Saturday, December 18, 2010

2011 Trends

2011 Trends for the Spa, Massage Therapy, Beauty and Wellness Industry
by Eunice

But before I share to you the 4 mega-trends here is one favorite music I wanted to share. Expect greater things to come in 2011!


By yunesa(at)
1. You-nique
Little by little, the culture for being unique and different will penetrate the market. People will put up a business not just to join the bandwagon but to differentiate itself from the rest. Businesses which tend to copycat (gaya-gaya) others will have more difficulty as the market is already saturated in most metropolitan areas. The results would be: Individualized unique selling propositions of different businesses and professionals in the industry; People and professionals would want to master and focus on their uniqueness and being different and applying them in their field of interest. The most innovative and the visionaries will win. So what will Asia offer uniquely? What will Filipinos offer that sets it apart from others? Shine! Shine bright!

2. Fusion
I have already written about this in 2010 as part of the emerging trend and this has already started in many industries this year 2010 but will become diverse in the years 2011 and beyond. I remember the story of the crab seller. He was selling German. American and Filipino crabs. Two containers were closed while the third was left open and one buyer asked why is the third one open. He replied that those are Filipino crabs and no one will be able to get out of the bucket because every other crab will pull him down. One thing that we have to practice hard is push each other up, bless people who are more successful than we are because our words come back to us four fold. If you think badly of the success of others, you won’t be successful because you will also be thinking badly of your own success, you will pull yourself down! So start blessing, loving and giving more.

Mergers. Combination. Grouping. Mixtures. Mingling. Hybrid. Togetherness. Collective. Collaborative. Unity. Whatever the term more and more people will realize that there is strength in numbers more and more businesses and professions will gravitate towards this trend. We have already seen for the past few years, the fusion of health and medical field with the field of alternative medicine otherwise known as Integrative or Complementary medicine. We can see more and more hospitals looking like spas and healing retreats. We can see migration of health professionals in the field of wellness. Other forms of fusion and grouping are websites with group buying online, which will increase in popularity. Social buying. Group buying. We already have group buying sites in the Philippines with websites like:
 (as of this writing the site is about to be launched soon by our Meetup friends at 98Labs )

As Seth Godin points out in his blog “Groupon is a very different thing. Here, it's not a hassle, it's the fun factor. Buying this way is exciting, you never know what's next, you do it with friends, the copy is funny, it's an adventure. As a result, many Groupon customers in fact do convert to becoming long time patrons of the place they tried, because they're not inherently cheap shoppers. When they're on Groupon they're hunting for fun. But if you offer an astonishing product and great service after they try you, they may convert into shopping with you for the long haul, not because you're a Groupon replacement, but because you bring them more than the alternatives. The net, once again, is making it easier to find and organize tribes of people, even for short durations. When you intersect these aligned groups with high-margin products, you can create fascinating commerce opportunities.”

I subscribe to all of these group buying sites online and I think they are great for consumers not only for cheapskates. I suggest for you to subscribe to. The popular motto: If you can’t beat them, join them will be a wise thing to do in these times. In the Spa, Massage Therapy and Wellness industry, fusion on the types of treatments, therapies, professions, businesses, websites and affiliates. Examples of fusion: In the spa, massage therapy and wellness profession: more and more health practitioners will be accepting alternative medicine and other spa therapies that prove to be scientifically effective. When it comes to services and activities spas will fuse/combine creative ways of spending time at the spa like: laughter yoga, flower arrangement, lei, macro-biotic cooking, vegetarianism, color therapy, digitization, etc. Who knows some courses in school will be defunct and/merged with another course? So in essence, don’t be left behind! Noone is an island, team up with others. Your weaknesses are all a sign that we need others to build a team. Build bridges!

To give a glimpse of the FUTURE see the funny video below:

3. Local Twists and versions

The nearer the source- the better it is for suppliers, distributors and consumers and the more popular it will become. More businesses will source out local products and indigenous “one-of-a-kind services and products”. In fact, a local version or an Asian version of almost everything will be invented, discovered and popularized. An increased awareness of one’s own culture will definitely boost creativity.

4. Mindology and Brainology
Bringing consciousness to the table means a lot of people will gravitate towards the need for self-fulfillment through the power of the mind. More and more eyes will be opened to new possibilities and opportunities by using brain power mainly because of the urgency in ones deeper self to make a difference. Implications will include: the need for spas to fuse music which stimulates our brain waves to be more creative, color therapy in schematics, amongst others.

Bottom line, we have to realize that although this business or profession is based on healing, passion and commitment to people, I believe that it is necessary to change in terms of how we deliver results financially. We have to evolve and be better if we want to grow individual business as well as our industry. If I could, I would teach, speak or write and give FREE advice to anyone who is willing to listen (and I know a lot of you out there are silently listening, Thanks to you.) but we are all on the same boat. We all need to make a living in something that we love doing. As for myself, I make my living by helping others start, create or change their business to be more successful in their business or profession so that we might all be better able to touch other’s lives and provide greater value for our clients and our community.
I hope that you understand that it is my deepest wish for you in 2011 that you heal yourself in career, work, business and relationships- and all the other areas in between so that you may continue to heal others. If I can be of service to you in accomplishing your goals, I want you to know that I am only an email away. If you are ready in changing for the better in the 2011 please do get in touch with me and like all of my clients who have been a family to me, all these years, I promise you two things:

1. If I can help your business or profession, you will be able to afford my services and

2. If I can’t help you, I will never sell you something you do not need.
My dear friend, I pray that you will…

• Spiritually, grow closer to God, our Creator.

• Financially, grow towards financial abundance and generosity.

• Physically, grow healthier and stronger.

• Emotionally, grow more peaceful.

• Relationally, grow in love.

Those are my aspirations for you.

Have a Victorious and Blessed 2011!

(If you want to know the trend last year please click on this link below:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Non-material, Unique and Memorable Gift Ideas


By yunesa(at)

Thank God Christmas na naman and we have so much to be thankful for. Indeed despite the odds, we are overcomers, we did not only survived but we grew and we thrived and have met a lot of wonderful inspiring people. Christmas is just a few days from now so before we rush to give gifts, let me enumerate several non-material and kung material naman we can make it as unique and as memorable as possible. When buying a unique and special gift for our loved ones we are using up all our creativity and resources to do so. If money is tight, every peso counts so there is no such thing as “cheap”, if you have really thought about it, no matter what the cost, then that’s what matters. Material gifts are not the only things that you can give so before buying something, listen to clues on what he/she really wants. Instead of the usual gifts, you can mix and match any two or three of these items depending on your budget. Last week I already started shopping for friends, mentors, business associates and partners in the spa and wellness industry most of them naman are outside the country so my challenge is to give something that is light and will stand the pressure of being transported in our postal system :-). My aim is to represent the country’s being unique and one of a kind kaya, I have window shopped at Ragds2Riches in Cubao and Echostore at Serendra. I think gifts that symbolize our core lifestyle and principles stand out from those expensive ones. In order to be special, I believe that a gift should always be a representative of ourselves and the people whom we wish to bless.

So, I came up with a list of non-material and unique gift ideas for this season:

1. Non-material and Experiential Personalized gifts

A. If you are a massage therapist or know how to professionally perform massage therapy, offer a massage or an hour of bodywork as a gift but if you are not, then buy a massage or spa gift certificate for them. Treat them to a spa.

B. If you are skilled in a particular area, offer a FREE lesson, class, personal training session or coaching to people you think really needs them but cannot pay you.

C. Volunteer for a special event or a Christmas party

D. Write an encouraging email. Tell some good news about your life and how that person has been a part of it. It was found out that the most successful people are generous with their praises. The more good things you look for in people, the more good things come to you. So write some encouraging letter or email to people whom you admire, who has helped you in anyway and people you look up to. Not only would they be glad to give you some advice or tips but more goodness will come to you.

E. Treat them to a restaurant, an ice cream parlor or a night out at the movies.

F. Take them to a beach, a zoo, a picnic or an amusement park.

G. Buy a gym membership for them

H. A gift certificate or ticket to a seminar, workshop, concert, sporting event, a game or show. One of our Meetup members and a dear friend of mine, Antoinette Villajin offers yoga classes for only 100 pesos.
Here is the link to her website:

I. Unforgettable getaway or weekend out of town

J. Baby-sit for them

K. Do the laundry

L. Clean the garden

M. Run at least 3 errands for the person

N. Feed the pet

O. Take them to Philippine heritage sites and museums

P. Pay for his/her music, art or massage/spa class

Q. Make a charitable donation in his/her behalf/name or pick a charity and whatever you would like to spend for that person, you should give it as a donation to that charity.

R. Write a poem

S. Compose a song

T. This one is from Yvonne Aburrow, organize a Jumble exchange; it works like this. Everyone brings clothes, books, ornaments or toys that they don't really use any more. It all gets laid out on tables or a tarpaulin in the garden (or in the house if you have room). Everyone picks out what they want (no money changes hands). At the end there's a "grand holding up" where everyone is shown what is left. If no-one wants it, it goes to a charity shop (thrift store). Usually there are three or four big bags left over to go to the charity shop. Another idea is to write out some nice poetry in calligraphy style and frame it. To avoid buying the frame, you could make it out of driftwood or broken china mosaic, or pebbles.

2. Unique things/items ( some of which you can make with your own hands)


a. Towels or slippers with embroidered names of the recipients

b. Collect quotes or inspiring stories and compile them in a personalized album

c. Bring some food that you cooked and prepared yourself. (Make sure that it has a long shelf life).

d. A pot of herb, orchid, flowers or local plant like those petite bamboos that does not need soil.

e. Hand-made recipe book

f. Christmas tree ornaments out of scrap

g. Bed and bath accessories with their name on it (either embroidered, painted or printed)

3. Memorable gifts and socially conscious gift ideas (but you can also make your own at home)

a. Hand-made organic soaps and candles (you can visit the website 90% of products there were formulated by Dra. Naomi Dilodilo, a dear friend of mine and one of our members at Meetup and her advocacy is bringing products of the Philippines in the global market. Plus, her products are not expensive and delicious pa!)

b. Handmade Christmas cards (Since I am artistically challenged and thought of giving not just ordinary Christmas cards bought in a local bookstore, I ordered mine from San Roque Handmade paper products Multi-Purpose Cooperative, you can browse over their hand-made Christmas cards and all occasion cards at this site By the way, they are located in Misamis Oriental so might as well order from them early so they can ship it to you. Depending on the number of cards, I ordered 32 pieces so mine arrived after ordering in less than a week. You can also call Emma Salvana at 09324454265 or contact Elnie-Balabaga Cagas Community Relations Department STEAG State Power, Inc.PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate Balacanas, Villanueva, Misamis Oriental 9002, Philippines Email:

Phone +63 (32) 230 8200 Fax +63 (32) 230 8283)

For your close friends, give additional cards for them to be able to send out to another person as well.

You can also send funny and nice Christmas e-cards for them like the one below:

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

c. Organic delights such as: honeyed candies, sweets and delicacies (see )

d. CD’s, DVD’s or movies that could make a difference like:

a. The Genius Club (Stephen Baldwin, Paula Parker, et al)

b. Blind Side (Sandra Bullock)

c. Fireproof (Kirk Cameron and Erin Bethea)

d. Flywheel (from the Creators of Facing the Giants)

e. Love’s Enduring Promise (a film by Michael Landon)

f. Spa music CD’s

g. Inspirational audio books and CD’s

e. Organic stuffs and toiletries like soaps, shampoo and toiletries

f. Yoga mat

g. Inspirational books and audio books or books that promote the health and well-being of the person.

h. Hula-hoop or jumping ropes for the fitness conscious or wellness conscious individual.

i. Massager (electronic or wooden)

j. Buy some locally and organically grown food or delicacies

k. A pet

l. A magazine subscription

Before I end, one of the greatest gifts you can give others and yourself is the gift of forgiveness and acceptance. It will be your Christmas gift to the Lord. Any type of resentment, sama ng loob, pagkamuhi, inggit- it’s time to release them unto the Lord. Anyway, it is Jesus Christ’s birthday not ours. Happy Birthday Lord!

If you have other gift ideas not listed here or where to purchase it from, please do share it. I would be glad to publish it here.
Thanks and Merry Christmas to one and all!

Friday, November 19, 2010

BizWiz Consumer Review and What Spas, Massage Clinics and Wellness Center Professionals and Businesses can Learn from Them

BizWiz B.E.S.T. Workshop Consumer Review and What Spas, Massage Clinics and Wellness Center Professionals and Businesses can Learn from Them
by Eunice

It has been some time now since my latest consumer review for spas, massage clinic and wellness centers mainly because most of those businesses that I have gone to are not fit to be mentioned. Hehehe...let alone blogged about. When I blog, I would rather blog about exceptional, unique products and services. People that are linchpins not the ordinary ones. This I found with the BizWiz's B.E.S.T. (Beyond Entrepreneurship Skills Training) workshop. I think yung letter S dapat they have to change to Simulation hehehe.... Sometimes, it's also time constraints as I wanted to write about other services pero my time won't allow it. Oh well....

I will try my best not to write too much in detail here as it will defeat the purpose of the B.E.S.T. workshop (and I have to be careful not to divulge too much as we signed a NDA- non disclusore agreement...hehehe..fortunately Jason Estimado told me I am exempted from the rule). Okay first things first, there are five basic things I learned from the two-days workshop:

1. I found out that this is not a seminar but a workshop. People keep referring this as a seminar...I beg to disagree. A seminar is best for visual and auditory learners because technically, a seminar is (almost always) just a one way uni-directional type of communication. One speaks and the rest listens. Do not expect to just sit down, relax and sleep while the speaker or lecturer or facilitator gets in front. Be prepared to take part of the activities and finish them.

2. I found out that I am a kinestetic learner. I learn and retain things better when I DO things with my hands and get involved in activities with others and if you are that type of learner, this workshop is a very good fit for you. You have to figure things out on your own. How do you know if you know something? Kasi ginagawa mo na ang natutunan mo in your daily activities but kung hindi mo naman ina-apply sa buhay mo then, you have not learned at all.

3. I am very much aware of corporate social responsibility(CRS)- eto common..nothing new, but in this workshop we have to go beyond CSR. Businesses should earn profit while working towards addressing basic human needs which includes a range of issues such as health, wealth generation, equality, environmental managament and building trust-based relationships. This I have found sa B.E.S.T. workshop ng BizWhiz. Sana tayo rin na mga consumers of services maging mindful or concerned tayo sa role natin in creating a better and sustainable world. Hindi puwede yung bili tayo ng bili, attend ng attend ng seminars or events na wala namang impact sa buhay natin. I admit I am a seminar junkie- talagang mahilig ako sa seminars, workshops to the point of attending them outside the country pero the B.E.S.T. is one of those very few na I think would be a very good example of how to turn things around and I would be proud of promoting. Because the workshop is not really technical, it's streetwise---- and fun!

4. I have met a lot of informal leaders. The formal leaders are those with MBA's, two or three degrees and titles attached to their names but here at B.E.S.T. Biz Whiz workshop I have seen and met informal leaders. Informal leaders develop and they do not have any explicit qualification. They are seldom seen as high potential candidates for top leadership positions. I feel that the spa, massage therapy and wellness business should learn from them as we have to seek the creme dela creme of the industry without focusing too much on degrees and educational attainment, grammar and formalities.

5. B.E.S.T by BizWiz resources is one of the linchpins in the information, seminars and workshop industry. Thanks to the brilliant Seth Godin for the word. Linchpins or lynchpins are systems, concepts or people who do things that either hold the enterprise together or move it forward (or both). Linchpins do timely work that delights the recipient without expecting anything in return- the spirit of genuine giving. Satisfactory work, Godin argues, does not elicit the same response. Linchpins refuse to succumb to norms and be like all the other businesses or workers. They are creative, inspiring, proactive driving forces- I hope that BizWhiz will continue to become bigger and better too.

For me, linchpins are uniquely carving their niche in a seemingly very competitive business or professional environement. Kaya up to now hindi ko maintindihan bakit ang dami pa ring gustong mag put-up or mag start ng kanilang spa, massage clinic and wellness center without thinking what will differentiate them from the rest of the pack- aside from the price. Seasoned spa, massage clinics and wellness center owners know that you will not survive in the industry if you are not uniquely you. In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, linchpins become mapmakers and chart new directions.

You and I are born equal pero different. Do you want to be really rich and happy? Do you want to stand out from the rest of those massage therapists, spa therapists or business owners out there? Then be yourself. Be what you really are. Be very good at what you do. This is the first step toward becoming beter than what you are today. Chose to become yourself. Huwag kang gumaya lang ng gumaya.

We cannot reach our true destiny kung lagi ka na lang habol ng habol at gaya ng gaya sa iba. You can't reach your destiny taking another man's road. If you will not walk in someone else's track you will not make new discoveries. You have to follow the leading of your heart and go instead where noonw has gone before you and leave a trail there.

Avoid following the crowd. Minsan, I will meet spa owners who are about to start their business in this industry who have their own originality. Hindi sila common na spa. Did you know that you are detined to be different? That is why we all have different fingerprints. God did not make any of us alike. Dare to be different in your field and follow your own star. How?

Sabi ng Romans 12: 6-8 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

So how will you develop your gifts. skills and talents inherent in you? Develop your interests and potential. The more you develop your talents and skills- the less you will be like someone else. Trying to copy the business of another is self-defeating. One of your main purpose in your life is to know thyself and give birth to yourself. Alamin mo kung saan ka magaling at saan ka mahilig na kahit nahihirapan ka eh- masaya ka then find a way to earn from what you love doing. Kung mahilig kang mag sulat at matagal mo ng pinapangarap na magsulat ng iyong libro then write what you love about. Buy books, CD's about book writing and publishing then interview people who have gone before you.

You canot be so-so, common, average, ordinary in order to stand out in this world, you have to be an original,  atypical, exceptional, extraordinary, unusual to be remembered. Common people, common places and common things get forgotten easily. You must be uncommon and be the best version of yourself, your profession and your business to be a champion and a superstar. Be a superstar in your chosen niche.

Do not let your life be a constant struggle between what you are not and what you should not. You are what God made you and a miracle. Be the best version of yourself.

Be YOU-nique and make a difference.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The TRUE Giftedness in Business and Career (of Spa, Massage Therapy and Wellness)

The TRUE Giftedness in Business and Career (of Spa, Massage Therapy and Wellness)

There are two types of business:
1. The business of giving to get and
2. The business of giving to love.
In the first type of business, the business exists only for attention, the emulation of others or the need of the entrepreneur to be liked or loved and thus to earn money.

In the latter type of business, it gives because it wants to serve people and loves the people they are serving. The entrepreneur is passionate about what he/she does and would like to share it with others. This should be the heart of every business and profession not only the spa, massage therapy or wellness industry. Money is just a way for these businesses to be rewarded financially. Eventhough their value is much more than money. It is always a blessing to do what you love and be paid for it.

There is nothing wrong if we want to be loved, liked and admired. It's one of our most basic need. But we have to realize that giving out of necessity and as a way of getting attention and to be loved, then this is not true generosity. That's toxic. You call that co-dependent type of person and it's lethal to your soul. Pleasing people so that they will love you in return is like buying their love. It's slow suicide.

One very close person that I knew very well always give gifts to her friends and colleagues. Whatever she can afford: food, clothing, shoes... things. People would always tell her "Oh you're so generous" but deep within, I know this person is one of the most miserable person on planet Earth. She is constantly sad within because she does not know who her true friends are. She doesn't know if her friends are really friends and are simply there because she gives them stuff. People abuse her (false) kindness or (seemingly) generosity. She is not receiving the rewards of her generosity because she is not really generous- she is needy. She is needy for attention, for friendship and love. She is giving because she felt the need to be accepted. She's giving out of need and fear not out of love. Gloom and grief fills up the space she created. She gives out of need thus even becomes more needy. How do I know this? Because that person was no other than--- myself.

I was needing true friends and I thought I can be more closer to others if I would give something especially material things. I learned. I gained wisdom. If your love tank is empty like me before, you need to do a few things:
First, allow God to love you. Pray from your heart and ask Him to give you the love that no human being can give you. Accept that God loves you and died for your sins and no matter what He is just a prayer away. Accept Him in your heart. Dedicate to Him your past, your present, your future.

Secondly, know yourself, accept yourself, love yourself and forgive yourself. Your height, color, size, weight, IQ level, etc. Improve yourself but love it anyway. Learn to be generous to yourself, celebrate being alive daily or waking up- celebrate everyday! Remember this, unless you truly love yourself, you will not be capable of loving others.
Therefore, in our life, we have to love first ourselves before we really love others. This is not selfish. This is just right.

An example of which is when we ride airplanes. Di ba kahit sa eroplano may sinasabi ang mga flight attendants na ganito: "In the unlikely event of a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will appear. Place the mask over your mouth and nose, and breath normally. If you are traveling with small children, secure your own mask first, and then help them with theirs....." Why do we have to secure our oxygen first before helping children with them? Why should grownups get the oxygen before the kids? It is very important for us adults, to make sure that we get the mask on quickly or we might pass out before we could help them and they would not be able to help us.

Let us love ourselves and forgive ourselves first before we can truly love and forgive others.

Third, be with people who will add value to your life NOT just people who are there because they want to sell something to you or they want to pick your brains. Be with people who will give out of something of themselves (example: time, Godly advise, effort, service, companionship, committment, etc.) to you for friendship and love. Dump people (I mean get out of a relationship or avoid them as much as possible) who are complainers- you know, those Debbie downers, the types who sucks the energy off of you but instead replace them with people who inspires you and improves your outlook in life. The circle of friends that you choose should be positive and inspiring people inspite of the rocky roads in life not the gloomy and pessimistic ones.

I repeat: the true wealth in business or any profession or career is being truly generous with your core gifts, skills and talents and sharing it with others. It is giving out of love, which fills our lives with more love. Then money will find a way to come.

To understand where I am coming from look at this video of my past.- Click on this link.

One way of loving yourself is doing what this little girl is doing.

So tell me, which type of business or profession are you about to start? The first or the second?

God bless you, your spa, massage business, your career, your profession, your family, your plans and goals!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stereotype stories

Stereotype Stories

By Eunice Estipona

What first comes into your mind when you hear the word Spa? Massage? Beauty? Wellness? How do you stereotype these words? Is it one which relaxes you? One that creates an emotion of serenity? Stereotypes can either be positive or negative but when it comes to people, it ignores the possibility that an individual is unique. Stereotypes view people by painting all members of a group with the same brush. A few days ago, I read and viewed a few videos/ stories all with one similar theme: stereotyping.

Stereotyping story #1- Stereotyping religion

Its extreme to judge a religion by what others have done. Let us instill forgiveness not vengeance inspite of stereotyping. Let us continue to pray for a heart that would find understanding in this troublesome world.

Stereotyping story #2- Stereotyping Names (from an email by my friend, Rommel Martinez)

A Pinoy went to a bar in Hawaii to have some drinks. At the counter, he sat next to the famous Hollywood director, Steven Spielberg who was already ahead by a quart of alcohol. After a couple of beers, the Pinoy sensed that Spielberg was glaring at him. Suddenly, in a flash the Pinoy crashed down from his stool, felled by a vicious hook from the director.

Picking himself up, he yelled, "Wat is dat por?"
Spielberg ranted: "That's for the bombing of Pearl Harbor , you #@@!!##! My dad perished in that bombing!"
"But I am not Jafanese... I am Filipino!" exclaimed the Pinoy.

The inebriated director replied, "Yeah yeah yeah ....Japanese, Burmese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino are all the same."

Regaining his composure, the Pinoy dusted off his white pants, straightened the collar of his loud bird-of-paradise printed shirt, took his seat and ordered a double R&B from the bartender. After a few sips, the Pinoy stood up and delivered his best Jackie Chan karate kick, sending the director flying halfway across the room.

"What was that for?!!" shouted the surprised Spielberg from about fifteen feet away.

"Dat's por da sinking of da TITANIC! I had my grandpader on dat ship!" the Pinoy answered back.

"You ignorant! The TITANIC was sunk by an iceberg!" exclaimed the director.

"Yah yah yah...Iceberg, Spielberg, Carlsberg... you are all the same."

When we see a Filipina working in Hong Kong, do we stereotype them as domestic helpers, nannies and care givers? what about Filipinas working in Japan? Although most of what Filipinos do outside the country are honorable work, not all people have the right mindset. I have personally experienced stereotyping when we touched down Frankfurt, Germany and we were not allowed to get out of the terminal just as quickly as others would, just because we were carrying Filipino passorts and maybe (just maybe) there have been a lot of reports of people coming into transit but exiting Frankfurt illegally, who knows? it just seems stereotyping is everywhere. The question is, how do we want as a country and a race to be remembered? What do we want to be stereotyped as a nation five years down the road?

Stereotyping story #3- Stereotyping beauty and color

The Filipinos have often stereotyped white skincolor as something superior and thus, we have all kinds of whitening and bleaching products and services in the spa. Even the type of hair is stereotyped as beautiful if its straight but its ugly when its curly. Therefore salons kept on urging us to rebond, relax and straighten our hair. Media (especially TV commercials) has often made us think that outside beauty is a thing to focus on but true beauty lies more than skin deep. Although a beautiful face has its merits, we should focus more on our attitude and our hearts. We should not judge the book by its cover.

Stereotyping Story #4- Stereotyping Brands

Believe it or not consumers stereotype brands. What comes into mind when we hear the words, Dolce and Gabbana? Levis? La Coste? Havaianas? Nike? what about when we hear the words Marriott Hotel what comes into our mind? Several years ago, I read two stories about this great hotel chain and the wonderful people working there. First, the Cambridge Marriott Hotel which is legendary for its exemplary service. At a time when the hotel industry was feeling the crunch, it even made more money. It's even rare to find people leaving the hotel without returning back. The secret? The doorman of the country called Phil Adelman. He was 59 years old when he was hired at Marriott, barely a high school graduate and had no hotel experience. He originally applied for a job as a dishwasher but was willing to accept any post that Marriott would give, Phil became a doorman. Phil grabs doors, slots luggages, he does more than make every guest feel welcome and at home. He is as much a performer as a service worker. He has some dramatic ideal of the doorman in mind and he tried to live up to that ideal. He loves people and takes pride in the work itself. The talent and charm of Phil Adelman is the giving of small favors for people without making them appear as much. He never hangs around waiting for a tip. According to Phil, "waiting around for the tip, spoils the ritual of providing service both for him and the guests" plus, he doesn't have to. It's the guests who track him down to give him tip. His joy is in serving people and his passion is in having served well. Even after he was diagnosed with colon cancer- he never missed a day of work, according to his wife Helen. In 2007, he died at the age of 80.

Another employee of Marriott, Albert "Smitty" Smith was awarded the Best Sports Salesperson of the Year, beating all the other salesperson from every Marriott branch all over the world. Even when half the Dodger's team went to the other competing hotel to take advantage of the lower price, Albert took a day off. Not for himself though. He would call the other hotel and ask one of his friends what time the team would arrive then he would go over there in full uniform and wait for the team in the lobby. One time when the Dodger's came to town, Coach Tommy Lasorda led the team into the competing hotel and he was standing there waiting for them. Tommy smiles, shook his hand and said "Smitty, what are you doing here? Are you with the hotel now? This is great! So are we!" But Albert replied that he was still at the Marriott but he was there to wish them luck against the Braves and that he brought their special order from the Marriott after the game because their new hotel's room service closes at 11pm so he would miss his late night snack but most importantly, he also told them that "eventhough you can't afford to stay with Marriott anymore, we still love you".

Marriott. Great brand. Positive stereotyping. But wherever you are, whether working for the Marriott or not, the next time you stereotype your job as a necessary evil or you think like giving up on our work, think of Phil and Albert. Our work, staff, colleagues, company and bosses are a blessing. From them we can learn how to hone and cultivate more of our talents and skills. Our superiors detects the hidden gem in us and gives us the opportunity to contribute to the team. I am really blessed for having to learn and work hand in hand with great people in the spa, massage and wellness industry who taught me more than loving my career but loving people as the bottomline. Whatever the appearance, color, the creed, the religious affiliation, age, gender, etc...and that is positive stereotyping!

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,” Colossians 3:23(NIV)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why are we where we are now?

Why are we where we are now?

by Eunice
(At-length analysis on why the Philippines is poor and what we can do about it)

After a decade in the spa, massage therapy and wellness industry, I have come to realize that an inexperienced staff with a track record of integrity is way more preferable than a brilliant employee with questionable ethics. The latter will become a problem in the future for the spa business. Here is why.

The video below hit the net community especially the Filipino audience online.

Before anything else, let us not talk about schools and crème de la crème. This will not be the focus of my blog. The thing that has really stuck into my mind is when Prof. Winnie Monsod said and I quote, “Eh saan tayo ngayon? (Where are we now?) If they (those in the government) are so good, why are we where we are now?”

In Philippine culture, we have always looked upon people who graduated with high honors, we have always saluted those who graduated from top universities especially those who studied in the US or abroad and we have placed in pedestals those whose diplomas and degrees are much higher than our own. If we are lead by great leaders coming from crème de la crème universities, who graduated with high honors and whose degrees and letters after the name is as many as the alphabet, in essence why is the Philippines still poor? There are a lot of factors and intricacies that this blog will not be able to answer. Suffice to say that one of the things that we have forgotten as a nation, we have placed too much emphasis on the outer realm, the diplomas, the school, the knowledge and the degrees to the point that we have exchanged our integrity for money, wealth or fame. It’s never enough to have a doctorate degree, to graduate with high honors or to graduate from a well-known university. The essence of going to school is for us to hone our talents, our knowledge and skills and apply them into our life, our practice and our work. An impeccable transcript of records, just don’t cut it in the real world of work. Excellence in itself is just not enough. There are a lot of excellent people in school with grade no lower than 1.5 (or A-) but their integrity and honor is as shallow as the cat’s pooo dugged under the soil. Do not get me wrong, hindi masamang magkaroon ng matataas na marka but do not let it overshadow our love for the country and our fellowmen. When Fortune 500 magazine asked the CEO’s of many Fortune 500 companies what they considered the most important qualities for hiring and promoting top executives, do you know what their unanimous answer were? It’s integrity and trustworthiness. Not technical skill, Not education, Not school. Not even a pleasing personality. But still, the good old-fashioned integrity, honesty, honor qualities that the Bible teaches. Only if we would turn and obey God’s word can we qualify to be a person of integrity and honor. Integrity and Honor, these things can never be taught even at Harvard.

Secondly, she said that “if you are going to help this country, you’ve got to be in this country.” The Filipino is also confused. Why? We want to stay in the country but there are no opportunities. There are no jobs that could help the people pay the crème de la crème tuition fees. I must admit, I am already at a point in my life where I am ready to move and I am contemplating on migrating abroad since all my immediate family is in the United States and I am the only one who is still a Filipino citizen. I think there are a lot (I mean a lot) of like me out there, who are ready to leave the country for better opportunities- for good. I do not blame them.

I have found the book, 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country by Atty. Alex Ledesma Lacson (also a graduate of the University of the Philippines) with my own thoughts and links added in CAPS:


2) Whenever you buy or pay for anything, always ask for an official receipt.




Filipinos are Brown

Their color is in the center of human racial strains. This point is not an attempt at racism, but just for many Filipinos to realize that our color should not be a source of or reason for inferiority complex. While we pine for a fair complexion, the white people are religiously tanning themselves, whenever they could, under the sun or some artificial light, just to approximate the Filipino complexion.

Filipinos are a touching people

We have lots of love and are not afraid to show it. We almost inevitably create human chains with our perennial akbay (putting an arm around another shoulder), hawak (hold), yaka(embrace), himas (caressing stroke), kalabit (touch with the tip of the finger), kalong (sitting on someone else's lap), etc. We are always reaching out, always seeking interconnection.

Filipinos are linguists

Put a Filipino in any city, any town around the world. Give him a few months or even weeks and he will speak the local language there. Filipinos are adept at learning and speaking languages. In fact, it is not uncommon for Filipinos to speak at least three: his dialect, Filipino, and English. Of course, a lot speak an added language, be it Chinese, Spanish or, if he works abroad, the language of his host country.

In addition, Tagalog is not 'sexist.' While many "conscious" and "enlightened" people of today are just by now striving to be "politically correct" with their language and, in the process, bend to absurd depths in coining "gender sensitive" words, Tagalog has, since time immemorial, evolved gender-neutral words like asawa (husband or wife), anak (son or daughter), magulang (father or mother), kapatid (brother or sister), biyenan (father-in-law or mother-in-law), manugang (son or daughter-in-law), bayani (hero or heroine), etc. Our languages and dialects are advanced and, indeed, sophisticated! It is no small wonder that Jose Rizal, the quintessential Filipino, spoke some twenty-two languages!

Filipinos are groupists

We love human interaction and company. We always surround ourselves with people and we hover over them, too. According to Dr. Patricia Licuanan, a psychologist from Ateneo, and Miriam College an average Filipino would have and know at least 300 relatives.

At work, we live bayanihan (mutual help); At play, we want a kalaro (playmate) more than laruan (toy). At socials, our invitations are open and it is more common even for guests to invite and bring in other guests. In transit, we do not want to be separated from our group. So what do we do when there is no more space in a vehicle? Kalung-kalong! (Sit on one another). No one would ever suggest splitting a group and waiting for another vehicle with more space!

Filipinos are weavers

One look at our baskets, mats, clothes and other crafts will reveal the skill of the Filipino weaver and his inclination to weaving. This art is a metaphor of the Filipino trait. We are social weavers. We weave theirs into ours that we all become parts of one another. We place a lot of premium on pakikisama (getting along) and pakikipagkapwa (relating). Two of the worst labels, walang pakikipagkapwa (inability to relate), will be avoided by the Filipino at almost any cost.

We love to blend and harmonize with people, we like to include them in our "tribe," in our "family" - and we like to be included in other people's families, too. Therefore we call our friend's mother nanay or mommy; we call a friend's sister ate (eldest sister), and so on. We even call strangers tia (aunt) or tio (uncle), tatang (grandfather), etc.

So extensive is our social openness and interrelations that we have specific title for extended relations like hipag (sister-in-law's spouse), balae (child-in-law's parents), inaanak (godchild), ninong/ ninang (godparents) kinakapatid (godparent's child), etc.

In addition, we have the profound 'ka' institution, loosely translated as "equal to the same kind" as in kasama (of the same company), kaisa (of the same cause), kapanalig (of the same belief), etc. In our social fiber, we treat other people as co-equals.

Filipinos, because of their social "weaving" traditions, make for excellent team workers.

Filipinos are adventurists

We have a tradition of separation. Our myths and legends speak of heroes and heroines who almost always get separated from their families and loved ones and are taken by circumstances to far-away lands where they find wealth or power.

Our Spanish colonial history is filled with separations caused by the reduccion (hamleting), and the forced migration to build towns, churches, fortresses or galleons. American occupation enlarged the space of Filipino wandering, including America , and there are documented evidences of Filipino presence in America as far back as 1587.

Now, Filipinos compose the world's largest population of overseas workers, populating and sometimes "threshing" major capitals, minor towns and even remote villages around the world. Filipino adventurism has made us today's citizens of the world, bringing the bagoong (salty shrimp paste). Pansit (sauteed noodles), siopao (meat-filled dough), kare-kare (peanut-flavored dish), dinuguan (innards cooked in pork blood) balut (unhatched duck egg), and adobo (meat vinaigrette), including the tabo (ladle) and tsinelas (slippers) all over the world.

Filipinos are excellent at adjustments and improvisation, managing to recreate their home, or to feel at home anywhere .

Filipinos have Pakiramdam (deep feeling/discernment)

We know how to feel what others feel, sometimes even anticipate what they will feel. Being manhid (dense) is one of the worst labels anyone could get and will therefore, avoid at all cost. We know when a guest is hungry though the insistence on being full is assured. We can tell if people are lovers even if they are miles apart. We know if a person is offended though he may purposely smile. We know because we feel. In our pakikipagkapwa (relating), we get not only to wear another man's shoe but also his heart.

We have a superbly developed and honored gift of discernment, making us excellent leaders, counselors and go-betweens.

Filipinos are very spiritual

We are transcendent. We transcend the physical world, see the unseen and hear the unheard. We have a deep sense of kaba (premonition) and kutob (hunch). A Filipino wife will instinctively feel her husband or child is going astray, whether or not telltale signs present themselves.

Filipino spirituality makes him invoke divine presence or intervention at nearly every bend of his journey Rightly or wrongly, Filipinos are almost always acknowledging, invoking or driving away spirits into and from their lives. Seemingly trivial or even incoherent events can take on spiritual significance and will be given such space or consideration.

The Filipino has a sophisticated, developed pakiramdam . The Filipino, though becoming more and more modern (hence, materialistic) is still very spiritual in essence. This inherent and deep spirituality makes the Filipino, once correctly Christianized, a major exponent of the faith.

Filipinos are timeless

Despite the nearly half-a-millennium encroachment of the western clock into our lives, Filipinos - unless on very formal or official functions - still measure time not with hours and minutes but with feeling. This style is ingrained deep in our psyche. Our time is diffused, not framed. Our appointments are defined by umaga (morning), tanghali ( noon ), hapon (afternoon) or gabi (evening). Our most exact time reference is probably tanghaliang-tapat (high noon), which still allows many minutes of leeway. That is how Filipino trysts and occasions are timed: there is really no definite time.

A Filipino event has no clear-cut beginning nor ending. We have a fiesta , but there is bisperas (eve), A day after the fiesta is still considered a good time to visit. The Filipino Christmas is not confined to December 25th; it somehow begins months before December and extends up to the first days of January.

Filipino say good-bye to guests first at the head of the stairs, then down to the descamo (landing), to the entresuelo (mezzanine), to the pintuan (doorway), to the tarangkahan (gate), and if the departing persons are to take public transportation, up to the bus stop or bus station.

In a way, other people's tardiness and extended stays can really be annoying, but this peculiarity is the same charm of Filipinos who, being governed by timelessness, can show how to find more time to be nice, kind, and accommodating than his prompt and exact brothers elsewhere.

Filipinos are Spaceless

As in the concept of time, the Filipino concept of space is not numerical. We will not usually express expanse of space with miles or kilometers but with feelings in how we say malayo (far) or malapit (near). Alongside with numberlessness, Filipino space is also boundless. Indegenous culture did not divide land into private lots but kept it open for all to partake of its abundance.

The Filipino has avidly remained "spaceless" in many ways. The interior of the bahay-kubo (hut) can easily become receiving room, sleeping room, kitchen, dining room, chapel, wake parlor, etc. Depending on the time of the day or the needs of the moment. The same is true with the bahay na bato (stone house).Space just flows in to the next space that the divisions between the sala , caida , comedor or vilada may only be faintly suggested by overhead arches of filigree

In much the same way, Filipino concept of space can be so diffused that ones party may creep into and actually expropriate the street! A family business like a sari-sari store or talyer may extend to the sidewalk and street. Provincial folks dry palayan (rice grain) on the highways! Religious groups of various persuasions habitually and matter-of-factly commandeer the streets for processions and parades. It is not uncommon to close a street to accommodate private functions, Filipinos eat. sleep , chat, socialize, quarrel, even urinate, nearly everywhere or just anywhere!

"Spacelessness," in the face of modern, especially urban life, can be unlawful and may really be counter-productive. On the other hand, Filipino spacelessness, when viewed from his context, is just another manifestation of his spiritually and communal values. Adapted well to today's context, which may mean unstoppable urbanization, Filipino spacelessness may even be the answer and counter balance to humanity's greed, selfishness and isolation.

So what makes the Filipino special?

We are brown, spiritual, timeless, spaceless, linguists, groupists, weavers, adventurists. Seldom do all these profound qualities find personification in a people. Filipinos should allow - and should be allowed - to contribute their special traits to the world-wide community of men - but first, we should know and like ourselves.

From the Special issue of Light Touch Magazine, vol. 8 number 3, Copyright 2004, Glad Tidings Publication

5) Respect your traffic officer, policeman and soldier.- RESPECT ANYONE WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE AND HONOR OUR KABABAYANS.

6) Do not litter. Dispose your garbage properly. Segregate. Recycle. Conserve.




10) Pay your taxes.

11) Adopt a scholar or a poor child.


In summary, this would be an enlightening read which was sent to me by a friend and fellow OFW way back in 2004, just click on this link or if it does not work click on the link below:

It’s a big challenge for all of us Filipinos (wherever we may be) to do something. We are helpless on our own. We cannot trust ourselves not even our own intelligence. We need someone higher than us. We need Christ. Let us surrender our lives and our country to Christ and do something.

Now, what would be your next step?

Written by Eunice

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cebu Pacific Dancing FA's, Price Wars and the Gaya Gaya Mentality: What does it have to do with the Spa, Massage Clinic and Wellness Center Business/ Profession?

Cebu Pacific Dancing FA's, Price Wars and the Gaya Gaya Mentality: What does it have to do with the Spa, Massage Clinic and Wellness Center Business/ Profession?
by Eunice
Whenever I travel, I would first window shop: I log online and shop for airline tickets, accommodations and tours. I shop from one travel agent to another, from airlines through their website, through their offices at the malls and compare them with two of my miles membership cards. It takes a week or so to finally come up with something that fits my needs. I found out that whatever you do, there will always be someone who will be willing to cut their price to gain business from us (the consumers). The irony of it is that once we have already bought something, we will find out that there will always be a cheaper alternative or a promo somewhere. That goes the same in almost all industry types and the spa, massage centers, fitness centers and wellness center business is not an exception. Nung hindi pa nauuso ang pag-pa-pa-spa, it was only for the elite and the socialites, while massage therapy naman was seen in a bad light and a not so wholesome or healthy connotation and the wellness centers are just for health freaks. Noon yun- iba na ngayon (That was before, now it’s different). Ever since spas sprouted like mushrooms, the spa owners and the people in the industry were taken aback by the rampant cost cutting of clients therefore more and more spas joined the band wagon of cutting their prices- and as you well know, maraming spas, massage clinics and wellness centers na nag slash ng kanilang service and retail prices. Pababaan ng presyo. As a result, maraming spas na nagsara. Hindi naging lucrative para sa marami ang negosyo but let’s take a look at the deeper aspect of price wars. The unseen, the invisible side to price wars and the Gaya-gaya system and how we can come up with some solutions.

Bakit ba may gaya-gaya system? At price wars? Ang sabi ng Wikipedia and I quote: “Price war is a term used in economic sector to indicate a state of intense competitive rivalry accompanied by a multi-lateral series of price reduction. One competitor will lower its price, then others will lower their prices to match. If one of them reduces their price again, a new round of reductions starts. In the short-term, price wars are good for consumers, who can take advantage of lower prices. Often they are not good for the companies involved. The lower prices reduce profit margins and can threaten their survival. In the medium to long term, they can be good for the dominant firms in the industry. Typically, the smaller, more marginal, firms cannot compete and must close. The remaining firms absorb the market share of those that have closed. The real losers then, are the marginal firms and their investors. In the long term, the consumer may lose too. With fewer firms in the industry, prices tend to increase, sometimes higher than before the price war started.”

There are several business and economic causes of price wars and gaya-gaya system. One deeply rooted cause is that one wants a market share that the other business has. One business wants what the other business (the competitor) has. People jump to the bandwagon because of money, profits and a share of the pie without real knowledge of the business. Basta hilig lang but it’s not enough. Passion is not enough to sustain a business operation. It takes wise business decisions, amongst other things. Last year, in one of my speaking engagements, I was invited to speak to a group of spa owners and students of massage and wellness about spa operations and management in the beautiful province of Tarlac and one of the questions a spa owner asked me was: what is the solution for price wars and the gaya-gaya mentality of Filipinos? I honestly told them that there is no silver bullet to this problem. There’s only the option to choose the ways that are much less damaging to spa, massage clinics and wellness centers owners than dropping their prices. If price is the problem, the first choice is to add value before dropping price. Anong ibig sabihin ng adding value? Instead of giving a discount, give them a free add-on or an additional time for a certain service. Halimbawa, they purchased a service equal to $100 or 5,000 Pesos give them a free 15-minute trial back and head massage. They have had the experience, and they might avail of the back and head massage next time. Sa spa business kasi dapat you have to sell the experience do not sell the price lagi. The next is to ensure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, any promotional rate is fenced properly. What are fences? Fences are tactics applied to rates to prevent one segment of demand from buying down into the next. In broad terms, there are four types of fences:

1. Product fences: Limit the offer to certain retail types.

2. Availability fences: Offer better deals on high end services and products. We see these promotions constantly. e.g. pay for five massage, get seven, et cetera.

3. Customer fences: Limit the offer to repeat/loyal clients as a reward.

4. Transaction fences: Provide a restricted booking window for a service over a specific period of time. e.g. pro-bono services should be done on slow time slots and not on weekends.

Of course, there are a lot of things naman (aside from those mentioned above) that we can do to reduce the effect of price wars and the gaya-gaya system. But there is something that we can personally do in order to minimize price wars and the gaya-gaya system. Let us now go into the invisible causes, effects and probable solution/s to the price wars and gaya-gaya system.
I think the basic thing one should ask oneself BEFORE one would enter the spa, massage or wellness industry is: if this is the kind of job that I’m going to be satisfied with and be really good at? Is this something I want to be doing five or ten years or even twenty years from now? If you are a massage or spa therapist who longs to start your own business, you have to be certain that this is the job that fits the way God has designed you to function and in the same fundamental way, it should satisfy your desire for contribution that God has planted in your head through your talents and skills and cultivated in your heart through your passion and interest. If you dream of becoming a spa owner someday: You have to know how to be a good worker before becoming a great boss. You have to know your numbers. You have to know how to read financial statements. You have to know how to carve your own niche in the sea of competitors. And a whole lot of things. Maraming dapat matutunan. Hindi yung basta basta na lang magtatayo ng negosyo na walang kaalam- alam sa pagpapa takbo nito.

It’s a tragedy when I hear about several business people who have already put up their own spa, massage clinic or wellness center tapos walang nangyari after three years. It’s equally disastrous for a person who wants to go into business and loves to do what they are doing yet, they do not want to earn from it. Bakit? God wants to bless you through your talents. Of course, not everything can have monetary value but consider the possibility of earning from what you love to do. God is a productive God, He wants us to earn from what we love to do. Hindi masama yun. Even God sent His Son to pay for our debt and He paid for us to be free from hell. Lahat may bayad. Everything has a trade-off maybe not always with monetary value but in some other thing. Tragic din if you are trapped (for whatever reason) in a work that you are not interested in. I had a former staff in a European hotel destination spa, we will just call her Aileen and back home in the Philippines, she told her parents that she was working in a hospital as a physical therapist. IN reality, she’s not she’s working in a spa as a spa therapist. Although she is a PTRP, Physical Therapist Republic of the Philippines, a designation for Registered Physical Therapist Licensed by our government. So, for the whole contract year she was rumbling how she does not like her job and how she does not enjoy it. Several ways to know that you are really not called for what you are doing are: you do not have interest in it, you do not enjoy what you are doing, you are bored to death, you feel like you are a prisoner and that work is a daily grind, your soul is searching for the feeling of freedom, you do not take pride in what you do and somehow, you do not feel satisfied. Imagine investing 8 hours a day, 5 days a week or 50 weeks a year- 80 thousand hours over a working life span of 40 years or so. All in a job that you do not enjoy nor care for or that does not fit you. That’s a big waste of life! And it’s not a good advertising for the originator of the whole idea of work either. This is lack of stewardship of being who God made you to be and accomplished what He’s put in your heart to accomplish. Importante rin that you discover your own calling in this wonderful industry of spa, massage, beauty and wellness, hindi pwedeng lahat spa manager, hindi puwedeng lahat maging spa owner, hindi pwedeng lahat maging massage therapist. We all have special gifts and no one is an exception. I was in a struggle a lot of times because I am torn by several lovers: the love for teaching, the love for writing, sharing my thoughts, travel and the love for the practice. I always have to think that there are people who are really gifted with their hands at saludo ako sa kanila dahil mas magagaling sila kaysa sa akin in that area. Come to think of it, there are a lot of gifted hands that are better than mine that is why I did not concentrate on something that I am not excellent at. Alam kong mas maraming magagaling na trainers, massage therapists and spa therapists kaysa sa akin. I have colleagues and friends in the industry who are excellent in what they do including Rommel Martinez, Hadjii Crespo, Alex Bulaton, Faye Rapio and many others. It’s important that we discover our own calling, the place of work in which your design: talents, skills, abilities, background, etc. comes together with your desire to form a motivated platform: school, pulpit, office, internet, online, etc. from which you represent the values of your Creator.

First and foremost, realize that our pursuit for the right type of business, profession, work or career will be empty without God. But when we turn to Him, when we make the fundamental decision to center our existence in a relationship with our loving Creator, then and only then does our life take on Purpose and our work have the potential to bring joy and satisfaction. Finding the right business or profession begins with a vital relationship with God, our Maker. Then make it your purpose to be God’s person in this world.

Secondly, if you have already committed your business/ profession to Jesus Christ, then trust the desires, the blue print of your personality that God has given you. I believe that no one on this Earth was born identical (not even twins have the same DNA), we all have different calling. A different gift for each of us. Some have similarities but all are different in some way. Because we are acting on what is natural for us, God will also move in our lives. Kung natural sa iyong magaling kang magmasahe eh di aralin mo ang ating katutubong masahe hindi lang ang Swedish massage. Ibahagi mo iyon sa iba sa pamamagitan ng pagmamasahe sa kanila. Ibahagi mo rin ito sa iyong kapwa na walang pagmamalaki o pagdadamot. Look for your natural abilities and cultivate on them, learn as much as you could and be a general in your field. Meaning, be very good at it. Know yourself, ika nga. To know yourself, is the process of discovering who you are and what you have to offer that will benefit others. So you can be a better steward of the way God has made us. Dapat alamin mo saan ka magaling at lalo mo pang pagalingin ang sarili mo sa paggawa ng mga bagay na natural na magaling ka. Saan ba magaling ang iyong spa? Depende yan sa galing ng spa staff mo. Ano ba ang unique sa spa services mo? What can you offer that others cannot? Kasi pag alam natin ito, hindi na natin kailangan pang mag copy cat or mag price wars kasi ang isang spa ay iba sa isa at iba-iba ang mga ino-offer ng isang spa kaysa sa iyo. Of course, hindi naman masama if we copy whatever is good from what we have learned from others BUT do not lose sight of your own gifts na ginagaya mo na ang lahat sa iba at wala ng self-identity and sariling branding ang iyong spa, massage clinic or wellness center. Remember that the more people that offers your type of services or product, the lower the value and the lower the price points. If you are offering Swedish, Thai and Shiatsu massage which are common in more than a thousand spas all over your area, do not expect to get paid a premium price for it. The more rare your service or product is, the better it is for you because you create value for what you do. Isang recent example ay yung ginagawa ng SM malls with their sales staff have implemented ways to make shopping more enjoyable like dancing, clapping and attentive sales ladies. Pati yung ginagawa ngayon ng Cebu Pacific with their dancing flight attendants. I am not saying it is right or wrong. Hindi natin pinaguusapan yun. Ang pinaguusapan natin dito is yung uniqueness of your service and the value you create. If it’s fun then it’s fun. We all have different tastes, likes and dislikes. But, those passengers who are already bored with the usual routine of safety features (which only a few listens to) can also enjoy the ride.

Third, we have to offer our true self to God and to others. Only in offering our true self, do we have anything to offer. You cannot give or sell what you do not have. All you can actually give is who you are created to be. Kung gaya-gaya ka sa iba na hindi naman yun ang talent mo, magiging second class lang ang gagawin mo. Kaya kung mag nenegosyo ka at gagaya-gaya ka lang sa iba, magiging second class lang ang negosyo mo. Mananatiling maliit. Mananatili kang nag-iisa. Whatever else you try to offer, will not, in the long run, be much of a contribution. Kasi nga hindi natural sa iyo yun. Plus, in giving out a false image of yourself will result in burnout, boredom and will drain you and dwarf others. Kaya napaka raming boss, amo, manager na hindi effective dahil hindi nila calling yun. They are draining themselves while dwarfing others. Can we not realize that if we are not in our rightful position then our rightful place is empty? If you would always aim at someone else’s target market, you will lose sight of your own. Let your business and profession be a product of yourself. Be yourself and those who notice would want some of it. Eventually, there will be a ripple of effect.

How do we know that we are in our rightful position? We have peace of mind and we have joy even if we encounter problems and discouragements. God has a mission for all of us: we simply have different platforms and areas for which we can grow.

Last but not the least, we should decide, plan and take action. That may mean starting and completing that business plan, taking that examination you need, reading more books about your area, mingling with others, asking for help from those who came before you, setting a deadline, baguhin ang mga spa services mo at maghanap ng mga services na different sa iba, etc. Do not just hear, read and do nothing, act on something one day at a time towards your dream. On the other side of the coin, study, learn from where you are right now. It only means you have common sense and are serious about it. It does not mean you are weak or intimidated. It just means you’re smart. So take your time, but don’t take too long.

Finally, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."

If God directs you to put up that spa, start that massage clinic or build that wellness center, however small- will be grand in the eyes of God. You are unique, you can be brilliant in what you do if you would only offer what you are (really) good at, who needs a gaya-gaya system and who needs to cut prices?

Beyond the Usual Tasks

By yunesa

Our usual tasks are light and its results beautiful

If we have eyes to see their shining ministry

The owner investor with his finances twined in the business

The contractor, carpenter, architect and engineer

Whose skilled hands built the infrastructure

Building a home for the business

The janitors and housekeeping staff

Working with brooms and vacuum cleaners

The manager who watches over and tends the needs of the business

The staff who performs hands-on, faces the clients everyday

Faithful to their partnership with God

These are the artisans of a business

And oh, the client,

with their needs and requests we should fulfill and satisfy

from which we draw the fuel for the business

For these are all great ministries and calling

They are all beautiful

If only one can see beyond the usual task.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Most Important Question

I have always wondered about what moves people to start a spa, massage clinic or wellness center business? or to enter the profession as a massage therapist or a spa therapist? The Most Important Question to Ask Yourself before Entering or Starting Any Project or Endeavor is the Question of Why will I do this? Why will I start this business? Why will I enter this field? Because our why will determine our how’s. If your why is not enough for you to act, then no amount of how can make you move or take action. Kahit na simpleng simple lang ang mga dapat gawin para makamit mo ang iyong mga pangarap kung wala ka talagang “deep desire” na tinatawag, walang mangyayari. Hindi ka kikilos at hindi ka gagawa. We have a saying that goes “Kung gusto, may paraan, kung ayaw may dahilan” (If there is deep desire, there is a way if there is no desire, there are excuses” or “if there is a will, there is a way”). The Philippine culture is full of stories of the chivalry of men who loved deep enough that they are willing to cut woods, sing “harana” or give their lives, just to prove that his love is worthy of his beloved’s attention. “Malayo man, malapit din, pilit ka ring mararating, wag lamang masabi mong di kita ginigiliw.” Ika nga, Love will find a way. Because it really will. Because no matter how difficult a task is, if it is done with love, it seemingly is easy. Consider a young man carrying bamboo and bricks to bring to the house of his beloved as a gift to her parents or a woman having to wait for years for her beloved to return to her because of a promise- those are just examples of sacrifices that are difficult to bear if you do not love the person to whom you dedicate your efforts, but if you love the person enough, you will bear these sacrifices just to show how much you really care and will do it with passion and enthusiasm. But if you really don’t love that person, you will not lift a finger and will just find excuse after an excuse. You will not run out of excuses. Ganun din sa trabaho o sa negosyo, kung hindi mo talaga mahal ang trabaho at negosyo mo hindi ka gagawa ng mga bagay na mahirap at makakapag-pahirap sa iyo kahit pa madali yung gawin para sa iba.

There was this woman who was trapped in a burning three story-house. Below her, were two men who were shouting at her to jump and they will catch her. The first man was very muscular, athletic built and physically able to catch her but the other person, was thin, “lampayatot” (seemingly sickly) and was shouting out her name to jump. When the woman finally decided to jump, she jumped right through the arms of the second man, the one who was thin and considered “lampayatot”…why? Because he is her husband. She knows that whatever happens, her husband would not let her go and would save her even if he seems he does not look quite like it. She trusts her completely to know that deep inside her heart, she would whatever it takes to see her safe. That is how we should also see our God who is in Heaven. God found a way for us to be saved from all our transgressions.

That is also how we should view our decisions in life, it should be answered with your heart into it not just for love of profit or money that will come. The basic question to really answer is “why” am I doing what I am doing? Why will I do what I want to do? Why am I not doing what I am supposed to do? Why? Then after you have found your why’s- find a way or find ways to make your dream a reality. But first, answer your why…

And only you can answer.

Passion without action is not good enough -yunesa

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Principle of Multiplication in Spa, Massage Therapy and Wellness

The Principle of Multiplication in Spa, Massage Therapy and Wellness
by Eunice

The principle of multiplication is seen everyday, even in the field of spa, massage therapy, beauty and wellness. Sometimes, we Filipinos tend to look at business and earning money as something that is less honorable than other fields. We tend to shy away from asking what we rightfully deserve because of this mentality. So how do we apply the principle of multiplication in the spa, massage therapy and wellness profession or business?
1. We ought to give more than what our spa and massage therapy clients gives us in monetary value. We get paid, but we give more of what they paid us both in quality and in service.
2. We enter the spa, massage therapy and wellness field or industry with an open heart and mind because this will be a platform for more learning and mulitiplication of lessons learned from your experiences and the experience of others.
3. We advertise truthfully, when we say 60 minutes of Swedish massage, it should be 60 minutes or 70 minutes not 50 minutes, not 45 minutes. We give more than what is expected of us not because we are paid for our services but because it's the right thing to do. By doing this, we multiply the number of persons who would like to be our clients and increase client loyalty.
4. We register and comply with state, city and our country's laws and regulations regarding spa, massage therapy and wellness practices even if it's difficult and sometimes expensive to do so. We have to give what is due to "Ceasar" so our country will benefit from our profession and from our business. By this, we multiply the number of people who are law abiding rather than law breakers.
5. We do not fight unfairly with our competitors. We are not copy cats nor do we wage price wars and destroy the quality of our services. We promote and refer competitors if we do not offer the services and multiply the number of goodwill clients coming our way.
6. We are not cheapskates, we give fair compensation and remuneration to our spa and massage therapists so they can live decent lives and will not be pushed to doing something illegal and immoral. In the same way, we multiply the number of people who are willing to give and share to other staff as well.
7. We invest in businesses that promotes health and wellbeing instead of stripping it away. We patronize businesses that will not only give us what we need but will do something good for others, the community and the environment. This creates goodwill and multiply the number of socially responsible business people.

There are thousands of ways in multiplying what God has given us. The parable of the talents gives us an example that it is very Godly to profit.

Matthew 24: 14-30 (and Luke 19:12-28)

14 For it is like a man going on a journey, who summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The one who had received five talents went off right away and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 In the same way, the one who had two gained two more. 18 But the one who had received one talent went out and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money in it. 19 After a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled his accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came and brought five more, saying, ‘Sir, you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 The one with the two talents also came and said, ‘Sir, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more.’ 23 His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 Then the one who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Sir, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered, ‘Evil and lazy slave! So you knew that I harvest where I didn’t sow and gather where I didn’t scatter? 27 Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received my money back with interest! 28 Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten. 29 For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

We are the soil, we all bear fruits. Our fruits might be monetary, time we give to others, kindness and gratitude na sinusukli natin sa ating kapwa at marami pang iba. Just last Tuesday, we had a church feeding program for the homeless in Luneta (photos below) and I realized that we are not only on the giving end but we are always on the receiving end. Life is a life of balance: we inhale and we exhale, we give and we take, there is a left and a right, up and down- ano ang puwede nating ibigay sa hindi puwedeng magbigay? We have to multiply whatever good (seed) planted in us, helping and assisting others. So what returns do we give back to others who has done something good to us? or to those who needs our help? ano ang ating sinusukli or itinatanim?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tukneneng Brain

Tukneneng Brain
by Eunice Estipona

Tukneneng Brain says I am not in the mood to write my spa business plan
Wisdom says I will do whatever it takes even if I am not in the mood
Tukneneng Brain says I am sick and tired of working in the massage clinic
Wisdom says I am committed to constantly learning and growing
Tukneneng Brain says I do not like to go to the Meetup
Wisdom says go out, have fun, bless others and enjoy life to the fullest
Tukneneng Brain says "he is not good, she is bad and they are not good enough"- so who cares?
Wisdom says bless those whom you hate
Tukneneng brain says tomorrow, tomorrow...tomorrow.
Wisdom says cease the moment, you only have today to look forward to
Tukneneng brain spreads gossips, rumors and is resentful of the success of others
Wisdom says cursing others is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.
Tukneneng brain thinks like a crab
Wisdom brain thinks like an eagle

So whom are we going to follow? The tukneneng brain or the wisdom that sets in?
Everyday, we are faced with choices. Choices that can either have a positive effect or a negative effect on ourselves and others. Yesterday, I was with a bunch of energetic and talented group of youth (I love being with younger generations as I can so much learn from them as they learn from me) whose common ground is the love of music, as their event speaker, I imparted how our very own words, our thinking and attitude affects our lives- and the lives of others. Our thinking pattern influences our brain and thus, our actions. Our attitude either empowers us or disempowers us.

It all starts with either the tukneneng brain or the wisdom brain. It's your choice.

To live a healthier life: bless those whom you want to become, those whom you want to help and those who hate you -yunesa

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Major, Major Mistake to Avoid Before Starting a Business or Career in the Spa, Massage Therapy or Wellness Industry

Major, Major Mistake to Avoid Before Starting a Business or Career in the Spa, Massage Therapy or Wellness Industry

By Eunice Estipona

There were two major, major incidents that happened in our country this past week. The first was a hostage crisis, a very saddening and scary incident. One which exposed lots of major, major flaws in the police system (even a child can easily detect that). The other was a light hearted moment where our very own, Bicolandia born lady became one of the top five candidates to be chosen at the Miss Universe pageant 2010. Although very different, both have one major, major lesson that we can all learn from. One major, major mistake to avoid before starting a business or career in the spa, massage therapy or wellness industry and that is in the area of preparation.

Preparation. Before you shell out capital for that spa business that you have been dreaming about, before enrolling in a massage training course, etc. what do you do? In last Monday’s hostage crisis, we have seen the lack of preparation from the police. In the spa, massage therapy and wellness industry, there are also a lot of emails I received from people who ventured into the career as a spa therapist or massage therapist or they entered the spa business without a clear understanding of what the spa business is all about. The 2nd Habit of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey says it well: begin with the end in mind. How do you prepare before you embark on this career or business? We all have different God-given abilities, you have to assess your passion, talents and skills not your kapitbahay (neighbor) not your kababata, not what anyone says, it has to begin with yourself. What does your heart say? As Dr. Robert Hartman said “Stop trying to put in what God left out and instead work with what He put in”. Ask yourself what would you want to do five or ten years from now then write them down (anything that is not written is not concrete). It does not end there this is just the beginning of preparing yourself.
There are countless of ways to prepare. Get your mind to work and think with the end in mind by (I am just giving you a handful of ways to prepare):

1. Reading books and magazines

2. Attending Meetups ( or

3. Attend seminars, trainings, workshops

4. Ask knowledgeable people who are experts in the field. Even if you have to pay for the expert’s advice, the knowledge that you gain will eventually be a wisdom that will set you apart from the vast pile of mediocrity.

5. Start preparing a career plan and/or a business plan. Start writing things down in a notebook, make lists of things to do, etc.

6. Act one day at a time, at least do something everyday to achieve your purpose. Especially if you feel overwhelmed by the many things to do. List them down and do something everyday to achieve your highest priority.

Enter the spa and wellness industry and get your beliefs to line up with what your true destiny is to live a more productive and happier life. More than ten years ago, when I started in this industry- I have not seen any book or advice to be successful or advise for this career but now, we have endless resources including people who are ready to help us- only if we know where to look.

In preparing oneself, you have to prepare mentally, emotionally, physically and last but not the least, financially. In Luke 14:28 it says, "For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it." What do you have to sacrifice and give up (emotionally, physically, mentally and financially) to be a financially successful spa owner, to be a massage/spa therapist, to be financially independent? Those are the costs you have to consider.

If you feel alone and down today, God will bring productivity out of a seemingly hopeless situation once you act in faith. Acting in faith is acting by doing your homework and due diligence. Take time but do not take too long. That is faith in action. Stop dismissing all the reasons why you cannot do something and begin to take action to put the resources in your hands and be able to advance to the next level of your goal. Once you prepare, God will provide all the resources you need to accomplish your dream and you’ll find yourself motivated to act and to activate your vision.
As an old saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” So, Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.

God speed!