Thursday, March 28, 2013

On Stepping Up

Do you have any regrets in life? I am tempted to say yes. I've definitely taken a lot of missteps, have done things I wish I hadn't and have things I wish I'd done but didn't.

I wish I'd done better in school, for instance. One of my frustrations was never getting into the Dean's List in college although I came close a few times. 

I also wish I'd been more strategic early on when it came to career path. I chose my internship based on my interest at that time (basketball) instead of thinking about what I wanted to do career-wise. When I eventually realized I wanted to be either a news reporter or work as an editor in a magazine, I did not have enough experience and had not honed the right skills.

I'm sure there were people around me who could have helped those days but I wasn't really thinking about the future then and didn't know who or what to ask.

It's a good thing for young people nowadays that there are programs that can help them figure these things out as early as high school. One of the programs available is called WASSUP Summer Stepping Up Program which I highly recommend because I can vouch for who's running it, my coach (and mom) Susan Rivera, who has 20+ years of solid HR experience spanning numerous industries which includes Globe Telecom, Hewitt Associates, PT&T, CAVEL Group of Companies, the Pioneer Group of Insurance Companies, and PLDT; and is a Professional Coach certified by the International Coaching Council and practicing internationally, and is a member of the International Coach Federation, the International Coach Academy, the Behavioral Coaching Institute, and the Human Capital Institute.

Here's a poster of what this program is about (click on photo to enlarge):

As mentioned in the poster, the program will be held in Sol Y Viento Resort in Pansol, Laguna, and will run for three days, two nights. The full program comes with road trips and one-on-one coaching but participants can also opt for just the regular program or the regular program with coaching, or the regular program with road trips. There will be several speakers from different industries and backgrounds and other certified coaches who will help run it.

Believe me, if I were a high school junior or senior now, I would be lining up to get into this program! So if you have kids or relatives or friends whom you think can benefit from this program, sign them up now! If you register and pay before April 5, you get PhP2,000 off or  PhP1,000 off if you pay before April 12. 

For inquiries and reservations, please call or text 0917-8181838 or email

Now going back to my earlier question. I realize that while there were mistakes and missteps, I would not be who I am now if not for them, and I wouldn't know how to help young people if I hadn't gone through them. Everything, indeed, happens for a reason.

Monday, March 11, 2013

American Idol Final Four Forecast

I've been a fan of American Idol since Season 3, a season that gave us the likes of Fantasia Barrino, Diana Degarmo, and of course, the most successful singer from that batch, Jennifer Hudson (who is looking absolutely stunning and svelte these days). I have not missed a season since then, that is, until this current season came rolling around.

I watched the first few episodes but found myself quite put off by Nicki Minaj, who came off as too talkative and too dominating of the panel. I just wasn't interested to watch anymore.

But thank God for late night replays, I got to unintentionally catch some of the semi-final round and saw that the judges (Minaj, whom I'm starting to warm up to, included) actually picked a good crop of singers this year.

Here are my picks to get to the top:

Candice Glover - I was blown away by her performance of one of my favorites, Ordinary People by John Legend. Amazing vocals from this lady from South Carolina, whose third time trying out for American Idol finally paid off.

Candice Glover performing Ordinary People by John Legend
Video courtesy of Fox / American Idol

Candice Glover performing Like a Star by Corinne Bailey Rae
Video courtesy of Candi Rickelle (Candice Glover)

Angie Miller - Overcoming significant hearing loss (40% on one ear, 20% on the other), this incredibly talented artist wowed the judges from her first audition. She's my bet to win the competition this year. She's like the female version of Colton Dixon, who is one of the most successful out of last year's batch. Incidentally, Angie sings a Colton song, which got her a stint as one of the five girls advancing to the live shows.

Angie Miller performing her own composition Set Me Free
Video courtesy of Fox / American Idol

Angie Miller performing Colton Dixon's Never Gone
Video courtesy of Fox / American Idol

Angie Miller performing Bonnie Raitt's I Can't Make You Love Me
Video courtesy of Angie Kristine Miller 

Devin Velez - This Chicago Barista has been belting out songs in English and Spanish, which makes him a standout for me among the guys. 

Devin Velez performing Somos Novios (It's Impossible) first recorded by Perry Como
Video courtesy of Fox / American Idol

Amber Holcomb - What an strong contender this one is! And pretty, too! I love that she got a makeover and some confidence to go with the new look. My favorite song she's sung so far is her rendition of My Funny Valentine.

Amber Holcomb performing My Funny Valentine by the late great Frank Sinatra
Video courtesy of Fox / American Idol

There you go. My fearless final four forecast for American Idol Season 12. Can't wait to see them perform live these next several weeks!

I'd love to know: Who do you think will make it to the end?