Oct 18, 2017

Reply 1988 (Reflection)

I decided not to write a review about this series because it is already too late anyway, and there are  websites out there that already did.. so I'll be just reinventing the will.

The point of the reflection is to capture exactly what I thought about the series after I watched the last episode. Yeah this one was written two months ago. I couldn't contain the feeling after watching because it was that awesome! However, I felt like I ran out of words while writing this so I might have missed some details. But at least I'am able to state the whole point why it has to be watched by any kdrama afficionado.

Have you watched it? I bet some of you did and some of you don't. If you are looking into a series with a great storyline, superb characters and actors. This one definitely does not disappoint, I can vouch for it. Been watching drama series for a long time and, finally, I have found yet another beautifully woven story of growing up. I don't know how to explain this but this series completely had my heart in all places. Very touching, loving, emotional, and poignant at that. It deviates from the usual romantic-comedy plot that gets famous every now-and-then because of the cute love-story and aegyos of actors. This one is completely different, each character stands on its own but blends well with the others when combined in one scene.

Since it is all about remembering the past, it captures the feeling of nostalgia - youth, family, friends - the familiar neighborhood that has seen almost everything. I really commend the writer and director of this series for the amazing script, plots, twists and turns. This is such a wonderful story about family, adolescence, friendship, and love. It has all the emotional ploys enough to make anyone cry, laugh, squeal,and most importantly reminisce childhood, teenage lies, and puppy love.
This drama deserves those awards, and the actors too! I have included it on the list of the best series I have watched so far.

But I also think that maybe younger generation will not appreciate this one unless they are already in transition to adulthood, because they might not get the feeling that this series is trying to evoke from viewers. But seriously it is daebak!

Aug 26, 2017

A trip to a grape farm

I still remember the funny trip we had up north which transpired out of boredom and urge to seek for something new.
Back in 2015, I decided to organize a day trip to a newly emerging grape farm in Bauang, La Union - the Gapuz Grapes Farm. The farm is owned by the Gapuz family who were once a worker of a large grape farm in the province and then decided to grow their own grapes after acquiring a land where they could plant on.

Ate Mabel and I, take a pose with Danica.
The daughter named Danica, that we happen to interview in a Go Negosyo event, became very instrumental in popularizing and bringing their farm to mainstream. She graduated from Saint Louie University, aside from managing their own grape farm she keeps a job in Makati related to marketing and advertising.

A vineyard is probably one of the least fruits Filipinos see with the naked eye, along with apple and orange (or a persimmon tree?). And I never knew, Philippines has its own vineyard. So when I knew of the farm, I immediately took interest and kept Danica's business card hoping I can make use of it in the future -and I did. 
Who to travel with is always my dilemma in planning for a trip, because choosing the right people is a very crucial factor in enjoying my travels. Gladly two of my friends agreed to come and were excited because they haven't seen one too!
The funny thing is, I would've wanted it to be a two-day trip but they decided to make it a day only because my other ate had other things to do the day after. And so I went along with the idea... 
We took the old-bumpy bus that only comes once a day in Baloc (we waited for two hours! urggghh!). It was very frail that any moment it'll break - the seats handles are too rusty and gives the most uncomfortable ride ever. We laugh so hard at each bump as we were seated at the very end of it. As the old bus stops in Pangasinan, we again took another bus bound for Ilocos that will pass by La Union. I can't remember but I think it was a 2-3 hour bus ride, and we asked the driver to drop us off the arc saying "Welcome to Bauang, La Union". 
The farm is located quite off the road so we had to take the tricycle. Seated on the driver's backseat, we rode off to a neighborhood whose backyard's a vineyard instead of the usual ornamentals. My eyes were awed with the variety of grapes planted in each neighborhood until we arrived to a simple yet attractive vineyard in green with purple dangling - it was finally it and with quite a number of visitors. The harvesting already started early April, and we had the trip first week of May but still there were plenty of grapes to choose from. One of Danica's relatives taught us how to DIY harvest then gave us tiny scissors for cutting and baskets to place our harvest. The moment Danica posted  the DIY grape harvesting on fb it draw so much attention, a lot of people visited them already. We took photos as much as we can and ate our lunch there after. 
The only photo we have of Danica's father.
The family was very humble and keeps their doors open to relatives willing to help them with the business. Grapes are very hard to manage as it needs pruning and protection from rain. But Danica's father was a dedicated grape farmer who studied growing grapes for many years. And now it all paid off.

With no much time to stay at the farm, we took our leave after 3 hours of selfies and photo ops (hahaha), going back was even more terrible. We waited for the bus for 3 hours yet nothing came (and we missed the one that passed). So we decided to wait for the bus in San Fernando City. We were worried because we had to go back in time or ate will miss her travel by tomorrow so we decided to take a cutting trip - we took the bus bound for Cubao and dropped off in Urdaneta, Pangasinan. Then took another one enroute Isabela which passes by San Jose. From San Jose we travelled by xlt (a public jeepney) to Munoz. Didn't I say we were in the aisle seat all through out that bus ride? because we do. We arrived at around 3am in Brgy. Maligaya. Yet we still managed to laugh (and took a selfie!) after all that crazy transportation dilemma.
But that was one of my memorable trips in Nueva Ecija, and the grapes too!

Are you interested to go there? For inquiries visit Gapuz Grapes Farm on their official Facebook page
or contact them at: Email: joegapvz@gmail.com; Mobile:  0915 778 4594; 

May 21, 2017

Can-umantad Falls in Candijay, Bohol

There is a great deal when you visit falls anywhere in the Philippines these days, unlike before when getting there is just a normal hike with friends skipping hours of class to enjoy whatever nature has to offer. Today social media makes everything intriguing, from travels to food, parks and malls. 
Despite this generation's social media flare, I still think that rural areas are not overly infested of- the social-media fever - at least for now. That is probably why this falls is slightly known from outsiders. But recently a travel show featured it, and when they do, the place gets widely recognized and will later receive tourists popping out-of-nowhere. But before that happens, I visited the place, which is a unplanned visit by the way through hitching with my sister's friends. 

Located in Brgy. Can-umantad, Candijay, the falls is a 30-minute drive (by motorcycle or habal-habal) from the highway in Lungsod-daan. 

The road leading to the place is rough and uphill so a skilled motorcycle driver is needed. Anyway, habal-habal is easily available in Lunsod-daan so there is nothing to worry about transpo. But it is more convenient though if you have your own ride going there so you won't have to pay Php160 for a habal-habal ride back and forth.

The signage you see when you are close.

Ain't that a beautiful view?

The water is greenish, clean, and cold. Entrance fee only costs 20 for adults and 10 for children - very cheap. You can actually drink the water in the bukal not far-off, if you're perched. 
However, it is important to note that the activities within the falls is until 5:00pm only.

When you pass by this bridge turn right to go to the main falls.

And there it is...

Stay under the raging water falling and you'll get the best hydro massage there is - instead of paying for it, this one is totally free.

Somebody must have put those stones there for photo op! hahaha

There are plenty of places in Bohol that are yet to get tourist influx, so if you are ticking all those falls found in the Philippines - try to include this one. Many people have not been there yet.

May 10, 2017

Boracay 2017

I, oftentimes, call it overrated and, probably, isn’t in my priority list for traveling - but being impulsive in most of my travels really gives more surprises than the planned ones.
My travels are dictated by promo fares, and last year there was a lot of it bound for Bora. I was one of the takers.
That promo ticket costed at most Php1, 800, and we got the one bound for Caticlan- which is the closest airport to Bora.
Like other prominent tourist destination in the Phil, Bora’s very tourist-friendly as everything is already organized from transpo to fees, there’s no need to ask anyone. And once you get to the island itself - everything is hassle-free.
But as a new comer, probably, it is imperative to know that there are three (3) stations in Bora (saying this because I didn’t know too). Farthest point is Station 1, where most fancy hotels are located; then Station 2,where most of the tourists stay because of its proximity to almost anything - food, adventure, and cheap lodgings; and the last station, Station 3- the closest to the port and the most serene area. The last station has the cheapest hotels too, and in case you are wondering, this station is less infested by algae so...
But actually, we stayed in non of those stations, yet at least we thought we’ll stay in station 3 before coming there hahaha. But, well, silly us because we booked a hostel far from the beach without having an idea that it isn't in station 3. Nonetheless, we did not regret our whole stay in the place because we’ve met such amazing people.

I sought recommendations from those who have been there, but the hotels they mentioned were a bit pricey. So, I had to do the search on my own. And then I found My Hostel Boracay in Nida Rooms website. It was the cheapest and cleanest room I came across with - so I had it booked right away.

Advantage: It is secluded and away from the noise. So if you really want a good all-night sleep, I recommend this one. Booking is also inclusive of breakfast. Plus, the proprietors are also nice people.
Disadvantage: It is far from the beach. This was quite a dilemma to us during our first stay. But we managed to get a motorcycle every time so it wasn’t really much of a problem.

Bora is really like an island-city, only that, it neither have SM nor Ayala malls. But really, everything’s there (and too pricey!) haha
But for poor like us, the beach and the view were enough.
When we arrived, we went over for a walk along the beach and took some pictures..

I paid Php20 for this photo. (Yeah, they do that as a living there). And the authorities actually forbid building sand castles because it destroys the structure of the beach sand itself, but they still do it anyway.
On our second day we went helmet diving and island hopping, that costed Php 1, 300 which is a pretty good deal. We haggled the price which was originally Php 1, 500.

Helmet diving. This is a must-do, and I encourage those with brave hearts to try it. However, this activity is not recommended for  PWD's and those with heart ailment.
Hija de Puca known as the Puca Beach, is just one of the places to visit in the Island-hopping package deal.

More pictures of our stay

This was the first and last dinner we had during our stay, and already the cheapest. Both of us spent Php300 (relatively expensive) considering that we only had simple pasta and sautéed kangkong.
For the rest of our stay we ate at Mcdonalds and Mang Inasal, but the prices are still a bit expensive compared to their branches anywhere. hahaha
Mangoholic for dessert! This was lined-up by people who love cute and sweet stuff, and that include us.

Met these amazing successful Aunties who have enlightened us with the beauty of life at 60.
Groupie with the amiable owners of the hostel.

Boracay sunset!
This sunset view deserves a timelapse. Watching the sun go down and disappear before my eyes while relaxing on the beach, was definitely something you need to do when in Bora.

Apr 28, 2017

Erros and imperfection

How many errors do I need to commit to be good? How many criticisms do I need to take until I will no longer have to?
The answer will always be 'always'. Asking myself these questions have neither made me even better nor kept me from naysayers. Now that I have realized it, I don't think these questions have to be asked. 
There are times, of course, that these queries will just pop out of my head when in the middle of negativity. I do that until now. But I think what I've learned is on how to shift myself from thinking negative to positive. It was a really hard practice at first, but when I got the hang of it, I learned to adapt.
My perfectionist self has influenced the way I view things around me. Eventually, that perception becomes a norm or a standard where most of my views adhere to. Then I forget that the world itself is imperfect. Coming back to that reality is always a struggle, yet enlightening. Now I am pulling both strings, holding them closer in order to have that equilibrium in everything.

You don't have to be error-proof or perfect to be a great person. It should be otherwise, because people who have committed a lot of mistakes and are not perfect, are those who have championed life at its finest.

Apr 13, 2017

Something to be thankful for

Things happen for a reason 
I have often heard of it. There are moments when we push ourselves too hard to get what we want. But, actually, we are just straining ourselves. The more we insist ourselves for something not for us at the moment, the more it goes away. It pays to be patient, all the time. That is one thing that I have fully understood. 
Now, I am happy that everything is going slowly but according to the pace that God has given me. He never fails to amaze me - always. I will forever be grateful for this life because of Him.

Feb 28, 2017

OPPO F1s: Summer Destination

Summer is near! And obviously, a great way to enjoy it is to hit the beach and go beach bummin'. It is exactly what I will do this March as my officemate and I booked our way to the world's famous beach- BORACAY. We are excited to the max with the great adventures awaiting for us there!

It'll be my first time in Boracay so I want to spend more on fun activities and food! We quite have the idea already of what activities to do without us spending so much money and go back broke. Nah uh? I don't want that to happen. 
But before I go into the 'activities' in detail I'd like to share the preparation (booking, ticket, and accommodation) we did before the trip which will happen in a week's time.

With the plethora of airfare ticket sales nowadays, summer destination such as Boracay is only at every Juan's fingertips. However, as it sells like pancake, booking ahead of time is always a wise  thing to do for any wanderlust.
Ours was booked August last year, which was a good deal for we spend only around Php1, 800 for a roundtrip ticket to Caticlan, Boracay.

We were a bit indecisive on this as we don't have a clue of which station in Boracay would suit our taste. But it was always good to ask, so we settled for  Station 3, which is more serene and less crowded. 
For booking I found booking.com very useful and also cited some sales in MetroDeal, but I didn't book it there as someone told me that some of its for sale items are unreliable so I had to confirm with the hotel's hotline. So I booked directly to the hotel's customer's service, and it was way more convenient and trustworthy.

Below are the tentative activities that we will squeeze-in for our 3 days, 2 nights stay in the island.

ATV Ride (Cost: Php1,750)
Our first day is the day we'll be arriving, so getting wet right away isn't what I imagined. So first thing's first, we'll do the ATV ride on the roads of Boracay. Maybe getting around and being familiar with the place will be a good thing to start the adventure.

     Photo credit: www.myboracayguide.com

Helmet diving (Cost: Php1,500)
I don't know how to dive, so this kind of activity is a good option for someone like me who would like to hit the bottom of the sea but don't know how to swim. And I read from a blog that it costs around Php1,500.

    Photo credit: www.myboracayguide.com

Glass bottom boating (Cost: Php800)
Yet if we don't really want to get wet, we can prefer to watch the great biodiversity underwater on a boat with a good viewing glass floor at Php800.

    Photo credit: www.awanderfulsole.com

Parasailing (Php2,000/2pax)
I'd like to take a picture of Boracay Island from above but I think this activity is optional as it is very expensive. But I believe, if ever I will push this through I'll be alone because my company wouldn't want to try it.

    Photo credit: www.willexplorephilippines.com

Zorbing (Cost: Php380-500)
If we will still have time, zorbing will be a great way to do an exhilarating activity without giving us a heart attack, as my judgment of the activity being extreme is on average. And a video of us rolling over will be fun to see right after! :)

                               Photo credit: www.discoverphilippines.com.ph

Food galore
I also heard from a friend that Boracay is filled with Korean restos, so will try to hunt korean restos that serve good korean dish and also fill our stomach with sea food!

Night life
Also prominent for its many night life activities, maybe we'll try to have a glimpse of the island's night life and watch some fire dancing by the beach, get in a bar for a while, frolic along the coast, and who knows, meet some nice strangers :) 
I would love to try pubcrawl too but I think that will be on my next visit. 

And syempre! one thing that should not be missed is - swimming in Boracay's pristine waters!

Yet capturing these moments is what makes it more fun and memorable. But for a less bulky and less baggage weight, I think a good smartphone will do than bringing my DSLR. A quick grab of a smartphone can do so much for travelers nowadays, and such would be OPPO F1s smartphone. Dubbed as a Selfie Expert phone, I will no longer bother people for letting them take a nice shot of me as I can do it myself without a blur. OPPO F1s boasts of a 16mega pixel front camera, also designed for a low-light setting. It is a perfect handy cam! And YES I will need one, if they will give it to me this time. :)

*Prices indicated are estimates and may vary according to season.

Feb 22, 2017

Living in the City when you are single and not rich

I have no picture of those skyscrapers, instead I got this picture of the houses I see every time I open our apartment door.
I remember telling myself before to not live in Manila anymore, but here I am enjoying the city life for almost a year now. How I ended up here was by personal necessity (and by weird turn-of-events) which makes it non-negotiable.
My first experience in the city wasn't really bad except for the horrible traffic everyday. But with the new administration, gradual improvements are being made, like rerouting public vehicles that cause traffic. Such on-the-road improvements are still ongoing, so until they are done I can't say that traffic is resolved . But as long as there's progress, why not?, we might be close to realizing it.

But how does a typical person who is used to a serene and soulful lifestyle enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city? I am not exactly that kind of person but perhaps some of the things I do alone can get you around living here for long.

Enjoy your own company with mall visits
"Take advantage of malls" 
I enjoy being in the mall and watching random events in activity centers. Perhaps, I make a visit twice a month just in time to replenish my personal necessities. It is also a place good for window shopping and trying some stores I've never been to.  But be mindful you're not exceeding your budget limit though. You still need to control your shopping or you'll end up not enjoying mall visits at all.

Watch good movies as past time
"Spend time watching in cinemas"
I always take note of the movies I want to watch.  I do watch it alone in cinema if need be or just copy when it's already available. But it is a more satisfying experience to watch movies in cinemas, because the feeling can never be the same with watching it on a laptop. Especially if that movie is really worth it.

Film festivals are also great way to watch movies for free. They always have it annually for Korean and Japanese films. Last year was my first to attend a Japanese film fest and it had me blabbering about how nice the movie was after watching it for free. Yet movies for screening might not be for everyone, so I suggest reading reviews of movies you are planning to watch beforehand.

 Eat in fancy bistros
"Experience good food"
Not everyone has a luxury of eating in restos featured in magazines or those owned by famous TV personality turned businessmen. The best thing about being in the metro is, these places are actually nearby. Once in a while, I take time to try fancy restos I have never been before. Of course, it is quite expensive, so I do it rarely. But take time to budget a little for a new kind of food experience.

Try to be fit and healthy with plenty of activities available
"Try to be fit and healthy"
I don't claim to be fit but I think this is one of the things someone has to do. Here, parks are everywhere, and a lot of people jog or do some sports. The only thing that hinders is time and the willingness to do it (and I am guilty of it). Yoga classes are everywhere too and I heard that it can get as low as Php1500 a month.
But I say, take advantage of the fitness facilities available everywhere because it can be more expensive elsewhere. Don't be like me who is very lazy when it comes to waking up in the morning to jog, now I got 6kg heavier (and it sucks!).

Enjoy the perks of online shopping
"Do stress free shopping"
Being in the metro is a great advantage for a person who loves online shopping as they offer free deliveries for orders within Metro Manila. One time, I ordered a poetry kit for a friend as a gift and I only paid the amount worth of the kit - no delivery fee. That saved me at least Php150. Same with the advocacy shirt I ordered recently. Sometimes laziness gets in the way that suddenly going to the mall is a very tiring thing to do. So we just opt to browse the net and shop for what we need. Available perks like discount coupons also pop up sometimes  so that can save you some.
Not all sites though are reliable, so get to know online shopping sites that are trustworthy before making a purchase.

Open bank accounts as much as you want
"Save for your future"
All kinds of banks are everywhere, and that gives you a very good motivation to open an account for savings. It is also very convenient now as they are leveling up with their online services, that means you can check your account status and make payments online.
With an array of unique services each bank offers, you can do a study of which one fits for you. Bank of the Philippine Islands offer a savings account without balance deposit, and that is just what I want so I got one for me.

Take advantage of credit cards
"Do cashless payments"
Mind you, I don't like credit cards really, until I found out how to use them efficiently. When I got a hold of one, I now rarely withdraw large amounts of cash. I do the shopping with my credit card, and monitor my spending with it. So every time my salary comes, I allot the money I owe my card. It is of great help too when I purchase stuff online. The attitude you need with credit cards is control. If you have that you are safe from debt.

Have the freedom you want
"Embrace freedom"
As I live alone, but I basically live in an apartment where there are two of us renting yet living our separate lives, I get to exercise fully authority to myself. Though my Father visit me sporadically, he gives me the space to live my way. Coming from a family who is discreet about personal lives and not PDA, I got used to keeping things to myself. So I don't really share family matters with people unless I am personally attached with them and  really very close.
Also, when you grew up from a community where everyone knows almost everything you will appreciate the privacy and freedom that I am talking about.
So far, I was able to try things without worrying too much about what people might say because  I am far from them anyway and I don't post on facebook that much.

But before anything else, It is also good to remember that as singles we also have priorities, sometimes it is our families. So set your priorities straight before doing things impulsively. That was my mistake before and now I am learning. :)

Feb 16, 2017

OPPO F1s: Valentine’s Dream Date

My years have always been me masterdating - basically doing things on my own most of the time. It never really mattered being alone as long as I am happy and crossing out things on my bucket list.

Yet of course, for 24 years of being single (ehemm), it also occurred to me what will my first official date be like. An ideal date for me has to be something worth it, fun, and memorable. So if the right man comes along and things align to where I want it to be, this is the kind of date that I picture --- a karaoke date on a valentine's day. 

For me, Karaoke Date never goes out of style. It doesn't matter if we are out of tune or trying-hard singers because the fun that comes with karaoke is always guaranteed plus we can serenade each other with our favorite theme songs. To make that possible, the first thing that we'll have to do is to scout for a good and decent karaoke place that serves good food and has an updated songbook, and where we can spend 5 hours or more singing (because we are supposed to be hardcore karaoke fans). Doing karaoke outside is better than at home because all the facilities are available and we can have our own space which saves us from disturbing neighbors.

And yep, a surprise from my date is a given, lets say, a ticket to a movie I love to watch and a Malagos dark chocolate, Why? because I love dark chocolate and Malagos is a local chocolate exporter that should be patronized hehe. Then, we'll be singing all the songs we want in duet and in solo, and laugh so hard at our weird gestures and faces. There is no better way of capturing those crazy and candid moments than an OPPO F1s phone, just like these:

The candy filter of OPPO F1 can make this kind of shot into a piece of art and, of course, instagrammable.

It's nice to keep the phone around so candid moments like this won't be missed. 

Aside from being an selfie expert phone with its 16MP front camera, OPPO F1 is also built for low-light setting, so we can still take clear pictures in limited lighting without worrying it'll be blurry. 

I also want to use its mono filter to make a dramatic and classic feel to our pictures. And I will definitely use the mono filter to add more emphasis and detail for our creative shots like these: 

It might not be the quiet and serious kind of date, but the fun that we get from doing the thing that we both love is already something special. But for now, I'll have to wait for him. Well, I just hope he really loves to sing and take selfies too!

Photos taken from www.pinterest.com

Feb 12, 2017

I am now an RD subscriber!

Little dreams do come true.
I first got a hold of a readers digest magazine when I was in high school. It was a luxury for me then. As a student who barely had an allowance to survive the week of commute, money for buying good-reading materials is definitely off the list.

My good high school friend knew I have become fond of reading so she brought the magazine in our class. Aware that I got hooked to it, she brought more issues of '80s and '90s scavenging them from the dusty old hidden corner of their house.

Obviously the magazine was never mine to keep so after three days or so I had to return it in exchange for a new one. She was very kind to me even, letting me borrow 2 to 3 issues at once.

We both graduated and that stopped. I also got busy acing my college years and never had the chance to procure or borrow one. But those little desires of the heart come eventually some time in one's life. My boss where I work at is fond of the magazine, subscribing herself to it for more than 20 years now.  This perked up my urge I have forgotten more than 10 years ago. With my boss' support, I am now officially subscribed to it and enjoys digesting every story there is in each issue. 

Jan 14, 2017

Insights from a prominent travel blogger

Ever heard of Aaron Palayabyab? I bet not everyone is familiar of him. He is a photographer and filmmaker based in Manila that is working in mainstream media before. He made a handful of commercials too that were aired on TV. What made me like him is the post he made about mini-retirement. The word seems new, right? if you wish to read more about that you may click on this link here: http://www.aaronpalabyab.com/blog/2014/10/8/mini-retirement-third-world?rq=mini%20retirement

Months ago, I read a blog post of him that was shared by a good facebook friend. I’ve been following his blog ever since I read his post on ‘mini-retirement’, a sort of soul searching in your 20’s where you indulge yourself into travelling to discover more about yourself. His mini-retirement post hit me to core. But I cannot risk my job and do months of travelling that he did. The least I could do is to travel in between work to clear off my messed up head so I can start afresh.

Reading his follow up post about his life after two years of ‘mini-retirement’, I felt like he is echoing what my mind has kept on telling me unconsciously. We constantly look for meaning and I’m glad he is starting to find his. He is a very well-paid man in the media world before but has later found the work so dull that despite luxury and fat check, he found himself meaningless. We all go through that stage in our lives but unlike the others who stick with that reality for stability, he decided to risk what he had at the moment for the purpose of finding meaning to his own. Yeah he was lucky to have a very good job that paid big which enabled him to sustain all his travel plans for 2 years. But as what he said, unlike before when he don’t even know how to spend all his earnings, now he found a reason to spend it through travelling. He is still a process yet to unfold but enjoying what he is currently doing – running his own business and nurturing his freelance career. All those travels made him the best version of himself and has improved him even more than what he can actually hope for. But I guess there’s one thing that we both realized after all those travels, to achieve success we all have to be consistent and focused. Transferring from one thing to another will never get someone anywhere until we focus on something that we are really good at and nurture it.

Jan 2, 2017

My Bittersweet 2016

Posting a review of the year that passed has been a routine of mine since I started working, and ever since I had a stable internet to do the posting (hahaha).
Recounting the moments of 2016 makes me cry, and also makes me realize the blessings that God showered upon me.
 Last year's kick off brought a downpour of dilemma and uncertainty on me. That was probably the quarter where I was stretched so hard, but God made sure that I didn't break so He bailed me out and put me back to stature. I remembered how I cried so hard, and how travelling healed my broken soul. So this time allow me to take a flashback on the scenes that made my 2016 bittersweet. :)

As much as you wanted to take the wheel and direct the ship to where you want it to be, there is always something that will try to redirect the sail. How I wish I was brave enough to fight that off. But being brave that time wasn't the answer, but to walk to away in silence.

Someone once told me to never burn bridges, but I think I made an exception for some people so not to spoil my 'inner peace'. Knowing the kind of people you want to be close with and to deal with is one of the past year's reminders to me.

There is something with travelling that gives me hope to always continue with my dreams and what I believe in. Unlocking the true meaning of travel isn't by how many instagram photos you posted, and how many status updates you did on fb. I think it is by knowing that there is a vast world worth appreciating so there is no room to being depressed. A different place gives a different feel, so when you go back home you are renewed.
Yeah my first out-of-the-country tour was HK. Check out my posts here: 1, 2, 3
A picture with Tinkerbell at Disneyland!
Transferring from one work to another is a leap of faith. Dare to do it, and always pray and believe that something good will happen and it will. :) 
My HD photo at work. hahaha
I was a bit aggressive with my local travels last year. I climbed Mt. Pulag with my very good NE friends and took an impulsive trip to hundred islands with my  co-VSO volunteer. I'm also adding the Masungi Georeserve trip I had with friends. :) 

Group picture at Mt. Pulag while waiting for the sun to rise.
A friend of mine poses at the amazing view in Hundred Islands.
My best photo at Masungi. Lying on top of the spider web.
I met up with college buddies after two years. It was a relief to talk about life with them because they are a very good listener. 

Got a chance to see a concert finally! Saw James Bay on stage and sang his familiar songs along with raging teenagers hahaha 

The greatest gift 2016 has given me is leading me back to myself. I hope this year will be better, and a year full of blessings!