Monthly Archives: May 2011

Travel adventure

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While browsing the website of Reader’s Digest Asia yesterday, i got interested in an online contest wherein you write in brief about your best travel adventure and you might just win a free 3 days 2 nights stay in Beijing ! (exclusive of airfare)

Sleepy as i was, i decided to join the contest. I needed a break and got nothing to lose. I racked my brain for memories of my travels and the most notable that came to my mind was the trip to Paris three years ago with my girlfriends. So here goes my impromptu entry which was sent to my email:

Tell us in brief your best travel adventure:

I always dreamt of going to Paris one day and in 2008, that dream came true.

Together with four of my friends, we booked a flight to Paris for 4 days and 3 nights stay.

We were working in Dublin then and Paris was just 2 to 3 hours away. On the day of the flight itself, i was in panic mode! I couldn’t remember where I put my passport. After causing much mayhem, I finally found it in the backpocket of my luggage. That was the start of a very unforgettable trip!

Enroute to the airport, we almost didn’t make it to our flight because our airport shuttle driver was arguing with one of the passengers who wouldn’t put his seatbelt on. We were all like “oh come on already, let’s go!”

On our first day in Paris, we were the subject of argument of two taxi drivers. The first driver wouldn’t take four passengers because he didn’t want anyone sitting in the front seat. The other driver argued with the first and decided to take us, only to reject us when he realized we were going only a stone throw’s away from the taxi stand. Well, we were new to Paris and didn’t exactly know the place.

We kept getting lost in the Paris metro but somehow we managed to tour the best places the romantic city has to offer – the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, Notre Dame Cathedral, Champs-Elysees Avenue and of course the Eiffel Tower. We loved it, especially at night when it is lit and the lights twinkle. We took the double deck tour bus and hopped on and off. It was all worth it. We even rode the cruise on the Seine River and was amazed with all the art and architectural masterpieces we passed through.

On our last night in Paris, we put on our best dresses, make up and high heels and went on an authentic French fine-dining restaurant. Afterwhich, we went to watch the show in Moulin Rouge which was spectacular beyond words. We went home in the wee hours of the morning, huddled together because it was freezing cold outside and we were in our gowns, flimsy coats and high heels!

It was one adventure I will never ever forget. I would love to go back to Paris one day, this time with the love of my life, my hubby.

Your next dream holiday destination: My next dream destination is Beijing or Paris again but this time with hubby.

Erratum sleepyhead: with four of my friends means there were 5 of us. Wrong, there were only 4 us. Also inconsistent with the story on the taxi drivers.

Lesson learned: i shouldn’t write when i’m sleepy, like right now!

Notes: i was sleepy when i wrote this and haven’t had a chance to check facts. I honestly couldn’t remember how many hours the flight was. Wasn’t even sure if it was really 4D 3N or just 3D 2N. My memory is really deteriorating. I’ve got to do something about it. I read multi-tasking contributes to memory loss but that’s a topic i would tackle in another post. =D

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Running

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I started running around a month ago, mainly to join and support hubby in his endeavor to have a healthier body. I’m fairly new to it and can barely keep up with hubby during our runs. I was not quite prepared for it. I used my current rubber shoes, not checking if it’s for running or not. I also used my old shirts and shorts. Hubby always tracks his distance covered and calories burned. I hardly cared. The only goal for me is to be with hubby while we finish the running session and i breathe a sigh of relief when it’s over. At times, i only walk and jog and let hubby do his thing. Running has become just another one of those things i’m dispassionate about.

I admit though that i feel lighter after each run. I also feel proud of myself and hubby for the newfound discipline to make time for and care about our health. Instead of going to the movies and spending on tickets and food once a week for our date night, we decided to divert to the less costly and healthier alternative – running.

On his recent trip abroad, hubby bought me nike running shoes and nike censor (not sure if that’s the right term, have to learn more about the technical aspects of running). As a consequence, i wanted to buy matching shirts, shorts and other paraphernalia. I keep thinking i should have this for that and that for this, etc. etc. My justification is that if i have all the right stuff, i will be more motivated and comfortable to run. Right? Dead wrong. I’m merely making another excuse to shop.

Running is supposed to be simple and basic. You have your body and you decide to move it, voila! You’re on your way. Running for health does not require much material, just passion and commitment.

So the next time i’m tempted to buy something, i will take John Bingham’s advice into account – “…ask yourself, what difference does it make? My guess is you will find, as i did, that you already have what you really need to be your best.”

(P.s. I’m sure i will eventually buy something =D, but i have to set and achieve some goals first.)

Today, i am making a conscious decision to be passionate about running. I will put my heart into it. I will set goals so that eventually, i can join fun runs and runs for a cause. In this way, i can achieve a healthier body and at the same time, give back and touch lives. On top of that, i get to bond and have fun with my running partner – hubby!

“If i run with a goal, with or without the latest shoes on my feet and materials on my body, I improve….” -John Bingham, Runner’s World, November 2010

Grand lotto bet

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Looking out of the fx window on a long commute with the rain pouring hard outside, i mutter a silent longing… that i win the 6 55 grand lotto jackpot! I was thinking what a great relief that would be, no longer having to work for money but for my passion and interests.

I don’t normally bet on lotto. I’ve been interested lately only because the jackpot prize has reached almost P300m and there’s a lotto outlet in the mrt station i get off from everyday. I’ve already won P300 for getting 3 out of 6 numbers twice. Not bad.

That would be such a nice surprise right? Winning such huge amount of money at your disposal. It would surely change one’s life drastically (in a good way).

Oh, wishful thinking on a rainy day.

Reading

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First stop on my quest for inspiration is to read again.

As a child, i grew up reading reader’s digest which my mama subscribed to. I believe reading and answering the vocabulary quizzes helped enhance my english skills.

Whenever i took a vacation in one of my aunt’s home, i used to lock myself in the basement, drowning myself in their collection of adarna books for children, liwayway magazine and even Bannawag. In my teens, i loved reading Sweet dreams, Love stories, Tagalog novels, comics, and what-not. I remember how we, together with a sibling and my papa, would walk to a neighboring “lease” stand for novels and comics and how happy and excited we were to read our new finds. In school, i would borrow Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Bobbsey Twins series. In high school and college, i graduated to reading Danielle Steel, John Grisham and Harlequin Romance novels.
I would say i blame all those romance novels for the hopeless romantic in me but it is from reading that i discovered my penchant for drama. I used to keep a journal and write poems and short stories, all about love and pain and heartbreak.

I used to imagine and daydream a lot. I would cry from the heartbreak of my fictional characters and would smile from their bliss. I was a bit of a cuckoo for that, crying from imaginary situations i make up in my head. That’s why i believe, if i just sit on it, i could write a pretty decent Taglish romance novel and then maybe an english one.

My love for reading fueled the writer in me. Writing has been my solace. I have been a weak young girl, i easily got depressed, i struggled to forget and forgive myself for some childhood not-so-good memories. I was shy and sheltered. But i wrote well. In fact, i was associate editor in chief of our school paper in high school.

And then i grew up. I took up accountancy and excelled in it. But in the process, i lost the time and stamina to write. I focused on the academics. I was one of those who thought being theoretically smart and graduating with honors equated success. In the real world though, one needs to be street smart to be successful and to be happy and fulfilled, one needs to be doing what one loves most, what is in her nature.

In my working years, i wrote every now and then. I write best when i’m in distress or heartbroken. I think i’m slightly masochistic in that sense. Being single and waiting for Mr. Right makes one go through a rollercoaster of emotions. It is those emotions that used to inspire me to write and whine and be such a drama queen.

It’s been years now since i commenced blogging. I start a blog then forget about it, start a blog, vow to write every single day, get busy with work and forget about it again.

Eversince i’ve found the one and we settled down, i feel steady and at home. Most of the time, i am contented to simply savor being with my hubby and son. But I love them so much that i feel the need to be the best i can be. As my baby grows older, i strive to be a better person so that i, together with hubby, will be able to guide him well. This is one person that is highly dependent on me and so my being will heavily influence his present and future.

Almost every day, especially during my commute, the inspiration to write strikes me. It may be during a bus ride or while i’m waiting for my train. They’re mostly about random thoughts or feelings i wanted to share to the world. But at times i realize those thoughts or feelings have become a bit superficial through the years. I don’t have that much interesting to share because i have stopped learning. I no longer read as much. To be able to share, one must learn and so i vow to be a voracious reader again.

Role models

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When i was in my youth, i used to look up to women like Gloria Arroyo and Loren Legarda. But as i grew older, i got disillusioned, critical and at times cynical. I thought they were perfect but they turned out not to be and so for a long time now, i have not truly admired somebody. I have become dispassionate and at times indifferent but if i am to grow as a person, i recognize the need to have a role model, an inspiration.

I made two uncoventional choices – Kris aquino and Oprah.
Kris aquino because she is flawed and made a lot of mistakes but isn’t ashamed of who she is and embraces her being.
Oprah because eventhough she had a traumatic childhood, she outgrew that and has gone on to touch the lives of many.

They both earn lots of money doing the things they want, fulfilling their destiny and they now have the option to give back and they choose to.

it only takes a spark

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I am supposed to be a successful and career-driven woman. Afterall, I graduated with honors, passed the board exams and have had a good career head start.
And then suddenly, I was lost. I don’t know what I want anymore and I don’t have the drive to aim for more.

I want to do something else. I want to write. I want to design. I want to edit photos and make invites. I want to blog.

I need help and counseling. I need a mentor. I need someone to look up to.
And I also need money, lots of them.

I am okay. I mean, I am happy that i have my hubby and son and that we are blessed to have more than enough for our needs and wants. But as I get older and wiser (I hope), I begin to question myself, is this it? Is life just supposed to be about me and my family and friends. Aren’t we supposed to have a purpose, a deeper meaning, to touch lives and all that?

This then brings me to my next endeavour – to obtain financial freedom so that I can do what I want in my own time. I can also start giving back to others. But this is not feasible at the moment unless I win the lotto. Oh how I hope and fervently pray I will!

Life is difficult. That’s a fact. Most of us are born to work hard for what we want. Entitlement mentality is a no-no.

So what’s an ordinary woman to do? ….Accept the things that she cannot change (at the moment) and make the most of those under her control.

And so I continue to embrace my job. After all it brings in the money. But also, i try to maximise use of my free time to learn a little more each day, to be a better person, wifey and mommy, to find what sparks the light in me and to sustain that spark so that in my own simple way i can enlighten the world one thought at a time, with the help of my pinkpad and fingertips.