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Name, Claim, Aim

We may go through tough times because of our wrong decisions in life. We may have lost battles. Have been put to shame. And brought so so low. We sometimes ask – “When will this end?”.

We may have sinned, made mistakes, hurt people, and we have a hard time forgiving ourselves. That feeling is valid. But be warned. The devil can use this guilt feeling to weigh us down to the point of paralysis.

We are not perfect. We have lapses in judgment. But don’t stop in telling yourself just that.

Here are Godly-Steps that we can use to help us:

Let’s do the NAME, CLAIM, and AIM process to survive this and get out of the guilt tripping cycle that the enemy has devised.

NAME – Name these situations and emotions. Ask yourself these questions – What happened? Why are you feeling what you are currently feeling? How did you get to that situation or state of mind? When did it start?

I suggest that you write it down so that you can clearly see them.

CLAIM – Claim the Lord’s promise in Isaiah 30:19. It is written in the bible “…He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.”

…He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you…

Tell yourself – “yes, I made mistakes but He is gracious.” This is one way of doing positive talk using God’s word.

Lastly,

AIM – after we have NAMED and CLAIMED, we need to AIM to walk in His ways. We should not be afraid or be confused because He will show the way to us, He will instruct us.

In Isaiah 30:21, it is written – “And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”

And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

Instructions about life come from the Bible. I would like to encourage you, as I encourage myself, to find and set that God appointed time DAILY and He will help us through the process of NAMING, CLAIMING, and AIMING our way through life’s journey.

Be blessed my brothers and sisters and see you in God’s appointed time.


Name, Claim, and Aim is a coaching process used by Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches in helping their clients discover their talents, embracing these talents, and using them for greater productivity. In this article, I shared how I apply it in a faith-based approach to living. Be blessed!


Hey! We have a Motivational Workshop geared towards helping individuals, teams, and organizations discover their talents and embrace what they are naturally good at. This will be on June 20, 2020, 8:30am to 11:30am via zoom!

I am doing this for an organization that is dear to my heart. If you register, you will not only UNBOX YOUR TALENTS but will also help in bringing smiles to the children at Helping Hands Healing Hearts Ministries Philippines Inc.

To know more, click this link for information and registration : https://dexterdiwas.com/workshop-outreach-alert/.

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My Haggai Leader Experience: A Letter For You

Hello there my friend!

I would like to share to you about the recent Leader Experience that I attended in Maui, Hawaii, USA. The program is called the – (HLE) Haggai Leader Experience.

Training venue at Mid Pacific Center, Maui, Hawaii, USA (Photo courtesy of a fellow participant, Brother Fras Budi Johannes from Indonesia)

It was held last March 1, 2020 to March 28, 2020. But because of the current pandemic, we (Filipinos) went back home to the Philippines 3 days earlier than our scheduled departure.

My fellow Filipinos. Brother Junep, Dr. Arnel, yours truly, and Pastor Dante at LAX, LA, USA. Photo courtesy of Bro. Junep.
Bro. Junep, Pastor Dante, Dr. Joey, Dr. Arnel, and I.

Due to closed borders, as of this writing, there are still more than 10 participants stranded at the Mid Pacific Center in Maui, HI, USA. They were, however, blessed to attend the closing ceremony.

These are our brothers who are still stranded in Hawaii. They are from Egypt, India, Saudi Arabia, and Africa. Photo courtesy of Dr. Joey.

WHAT IS HLE?

Haggai Leader Experience is a 25-day training for Christian leaders who were carefully chosen from around the globe.

(58 Christian Leaders from 22 Countries. Photo grabbed from a post by Brother Jobi)

But this is actually more than just a training, it is an experience. A time where you get to have a total stranger for a roommate:

My stranger roommate (haha) from Latin America errhm India.

an opportunity to learn norms from other cultures:

(Bro. Chikhu and Bro. Nachinangga both from South Africa during a role play). Photo grabbed from WhatsApp. 🙂

it is actually an open door to a bigger world.

I will summarize it in a phrase as – “breaking borders and embracing differences to further the Lord’s kingdom”.

“breaking borders and embracing differences to further the Lord’s kingdom”

In this batch, there were 58 of us from 22 countries. I met fellow lawyers, doctors and medical practitioners, pastors, trainers, public speakers, entrepreneurs and influencers. In short, trend benders.

First friends I had dinner with the night we arrived, fellow lawyers Benny and Jobi, and my roommate, Bro. Immanuel.

WHAT DID I LEARN FROM THIS HLE?

HLE is life changing and there are three most significant insights that I brought home with me:

  • MEETING CHRISTIAN LEADERS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES made me realize how blessed I am as a Christian based in the Philippines.  In other nations, they have to do their worship underground. Most of them experience discrimination. Some even literally die following Jesus.  Hearing this first hand from fellow believers made me ask myself, what have I done to share the gospel? What have I done really? This nagging question gave me that confidence to actively share the good news back home and wherever I go.
With me are my prayer group partners, Bros. Roberto (Honduras), Immanuel (India), Ongky (Indonesia), Chikhu (Malawi), and Lenny (India).

“…what have I done to share the gospel? What have I done really?”

  • I WAS REMINDED OF MY SALVATION during my encounter with a pastor participant. This bold preacher asked me – “when you die from COVID tonight, are you sure you will go to heaven?” Why would he even ask me that in the middle of this pandemic?! I almost freaked out. But kidding aside, he directed me to John 10:27-30 that says – “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” He continued by saying, “if you have sincerely received the Lord in your heart, then no one can snatch you away from our Father’s hand.” I was relieved hearing those words and we ended that night with him leading me to re-dedicate my life to the Lord.

“when you die from COVID tonight, are you sure you will go to heaven?”

  • I WAS ENCOURAGED TO EVANGELIZE. In one of the sessions, we were instructed to listen to God by having an hour of alone time. We were asked to just choose a spot where we can bask in His mighty presence. My feet led me to the prayer garden where I sobbed like a baby. I was crying because the Lord did not want me to focus about my plans, my business, or whatever worried me during that time. He plainly led my heart to understand Ezra 7:10. In the said verse, it says – “For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.” It was as if the Lord was telling me – “Dexter, what I want you to do now is to study my Laws (which I am struggling at that time). And I don’t want you to just study my laws, I want you to follow it (Because I was not following them in some aspects of my life). After studying it and following it, go and teach (evangelize).”

“For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.” Ezra 7:10

Those are my three main take aways from the Haggai Leader Experience. There’s a lot to mention but this letter is not enough.

Earlier I said that we needed to go back to the Philippines 3 days before our scheduled departure due to flights being cancelled. Blessedly, I arrived home without hassle. But I needed to be on voluntary home quarantine for 14-days “alone” and away from my family.

Photo of me and my family when I arrived. I Could not even embrace them. I Just dropped by to get some supplies left at the guard house before I head to the place where I had to stay alone for 14 days. (Check out my life realizations during the 14 days by clicking the link below: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtgivXfKUvKPe_CSB60IZlg)

It feels funny. To my mind, maybe the Lord is not done with me yet that He still wants me to have a 14-day alone time with him (haha). But right now, I came to realize, that the Lord will never be done with me as I will always be a work in progress, needing His grace every single day, from strength to strength, from glory to glory, until I meet Him one day.

HOW TO ATTEND THE HLE?

Brothers and sisters, are you a leader and you think this experience could make an impact in your life as well?

I pray that the Lord will open the door, your schedule, and your heart to joining the HLE.

Check the link below so you could start going through the process of applying and to see how the Lord will use this journey in your life:

LINK: https://www.haggai-international.org/apply-for-training/

At this moment, I would like to thank the Haggai Admin and Staff, the volunteers, and the sponsors in making this Haggai Learning Experience possible for our batch. Your hard work, dedication, and generosity will greatly be blessed as we work hand in hand in ending gospel poverty. I just want to say – “you made my mountain top journey worth remembering”.

Sincerely,

Dexter Diwas, Philippines

This is my water bottle during the HLE. This kept me hydrated and alive. 🙂 I took this photo while I was alone on home quarantine and missing my brothers from the HLE. But we are now once again scattered, for His Glory, for His Kingdom, to End Gospel Poverty.

Follow me on instagram@https://www.instagram.com/legalwellnesscoach/

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Four Tips Para Makautang Sa Bangko (Walang Collateral!)

Starting a business can both be exciting and stressful! Exciting yung thought that people will be patronizing your business idea. Stressful naman yung part kung paano mo sisimulan, kung saan ka kukuha ng capital. (So ang article na ito ay para sa mga nagsisimula na walang wala)

Many years ago, my wife and I hopped from one bank to another hoping that we could borrow money to expand our business. We were dreaming of making it big with the help of whichever bank na willing to help young and promising entrepreneurs like us. (Kasi nababasa mo ito sa magazine diba, yung tipong they became successful with the help of banks at ang gaganda pa ng ngiti nila)

Pero nabigo kami because we realized na parang banks only lend money to people who have money. Ang saklap!

Paano naman tayo na nagsisimula sa wala? Pero yan ang systema. Wala tayong magagawa. So we decided to just focus on the positive kasi kahit na magwala naman kami sa harap ng mga bangko, di lalong di sila magpapahiram. Haha.


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Besides, baka di pa naman kami handa. Yun nalang inisip namin. (Bitter bitter lang na feeling ng mga taong hindi pina-utang haha, pero totoo ito. There is always time for everything)

Ang ending, since walang gustong magpahiram sa amin at mahirap din naman humiram sa mga tao because they add too much interest, we just waited for the right time.

Ang systema ngayon, kung wala kang collateral, wala kang naka-deposit na pera sa banko, wala kang kumikitang business, o wala kang employment – wala kang mahihiram.

If you are a budding entrepreneur and you really believe that you have something to offer, do not be discouraged.

Ang payo ng mga bangkero, you have to build a reputation with a bank.

How? Based on experience, I can only share the following 4 tips.

1) SAVE MONEY IN THE BANK – If you ask friends who work in a bank, they will reveal to you that they usually contact people with deposits in the bank and they encourage these people to borrow money for a minimal interest. Grabe diba? Bakit sila? Kasi napakita nila na may capacity to pay sila. At yun ang gusto ng kahit na sinong magpapa-utang.

Iniisip ko noon, kalokohan. Kasi, kung may 50k ka for example sa bank, tatawagan ka para pautangin ng 50k with interest. Haha. Parang pinapautang lang yung pera mo sa iyo. Pero ganun talaga, hangga’t mapakita mo na maayos kang magbayad, gaganda din ang credit standing mo at darating ang panahon na pwede ka na nilang pautangin ng mas malaki even without any collateral.

Gusto rin ng bank na makita na may movement yung pera mo doon sa bank like may deposits and withdrawals. I suggest huwag na huwag kang magbebelow maintaining balance para hindi nila isipin na walang wala ka na. (Dumarating naman tayong lahat sa point na yan you know, pero tiisin mo para tumaas ang credit standing mo)


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2) OBTAIN A CREDIT CARD – Noong una, hindi ako naniniwala sa credit card. Kasi nga daw mababaon ka sa utang. So ako naman, kapag may nagbibigay noon ng credit card, my wife and I immediately cut it into two pieces. At feeling namin ang galing galing namin because we are making a wise financial decision. Hangang dumating sa punto na iyon naman na ang hinahanap ng bangko bago kami maka-loan.

I tried getting a credit card pero nadedeny na din kasi for one wala akong pera sa banko at ako pa ay isang abogado (risky daw mabigyan ng credit card ang isang abogado na walang pera sa bangko haha). Fortunately, years ago, we have a colleague who referred us to a bank na nakatulong para mabigyan kami ng credit card. Kahit mababang credit limit, okay na for a start. What we did was to really use the card for all our transactions and pay it on time. At dumating nga ang panahon na tatawagan ka na mismo ng bangko para pahiramin ka ng pera dahil ang payment history mo ay on time. Ang ibig lang sabihin nito, mapagkakatiwalaan ka na daw sa konting halaga. Hehe.

At compared sa uutang ka mula sa isang tao, mas malayong mababa ang interest dito, as low as less than one percent per month, siyempre yung mga mas mabango sa bangko, mas mababa pa diyan.

So with good credit card standing, you can borrow without a collateral. Just having a good credit standing is enough.

3) STAY IN YOUR JOB FOR MORE THAN 2 YEARS. If you are employed, some banks offer salary loan at tinitignan nila kung gaano ka na katagal sa trabaho. Kung palipat lipat ka, that means wala kang stability at matatakot yung bank na baka one day ay wala ka nang work at di mo sila mabayaran.

Kaya if you plan to borrow from a bank for business capital and you don’t know where to start. Stay in your job muna dahil magagamit mo din yan for credit standing. Isa rin itong magandang tip para makakuha din ng credit card kasi usually dapat one year ka sa work muna bago ma-approvan ang credit card application mo.

4) PAY THE RIGHT TAXES. For some banks, they require your income tax return for the last 3 years. Kung wala kang maipakita, goodbye loan application din. If you are self-employed, better pay your taxes. No income tax return means no income din so paano ka pahihiramin ng bank? So if you think this document will help you, better pay your income tax.

Yes, ang process na ito will take time. It will take years. But we have no choice because life is a process. Lalo na sa atin na walang minana at nag-uumpisa sa sariling sikap. Kesa naman umutang ka sa 5/6 na ikababaon mo rin lang. diba?

Lesson learned?

  1. Start early ka na na mag-impok sa banko;
  2. Kumuha ng credit card BUT use it responsibly;
  3. Stay in your job dahil for the meantime dahil magagamit mo din yang years of employment mo; and
  4. Pay your taxes if you are self-employed as proof that kahit papaano ay may income ka.

So there, sana may natutunan tayo today, I am excited for all of you, don’t be discouraged but be excited as you prepare for your future!! Blessings!

What Convinced Me to Renew My Morning Devotion

During a global leadership conference (Haggai Leadership Experience), I had this conversation with a fellow participant.

Fellow Participant: “Do you have a structure in your devotion?” (He probably meant a designated time to read the bible and to worship)

Me: (Without a blink, I said) “I don’t have.”

This was not where the above conversation took place. But this is a photo of another meaningful conversation with fellow Haggai Participants. Photo was taken at Haleakala National Park in Maui, Hawaii, USA. Photo courtesy of Brother Junep Ocampo, our resident photo journalist. haha. 🙂

I said “I don’t have”, but what I truly meant is that when I was a new believer, I enjoyed every minute of alone time with Him. Everyday, I would wake up early in the morning and I was always excited to read His word and praise Him. I was looking forward to His new revelations and encouragements.  No one could even make me open the door of my room unless I am done singing praises to Him. Sadly, that was before. 

Somewhere along the way, the busyness of life got me. I became more complacent about my faith, started to trust in my own strength and I just go back to HIM for consultation. Yes, I reduced Jesus to merely being one of my consultants.

Yes, I reduced Jesus to merely being one of my consultants.

I lost that habit of meeting Him and I did not even notice it because everything was doing well in my life.

After coming home from the said conference (Haggai Leader Experience), admittedly, I still did not strictly go back to my former routine of morning devotion.

Blessedly, the organizers of Haggai sent me a recording of a Leadership Class that I missed. And while listening, I learned this:

We may have the office or the position (the position of a leader, a pastor, a speaker, an influencer), but not the anointing. We lose our anointing when we are not connected with our creator. And when we are not anointed, we are not effective.

And when we are not anointed, we are not effective.

In the recorded Leadership Class, the importance of seeking Him DAILY was reiterated.   The facilitator called it “Verdict Continuum” or a “Continuous Decision” of surrendering to Jesus. A believer, when he wakes up EVERY MORNING, apart from being thankful for another day, should say “Here I am Lord, Use Me”. Accordingly, we must have that continuous commitment of willingness to be mightily used by Him. We must have that continuous yearning for the Lord’s daily anointing. Otherwise, we lose our effectiveness.

A believer, when he wakes up EVERY MORNING, apart from being thankful for another day, should say “Here I am Lord, Use Me”.

That insight encouraged me.  And I was all the more fired up when in my morning devotion I read Psalm 105:4“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually”

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually”. 

It is written in the bible that we should seek His presence – CONTINUALLY

As a lawyer by profession, I stand by my arguments when these are evidence-based. It is easier to believe when there are clear reasons to do so. The Lord knows how my thought process is so He led me to Psalm 105:4.  This convinced me to finally settle to renew my morning devotion and yearn for the Lord’s anointing DAILY.  

This convinced me to finally settle to renew my morning devotion and yearn for the Lord’s anointing DAILY.

I would like to share to you how I bounced back to my morning devotion through the following tips:

5 PRACTICAL STEPS TO JUMPSTART YOUR MORNING DEVOTION

This photo was taken at the Prayer Garden at the Haggai Institute, Mid Pacific Center, Maui, Hawaii, USA. This is the garden where Christian Leaders from different nations start the day with a prayer at 6:45AM.

People are unique and I understand that we do things differently, but here are some practical tips that helped me jump start my renewed morning devotion:

  1. Find a time where every family member is still asleep. This gives you the freedom to worship and keeps you from being distracted. Just like what Jesus did when he prayed as shown in Matthew 14:23 “And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone…”
  2. Find a designated place where you can do your study. This will make it easier for you to be on a worship/study mode. For me, I get out of the comforts of our room and use our dining table.  
  3. Make notes in your bible or have a separate notebook. What helped me go back to the lessons I learned from my readings are the scribbles in my bible. You can try that too. I also realized just while writing this that I might want to start having a notebook again where I can write my thoughts while studying to facilitate quick reference.
  4. Apply/Do what the Lord has spoken to you through your devotion. In Ezra 7:10, it says: For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to DO IT
  5. Discuss the insights that the Lord gave you.  You can tell about it to a friend, to a colleague, to someone you love, or you can even post it on social media.  In short, TEACH what you learned so you won’t forget. Ezra 7:10 fully states: For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and TO TEACH his statutes and rules in Israel. 

For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and TO TEACH his statutes and rules in Israel. 

There you go! I hope those tips will help you strengthen your relationship with the Lord as it did to me. 🙂 I will pray for you and I would like to request for your prayers too so that I may stay committed with the habit of having a morning devotion. 

If this article helped you, please do not hesitate to SHARE so that we can reach more people.

Blessings!

This is an image of how I make notes on my bible. It can be messy. But make it personally yours! 🙂

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How To Make A Woman Say “YES” Even If You Are Jobless

On our 9th wedding anniversary, I would like to share how I finally got my wife to say “yes”! (while I was jobless) 🙂 🙂

My wife was already established in her chosen career, while I was still in law school when we were dating.

After people learned that my wife and I were dating, many doubted my youth, many saw me being just a student, many focused on the fact that I was at the moment – “NOT EMPLOYED”. I earned some extra money by doing some freelance work like tutoring, one-on-one life coaching (ironic because I myself needed coaching that time) selling products (organic based lotion, mantika, insurance, even uling at some point, ano pa ba? Kung ano-ano binebenta ko nun because I love selling, etc.)

When I told her that I wanted to marry her, I had no stable job. Confidence lang ang meron ako nun haha (Siguro kabado din siya haha)

I was just blessed not to worry about my law school fees, allowance, and my living expenses because my mom still supported me during the time that I was studying, even when I got married already (while studying lang naman). Oh my, I had to include this detail because some thought my wife sent me to school hehe. (Grabe kayo maka-judge ha! There is nothing wrong being sent by your wife to school. But in our case, she actually didn’t. ) For sometime, I was just silent about this rumour. There, I got it off my chest! Yes! Nyahaha. Kaya kung isa ka sa nag-isip nun, buti umabot ka sa part na ito para alam mo na. Tahimik lang ako ha! Haha joke lang! Sorry, open forum ang article na ito haha)


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For inquiries, feel free to message us on our facebook page: BRIGHT HOPE ROOM FOR GROWTH INC.

Okay back to the sharing…

(Turn on instrumental background music)

I was blessed that my wife did not look at the things that I did not have during that time. Instead, she focused on the things that I could become. I commend my wife for being so kind hehehe. We should be like that. Not quick to judge. Kung ihahantulad ako sa condo e, kumagat siya sa pre-selling phase. Nyahehe. Di ba? Very risky kasi malay mo ba kung matatayo talaga ung building ng pre-selling na condo? Hehe. But my wife is a Godly woman who listened to the Lord when He said “marry him while stocks last”.

Kidding aside, back to how I got her to say “yes”. I think I was able to make her say “yes” by:

1. Showing her that I have a PLAN. (With power point presentation) You don’t have to be a success right away. Success is relative anyway. You just have to show her that you can move from one step to another. Women value security and they can be scared if you don’t show them that you can feed them. Literally. So I just assured her that she won’t go hungry because I can sell anything. Like I was trained to sell a used toothbrush! Haha. Since I was jobless (as people perceived me to be), I had to find employment just to stop people from talking. After our wedding, I resigned so I could focus on my last year in law school. 🙂hehe but it was the plan naman talaga. 🙂

2. Making her feel that I am NOT INSECURE, I started by exerting effort to go out with her friends. I admit that I am not good at this because I love just being alone with my wife. But during courtship, kahit na mahiyain ako, kinaya ko haha. My wife understands me now if I don’t really go out because she knows that I am an introvert, so she lets me be (I know, you won’t believe this but it is true – I AM AN INTROVERT)


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3. Making her feel that she’s the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON in my life. No one would want to marry someone and later on feel that she is not priority. In marriage, not even your kids should hinder your making each other a priority. Remember, your kids will soon have their own love life, they wouldn’t want you meddling with theirs. Trust me. Hehe. While both of you, you will vow to stay together, forever. Kaya dapat you prioritize each other. 🙂

I think that’s how I tricked her to marrying me. Hehe

You might want try the above points to make your woman say “yes” too! 🙂

Nyaks! So help me God!

Happy 9th Wedding Anniversary, to my Honey! Thank you for loving me just the way I am. 🙂 Thank you for noticing me even during my pre-selling period. Nyahahaha. I love yah! 🙂

For pre-selling condo units in the City of Baguio, you can contact me through my messenger. We have bachelor units, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom units. You may not appreciate its value now but once it is built, super income generating. (Joke! Pero seriously, I can refer you to a friend. Just buzz me so I can give you his contact details.)

P.S. Follow me on instagram @getrealdexter.

#presellinghusband
#9thanniversary
#marriage
#courtship
#getrealdexter

Seven Things to Consider Before Putting Up A Business

It has been almost  seven (7) years since my wife and I started Bright Hope Room for Growth Inc., and I am glad that we never gave up even if there were times that we really wanted to.

bright hope moving up
BRIGHT HOPE MOVING UP DAY 2018

Bright Hope is a small school with a big heart and it continues to advance as one of the premiere christian Pre-kinder and Kindergarten School in the City of Baguio.  Apart from its uniquely designed age appropriate programs, one thing that makes it different from other schools is that it offers Baby Classes for ages 1 year 8 months to 2 years and 2 months old babies.


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For further inquiries, please email: inquiry@dexterdiwas.com or eventscoordinator@dexterdiwas.com

Currently, BRIGHT HOPE is composed of 11 employees and we are blessed to have leaders who actively manage it.  This allows my wife and I to just be around as volunteer management and academic consultants.

Looking back from where Bright Hope started, I can say that it has become a ministry just like how we envisioned it to be and we are making it a goal to continue to grow.

I’m no business guru but with seven (7) years of Bright Hope existence, let me share to you seven (7) life lessons that I learned that may be useful to those who are putting up a business or an organization:

  1. Do not quit your day job – If you are currently employed and are just relying from your monthly salary for daily sustenance -DO-NOT-QUIT-YOUR-DAY-JOB.  Resigning from work will probably apply to those who have savings that could support them for five years or more.  It takes time to grow a business and your monthly salary can help cushion your survival expenses. If you are stressed just because you don’t have enough time to be hands-on in your business, you’ll be more stressed during off peak seasons and realize that you have no cash flow. 

2. If you can, avoid investors who do not understand your vision and is just up for the money – we have different views when it comes to entertaining investors so to each his own.  But what worked for Bright Hope is not getting other people to invest. Carefully consider this especially if your vision differ from individuals who offer to invest.  The advantage of not getting investors is that we can allocate our budget to wherever we see fit without consulting other individuals. It takes away unnecessary headaches caused by clashing decision makers.  

3. Love your employees, they are a big factor why your business is a success.  I like this quote from Stephen Covey


Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers. 


Bright Hope’s success is attributed to the dedicated teachers and staff who sincerely love their students.  In a business or in any organization, I learned that taking care of your employees or the people who help you run the organization does really make the difference.  Give them what is due.  We enter into business so that we can earn a living, but our employees need to live too. People who work for your organization will not demand more if they see that they are getting what is just and due to them. Plus, you’ll be greatly blessed as you allow yourself to be used to bless other people.

IMG_1193
Bright Hope Team 2018.  This was taken after the Parents’ Orientation. (3 others not on photo, sorry guys!)

4. Exceed customer expectation – I worked for several BPOs as a call center agent and that is where I learned about the importance of exceeding customer expectation.  It actually works if you care about your customers.  Besides, they are the very reason you are there. It is true that we cannot please everybody but in the field of providing services, we try to please everyone in as much as we can. This creates regular clients and customers.  Businesses do not aim for one time customers, they aim for repeat customers and that’s what you’ll need to thrive.

5. Never stop learning – continue to develop your craft, your people, your services.  Evolving will ensure your existence even if there are other products and services that are being created everyday.  Invest in education and in trainings.  My wife had to enroll in online classes just so she can learn new preschool concepts.  I had to take up management classes just to learn how to handle people (though I did not finish it after Math came in so I am looking at other Math-less courses okay?).  The teachers at Bright Hope had to go through series of trainings including make-up lessons so they can look presentable and professional even if they already are.

make up bright hope class
Make Up Tutorial for Birght Hope teachers by Krizia Guevara.

And just recently, my wife and I attended the E-Commerce and Social Media Learning Sessions of Ms. Janette Toral held at Cordillera School of Digital Arts Baguio.

training csda 1
with Ms. Janette Toral of Digital Filipino.
csda certificate 1
Certificates given by Ms. Janette Toral during the Social Media Learning Sessions at Cordillera School of Digital Arts Baguio. 

The point is, learn new things everyday.

6. Don’t be discouraged by people who do not believe in your crazy ideas – business concepts start off as crazy ideas until they are developed and are ready for hatching. While you are contemplating on your business model you will find yourself tempted to tell your friends about it and that is normal.  Prepare to get laughed at.  That is also normal.  Remember that not everybody is born a dreamer like you. Put that in mind, okay? But don’t hold it against them, they are created to challenge you.

7.  Never, never, never give up.  There were times when my wife and I were on the verge of panicking because we were worried we could not pay the rent for Bright Hope but we just focused on answering this question:  “How can we better our services so that we can attract more parents to enroll?”  We then created program after program and blessedly, there were parents who enrolled and believed in the programs that we offered.  This kept us going.  This kept us believing that Bright Hope exists for a purpose and we will never see that purpose if we gave up. We are thanking the Lord for giving us the strength to not give up and providing for our needs.

Currently, apart from Bright Hope’s mission of sharing the good news to the children and their families, we are glad that it is able to help alleviate poverty by providing employment, a college scholarship, and a plan to subsidize skills training for children in conflict with the law.

The things that I shared are not new, but I hope it encouraged you.  We can all make a difference, hold on to that bright hope and use it to ignite a bright tomorrow.

I have to go now, my son has been playing with my phone for almost 2 hours as I write this! haha.

IMG_1202
My wife working on her paper as I write this blog, my son took this stolen shot upon my instruction.

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Three Things To Remember To Prevent Violence Against Women

On March 26, 2018, I graced the Culmination of Women’s Month Celebration at the Cordillera Administrative Region Training Center, Teachers Camp, Baguio City.  The occasion was attended by uniformed trainees of the Philippine National Police.

No automatic alt text available.
An image of the token from Philippine Public Safety College. 

In the said event, I shared three things that could save a woman from being abused.  Below is an excerpt of the message delivered:

xxx

There are only three things that I would like to share to you this morning, brave men and women.  And to make it easy for us to remember, let us use the acronym: S-P-O

What does SPO stand for?

1) “S” – Speak up.

Maya Angelou, an American author and civil activist, said:

Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it, she stands up for all women.

Resulta ng larawan para sa maya angelou
Maya Angelou, photo taken from https://www.biography.com/people/maya-angelou-9185388

Ladies, do not be afraid to speak up.

Every day in our office, we receive complaints about women being battered physically and emotionally, women not receiving support from their husbands, women being raped and abused.  They come to our office fearful because of their experience, but behind that fear I actually see – COURAGE.

I see courage because even in the midst of a traumatic situation, they were able to carry themselves out of the room, where they were battered and abused, to go to the authorities, to the police station, to our office.

They may look very afraid, but friends, there are “others” who are in worse situations.  Who are these “others”? They are women who could not speak up, women who are still inside the four corners of their room afraid of telling someone that they are being abused.  They are the ones whom we need to reach now.  I won’t ask you to raise your hands but it is possible that some of you are here.

Do not be afraid to speak up.

2) “P” – Promote.

During your stay here as a trainee, I believe you learned about laws protecting women.

You are not learning that for nothing.  Now that you are aware of these laws, you need to use them promote the rights of women, you need to advocate for them.

Promote. Inform your neighbors and the women around you that we have these services so that they will know where to go.

3) “O” – Offer.

Offer help. Since you are empowered, through your knowledge and your trainings, when you see a woman in need of assistance. You-OFFER-help.

Violence against women is not just a domestic problem but a social and community concern.

When you see someone being abused, you offer to help that woman, you encourage her to report to the authorities.

So now, what does SPO stand for?

Speak up, Promote, and Offer.

Let me just read to you a very powerful literature that I read:

I GOT FLOWERS TODAY
by Paulette Kelly

I GOT FLOWERS TODAY
IT WASN’T MY BIRTHDAY OR ANY OTHER DAY.
WE HAD OUR FIRST ARGUMENT LAST NIGHT
AND HE SAID A LOT OF CRUEL THINGS THAT REALLY HURT ME
I KNOW HE IS SORRY AND DIDN’T MEAN THE THINGS HE SAID
BECAUSE HE SENT ME FLOWERS TODAY.
 

Resulta ng larawan para sa flowers
Photo grabbed from https://www.fromyouflowers.com/products/youre_in_my_heart_3.htm

I GOT FLOWERS TODAY
IT WASN’T OUR ANNIVERSARY OR ANY OTHER SPECIAL DAY
LAST NIGHT HE THREW ME INTO THE WALL AND STARTED TO CHOKE ME
IT SEEMED LIKE A NIGHTMARE I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT WAS REAL
I WOKE UP THIS MORNING SORE AND BRUISED ALL OVER
I KNOW HE MUST BE SORRY…BECAUSE HE SENT ME FLOWERS TODAY.

Resulta ng larawan para sa flowers
Photo grabbed from: https://www.flowersnfruits.com

I GOT FLOWERS TODAY.  TODAY WAS A VERY SPECIAL DAY.  LAST NIGHT, HE FINALLY KILLED ME.
HE BEAT ME TO DEATH.
IF ONLY I HAVE GATHERED ENOUGH COURAGE AND STRENGTH TO LEAVE HIM.

I WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN FLOWERS TODAY.

Resulta ng larawan para sa funeral flowers
Photo grabbed from https://www.italflorist.com/flowers/funeral-casket-sprays/all-white-flowers

So not only to the women, I will say this to everyone, do not hesitate to stand up for women’s rights, because by doing so, you are not only standing up for yourself but also for your mother, for your sister, for your wife, for your grandmother, for humanity…

xxx

It was quite an unforgettable experience for me seeing our men and women in uniform nodding and agreeing that violence against women should not be tolerated at all. Indeed, change has come for our women and we are making this change work for each of them.

For laws related to the Magna Carta of Women, you can browse on the following:

  1. R.A. 8353 (Anti-Rape Law of 1997)
  2. R.A. 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003)
  3. R.A. 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004)
  4. R.A. 7877 (Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995)
  5. R.A. 8972 (Solo Parent’s Welfare Act of 2000)

6 Opportunities for New Lawyers and Law Graduates

For some, having a Bachelor of Laws Degree can sometimes be a hindrance to landing a job. Either you are regarded as over qualified for the entry level job you are aiming for or they do not see your educational background as relevant for the vacancy you are applying for.

For New Lawyers, you might still be in the cross road as to whether you want to join a law firm, put up your own office, join the government, or just venture into other things that has nothing to do with lawyering.

Whether you are preparing for the next scheduled bar examination or job hunting as a new lawyer, here are some career paths you can take to maximize your degree or to add on to the services that you offer as a lawyer.

1. INSURANCE AGENT/BROKER

Not everyone spent a semester in their life learning about the Insurance Code of the Philippines. With your knowledge of this specific law, you can easily shed light to some common concerns of prospective clients such as the difference between a pre-need company vs. an insurance company.

You can even be creative and blend your knowledge on the laws relating to Succession and even Taxation.

With those laws in your finger tips, you have better chances of convincing your prospects to get their first insurance policy from you.

How much you’ll earn?

Limitless! Depending on the plans you’ll be able to sell and the commission plan of your insurance agency, you’ll earn an amount ranging from 25 to even 45% of the premiums your client pay on their first year.

How to start?

Choose an insurance agency that you trust so that you can easily sell their products. The insurance company will usually assist you in obtaining a license to sell insurance. You can search on the big players in this field such as the following:

PHILAM LIFE INSURANCE, SUN LIFE FINANCIAL PHILIPPINES, AXA PHILIPPINES and many more!

Get a mentor and obtain a license so that you can legally sell insurance plans. It is also best that you invest in your own insurance plan so you can sell from experience. Imagine a situation where in the middle of your sales pitch, you were asked what insurance plan you have and you answer: “None”.

2. REAL ESTATE AGENT/BROKER

In law school, you had sleepless nights reading about Laws on Property and Ownership, the Law on Sales, Land Titles and Deeds, Taxation, Contracts etc. This gives you an upper hand if you want to be successful in the field of real estate.  Your days in law school actually gave you a wholistic understanding on what can go on from the point of offer to buy or to sell up to the transfer of properties.

How much you’ll earn?

If you are unlicensed and only a referrer, they usually give 1% to 3% commission based on the selling price of the property sold. Once you get a license, you can demand 5% commission. Again, commission rates are flexible depending on the agreement of the parties.

How to start?

To gain experience, you can start selling condo units as there are a lot of developers looking for sales agents. Do yourself a favor by checking the profile of property developers so you don’t end up selling questionable properties.

Some popular condo unit developers include AYALA LAND INC., SM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, DMCI HOMES and others that you are actually familiar with in your community.

Or you can even do freelance by offering to sell the property of some relatives or friends who are looking for buyers. Don’t fret, you will be able to learn the tricks of the trade as you go along but first you have to get out from that bed and start grooming yourself to becoming the next real estate tycoon!

3. HUMAN RESOURCE

Nowadays, companies look for  Human Resource Personnel who has knowledge of the Labor Code of the Philippines to help them ensure zero legal liability pertaining to labor.

Didn’t you enjoy two semesters reciting on labor laws and reading jurisprudence on illegal dismissals? With that, you can actually better guide your employer in making sure that he does not violate any labor laws.

How much you’ll earn?

Salaries usually depend on your experience. HR associates can be paid a starting salary based on minimum wage while HR directors can get as high as 6 to 7 digits a month.

How to start?

You don’t go to companies and say: “Hey! I have a law degree and I’m applying for that HR Manager Position.” Unless you have prior HR experience, seldom that companies get fresh from law school people to become their HR Managers.

You usually have to climb the corporate ladder in this field which means that you have to start from being an associate, to an officer, to a manager, and a director.


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4. LAW INSTRUCTOR

If you did not pass the bar yet, you can still teach Constitutional Law  or other social sciences subjects.  Apart from constitutional law, you can also start by teaching Criminal Law to criminology students, some school don’t require that you pass the bar to teach this.

Other universities who are not that strict in law experience may also get you to teach in their law school.

How much you’ll earn?

This depends on the load you are given and the hourly rate of the school where you choose to teach.

How to start?

Apply in Universities and Colleges, of course. Take whatever load they give you just so you can gain teaching experience.

5. ENTREPRENEUR

Being an entrepreneur means you will be your own boss. You will be running your own company and dealing with hiring and terminating employees, tax implications of your business moves, contracts etc. If you are a person with a business sense, do not allow your four (4) years in law school to just go down the drain, you can use your legal training to guide you in building a business empire.

How much you’ll earn?

It depends on the business that you will be starting. Don’t immediately think that you’ll rake money on your first year. Businesses take time before you can even enjoy the fruits of your labor.

How to start?

Know your passion. What do you enjoy doing? Are there needs that you want to address? Do you have a special skill that you think you can offer to the public?

Entrepreneurs usually start with an inspiration to come up with products and unique business models that customers will embrace.  So what do you have in mind?

As for me and my wife, we started Bright Hope Room for Growth Inc., now a premiere preschool in Baguio City.  This was born out of my experience as a former tutor and my wife’s experience as a Guidance Counselor. So bank on your acquired skills to come up with a bright business idea.

6. PUBLIC SPEAKING

While I was still in law school, I usually get invited to talk to college students and I usually share my experience as a job applicant. Apart from sharing my experiences as a job applicant, I also included topics on how to prepare a resume and how to answer job interviews. Since you are a law graduate, you might want to add some topics on basic labor laws, too!

After passing the bar, my topics in speaking engagements evolved to talking about labor laws, criminal law, family, and my experiences as a drugs court lawyer.

If you want to make this as a career, you can start by sharing your experiences on something that you are an expert on. Say for example, leadership etc.

How much you’ll earn?

This depends on the budget of the inviting organization.

How to start?

Say yes to every speaking engagement where you think you can add value to the audience.

The six (6) enumerated career paths are based on my experience and not intended to limit you but to help you realize that there are a lot of possibilities.

Bottom line, you have the ability to open numerous doors of opportunity with your Law Degree, you just have to want to open those doors! 🙂

Do you have any additional suggested career option for law graduates? Comment below. 🙂


Just passed the bar? Or planning to take it?

Do you want to unlock your potential?

Take the Clifton Strengths Assessment now and book a Strengths Awareness Session with Atty. Dexter Diwas.

Click the link below.

https://dexterdiwas.com/gallup-strengths-coaching/

When discussing issues, check your temper and disposition. Remember that all men are created equal but not all ideas are. So if you do not agree, do not bash or attack the person. You may attack the idea and if someone does, do not make it a personal issue. You can however improve your argument. This is how intelligent and decent people deal with conflicts intelligently. It’s more creative this way.

-Francis Kong

If you find yourself facing a difficult challenge, this quote from Jim Rohn makes sense.

He says:

“Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.”

Difficult situations can bring out the best in us provided we go through it and not around it or away from it. – Francis Kong