Happy Birthday, Dad.

I remember writing your obituary.
 
I wrote it with all my heart; the words punctuated by sweat, tears, shock, resignation. 
 
It was the best & worst thing I ever wrote. I put all the details, chose my words carefully — but missed the part where the readers could find what was left of you (the body is a mere vessel).
 
Perhaps, I wanted the world to know that you were gone.
But I did not want the world to bear witness. It would make it too real.
 
I still miss you. It never goes away.
Always, there is a joke missing a few peals of laughter. Always, there is a meal half-savored. Always, our family photographs have room for one more person.
Always.
I love you, happy birthday — Dad.
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Busy

Our jobs are important but they’re not essentials.

I’ve been having to remind myself that while working furiously (by this, I mean intensely & with all my heart) is great — I shouldn’t let my 9 to 5 steal occupy more space in my life than it should. It’s been happening in the last 3 months — work took a seat a my dinner table, I showered with it, I dreamed it, I asked my spouse about it. It edged essential things out.

I let my “today” items (the deadlines, the emails & calls to return, the targets to meet) overtake things I desperately needed for more “tomorrows” (self-care, prayer, time with family, sleep).

Tomorrow is Monday. I think it’s time I put today down.

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What PR Pros Can Learn at Museums

Surprise. Intrigue. Guilt. Happiness. New-ness. Nostalgia. Desire. I noticed that successful campaigns had at least two of these emotional elements.

It’s not just about acting, good visuals or sad violin music.

Good, effective campaigns start with clear communications:

a crystal vision of where we want to be

a determined way of hacking out a path.

For us who are writing — whether to sell products, to change minds, to transform society – developing an emotional hook is important to getting our target market to respond.

A few weeks ago, I went on a feelings spree with another PR colleague.

We traveled to the National Museum to answer some questions:

“Paano ba humugot at saan ba huhugot?”

hugot – an emotional response & a wellspring of creativity.

Here’s what we found:

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Every story we write must set us apart.

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Catching the essence requires focus.

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Putting ourselves in our customers’ shoes helps us write more authentically.

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 The art we saw were were visualizations of specific calls to action.

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When words are cheap & fame is easy, it’s our mastery of story that will help us establish a brand of renown. 

Women at the Wheel

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Quintessential mode of transportation in the Philippines: the jeepney.

Para sa lahat ng mga babaeng nasa manibela at sa mga walang sawang buma-backride para banayad ang biyahe at di kulang-kulang ang bayad.

For all the women who persist and everyone who lends their time & talents to advancing women’s rights – those who make sure the vulnerable are never shortchanged, salut! 🙂

Have Yourself a Cashless Little Christmas

Feeling forced to buy gifts? 

The social pressures and the financial burden of gift-giving can turn anyone into a Grinch.

For us though — market researchers, digital marketers & PR pros who are working in an organization that seeks to serve the nation’s poorest — the holidays bring even harder questions than “who gets what?”.

Why must we keep on anchoring generosity on material gifts?

How can we push for more mindful giving?

How can we go beyond buying a social enterprise gifts?

Well, instead of bemoaning the financial and social costs of giving everyone a present, a couple of work colleagues & I came up with a new way to be generous this season! 🙂

In lieu of buying gifts, we had a “cashless Christmas” instead.

How does it work? Gifts must cost nothing & must be based on a singular idea. Whether the idea is in the realm of tried & true tips or inspiring mantras is all up to the giver. The only requirement for the exchange is that the piece of paper or cardboard containing your idea is “display-able”.

Here are some of the (amazing!) things we received:

Ideas are precious & powerful gifts worth sharing.

Merry Christmas! 🙂 

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