I am my own BRAND

Many aspects of our lives is all about brands. We buy signature clothes to make us feel more confident and look  better. Surely there are many cheap but comfortable and nice looking clothes but in terms of durability, I still go for the branded ones. I am definitely a Lacoste and Nike fan. I’ve already spent thousands in shoes and shirts bearing these brands and I don’t have any regret cos the items are not only nice and trendy looking but lasts long and do not go out of style. I am not too much into the latest gadget but if I do buy one, I also go for a good brand. I have my iPod Touch now for almost 2 years and it served me very well especially during gym workouts and long travels. I am sure had I bought a lower kind of player, it is broken now (prior to my iPod, I had a China-made mp3 player which I was only able to use for few months which is also not too cheap if I may say).

Why am I talking all about Brands? This is in relation to the topic that has caught my interest lately- – Personal branding.

Yesterday, I finished preparing my topic for our in-house Train the Trainer session in the office. I will be talking about what else, “Developing Personal Brand for Supervisors”. My audience are Supervisors from various departments in the office. Well you may ask why I chose this topic. I claim I am not a guru about personal branding however, I find it necessary for the supervisors to find their niche in the organization.

Oftentimes, I feel Supervisors (in general) find it difficult to draw the line between having the management responsibility and being able to jibe with the staff or colleagues. In most cases especially in small or middle sized organization it is still the Manager or the Head of the Department who decides on day to day operation which should not be the case at all times because there are supervisors around. It’s all about empowerment. On the part of the supervisors, they have to evolve and come out of the shadows of their managers.

Personal branding by definition is the public’s expression or projection of an individual’s characteristics, identity, personality, skills and talent. It is how others perceive you  based on various factors. It doesn’t always mean that whatever the perception of others about you is the real you. However, you can always find ways for others to have positive perception about you.

To improve your personal branding, the gurus suggested you improve your profile. Online you can do it by having your own Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or blogsite (WordPress and others). This is where you build your network and in turn can potentially help you in your business or career. It is the fastest way for you to be seen and get well-known. So far, I have all of these accounts but yet sign up with LinkedIn. Will explore very soon. Only thing about these social network is that you have to spend time in updating it to make YOU more interesting. Lately, I am unable to update my blog as I am super busy with my work. My creative juices are all squeezed so I cannot think of an interesting topic lately. To those who regularly visit my blog, I’m sorry for the hiatus. Will try to update it more often.

Developing your Personal brand also entails some investment and improvement in personal appearance. I’m not saying you have to undergo plastic surgery but always try to look good and dress smartly whenever necessary. In order to standout in a big crowd, you have to be visually appealing at the first glance. Despite a lot of work-related stress, you MUST not be seen in public like someone who had just been inside the hurricane’s eye. Even men has to dress up. Don’t be afraid to look in the mirror.

Personal Brand is not only the superficial aspects. You must also work out to improve your skills and talents. Attend seminars and classes that suits your interests. If you are sent by your company to a seminar whether it is a free or paid seminar, maximize the learning and apply it to your work or everyday life whenever you can.

A good brand must also have the right attitude. Positivity must radiate in you at all times. I always love to work with a person with less complications. If I hear more whining than sensible suggestions, I would definitely resent working next time with that person. I guess most of us would feel the same.

In my presentation, I suggested the supervisors to have good attitude towards their colleagues and their superiors. They must learn to respect so they will likewise be respected.

Why does Coca-Cola and Tide survived many generations and stiff competition? Because they are good brands…and they are here to stay…

You can be your own Coke and Tide. You can be your own BRAND.

It’s my Birthday!

Yesterday, February 05 is my birthday. It was the 2nd time that I celebrated my birthday in Bangkok. I started my day thanking God for another year given to me. Surely, there were ups and downs but God has given me so much the past year and I really cannot ask for more.

I then headed to the office cos my birthday is a working day. I got Birthday greetings from a lot of colleagues. After our regular morning meeting, I was surprised with the birthday greetings from my boss and all the managers. On top of that, my boss passed me her gift (a Lacoste cap) and birthday card. While the day has passed there were many greetings from my e-mails and facebook account. At first, I did not expect there were many greetings since I’m not at home but I am just overwhelmed with the number of people who greeted me. I even got a couple more gifts and cards from other friends/colleagues through out the day.

I called home because I purposely told my mom not to call me and I’ll be the one to call them. They greeted me and wished me well for my birthday and beyond.

After office, few of my colleagues/friends treated me to a Sukiyaki buffet which is very delicious with a lot of choices. At the end, I ate a lot and enjoyed the dinner treat. I arrived home almost 10 pm and the greetings in Facebook are still coming.

I feel so blessed because of the gestures showed to me so I posted my shoutout “Thank you Lord for another year…I am so blessed. I feel like a king..just finished dinner with friends and colleagues. This day has been great! I received a lot of greetings and even gifts from well meaning friends, colleagues and loved ones. I am glad I touched their lives and now am receiving your blessings thru them. Amen.”

Tonight I am having a post Birthday celebration with my friends here in Bangkok. We’ll have dinner and may go to Khaosarn Road for few drinks and dance.

Cheers to life!

Bangkok is an Expat’s Paradise…

Compared to many world capitals, Bangkok is one of the cheapest in terms of cost of living. When I say cheap, it doesn’t mean the quality is compromised because most of the time, I find the quality of food and products in Bangkok (or Thailand) to be acceptable. In fact, I consider Bangkok to be an Expat’s paradise. Of course, being an expat entails a lot of responsibilities or expectations. Otherwise, why will your company hire you if you cannot deliver. So this makes stress and time for relaxation and all those related activities a must in an Expat’s schedule.

In Bangkok, you can enjoy branded (or copy) designer labels at highly discounted price. Malls are literally on sale year-round. You just have to be patient and have a keen eye in finding the best bargain or sale price all over town. Copy goods are also A quality that’s why a lot of foreign tourists troop to Bangkok to buy these goods.

Last Saturday, my friends and I trooped to the annual ICC Fair. This fair has been attracting hundreds if not thousands of Thais for quite sometime because in here, you can buy hugely discounted designer brands like Lacoste, Nike, Adidas, Guy Laroche among others. Of course the most visited area is the Lacoste sale wherein discounts of up to 70% can be availed. Since this is my fave brand, I wasted no time to go to the venue and I was able to buy a pair of shoes, a bag and 2 caps. Unfortunately, the shirts left when we arrived are all L or XL American Sizes so I wasn’t able to buy 1 for me. Only thing when going thru this kind of fair compared to the usual Mall sale is that it is doubly hard for me cos not only should I brave the battalions of shoppers to get to the counter and ask for my size but also I had to attempt speaking in Thai so the sellers can understand me..It was a bit frustrating that after finally reaching the counter after “wrestling” it out with fellow shoppers is that the size I want is already “No Have” or they cannot understand what I’m trying to say…Damn, I really have to improve my Thai language skills. Please allow me to brag about my shoe in this blog..hehehe.


Another factor why I consider Bangkok to be a paradise for an Expat like me is because you can enjoy a wide variety of food at a cheap price. Take for instance a set of meal in popular Japanese Restaurant like Fuji or Zen. A normal bento set range approx. 150-250 per set which includes Soup and Salad. During lunch, the set includes hot coffee or tea even! In Manila, if you eat in similar restaurant, you probably would pay min. 250 Pesos to almost 400 Pesos per set. That is precisely the reason why I can only often eat in Komorosoba (SM Megamall) or Tokyo Tokyo and rarely in Saisaki. LOL.


I also find Apartment or Condo rental cheaper if compared to Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and other cities. A normal studio type apartment would cost between 5,000-8,000 baht and would slightly go higher if the condo has swimming pool or other facilities. Of course it depends on the location. A typical apartment in Sukhumvit or Silom area would be much more expensive but still cheaper if compared to other cities I previously mentioned. I heard that if you rent apartment near the outskirts of Bangkok, studio units would even be less than 3,000 baht. Only thing is that you have to travel farther going to and from the office. It can even be less if you share the room with another person. All Filipinos that I know who are working in Bangkok are either staying alone or sharing with 1 or 2 (maybe max. 3 persons) per unit. This is definitely better than fellow Filipinos working in Singapore or Middle East wherein they have to share the flat with up to 10 persons.

Domestic travel is also not a pain in one’s budget. Few months ago, me and a few of my colleagues went to Cha-Am and Hua Hin which is a popular weekend destination for Bangkokians due to its proximity to the city (approx. 2 hours from Bangkok). We actually maximized that 2 Days/1 Night trip. We left Bangkok very early in the morning, went to a local market to buy food and dessert, eat Buffet lunch then head to the Resort. At night, we went to Hua Hin market for some more shopping and eating. The following day, after checking out of the hotel, we had a very big Buffet Seafood lunch then do some more shopping of sweets and some souvenir along the way. In total since we shared cost, I only spend not more than 2,000 Baht including all the food, sweets, transportation and hotel accommodation. This is similar to other cities the reason why many backpackers from Europe or US just fly to Thailand without any pre-arranged tours or accommodation and they just stay in guest houses, ride local transport and eat local food in the roadside.

There are definitely more factors why Bangkok is an Expat’s paradise over the examples I’ve written above. This could be the reason why the number of Expatriates in Thailand is increasing year by year. Of course the number is not as high as that of Singapore or Dubai wherein a big chunk of their workforce are foreigners. However, I’ll not be surprised if soon more and more Expatriates will consider working here…