When someone unfriended you on Facebook.

It will always be a puzzle when you find out that someone unfriended or unfollowed you on social media. You keep on thinking deeper, especially when you find yourself not guilty of hurting nor committing anything which unfortunately leads to turning that blame unto yourself. But is this a usual way of reacting to such?

It is normal.

You tend to always think of reasons why this extent happened because you try to bargain and recall. This is a normal reaction when you find out that someone wants to take you out of someone’s life. Guilt embodies us that we tend to pattern our values to someone else’s which will never happen. Will it be worth it to find out and point on the blame to anyone?

It is not your fault.

We have different kinds of coping mechanism when we feel we are victimised by this world. Some people turn away from the people they feel blaming for the things they cannot grasp. This may not work for you or against your values, but this is something we need to accept, that our values cannot always be patterned to how the outlook of other people deciphers. Acceptance is all we need.

Let go.

May it be envy, anger, dismay or you just cannot accept what the world has to offer, embrace the fact that there are differences that each of us have. It is only by faith can ever be healed.

“God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.” — 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7

Praying for you always.

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Revisit 2017.

2017 has been steady with a lot of revisiting.

2017 started with a month of tests of relationships for January. Yet with fasting, praying and worship events, capping it seeing Ms. Universe live, which may not happen in the next two generations.

February had been sweet going thru a DIY retreat in Zambales with my DGroup. It was indeed a humbling experience submerging ourselves thru His word.

March had another worship concert and graduating from GLC modules we are taking for discipleship.

April kicked off with a summer getaway to Punta Fuego. More of a resting and recovering and ending the month revisiting Taiwan for the second time. How I missed eating and pigging out in this nation.

May was another revisit in Singapore and Malaysia. It was a challenge traveling with 3 kids with 10 adults with 9 airport encounters in 96 hours. Generally, a no sleep yet a ticked off in my bucket list getting to 3 different countries in 24 hours. Ending the month with a day hike to Masungi appreciating the wonders of our Creator.

June marked as we celebrate my brother’s graduation. Grateful to be of great help to be part of his journey in reaching this benchmark.

July was another month of weddings and eating out.

August was a month of catching up with friends with birthday celebrations here and there.

September was when I started a new learned hobby of baking and loving it.

October had a long drive to Bolinao with my longest known friends as they went home together for Qatar and Abu Dhabi. In this month as well when I started joining a ministry which I know God can use me in His ways.

Birthday month November is usually a roller coaster. Though with a failed birthday travel to Doha, it again opened hosting our company yearend party for the second year. It will always be a remarkable month celebrating my 30th.

December is undoubtedly eventful. Parties and get together here and there and a revisit to Hong Kong for the third time.

2017 was an incredible year. It may remarked as steady but surely a part of who we are in our journeys.

3 countries in 24 hours.

So how do you go about having a time constraint planned itinerary? Embrace it.


We left Manila, Philippines at around 3:30pm due to a delayed flight and touched down Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at around 8:00pm. Travelled by taxi to our pre-booked accommodation in Mercu Serviced Apartments which is like 8 minute walk to Petronas Twin Towers. We had dinner at a fastfood-like place called Pepita’s and went straight to the mesmerizing twin towers. Home at close to 12:00am for a quick freshen up and nap, shall I say, for us to leave at 2:00am for a 6:00am flight to our next destination.

Almost an hour ride from the city to the airport, we flew to Singapore to experience Universal Studios for the third time. It still feels the same first time of being an excited kid riding the movies you’ve grown up with. Staying here quickly for just 27 hours but still managed to meet my friends and former workmates reminiscing the good old days.

Adventure continues as we cross back to Malaysia, this time in Johor Bahru where Legoland is located. Due to horrible lines in the immigration, our time were constrained. Checked in to their themed hotel with its amazingly amenities almost all made with lego. Worth every penny especially if you are tagging along children with you. Short with time though to explore the theme park, good thing long rides line was avoided since less people were in. 


Swiftly after the buffet breakfast, we rented cabs to bring us to Senai Airport for an 11:00am flight back to Kuala Lumpur for another flight back to Manila. I met Nando’s again after so long back when I was in Ireland few years back. This was also the time to catch up on our pasalubong shopping. Good thing their airports have malls to shop conveniently. 


Whew! That was a fast 96 hours journeying 3 countries with 8 airport encounters and 3 different hotels from different parts of Asia. Having 10 adults traveling, tagging along 3 kids was indeed a challenge but worth embracing every step of the way.

#TAIWANkobakungbakitTAIPEIkita

Second time visiting this country still gives me the same excitement as my first. Why? Besides the fact that I will be on an ‘eating vacation’, I am thrilled to see the places that I have never been to during my first visit.

We started our long journey straight from work, catching a midnight flight. We needed to wait for another friend who was in the next flight from ours and the wifi stand was already closed so we waited as the sun rises in Taoyuan International Airport.

Bursting sunrise brought us to the hospitality of a friend’s friend who was based in Keelung, situated in the Northern part of Taiwan, an hour from the city proper. After freshening up, we went to Yangmingshan Park. Though it is best to go there during spring time to see the garden blossom, if you are a nature lover, it’s worth the end station bus ride. 

En routed to one of my favorite place that I would never get tired of going back and the best of the best night markets, the Shilin Night Market. Overwhelmed with so much food, my cravings were dearly satisfied. Limited time though, we went straight to the elephant mountain, which is walking distance from the last stop of the red line, Xiangshan station. Trekking at a multiple steps, the view of the city with the famous Taipei 101, on the top was indeed worth every sweat. Truly, first day was no sleep and tiring yet a worthwile experience.

Second day was supposedly for Sun Moon Lake, but due to some misfortunate events, we were led to the city of Hualien, which is on the Eastern part of Taiwan. Just a tip that train tickets were cheaper if you will be purchasing before riding. We rented two cabs that enabled us to tour the city at 500NT/person driving us to 4 beautiful places.

Taroko National Park is a must see in this place, seeing God’s great wonders of nature, a bit of trekking, a sight of falls with temples on the side and great scenery of the beach. Though things didn’t went as planned, the experience was worthwile for in traveling, great places are discovered by just going even though roads get a little tough.

Third day was quite tough when the temperature starts to drop and drizzles. We started our journey in Yehliu Geopark. I no longer joined the squad as they experienced rock formation at its finest since I have seen them during my first visit. Park entrance is at 50NT/adult. We rented again a cab which can bring us to Jiufen and Shifen at 1000 NT/cab. If you are in big groups, like in our case we are 11, this I think is cost efficient.

Markets in Jiufen are indeed fruitful array of food, products and restaurants. Same way in Shifen, which a growing number of food stalls assembles on the side of an active railway. Wish lanterns is a must when you visit this. It allows you to have your wishes be written on lanterns which is fired and flown afterwards. Ending our day in another night market in Raohe and hotpots are our subject because of the cold weather. To bad, rain is falling that we did not have the chance to explore the market though.

The fourth day was quite compacted as our friends are flying back to Manila in the evening and we need to move out and check in to a near hotel in Ximen. Meeting our friends in Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall and preceded to Taipei 101 was the itinerary for this day. As soon as we bid goodbye to our friends, we went straight to my favorite Shilin Market and food trip and shopping starts. 

I actually reserved another day for me to maximize my shopping and food trip as these were the main reasons for returning to this country. Last day was basically for me to recharge as I comforted myself on a good hotel bed and wake up just in time for check out. This was the time to have my own walking and biking tour in the cities nearby, searching for a good coffee place to chill and some last minute shopping.

Indeed, going back to this land was an adventure like seeing it again for the first time but reminiscing the same excitement as what your first time was. The company of a big group of friends added so much fun during the journey. Truly, I will not get tired of going back to this country once more.

Round up 2016.

So another year that was. What happened in the 365 days of 2016?

January started stressful as a new project starts at work, but nevertheless through Him, all things became possible.

February was highlighted with my comeback travel to Hong kong as I celebrated Chinese New Year in a Chinese territory surrounded by the Chinese race. Ended the month with a quick trip up north to celebrate Panagbenga Festival in Baguio with friends.

I can consider March dedicated to my family as we spend some time in the beach, consequently the birth of ‘Saber’ being a blessing from above. A check definitely in my goals for 2016. Also on this month, I was diagnosed with something I have been concealing and denying to myself and acceptance came in as I need to do a maintenance meds horror.

April started with summer outings one from another. A trip to Beijing definitely helps me check seeing the great wall on my bucket list.

May jumps me into wedding stints as one by one friends are getting married and definitely provided me an alias as the ‘Pambansang Abay’ for hopping from one wedding to another as a sponsor but never a groom.

June makes me realise that the health part on my goals for the year is quite far from what it should be. Slowly but surely, I started to keep an eye on it by going back to running and yoga.

July greatly deserves a break as friends flew to Bangkok visiting the city the second time. Finale was a start of my journey in seeking our only Saviour, joining a ‘True Life’ retreat. Truly, a life changing experience.

August is where I try to search for new activities where in I attempt to proliferate the world of calligraphy. Too bad, my time does not allow me to focus on this.

September was for another two weddings to attend to. I started to memorise how every wedding goes.

October brought a quick trip to Tagaytay with friends. Great way to rest and recover.

Birthday month November brought me to a trip to United Arab Emirates, Dubai and Abu Dhabi to be exact. Meeting friends who are based there makes every stay worthwhile.

December is really the season we all have been working for. Promotion from work came in. Indeed, only by His grace, everything through Him. Victory serenades as I hosted the company’s yearend event, loads of parties and get together and prepping for the holidays.

What a year that was and never been grateful. Cheers to 2017! 👆🏼

 

Contentment vs. Complacency

  

It was a beautiful Sunday morning and randomly ‘Contentment’ has been the topic of the message in the church. So I tried to be listen and comprehend the message and it all boils down to being grateful and appreciate everything that life has to offer. 

As I deepen my reads with this topic, I came across an article by Andrea Richards Scott, who is a visionary that helps transform your passion into profits, which helps me understand more the difference between Contentment and Complacency. 

Furthermore, I became more firm with my stand of practicing gratefulness as I start my everyday devotion as I face my life at work and dealing with things around me. I tend to extend my understanding among others and see the positive side in everything. 

And so, I am sharing this excellent read in order to keep us inspired in our daily lives. 


Contentment vs. Complacency

The Purpose Guide by: Andrea Richards Scott

With all of the personal and professional development pressure to accomplish goals and pursue success, there doesn’t seem to be any room for satisfaction. Yet, I believe that the first step to success is contentment. There is a definite difference between contentment and complacency. Individuals who are content have a posture of gratitude, thanksgiving, and acknowledgement.

Gratitude

It has been my experience that people who are content are grateful for what they have even as they seek to achieve their goals. They have experienced success in the past and have a quiet confidence that will enable them to achieve even more. These individuals have a strong sense of self so they aren’t trying to prove anything to anyone else. On the other hand, individuals who are complacent believe that things are okay as they are and are not likely to get better. Therefore they make no effort to improve their situation. They tend to be ungrateful about the things that they do have. They typically exhibit traits of low self-esteem and seem to have something to prove. This is evident in their attempt to be something that they are not or live above their means.

Thanksgiving

Another noticeable characteristic of individuals who are content is that they are thankful for the opportunities that they have received. It is with this attitude of thanksgiving that they seek out new prospects and projects. Their attitude seems to attract additional opportunities. People sense their positive energy and want to be in their presence, do business with them, and reward their efforts. Individuals who are complacent seem to have the opposite effect. Instead of being thankful, they tend to complain about their situation while doing nothing to change it. Because they can’t appreciate how much they have already achieved, they are powerless to achieve more. Their negative energy deters progress and drives people away. As a result, they tend to receive less leads and referrals.

Acknowledgement

Individuals who are content understand that they wouldn’t be where they are today if they didn’t receive help from others. They accept the fact that they need something greater than themselves in order to achieve true success. They realize that they need to partner with others in order to get to their desired destination. While it looks like they are in waiting mode, individuals who are content realize that sometimes situations are outside of their control. They are able to refrain from activity that is counterproductive in order to plan actions that produce results. Conversely, complacent individuals think that they are responsible for their current success. They think that they have achieved everything on their own. They may not believe in anything beside themselves or trust that others are willing to help them succeed. They may not believe that a force or power outside of themselves is working on their behalf. These individuals tend to wait for opportunity to knock rather than seeking it out. Since they don’t seek help or support from others, they get burned out quickly trying to manage situations that are not within their scope. In fact, they may spin their wheels trying to manage something that promises great results but has lack-luster reward.

While we push towards more and more success, we must take a moment to evaluate which model we have adapted. Are we content? Do we feel grateful, thankful, and supported? It is essential that we evaluate our underlying motivations because they drive results. Being content positions us for future success while being complacent sets us up for failure.

Cebu Hits!

The Queen City of the South has so much to offer which still surprises me even on my third visit. 

  
Malapascua Island is located on the northest peak of Cebu, approximately 145 kilometers from the city proper.  If adventure calls you, a 5-hour Ceris bus ride at Php 180 will bring you to Maya Port from the Northern Bus Terminal. If on time constraint, taxi drivers or private vehicles can bring you to the port for Php 2500-3500 for about two and a half hours. Boatmen will offer you private boat ride at Php 1500, usually in the afternoon before the sunset, but the normal 30 minutes to an hour ride to the island is just Php 100 per person but number of passengers needs to be filled before you go. Beware of guys who will help you carry your luggages for they will ask for a tip. Better spare some loose bills for them. 

  
Malapascua Island is worth the long travel experiencing a fine white sand beach with so much wonders underneath. This is one of the targets of most scuba divers. Many spots of the sea are considered underwater sanctuary. 

  
  

One of the reason why I booked a ticket to Cebu is  to experience a taste of luxury of the Moevenpick Resort. Located in Lapu Lapu City proper, it’s hip and chic mediterranean inspired hotel truly great for leisure and relaxation.

  
By the end of the sands come the Ibiza Club. Party all night experiencing the club by the see. Truly something to look forward to.

  
Cebu never fails to offer a wide range of vacation, adventure and leisure. It will truly remain on its throne as the queen city of the south.