#CampLikeNeverBefore

I know this is a long over due post about my experience last August in the singles camp of victory Ubelt held in Pico de Loro, Batangas.

Anyways, prior to the the camp, I’ve been in a quite personal situation in my life. The feeling of you just wanted to have this reassurance of your calling because you tend to question your ability, skills, and wisdom. Before the camp, my prayer is that God will rekindle that passion and remind me of His purpose and calling. What does He wants me to do this season and for me to even know why am I feeling this way. This uncertainty kills people (not literally but in our minds were bombarded of different kind of thoughts). In every tough situation, the more I need to sought after His very own heart for me.

In short, more than the fellowship with my spiritual family, I’m really expectant to have a deeper fellowship with God during this camp. Then, we started our session with ate Mye, I’m excited to hear the word not just because she’s my mentor and a great preacher but I know that there’ll be things that God will speak to me personally. True enough, it was a #crylikeneverbefore moment for me. She talked about going “Beyond Borders” (which is our main theme for the camp). Never expected that it will speak to me personally. One thing that struck me the most is when she said, “if we want to go beyond borders, we need to go beyond our comfort zone”. Then, it hits me so hard because I wanted to do the opposite, I want to get out because to have a new comfort zone. Running way from new things and challenges. Maybe that’s why there are times that I feel emotional. God reassured me, that I’m on the right track I just need to obey and be reminded of His very purpose in my life this season. Running away is not the answer. I have to face those giants because its part of His purpose. Whew! It’s just the first day and yet so intense. I’m more expectant for the next  sessions.

During the second day, while I’m having my prayer time, I’m just reminded that we are heirs of Abraham. That is why we can also claim that promise that God has for Abraham. We need to be confident in our position in Christ. Then Bishop Jurray talked about VALUE. I always hear this but this time it’s different and I need to hear it in a more straight forward manner that I will never forget.  He said that value is relational and it is set of a higher authority.

Nowadays, we set our value to the standards of world. That’s why maybe, there’s this major concern about increasing number of suicide situations in different countries including ours. Because we tend relate our value to our academics, accomplishments, relationships and to our careers. But when Bishop Jurray pounded on the one who already set our value, it gave me so much relief (not an excuse to be lazy) but it gave me such security that the way God created me, there’s no greater value! The God who created the universe and knows us at our best is the one who loves us.

Our value has already set by someone greater. Jesus set our value and we cannot or else it will be up and down and will keep on struggling. This is my highlight, “Do not attach your value to your work, people, performance or to anything else. Your value doesn’t change because Jesus set your value on the cross!”

In a world that is so fast phase, so much social media goals, you tend to strive so much. That drive to prove yourself will destroy us because we’re trying to prove our value.

I badly needed to hear this message and humble myself once again to the Lord because I know that sometimes I attach my value to the things that I’m doing. Such a refreshing moment.

Of course in every camp, there’s always a breakout session for men and women. Ms Deah, wife of Bishop Jurray talked about “You are God’s woman”. Like the proverbs 31 woman, she’s someone who has an intimate relationship with God. Intimate means “private and personal”. We don’t need to be a superwoman for us to be qualified because God is the only one who qualified us.

She said that, God wants to feel our deepest longing and desires because he wants us to draw near to Him. When we follow our hearts it traps us to the world. It is only God who can fill that void. If others, it will not satisfy us.

Let the love that we receive from God goes beyond us and makes us love, serve, and pray others.  As we get to know God let that faith grow in us.

Well, her last point about knowing God that produces patience is really a hit! Ms Deah said, “patience is being constantly constant”. Patience is a virtue we can learn when we walk with God. For women, take note of this, PATIENCE IS A SIGN OF STRENGTH. Patience is a firm confidence in the Lord. Relationships flourish with patience. Patience makes us Grow, deeper, closer and stronger.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12

“By your endurance you will gain your lives.” Luke 21:19

Thank you Ms. Deah for all your impartation. It means a lot.😊

Last day and comes to our last session with bishop jurray. He talked about FAITH. I know this is basic and we hear this all the time but sometimes we need to hear it all over again for us to be reminded until it becomes so evident in our lives. Bishop Jurray said that we don’t just became a display of Gods goodness but a channel of His blessings. Our faith doesn’t just affect us but it affects others.

Our faith has to grow, it can’t remain the same way!

Faith comes through the word of God. When you’re frustrated, tired, don’t scream but keep quiet and ask God for a word for you and let the word of God well up on you.

Truly, this is a #CampLikeNeverBefore.

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Top 10 Cafe Mocha spots in the Metro

Whenever I go to a certain café my default order is this that’s why I decided to write this blog to all café mocha lovers out there.

If you have other suggestions feel free to post it also.😉☕️ *cheers*

10. Catabolic Cafe

This pretty cafe is located in Teachers Village, Quezon City.

Pair this with their yummy rainbow cake! perfection!

9. Sweet Spot Cafe

Location: Sikatuna Village, Quezon City

8. Craft Coffee

Location: Broadway Avenue corner E. Rodriguez, Quezon City

Try their Chicken Empanada!

7. Manila Peninsula Hotel

Location: Makati City

Definitely you’ll enjoy the ambiance too!

6. Illy’s Cafe

Location: Powerplant Mall, Makati City

5. Starbucks 

For those who easily craves for cafe mocha, Starbucks is one of the best.

4. Toby’s Estate

Went to their SM Aura and Shangri-La mall branch. Love the IG worthy feels of their cafe and their latte art.

You can check more details via http://tobysestateph.com/


3. Cafe Shibuya

Location: Trinoma; UP Town Center; and Glorietta

Ohhh that ghirardheli chocolate!💚👌🏼 Don’t forget to try their main entrees and dessert!

2. Xocolat

Location: Katipunan, Quezon City

Melted chocolate chips on your cafe mocha. Soooo lovely! They have yummy pasta esp their Chocolate Chicken Pasta. For the Win!

1. EDSA Shang ri la Hotel

And my number 1 is… This! My fave go to place esp when there’s special occasions and im soooo stressed out! but not all the time… haha

God is thinking of you.

It’s been a while since I wrote something in my blog. Now, I just felt like writing my thoughts of being an “orphan”. Maybe you’ve lost your parents because of sickness, tragedy in an unexpected situation or you feel like they’re not with you even if they’re alive…

“Know that GOD IS THINKING OF YOU.”

Yes, me and 5 of my siblings became an orphan since my mother died last 2013. My father died before her around June 2001. It’s has been a difficult situation, roller coaster ride, and the feeling is sooooo surreal. I’ve never expected this to happen but I just embraced this process and God even more. There are questions but it’s beyond my logic. It’s an everyday fight but I need to respond right.

Did I cry? Of course! Name it… In the jeepney, tricycle, taxi, MRT and while walking. The pain is there but I yielded to God’s power and draw strength to him.

A Pastor told me before (forgot the exact words but it’s something like this), “just let it all out. Just go through the process because we need to go through that. If you need to cry, just cry. Healing will come and when that time comes you don’t want to miss the promises of God.”

Then I prayed that He will give me mentors and even families who will “adopt” me and open their homes to me as well. I know that it’s going to be a tough ride and I need people who will guide me and give me godly counsel. Then two of my mentors talked to me and prayed for me. They even encouraged me to take this time to draw more to God and they mentioned to me this verse:

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭34:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Taking one step at time and told myself that I wanna worship God even to the lowest and darkest point of my life.

Did I feel like quitting? Yes! I feel like I have all the reasons in the world to just quit and stop (my father, nephew, mother and recently my brother died) But God would remind me, would it make things better?  Of course NOT! I know for a fact that it will just make things worst!

Never been easy but you know it’s all worth it to pray and seek God after all the chaos in life. I’m glad that He gave me women / mentors who would coach me and be like a mom to me. Yes! It’s an answered prayer. Everyday God knows how grateful I am to have friends, mentors and even spiritual family who will run the race with me.

Life is not meant to be cruel and you’re not meant to walk alone!

It’s a humbling experience to ask for help but all the more it thought me to draw strength to God because He is the main source of everything that we need. 

The more I feel His love as a Father and Mother to me. He is the ultimate shepherd and God will direct our paths straight. Let’s not miss out God’s word in every season. 

Everyday is an opportunity to be grateful and experience the faithfulness of God in our lives.

Don’t feel that you’re alone because God is thinking of you 24/7.

““For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord,” ‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬




THE DAY YOU WENT AWAY

The day you went away…

My world crash down and part of me was taken away

So many questions that bother me and still unresolved until now

It’s been two years and yet the feeling is just so surreal

Can’t believed you went away

There are times I broke down whenever I’m in transit (train, jeepney, cab, and tricycle)

I don’t mind what other people will think of me because the only thing that is important to me is you and I just need to go undergo this process

Hard but I need to go through this

There’s so much pain but suddenly I found a glimpse of peace

Days and months have passed by all I have is God and memories of you

God answered my prayers when He brought good friends and mentors that never cease to follow me through

Then I realized, God’s love is so unconditional that He is mindful of me

I’m in so much pain yet He heard my plea

He said, my daughter have faith for I am not yet done in your life

There might be questions but remain in me for you will never go wrong

This is the season where you will be closer to me and I will make you strong

Your life will be a life of faith and all you need to do is to know me more

The day when your mom went away is the day you gain life in me

I felt I was born again, I never thought that God would use this bad situation into my advantage

Healing is a process and I submit to His lordship every time I am reminded of what happened at the hospital

It’s been two years since she went away but her memories will last for a lifetime

I thought that being close to her is a curse but God made me realized it’s a GIFT.

Let Go and Let God

LET GO and LET GOD

April 13, 2015
Sometimes when we go through tough times or even cross roads in our lives, you would often hear this or maybe once in your life you heard this phrase, “Let Go and Let God”. The question is, is it really worth it?

Last week, We’re able to clean up my Mama’s canteen stuff since we’re going to close it already. Personally, I’m a sentimental fool.😉 I wanted to keep everything but physically I know we can’t, since we don’t have enough space at home. As I look into the things that she invested for so many years, I felt sad and even nostalgic because everything seems so unreal to me that we’re going to pack things up without her. I even remember the time when she told me who will take over if I’m gone? Etc. As I look into the old stuff, I started dreaming and thinking that one day, we’re going to replace it with brand new things and more excellent as well. Then, it helped me to easily let go of the old stuff believing that God will return everything new and for sure better ones. 

For me, letting go means you don’t want to be attached anymore to something that you don’t want to have (yes, the memories will always be there). May it be career, material things, emotions, your plans, or even relationships. For me, it’s one of the hardest thing to do esp if it’s a loved one. But through some trials and testings in life, I can only say that when I let go I am giving God an opportunity to move things for me and for Him to make things new. It’s a humbling act that admitting that you can’t do things on your own and believing that someone who is greater than you can do amazing things.

When we let go, it’s going to be a test of faith and a rough ride as well. We need to seek God by reading His word and pray about it. It’s gonna be a challenge esp for those who are control freak and who are not used to know what’s next. Well, let’s respond right towards ur situation not to rebel but to obey. 

Letting go is an avenue to dream big, increase our faith, claim Gods promises and to hold on to His word that “He is in control of everything and He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us but give us a hope and a future”. So I say, it’s worth it to let go and let God.

Why solo travel?

Why solo travel? It’s always part of my bucket list to do a solo travel. Actually, I’ve scheduled it last November 2013 but due to Yolanda I chose to cancel my trip to Taiwan and I’d rather help in whatever capacity that I can through our office. Back then, my mother knew about my travel but I think mentioned to her that I’m going solo (confused… Haha). Few weeks after, my mother passed away and felt like I don’t wanna do it again. Felt so stressed out and I just wanna forget some of the things that I want because I’m still mourning etc. etc…. Making lots of excuses for myself but deep inside of me tells me to pursue that goal. Two months after, I saw a promo going to Taiwan and now I stepped out of my comfort zone again and told myself that I think I have to do this esp I want to breathe fresh air and new environment might give me some encouragement as well. I end up booking myself for 6 full days solo trip to Taiwan. No travel agency but a DIY itinerary. Thanks to trip advisor, air bnb, Google and to my friends who are also solo travelers who inspired me to continue this 1st ever solo trip. Then my much awaited solo travel begins… Timely because I want to rediscover myself, re-align my heart towards God, be grateful of the creations of The Lord and appreciate life in spite of difficulties. So why solo travel? Especially for a woman is it worth it? Is it safe? Is it worth the risk? What are the disadvantages? I’ll try to answer one by one (in my own capacity… haha). 1. It feels LIBERATING Liberate means (from Merriam Webster): > to free (someone or something) from being controlled by another person, group, etc. > to give freedom or more freedom to (someone) Yes! “Sometimes” it feels good not to be controlled by a group or a person esp when you’re on a vacay. You get to decide things on your own. What time will you wake up? Where are you going? What to eat? And what kind of transportation you’re going to take? Well, if you get lost or if you woke up late there’s nobody to blame but yourself.:) you can walk slow or even rush just to see the sunset (like what I did in Taipei). Cowboy style or not? You get to decide alone. I think it takes courage (esp when there’s a language barrier) and maturity to decide esp when you’re in a foreign land. DSC_0106_Fotor_Collage selfiesss taiwan This solo trip liberated me from being to hard on to myself. If I wasn’t able to do everything that I planned in my itinerary, I just let it go easily and resched it. I learned how to slow down and savor each moment by appreciating up to the smallest details of the place. 2. You still need to BE CAREFUL and WISE

National Palace Museum

Solo travel might get you so much excited but it requires you to be more careful and vigilant esp if you’re in a crowded place or maybe if your going far away from the city. Not to the extent of you being paranoid. Just enough for you to be proactive. Don’t forget to have a soft copy of your visa, passport and id. You can also photocopy it. Bring an anti theft bag or pouch that will protect your cards and you can secure your passport as well. If you’re going to visit a province, like when I visited Jinguashin, Jiufen, and Taichung it took me almost 2-3hrs away from Taipei. You need to check the schedule of buses and their trains to make sure that you’ll not miss any of it. I advise esp for the women to take the 3rd or the 2nd to the last schedule in case of any changes and for you to be safe as well. Not to leave after sunset so that you’ll avoid getting lost and most of the people doesn’t speak English.

Visit the famous Shilin Night Market.

3. Be FRIENDLY and POLITE During my trip, I felt like that I can easily adopt to a certain culture. Tho, I still need more immersions just to confirm this. Haha Being friendly is good but not to the extent of sharing your life. You still need to know your limitations as a tourist and always be reminded by our parent’s basic rule: “don’t talk to strangers” might help too. Always be polite in asking the locals some questions, where to go? What to ride? Where can I find this? Etc… It’s good that you learn their basic expressions and always smile to them.

One thing in common: we Love to travel!

I stayed in a hostel and what’s good about staying in a hostel is that you get to meet fellow nomads. Great cross cultural conversations, learning from each other’s trips, history of your beloved countries and they would even give you tips what are the best places to visit and how to go there (first hand experience). Remember, you are an ambassador of your own country and you reflect what kind of country you’re living in. It might change their perspective about Filipinos as well.

Met some kabayan in Taiwan

  4. Will make you more COURAGEOUS This might be a real challenge for a faint hearted or for people who are dependent but I say, it’s really worth it. Doing solotravel, will make you more courageous and be more independent. For sure, your first concern is, who will take my photos???? My ootd? And how can I bring all my bags? Etc… Haha Funny questions and for sure you thought of it too. People can take a photo of you unless you ask them in a nice and friendly way. We say it in Filipino, “kapal ng mukha” haha. Don’t miss the chance of having your portrait in a nice view or maybe you can bring a tripod / go pro if you want.  I brought my happy pod all throughout my trip and would also ask some tourists or locals to take my photo. Eating some delicacies or food during their night market can be super fun. Since I’m not that adventurous about food, I chose not to eat their stinky tofu or other exotic food. Haha that I’m not courageous enough!;) IMGP2240_Fotor_Collage 5. Be ready for a fun filled ADVENTURE You can still have memorable adventures even if you’re on a solo trip. I will never forget when I went up the elephant mountain, it was so steep and took me around a thousand steps just to watch the sunset and the skyline of Taipei I’m the evening. It’s sooooo worth it even if I need to bring the stuff that I bought from IKEA with my backpack. Kinda heavy but it didn’t hinder me to do that one of a kind adventure. Such a magnificent view and time to seethe sunset. It was breathtaking!

Don’t forget to go up the Elephant Mountain to have a breathtaking Taipei skyline.

Sipping a cup of coffee in Jiufen was a great experience too! You can see the overlooking view of the Pacific Ocean, clouds right in front of you, and mountains are so refreshing. All you can think of is, God thank you for this wonderful experience that I get to witness your creation. DSC_0329_Fotor_Collage Taiwan foods Countless stories on how people approached me and talked to me in Mandarin because they thought that I’m also Taiwanese. Funny that I can get to disguise like them but after saying Nihao and Xiexie, they realized that I’m a tourist.:) Solo travel can also reaffirm if you have a sense of direction. Well, you can try not to look at the map all the time and check if you’ll get off the right train station. When people give you directions, do you still remember it or not?:)

People are kind enough to take your photo

****** For me, it brought so much inspiration that Taiwan is one of the nicest places to visit in Asia esp for a first time solotravelers like me. Thanks to my friend who encouraged me to “launch” my first solo trip in Taiwan.;) no regrets! It inspired me to dream more about Philippines. I guess, the patriotic inside of me would always say, I hope we have this kind of bus or train system in our country, etc… They’re very systematic, simple, and efficient. I admire all their signages and information that they provided not only for the locals but to the tourists as well. Solo travel will renew your perspective about traveling. Sometimes it’s also fun to be alone. Take note, “sometimes”… Haha It could give you a time to think, recharge, discover yourself more, make new friends, appreciate life and God even more. So take that leap of faith and check it to your bucket list. At least, once in your life you can proudly say to yourself that you did something different. It’s worth the risk!;)

Mavid Batanes 2014 (Day 3)

Our last full day in Batanes… Sad but excited! Tho, the weather is different from yesterday bec it’s a cloudy day. This didn’t stop us from enjoying our day.

We left our hotel around 800am and our itinerary is to go to the Southern part of Batan.
First stop: Chawa View Deck
Beautiful waves from the Pacific Ocean greeted us early in the morning!
Beautiful waves from the Pacific Ocean greeted us early in the morning.
Great way to start our day! With a strong cold wind we still went down and watch the waves in front of our eyes.:)
Don’t come closer bec you’ll get wet unless you wanted to…;)
No filter needed for this awesome cliff!
No filter needed for this awesome cliff!
Don’t be tempted to jump bec the rocks are quite rough ESP for cliff diving. Haha;)
Then time to do some road trip and our destination: Mahatao
Mahatao Old Church
Mahatao Old Church

When you visit Mahatao, don’t forget to visit the Blank Book Library beside the Mahatoao church. You can choose any of the books and maybe write a letter or message that you can also check when you visit Batanes again. Remember the book number.:)

DSC_0890_Fotor_Collage Oldest house in Mahatao
House of Dakay (One of the oldest house in Mahatao)

Me and my friend Mylene doing some PlanaForma pose while waiting for the other tourists to finish their picture taking but it seems like they’re taking forever to finish. Thats why i wasn’t able to take a photo of the whole house… Pfffft!:)

DSC_0890_Fotor_Collage HONESTY CAFE
The famous HONESTY CAFE

Finally, we get to visit the one of the most famous attractions in Batanes, the Honesty Cafe. You just choose what to buy, write it down the log book, drop your payment. Take note that you need to give an exact amount bec no one can give you a change.

You can buy some local products but not too much. Im quite surprised that they don’t offer more local food there and homegrow coffee but Cong. Abad explained it to me why when I was able to talk to her during our flight back to manila.

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View from the cliff. Ruins of a house due to the tidal wave years ago.
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This is the house where Ms. Iza Calzado stayed for the movie “Batanes”.
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Friendly kids welcomed us

You will be amazed on how hospitable the locals are even the kids would say hi or greet you anywhere. It seems like they’re trained to do that but I guess its their nature to welcome the tourists with a happy face…

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Jump for joy!!!

Traveling makes our hearts beat faster and even jump because of so much happiness!

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Quick stop for this beautiful rock formations!
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Lighthouse again!!!:)
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Such a breathtaking place: Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro County)

Time for lunch and when we knew that were going to eat in Marlboro Country, we can’t help it but to be excited…

The sun is hiding from us but I still love the view!:)
The sun is hiding from us but I still love the view!:)

Cant resist to stay for couple of minutes even if its kinda windy and super cold!:) I can hear the wind blows and thank God that I’m not too thin because I might be blown away! LOL

Windy and cloudy?!!! Naaaaaah! hahaha:))
Windy and cloudy?!!! Naaaaaah! hahaha:))
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Very picturesque view of this light house!

Its more FUN in the Philippines!!! Yes! you’re in the Philippines and not in Switzerland or some other country…

Mahatao Boat Shelter Port
Mahatao Boat Shelter Port

For our last stop, we visited the Boat Shelter Port, wherein the boats can dock during bad weather. It provides a safe place for them to keep their boats from being ruined by the waves and wind.