Digital Detox: FREElancer’s Birthday Gift

Last Sunday, I celebrated my 35th birthday and the best way to celebrate it is a Digital Detox. As a FREElancer, I feel the need to detoxify myself from the radiation of my computer, and that is one of the best birthdays I ever had. It went so cool and relaxing. I enjoyed every moment of it.

Working at home is very rewarding and I can’t trade it for any other job in the world but sometimes, it becomes unhealthy.

Read:  4 Health Problems Freelancers Are Facing Today

The four corners of your home robs you of creativity that is why it is best to relax, unwind and free your mind once in a while. When your mind is cluttered with many things you need to accomplish in a day, you can’t think freely. I’m glad that my birthday falls on Sunday.

I decided to go to the church first. Praying is calming. It brings you to your senses as well. I went to “Pink Sisters Chapel” where I heard wishes and prayers can come true. You can write your wishes and prayers and the nun in pink kneeling in front will pray for you (I don’t have a picture of the praying nun, we need to respect the solemnity of the place).

Pink Sister

Next stop is at the “People’s Park in the Sky”. It was built on the highest point of Tagaytay, Cavite.

DSC_1090
Photo: The Backpack Adventures

This is a historical place which was previously called “Palace in the Sky” which was built by Marcos but wasn’t completed to welcome a guest.

The construction of the unfinished “palace” began in my birth year, 1981. What a coincidence. I didn’t know that before I visit the place. It’s cool to know.

At the unfinished mansion, you have the liberty to marvel at the sight of Tagaytay Highlands. You can rent a telescope for 20 pesos/30 minutes to look closer of the Taal Volcano and the Taal Lake.

nature

 

The air is very refreshing and soothing. It is the best feeling. It is not something your aircon or your fan can give you. If your mind is in chaos, nature will give you peace. Appreciating nature makes me appreciate life even more. Nature detoxifies your mind and brings back your creativity

Inside the park is you’ll find the Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of Fair Love which has its own story to tell. It’s nice to learn new things and know the history.

Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of Fair Love

Thank God, the sky is clear in the afternoon and we can able to have a feast as a thanksgiving for the past year and for another year.

IMG_20160807_145241
Picnic with friends

Let’s make it a habit to detoxify ourselves with the radiation. It will make us more productive, creative and healthier.

 

Back to work!

a
Cliff Hazel Santos is a Top Rated Upwork Freelancer, 
with 100% job success rate. She is also an entrepreneur, 
she owns Dive-In Travel Agency and she is an aspiring blogger.

 

Lazada Philippines

Lazada Philippines

Advertisements

4 Health Problems Freelancers Are Facing Today

As I celebrate my 7th year anniversary as a freelancer, I came across this question from a fellow member of a freelancer group I belong to,  “Wala kang ibang nararamdaman na pagbabago sa katawan mo?” (Don’t you feel any changes in your body?).  I know what he meant by asking me that. I know that working online full time for 7 years will bring some changes to your body or should I say “health”. He might be feeling something in his body after hours of sitting and working in front of his computer that’s why he came up with that question. Well, I can’t deny that there are changes and I answered him, “yes, I gained weight” and laugh at my comment. However, that is 100% true and it attracts comments from my co-freelancers, agreeing with the statement.

Working online has pros and cons and one of the cons is health issues which you may develop all through the years of working online. If you are planning to get into this industry or you are already starting, it is a must that you should know these health issues so you can prevent it from happening as early of today.

Here are some health problems that you might develop throughout your freelancing career.

  1. Weight Gain – Let us start with the obvious. Freelancers tend to gain weight because they are on the same spot their entire working hours. We don’t walk to the bus station, commute and walk to the building on your way to your office. We simply open our eyes, open our laptop and get the job done. We even eat in front of our computer, especially if the fridge is one grab away. We all know that being overweight is unhealthy and can lead to serious diseases. Now, that you are aware of this, avoid eating in front of your computer and place the fridge miles away so you are forced to stand if you need a drink or you want something to eat.
Photo Source: Metro
  1. Backache – Since you sit all day, you tend to develop backache, I experienced that from time to time. This makes me want a massage all the time. Though, that can help to relax your muscle, you can still do something to avoid it. Just have mini breaks and you’re good.
backache
Photo Source: Prevention

 

  1. Stress – Freelancers are prone to stress. This is especially when they to do multi-tasking and need to juggle their time between their clients.
freelancer problem
Photo Source: The Globe and Mail

Lesson: Don’t eat more than you can chew. You can have as many clients as you want, but you must be responsible enough to only accept what you can handle.

  1. Depression – Even we know that we are lucky to work at home and we are our own boss, we can’t help but to feel depressed sometimes. We missed the social life that we have before and the only social life that we have right now is social media. Well, if you are feeling this way get up and go out!

Freelancers Health

These health issues are only a problem if you don’t know them. As they said prevention is better than cure. Plan your working day and make it sure that it is productive and healthy at the same time.

 

Feel free to share your tips on how to have a healthy freelancing lifestyle.

 

a
Cliff Hazel Santos is a Top Rated Upwork Freelancer, 
with 100% job success rate. She is also an entrepreneur, 
she owns Dive-In Travel Agency and she is an aspiring blogger.

Lazada Philippines

How to be an Online FREElancer? (Q&A Lists)

Due to insistent public demand (lol), I compile several Q&A lists that will help people who want to be an online FREElancer like me, get started.

Working online with a rate and a schedule of your choice is what it means to be a freelancer. Here are several questions that people I know, friends and family are asking me and you might want to ask too.

  1. Who am I?

Let me first introduce myself. Before you read any further, think first if the author has the right to give some piece of advice with regards of a certain topic. In my case, I am an online freelancer myself and I’ve been doing this for almost 7 years already. Therefore, I have the right to give you some piece of advice 😉

  1. What do you do online?

I do several and different things, from admin tasks to marketing ONLINE.

  1. Where do you get jobs?

Personally, I only get jobs from one outsourcing site which is Upwork. Upwork has been previously called oDesk. It turns Upwork when eLance (another outsourcing website) and oDesk merged.

  1. Do you work full time or you have other offline jobs?

I say full time (though I have jobs on a contractual basis) because I don’t have any other means than this since I started July, 2009

  1. Who introduce Upwork to you?

Architect Charlot Fernandez (whom I will be forever grateful of), who has been working online part time  and working as a Project Architect in an Engineering firm at the same time. Now, she is working online full time as an SEO Specialist and a proud WAHM.

  1. What makes you decide to work online?

I’ve been dreaming of FREEdom. I wish to work on my own time, in my own place, in my own pace, whenever I want and wherever I want. This is what I am seeking for so I dive in!

  1. Is it for me?

Only you can answer that. If you are motivated on your own, you love to be challenged, you are competitive and a risk-taker then this is for you.

  1. How can I get started?
  • First sign up at any outsourcing platform of your choice. If you are asking me how to sign up, I will not tell you. If you can’t do a simple task like signing up in a single platform, you shouldn’t be here and this is definitely not for you. No hard feelings and no offense meant.

    – Upwork

    Upwork Sign-Up

    – Fiverr

    – Onlinejobs.ph
  • Complete all the details and information needed. Usually there is a guide for you on how to get started.
  • Upload your best picture, the one that smiling successfully. Clients are seeking for freelancers with a positive aura. It will help you land a job.
  • Take a readiness test (this is for Upwork). Upwork Test
  • Think of a title that suits your skills i.e programmer
  • Look for jobs that match your skills. Create a cover letter that kills. Don’t stop until you get the deal.

I will update this from time to time. If you have any questions that aren’t included here, feel free to comment and I will answer you right away.

Good luck and break a leg!

 

aCliff Hazel Santos is a Top Rated Upwork Freelancer, 
with 100% job success rate. She is also an entrepreneur, 
she owns Dive-In Travel Agency and she is an aspiring blogger.

Continue reading “How to be an Online FREElancer? (Q&A Lists)”

8 Reasons Why You Should Travel Sagada

One of my dreams is to travel around the world but since Philippines is a very beautiful country with lots of spectacular beaches and breathtaking mountains, I will travel Philippines first. I just went out of the country once and I’ve visited Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China but for me other countries can wait for a while.

One of the places in my bucket list is Sagada. I’m glad that I am a FREElancer for I can bring my laptop anywhere I want but I must warn you, signal is poor in Sagada. You can only do basic surfing but if you are a writer then go and pack your things!

Why Sagada?

There are several of reasons why you should visit Sagada and here are some of the reasons.

  1. Only in Sagada you will enjoy a Breezy Atmosphere. Philippines is a tropical country and every one of us is dreaming to live in a much colder place that’s why Baguio and Tagaytay is very popular but if you want a colder place, go higher! Nothing can beat the 10°c of Sagada! Well, the temperature varies but that is the colder so far during my stay. The breezy air is refreshing and relaxing. If you want to forget your problems, this is the right place to go to.

SAGADA

FREElancers Tip: Don’t forget to bring at least one jacket.

  1. You get to learn More about Sagada’s Culture: Meet the Igorots. When I was young, I thought Igorots are dark skinned, short and just look like Aetas (no offense to anyone) but not until I meet my Igorot friends. They are not dark skinned, well some of them are and some of them are not..just like the rest of us. There are white, there are dark but you will notice that they look almost alike like they just hatched in one egg. They are gorgeous people. You don’t believe me? Well, meet carrot man 😉

FREElancers Tip: Don’t forget your pocket wi-fi so you can update your Facebook friends.

  1. The Picturesque View of Rice Terraces is adorable. I am very eager to see these rice terraces since I saw this in my elementary book. I adore how resourceful the people living in the place can be. Now, I come face to face with once one of the 7 Wonders of the World.
rice terraces
Excuse the Fog!

FREElancers Tip: Secure yourself a power bank if you are using your phone as a camera. The ride is long and you need a back up.

  1. Exploring Sumaguing Cave is challenging. One of the highlights of Sagada is the Sumaguing Cave. Never go inside without a tour guide, you might not come out alive. Just kidding 😉 But I’m serious. You need a tour guide to come in and out of the cave safely. All you need to spend is 400/pax for the tour guide and you can relax afterwards. The cave is so cold but you will not notice it because the activity inside the cave is strenuous enough to feel the cold. But the cave stones are marvelous. The creation of nature is superb! How the nature creates rock formation for centuries is unbelievable. Some called this cave a porn cave because of the way the rock has formed. I will leave it to your imagination why the image below is called “The Queen”.

THE QUEEN.jpg

FREElancers Tip: Bring a water-proof camera for it might fell off the water. Dress light so that it is easy to move.

  1. Trekking all the way down to Bomod-Ok Falls is breathtaking. Thank God it’s cold! If not, I am already swimming with my sweat. Trekking all the way to Bomod-Ok Falls is fun and exciting as you have the opportunity to have a close encounter with the people planting and plowing at the rice terraces. The scenic view all the way down is magnificent and very calming.

 TREK.jpg

Bomod-Ok Falls is all worth it! As you dive into the freezing water, you will feel reborn.

Bomod-Ok.jpg

FREElancers Tip: Water, water, water! Bring a bottle of water.

  1. Riding on the Jeepney Top Load is quite an experience. It is one hell of a ride as your eyes feast on the nature’s beauty while fearing that the jeepney might fall down off the cliff as your hair flows against the cold wind. It is safe though, just hold on tight 🙂

topload.jpg

FREElancers Tip: Just be careful 😉

  1. The History of Hanging Coffin at the Echo Valley is fascinating. Shout your heart out and hear your voice back at the Echo Valley. It is a nice way to exercise your lungs. Learn why the Igorots hang their ancestors to the side of the cliffs. According to our tour guide, it is requested by the people who is about to die. There are many rumours why but nothing is certain. It said that this practice is more than 2000 years old but no evidence to show that it is true. According again to our tour guide, an Igorot who’s name is Bong, they still carry the old tradition but only by request of the people who died or the request of their close family members. There is a hanging coffin that hangs recently about 3 years ago but the majority of the tribe already follows the modern custom and buries their dead on the ground.

Hanging Coffin.jpg

FREElancers Tip: Catch your breath. You might be very exhausted this time but this something you can’t miss. Take a deep breath and say cheese 🙂

  1. Kiltepan Viewpoint will bring you to the clouds. One thing that gets me so excited to visit Sagada is the sea of clouds. I really want to see it in person. We are lucky enough to see some of it because according to our event coordinator it depends on the weather and sometimes it doesn’t show.

Sea of clouds.jpg

FREElancers Tip: Waiting for the clouds to show and for the sunrise to peak is a very chilling experience. It is very cold. Wear your full gear (jacket, bonnet, mittens, scarf, socks)

You only need two nights and three days to enjoy all these and you still have extra hours to enjoy Baguio as you go down to Manila. If your schedule is hectic like this and you can’t afford to stay for a week in Sagada, I suggest you take a package tour so there isn’t any wasted time. If you have been to Sagada and what to add something, feel free to comment, if you have questions also feel free to comment.

Goodnight!

Time check: 11:43pm

 

 

aCliff Hazel Santos is a Top Rated Upwork Freelancer, 
with 100% job success rate. She is also an entrepreneur, 
she owns Dive-In Travel Agency and she is an aspiring blogger.

Continue reading “8 Reasons Why You Should Travel Sagada”

Freelancers Tip : 3 Benefits of Houseplants for Freelancers

Freelancers work anytime, anywhere but most of the time we work at home. It is a must that we are working in a comfortable environment. We should have a working space where we can concentrate on our daily tasks and to let the members of the house know that we are working.

Admit it! Since you are at home all the time and you use your dinner table or living room center table as your office, people in the house forgot that you are working, thus they keep on bugging you with their concerns and they can’t keep quiet. A working space is a must.

Another thing that a freelancer should have are houseplants. Let me repeat, we are working at home and we should at least have a piece of environment inside the house.

There are many benefits that a houseplant can help freelancers’ productivity. Let me just break these into 3.

3 Benefits of Houseplants for Freelancers

  1. Plants are relaxing. Looking at the monitor all day makes a tired eyes, you should look at something green to relax it. Something green is a plant. Have a small one at your working table. When your eyes are nearly to tears (please don’t wait for this) or you feel your eyes needs a rest, stare at the plant for a few minutes, when you feel that the nerves in your eyes started to relax, you can go back to work again. Looking at the plants not only relax your eyes but it also helps you to be creative. When you are relax, ideas pour in.Modern home office workspace with laptop, architecture illustrat
  2. Plants clean the air. We all know in our elementary days that plants takes carbon dioxide and release oxygen, thus all the bad odors that we have inside the house will be eliminated. It is distracting when the house doesn’t smell good. This is especially after you mom fried fish, the house surely stinks. Having a plant in your kitchen will be helpful to absorb all these odors and you can now breathe fresh every day. Most especially, you can go back to work without distractions.Herb-Pot-TRIO-by-Sagaform
  3. Plant makes you happy. Plants are pleasing to the eye. All interior decorators know this. It sets you into a good mood. It sets your spirit on the go. Working at home can never be boring even if you are alone because there are living things surrounds you and silently watching you. You can talk to them if you want to (you will never tag crazy, promise! J). You can also take a mini-break to water them and check them out or just adore its beauty.535fb7f2dbfa3f42a000005c._w.1500_s.fit_.jpg

There are many more benefits that a houseplant can bring. Some studies said that it can help enhance cognitive function. It can help you with your memory and concentration. It also heightened attention and help you achieve your goals!

Do you already have plants at home? What type of plants do you have? Can you recommend us one? If you haven’t had one, it is time for you to consider it. Happy freelancing day!

Lazada Philippines