Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Phuket, Thailand: Authentic and Ethical Experience

Elephants are the defining symbol of Thailand, but sadly most of these gentle giants are in captivity. In this blog, we are visiting the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Khatu, Phuket, Thailand.

Let’s meet, feed, bathe, play and know their story!

Elephants are becoming endangered to the habitat loss, poaching and increase tourism. Of course, there are companies out there that treat them ethically, however, most of the time, the elephants that you see out there giving rides all day is actually separated from their mother at a very young age. They are then put through this process “crushing” as they call it, where they are basically being into sumission.

Growing up and working in the riding camps, they are continuously abused and overworked. For us travelers, honestly most of the time, we have no idea that it’s harmful or if there’s a better alternative to meet and play with these friendly giants. So I hope this blog will show you that there is a more positive and ethical way to meet the elephants.

What is Elephant Jungle Sanctuary?

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is a private company that started 4 years ago in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. After a few years, they branched out in Phuket. At Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, volunteers work hard every single day for the benefit of the elephants. This is an ethical and sustainable eco-tourism project in Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Phuket.

Their mission is to provide as many elephants as possible with the good health, freedom, and happiness they truly deserve. They enforce a strict NO RIDING policy and do not make elephants work, perform, or do any activity outside their natural behaviors. Their hope is to lead by example, and contribute to a positive change in the perception of elephants; to witness a future where elephants are not ridden, poached, overworked, or abused, and are instead treated with care, love, and respect.

The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary project also provides many Karen people with employment, education, and financial support. “Karen People” means those who volunteer in the Sanctuary as it is founded by Karen Hill in July 2014 in Chiang Mai. The money they raised from visits, volunteers, merchandise, and donations is primarily used for elephant rescue, food, veterinary care, infrastructure and land so they can constantly grow and expand the capacity of their Sanctuary.

Knowing the Elephants

Elephants are the world’s largest living land animals, they are much much heavier than any other animals. There are two kinds of elephants; the African Elephants and the Asian Elephant.

They are long-lived, complex and social. They are big and they are strong, but against the relentless spread of humanity, they are powerless.

The elephant is the heart and soul of Southeast Asia’s wilderness. Its the flagship of all the animals especially in Thailand. They live in a variety of habitats; forest, savanna, desert, and swamp.

Elephants live in groups, groups of elephants are called matriarchs. Dominants within the family group are largely based on age, experience, and size. Female elephants have to wait before an older matriarch dies before they can have any chance of leadership. In male elephants, only at around 25-30 years old do they reach the chance to dominate rivals and compete successfully with female elephants.

Facts you might not yet know about Elephants

Elephant’s poop is one of the best fertilizers ever, and then they also said that you can use it for writing or drawing. Now you know that you can draw and write using elephant’s poop, how cool is that?

Elephants use sand and dirt or mud on their body. Why? Because it’s their natural sunscreen and insect repellent too, it protects them from the sun and from the mosquitoes. They toss it on their head and back to protect them from the sun rays.  Ahhh, we’re honestly learning here, right?

The elephant is herbivores, they eat 10% of their body weight which means, and they can eat 400 pounds of food. It’s a lot! It’s like eating 18 pounds of salad.

Elephants live just like humans and they are polygamous in nature, they can have 5 girlfriends or 5 boyfriends at the same time.  Female elephants go through 22 months of pregnancy.  When talking about baby elephants, they are large when born that weighs about 200 to 250 lbs.

Asian Elephants cannot run, because at all times they have at least two feet on the ground.

Elephants can recognize themselves in front of a mirror.

Here’s a short video, yet one of the happiest days of my recent travel.

 

 

Ethical Activities and Fees

This includes food for feeding elephants, your food, and a free Karen shirt! (Tip: Make the most of it all, it’s a lot of fun)

  • FEED ME PROGRAM

Adult: 1.500 baht/person

Child <3 yrs Free

  • HALF DAY VISIT

Adult: 2,500 baht/person

Child: <10 yrs 1,900 baht/person

Child <3 yrs Free

MORNING SCHEDULE: 06:30 AM – 07:30 AM, Pick up from your hotel and activities are done around 11:30 am- 12:00 pm.

AFTERNOON SCHEDULE: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM, Pick up from your hotel and activities are done around 16:00 – 16:30 pm.

  • OVERNIGHT VISIT

2 days 1-night program

Adult: 12,900 baht/person

Child under 7>10 yrs 10,900bath/person

Child <7 yrs (Not advisable)

3 days 2 nights program

Adult: 19,900 baht/person

Child under 7>10 yrs 17,900bath/person

Child <7 yrs (Not advisable)

What to Bring?

  • Change of clothes and some good shoes
  • Swimming suit
  • Sunscreen, hat, towel, insect repellant
  • Any medicines you require

Book here via:

KLOOK

Or feel free to visit their official site and Facebook page

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

EJS – Facebook

The experience has been so good and I am grateful for the opportunity. I feel like I am glowing with joy and my heart is full for such a beautiful chance to be with the elephants in their natural habitat. I just love how the activity doesn’t feel like an activity or a tour visit, it feels like we are following what the elephant is doing on a daily basis. It is such a natural and authentic experience rather than going to a zoo to see an elephant or riding them for 5 to 10 minutes.In general, this experience is genuine and real and I hope you get to experience it too with your loved ones because it’s just breath-taking.

If after reading this blog, the elephants warmth your heart, please don’t forget to leave a big thumbs up, leave a comment and share this, so you too can recommend this blog and get it seen by more people. I hope you get to experience it too! Safe Travels, Loves!

Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan: The Mother of all Philippine Festivals

Ati-Atihan is the largest and oldest Catholic celebration in the Philippines. It legally holds the title “Mother of all Philippine Festivals”. Ati-Atihan means “to be like Atis” or “to make believe Atis”

Kalibo is the gateway of the most famous party island in the Philippines, Boracay. To everyone’s knowledge, it is also the home of the legendary festival all of us enjoy celebrating.

The Ati-Atihan Festival is held on the third week, concluding on the third Sunday of January in Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines. It originated during the 13th century when Aeta aborigines arrived and wanted to settle on the island. The chief minister traded with the natives and bought goldenseal coat, brass basin, and bales of cloth. The festival was born then.

When the Spanish arrived, they adapted the festival to eliminate the pagan rituals and incorporate various religious practices, thus, the Sto. Nino (The Infant Jesus) made its appearance in the Ati-Atihan Festival, even until now.

This event also corresponds another festival around the Philippines, like Sinulog Festival in Cebu and the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo. The festival itself is marked by the people joining in the streets, dancing to fantastic drum beats. It consists of tribal dance, street music accompanied by members of indigenous tribes in their costumes and weapons. There are also parade of their designated floats and Sto. Nino while dancing or what we commonly known as, “sad-sad” short for dance “sayaw” and walk “lakad” in our Filipino dialect.

Ati-Atihan’s catchphrase “Hala Bira! Pwera Pasma!” is formerly associated with the festival as the merrymakers and believers keep on going with the revelries all over the town.

As traditional processions go, the actual procession was anything but traditional. People bring the image of Sto. Nino (the infant Jesus). Instead of walking, people do sad-sad with a lots of taking pictures, videos, talking, cheering, drinking on the street, and accompanied by a marching band. During the parades, alcohol flows freely, firecrackers and other noisemaking are honestly not uncommon.

Photo Credit to Trixie Orola

I’ve been participating in Ati-Atihan for seven years and until now, the hype doesn’t change. People starting celebrating from early morning to the wee hours of the next morning, rain or shine, for one week or even more. Amid our cheering and drinking, we were entertained by fireworks blossoming in the sky from time to time.

The main show is held on Saturday Night, where a massive night party brings everyone together to dance the night away and gaze up as lights and fireworks illuminate the sky. One of the most famous party house in Kalibo is the Abregana Bar, you wouldn’t spend your happy hour anywhere but here. As dusk sets in, there are DJs doing there magic making the crowd having those cutting edge dance moves. Definitely a nice place to end the night!

The festival ends on Sunday, where there’s a high mass in the morning around 7:00 am followed by the grand parade of the tribes representing different groups that competes for tourists’ attention and prizes.

It has been always a great experience to be at the Ati-Atihan Festival this year. I am looking forward to join the festival in the succeeding years.

Have you been to Ati-Atihan Festival? Share your experience at the comment section below! Or if you haven’t yet, consider joining next time. Safe Travels!

Life has its Own Way of Working Things Out

Life comes in different packages. What we will have, it’s a surprise! Either you’ll have the economy, regular or deluxe suite. But whatever it is, you have to live like YOLO (You Only Live Once). Live like everything is falling into its proper places though some things isn’t. Yes, there will always be lapses, mistakes, troubles, and betrayals but who cares, we aren’t perfect. Embrace the imperfections and learn how to dance with it using your normal coping mechanisms.

Life. (*sigh) Yeah, not so easy. It’s actually complicated and bold. But you know what? We just have to jump in and swim through it until we finally figure out our purpose. We will never know unless we try to and we will never ever realize how amazing life could turn out. After all, life is too short for playing safe.

Go out, Explore, Work, Travel, Socialize, Fall in love, Get hurt, Heal and Grow

Don’t be so dramatic and uptight to stay in your house just to; eat and get fat, watch television which is so pathetically overrated and sleep all day as if you’ve done enough for the day. Darling, life has a lot to offer. It doesn’t end in that four-wall room. Your life isn’t something you can rewind.There’s no such thing as fairy God-mother who will help you out to get away from your awful and sad living. Magic isn’t real until you make your own. So get up and help yourself, take that happy pill and put some glow on your face. Remember, never ever fear of being vulgar, fear of being boring.

If you’ll ask me about my learnings now that I’m twenty-seven, I would say “Love yourself” Quite simple, right? But that is one thing we tend to neglect all the time. Give value to your own being, treat yourself after a whole hell week at work. It will really help to bring back the good aura. Well, I kinda spoil myself in terms of that.

In this bizarre world, I’ve learned how to hold on when almost everything in me is falling apart, to strive when I have no choice and to make use of the things that I have when I think I’m losing too much. Life is kinda bumpy but I wouldn’t mind riding with it cos in this perfect way, I know I’m growing.

Oslob, Cebu: A Humbling Experience to Swim with the Whale Sharks

Oslob is one of the municipalities in the province of Cebu, Philippines. This is the only place in the world where you can swim with whale sharks anytime of the year. There is something so majestic about the ocean and what lives within it. It’s a whole other world. Despite their intimidating name, whale sharks are some of the friendliest giants that live in the sea.

Whale Sharks is a sheltered species in the Philippines and Under Republic Act 9147, an Act for the conservation and protection of wildlife resources and habitats in the Philippines, it is definitely illegal to harass them. So we better be responsible to comply with the guidelines in the activity area.

The story behind the trending “Swim with the Whale Sharks” Adventure

Generations ago, the fishermen would throw baits into the water to catch fish but then the whale sharks would end up eating their baits. So what these fishermen did, they would throw away the bait farther to divert the whale sharks. But then, later on, the whale sharks would keep coming back to the fishermen’s bait and eat it. So this happens for generations and generations ago.

There’s an NGO (non-governmental organization)that actually takes care and protects the whale sharks in Oslob. LAMAUVE, these people have been in Oslob for years already to monitor the compliance of interaction regulations. They have taken care of 600 whale sharks just in Oslob. Imagine how many whale sharks are there? The fishermen have been feeding them for generations. They have created a livelihood for these fishermen too. The tours they have here for this activity are pretty respectable when it comes to eco-system and to the animals as well.

When you go swim with the whale sharks, they’re about 8 to 10 whale sharks that actually go to the same place every day from 9 am to 12nn. They will conduct a 10-20 minutes orientation before starting the activity. It is really important to follow and cooperate with the tourism for the rules and regulations before starting to swim with the whale sharks.

I am in complete awe, humbled by the opportunity to share the same waters with the 60 million-year-old species.

Whale Sharks Interaction in Oslob and its Controversy

It has been the most talked about matter since it started the craze. Some people don’t support this activity, while some happen to be enjoying the rare adventure. It became very controversial because most people don’t abide the interaction code and conduct. Many tourists breach the guidelines given during the thorough briefings, and sadly they are not penalized.

How to get to Oslob, Cebu

Fly with Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia daily between Manila and Cebu

When you’re coming from Cebu City, you can head to the South Bus Terminal and ride a Ceres bus going to Bato via Liloan. Just don’t forget to tell the conductor to drop you off at Brgy. Tan-awan in Oslob for the Whale Shark watching just along the highway. The trip would take about 3 hours. Bus fair would cost you around Php 150-200.

When you’re from Dumaguete going to Oslob, look for multi-cabs to Sibulan Port. Ride a ferry or fastcraft to Liloan. At Liloan port, board a Ceres bus going to Cebu City and tell the conductor to drop you off at Oslob Shark Watching just along the highway.

It’s such a wonderful experience, a tick off my bucket list. I was scared at first, but the old saying were true, that when you’re already there you just have to go for it. After all, they don’t bite.

Fees in Whale Shark Watching in Oslob

Local Tourists

Includes Whale watching in the boat with no swimming, with life jacket, costs Php300
Includes Snorkeling with Whale Sharks with life jacket, costs Php500

Foreign Tourists

Includes Snorkeling with Whale Sharks with life jacket, costs Php1000

Whale Sharks Watching in Oslob lasts for 30 minutes only and available daily from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm only.

A quick tip: Go early as you can because there are so many people hungry for the experience as you do too. Safe travels!

Antique: Cascading Waterfalls and Awe-inspiring Mountains

Longing for some taste of nature? Antique has been a good choice in the Visayas.

The province of Antique is situated in the western regions of Visayas. Historically, Antique was called “Hantik” which is the name of an oversized ant. Kinaray-a is the language spoken by the people in Antique. (that  is hard to comprehend) anyhow, that is one of the best essences of traveling for me. Meeting new people, engaging with their culture and learning a new language.

Thanks to my “dirtiest” (my endearment for him) friend Francis who planned the whole trip for the Apps&Dogs. The five of us wanted to have a unique adventure together so we decided to push through Antique. From Roxas City, Capiz,  we brought goods for our overnight stay. On our list were: Chips, Red Wine, Coke, Bread, Cup Noodles, Canned goods, utensils, Water, Gums, Candies, and Coffee. We also had a lunch box filled with cooked adobo chicken/beef, hotdogs and chorizo for our lunch.

The Adventure

Around 6:00am we departed Roxas going to Kalibo, Aklan. We arrived around 8am and decided to eat breakfast at McDonald’s. We then rode a van from Kalibo going to crossing Nabas, that took us 30 minutes to 1 hour. From Nabas, the bus going to Tibiao was very rare, so we stopped over in a small cafeteria and bought some rice for our lunch. Unfortunately, it rained. Not too heavy but it rained!!!! What we had in mind? RANDOM! So when the bus passed by and stopped, we hurriedly ran ourselves into the other street fighting the rain and the wind. (So many bloopers that remind us always) the bus ride would take 1-2 hours. This is our best opportunity to see the view of Antique and we witnessed how Mountains meet the Sea. It was mesmerizing and enchanting at the same time.

Arriving in Tibiao feels so relaxing and refreshing. If you were looking for a place to renew, this is the best place to be.

We arrived in Antique at around 11am, we then rode a habal-habal (₱80.00 each back & forth ) going to Tibiao. The road was so rocky, bumpy and a lot of muddy tracks surrounded by dense forest, plus it was raining that moment, lucky us because the drivers were very nice to lend us their “kapote”. We paid ₱50.00 each for the environmental fee, then headed straight to where were staying.

We stayed in Kayak Inn, Tibiao for our overnight. Isn’t it so native? Everything we had in mind were exactly what we got ourselves into. The ambiance were very soothing and inviting. They also offer a lot of nature adventures perfect for adrenaline junkies like us.

 THE RAPIDS OF THE TIBIAO RIVER

Very much excited to start our tribal adventures, we proceeded with White Water Kayaking first which cost ₱450.00 per pax. Across the greenery and calm atmosphere, this is a good place even for newbies like us to try our hands in paddling. The instructor said, the water is usually placid during summer month but since the rain just stopped, the current of the water is strong at the moment.

After we geared up, we headed to the river and started the demonstration. The river is so long and very tricky, lots of big rocks and the water current is telling us “break a leg”. We went Kayaking one by one, supporting each other.

Some of us fell and fell all over again but we actually managed to finished the track. We had the most wonderful feeling, right after as if we’re fighting for our lives and won the battle. Yes, we survived.

BUGTONG-BATO FALLS

In the wilderness of Antique there lies a beautiful wonder. We all love waterfalls. So we didn’t miss Bugtong-Bato Falls. Together with our tour guide, we trekked to the Mountain for almost an hour. We were really tested for our outdoor skill. More chikas, laughter and sightseeing on our way to the falls. The moment we got there, we felt heaven.

Back to our Inn, we were starving so we ate an early dinner. The ambiance, the atmosphere, and the smell were perfect. We heard the nature’s natural sound at night and to that, we celebrated life and friendship over red wine.

HANGING BRIDGE

We woke up early the next day to visit the hanging bridge near Kayak Inn. It was only a 5 mins walk. We took pictures and decided to cross the bridge, but the ending? I was the only one who survived the test. We even met a new friend. He’s kind of adorable you know. 🐶🐶🐶

KAWA SPA This is definitely a must try whoever goes to Antique. A soothing, relaxing and meditating spa-bath be like. Kuya said, it is normally done at night but since we want better pictures, we decided to do it early morning (vanity).

We basked in an early sunshine in an enormous kawa hot bath. It has herbs and mints which give us this feeling of serenity and bliss.

After our glorious Kawa Spa, we fixed our things and leave Tibiao. We rode habal-habal again and caught the early ride going to Pandan. We visited Francis’ aunt and eat our lunch there.

MALUMPATI COLD SPRING

The cold scenery, turquoise water, and astonishing aura made our heart smile the moment we got here.

For only ₱20.00 you could enjoy the resort as long as you want. The Malumpati’s water flows all the way to Bugang River. We were very mesmerized by how the place pleases tourists. We changed our outfits and dipped in the clear / coldest water we’ve been to.

Almost time to go home, we headed to the terminal and rode a van going to crossing Nabas. Then rode another van going to Kalibo. We stopped over again at McDonald’s for a quick snack and finally headed to Roxas.

Get a tan,  Go paddling, Scale a mountain, Get wet in the rain and Soak your stress away in one destination. Many have changed in Antique nowadays, it offers a whole lot as what we experienced a few years ago. I hope you’ll be tickled by your wanderlust and try to experience the fun Antique has imparted in our lives. Safe travels!

Bohol, Philippines: Friendly Heart of Visayas

When you’re planning to fall in love with a Wonderland, it would be definitely Bohol, Philippines.

Let’s lose ourselves and fall in love with a bizarre and perfect one-day trip in the Heart of Visayas.

I wasn’t really sure if I’ll include Bohol in my itinerary knowing my original plan was to explore Cebu for four days. Fortunately, I did spare one day in Bohol and it couldn’t have been any better. Its located in the Visayas and a quick ferry journey from Cebu. Yes, it’s the best side trip whenever you’re in the Queen City of the South.

Bohol, Philippines is popularly known to be the tenth largest island in the country. People come here for the white beaches and beautiful nature with its diverse wildlife. The world-class diving, waterfalls and hundreds of caves for spelunking. And they come for the incredible history of the place.

Welcome to Bohol, the friendly heart of the Visayas and one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the Philippines.

What I came for Bohol, Philippines:

1. HISTORY

Boholanos still affectionately call their province the “Republic of Bohol” in reference to the island’s short-lived independence at the turn of the 19th century. Bohol is known not only for its environmental wonders but also for its old churches, some of which are built during the Spanish colonial era and considered national treasures.

I came to visit Loboc and get to see the famous Loboc Church, it is massive in scale and elegant in design. Unfortunately, I came and saw it dramatically damaged due to the typhoon Yolanda way back 2013. The infrastructure is work in progress, hopefully, it will recover soon. Now this place is called “Loboc Church Ruins”. But the place became even more attractive because of new mysterious and historical atmosphere.

 

2. MAJESTIC CHOCOLATE HILLS

One of the best spectacular landscape I’ve ever seen. The main reason why Bohol is famous and highly recommended as a tourist destination. They all have the same shape but differ in altitude. The best time to come here is when summer because they literally look like chocolate, while greener for the rest of the months.

I simply can’t imagine that everything around is not man-made, it’s a wonderful example of a caprice of nature. So mesmerizing!

3. JUNGLE INTERIOR

Man-made forest (Mahogany Forest)

It is filled with hundreds and thousands of Mahogany trees. Every one of it was planted by man. The place is beautiful, relaxing and nature loving. However it’s just a mahogany forest, nothing else. I even stepped out from the bus and walk-on.

4. EYE BUGGED TARSIER

Tarsier Conservation Area

Tarsier is Bohol tourism’s mascot. It is known locally by many names like; mamagmagomagaumaomag, malmag and magatilok-iok but I would prefer calling it Tarsier.


Tarsier Conservation Area is the new home of the captive tarsiers previously displayed for tourists along the Loboc River for decades.

We were told to strictly observe silence to avoid interrupting their sleep. The use of camera flash and touching them is strictly prohibited as well.

5. LOBOC RIVER CRUISE

The cruise was surprisingly pleasant. Actually, there were many foreigners onboard. There is an “Eat all you can” buffet system on this restaurant-boat, so it works well as a place for lunch. There’s also a native folk singer who will serenade you as you enjoy your sumptuous meal. It was very relaxing, serene and very good for the soul.

In general, the food was delicious, the river was astonishing and the waterfalls at the end of the route were picturesque.

I now know that a one-day trip isn’t enough to explore this wonderland. I have now more reasons to go back. Until my next time.

TRAVEL GUIDE:

1. Transportation:

Fast Ferry: The most convenient way to get from Cebu to Bohol.

Ocean Jet: If you’re from Pier 1, Cebu Pier Area this is the best choice. The fare is 800.00 Php (tourist class), and 1,000.00 Php (business class). The trip is daily from 6:00 am to 6:30 pm from Cebu port to Tagbilaran, Bohol vice versa.

Supercat: If you’re from Pier 4 North Reclamation Area, Cebu City this is the best choice. The fare is around 500.00 Php (promo fare) and 423.57 Php (discounted fare). The trip is daily at 6:30 am to 7:40 pm from Cebu to Tagbilaran and vice versa.

Starcraft: If you’re from Pier 1 North Reclamation Area, Cebu City, this is the best choice. The fare from Cebu to Tubigon vice versa is 200.00 Php (economy), 220.00 Php (tourist class), and 280.00 Php (business class). The trip is daily from 5:45 am to 5:30 pm back and forth.

Domestic Flights: Bohol is currently connected with Manila. (Check their websites)

Philippine Airlines: One-way fare starts at about 3,300.00 Php and it varies from time to time.

Cebu Pacific: One-way fare starts at about 2,438.88 Php and it varies from time to time.

Air Asia: One-way fare start at about 2,757.99 Php and it varies from time to time.

PLACES YOU CAN VISIT IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN A DAY:

Panglao Island

Corella Tarsier Sanctuary

Alburquerque (Santa Monica Parish Church)

Antequera (Mag-Aso Falls)

Balilihan (Spanish Watchtower)

Sagbayan Peak

Danao (Extreme Adventure Tour)

 

 

 

Singlehood

It’s always a mystery how everything falls into its proper places. It happens unexpectedly in a way that you’re not even aware.

Singlehood has been a blessing in disguise! Life is fast changing every single day. The moment you wake up each morning is already a miracle. I do believe in magic, I do believe in fairytales, I do believe in serendipity and I do believe that anything in life is possible unless you try.

I seem to have a career though it’s not nice paying but still I consider, professional in my chosen field, has a wide social circle, pleasing personality, acceptable philosophies in life, spontaneous lifestyle, and single yet happy. This is the best stage I will ever be in. I have been enjoying my singlehood for quite some time. To be honest I have my own fair share of ups and downs all through these years but I know this was a journey worth taking.

I had come to know myself more down from the little things up to the important details. Eventually learned that ice creams are my best comfort food ever and that I am always fascinated with pasta. I became certain that yellow is my all-time favorite color and for some reason I love buying things that is red. I became aware of my temper and my childish attitude, and somehow know that I got plenty of patience now. By and by I had the time to think and surprisingly fascinated by my written outputs. I am still certain that I love receiving love letters than some expensive gifts. One-by-one discovered the adventurous side of me when I began wandering; climb the mountain, cross rivers, stand and jump on a cliff. Finally realized that I am capable to exceed my limits.

It’s liberating to know yourself and it’s crucial as sometimes you may not understand your choices but that’s actually the point of singlehood, understanding and accepting every inch of you before expecting anyone to do that for you.

I can accomplish my very own life bucket list at my own pace. I can even give my best shot in my career growth. See that? I literally have the world upon my feet. Experience everything and seize every moment, because you have all the time in the world.

It’s sad that most of the single people these days are exhausting all their efforts and energy they have in order to find the right one; I’ve been there before, done that but enjoying this freedom for a while. Imagine yourself forty to fifty years from now, while sitting on your rocking chair, what are the things that you could possibly regret not doing when you were younger? Then do them now. Follow your most intense obsessions. Do things that scare you the most, because there is nothing greater than doing things you think you cannot do.

Pour out your love extravagantly that when people see it, they get moved and wonder how and why you never run out of love to give away.

My time for love will eventually come, but I need not stop my world from revolving while waiting for it. Singlehood is one of the best times of my life and I am embracing it. I never know, I might be done with this phase before I know it. Can I say I lived it well and enough? What is the most daring thing I’ve done so far?

Forty to fifty years from now, these will all become my own stories to share with my future partner, to my children, and even to my grandchildren. They’ll be amazed to know how cool their granny was when she was young.

I believe that life is all about timing, there’s a reason for Singlehood

This is the time I realized that I deserve a man who doesn’t agree with me all the time but when we argue, it feels as if we’re pushing each other to be our best selves. Someone who wants to sit down and talk with me until dusk turns to dawn about new beginnings, aspirations, desires, goals, the unknown, the indescribable feeling of ecstasy when we’ve accomplished something successfully. The one who knows that the touch of warm skin sometimes says more than a thousand conversations could.

I know I deserve someone just as independent and driven as I am. A partner who will inspire me and share the same vision as mine. The one who has his own goals and identity, and we will be each other’s support system. Someone who will trust me enough to give me space to grow. Someone who pushes me to travel down a path of understanding, to be unashamed and to fill myself with courage. A man who will be my partner in almost everything; in business career, in travelling, in a long chill in the coffee shops, in every meal, in every wine night, in every cup of tea, in every drop of disappointments, in every heavy load, in every mood swings, in every laughter, and toward success.

In Singlehood, you’ll discover your own person

I’m learning to let love find me when it’s real, when it’s simple, when it’s mutual and when it’s passionate.
Love is not complicated as it seems, all I know from sitting in a cafe this afternoon; while sipping a teal gray tea, is that this is what I’ve been longing for the entire years, funny how it’s that long now. I feel lonely sometimes but it doesn’t bother me because I know, God got me. He’ll surely arrive, and when he does, I won’t let go. I know this a bit far-reaching but I don’t care. I’ve been through a lot of ups and down, I wouldn’t mind taking the risk with caution, this time.

Sometimes in life, actually often times in life, God will allow you and me to go through brokenness, failures, mistakes, and disappointments; so that he can use us even more.

Traveling Skills You Never Thought You’d Gained

Travel is one of those things that transforms people. You become a more developed and well-grounded person because of the experiences and traveling skills you have learned.

Travel has given people the most comprehensive education anyone could ever receive. It fills up the gaps of knowledge and skills, and you start to see how everything is connected when you finally discover the similarities and differences of various cultures, of different places, and of your persona.

In traveling, nothing is going to be given to you, but the more you put yourself out there, the more uncomfortable you are willing to be; the more amazing the experience you will encounter, almost every single time. It changes people in a variety of ways. Each and everyone has different perspectives, approach, attitudes, likes, and dislikes; so it really varies in every person and on how you’re willing to cope with it.

Traveling Skills gained:

Flexibility, Tolerance, and Patience – Some of you live in a world that is highly organized. Sometimes you get thrown off by some little things that don’t go with what you have planned; like when things don’t arrive on time when things don’t work out our way, and when things turned out to be nothing.

What travel teaches you is that when things don’t work out how they supposed to be, it’s usually pretty fine. You can take that lesson back to your real life and try to learn how to be flexible on things, tolerate stuff that you don’t have control unto, and be patient when everything is not working out. These skills are simple but only a few know how to pull it off. One day you wake up without knowing, it turned out to be the most important experience you have had in your travels.

Socialization – When traveling you are forced to communicate, whereas introverts people are scared while extroverts people have no problem with it. Anyhow, traveling is a big opportunity in meeting new people with different languages and cultures. It is a bit overwhelming but it could be a life changer for you. Who knows the person you were talking when you had your breakfast in Italy would be your future client or business partner? Life has its way of working out, so do you.

Being immerse in social situations with new people having different values and dialects, you have to really try to communicate with them to get around and actually acclimate in the society. This skill will come in handy when you come back home. Socialization is a fundamental skill in order to succeed in life. Once you’re good at it you will gain self-confidence that will boost your self-esteem.

These are actually a life changer!

Decision Making – Some people have a hard time making decisions, may it be personal, for the family, for work, and etc. You might have a go-to-guy all the time to help you figure out what decision you must pursue or you might have someone in your life that makes decisions for you. But when you travel, especially when you’re alone, you have to make your own because you have no one depend on but yourself.

This skill will help you grow as an individual, you will discover your own person. What are your priorities, likes, and dislikes? This is important in life and you’re lucky if you learned it well while traveling.

Time Management – When you go to a new city or country, it’s likely that you will be there for a short period of time like a couple of days or a few weeks. Before you go to your travel destination you must be ready with your itinerary. What will you prioritize this day, what activities you will best do, and food to taste. This skill is very important not only for traveling but also when you come back home.

Budgeting – When you travel, money is likely to come into place. You have to spend your money accordingly, how much you need every day for your transportation, hotel, food, and miscellaneous.

Everyone knows that traveling is a great way to learn, but until you’re out there that you realize that the extent of the stuff you learn and still don’t know is fascinating. Traveling has taught everyone something that really essential for our personal growth and career; If you have the opportunity, go and grab it!

Cebu, Philippines: The Queen City of the South

Indulging in the cultures and places the world has to offer are some of my greatest joys. It is where I find serenity, self-discoveries and the introduction of change in one’s psyche, which I won’t be able to find in my daily life living in my comfort zone.

Join me as I go around in the most luxurious City in the Philippines. Cebu City is a province of the Philippines in the Central Visayas Region. It’s an island consisting of more or less than 150 smaller surroundings islands and islets. The City is well-known to be the “Queen City of the South” since then, because of its vast potential in terms of tourism, economy, infrastructures, and history. The City is situated on the mid-eastern side of Cebu Island. In the history, it is the first Spanish settlement and considered the Philippines’ oldest city, which made it the first capital of the Philippines, long enough before it was changed to “Manila”. There language is known as “Bisaya, Binisaya or Sugbuanon”, Cebuano speakers are so-called “Cebuano”

Fasten your seat belts because we are leaving faster than Indiana Jones just to see the top tourist spots in Cebu City.

I booked my ticket four months before my travel date. I got it for only 1,800 Php back and forth, quite a good deal, traveling from Kalibo – Cebu – Iloilo. My greatest tool is the internet; it’s very convenient and easy to follow, plus you can search anywhere as long as you have mobile data. Google has everything and it’s my best friend because why not? Got my ticket, tried the self – service check in to get my boarding pass and paid my terminal fee then proceeded to the lounge area. There are several ways to get into Cebu City. If you’re coming from different countries, you can drop by Manila, the capital of the Philippines and fly to Cebu City. Just check and arrange with your chosen airlines.

Luckily my sister got me a transient room in her apartment so I paid for less than I expected. With so much happiness I treated her in Dessert Factory, Ayala Center Cebu, the food was tasty and delicious.

Top Tourist Spots in Cebu City

1. Crown Regency Hotel and Towers

On my first night, I headed to Crown Regency Hotel to try the most talked about “Sky Walk Adventure”. Overlooking Cebu from 430 feet up (the highest tower in the city) was a different kind of thrill. It was really scary at first, but I had a really great first night in the city. I had to pose like a pro though.

Skywalk cost 400 Php per person, 100 Php deposit for the wristband, they will be refunded after use. Hard copy of the photo cost 150 Php per photo (yes, you gotta pay for it for a remembrance)

2. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Formerly Metropolitan Cathedral and Parish of Saint Vitalis and of the Guardian Angels. The church was one of the first churches in the Philippine history, built in April 1565.

I started my first new day by attending a mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, lit candles and prayed to the Holy Guardian Angels which is their titular and patron Immaculate Conception. Always a good start to my every travel is to drop by and give thanks to the Almighty Father.

3. Fort San Pedro

Known as Fuerte de San Pedro, a military defense structure in Cebu built by the Spanish under the command of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. Located at the Pigafetta Street, I entered the premises to feed my hungry mind about the history of the City.  The place will definitely make you feel nostalgic about the Philippine history and I’m honored that I got to see the whole place and made a memory for a little while. Entrance fee: Regular 30Php, Senior 24Php, Students, and Children 20Php

4. Magellan’s Cross

One of the most historical landmarks that are a must see when in the City. The Cross of Magellan is a popular tourist attraction in the middle of the busy Magellan Street. The paintings on the ceilings with a scene depicting the landing of Magellan in Cebu, the vibrant colors, the structure and the devotees who would drop coins or put lighted candles at the foot of the cross. Seeing all those things made me really happy.
5. Basilica Minore del Santo Nino

Commonly known as Basilica del Sto Nino, the mother, and head of all churches in the Philippines. It was founded in the1565, located at Osmena Boulevard. The moment I stepped on inside I felt goosebumps and security. It is a very nice place to be when in Cebu. I lit a candle, offered a prayer for my petitions and made a wish.

6. Tops Lookout

My sister and I decided to have a late night adventure, so we went to see Tops Lookout; the beautiful scenery during the night in Cebu. This relaxing spot is found in Barangay Malubog, Busay, Cebu City. This is one of the most overrated tourist spots in the City. We rode a habal-habal (motorcycle) from the center of the City going to Tops which took us 45 minutes travel. The route can be just as fun as riding a roller coaster. The moment you feel your ride is starting to go uphill then you know you’re going the right way.

The main ground is decorated by concretes in hexagon form and withered Bermuda grasses. The covered resting place and eating area are wonderfully made by big concrete stones and designed in curves and circles.

They also have a bar, snack bar, and souvenir shops. From Tops you can witness the breathtaking view of the whole City, you can even see the Crown Regency Hotel and Towers. There’s not much fun to do but take photos of the City lights, but a really good place to reflect, plan or simply think about life and how lovely it is in Cebu. This place made my heart melt like hundred times and the reason why I want to go back. Entrance 100 Php, Habal-habal 250 Php

Tip: Bring some gum along with you. As you go higher, you’ll need something to pop your ears.

7. Tuslob Buwa

The next morning, I went to Coner of Katambisan Village, Central Nautical Highway, Catmon, Cebu to try out the Restaurant named Tuslob Buwa in Azul. “Tuslob Buwa” means to dip in bubbles. It is one of Cebu’s exotic street treats. The local dip is made of pig brain, oil, fish sauce, onions, shrimp paste and all other assorted flavorings.

I  got to enjoy this experience because you’ll cook your own Tuslob Buwa, they serve it straight from the wok paired with Puso (cooked rice wrapped in coconut leaves). After you cooked your own Tuslob Buwa, you gotta dip your Puso and start digging in.

8. Taoist Temple

Looking for some quiet time I headed to Taoist Temple located in the wealthy Beverly Hills residential enclave in the suburb of Lahug. It is said to the home of many Filipino-Chinese millionaires and the Taoist Temple was built by them and some donations. This cultural center of the Chinese with its dragon paintings, altars, and statues of the Buddha harmonizes with beautiful pagoda roofs.

There is also a beautiful view of the city from this mesmerizing place. For me, the Taoist Temple is one of the highlights of my Cebu travel because I had the time to meditate and pray.

Cebu City has been my favorite travel destination. I honestly haven’t explored the whole City at all but that would be a reason to always come back, in the Queen City of the South.

 

 

To the girl who’s ready for love, but slaps her every time

You were in a place where nobody knew your heart even a little bit. You build walls around it and wonders why no one ever saves you. You think you deserve that pain but you don’t. All you want to do is to wrap yourself in a duvet and cry your heart out until you fall asleep. You feel afraid, cynical and in doubt at the same time; and yet you manage to pull yourself over every single day.

To the girl who’s ready for love, just because you aren’t happy now doesn’t mean you won’t be.

Life will break you with its yearning. Nobody can protect you from that and living alone won’t either. You have to love. You have to take a chance. You have to believe that you are capable of love. You have to fight the fear inside you; forgive yourself for not knowing the things you didn’t know before you learned it. Unload all your baggage for you to feel light. Try not to compare yourself from the girl you once saw in the coffee shop or to the girl he left you for. Try not to feel jealous about the things, people or places because it’s toxic. Just keep living and let life happen.

To the girl who’s ready for love, sometimes your heart needs more time to accept what your mind already knows.

Love is not complicated as it seems. Let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes be, as unaccomplished as you think you are and as empty as you feel deep down. Align yourself with someone who supports your growth and if ever you meet somebody whose soul is not aligned with yours, move along. Don’t waste your time; don’t chase people and never fall into a one-sided relationship. Always know that you deserve better because you’re worthy of love and belongingness.

You wonder if things can happen too early or too late or if everything happens exactly the right time that you needed it. If so, love will always be sad and beautiful.

Darling, I assure you, your time for love will eventually come when it’s due. You don’t need to stop your world from revolving while waiting for it. Singlehood is one of the best times of your life, embrace it. Pour out your love extravagantly that when people see it; they get moved and wonder how and why. And by that time, you will never run out of love to give and you’ll be amazed how brave your heart has become.

To the girl who’s ready for love, be single until it’s time.

Enjoy your company; enjoy your time alone and learn that life is wonderful without explanations. Manage on your own, have the world upon your feet, learn new stuff and follow your intense obsession. This is the perfect time to love and spoil yourself abundantly.

 To the girl who’s ready for love, never be afraid to fall back in love again.

Do not be cynical; trust everyone until they prove otherwise. Learn to let love find you when it’s pure, when it’s genuine, when it’s simple, when it’s mutual and when it’s passionate.
Just like the Sunrise; it rises stunningly and like the Sunset; it sets beautifully in its own perfect time.