begin (verb) – to start doing something; to do the first part of something

A word relatively harmless but carries more meaning than we’ll ever know for each one of us who needs, wants, wish, or even plan “to begin”.

What began for you this year?

Peace Be Upon You

Whenever I’m back home in the province for the duration of Christmas and the New Year, I rarely find myself in the company of friends nor do I roam the city and the rest of my hometown. Most times, relatives, friends and even neighbors have no idea that I’m back to celebrate the holidays in Ilocos. They would only find out after my mom or siblings post pictures on social media. I’ve always valued this time to just be with family, find comfort in the company of my canine loves (Oreo and Snickers) and completely detach myself from other people and drama. The week long vacation gives me enough time to evaluate what I’ve done over the previous months and what I plan to focus on and achieve for the next year. In the course of my yearly “longest” vacation, I get to recharge and put most if not all in perspective to prepare for the following year.

inner-peaceWhat I have learned over the years is to just be at peace with myself- Not letting negativity dominate my thinking, never assuming but as much as possible trying to communicate with words, not expecting, practicing my faith, living in the moment, delving beyond the superficial, being patient, not taking things too personally, learning and acceptance of what is true and realistic.

Choosing to be at peace with myself was a sudden realization as a result of an arduous process. It was a state I was mentally and emotionally prepared to be in after years of struggle and uncertainty. Having been in a state of crisis for quite sometime some years ago, this (being at peace with myself) has to be my greatest accomplishment thus far.

I am just thankful to have reached this stage of my life wherein I have set myself free from the past, I don’t have to beat myself up over situations I can’t control, I have learned to accept and understand why things happen the way they do and that I no longer have to pretend I’m okay even if I’m not.

If you are reading my post until this part, know that I am truly happy. What I have now and where I’m in, I’m contented. I don’t aspire for much. Some of you might even say I’m not ambitious enough but I pray that you also find the peace you’re either consciously  unconsciously looking for.

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone all the best for 2018!

That Other Side of the Universe

The start of this year was nothing short of amazing for my friends and I, as we got ourselves to try the leisure industry of sand boarding and 4×4 rides at the sand dunes of La Paz, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

Initially, we just wanted to witness the first sunset of 2015 and bask in the beauty of our hometown. Unlike sand boarding spots found in other parts of the world, La Paz Sand Dunes bore no concrete structures and alterations on its terrain as it was declared as a National Geologic Monument by the National Historical Institute.

The sand dunes of Ilocos Norte ranges from 10-30 meters high with an area of 85 square kilometers. Now, that’s a long stretch of unique desert environment!

For Php2,500.00, you can enjoy a 4×4 adventure ride (maximum of 5 persons) and an unlimited sand boarding experience in a photo-perfect scenery! Setting our foot inside the 4×4 rough riding vehicle and cruising along the ridges of the dunes and going down the steep slopes brought about a series of doubt (initially), then laughs, screams, a few curses and witty hashtag worthy remarks! After an exhilarating episode on wheels, we tried sand boarding. Some went solo, others in pairs like myself who shared the board with Raisa (special mention!) because we had to check if it was “safe” to go solo after the test slide, Ha! I tell you, sliding down the steep slope of fine sand was easy and safe. However, walking back up proved to be an obstacle. This is not for the faint hearted. So, make sure you have packed enough energy with you.






Random Subtleties


Yours truly learning the art of sand boarding. In jeans! Overdressed for the part. No worries, I landed well.


Raisa and her standing stunt while going down the slope!


The Guys. John & Mark manning up the slope.


My mantra for the year is LIVE & LIVE WELL. I believe, I did. We did. And it doesn’t end there.