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Owning A Piece Of America

Owning A Piece Of America - Season 3 Episode 2 Season 3 Episode 2 With Host Faith Bautista and guests - Ishka Villacisneros-Tusjakova owner of Californila Business and Lemuel Balagot owner of LA Rose Cafe.

 


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Another Young Filipina Businesswoman is Making Waves in the US

What started as a “pakisuyo” became a lucrative business for an enterprising young Filipina.

Ishka Villacisneros-Tusjakova is the 27-year-old founder of Californila, a ‘personal shopping’ online store where customers from Manila can purchase items which are only available in the US.

She said that the idea behind Californila goes back to the Filipino tradition of sending balikbayan boxes. With the money she earned from her part-time work in a cafe in California, she would buy send items for her friends and relatives in the Philippines.

Image from FemaleNetwork.com

Soon enough, her friends and relatives offered to cover her transportation shipping expenses. At that point, Ishka decided to embark on this business undertaking by creating an online store.

It was not easy at first. Ishka had to juggle between jobs and other responsibilities; not to mention that, at that time, she does not have the money to fund orders from her customers.

She also had to be awake and working nearly 24/7 because she needs to attend to her Filipino clients, who are in a different time zone from hers. Add to that the demands of her full-time and part-time jobs that she needs to keep to fund her growing business.

Ishka learned the value of work earlier than most people of her age. At age 11, she started working on clerical tasks in the company of her parents. Through this job, she learned how to multi-task and to spot a good opportunity when she sees one.

Now, Ishka’s Californila provides a source of income, not only for herself but her relatives as well. One of her “more matured” staff is one of her social media managers who also happens to be her 83-year-old grandmother!

When asked for advice to would-be entrepreneurs here or in a foreign land, Ishka said “Life is all about taking risks, if you never take a chance you will never achieve your dreams because you’ll be in the same place as you were yesterday. Great achievements happen when you step out of your comfort zone, building this business took a lot of hard work and perseverance. You either take the risk or lose an opportunity to be a better version of yourself”.

Article Source: Definitely Filipino

Calm over the horizon

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

First impressions.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

A perfect fit.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

Quality.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

It’s safe to say that because of my unique professional experiences, I’ve tested out a lot of headphones.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

I would highly recommend these to any sound mixing specialist.


This Filipina Businesswoman’s Life Has Changed Because of Online Shopping

Ishka Villacisneros-Tusjakova is no stranger to hard work. In fact, at 11 years old, her parents had already exposed her to clerical tasks in their company—an experience which trained her to multi-task and eventually challenged her to become more enterprising.

Now at 27, she is the owner of Californila, a fast-growing personal shopping online store that provides Manila-based customers with items only available in the US. What started out as pakisuyo and padala now provides Ishka more than just stability, but a means to provide jobs for her relatives and friends while also allowing her to follow her passion. (Her 83-year-old grandmother is one of her social media managers!)
 
In our recent online correspondences, Ishka shared her story in the hopes of inspiring Pinoy immigrants to jump into doing what they love, even if they’re far away from home.

“When I moved to the US, like any other immigrant, I didn’t know what to expect. All I wanted was to go back to school to learn more about the tech industry and gain experience in a job related to my field.”

However, in spite of her homesickness, she was presented with an opportunity: personal shopping. Having access to US-exclusive products made her the default shopper of her family and friends in the Philippines. This brought about the early beginnings of Californila.

“The whole idea of Californila originated from the Filipino tradition of sending balikbayan boxes to our loved ones in the Philippines,” she explained. “When I made a bit of money from a part-time job at a cafe, I would send items that are worthy to share to my friends and relatives in the Philippines.”

It became so prolific that her family and friends in Manila would offer to pay for a personal shopping fee, which would cover her transportation and shipping expenses. From then on, she decided to formalize the process, initially starting a shop on the now defunct Multiply before creating her own online store which has grown to become Californila.

While Ishka is now enjoying the fruits of her labor, it wasn’t easy building her name in a foreign land. Aside from initially not having enough funds to accommodate orders, she was also juggling several other jobs and responsibilities.

 

“Another issue I faced was the time difference,” she said. Despite having to be at work by 7AM in the US, Ishka had to take care of her business until the wee hours of the morning because she was catering to people in the Philippines. On top of that, she also had a full-time job as a receptionist and a part-time job at a cafe. She ended up having to dedicate her free time to Californila. And “it was a one-woman show,” she described.

All this she would do while catering to her online customers, with whom she still needed to build professional trust. “Promoting Californila to the Filipino community in the first years was also kind of tough because I was not physically there and I really want to provide them with great customer service. I started with my friends and colleagues and of course with the help of social media, our service grew by word-of-mouth.”

 
While she had it rough, giving up never crossed Ishka’s mind.

“I actually never thought of [giving up] because what pushes me forward is seeing it grows and getting a lot of positive feedback from new referrals and loyal customers. This actually challenged me to even improve the quality of service we gave them the day before.”

Ishka kept her customers at the heart of her business. “I think about what they want, what they need and what will make them happy,” she said, and this honest willingness to serve her fellow Filipinos has paid off, as Californila is slowly becoming the go-to site for those looking for hard-to-acquire US products.

“The best reward that my hard work provided me is to see the excitement of the customers in getting their orders and that they saved time and money with our personal shopping service. To hear that they wouldn’t think twice in referring us or ordering more items is really fulfilling as well. Whenever they are able to buy an item that canât be found in the Philippines, I feel like we’ve accomplished something together.”

As for those who wish to venture out on their own and create their own business either here or abroad but are afraid to do so, Ishka has this advice:

“Life is all about taking risks, if you never take a risk you will never achieve your dreams because you’ll be on the same place as you were yesterday. Great achievements happen when you step out of your comfort zone, building this business took a lot of hard work and perseverance. You either take the risk or lose an opportunity to be a better version of yourself.”

*This story originally appeared on FemaleNetwork.com. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.

Article Source: Preview

 


Inspired by clouds

Take your time.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms. The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger.

When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.

— Rabindranath Tagore

Breathe the world.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms. The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water.

— Christopher Morley

Enjoy the morning.

The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever. I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300.

It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms.

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.

— Gilbert K. Chesterton

Free your mind.

The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Photography is better shared.


Meet the 27-Year Old Filipina Whose Online Business Is Making It Big in the US

Ishka Villacisneros-Tusjakova is no stranger to hard work. In fact, at 11 years old, her parents had already exposed her to clerical tasks in their company—an experience which trained her to multi-task and challenged her to become more enterprising.

Now at 27, she is the owner of Californila, a fast-growing “personal shopping” online store that provides Manila-based customers with items only available in the US. What started out as pakisuyo and padala now provides Ishka more than just stability, but a means to provide jobs for her relatives and friends while allowing her to follow her passions. (Her 83-year-old grandmother is one of her social media managers!)

In our recent online correspondences, Ishka shared her story in the hopes of inspiring Pinoy immigrants to jump into doing what they love, even if they’re far away from home.

“When I moved to the US, like any other immigrant, I didn’t know what to expect. All I wanted was to go back to school to learn more about the tech industry and gain experience in a job related to my field.”

However, in spite of her homesickness, she was presented with an opportunity: personal shopping. Having access to US-exclusive products made her the taga-bili of her family and friends in the Philippines. This brought about the early beginnings of Californila.

“The whole idea of Californila originated from the Filipino tradition of sending balikbayan boxes to our loved ones in the Philippines,” she explained. “When I made a bit of money from a part-time job at a café, I would send items that are worthy to share to my friends and relatives in the Philippines.”

It became so prolific that her family and friends in Manila would offer to pay for a “personal shopping fee” which would cover her transportation and shipping expenses. From then on, she decided to formalize the process, initially starting a shop on the now defunct Multiply, before creating her own online store which has grown to become Californila.

While Ishka is now enjoying the fruits of her labor, it wasn’t easy building her name in a foreign land. Aside from initially not having enough funds to accommodate orders, she was also juggling several other jobs and responsibilities.

All this she would do while catering to her online customers, with whom she still needed to build professional trust. “Promoting Californila to the Filipino community in the first years was also kind of tough because I was not physically there and I really want to provide them with great customer service. I started with my friends and colleagues and of course with the help of social media, our service grew by word-of-mouth.”

“I actually never thought of [giving up] because what pushes me forward is seeing it grows and getting a lot of positive feedback from new referrals and loyal customers. This actually challenged me to even improve the quality of service we gave them the day before.”

Ishka kept her customers at the heart of her business. “I think about what they want, what they need and what will make them happy,” she said, and this honest willingness to serve her fellow Filipinos has paid off, as Californila is slowly becoming the go-to site for those looking for hard-to-acquire US products.

“Life is all about taking risks, if you never take a risk you will never achieve your dreams because you’ll be on the same place as you were yesterday. Great achievements happen when you step out of your comfort zone, building this business took a lot of hard work and perseverance. You either take the risk or lose an opportunity to be a better version of yourself.”

Article Source: Female Network

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Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun rays falling on my body. Usual morning is followed by hustle to make it to college on time. This morning was just another morning yet seemed different.

Witnessing calm and quiet atmosphere, clear and fresh air seemed like a miracle to me. I wanted this time to last longer since I was not sure if I would be able to witness it again, knowing my habit of succumbing to schedule. There was this unusual serenity that comforted my mind. It dawned on me, how distant I had been from nature. Standing near the compound’s gate, feeling the moistness that the air carried, I thought about my life so far.

This is what has happened to us. We want the things we have been doing forcefully to fail. And then maybe people around us would let us try something else or our dreams. We are accustomed to live by everyone else’s definition of success. We punish people for the things they are passionate about, just because we were unable to do the same at some point in our life.

I was good at academics, so decisions of my life had been pretty simple and straight. Being pretty confident I would make it to the best junior college of my town in the first round itself, never made me consider any other option. I loved psychology since childhood, but engineering was the safest option. Being born in a middle class family, thinking of risking your career to make it to medical field was not sane. I grew up hearing ‘Only doctor’s children can afford that field’ and finally ended up believing it. No one around me believed in taking risks. Everyone worshiped security. I grew up doing the same.

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‘Being in the top will only grant you a good life’ has been the mantra of my life. But at times, I wish I was an average student. I wish decisions would have not been so straightforward. Maybe I would have played cricket- the only thing I feel passionate about. Or maybe I would have studied literature (literature drives me crazy). Isn’t that disappointing- me wishing to be bad at academics. It’s like at times I hate myself for the stuff I am good at.

I feel like these concrete buildings have sucked our desires and our dreams. We are so used to comfort that compromise seems like a taboo. We have lost faith in ourselves. If we can make through it right now, we can do the same in the days to come. You only need a desire to survive and nothing more- not money or cars or designer clothes.

Staying locked up in four walls have restricted our thinking. I feel like our limited thinking echoes through this wall. We are so used to schedules and predictable life that we have successfully suppressed our creative side.

When you step out of these four walls on a peaceful morning, you realize how much nature has to offer to you. Its boundless. Your thoughts, worries, deadlines won’t resonate here. Everything will flow away along with the wind. And you will realize every answer you had been looking for, was always known to you.

It would mean a lot to me if you recommend this article and help me improve. I would love to know your thoughts!


When you are alone

You will remember the people more than the place.

When you are alone for days or weeks at a time, you eventually become drawn to people. Talking to randos is the norm. I’ll never forget the conversation with the aquarium fisherman, forest ranger, and women at the Thai market. It’s refreshing to compare notes on life with people from vastly different backgrounds.

When you meet fellow travelers, you’ll find they are also filled with a similar sense of adventure and curiosity about the world. Five days of friendship on the road is like five months of friendship at home. It’s the experiences that bond you together, not the place. A rule I followed that worked well: be the first to initiate conversation. I met some incredible people by simply being the first to talk.

Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.

Travel can be affordable.

Long term travel is different than a luxury vacation. The point is to see the world, not stay in a 5-star hotel. During the trip, I stayed on a strict budget. The goal was to spend no more than $33 per day on accommodations. After a year, I was able to spend only $26.15 per day by booking through HostelWorld and Airbnb. When I wanted to meet people, I’d stay in a shared room at a hostel. When I wanted to be alone, I’d book a private room with Airbnb.

Take the cost of your rent or mortgage + food per month and divide it by 30. This is how much it costs per day to live at home. You will find that it’s possible to travel the world for roughly the same amount. Or, if you live in an expensive city like San Francisco, far less.

English is a universal language.

I was surprised how many people spoke English (apparently 1.8 billion people worldwide). Places where English was less prevalent, I made an effort to learn a handful of words and phrases in the local language. Even though it’s passable, I do desire to learn another language fluently. You can only take the conversation so far when all you can say is: “¿Esto contiene gluten?”

It’s possible to communicate a lot without saying a word. For instance, I left my phone at a restaurant in Chile. I pointed at the table where I was sitting, put my hand to my ear like a phone, then shrugged — 2 minutes later, my phone had been retrieved.

Trust your intuition.

I learned to trust that tiny voice in my head a bit more. When you are alone in a foreign country and your phone is dead, you are forced to trust your intuition. Is this neighborhood safe to walk around? Is this person someone I should interact with? Am I heading the right direction? Intuition is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. It’s feels like a sixth sense when you’re able to read between the lines of a situation.

The world is endless. The world’s a tiny neighborhood. My fav people are the ones who can hold two impossible ideas in their heads.