Two Fold: A Review on the First Half of My 2017

“If anything can go wrong, it will” – Murphy’s Law

Epic Fail
Sometimes we just cannot avoid epic fail!

I have never been a full pessimist until this year hit. 2017 proved to be one mighty beast that still needs to be tamed! My 2016 ended on a sad note after my visa to France got denied there and then sadness ensued so I went to escape in the island of Siargao and despite the good times, it just started rolling out a series of misfortunes. Originally, I expected 2017 to make up for the bad end to 2016 but at the moment it does not seem like it or maybe my head is just too buried into the dark clouds. In an attempt to see the silver lining on things or at least make others grateful about their lives, I have decided to list down the things that went wrong from January til June though you should not expect anything life threatening as I do not really live my life on the edge.

  1. Lost my phone in Siargao due to carelessness, I left it by the beach, realised late and drove under the crazy rain only to find out someone already took it.
  2. Ended an almost two-year relationship because of NYE celebration and paid for it dearly over liters of tears and sleepless days.
  3. My company phone got stolen in Vietnam while crossing the street.
  4. Got stung by a serpent and had a lot of extreme stress.
  5. Killed an apple and bled a lot for it.
  6. Crashed on a motorbike for the first time and got multiple burns on my right leg.
  7. Had a reef puncture my left foot and was too stubborn so I ended up with a bad infection which ended up with my first hospitalisation and first minor operation which cost me a lot!
  8. Went into a period of self-destruction because of the heartbreak and pressure.
  9. Gained weight over unhealthy lifestyle.
  10. Lost money over being lazy with executing business ideas and buying things our of stress.

For the first few months, I pretty much messed up my relationship and my health. I paid dearly for it with a lot of emotional and physical bouts. They say that emotional pain usually hurts more but I cannot really say that after not being able to do normal activities for almost 2 months because of the foot injury! Reading the list above would tell you that I did not start my 2017 right, however, despite the bad side I have had cool things happen too.

  1. Met new good friends over the solo travels/misadventures in different places.
  2. Became the first Chapter Director for Startup Grind Cebu.
  3. Had my first underwater photo shoot.
  4. Promoted as boss for ASPACE Cebu and received praises from our founder because of the hard work I put in.
  5. Bonded with my mother and sister as we traveled to Malaysia and Vietnam despite some drama.
  6. Won my first Club competition for Table Topics (Impromptu Speaking) and represented Cebu South Toastmasters Club in the area competition.
  7. Met Sylvia Earle and Pierre Cousteau and the whole marine conservation crew in Singapore.
  8. Had another opportunity to speak about marine conservation during the I Luv Cebu Instameet
  9. Surfed in the open sea for the first time and caught my first wave in Siargao.
  10. Finally had my first public screening for Girl Rising
  11. Drafted my first act which aims to ban products with plastic beads which won over two other acts and it ended up being submitted to General Santos City.
  12. Won a pageant at 30 and while injured.
  13. Finally bought myself a sewing machine.
  14. Bought my own web domain and updated my website.
  15. Traveled to Singapore for the second time and Hong Kong for the first time.
  16. Elected as Vice President for Education in our Toastmasters Club.
  17. Bought my first electric scooter and finally mustered the courage to drive around Cebu City.
  18. Met Gary Vaynerchuk in person and had my book signed.
  19. Joined an international startup/tech conference for the first time and connected with a bunch of inspiring people.
  20. Got over my fear of going out alone and danced like no one was watching in Lan Kwai Fong!

I managed to list down almost double the negative things that happened and I did not even realise that there were a lot of good things happening til I started listing them down. This is why it is important to practice gratitude. I have been lousy in writing daily of what I am thankful for and this simple practice is proven to greatly improve your perspective on life.

As I went over the list, I know some of the things listed will probably be repeated as I will never be free of mistakes or stupidity but that is okay because we are humans and it is part of our fallible nature.

As much as I had mistakes, I think that I have gained a lot of lessons along the way which matters more. 2017 is not yet over and I already have a good number of failures or mess ups but the biggest lesson learned for this year is accepting my own failures and be able to move on and forgive myself.  There were definitely moments where I thought that I should just give up but there is always a reason for me to stand up and get back in the game again. Only half of the year is over but somehow it feels like that 2017 is done. 2018 is already on its way and I wonder what 2017 still has for me. One thing for sure, despite a lot of bad things happening, life goes on and for this reason alone, we should accept, forgive and move forward.

do not fear failure
It is glorious even to fail.

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
― Anaïs Nin

How is your 2017 so far? Are you turning losses to wins or letting losses win over you?


2016 Q2 Insights and Changes

The earlier half of my 2016 is already awesome. Here’s why.

It is half way through August and as you guys have probably noticed, I haven’t done a great job at posting new content in July. I initially drafted this post last month but I could never get my mind in one place. I have had a lot of things going on in my life and I am still struggling to create the habit of consistently writing. Anyways, I am sharing new life challenges and changes for the first half of 2016.

  1. My temporary contract with Rare ended. I said goodbye to the non-profit world to take on new challenges that will further develop my skills in putting ideas to reality. I had a lot of good memories the full 8 months as a Temporary Associate for Partnerships. It was a good experience to be part of an international non-profit organization. Last January, I was lucky enough to be part of the Sinulog Grand Parade as a participant and not merely a spectator. It was my first time to also watch the competition. During my last week, I joined the first site visit to validate the information sent in by the municipality. I learned about the plights of the local fishermen and how deep corruption goes. As I left the organization, I had mixed feelings because I was leaving the people that I have been with for months. They were hardcore workers that are really dedicated to helping the locals protect our oceans. Unfortunately, in life not all stories last and this was one page I had to close to open the next one.

    Me and my awesome workmates from Rare during the Sinulog Grand Parade.
  2. Ever since I met my boyfriend, Lucas who is equally in love with the ocean as I am, I have been diving more. It is definitely great to find someone who is also into the same sport. As of now, I have already logged in 61 dives! I have started counting down seahorses that I have seen and so far I have seen only 2 pygmy seahorse and 4 regular size ones which makes me closer to crossing this off my life list. I have visited more dive sites and I have had more close encounters with sea snakes. I am looking forward to getting my Rescue Diver License later this year (fingers crossed) since I did not get to do so last year. This goal would mean more focus on saving my pay unless I suddenly find me a sponsor (maybe you know anyone willing?).   61dives13082704_10154070688978329_4043091711850212282_n
  3. Luckily, I was one of the chosen Filipinos to participate in the first Climate Reality Leadership Training in the Philippines which was headed by Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore himself where I have met countless of inspiring people from different parts of the world sharing the same passion for the environment.
    With my table mates!
    Intramuros Tour with the other leaders
    Inspiring stories from different countries.


  4.  I was appointed as Miss SCUBA Philippines National Director, which I fully accepted even though I know how huge of an undertaking it is. Making me currently the youngest pageant national director in Philippines. I am happy that I will contribute to a lady’s life changing moment the same way I did for Cindy. I am positive that we can have back-to-back win for Philippines in Miss SCUBA International 2016. Luckily, SERALCHO, headed by Mr. Charles Lim, is supportive about my passion in promoting diving among ladies and marine conservation in the country. There will be selections all throughout the country and I am certain the next Miss SCUBA Philippines will be a woman of substance and action.

    Me with Mr. Lorenzo Tang, GM of Belmont Hotel, Miss SCUBA International/ Miss SCUBA Philippines 2015 Cindy Madduma and Charles Lim of SELRAHCO during the Press Launch
  5. A SPACE Inc. decided that I was good enough to be Space and Community Deals lead for their first branch out of Manila. Now working hard to exceed their expectations and to have the best coworking space in Cebu. I am admittedly turning into a workaholic working for more than 8 hours per day and even having dreams that are work-related but it all pays when you see the spacers happy and the space slowly morphing into an awesome masterpiece.

    Blending in with the participants of Angelhack Cebu challenge.
  6. I have ran farther and faster than I used to during university. I have stuck through my resolution of being more healthy and I have already accomplished much. I survived my first 12km run and made it in the top 10 finisher. I also have recently increased my speed in 10k and earned my first Sub1 10k medal.

    I have always been into short distance running but I never knew I could be as good, if not better doing long distance.
  7. I went back to public speaking by delivering a talk on marine conservation during the Instameet organized by I Luv Cebu. It was weird to be the older person in the room as I was surrounded a lot of teenagers but it was a good test on how I could package my talk in a fun but a bit alarming way. Although, I think I scared them more. Plus Lucas and I ended up in this page of the local newspaper!

    life on earth
    Photos during the Instameet Event
  8. I reached a milestone with Lucas, he surprisingly survived my craziness for a year! I have learned a thing or two from him when it comes to relationships. I am never the best person when it comes to controlling emotions. Since I do not do mediocre, I am either all in or nothing in a relationship. Managing this stereotypical girl behavior of over analyzing and over acting is never easy but I am getting better at it (I think). He is very thoughtful and always reminds me that we are a team. I got so used to being independent that I usually forget that I can ask for help. I have never been happy in a relationship.  He is not only a boyfriend, he is also my dive buddy and co explorer! What more can a girl ask for right?
  9. I recently found out that I have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Hiatal Hernia, making my diet a lot more complicated. I cannot have any acidic food which means I have to avoid tomatoes, chocolate, caffeine and gas forming foods too! I am still adjusting and to be honest, it is not easy at all. Being vegetarian is already complicated in a meat loving country. It just decreases my food choices. I was reminded that even if I workout, I should also take the time to take care of the other part of my body like the stomach. We often do not care about it. Each organ is vital to us and all should be treated equally with great care.
  10. I went back to short hair and fringe! While it is not such a big of deal, it is quite liberating. The last time I had hair this short was right after I finished university which would be 9 years ago. After having to keep my hair long for years because the modelling and pageant industry demanded it, I feel more empowered these days and it has lifted my confidence. Helped me channel the rock star in me.

What will happen next? I can try to analyse and think of the things to come but I will never completely know what to expect. One thing I know is that this is my last year to be part of the 20ish and I will not let it drift by in a boring manner. I will continue to push my limits and break current boundaries. Just as how living should be.

How is your year so far?


2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,700 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 45 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Sharing Happiness: Where on Earth are you?

If you want a free letter or postcard from the Philippines, say Aye!

I recently started to ask people in Amazers (an awesome a social network that enables users to connect with like-minded individuals, participate in challenges, and draw inspiration) if they wanted a letter or a postcard from the Philippines and I realised it would also be great to know who reads my blog (I have no idea why my writings would be interesting but I am thankful).

Let’s revive snail mails!

I am offering to send letters and postcards to anyone who reading this. It would be great to know the people behind the views and send you gals and guys a personal thank you.

Message me if you want one. I repeat this is free and I will not ask for donations or credit card details but if you offer me a trip to Galapagos who am I to say no (half-kidding). I would be more than happy to send you a bit of happiness. Just visit the contact page for details on how to reach me.

2015 Check

After the time spent for self-assessment last week, you had a chance to get to know who you really are and now a new leaf has turned. June just started and you are now halfway into 2015. What now?

It is time to check your progress towards your New Year’s resolution. Here are the usual resolutions most of us have:

Now ask yourself:

  • Are you working to do all of it?
  • Do you still have the same goals?
  • Are you still on track? If not, what is not working?

List down which resolutions you have achieved. Spend time evaluating what you have and haven’t done for the past 5 months.  Start acting on resolutions that are important to you that you have neglected. Be more specific and breakdown each resolution to small achievable tasks.

Time to catch up!

“Good resolutions are like babies crying in church. They should be carried out immediately.”
― Charles M. Sheldon

Birthday Post: Life Can Only Get Better at 28

Crazy how years pass by so easily, today I turned 28. I normally avoid celebrating my birthday but my mom keeps on reminding me to. She says that it is a blessing, a special day worth enjoying.

A couple of days ago, I went back to my hometown visit Lake Danao, though I originally planned on going to Sagada for my birthday. There were a lot of things that did not go well. It was raining on and off, hours waiting for my friend, walking around to find the jeepney, waiting for hours before we left Ormoc City, missing the last trip back to Tacloban, getting stranded in Ormoc and to top it off losing my mobile phone and ATM card along the fields while waiting for a ride . It was a series of unfortunate events yet I managed to tick off several things in my bucketlist: top load on the jeepney, hitchhike from Dolores back to the city proper and stay with an awesome local family. In the end, the whole journey made me content and happy.

The trip is a lot like life. We do not have full control of everything but in general life is still beautiful. You just need to turn away from the negativity and see things like a child.

Blessed with the freedom to steer my life into the direction I wanted, good people who are there for me despite my shortcomings and unthinkable opportunities that turned me into changemaker not just a dreamer (Fundlife). I am grateful to my parents for bringing me into the world. 28th year of existence!

Though I still find it difficult to see reason in celebrating my birthday, I have lots of reasons to celebrate life. 27 chances and counting, I choose to make things right and make the most out of my life.