A Freelance Digital Ninja in the Philippines, Part 1

When I was in Oregon in July 2009, I hired a friend of a friend to set up a website for me. He used an all-purpose theme from WordPress. Later he made some adjustments because I couldn’t access it from the Philippines. Then he disappeared. I was unable to find anyone here to help me. I knew nothing about websites, but managed to figure out enough to post regularly.

Ten or eleven years later I found a developer who remodeled the site, and I was delighted that he clearly understood the material I was uploading. On the front end, the Read More

An Engineer in the Philippines and in the UAE, Part 1

In teaching workers how to do their part of the production process, Michael Sanders uses some of the same principles I’ve used for decades in language teaching. Meet the students where they are, not where the university catalogue says they should be, take everything down to the simplest level—including advanced concepts—and start there. But Mike has ideas which could transform the Filipino economy.

We spoke over Facebook Messenger while he was at home in Abu Dhabi and I was home in Tagaytay.

Mike’s story

 Why don’t you start by telling us why you came to the Philippines?

What brought me … Read More

Cindy Starts a Business in Japan

Many of the things Cindy says about the traditional workplace in Japan are also true in Korea: the cozy relationship of government and large corporations, which undermines small and medium-sized companies, the obligatory after-work drinking sessions, the mandatory early retirement, the ambivalence about having foreigners in the workplace and—particularly in Japan—the marginalization of foreigners. Fortunately, shortly after having been knocked down by early retirement, Cindy was on her feet again, making a new career for herself and finding more freedom and more satisfaction in trying new things). (Link)(Link)

Cindy’s story

On January 29, 2014, my life … Read More

Launching “The Rise of the Pinoy”

The Rise of the Pinoy is built around twenty-one short interviews, most of them with the heads of social enterprises. The seven chapters challenge readers to find their inspiration and personal assignment, to deal with the enemy and pain within, to focus on daily victories and the possibility of their own greatness. Each chapter contains exercises for self-examination and directed journaling of the type that is standard with self-help and motivational books and workshops. The Rise of the Pinoy is dedicated to Overseas Filipino Workers and their potential to become truly world-class. It is currently being translated into Tagalog, with Read More

Twenty Years in and out of Korea

George is an old friend from Korea. We talked recently via Skype. He was in Seoul, and I was in Metro Manila.

George’s story

In Korea the business legal environment is much fairer to foreigners than it was in the past, when our attorneys used to be embarrassed. They were truly our advocates, but they’d have to say, “Yes, this person didn’t follow the contract and you are being harmed. But as a foreigner you probably won’t get a fair shot in the court system.” Often we just had to comply with whatever our business partner or supplier or service … Read More