Mai Mai

Meet Mai Mai, a puppy I adopted from a random neighbor who claimed he found the puppy on the streets. Fearing that she could be hit by a car, he took her then left her with us. He told us he will come back to get the puppy but he never did.

Mai Mai’s High Five Training

Just barely a month in our house, Mai Mai began to exhibit gradual hair loss, starting from her head, then eventually her body. We had her examined and the vet diagnosed her of having mange.

After 2 injections, a couple of months of controlled diet with twice a week bathing of Madre de Cacao shampoo, Mai Mai’s hair is starting to grow back.

We also started to work on her tricks. Mai Mai seems to be as trainable as the rest of our dogs.

Batangas Road Trip

We went on a road trip to Rosario, Batangas with Marvin last Sunday. We originally planned to go to Marinduque but the bad weather forced us to hit the road instead.

Our first stop was along SLEX, where we had a quick breakfast.

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Sleeping Pokemon

Our destination is a rest house / farm in Marilag, owned by a friend of Marvin’s high school teacher. Marvin accompanied them during their Japan vacation so in return they invited him to their home.

Rambutan Tree

Our new friends welcomed us with practically unlimited servings of rambutan, just plucked from the tree.


While eating we were also given a brief lecture on how to grow rambutan trees. Something you won’t learn in school. Hopefully, we can get to apply their tips when we already have our own farm.

Papaya Tree

They also have a couple of papaya trees. After having a hearty meal and another round of rambutan dessert, we were given a tour of their 1-hectare chili pepper farm.

Chili Pepper Plant

The owners were generous enough to give us a few of their extra seedlings so we can also grow our own.

Chili Pepper Seedlings


You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It

I can’t help but be amazed whenever I get reminded of the attempt made by a past employee to convince all the other employees to leave the company. After all the sacrifices and effort we’ve given in order to make sure everyone gets paid right and on time, he actually did what he did.

I guess you just can’t completely give your trust to anyone, even if you were the only one to give them a chance when no one else would. We even gave him our approval when his new employer contacted us, even though, we weren’t really happy with his performance.

For a startup like ours, finding people with the right skills is already a challenge, however finding people with the right attitude is even more challenging, if not impossible.

Just imagine, if this person is willing to do this to a startup, I’m pretty sure he would not have second thoughts in doing this to a bigger organization.

Running a business is really difficult. Most people probably would never realize or understand it until they’re doing it. We’re not perfect. We’re still learning. We are giving our best and we are trying to be fair without putting everything else at risk. I don’t think that it justifies betrayal.

Two Injuries, One Finger

What are the odds of getting 2 injuries on the same finger in just a span of 4 hours? I guess it’s my lucky day…

2 Injuries

I got the 1st while I was trying to force-feed my distemper-stricken puppy. She was delirious and accidentally bit my finger. The 2nd was a cut due to carelessness when I was opening the canned dog food for the same puppy. I guess easy open cans are not necessarily injury free.

The Other Side of Things

Last week, the owner of the office space we are renting gave us some advice on running our business, particularly, how to deal with employees. According to him, we should use our “head” and not our “heart”, like he did when he was still young and starting. He learned not to give his full trust on one person. He also learned to be assertive and strict with employees after a couple of “incidents”. Those bad experiences really changed the way he thinks of and treats his employees nowadays.

I understand where he’s coming from but I don’t think that there’s silver bullet solution. Too much freedom could lead to abuse while too much control could send the wrong message and promote distrust between the employer and employees. The challenging part is determining the right balance between freedom and control.

Fortunately, the company is still small so it’s relatively easy to spot discrepancies and often times obvious if an employee is not doing his job. Unfortunately, the company is still small so productivity is really critical. Finding the right person to do the job is one thing, earning enough to be able to pay him is another thing.

Call me idealistic or “soft” but I do believe that if you do the right thing, you will get what you deserve, eventually. Some may think of it as being stupid or too kind for letting people take advantage of you. I agree but that doesn’t mean that you must try to get even or waste all your energy in worrying or doubting.

Sometimes the best option is to just eliminate the source of the problem instead of implementing solutions to control the problem thereby creating more things to worry about. Problem employees tend to find new ways to cheat their way around the system and the cycle would never end.

If you’re lucky, the problem goes away on their own. Otherwise, you will be left to decide when and how to let them go. If you’re unlucky, they tend to stay for as long as they could thinking that they’re fooling you even though you’re just being considerate and hopeful that their situation would improve. Either ways, you’re either “heartless” for letting them go or “stupid” for letting them stay.

Choosing the right employee is hard. Getting a good employee is even harder. Sometimes all you need is luck. Because no matter how hard you try to motivate or force people, they can only be as good as they want themselves to be. Bottom line is the bad ones tend to fair poorly and fail, while the good ones tend to excel and succeed.

self-discovery through people, places, and experiences…


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