Wednesday, October 20, 2021


Work-From-Home parents have rediscovered the joys of family togetherness during the pandemic—this is a special silver lining if there ever was one. As we continue to hunker down and stay safe by following health protocols, we rediscover that time with our family—especially the kids—is an opportunity to bond, have fun, and even learn together. 

As parents, you’ve likely seen how smart and engaged your children are when they’re online. You’ve seen how they learn most effectively by observation and participation in activities. 

All this time with your kids is an opportunity to teach money management right at home. After all, this pandemic has made online banking and online money transactions the new normal. Shopping online is something that even kids do, nowadays, too. 

Turn your budgeting, online shopping, and online banking routine into a life lesson in wise spending and saving for your kids. They learn best when they see you saving and sticking to a budget and when you let them budget and put away savings on their own. All these can be done using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop without having to leave the house. 

Here are a few tips on teaching your kids how to wisely spend and save from home, even as you work from home: 

Do a budget review. 

This doesn’t mean completely overhauling your current budget. Just review your family’s needs and wants then compare these to the expenses you actually spend on each month. A budget is not a static, fixed thing—it changes according to your family’s circumstances.  Explain household budgeting in terms your child can understand.  

Find more opportunities to save. 

With the economy still in recovery due to the pandemic, our incomes might not be as they used to be. But this doesn’t mean we can’t find more opportunities to save up. 

Teach your kids about saving by giving them some real-life participation: open a savings account for them. BDO has a Junior Savers Account that’s easy to open at any bank branch with minimal requirements and an affordable initial deposit and maintaining balance. 

You can also set up a regular savings with a Junior Savers Plan that can help your kids grow their savings. With this plan, you can schedule regular transfers and set the amount of money to be transferred from your BDO  Online account to your child’s Junior Savers Account. 

Furthermore, there are a lot of ideas on the internet on how to save up on household expenses. Some ideas you’ll see include budget recipes that taste great without breaking the bank and buying pre-loved items instead of brand-new ones. There’s already a thriving community of online content creators that can help you be wiser with how and where you spend your money.  

Saving and budgeting are easier if all family members get involved. It’s both an opportunity for bonding and a way to save your children’s future from unwise money decisions.

Sunday, October 17, 2021


While we wish for the COVID-19 pandemic to end soon, we understand that it has made lasting effects on the way we interact with other people, the way we view our health, and the way we work. As we look forward to the future, we want to be more prepared, change-adept, and resilient so that we won’t be as unaware or as helpless as to how this pandemic caught us.   

The pandemic has become a tipping point for many of us to reconsider our options. Many of us ask, “Am I pursuing a career or college course that would eventually be rendered useless or obsolete?” As we now can observe, the pandemic has introduced shifts in our behavior that also created new needs and demands for governments, schools, and businesses. The shift to the new normal demands expertise that can only be filled in by new and emerging disciplines that we thought we didn’t really need a few years ago.   

According to the World Economic Forum, the “job of tomorrow” is about maximizing the potential in the interaction between “humans, machines, and algorithms.” For those looking for a sensible course to take in college or for new career options, you might want to consider some of the insights here that would help you and the people around you to make significant progress in the post-pandemic world.    

1. Digital Marketing  

The pandemic gave all the reasons for companies to go digital, especially in their sales and marketing. According to the COVID-19 Digital Engagement Report by Twilio, the pandemic broke down the traditional barriers of getting executive buy-in, lack of clear strategy, and lack of budget to push through with their digital transformation.   

With the lockdowns during the pandemic, the market has nowhere else to go but online. Accordingly, companies have nowhere else to go but where their market is. Companies that invest in their digital transformation have been more resilient during the pandemic and are poised to enjoy market preference in the long run due to their responsiveness to their customers’ needs.   

The World Economic Forum projects digital marketing to be an even more relevant field in the post-pandemic economy. We will see the rise in demand for the following:   

  • Social Media Managers 
  • Content Creators 
  • SEO Specialists 
  • Website Designers and Developers 
  • Software and Applications Developers   

Communication, Information Design, and IT graduates are seen to benefit from the rising demand for their expertise in the current and emerging economy. While colleges and universities offer courses in Communication, Advertising, and Business, among other related fields, there are schools that offer multi-disciplinary courses that combine the traditional with emerging hybrid disciplines.    

STI College, known for its IT programs, started offering a four-year Bachelor of Science in Retail Technology and Consumer Science and a two-year Associate in Retail Technology in 2020. These courses were co-designed with industry experts in order to equip students with in-demand specialized skills in the areas of retail marketing, consumer psychology, information technology, and data science ― key areas that STI College believes to be the competencies for success in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  

“In the academic sector, this retail revolution has made us keenly aware of the need to equip our graduates for more lucrative job and business opportunities in retail and e-commerce. Elsewhere in the world, colleges and universities in countries such as the United States, Canada, Sweden, Ireland, South Africa, and Singapore are now offering retail management programs in line with this vision,” shares Aisa Q. Hipolito, STI Vice President for Academics.    

2. Data Science and Analytics  

The post-pandemic economy will be largely data-driven. While there has been an exponential increase in the demand for Data Scientists and Analysts even prior to the pandemic, the crisis itself has highlighted the relevance of data-driven strategies both for the public and private sectors. Corporate and government leaders and managers now heavily rely on data to fuel their decision making.  

In the Philippines alone, there has been a shortage of data scientists and analysts to support the growth of industries through the use of data, automation, and Artificial Intelligence, especially in the retail sector. The government, through the Department of Science and Technology, has been encouraging young Filipinos to take up data science related courses in order to bridge the shortage of data scientists in the country.   

According to iACADEMY School of Computing Dean, Mitch Andaya, “there’s an increasing demand for data scientists in virtually every industry in the Philippines. Our country produces about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily and we need help from data scientists to make sense out of this much data.”  

Most major universities in the Philippines, including Ateneo De Manila University, De La Salle University, University of the Philippines, and University of Sto. Tomas have general data science subjects in the tertiary level. However, schools such as iACADEMY offer specialized courses on data science to directly address the emerging needs of both local and international industries. iACADEMY’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science major in Data Science program was launched in 2020 to help the country cultivate more world-class professionals in software development, systems and business analysis, database administration, software testing, web development.    

3. Cybersecurity  

A number of business leaders forecast that remote work is here to stay even after the pandemic. With this shift, they foresee that most companies would follow suit and invest heavily on their cloud infrastructure, online collaborative tools, and e-commerce. With the conveniences ushered in by these tech enhancements, companies that migrate most of their resources online and shift to more tech-driven operations should also expect to brace for tech-related problems such as cybersecurity.  

According to Forbes, healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, transportation, and government are the industries that are most exposed to cyberattacks. We cannot afford data breaches and system hijacks in these industries, especially when they largely affect the safety and security of people’s lives.   

Through the Department of Information and Communication Technology’s National Cybersecurity Plan 2022, the Philippines recognizes the need for more cybersecurity experts as part of the government’s mission to “ensure public safety and welfare.” As most companies and schools are just adapting to the emerging cybersecurity needs of both local and international industries, the Philippine government encourages more young Filipinos to also consider taking ICT-related courses, which are also largely offered by ICT-specialized schools such as STI and iAcademy.  

It is noticeable that the projected in-demand jobs of the future are more tech-related and focus on developments such as remote work, e-commerce and automation. McKinsey’s study projects that more people may see the need to switch careers due to the changes in working conditions during and after the pandemic. We may be among these people who need to consider a more sustainable career path. By considering those previously mentioned, we may see ourselves more adapted to the new normal.

Saturday, October 2, 2021



The family that eats together, stays together. 

Our Potato Flat Bread is a must-try!  

One year and seven months into this pandemic, we definitely stayed together, practiced safety protocols and only leave the house when absolutely necessary. Eating home cooked food has become a special bonding for the family.  Our eldest already started her kitchen journey, with her dad as her mentor in preparing healthy dishes.  My contributions to our daily meals are the fresh harvests of a variety of vegetables I grow in our backyard garden.  

If there is one vegetable that we consume on a regular basis, it is our favorite - the humble potato. Potatoes are packed with nutrients that we need as a family.  Potatoes with skin contain these amazing nutrients per 148-gram serving:

Potatoes are cholesterol, sodium and fat free. Vitamin C is essential to support the immune system, while potassium is necessary for the heart, brain, and muscles to function normally. Potatoes have more potassium than a banana, too.  

There are numerous ways to cook potatoes. You can fry, bake, mash, boil, roast, or bake them. There are thousands of potato recipes, enough to try one new recipe a day since day 1 of the pandemic. I assure you, 19 months or 578 days after, you still would not have repeated a dish!   

Its versatility is incomparable. This I have known for many years now, but it is just recently that I discovered U.S. DEHYDRATED POTATOES.  

What are dehydrated potatoes?  

U.S. dehydrated potatoes are made from potatoes grown and harvested in the U.S. and processed under stringent standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to retain consistency, quality and ensure food safety. Typically, they are made from creamy white-fleshed Russet potatoes.  

Why I love U.S. dehydrated potatoes

1. U.S. dehydrated potatoes are made from real potatoes, with the water removed. The texture and flavor of fresh natural potatoes are retained after rehydration.

2. With the pandemic and everyone busy with the work-from-home set-up, it provides the convenience our family needs. It saves us the time from washing, peeling and boiling. It has a long shelf life, believe it or not, you can stock it for up to two years. And it does not occupy a large space in the kitchen. 

3. It fits our budget. One kilo rehydrates to as much as five kilos.  

4. It is versatile. You can use it for creamier soups, sauces and stews. You can use it in breads, cakes, pastries and even native delicacies. 

5. Most important of all, because they are made from real potatoes, they retain almost as much the same nutrients as fresh potatoes.  

Flat Bread using U.S. dehydrated potatoes  

We love flat bread. Making it is an enjoyable bonding activity with my daughter who loves to cook. We pair it with homemade tomato-garlic sauce or plain cream cheese.  

We also enjoy flat bread as a complete meal. Instead of rice, we consume flat bread with delectable dishes.   

In this article, I will share with you our recipe for making POTATO FLAT BREAD using U.S. dehydrated standard potato flakes – with the perfect partner!  

Potato Flat Bread with Garlic Shrimp in Olive Oil

8 pieces shrimp 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 cup flour 
1 cup mashed potato  

Ingredients for rehydrating dehydrated potato:  
500 grams U.S. standard potato flakes 
700 ml milk 
200 grams butter 
16 grams salt 
2,000 ml water  

the ingredients for the rehydrated potatoes make an average of 35 pieces of potato flat bread.    

1. Rehydrate the potato flakes by combining water, salt and butter. Heat to a boil. Remove from heat. Add cold milk, gently stir in potato flakes. DO NOT WHIP. 

2. Place 1 cup of flour and 1 cup rehydrated potato into a mixing bowl. Using your hands, start bringing the ingredients together until you form a dough. Let it rest for 15 minutes.

The dough will be soft but should not be too sticky. It should not be dry. Sometimes your dough might need more flour. But try adding it only when it’s way too sticky to work with.  

3. Prepare the shrimps. Wash, peel and devein.   

4. In a pan, heat olive oil. Sauté the garlic. Put the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.  

5. Back to the dough. Cut into 8 pieces. Form into round shape.

6.     Flatten out thin.

7. Cook on medium to high heat on a dry frying pan for about 2 minutes (1 minute per side) or until done.

8. Serve the potato flat bread while still warm with the garlic shrimp in olive oil. 


The potato flat bread is very versatile.  You can serve it with a main dish like what I did, or enjoy it with your favorite dips for “merienda”.  You can even do quesadilla, burrito, or veggie wrap! 

For more information on U.S. potato products and other mouth-watering and healthy potato recipes, visit Potatoes USA - Philippines at:  Website, Facebook and Instagram.