Project Updates: Letting Go to Move Forward

Project Updates: Letting Go to Move Forward

How do you negotiate your way into increasing your payrate? I met a French girl in Malaysia traveling the world. She’s young, 25 yrs old, and have been to different countries already.

Deep inside, I was green with envy on how a 25 year old can travel without working for years.

I’m working myself with different projects online, but I can’t fill up my travel fund that fast. In fact, I felt like a loser multitasking while we were traveling together while she was just enjoying her time sight seeing.

She gave me a tip. She traveled to Australia and working in a farm gave her so much travel funds.

I asked myself, do I need to go to Australia to work in a farm too?

I’m technically skilled, I have years of work experience, I even hold a high position in one of my projects.. and we have a farm in the PH, I’d rather work in our own farm instead even if it’s just for the family’s self sustainability.

After a root cause analysis, I figure it has something to do with the way I negotiate my payrate. I can’t always sell myself short just because I’m not from a first world country.

So yeah, I go back to my first sentence question.

How do you negotiate your way into increasing your payrate?


pay peanuts

And after much pondering and asking around, I may need to let go of some projects that drains me of positive energy so I can move forward.

Before that, I need to focus on what I do best.They are the following:

A. Authentic Story telling – reason why clients are hesitant to ask my services to promote their business like hotels or tours, because my honesty is very expensive :D

B. Streetsmart Travel – bring me anywhere and I’ll survive. I may look like a shy fragile dark skinned probinsyana but I’m a warrior in my head. I love to stay at communities that advocates the sustainable lifestyle. If you know one, please bring me there.

C. Homestays – After collecting mishaps from the recent South East Asia trip, I decided to just stay put and not travel overseas.. sorry trolls who enjoys reading how I torture myself. I do love to stay at different homes and showcase them as a homestay so my friends who owns the homes can earn too.. i can still go back to traveling, who knows what the future holds.

D. Technology – I love and hate it. But tech work is one of my highest paying gigs.. so as much as I love offline moments, I have to bear myself to be online to toil for moolah.

I must not forget to document all the tech challenges that I solved this year:

1. Solved malware infection on blue host websites. Saved me a lot instead of paying for expensive softwares to clean the site.
2. Managed tech auditors to do a country wide evaluation of a high end tech brand
3. Changed themes of my website
4. Created an analytics plugin – will create a blogpost about this soon
5. Solved a paypal bug where someone can’t send money in USD currency because she only has SGD.. it’s still a paypal bug but at least I found a workaround on how to send money without encountering issues.

My current tech challenge is:

1. How to develop an App for one of my projects.
2. How to get more technical writing projects. Maybe this gig can get me more offline moments, so I’d focus on this too.
3. How to get high paying clients preferably in the tech field
4. How can I get a macbook as a gift (because 3rd world salary is alloted for house projects, buffet food and coffee needs)

Miss Tech

Here are the updates on my major projects: – I love my advertisers! Some have been with me since 2012 and have tolerated all my crazyness. This year, my web host sponsor will be retiring on giving me freebies so I have to be sustainable and pay for my own host and that’s where the advertisers fee was allotted.. Plus I did a giveaway for a lucky reader so she can avail to stay in different beautiful homes in Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore for free. In the end, not much ROI that I got for but I’m happy to be giving.. hope we can give more in the future ha. That’s how I love my readers too.

Readers who have been searching my blogs are interested in: Philippine Tribes, and How to bake a cake, and Thailand vs Philippines, Things to buy in Nepal

Brand Evaluations – I am paid to criticize luxury brands. I manage elitists, CEOs and other socialistas so they can get paid while window shopping. Now, my focus is to actually have the means to pay for those expensive stuff that I’m criticizing.

Book – I’ve been reading waaay too much so it’s high time for me to get started on writing one. I’m compiling herb medicines and other alternative treatment. If you want to get a copy, reach out to me at grasya (at) grasya dot com. I will ask you for a donation so we can in turn give back to individuals and communities that needs it most.
– a portion of my advertisers fee goes to the buffet feeding program of the Elderly in my small community. There was also a sponsor who have donated lots of clothes to them, thank you sooo much. Hopefully I can reach out to more people who needs help. Let’s see what the future holds. How to help? Ask me.

To be honest, I want to take on all the projects that comes my way. But my human capabilities are limited so I need to leverage. I have other mini projects that have become stagnant and still in the zygote stage of development. There are also times where my major projects are draining me out of positive energies that I just want to be offline and curl up in a book.

Then I realize, I need travel funds.

But since I’m not traveling out of the country at the moment anyway, being offline and just reading books and gardening is really tempting.. maybe I will do that one time to find my zen. Who knows what the future holds.

she is a beautiful piece


PS. I’m collecting fairy mentors, people who are passionate about living life, those who are successful in their fields and wants to mentor the next generation. Feel free to reach out at grasya (at) grasya dot com and let’s collaborate.

Looking back before moving forward – Highlights of the year 2016

Last year was generally a good one. I was not able to travel internationally but had authentic travels around the country. Sometimes it’s nice to be a nobody coz you get to meet real people.. :D

You know, when you’re a nobody, people will treat you genuinely.. and because of that, I got more cynical ;D… read between the lines.

Makes me not want to be human sometimes but hey.. that also means there’s lots of room for improvement too. I got to experience horrible times, but I also had high moments. Let’s start with the high first so as not to bore you.

Here they are:

I was able to create my own pepper spray, so I won’t ever buy one again ^_^… great achievement in my book of life :P

I was able to find a natural cure for my mom’s allergy. I think this is a major accomplishment because we used to buy expensive creams but now it’s 90% cured, we hopefully won’t need to buy one again^_^

I was able to live in the best island on earth according to posh magazines– Palawan. It’s only for 2 months and maybe it’s not the right time to move there at the moment but we’ll see.

Career wise, here’s how it goes:

As a Philippine country coordinator of a global market research company that caters to luxury clients, I was tasked to do quality audit of high end clients. Since there were nationwide projects that came in, I also worked with auditors in other provinces as well. Playing the role of critic to these ridiculously expensive brands and getting paid to do it is fun….. :D

I still have other gigs so I’m grateful for multiple income streams.

I should concentrate on working smarter instead of working harder, and at the same time help people help themselves too. I don’t want to be celebrating accomplishments by stepping on other people so let’s celebrate together. Some of my projects are at, feel free to reach out and collaborate.

Here’s my travel updates:

I still traveled. I was not able to blog about them, because I feel like it’s repetition to talk about it again when the content is located in all other websites.. If there’s something of unique value to be shared, then I’ll write it down. So far, last year, I was able to travel in the following locations:

– Palawan to do a short term government research project
– Toured the Malls in Metro Manila because I’m paid to do it.
– Bacolod with my Aunt to see heritage places
– Antique to learn farming and to entertain foreign friends on the bliss of living in the forest
– Boracay for a short hang out
– Tagaytay for the Focolare reunion
– Iloilo City staycation with my cousin from the UK
– Guimaras to have a mini reunion with second degree cousins
– Tuguegarao to do some short work and meet people for the tribestay project
– Baguio and Sagada to introduce a friend the art of backpacking.
– Quezon Province to visit a hacienda with cousins from Zamboanga

Future goal should be to finally get out of this country so I can see the beauty of the earth. I will need to renew my passport first and hopefully will be able continue long term travel this march or april.

Now, the bad side of the story.

Last time, a horrible story in my life’s book was when a thief was trying to break into my room. I still have the trauma and I still freak out whenever cats are walking in our rooftop at midnight thinking it’s a thief. He was never caught so not sure if he’s still roaming the village.
Now this year, it’s the other way around, police was trying to take pictures of me while I was in a hotel eating breakfast. WHY?

Nope, it’s not a fan move. I confirmed with the front staff that the admin of the hotel asked for the police to observe me. I was actually evaluating the hotel as a mystery guest. I’m sure you know what feedback I gave them – worst staycation ever.

Despite everything, life is still beautiful. Remember, if life gives you many lemons, make lots of lemonade, lemon jam, lemon candy and lemon cake.

The start of the year 2017 is great. Projects doubled, travel plans tripled. Guess this is a sign of a bright future. Thanks for reading. Stay tuned.

Project Updates: Looking back to make sure I’m moving forward

Project Updates: Looking back to make sure I’m moving forward

I’ve found my routine. But my routine involves changing from one place to another.

And I’ve been multitasking too much in the hopes that these different projects grow together in love and harmony but then, just like what others have warned me, I’m way diversifying and thus loosing focus. That is why this article checkpoint should always remind me of what is essential in life.

I’ve been trying to hustle for too long so I think I need to catch my breath. Otherwise, it will feel like I didn’t left the rat race.. I mean, I left the corporate office cubicle yeah, but I’m still wheeling like that rat but only in my room.. or different houses or coffee shops.

coffee shop

Oh you see winner pictures? That’s only for a minute.. because when you’re in front of the computer most of the time, it feels more like a sad sight instead.

I did a root cause analysis of why I’m in such a situation and the results I told myself is due to I’m selling myself short for different clients, I’m not proactive enough to secure a contract and yeah, thank you slow internet.. Now I’m tapping myself for being my own life coach..

Maybe you feel my frustration.. and since I don’t sound like a winner, I’m sure I will be loosing readers.. that’s ok, I need friends, not just readers.. So long, farewell ^_^

if you can't handle me at my best

Ok, still here? Great! Thanks for bearing with me. ^_^ I highly appreciate it, how can I help you too?

And if you’re asking me the same question, I’m on a quest to do a long travel journey so others can follow the trail. I’m not that eccentric to always think about myself and ignite envy.. because – hello robbers, I might go home with all my stuff empty xD

So I will need supporters and clients to partner up with this goal. To make this dream a reality, you can collaborate with me on any of the following:

1. Article writing and business promotion. I have a network of travel writers and social media influencers with different niches and millions of views. This will help your business be promoted to your target audience. But if you want to focus on my blog only, one of the most loved articles are the following

a. How I saved in our Makati Staycation
b. How I earned online

People who are viewing this blog are interested in:

a. Where to eat in Cebu
b. Travel and Work Quotes
c. How to bake a cake using sand
d. Tagaytay under 1000 pesos

2. Web development, maintenance, and software quality assurance. I work with virtual teams to upgrade your website, make it mobile friendly and install additional functions such as a booking plugin or a payment section. Currently I have 2 passion tech projects with 2 wonderful ladies who is currently in Germany and Australia. This website has parallax design, database integration with messaging and payment features. The good news is since it’s a passion project, I’m sure many people will benefit from it.. the not so good news, I have devoted so much time with very minimum amount but I’m excited for what the future holds for this baby project. It will be launched very soon and I’m excited to spam the internet about it :D

3. Partner sponsors. Last year, I was able to travel with my mom to Thailand and Vietnam. This year, I was able to bring my Aunt to Bacolod, and I was able to do tours in El Nido with a local from Palawan who wasn’t able to travel around El Nido islands yet..

palawan with ate jo

Not only that, my client from the US gave me the chance to promote their hostel via a contest on my blog.
Thank you so much to sponsors who made our travel easier. Now I need a sponsor for my tickets, my backpack, my phone, my laptop and I’m ready to go. I realized, these are my regular needs because every few years, these gadgets break down. If I accumulate all the computers I had since I was 15, I have traveled round the world already.

4. Virtual assistance to your regular task that you want to outsource like hiring people, newsletter promotion, translation, online shopping, etc.

5. Quality feedback of your business via mystery shopping agencies

For those who are still here reading… wow.. I really appreciate you. To ease out the feeling of frustration, here are my milestones:

1. Nationwide projects for my mystery shopping gigs. I work with CEOs, elitists and other high profiled people in the society… nope we don’t ask them for money, instead, we pay them to window shop. :D

2. Traveled to Bacolod, Palawan for 2 months, Baguio, Sagada, Boracay, Antique and around Metro Manila.

3. Sponsored local people including my Aunt on different travels. It is ironic that these local people are the ones who haven’t seen the beauty of places nearby.. I hope I get more sponsors for this project.


3. I got less blogging projects, but increased my tech projects. Ironically I’m paid more when blogging than doing tech projects this time, but I’m sure this will balance once my tech projects starts to earn and has gained momentum.

Now, that I’m planning on going to the other side of the world, it feels jittery and I need all the support I can get. I will also write about my feelings of frustration every time I go on a journey and the solutions on how to mitigate such risks. The world is too beautiful not to see in our lifetime. I just hope it’s that easy.

For more details of my project updates, please see the Miss Chief section of

travel quote

So you want to work online and have a travel lifestyle? Read on.

So you want to work online and have a travel lifestyle? Read on.

I sipped my iced coffee in a coffee shop somewhere in Palawan while having this view as a live wallpaper. Oh what a wonderful life you must have thought..



Then the phone rings, after that, there’s a skype notification from another client that asks if we can talk.. after that, there’s a report I need to write..

Then there’s another call.. then email.. then chat..

Time flies (or fries) and I get my task finished and my brain exhausted, hardly having the time to look and appreciate the beauty of the surroundings. Oh yeah, I forgot I have a website project to build too..

I must be proud to have this multitasking ability and mimicking that Hindu God with several hands.. but when I glimpse into those tourists who do nothing but leisurely chitchat, I actually feel more envy at the same time.

So yeah dear friends, this is my lifestyle where I travel and bring online work with me. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies but I chose this way of life, and despite the downs, it’s still great to be able to take control of your life. And I’m still grateful.

For those who wants to embark on a similar travel lifestyle, here’s more rants.. not to discourage you but instead to paint the reality that at some point in your online career, a similar situation might happen to you.. so you should find a countermeasure of how to solve discomforts head on.

Here’s some points to ponder if you want to work online and have a travel lifestyle:

1. Most people will always wonder how you’re able to spend, travel around HongkongThailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc and stay in hotels.. Here’s me in Indonesia:

working online

Most people still think that to have work is to go to an office or have a boss. Otherwise, they’ll think you’re just lazy, have a rich boyfriend, or you are selling your body online. And it’s such a difficult effort to explain. The struggle is real.


2. If you work online, you can do work in whatever time you feel like it. True if you get a client that allows flexible time. Also flexi time means working at midnights, weekends, holidays too :D.. ok so you still want to work online? This was taken in a hotel when me and my mom was traveling to Thailand.. i think you’ll know where my part of the bed is.

temporary office in the hotel


3. Working online means you’re always online and you will love it. But you will always be online until you hate it. This picture was taken by my Colombian friend Maria.. sums up my online journey xD

reality online work


4. If you chose to work at home, you can have the time to be close to family. At some point, you’ll even bring your work to the mall, to the beach, do client chats while eating dinner, and taking point number 1, some people will have a hard time thinking that you’re actually working while eating.

Here’s my temporary office in Laos:


5. There is no security of tenure, and add to that you’ll get to pay for own tax, health insurance, etc.. unless you hire an admin staff to do this for you..

Well never mind the hassles. If you don’t like to be confined in the same box every working day, if you love creativity, if you love doing what you do, why settle for security of tenure if working from anywhere and be whatever you want makes you happy? Possibilities are indeed endless.. This was a temporary office.

temporary hotel office

When I was doing the 9-5 job, I still felt vulnerable to lay offs, so what is there to loose if my current work doesn’t really feel like work? ^_^



As a personal experience, I’m keeping track of this lifestyle redesign at my Miss Chief section, and the achievements are way beyond my expectations after I left the cubicle.. It’s a roller coaster ride but I’m happy and grateful.

In the future, I will need to reduce my online working hours because I love my offline moments too.. Increasing passive income streams and doing offline projects is a goal as well… let’s see what the future holds ^_^

Win FREE 2 nights stay at Jazz Hostel in New York

Win FREE 2 nights stay at Jazz Hostel in New York

February is the month of Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day.. Perfect timing to give away freebies ;)

Here’s a very easy way how to avail free 2 nights stay at Jazz on Columbus Circle Youth Hotel in New York. All steps are required for you to be eligible to win. I give special treatment to those who will give a little effort to comment in this blog post. ^_^

a Rafflecopter giveaway
A few years ago, New York Food Tour gave out complimentary food trips. Now Jazz Hostels, a former tech project client, is giving away freebies via this blog. Isn’t that awesome? ^_^

Columbus Circle Jazz Hostel =New York
You’ll find that the Youth Hotel is nestled next to Central Park, a stone’s throw away from the world famous Columbus Circle traffic circle. Take time to visit Lincoln Center a short walk away, catch a bus or one of the 5 subway lines (A.B.C.D&1) to anywhere in New York. With restaurants, art galleries, bus/bike tours, shopping, clubs and bars surrounding the youth hotel, you will become more than a visitor, you will be a part of the fabric of New York.

jazz hostel columbus new york
I haven’t been to New York yet, sometimes I ask myself why can’t I be the one to go to New York instead.. but then I realized, I’m the fairy here.. so my work is to grant your wishes. xD

And maybe it’s not yet my time to go to the Big Apple but it’s the ripe time for me to be a fairy to those who are already there or are planning to be there this year. And even if you’re not planning to go, just in case you win, you can still send a representative to avail your freebie instead.. that way, you can also become a fairy. ^_^

jazz columbus circle new york
And that makes me already happy. ^_^ Don’t worry, I’m in a paradise called Palawan, the best island in the world, so there’s nothing to complain :P

This giveaway will run starting Feb 8, 2016 and will end on March 8, 2016. Only 1 winner will be declared, afterwhich the lucky person can avail the prize within 1 year.

If you feel it’s your lucky day, start joining, start sharing and start wishing to win a Free 2 Nights Stay at Jazz Hostels Columbus Circle in New York.

The winner for this contest is Gabriel Boffa who joined the contest from Argentina. Congratulations!