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I Travel With My Childhood Friends

I know this is a chestnut, but still my favorite quote on traveling: “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

About 5 years ago, during the start-up period of this blog, I wrote about one of my life’s blessings which are my friends. For those who have read my blog 3 years ago, you might have remembered (or not!) one of the travel adventures I did with my childhood friends too. So basically, you have an idea that I maintain a 25-year-friendship with my solid core.

Okay, for new subs, to give you a little backgrounder, I grew up being friends with a lot of people – Yes, generally I am friendly but I think everybody will agree that amongst all your friends, you have a core group. The group that you could go silly with or serious with or sneak out at night with. The ones who are with you through ups and downs. Yes, I have a solid foundation. I have been friends with my 4 girls who I fondly call “bru” ( short for Bruha – a Tagalog for witch) for 25 years now. Needless to say, I met these girls in grade school (First Grade to be exact).

I love traveling a lot and some of you have seen that in my series of posts already. Indeed, traveling makes me discover the unknown, thus, changes my perspective as a human being. It makes me humble having to realize that my niche in this world is just a tiny spot in this vast universe.  I am glad that in the last 3 years, I get the privilege to explore the world with one of my best brus , Joan. We went to Bohol, to Singapore, Hong Kong , Macau and our supposed travel to Malaysia (please read my “Why Malaysia Made me Cry’ here.)  not to mention our local travels together. Amongst all the places we’ve been to, I love our recent travel to Hong Kong and Macau.

Why? Well, not so much with the place, ( don’t get me wrong, the country is good but I have been to other better places.) still my favorite  because we went along with another bru, Anna Marie – plus, they brought their kids (and husband). Yes, some of my friends have kids already and I am glad that we are turning the pages of the unknown world together. What makes me a little emotional is this: We were the kids’ age when their moms and I met. (oh boi, times do fly so fast).

Beholding the world in the eyes of my little God-children and looking at how happy they were in every Disneyland rides while, us, adults have gone crazy, in every expenses, responsibilities and “adulting” stuff that we talked about, I realize how lucky I am to have explored life with my childhood friends whom I consider my family ( by choice).  I wish and pray that these kids, 6-year old Liam and 7-year old Eanna, find a solid friendship as strong as their parents’ (and God-parents’).

I wish the same for my future little ones.

Soon, when they grow up, we will tell them how nice it is to turn pages of life, explore the world and rediscover oneself together with your solid friends. Just like their moms.

You may read my HK and MO travel thru the links below:

Four Days in Hong Kong
Day Tour in Macau



Our Road to Big Three – Zero ( Singapore)

With us turning 30 this year, also marks the 24th year of our friendship.

It has always been a part of our bucket list to travel abroad before we reach 30. Amongst the “brus”, as we call one another, only Annalyn has the chance to go out of the country for several times already with her family.

It was Joan’s and my first time to travel a foreign land and SG is our first destination.

Sharing with you our Singapore Adventure- The first destination on our road to big Three Zero!

Singapore Flyer: The world's tallest Ferris Wheel
Singapore Flyer: The world’s tallest Ferris Wheel
Tourist Unlimited Card that we purchased that could be used in MRT, LRT and bus
Tourist Unlimited Card that we purchased that could be used in MRT, LRT and bus
Bugis Junction Area
Bugis Village Area
Trying out local food with my Bru
Trying out local food with my Bru
A pose with Merlion, ofcourse
A pose with Merlion, ofcourse
Marina Bay Sands at night
Marina Bay Sands at night
Obligatory Selfie at Universal Studios Logo
Obligatory Selfie at Universal Studios Logo
Goofing around like true-blue foreigners :-)
Goofing around like true-blue foreigners 🙂
In a land of Far far away
In a land of Far far away
Giant grove at gardens by The bay
Giant grove at gardens by The bay
We were like Kids again
We were like Kids again
We saw panda bear
We saw panda bear
Taken by my beautiful travel buddy
Taken by my beautiful travel buddy
Singapore Botanical Garden
Singapore Botanical Garden

One Artsy Sunday

As Thomas Merton said: “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time“. 

On Sunday, end of May 2015, I let lose and I found myself amidst gigantic paintings all over me.
My ‘lil and I visited Art In Island. An interactive 3D art museum in Quezon City. We have experienced art at its finest.

For those who are wondering, here’s the museum’s complete address:
175 15th Ave., Brgy. Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City, 1109 Metro Manila
(02) 421 1356 ( Inside Cubao Expo) 
admission fee: 500 php 
operations time: 9:30 am – 9:30 pm

Let the photographs tell the rest of the story , Enjoy!

Life’s Best: Travel and Girlfriends

Traveling is one of my hobbies. It gives me a bizarre experience, a feeling of independence and a chance to appreciate world and its beauty.

When I’m not travelling, I love spending time with my friends. Being with them makes me feel happy, at peace and our time together could take us down memory lane. – remembering everything that we went through as kids, as teeners, asstudents, being adults, and for Joan, Motherhood.
I recently got the chance to hit two birds In one stone – an out of town vacation with two of my treasured girlfriends, Annalyn and Joan.

I practically grew up with these ladies, along with other childhood friends. 10 years of being classmates, a lifetime of being friends, and now, travel buddies. What else could I ask for ?
In an ordinary blog, I would probably be sharing with you my travel itinerary, budget breakdown and practical tips on exploring Bohol island, but now, I will give you a snap shot of my treasured moments with my girlfriends of 24 years at the beautiful island of Bohol.
This is just a start of our travels together.

The next time I reminish with them, this travel is surely a part of of wonderful memories that we will always go back to.

Lunch by the floating restaurant in Loboc River
Lunch by the floating restaurant in Loboc River
what's a trip to bohol without a visit to  our little friends?
what’s a trip to bohol without a visit to our little friends?
Butterfly sanctuary
Butterfly sanctuary
Driving an ATV
Driving an ATV
chocolate hills which we jokinlgly call Pandan Hills because it was green when we were there
chocolate hills which we jokinlgly call Pandan Hills because it was green when we were there

Camera 360 Camera 360

Joan and Me on snorkeling DAy
Joan and Me on snorkeling DAy
With Annalyn : this is has been here a couple of times already but for us, she didnt mind going again.
With Annalyn : this girl has been here a couple of times already but for us, she didnt mind going again.
Man-made forest at the background
Man-made forest at the background
Shell Museum
Shell Museum
I love these girls
I love these girls
just like the old times
just like the old times
being in a beautiful place with eautiful people
being in a beautiful place with eautiful people

Love and Time

Adopted from:

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived:

Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others including Love.

However, one day it was announced to the feelings that the island
would sink, so all prepared their boats and left. Love was the only one
who stayed.

Love wanted to stay until it started sinking. When Love was almost
sinking, he decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a beautiful boat. Love said,
“Richness, can you take me with you?”

Richness answered, “No, I can’t. There are a lot of gold and silver in
my boat. There is no place here for you.”

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by, “Vanity, please
help me!”

“I can’t help you Love. You are all wet and can probably damage my boat,”
Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked for help, “Sadness, let me go with

“Oh…Love, I am so sad that I prefer to go alone!”

Happiness passed by Love too, but she was so happy that she did not
listen when Love called her!

Suddenly, there was a voice, “Come Love, I will take you.” It was an
elderly. Love became very happy that he even forgot to ask the name
of the elderly.

When they arrived to the other side , Love asked Knowledge who the
elderly was. “It was Time.”

“Time? But why did Time help me?”

“Because only Time is capable of understanding you…… Love.”

A Short Trip To A Lifetime Journey

Traveling is one of my favorite things in life.
Not only do I get to see beautiful scenery and visit top tourists destinations in the country, I also get to learn every provinces or regions’ culture.

I enjoyed every steps of my travel, from booking a flight, to going through all travel blogs for suggestions , to learning about my destinations geography and culture. During my travels, I get to live life fully! ( At least, that’s what I thought)

Due to important things that I have to apportion my budget to, I mellowed down on my traveling in 2013.
Instead of booking flights to different places within the country, I settled for short trips with cheaper expense.

One short trip brought me to a very special place. A place beyond compare: A trip to ANAWIM, a home for the aged in Rodriguez Rizal.

Seeing Lolo’s and Lola’s (old man and old lady ) at ANAWIM and hearing their stories set my heart to bleed specially when I found out that some of them were abandoned by their own family, yet, I am happy to see the positivity in them.

At the mini program held at the ANAWIM compound, our dear oldies showed off their talents in dancing and singing.
I felt proud that I get to witness how Lolos and Lola’s wowed the visitors.
I also thought of what their families, the family that abandoned some of them was missing out.

They didn’t get to cheer Lolo Rod in his Boogie and Cha-cha moves. Lola Ana’s family didn’t see how graceful she was at the dance floor, or how Lolo Steve serenaded the crowd. Lolo’s grand children or Lolas’ kids didn’t get to push their wheel chairs while wandering around, talking about anything under the sun. I know these old buddies miss them so much.

Despite what these oldies have been going through, they still manage to be happy in a community that they belong. They maybe away from their own families but ANAWIM tries so hard to give them care and comfort that of a family.

The entire experience changed my perspective in life.
I valued my own folks more than ever. I value life in general.

What seem to be a short trip to ANAWIM paved the way to my lifetime journey. A Journey to a meaningful life!

Thank You Tracy Fordan for the invite!

(**** names are intentionally changed to protect the oldies’ identity)

Jolan Rocks!

CaptureThis is the transcript of an article that made it to the IM Q3 Newsletter!


A team without a leader is like a ship without a captain. Just like a ship, without a great captain, the team will sink. A team lead makes or breaks the team for it’s the TL who oversees performance of the entire group. Many call themselves a leader but only a few embody “leadership” in its truest, deepest meaning. For me, leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal and my Team Lead is one of the few.
The first time I got to talk to her was two years ago when she had a one-on-one talk with me as a newbie to the call center team. She had my trust in an instant because she made me feel welcome and she let me voice out my expectations from her, from the team, and from the program itself. In return, she also pointed out hers. This alone was a sign that she was willing to listen to a subordinate like me. Her being open to suggestions and feedback and her flexibility have impressed me the most. Not to mention her fair treatment of everyone in a team. She set rules agreed upon by the entire team and she imposes these rules no matter the person involved. This is apparent in simple attendance or stats issues.
We have been under her leadership for a couple of years now, and we are witnesses to how she constantly exerts effort to improve her craft. Just like us, she does not rest on her laurels, too. She also goes out of her way to study the process and even asks clarifications. She has visions not just for herself but for the entire team. This is obvious with how she encourages the entire team to excel in everything that we do in order to get qualified in any career opportunities within the company.
Furthermore, she goes out of her way to ensure that her associates who show potential get support and additional trainings that they need to prepare them in stepping up to the plate. She does this by devoting hours of her Saturday mornings conducting learning sessions for some reps; she teaches a group of rep from the team about management skills and coaching techniques to name a few.
Juggling her time between motherhood and leadership, she aces both fields and that makes her exceptional. At work, she manages the call center team so well, making sure that a day-to-day service level is met. Back home, she never misses any single milestone in her kids’ lives, be it at school or simple things at home, and she proudly shares them with the team. She isn’t perfect, just as the team she leads has imperfections too, but everybody strives to excel because she never fails to inspire and motivate.

She is Josephine “Jolan” Regaspi, CS-Call center team lead, a friend, an adviser and a protector. And yes, in her own quiet and simple ways, she rocks!

Love In Time of Typhoon

After the Monster Yolanda washed –off a big part of the Visayas area, a number of comments, ideas and arguments sprouted at the social media sites, some are good, and others need be ignored.

Be it on Twitter or Facebook, netizens would freely post how they feel about what happened. From having their families directly affected, to the sharing news clips to update everybody about the recent tragedy or even bashing the government for the efforts that it extends to those affected areas.

We have realized, we can do better than ranting online.

As almost all companies do in famine such as this, which for some reason, normally happen s when Holiday season is approaching, the company I’m working at has decided to cancel the company-wide Christmas party to donate the fund to Tacloban, the hardest- hit area. Our Team has also given away a portion of our team fund and just settled for a simple yet meaningful Christmas party. All in the name of Bayanihan!

We could have settled for that, just donate money and that’s it, we can have our normal lives again, we have already extended help anyways.

But as everybody calls for help, specially our brothers and sisters in the Visayas, our hearts would not just settle for something less. We know we could give more. More than the monetary help that we could provide, we know that there are departments or sectors that need our services.
Gawad Kalinga is one of them.

As soon as we have collected a pretty good amount of money and goods from our friends at work, we headed to Gawad Kalinga command center in FTI Taguig to volunteer our services.
What we did?  We helped bag thousands of “family packs” for Tacloban and Samar. My friend Toni helped carry , yes , he carried sacks of rice.

I am not writing because I wanna brag about the good things that I have personally done, but I am sharing how proud I am of the Filipino Spirit as apparent in the relief operations. In there, you would see that no matter where one from, regardless of one’s status in the society, the love for our countrymen binds everyone.
I also am mostly proud with how my friends Jolan and Toni have selflessly devoted their time for the relief efforts.

To Gawad Kalinga Team that consistently extends help regardless of the weather, to everybody who in their own little ways, found time to help and to the typhoon survivors themselves, after a few weeks of exerting effort to get our lives back to normal, we are slowly seeing the light.
Indeed, no amount of typhoon can bring the Filipino Spirit down.

Toni at Gk fTI
Toni at Gk fTI

My “Magayon” Experience

It was just a spur of the moment invitation and I didn’t let it pass, I immediately said yes. An invitation from my friend/ housemate has finally crossed out one of the many things in my bucket list:
• Visiting Bicolandia specially seeing Mayon Volcano. —– Checked 🙂

I’ve only read it from my geography books back in grade school that this Mountain is known for its perfect cone. I at last came face to face with what Bicolanos call “Magayon” – (Bicol word means beautiful).
Mayon last erupted in 2010 but it has maintained its perfect cone.

I was lucky it was not foggy during my visit and I Was able to see “her” in full. The 12 – hour bus ride to Bicol was all worth it.

Mount Mayon- known for its perfect cone
Mount Mayon- known for its perfect cone