#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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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.

Mavid Batanes 2014 (Day 2)

Whoooot! All set for our second day. Woke up around 430am to prepare for our island tour in Sabtang. We had breakfast in our hotel and left at 615am to go to the port since we the boat will leave around 700am. I told to myself that I will drink a medicine (bonamine) but for the sake of being sure I took one.  The waves are not that strong but if you have motion sickness just be ready since it might get a lil bit rough in the middle of the sea.

We arrived in Sabtang almost 800am (30-45mins boat ride). Were fetch by our own cute lil van like a surfer chic van and ate Juliet our tour guide accompany us as well.
Tip: you can wear your swimming attire in case you want to have some dip in the ocean but be cautious with your time ESP when you’re doing a day tour only. You don’t want to miss your boat since they only have one schedule going back.;)
FIRST STOP:
Nakabuang Beach and Arc
Nakabuang Beach and Arc
Oh! Helloooo white sand and this natural arc made of stones will welcome you right away!
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Chavayan community tour (UNESCO Nomiated Site)
Chavayan community tour (UNESCO Nominated Site)
Were amazed on how they preserved this community.
It made me feel that I’m in a different time. Their traditional house are built in a way it can stand a storm or even a tidal wave. Their main house, kitchen and even bathroom is separated to one another.
Lola Marina, 88 yrs old (Ivatan local)
Lola Marina, 88 yrs old (Ivatan local)
We’ve met Lola Marina, she’s 88years old and she weaves Vakul (women’s traditional head gear to protect from sun and even rain). She said that it’s the only thing that she can do since she cannot go up to the mountains.
Locals are helping with each other as they build a house
Locals are helping with each other as they build a house
The people in their community are hospitable even the children get to smile whenever you’ll ask them that you’ll take their photos (I guess, they’re also used with a lot of tourists asking them to smile to the camera)
Chamantad - Tinaian View Point
Chamantad – Tinaian View Point
Fresh Buko Juice
Fresh Buko Juice  (perfect to refresh us from the heat of the sun)
Our tour guide made sure that we’ll enjoy this place that’s why we let other tourists go here first and we made this in the middle of the day. And we said to her that it’s a good decision bec were able to savor the place as a group alone! We bought some buko juice for the store along the road before going down and up to see the whole view.
Chamantad - Tinaian View Point
Chamantad – Tinaian View Point
We didnt mind the trail again even if its quite high. Its all worth it! One of the best place ever!!!!!!! The very picturesque scene is unbelievable coz I feel like I’m in a different part of the world but the more I felt so in love with the place. The cliff, mountains, cool breeze, white sand, and the sound of the waves are really taking my breathe away. I can’t get enough of this kind of view. One of a kind experience!
No Filter!!!:)
No Filter!!!:)
Thank you ate Juliet for our wonderful photos (group and solo)…;) you made our trip more memorable!;)
LUNCH
Fresh Lobster and lovely view over lunch
Fresh Lobster and lovely view over lunch
We left Sabtang by 1:00pm bec they’re monitoring the weather and glad that the coast guards are there to check the boats and made sure that everyone is safe. Again, I took my medicine since I don’t wanna risk being sea sick (tho, I don’t have one. Just to be sure…). The waves are different since its kinda rough unlike in the morning but still manageable. It’s funny that some of the elders get to scream like they’re in an amusement park. Hihi we just slept in the middle of it.
We went back to the hotel early and rested for few hours. We went to the town proper bec my friends will attend church and I get to have sometime alone. Went to the canteen near the church (in the capitol area) and tried their famous noodles.
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>>>Dinner we tried this new italian restaurant few mins away from our hotel. They only serve pizza but I say it’s delicious but the service is quite slow bec I think they only have 2-3 staff in the restaurant.
Such a beautiful SUNSET!:)
Such a beautiful SUNSET!:)
I’m still excited for what is in store for our last full day in Batanes….;)
***TIP: plan your Sabtang tour on the 2nd day of your trip since they only have one boat trip everyday. It will be safe for you in case your boat will not be permitted to go back due to some bad weather situation.

Mavid Batanes 2014 (Day 1)

BATANES – “The Last  Frontier of the North”

It’s been years since I’ve said to my self that I will go to Batanes and even placed it to my bucket list. Yes! This may sound familiar for you because I know that as you read this Batanes is also included in your travel goals. Thanks to my friend and workout buddy mylene who asked me last yr if I wanted to join her version 2.0 in Batanes since it will be her 2nd time there. Of course, without a doubt I said yes!

This is my first travel for this year and after what happened last december, I’m excited to have a break. Somehow I badly needed a new environment even just for a couple of days.
Last March 7, 2014, finally! I’ve set my feet to this wonderful place. I’ve read so many blogs and asked friends who went there as well, suddenly it created so much expectations. I prepared my Dslr, adventure camera, tripod, happy pod, travel journal (surat journal) and most of all my happy feet with good vibes.
We took PAL 2P84 flight MNL-BASCO, 6:00am and we arrived around 7:45am. Their beautiful airport with boulder stones, fresh air, tarpaulins of their well known tourist spots, and smiling locals greeted us. And I said to myself, This is going to be a great vacay!
Originally, we’re booked in Batanes seaside lodge since my friend checked in there last yr. but then, suddenly their staff told us that they’ll moved us to another hotel coz our travel agent had some miscommunication with them. Oooops! Of course were disappointed and told them to fix this problem asap. Since we lack some sleep and eager to have some rest before we start our tour for the day. We decided and accepted their offer to transfer to Batanes Resort. Then we realized that we have a better accommodation there since we got one cottage with two separate rooms and it’s a restored storehouses in Basco. Yay! We treat it an an upgrade and favor.
Batanes resort was run by their department of tourism and now it’s their LGU who’s in charge of maintaining it. They only have 6 cottages (total of 12 rooms) named after their 6 towns in the province. With the view of hills, sea, and the refreshing sound of the ocean is really relaxing.
We started our tour for the 1st day around 1:00pm. Kuya Wilbert, our tour guide fetch us to the hotel to bring us to the Northern Part of Batanes:

For our first stop: Tukon chapel
For our first stop: Tukon chapel
Fundacion Pacita
Fundacion Pacita

This is one of the most high end hotel in Batanes and you can see the artworks of Pacita Abad the first Ivatan artist who was able to brought her master pieces all around the world.
you can check heir website for more details http://www.fundacionpacita.ph
Japanese Tunnel
Japanese Tunnel
Valugan Boulder Beach
Valugan Boulder Beach
Enjoyed walking and seeing big andesite rocks along the beach but we can’t stay super close bec of its waves. This place is sooooo beautiful. I think i can seat there all day while reading, listening to some relaxing music and drinking some coffee. Since its facing the Pacific ocean, expect to see some beautiful waves.
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*dont forget to take a panoramic view of the beach and if you’re into yoga, do some of your favorite yoga poses for a memorable shot.;) 
Vayang Rolling Hills and Mt. Iraya
Vayang Rolling Hills and Mt. Iraya
Vayang Rolling Hills
Vayang Rolling Hills

This place blew me away!!! Apart from its trail that’s quite high but I didn’t mind it bec of its scenic view of the ocean, Mount Iraya, and of course the rolling hills. My jaw dropped (not literally! Haha) bec I didn’t expect that I get to be on top of a hill and one of a kind of view in the Philippines.

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****our guide told us that there’s a fiesta in their barangay and we teased him if we can eat in their place for snack. Suddenly, he told us that his tita prepared food and were welcome in their house. We’re surprised and quite shy as well. But hey, it’s a Filipino way of being hospitable and they said that they’re happy to see tourists visiting their province. Thank you to the Castillo family for welcoming us into your home and let us tried your delicious food.:)
Batanes museum - located in Batanes National High School near the Capitol.
Batanes Museum

(located in Batanes National High School near the Capitol) 

We’re so glad that we get to have some history background about their culture and traditions explained by Mr. Arn, history teacher in BNHS. I hope and pray that you get to have a separate location to have a museum bec your province has one of the most richest culture in the Philippines.
Naidi Hills and Basco Lighthouse
Naidi Hills and Basco Lighthouse (sunset viewing and dinner)

Again, and I will never get tired of saying this is an awesome place. Batanes has a lot of lighthouses since they’re being surrounded by water. It’s a bit cloudy that’s why were not able to see the full view of the sunset but nonetheless it’s still beautiful.
We also had dinner at the Bunker Cafe few walks down the lighthouse. They served a very very good food there but take note to reserve a day before since they only cater to 50 guests. 
***(I will post my gastronomical experience in Batanes separately)
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>>>Actually, the first thing we’ve noticed that the grass of the hills are so trimmed and with my curiosity I didnt hesitate to ask our tour guided how come it’s well trimmed? He said that bec they use a natural way of maintaining it. They let their cows, horses, or even goats to eat the grass and tada they’ll have a well trimmed grass.
1st day: Blown away and expectant for the next coming days
You’ll never get tired of taking photos everywhere 🙂
We have lots of impromptu moments with our first day but as they say that traveling is all about enjoying every detail of it and meeting new people makes your journey a memorable one. Wrapping up our first day with so much happiness and still expectant for the next day in Sabtang…