inspiration, Uncategorized

5 important values for those who travel

It had been 7 months since I decided to quit my job, took off and traveled Southeast Asia. It all started with a friendly conversation with my friend and mentor Darrel who works and lives in Singapore for a time now. He invited me over to see if I can get a job there, or just probably try to get some sense into me since at that time, I was really confused and I had no direction at all.

From Singapore, I journeyed to the neighboring countries, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia, for a total of 100 days. It was not all easy, but being able to experience such adventure is totally life changing.

Over those months, I have done so much more that what I have had done in the past few years of my twenties. I have learned so much about culture, food, relationships, careers, life in general but from a different perspective. I have also gained the confidence and the courage to get things done. Basic things that I wish I knew before, but I guess was timely to know now. I learned values which I believe is important when you travel, values that could also be useful in our day to day life.

Kindness is universal

It doesn’t cost anything, but it is the best thing you can give others; friends, strangers, even people you don’t like. Kindness is the universal language for compassion and respect for individuality regardless of race, culture, preference, age, gender, etc.

When you travel to unfamiliar territories on your own, you just have to trust your instinct and pray for people’s kindness. I have heard so much about other travelers being swindled and robbed in the places that I’ve been to (Phnom Penh, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh, etc. ), creating a stigma of fear for both travelers and locals. Kindness includes respect and compromise. If you want to go further, last longer and stay safe altogether, be kind no matter what. As they say in Karmic Law: What goes around, comes around.

Be patient: wait and see

The world sometimes unfolds great things in front of you when you least expect it. In a budget backpacking trip, you don’t get to have so much money to spend, you only have time.

In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, locals take time (at least 4 times) everyday to sit down and drink their iced coffee or tea. Lazy? maybe. But when you are in a place with so many people, so many tourists around, noisy, crowded, busy, and humid and warm, a break every now and then keeps you away from fatigue and stress. The essence of travel is to appreciate where you are, experience the life in front of you and learn from it. You cannot do so if you are in a constant hurry and irritated.

Wait. And see that there is so much wisdom in waiting for the right time. Appreciate the beauty of waiting and the great lessons it unfolds.

Trust people.

It was in Batam, Indonesia where I was at my lowest point. It was my first destination after Singapore and I was held in the immigration for some 30 minutes or so. What was even worst was only few can understand and speak English, and I was so scared of getting ripped off by the taxi drivers because I judged them as if they were hoodlums with bad intentions.

After an hour, I finally let my guard down, gave up my so-called “rational thinking”, and just go with my instinct and asked for their help. These people were not so bad after all. They even gave me the directions to my hotel, hailed me a public transportation and reminded me of how much to pay, where to get off and how to get to my hotel.

Building trust is not easy even if you know the person, it’s even harder if you don’t. But trusting others and their kindness is a gift from God that may be broken a lot of times but can still be whole over and over again.

Let others be

Along the way, you will meet diverse people: take that opportunity to know them, hear them and relate. It won’t be easy as there are many radical minds out there. Your patience and understanding will be tested. But it’s up to you and how you react to them, that matters.

All throughout my journey, I have been discriminated a lot of times for my color, race, and preference. May it had been said in a normal conversation, or as a joke during a drinking session, I honestly get offended every time. I just keep quiet and pray for the peace of mind and understanding. I do not need to carry the burden of imperfections based on other people’s guidelines. I let them be because my peace is more precious than their judgment.

In everyday life, you have a choice over the battles you want to fight. People will be what they believe to be. You can only do so much for and about others. It is up to them to accept or reject you. Let others be because that is their way of life. Do not be so easy to judge and backbite. Hear them out and act upon your judgment with wisdom and understanding.


Lastly, to stay alive and unscathed whenever or wherever you travel, always learn to pay respect to religion, culture, gender, traditions and to people. We bring our culture and upbringing with us when we travel to different countries, make your country proud by always being respectful.

In Bali, Indonesia, you only get respected and treated right if you know well how to respect others. Some tourists think that if you have the money, you’ll get the best service. In Bali, it’s different. Money can’t buy you a good relationship and special treatment. People in Bali are very kind and honest, they have a culture that is respectful to others; humans, animals, beliefs, traditions, etc. Respect, together with their other values, make Bali a successful example of good tourism.

I know you don’t need to travel far or travel wide to learn all these things. Sometimes, it just comes difficult for others like me, because maybe we were always used to the easy life and compromising life. I pray for another chance to travel abroad again, hopefully soon. For now, I will stick to these values and make sure I learn to 

I pray for another chance to travel abroad again, hopefully soon. For now, I will stick to these values and make sure I get to share them with my fellowmen. These are small things that make huge differences.


How I avoid road traffic stress

how to avoid road traffic stress:

I’ve been driving our car in the past few weeks and I’ve noticed how traffic has worsened even in a small town like Butuan. Sometimes, when it rains so bad, traffic on rush hours doubles or even triples, and it’s pretty annoying and stressful. In the news, the Philippines traffic situation is so worse that in 2016, navigation and traffic app WAZE concluded that Cebu is the worst place for drivers. In the past few months, accidents and road rage incidents have increased causing injuries and accidents.

Driving almost every day, I have to divert myself from all the anxiety the traffic can bring. Here are ways on how I avoid the stress that goes with it.

Prepare a driving playlist

Music always is the answer. Through music, we are able to control our mood, our feelings, our emotions. I make a playlist of my favorite song on my iPhone or I search for the perfect playlist in the wide array of songs featured Spotify. I usually sing along to my favorite songs whenever I’m stuck in a long line waiting for the green light, and it just makes me feel like time flies.

Listen to podcast

Since I took a break from the corporate world, I have started to appreciate listening to radio podcasts once again because I learn so much from just listening to it whenever I drive. Topics discussed can vary from science to health, religion and just about everything under the sun. I am currently listening to Science Vs., where they discuss facts versus fads,  Victory ph for my dose of spirituality, and The Friendzone, a comedy podcast about life and all.  You can be download and play them via Spotify.

Talk to your passenger

This is probably my favorite. I send and pick my nieces and mom every day for school and work. Every afternoon (when traffic is at its worst), I talk to my nieces about how their day was and I get to see a glimpse of their day and how it is to be young today.  I actually learn so many from them and how much the world has changed since I was in highschool. I also give them advises that I think are practical and smart for them and timely for their growing up years.

Bring food and water

Worse than being stuck in traffic is being stuck in traffic hungry and thirsty. It was actually my mom’s  idea to have a food box and filled water bottles (BPA free and glass) in the car everyday so that whenever anyone is hungry, food is always ready. You can also save money because you do not need to drive thru fastfood. #lifehack

Have a lot of patience

And lastly, patience: lots and lots of patience. Always give way and be kind. Respect and follow traffic rules, drive safely and happily.

Additional tips:

  1. Be early so you have more time to drive.
  2. Use shortcuts and try alternative routes.
  3. Check and maintain vehicle regularly to avoid breakdowns.



5 life truths

(I am writing this entry in the presence of 3 people drinking brandy and singing karaoke at broad daylight, while I am waiting for my mother’s car to be finished. I am in a carwash/ karaoke bar on a fine Sunday afternoon. )

Below are 5 life truths that you should be able to manage in your quarter life.


In your life, you will fail in many endeavors and in too many times. You win some, you lose some they say. You will fail people, fail expectations and fail yourself. Nobody wants to fail intentionally. But along the way and as a part of growing up, we fail and recover somehow.

We fail to learn.

We lose to gain.

We fall to rise. 

We disappoint to surprise. 


A favor is a favor whether you asked for it or someone gave it to you. If you have to have a favor, take the former. Lay your cards on the table and whether they approve, support, help you or not, you already decided for yourself. Do not be indebted to what they want for you. You are you. Do your best to repay that favor by small acts or grand gesture. Always be thankful.

Believe that there are still good people who are willing to help without expecting anything in return. Know that kindness will never run out of style.


Distraction is a product of your wandering mind because it feels like it can accomplish so much more when it can only do so much at a time. From time to time, you will be distracted by other people, by a youtube video, by a call from a friend or by just about anything. Take some breaks, appreciate small breathers, and then come back to your goals, and focus.

My greatest distraction is alcohol and heavy drinking. I tend to do less whenever I drink more. My travel to places where alcohol was expensive helped me accomplished more by drinking less.

Focus on what is important at the moment, and get rid of the unnecessary.



Life is never going to be easy. You will be tired, hungry, sick, angry, frustrated. Amidst it all celebrate failure and distress because it is your spiral staircase towards satisfaction. It’s the safety net to your failure.  We become frustrated when we expect so much and it doesn’t go our way. After all our efforts, our hard work, and resources invested at something, if we are not satisfied we crumble.

Frustration, though, teaches us to expect less and do more. It breaks the monotony of life’s “what you get is what you give”. Give it your all, hope for the best and expect the unexpected.

In your journey, if it’s all safe, all familiar, all easy, then there is nothing new, there is no more growth.


Ego, pride, frustrations. People will hate you, lose their trust on you big time, leave you and eventually hurt you. Those who will stay, no matter what, continues to support you, trust you and love you, they will be your rock, your foundation.

A true friend will bet on you, count on you, invest in you, like a true family who puts all their faith in you, and whether you succeed or fail, as long as you did your all, and you are kind, you will never disappoint.

My greatest fear was to disappoint the people who have so much faith in me. It was the only reason why I cry myself to sleep at night. Eventually, the ones who truly matter doesn’t really care if you fail. If they love you they will support you unconditionally.

The happiest people I’ve met have one thing in common. They have a great faith in God. Different religion but same faith in God. I am surrounded by people who are either extremist in their religion, mediocre followers, agnostics and non-believers. I used to shy down about being very spiritual, just because I didn’t want to look like a pagan believer. But eventually praying has been my greatest refuge when I am overwhelmed or angry, overjoyed or frustrated, through my little victories and failures, and it humbled me.

 My faith is my foundation, it brings me joy and comfort. It clears my mind and it gives me my daily drive to live to the fullest because God guarantees me victory.

We will always have our share of good and bad. We will meet people who will stir up our humanity and step hard on our ego. We will be shattered more than ever. We will cry. But no matter what, just so as long as we have faith in God, in ourselves and the people that matter to us the most, every tear and every pain will be worth it.