Whirlwind trip to Philippines is over again…

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The past two weeks have flown by, and although I’ve been constantly ‘on the go’ I was still unable to meet with everybody that I would like to have. I missed out on meeting with Mellany Ramos Stametalaky from Kids Hope this time around, and didn’t get to International Needs in Marikina. I didn’t see my friend Raffy Ilano, or Cha Cha del…

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3 different lives in Philippines — Part 3 — the unnamed poor

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When I started writing this mini-series of posts profiling different Filipinos I had a few different specific people in mind for the Part 3 feature. But in just 2 weeks I’ve encountered so many people in such a variety of circumstances, that I couldn’t decide upon just one person for this 3rd profile. In fact, I’d also encountered so many people who’s story…

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3 different lives in Philippines — Part 2 — Joy

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By the time I arrive at Dencio’s in the Trinoma mall, Joy has already started drinking cocktails. She’s seated squarely in the centre of the long bench seat behind a table large enough to seat six, and the waiters are attentively at hand any time she requires another drink. Joy has recently graduated from Law and is staying with family in Manila during…

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3 different lives in Philippines — Part 1 — Fred

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Fred owns a two storey house in Bulacan, about 40km north of Manila. Meandering through the quiet local streets to his home, the bustling traffic of EDSA and Cubao are forgotten, and the pace of life slows down alot. Fred’s pace of life mirrors his surroundings. Getting up in the morning, he shuffles around his home, gets his live-in girlfriend to make him…

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Back home where I belong…

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I’m here! If home is where the heart is, I’m definitely home. I’ve arrived at Diosdada Macapagal International Airport, more easily known as Clark, just north of the city of Angeles (not pronounced the same as you’d say Los Angeles — instead try to say the ‘g’ more like you’d say ‘guess’) and caught the shuttle bus down to Cubao. Immediately I knew I was…

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Observations from Kuala Lumpur / what causes poverty?

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Having spent less than 12 hours in Kuala Lumpur, and all of those being ‘after dark’, I really can’t tell you much about Malaysia, but as I was coasting in to Sentral on the AeroBus shuttle I had time to just watch and think. After checking into my hotel I then, as is my habit, took to the streets in search not only…

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6 Sigma / ISO 9001 quality from Mumbai’s semi-literate dabbawallas

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Major corporations struggle to deliver high quality services, and small businesses learn through repeated ‘trial and error’, and yet 5000 semi-literate lunchbox carriers in Mumbai can lose just one 1 in 6 million ‘tiffins’ that, as a united organism, they deliver from the client’s home, to their workplace, and back to home again. I’m on a flight from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur at…

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20 hours until I depart for Philippines… and typhoon on it’s way

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With only a few more hours in my office, and my bags almost packed for departure tomorrow to Philippines, I’m really looking forward to arriving in Manila on Thursday. During my trip I’ll be visiting some of my friends at various not-for-profit organisations, interviewing (through informal conversations) low-income slum dwellers, photographing some of the <$1/day Filipinos, and meeting with potential marketing partners in…

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Help — how can I stop all this SPAM I’m getting?

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In my regular ‘Nitty Gritty — Online’ column for Australian Business Solutions magazine, due to hit the shelves in a few days time, I address the question “Is there anything I can do to minimise the amount of SPAM that I’m getting each day?”. With only 500 words available to cover this whole, complex topic, I just briefly touched on how to avoid getting your…

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