Eleven Days in Cebu

I’ve been in The Philippines for eleven days now. Here are the updates.

Working With Chris

Ian and Chris Virtual Business LifestyleChris Ducker is a destroyer. From the day I landed here I’ve been busy working on interesting, fast moving projects. You could say I got swept up into it.

Experiencing his managerial prowess and hearing his stories of building businesses all over the world has given me more valuable business knowledge than my 4 years studying International Business in the University system (I’m exaggerating – I really value my University experience.)

The other day he says to me, “Ian lets take a picture for this blog post.”

My whole face is swollen up with a fungus infection because silly me was sucking on a dirty mango in the excited mist of returning to the tropics. I’m definitely not looking as dashing as possible. Anyhow, Chris has an electric attitude towards getting stuff done, and I like that sort of attitude. “Alright, lets do it!”

For those following me through him- don’t worry. The guy is firing on all 8 (12?) cylinders and there will be heaps of great stuff to come.

The Philippines

This place is loud, dirty and pure havoc.

I love it. Honestly, it’s pure freedom.

Road Towards Balambam

I’m coming off 9 months in New Zealand. New Zealand is probably the safest place on Earth. The national news talks about cats stuck in trees. No one has guns. There are no snakes. Stores all close before 4:30. It’s a utopia if you want to chill and raise a family.

Here in the Philippines, things are different. Everything looks unsafe here. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen one thing in the past 11 days that wouldn’t make NATIONAL news in New Zealand. From the overloaded droopy power lines to the helmet-less family on a motorbike. From the smog chuggin’ trucks to the no-refrigeration open air fish markets. Hell, there are even shotgun sportin’ security guards outside each bank! Everything here would be considered a crime in New Zealand. I like it!

I feel like I could write a weekly photo blog update on exotic things I see here…Would you be interested in reading that? Comment below. Tweet or e-mail me. Tell me what you think

My 200 km Drive Around the Island

Motorcycle Around Cebu

I hired a scooter and drove 200 km around the north end of Cebu Island in a day.

I didn’t see another white guy until I got back to Cebu.

What a fantastic adventure.

Here is a small and beautiful photo blog of the Journey.

North West of Cebu Road

Beautiful North Cebu

Awesome Scooter Cebu
My Scooter

Buildings in rural cebu

Driving Around Cebu

Map of Driving The Northland of Cebu
The Journey

In Closing

The fungus has cleared off my face (thanks to the freedom to buy prescription medicine over the counter.)

Filippino Haircut in Cebu 40 phpAlso, I got a hair cut today. It was a great bare essentials haircut with no luxury spared. A bit of a massage, a bit of a straight razor shave (with a utility style razor), a bit of isopropyl alcohol for gel. I even learned some new Visayan words. My barber, Joseph, stands about 4’6″ and lives across the street from me.

It cost 40 philippine pesos.

If you want to know how much that is in USD, Google the phrase “40 php in usd”

That’s it… for now…

I really appreciate you reading this blog and interacting with me.

Would you be interested in a weekly photo & comment blog about the bizarre stuff in Cebu? 

Get in contact with me.

With Love,

Ian

Moving to the Philippines – Won The Internship

Nothing Happened

I won the internship with Chris Ducker.

Everything has changed so quickly over the past few weeks since I spoke on the phone with Chris Ducker. He told me I had won. I’m beginning the adrenaline filled preparation for departure.

  • Selling my stuff,
  • Researching a new land,
  • Prepare myself for the tasks to come

Selling My Stuff

To be honest I don’t have too much. For the most part I haven’t added to my material world since I arrived. As a rule, I’m planning on packing very light for the move to Cebu City.

I’m most concerned that I set Veronica up so that it is easy for her to turn the key off on the New Zealand life and jump on a plane.

Researching a New Land

Researching the Philippines has been astonishing. Here is a bullet point of things that I’ve learned over the past month, and never had heard of before:

  • The Philippines was a Spanish colony for nearly 300 years
  • The Filipinos were on the cusp of freedom, they had beaten the Spanish back from the whole country except the walls of Manila
  • Then the Spanish seceded the Philippines to the USA
  • The USA and the Philippines began a terrible war involving scorched earth campaigns, concentration camps and untold misery.
  • The USA lost about 4,000 troops the filipinos lost thousands and even more civilians.
Not a happy history between my country and this new country I’ll be setting up shop in. None-the-less, the USA and the Philippines fought together in WWII so I hope these more recent encounters are more descriptive of the Filipinos feeling towards yanks.

On a happier note; I also learned that the Philippines has:

  • A polo club (I’ve always wanted to play polo)
  • FANTASTIC Diving
  • Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Eskrimador Lessons (I plan to train in martial arts while I’m there)
  • A growing economy
  • A lovely change in cost of living

Tasks to Come

I’ve got to improve upon my video editing skills. So I started making some videos over the past month. First off, I had to film something. Luckily, I’ve been working on The Rock up in the Bay of Islands. I had some awesome material to film. So I put effort into making better iMovie videos:


Mix up some Sublime, house boating, diving, kayaking, fishing and beautiful sunsets with iMovie and you can’t go wrong.

But my interest was sparked with this. I wanted to take it further. When I get to Cebu I want to start adding value to whatever Chris is looking to build. The next step was the professional program called Adobe Premiere.

Again I needed something to film. Luckily, my good roommates invited me to go with them to Snowplanet up on the North Shore (Auckland). We took some dodgy videos of our less than expertise snowboarding skills. To be honest, I thought the project would be a failure as I replayed the dark ugly raw footage of our trip. I knew Premiere was a professional grade program and I started editing with merely the hope that I could create something worth watching.

I learned that Premiere is like the Photoshop of digital movie editing. Despite the fact that the footage was almost entirely too dark, I was able to bring the images out with effects and building the contrast. I wouldn’t have been able to do this with the simpler, more user friendly programs.

With a contrast adjustment and  some fiddling with lights I was able to piece this together.

Mix together some snow time shenanigans, The Strokes and some sweet new toys. Can’t go too wrong can you?

Most of all, I’m really happy with the learning curve. Premier is a killer program and I have confidence that I can make some high quality videos in the future.

Photos From the Past Few Weeks

Veronica and I have

Ian, Veronica And Dan
Ian, Veronica And Dan

Veronica Looks GoodFine Dinning at Khao O'onoconnel street in AucklandReflects On Her HairNothing HappenedBay Of Islands Map - Ian RobinsonAuckland From Mt Eden

Ian Robinson Cooking
Ian Robinson Cooking

Finally

I’m getting ready to go to the Philippines. Veronica and I will be spending a few months apart while I find solid ground and a healthy lifestyle in that strange country. I’m enjoying the anticipation for departure. Soon enough, I’ll be saying hello in Tagalog.

-Ian

Lack of Control and Life Changing Events

Big Picture Thinking
(Photo: GettyImages)

The other night I spoke on Skype with a seriously motivational character in the virtual entrepreneur world, Chris Ducker. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been selected from nearly 50 applicants to be his right hand man in the Philippines over the next few months or years.

Our conversation went really well. As I anticipated, Chris is tremendously inspirational and easy to talk to. He also has the ability to ask razor sharp questions that put me on the spot. I enjoyed our conversation and I’m of the impression that it went really well.

When I pressed that red phone button to hang up the Skype, it was all over. I thought to myself, “the next thing I hear will either be, congratulations – buy a plane ticket or thanks for your time – blah blah blah“.

This immediately started weighing on me and I felt crap about not knowing what to do. Then I started looking around.

I found another opportunity to apply for the Worlds Most Awesome Job. Then I applied to work with Better Place because I was inspired by Shai Agassi. Then I found another opportunity to work in SE Asia in telesales. Not to mention, as soon as V and I are allowed back into the USA I’m excited to develop eFOG (the bio-fuel company in Hawaii) again. I also checked my internet marketing stuff and my audiences and Google ranks are growing. I’ve come to to conclusion that opportunities are endless.

I’m not longer stressed about the situation. Working in the Philippines with a hero of mine is probably the greatest thing I can imagine right now, but if he picks any of the other fantastic people trying to work with him, I’ll continue to Crush It on my own.

April Cleaning – Redesign

I’ve been working this webdesign like dough. Kneading and kneading away, hoping to get the right texture. My site has been improving the whole time and I’m proud to display the latest version.

Ladies and gentlemen:
ian robinson dot new web site design 26-4-2012
Wa La! Hope you Enjoy it.

Digital Internship Reality Show – I made the Top 5

You may be interested to learn that I applied to be Chris Ducker’s first Intern.

Virtual Internship Chris and Ian

I’m excited to announce that I have made it to the last round!

Check out all the videos from the other wildly talented people in the hunt to spend a year building businesses in the Philippines.

Most of all, PLEASE COMMENT on the blog post!

Seriously people, comment on Chris’s blog and vehemently tell him who he should choose from the videos! He is a great guy and will be happy to publish your comments.

It’s like a geeky-business-enthusiast-travel reality show!

Much Love,

Ian

MoPD 21: Plus! Finding the top – Ramit Sethi and Lifestyle Change

Te Whau Scenic

This weekend Veronica and I went to Waiheke Island with some really lovely friends. These two are doing well as professionals and they enjoy a different lifestyle than us. They treated us to a day in their lives.Te Whau Winery

This was a marvelous shock to my system. We enjoyed exceptional food, unique delicious wine in one of the most scenic restaurants I’ve ever visited. This experience was a fantastic shock to my system. Luxury living is pretty bad-ass!

Te Whau Food

While sipping that exotic rose overlooking the beautiful bays of Wieheke Island, I came to a realization; I’ve been scrounging through life for a long time now. This scrounging was by choice. I wanted a life of frugal global travel. Jack Kerouac, hawaiian subsistence surfers and cowboy culture was all that inspired me so picking fruit, scavenger surf life and mustering cattle was exactly what I was shooting for. I’m very proud of attaining these bizarre lifestyles.

Te Whau Bar

Now, I’ve grown tired of the struggle inherent in that lifestyle choice. I’ve been exploring a more luxurious lifestyle. This morning, Ramit Sethi kicked my tail with this webinar. It’s an hour long description of how to find a dream job.

Everything he says makes perfect sense and I don’t know why I didn’t think this stuff up on my own. I’ve had an “Ah-Ha” moment.

In honor of that post, I’ve decided to test an assumption I have about my expat life in Auckland. My assumption:

In order to work in a professional digital marketing firm in Auckland, New Zealand, you must be a Kiwi or someone planning to dedicate years to the firm. They won’t even consider someone like me so I should explore labor or trucking to get by until I can return to the USA.

Ramit mentioned questioning your assumptions and writing them down. Now that I’ve written this one down, it seems much less assertive. Actually, it seems ridiculous.

  • What happens when I get back to the US and tell the new firm that I couldn’t get a job in Auckland? Why they will ask, Because I assumed I couldn’t get one? Thats pretty lame
  • Is there any reason to think that I can’t help these guys? It’s not like I don’t know what I’m doing right?

So I’m going to be dissecting this assumption over the next week. While breaking down this assumption, I also expect to learn a thing or two about digital marketing in Auckland. I’ll learn about problems in the industry, the way they operate and if it’s an enjoyable life.

Ideally, I’ll end up with a high paying position helping these companies kick ass in digital marketing that I can continue to help after I leave Aotearoa.

At the very least, I’ll learn that I’m not interested in digital marketing.

🙂 More on this later.

Much love,

Ian