A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish

I started 2010 by listing down the things I'd like to do the whole year around. The original list consists of pretty safe things - in short, boring items! So I ended up adding ones that can challenge myself more. Honestly, this is just the 1st time I wrote a To-Do-List, and actually do it!

○ It was January when I bought Harvey, my Canon 500D and used it for my family's trip to Boracay. How I hate my first shots, I almost regret getting that DSLR. I was never satisfied with my shots. And actually up to now, sometimes Im still not. I know I can do better.

meet Harvey - my Canon 500D

1st photowalk at Boracay - fail!

○ I can still feel the nervousness I got when I planned my 1st ever solo travel. Trust me, up to the last minute, I wanted to back out. Good thing I didn't. I realized the hardest part of this solo trip was just convincing myself that everything's gonna fine. I was never the girl who would take risk, not until I traveled solo in Sagada. I cant describe how fulfilling this entire experience was.

surviving Sagada alone
Im very proud to do Cave Connection (Lumiang + Sumaguing)

○ The start of summer was set for a travel to a not-so-popular spot back then- it's called Calaguas. I remembered myself bugging very few bloggers about this trip. I set my standards too high, and surprisingly this beach didn't disappoint me. It even exceeded my expectations. The best part: I got to sleep barely in the sand and underneath the stars. Priceless!

hail the best beach - Calaguas
oopps, 1st time kong mag two-piece

○ Im blessed to meet a nice set of blogger friends this year- there's Doc Gelo and his celebrity son Gabby, Dong Ho, Nina, Gael, Anton, Rob, KG, and a lot more. But this girl instantly become my favorite, she owns the thrown for "The Best Person I Met This 2010"! ^-^

○ My body is weak and my health is never at its finest. That's why I never wanted to do so much physical activities. But since I survived Sagada, I told myself Im going to survive mountain climbing too. I joined a group of strangers and climbed Mt.Pulag. Had I known it's the highest peak in Luzon, and the temperature's gonna drop at Zero Degrees at night time, I would really think twice.. or thrice! Haha

at Mt.Pulag's peak before sunrise
zero degrees happens in Pinas - now we know! ^-^

○ The annual JGC (my life-long friends) summer getaway took place in Camiguin and CDO. It's everybody's 1st time to set foot in Mindanao! It was nothing but 8x the fun!

the most fun activity ever - water rafting at CDO

Sunken Cemetery in Camiguin

○ Who would forget Mang Arnel? He's the tour guide who showed me incomparable kindness when I had an unexpected solo travel in Ilocos- with insufficient money, no cellphone, and no ATM card in hand. And to add, this hysteria happened on my birthday! Once again, God proved that all misfortunes are blessings in disguise. I cant be more thankful. Im moved with this experience.

Ilocos hysteria turned blessed birthday

○ As my closest friend in the US sent me some GC's for my bday, I made a contest for every reader of this blog. The prize: a lunch date at Outback!

paying it forward to this young blogger Allen

○ Since I have traveled solo twice, I didn't hesitate to pursue my 1st ever backpacking trip outside the country. Originally, I have companions but they backed out. Thanks to Nina for all the encouragement and for spoon-feeding me almost every tip I need for this trip. Haha Thanks to Lee, a Malaysian blogger who spared her time to meet me in KL as I made some personal requests.

Batu Caves : KL, Malaysia
not all backpackers carry huge dirty backpacks

○ I had a great time doing this backpacking trip especially in Saigon, Vietnam and Siem Reap, Cambodia because I did it all by myself. It may look scary to be in the middle of nowhere, where no one barely knows and understands you, but this experience is priceless as well. The hardest part is not speaking Tagalog for 4 whole days! ^-^

Asians can easily fit at Cu Chi Tunnel : Saigon, Vietnam

Tomb Raider wannabe : Siem Reap, Cambodia

○ My agony ended as I met Marisol for the 1st time. She's also a Pinay but we only met in Bangkok. She's my stranger travel buddy. It's kinda hard to trust anyone with your passport, money, and other valuables, but luckily I found this girl. She was really nice to travel with. Right there and then, we decided to travel together again the future.

day 10 of my backpacking South East Asia trip : Floating Market
Bangkok, Thailand

○ Just a week after I got back from my SEA trip, I had another trip in line. Thanks CebuPac for the Piso Fare and I managed to do a Boracay trip for less than P5,000- this includes airfare, island hopping, parasailing, and reef walking activities!


reef walking
i extremely enjoyed my 3rd Boracay visit because of this

○ Another tipid trip was set in Coron. Been waiting for this trip since I denied myself from traveling for almost 2 months. Afterall this time, I was a beach bum. I could only enjoy a beach if it has white sand and blue waters. But not anymore. Not after my encounter with Coron's underwater creatures. I extremely enjoyed snorkeling and taking photos.

my most favorite shot for 2010

○ I blocked off any travels in the months of October and November. I decided to do splurging this time. For a change, I stayed in a Suite Room in Oakwood Premier over the weekend. Bonus part: I did this splurging with someone who shares the same bday as mine. It's undeniably the suitest of them all!

splurging at Oakwood Premier Suites

○ As I got my 13th month pay- I bought Blade, my black and bold desktop computer (instead of getting myself an average laptop that fits my budget). I cant be happier with the decision I made!

meet Blade - my black and bold desktop pc

○ Among the many activities I did this year, this one's the most difficult and challenging to do: Organize an outreach. And so I thought this one's a piece of cake, well it's not. I learned great lessons along the way. I'd like to thank everyone who supported and volunteered to make this outreach possible- it's actually overwhelming.

I don't need to hear these kids say Thank You.
Smiles on their faces are enough.

Im surprised to see I almost done everything in my list. It's really simple to achieve a goal if you surely want it. Just start planning it. Because as the Little Prince said "A goal without a plan is just a wish."

Another thing that surprised me is to discover Im now in Google's and Yahoo!'s most searched names. Amazing! (Click the photos to show compiled search)

search my name

or my blog name

I may not have good writing skills but I know some people read and follow this blog. Not because they need to, but simply because they enjoyed doing so. Im very flattered. Your personal messages and invites always make me feel loved. Thank you! ♥

What I Got Myself for Christmas

As I will be spending Christmas Eve outside the office (whew, a first in 3 years!), I thought of spending my morning of Dec 24th with a quiet time in the bay area. A coffee date with myself! It's been a while since I got myself a "Quiet Me Time."

my 2010 planner na 1st time kong nasulatan today ^-^

One fine morning. Bay area. Banofee Pie + Mocha Frap (Dont liked it very much, I should have stick with my Iced WCM!) and my journal where I listed down the things I wanted for 2011.

I can't believe Im longing to have this time alone. Parang last year lang, I cant even enjoy eating out on my own, what more travel solo! But dont look now, I've been to 4 places this year all by myself, 2 of which were done outside the country.

So that's the priceless gift I got myself for Christmas. ♥
Now here's the pricey part... ^-^

I know I have planned to own a high-end laptop in my To-Do-List, but I realized I really cant afford a Mac Book Pro with the specs I wanted. Super expensive! I cant afford it. =(

So what my brother and I did is go to Gilmore and buy the components of a desktop computer.

Intel Core i5 3.20GHz, 4GB RAM, MSI H5MM-E32 motherboard,
NVIDIA GT220 video card, 1Terabyte HD,
22" LCD monitor, Creative speakers, multimedia keyboard

I can't be happier with what I got. Ang gwapo ng new baby ko! ♥

meet Blade
my Black and Bold desktop computer

In preparation for a home-based job! Winner! ^-^

A Christmas Party at Bethany Orphanage

Last year, I was just a solo volunteer who joined a group of strangers in an outreach. I got very inspired with their group (actually nainggit ako.. hehe) and I pictured that my own set of friends were going to organize our own outreach in the future.

And yesterday, that goal has happened.

As I said in my previous entry, organizing this outreach has taught me a lot of lessons. I knew I had mistakes and luckily I was able to learn them before the event. Another fulfilling part is I got to know a lot of kind-hearted people along the way. I think this alone is already enough for my reward.

Let the photos do the story-telling..

Our group's only goal was to bring a little party with little prizes for the orphans, but we're all overwhelmed with the fund/items we received.

groceries, slippers, school supplies
feeding bottles set, uniform set, loot bag treats
kids' party shirts, cookies and nametags for the volunteers

The Big Day

the location

the play ground

day care center

ready na kayo volunteers?
thank you sa nagsponsor ng name tags

super gandang nametags - souvenirs for everyone!
nice meeting all of you

Sean Andre (son of Mommy Bang) is ready!
nice meeting you

Julian with mommy Janice
nice meeting your family too

Because over 60 people volunteered, we needed to group and assign kids to them.

thank you sa nagdesign ng tarpaulin
thank you sa nagprint ng tarpaulin
thank you sa nagdala ng balloons

Everything's set! Our program began with welcoming the volunteers, and an opening prayer was offered after. Then get-to-know each other part.

ate Shieloo and mommy Janice's group

ate Nadine's group
nice meeting you

kuya Lloyd makinig ka kasi..

Now let the fun begin!

all eyes on him

thanks to this magician who offered his services for free
(kilala ba talaga kita? di ko pa din mahulaan..)

this kid guessed correctly, and she won the formed balloon

happy kids ni ate che with the magician

The Jollibee staffs arrived and they conducted some games for both volunteers and kids. This is a good bonding for everyone.

bida ang saya

paper dance game with kuya Lester and kuya Dex
nice meeting you and your group

go kuya Robbie
nice meeting you


ate Alyssa game na game!

tamaah! magpabuhat sa kid instead pag di mo sya kaya..

Next, group game!

3 groups of kids with volunteers
thank you sa gumawa ng name tags ng kids

ready. get set. go!

slowly but surely.. hehe

Next game, sali na ko!

mommy Janice, ate Che, ate Nicole
vs mommy Bang, ate Kathleen, ate Keeks

ate Keeks, exhibition-exhibition!
it was nice meeting this youngest solo volunteer

my turn, ikot-ikot-ikot, talon-talon-talon

We're all sweaty but it was really fun playing with the kids. We didnt win by the way, but this kid still got a reward from me.. Hihi

Alright, next is the star of the event. Jollibee arrived!

the superstar

andaming fans!

kids, easy easy.. baka magka-stampede. hihi

Then meal time of course.

wow behave ang kids

galit galit muna?

While the kids are eating, the volunteers had a photo op!
Meet the volunteers..

the solo joiners
Robbie, Marco, Keeks, Leidy, Maricar, Jen, Wylene

HTMT peeps!

ate Kath, ate Nicole, kuya Dex, and ate Che

ate Kat na todo project, ate Tin, and ate Dred

kuya Lloyd, kuya Jepoi, ate Sweet, and ate Yvette

kuya Mark, ate Jean, kuya Marx, kuya Mhir and friends

ate Janice and family

ate Luisa and kuya Rhovic, inampon so Julian

with sir Lloyd
ansaya ko, kasama ako sa picture!

I briefed the volunteers that we wont have anything to eat dahil hindi pwedeng kumuha ng fund ng kids para sa pagkain ng volunteers, tama ba? Luckily, merong nagsponsor for these!

thank you sa nagsponsor ng cookie lollipops for the volunteers
thank you sa nagsponsor ng granada-shaped drinking water
whew, pantawid gutom ng lahat ng volunteers!

may pahabol pang pizza!
thank you sir! free delivery to everyone pa

The fulfillment came in a different form, not quite I expected. I thought Im gonna be fulfilled the moment I saw the kids happy, but Im really moved in the preparation process where I met a lot of good people, specially this certain couple. And the other one, right after the event when I hear different stories from the volunteers on how they've been touched. Ang galing. (--,)

I can't say it's perfect but I firmly believe it's successful. This outreach wouldn't be possible without the support of these people:

- donors from US, SG, Kuwait, Switzerland, Saudi, Penang and Norway - thank you big time!
- my classmates, friends, old friends, officemates, ex-officemates - thanks sa support!
- my family - thanks sa pang-iinis at encouragement at the same time!
- friends from blogosphere and online buddies - super overwhelmed ako with the support you've given. i havent met 90% of you but you dont only sponsor a kid/kids, but you participated in the event yesterday.
- solo joiner, group/officemates, families who spent time with the kids yesterday, for sure you had a great time as much as the kids do.
- my JGC! naknang.. kala ko masisira pa frenship natin dito. chos! inferness, kinaya natin! hindi nalang puro hardcore lasingan tayo nag-eexcel. haha

applause for the volunteers

my JGC - ang mga promotor

Hope you all had a great and fulfilling time, and Im wishing we wont see each other again next year. All of you have played a big part, and I will surely lose a lot if you wont be coming again with me. But I will be happier if you will organize your own outreach. Honestly, my goal is to inspire every single volunteer to form their own outreach with their own set of friends in the years to come. O di ba, mas madaming groups, mas dadami ang foundations na mabebenefit!

i hope everybody had fun as much as the kids do

merry CHRISTmas everyone!

Please lang, I dont wanna see comments saying "sana sinama moko or sana inaya moko.."
Why would I do that? This is VOLUNTEERISM. Everyone who sponsored/donated/volunteered here - I never asked anyone of them. Lahat sila nagkusang loob lang. Yan ang totoong volunteers!
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