Finally, our Ilocos trip! Although it was too late, I realized that this trip was unforgettable and so I decided to make a travelogue about it. hihi. I really love summer because it really sets my whole being to go outdoors! I especially love my job because it sent us out to try these things this season. Anyway, not much of the outdoors are here yet but everything seems so fun.
We left Pampanga via private van on Wednesday morning. So practically, we spent almost the whole day on the road.
Here are some photos of the places we visited. It was indeed a privilege to see the beauty of God’s creation from such places. 🙂
These are windmills at Bangui Farm in Ilocos Norte. These giants were worth-seeing, almost surreal. I couldn’t get enough of the view that I’d loved to go back there just to see them again. 🙂
Vigan’s Hidden Garden where there are several varieties of potted plants, shrubs and herbs. I actually bought ginger turmeric for my mother for it has a lot of health benefits. 🙂
At Juan Luna Shrine
Animals encounter at Baluarte Zoo in Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Amazing view on top of the Towering Cape Bojeador
Of course we will not miss Paoay Church. This church really has a beautiful structure. Pay attention to its huge buttresses. I’ve been to several churches but this church made an impression to me. 🙂
Amazing how one’s body craves places like this. The shore, crashing of waves, cool water and the sun on my face. Oh how I love every season of life. 🙂
Vigan’s Dancing Fountain Show, I was expecting to be wowed by this show and indeed I was! Throughout the show, laser and lights synched to popular music illuminate the fountain jetting through the plaza. What a beautiful show! 🙂
Calle Crisologo, Vigan City – This old house made me feel like I was travelled back in the 16th century. The overflow of antique and unique things from one store to another will delight you even more.
Ilocos is a place that you should add on your vacation list. Remember, be sure you are prepared for an 8-10 hours long drive. haha. I can’t wait to go again and explore more of the other towns next time!! Have a favored day y’ll!! 🙂
Ahhh, the life of a professional freelance writer – the freedom, the creativity, the coffee shops.
I love my life as a self-employed writer. I get to make my own schedule, choose my own clients, and run the show my way. I honestly don’t think I can ever go back to working in a corporate job. Ever.
But, and let me be crystal clear about this, it’s not like I don’t have a boss. In fact, I have many bosses. Each of my clients is my boss, each project lead within a client company is my boss, my business (managing and building it) is my boss. Add on top of that all the professional and personal responsibilities I take on voluntarily (professional education, blogging, side projects, being a mom, having a life), and that schedule I get to set for myself starts to look pretty scary.
The school year is almost over and graduation is coming up. Such a momentous event calls for reflection. Time flies really fast, especially when you’re having fun. Once senior year rolls around, graduation is the main event. I know everyone’s busy, if not altogether done; some are still completing requirements, some are reviewing for exams while others are practicing for their graduation exercises. This event is really anticipated by a lot of people all around the globe especially parents whose pockets were really torn just to see their children stepping their foot on stage. But see, on both ends, parents or student, it is a time of great excitement when cap, gown and ceremony are full of such tradition and fill you with a sense of pride with all of your achievements.
But while it is certainly good to do everything in your might to make it to the march, I also believe that it won’t be helpful to make it the center of your life. Yes, it is for a fact that graduation implies success or the opportunity to move into the upper ranks of life but I guess it is not necessary to stake everything that we have solely on education or graduation. If you can just imagine, if u will not be able to make it, you will just feel emotionally bankrupt.
Last time, it happened that I have read an article about a prominent person. It urged me to make a graduation post, can’t help mentioning his name. I also thought of some things that we can somehow ponder especially those who are going through rough times in his/her academic life. It might be an encouragement for you to know successful people who strived so hard while going through an awful time of discouragement. One best example is Steve Jobs. Many found his life interesting. Probably, you have watched a movie about him where he was really an exemplary of a genius. Although not everything about Steve Jobs is worth emulating, he showed the perfect picture of success and the product of hard work instead of just merely education.
In a commencement address he delivered at Stanford some time in 2005, these were what he said:
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college…
…17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple.
I have encountered people who became successful even without having graduated college and this is not to say that we all should be lax about education, but my point is, when a great blow in this area of our lives comes, let us be quick to counter despair with other options and a word of hope.
Of course, I will not let this message end without a word coming from God Himself. In Proverbs 19:21, God said, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
This is a powerful scripture which always changes my mind-set. Yes, many are our plans in life, plans to succeed, plans to bring honor unto one’s name and of course, plans to have greener pastures someday. For both students and people who support the students, many things in life will not turn out exactly as we expect or plan them to be but it is important to know that the workings of God’s hands always turn out for the best.
I can still remember the days when I dreamed to be a Certified Public Accountant but it didn’t happen as I expected it to be. I even stopped schooling and worked in a call center. And then, I went back to school and was so frustrated during my first year of college in education not knowing I was walking through the path where God wants me to pass. But time came when I realized, “Oh this is your plan, yeah! Gradually, I’m seeing it clearly.” These were my lines when I was in my second year of college. To put everything in a nutshell, well I am now a licensed teacher. Would it be possible for me to use my former course? Well God said yes! I’m happy to know that there are some schools which need accountancy lessons even for high school students. I really take heart with that. Someday… someday… knowing He makes all things work together for our own good. (Rom 8:28)
Funny to think that I graduated at the age of 23. Too young right? Haha. I mention some part of my story because I want to encourage others that while I may have missed out a lot of things, I see nothing lost. For in those years where people my age were pursuing dreams in the more common way, God also put me through the school of life. Really, many of my most priceless lessons came not just from college but by walking along the path the Lord has given me.
These were just last year, so you know, the whole grad pressure is still pretty fresh in my memory. This is also why I just want to end this by saying: CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL STUDENTS! I know you really tried your best and that is worth a thousand handshakes. Remember, graduation is not the end of everything. In many ways, it is only just the beginning. Life is 3D outside the academe. Trust me! 🙂
Feb 8, 2015 – This day was filed for my favorite preoccupation of traveling, spending it through backpacking. 5 a.m. was the time set by our principal to leave going to Tagaytay. The night before, I was so excited to the point that I had a hard time sleeping early and so the next day… arghhh!! For lack of suitable description, I’ll just describe my first time in the morning experience as simply – EPIC!! I depended on my alarm clock which bullies me every morning but not on that day when I really need to wake up so early for the day out. In other words, I woke up at exactly 5 a.m. Isnt it exciting? Teacher Lourdes, one of my co-teachers, called and texted me to ask where am I? Oh I was like “ewan”, cramming, running all over the house, don’t know what to do and crying na din thinking I will miss a wonderful day. Sad part pa, people in our house laughed at me when I cried! (Oo na, it’s all my fault!). In my mind, pag ako nakasama wala kayong buko pie! But of course, lakas ako kay Lord ee. It was indeed a favor because even though I decided not to go with them, our principal said that they could wait for me, thus, with all my might, I took a bath as fast as I could, put on my clothes and there I was on the way going to Tagaytay. Haha. (wala pa man, feeling tired+buhok na prang hndi pinunasan+parang napadaan lang sa shirt na suot/ thank you nalang sa sweater na red. Weehoo!!)
Arriving at Tagaytay preceded by a week characterized by stress, the chilly air cooled our agitated heads on the spot. I guess this is the mark of any teacher suffering for some stressful days from our “kind and lovely” students to forget all his/her worries just by experiencing a noticeably cool temperature, lush greens and fresh air. Not to miss the point, our main reason in visiting this cool place is to attend Focolare’s Open City.
The term Focolare Movement (“focolare” means fireplace) since its beginnings, was applied to the Movement by the people of Trent because of the “fire” of Gospel which was initiated by Italian Chiara Lubich.
I made a bit research regarding this. I knew that the founder, Chiara Lubich emphasized that the Movement “was not thought up by a human mind but that it is the fruit of a charism which comes from Above. We try to follow, through circumstances, the will of God day by day”.
The event took place at Terra Moy Village, a place which I can describe as a sloping ride of ups and downs where you can see houses of all sizes, erected, landscaped and furnished in various imaginative themes. The time we arrived, we were welcomed by very nice and approachable people, mostly Chinese. The first part of the program was a mass where people sang songs, some with Italian parts that touted the highlight of Focolare’s Open City, where community members, people from various countries and Tagaytay residents come together for cultural presentations, spiritual sharing, and fellowship.
Various workshops were offered at the event. We, teachers, specifically teacher Lourdes, Rosalie, Janice, Jennifer and Melissa chose to join Dance for Unity workshop whereas Teacher Madelyn and Rachelle chose to try cooking I mean “tasting” Korean dishes. Teacher Marvin chose to join art workshop and our principal Ma’am Ning, who is also fond of dancing, chose Myanmar dance workshop.
During the workshop, we practiced a contemporary song, Thinking out Loud by Ed Sheeran with my partner, a 16-year old boy named Paul. We also danced Shake it off by Taylor Swift. During the afternoon program, each workshop group showed their wonderful presentation and of course, our group really performed well. The experience was really meaningful. With the right balance of fun and the right musical blend of the singers and musicians, we call the event one huge success.After the event, we went at the cemetery to visit and pray for the brother of Ma’am Ning, Mr. Pablo Santos who is a Focolarino.
A visit in this countryside will not be complete without pulling off the road and shopping for the freshest and sweetest fruits. Roadside fruit stands offer various kinds of fruits such as sweet pineapples, two or three for a hundred pesos, bananas of every kind, mangoes, both tart unripe green ones and sweet ripe orange ones; papayas; jackfruits; and grapefruits. It was a treat to experience these roadside fruit stands.
After our fruit trip, we stopped by at Laguna to visit Teacher Rosalie’s sister. She prepared for us a very scrumptious meal, kare-kare and fried chicken (my all-time fave!). After the dinner, sadly, it was time to bid goodbye as we headed off back home.
Even though it’s my first time to join in this wonderful focolare community. It was there that I got to meet people from all walks of life, social ranking, races, culture and religion. It was indeed a wonderful experience.
Now, I want to spread the good news about this community. They regularly conduct Open City and do different workshops for visitors so they can spread the meaning of what it’s like to love a community. Looking forward to visit there this May. 🙂
A DAY WITH FRIENDS. A DAY WITH EVERYONE ELSE.
ALL IN ONE DAY. ALL IN ONE PLACE. A TIME WHEN EVERYONE CAN BE ONE.
Whenever the year ends, a lot of questions trigger our minds regarding” what will be our New Year’s resolution and another on what we’re believing for” for the next. Of course, our goal would be to change for the better or to highlight God’s goodness in our lives every year. However this year I bumped in to a question along with the old ones. As a person who is very grateful and appreciative, I’d like to invite friends and readers to ponder on this question instead:
What are you thankful about for 2014?
Most of us, or shall I say, all of us always want the best. We are all excited to reach the finish line but along the way, we encounter problems that almost tell us that everything is impossible. But here we are now, satisfied, fulfilled and succeeded.
Honestly, I can’t express in words how I am so grateful to God. I really can’t thank Him enough. But let me just express my 2014 in two words: VICTORY and GRATITUDE. 🙂
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
After graduating Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Major in English, I went straight to teach in a private school. And while I was in my first year proper of teaching, I took the Licensure Examination for Teachers last August 17, 2014. During the examination, I feel a bit worried along with the question, “what if” what if I failed?… but thank God for the courage and for His words in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” I also realized that if I pass the examination, it would give great pride to my whole family and that would be a best gift for them for all their hard work.
I give back all the glory to God because last Oct 27, 2014, I received a great news from my co-teacher that I passed the board examination. I was jumping and shouting out for so much joy in front of my students who also did what I’m doing without knowing the reason. Haha. (ang saya saya!!) It was really a great miracle from our Almighty… GOD was the very REASON why I passed… I didn’t do anything at all, it was all Him, I just surrendered everything to him. He never left me; he guided me all the way and I quote, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24 ESV).
Last Dec 21, I attended the oath-taking ceremony at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay. I am now a certified licensed teacher. All Glory to God!!
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
As I take another step in my life this 2015, let me first express my gratitude to my FAMILY, especially to my beloved parents and sister who have worked through rigorous days and nights in the past years to aid me in finishing my studies. I will never forget that in my entire life. You are part of what I am now and this is for all of you, for all the hard work and heart work you have went through.
I also extend my gratitude to my friends particularly the FARFLUNGS INTERNATIONAL whom I have spent four years with, I sincerely thank you. You gave color and joy to my college years. Inspite of everything, we pulled through. Teachers na tayong lahat ngayon! Hooray!! Love you guys! Group huggg!
At syempre di mawawala, my beloved advisory class 7-HOPE and to the rest of my students. You really gave me hope and joy and that’s the reason why I enjoy my career now. Thank you thank you ambabait ninyo at miss ko na kayo!! Love you kiddos!!
And most importantly, I thank God for guiding me and letting me experience all these things even the hurdles of life with such wonderful people. Thank You po ng sobra sobra. I am really nothing without you. Love you po ng sobra sobra.
To the “me” in the past, the “I” in the present and the person I will be in the future, I hope I can apply all I have learned in the real world.
I amstrongly committed to teaching and I know that educating others is a calling that should be taken seriously and with care. As a teacher, I believe that how do you see your students is how they will become. I must have faith that there is something within them that needs to be tapped to awaken their desire to be trained to reign in this life. The first thing that they must understand is what it takes to do it. I believe that being successful in this world involves discipline and passing the test of shaping and molding into a person that God wants you to be.
As a teacher, I also believe that I live to serve. A teacher is dedicated to learning, to his discipline, to his students and making the future the best possible place for all of us to have.
Finally I believe a teacher has a powerful faith in the future. Like the forester planting an oak seed, knowing he or she will never see the tree in all its glory. I know that I may never see the fruits of my labors as teacher. My calling is to plant and nurture seeds that will grow and shape tomorrow.