Sunday, November 8, 2015

Timeless Charm of Saigon and Angkor


Finally, my travel memoir is published! Available in Amazon.com, Kindle store and other online retailers.

This is a traveler's story told in a clear-cut sense, sharing anecdotes on the road and how to take a DIY trip on a tight budget.

Saigon and Angkor are two of Southeast Asia’s most interesting travel destinations that often overlooked by many who seek comfort in traveling.

They exude tranquility and has atmosphere that strides back in a different time. They still resonate memories of an old world. Both have surroundings that are not yet entirely consumed by modernity. Perfect destinations indeed for people who are not only soul searching but also looking for a unique nature tripping abroad.

Saigon and Angkor are perfect diversions from a chaotic city where everyone seems racing with time. The atmosphere is remarkably relaxing with no worries of being squashed in the horde of people in the street, waiting for bus or taxi.

Spending the first week of another year at these places provided me with the kind of peace of mind I needed. For five days, I was drifting far away from the torment in the workplace and able to sort out things. I came home with a rejuvenated self-esteem.

It was not the grandest tour of my life nor a completely comfortable getaway but I learned massively from the experience, from discovering the loveliness of Saigon to interacting with the locals that speak a different language.

I also discovered the pleasure of trekking the jungle and the unique feeling of relief it offered to tired body and soul. The experience had also given me a chance to explore the misjudged territories in Southeast Asia. The underestimated, lesser known destinations that many travelers considered as unlikely choices for a holiday break turned out to be the perfect breathers for a wounded soul.

Others might have reservations in the rationality of a DIY trip due to the possible inconveniences. But a DIY trip is something that everyone should never be afraid of. It imparts so many learnings as you submerge yourself into the unknown.

It boosts wisdom and teaches someone to become tough and more independent. It develops self-confidence and unveil the unique courage that someone possesses when facing danger and discomfort. Risk is always part of the journey but only those who dare to take risks that see the priceless reward of a free and satisfying life.

This evocative traveler’s tale is rich in vivid details and anecdotes on the road exploring Saigon and Angkor without a guide. The discomfort, inconveniences, lessons, discoveries, joy, relief and humor.
This book offers plenty of information and tips how to visit Saigon and Angkor without a tour guide and still enjoy the trip. You will learn from my story why you should visit Saigon and Angkor even once in your lifetime.

The Kindle version is still in progress, I'll provide update soon. Thank you for the support!

This is now available in Amazon.com, for fast processing, you 

may place your order on below link: 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bea De Leon: Powerful hitter plus pretty face

I am a sports buff. 

Sounds a little funny because I had never played any athletic games or gotten myself involved actively in sporty activities while still in school (I was very introvert when I was still growing up and would prefer a life of a monk than hang out with friends. I also dreaded school activities back then). However, when I become of age, my attention turned to athletic stuff. I love watching sporty events on TV and preferred it than soap operas.

I remember taking a leave from work just to catch the finals of synchronized swimming, women’s volleyball and equestrienne events in World Olympics. Unfortunately, however I was not able to catch up any of the UAAP games in the previous seasons due to work. I also spent my weekends in writing and country side escape for my Travel and Food Living blog.

After quitting my painfully tedious job in the corporate world and gone through job interview rejections each month, I decided to concentrate writing my first full-length novel, the Red Star Tattoo. I also gave up skimming the pages of job street and wasting my money on transportation expenses going to worthless job hunting and just spent days honing my writing skills.

While working on the initial chapters of the Red Star Tattoo, the leading female protagonist was nameless, by then half of my attention was glued on TV and found myself switching channel to channel every 30 minutes. 

Until, I landed in GMA news channel. It was the championship match between the PLDT Home Ultera and Philippine Army in the Shakey's V-League. I got the hang of it and continued until the succeeding conferences. However, it was the Collegiate Conference that really pinned my obsessive interest in volleyball. Got hook ever since.

Bea De Leon of the Ateneo Lady Eagles
Powerful middle blocker plus pretty face

One of the players that caught my attention due to her powerful blocking and spiking skills and really cute and pretty face was the towering Bea De Leon, who at first I thought a half-Korean charmer. It was my first time to see her took action in the volleyball court. 

I noticed her innocent, kiddy smile and really sweet aura so I began following all Ateneo matches (I am also an Ateneo alumna, I obtained my Master’s degree in Business Administration from Ateneo de Davao University).

I’ve also viewed all the games of the Ateneo Lady Eagles during the UAAP season 77 in youtube where Bea made her debut outing with the squad. And yes, I really like her style and attitude inside the court, I could see her commitment, her passion, and her enthusiasm to make things work every game. I like the way she pulled her strength, there was always conviction. She exuded so much dedication to her craft. 

Her intense expression every time she scores is evident, there's a burning desire to offer all she could give for the team. I often noticed her frustration every time she would miss a hit or would overshoot a serve. It only reflects one thing, she means serious business inside the court which is an amazing dedication for someone whose star is still rising in the field. 

Bea De Leon in the service line

Volleyball is really a physically-demanding sports and obviously, players have no time to fix their hair or even feel conscious about having no makeup, but Bea De Leon maintains her sweet face, her fresh, youthful glow does not diminish even after a hard day in the court.

I read few articles online about Bea and followed her on Twitter and Instagram, I noticed her playful and fun side, her sweet personality, her passion towards life and in volleyball and the way she exhibits love and care to her friends and family. I often saw her poking fun at her team mates, which really made me laugh, innocence is not yet over, it still reigns in her heart which is good because it means she has a vibrant and lively spirit, a wonderful friend to everyone and an awesome companion.

Her fun side is really fantastic. Why I like it? Well, maybe because I am also like that, I like frolicking around with my friends, and sharing laughter and stories of life. It relaxes everything and energizes a stressful and boring day. Bea is such a fascinating, charming girl!

And due to my awe and admiration towards this pretty phenomenal hitter, I decided to name the heroine in my book, The Red Star Tattoo, after her - Isabel Beatriz. Hopefully, I could give her a copy when my book will be fortunately published. Praying to God that one of the literary agents I am pitching now will notice my work.

I am hoping one of these days, I could meet Bea, talk about life and share stories and just have fun over food! 

Hello cutie Korean doll!
A charming young woman who maintains her fun side while exhibiting amazing skills in the volleyball court. I could see her passion towards volleyball in every hit and block she fired. She did it with compassion and dedication. 

I have never been a super fan of any celebrities in the past but now it seems I'm back to being sixteen admiring this oh-so-cutie, rising volleyball superstar in the Philippines! 

Bea is still very young and at 19 (she was born on August 2, 1996 Oh my God! I felt so old!), she has a long way to go in the volleyball field and no doubt, one great volleyball talent to watch out. I hope to see her in the upcoming UAAP season 78 women's volleyball tournament which I heard will start next year, January 2016. By that time I hope I could catch the games live (and yeah, root for Ateneo all the way) in the venue. 

At 5'11 (others would claim Bea is a six footer) with a slender physique and a gorgeous, cute face, she could be qualified as a ramp model and could be a stand out in a national beauty pageant. Talented, sporty, pretty and gorgeous, such amazing combinations.

Long way to go Bea! Your star is now brilliantly sparkling in the field you have chosen and I could see it flickering towards glorious days ahead. You are one great volleyball treasure that the country is having now and surely, a bright future is looming in your horizon, both in volleyball and in your personal life. Hoping one day I could see you taking your place among the giant billboards in EDSA endorsing a product :-D

Cheers to a shining volleyball career!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I will stop crossing the ocean




Rejection. Just how bad it is when it hits you? 

Yes, rejection of all sort...name it, I caught it all. I just could not get what I want, all I've been receiving is rejection. Months of bad days, of struggle trying to understand what's going on with my life, why I suddenly I'm a total failure, why suddenly people considered me like a jerk, unfit, unworthy to everything. I often spent several hours of the day thinking why things went wrong and all life's negative impact and self-defeating thoughts had just been piled up. 

I badly needed someone to lift my spirit, to let me know that I'm not alone, to motivate me, to pat my shoulder, to spend just a few hours in a day talking about things that never really matter in the end but just to share stories and laugh together, to, well, just being there. But I found no one. And my small world keeps reducing into a tiny circle.

Sometimes, I feel sorry about myself for undesirable enough not to hold one's interest. Sometimes, I would look myself in the mirror, studying my physical feature if there's something wrong, if it is badly distorted. I have in mind to conduct a survey to all the people I met and encountered if my personality is bad enough to be turned away.

But I know there's nothing wrong with me. It's just that people have a choice who they want to be with, where they want to revolve and who's worthy of their time. There's nothing I can do about it but accept. It's part of one's freedom anyway, therefore, must be respected. But I can't help thinking why I was deliberately ditched out, why "relating" has been shut off before the real me could be fully acquainted, why I was totally rejected. Maybe I am not worthy of anything at all,

But realizing I could never win the game by drowning myself in regrets, in remorse, in frustration, I got up and focus on what I'm still capable of doing. I looked at the mirror again and think about life ahead. I'm worthy in the eyes of the Lord. So I focus on God's plan. I prayed for enlightenment and peace of mind. I prayed for additional wisdom to accept the things I have no control and additional strength and courage to wind off life's negative impact. Eventually, it works! Prayers always save my day.

I know I am destined for something big in the days to come. God seems whispering it to me. In every word I typed, in every thought that flowed from my mind. Life is wonderful and it has to move on despite bad days and rejection. It finally came to a point that I felt very tired, trying to connect with the people whom I want to be with but I received nothing but rejection and abandonment. I'm always being refused to be a part of their lives so why insisting? 

It's time to put value to myself and focus how to let it sign. I don't need an anchor, after all. From now on, I will keep things to myself and stop crossing the ocean. The story of success has just began, Thank you Lord for always saving me from life's negativity and for granting me a peace of mind.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

True Love Never Actually Waits

More than a year ago, I posted this audacious longing “True Love Waits”, for thinking that maybe it only takes a matter of day or days before I could finally meet my soulmate and we would be falling madly in love, go somewhere to experience life and sail to the sunset of our lives together. 

But days rolled into weeks and weeks rolled into months and meeting my soulmate remained a distant phenomenon. Eventually, my belief that true love waits eroded, convincing myself that it is only a futuristic wish but never actually true.

Moment after moment, my belief towards myself faltered and my self-confidence diminished. It seems no one wants to take me in and no one wants to know me better. And as with the past history of my waiting moment, things halted even before it started and I coiled back to my cocoon and gave up the idea of still stumbling on the one. I finally accepted the fact that I am not destined to be with someone whom I like.

But grieving over a lost dream or fretting why someone did not dash towards me and preferred other people to be with, is a waste of time. Life is precious and I don’t want to spend each day agonizing over why I could not get what I want, why someone has turned away and why I am always overlooked. Eventually, I stop asking myself what’s wrong with me, I know there’s nothing wrong with me, it’s just that all men I like preferred another human being. There’s nothing I can do about it because that’s beyond my control.

The other night, I was with my two best friends and we talked so many things, including our dreary love life and our failure to be with someone we love. One of them suggested of why not considering the possibility of turning into legitimate dating sites where we could possibly meet someone who would love and value us.

We ended up laughing, OMG! I have never thought about it, you know flaunting myself in a dating site as if I am some kind of a fabric already displayed for bargain. I know I am on the verge of desperation but I still want a Filipino guy to be with, someone who has the same interest with me, whom I shared the same passion and life preferences. Although I must admit that as days progressed, the possibility of meeting the one whom I truly love sounds so remote but still I am not losing hope.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Broke

There’s nothing wrong in my surrounding. The universe did not turn upside down. The horizon stood still. But no matter where I dart my attention, everything seems not okay, and each passing day is really a real struggle. I know it’s not about the world I lived but all about myself. My confidence, my impatience, my views about life and my angst towards a very judgmental and unfair society.

Life had pushed me to my limit, in a state where nothing to grab except desolation. It feels as if I am badly cursed and destined to live miserably. No one wants to take me in, no one wants to know me better. Everyone misjudged me. Everyone is rejecting me. I lost my vibrant appetite in life and want to hide from everyone. I want to empty my mind from analyzing things hoping that one day everything would change, everything would be different.

I am not experiencing a quarter life crisis but deep inside, my system is rambling and I felt all my dreams are slowly disintegrating. I've wasted years of my life chasing contentment and stability but each time I give my full determination to make things happen something bad is bound to happen and I tossed back again to square one.  What's with all these wretches? Why I cannot simply get what I want? As if my life is cursed and there's someone or something is trying to pull me down.

I am tired absorbing all these torments and distress. Time is slipping away and I cannot afford further delays.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Cotton died and my heart broke into pieces :-(

This is one of the most devastating days of my life. My favorite cat just died early in the morning today and my heart broke into tiny pieces. I could not fathom a thing why of all cats in this world it was my beloved Cotton that was taken, until now I cannot process my grief, I don't know if I will scream or if I will sob or I will blame myself for failing to save his life. I could not understand God's message also why Cotton was taken so early. He was barely two years old and a very healthy cat with  hearty appetite.


Cotton, my favorite cat, died early today and my heart broke into pieces

Cotton was born in 2013 August and since his early months he was already devastated with illness, a respiratory problem. His eyes were badly swollen and his energy had dropped. In November, in my attempt to desperately save him, I told my sister to bring the kitten to the veterinary clinic, I did not care if it was my last money as long as he will be saved. The veterinarian told my sister that Cotton was having a severe cough, he was given a syrup and we administered Vitamin C on him daily for his fast recovery. Weeks later, he was cured and enjoying his life onwards.

Cotton with Asi. Cotton had a respiratory problem during his early months
and his eyes were badly damaged but he greatly recovered from this illness.

Playtime every morning with Cotton and Asi

Cotton while recovering from a respiratory disease

I was so happy and very fulfilled, Watching him and Asi (the other kittten) grew into healthy cats made my day so complete. Every weekend, I would be very excited to come home to see them and play with them. I bought delicious food for them, gave them vitamins and milk.

Early this year (2015) around March, I was so nervous to discover Cotton had a lump on his jaw. I would easily panic if I would see Cotton not in good health condition so I immediately searched information on the net with home remedies and medicines for Cats with lumps on the body. My searches returned info about Amoxicillin. So I bought few capsules and mixed it on milk so that he could drink it properly.

I watched him grew into a healthy and bouncy cat

Cotton's one eye was permanently damaged as he grew up but he felt okay and carried it on



During those times, despite having a lump in his jaw, he did not cease eating and still appeared sprightly active, joining other cats when we gave them food. But I was very anxious with his situation. I would check every hour how he was feeling and always made sure he had a comfortable sleeping bed. I put him on my side during night time and kept checking with his progress.

A day later, the lump broke, blood splattered and I was in great panic again, praying to God to let Cotton survive. All through out, Cotton never showed signs of slowing down, he would still eat and drink.

Last March, Cotton was ravaged by illness this time with a lump in his jaw

All throughout this ordeal, Cotton remained strong, he endured the pain

Few days more and he was completely healed. Two weeks later, the lump came back but we quickly administered Amoxicillin so the lump did not really ballooned into an alarming size. Again, he was completely recovered. That was March 2015.

Yesterday, while I was preparing to leave the house, I prepared food for the cats and put it on each plate, everyone came in and consumed the food. I noticed Cotton just smelled the food. Apparently, I was surprised because it was not his normal attitude to just smell the food. Unlike some of our Cats, Cotton was never choosy with food, he would eat anything we would give them and the last to leave the area.

As I walked in front of the door, I looked back to check on them while eating and Cotton stared at me. He seemed so quiet and never touched his food. He just seated beside the plate. But I did not really mind his reaction. I thought, he would just consume the food in a while as usual. I immediately fixed myself and left the house without looking at Cotton. Usually I would touch him before leaving the house but yesterday, well, because I was in a hurry, I was not able to touch him and say goodbye.

Cotton had greatly recovered from the swollen jaw last March 2015

The lump left a hole in his jaw but he was okay and became active again


He was so lovely and I missed him so much :-(

I returned home at 4:30PM. By then all our 11 cats were already in the house and seemed very hungry. I immediately dashed to the kitchen and prepared food. In a bizarre situation, I did not look for Cotton. I don't know why it happened because usually I would check him if he's already around while giving food but yesterday afternoon, maybe because I was extremely tired traveling from Makati City, I forgot to check him.

I was used to come home with Cotton already in the living room that's why my senses yesterday were not really mindful that he was missing while giving food. He failed to show up that afternoon. Again, I did not detect it, I did not notice that he was missing among the bunch. At 5:45PM, I prepared to attend the 6:00PM mass in the parish, so I hurriedly fixed myself and left the house again.

I returned home at almost 7:00 in the evening without minding if Cotton was able to come home, Oh God until now I could not really understand why I failed to check of where about of Cotton, it really hurts to know that I was so mindless to look for him in the house.

At almost 9:00 in the evening, my sister came home. When she entered her room (I did not check on her room when I arrived), she saw Cotton lying on her bed and very wet, indicating he urinated which was very unusual of him. I came down and went to the bedroom of my sister and found Cotton lying as if he was no force to get up. I massaged his body and gently called his name, he barely moved his head.

My sister told me to just allow Cotton to rest because he might have an upset stomach. I told my sister that he had not eaten, I wanted to give him milk but my sister prevented me from doing so because milk is not good for cats with an upset stomach. So I brought water instead and put it in a dropper and gently gave it to Cotton. He swallowed the water. But then, he would not move and would never respond. Again, my sister told me to just allow him to rest. I went to bed at 11:00 in the evening.

At 2:30 in the morning, my sister called me so I got up and saw her carrying Cotton, he was catching his breath and trembled very hard. I did not know what to do, what to give him, what remedy to administer as we had no idea what happened to him. My sister suspected he was poisoned or something or maybe he consumed food anywhere that day contaminated with toxic chemicals. Oh God! I was so helpless, watching Cotton labored his breath and struggling with his life made me to jerk in anxiety. I did not know what to do, I gave him sugar but his breath was already panting.

I was trembling and uttered prayers to God to let Cotton live and allow him to survive. My sister and I took turn to embrace Cotton, I gently massaged his head hoping his brain would be alerted and prolonged his life. But his breath was already deeper and deeper and I wanted to cry with despair. I called his name and whispered to fight, that his courage, after all the illness he had gone through, would sustain him and spring back to life.

For the next 40 minutes, we struggled so desperately to save him, we massaged his entire body, my sister held his head high so that he could breath comfortably. My head was fogging with so many anxieties and questions why on earth of all cats it was Cotton who was given a terrible ordeal. 

Then his breath became fainter and fainter and I could only hear him sigh. Until the sigh halted and he stopped breathing. I moved closer and caressed his head and ears. His eyes were slightly opened and my sister gently closed it, I touched his body, it was still warm and his fur left a cottony effect on my skin. I was in denial. I still believed he would breath again. I continued to caress his head and my sister told me to stop it. Cotton left us. He had surrendered. He had given up his strength. Maybe he was extremely tired enduring all the pains. Maybe he was already exhausted carrying all the disease that struck his body. Maybe he wanted to rest forever. Maybe...Maybe. And I felt I was in a limbo unable to process the agony of his death. I held my breath for about three seconds and struggled to lock up my mind to release the pain deep inside.

At first, I was so confused with the hazy emotion coming from my brain. I sat on the edge of my bed, putting Cotton's half sister in my lap, I caressed the body of Kaki and silence covered my whole system. I did not know what to do, I was devastated but refused to accept his death. I was hoping he would still come to life. I was hoping for a miracle.

My sister stood up and went down to her room. I sat in silence, motionless perhaps. Then in a moment of severe grief I cried but still managed to tell my sister to put Cotton in a cartoon safely, I told her to secure the cartoon for him, to protect him from rain. Cotton was afraid of thunder and he had less endurance of the cold weather despite his thick fur. I told my sister to make sure the cartoon is tight enough.

I slowly laid in my bed, my eyes were fixed on the ceiling and my mind was empty. Minutes later, I was able to expel the hurt that lurking behind my ribs. I cried and cried until my eyes were exhausted. I asked God why Cotton was taken from us. I asked why of all cats it was Cotton, he was my very favorite and took pains in taking care of him. I always made sure he ate properly and on time. 

I was not able to sleep properly. I refused to get out from my bed. At 7:30 in the morning, I heard my sister digging the ground for Cotton's eternal resting place and I cried a bucket of tears. It was the hardest cry I ever did since my maternal grandmother passed away last year. It was so hard to understand the grief I felt. It was as if I lost a very important person in my life. It was as if happiness had fled. It was as if a heavy object had forcibly thrust in my rib cage. The pain was so impossible to grasp.

I woke up and sat on my bed and cried again, calling Cotton's name and asking his forgiveness for failing to save his life, for failing to figure out what went wrong on him. My sobbing became louder and I felt the sting of pain continued to hammer the tiny fiber of my heart. Lord why Cotton was taken from us? Please let me understand why him, it hurts so bad! :-(

Cotton's death sent a terrible blow to my system because he was my favorite and I was particularly devoted with him, giving him food and ensuring his comfort. It hurts so bad, really really bad to realize Cotton is now gone. I asked God what's the message behind this, why of all cats, why Cotton was not allowed to survive, why I did not look after him yesterday when I arrived, why I was not able to notice that he was not in the group when I gave food, why it momentarily slipped from my mind to check if he was already in the house. The feeling of guilt is severely awful. Why God, Why!!!!

The loss is terribly destructive, it is so hard to get him off from my mind. Cotton is a very lovely cat, he was very behave, although he seemed very hungry all the time, he would never leave the house longer than two hours, he would always come home on time and now he is totally gone. Forever. I could not be able to call the name Cottony. I would forever miss him. Now I am already missing him so much.

We have more than 11 Cats in the house but Cotton was irreplaceable, he was unique in my heart. There was no one would come again like Cotton. No one. Not even if the kittens we have right now will grow up. Cotton cannot be replaced.

It's so hard to accept he is already gone. I missed Cotton so much and wished him well wherever he is now. It's hard to accept his death and until now I am crying. It's so painful when your favorite pet will die. Really. The loss is very hard to accept. The feeling of guilt is all over my system because this time I failed to save him. For the past moments in Cotton's life when he was ill, I was quick to find remedies for his recovery but now I failed. I am such a big failure because I was not able to save my beloved favorite cat. Why I failed to do research ahead of time for home remedies to apply in case the cats are poisoned? Why I was unable to anticipate this crucial incident when we have so many cats in the house? It's so awful. God I am so bad for not saving my beloved cat.

Someday the loss will be fully accepted. But now I simply can't. His presence is all over the house. I can still hear his last breath and smell him and feel the warmth of his fur. Someday I know I could erase the traces of Cotton's presence in my mind, someday I could come to terms with his death. But he will forever remain in my heart :-(

Friday, May 29, 2015

For your Travel Bucket List

Planning to embark into a well-deserved travel adventure to Europe soon and still looking where to start? Whether you are a wanderer who love to embark into an unplanned trip abroad, a pleasure-seeking tourist who love the city life, a culture buff who like the classical architecture and cultural heritage or an adventurer who like nature tripping and a quiet walk in the country side, Europe has so much to offer. 

When we think about Europe for a leisure trip, we easily think about the popular holiday destinations we always heard - Italy, France, Britain, Greece, and we give little attention to Germany. But Germany is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe rich in cultural heritage, ruins, ancient fortresses, historic small towns, classical architecture and breathtaking scenery of nature. I've never been to Europe of course but I love editing my travel bucket list every now and then for new destinations to consider.

And here, another amazing European destination to consider also for your next European trip. I frequently read and heard about some of the most beautiful German states that are formerly grand duchies, princely states and kingdoms because I've been a royal fanatic since my college days and been conducting research about the history of the monarchy. Germany is formerly an empire and not only that, it has been formerly divided into territories administered by Princes, Dukes, Grand Dukes and Kings, before it became a Federal Republic at the close of World War I.


Spectacular scenery of nature in BLACK FOREST

One of its most beautiful and wealthiest states is Baden-Wurttemberg. The state's major tourist draw is the Black Forest and its magnificent scenery of nature, if you want to learn more about traveling to Baden-Wurttemberg and what are the top attractions to consider, visit my TRAVEL SITE, check link below:

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Having a Master's Degree

What in store for a person having a master’s degree in the new millennium ? Is having a highest educational attainment still holds an advantage in a job hunt? Does it still matters to employers? Will it still signifies great value to the holder?

Honestly, I find it baffling to find out that most organizations never give consideration to educational attainment when screening the qualification of a prospective employee. Completing a graduate course from a reputable institution means having a substantial training in leadership and professional skills. Remove the technical skills aspect, it can be earned in the workplace, but having a master’s degree exposes us to leadership responsibilities, handling pressure, dealing with difficult employees, facing challenging tasks and analyzing complex managerial problems.

With MBA classmates, Janice, Dory and Girlie

Usually, theories involving managerial and leadership skills which are not usually taught in the working place are taught in the graduate schools through case analysis, workshops and real situations experienced by global companies. We have been deeply immersed with Strategic Planning, identifying human behavior in organization and formulating courses of actions with those problems encountered. In Ateneo, we adopted the theories and studies discussed in the Harvard Business School.

Thus, I felt aghast and very disturbed when an entity disregard it and put us to entry level or doubted our capability to function a certain role. But not those delicate theories in managerial, leadership and human behavior in organization.

Receiving MBA diploma from Ateneo de Davao University
 President, Rev. Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J

In Ateneo de Davao, completing a master’s degree is very challenging, we have to pass a grueling road, we have to earn it laboriously and through hard work, committing so many absences are never tolerated, professors will never hesitate to drop a student in class if absences reach seven times in one semester. It is not given in a silver platter, if your strength is not well-designed to undergo a very complex routine, you will give up. Only few of us managed to survive and reach the finish line.

An Ateneo master’s degree means a person is resilient, very tough, competent and has been exposed to an insurmountable amount of pressure. It still a regular school training, we were attending classroom lectures, real strategic discussions. We were exposed to actual business case analysis works every session, leadership skills lectures and dealing with difficult employees, human behavior in the organization and actual company’s challenges. We were trained how to identify problems in the workplace, how to formulate ideas and find best solutions. In other words, our training is no longer on the rank and file status but on the managerial level.

But it’s not what happening around. Most organizations think the degree is merely a decoration in our curriculum vitae without any value and merit, as if we just earned it in the air, leisurely and given to us on a free hand. I don’t know with other schools but in Ateneo de Davao earning a master’s degree is really tough and highly demanding to ensure that they have high quality graduates.

Based on my experience joining different companies, skills related to the position you are applying or what the employer is looking can be easily learned, well, not unless the person they hired is a moron and seems has trouble adopting complexities in the new environment, then employers will really go mad trying to press that employee’s head to follow instructions on the new role and adopt new routines.

Absorbing roles, responsibilities and tasks in the new environment is not entirely based on how long that person has been doing the routine, example supervisor, team leader, project analyst, executive assistant. It is partly based on a person’s motivation, ability and determination to adopt change, maturity and confidence to respond to the challenges of the new role assigned, drive and desire to improve productivity and quality of the role. More than experience or skills, it's the value of dedication, understanding the core concept of leadership, fairness, and maturity to understand the complexities of responsibilities in the workplace that matter in the end, without these points, skills and experience would be totally useless.

People are just like combatants in war. If you don’t have trust in their capabilities their morale will plummet and they cannot concentrate crashing enemies. If you put them as snipers rather than  tank commanders in the front line, their drive to function well will most likely diminish and their spirit will crash. Sometimes people just need trust and be put in the line where they fit  to get on with things and carry out the tasks effectively and efficiently.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Who Controls Time?

The past days had been tough. Not because I find it hard to push myself to get on with everything and accept what life has offered at the moment but because I’ve a rough time figuring out what is this all about. The message of struggles. The meaning of  all those doors that had been shut. The logic of  denying me with an opportunity. The reason of all these wrenches.

Moment after moment, my questions of these adversities seem oscillating back and forth in the four corners of the house. With no certain answers. Definitely none. Who would answer my complex questions? It’s all about circumstances. It’s all about subsistence. Whatever awaits at the end of this arduous road, no one knows, none of my inkling. Life is tough I know it but I never imagined I would be pushed to a certain limit of my strength. My self-confidence is on the verge of crashing into pieces.

The world has turned against me and circumstances conspired to bury me into frustrations and defeat. No one wants to believe my value and no one wants to take me in. It's a bit disconcerting and I felt so bad about myself. At some point, I turned the table of angst away from me and directed to those jerks who seemed cruel for turning me down, who misjudged and discredited my capacity.

Who would pick me up? Who would be used by God as an instrument to lift me from this turbulent moment?

Hardcore questions. And answers are as distant as those floating meteors in the milky way. Even if I would bang my head in the wall for a hundred times, I would never get satisfying answers to all these muddles. Logic might be flawed and everyone will argue.

Because TIME is a tipping point of what should be done and how things should get us going. It controls the intersection of our journey. It would never yield to what we scream at the moment. It has its own direction. It has its own blueprint how things should flow. It follows its own command. It keeps its own phase and interval. No one can ever pass the parameter without the consent of time.

But who controls TIME?

We might finish our day with a split mind and ended in a mental facility, but I know, somewhere out there, someone control’s TIME. Someone we cannot defy whose judgement cannot be questioned, whose decision cannot be bargained of. Because this someone owns everything. Even TIME.

We might create unreasonable decision, possess courage to make a difference, dare to fly high with our intention to make life worth living based on how we define it, waste energy to pursue those dreams and intentions, without fitting on the timetable designed by God, everything is senseless.

He owns TIME. God owns everything. Even the mapping of our plans. The direction of our destiny. The collision of our path with another. He controls everything. It might be hard to accept or too difficult to take it in but that’s how it goes and we cannot barter it. Not even trading self-sacrifices and lashing our feet on the steps of the church every day. If the grand design is not yet complete. None of those plans will come to realize.

Everything has its own time. And God owns it. He designs it. We have to undergo a different level of pain and tribulation to recognize His grand design. We might feed up with the long delays but faith will keep us going.

After a while, I get back on my feet and think about life in the correct sense, think about my faith, about God and what I have right now. Why I should feel bad? Why focus on the things I have no control? Why concentrate on something that should never be given? I still have my life to live. Never mind those entities/people that/who refused to believe in my worth, they are not also worthy to be grieved on. There are still wonderful things on the other side of the road. At the end of this tormenting journey a great reward awaits. Something that only God is capable of providing.

Sometimes, the only thing we truly needed is just within ourselves, it's just deep within, we only need to bank on our faith to understand everything. Life is a reflection, whatever thought we feed on our subconscious becomes us.

One inspiring quote I've read somewhere:

“God’s plan is always the best, sometimes the process is painful and hard. But we should always remember that when God is silent. When it seems He never listens to our prayers. He is doing something great!” 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Something that we cannot control

Being cut off from the opportunities we have been eyeing, sorely misjudged, underestimated, unappreciated, overlooked and devalued are the most tormenting circumstances we could ever have in life. Then we would be engulfed with a certain belief that something went horribly wrong, therefore, something must be done to fix the damages. Contemplating on our shambolic fate is a very obvious reaction.

Why is this so? Well, I figured, maybe because our human system is essentially designed to be jolted so easily with the effect of pain, abandonment, rejection, distress and sufferings rather than on the upshot of happiness, delight and success.







However, the road to get back to the process of rearranging everything, reconstructing goals and figuring out why circumstances never give us a chance to prove something is not as easy as crashing a cockroach, it passed through many dire lanes, loopholes, terrible moping and assurances that there’s nothing wrong with us, that there’s no such thing as misfortune, it’s only that life has so many highs and lows, ups and downs.

When we are being confronted with failures and disappointments, it’s easy to think that we have months of  bad days, and that it rained every minute of the day and we’ve burnt every food we’ve cooked.

It’s our innate character to be easily fed up, disheartened as if the world has conspired to nail us down. We would eventually think there might be someone out there who spelled a black magic to us, that this world is full of so many jerks and torturers who sabotaged our future, who think we are idiots who lack skills and capabilities to fulfill a certain role or responsibility.

However, absorbing negativism, uncertainties, botches and frustrations only add up to the mound of mayhem we currently felt, these are things that we cannot control, the only thing we can control is our judgement, so the best thing to do is look on the other side of the road, to the brighter side of life and keep moving with our journey. The road might not be as smooth and unspoiled as we have imagined but as we continue walking on the route we determined to traverse, those hindrances and interruptions are just spices that complete the recipe of fulfillment. We just keep  on moving and should never lost enthusiasm. At the end of this tumultuous road, something grander awaits.

In our pursuit of happiness, fulfillment,  contentment, comfort and financial stability in life, it is inevitable that we would encounter so many obstacles along the way, it’s because life’s most precious gem is not always given in a silver platter. It should be laboriously toiled. It would not come easily, it should be striven. That’s how it goes sometimes because success, fulfillment and achievement would have no meaning at all if we would not pass a bumpy road. Its significance could never be appreciated if it is just handed down to us so easily. 

But I presumed, our primary concern is not really to gain pleasure or to avoid suffering but to find and see the meaning of life. Who we are? What are we really into this world? Where would we fit in? What is our mission? How do we fulfill this mission? How to respond to the challenges of time? Once we will find answers to these questions, eradicating barriers and overcoming tribulation would be easier.

This search of meaning is being driven with our yearning to make life worth living, accomplish every basic goal we designed and survive the grueling days of our existence. This quest of a better life enables us to lift our head from misery and allows us to emerge stronger and fiercer.

When facing a fate that cannot be changed, just don’t focus on what went wrong and why it ended on the curve road, be tougher instead, focus on strengths and cultivate potentials, at the end of this dark hole, something wonderful is bound to happen.







With all these stopovers and clutters, we should never forget that life revolves, it does not stop in one corner. Today, life might be crazier and seems rotating in an opposite direction, but it’s not going to be this way forever. Tomorrow is another day. Another chance to win the battle. Another opportunity to rebuild lost dreams and another day to savor anticipation that somewhere along this journey, a door to success will finally open and something or someone, it might be  a group, an entity or a person, will be used as an instrument to realize this goal. For as long as we live, there’s a spark of hope that continues to flicker. 

And…yes, pray, pray, pray. We can never go wrong with our faith, it might be delayed or not granted at the moment, but as what I’ve always mentioned in almost all my inspiring posts here, trust GOD for HIS time is always perfect!



Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rockbottom










HITTING Rock bottom. Once in a lifetime, everyone undergoes it.
Either on a career level or personal level. 
And when it hits, it really hits big time
It feels like everything is falling apart 
As if you have just plummeted into the basement of nowhere
With no hope of ascending.

You search for a clear answer,
Trying to decode God's message maybe,
But answers are as vague as the circumstances.
What's with all these misfortunes and sufferings? 

You feel the pain, deep inside and giving up seems an attractive option,
Life gives you nothing but wretchedness and defeat
When you thought you have everything what it takes to become great
Things just turned the other way around
What's in it that makes destiny so unfair to deal with?

When circumstances conspire to spell bad luck,
It feels like there's a fatal thunderbolt that had been thrown at you
With no way to escape. No way to hide.
 And death becomes you.

Will life still play fairness? 
Will there still be a chance to see the light of dawn?
Will tomorrow still come?
How long this waiting will come to an end?
How long this life will lift you from the pit of rock bottom.

Why there seems to be a never-ending agony?
Of sufferings. Of misery. Of misfortunes.
Life has lost its meaning. Happiness has gone.
Opportunities become just tiny dots of lost dreams
It might and will never come because no one seems willing to give it.
No one will provide a chance. No one.

But hope is the only thing stronger than fear
And no matter how long you've been rocked up into the bottom
You have to get up and keep moving
Because there's hope. You know that there is.

Everything is just temporary
Even bad days and torments
But there are things that seem permanent
And it just keeps getting ugly and nasty and repulsive
As days go by....Those dreams...might just be dreams...

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Summer Fun at Amana Waterpark!

Are you looking for a cool place to chill this summer but would not want to go very far from Metro Manila? Oh yeah here's my new travel discovery last weekend - Amana Waterpark in Pandi, Bulacan, such a fascinating leisure park to visit!

At one of the themed pools in Amana Waterpark

Amana Waterpark prides itself of having the biggest wave pool in the Philippines. The 3,500 square meter wave pool produces a tsunami-like wave which adds thrill to the swimming experience. The resort also boasts exciting and fun amenities like themed pools and life-sized figures of TV and movie inspired characters.
My friend, Rowie Tagaan with the pack of Avengers
You will stretch your patience a little longer here because this area is rarely vacated
with thrilled folks eager to take photo memories with the Avengers

If you cannot get enough of watching the adventure of the pack of Avengers then you will have a precious moment with them posing for pictures at Amana Waterpark. Other figures include Dragon ball, Justice League and Marvel characters. There's a sprawling ground allotted only to Jurassic water world theme complete with dinosaurs and its roaring sounds, a swimming pool and cottages.
At Jurassic Water World with roaring dinosaurs!

If you detest of being roasted under the heat of the sun but still love to swim whole afternoon, you have the option to splash at the two indoor swimming pools. Cool isn't it?

Amana Waterpark is located in Pandi, Bulacan, less than two hours from Metro Manila. For commuters, the easiest way to reach this resort is through a bus ride. Look for a route going to Sta. Maria, Bulacan then get off in Waltermart. Fare is Php45.00. The moment you disembark, look for tricylce around the area and tell the driver to bring you to Amana Waterpark. Fare is Php120.00.


CHECK MY TRAVEL ADVENTURE SITE FOR MORE DETAILS OF MY SUMMER WEEKEND ESCAPE IN AMANA WATERPARK.



Sunday, May 3, 2015

Food Trip: Caramia Gelateria

Had a blast of decadent frozen desserts last weekend at Caramia Gelateria in Ayala Fairview Terraces Mall. Oh-so-good coolers and it relieves me temporarily lessens from the intense summer heat in the metro.

Caramia means "My Dear" in Italy and the meaning seems is living up to the cafe's luscious desserts. You will love it here and will surely make a repeat visit. I love the Gelato shake because its base is the Gelato ice cream which is creamy but sturdy so the consistency and smoothness of ice cream are maintained while sipping the shake. Love it!

Gelato Ice cream at Caramia
Beating the summer heat with this gelato shake in Strawberry Delights
and Penne Rosa and Bacon pasta!


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Why There's Rejection and How to Deal With It


Each one of us has a different story to tell and as we go on with our journey, the story becomes even more complicated and troubling. It edges us deeper to vagueness and bewilderment and if our emotion is very sensitive and unsecured, we will eventually succumb to a serious state of desolation. 

It is hard to escape misery, rejection, despair and sufferings no matter how we want to avoid it because these are part of the story and consequences of being human and for as long as we live and continue to aspire for the best, we cannot escape misery. But when can we say enough is enough with our forsaken fate? Sometimes it's totally disconcerting to absorb all the dust of agony as if life is so unfair and continued to nail us down deeper to the pit of angst and pain.

Among all the miseries and feeling of abandonment and failures, the most terrible is Rejection. Being denied and rejected with something else, may it be love, employment/job, friendship is always disconcerting, unfathomable and traumatic. It crashes our spirit and falters our self-confidence, it leaves us wondering what's wrong with us and why something just cannot be granted, are we jerk and useless?

Almost everyone is battling with different types of rejection and it is always demoralizing. Every now and then, someone, somewhere in this chaotic world experienced rejection: a denied job application, a love interest who chooses someone else, a book proposal that was turned down, a movie star who lost a contract, a homeless person denied a decent life. Rejection at its finest and sometimes we had enough and wanted to yield in despair and wanted to shout and shout why life is so cruel. 

In her Huffingtonpost article "How to Deal with Rejection", American clinical psychologist, Dr. Carmen Harra, presented a profound explanation about Rejection, describing it as one of the most brutal stakes that goes to the heart because it deals a direct blow to our ego...when the ego is bruised, a core element of our being is damaged and we often feel reduced to a lesser version of ourselves".

But why such act? Why are we being rejected? Why others just find it hard to give us a chance to prove our value and trust our capacity? Why are we being discriminated in our own country? The answer is simple. Others have no trust, they lacked fate and confidence towards others, they have difficulties building trust, they are dubious with one's worth and capacity maybe because they too, have issues with themselves that are not properly addressed. When a leader, a person or whoever individual that tend to reject you and full of doubts and refuse to believe that someone has potentials to rise above others and respond to what is expected, that person has commitment issues and already blinded with an ugly encounter from the past, deliberately forgetting that each individual has a different story to tell and should not be judged cruelly with the mistakes of others .

If only these people will give us a chance to prove our worth and let us act based on what is expected then doubts and hesitations will be eradicated and trust will take place. But their views are already contaminated with doubts, refusing to come up with a good judgement, closing their minds with the golden discovery that awaits on the person they rejected, may it be love or employment.

There are people who are innately power-driven and born with natural leadership skills but often overlooked and rejected due to doubts of capacity, mistrust and misconceptions, they are already judged even before giving a chance to work on their skills and talents. It is sad sometimes but this is what happening right now in our society.

So how are we going to respond to rejection? For sure grieving over failed dreams and what has been lost is an insane idea. Being rejected for an employment, a job opportunity, a date, love, career and others is not the end of the world nor a moment to waste time in crying. Life does not end in misery and failures, it revolves and each day offers a different story to tell. So get up and learn from mistakes and overcome the stigma of rejection. Forget those jerks who reject you, they are not worthy of your time.

How to deal with it?

Early Acceptance - Rejection is severely traumatic but the feeling of abandonment won't go away if we nurture it and let it stay in our system, so get rid of it by accepting the defeat early and get on with life. Put in mind that everything happens for a reason and God prepares something better, grander and surprising. God wants us to enjoy life and if we continue to hold on, good things will come our way. It might not be what we wanted at the moment but it could be what we needed at the moment. 

Move on - Remember that life revolves. We should never stop from our quest of looking for something better, it might not come in a split second, but trust God for His time is always perfect. We have to look and move around and do what we can do to reconstruct our failed hopes and dreams. The rejected opportunity might not be the one that could come out the best in us, there's something more wonderful waiting to unfold.

Don't Lose Hope - This is an old adage but still holds water, for as long as we live, hope is always part of our cycle.

Look on the brighter side of life -  Stop complaining and maintain a positive disposition. Yes, we should keep our heart and mind open to a possible opportunity. Maybe that job application that has been denied is not the one that will help us grow into a better person and that workplace might not be a conducive for our growth as a professional. Maybe that someone we keep on wishing to be with is not the right person given by God.

Continue the Quest - If searching for job, continue looking for it, don't define the future with the rejection given by one company. If searching for love, continue praying for it, someday, someone who is truly meant for you will come in the most unexpected and surprising time and circumstances designed by God. 

Prayer and Faith - There's nothing more powerful than prayers. God listens to every prayer. He knows the longings of one's heart. He hears our cries of pain and agony. If we keep holding on to our faith and rely on God's guidance, we will never lost in our journey.