HUSBAND. FATHER. DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST.
ENTREPRENEUR. MEDIOCRE GOLFER.

I’m John Jonas. I live in Utah and I founded OnlineJobs.ph. My life is better because of my Filipino VAs.

I had a normal “job” for 8 months after college and my biggest goal at that time was to be able to quit that job. I managed to quit back in 2004 and worked from home for myself ever since then.

When I first hired someone from the Philippines in January of 2006, I knew I was onto something special. Since then I’ve learned that for most people, life is definitely better with Filipino workers on your team.

Yes, because of my Filipino workers I get to play a lot of golf, spend a lot of time with my wife and kids, and get out backpacking in the middle of the week. I work for about 17 hours a week because of the amazing work they do. However it’s not just better for us; it’s better for them too.

Learn why & how to hire
talented VA’s from the Philippines

Start finding
a VA using Onlinejobs.ph

Join the 7 Day
One VA Away Challenge

P.S.
I DON’T DO SOCIAL MEDIA…
MY VA’S DO IT FOR ME.

} My Latest Post

What Are Houses Like In The Philippines

I’ve mentioned how Filipino homes are small, how they clean their homes, and how they use tsinelas.
All these topics revolve around Filipino homes, and I just realized I haven’t talked about the actual houses yet.

I will fix that today.

The most iconic architectural style for homes in the Philippines is the bahay kubo. It’s a home made of natural materials like coconut lumber, plywood, bamboo, nipa (mangrove palm), and coconut leaves. It’s often built on stilts for ventilation and prevent animals from going in the house. This style is usually found in rural and coastal areas. It’s easy and cheap to build and move.

When I say move, I mean you can literally have people carry your house to move it to another location. If you need to move to be closer to other family members, avoid bad weather, or be closer to a water source and you’re only moving a couple of blocks, it’s sometimes easier to just move your entire house than build it from scratch. To move their homes, they’d ask their neighbors for help. It’s a lot like asking your friends to help you move, but in this case, you’re asking them to move your whole house.

Another common style in the Philippines is the bahay na bato (stone house). This style became popular during the Spanish colonial era, so you’ll see them in many heritage sites in the Philippines like Vigan, Intramuros, or Dapitan.

It’s usually 2 stories high, the first floor built mainly from stone, and the 2nd floor could be built from hardwood. The second floor would often have wide windows that wrap around the whole house to allow as much light and ventilation as possible. To show off your wealth, the home can feature expensive and intricate details like ornate carvings on the banisters and capiz (a light, iridescent shell) on the windows.

These homes were built mainly for the Spaniards and wealthier Filipinos. They often surround the town plaza where the church, schools, government offices, and businesses are often located.

Both the “coconut house” and the “stone house” are suited to the tropical climate. They both have a lot of ventilation. The stone house can withstand typhoons, while the coconut house is easy to rebuild when it does get damaged. That’s why these styles still exist today. But the problem with both these house styles (which the Americans found out the hard way when they came to the Philippines) is the lack of indoor kitchens and plumbing.

So when the Americans started building bases here, they introduced the tsalet (chalet) home.

It’s still built with ventilation in mind, but they also introduced concrete as a building material. Unlike the coconut and stone houses, the tsalet has indoor kitchens, plumbing, and parking. They started out as template houses for US soldiers and officers in US bases like Baguio and Pampanga. Below is a popular example, the Bell House in Baguio.

It looks like a typical American house, right? But what differentiates the tsalet is it was specifically designed for mountainous tropical terrain. It’s cooler in the mountains, but it can still get really hot and humid, especially during the summer. So the tsalet has a lot of windows for ventilation. Since they’re in the mountains, they’re also well insulated to keep the heat in. Some even have fireplaces! The Filipino builders and carpenters they hired to make these homes shared the knowledge, and tsalet became the standard after World War 2.

Those are the older homes in the Philippines. The newer houses are more generic. Most city houses now are ramblers, townhouses, and condos made of concrete, steel, and glass. Cookie cutter homes or ultramodern styles that look like every other housing development. Similar to what you see in suburban USA…typically just smaller.

Often they find ways to still integrate the old styles into modern homes. Like, if you have a yard, you can buy a miniature kubo where you can hang out or eat outdoors.

John

PS. Would you prefer this newsletter in a podcast?  I record these as podcast episodes, often with more detail. https://johnjonas.com/podcast/

Like what you read here?

Subscribe to my newsletter!

I won’t spam you!

My Newsletters

Should You Hire Filipino Working Students?

My son came home from college this past weekend. He's having the time of his life. He skied 4 times the past week. I had to ask him "Are you going to class???" He says he has all A's in his classes...we'll see. Should you hire an OFS who’s still going to school? It...

Letting Your OFS Handle Payments With Virtual Cards

I love getting useful tips from other employers. I just got one from Vin Carrano when he responded to my email about using LastPass with my OFS. It turns out he was using LastPass too. This led to an email exchange about a problem some of you wrote to me about: giving...

Already Given Up On Your New Years Resolutions?

My wife came home from the gym the other day: "I got there at 9:15 and there were a bunch of parking spots. Just 3 weeks ago I couldn't even park on the street because so many people were there! Oh, how quickly people give up on their New Years resolutions." New Years...

Filipino Love And Courtship Traditions

I've said before that I'm not a holiday/celebration kind of guy. Halloween is my least favorite day of the year. Valentines day is up there with it. I know not everyone feels this way...but for me... Yuck! But this email is more about relationships than it is about...

What You Need To Know When Hiring A Filipino Graphic Designer

The first time I hired a designer I was actually hiring a programmer.  This was 2007 and I didn't really know what I was doing.  I just knew that I had found a really good programmer, and he also said he was a designer! I thought I had just struck gold! ("Nino", the...

Is Taal Volcano About To Erupt?

In a previous email, I mentioned that the Philippines is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, that’s why they have a lot of active volcanoes there. One of those active volcanoes, Taal, has been showing increased activity in the past week and a half. They’ve had 31...

I Can’t Find Talented People In The Philippines!!!

On Facebook, I (and by "I" I mean my OFS) get occasional comments from business owners who say they’ve tried outsourcing who insist that there aren’t any talented workers in the Philippines. “I’ve been outsourcing for years. Workers in the Philippines are crap!...

Bayanihan Culture

My OFS Julia writes: ----------------------- In the Philippines, there’s this custom called “Bayanihan” (pronounced as buy-uh-nee-hun), where people come together to lend a helping hand. It’s more than just people helping each other out. It’s about working together as...

The Great Resignation

In 2004 I figured something out I hoped the rest of the world would never figure out. I had quit my job (the only job I ever had, I worked there for 8 months right out of college) and was working from home.  I worked my butt off. My wife was also at home with our...

How Do I Protect My Data With My OFS?

It seems like there’s news about another hack or data breach every other week. Big companies have their security breached, and information from millions of users or employees is leaked online. I used to worry about it with my team.  But then I realized that worry was...

What Does OFS Mean?

OFS = Online Filipino Specialist. I invented it because I don't like the term VA. People think a VA is a secretary. Someone who can only do mundane tasks. Someone who doesn't really have skills. Someone who can do data entry. Someone who can only follow step by step...

How Can I Do A Background Check On My VA?

Well...I was going to talk about background checks, but then I read what my OFS wrote for this email: "No background check beats doing the work yourself." I laughed. Out loud. My OFS gets it! We’re so used to background checks here in the US it’s impossible to think...

Hiring A Writer? Ask Them These Questions

People ask me regularly who writes this email. 2 people: - Julia, my OFS: - and Me (my wife gets me a formal picture every year when we take family photos): The next question is What did you look for when hiring her? Simple. English skills. That's it. Although, when I...

Happy Chinese New Year!

I'm not a big holiday person. Halloween...my least favorite day of the year. Valentines day?  Thursday. St Patricks day?  Huh? I'm just not a big celebration kind of guy. I just can't get into it. For me, the only reason I even know Chinese New Year is happening is...

How To Make The Time Difference Work For You?

I understand why many business owners prefer to have their OFS work in their timezone. It's just more convenient. You don't have to worry about things like scheduling meetings and whatnot. There's also the added benefit of monitoring your OFS work hours. The first...

A Terrible Video Published By My OFS

Last week after an amazing day of skiing, my 8yr old had a rough last run down the mountain: He wasn't even going very fast.  He just got tangled up and fell flat on his face with his legs spread as wide as they could be.  He couldn't get himself up.  I had to scoot...

How To Handle Passwords With Your OFS.

I HATE when I solve a problem and the problem keeps coming up over and over again. Like passwords with my kids. "Dad, what's my password?" ARE YOU SERIOUS!!! We've saved this password to LastPass. I've told you to get LastPass on your phone. Why? Just why!?!? This is...

Barangays – The Filipino Neighborhood

When Filipinos talk about their neighborhood, they often refer to the barangay, the Philippines' smallest political and administrative unit. Barangay comes from the Malay word balangay, a boat used by the Austronesian people when they migrated to the Philippines. ...

The First Mistakes I Made Outsourcing

I love to ski. My wife...not so much. Part of it for her is just fear. What if I'm cold? What if I get hurt? What if it's not fun? At some point she has made mistakes (we all do) and each of those things have happened to her. On occasion, it has stopped her from going...

Now’s The Best Time To Hire (While You Have Time)

We’re finally at that point where things are somewhat going back to normal. Yes, Omicron is raging, but we’re close to getting back to the lives we had before we ever heard of Covid. Kids are in school. Travel is opening up (depending on the day...) We've all realized...

Why Natural Disasters Happen Regularly In The Philippines

In December, Typhoon Odette decimated the central Philippines. I've seen dozens of typhoons affect my workers since 2005.  I've never seen anything like Odette. Destruction like this doesn't happen that often...but it does happen. The Philippines is visited by an...

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

My "New Years Resolution" started last August. I needed to be more understanding of my teenage daughters. I started working on it. Started praying for help. Started reading a book about it. It's working! We all start the year with the best intentions. We want to be...

I Don’t Have Time To Hire An OFS

When I was just starting my business, I didn’t have time to hire someone to help me. I just bought a house. I had a brand new baby. I had a fledgling business. I needed the business to grow because I didn’t want to go back to working for someone else. I also knew that...

Do the hard work today…stop putting it off

This picture is from last August from the first bike race of the season.(this is relevant...I promise)Addie won the Varsity Girls race.  No surprise. She's won every high school race she's been in except for State Championships. She works her butt off.(At the finish...

Can You Recommend Someone For Me?

"I'd just feel more comfortable hiring someone you or your team recommends" Yes...yes you would... But...I can’t recommend someone for you. Nothing personal. I don’t give recommendations to anybody. If you ask other business owners, they’re not giving referrals...

Do Brownouts Happen Often In The Philippines?

It depends on where your OFS lives. To be more specific, it depends on who runs the power distribution center. Here’s some context. Back in the 1990’s, the Philippines experienced a power crisis. To address it, their government started privatizing the power industry...

Hire In The Philippines Without Making Mistakes

The first time I hired someone in the Philippines it was "easy". I told the agency who I wanted and they came back a few days later with my VA. He lasted a couple days before he said "Sorry Sir, I don't know anything and can't do this job." He quit. The agency...

Letting go of a difficult task – Give it another shot.

A couple months back as I rode with Lila the wind was howling from the north. It was a cross wind (which is better than a head wind) that makes riding no handed really hard. As soon as you take your hands off the bars the wind grabs the front tire and turns it...

Does Your OFS Handle Billing?

When I was in high school, I made a new group of friends. The first time we hung out we were going out to dinner. This is right after school and I didn’t have any money. So, they decide they were going out to dinner and I told them, “I can’t go with you guys, I’m...

December 30 Is Rizal Day, A Regular Holiday

Have you ever noticed how we name things after landmarks? Where I live there are mountains all around. Mt. Timpanogos Lone Peak Mount Olympus Twin Peaks There are tons of businesses, parks, traditions, cemeteries...named after these mountains. Does that happen where...

The Busy Week Between Christmas And New Year

Where I live in the US (I live in Utah), the week between Christmas and New Years is relaxed. People are off work. People get together with family. People stay home. I go skiing. Generally, traffic is less because offices are closed. Unless of course, you're going to...

What You Should Do For Your OFS Today (Christmas Day!)

Hopefully you're reading this on Christmas Eve, December 24. If so, recognize that it's Christmas Day in the Philippines because they're ahead of you (Except if you live in Australia...then you don't do any conversion...). Today is a good day to send them an email...

Philippine Holiday Calendar For 2022

In preparation for next year, we just updated our online Philippine Holiday calendar to include the holidays for 2022. In addition to updating the calendar, we also changed the way we labeled the holidays. Now they start with the letters: RH - for Regular holidays SNW...

Typhoon Rai Aftermath…It’s Not Good

If you didn't know, the Philippines just had a super typhoon come through. Here's what I know. In the US we call it Typhoon Rai. In the Philippines it's called Typhoon Odette. They call it a typhoon. We call it a hurricane.  This was like a category 5 hurricane. The...

Christmas Eve And New Year’s Eve

What Julia wrote will make you smile. ------------------ We Filipinos are more excited about Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve rather than Christmas and New Year’s Day. Christmas and New Year’s Day are when we sleep in. The real celebration happens the day before. Both...

Why the 13th Month is important to your OFS

Julia (my content OFS) offered me this: ------------- When people find out that I work for Onlinejobs.ph, they immediately ask me whether we have job openings. They ask because it’s known throughout the Philippine outsourcing industry that Onlinejobs.ph employees get...

It’s Already Christmas In The Philippines

In the US, there’s this long-standing friendly debate among family about when Christmas is allowed to start. In my family, we start the day after Halloween. That’s when it’s acceptable to play Christmas music. Often my wife puts up her Christmas decorations in early...

Giving Your OFS Personalized Gifts

My daughter usually plugs her AirPods in the kitchen so she doesn't forget them in the morning when she leaves for school. This morning: "Where are my AirPods?" I didn't take them, but I was glad they weren't where she expected them. I hate those things.  Hate that...

Filipino Christmas Food Traditions

One of the things everyone looks forward to during the Christmas season is the food. Not me. As my wife says...I don't have an emotional relationship with food. For me, food is to fuel my body. Oh sure, I want it to taste good. I don't like eating brussel sprouts....

Why Filipinos Aren’t Entrepreneurial

It’s not that Filipinos don’t want to have their own business. It’s because setting up (and closing) a legitimate business in the Philippines is complicated. It has been made easier in the past few years. In World Bank’s 2019 Doing Business Report, the Philippines...

SEO Crisis Averted Thanks To My Filipino SEO Specialists

As I lay here on the ground, completely exhausted from the workout I just did, I’m thinking about the SEO crisis we had yesterday. I searched on DuckDuckGo to see how search results were looking only to find that Onlinejobs.ph wasn’t showing up. That freaked me out so...

Asking Solves A Lot Of Problems

I got an interesting email from a woman who is having some issues with her 2nd OFS. "I have concerns that she is working for someone else and it is interfering with her performance.  She gets her basic work done but when I try to add more she is resistant and...

Now’s The Time To Pay The 13th Month

Todays a good day to send the 13th month payment to your OFS. They always appreciate it the earlier in the month they get it. The later it gets the more and more worried they get that you're not going to send it. They count on it. They budget for it. They need it for...

Filipino Funerals Are A Family Affair

What Julia (my OFS) writes below is super interesting and explains a lot. -------------------- Funerals in the Philippines are a family affair. The process from start to finish is so long, complicated, and time-consuming. When this happens, everybody pitches in as...

Firing An OFS Because They Had A Death In The Family

A while back I sent a newsletter about what you can do when there’s a death in your OFS’ family. I got a great response to it from Dylan: “Today, my graphic designer Danice's aunt died. Here's what I told her: "Dan, I'm so sorry. I'll keep you and your family in my...

Subscribing To Services For Your OFS

I got this great question from Jared: “Thanks again for your emails with all of the tips and tricks!  I'm curious how you deal with things or services that need paid for like a service for your company or an item for your company online.  Do you pay all of those...

Bonifacio Day And Thanksgiving

Oh good...now that all that mushy gratitude is out of the way, we can focus on more important things like... ...PRESENTS! Actually...wait...no.   Gratitude. Gratitude. Gratitude. From Julia, my content OFS----------------------------------Bonifacio Day in the...

Teaching People To Do Something New

A while back I emailed about my son doing a pretty good job following instructions with the information he was given. He put the toilet paper in the closet. Here’s a picture of his recent failure to follow instructions, where the instructions were pretty clear. I...

Are You Thankful For Your OFS?

On this Thanksgiving day (at least...in the USA it's our "Thanksgiving" holiday) I'm thankful for a lot of things. My family. My country. My business. Jesus Christ. My home. Snow. My bike. My OFS team. ... ... Are you thankful for your OFS? Have you told them? Letting...

I love reading your emails! Thank you for creating OnlineJobs.Ph I have a great experience with the training and the VAs.
Amanda Vang

Real Estate Expert

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate these emails you send out John. Since I have been reading them, I have developed such great relationships with 2 my VA’s and soon to hire a third. So grateful that you created this!
Melody Johnson

I can’t tell you how helpful updates like these and your blog posts are for working with my OFS – THANK YOU!
Harrison Thornhill

thornhillresidential.com

Like what you read here?

Subscribe to my newsletter!

I won’t spam you!

Copyright © 2020 JohnJonas.com. All rights reserved.