What advice would you give yourself (if you can)?

If I am given the power to travel back in time and smack myself in the head, I’d give myself three pieces of advice.

1. Invest. Get a mutual fund or something. I spent my first three working years in Bacolod city. The cost of living is relatively low compared to Cebu. The pay is lower in amount but I am earning more considering that I get to keep about 50-70% of my pay. I was able to save part of it but spent it all when I moved to Cebu city. Most of the time though, I’d spend all my money on things I don’t actually need so there are times when I’d be left with almost nothing. Nobody taught me that I don’t need millions to invest. If I did invest my money, I could be living comfortably now. Probably.

2. Learn to say yes. My life would be so different if I said yes to some things. I probably wouldn’t be where I am now, doing what I am doing. There’s a part of me that wants to hit myself in the head but there’s a part of me that’s contented. It is what it is. The pieces have fallen. I have moved on. 😂💔

3. Keep in touch. I am very bad at keeping in touch with people although I don’t really forget people who became a part of my life. I do remember them, all the time in fact. I do miss them. I do want to reach out to them. I’m just really bad at it. It takes me weeks or months to respond to messages because I have to think about it first. I have to be mentally and emotionally ready to respond. I always think they might be busy or they probably don’t remember me anymore and i don’t really want to bother them. Sometimes, by the time I’m ready, it’s too late. 

I would be a hypocrite if I say that I have lived a life with no regrets. There were certainly things that I could have done better and would if I could turn back time. I don’t always make the most intelligent decisions in life and my actions don’t always result into what I hope it would result into but I have learned from them. I just wish I had known back then the things that I know now. 


Don’t Wear Strapless Bra and Other Things You Might Want To Consider When Traveling: A Guide For First Time Travelers

Trust me, there is nothing more difficult than trying to handle your luggage while doing your best to make sure that people don’t notice that your bra is already at your waist. I’m not really new to traveling and I have committed a lot of blunders in almost all of my travels. Read through and learn from my mistakes.

THE STORY: The first time I traveled without my family, I was this overly-excited teenager who’s trying so hard to look like a seasoned traveler and ended up looking like an idiot.

I remembered wearing a black off-shoulder blouse, shorts and sneakers.i was of course wearing a strapless bra underneath since I have decided that I don’t want unsightly strap to ruin the effects of my off-shoulder blouse. I don’t really wear these kinds of undergarment but since I want to look good and I am stupid enough to think that I can make it without a strap, I wore it.

I felt so confident, imagining myself looking like one of those movie stars getting off their cars. You know what I mean right? Anyway, I was traveling from Bacolod city to Cagayan de Oro city with my friends at that time. We traveled by boat/ship, or whatever you call it, and I have around three bags with me. Three really heavy bags I had to carry on my own, mind you. As we were getting off the ship, I felt the bra slipping down. I tried to stop it but it was impossible, like a tsunami after an earthquake. It was very uncomfortably hilarious and embarassing. My friends still laugh about it until now.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: When you travel, make sure you are wearing clothes that you are comfortable in. It’s nice to look good and sophisticated but you have to make sure that you are wearing something that fits your mode of transportation and the place where you are going. This goes for both clothes and shoes. Don’t let a wardrobe malfunction ruin your travel experience.

THE STORY: The first time I traveled alone I went to Baguio City. I spent half the time figuring out where I was because I kept getting lost. I know the names of places I want to go to but I don’t know where they are exactly and so I spent some considerable amount riding cabs.

Good thing cabs in the city are quite cheap and there is almost no traffic congestion so I was able to keep to my itinerary. One time though, I went to Wright Park and did not really like the place because of the smell of horses. I decided to go somewhere else instead, not knowing I was within walking distance from The Mansion-the summer residence of the president. I only realized it when I went to The Mansion the next day. I could have saved myself some time and money.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Familiarize yourself with the place even before you get there. Learn as much as you can. Check which places are near each other so you can better strategize how you’re going to efficiently tick off your list. Don’t just check the tourist spots, check also places for dining, supermarkets, hospitals and even police stations. Hopefully you won’t need to visit those places but it is still best to know where to go in case you need to. Check out blogs and travel websites like TripAdvisor for tips on where to stay, eat or what places to visit.

3. PACK PROPERLY (or at least learn to).
THE STORY: When I was staying at home, I never have to worry about packig my things. Regardless of where we’re traveling, my mom knows exactly what to pack. So when I started living on my own, I found it a bit difficult packing for myself. It doesn’t matter where I am going, I am bound to bring something I don’t need and forget something I actually need. This is not so big of an issue if my travel doesn’t include air travel but when an airplane is involved, this proves to be a real challenge.

When I traveled to Cebu City for work, I had to pack things on my own. I have numerous bags containing all the clothes, shoes, bags and whatnots I believe I will need. I went over my baggage allowance and ended up paying more than Php2,000 for excess baggage. When I got to Cebu and finally settled, I realized half of the things I bought were useless. It doesn’t help that despite having all the time in the world, I only started packing my clothes two days before my departure.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: I assume you are already aware how expensive baggage allowance is especially if you are only paying for excess baggage.
This is why it is very important that you pack properly.

If it’s a planned travel, pack your things beforehand. Don’t wait until the last minute because tendency is, you will end up packing half of your closet. Consider your destination and your length of stay.

Create a checklist if you must. It will be easier for you to limit the things you are bringing and to make sure that you don’t forget anything. If you feel that you need to bring a lot, purchase an extra baggage allowance beforehand. These days you can easily do this online. It will save you time and money.

THE STORY: Remember the Baguio trip I shared above? Well, that was the first trip I planned and financed on my own. I spent days and weeks checking websites for accomodation, placez to visit and even travel contingency. I planned it for months, saving part of my salary and ticking off my very long checklist.

I spent a lot of time in TripAdvisor and so many travel blogs I can click on. I booked my plane tickets months in advance. I searched and searched for good accomodations and even contacted friends. What came out is a perfect birthday getaway! You know what’s the best things about it? I spent so very little for the trip.

My only mistake was the airfare. I booked it via a travel agent and of course it is very expensive. Although, compared to usual rates, I still got it cheaper because it was booked in advance. Still, I could have saved more if I booked it myself.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Always check for the most affordable way to travel and watch out for those promo fares! Airlines usually have promo fares which significantly lowers the fare rates. If you book it online, you can save a lot for your airfare.

Subscribe to Airline promotional emails. I know they can be annoying but they are really helpful. Airlines like Cebu Pacific, Air Asia and PAL have promo fares almost every month. Always be on the watch for these great deals. Keep those destinations in mind and once you get the tickets booked, start packing!

Well, this is not really a mistake I make when I travel but this is something I have observed.

Regardless of the mode of transportation or the destination, more and more people spend their time with earphones in both ears and eyes glued to their gadgets instead of actually appreciating or paying attention to their surroundings. They would occasionally lift their heads long enough for the obligatory selfie and then back to the gadgets again.

Each to his own, you might say. Well it’s your funeral, i say.

You are probably not the type of person who gets awed by mundane things you see along the way but it still pays to pay attention. Listen and see. It will help you appreciate your travel more and it will keep you safe.

If you spend more time refreshing your newsfeed than paying close attention to your surroundings, you will look really attractive to criminals. I am not saying you’d get paranoid and start accusing everyone who looks at you. What I am saying is that, be more mindful and more alert when you are traveling. Better safe than sorry.

Honestly, every trip is a learning experience for me. I make a mental note of every mistake I make in my travels and make sure that I avoid it the next time I go.

Traveling is an exciting and, oftentimes, a life changing adventure. It gives us a glimpse of lives other than our own. It gives us a taste of different cultures. Traveling gives us a better view of the world.

So what are you waiting for? Strap your bras, book that ticket and grab that camera! The world awaits!