This photo was taken by my six year old niece April of last year. It’s been quite some time but I can still remember the exact thoughts inside my head at that exact moment… “How perfect and beautiful everything is, and how wonder God’s love is”.
It’s during nights spent away from the hurly burly of the city life, that I realize that God is a romantic God. When our hearts are far from Him, He takes every chance to woo us back. His gestures are everywhere… vast oceans, sublime sunsets, fairy lights on rivers… what a show off! Like a true winsome lover, he captures a lot of hearts on these nights, that much I’m sure of. And would you believe it, He has captured mine too…
“Practice the pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.” – Unknown
Have you ever felt that you’ve been trying to move forward but realize later on that you’re still on the same exact spot? Well, I have, and it can be very frustrating at times but you don’t have to be disheartened. Be patient… and pray. Things happen for a reason and they have their own perfect time. You’ll just be surprised one day at how perfect things have fallen into place for you. Just you wait!
“When you feel like giving up, just remember the very reason why you held on for so long…”
Like what I’ve mentioned in my previous post A success story… My success story, I used to be a very positive person. However, due to some circumstances I’ve gone through lately, I started to expect the worst every time I try to do something. Don’t get me wrong, I still appreciate life, of course, but lately I’ve felt like maybe I was born at dusk because these past few months I got so used to seeing the darker side of things, of life, of everything. Although, when the clouds of confusion and doubt are gone, I realize that good things can still happen and has actually happened to me.
“Pessimism is a toxic energy, which constantly beats us up every day unless we do something to change it…”
Thankfully, after practicing the pause, I realized that having a negative perspective in things can be very unhealthy, so I decided to slowly but surely change my ways. It’s not easy, trust me… but training yourself is a must to turn pessimism into optimism.
Here are some things you can do when negativity strikes:
Do not overthink
Overthinking only creates more doubt. Try not to look too much into things; they may be only difficult and complicated inside your pretty head.
Focus on the possibilities
Think of all the positive changes you can experience if you take a chance at something.
Let go of your fears
I have to admit, I refuse to do some things not because I am afraid to do them. It’s actually failure, rejection and embarrassment that I fear. But you have to bear in mind that you will never know what’s in store for you if you don’t give it a shot.
Surround yourself with people who will inspire and motivate you
Spend time with your family, your friends, people who brings out the best in you. Get to know them more and don’t forget to try to open yourself to them as well. You’ll be surprised at the outcome.
List down the things that make you happy
Make an actual list if you must… and focus on them!!!
Always choose to be happy… because life is too short to spend it with the wrong people or mull over things or situations you can no longer change.
Focusing on the positive can make a huge difference in your life and the people around you.
Have a pause… Take a break… Pray… Breathe…
Then come back stronger…
Well, that’s about it for now…
If you have anything else to add to my list, feel free to leave comments…
I was going through my photo gallery when I saw some shots from one of my getaways which I haven’t posted yet, hence this entry.
If my memory still serves me well, it was May of last year (2017) when I got an invite from my sister and my brother in law to a get together with their friends, and since “NO” is a word that one would not find in my vocabulary when it comes to having a good time, off I went with not a hint of hesitation.
We went to Cebu Westown Lagoon, a surprisingly refreshing oasis for the travel-weary tourists. It is located in FF Cruz Moonlight Street, Subangdaku NRA, Mandaue (right beside MO2).
Upon entering, first thing you’ll notice is the rock-like structure with the resort’s name and some more of it, artfully scattered around the whole area (please see cover photo) giving it a lush tropical rain forest vibe. There are three public pools with 2 to 4 feet depth, perfect for everyone. There are also slides for the more adventurous ones.
Second Pool: DRAGON COVE (2 to 3 ft. deep, best for kids)
They also have a pool bar available if you want to grab something to drink…
For inquiries, you can call the numbers below,
Overall, it was a great experience. I can’t wait for y’all to experience soaking and basking under the hanging rocks of the lagoon… just like I did… ❤
Are you looking for a venue of integration of Filipino and Japanese culture and style while in “the queen city of the south”? If your answer is yes, then you might have just found the best place to be. With 583 rooms in an 18-storey building, Toyoko Inn’s aim is to offer a home-away-from-home for travelers. To add to that, the hotel is adjacent to Sky Water Park, the country’s first water park facility built above ground on top of J Centre Mall in Mandaue City.
I had the chance to see the place myself, early November of last year, with the kiddos of course. Stayed overnight at Toyoko inn and although it may not be classified as luxurious, the amenities and services the hotel provide to customers is of best quality.
Early morning view of the sky water park from our room at the 10th floor…
In house guests can use the sky water park for free… yepeee….. swim all you want for the kiddos, and for me of course…
Food and drinks from outside is not allowed by the way… but don’t worry, there’s a restaurant inside the water park and a few food stalls, so no biggie…
For more information about reservations please click these links…
“A consequence may be the very thing that saves us because it was the only thing loud enough to get our attention.”
― Craig D. Lounsbrough
The year 2017, I would say, is the most challenging I’ve ever had in my 30 years of existence. Why? Let me start from the very beginning.
I’m the type of person who always try to look at the brighter side of things. Growing up, I was lucky enough to have received lots of love and affection from my parents given that I only have one sibling. Although we didn’t have much, my parents strived to provide me and my sister everything that we needed; food, clothing, shelter and education of course. I don’t even remember having a lot of toys back then, but I remember having a happy childhood. One of the fondest memories I have as a child was of my mom reading me a story for the first time, about a princess who fell into deep slumber because of an apple, and that, my friends, was when my passion in reading and writing started. I can still clearly remember that one time when all I wanted, was to get a book, as a reward for being one of the top pupils when I was in first grade. That book still exist up to this very moment.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I grew up contented with what I have been blessed with; air in my lungs, a roof over my head and a family I can go home to (I’m very easy to please). To add to that, I was blessed to have found a job a day after my college graduation and I haven’t stopped working since. I can confidently say I’ve lived quite comfortably these past few years, being able to earn more than enough, not only for myself but for my family as well. This time, I was not only able to buy the things that we need, we also got to enjoy getting the things that we want.
However, as they say, “nothing lasts forever”…..
I have always chosen to be on the safer zone. I’m always cautious when it comes to decision making, whether it be as serious as a career change or as mundane as choosing which brand of shampoo to buy next. But you know, life has it’s funny way of teaching us lessons. I learned mine the hard way. You see, challenges can come at a least expected moment, like a thief in the night.
All those days of comfort went down the drain May of last year. I was already working as a virtual assistant for about 11 months for an Australian owned company when I, and a hundred or more other employees, lost our jobs due to mismanagement. Voila, I was left unprepared. My biggest concern was that I didn’t have enough savings to last me another month or two. I tried to find a job ASAP, because obviously, someone has to pay the bills. That time, I was panic and desperation personified. I was ready to jump at any job/company who’s willing to take me at that moment. Believe me, I was that desperate. I submitted application letters here and there (online) and for some unexplainable reason or force, as if the universe and everything holy decided to gang up on me, I received one rejection after another. My ego almost didn’t make it.
I remember having this “girl talk” with my nieces one day and they said, with hopeful eyes,
”Auntie, love gihapon ka namu bisan pordoy na kaayo ka…. Pero pangita lang gihapon work para maka kaon na sad tag daghan Auntie Anne’s ha…”
”Auntie, we would still love you even if you end up a pauper (insert crying emoji), but you should still get a job so we can buy lots of Auntie Anne’s pretzels, okay…”
The simple joys of a child… right there and then, I wished I was a child again… free from any stress, worry and disappointment. Then epiphany hit me, strong and hard… “Giving up is not and should never be an option”. I was ready to give up then. I wanted so much to give up, but I couldn’t. I knew I shouldn’t… because God gave all of us knowledge and skills so we can hone it, and not be stagnant.
Just days after that talk with my little balls of sunshine (Antonette and Laurice), after weeks of patiently waiting, I finally received a call from an ESL company based in Cebu City, and to cut the story short, I got hired. Although the pay is barely enough to cover all our monthly dues, it’s still a decent income and I’m grateful still the same. Right now, I’m trying to slowly catch up on some expenses and I just couldn’t thank the heavens enough because I have family and friends who’s always willing to lend a helping hand, and it truly means the world to me.
It would have been perfect though if I had someone to share all my frustrations with. Someone who’ll just listen and not judge me. I wished I had a wider outlet to express myself, including my weaker side. I know what all of you might be thinking right now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very close to my family and I know they would accept me no matter what, but you see, to them, I’ve always been a very happy and positive person. Full of hopes and dreams. An inspiration, in some ways, and I kind of wanted it to stay that way. I didn’t want it tainted.
Then, as if the stars aligned to answer my prayers, my niece mentioned Steemit (a platform for people to share their thoughts about random topics) to me one time and suggested that I try posting some entries and I did, and I don’t think I’ve ever made a much better decision in my life. It allowed me an avenue to express my mind’s earnest thoughts and finally fulfill my heart’s deepest desire, WRITING. It’s been barely a month since I became a ”steemian” and I’m having a blast so far, thanks to my fellow steemians for always boosting my confidence with their kind and encouraging words through comments.
At the moment, I’m trying to work on getting back that state of comfort that I have missed these past few months. I’m not gonna play the blame game now, not ever. It’s not gonna be of any use anyway. What I plan to do right now is to spend one day at a time to thank the Lord for giving me the chance to learn how life really works. Most of all, to thank Him for giving me a strong support system, mi familia. They are my all… my everything. Without them, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to the person that I am today….
FIERCER… STRONGER… AND EVER READY TO TAKE ON ANY CHALLENGE THAT MAY COME MY WAY… BRING IT ON BABY…(flips hair)
So, au revoir for the year that was… and cheers for another year ahead… ❤
I know this is a bit late… I got a little busy with this thing called “LIFE” and didn’t have the time to post an entry on the 25th…. so here it goes…
It’s Christmas again!!! It may be celebrated in so many different ways in some parts of the world but they all have one thing in common – it is a time to rejoice and a time to be happy. Christmas is for everybody… far and near, young and old, rich and poor. The essence of this holiday season is embodied through love, joy and affection and for most Filipinos, the best way to show it is through gift giving and family get together events.
I happen to belong to a large family and it has been our tradition for the past few years to hold a get together party where five to six families gather and wait the night out over sumptuous dinner, fun games and surprises. We also had our customary Manito, Manita commonly known as Secret Santa.
Here’s what I got from my manito… drumroll… I’m very easy to please, you see….
Then, we finally exchanged personal gifts, and here’s what I got… yes you got it right… another one (from the sissy)
Christmas is and will always be my favorite celebration, with or without presents simply because it is on this day that everyone let their guards down and become a child again… where we only share nothing but affection and pure love for each other…
Let me send my warmest greetings once again…
I truly hope you had a great Christmas… we did… ❤ ❤ ❤
This saying is especially true to Filipinos. As a tradition, aside from the weekly Sunday obligation, Filipino families normally attend mass together on special celebrations like Christmas.
This year though, my family decided to go on a pilgrimage. As you may all know by now, Cebu is not just all about white sand beaches and gentle sea creatures, it is also a place where devotees gather to practice religious traditions.
On the 23rd of December, we all went to Marian Hills, Lindogon, Sibonga, Cebu to pay homage to the famed miraculous Lady of Lindogon.
I felt especially excited when I got the invite because visiting the shrine has always given me some sense of peace and quiet regardless of how many people come to pay their respects to the dear lady in a daily basis.
I can still clearly remember the first time I laid eyes on the structure that’s only fit for a queen. It felt like being in one of my favorite Disney movies because of the castle-like facade and I immediately felt a sort of connection to the place and swore to myself to come back as often as life would allow me, especially when I went inside and saw the letters/testimonies left by people whose prayers were heard.
We all offered prayers of thanksgiving for all the blessings received for the year that was and asked for guidance and better health for the years to come.
The shrine also holds a museum where they display over fifty images (if I’m not mistaken) of the blessed Virgin Mary.
Here’s a few of what you can see inside the museum…
You can also light a candle for special intentions….
After paying our respects, we went straight to Argao for lunch then decided to have a side trip to Naga city to see their now famous boardwalk.
This is another trip to remember… Highly recommended for people/families seeking for peace of mind and tranquility of the soul…