Monday, November 21, 2011

The Story of the PurseBook

Let me share with you the story of the Pursebook.  The story can be summed up in one simple equation:
Pursebook = 2 Passons + 1 Burden

It all started during my soul-searching days two and a half years ago... when I had left the corporate world in search of my purpose in life.  It was during that era when I discovered that what had kept me from boredom was creating products out of whatever I see in my room.  Sometimes I would turn plastics bags into journal covers, other times I would chop a shampoo bottle in half and sew some folded scratch paper sheets in it.  I preferred doing that over watching TV.  People would tell me, "ang tiyaga mo naman!" ("you are so persevering!") But knowing the Sanguine in me, I am not really as persevering as I hope to be.

Hence, these two passions were born and recognized: (1) creating unique and functional items, and (2) recycling.

One event late last year probably also contributed much to this story.  One of our maids, who was in her early 20's, suffered from a severe complicated case of dengue and passed away.  She was young and beautiful.  She was sweet and a bit quiet.  She was away from her family, with no one to care for her, except strangers.  This ignited a burden in my heart to help people in her situation, be it financially, mentally, spiritually or emotionally.

It's really sad, if you can just try to put yourself in their shoes.  You leave your loving parents or even your very young baby just so you can earn way below minimum wage.  You let go of your dreams to become a teacher or a lawyer, since you cannot escape the poverty eating your family up. If you don't work, there won't be food on the table.  When you leave your family, there's also a possibility that your husband or boyfriend may become unfaithful, and you can do nothing in the big house you are in, but cry.   Imagine that.

From then on, I usually ask our maids what they want to become.  I was overly ecstatic when I discovered that one of our kasambahay named Faye loves to sew.  To quote her words, "Gusto ko maging mananahi."("I want to become a seamstress.")  Little did I know, the eureka moment was just around the corner!

I asked her if she would like to try sew some journals.  With a big smile, she said, "Sure!"

And so we created the Pursebook!  The Pursebook is a stylish innovation that blends the function of a notebook and the function of a purse together.  It has a generous amount of pages (196 in total) and a compartment where you can place your pens, scissors, rulers, money and even your cellphone in.  The pursebook is made from recycled jeans and recycled papers.

Here are some of our works:

If you would like to help some women financially, you may:

(1) Order these pursebooks for just Php290.00 (or $8 as a starting price).
(2) Allow me to teach your maids how to do these purse books and I would pay them for their work.
(3) Spread the word by sharing this link to as many friends as possible.

You may email me at or reply on the comment section below.  Come and let's start a Purse Book revolution!

God bless you!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Getting to Know You: Fun and Friendly Psychological Tests

One of the things that I love to read and talk about is Psychology: the art and science of studying human behavior.  It's very interesting if you come to think of it.   You can easily observe how people who tend to be very goal-oriented can be very insensitive towards other people's feelings.. those who are perfectionist can be very depressed.. and others who are warm-hearted can be very forgetful.  Different people definitely have their respective strengths and weaknesses, and knowing about these allow us to understand, accept and celebrate other beings as well as our own.

I remember being someone who was obsessed enjoyed assessing people and even myself based on Psychological frameworks. There is the left-brained vs. right-brained concept.  Where they say, left brained people are more logical, analytical, mathematical, etc.  Right brained ones are more artistic, creative, flexible, etc.  I took a test when I was in 1st year college and landed equal on both sides.  I thought it was a confirmation that I had a Bipolar Disorder. :P  Years later, I discovered that I was in fact a right-brained person.  And just two days ago, I learnt that right-brained people think better when they're lying down than when they're seated up.  Anyway, want to take the test?

From analyzing two personality types, I shifted to the four temperaments: Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholic and Phlegmatic.  It all started early on in my relationship with David, when  I was very frustrated with too many of our differences.  I was very much a people-person and he the opposite.  I was very much on-the go, and again, he the opposite.  And so when I went into a bookstore and stumbled upon a book titled "Understand Your Man" by Tim La Haye, I instantly bought a copy.

After I discovered that I am in fact a Sanguine Choleric, I was quite disappointed because I wanted to be a little bit more perfectionistic, analytical and introverted.  Then I realized, merely thinking about that, I was already coveting!  Later on, God taught me two things:

(1)  God has created me fearfully and wonderfully.  Thus, He has wired my personality, strengths and weaknesses, quirks, gifts and passions in a particular way.  I can use actually my being talkative and cheerful in writing and speaking to inspire people to do something great and beautiful for the Lord.  My forgetfulness as a Sanguine allows me to keep the rumors from spreading and to forgive people more easily.

(2) I need not limit myself to the boxes above (particularly to the Sanguine and Choleric boxes).  These boxes can serve as a guidance, but is not a complete image of reality.  If we were to follow this framework completely, then the world would be a very boring place.. because there would only be about 4 to 16 types of people!

Now, just a few days ago, I again shifted from the four temperaments to the 16 Myers Briggs Type Indicator.  I had been asking my mom, dad, friends, business partners and any other people I catch online to take a four-question test to know their MBTI type.  And visit if you would like to read your results.  Change the four letter word to your respective type.

I discovered that I am an ENFP (The Inspirer) or an INFP (The Idealist -- when I'm feeling introvert).  The explanations are quite accurate.  I learned that:

(1) As an INFP, words are my bestfriend! Indeed, I feel comfortable, giddy, and excited when faced with a piece of paper and a pen, or a keyboard with a clicking cursor and a monitor.

(2) As an ENFP, it is true that I have quite a broad range of interest and that I find it extremely difficult to choose just one, making me feel directionless.  But the test result was an encouragement when it says, "ENFPs are always consistent in their value systems," making me realize that what brings me forward really are my values, philosophy and beliefs.

Why don't you try it?  There's no harm in doing so.  The results won't tell you who you exactly are, so don't limit yourself to what it says.  But it can somehow open your eyes to a "yes, that's me!" (like a Eureka! moment) information about yourself.  May this encourage you to further discover and appreciate the gifts God has prepared for you --especially those wired within you- and use them for His glory.

~ o ~