December 2018

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Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
Traveling has exposed me to many realities that trained me to think broadly and outside the box—now I’m applying them to my new chapter.

► It’s not the same life anymore. Some have to be sacrificed in exchange of expanding other areas of my development as human...

► I made a major decision in life in 2017 as part of my adulting process that has changed the way I acted and reacted to my life’s primary passions...

[Insights, Feature Posts]
SPRATLY ISLAND, SOUTH CHINA SEA
[SPRATLY ISLANDS?] ► A SOLITARY ISLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SOUTH CHINA SEA/WEST PHILIPPINE SEA. COULD THIS BE A PART OF THE DISPUTED SPRATLY GROUP OF ISLANDS? I DON'T KNOW WHICH COUNTRY OWNS THIS ISLAND.
It’s been almost two years since I last traveled outside the ▼ PHILIPPINES
. My last was in February 2017. Due to major decisions in life as part of my ‘adulting’ journey that recalibrated my personal priorities and plans, I have conditioned myself to accept my fate this year in terms of traveling.


I started traveling outside the Philippines in 2016. Since then, I’ve wanted to travel yearly to at least one country. In 2017, I was successful to visit ▼ INDOCHINA
and in that year, I transformed my dream overland travel from Saigon to ▼ #BANGKOK
for 7 days into reality. I was able to visit three countries. It was as enjoyable as my ▼ MALAYSIA
-Thailand motorbike adventures in 2016 and I had the chance to circle the whole island of Penang via motorbike among others. As much as I wanted to continue this streak up to 2018 (and beyond), it is true indeed that everything in this world changes except for constant change.

I found myself busy at the last quarter of the year 2018 without any plans for an out-of-the-country trip. I’ve accepted the reality though that my personal leisure travel in the name of finding wisdom and the truth has come to record low this year (2018)—or probably, to an end—since I started to fervently travel several years back.

This November, I was able to secure a total of fourteen (14) days of vacation leaves (including holidays, weekends, and days-off in between) from two (2) separate occasions. It was unexpected. I used some of these precious days going home back to ▼ #VIGAN
to have quality time with my family for my birthday week. I realized it was serendipity. Spiritually, I considered this a clear sign to reboot and do the thing that recharges and motivates me in everything thing I do—traveling.

Yes, cliché as it may sound but traveling restores me in my default setting—enthusiastic, creative, passionate, joyful, optimistic, compassionate, and grateful. These are the qualitative specs of my default DNA factory setting. It’s like a car, that after changing its oil, its engine goes back to work efficiently.

With limited time to plan, everything was like a rush hour in a city full of green space. My mind was calm and excited but the short time remaining to plan this trip was scary. I’ve ditched all the promo fares because I still wasn’t sure if the cheap fare I would get would fall into vacation leave dates that would be approved. My life has changed dramatically. Two years ago, I could manipulate (legally) my schedule and vacation leaves. I had the liberty to ‘book now get a leave later’ even if that would be for a week or two. It was easy for me then. But like I said, I made a major decision in life in 2017 as part of my adulting process that has changed the way I acted and reacted to my life’s primary passions—travel and writing (blogging).

EDMARATION
[QUEZON CITY] ► THIS IS A SCREENSHOT TAKEN FROM ONE OF MY VIDEO FILES WHILE RECORDING A VLOG FOR THIS 2018 LAST QUARTER TRIP.
It’s not the same life anymore. Some have to be sacrificed in exchange of expanding other areas of my development as human, son, brother, nurse, citizen, member of different communities, and as a dreamer. All areas should be developed I believe, but in my case, it’s just hard do two things at the same time as I have to only choose one priority that would benefit most (if not all) areas of my existence. I think it was a wise decision somehow to embrace the different life I have now. I would like to mention though that this major decision I am facing now was a result of the many wisdom I gained from traveling. Traveling has exposed me to many realities that trained me to think broadly and outside the box—now I’m applying them to my new chapter.

With a limited time to utilize, I scouted for the cheapest airfare. I found myself delving into disappointment. The cheapest I could get was 4-5x more expensive compared to what I could have gotten if I grabbed the numerous promo fares that I ignored due to vacation leave uncertainty.

Enough for the drama, I have always looked at the positive side of the story. I was grateful enough to have traveled this long with full payment although the airfare was expensive. Before, I had the liberty of time but I was never paid this way I am paid now while I’m enjoying a vacation. Those days, I go home with full spirit but broke. Now is a different story—I go home with full spirit and still could afford to chill with an overpriced coffee on my right hand. Indeed, there’s always a positive side of the story. Amen!
This is my introduction for my next blog series “Into the Southwest Corner of Southeast Asia.” | to be continued... |

FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

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► All photos are mine.

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