PHTimeIsNow Toronto

PHTimeIsNow Toronto

I stumbled upon #PHTimeIsNow while browsing through social media. When I read what it was about, I got extremely excited about the opportunity to learn from today’s Global Filipino leaders.

I was motivated to attend for a few reasons. First, with my 13+ years in the corporate banking industry, I knew how difficult it was to find a mentor that can help in a professional capacity. Let alone, a mentor that would understand where I come from, and what my values were as a person. I’ve had my share of challenges in the corporate world given that no matter what role I held, or cities I worked in, whenever I sat at the table, I was the only one that looked like me.

In addition, as a new entrepreneur baking cakes and desserts, I wanted to take some time for myself to learn from other individuals, and maximize my capabilities. According to Forbes, 80% of entrepreneurs starting a business fail within the first 18 months. With this daunting statistic in mind, I was determined not to fall into that category.

Here I was, at a point in my life where I was hungry to learn and grow. And as it turned out, PHTimeIsNow was about to launch for the first time in NYC on June 9. It was kismet. I reached out to Carissa, and she listened to my story and encouraged me to contribute to #PHTimeIsNow in my own way.

In the end, she took my random puzzle piece, and made it fit into the larger picture of the event.

On three separate occasions, my luggage almost didn’t make it to NYC. It got lost in the luggage sorter, almost missed the plane, and I lost one of its wheels on my walk to The Harvard Club.  (It had the cake and sweet treats that I donated for the swag bags.)

No matter what, I pressed on. It was also most touching to me that there were good Samaritans from the #PHTimeIsNow attendees who helped me with my burden, missing wheel and all, as we navigated through Times Square.

During lunch, I was greeted warmly by everyone I met, it didn’t feel rigid and awkward like the many events I’ve attended in the past. We shared our stories, laughter and experiences with one another. There were no egos or walls, just honest conversations and genuine connections. Already, the day was off to an amazing start.

Shortly after, I met my mentor, Mike Sagun. I was happy to be paired with an individual who coaches for a living, and who speaks publicly about living in authenticity. Since I was in the midst of uncovering my true passion in creative expression, engagement and empowerment, this meeting was so timely. Our conversation, though brief, was enough to ignite another flame in my heart to live my life with purpose. 

As the formal agenda kicked off, I heard each of the memorable stories and journeys of the Global Trailblazers. I took mental notes and quotes from each person and created an inventory of empowering thoughts and words. I knew I would be able to reach into this repository  when I needed it the most. 

There was ample opportunity throughout the evening to meet and connect with everyone, including my inspiration, restaurateur and empire-bulder, Nicole Ponseca. Everyone was just so accessible and approachable.

I was pleasantly surprised that conversations continued through to the After Party at W Hotel Times Square. A small group of us, didn’t want the night to end, so we strolled through Times Square (broken & heavy luggage in tow) to enjoy the wonderful evening in each other’s company.

One of the profound occurrences this weekend was having friendships, and a newfound family blossom organically.

The next day, we had the pleasure of having lunch at Nicole’s restaurant, Jeepney, a Filipino Gastropub. Nicole, Miguel and their team were very hospitable. Their food was so delicious and inviting. To close our trip, we had tea and ube lattės at the Kabisera Kapé. Jeanette Marco and her team brewed and shaked up delicious drinks and desserts for us. We truly had the Filipino Food Stops Tour of NYC.  As I left the concrete jungle where there’s nothing you can’t do, I felt reenergized and excited to head back home to Toronto, eager to share what I gained in my mind, heart and soul with my community in Canada.

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