My Advice as a 40-Something to My 30-Year-Old Self

Left: Young and adventurous and at 30, Right: Older and wiser at 41

I’m turning 42 on March 28. After years of dealing with insecurity and trials in life, I am proud to say that I am wiser and stronger than I was several years ago. Let me share with you a few important things I learned as a 40-something to my younger self as well as to you especially, to men under the age of 30.

Stay fit – It doesn’t matter whether running, yoga or jujitsu, as long as you enjoy doing it, you can look and feel younger compare to the average sedentary men. Study shows that fitness can help to increase our lifespans for up to 5 years. You should start racking up finisher’s medals and trophies at 40 than at 50. I forgot to mention that you have to cut the daily intake of sisig and crispy pata.

Keep a journal – Your journal can be set us as your idea bank. I learned this from my mentor Jonah Chipeco last June. I remember years of collecting planners from Starbucks during the Holidays but I never really wrote anything on those and started collecting dust. I realized that those great ideas I should’ve written went to dust. After my trip to Japan in October 2016, I bought myself a journal by Muji and started jotting down great memories and wonderful ideas. If you collect journals during the end of the year, make sure to write on it.

Don’t marry out of fear or just to have kids – At the end of the day, having kids is a huge responsibility. Nobody wants to be a bad parent.

Drink moderately… Seriously!  – Gone are days that we end up wasted with too much alcohol and embarrassing ourselves at parties. Not worth it!

“Be A Man” ideology is complete bullshit – It’s a shame that many of us Filipinos are raised to become the stereotypically macho. As a result, many men suffer from depression because of toxic masculinity. Also, there is a common misconception that vulnerability is a sign of weakness. It is in fact, one of the most under-utilized traits of a mature man. There is nothing more fulfilling than taking care of our children, parents, and loved ones.

Our parents are always right! – When we were young, rebelling was cool and we hated being told by our parents. As we grew older, we adopted their wisdom into our daily lives. The first people we run to during our downtimes are our parents.

The end of your career is NOT the end of the world – I’d like to share that I left my career as an HR Professional for 10 years. My career helped me to become financially stable, buy investment portfolios, and travel a few countries at my own expense. Deep inside, I was unhappy and dissatisfied with my career direction. So, I decided to start doing what I’m passionate about rather than working hard to be somebody else and end up miserable. Let’s take care of our mental health, gentlemen!

Read more books – I know this is a bit old school but there are lots of advantages of reading books over checking your social media regularly. According to the November 2019 article on The New Strait Times, print media provides genuine information that have gone through fact-checking and verification.  It also helps our brains to work harder and stimulate more ideas. So, I highly recommend reading at least one book per month (regardless if it’s fiction or non-fiction) to stimulate your brains.

Control your temper – I have a confession to you guys.  I have a short fuse, a sore loser and always cranky especially when I experience canceled Grab bookings and the slow MRT. Living in Metro Manila is never easy, but we have to deal with it. Culture, urban environment, mental health, and even low level of testosterone can cause men’s poor judgment and short temper.

When I attended the adidas FOCUSBREATHEIN Run on February 2, I was introduced to Mindfulness Meditation by Imee Contreras. Mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, which one can develop through the practice of meditation and other training. You can try that to clear your mind and control your temper.

Master your hobby and love it – Some people either make fun or underestimate people with eccentric hobbies and interests. Let’s say you exchanged your successful career in IT to become a furniture maker. They may start to mock you because you exchanged a stable and prestigious job in exchange for an unstable career. You will indeed struggle at first. Don’t give up! Ignore their mockery, enjoy what you love doing most, and focus on your new career path.  Don’t lose your passion until you earn the success that you deserve.

Holiday Gift Guide for The Modern Pinoy Men

It’s 25 days before Christmas! Especially here in the Philippines, shopping malls and fast-food chains are relentlessly playing Christmas songs once the – Ber months started.

11-11 shopping day has passed but there’s still Black Friday and the 12.12 shopping day. You can take advantage of these sales to buy gifts for the important men in your life while avoiding the holiday traffic in the metro.

Of course, men would always love to have a brand-new Honda Civic or Suzuki Jimny, his dream DLSR camera, and a custom-made suit for Christmas. However, we are not all multi-millionaires so we have to be creative in choosing the best gifts within our limited budget.

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Manila Pen Show 2019

Last Christmas, I bought a limited edition Lamy Safari fountain pen, followed by a Pilot Cocoon and a few samples of inks from friends. I got hooked and started writing on fountain pens 80% of the time. Since I missed the first-ever Manila Pen Show, I told myself that I have to attend my first ever Pen Show after getting “pen-abled.”

The Manila Pen Show held its 2nd show from November 16 to 17 at the Holiday Inn Makati. This two-day event was participated by established manufacturers and retailers and up-and-coming artisans from the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. It was an intimate yet jam-packed affair where both new and experienced fountain pen enthusiasts gathered, socialized, and purchased their haul. Entrance is pegged at PHP200.

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Seiko 5 SNKE87: After One Year of Wear

Seiko 5 is the budget line of Seiko watches. Despite its affordability, Seiko 5 is well-known for its reliability which has been well-loved by both new and experienced watch enthusiasts for many years.

Since I have a limited budget and unable to carry a Swiss-made automatic watches to avoid street criminals such as holdapers (they rob you at either knife or gunpoint) and mandurokot (pickpockets), I started to look for a pair of a Japanese automatic watch with not more than $250 (at least P13,000 as of August 2018)  in value, a bezel not more than 40mm in diameter, and preferably with 20mm lug width.

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Dapper Without A Suit

“Comfort and simplicity are two keys that I follow when it comes to fashion.” —- Fawad Khan (Pakistani actor)

I have a confession to all of you: Despite that, I call myself The Dapper Runner even if I don’t even own a single suit. I don’t have a plan of getting one at this time.

Yes, that is right!

The main reason for not owning a suit is the hot and humid weather in Metro Manila. I can’t stand wearing layers and layers of clothing on my daily commute simply because I sweat profusely even during the cool northeast breeze of January. I just bring an extra shirt in my bag instead. Also, I don’t attend parties and formal events.

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What to Wear for Hassle-Free Leisure Traveling

There are great things we enjoy most on having vacation overseas such as learning new languages, trying out new food, commuting like locals on a day-to-day basis, taking pictures, practice your passion, and meeting new friends or potential business partners. Traveling for pleasure helps us to relax and stay clear from work-related stress.

However, some things aren’t really as fun as we think especially for those who will fly abroad for the first time. A few examples can vary from fulfilling visa application requirements (typical Philippine passport holder woes) up to boarding at the airport. Even our clothing can be a catastrophe if we wear the wrong outfit and bring what we don’t need. I have learned a lot from my experiences of traveling through the years and I have been taking these seriously.

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The Quest for the Right Style

Back in May 2015, I decided to upgrade my appearance, financial planning strategy, and outlook on life after getting bored with the daily routine and all sorts of clutter for the last six years. I also became really curious about the growing popularity of the gentleman’s lifestyle revival here in Manila at the same time. Coincidentally, I was preparing for a job interview for the position that I badly wanted.

I wanted to transform from a guy on fauxhawk and skull shirts to a more refined young professional. First, I took off my earrings and stopped wearing those. But, I didn’t know what’s next.

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