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Updates in the Midst of Covid-19: My Health, Tuscany Highlands, Training Workshops CDO, BuQid, Travels and Celebrations

This is probably the longest I haven’t blogged. It’s been so long that I have to read what I wrote last time coz I don’t remember anymore, lol. And it made me cringe a bit that my last post before this was about my health and my suspicion of having Dengue which happened before all this Novel Corona Virus, now called Covid-19, started hitting the news.

Anyway, as an OC person, I want to have some semblance of chronology about what has been happening to me the past several months so this long overdue blog update might be a bit long. Just bear with me. I’ll try to only give you the summaries and I’ll just write more about them, one topic at a time, on my next blog posts. For now, here are the abridged versions:

 

Dengue Scare

So let’s start about that Dengue scare I had after the new year

On Jan. 8, the tests I took came out negative for Dengue, thank God! I had doctors (yes, 3 doctors looked into my lab test results) looked into my blood tests and they were all perplexed because everything looked fine except for my high WBC (white blood cell) count. They said this could indicate I was fighting some sort of infection but they didn’t know what. When they checked me, they said it’s weird that I didn’t look sick at all. I have no cough, no fever, no scratchy throat, no swelling, no pain whatsoever. They wanted me to take another CBC to make sure the first one wasn’t a mistake. One doctor said it could just be stress, which actually I was under a lot of at that time work-wise. Mahal and I decided not to take another CBC for me anymore and to just take the month off. It was just probably my body telling me to sleep because the whole of 2019, I was killing myself at work and not sleeping much. So that’s what I did. I told some of my clients that I will be taking a month’s sabbatical to take care of my health. I was planning to take some time blogging, but even that had to take a back seat because I really just slept most days, took care of Tuz, became a housewife and started working on my new business idea (haha, I really can’t help not working!)

Dengue Scare

Dengue Scare

 

Tuscany Highlands Mushroom Cultivation Training Workshops

I don’t think I’ve shared this here yet but our farm business, Tuscany Highlands, now has a training arm. Remember that room I’ve been eyeing last September? We’ve already turned it into our training room/office for Tuscany Highlands Food Creations biz!

BEFORE: 

Office Space

AFTER:

Tuscany Highlands Multi-Purpose Room

Our training program started last October and this coming March 14, we will already be conducting Batch 10 of our Mushroom Cultivation Training Program! We feel so blessed! Mahal is the trainer while I do the marketing work for him. Our original vision was to just conduct training among 1-6 people who are interested to learn about growing mushrooms. But for the last few batches, we’ve been getting 12-19 trainees per batch! Our training room has been so full of passionate participants that Mahal and I really are so overwhelmed with joy! Thank you, God, for these blessings!

Mushroom Cultivation Training

Our previous training workshops (Batches 1-6)

Mushroom Cultivation Training

Our previous training workshop (Batch 7)

Mushroom Cultivation Training

Our previous training workshop (Batch 8)

Mushroom Cultivation Training

Our previous training workshop (Batch 9)

In case anyone from Cagayan de Oro is reading this and is interested to learn, just head to either of our Facebook pages and look at the pinned post:
https://www.facebook.com/shroomcdo
https://www.facebook.com/TuscanyHighlands/

 

Training Workshops CDO

While I was taking January off, I’ve been listening to Napoleon Hill’s Laws of Success. Mahal shared it with me and I’ve been listening to it whenever I’d do my workout routine. That’s when the eureka moment happened as if a light bulb got turned on in my head! Since I love marketing our Mushroom Cultivation Training so much, why don’t I do the same thing for other kinds of training? So I started messaging people I know here in CDO who are experts at what they do. That’s when Training Workshops CDO (TWCDO) was born. I now have a few training workshops lined up for this month of March and for April as well. Hopefully, we get to help our target market get the additional knowledge and skills they need in certain fields. We have upcoming training in Dream Catcher Making, Dashboard (Excel), Mobile and Conventional Photography, and of course, our Mushroom Cultivation. I’m still in the process of looking for other amazing trainers who can come on board and I’m thinking of offering one myself about being a VA since I’ve been a VA since 2008. It’s probably time for me to share what I know so other people who want to work from anywhere without worrying about traffic or viruses… the laptop kind of lifestyle so to speak can do so while earning a decent living.

You can check out the Facebook page I created for it: http://facebook.com/TrainingWorkshopsCDO/

Training Workshops CDO
 

Tuscany Highlands Mushroom Business

Our farm business, Tuscany Highlands, has been focusing on mushrooms since 2019. We’ve already explored growing and marketing other vegetables and produce from 2017-2018 and we realized that it’s difficult to spread ourselves and our resources too thin. Why not just focus on one thing and go deep from there? So that’s what we did and what we continue to do.

With mushrooms, there really is no waste. To wit:
– We sell fresh oyster mushrooms.
– We dry and use unsold oyster mushrooms.
– We create products. Aside from MUSIGA (Mushroom Sili Garlic) paste, we now have Mushroom Polvoron, PALAMI (Mushroom Palapa), and Mushroom Chicharon.

Tuscany Highlands Products

Last Feb. 8, we were one of the sponsors during my Lourdes College HS Homecoming…

Mushroom Chicharon

This is our Mushroom Chicharon…

Palami

This is our PALAMI (Mushroom Palapa)

 

Side Note:

Our MUSIGA was one of the chosen few who got featured at Manila Bulletin last December 22, 2019 for their segment about Big Noche Buena Finds from MSMEs all over the Philippines.

Manila Bulletin Feature of Tuscany Highlands' Musiga

Kristelle Bechayda’s message regarding Manila Bulletin Feature of Tuscany Highlands’ Musiga

Manila Bulletin Feature of Tuscany Highlands' Musiga

Manila Bulletin Feature of Tuscany Highlands’ Musiga

Manila Bulletin Feature of Tuscany Highlands' Musiga

Manila Bulletin Feature of Tuscany Highlands’ Musiga

To continue…

– We sell ramified fruiting bags.
– We sell spawn.
– We conduct hands-on training workshops.
– We are in the process of reselling mushroom cultivation tools.
– Our online products are also in the works (ebook and webinar/e-course)
– We’ve already set up a branch in Oslob, Cebu from January 29-Feb. 26. We will be going back there this May to check up on it and just duplicate what we’ve been doing here in Cagayan de Oro. We’ll probably be going back and forth CDO and Cebu to take care of our two mushroom growing houses, take care of the marketing side, and conduct mushroom cultivation training workshops as well. We are so excited! I am thinking of incorporating Mushroom Training with Mahal’s current Oslob Tour Package and Accommodation which they offer at their mini resort, Oslob New Village. How awesome is that? Our target market in Cebu and neighboring provinces who are interested in attending mushroom cultivation training in Oslob can also do a whale shark tour the next day and can stay in Mahal’s mini-resort, all for a discounted price. That’s farm and beach tourism in one! How exciting!

 

BuQid

BuQid

This is my startup biz, whose growth has stalled, because I’ve been away in Cebu for a month. BuQid is the idea that I pitched last September during the Techstars Bukidnon Startup Weekend for Women, and which I was the champion together with my team!

Buqid CMU feature

Buqid CMU feature

Our win was featured at CMU’s (Central Mindanao University) school publication. Full article HERE.

I wanted to announce my win in a more dramatic way that is why my previous post about it has been so detailed and hanging…

BuQid

BuQid — We were the Champion during the Techstars Bukidnon Startup Weekend for Women

BuQid

My team and I already had several meetings with our mentor, Rhey Piquero Minoza, owner and CEO of Streetby, ever since we’ve won, and we’ve been learning a lot from him.

BuQid

BuQid Team’s very first meeting with our mentor…

BuQid Market Validation

Me and my BuQid Team Member doing our market validation at Bulua Market.

I was in the process of finalizing our pitch in preparation for the Singapore Startup Weekend this month when I received an email from the Singapore organizers last January that the trip won’t push through because of lack of sponsors on their part. I was honestly heartbroken because I’ve been looking forward to this trip since we won last September. And being the emotional being that I am, I honestly kind of lost interest in it. Ang sama-sama ng loob ko! Lol! I was so proud for being the winner in that startup event which I never imagined I could do, and I was so excited to pitch my idea to foreign investors in Singapore. But it never came to fruition. The organizers were very apologetic and offered alternative ways to have our business idea be heard but I haven’t really paid much attention to it yet. I haven’t even been opening our group chat about it. Pinapalipas ko pa sama ng loob ko, lol! And this is why it’s so hard to be a female entrepeneur… emotions always get in the way of success! Lol! Or maybe it’s just me. Pet peeve ko talaga yung nagpo-promise tapos di naman tutuparin ang promise. Grrrr! I really hate that! And it happened pa sa isang competition like this! Ugh!

BuQid is still on my mind though. My plans are still there for it. My team is still waiting. And with the COVID-19 spreading, I think it’s also a blessing in disguise that the trip didn’t push through. I will find ways to continue our startup biz… one step at a time. I just have to consciously make time for it amidst the numerous responsibilities I now hold.

 

Celebrations and Travels

We’ve been enjoying the holidays these past several months prior to COVID-19 spreading.

In October, we had an amazing Halloween celebration together with my best friend, Mer, and my goddaughter, Heaven.

In November, we celebrated Tuz’s 4th birthday for a few days…

  • We went to  Talakag Bonseta’s Fun Fun Rides…
  • We had a scrumptious lunch at Melquiades…
  • We then went to Seven Seas Waterpark
  • Then we checked in at C Resort, just us three…

In December, we were at Chali’s Beach Resort to celebrate Christmas.

We also checked in at Coconut Bay for our annual planning session with our farm helpers.

For New Year, we checked-in at N Hotel.

For Mahal’s 41st birthday, we visited Tubajon Aquamarine Park and Starmac Resort – MGC last Jan. 22.

Then from Jan. 29 to Feb. 26, we were in Oslob, Cebu to set up our 2nd Mushroom Growing House.

For Valentine’s, we spent it at Club Fort Med Beach Resort in Boljoon, Southwestern Cebu.

For my 42nd birthday, we went to Lakawon Island in Cadiz, Negros Occidental and stayed in Bacolod City proper as well (Khokoon Inn and White Hotel Bed and Breakfast)

During our stay in Cebu, we also visited Cebu Safari and Adventure Park, Anjo World Theme Park, Snow World, and Cebu Ocean Park.

Wow, that’s a lot of travel despite the threat of COVID-19! It wasn’t red alert yet during those times and Mahal really looked everywhere to buy face masks for us and even sent some to my family in Manila. We were also washing our hands and being super clean all the time that we finished 2 big bottles of alcohol for the duration of our trips. Thank you, God, we are now safely back home.

We will be traveling again in May and heading back to Oslob. Mahal’s sister, Ate Amae, has plans of coming back home from Belgium sometime in July-August and is inviting us for another road trip just like last year, but this time, to Siargao… we’ll see what the COVID-19 situation is by that time. Hopefully, it’s not worse than it is now.

On the other hand, I’ve been really wanting to stay put and not travel so I can start writing about my previous travels. Gets? Lol. Being a MomTraNeur, it’s hard to travel and write about my travels at the same time. I have several “jobs” I’m doing and blogging is really taking a back seat most of the time. I’ve also been wanting to vlog about my previous travels too! Hopefully, soon.

For now, these are my updates. I hope you’re all well and healthy despite the pandemic situation we are having right now.

Take care and thanks for reading my “novel”, lol!

Til my next post! Soon, hopefully!

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