Cebu trip: Day 1- City tour

Weeks and days before the Cebu trip was really a struggle: struggle in asking permission to my mother and bosses at work that I’ll be going to Cebu for 3 days. (I would only be absent at work for a day because the two remaining days are Saturday and Sunday, no work.) I was waiting for the right time to ask permission to everyone. And yes, they allowed me to. I filed a one day leave from work. Me and one of my batchmate at work love to travel. We said before that we will travel and explore the places in the Philippines that we haven’t visited yet. And Cebu is one of those places. That’s why last March, we booked a flight to Cebu and the date we chose was June 3-5. Our airline was AirPhils. The cost of our 2 way ticket was Php3,142.00 inclusive of travel tax, terminal fee not yet included. The terminal fee is Php200 each for both NAIA and Mactan Airport. It was my first time to travel that far, I mean, to travel outside Luzon via airplane. That first airplane experience of mine is very memorable. I was nervous and anxious during the takeoff. Allow me to, it’s my first time ok! Our departure time in NAIA was 4:15am and we arrived in Mactan-Cebu International Airport at 5:10am.  Me and my friend was fetched in the airport by our Cebuano batchmate. That friend of ours volunteered to be our “tour guide”. From the airport, we first headed to Lapu Lapu Shrine. There was a huge monument of Lapu Lapu, the first Philippine hero.

Afterwards, we checked-in in our hotel “Fuente de Oro”. It was a newly built hotel, and the room rate is fairly reasonable. The cost of our hotel room is Php1,400, per night, bed for two, but with extra bed underneath. Since me and my friend were already in the airport as early as 12am of Friday, we had no sleep. We decided to sleep for 2 hours to make up for the lost sleep that night.

At 11am, we went to the IT Park. It’s like the little Ayala Ave., of Makati, in which there are buildings, call center offices, food parks and restaurants. We ate breakfast there. After eating, we went to Fort San Pedro. It’s the Cebu version of Intramuros in Manila. The place was full of historical memories dated on 1600s. Then we went to the historically famous Sto. Nino Church. We went inside and prayed. We were able to see the Sto. Nino from a distance. Afterwards, we proceeded to the part outside the church where you can light candles and ask for petitions. Magellan’s Cross was our next stop which was just a walking distance outside the church. There were many tourists taking pictures of the famous cross. This is what makes Cebu famous. When you hear Magellan’s Cross, people automatically say, Cebu!

At 1pm, we went to the Casa Verde restaurant for our lunch. We ordered their best seller, Brian’s ribs, it’s a steak, plus watermelon salad, calamares, and seafood carbonara. Delicious food but not that expensive.

After eating we went to Taboan, the place where you can buy baskets of Danggit, pusit and other dried fishes. I really like their pusit, it’s my favourite. After buying pasalubong, we went to Larsian barbeque house. We ate barbeque and “Puso”. Puso is the name of their rice, where rice is cooked inside the coconut leaf.

We were craving for a dessert and so we headed to La Marea. It’s a coffee shop. We ordered cappuccino, tea, and chose our dessert, I chose blueberry cake. It’s so delicious! Until now, I’m still craving for the blueberry cake in La Marea.

Then, we went to Marco Polo Hotel to fetch the areamate of my batchmate. We’re colleagues because we have the same work under one company. Marco Polo Hotel is really a nice hotel; we saw the lobby and waited in the pool area, it was very classy. It was lovely. Then we headed straight to the restaurant located on top of the mountain: Mr. A restaurant; the view is overlooking the whole Cebu City. It’s a beautiful restaurant. Like the restaurants we see in the Korean series overlooking the whole city with lots of light from the establishments. In there, we were able to see a nice view of Cebu, such as the famous hotels in the city: the Marco Polo Hotel, Imperial Place and Crown Regency Hotel. To all the adventure-seekers out there, there are exciting rides that you can try in Crown Regency Hotel. There is a Zipline, a Skywalk, and a Coaster Ride. We were supposed to try skywalk, but we ran out of time.

It was really a long day. We went back to our hotel tired but happy with what we’ve seen so far on our first day in Cebu. 🙂

I was hurt.

Something happened to me last Friday that added another impact in my life. It’s true that words can be so damaging. And heartbreaking. Hearing damaging words that time hurt me so much. I was controlling and preventing myself not to cry but the “words” said were really really really painful. My tears fell when I was riding the jeepney. I just can’t help it even if I was controlling my emotions. One passenger who was sitted beside was looking at me. I tried to act as if I have a cough and cold. If I could only prevent my tears from falling, I would. I wish the person who uttered those words know that he hurt me. At home before going to sleep, when I thought of what had happened, I burst into crying. I let myself release the hurt I was feeling that time.  I cried so hard.

In life, it’s really inevitable to meet people who’ll hurt you. But I know, I can overcome this. I wish I can forget this right away. I hope it won’t be deposited in the bank of memory that never forgets.

I am praying to God to help me forgive and and to take away the pain that person caused in my heart. I don’t wanna have grudges.

No more fears…

Two weeks ago, a friend told me to read a book written by the inspirational speaker and writer, Bo Sanchez. It’s about finding your one true love. Before I got involve in Singles for Christ, I have no idea of who Bo Sanchez is. I got curious with him because my SFC friends are always talking about him and the content of his books. And it caught my attention when one of my friends said that a woman has a responsibility in finding her one true love. So when I went to mall two Sundays ago, I dropped by the bookstore to buy Bo Sanchez’s book, “How to find your one true love Volume 1”. When I read some of the captions on its cover before buying, it drew excitement in me. So even if it’s quite expensive, I never had a thought of not buying it. After I bought it, I can’t get it out of my mind. I was so excited to read it. Actually, after purchasing it, I would like to read it right there and then. But I was carrying lots of things and I still need to go to the grocery. So I controlled my excitement until I came home. I arrived at 6pm, the first thing I did at home was to cook our dinner. After that, I brought down my laundry from the rooftop to hang it inside for it to dry ‘cause it’s rainy outside. Then I wash our dishes and ate dinner. My weekend is really jam packed with household chores and my only time to read is if I’ll go to bed. That Sunday night, I started reading the book. But what I only read was the cover, teaser, introduction, preface, and about the author. It was past 12am, already sleepy and there’s the thought of waking up early in the morning for my work. So I held my excitement. I closed the book, turned off the light, said my prayer and had a wonderful and restful sleep.

When I arrived at work, I told my officemate of my discovery of a wonderful book even if I haven’t yet read its chapters. And just like me, they also got curious, and told me they would want to borrow it after.

There are 8 chapters in that book, and on Monday night I finished reading the 5 chapters. I was able to finish the remaining 3 chapters before going to work on Wednesday. On Tuesday night, I prepared the things that I’ll bring to my trip to Cebu that Friday. I only read two chapters that night. The last chapter, I read after waking up on Wednesday and before going up on bed. But wait, I haven’t read the two appendixes, Appendix A and Appendix B. I had an idea to read the two appendixes on my way to work. Where? In my jeepney ride. I have 2 jeepney rides on my way to work. And yes! I finished reading the two appendixes before going to work.

It was funny when I was reading that Monday night. I couldn’t help but laugh with the situations that were illustrated by Bo Sanchez. I told myself, “This is so me! Haha!”

Okay…. I have many realizations. And here they are: First: I won’t fear to fall in love. I will forget past hurts, unfortunate experiences, rejection, basta, all the bad experiences that I had in the past. I will now risk in loving because it says in the book, “if there’s no risk, there’s no growth”. And to summarize everything, I will always have this thought in mind- We create our destiny. We should take responsibility of our own future. Not just in love, but in everything that comprises LIFE.

In my previous post, I wrote that I’m afraid to fall in love. But now, not anymore. I’ll enjoy everything that will happen in my life. Take my singleness as a blessing from God and as a chance to hone myself in every aspect. I’ll travel with my family, go out with friends, keep myself busy, learn new skills and languages (I want to learn Mandarin and the native language Bisaya), meet new friends, and harbor  wonderful experiences everyday.

And above all, I will give my 100% TRUST in God.

A day at Villa Escudero

In a few hours away from the Metro, is a place where you can relax, unwind and forget the worries and stress from the fast-paced and busy lives of the urban area. Located at San Pablo City is the Hacienda Escudero. It is a farm built, preserved and maintained by the Escudero family wayback 1950s. I was there because I joined our company outing.  And since I love to travel and to discover the places that I’ve never been, I was so willing and excited to join our summer outing. And just the thought of being able to breathe fresh air from the province, see coconut trees, river, jungle, hear the sound of rushing water from the falls (although theirs is only man made), I couldn’t get more excited. When we arrived, the program automatically turned to games prepared by the organizers. And a good way to start the outing was to play native Filipino games. We played Palo Sebo, Nag divisoria si Maria and Pukpok Palayok. I appreciated the way organizers prepared these kind of games despite the fact that lives in the Metro are being bombarded by the digital world.

The venue was so refreshing. It was nice to just walk, close the eyes and breathe some fresh air. It was as though, you are inhaling something that makes you feel good inside. It was a day full of laughter, excitement, fascination as well as hi’s and hello’s from acquaintances and colleagues.

After the games, we proceeded to the buffet lunch which is one of the attractions of the Villa Escudero. I think the one and only tourist destination where you eat with a sound of water nearby and one’s feet dipped in the water, another refreshing feeling.

Me and my 4 batchmates, whom I miss a lot, had get together. My two batchmates were my companion that time. We just enjoyed the place. We did a carabao ride, had a museum tour, strolled in the place, had a long, nice walk, and took a LOT of pictures. It was so much fun! My happiness radiated in my smile. My normal smile is just blank, but here, even my eyes said I was happy.

One employee of the villa said the place was more or less 40 hectares. I was fascinated with their museum. I kept wondering how the Escudero’s preserved every artifacts, even their love letters to each other, their old clothes, the different kinds of animals, the gold and bones found from digging, etc. The items in the museum I can say are considered treasures. And I’m sure, they are also considered as one by the Escuderos. Unfortunately, cameras are not allowed that’s why there are no pictures inside the museum in this post.

If you’re a nature lover and enjoys the ambiance of farm, you should put Villa Escudero to the list of your travel destinations.

I really miss blogging!

I wrote the italicized part of this post while at work. I have internet connection at work but  the web search is just limited to 3 sites. These sites are all work related. If I type google or wordpress or facebook, what will appear is a blocking rule, “not work-related site”. Yeah, it’s really corny. So whenever I feel like blogging, I’ll just open my microsoft word, and boom! Goes all my out-of-this-world ideas, thoughts, imagination, dreams, fantasy, etc! Grrrr!  My flash disk is now full of wordpress articles waiting to be published!

I really miss blogging!!! I haven’t entered the World Wide Web for the past 2 weeks. Last week, my brother asked me if he could borrow the laptop and broadband and bring them to his dorm. So since then, I have no internet access. But I still want to write. So during my free time at work, I pour down all the ideas and thoughts in mind. And everyday, I was able to create articles for my blog. So sad, I can’t post them after I had created them. But no worries, when I get the laptop back, I will post it to my blog right away. (May 31, 2011)

I now had my laptop back. Just today. Hmmm…. Having no internet connection for the past 3 weeks is really frustrating. I can’t read blogs. I can’t publish blogs. I am hooked in blogging. It’s my stress reliever, my past time. It keeps my mind  working. And to all the few visitors of this blog site, and if it happens you like my post, please send me a personal message. I would highly appreciate it. Thank you.

I just got back from Cebu last Sunday for vacation. Also went in Villa Escudero last May 21 for our company outing. I have lots of experiences from those trips. I’ll post a blog about them in a few days. So many things had happen to me in the past 3 weeks. I can’t wait to share them. 🙂

What’s behind the clean up?

I did a productive thing today, my household chores. Actually, I’m doing it every week but what sets it different from the previous weeks is that a while ago, I made an extra effort to clean more spots in our house. Timing I was the only one at home. Through that, I can move our stuffs where  I want to place them while cleaning. After cooking food for lunch and washing the dishes, I started my general cleaning. First,  I swept the floor, then arranged our things, brushed the sink and the comfort room, its tiles, then cleaned our huge mirror (it’s a parlor mirror). I brushed the tiles so hard.

I realized that I don’t exercise anymore for the past few months (except for brisk walking every morning to avoid late at work). I was asking my friends to come with me to jog but everything is still a plan. Cleaning is a good exercise. It’s a work out. My hands, forearms, legs, thighs, waist were all physically moving. And I was sweating. Whew! It’s a nice feeling.

There are thoughts which are bothering me for the past few weeks. And I came across an idea that for me to release all my frustrations, I should be preoccupied both physically and mentally. While doing the chores, my body was physically moving, my mind was concentrated on the task, but there were still times when the thought lingered on my mind. But no longer that often. I knew this idea of mine will work because I already did this technique. Something’s also bothering me years ago. I went to my bed to rest, the thought haunted me a lot more than often. I was just lazily lying when I noticed our house was messy. Then I went up on bed, got the broom, and started my “frustration-diverting-task”.  And my! For 4 hours, I forgot what’s bothering me! I didn’t even notice that I’m not thinking of my worries anymore.

Cleaning is a good diverting factor. Plus, you’ll be proud of seeing your house tidy and you were the one who cleaned it. 🙂

Welcome to the real world!!!

One fact about me is that I’m a worrier. Yes, i worry a lot.  Worry about what? About anything and everything under the sun. Most especially, about the future. I wonder what lies ahead in terms of my career. Where am I heading? I graduated with a degree in nursing. I am intended to be a nurse. When I was studying, I was honed to take care of the sick, to be empathetic, to provide a quality life to the terminally-ill patients, to provide dignity upon their death. That is what I’m trained to be.

But where I am now? In a place where everything is new. I arrived in a new world. I am in a new world. A world where I thought I would not survive even for a few months. Trying something in life that I don’t have an idea is one of the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced so far. Before I said yes to this endeavor, I thought of it for a long time. Will I be able to give the demands of the job? Will I be productive? Am I capable? Kaya ko ba? Reaching that decision created a different path in my career. I did not choose to take the frequently traveled road nor the road less traveled by. Instead, I created a new road. A road where my heart tells me to be. And here is where I am now.  Am I happy? Am I satisfied with everything that I’m doing? To be honest to everyone who’ll be able to read this, no I’m not. Something is missing. Something is lacking. I can’t really figure out this time what is it. But one thing is certain, I am confused. I’m not happy in where I am now but  I can’t give it up. Nor would  i want to go back in my previous profession.

There was one situation with my boss that I cannot forget until now. I felt like I was Basha in “One more chance”, in the scene when she was frequently scolded by her boss. After that encounter, I walked in the streets of Ayala Ave. with deep thoughts in  my head. My mind was so preoccupied as if I was wandering.

But that is part of my journey in this world.

This is what I called life. This is the real world.

I hate attraction!

I never had a boyfriend before. Well, I had one, but as I looked back on it, it’s more of like a friendship-raised-to-the-next-level-kind-of-relationship rather than a boyfriend-girlfriend thing. As expected, it didn’t last for so long. It was really short-lived, I don’t even want to say how short the relationship was. So I don’t really consider it as one. What went wrong? Well, I don’t wanna lie. That time, I was not yet ready to have a commitment. I was not yet ready to share my life with another person. I was not yet ready to open my heart to someone. I’ve long wanted to have a boyfriend. But the timing isn’t right. I’ve heard before from one speaker that the success of everything we do in life lies on proper timing. And I totally agree with it.

It seems like the people around are pressuring me to have a boyfriend already. I would love to have a boyfriend, but something inside me, says no. Honestly, I’m afraid to love. I’m afraid of falling for the wrong person. I’m afraid that I might cross the border. I’m afraid I might not give the love my partner would need.

I’ve been attracted to a lot of men throughout my 20+ years of existence. I’ve met a couple of  men whom I told myself is my ideal man. I’ve had crushes and infatuation. But fantasy is different from reality. A lot of times, strangers become our friends or acquaintances. And the more you spend time with that person, the more you get to know him/her, the more you become interested with him/her. Oh how we prayed for the feelings to be mutual. But just when you’re falling for that person, you’re not numb, you can sense that what you are to him/her is just pure friendship. You can pretend to other people that it’s just okay, that you are not hurt. But you cannot lie to yourself. You may smile and laugh, but at the end of the day, the pain you are feeling cannot be eased away.

It happened to me a lot of times. I told myself before that I won’t be attracted to guys, I won’t fall for them. But nature has taken its  course. At times, like what happened to me before, I saw something unique in one guy, or I don’t know what attracts me, maybe his kindness, his intelligence, his personality, his attitude. I don’t know. The next thing was that I found myself thinking of that guy. But as I faced reality, he cannot be with me. So again, I was hurt. I didn’t ever think of confessing my feelings for that guy because I believe it’s so risky. It’s not worthwhile because he’s taken or was eyeing for someone else already. Those were the times that my heart was crushed. So many times, it had happened. My heart was broken with reasons not really clear/valid compared to other people’s experiences on love. Those were the reasons why I don’t want to be attracted to guys anymore. I don’t want it to happen again, and again, and again. The feeling hurts so much. My heartbreak story may be too superficial for others, but for me, it’s already traumatic. The pain I felt before really hinders me from liking someone. If I could only teach myself and my heart not to like someone anymore, I’ll do it. So, if ever I’ll meet another guy in the future, I don’t wanna get attracted anymore. I’ll just open my heart to someone, if ever that person likes me too. (and take note, if I also like that person)

I’ve said before that I am a risk taker. I’m willing to take a risk in my life except for one thing, for love. I don’t wanna risk on love simply because, I have so much fear in my heart. In the first place, I’m scared to love. So how will I know how to love, how will I risk on loving when in fact, I haven’t open my heart to anyone. Right now, what’s my status? The door to my heart is still close unless someone would knock on it, will take my fears away, and will prove to take care of me and will not hurt me.

When will that be? When will our path cross? How will I know you? How will I know that it’s already you?

On my way to Him

What a nice feeling it is to walk,

With a sound of music in your ears,

Wearing comfortable clothing,

And feeling the breeze of air going through your hair.

Your closed your eyes

And took a deep breath

You walked slowly

and feel the music


That’s the kind of serenity you’re longing to have

A priceless moment,

On your way to loving God.


You hate the way the sun shines

Giving you much sweat

It’s uncomfortable.


You hate your shoes,

As it was too fit on your toes

All experienced on the way to Him.


And when the heavy rain pours

There’s a fear in you to be trapped

As you had experienced it before.

Then you prayed for the rain to cease

And it did.

They say, that rain is a blessing from heaven.

And so you will be blessed.


You are sometimes hesitant to come

Because of the long walk and distance

But the journey is always worth it in the end

Because you have them, your new confidant, they are many.

But most specially,

You have Him

Not only in your mind,

But you carry Him in your heart, as well.


He was there to guide you in going home

To keep you awake as you travel

He’s a voice in your head that speaks for your safety

It’s the price of wanting Him to be in your life

Your dedication will be paid of.


And now, after you came home from Him

You have enjoyed the day.

As half the world is sleeping,

You stare at the window,

Overlooking the stars and a beautiful house.

Darkness covers everything

as it also hides the moon.

But your faith will not be hidden.

No matter what

Because you praise Him.

***

I graduated from CFC Singles for Christ, last April 9, 2011. I was invited by my high school friend. I’ve said before that after the Lord’s day, I won’t attend the future CLPs anymore as it affects my Saturday night life, not really a gimmick life, but everything about my Saturday life, as I thought before of Saturdays and Sundays as my rest days, so I prefer to just stay at home, sleep, relax and destress. But all of a sudden, I just found myself preparing to go to St. Jude and attending the next CLP. The reason is because the Lord has touched my life. I’ve read in one blog that, “You should make the words that are coming out of your mouth, sweet, so as when you eat them, they taste better”. It’s true. I’m actually eating the words that I said before. Because now, I’d like to give my service to SFC. The whole Christian Life Program is a great experience to me and to everyone else in the community. Becoming an SFC member is one of the greatest gift I’ve received this year.

The poem is my actual experience a while ago, going to St. Jude to attend the Christian Life Program Talk 2. On my way to St. Jude, the weather was hot. Then when I arrived at the venue, heavy rain pours, together with lightning. I was so scared because I’ve experienced to be stranded before in Morayta after a heavy rain. It was the time when I was invited by my another high school friend to attend worship led by Korean students. I was in third year college then. There’s flood, that’s why jeepneys can no longer cross the road. So, me and the other passengers just walked and I arrived in our home almost midnight.

And the night time in the poem is my actual experience now. There’s the silence of the night. The silence is so mysterious. This is a perfect time for another reflection.

Problems of intimacy and social isolation

I was watching TV this afternoon when I turned the channel on TV5. It was a showbiz oriented talk show, Paparazzi, with hosts Ruffa Gutierrez and Dolly Ann Carvajal. The guest is Miriam Quaimbao. They were asking Miriam what happened to her marriage and why she decided to end it. That was the first time, Miriam talked about it. The reason for the breakdown of her marriage is that, she felt neglected by her husband.  Her husband is an Italian businessman. In the nature of her husband’s job, he’s always traveling. And after they got married, Miriam left the Philippines to be with her husband in Italy, Hong Kong, and in different countries. It wasn’t easy for her to leave because her family is in here, she has a wonderful career in TV,  her friends are in here, but she sacrificed and left everything to be with the man she loved the most. When they were living in Italy, her husband is always away and she was left at home alone, with no friends, family and husband by her side. That was the time she felt depressed. She has no one to turn to and she was seeing psychologist then. She also said that after their wedding, her husband is no longer intimate with her. She observed that there’s no more emotional connection between them. She had recognized that problem but doesn’t have the strength to address it to him. Of course, as a wife, she wanted to be taken care of, to be given time, to be loved.  When they were just dating, before, she said that they’re always happy; that they’ve experienced no problem, and everything was perfect back then. And when they reached a point in their marriage that they felt that something is wrong, they don’t know how to face it, they don’t know how to handle it. And these were the reasons why she reached the decision of ending her marriage. With that experience, she was left with ample lessons in life.  ( I wrote this, August 7, 2010.)


After I watched that interview, I was bothered, that I just want to write the things that’s going’ around my head. I’ve realized that romance is really important in marriage. For me, as a girl, and as I view myself as a future wife of someone, it doesn’t matter to me how much wealth my future husband will be earning. I will not ask him to give me expensive gifts. Because giving of expensive gifts is like trying to buy someone else’s love. What really is important to someone is the time, with how you made his/her happy and being on the side of the person you love. Plus the support from the environment, the presence of family, friends or people who cares about you, whom you can talk to, share your experiences with, and laugh with. My deepest desire is for myself not to have a broken relationship with my future husband. And with a sincere hope that the relationship between me and my future family will not drift apart. We will share every moment together, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I’ve always have this in my mind, that my first priority when I get married will be my family, next to God.