Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012: Blast from the Past – A year to be Thankful

As I spend Christmas Time and Restdays alone, i thought of looking back on the things that happened to me this year: may it be related to work or just the my plain playful self. As I started looking back with the pictures saved and events noted in my facebook account, I cant help but smile and be thankful for the achievements I have. Lord you’ve been awesome and great and ever generous to me this 2012. I don't know how to start thanking you, but I hope what I have in mind in the coming days and weeks and as i start off 2013, I hope I will be doing the things that’s bound for me.
Edited for Fsq January 2012:     
I started the Year with a Life Celebration as I gazed the 2012 Sinulog Festival in my Hometown. It’s not as fun and as memorable as we have in the past years, but then again, the thought of celebrating it by thanking the Lord for a wonderful start, with a healthy self and a stable job will be worth it. To add, some of my agents graced the festivity as well. Luiji, Caryll, Dane, Che and Irene :). Thank you also Iya for the yummy treats.

_MG_0068 February 2012:  
Swear to God, it was never my intention to be in Baguio every year, but I don’t know. I think something is in the place why I DSC_1232keep coming back. Coincidence maybe, I simply don't know, but my Baguio Trip would usually be plotted between Feb – Apr. For those who will be in the place in the next year to come, hope to bump with you in the City of Pines. This month also marks another major event in my 27 years of existence in this world. I decided to take the first step in exploring my limits: MY FIRST EVER SOLO TRAVEL> bound to explore Northern Luzon.  Several weeks of planning and budgeting, with research on accomodations, transportationsIMG_0402 and tourist spots. I found myself riding a bus bound for Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Laoag Ilocos  Norte and the highlight of this trip Pagupud Ilocos Norte last Feb 2012. It was a dream turned into reality when I finally stepped into these places.  Everything seemed new but truly amazing. The feeling of being totally free from anything.  This experience triggered me to continue my travel solo flighted. You don't have to think aIMG_0717bout someone maybe disappointed if you don't eat at a fancy restaurant or maybe you preferred to be one day millionaire with how you spend the day. No one will ever tell you to stop. If I want to ride a tricycle to roam me around the place I can do that, I even got a motorcycle when i traveled around Pagudpud. Hell yeah, i dont really recommend one but i its still an awesome experience. IMG_0489 February is not all about playing hard,  i even worked harder. This has been an awesome month, my team, me and my top agents got all the awards for Q4 2011. A truly rewarding month for me both in WORK and PERSONAL Life. Its indeed  true that you can get either the best or the worst on both worlds. Thank God I got the best :-)

March 2012:
Nothing really memorable except that we had our first ever cluster outing in La Vista Highland Resort in Don Salvador Benedicto. A day where we bonded and think of nothing but having fun.  Our own version of Baguio City here in Negros Occidental.

April 2012:
The  month I plotted to go and visit Bohol but I wasn't able to do so because of the Bad Weather condition. It may not be also a good time for me to go there.  :’(. I am gonna make sure that this place will be visited this 2013.

The Food and the Colors_AutoCollage_18_Images_2
a day in iloilo
 May 2012:
Again I invaded Panay: Iloilo, Capiz and I went straight to Kalibo and jump off to Boracay. My second solo travel expedition. I did it in a backpackers way. I enjoyed the vacation without thinking of my expenses because I had everything in the cheapest possible way. I reunited with old friends and meet new ones along the way, I visited a childhood dream place “Sampaguita Garden” and i spend a summery overniMy Home in Panay Escapesght in Boracay.  I never realized I missed playing billiards, thanks to Emz.  I bonded and laugh again with my old friends humorous approach to life. I am glad she’s happy with her family. Thanks for the friendship and the smiles Krishiel =). Oh yeah, Baby Mykan (short for Siomai and CaThe Food and the Colors_AutoCollage_15_Imagesnton) according to her mom. LOL . I spend a night in Roxas city and feasted myself to a seafood dinner at Baybay. Nothing special except for great seafood served in a cheaper price. I didnt get the chance to go to the biggest and oldest bell in Panay because I had to rush to Dumalag to attend an event. While traversing my way to Sampaguita Gardens, I met a new friend, shes one cool girl as well and loves to travel and take pictures. We exchanged thoughts and yeah she became my photographer for that day.  After that tour in Sampaguita Gardens, jumped off to Caticlan for an Overnight escape to Boracay. I found a new Haven there. It’s a bit cheap, near everything you want. Located in Station 2.  One memorable experience, I got stranded in Iloilo because I wasn't able to catch the last trip back to Bacolod. Nevertheless, its a blessing in disguise so I can roam the city.

For Coll 2_AutoCollage_18_Images June 2012:
We visited a mystical place in the northern part of Iloilo. Isla de Gigantes. Very amusing and just captured my heart, if you want to be one with nature. You have to get to this place. It’s a paradise: Beaches, Mountains, Caves… name it, they got it. They have friendly people as well, very accommodating.  To top everything, its not as expensive as you thought it should be.  I promised myself to go back as soon as I can. I need to visit there Lagoon.

July 2012:
New set of people but its jam packed with everything you want in a team. I love you guys. Thank you for the hardwork and I am just so proud of you all. Yeah, they are the top team for Q2 2012.  My Unbeatables Betches and Hornies: Kotz, Chel, Emman, Teddy, Marchel, Angel, Roselle, Ellen, Hazel, Camella, Camille, Kara, Jason, Kikai, Swey and Gerry. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
523687_4325949980565_1833364658_n  August – October 2012.IMG_0042
One notch achievement and will never be forgotten: I was chosen to be part of the RedHats team to support the launch of Video Billing in CVG Ortigas. It’s one great experience for me, my first ever business related trip to Manila =) Good Job to me. Worked with new faces and new set of agents.  Meet great people from different sites.  I learned a lot.  Met old friends working in Manila, visited new places and of course, finally, I completed my list: The Manila Ocean Park, Star City, Enchanted Kingdom, Intramuros a lot more =).  I met Jed Madela in person, and he is awesome as expected.  Living the suite life too is pretty much amazing.  What more can I ask for. I am simply honored and grateful. Thank you Lord for the opportunity.  To my Waves 3, 12 and 21, i really had a great IMG_1729time bonding aIMG_2294nd teaching  them all.  To t60203_4265675433739_1195648945_nhe Rob TLs: Beegee, Edmer and Thea, these guys were soo cool.  Logan RedHats: Matt, Brooke, Ethan and Zach… EO P please… but I got a lot of helpful tips. I will miss having lunch with them eating bare hands ^_^.  To rest of the Bacolod and Cebu Folks: Julie, Vince, Third, Jerhart, Bess, Kaye, Friend Marco and Ysh, and my travel buddy Fitz G. thanks for the friendship: the laugh trip and attitude moments.  Lastly: Hadj i, Zie, Ria, Shai, Abby, Jona, Dean and Chad… I couldn't thank you enough for making my stay very memorable. Before i even forget… hehehe to my Lakwatsa Buddy JI.. i missed you dude.. its good to see you again.

November 2012:574673_4548666348335_1139512306_n
I am back to reality, back to work. This month marks a very memorable moment for this year. MY FIRST EVER TRIP TO MINDANAO =) yeah, finally i have conquered it. I traveled to Cagayan de Oro and jIMG_2116umped off to Camiguin. Short trip but I covered mostly what i wanted to see and do. I conquered the CDO river through the White Water Rafting and I ate an ostrich..waaah… I missed the Dahilayan Adventure Park though which gives me more reason to go back to CDO and stitch Bukidnon to it.   On the other side, its time to get bonded with my new set of agents. Off we go to Guintubdan Mountain Resort. Yeah, my first time to stay overnight.. :)

December 2012.
Start t he month right with a benefit concert from my all time favorite Side A Band, followed by a Gift Giving activity for our cluster and well the CVG Acoustic Christmas Party which i joined because Juris is there400117_4560237277601_244138004_n .

Indeed I had a very meaningful year this 2012. To all who made this a blast.  NO WORDS CAN EVER EXPRESS HOW GRATEFUL AND THANKFUL I AM.
As I will always say, LIFE IS MEANT TO BE LIVED, NOT TO BE WATCHED.  One chapter finished, Im moving on to the next one.
A Glimpse of 2013:  A new and fiercer ME =)
Holiday Greetings from The Blue Rider ^_^

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Am I a Traveler?

Since I started working and was able to afford getting myself a decent vacation, I was never contented on going to places I can just reach anytime I wanted to. I wanted to go to these places for several reasons:

  • I wanted to move away from my urban life or escape maybe from the toxic world I'm in.
  • I wanted to stepped into these places that I am just looking at maps and books before. (dream turning into reality)
  • I wanted to discover new cultures and lifestyle from these places.
  • I wanted to assess myself where i wanted to be and create a better and wider perspective of the world and grow as a person.
  • I wanted to fulfill a dream of exploring the country in my own way.
  • I wanted to capture beautiful moments through the lenses of my camera (the reason why I didn't settle for a point and shoot one *wink*)

These are some of the few reasons I can think of right now why i always want to travel. Aside from that, my adventure-seeking spirit is also fueling this desire. My never ending curiosity because of the frequent write ups I read through the post of travel bloggers I'm following.

So, if I have this desire of exploring and being into new places most of the time, am I considered a traveler? My officemates would sometimes tease me as the Local Dora because i always roam and go to places alone.  Will this sole reason be a definition for being a traveler? I've been to a lot of places, famous and sometimes off beaten, but I still don't have a clear definition on who i really am, but definitely not a traveler. Maybe I just love to travel, I am just giving justice to myself by doing what I love to do.  Traveler for me is a heavy word that can only be associated to a person who wont live a day not in the road or maybe in a place that he/she is destined to be. The truth is that I don’t really care. I don’t want to complicate my already complicated life thinking of putting a label on what I'm fond of doing. I spent a lot of time thinking whether I am really a writer, an artist, or whatever. But today, I just do what I want to do. I think that’s the most important thing. You are living with your passion.

As what I always say “Life is meant to be lived, not to be watched”

Travelers don’t become travelers because they call themselves that. The love of traveling comes first.

So am I a traveler?


Monday, December 3, 2012

Grieving for a lost buddy..

I will never ever forget this date in my entire life. December 2, 2012, I lost one of my precious possession. My HTC Titan II Mobile Phone.  I simply loved this gadget because its jam packed with all the application I needed in my day to day activities.  Boasting its magnificence through its 16 Megapixel Camera with perfect settings, just the way I like it.
I was on my way home, dropped by a Barbeque stand to buy my dinner. When I'm done paying for my food,  I hurriedly cross the street to catch the next departing jeepney that will take me home. I just noticed something strange, I can really feel it. I just realized when I arrived at the terminal that I lost it. 2 weeks, I had that for ONLY 2 weeks and it slipped away. I wish I could still turn back the time, I wished I never passed that way, I wished I never bought that dinner in that place,and most of all, I wish I could've been careful. But that’s just about it, hard life lessons learned. I will make sure that I will take care what ever I have right now with extra caution and more observant to my environment.
Cheers to my Favorite, I had an awesome capturing experience with you HTC Titan II, I think this is it. Hope to see you again. Smile
To the next person who will use my phone, please do take care my BELOVED PHONE.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Nature Trip at Guintubdan

Caught up in a serene sight of the mountains and gasping view of the city landscape, my team and I found ourselves on top of one of the highest grounds of Negros Occidental.
Guintubdan Campsite is situated in Barangay Ara-al, La Carlota. It is a small village some 750 meters above sea level and is found at the western foot of Mt. Kanlaon. Near the camspite is the Guintubdan Visitors Reception Center and Gardens. It’s grounds are open for guest who wished to spend their nights camping and being one with nature.
The place is a sure way to take off your stress from the buzzing city life. Here I felt like reconnecting myself with nature, the cold winds and fresh air reminded me that life is a heavenly bliss.
I am used to travelling alone, it gave me the freedom to choose whatever, whenever and wherever I wanna go. Found myself strolling early in the morning and I saw the twilight of the moon glaring, reminded me of the amazing creator, how he crafted things to be majestically beautiful.
To top the experience, the Majestic Waterfalls. Hearing the ravaging sound of the falling water simply reminded me that yeah, I am close to nature. This is the life I always wanted to have: Carefree and Stress Free. I described the falls as majestic because I saw a rainbow . Dip and splash in the cool waters will surely take whatever worries you have.
It made me feel renewed and ready to kick off after this overnight encounter with nature. Its one heaven on earth.
How to Get There:
From Bacolod – take a jeepney bound to Libertad Terminal and look for Buses bound to La Carlota. Will take an hour to reach La Carlota City depends on the road condition.
Fare: Php 25.00
Upon arriving at the city proper tell the driver to drop you off to the city market where you can find jeepneys bound to Guintubdan.
From La Carlota to Guintubdan will take around 45 minutes but surely you’ll enjoy the ride because of the scenic landscapes by the road.
Fare: Php 30.00
Now when you reach Guintubdan, there are two places that you can stay at La Carlota Pavillion or Rafael Salas Benedicto (Bago Pavilion). I suggest you go to La Carlota Pavillion
Entrance Fees: Php 20.00 (Adults) Php 10.00 (Kids)
Room Rates:
Group or Family Room @ Php 1500.00/day (4 pax)
*** we were 10 but we got this room
Standard Room (Main Building) @ Php 1000.00/day (2 pax)
Standard Room (Annex Building) @ Php 600.00/day (3pax)
** These are non AC room as you don’t need one because its cold here.
For Reservation Call the City Tourism Office: +63(34) 4600-286

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Conquering the Cagayan de Oro River–Water Rafting

The City of Cagayan de Oro is the provincial capital of the province of Misamis Oriental in the Philippines. It’s known to be the “City of Golden Friendship”. Its also noted to be the melting pot of Mindanao because of its accessibility, business growth, attractions and notable warmth and hospitality of the people. Also, known as the shopping capital of the northern Mindanao region. There are several shopping malls in the city and the notable ones include the following Ororama Chain of Stores, Limketkai Mall, SM City Cagayan de Oro, Robinsons Cagayan de Oro, Centrio, Paseo Mall, Gaisano City Malls. The Divisoria Night Market is set up on Friday and Saturday nights where people can buy great bargains from the nearby Night Market.
Cagayan de Oro is considered as one of the Tourist' spots in the Philippines. It is also a favorite among nature lovers and adventurers because of its famous whitewater rafting and kayaking. Whitewater rafting has been one of the tourism activities being promoted in the Cagayan de Oro River.
There were 3 major reasons why I want to got to Cagayan de Oro: First, I wanna experience the White Water Rafting, next is to Jump off to Camiguin and lastly to go to Dahilayan Adventure Park. I was able to cover 2 on my first visit but not the Dahilayan Adventure because of time constraints, nevertheless I find the experience very memorable, topping off that its my first escape to Mindanao provinces. I realized that there are more places to visit in Mindanao and Im eager to conquer them the soonest possible time.
Talk about the White Water Rafting, I had fun cruising the Cagayan de Oro River. I took a beginners course as im a bit hesitant to jump to extreme as this is my first time, but mind you guys, the beginners course is Boring. The rapids are not that exhilarating.. I wish I could’ve signed up for extreme as manong River Guide told us that are a lot who have tried the extreme courses even though its there first time.
I paid Php 700.00 for this course, value for money indeed because this includes pick up and drop off to and from the hotel plus the rafting itself. We were picked up around 8 AM and we arrived at the rafting site past 9 AM. We settled ourselves and geared up for the adventure. About 15 minutes of briefing were we learned about safety cruising and what to do in cases of emergency. After which, we headed to our rubber boats and start our adventure. Four things to remember: Paddle Forward, Paddle Backward, Stop and High Five. There were 9 paddlers and 1 river guide per rubber boat. A photographer carried by a single kayak rubber boat is responsible for checking the way and at the same time capturing moments while we paddle. The beginner’s course contains 14 rapids in a 12 kilometer stretch. It’s kind of funny because they named some of the rapids after a celebrity who falls during the ride. The 4th rapid was known to be the Paolo Santos’ rapids.
While paddling and cruising the Cagayan de Oro river, I cant help but notice the rich landscape along the river banks, aside from that, you are actually cruising in between two places, CDO and Bukidnon. This may not be good for sight seers though coz the locals do their laundry and dry their clothes on the rocks along the rivers. I also noticed kids waving at us while were passing through, it puts a smile on my face. We got the chance to swim in still waters and experience a cool splash, I met new friends that makes this ride enjoyable and memorable for me.