Filipina, thirtysomething. Public servant by day, grad student at night. Blueberry cheesecake and cat enthusiast. Loves a good caramel milk tea with egg pudding.

All posts by Layla

The 30 Day Challenge || The first five days

Well, hello there. 🙂

I have no excuse, but I hope you’ll understand–the second semester has been crazy busy. And that’s an understatement.

Just to keep you guys updated, a friend invited me to her Facebook group which is more like a mastermind group. And a mastermind group is a group that exchanges ideas, encourages each other in keeping their goals for growth, and whatever else. I’ve joined this accountability 30-day challenge where we share goals that we can accomplish within the next thirty days, and encourage fellow members in accomplishing theirs.

Sharing mine, for the record:



Was I able to follow through with all the goals for the first five days?

Not quite.

I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments. With respect to the annotations,  I’ve had to set these aside for a bit as I needed to prepare a pre-draft of my proposal. I’ve asked my aunt for help so I needed to send that to her via email for her inputs.

Despite that adjustment, I was able to finish my annotations for journal article #12. So there are only three left! 

BUT…BUT…I realised that I’m now a little behind schedule. And yes, I am panicking a little, and I’ve begun to have anxiety attacks every now and then. But I decided to just go with the flow, as panicking will only freeze my brain and render it unproductive. So I just made the best of things, and allow myself to rest after I have accomplished my deliverables.


I have come to the realisation that while discipline and determination are important, so is flexibility. The little hiccups tell me that it’s okay to have minor obstacles along the way–things like that CAN and DO happen. Also, this challenge is not about winning a race; it’s how determined we are to meet those goals and to make the best of things should there be minor mishaps along the way. 

Yes, I should really take better care of myself. While it’s nice to excel academically and at work, I should make time for my well-being. And in the pursuit of meeting those work and academic goals, I forgot about my health. But I can start over and make improvements. After all, the immortal Anne Shirley from the book Anne of Green Gables once said:

So, this ends my little update. See you again soon! 🙂



Getting Gig-gy With It: The Emergence of the Digital Gig Economy and Protecting the Filipino Gig Workforce


The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines guarantees the protection of the Filipino labourer. Workers are guaranteed the following rights: the right to conduct collective bargaining or negotiation with management; to engage in peaceful concerted activities, which includes joining strikes in accordance to law; to enjoy the security of tenure, and the right to work under humane conditions. (Philippine Constitution, 1987)

However, technology opens new avenues in the ways one can gain employment. The World Bank has discussed how technology is blurring the boundaries of the firm, which is evident in the rise of platform marketplaces. Using digital technologies, entrepreneurs are now creating global, platform-based businesses that are different from the traditional production process. As well, more and more people are finding work through these platform-based marketplaces (World Bank, 2019).

There already has been previous research on this subject, which includes the job quality of work in the gig economy (Wood, 2018), the characteristics of those who are in the gig economy (Lepanjuuri, 2018); the applicability of applying existing employment regulations (Stewart and Sandford, 2017), and the future of employment and labour law protections where the gig economy is concerned (Lobel, 2016).

This work aims to answer the following questions:

What is the gig economy and how does it work?

Is there an employer-employee relationship in the gig economy?

How can the workers be protected?

Should gig work be regulated?

Should gig workers have the right to representation, or can they form or join unions?

Also included in this research are the benefits and disadvantages of the gig economy, as well as the “myth of flexibility” in the gig economy.

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A new series: Attempts at Academic Writing

So, I will be introducing a new series to this blog: my attempts at academic writing. I know, you’ll say that blogging is my creative outlet, so I should be providing a separate space for such endeavor. But at the moment, it is costly to provide such a space, and also, time-consuming to maintain a separate blog. So here we are.

Also, I did mention at some point that I would be integrating a slightly more academic bent to my posts at some point, and what better time to start than now. Right?

To start things off, I shall soon post an abridged version of my term paper about the gig economy. Hopefully, this will soon be followed by another term paper (again, abridged), and other thought pieces.

This will be all for now. See you all soon!

PS. For referencing/citation, I shall be using the APA system of citation and referencing. Also, should you find something that I need to improve, please, please let me know! You can send me an email to this email address:, or you can leave a comment in any of my academic-related posts.


My recent stationery haul–aka. I violated my self imposed stationery buying ban

So it’s the start of a new semester, and hopefully, it will be my last semester in the diploma track of the graduate program I am enrolled in.

And with a new semester comes new school supplies. I was supposed to be on a stationery spending ban, but my readings need to have a home. Plus some of my supplies have run out, so…there. However, I promised myself that this will be the last time I will be purchasing stationery. Honest! Read More

That Uno: How I got it, and how you can get it, too.


Let’s get this clear–I am posting this with absolutely no intention of bragging, but I’ve promised myself that if I get better grades than those I received in my first year of graduate school, I would share how I did it. So, here I am.

To be honest, I am still in a state of disbelief. That I was able to do it. That I was able to perform well in graduate school and in the university nearly every Filipino wants to study in, no less. However, I have to believe it, because a lot of hard work went into it. And for the first time, the grades were commensurate with the effort I put into my studies. 

So, how did I do it? It wasn’t an easy process. It took dedication, determination, and discipline to get it done. I’ll be sharing my process, which you can try and tweak. 

  1. Make sure that your health is in good shape. This covers both mental and physical health. Eat healthily–make sure that you eat fruits and veggies. And get an adequate amount of sleep. My philosophy: I’d rather sleep early and wake up early to study than to stay up late and burn the midnight oil. 

    There’s a little science behind that. Jalali and his colleagues have pointed out the effects of sleep on academic performance, and their study reveals that students who do not have adequate sleep do not perform as well as their contemporaries who have enough sleep. Sleep allows your brain to recharge and repair. 

    Milojevich and Lukowski revealed in their study that sleep is closely associated with the mental health of students. A large number of students with sleep problems also suffer from mental health issues. Listen to your body and brain: if they are tired, then go to sleep. You can’t tweak this. Sleep is definitely not for the weak.

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Me, academia, my wallet, and spending habits

I am no stranger to shelling out my money in the pursuit of learning, apart from paying my tuition fees. After all, when I was still studying law, I spent thousands of pesos buying law textbooks. I spend almost a thousand pesos a week–no exaggeration–in photocopying cases to read for grueling, soul-crushing recitations. In graduate school, there are no cases or textbooks to read–at least, for now. If there are any, it’s a rare instance, but there are pages and pages of journal articles to read instead. That didn’t pose a problem for me. After all, I’m a veteran where readings are concerned. Read More