“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”
Today was not just an ordinary day because I appreciate myself more than before.
To all those who greeted me on this special day, dropped by, gave food and took time to call and texted, posted and sent messages on social media, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. It means a lot to me. 🙂
Every year, I make sure that I have a cake and some food to share for my family. Though I still had some for our lunch but not much of a celebration.
This time it’s different. I treat myself not on those things but of something intangible that I know I would be proud of someday since this was not the first time for me to open myself to get secured for the future.
I have learned a lot from my mistakes I guess as I age and become more responsible. I am glad that I am able to continue the goal of starting a new.
The past few months, has been roller coaster ride for me. I knew there was something not right in my body which I felt for the first time. I took time off work, relaxed, exercise, focused on myself more and paid attention to what my body is trying to tell me.
I stopped thinking. I stopped worrying. I stopped looking out for solutions. I tried to calm my nerves that has been so stressed for a very long time. I tried not to get angry at little things. I let go of my negative emotions. Lastly, I am trying to always be on a positive side and keeping my faith alive.
Thank you for the people who made and making time to talk to me and make sure I feel okay every single day. I really appreciate you guys.
Then came a big surprise that has shaken my slowly calming world… A week ago, there was an accident in my home that made me realized more that I should be grateful for my life and for my family. I was too scared at that time cause if there was no barrier outside my door, the car would have entered my house and make the worst case scenario. Thankfully, it jumped out upon hitting the concrete which only made our door broken, but blocks were scattered inside my living room. Though my cousin’s home got the worst damages, we were still so blessed and thankful that nobody got hurt. God saved us from that incident. Even the car’s passengers were not badly injured.
Yesterday night, I received a message saying, “Jennifer, there are no birthday gifts as glorious as the one God gave to us all on this day when you were born. God’s grace and peace be upon you on this special day of yours.”
I am not sure if I am and will ever be at this time. I am not a swimmer. I’m still scared of the seas even if I have been to a few while riding a boat. At the same time, I’m thrilled about this trip being with my amazing friends.
“Sharing adventures means enjoying them 100% more.” -unknown-
Departed Manila at 4:15 am viaCebu Pacific Air 5J 631. Touched down Puerto Princesa at 5:45 am. The shared van we booked from Klookwas scheduled to pick us up at 8:00 am for a 6 to 8-hours travel time including the stops for rest and refreshments going to El Nido, Palawan.
The van arrived an hour earlier. It’s a good thing though. We arrived around 1:30 pm and immediately checked-in at El Nido Beach Hotel so we can relax, freshen up and unpack our bags before heading out and familiarize ourselves with the area.
We were 6 in the group and booked us 3 rooms with a maximum of 2 persons per room. We decided to give the first room to the married couple, second for Jhey, and the last one for us three ladies. The staffs were friendly and polite. The rooms were nice, neat and clean. Complimentary buffet breakfast starts at 6:00 am until 10:00 am. We loved the food they served. Could you please include a buffet lunch and dinner too? 🙂 The hotel also offers tour arrangements if you haven’t booked one yet or still undecided where to go and what to do.
After an hour of rest, we walked around and in a few blocks away we found this Kitchen & Bar HUB in a cool hostel, frendz. The pizza and nachos we had were simply irresistable. Bon appétit.
It’s quiteexpensive to go around El Nido. A one way, tricycle ride from one beach resort to another starts from 200-300 pesos per person. The food is great too but also expensive. Most of the beach resorts are still under construction to open more shops and restaurants. We waited for the sunset while playing with the soft, powdery, white sand, took lots of photos and we’re like kids jumping to capture a perfect jump shot.
As the night sets in, we headed back to our hotel, had dinner out and went to bed to prepare for our island hopping day tour the next day. I was not able to sleep well that night. I don’t know if I’m just too excited or whatever the case may be. I get up, took a shower, curled my hair (thank you, Jessica, for always bringing your curler), tint my eyebrows, put on moisturizer and sunblock and waited for Jessica and Marianne to wake up. I went out to check the two other rooms beside ours but looked like they’re still soundly asleep. And a few minutes later, here comes Jenelyn knocking on our door waking us up, but to her surprise, we’re already dressed and ready to go. 🙂
When we’re all settled, we went down for breakfast! Yes, the food was great. There were pancakes, bread, jam, fried rice, eggs, chicken, fish, meat, fresh salad, fruits and pair it with hot chocolate, coffee, water or juice.
There are 4 types of tours you can choose from, Tour A, Tour B, Tour C or Tour D. You can mix and match the tours, or what they call Combo Tours. You can have Private Tours too. The tour lasts for 7 to 8 hours and comes with a healthy lunch.
Reminder: If you have your own aqua shoes and snorkeling gears, just bring it along. Hygienic and comfortable.
Tour A costs around Php1,200 per head. The package includes:
7 Commando Beach – it is said to be the 7 soldiers home in turquoise clear water with coconut trees standing like soldiers around the beach
Shimizu Island – where we had lunch and just to let you know it was named after a Japanese diver who died
Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon, where we rented a small (for 2 persons) and a big kayak (for 4 persons)
Secret Lagoon – where you will enter a small entrance just like a cave opening
All I can say is… the struggle was real in getting inside the Secret Lagoon and also with Kayaking. The current was strong with sharp rocks underneath. Anxious with funny and more silly moments as we enter the lagoon. We really appreciate the help of the boat crew in bringing us all together, lending a hand and keeping us safe. We are sorry too for the inconvenience we have caused. Bless you, guys.
It was a long, exhausting, enjoyable and amazing day. We’ve got to met a few people from different countries in our shared group tour. It started to rain on our way back to the shore but there we saw a rainbow along. Thank God we’re all safe and sound.
We wanted to go for a night out to have some drinks but it was raining heavily so we just waited for the rain to stop then roamed around for the last time to get souvenirs and ate a hearty meal for dinner. When we get back, we had a little talk over some drinks at the veranda, we were all tired so one by one they’re gone and I found them asleep. 🙂 Good night guys. Time to fix things for the trip going back to Puerto Princesa airport the next day.
I can’t get enough of this place. It was a paradise. God has created such a beautiful world. Thank you for this one of a kind adventure in a once in a lifetime opportunity. Truly, most unforgettable memories can’t always be captured by cameras. Our hearts were full as we ended this journey with a grateful soul.
See you again. Cheers to more adventures with my awesome friends.
Give yourself a break from all the stress and toxic things (and people) around you. Travelling once in a while and in the midst of my soul searching I know I will find and discover more about myself. For now, I think it is my passion to tell the story of the world and to tell the world about my story. I remember a quote saying, “what are you going to do with your one wild and precious life?” It made me think really hard of what do I really wanted to do in my life? I haven’t figured it out, but I know soon… I will.
My 2nd time to join out of country travel with my friends and looking forward to more travels and adventures with these lovely people. We call each other “BRU” by the way. We’ve been friends since high school. There are 13 of us in the group in real life and I hope one day we will be all together. I miss you guys, a lot. We’ve been through ups and downs but we were always looking out for each and every one. We don’t talk that much and see each other often but when we have time for a get-together, we always make sure that it is all fun-filled and worth it.
Where are we?
Welcome to Taiwan ! The Heart of Asia. #taiwanderwhereweare
When it was declared visa-free for Filipinos, lots of people planned their trip ahead to this beautiful country and allowed to stay for 14 days. FYI, this visa-free proclamation is only up until July 2020. So what are you waiting for? Book your trip and enjoy what Taiwan has to offer.
Here’s what happened to our trip. Enjoy reading. 🙂
Day 1 – Tamsui Tour
We took the earliest flight from Manila to Taipei. I was able to fall asleep even if it is just a 2-hour travel time because we left our hometown at midnight to reach the airport before 4:00 am. Always remember, it is advised that passengers should be at the airport at least 3 hours prior to departure to avoid inconvenience.
It was almost 10:00 am when we arrived at Taoyuan Airport, Taiwan. Long queue in immigration but it was fast and easy. Buying the metro card was hassle-free too. You can top it up from $50 NT and you can use it at any establishments there, even in taxis, but wait there’s more, taxis also accept credit cards and other mobile payment services. There is a touch screen behind the front seat and a card reader attached to the side of that seat. Nice and easy.
We stayed within Zhongzheng District near the Shandao Temple MRT station. Perfect location for us because it is only a few steps away from the station exit 1 and 3. There is a night market nearby, fast food chains and convenience stores across the street. It was self-checked in and out of the unit and very convenient. The host and the room itself is nice and easy to locate because she provided a detailed guide for us. Please click herehttps://www.airbnb.com/ to direct you to the host’s listings.
Fresh from the airport, Teddy picked us up at Shandao Temple Station exit 1. He is a very nice man who speaks English fluently. His taxi is clean, smells good and he even provided us water on board. He also served as our photographer, when needed, he insists. He lends us umbrellas too.
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Is a famous national monument, tourist attraction and landmark in Taiwan. It was a bit rainy when we reached the memorial hall, but a few minutes later, the sun showed up. It was so windy that we had a hard time placing the tripod. As we walked around the beautiful landscape of perfectly trimmed bushes and trees, we felt the warmth of the sun and the cool breeze of afternoon air.
PS Bubu Cafe
Late lunch. I think it was past 2:00pm. Do you know something about this cafe? Let me give you a little trivia.
PS Bubu Cafe is a car themed cafe, where one of the scenes of the famous Taiwan series Meteor Garden was filmed. This is exactly the pink vintage car where Dao Ming Su and San Cai had a date. Sweet!
Tamsui Lover’s Bridge in Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf
After having a sumptuous lunch and a little talk, we head on to our next destination, the Tamsui Lover’s Bridge. They said it is a perfect spot to wait for the sunset with a loved one. (Oh, so romantic!) The colors of the bridge will tell you something about your relationship too. Is it about if you’re going to break up or will end up getting married??? We’re singles here, so we just don’t care at all.
We walked around first and with a breath of fresh air coming from the sea, calmed our troubled hearts and minds. 😀 There are food stalls too under the bridge where the boats and yachts docked.
Almost sunset. These ladies are waiting for their knight in shining armor who will save the day. Just kidding. Who knows? We can’t tell. Maybe they’re not in Taiwan. Next destination, please? 😀 😀 😀
Tamsui Old Street
We had a quick walk around Tamsui Old Street night market to end our day. Because Taiwan is famous for their milk tea, here we go to the first milktea shop around the corner. To tell you honestly, it was good and worth the price. I think I had the Brown Sugar Milktea for $40NT. There are fortune sticks on a stand, pick one and look for the same writings on the shelf and a piece of paper will be given to you with your fortune in it.
2nd day on page 2… 🙂
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I was employed for almost eight years in a bank. During those years, I have experienced a lot of challenges, changes in position, gained friends and lose some of them. It’s true that people come and go, you met them for a reason. They will make a difference in your life, either they will make you or break you and as time goes by, you’ve come to realize who your true friends are.
My child came in 2011 and gave me more reasons to be enthusiastic. At first, I can bear the situation wherein I opted to travel everyday, Laguna – Makati – Laguna. You may think Laguna is just
near so it is okay. Yes, it is only a two-hour ride, but including the traffic and waiting, it takes three to four hours to be home and you’re exhausted. So in the end, I stayed on the boarding house and see my child only on weekends.
I left the bank immediately, thanks to my friend who asked me to try applying for a job in their company because the working hours is midday. I somehow felt relieved because though I am tired, don’t have enough sleep and my child is already asleep when I come home , I can see her everyday. The joy is immeasurable. But there really comes a time when you can’t stand the situation and you really have to make a decision for yourself and for your child’s own good. So I resigned after eight months.
Why I Chose To Leave My Job?
I remember when my child cries a lot every Sundays, because I am leaving and be back after a week. Truly heartbreaking.
On Fridays, she only wants to be carried by me. Go with me everywhere, even in the bathroom, I know moms understand this well.
That was our routine every week. It made me more depressed.
I, myself, don’t even remember how my mom took care of me, when I was young, because at the age of two, she was already abroad. So I grew up without a mother by my side and that is one thing I never really wanted to happen to my child.
The Problem With Caretakers
I am not saying that all caretakers are not good enough. I do appreciate their help especially when both parents are working.
There were nannies who are trustworthy and will love your child more than herself and treat her like her own. But some will do harm to a child and to the family like those that we see or hear in the news on television.
I have seen instances that made me insane. Of course, what I want is the best for my child, so I do not want to see her grow being spoiled by other people and with such values that is not appropriate for a young age, because when she grow up, it’s hard to change like how to respect other people, their privacy and their beliefs.
I want my child to grow up with full of love and care by her own mom.
I do not want me to be only her mother, but also to be her friend, her sister and her companion.
Eventually, they would grow up and one day, they don’t even want to be with you, hug you nor kiss you or even tell you they love you, in front of their friends or other people.
So, cherish the moment while they are young. We can’t even turn back time. Create memories with your little one. Enjoy every moment of having a sweet child.
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“I’ve learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom – how great is that?” -Soledad O’Brien
“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” -Danny Kaye
“Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.” -Oliver Goldsmith
“Aim for the sky, but move slowly, enjoying every step along the way. It is all those little steps that make the journey complete.” -Chanda Kochhar