Inspiration, Travel Stories

Don’t listen to them. Just go to the beach

Note: This is originally an Instagram post, and I just want to share it on the blog.  

A year ago, I was in pain and in debt.

I lost my father with liver cancer and I hit rock bottom financially.

It was a time when I saw a social media post of an online friend who happens to be a financial advisor. She recruits and sells insurance, and pledges to be an advocate of “financial intelligence.” She had this generic photo of a girl on a beach with a caption that says something like, “You still managed to go to the beach, and you’re in debt?” with a LOL at the end.

I don’t know if she was just making a point, or mocking a friend. Or pointing about heradvocacy.” The thing is I wanted to be believe her.

But my gut feeling was telling me to do what I want to do.

Armed with my budgeting and backpacking skills, I embarked on occasional trips to the beach. Until now, I am still at awe at how I was able to pull it off, but I did.

jomalig Island beach
Jomalig Island

The beach cleared my mind, calmed my soul. It was not just a big help in coping up with the loss. I was able to ponder on my thoughts, brought back my belief in me.

I continued writing.

My blog opened up some writing gigs and opportunities to earn extra income.

The beach, its inspiration, helped me pay off my debts little by little.

I’m getting better each day. And if ever you’ll experience what I’ve gone through, I have one advice to you – don’t believe them.

You need to detach and relax from time to time. If you feel you need to go to the beach, go.

Just do what you want to do.

Don’t listen to them.


How Travel Changed My Life

I’ve always been a good boy.

I followed my parents’ wish, studied hard and graduated Cum Laude. Just like what the society has been telling us all along, that we have to follow a path to assure a fulfilled life–  childhood, study, graduate and find a decent job.

I’ve done all that!

So by the time I started working, I was ecstatic. Finally, I was starting to live the life. After years of working in a 9 to 5 desk job, I  just found myself staring at my computer, and looking intently at my exhausted colleagues in their own cubicles. Then I asked myself, “so this is it?” This is the life that the society has been telling me all along?

I’ll just be like this, have a family, then what? retire at 60? “what?”  I remember how it echoed inside my brain.

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Inspiration, Travel Tips

6 Tips to Travel Despite the Full Time Job


“How do you do that? Still travel despite the job?”

A friend asked me one time when he saw me having a full backpack again on a Friday. He knew that after office, I was about to embark another hike or travel to the beach for the weekend.

I totally understand why he asked that question. We are in the corporate world wherein we all feel that we are so squeezed and maximized to the point that we don’t have extra time anymore for other things. I got that. I understand that.

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When Travelers Lose Friends

I woke up one day, and a group of people at work suddenly turned cold on me.

I was dumbfounded, asking myself why? what happened? This people used to be my friends and one day they just didn’t want to talk nor even have an eye contact.

Tried to reach out but didn’t work, until I found out the reason behind the drama and negativity that suddenly surrounded me. Let’s just say that office can sometimes turn into a telenovela, like a person can just say and spread bad, unfair things about you, and the sad part is some avid, loyal fans believed. So they believed, and so they turned cold. And it was their problem, not mine.

Yes, I was surprised, and a bit hurt at first. But later on I was even more surprised of how I handled the situation. I just let it go. I just simply let them go.

I asked myself, what happened to me? That wasn’t me. The funny dude with a nice personality has suddenly learned to let go of people? I mean of draining people? Where did that come from?

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On My Father’s Death, Travel and Learning to Live Life


Just recently, I find death scenes on TV a bit weird and funny.

Those scenes when the actor would act lifeless and then followed by a dramatic song. He was trying to say something then closed his eyes, turned his head sideways, and then died. Some of the directors include shots of the hand falling from the side of the bed.

At one point I ask, “Is this how we make TV dramas?”

And then I realized, with all honesty, this just boils down to the fact that I find these scenes fake, because I know how a person dies. I just know it because I’ve seen it, felt its immensity when my father passed away. I was holding his hands so tight, looking at this face, counting the rhythm of his breathing. He was so weak he could not even blink his eyes, it was just open looking from afar.

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Beaches, Inspiration, Luzon, Philippines

Potipot Island – Throwback when I was a “once a year” vacationer

I can say I was normal, a few years ago. Haha!

I was like, the majority of us, who think that to live a satisfactory life, one must kill himself with work, and if ever he needs a break like a vacation, well he can do that just once a year.

Yes. Once a year. You read it right. It’s clearly way different from what I am right now who tries to explore new places for like once or twice a month.

But I had to be honest, that was me. That was my life. I focused too much on work, thinking that money and material things are the only way to go. Then if I need to travel, I just have to wait for my friends so we can travel together, once a year.

For me, the word “wait” is big” . After learning much about life from my travels, I realized that the word wait is dangerous.

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Inspiration, Mindanao, Nature, Philippines, Waterfalls

Lake Sebu : Facing My Fear, A Solo Travel to the 7 Waterfalls

Have you experienced that, when you thought of wanting something then you realize one day it’s already happening? And you couldn’t help but express your gratitude and amazement.

That happened to me when I first saw on TV a video of a traveler doing the zipline in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. By the time he raised his camera (or GoPro), it felt like I was the one doing the zipline. I was in awe of the spectacular view of the waterfalls below.

The Lake Sebu zipline is the highest zipline not just in the Philippines but in Southeast Asia. And the problem is, that can be terrifying for someone like me who has somekinda’ fear of heights. Haha! But I was surprised with myself, that I was really determined to try it. I even planned to go to Lake Sebu maybe next year to come face to face with this of adventure.

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Inspiration, Mountains

11 Life Lessons From Mountain Climbing

We were climbing (crawling) towards the very steep and slippery summit of Mt. Pico De Loro when I heard two lady mountaineers behind me talking, laughing at their own craziness,of even trying this not so safe climb.

“Ba’t ba natin ginagawa to?” (Why are we even doing this?) said the nervous girl.

“Dapat nanahimik nalang tayo sa bahay at naglinis. Hahaha!” (We should have stayed home and cleaned the house. LOL!) Said the chill, funny girl.

Then they both told one another, “pero andito tayo!” (But we’re here!)

It would be fun to eavesdrop more of their conversation, but that was not the perfect time. I had to focus on my own climb, because one wrong step could lead to an unpleasant incident.

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Inspiration, Philippines, Visayas

Palo, Leyte – What We Can Learn from Tzu Chi Foundation


The little girl told me when I asked about her name. It was an interesting experience for me, to be in a village where thousands of Yolanda(Typhoon Haiyan) survivors live.

We just finished our vegetarian lunch and instead of having some chit-chat with my new-found friends from DOT, tour operators and media partners, I decided to explore the place. That’s when I saw Margie, walking alone outside the school.

The place is called Tzu Chi Great Love Village, the biggest housing project for the Yolanda survivors located in Palo, Leyte.

*Read the rest of the story…

Inspiration, Philippines, Visayas

Reflections from San Juanico Bridge, Tacloban, Leyte

It was more than a decade ago when I first set foot in Tacloban.

I was a high school student and I qualified for a national writing competition which was held in the city. It was my first airplane ride, first travel without my family, and first time to be away from home for a week.

It was an experience that has become possible just by being a student writer.