Trip to Bohol

I had the opportunity to visit the beauty of Bohol last year, where I’ve seen the Chocolate Hills in person, chilled in Panglao Beach Resort, and toured the Bohol Bee Farm, where I’ve tasted the very delicious iceย cream.

Since I’m on reminisce mode, let me share to you my journey and pictures (no filter) of my travel: ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜

 

Bohol Bee Farm: Buzz Ice Cream

 

Bohol Bee Farm: Ocean View

 

Panglao Island: Public Resort

We found a place to chill here without paying too much! I think we only paid less than a hundred bucks for the entrance fee.

 

Bohol: Chocolate Hills

We went there 1st week of October 2016 and at that time, the hills were not so chocolatey.

 

Ancient Church

I forgotย the name of this church but it is one of those churches during the year that was affected by the great earthquake.

 

So there. I’m trying to document all my previous travels so pardon me if some are dated years ago. But heck, I enjoyed life by traveling once in a while so I wanna have some documentation to inspire others, and that includes you!

๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

Inspired by Teachers

Just today, my task was to compile all the videos of The Many Faces of a Teacher from their facebook page. The Many Faces of a Teacher (TMFT) is an advocacy campaign of Bato Balani Foundation to provide inspiration to educators alike that being a teacher is a very noble profession, and that the sacrifices they do for their students, their region, their country are honored and celebrated. And so, I set on my task and checked out their Facebook Page:

A Few to Inspire the Many: A Tribute to Teacher

 

Upon clicking each video link, it is inevitable that I get to watch each educator and how they are considered as the true catalysts of change in their barrio, in their classroom, and in their region. For this year 2017, I learned about the four (4) TMFT honorees and their story. Maybe, instead of sharing their story, I would recommend that you go watch their videos:

 

Teaching for Renewal

Dr. Bernadeth Bernalte Gabor, PhD

 

Caring for Wildlife for a Better Life

 Dr. Aimee Lynn Barrion Dupo, PhD

 

Creating Solutions through Science

Mr. Ronaldo Reyes

 

Keeping the Culture Alive

Ms. Lord Jane Caballero Dorda

 

Also, the videos for the 2014 – 2016 honorees are posted in this page:

A Tribute to Teacher: 2014 – 2016 videos

 

Upon watching each video of the teachers, I marvel at how passionate each of them in teaching. But more than just teach, I also realized they are zealous in their pursuit to uplift the lives of their students, community members, colleagues, and continue to inspire their fellow countrymen in their service. I’ve thought to myself, “Do I have the same purpose? Do I have the same zeal in what I believe in? Do I make a move to uplift the lives of my fellow countrymen? What is it that I really like doing that can help other people?”

 

Lately, I’ve been contemplating on my dreams and goals, and if I compare myself to these teachers, I have nothing to boast. However, I am inspired to at least become a catalyst of change wherever God has placed me. Currently, God has given me a career where I enjoy developing materials, innovating, and sharing my thoughts to people. I get giddy when I am able to try new EdTech stuff, and I get serious when I am given the chance to brainstorm how we can use this to put inside the classroom [and make a difference]. I just thank God for giving me a career where I can work and play at the same time.

 

How about you? Have you found your place in this world yet? Are you just like me who still doesn’t know what to do next in your life? 

Well, my friend, you are not alone. After being rejected for my scholarship applications, I am confused on what to do next. I guess, one thing is for sure: whatever we do in this life will make an impact to other people. The question is, will you make it a positive, or a negative one?

 

As for me, I’m leaving everything in God’s hands. I do not know yet what the future may hold, but I have that hope that whatever I will do in the future, God will use me to make a positive impact to another person/s. ๐Ÿ™‚

My Bucketlist

I have been thinking lately of writing my own book.

Well, lately, I’ve been thinking of the things I’ve done and what I want to do for the next 5 or 10 years. ย A bucket list per se of the goals I want to achieve, dreams I want to fulfill and the life experience I want to feel and witness before I die.

While updating this bucket list of mine, I’ve realized that life is too short and I’ve been confined to looking forward to only studying abroad. Well, I guess those plans change. Haha. It’s not that it is a race against time, but it is something how I want to maximize every moment of my life and live life to the fullest. This is one insightful exercise for me, and upon checking my list, you might also want to write yours and experience life to the fullest.

  1. Study Graphic Design.ย 
  2. Visit Coron, Palawan.ย 
  3. Bring my family to Coron, Palawan.ย 
  4. See my father after he left us.ย 
  5. Tell my father I’ve forgiven him.ย 
  6. Travel outside the country.ย 
  7. Experience the beauty of Batanes.
  8. Go horseback riding.ย 
  9. Go scuba-diving.
  10. Travel with friends.ย 
  11. Travel outside PH alone.
  12. Have my own blog domain.ย 
  13. Create my own website from scratch.
  14. Develop my own mobile game.
  15. Create an app that would help students learn.
  16. See the Northern Lights.
  17. Visit China.
  18. Study Chinese.
  19. Attend a course on mobile game development.
  20. Finish a course on 3D animation.
  21. Sing in a bar.
  22. Listen to my favorite live band.ย 
  23. Watch Boyce Avenue in concert, live!
  24. Reach the summit of a mountain.ย 
  25. Do overnight camping once a year.ย 
  26. Go stargazing on top of a mountain once a year.
  27. Climb to Mt. Sagada.
  28. See the sea of clouds at Sagada before sunrise.
  29. Say I love you to a special person and be loved back.
  30. Go Ice Skating.ย 
  31. Visit Thailand and its night market.
  32. See a snow in person.
  33. Walk Baker Street in London!
  34. Visit a castle in Ireland.
  35. Reach the summit of a mountain with my special person.
  36. Handwrite love letters for my special person.
  37. Receive handwritten love letters.
  38. Read a book per month.ย 
  39. Blog a book review for every book read.
  40. Interview a popular figure in the field of educational technology.
  41. Attend an EdTech Conference abroad.
  42. See the Eifel Tower in person.
  43. Ride the Gondola in Venice.
  44. Take a Masters degree abroad.
  45. Kiss under the rain.
  46. Host an online training for education.
  47. Take photos of a wild animal.
  48. Build my own game development business.
  49. Work from home.
  50. Teach a child how to read.ย 
  51. Plant trees.ย 
  52. Receive a bouquet of roses.
  53. See the whale sharks and swim with them.
  54. Ride a hot air balloon with my special person.
  55. Pray for a stranger.ย 
  56. Write a book.
  57. Attend a garden wedding.
  58. Put my head out the car during a long road trip.
  59. Serenade my special person.
  60. Play a guitar.
  61. Go ballroom dancing with my special person.
  62. Get a complete makeover.
  63. Shout at the top of a mountain.
  64. Live in another country.
  65. Bake for my special person.
  66. Swim in a waterfall.
  67. Kiss under the water.
  68. Conquer my biggest fear.
  69. Interpret dreams.
  70. Help a non-government organization in helping kids further their education.
  71. See the cherry blossoms in Japan.
  72. Give a book.ย 
  73. Enjoy picnic.ย 
  74. Ride a helicopter.
  75. See Queen Elizabeth in person.
  76. Romantic evening at Enchanted Kingdom.
  77. Be as open and upfront as I can in a relationship.
  78. Travel the Southeast Asia.
  79. Bring my family for an out-of-the-country trip.
  80. Invest in stocks.
  81. Save up at least 6 months of my current salary.
  82. See my friends get married.
  83. Become a reporter for a day.
  84. Speak for a research engagement.
  85. Troubleshoot a car.
  86. Ride a ferris-wheel.
  87. Go island hopping.
  88. Confess my love.
  89. See the floating lanterns in Taiwan.
  90. Wear the national costume of South Koreans.
  91. Perform a spoken word poem in front of many people.
  92. Troubleshoot a desktop PC on my own.ย 
  93. Become a part-time student.ย 
  94. See Pixar or Disney Animation studio for real!

Book Review: Every Soul A Star

This ย book has been recommended by a close friend and I do, too, for reasons below. ๐Ÿ™‚

every_soul_a_star_book_cover

 

Every Soul a Star is a young adult fiction that shows the point of view of three teenagers who unlikely met each other at a campground to watch a total solar eclipse, and developed genuine friendship along the way. It is a story set in approximately about two week-time frame how three three kids, with very different personalities and under normal circumstances would never meet, learned from each other and grow individually.

 

The author, Wendy Mass, did a great job describing the characters in detail given a first-person point of view. It was like looking at one character in three perspective, which made me appreciate each character, with all their strengths and flaws. The main characters Ally, Bree and Jack are just normal kids, at varying life situations, who are able to share their passion for science, fashion, books and drawing. Additional characters Melanie, Kenny and Ryan are also described in a way that showed how their friendship developed as a whole. ย I’ve seen in this book a very innocent characterization, with raw definition of how life is treating them, in their own perspective. Puppy love can also be interpreted, but again, in a very innocent depiction. Also, I thought the parents of these kids were depicted as killjoy overall, but their actions were given justice eventually and how the kids resolved family issues on their own highlighted a normal family circumstance — that kids have to accept things whether or not they like it, and just learn to make the best out of it.

 

The pacing of the book is just so, so, but since there are so many mentions about astronomy, stars, sun and the love of characters for this subject, I came to love it as well. I have been fascinated with heavenly bodies, but not to the extent to really do research and run after it. After reading this book, I felt like I want to experience a total solar eclipse, and made me want to see it on my own. With this book, my close friend was inspired to watch and experience for himself the total solar eclipse last August 21, 2017. It is also the same for me. After reading this book, I want to catch the next total solar eclipse and experience the magic, mystery and life-changing effect this miracle of the universe can do to people.

 

So, overall, if you want a good read with a bit about science, astronomy, and a story of how a genuine friendship can develop from very unexpected places, this one is for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

Coron Escapade

Back in February 2016, I had one of the most memorable vacation in my life. It was when for the first time, I traveled with my family for a 4-day, 3-night bonding.

 

Day 1

We arrived early at Coron and were picked up by the crew of the hotel where we stayed for the duration of our stay. Originally, our tour package included a city tour around Coron which involves trekking to the City’s hilltop. Thinking my mom would have a hard time doing this activity, we changed itinerary: 3 days for island hopping and then a day for rest in the city. 

So there. By 9am, we were ready for our island hopping. I forgot the names of the islands we visited, but one thing is for sure: they have pristine white beaches, and untouched beauty that one would be so giddy to explore. 

In the afternoon, our tour guide stopped in the middle of the sea,  only to join other boat guides in their party showdown. Loud sounds and a party playlist exploded in my senses. The other guests were also hooked. This was just the 1st day and I was enjoying my stay.

Day 2

For most of the day, we visited the shipwreck sites and had some snorkeling. We also made some new friends along the way. 

Here’s some of our sumptous lunch that included fish, seafood meat, and veggies.


Day 3

Our last day for the island hopping included some trekking at the Kayangan Lake, and another swimming exercise at the Lagoon. We didn’t forget to have the famous shot by the sea, though. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is by far my favorite groufie shot. ๐Ÿ™‚

The tide was high and we had rough seas here. Yet, we managed our winning smiles in both photo.

Lastly, when you see a pig by the beach, you’ll know your stay will be an enjoyable one.

Our Coron escapade was really an enjoyable one. If you happen to visit the Philippines, don’t forget to see those world-class beaches and islands in Busuanga (Coron), Palawan. Aside from island hopping, you can also do a Safari Tour and a City tour if you’re the nature and forest type of person. ๐Ÿ™‚

Are You Content in your Present?

Has there been a time when you have been working your ass off just to level up in your career? Or you have this ambition you want to reach whatever it takes. Yet, this verse says you have to be content.

So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.

1 Peter 5:6-7 (MSG)

 How would that really sum up?

In the last six years, I have been working as a rank and file in the corporate world, with just a meager income to get me by. For so long, I have prayed to God that He’ll promote me because I know I have the skills and I can do any tasks given to me (too confident, I must say). But then, I do not get my prayers answered. My question back then was,  “why”?

Year in and year out, I’m seeing myself working as I can but I am not yet promoted in my workplace. So one day, I asked myself, what does promotion really mean? Does it indicate selling an idea to gain approval towards it? Or does it mean seeing yourself in a higher position than any of your colleagues such that it gives you self-worth?

The Bible says to be contented with what we have and what we are.
It does mean to accept whatever has been given to us and use those resources make the best product. It does mean that where God has put us, we should be working to the best that we can be, without expecting something in return, without demanding more than what is provided. 

Being contented means being happy with having little as with much, working for others like working for oneself, and accepting our fate as one that will build us, not enslave us. 

It is a test of my character to be contented when there are times that I see my colleagues living the life they’ve dreamed of — traveling abroad, marrying their chosen mate and working the job they’ve dreamed of while being paid handsomely. It is a test of my character to accept my situation where I just work to provide for my family, and I have to save up for a year just to have 3-day, 2-night out of town vacation with my family. It is always a test of my character to stay where I currently am and not reach for my dreams. 

But the Bible also says be contented with who you are. 

So, it does mean that if I am ambitious about something, I have to go get it, work my ass off without demanding and expecting something in return. It does mean I have to wait for the right moment, and instead enjoy my present duties — love every bit of it — such that I won’t think it’s work. 

Being contented means being passionate with who you are as a person, pursuing your passion, loving life, and sharing kindness where you are planted. 

And when you least expect it, God will uphold you in His hand and level up the field. As having equipped you with the skills and character during the testing season, you will be prepared to take on a new role. You will be prepared to soar higher than ever before, but this time, you won’t fall because you have failed many times that you know what to do next. When God promotes you, there’s no minute wasted, you will be doing something greater that would impact the world — all because at one point in your life, you’ve accepted your fate and instead shared your happiness with them. 

I have Questions and God Answeredย 

Every year, my spiritual family in Victory (globally known as Every Nation) gathers to participate in a week-long prayer and fasting (P&F). It is the time where instead of choosing our desires, we choose God. 

This year’s P&F is special for me. Our topic is “Knowing God” intimately. This is the year I’m also believing God, more than all the answered prayers for the upcoming months, that I’ll be able to hear God’s whisper during my quiet times. 

My most memorable times are the ones I’ve believed and claimed in faith to happen, and indeed, God fulfilled those faith goals. As what Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is being sure of what you hope for and being certain of what you do not see (CEV).”

During this year’s P&F, here are some of my decision questions I’m praying for and indeed, God answered them one by one after only three weeks into 2017. 

1) Career: Will I have another opportunity with another employer or will I stay at my current company? God knows I’m vying for career advancement. 

2) Emotion: For one year, I’ve been attracted to this guy friend that I have, yet he does not know my feelings and I have no idea if these feelings I have for him will be reciprocated. 

3) How can I be effective in sharing Jesus to other people?

4) Love: How will I know the man I’ll marry? I’m already at that marrying age and I’m still waiting. 

These are personal questions I have with Jesus and during my quiet times, he answered it one by one through the book of Ephesians:

1) Career: Stay and be excellent.

Ephesians 2:7 Now God had us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 6:5b-8 Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God (MSG)

2) Emotion: Love him like a brother. Love without expecting something in return.

Ephesians 5:1-2 Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (MSG)

3) Sharing the gospel: Though I’m not qualified, God will equip me. 

Ephesians 3:7 This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities (MSG).

4) Love: He will be a husband in qualities to you. That way, you’ll know He’s the one. 

Ephesians 5:22b-28a The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. 

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives (MSG). 

Indeed, it is just weeks into 2017 and God has already been answering my questions. He has given me peace with the decisions I’ve made and I just know He will never leave me nor forsake me. I know 2017 will be an amazing year for me.