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Thank God I’m Freelancing: VAB’s Christmas Pajama Party 2021

December 30, 2021
by Giselle Armonio 
Giselle is part of VA Bootcamp's Content Creation Team, where freelance writing became her newfound love. A proud mom to 2 teenagers, she's also a homeschooler and a perpetual learner. She finds joy in little things and lives each day thankful for God's amazing grace.

For the second year in a row, VA Bootcamp held a virtual pajama party to celebrate Christmas with its students and with group members of the Freelancers in the Philippines (FLIP) - by Jason Dulay. This Zoomlebration, dubbed "Christmas in Pajamas 2021," lasted from 7:00 PM until almost midnight!

No wonder we looked like this at the end of the party. 😄

Too bad we couldn’t capture the smiles of the people who joined us via Facebook live. But we sure appreciate their presence just as much. 

Originally slated a week earlier, it was rescheduled to December 23 to allow our VABmates from the South to recover from Typhoon Odette's devastation. Despite being one of those affected by the typhoon’s aftermath, VAB CEO, Jason Dulay, made sure that this meaningful celebration will happen.

In case you missed it, let me share with you the highlights of the 2021 version of VA Bootcamp’s “Christmas in Pajamas!”

A Warm Welcome

Right from the start, the atmosphere was brimming with warmth, positivity, and inspiration. 

Our host for the night was none other than Phoenix Jackson, who was ably accompanied by Kimberly Joyce Dolindo, a VA Bootcamp intern. Their contagious smiles fully express how much they enjoy what they’re doing. 

Kim Ascutia led us in a beautiful and God-honoring prayer that set the tone for the rest of the evening. His prayer encouraged us to be humble and grateful, knowing that all of our achievements are only possible because of God's undeserved favor and blessing. Thank you, Kuya Kim!

This was followed by Coach Bong Isleta's Welcome Remarks, which fired up everyone's motivation. She urged us to reward ourselves and celebrate even our small successes this year. Addressing those who have yet to reach their goals, she gave two simple but very powerful words, “‘Huwag susuko.”  She assured everyone of VA Bootcamp’s continued support in helping all its students achieve a stable freelancing career. 

Let the Games Begin

The excitement continued to soar as the gamemasters, Mahar Pedral and Carmee Sierra, led us in four super fun games. Everyone's fingers were probably poised on their keyboards, waiting to be the first to type in the answers. 

However, getting the Gcash prizes isn’t as easy as just typing away. Good thing, the contestants were all ready to participate and do whatever the game calls for. 

The Scavenger Hunt required the players to gather all the items listed on the screen. The first one who typed “VA Bootcamp” on the chatbox was called upon to show the items on camera. The rule was that if they’re not complete, the second one gets the chance.

During the Zoom In Zoom Out Game, the chatbox was flooded with amusing guesses as to what the zoomed-in photo of a grocery item was. When the players were unable to properly guess the item, the photo was gradually zoomed out until the item was revealed. The winner who also guessed the product’s retail price correctly received a bonus prize.

In each segment of the Song Tanong game, a portion of a song was played. The players had to wait for a question concerning the song to be asked. It's either about the song's title, the singer, or something else. To win the prize, the person who guessed the correct answer first must continue to sing the next lines of the song. We discovered some incredible talent during this game!

The last was the Hugot Lines game. This time, the players’ acting skills were showcased. Lines from Filipino movies were shown on the screen. The first one who correctly guessed the title of the film had to deliver the lines “with feelings.” Everyone was up for it! That was really fun.

VAB Keeps on Giving

A Christmas party will not be complete without a raffle, of course. VAB first lady, Isabella Dulay, did the honors of drawing the raffle winners through a digital wheel of names.

So many prizes were given away that night, including VAB and FLIP merchandise (mugs, shirts, and hoodies), as well as VAB courses (from Skills Package to Complete upgrade). In a true VA Bootcamp fashion, giving will always be part of every program. 

Entertaining Intermission numbers

As we watched the VAB graduates, interns, FLIP mentors, VAB staff (plus kids) perform during the intermission numbers, we discovered even more talent! We appreciate the time and effort that went into recording and editing these fun song and dance numbers. A round of applause for everyone!

Motivational Messages and Greetings

Interspersed with the games, raffle, and entertaining special numbers, we also listened to some great motivational messages and heart-warming greetings from the following:

VAB and FLIP Coaches

VAB Graduates

Freelancing LODIs

Wow! This got everyone inspired, affirmed, and motivated. 

The combo greeting of Ms. Honey Eduque and Ms. Anna Soriano was just heart-warming. And many were happily surprised to hear some motivational messages from Ms. Demi Bernice and Mr. Allan Ngo. 

I loved how Email Marketing LODI, Allan Ngo, showed off his VA Bootcamp mug with the quote “Fall down six times, get up seven.” He added that it doesn’t say to get up “right away.” For some, getting back up may take time but we can and should always bounce back.

Best in Costume

Although we couldn’t see everyone’s full-body costumes on screen, the photos shared revealed how thrilled everyone was to dress up for this event. Well, some didn’t need to change since they wear pajamas all day anyway. 😄

Here are the winners of the “Best in Costume” contest.

Thank God I’m Freelancing

After all the fun, games, and entertainment, we were drawn back to remember the blessings of freelancing.

In a touching video, VAB students shared why they are thankful for being a freelancer. Screenshot images of some portion of the video are seen below. 

As Phoenix Jackson put it, while we are saddened by the difficulties brought about by the pandemic, we are also glad that many have become aware of working from home, have joined our community, and were given fresh hope through freelancing. 

Closing Message

Of course, the night won’t end without a special message from VAB and FLIP founder, Coach Jason Dulay. 

He reminded us of the painful reality that we are not in control of the circumstances surrounding us. The pandemic, the recent typhoon, and many other trials caught us by surprise. And there will be more that we may encounter in the future.

As we continue to face difficulties, he said that we might take it as a sign to give up. But he gives us an alternative. “Maybe this is the sign that we should find another way. We have to be versatile, adaptive, and resilient. The force of your will should be stronger than whatever challenges you may face.” That sure is something to remember. 

Finally, he ends with this line, “Keep pushing forward and get back on track no matter what.”

Ending the Night

Yup, at almost midnight, we took the time to greet one another and take some group photos! It was great seeing everyone, even if only virtually.

And so the night ended with smiles on our faces and thankfulness in our hearts. It’s been a tough year, to say the least. But this event led us to thank God for the blessings He continues to give us day after day, and year after year. 

Looking forward to what lies ahead in 2022. Cheers!

Want to know more about freelancing and working from home? You can begin right here.

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by Giselle Armonio 
Giselle is part of VA Bootcamp's Content Creation Team, where freelance writing became her newfound love. A proud mom to 2 teenagers, she's also a homeschooler and a perpetual learner. She finds joy in little things and lives each day thankful for God's amazing grace.

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