FCM Volume 2 Issue 5 Edmonton

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EDMONTON | FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |



| FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |

| FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |



| FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |

| FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |




Manage your business for yourself, but not by yourself! As a Sun Life Financial advisor you’ll receive exceptional training and support, competitive compensation, and ongoing recognition for your achievements. We’re ready and waiting to meet you.

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Life’s brighter under the sun 6

*Mutual funds distributed by Sun Life Financial Investment Services (Canada) Inc.

Life Financial advisors are contracted with Sun Life Financial Distributors (Canada) Inc. registered in Quebec as a financial services firm. | FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol.Sun 5 | 2017 | of Canada, 2017. © 2SunIssue Life Assurance Company A2355-E-02-16

Message from FCM

Why Community Involvement is a Personal and Business Investment By Abel Pagaling


hen we think of investment, first thing that comes to mind is the “dollar” sign. How much will it cost, and how much will I get in return.

In the last few years, I’ve met successful individuals who are “giving” their time and money back to the community. Some are business owners. Others are professionals who take time out of their already busy lives to give back. This made me reflect on myself. If I trace back the significant changes in my life over the past 5 years, I would say it’s because of my involvement in the community. It started with serving in my local church, the River of Life Alliance Church (or RLAC) in Calgary, then in my Toastmasters club, then eventually, with TFCC – or The Filipino Champions of Canada. I will say that this magazine is inspired by my involvement in the community. I’ve seen so much beauty and inspiration in people that it had to be captured and shared. I’ve come to realized that involvement in the community is more than just a “feel good” thing to do. I was actually (and maybe subconsciously) making an investment in myself and in my business – now and in the future. Here’s why: Community Involvement Builds Better Communities I don’t mean to offend by asking this question, but would you want to be associated with a “bad” community? I don’t think so. I think we would prefer to have a community that is respected and admired. We all want a community we can be proud of. Community Involvement Opens Opportunities What we value reflects on who we are, and we attract people who has the same values as ours. I’ve met many leaders, business owners, and professionals through my community involvement. These opened new business deals, partnerships, and initiatives that created opportunities outside of community work.

and evolving. There are constantly new challenges to work on. It’s these challenges that forces people to think, to collaborate, and create results, making people smarter. Community Involvement Makes You Valuable The heroes we look up to – Terry Fox, Ghandi, Rizal, Mother Theresa – all have one thing in common. They served their community. We don’t need to match their achievement, but we can draw lessons from them and apply it in our community. Perhaps take on a cause that you believe in and get involved. Carve out some time to contribute. Two hours a week devoted to community services will add up to 208 hours a year, or 8.6 days of services! You can achieve a lot with that. Community Involvement Adds Meaning to Your Life This is the main reason why I get myself involved in the community. What would life be if we only lived for ourselves? It will be painful to know at the end of my life that I’ve lived but have not contributed to my community. What example would I leave behind for my children, or my grandchildren? I believe in “leaving this word better than I found it.” Because in the end, I want to know that my life mattered. I leave you with this quote: “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it, and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate, you have not wasted your time but have done your best.” - Robert Baden-Powell Abel Pagaling Life Coach - Certified Coaches Federation Founder - Next Level Coach (www.nextlevelcoach.net) CEO - FICA Media Inc. Email: abel.pagaling@filcanmagazine.com

Community Involvement Elevates Your Status When you add value to your community, you increase your own value. Personally, I find people who have a track record in serving the community more trustworthy, caring, creative, giving, and most importantly, they get things done. They’re respected by others. Extreme examples I have in mind are Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Both are incredibly successful – personally and in business, and both have committed themselves to helping people through their foundations. Community Involvement Makes You Smarter People who do things for the community are forward thinkers or solution oriented. They have to be because communities are always changing | FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |





FCM – Filipino Canadian Magazine PUBLISHED BY | FICA Media Inc. EDITOR | Abel Pagaling EDITOR | Roselle Pangilinan CO-EDITOR | Annabelle Cayetano Pagaling MAGAZINE DESIGNER | Eric Cordero COVER FEATURE DESIGNER | Armand Flores PHOTOGRAPHY PARTNER | PROFOLIO PHOTOGRAPHY www.profoliophotography.com CONTRIBUTORS FOR THIS ISSUE | Michaella Shannon, Abel Pagaling, Abe Brown, Maria Asprer, Judianne Jayme, Sarah Kirkpatrick, Valen Vergara, Marvin Casiano, Sherylyn Vivero, Julia Lim, Vu Nguyen, Alex Briones, Kris Salumbides

FCM YOUTH COMMUNITY AMBASSADOR | Nicole San Gabriel FCM FITNESS AMBASSADOR | Queeny Alfetche FCM CALGARY AMBASSADOR | Madeahl Yamyamin FCM GLOBAL COMMUNITY AMBASSADOR | Limuel Vilela Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in FCM are not necessarily the views of the publisher. To submit an article to FCM, Email: info@filcanmagazine.com.

Photo: Armand Flores (Profolio Photography) Hair and Make Up: Illona Gimpel Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation

FICA MEDIA INC. Suite 300, 160 Quarry Park Blvd SE Calgary, Alberta T2C 3G3 Toll free: 1-888-844-1633 filcanmagazine.com info@filcanmagazine.com Facebook: facebook/filcanmagazine Twitter: @filcanmagazine Instagram: @filcanmagazine

Did you miss our last issue? Please visit our website at: www.filcanmagazine.com




Filipino Canadian Magazine

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CEO | Abel Pagaling COO | Eric Cordero EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATOR | Vicky Cordero SOCIAL MEDIA ADMISTRATOR | Annabelle Pagaling FINANCE DIRECTOR | Juvanie Cabbab Bowen BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TEAM | Brent Anotado, Hanes Anotado , Armand Flores, Ning Becada Vicky Cordero, Flory Daloos, Marietta Pangan, Allan Sergio Isidoro, Madeahl Yamyamin, Kathy Arellano, Catherine Diaz, Nora Ragadio


FCM Marketing Director | Armand Flores


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Written consent must be obtained from the publisher to reproduce any of the contents.

CONTENTS Volume 2 Issue 5 | 2017


C.R.A.V.E. For Papa’s Bosom Sherylyn Vivero

32 20 Cover Story Canada’s First Nations


Achieve And Improve Life Balance With A Life Coach Julia Lim

Dalagita 2017

Millennial Culture Shock Judianne Jayme

Michaella Shannon



Message from FCM

Why Community Involvement is a Personal and Business INVESTMENT Abel Pagaling

ALEX BRIONES How Living in Poverty Shaped My Real Estate Career Abel Pagaling


Narrowing Down Your Target Market Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Business

34 Stop Talking and Start Listening - 5 Things I Do That Help Me Listen Vu Nguyen

Sarah Kirkpatrick



Abe Brown

Valen Vergara

The Power of Your Words


Our Canadian Journey Struggles, Faith, and Triumph Maria Asprer


6th Annual Pistahan sa Country Hills Toyota

Make Decisions Like A CEO




From a Hospital Porter to a Successful Business Executive in the Healthcare Industry Abel Pagaling | FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |



(Originally posted at: certifiedcoachesfederation. swing set she was on, and run hurriedly to her com/blog/2017/04/09/the-power-of-your- father. As she did, she grabbed the hand of her words/) little sister, so they could leave together. The smaller sister began to cry, upset that she had was jolted the other day when I to leave the park. A gentle conflict ensued as was out for an afternoon walk with the big sister tried to use her under-developed my wife and children. As we were maternal instincts to coax her smaller sibling to walking through the neighbourhood come along. on a bright and beautiful day flooded with sunlight, we passed by a local playground It was almost as though this small act of familial for small children. Strolling along the sidewalk care triggered another explosion of negative beside the park, it was peaceful to hear the energy and damaging words from the dad. happy sounds of children’s laughter and fun, Again, the father let his presence be felt with and so it was a shock when it was interrupted by verbal abuse, heard and witnessed by all: “You’re the shrill pitch of a man yelling: “You’re such a such a dough-head. You’re always such a doughdough-head. You’re always such a dough-head. head. Come on, let’s go. You don’t need to bring Come on, let’s go.” your sister and now look, you just made her cry. You always do this! Your sister is supposed to Concerned for the safety of the children present stay here while we go to the doctor. Why do you in the park, I slowed our walk so that I could always act like such a dough-head?” Before you find out what this man’s verbal pollution was all knew it, the dad and daughter hopped into an about. It turns out he was yelling at his daughter, idling mini-van and sped off. who looked to be about 5 years old, about a doctor’s appointment they were apparently late Now, I’m not sure exactly what a “dough-head” for. He was trying to get his daughter’s attention is, but based on the level of toxicity and venom so that they could get to this meeting on time. in his tone of speech, it can’t be good. When I think about parental affection and empowering Then, we watched the little girl leave the our children, the phrase “dough-head”, along



| FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |

with criticism for caring for your smaller sister, anger, blame and shame are not in the manual. Parents should empower and nurture us, rather than disempower and cripple us, with their words and tones. A key principle in life navigation is that your words, your energy, your tone, and your spirit have power. Our words are our greatest tool. Our words are an instrument in our hands, and we can use them with great skill and artfulness to heal those who are wounded, support those who are struggling, guide those who are confused, encourage those who are timid, and inspire those who are apathetic. However, when we use our words with recklessness or ignorance, they can lay heavy burdens, impose significant barriers and obstacles, and disempower and disable completely. The words that we speak not only ring in the ears of those who hear them in the moment, but they echo into eternity in real world terms of self-perceptions, thought processes, choices, behaviours, and all the outcomes that follow. We need to be careful with the words we speak, and the words we hear.

The Power Of Your Words…

that makes an impression, or the semantics of our language. It is the energy itself, projected through the vehicle of our spoken words. When Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke, the energy was peaceful revolution and hopeful change. When Winston Churchill spoke, the energy was courage in the face of fear, and defiance in the face of tyranny. When you speak, what energy is projected? What energy flows? The words we speak, and the words we hear project potent energy.

Your words are a ripple A single word may last but a second, but its impact can ripple for a lifetime. A paragraph can last for a minute, but its impact can echo on into eternity. Words have power. Words can light a fire in our minds, they can calm a storm in our hearts, they can pull tears from our eyes, and they can inspire energy and passion in our soul. Words can ripple a message of acceptance and affirmation, healing and hope, or they can ripple a message of rejection and exclusion, unforgiveness and judgment. The words we speak, and the words we hear powerfully ripple and set the course for our lives.

Your words are a seed An irreversible principle of life is that the seeds that we plant become the harvest that we reap. When we want to see how a child will turn out, we simply need to look at the words that are sown (or not sown) as seeds into their lives. When we want to see the outcome of a person we are leading or developing, assess the words that are being shared with them, through us and through others. Robert Louis Stevenson said this: “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” Our words are the seed we probably sow the most, so paying careful attention to our words is critical.

Your words are energy I remember it like it was yesterday. With her green lipstick, and green nail polish, the principal of my elementary school made quite an impression on the mind of this 7-year old boy. My principal was quite upset with me, because I was not a model student and ended up in her office every single day, mostly for fighting with other children. She looked me in the eye, and said, “Abe, you are a bad child. One day, you will end up in prison.” Of course, I remember the words themselves, but even more deeply, I remember the energy the words projected. It was the energy of negativity, anger, resentment, and frustration. It was the energy of bitterness and judgment. I felt the energy as I heard the words, and I am so grateful they did not come true. I felt the energy as I heard the words, and I am so grateful they did not come true. When we speak, we project energy. It is not just our grammar or sentence composition

Your words are programming I remember hearing of a life coaching client whose parents consistently told him while he was

• • • • •

Your words bring healing if you are wise Your words pierce like a sword if you are reckless Learn what to say & how to say it Learn how to say hard truths well When you speak life it is: - Affirmation - Nourishment - Validation - Acknowledgement

growing up that there was more brains in the concrete sidewalk in the family backyard than he had in his head. Think about the impact of hearing that from your parents, for the whole of your life. Think about what this did to his self-concept, sense of potential, and ability to navigate obstacles and barriers. Think of the impact this lethal language had on his choice of partner, friends, education and career. Part of the coaching process, and the personal growth journey, is asking this ever-relevant question: What programming was installed as an operating system on your hard drive? And what impact did that programming have, in terms of your choices, opportunities, potential, and capacity? From your early formative years, what impact did the words you heard consistently have on the programming of your beliefs, thoughts, and feelings? And as you communicate with others, both with words and without words, what programming are you offering them?

Your words are a thread

with pictures or designs formed by weaving together colored threads. It is also often used in reference to an intricate combination of things or sequence of events. A tapestry can be beautiful and warm and colorful, or it can be of poor quality and color, based on the skill of the artisan. In the same way, with every word we hear, and every word we speak, is a thread that ultimately helps to form a tapestry of beliefs, thoughts and feelings. When the words we speak, and the words we hear, are life-giving and positive, nurturing and hopeful, we are weaving a beautiful tapestry of empowerment and possibility. When the words we speak, and the words we hear, are unhealthy and negative, they weave together a tapestry of low selfesteem, low worth, and low possibilities. Constantly speak life. The tongue has the power of life and death. We literally create things and bring life with what we say. Or, we can bring death! The words we speak, and the words we hear have power. I remember that day, flooded with light, on a walk with my family. I think often about the impact on a little girl of the words of her father. “You’re such a dough-head. You’re always such a dough-head….” The words we speak, and the words we hear, have a powerful ripple effect. The words we speak, and the words we hear, act as seeds bearing a harvest, with an energy and vitality of their own. The words we speak, and the words we hear, are programming that conditions beliefs, thoughts, and feelings, ultimately weaving a tapestry of our overall mental and emotional health. Let’s be careful to speak life, and to only allow ourselves to hear words that give life. Our lives depend on it. -------------------------------------------------------------© 2017 Certified Coaches Federation. All Rights Reserved -------------------------------------------------------------Abe Brown, MBA is the Coach’s Coach, and is the CEO of Momentum Coaching, and the President of the Certified Coaches Federation. Momentum Coaching has experienced triple digit growth for several years running, and the Certified Coaches Federation has trained and certified over 12,000 Life and Executive Coaches in the last 10 years. Abe does Leadership, Business, and Executive Coaching, and works with profit-based, and non-profit organizations around strategic planning, cultivating fully engaged employees, and facilitating coaching and training programs. He has also worked with several small, medium, and large businesses to accelerate revenue growth and maximize engagement.

A tapestry is a piece of thick textile fabric | FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |





am a first generation Canadian, and a millennial at that. Growing up is confusing in itself, but what more when you’re immersed in one culture while your roots are in a separate one? I made a conscious effort to uphold my Filipino values that were passed on generationally within my family. The issue I faced was how to I find a compromise of both the world around me which has a different idea of what a powerful woman is, and the world inside me, of what being a dalagang Pilipina is all about? Enter Dalagita. Two years ago, I was involved as part of the admin team behind a traditional beauty pageant that sought to find girls who, like me years ago, wanted to find that balance between tradition and contemporary,


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between Filipino and Canadian. In the past year, the contestants from this pageant and I developed a concept that would take all the challenges we faced and seek to level the field for the upcoming generation of leaders. We found one part of the solution: education. As an educator and mentor, I place so much value in actively testing out solutions rather than passively hoping for things to get better. The biggest concern for me was: But who is doing this right now? No one? Does that mean that I have to start this? Here’s some context for you: I’m not self-employed, I’m entrepreneurial.

I realized that the need for this project was greater than my own fears of creating something that doesn’t exist. The help and opportunities this could bring to others far outweighed the judgment and rejection that comes with the initial phases of a start-up. Early 2017 became the pilot year for the Dalagita Project. It is an elevated experience for our Filipino community – something innovative that hasn’t been done. In the words of one of our community leaders, we are “giving the community something that we didn’t know that we needed.” After an initial call for applicants, we had four young girls (grades 10 to 12) step forward to take on the challenge. I also learned as I approached community leaders for feedback that rejection was few and far between – something this genuine and for our youth is hard to pass up on.

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e designed a contest that would be based on sharing ideas, being heard, and communicating for things that we are passionate about. Education and encouragement would be the tools through which we empowered this group of dalagitas. We developed monthly topic-of-interest based Master Classes that gave our finalists the authority and ownership over their own learning. They choose the topic, they recommend speakers they would want to hear from, my job was to connect to these speakers and organize our panelists. There was so much choice and voice for these girls – and they were learning the value of connecting with other strong, powerful women in our city.

You can make the conscious effort to empower those who cross your path. Through Dalagita 2017, I have been approached by women I had never met before, who took a genuine interest in the project – “This is something we needed when we were kids!” I found ways to encourage and empower my own team to experience things that would help them grow personally and professionally. The creative artists I worked with through performance arts, culinary arts, hair and make-up, and décor, I gave full creative license to produce what they felt was best – and to not need my permission and supervision for their choices.

“Attitude is everything when it comes to growth – your willingness to celebrate others and build on the strengths of those around you.”

Scores were tabulated solely on their ability to communicate. If public speaking is listed as a number one fear for the majority of the population, that was where we were placing our value – on the fact that these four dalagitas were overcoming their fear because they, too, understood the power of using their voices. And if they can do this now, at such a young age, watch out for what these girls are capable of! The largest takeaway that I have from this experience would be that I


learned that empowerment is not limited to those who sign up for it.

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Attitude is everything when it comes to growth – your willingness to celebrate others and build on the strengths of those around you. DALAGITA 2017: Culture. Communication. Community. Celebration.

To follow the adventures of our Dalagitas, follow us on our Facebook Fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/DalagitaWinnipeg Photos by HB Photography (Henry Balanial)

6th Annual Pistahan sa Country Hills Toyota and Flores De Mayo A Taste of Philippine FIESTA at Country Hills Toyota in Calgary, AB!


n May 20th, Sir Alan Sergio Isidoro, one of Country Hills Toyota’s longstanding sales consultant hosted the 6th Annual Pistahan sa Country Hills Toyota! The event was attended by hundreds of Filipinos, turning Country Hills Toyota into a “fiesta” scene for several hours. Businesses brought in their booths and showcased their products and services, creating a marketplace environment to the delight of the attendees. As with all “Pistahan” or Philippine fiesta, traditional, delicious food was served, followed by a fun filled program which included a beauty queen parade and a talent show! The Pistahan sa Country Hills Toyota has become a popular yearly event in the Filipino-Canadian community, bringing together people in Southern Alberta for a time of fun, networking, and most importantly, celebrating the Filipino culture. “I love to see Filipinos come together,” said Alan. Country Hills Toyota has been very supportive of the Filipino-Canadian community. “From what I understand, supporting the community is a big deal for Country Hills Toyota,” said Abel Pagaling, CEO of FCM – Filipino Canadian Magazine. “They really give back and welcome people and events like this. It’s a win for them, but it’s also a huge win for the community. I look forward to a bigger event next year.” -FCM

Photos: Rizeal Photography

| FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |




hen you try to talk to everyone, you wind up talking to no one.

Photo by ARMAND FLORES of Profolio Photography Makeup by: Nikki Cook - Evanescents - @weddingsbyevanescents Hair By: Kirsty Duckett - Kirsteclipse - @kirsteclipse_yyc

Let’s break this down.

watching YouTube videos – even if it takes a bit longer than expected. However, I know people who consider their car their baby and would only buy ‘her’ the best of the best boots. They usually go 200km/hr down Deerfoot and take corners like they are trying to turn the earth on its axis. So great tires really matter because, for them, it could be life or death. They also like to feel at home, pampered even, whenever they are in waiting rooms. They want a plush chair where they can kick their feet up and answer emails. They want free coffee and wifi, and maybe even cookies. They want it to be a clean, quiet space and they are willing to pay a little extra, as long as the car is done on time during their scheduled appointment.

Yes – everyone needs tires. But does everyone want your tires? Do they want the service experience and atmosphere you provide? For the price you are providing it? In the time you can do it?

Do you offer both of these types of services? For the majority of business owners, you cannot be both cheap and luxurious (and if you are, you are either not cheap or luxurious enough, or your business isn’t going to last long).

For me, I really just drive to get from A to B, so I will likely price shop for the cheapest tires I can. I also don’t really care about what I am going to do in the meantime because I am perfectly happy sitting on a curb

The point is, even for tires – there are different target markets. Even though everyone who owns a car needs tires, not everyone has the same needs. In turn, they will not respond to the same advertising.

Every single time (almost without fail) I ask my new clients who they want to target with their advertising they say “everyone”. Some even ‘narrow it down’ by saying “everyone who (insert activity related to their product).” So, what is the problem? If you sell tires wouldn’t it make sense to target everyone who drives a car?


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For example: If you try to target to everyone your ad would look something like: “We have tires for all cars – switch out your winter tires with us and get back on the road. We have professional mechanics standing by”. Pretty generic right? What does it tell us about the company? What does it tell us about the price, or the experience we will thave? Nothing. You can’t mention those when you are talking to everyone because then you would no longer be talking to everyone. You know who will click on this ad? Nobody. Why? Because they skimmed right over it. It didn't speak directly to them and their needs, and therefore, in your effort to talk to ‘everyone’ you ended up talking to no one. So you narrow your scope. You give details that you know your shop can provide and talk directly to the person you know would come in. Important note: See how I said ‘person’ there? When narrowing down your target market you have to talk to one person – and then all people similar to that person will read it. Sit down with a pad of paper and write down the characteristics of your ideal customer. Give them a gender, a name, a family; write down their interests, what they do for a living, how much they make a year, what they do for fun; even go as far as to explain their physical traits. You need to have an image of one perfect customer in your head when you are writing ads (or public content of any kind) if you want people to stop and read. While you will not be sharing this info, it will allow you to more easily talk to people, as opposed to at them – resulting in more sales. Example: If you are a cheap tire shop who does the job for bottom dollar with a ‘drop in’ type model, you are targeting people who do not drive luxury cars and who just use their car to get from point A to point B (like me). Your business goals are quantity over quality.

Ad: “Bring your own coffee and get the cheapest tire flip in the city. We keep expenses down so our prices stay bottom dollar. Stay safe without breaking the bank. Drop in to see our professional tire technicians and we will get you back on the road, without the expensive bells and whistles. No appointment necessary, waiting room not included”

If you are a dealership or high end maintenance shop who sells only the best tires and charges for convenience, you are targeting luxury car owners who are more comfortable being comfortable, and will pay extra to experience that. Your business goals are quality over quantity (and your high overhead and expenses reflect that). “Don’t sit on a curb in your custom-made suit, or risk letting your car out of sight and in the hands of strangers. Come in to our newly updated showroom and breathe life back into your sports car or luxury sedan with the best-on-the-market summer tires you’ve been waiting for. The floor to ceiling windows in our viewing room enables you to watch the experts from the comfort of a Lazyboy, free latte in hand. Phone chargers and free wifi are included, not that you’ll be waiting long. Getting your tires flipped with us is not a task, it is a luxury!” Does it make sense how these two people would not react to the first ad, but how they would be dialing for the second that relates to them? When you are trying to get the attention of someone, waving your hands and whispering ‘hey you’ will always be less effective than handing ‘Bill’ or ‘Jeff’ a note directly.

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An Interview with Mr. Alex Briones



nce in a while, there are individuals who move us and make us realize how blessed and incredibly fortunate we are to be living in one of the best countries on earth. They share a glimpse of their journey. They reveal to us their true mission through the path they’ve taken. They show us that there’s more to them than the title or job they carry. Look deeply into their lives and you’ll see just how far they’ve come to get to where they are now. You can’t help but admire their life, their inspiration, and their mission. One such individual is Alex Briones. He is real estate agent who has had a difficult yet amazing journey in life.

Photo: Armand Flores (Profolio Photography)

By Abel Pagaling

AP: What was your motivation to get into real estate? AB: When I purchased my first house, I felt something was missing in the process. I thought it could improve. At that time, I was listening to audiobooks on real-estate investing from Robert Kiyosaki. This was back in 2008 when I was still working as a full-time technician at Memory Express. I was very interested in real estate. I talked to a few people about real estate, and they said it’s not a good industry to be in because of the economy. Then I spoke to a real estate agent. She told me, “It’s not about the economy Alex, it’s about you. If you’re honest with people and you’re willing to help, don’t worry about the economy. If you’re ready to help do it.” With this in mind I took the part-time course at CREB (Calgary Real Estate Board) while working full-time at Memory Express. It took about a year to complete. After that, I started my real estate career.


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AP: What do you do to assist your clients when making a purchase? AB: Buying a house is probably the largest investment for a family to make. If I can make the process more informative and easier for clients, it will be a better transaction for everyone. In real estate, the transaction process can go very fast. You get into a situation where you have to make payments on the mortgage, condo fees, credit cards, line of credits, property tax, home and fire insurance, and other payments. If a client is informed beforehand of all these payments before purchasing a house, they can plan better. I’m all about helping my clients make the right decision. I ensure that every client I talk to knows how much expense they will be responsible for when they purchase a house. With all the payments involved, you can slowly get into a cycle of debt which is very hard to get out of. I make sure they understand all these obligations before they make a purchase. This was a personal mistake I made. I don’t want my clients to repeat it.

AP: Tell us more about you and what or who inspires you? AB: This is personal. I have five siblings in my family. But I was a step-brother to them. I had a different mother than my siblings. When I was in grade 2, I moved in with my dad and my siblings because my mom passed away. Before that, I lived with my mom and my lola (grandma). My mom tried to raise me on her own, but sadly she got sick and passed away. I was left with my lola (grandma). We lived in a small place. My lola didn’t have a job, so we had to ask money on the streets. We had to beg. My lola told me we collect more money when I’m with her. At my very young age, I remember people were very generous. Aside from money, they gave us rice grain, food and clothes. Lola always tells me never steal from somebody. Just ask for help and they will help you. But then my lola said she couldn’t raise me anymore. That’s when she left me to my dad and his family. It was tough, but my family was very good to me. They embraced me and very grateful to them. So now when I go to the Philippines, I always go back to the poor areas. My ultimate goal is to help my family on my biological mother’s side and the poor families on my father’s side. I want them to rise from being poor. I want them to do well in life. My goal is not just to give money. I want them to have something that they can work on and make a living. I want them to learn how to fish, not just give them fish so to speak. This is what motivates me to be different with my clients. I’ve lived poverty. If I can prevent others from living a difficult life, I will. AP: How did living in hardship mold your business approach with your clients? AB: I’ve experienced more difficulties in the Philippines with my family. My dad at one point lost everything when his business went bankrupt. He had to sell everything, and we had to live in an impoverished area where there was drugs and violence. This change when my sister came to Canada to be a caregiver. She’s the one who sent money back home to make sure we could go to school. I owe everything to her. I’m able to have a family here because of my sister Jenny. I’m very grateful to her. I’m also very grateful to my stepmom (Inang) who took me in like her own son. And this is why I tell buyers, don’t just buy based on your emotions.

Photo: Armand Flores (Profolio Photography)

where they don’t know where they will get their mortgage payment. I want my clients to make the right decisions. I want them to be successful not just in owning a home, but in life as well. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------To know more about Alex, visit his website at www.alexbriones.ca

Let’s look at the finances first. Let’s look at what you’ll be paying each month. I want to prevent people from getting into a situation

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Photo: Armand Flores of Profolio Photography Hair and Make Up: Illona Gimpel Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation


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Canada’s First Nations Michaella Shannon

“Eagle Feather Flies With The Wind Woman”

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ichaella Shannon was born in Edmonton, Alberta on November 21, 1995. She holds Indian Status with the Government of Canada and is registered at Frog Lake First Nation in Northern Alberta. She currently resides in Calgary, Alberta. Michaella lives a nomadic lifestyle that her ancestors once journeyed and enjoyed. As a FIrst Nations she is ‘grounded’ in all of the ancestral territories. At the age of four, Michaella made her first move to the city Prince Albert, Saskatchewan when her mother was offered a job at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary. Michaella attended daycare, kindergarten and then went on to elementary school. After four years in Prince Albert the family moved to Biggar, Saskatchewan where her mom opened a business. Michaella found it difficult to adjust to the small town lifestyle of Biggar. She had to entertain herself with a playhouse in the trees and playing with her animals. In winter when the school bus could not drive down the half mile to the house, she was bundled up in a sleigh and pulled to the road to get on the bus. At school, Michaella experienced bullying and racism. It made it very difficult to gain a sense of identity, a connection to spirituality, and a strong knowledge of her culture. There were times when she feared to go to school because her peers would threaten to beat her up. They threw things at her during class, behind the teacher's back. She was called a “dirty Indian” or a “squaw” and they would treat her as an outcast. At age twelve, Michaella started to experiment with makeup. Michaella’s mom thought it was a good idea to enroll her in a program that could help break her out of her shell, build confidence, and teach her how to do makeup and hair. It was called Cat Walk and Camera.

Photo: Armand Flores of Profolio Photography


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At fifteen, Michaella’s family moved to Broadview, Saskatchewan. Michaella did not want to move. The decision was made for her to attend school in Saskatoon where she diligently completed her schooling, worked a part time job, and spent weekends and evenings doing local fashion shows, photoshoots, commercials, auditions, and special events. She entered and won the Miss Teen Saskatchewan 2014 pageant being the first, First Nations female to hold this title. As long as Michaella kept up with her homework, the school was very understanding about being absent. Michaella graduated at seventeen with a scholarship from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education. After graduation, Michella competed for Miss Teen Canada and placed in the top five. She was then invited to model in New York Fashion Week. Michaella was accepted at the University of Saskatchewan. During her second year she was accepted into the Aboriginal Justice and Criminology Program (ABJAC Program) majoring in Sociology with ambition to be a criminal lawyer. She signed up to mentor first year students, sat as a youth participant on the technical working group of National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy (NAYSPS), and became an active advocate for her First Nations community. When the second year of university came to an end, Michaella found herself in an abusive relationship. Her boyfriend of one year was physically, mentally, and emotionally abusing her. Subsequently, Michaella suffered depression and developed high functioning anxiety. She lost interest in everything. She stopped going to school, she stopped modelling, she stopped doing auditions, and she stopped doing all of the things she once loved. Her self-esteem had dropped critically low. Her boyfriend isolated her, making her feel guilty for doing the things she was most passionate about. She hit an ultimate low when she started having thoughts of suicide. Michaella’s mother suspected something was going on and she could see that Michaella’s light was being dimmed.

Photo: Armand Flores of Profolio Photography Saskatoon being only one hour from Biggar, Michaella’s mom would drive her to the city twice a week. Michaella was kind of shy and had low selfesteem because of the bullying. Not long after this, Michaella was asked to attend an audition for the television series ‘Rabbit Fall’. The instructor of the course was a modelling and talent agent. She saw Michaella as a perfect fit for the part. Michaella was hesitant at first but as she trained for the part, she became very excited. This was her first audition and she got the part. Michaella was the ‘Ghost Girl’ that guided the main character through life, protecting her and warning her of dangers on her path. This is how Michaella began her close relationship with her mentor Jennifer Podemski. Jennifer was the producer of Rabbit Fall. Michaella’s modelling journey began with her first photoshoot at fourteen years of age. She attended the Canadian Model and Talent Convention (CMTC) in Toronto, Ontario. Michaella trained hard. And with the coaching of her mother, Michaella was able to master the song that she set out to sing at CMTC. Michaella was now officially a ‘triple threat’ a name used in the industry when you have three talents. Acting, modelling and now singing, Michaella entered into all competition categories including dance. Michaella came home with 14 ‘callbacks’ and a second place trophy in singing. She started Royal Conservatory of Music vocal training. This lead to joining a musical theatre group, singing the national anthem at events, fundraisers and a country jamboree. Michaella entered the Saskatchewan Music Festival competitions and won not only scholarships, but also placed in numerous categories.

Michaella removed herself from this situation by moving home to her parents who were now living in Calgary, Alberta. She entered her third year of university taking classes online. She went into 2016 with the desire to gain a stronger connection to her culture, spirituality, and identity. She also wanted to strengthen and develop her intuition. A gift she possessed as a child. Michaella was asked if she was interested in co-hosting a reality/drama television series. The series is about paranormal activity from a First Nations perspective. The show explores paranormal phenomenon and shares First Nations beliefs and protocol in regards to the spirit world. Michaella was ecstatic but at the same time nervous. She attended the interviews for the show and was hired as one of the hosts of the APTN series ‘The Other Side’. A few weeks later filming started. Both of her cohosts have gifts of intuition. She has learned a lot more about her own gifts. Some people point out that the part on Rabbit Fall, as a ghost, was a foreshadowing for the role as a “Ghost Hunter” on ‘The Other Side’. In the midst of a busy lifestyle, Michaella finds time to do public speaking and workshops in First Nation communities. She facilitates workshops on alcohol/drug abuse and their close relationship to suicide within the Aboriginal community. This topic is important to Michaella because she has experienced the death of both her eldest brother and sister. She also facilitates workshops on reproductive health, self-esteem, effects of bullying, decision-making, and overcoming negative experiences. Michaella shares her story to let youth know that challenges can be overcome and that they too can reach their goals using mindfulness and focus.

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Photo: Armand Flores of Profolio Photography

Introduce First Nations Community: Calgary sits on the traditional territory of Treaty 7. Treaty 7 territory is home to the Blackfoot Confederacy or Niitsitapi, meaning “the people.” Treaty 7 is comprised of the Blackfoot Nations: Kainai, Piikani, and Siksika, the Sarcee Nation: Tsuu T’ina and the Stoney/Nakoda Nations: Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley. There were 11 treaties signed between First Nations and the Crown between 1701 and 1923. Each treaty is with different nations within geographical areas. These treaties were agreements that set out promises, obligations and benefits for both parties. The major understanding of First Nations is that they were sharing the land in exchange for certain considerations. After the fact, the Crown seemed to be the only party to benefit. Some of the treaty’s were tampered with ‘after’ they were signed. In reality, these are invalid documents from onset. Before colonization, First Nations tribes lived holistically on the land, in harmony with Mother Earth. Some of the First Peoples were nomadic people, being hunter gatherers. Each time the


seasons changed, they would migrate in order to hunt, fish, pick berries, herbs, and certain medicines to survive. Others had stationary settlements with long houses, wigwams, adobe, plank and other houses which were more permanent. The First Peoples had their own governance systems. Some of the principles of First Nations governance was even used when making the American Constitution. The structures of governance varied from tribe to tribe, as each tribe is virtually a separate nation. An Ojibway is as different from a Lakota as the Irishman is from a German. They all had their own languages and practices. Most First People lived by a matriarchal system where the women were recognized as having the highest authority in a village. Women were called Clan Mothers’ and considered sacred as the ‘givers of life’. The women were the backbone of First Nation societies, communities, and families. When the Europeans arrived here they claimed they discovered this land. This is not true. We know that the Vikings (Leif Erikson) was here long before 1492, St. Brendan, Prince Madoc of Wales all were here long before Columbus

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allegedly landed carrying the Papal Bull. Armand Flores of Profolio AsPhoto: in all colonization processes thePhotography indigenous represent a problem to the colonizers. The ‘Indian Problem’ was discussed many times in parliament. The concepts of the Diamond Jenness theories are still being implemented to this day. Educate, assimilate, alienate, integrate and terminate. Michaella and all First Nations youth have encountered many challenges. These challenges are a result of intergenerational effects of colonization and in particular residential schools. As a first world country, Canada has a dark history that is a tragic embarrassment. The last residential school closed its doors as recently as 1996. The very first schools were ‘industrial’ schools where they taught boys to be farmers and girls to be maids. With the passage of the Indian Act in 1876 they actually started to educate the boys. If they got a grade 6 education they were kicked off the Indian lists. Registration as an Indian only indicates who Canada is financially responsible for, it does not define who is an Indian.

Photos: Armand Flores of Profolio Photography

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Residential schools were created for the purpose of stripping culture, language and identity. The intent was assimilation. Most children never returned home. Children were beaten, abused, brainwashed and raped. They were not allowed to speak their languages or practice their spirituality. They were made to believe that being an “Indian” was wrong. The children’s hair would be chopped off and they would be dressed like white people. Having long hair is sacred to a First Nations person, it is part of their spirit. The elders tell many stories of abuse in Residential Schools. The Canadian government recently requested to have all these stories destroyed. These records should remain in the files forever so we can remember this history. Many of the churches have yet to issue an apology for their responsibility in these stories. Justin Trudeau has requested that the Pope issue this apology in efforts for reconciliation. Michaella’s stepfather is one of many residential school survivors who is still able to share his story. Most of his friends from that era have died either by the effects of alcohol/drug abuse or suicide. This is the legacy of these schools. Poverty, sexual abuse, high incarceration rates, poor health, mental illness, alcoholism, addiction, gangs, domestic violence, and foster care are all a result from the effects of

intergenerational damage done by Canadian institutions. These challenges are many - loss of identity, culture, spirituality, broken spirits, hopelessness and learned helplessness. All intertwined in a history few want to speak about. Michaella has experienced most of these challenges in her life whether directly or through family members. Michaella has learned how to heal through writing, public speaking, sharing her story, training other First Nations youth to model, writing music and acting. She is a strong youth leader and role model drawing from ancestral pools of knowledge as taught to her by her Grandmother and other knowledge keepers. Michaella Shannon is a member of Frog Lake First Nations and is the first Indigenous woman to win the title Miss Teen Saskatchewan (2014), as well be the first Indigenous woman to place in the Top 5 of Miss Teen Canada. Michaella is a student, model, actress, singer, and facilitator. She studies Aboriginal Justice and Criminology with ambition to become a Criminal Lawyer. Not only is she an actively involved student, her previous endeavors include: Host of the APTN television series The Other Side, television series Rabbit Fall, CityTV animation series called Space Stretch, Saskatchewan Tourism, Health Ministry and Teachers Association commercials.

Photo: Armand Flores of Profolio Photography


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Michaella has modeled in New York Fashion Week, Vancouver Fashion Week, Aboriginal Fashion Week, Montana U.S.A, and South Dakota, U.S.A. She has done photo shoots for numerous designers/companies/magazine covers. Although Michaella spends a majority of her time with the fashion, film, and media industry, her true passion lies in helping her community and being a positive role model. During National Addictions Awareness Week, and at other events, she facilitates workshops on alcohol and drug abuse and their close relationship to suicide. This topic is important to Michaella because she has experienced the death of both her eldest brother and sister. Michaella facilitates workshops for young women on reproductive health and self-esteem. She speaks to students about the affects of bullying, decision- making, and overcoming negative experiences. She has been called to speak at national conferences like “Honoring our Strengths” in Ottawa, ON. Aside from Michaella's modeling, acting, singing, and studying, she spent two years as a peer mentor to first year students at the U of S. She sat as a youth participant on the technical working group of National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy program, is the SheNative and Neechie Gear Brand Ambassador, and is a strong advocate for her Indigenous community.


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Kris Salumbides

From a Hospital Porter to a Successful Business Executive in the Healthcare Industry By Abel Pagaling


ris Salumbides is from Edmonton, Alberta. He is the co-founder and marketing director of Quality Sleep Care clinics, Alberta Medical Supplies, and Medicus Family Health Clinic.

Kris arrived in Canada in 2008. His wife came six months prior. “She works as LPN (Licenced Practical Nurse) here in Canada,” says Kris employed by Alberta Health Services,” said Kris. Kris grew up in Nueva Ecija, a province in the northern Philippines. He completed his bachelor’s degree as respiratory therapist in Baguio City. After graduating, he moved to Manila to start his career. “I’m always looking for good opportunities so after two years working at a hospital in Manila, I moved to Saudi to gain more experience.” “In Saudi, it’s very competitive,” says Kris. “It’s a high-tech environment, and I had to compete with therapists from Canada and United States. I had to pass all the exams to be able to do my practice.” Kris liked his work in Saudi because where he dealt with critical patients. “It trained me to handle a lot of pressure and make critical decisions. I had to pass a lot of exams and do extensive training to work with critical patients.” After two years in Saudi, he moved back to the Philippines where he worked in a training centre. He introduced what he learned in Saudi and trained student who wants to go abroad. “I helped introduce the advance life support programs. In Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, I went school to school and also in hospitals teaching nurses, respiratory therapists, and doctors the skills I learned in Saudi.” Kris was 25 years old at that time. “This built my confidence,” says Kris, “and I basically became a public speaker.”


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Kris said he really liked his career in the Philippines because it paid well. Then his wife told him to come to Canada. In December 2008, he arrived. “I had no job for three months. I was depressed,” said Kris. “Manila and Edmonton are totally different. One of my wife’s friend offered me a job to work on a signage company, putting up signs for businesses. It was a tough job working outdoors in a cold weather.” Kris admits that there were a lot of fights with his wife because he wanted to go back to the Philippines. But he decided to stay since wife became pregnant. Kris wasn’t satisfied working in the signage company. “Signage making was a good job,” said Kris. “I learned a lot. But I wanted to be back in the health care industry. I went to school to learn how to be a hospital porter so I could get a job in a hospital.” After completion of his training, Kris landed a job as a porter where he transported patients into the operating room. “But I still wanted to get into the respiratory field,” said Kris. “I sent out applications until I got a job as a respiratory therapist assistant at the Edmonton General Hospital. This was in 2009. It was really tough here in Canada because they don’t give credit to your education.” One day Kris met a lady in the medical field who asked him if he wanted to try the “Sleep” health side and be a sleep technologist. “I said yes I’ll try it,” said Kris. “I applied and after a month I received a call from the owner of one of the sleep company to be a sleep clinician. I took the job and worked really hard at the company, from marketing, branding, to being a sleep clinician.”

Kris wanted to be a Sleep Technologist. After a year of self-paced review and 1000 hours of work time as a sleep clinician, he took the Sleep Technologist exam and passed. “There’s only over a 100 sleep technologist in Alberta,” said Kris, grateful that he passed his exam. From there, Kris met his future business partner and they planned their first venture, Quality Sleep Care (www.qualitysleepcare.com). “After a year and half of planning and raising funds, we opened our first clinic,” said Kris. “We worked full-time at the clinic during the day, and I worked full-time in the evening as well to support myself. I basically worked 24 hours to support myself while running the business.” After a night shift, Kris would take a nap from 7am to 9 am, then go to the clinic from 9am to 5pm, and then back to his 7 pm night shift. “I did this for a year and half,” said Kris. “Then early this year in 2017, I went full time managing the clinic.” “People think business can pay you when you open your business. It doesn’t happen that way,” says Kris. “It’s hard to build a business. But I’m motivated by my family and in helping people. Out of 21 competitors in the field, no one is doing what we are doing which is why our clinic is named Quality Sleep Care. We deliver quality and exceptional service to our customers.” In three years of operation, Kris worked with key partners who helped grow his business. “We now have 3 Quality Sleep Care clinics – 2 in Edmonton, and 1 in Calgary. We employ 27 people full-time, and have 5 part-time employees.” Khris and his partners have also opened Alberta Medical Supplies – AMS, and Medicus Family Health Clinic and Pharmacy. AMS carry mobility products and all medical equipment. It’s a one stop shop for medical supplies. “We’ve since been credited by the government to provide supplies for patients who qualify for government support,” said Kris. “So we are now serving the government.” Medicus Family Health Clinic (www. medicusfamilyclinic.com) provides walk-in medical services and an on-site pharmacy. “People tell me I’m an achiever,” said Kris. “And yes I believe I’m an achiever. I just need to surround myself with the right people. You can’t build a business without your partners.”

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C.R.A.V.E. for Papa’s Bosom By Sherylyn Vivero


uring our initial pregnancy checkup, my husband Ron was almost in tears when we heard little heartbeats. It was audible, fast and strong. We felt so blessed and privileged to have our very first bundle of joy. We named him Haven, means a “safe place or refuge.” But boy when he kicks... he kicked my ribs hard hahaha! It’s hard to describe the joy and excitement of being first-time parents. It truly is a bundle of joy. Discharged from the hospital was an intimidating and scary moment. “What?! We’re taking him home today?” We asked ourselves. “Honey are we ready? How do we keep this baby alive?” The funny thing is that I am a Nurse and I’ve assisted baby deliveries and showered newborns as part of my study. But that was ages ago. This time it’s for real. The first night is always memorable. We were exhausted, especially me from the cesarean surgery. My son was too big in my pelvic inlet. But we were pleased to be sleeping in our bedroom. As I was snoozing with our little one, I heard a loud noise. Ron fell off the bed! “Are you okay?” I asked. “Yes I’m okay,” said Ron. “I am afraid I might crush Haven, so I kept on moving away from him.” We both laugh. The next day we purchased a very comfy king size bed.


That was almost five years ago. Time passed, and we now have two active small boys. Since the kids are still tiny, we both agreed that I work in the hospital and he will stay with the kids at home. Day care is expensive, and we don’t know if they’ll be looked after well. Ron is a superb cook and has lots of patience with our kids. As a new father, Ron coiled a term “Papa’s Bosom.” Usually, before bedtime, Ron opens his blanket wide, and with a big smile, he invites his little ones inside the blanket. “Come Haven & Gian to Papa’s bosom!” he declares. Very excited and still giggling the two boys go rushing inside. Through the years I’ve noticed how he looked after the kids and how they always C.R.A.V.E. for Papa’s bosom... Create happy memories. – When the kids were smaller, I love to dance Zumba in the living room, and Ron plays the drums during worship service. At a young age, Haven got a rhythm playing drums, and we enjoy watching them with their dance moves when

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we exercise in the morning. Together, we will draw, and color papers and Ron will fold it into origami to make colorful boats and airplanes. After reading their story books at night, the kids would turn on their favorite musical night light, and Ron would make shadow animals complete with sound effects before ending the night.

Usually before bedtime, Ron would open his blanket wide and smilingly invites his little ones inside the blanket. “Come Haven & Gian to Papa’s bosom!”

Respond to their Needs. – After my maternity leave, I needed to go back to work. It was one of the hardest moments for us. Having moved from one province to another, starting all over again is a big adjustment. Our youngest son Giancarlo was teething (restless and feverish), and we were trying to wean him off from breastfeeding too. We both agreed that after feeding him dinner and giving him milk in a cup, he would sleep with Papa to break his habit of breastfeeding at night. For five nights he cried all night long looking for Mama. Then I would wake up every morning to go to work for 12 hours for my orientation. I saw Ron’s sacrifices- making cold compresses, singing songs, rocking him in a chair and giving him medications round the clock for his fever. And if Giancarlo cries and is still restless, Ron would shower him with hugs and kisses as a sanction to him. Affirm everyone’s strengths. – As parents of growing boys we observe what they’re good at, and then we support and encourage them. Haven likes music and sports. We exposed them to different sports – basketball, hockey, baseball, soccer, etc. For Giancarlo, he likes to eat (he even eat his big brother’s left over!). We let him open the fridge as he pleases to get some cheese and check what fruits he can have for snacks. Ron would also support me with living a healthy and frugal lifestyle. We don’t use the microwave at home; we rarely buy toys and clothes for the kids (most of them are hand-me- down and gifts). Since Ron love to watch hockey, basketball, baseball games, I support him and surrenders the remote control while I play with the kids. Verbalize that they are LOVED. In every situation, we are mindful of being always grateful. Haven got used to cleaning up his toys and throwing away his baby brother’s dirty diaper. After doing that we will give him a big high five and say to him, “Thank you, son, for helping Mama and Papa clean up and look after the baby, and we appreciate your hard work.” One time we were inside a store and I heard Haven talking to his Father. “Papa po, can we buy this toy gun?” Ron replied firmly and lovingly. “Haven you already have a lot of toys at home.” And Haven said, “Oh, okay.” I was waiting for a little tantrum scene, but it didn’t happen. At an early age, it’s surprising how they can understand things. We are mindful of catching those teachable moments regarding the value of money and good manners. Every night after reading their favorite books, we bless them and pray with them. “I bless you, son; you are very strong and very brave. Mama and Papa love you so much”. Explore great adventures – I’ve read a saying that “If they’re not passed out they’re probably okay.” We let our kids try things – and

As parents of growing boys we observe what they’re good at then we support and encourage them. Haven likes music and sports. We expose them to different sports – basketball, hockey, baseball, soccer etc. sometimes fail, we encourage risk-taking and to try again. We realized that shielding them too much and over helping may do more harm as they grow. We let them know that we are there for them and at the same time we want them to develop the strengths of skill, strong will, and character in life. One day we visited a lovely waterfall, there was a bear warning sign at the entrance, and we hiked for a good 10 minutes. When we reached the place, we looked up and saw a family with a baby taking a bath in the waterfall. I said to myself, “Wow! Would love to try that too!” Ron said, “Let’s go up!” The four of us went up. The climb was very steep and a little bit slippery. And we made it very close to the waterfall. At the top, it was very refreshing, and the view was beautiful. Then I saw the family walking down, Ron & Haven went down too. When I looked

around, it was just me and Giancarlo sitting beside the waterfall. “What if a big black bear or a grizzly just show up?” Suddenly I was worried (actually I started to freak out!). With gravity, it turns out it is tougher coming back down. When we reach caught up with Ron, I told him about my “what if… say a bear just showed up”. We both laughed at our silliness. Conquering your fears means exploring great adventures in life. It is liberating. It makes you feel more alive! At the end of the day, we were making memories and having fun as a family. When you’re feeling thirsty, a little tired in life and just need a quiet place to rest for a while, remember that there is a refreshing Papa’s bosom (God’s bosom) that’s always open for everyone -24/7. It’s a place of refuge where you can taste and see His goodness. All you need to do is open up, pray and be grateful!

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n modern society today, is it practical to have a Personal Coach whether it is for personal or professional development?

Modern life can be tough. For many women, to reach that potential life balance as well as being a multi-tasker shouldn’t be too hard to achieve. Personally, I struggle with this. I can get into confusion in which to prioritize first: career, pursuing bigger dreams or goals, or a relationship. We, women, struggle with this every day. But recently things have changed. I asked myself how successful individuals tend to have a clearer idea of what they want to achieve. I had struggled to balance my priorities, especially when I first immigrated to Canada by myself as a single woman. I often question myself how I will be able to achieve balance and succeed on the things I want careers, relationships, and family goals. For me to broaden my horizon and set my life goals to reality, I educated myself to be a Certified Coach Practitioner (CCP). I hired a Life and Business coach, joined Toastmasters, and attended business conventions and seminars. Through my experience as a Certified Coach


Practitioner, I have noticed growth in my professional and personal life, which led me to help others who are going through similar experiences as I was. Why does a person need a coach when they can already succeed on their own? What exactly is coaching, and why is its importance growing significantly in the corporate world and personal growth? According to Institute of Coaching: 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence, and over 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills. Eigthy- six percent of companies report that they recouped their investment on coaching and more (Source: ICF 2009). What is Coaching? When you think about a coach, you think about sports coach, for example, basketball, baseball, or hockey coach. A Life Coach is similar and uses the same techniques to that of a sports coach. A Life Coach is someone who inspires, give suggestions, reassure, guide and offer daily

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emotional support to reach a particular goal. Coaching is one of the effective tools that can help you attain your various potential and capabilities so that you can achieve your goals. It also helps you to unblock various constraints, reflecting on and reframing your mindset to turn your “Visual Board” of success into a reality. Julia can be reached at: Email: info.coachjulialim@mail.com Facebook: LifeCoachbyjulialim

Photo Credit: Ray Penner Photography




tudies have shown that the top CEO’s have one trait in common. They have the ability to make executive decisions in a timely manner. When the stakes are high and it’s all on the line. It’s no wonder that so few can fill the shoes of a CEO. With all the decisions and choice theory at play, the average human being would experience “paralysis by analysis.” Learning from a ninefigure mentor I had this question answered. Now how exactly does one make decisions like a CEO? Better yet, how does one create and make decisions like a CEO? In the beginning, there was one, that one was YOU and you had a big idea. You didn’t know it then but you were a CEO, you were your own professional services enterprise. There’s power when two or more come together. You may not know this yet, only because you’ve been doing it all on your own. In the start-up phase in business and career, having a Co-Believer changes the game. It will change everything for you. Resolve now to find a Co-Believer for your business and life. A Co-Believer is someone who is equally or crazier than you and has the same irrational passion for pursuing like-minded dreams and goals. Ask any high achiever and they should reveal to you that they’ve had a Co-Believer(s). You can too. The power of a CoBeliever is priceless, in business and life. Even if that Co-Believer is not your legal business partner but a mentor! They will keep you

sane, help you remain against the grain, even though your lofty goals are slightly insane. Find a Co-Believer that believes in your mission and things will never be the same! At the outset, you will be met with many things. These things can be summed up in one word… CHOICES. This is where Robert Kiyosaki’s acronym accents things well: Fail Early And Responsibly. Failure is course correction and when you quit after failure you’re wasting valuable learning opportunities. Once CEO decisions are created with the Co-Believer, now we must make the decisions you’ve created. How!? Enter stage left… The 49/51 Decisions! These are decisions, that when decided upon, both have the potential for equal opportunity. In other words, if you had to make a choice between the two decisions, both would benefit you. Both would also have similar risk outcomes. Note: That NOT making a choice with a 49/51 Decision, and procrastinating; ultimately leads to wasted time, which means wasted money, growth, and opportunity. Someone said once that, “imperfect action is better than perfect procrastination!” The point here is to MAKE the decision and ask questions, not later but along the way. This is one of the strongest skill sets of a CEO, and making 49/51 Decisions are nothing new to the CEO, someone must call the shots. Isn’t that right?

49/51 Decisions become more complex when there are dozens of them. To each their own. How now do we handle many decisions swimming in the “sea of sameness?” Enter stage right… The Decision Contest. Take each and every decision out on a double date and decide which one, after the pros and cons, is the one that has your heart and mind. It isn’t important which decision you pair going onwards and upwards; however, it’s important that you pair the decisions on paper. Pick one and stick with it. All the while tracking the decisions and outcomes you’ve made and experienced. By the end of it all, you will have made a decision out of all the choices you once had and will be able to move forward. It’s all fine and dandy now for you. But once your Co-Believers have accepted the mission they will have to make decisions. Give the permission for your Co-Believers to make decisions. Give the green light to your team to make 49/51 Decisions and to hold Decision Contests. Be sure to give them decision-making power to make these decisions as well. This will empower them and streamline your business and life. This means giving authority for your Co-Believers to make executive decisions around certain guidelines that you have predetermined. What gets measured gets managed, be sure to keep track of the decisions and the results and you will be well on your way to making decisions like a CEO!

| FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |


Stop Talking and Start Listening

5 Things I Do That Help Me Listen By Vu Nguyen

This type of listening requires not only your ears, but also your eyes, your hands, your mind, and your heart. This type of listening requires you to shut your mouth and shut out all of the unnecessary noise in your life and truly embrace everything around you.”

Photo: Eric Cordero


hat Sets Us Apart

Whether or not you believe in the science of evolution, you have to acknowledge that, as a people, we have truly come a long, long, way since the time of our ancestors. We don’t have to look far back in history for proof of advancement; the cars we drive and the phones we use are evidence that we’ve come so far in just a single generation. This is made possible by rationalization and abstract thought. Ultimately, having the ability to rationalize and think abstractly is what sets us apart from the animals that share the planet with us. How powerful is that? The ability to absorb and manipulate information is a gift that we were born with. However, the same ability that makes us different from animals is ultimately what makes us different from each other. For some, this ability is what helps them excel and propel their way through life. For others, this ability is a true burden. Why? It all begins with our intrinsic ability to “listen”.

Your Output is as Good as Your Input Think about a simple mathematical equation – the variables on the left dictate the result on


the right. Therefore, it is difficult to balance the two sides of the equation when the variables on the left aren’t rational. Our ability to listen is what generates life’s essential variables. I’m not necessarily talking about verbal conversation – that’s a part of it – I’m talking about having the awareness that the world around you is always communicating with you and then having the wherewithal to listen. This type of listening requires not only your ears, but also your eyes, your hands, your mind, and your heart. This type of listening requires you to shut your mouth and shut out all of the unnecessary noise in your life and truly embrace everything around you. From the people to the structures. From the sounds to the smells. But, to do this, you must acknowledge that there is, in fact, a world around you. One that extends far and beyond your immediate radius. One that is much bigger than the problems that you consume yourself with on a daily basis.

Listening… When Did We Stop? What is my motivation behind writing this? I write this out of fear and sadness. I am afraid and saddened by what I see around me every

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single day. The more and more that we advance, the more and more we become defined as a people. But, it seems like the more and more we become defined as a people, the more and more we become less defined as individuals. From what I’ve experienced working with others, those of us who truly know who we are, what we want, and what we’re passionate about, now represent a relative few. The rest of us are stuck in a habitual state of displeasure, discomfort, and unease, living day-to-day according to rules and laws governed by society. Perhaps, since birth, we’ve been groomed to think this way – we certainly aren’t this way by design. As children, we were all as mighty and courageous as our creativity allowed us to be. What changed? If you ask me, we simply stopped listening. Listening to what? I can’t answer that. Only you can. Perhaps it’s listening to your body when it gives you subtle hints that it needs rest. Or perhaps it’s listening to your heart when it’s telling you to pull the trigger and quit your day job so that you can pursue your passion. Whatever it is, by failing to listen, the only person you’re really selling short is yourself. By failing to listen, you are suppressing your potential. Sometimes, you simply need to shut up and listen!

How Listening Saved Me I’ll be completely candid. I haven’t always listened. In fact, through my life, I’ve proven to be extremely stubborn and closed-minded. But, some years ago, triggered by a series of unfortunate events, I started listening and came to the realization that something had to change – that something was me. The world told me that, if I didn’t change my ways, things would not end favorably. By listening to my environment and embracing the “not-so-subtle” signs, I concluded that I was not a passenger but the driver of a vehicle that was quickly spinning out of control. Only by listening was I able to identify and correct the inherent issues. Since then, I’ve been much more open-minded and receptive to the world around me, taking the time to hear and absorb everything that it tells me. This process will be different for everyone but, if you’re stuck, here are a few things that I do to trigger the process: •

I cut off my connection – Isn’t it ironic? At the click of a few buttons or at the swipe of a few fingers, you have access to the rest of the world but, at the same time, when you’re buried in your cell phone, you lose all connection to the immediate world around you. By shutting off my connection to the world, I have the ability to be present and to connect with the people and things around me.

I get up real high – Nothing will remind you how minuscule you are much like the majesty of the mountains. When I start to get overwhelmed with my never-ending task list, I make my way to the mountains. Being enveloped by the mountains and it’s vastness gives me great perspective. Everything from the menacing gusts to the falling rocks brings about a tranquility that speaks louder than any amount of words can.

I practice presence – No matter where I am, if I’m not with anyone else, I practice hyper-awareness. This means noticing and hearing everything. I’m not talking about being nosy or eavesdropping. I’m talking about being extremely present and in the moment.

I connect with myself – It’s amazing how well we don’t know ourselves but, at the same time, it’s not surprising. We are often so consumed or interested in what everyone else is doing that we ignore or overlook the most important person of all. There’s a difference between being self-absorbed and being self-aware. I’m talking about the latter. My self-awareness is amplified in the 15 minutes a day that I meditate.

I visit my late grandfather – There are times when the silence of those passed is wiser and more profound than all else. He was and remains to be the biggest inspiration in my life. When I feel lost, I will make it to his place of rest and just… listen.

I know that this may sound like a hoax or some crazy, dreamt up fantasy. No, the world does not literally talk to you. The trees don’t have eyes or mouths as they do in cartoons. But it isn’t mindless rhetoric either. By now, I hope you understand that you can draw a parallel. When I say “listen”, I mean be aware, conscious, and receptive of the signs and signals that are available to you at every turn of the corner. Believe me, as crazy as it may sound, the more you listen, the more the world talks. And the more you are receptive to what the world has to say, the easier it is to balance the equation that is your life. | FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |






any wondered how long this fad of health consciousness would last. I even got the question “Are you sure you want to do this? Seems like it’s just way too hard to do.” I discovered that there are 2 types of people that care about you. Ones that don’t want to see you fail and ones that want to see you succeed. Literally they both mean the same thing but there is a profound difference in the way they support you. My wife set aside time and space to do my workouts and even made sure we got all the errands done in time to be able to work out every night. My friend who let me borrow her TV series also bugged me about how much pop I drank and encouraged me to join their ball hockey team – despite me being a 240 pound pylon. She meant it in a supportive caring way for which I am forever grateful.


The others that cared seemed to wait for the opportunity to mention how hard it was going to be if I failed. The path to healthy weight loss success was not a particularly smooth one. I had injured my legs which sidelined me from working out for a few weeks. My replacement for pop was canned green tea which I later found out had just as much sugar as pop – so I had to quit that too. It was a particularly hot summer the year I decided to do this and you wouldn’t believe how tantalizing a cold Pepsi sweating from being pulled out of the ice cooler would have been. Filipino food is not particularly supportive of my health initiative and the community looks at you weird or offended for turning down their offer of rice. I tried a video workout series promising me a beach body only to find that the recipe book included with it was more important than the tuck jumps. That is if and only if you bought

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their special ingredients and protein powder. No, I did not get any jaw dropping before and after photos from that insanity. The before was the same as the after. Would I ever lose weight? I found that my perseverance would be thoroughly tested. I placed myself in the mindset that these were only setbacks to learn from and not failures to stop me completely. The results started to visibly show at 192 pounds. I was totally addicted to the results I was getting and started to refine the goal learning more and more along the way. At 155 pounds now, I am starting to gain the weight but in muscle instead and the goal has changed now to be more about appearance. I know more about the caloric and nutritional value of food and that food is not the enemy that I previously thought it was. I have learned how to work out properly and not work out to injury.

I have tried out many ways to work out including weight lifting, running, hot yoga and spin class. I would have never even dared trying any of these activities before for fear of failure. Now I want to see what I can do. I have completely embraced this healthy lifestyle with the success and the spin off confidence it has given me. I literally carry these achievements everywhere I go. Some of my favorite conversations are with friends who last remembered me 80 pounds ago. It is a virtuous cycle instead of a vicious one. I mentioned near the beginning of this that health is the foundation and found that the simple lessons learned about health can transcend into the family, finance, and career aspects of life.

It was an affirmation that you can’t manage what you don’t keep track of. Be thankful for your rewards instead of rewarding yourself for being good by being bad. Someone saw a need for me to share this with the community and encouraged me to write this article to try to inspire others. There were so many lessons from a health transformation that have transcended positively into the other aspects of my life. I also mentioned that the desire to maintain health, family, career, finances and obligations to the community come from the journey of 3 I’s. It starts with an inspiration to do something, an idea of how and finally insight from having

tried. I was inspired and carried out a simple idea burning more calories than consuming them. The insight only came from trying it out. -------------------------------------------------------------Patrick Marvin Casiano I am an Electrical Engineering Graduate of the University of Calgary who dedicates his livelihood to applying technology for solving problems. I am fortunate to have landed a career doing what I do as a hobby with the motivation to take care of and support from my loving wife Ronalyn and three boys, Isaiah, Lucas and Arthur. I have recently embraced a healthy lifestyle reaping the benefits of positive changes. Exchanging and acting upon ideas that solve problems are a guiding principle in how I interact with people.

The opposite of deficit is surplus so if you spend less than you earn, you have surplus. Saving a little everyday seems to have made us more comfortable just like the little decisions that support a guiding principle. The money I spent on bad food choices is spent on things that support my family’s future. My kids watch me make healthy choices and make similar choices about their food and they don’t seem to be gaining any unhealthy weight. You are what you eat and it is more important to learn about how to lose or gain good weight at your will.

“I have completely embraced this healthy lifestyle with the success and the spin off confidence it has given me. I literally carry these achievements everywhere I go” The best health advice was from those who weren’t trying to sell me something and the best career advice was from mentors who weren’t trying to further their own careers on top of mine. I have been placed in a leadership position at work – partly because of the perception of this achievement and more so because of a rejuvenated passion for what I do for a living. I applied the same passion for technology to health and see technology as a way to augment the health journey. | FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |


Our Canadian Journey

Struggles, Faith, and Triumph By Maria Asprer


efore our family migrated to Canada in February 2006, we were in the Financial business for 10 years with Prulife UK. Prior to having our own business; Rene with a Bachelors in Commerce Major in Accounting, worked as a Bank Manager. On the other hand, I completed Bachelor’s in Psychology Major in Industrial Psychology & Guidance and Counseling and worked in HR as a Human Resource Manager. We are proud stewards/parents of 3 wonderful children: Ralph (24) Angel (20) and Ian (12). The first 5 years of our married life was very difficult. We adjusted to both our strong personalities and had constant disagreements. The last straw was getting an annulment. This was the time where the Lord intervened by letting one of us humble down and ask for help. This was when we opened our lives to the Community. We joined the Brotherhood for Christian Businessmen and Professionals year 1992 and started to learn how to be a better couple, wife, husband, mother and father to our children. This experiences gave us a bit of preparation on what was in store for us in the future doing pastoral care. When we opened ourselves to help, life became very good back home. We were blessed in all areas of our lives. We traveled a lot due to our business and saw the world. With all our blessings we never forgot about giving back by serving in the community as well as actively doing charity work with families belonging to the poorest of the poor. Everything was doing great. Then we received our Visa to Canada. We never thought that we were destined to come to Canada. Our application for Immigration took 7 years to process and when we finally got our visa, we informed the agency handling our papers that we were no longer interested to immigrate. Little did we know that the Lord had other plans for us. When our Visa came December 2005, we were not sure what to do. We did not want to leave our comfortable life back home. We prayed for discernment and guidance every day. We received a couple of vivid confirmations through prayer and scripture and it made us feel deep in our hearts that the Lord really wanted us to make the move. This meant letting go of everything, all the comfort and start anew in a strange land. It all started with Him asking for our “Yes”, then “Having Faith in Him” then finally, “Go to a place where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Photo: Eric Cordero


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The last request we asked from God was to have our property sold between December 26, 2005 to January 31, 2005 which was not easy at that time. We sold our property worth millions by December 28…. in 2 days and in cash. The Lord’s power was manifested in such majesty that we cannot explain.

When we arrived in Canada February 18, 2006, adjusting from 3 helpers to a life of doing everything ourselves was a challenge. One good thing though was we did things together as a family. Each of us had our role to play and chore to do. Like many other immigrants, our initial struggle in Canada was going back to basic, being humble in looking for a job, being rejected for being overqualified, worrying about our parents back home who were dependent on us and many more. In prayer we asked for strength, perseverance and patience. We know that God is a God of Order, things take place when it is His time… and not our time. Despite struggling with settling in a new country, we decided to serve the Lord first and He led us to the right people. We serve in the Light of Jesus Community and our service is directed to the “Unchurch”. The mandate of the community is to serve and reach out to people who are outside the church and just do the best we can. We do Pastoral Care to those who need us as well as help in the Training and Development of the Community. This allowed us to help various couples who needed some kind of help in improving their marriage. All we did was listen and just share our own struggles as a married couple and then let God do the rest. Our blessing and fulfillment came when until now, we see these couples having a better married life. This then became part of our ministry, if there is a need

Photo: Eric Cordero

and an opportunity, we are out there to help in whatever way we can. God was true to His promise and made things right for us. Rene landed a job as an Accountant in one of the Law Firms in Calgary while I got hired as a Senior Recruiting Specialist in one of the HR & Management Consulting Firms based in Calgary but whose head office was based in Ilinois. Both of us got hired into our respective fields within 2 months of our arrival….all because of God’s grace and promise.

kids in our care now, one of whom we are in the process of making a permanent part of our family. At present, Rene is a licensed Realtor and I work for a College doing Career Counseling, Student and Community Relations. We are also back in the Financial Industry, directed towards educating others regarding the value of saving and setting aside a part of God’s blessings through our work and securing a better future for our families.

As we started to build our lives here in Canada, we longed for our charity work back home with poor families specially their children and the orphanage that we supported. God was blessing us always and we felt the need to give back that blessing to people who will need it the most. It was then that we were led into Foster Care. We learned through training that the children will be living with us and will be part of our Family. We felt that it was a good way of touching the lives of the kids we foster and hopefully, our presence in their lives will make a mark that will have an impact in their lives forever. We already had 2 teenagers in our care who asked to be baptized in the Catholic faith and were given the permission of their biological Mom.

We are not perfect and never have been. We go through the same struggles of raising kids in Canada, having couple disagreements, and dealing with various issues affecting our lives here. We still worry, feel disappointed, get angry, get impatient, complain like normal people do. Even if we have learned to better cope with issues, we continue to strive to be better and to improve every day by learning through our experiences. Lessons learned:

As of today, while working in our respective careers and businesses, serve in the community, we have managed to foster many children in need for over 9 years now. Aside from our 3 Biological children, we currently have 3 great

• •

Be open to God’s leading since our plans may not be His plans for us. No matter how rough or difficult the path may be, He will always find a way for us. Our lives are not only for us to live but we are meant to be of service to others. Giving love and care has no boundaries. As you give unconditionally, so shall you receive. There is abundance of gifts in this world, all we need to do is Ask.

| FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |



| FCM | filcanmagazine.com | Vol. 2 Issue 5 | 2017 |

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