Archive | April 2013

Center

You’re the center of the universe Everything was made in You Jesus Breath of every living thing Everyone was made for You

:Pre-Chorus: You hold everything together You hold everything together

:chorus: Christ be the center of our lives Be the place we fix our eyes Be the center of our lives

We lift our eyes to heaven We wrap our lives around your life We lift our eyes to heaven, to You

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Happy at Thirty!

Wow, I’m 30! I always thought being thirty was wayyyy old. And mature. But I still feel (and look) like I’m in my early twenties. :p

I still got one more year to go before I’m finally out of the calendar. Oh.. but who cares? Right now I am just so thankful for the wonderful years that God has given me.

When I turned 20, I wrote a 5-year and 10-year plan on my diary. Well, a lot of my plans have already materialized, like being able to:

– complete my Masters degree in IT (at 24)
– get IT certifications (PhilNITS at 24 and Java at 29)
– help my parents in sending my brothers to college (at 25 and  28)
– work in a world-class IT company (at 28)
– serve at The Feast (at 28)
– start paying for my own property (at 29)
– cross off items on my bucket list like treating my family to an out-of-town vacation, going to Japan, and giving my parents an anniversary trip

However, I also envisioned myself getting married and having my own family at 26. It didn’t come true but it’s been a colorful and interesting journey. I have endured (and survived) 3 major heartbreaks. It was tough, but I learned a lot. And those experiences have shaped and made me the person that I am today.

My friends actually agreed with me when I told them that I noticed that I am more at peace, more secure, and more emotionally mature now. Before, I used to cry and succumb to sadness and negativity when I am faced with problems and challenges. Right now, I already know how to handle challenges and negative emotions. I now face the world with a positive disposition. I may have failed a lot in the past, but I know that they are only stepping stones to a better version of me. 🙂

I honestly think that 30 is better than 20 because when you’re at 30, most often than not, you already know yourself better, you are able to make wiser decisions because of your accumulated experiences, and you are already working on a job that you really love.

I was thinking about writing this post when I came across Bianca Gonzalez’s latest post on her blog. I super like what she’s written about why being 30 is more awesome than being 20.

Why being 30 is more awesome than being 20. 

 

Because you can say you’ve “been there, done that” to problems that you had no idea how you’d get through when you were 20.

 

Because you’ve embarrassed yourself and committed booboos enough times to know how to laugh at yourself and not take yourself too seriously.

 

Because when they say you have to be “whole” before entering a relationship, you kinda know better what it means to be “whole”.

 

Because you need not be too safe with your words and you don’t really feel the need to please others all the time. Why? Because you are strong enough to stand by your word and you learn that you really cannot please everyone.

 

Because by 30, you’ve probably gone through a point in your life where you lost everything, and you know now that you are strong enough to pick yourself up again and rebuild your life.

 

Because by now you’ve sort of figured out the answer to that nagging quarter life crisis question: What is my place in the world?

 

Because you just know yourself better. 🙂

 

I’m not saying I have it all figured out because I don’t, but I can say I know how to go about things a bit more.

 

– Bianca Gonzalez

 

I look forward to more awesome years ahead and I trust that God has the best in store for me (and for you, too!).  😉

Jewels Challenge by Rissa: Grace to be born visit

One of the assignments given by Ms Rissa on our session 1 of JEWELS is to visit Grace to be born (aside from reading 3 chapters of the Bible everyday and tithing).

That’s why last Sunday, I and my sisters decided to have our CG at Grace to be Born. The babies were sooo cute and adorable.. 🙂

babies

We really had a great time with the babies. I was especially attached to Nayumi. I even put her to sleep (bottom right at above pic).. It was hard for us to leave them crying and longing for our touch and affection. 😦 Bawal ma attach – warned our CG head, Camille.grace_to_be+bornWe became instant moms to the babies. I really love babies and kids so obviously, I had a super great time with them. I hope and pray that they find homes soon… If you are a couple, maybe you can adopt one of the kids and give them a bright future. God bless! 🙂

Samal Island

Samal Island is just a few minutes ferry ride from Davao mainland.
There are lots of choices of beautiful resorts here  – from affordable cottages to luxury resorts. To give you an idea, I would like to share to you 3 beach resorts that I’ve stayed in during my visits to the island.

Punta del Solpunta del sol

Kaputian Beach
kaputian

Maxima
maxima2maxima1maxima_activities

Birthday trip day 5: Camiguin Island

Whoa, it’s my nth birthday! (Note: This post was written on April 10) 😀

I woke up with a smile on my face. My family is with me (although we’re missing my brother Jong and his family) and I’m on Camiguin Island! Yey!!! 🙂

We had a terrific day yesterday. The expense for the tour around some of Camiguin’s tourist spots was really worth it. I woke them up at around 5:30 so that we can go to White Island and enjoy the sandbar before it gets too hot. We rented a pumpboat for 400 pesos and 2 pairs of goggles and life vests so we could enjoy swimming and catching a glimpse of some fish.
white_island

We had a very simple breakfast of camote, banana (saba), pansit bihon (for long life), pork barbecue, and milo/coffee. Hmm.. I am sooo grateful to the Lord for this very wonderful day! 🙂

We ate toyom (sea urchin meat), which was sold on the island for 20 pesos. It was Mama’s favorite and she really couldn’t resist eating it. It looked yummy so I gave it a try.. It’s not that  yummy for my taste, but it’s not bad either. 😀

with_loved_onessolo_camiguinL-R: At White Island, Highway overlooking sea, Old Church ruins, Walkway, Ardent Hot Spring

I didn’t want to leave Camiguin and be away from my family again but Mama had to get her PRC licence from Butuan. So at 10am, we left the beautiful island. It only took us about an hour and a half to reach Balingoan port. My siblings and the other passengers caught a glimpse of a dolphin! Oh, lucky them. I only saw the dolphin when it was already submerged in water and it quickly disappeared.

After having our lunch at one of the carinderias in the port, we bid each other goodbye at Balingoan bus terminal. Amazingly, the van from Balingoan to CDO cost only 100 pesos and it only took 2 hours for me to reach CDO! At 2pm, I was back in CDO… and since Dianne was still busy at work, I had to stay at D Morvie inn for 200 pesos (12-hr stay). The room was really tiny but since it was airconditioned, had a cable TV, and Wifi connection, it really wasn’t bad at all.

I had dinner with my friend Dianne and her friend at Loreto’s. They serve good food and there was a live band – we even asked them to sing Happy birthday for me. Hehe.. Yey! 🙂 After our dinner, we went to a Class A seaside restaurant just to feel its ambience. It was beautiful and romantic. Perfect for a date. Haha. Dianne and I reminisced about our high school experiences and crushes. We even sang our first year high school Science class song..

The time to be happy is now, and the place to be happy is here. And the way to be happy, is to make others happy and to have a little heaven down here! room29

Haha. We were like two giggling high schoolers once again. Note: The first 3 pics were taken on April 8, on Ferl’s birthday at their home in CDO. The last pic with Dianne was taken at Loreto’s during my birthday. 🙂

When I was back at the inn, I felt a little sad to be alone in the tiny room. Luckily, there was Wifi and I was so happy when I found a lot of birthday messages from my friends and family in my Facebook inbox! Laiza and Ems even had a video greeting for me. Awww… so sweet! A perfect way to end my birthday! 🙂

Birthday trip day 4: Camiguin tour

I woke up after about only 4 hours of sleep. I’m so excited to meet my family in Balingoan. I had breakfast with my pretty hostess, Dianne. She’s my roommate, classmate, groupmate, and friend from high school. Of course, a sleepover isn’t enough to catch up with each other’s lives.

She instructed me to take a tricycle and then a jeepney to Agorra terminal, where I can find a van that will take me to Balingoan port. Luckily, when I arrived at Agorra, I immediately spotted the van. It wasn’t full yet but after about 5 minutes, we were off to Balingoan.
image
However there was a loooong and slow caravan that was campaigning for some politicians that blocked our way. 😦 So the supposedly 1 hour trip from Cagayan de Oro to Balingoan became 3 hours! My family arrived at Balingoan port sooner than me. 😦 But it’s okay, we were reunited at Balingoan port at last!

Fare (van) CDO to Balingoan port: 120
Ferry to Camiguin: 170 (plus environment fee: 5 + terminal fee: 25)

We had a quick lunch before we got on the ferry. It was a bit cloudy and the waves were a little scary but overall, it was a fine day. Yey!!! We were finally on our way to Camiguin Island! The ferry trip took us 2 hours.

Upon arriving at Camiguin port, we rode another van to Mambajao, which was about 15 minutes. And then a tricycle took us to Pabua’s Cottage.

Van to Mambajao: 30 pesos
Tricycle: 20 pesos

Finally, we checked in at Pabua’s cottage, which costs 1,200 for an overnight stay. It was pretty comfortable, air-conditioned with 3 twin sized beds, a bathroom, cable TV, and Wifi connection. Hmm.. Value for my money! 🙂

image

I allowed my family to take some rest because they came from a gruelling 10 hour trip from Mangagoy. At around 4pm, we rented a multicab for 1,000. It took us to the Walkway, Sunken Cemetery, Old Church Ruins, and Ardent Hot Spring.

sunken_cemetery

family_camiguin

Oh, by the way, Ardent Hot Spring had an entrance fee of 30 pesos each and table rental of 70 pesos. Pretty affordable and tourist-friendly. 😉
ardent_hot_spring

After which we had a sumptuous (advanced birthday) dinner at a restaurant. The bulalo and lechon manok were really, really yummy! It’s one of the tastiest lechon manoks I’ve ever tasted. Yum!

We went back to Pabua’s Cottage after dinner and got reconnected with the rest of the world through Wifi connection. If you wanna visit Camiguin and you are on a tight budget, I highly recommend Pabua’s Cottage. 🙂 Happy trip!
dinner_pabua_cottage

Mama Mia!

I’ve been cheated by you since I don’t know when
So I made up my mind, it must come to an end
Look at me now, will I ever learn? I don’t know how but I suddenly lose control
There’s a fire within my soul

Just one look and I can hear a bell ring O
ne more look and I forget everything, o-o-o-oh
Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?

Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much I’ve missed you
Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go?
Mamma mia, now I really know, My my, I could never let you go.
I’ve been angry and sad about the things that you do
I can’t count all the times that I’ve told you we’re through

And when you go, when you slam the door
I think you know that you won’t be away too long
You know that I’m not that strong.
Just one look and I can hear a bell ring
One more look and I forget everything, o-o-o-oh
Mamma mia, here I go again My my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?

My my, just how much I’ve missed you
Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go?
Mamma mia, even if I say
Bye bye, leave me now or never Mamma mia, it’s a game we play Bye bye doesn’t mean forever
Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much I’ve missed you
Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go
Mamma mia, now I really know My my, I could never let you go


Birthday trip day 3: Jessa’s Wedding

I left Salawagan, Quezon with a heavy heart because my niece, Nycah wanted to tag along with me. Of course, that’s not possible. She cried her heart out and held on to my hand as she begged us to let her ride the bus with me. 😦
with_nycah

I didn’t want to leave but I had to attend Jessa’s wedding at Cagayan de oro city. It’s actually the primary reason why I bought my Cebu Pacific tickets.

The ceremony was held at Xavier Estates, which is probably the best location for a garden wedding in the city. The couple was blessed with a beautiful weather. And they were surrounded by friends and family who truly wish them all the best.

I love the black-and-red inspired garden wedding. The bride was really extra beautiful in her long red dress and the groom was equally handsome in his black suit. Their little boy Zeke looked like a real little gentleman too. So cute!!!

jessa_wedding

Weddings always make me emotional, esp if I personally know their story. I am always super touched with the part wherein the groom will kiss the parents of the bride, take her hand, and together they march towards the altar. I’m so happy for the couple!

wedding_jessaI have been a flower girl in almost all of my aunts’ weddings so this role in the entourage is my personal favorite. Below is the collage of the very cute flower girls of Jessa:
flowergirlsAwww…weddings! I wish I could also have my own happily ever after..someday! 😉

After the wedding I had a fun reunion with my 2nd yr high school roommates at Pisay Davao. I really had a super great time. It was also Ferl’s birthday. 🙂
room29Thank you Lord for the beautiful day!