My blog site contains a cross-section of all my interests in photography, travel destinations, crystals and gemstones and holistic living, dedicated to provide inspiration and information to like-minded readers who would love to build a community of a better world.
This is a letter that I would write to my 5-year old self as an adult. Quite liberating having no child of my own.
My Dearest Mimi,
I am writing you this letter to first greet you a Happy birthday! You are 5 years old now and you have a brand new sister for the first time.
I know that you have been enjoying your mama and papa’s love all to yourself for 5 years now but they thought it will be more fun to have someone to share your childhood while growing up.
You will soon be going to school and will be meeting new friends – boys and girls your age. I know that you will be a good friend to them.
And yet sometimes, no matter how kindly you treat others, there will be someone who will not like the way you talk, dress, smile, eat and even walk.
Don’t feel bad when they criticize you. You know yourself more than others see you. Just keep on expressing your BEING MIMI – you are unique, you are created special. Do not be swayed by others’ opinions just to please them. You see, it will make you sad and tired if you keep on keeping up with what others expect of you. Continue reading “A Letter To My 5-Year Old Self”
If you love eating tuna or have watched a boxing match of one of the greatest boxers of all time, Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao, then let me take you to this destination city.
General Santos or “GenSan,” in short, is the Tuna Capital of the Philippines. We export tuna to Japan’s fish markets and delis in the U.S. Likewise, it is the gateway to Saranggani Province, the hometown of Filipino pound-for-pound boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, who is now an elected senator serving his 6-year term representing his province.
With the proper intention of protection, safety, and calmness for my sake and those I travel alongside with, my essential travel gemstones assist me in making my journey fun and inspirational!
The 12 essential travel gemstones, which I call my “friends” are always with me – be it just a walk around the corner or another vacation trip.
Some I keep the tumbled stones in its red silk pouch and some I wear from my custom-made pieces of jewelry.
My fascination with collecting gemstones and crystals started when I was introduced to yoga for my personal well-being.
On one section of the yoga studio, I was so amused with the variety of gemstone jewelry for sale that I wished I could also make and create for myself and as gifts for others. With the synchronicity of events that followed, I saw myself tracking down every crystal show and gemstone expo around Northern California.
Since then each time I travel to different states and explored the cities, I seem to end up finding a little metaphysical store tucked somewhere in a small town I was traversing. It feels like there is an internal GPS leading me to discover them somehow.
From then on, I became a collector and a jewelry designer enjoying the new-found interest as a hobby.
The great book, the Bible, stated a commandment, “You shall rejoice with all the good that the Almighty has given you.” (Deut 16-11).
This post is not about geographic destination travel per se, as most readers would probably expect, but relates on the lighter side of sojourn and journey in this time and place.
Not one of us can always stay happy all the time even when we get to travel around the world, have the most beautiful mansion or the coolest car in the entire planet. It requires a 180-degree turn in the way we look at things. We can drive to the next country in our bucket list or just walk to the nearby town and feel fulfillment simply by beginning to change our mindset.
You or probably someone you know wears eyeglasses. But in a very, very rare occasion that you have not met anyone in the entire earth who wears them, well… this may not be relevant to you at all. For the rest of us, I have several “healthy eyes” tips on enjoying your vacation traveling with eyeglasses. Nothing can stop us from having a great time, but knowing how to travel wisely with your eyeglasses will preserve unforgettable memories that will last our lifetime.
Would it be very ironic to take a great trip to a once in a lifetime destination and yet not have the pleasure of seeing the places of interest?
I am from the Generation X. We were those kids whose teen years were spent during the 1980s. We were sometimes aptly called the “Baby Busters” because we are the children of the “Baby Boomers” and “The Silent Generation.”
The present Y2K generation may have not experienced playing in the streets with other kids like we did back then. While most kids nowadays are hooked in video games and computers and interacting with other gamers online, we get rough and tumble on the riveting games like “patintero,” “siyato,” and “tumbang preso,” to name a few, and we occupy the entire street whenever we play. I got bumps and bruises every now and then; but I have to admit that I was remarkably good at those team games.
Sadly, seldom do I see much of the Filipiana settings nowadays except on stage. Hence, when I went to Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort in San Pablo, Laguna, I was charmed by the way the owners preserved the rich legacy of the Filipino traditions.
Let me identify several high-points of my overnight stay as I reveled in every bit of the Filipino culture.
Is freedom really free? I believe there is not one soul who would want to be contained in a box for a lifetime because certainly, I know that we are born to create the life we were given.
Every person has that innate urge to express themselves in one form or another. We were born with a free will. However, it does not mean that we can just do anything we want based on our whim.
Freedom is not about going on a rampage without being aware of its effect on other people, culture, or the place. It is granted to those who make themselves accountable for their actions by the virtue of respect and fairness. It is being aware and present as you create yourself into being.
I believe travel gives me the opportunity to be creative – to explore, to appreciate, to treat local people well and learn the culture around me and at the same time get to know more about myself. It is a win-win situation.
In every angle I turn, there is a story. Those are the stories that I have not read in books or watched on TV but more so of what I have personally experienced with my interaction with people, places, and situations.
There is always a story to write and I can be a part of it.
When I travel there is a deep sense of freedom. They always say that travel is not about a certain place but enjoying the journey of getting to your destination. I believe it is so. And what captures my heart most is the pit stops and fanciful observations along the way.
Although some people thought that travelers have this affordability factor to consider, I myself do not have to go to a far-away land to fulfill my wishes to travel.
Where I am is where I should be. The question that requires a creative answer and question is: What is the best that can come out of this?
There are several junctures when I get to a place either by invitation or by impulse as if luck has just invited me in.
And when I get there, I always find something uniquely special about the locale that I can treasure, which when someone asks about it, I could tell the story. This is the kind of freedom that nobody can take away from me.
I have this collection of shot glasses of every place I go. It gives me a remembrance of what the trip was like and where was I when I bought it. It was a simple way of collecting memories on top of my photographs.
I am not a TOURIST but a TRAVELER.
Tourists usually arrive at their chosen destination, takes pictures but never engages with the locals disregarding their culture and society.
A responsible traveler is one who finds out about their destination, their culture, and their rules. A traveler helps the community they are visiting by reducing waste, respecting wildlife and its people.
“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.” -Aliyyah Eniath
Being a hobby photographer gives me an edge of expressing the artist in me with my creation. Whenever I capture the beauty of what the universe presents in front of me, I realize the fulfillment – a moment of freedom to create.
I admit that there are numerous moments which I missed at times when I was busy with other trivial things – stuff that really does not matter, in retrospect. Nonetheless, nature is always forgiving and constantly gives me yet another opportunity to see the choice of seizing another beautiful moment.
The best thing that I benefit from travel is a chance to re-invent myself. Memories are created so I just go and follow the destination of where my heart leads…that is what I call FREEDOM.
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If you would like to hone your photography skills for your everyday snap and shooting, I have a cheat sheet that you can get here.
What is freedom to you? How do you create your freedom during your travels?