ginger: A customized cabinet? hahaha!

What is the luckiest thing that has happened to you?

Ginger: Had a healthy and really bright little girl for my second pregnancy (after losing the first one and after having pregnancy complications)

Where would you rather be from?

Ginger: I’m glad I’m a Filipina.

What are some things you’ve had to unlearn?

Ginger: Being so insecure about my body.

What are you looking forward to in the coming months?

Ginger: The growth of TAXUMO.

What one thing do you really want but can’t afford?

Ginger: Have some ME-time in a foreign place. I enjoyed flying to Israel last 2016.

Where do you usually go when you when you have time off?

Ginger: Have coffee at a coffee place.

What are you absolutely determined to do?

Ginger: Live long. There are a lot of things I still want to do.

What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?

Ginger: I actually know how to tap dance 🙂 hihi!

What question would you most like to know the answer to?

Ginger: Why do babies get sick? 🙁 Essentially, they’re “brand new”. Sana wala nalang sickness and diseases ang babies.

So these are my questions that I hope you get to answer in return! I’d love to read your blog posts or social media posts 🙂 Let’s start the year right by knowing more about one another.

I think I’ll do one livestream about this on Kumu (a mobile app). Please do follow me there!

Every year, I welcome the year with excitement. The new year ushers in a fresh start; it’s like hitting a RESET button. The reality though is that we get pumped up only for the first few months, then our habits continue to revert back to how we were the year before.

Why do we stumble and revert back to old habits?

I’m not sure about other people, but I guess for myself, these are the reasons:

#1 — It’s about ME being scared of a lot of things.

I’m scared of what other people will think of me. I’m scared that they might think that I’m not the same person anymore. I’m scared of being mediocre. I’m scared of failure. I’m scared of financial instability. I’m scared that my insecurities will haunt me again. ETC. ETC.

This year though, I think I’ve mustered up enough courage. It’s ironic that I got this courage from past fears that I have overcome.

And this year, I realized that. I realized that in order to overcome all the fears that I have, I need to face them with a new mindset — a belief that fear is not something that stops us, but something that makes us stronger. Hey, I’ve failed before, and I’m still here, right?

#2 — It’s probably because, I’ve been doing it for the longest time and find comfort in it.

I know that I’ve been telling a lot of people to say “no” to things that you don’t have time for, for things that are of lesser priority and to things that you don’t want to do. The reality though for a lot of people (and for ME) is that I find it hard to let go of things that I am used to doing or saying.

We often find comfort in the things that we’ve been doing for the longest time. I think for 2019, it’s the year to assess if you really need to do or say these things still (because you probably and REALLY love doing these things) or is it time to let go and break the habit?

#3 — It’s probably because I don’t have a time limit for myself.

At work and at home, I am a very patient person. But since I am but human, I will obviously lose my mind if something is not delivered on time or get frustrated when goals or aspirations are not met.

The thing about goals for yourself or setting New Year’s Resolutions is that most of us make plans that are not time-bound. Yes, I get that life is something that we need to enjoy, but what we want to avoid is that we trap ourselves in a cycle of “goal setting – implementation – frustration!”

We need to be a SUCCESS at some point, or at least feel successful. This will make us constantly strive to be better versions of ourselves.

So with this, we need to start being impatient with ourselves NOW! We need to give ourselves a timeline — a deadline.

So there. Well, I’ve started putting into action my “one word” for 2019, which is to Introspect. I think I’m well aware of the reasons why it’s difficult for me to drop some old habits, and to start anew.

Let’s see how this goes for me. I really hope I let go of my old, negative habits and feelings.

I hope I get over (some parts of) you, 2018. 😄