Christmas Parties


Once December 1st hits, you just know that your calendar is going to be filled to the brim with Christmas parties, reunions, and hang-outs. It’s like all the friends you’ve made in your entire life have decided to socialize this Christmas, and that can, admittedly, be tiring (not to mention expensive)! So, here are a few tips on how to deal with the December party rush.

1. Choose Wisely.
It’s likely that you’ll have two (or more) parties scheduled on the same date, and will have to make a choice as to which party to attend. The simplest thing to do in situations like this is to remember which person means more to you and to know what your priorities are. You may end up choosing your close friend, or choosing your boss’ party in order to make a better impression.

2. Schedule Yourself.
If you have enough energy to do so, you can attend more than one party in one night. The trick here is properly scheduling yourself: arrive at one party early enough to properly mingle and enjoy yourself, and leave in time to arrive once the next party is in full-swing. It may be tiring, but being able to spend time with your friends and loved ones will make it worthwhile.

3. Socialize.
It’s very tempting to just stick with the people you know at events like office parties, but it’s exactly during these types of events that you should let out the social butterfly in you! It’s the perfect time for you to talk to your crushie, use the skills you’ve learned at JRP, or help one of your friends out by being their wingman (or, wingwoman!),

4. Don’t Forget to Bring Something.
Your host put in a lot of effort in making the party an enjoyable experience for everyone, so the least you could do is to tell them how grateful you are for their efforts, and bring a token of appreciation. Food and drinks are preferable, as it’ll benefit everyone at the party. Not only will they see how much you care, but you’re pretty much guaranteed to be invited again to the next party.

The festive season can be a bit hectic, but it is undoubtedly enjoyable – if you know how to properly deal with everything.

Buying Gifts

Buying Gifts

It’s the season of giving, and also that time of the year when you suddenly realize just how many cousins, nieces, nephews, titos, titas, lolos, lolas, friends and colleagues you actually have. So, while you’d like to give everyone a good Christmas gift, you may not always have enough budget. Well, don’t fret because here’s how to purchase Christmas gifts for your loved ones without emptying your wallet.

1. Plan Ahead
Research on the people you’re going to give gifts to, find out what they like, what they may need and search for the best, and most affordable places to get them. Afterwards, make sure to buy your gifts at least two weeks before you meet with the people you’re giving them to, in order to avoid the rush, and the price inflations.

2. Online Shopping Is Your Friend
If you don’t want to spend hours on your feet at a mall, falling in line, online shopping is your friend. There are several sites for you to access and browse through all in the comfort of your own home. And if you’re hesitant to use your credit card, several sites offer Cash on Delivery as their mode of payment.

3. Hunt Down the Best Deals
Most malls and stores will post the dates of their next big sales, so be sure to like and follow the pages of the stores that sell your preferred gifts. Flash sales on certain online stores happen during the Christmas season as well. Be on the lookout for those so you don’t have to spend a fortune on your Christmas gifts.

4. Cash in Your Rewards
Using your credit card has its perks, and those perks come in the form of rewards programs. You could use your accumulated points to buy gift cards, or make online purchases through the card’s rewards site. You could even land discounts on certain brands, the more you use your credit card.

5. DIY Gifts
We all have that one friend whose bank account has more zeroes than you could possibly imagine, which makes them practically impossible to buy a gift for. What do you do? You make your gift. Baked goods, hand crafted knick-knacks, etc. Whatever they may be, it’ll mean that much more to them if you made it yourself.

Buying gifts doesn’t mean you’ll have to break the bank, but as cliché as it may be, remember that it’s always the thought that counts when you’re getting someone a gift.


Family Reunions

Family Reunions

“Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend already?” “When are you graduating?” “You’re fatter now since I last saw you!” “You used to be so small!” These are just a few of the things you’re bound to hear at your next family reunion, and responding to these can be a little awkward. If you need help in dealing with reunion-related issues, here are some do’s and don’ts to help you out.

1. DON’T: Get irritated at their probing
There will be endless questions asked throughout the entire party, but as much as these can get annoying, you have to remember to be respectful and respond to them anyway. You can even joke about the number of times a certain question has been asked, so long as you do it tastefully and with respect.

2. DO: Thank your Tita or Tito for the wonderful food
Even if the entire family insists on having a catered reunion, there will always be a relative or two that will insist on bringing their specialties to the parties. So make sure you sample their food, compliment and thank them for it. Nothing will make them happier than knowing that you’ve enjoyed what they worked hard on.

3. DON’T: Forget to greet (make “mano” or kiss)
To the Filipino people, making “mano” to one’s relatives is a sign of respect. While some families nowadays do without it, it’s more than likely that someone in your extended family still practices it. So just to be on the safe side, be sure to make “mano” to or kiss all your titos, titas, lolos and lolas who walk through the door.

4. DO: Go for the karaoke machine
Without a doubt, there will be a karaoke machine in every family reunion. If you’re a bit shy, or unsure about your singing skills, a family reunion is a venue for you to let loose and enjoy yourself, so go ahead and belt out It’s All Coming Back To Me Now at the top of your lungs. Your relatives will get a kick out of it, and will cheer you on.
Your family will always be the best and most loving people you’ll encounter, in spite of all their quirks. So try to enjoy yourself at family reunions, and it’ll all turn out well for everyone.



Presenting with Hand Gestures

“Where do I put my hands?” This is a question you’ve probably asked yourself during presentations. Don’t worry! Everyone has had this thought at least once.  It’s common knowledge that being stiff as a board while presenting is a no-no, and neither is wildly moving your hands about. So, while hand gestures are a must, there are some hand gestures that you should use, and some you should just not do.

USE: Listing
Any time you list things out, do the corresponding gesture with your hands. It makes remembering your point easier, and adds warmth to your body language.

DON’T: Put both hands in your pockets.
Putting BOTH your hands in your pocket shows unprofessionalism. In some cases, however, having one hand in your pocket looks great and gives an air of confidence.

USE: Hands toward your chest.
If you’re trying to persuade an audience about something you passionately believe in, try using this hand gesture. It’s as though you’re pulling the audience closer to yourself.

DON’T: Cross your arms.
Crossing your arms makes you seem closed off and less approachable. Although, this may be a natural gesture to do, and you’ll likely find yourself heading towards this gesture during a presentation, do your best to open them up and your body will get the hint eventually.

When rehearsing for your presentation, use the proper hand gestures so it becomes natural to you, that you no longer have to think of the proper gesture.


Presenting to A Serious Audience

To be honest, presenting to an audience can be pretty daunting in itself, but it’s extra frightening when that audience isn’t even lively. It can definitely bring on stage fright and insecurity, and those are things you definitely shouldn’t be feeling when presenting. So, how do you wake up a sleepy or unresponsive audience?

1. Don’t read a script.
Simply reading a script makes the audience feel detached from you, which is just about the last thing you want to happen. So, mix it up a bit and add a little spontaneity to make your presentation intriguing to the audience.

2. Smile!
Your audience could be unresponsive because they think you’re too stern, and serious yourself. So, smile! This helps put your audience at ease and makes you seem approachable and engaging. Smiling boosts your confidence as well, and energizes you, which makes your presentation more dynamic and exciting.

3. Interact with your audience.
Understandably, just listening to someone speak tends to be boring, particularly if what they’re talking about doesn’t really interest them. Interacting with the audience lessens the tendency to fiddle with their phones / gadgets or doze off, because the audience feels part of the presentation being just a listener.

4. Make them curious.
The best way to captivate an audience is to make them curious. Give them hints of what’s to come in your presentation, and keep them guessing (maybe even have a prize at the end for those who guessed correctly, because everyone loves a good prize). The suspense will keep them from shifting their focus from your presentation.

When your audience listen to you, it’s because your delivery was memorable, engaging, and inspiring. You might just end up leaving a piece of yourself with every member of the audience.