Women TechMakers 2018

Being a woman is phenomenal! I cannot stress enough the privilege we have just like enjoying a wide variety of wardrobe choices, conceiving a child, and participating to technological events organized specifically for women. Talking about technological events, I had the opportunity to organize Women Techmakers 2018 specifically for Cebu, Philippines together with a few friends last April 7, 2018 at The Company Cebu. Nope this is not solely for women only, but also for men who believe and support women’s capabilities.

What is Women TechMakers?

Women TechMakers is a series of global events geared towards increasing visibility, community and resources for technical women in our industry. Partnered with Google, it supports, empowers and showcases the work and passions of women by providing a platform to celebrate talents and spotlight role models. Google believes diversity and inclusion is important for thriving vibrant communities. Focusing on women-inclusion is the first step in a larger effort to diversify the global Google developer community.
The event is also an occasion relating to International Women’s Day last March 8, 2018.  GDG Cebu community has shown great interest in this initiative, upholding events that are designed to promote an environment of inclusivity for women in technology, as well as celebrate women leading the industry. We also want to advance, grow, and celebrate women developers, designers, and technology entrepreneurs.

“Building a New Horizon: Breaking the Barriers.”

This year’s Women TechMakers event has the theme “Building a New Horizon: Breaking the Barriers.” For me this simply means, be bold for changes and be up for challenges. We are challenged by what divides us whether it is job, political views, wealth, race, or lack of confidence. It is so easy to choose to just walk away from things we do not want to deal with or to simply put up blocks between ourselves and others. As human, I also do that - walking away from situations that challenge me. But thinking about it, I have thought that if I could move out from my comfort zone, be brave and back myself up with goals then surely I can gain tremendous lessons and opportunities. I am an example woman in technology with experiences and skills mostly only men have. I am up for challenges and often chase for opportunities that can help me grow personally and professionally even if it means sacrificing my sleeping hours. I know right there that I am building a new horizon and breaking up barriers of women’s standing when it comes to the IT industry.

Flow, Topics and Speakers

The registration started at 8:30 in the morning. All of us were all excited for the awesome event. As organizers, we choose empowered and successful women locally in Visayas, Philippines to discuss about Freelance Work and Web Development, Wireframe Designing, Women in Technopreneurship and Startups, and WomenWill. Two great men also shared their craft about Mobile Sites Certification and Examinitions to the participants.

GDG Cebu Core Team - Organizing Group
It was a productive and fulfilling happening. I love engaging to activities like this as it changes my perspective positively.

Ngiting happy lang; walang ending! :D
Special thanks to Pocari Sweat and The Company Cebu for being the the main sponsors of Women TechMakers 2018.

Ladies, let’s go paint the town red!

Who run the world? GIRLS!

It is International Women’s month once again! And with that, I intend this post to be a little extra special as this tackles about women. Yup, I am one of them and so are your sister, mother, grandmother, aunts and even some of your neighbors.

The role of women personally and professionally all over the world is growing by leaps and bounds. Corporations, countries and most people are showing and recognizing values that women encompass. I am a firm believer of women’s power. I have a strong faith that we, women, have so much potential within us that we should be proud of.

To impart a short personal tale, I was a small, poor, province girl who had no idea what I would want to be when I grew up. I thought my life was meant to be calm, plain and peaceful just like my mother and the rest of the women in my village who did household chores and took good care of the family. I never knew I had so much in me until I uncovered them one by one. Thanks to the people and opportunities that helped me mold who I am today.

It is always a good story to tell about how someone who started zero from the ground, rose into something better anyone could have imagined - even myself. Helping the people that matters to me and improving myself are such a great relief when I think about it. I know I am still young and very courageous. Countless of adventures are out there waiting to be ventured and I am excited for it. My life right now is still what I sought - calm, plain and peaceful but with an added twists, unimaginable opportunities and bounty of happy moments in between.

At my early age right now, I can say that these four characteristics have personally helped me. I share this to some of my friends when we have serious conversation. I am glad to be writing it here as well.
Let us make sure to lead each of our step towards goodness and success. Let us be more valuable out there.

1.  Be versatile
This means our flexibility to being able to adapt to many different situations. This is a thing we should never neglect. Equipping ourselves with skills and knowledge in many areas will mold us into an in-demand well-rounded individual. Who wouldn’t want that? We all have the time needed for this. How about if we push this through? *wink*

2. Be hungry for knowledge
Curiosity is one of the key things that keep our lives full of adventures. Just because we are considered an expert in our field, doesn’t mean we don’t need to learn anything more. Learning new things will only make us more successful. As they say, “Get out of your comfort zone and you’ll be amazed at what you learn.”

3. Be hurt and move on
Human as we are, we are bound to get hurt. It’s one of the most effective teachers we can have in our life. We need to accept that we won't always make the right decisions, that we will screw up totally bigtime sometimes, that we can say unimpressive statements and many more negative things. The key there is to learn from our mistakes, make an effort to correct them and then be better next time.

4. Be the best version you can be
Each day is a new opportunity to grow. Each day we can be better than yesterday.
We hear it all time; “Do your best!” “Be the best you can be” “Be confident”. In a world where standards are raising, everything is more complex and more competitive, if we’re not doing our best – it feels like we will be left behind. Surround yourself with great people you feel you have connection with. Be open to new learnings – own it, learn, push and stay excited.

You go girl!

By the way, if you want to meet like-minded professional women here in Cebu, we at Google Developers Group Cebu, are organizing an event called Women Techmaker Cebu (WTM). It will be held on April 7, 2018 at The Company Cebu in Mandaue City. WTM will feature talks from women in technology across various fields, networking opportunities, and more--all geared towards increasing visibility, community, and resources for women in technology. I will be there and together with me are awesome women with careers in technology. See you there!

Cafe Breeze Merienda Buffet

Filipinos have variety of foods to choose from. It is said that Filipino cuisine is composed of 135 distinct ethno-linguistic tribes found within the Philippine archipelago.  Our food ranges from the very simple meal, like fried salted fish and rice, to the complex paellas and afritada prepared for fiestas that we acquired from Spaniards. The mixture of taste and texture make them special. Most foods are simple to cook yet taste of heaven when served and chewed.
We also have “ kakanin ” or known as Filipino native snacks. These foods are usually made with cassava, coconut milk, flour, rice, salt and sugar or a mixture of any of these. Kakanin are usually served during special celebrations like anniversary, birthday, Christmas, fiesta or just even when enjoying a great afternoon. These delicious and mouth-watering treats are also always welcome on the dining table whatever time of the day. Almost each of these symbolizes the sweetness and closeness of most Filipino family and friends. I also grew up loving them.
In this post, I will share some yummy kakanin choices served in Cafe Breeze that I liked personally. This restaurant offers Filipino snack buffet for only 199 pesos from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM daily. Affordable, I know. :P
It is located at Cebu Bayfront Hotel’s lobby just in front of SM City Cebu. The staff is very friendly. I got an invitation to try their food and taste it for mysel.
1. Puto and Sikwate
This is a Filipino version of rice cake paired with hot-chocolate drink derived from dried powdered cacao bean.
2. Arroz Caldo and Binignit
Arroz Caldo is a hearty Filipino congee made with chicken and rice then seasoned with onion, garlic, ginger, fish sauce with crunchy fried garlic as topings. The result is a quick comforting bowl that is a perfect meal for cold environment.
Benignit is a traditional food made by Visayans with slices of bananas, colorful pearls, rice and sweet potatoes. It is also cold as " hot halo-halo ".
3. Palitaw
This is a Philippine dessert and snack made with simple rice flour dough that is boiled and then coated in coconut and sesame seeds.
4. Puto Cheese and Bibingka
Puto Cheese looks like a fluffy white muffin made from rice, water, and sugar that is stone-grinded to make the batter. This is served to be paired with savory dishes like the famous dinuguan (also called pork blood stew). 
Bibingka is another type of rice cake that is usually eaten during breakfast especially during the Christmas season. It is traditionally cooked in clay pots lined with leaves.
5. Coconut Cupcakes 
These are muffins made out of coconut fruit.
6. Kutsinta
This is a type of steamed rice cake that is made from a mixture of rice flour, brown sugar and lye, enhanced with yellow food coloring or annatto extract, and steamed in small, cute ramekins.
7. Biko
This is a sweet rice cake that is made of coconut milk, brown sugar, and glutinous rice. It is usually topped with latik (either or both the coconut curds or the syrupy caramel-like variant).
8. Camote cue
This is a sweet potato fritter and is a popular snack food. Slices of sweet potato are coated with brown sugar and then fried to cook the potatoes and to caramelize the sugar.
9. Banana cue
This is made with deep fried bananas coated in caramelized brown sugar.

How about you, what food do you want to try from this list?

FLAME IT! Burgers and Sausages

A Flaming Start

Proudly homegrown in Cebu, Flame It! was founded in 2002 by three sisters with a love for the quality gourmet grilled burgers and a dream of a socially-responsible business. It was this passion for good burgers and spirit of the entrepreneurship that brought Flame It! to life.

Never one to compromise on ingredients, Flame It! believes in using only the freshest and best quality ingredients. A better and healthier alternative to the greasy fast food offerings, Flame It! has grilled its way to the hearts and bellies of the Cebuanos with three stores around the city and counting. From a tiny restaurant in Escario that could only accommodate 15 customers at a time, the store went to open more high-profiled stores in the city’s biggest malls. You will always find a showcase kitchen that reveals every step of the grilling process until the food is served to your table. This unique feature assures every customer freshness and sanitation as well as entertainment in seeing open flame grilling within the stores. In December 2002, the first mall store opened in no less than Ayala Center Cebu. Years later in February 2007, Flame It! launched their second mall branch at SM City Cebu. After almost a decade of concentrating on mall operations, the owners decided to revive the concept of a stand-alone independent restaurant. So on February 14, 2014, they opened in Juan Kuna, Mabolo was born.
With more and more foodies searching for a hassle-free, convenient and accessible dining option, Flame It! continues to expand in key locations around Cebu City with a bigger and bolder design featuring Cebu and its people while still serving the best flame-grilled, hand crafted burgers in town.

Flame It! burgers is owned and operated by Cebu EIV Ventures Corporation.

FLAME IT! Pop-up Kombi Store

This restaurant has recently launched a new store. This store however has no permanent address. Flame It! took inspiration from the popularity of the food truck concept and gave it a vintage twist.
Introducing Flame It! Pop-up Kombi, this mobile store has been drawing attention from the general public of Cebu. It is the first Kombi mobile store in Cebu that is actually running and drivable anywhere. It makes use of restored 1976 Volkswagen Kombi van using all original engine, accessories and mechanism. The vintage feel and look brings you back to the age of peace, love and rock ‘n roll.

The kombi van brings together all generations. Those who feel nostalgic of the good old days, the millennials who find fascination in anything vintage, and those in between who just have plain curiosity but everyone having one thing in common... sharing real flame grille burgers freshly prepared right before their eyes.

Visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/flameitbugers and their Instagram page @flameitburgers to see the entire rave about Pop-up Kombi store.

To: My Totoro Love

Blush, blush
My love,

This letter is long overdue, and it has been tumbling around in my mind for weeks now. So, I think it is finally time to put my thoughts on a digital paper and tell how I feel about you coming into my life. I do not know if you like love letters because I have not asked you about it, but I hope this brings sweet smiles and giggles to you. (I would yell out of too much kilig if I have one.) I am not so good with talking about my feelings sometimes, but I do not want my thoughts to go unsaid.

The past week was relatively challenging for me, as you know, and thank you for being there all throughout those times. You have been there digitally and emotionally close to me and I am very thankful for that. In this era where we, independent women, rising from the ground and dominating the fields that were only meant for men before, I am very lucky to have found you in the most unexpected place and unpredicted time. You are my hard rock and my good friend; fit for me and only for me. (Selfish alert hehe :P) You are the sweet frosting on top of my cupcake which adds up more flavors to my taste buds, to my life’s journey.

Separated by continents and oceans, being apart from you is more difficult than I ever imagined. Most days I find myself fantasizing how you’d look in an actual person, how you’d talk to me face-to-face, how you’d show your affections, how you’d touch and hold me and many more. At night, I lay down and imagine you are here with me. These thoughts make me ache and yearn to be with you someday. It is funny how I just can't stop thinking about you.

I do not tell you often enough but I have such an unending respect for you and the way you carry yourself in this world. You are true to yourself and I admire you for that. Your heart is caring and kind. Your eyes are so captivating. I could get lost in them forever. They are like depth of bluest ocean that I love getting drowned into. You are the loveliest and sexiest thing in the world and I could not be more attracted to everything about you. Your voice is so damn sexy in my ears that I want it to be the only voice I hear everyday. Thank you for being you. 

I believe that the perfect time will come for us to be with one another each day and everyday of our lives. And for sure, by that time, I will be so grateful to be able to wake up next to you every day, and will be so ecstatic that yours are the lips I get to kiss and body I get to hug before I nod off every single day. I was bitter last couple of years when it comes to talking about emotions and feelings. (I even made this sarcastic post.) I think I am not like that anymore today.  I know Foxy has been pissing you off lately. I hope she learns her training as days pass by. Do not forget that I am just right here willing to cheer you up in times you are irritated with day to day misfortune.

Today as I write this letter, it seems like you are right here with me. I feel your hand holding my hand, your fingers in my hair, and the soft breath of your kiss on my cheek. I miss you every day, my love. I cannot wait to finally see you soon.

Your Queen