I am a WRITER, who happens to be great at:

This ABOUT page is one of the last I had to create. I wanted my readers to focus on the words written instead of the writer.

But let me begin with…

My name is Pen (or Joie), short for Josefina. We are fond of nicknames where I come from so I cannot explain enough how my real name became my shortened name apart from it’s cultural.

I grew up in a large family of five women (six if you include my mum). I am the youngest one so all my older sisters have been my role models growing up. I picked which habits or actions of theirs I’m going to emulate or not so that’s how I plan out my life.

I have two mentors when it comes to career choices. One is a retired corporate country manager turned government leader; the other a serial entrepreneur who was one of the creators of Microsoft Excel. One of them advised me that I should plan out my life by the decade. I am 31, as of this writing, and trying to build the foundation for this decade.

I have a financial advisor who was my classmate since primary school.

I have my parents as my role model when it comes to love, relationships, and family matters.

I have pretty much sorted out my life, except that I recently moved to England and now, I am starting my life over.

Before I moved to this new country, I have been working for 10 years in Manila in the Philippines, one of the emerging economies in the world today.

I ran a 25-year-old software organisation as its executive director, reporting directly to the Board, and acting as chief operations officer. I have organised at least 50 events and conferences including trade shows in Australia, Japan, and Canada. I learned to manage people and projects before I even learned to write a single code. (I’m still learning python, btw.)

In the span of my career, I have been a journalist, speech writer, press release writer, real estate salesman, technical support agent, and even a collectible doll consultant.

Today, I am a volunteer for Innovation Forum Manchester & a startup founder.

victor frankl on second life

It’s not easy to start over that’s obvious. But figuring out how to do it makes one resilient, creative, and resourceful.

This blog is my way of starting over.

Actually, that is not entirely true. I have been blogging since 2008, this blog being my third, and I wish I had never stopped. I regret that.

I have visited over 20 countries but none of it has prepared me enough for emigration. This is my first time to stay, permanently.

Starting over means getting a new bank account, new mobile phone line, getting used to a new currency and to a different set of traffic rules, building new relationships, leading a new life, new friends, and a husband. I am happily married, by the way, to a simple, incredible alpha male who supports my creative endeavours such as this blog.

hubby & i

The writings on the wall make up our love story.

Starting over is also a blessing in disguise. Don’t we sometimes feel like we want to start things over again, start from a clean slate, and do things right this time?

Rarely are we given the chance to start over, so HERE I AM embracing it.

oprah on starting over

Writing is my one true north. (The other is eating spaghetti. I make the best pastas in the whole world I swear!)

I have been writing since age 10. I remember being in another school a lot because of Campus Journalism contests. I was a grade-school copyreader, headline-writer, and feature writer, who emerged to be a college editorial writer and eventually a TV news writer.

However, I have always been an insecure artist. These constant condescending thoughts always stopped me from creating:

“No one would read this.”
“This has been written before and therefore no one would read this.”
“This is not interesting enough and therefore no one would read this.”
“This is not relevant, or factual, or trendy enough and therefore no one would read this.”

But I learned to risk to write even if no one reads it, than not to have written anything at all. To resist writing is to resist truth itself, to betray that which comes freely to you when you do not allow it to be manifested through you.

truth comes to me quote

I am glad I have a place to start from, and that, more than England, is writing. Nothing else feels more scary as well as comforting than to go back to where one has started, to be given the chance to exit back into the entrance.

Writing is going back to my first love, so to speak, but to speak of which means to commit to a life of endless head pounding for the right words to write, and to truth expressed through me. I should not fail it. Not this time.

I didn’t think writing was serious work. But every time I thought about writing, it would make me nervous. It would rattle me and frighten me. I would shake the ground under me.

Aren’t dreams like that too?

This blog is not intended to be yet another travel and food blog on the internet. With all the information out there, why aren’t we still the most intelligent generation of all?

This blog is about seeing, doing, and reflecting. Only when we reflect do we learn and retain information.

We experience, we learn. We read, we learn. But when we reflect after each experience or after each book, we live.

When we reflect, we appreciate.

When we reflect, we become more compassionate.

When we reflect, we are changed.

deep reflection by einstein

This blog hopes to inspire you to look at things longer, to look people straight in the eye, to listen more attentively, to write more honestly, to act more sincerely, and to do more than just scratching the glittery surface.

I am currently attempting to finish two novels (a fiction and a non-fiction) which I am clueless as to when I’m going to finish. But the journey is more important and enjoyable than the destination, isn’t it?

For now, I enjoy a life of writing, building new relationships, and eating spaghetti.

Share with me your writing journey too. Send me a message.