WORK SPACE @ THE COMPANY CEBU

It was one Tuesday morning when suddenly the power in the house went off. The lights turned off. The computer monitor turned off. The internet connection turned off. Everything connected to the electricity suddenly turned off.

Oh no! What had happened?

Upon checking the Electric Company’s Facebook Page, they posted that there will be a power outage in the area from 8AM to 4PM. They will be doing some maintenance – changing poles and reclosers.

This is the reason why I should have followed their Facebook Page – to get this kind of information and won’t be surprised.

It so happened that I have meeting until 5PM that day. As much as I want to just file for a leave but I cannot. So let’s deal this. πŸ˜…

I have not been worried yet what to to or where to go coz I’m more focused on my 9AM Meeting. As we were almost at the end of the meeting, my laptop finally gave up. Its battery has reached 0% and thus, it turned off. So I transferred to my phone and I made it until the meeting.

Then, the next meeting started at 10AM using my phone. I already informed my boss that I will go out to find a place where I can charge and work. I joined the meeting for a couple of minutes. When were good to go, I searched for a place where to go.

Work space in Cebu. Workplace in Cebu. These were what I’ve been looking for. I even asked my friend if she knew a place.

Then I found Workplace CafΓ© near Parkmall Cebu. Php 250 for a day with free 1 round of coffee/tea. I tried this place before and yes, it’s also a good place to work. It’s your typical cafΓ© but with people working or studying and there’s booth for meeting rooms.

That’s when I found THE COMPANY CEBU next. It is located in Mabuhay Tower in IT Park. Just next to our former office and so close to the house. And here was what I found about the place:

  • Daily Rate PHP 400
  • Printing & Scanning
  • Flexible Workspaces
  • Enterprise Internet
  • Multilocation Access
  • Unli Coffee & Tea
  • Huddle Area

Their Business Hours is at 9AM to 7PM. But if you have a dedicated desk or office, you can work anytime.

I then sent them a message in Facebook. They are so responsive and very accommodating. Supposedly, customers or those who want to rent a space must reserve a day in advance. But when I told them why I suddenly need a space, they let me rent on the same day.

We just need to fill up a Google Form then notify them that you’re done. This is for them to provide your name to the Building Lobby Staff to allow you to get inside.

EASY TO LOCATE / VERY ACCESSIBLE

Since it is located in IT Park, you’ll never get lost. They also have a branch in Mandaue but since I’m close to IT Park, I opted to go there. They are located in Mabuhay Tower. The building is right next to TGU Tower, across Jollibee, KFC, Starbucks in the front side, and The Walk at the back.

VERY ACCOMMODATING AND FRIENDLY STAFF

When I reached there, I was greeted by Jai. She is so friendly and accommodating, and helpful too. When I told her my name, she looked for a space where I can work. Good thing there were few vacant spaces. She asked me if I’m good with the place and when I said yes, she brought a chair to the station.

She then gave me a tour to their area. The whole floor was occupied by them. The other side was fully occupied but the space where I’m at in still had spaces for more customers.

RELAXING PANTRY

The pantry is where you can get their unlimited coffee, tea and water. Also, you can use the utensils, tableware and even the refrigerator. But you must make sure to keep things organized and to clean the stuff you used. The pantry also has an area where you can sit, dine, and enjoy the overlooking view.

In this side of The Company, there are 2 meeting rooms wherein 1 of them was occupied by other team/people from other company.

Then, I was brought to the other side wherein you’ll be welcomed with the Lounge Area as I called it.

You can work from here too just to change your view or even take a nap.

On the left there is a table filled with company employees who are busy working and there are Meeting Rooms as well. In this side, there is also a little pantry and the place where I stayed during my meeting…

THE PHONE BOOTH

It is a small room that can occupy one person. I think this is also their server room since I’m seeing an opey bay rack with switches and wires. (My Network Infrastructure mind was awaken. Haha)

I stayed there for my 2pm meeting and then went out after coz others might use it. You have to check with Jai if someone will occupy the room.

It also feels like I’m in the confession room. It’s cute. Haha

I went back to my workspace until I had my last meeting at 4pm and decided to call it a day.

There are plants every corner of the area too.

I felt excited and relaxed at the same to finally be working again outside the house. Though it’s not really our office. Butbeing in THE COMPANY even just for a couple of hours made me feel the feeling of being at the office. Again.

With the different people who are from different companies that could make you feel like your officemates. Hearing some of them talking, laughing, eating at the pantry. Some would also walk so fast like they are in hurry of getting to their next meeting. Some would take it slow and enjoy the moment with their colleagues.

It’s a new experience of an old feeling for me. Complicated right? Haha. But overall, I had fun, I was able to work well, and it’s a good chance for a change of scenery.

I was also greeted goodbye by Mr. Sun as it slowly set and disappeared.

If I’ll be asked if I will come back? Definitely, YES.

It may not be as often as it seems coz it is costly also but definitely once in a while. And maybe I can work with my friends too so that it would feel like we’re colleagues for the day. Isn’t that fun? 😊

So if you’re looking for a peaceful, relaxing and fun working environment, check out The Company Cebu. You can find them both in Instagram and Facebook.

It is more convenient to work here or even study especially if you’ll gonna take it for the whole day than doing it in a cafΓ© where people would come and go and you cannot control the noise.

Thank you again The Company Cebu for this great unplann ed discovery! I’ll be back again and gonna see you soon. 😍

Are You Really Okay When You Say “I’m Okay”?

We always hear people ask question like “How are you?”. Most especially during online meetings these days. Or maybe when we meet friends or people we haven’t met for ages. We rarely hear people ask “Are you okay?” but I guess it’s the same thought with “How are you?” just on a deeper sense.

Anyways, the usual answer is “Yes, I’m good”, “I’m Okay” and the likes.

But are you really okay when you say “I’m Okay”?

Hmmm.. I guess it depends.

Most of the time, saying “I’m Okay” is the easiest way to respond. No further questions. No explanation needed. Nothing. That’s it.

But the reality behind this might be different. Sometimes, every I’m okay means I’m not really okay. I’m really at pain or hurt or worried or sad or scared. But I just don’t have the courage to tell someone. Or maybe no one would like to listen. Why? Coz it’s just another drama.

Smiles can be fake. Sad but true. But look into their eyes. Do they smile too? Or do they say the opposite?

They say “eyes are the windows to the soul”. It is because through the eyes we can deeply see someone’s hidden emotions, thoughts and attitudes.

Sometimes we need to listen and respond to the things that other people dear to us are not saying. Those hidden pain, struggles and emotions.

Some just need someone to talk to but they don’t know where to run to. Some would want to share but they don’t know how to start. Some is dying to open up but it seems no one’s willing to listen.

Being someone to be trusted by your friend or family with stuff as deep and as serious as these is very overwhelming in a good way. It shows how deep and tight your relationship is.

But, there are also other people who are struggling but do not want to share. Even how much you ask them to or offer your help to, they still don’t like it. Instead of insisting, respect their choice. Because even how much you insist and if you’re lucky they’ll start talking, there’s a high chance that they will still keep stuff for themselves or for the people they have a deep and strong relationship with.

You cannot force nor impose someone to respect you unless you show that you respect them too.

So maybe what you can do is to stay, silently. Not saying anything. Not imposing anything. But just being there. So when s/he is ready to open up to you, you’re just there.

And never judge people who say they’re okay when they’re not. It’s because you don’t know what they’ve been through and how they’re struggling. Unless you are in their shoes, unless you see what they’re seeing and unless you feel what’s deep in their heart – you don’t have the right to give any judgment.

The next time you meet your friend, your family, your colleague or even stranger; ask them if “are you okay“. Some is just waiting for someone to ask this to them. Some will say I’m okay. Some will just nod. Some will just be silent.

Whatever their response will be, respect it.

If they will start to say their not okay, ask why and if they can share. These people just need someone to listen to them. They don’t need your advice/opinion unless they specifically say it. Again, they just need an assurance that they are not alone.

If they will say that they’re okay, then tell them good to hear that. Offer your time if ever they want someone to talk to and assure them that they can count on you.

If they will just nod or is being silent, then they don’t want to talk about it. Change your topic. Maybe you can talk about what they are up to these days. Maybe you can share how your day so far. Maybe you can reminisce your happy moments since then. Or maybe you can just talk random stuff under the sun.

And oh! Please stop mocking on people. Again, respect. πŸ™

If you’ll gonna ask me if “are you okay?”, I would say “not really”. But I’m working every single day to be okay. I’m working so hard. And I know one day I will. It’s just that I cannot heal in a place that’s causing me what I’m feeling.

With place, I don’t specifically mean the literal meaning of location. It could be other factors. There are a lot of them out there. One for example is the pandemic.

But yeah! There are other factors. And I’m hoping and praying so hard that the sun will shine so bright again for me. It’s a bit rainy and sometimes cloudy now, but the storm can’t and won’t stay forever. It will eventually pass.

So to you my friend… If you’re okay for real, be grateful and share that joy with others. Be someone’s sunshine and light. If you’re not okay and want to fight it silently, know that you’re not alone. If you’re not willing to talk to someone now, at least talk to God. He’s there always and willing to listen. If you’re not okay and want someone to talk to, I’m willing to listen. But if I’m too stranger, your family will always be there. If not, you’re close & trusted friend. If you think someone dear to you does not trust you coz they don’t open up, respect them. If they’re struggling with what their situation now, they’re also struggling on how to open it up to you or to whomever dear & close to them.

Whatever that is happening to you, to me and to us – let’s remember we’re not alone. God is with us. And the sun will shine again and the rainbow always show up after the storm. It’s something we can look forward to.

How about you, are you okay? πŸ’­

I hope you are or you will. Keep safe and stay healthy β™‘

How do you handle stress?

I was recently asked by someone if HOW DO I HANDLE STRESS. I’m not sure if my answer made sense or I was just blabbering stuff. πŸ˜…

I started telling her something I always tell anyone. Stress is anywhere. Whatever you do or wherever you go, there will always be stress.

Even how you love your job, once in a while you will feel stressed. From the people around you, from your complicated tasks, and if you are dealing with clients, from your clients’ demands.

Even drivers have their own kind of stress. From traffic, from demanding passengers, from broken car.

Even people who are just at home have their own kind of stress. From their never ending chores, from their noisy neighbors and even from doing nothing.

Even my nephew who loved to watch YouTube videos all day has his own stress. From sometimes internet connections issue, from brown out, from loading videos or from losing in some games.

Even those who love to travel have their own stress. From delayed flights, from the hassle in the airport, from big luggage, from inconsiderate seatmate, from language barrier, from scammers.

These are just some. Even how you love what you do, you can still get stressed. But what I added to my first statement was “what’s important is that it is a good stress“. A stress that is worth it. A stress that will still make you happy.” Isn’t it what’s important?

So to answer her questions, here are some of my stress relievers. In no particular order. πŸ˜‰

Do we have the same stress relievers? Each person has different stressor. Or maybe at some point, you can have similarity like for example, your colleague. But the level of stress each of you gets from that same stressor is different. And the stress reliever also varies to each person. My stress relievers might not work for you. And yours might not work for me. To some it is just a small thing. Stress may be a small thing. But for others, it could cause them anxiety.

So it is best to find a way to handle it. For me, the summary or general solution is TO FIND A DIVERSION. Divert your attention to something else and distance yourself from what is causing you the stress. Just remember, that you need to FEEL BETTER. β™‘

Unlimited Samgyupsal @ Jeju Samgyupsal

It’s one Saturday morning, almost lunch actually, we took a taxi to a place called Nickrek Center. I don’t have an idea what it looks like and so the driver. The location is so familiar but haven’t heard of this center.

I’m having lunch with my sister. When we arrived, I saw a familiar road and familiar buildings. “Oh! It’s where I had Yakiniku lunch with my colleagues”, (Wakamatsu Yakiniku) on my left. “And oh, this was where my former colleagues from Davao would stay when they’re in Cebu”, (Castle Peak Hotel) on my right. Then… “Ohhh, so this is the place”, in front of me. Across the street where vehicles are passing non-stop.

This is what we’ve been looking for – JEJU SAMGYUPSAL.

It’s a new Samgyupsal Restaurant (삼겹살집) in Cebu. I found it a couple of times in Instagram coz I know one of the owners.

Screen grab from their Instagram page πŸ“„

For the love of Samgyupsal and to support someone I know, we tried to dine here. We reserve a seat in advance as this is more preferable.

As we got inside the restaurant, we saw their menu board placed near the door. They offer two sets of unlimited meal.

We were welcomed by friendly staff and was told to sit & wait for a moment as they prepared our table. And oh! Since it’s pandemic, they took our temperature.

In front of the seat, there are refrigerators where meat & side dishes (which I believe are both for sale) were placed. At the back are the tables with customers enjoying their meal while talking & some, taking photos.

The moment you entered the restaurant, you’ll see how vibrant the colors are. Yellow paint on the walls, mural paintings of Jeju Island, the black with yellow bulb lighting, their open kitchen. It is indeed picturesque / instagrammable as they say.

Then we were led to our table – Table #1. We are close to both the kitchen and the comfort room. And a beautiful painting was in the back of my sister. Oh, it’s Jeju!

Can’t miss a photo with the background. πŸ˜‚

We were served with side dishes which I was amazed of how much they have. A different side dishes that I’ve never seen in other Samgyupsal Restaurants in Cebu.

They served us Fried Chicken, Japchae, Cabbage Salad, Korean Sausage, Kimchi, Pink Radish. They also had Kimchi Stew (Kimchi Jjigae) which my sister liked a lot and the Steamed Egg (Gyeran Jjigae) which I love.

And then, they gave us the meat. It will be grilled in a huge hot stone plate with a rectangle shape. You can grill a lot of meat at the same time.

Then while we’re grilling a Korean woman approached us and grilled the meat for us. Am not sure if she’s one of the Boss μ‚¬μ§•λ‹˜ or the Manager. But when I went back for the second time, the staff said she’s one of the Boss.

She’s so friendly and helpful. She would check the customers from time to time and go to the kitchen if there’s anything needed to be served. I asked her if the meat are from Jeju and she said no. I told her λ„ˆλ¬΄ λ₯λ‹€ and she said something about the aircon. I guess she thought I was complaining that it’s hot in their restaurant. But what I actually wanr to say that the stove is hot and it means it’s good one. πŸ˜‚ And few minutes later, the ACU was facing towards us and it’s cold.

We asked for more side dishes and meat. The place has become a bit noisy as everyone is talking which is given. And it’s not as big as other restaurants. That’s why, it’s preferred to reserve and they also limit the customers to dine for 2 hours only. In this way, they could give way for other customers.

Well that’s fair enough, I guess. It’s enough time to eat as much as you can.

And then… The most awaited part arrived, we were served Kimchi Fried Rice (κΉ€μΉ˜ 볢음λ°₯). This is a dish I would cook for myself at home whenever I have Kimchi. The staff brought a plate with Kimchi Fried Rice that is good for 2 and a molder with a β™‘ shaped.

She put the meat at the side of the hot plate then put the molder in the middle. She then poured the Kimchi Fried Rice into the molder and flattened afterwards.

VoilΓ ! The Kimchi Fried Rice Heart (which I called λ‚΄ κΉ€μΉ˜ 볢음λ°₯ 심μž₯) is ready. It’s delicious. λ„ˆλ¬΄ λ§›μžˆμ–΄~ My sister would definitely agree and my friend too (who I’m with the 2nd time I dined in).

We had indeed a fun and full dine in experience here in Jeju Samgyupsal. Something worth for the money you’ll spend. There are some things though that might not suit for everyone like eating time limit is 2 hours and the place can become a bit noisy. BUT these things are nothing for the super delicious food and excellent service you’ll get.

I guess we did really have a good meal. πŸ˜‰

And oh! Their playing a KDrama on the TV and Kpop songs too. Just like an ordinary Korean Restaurant. πŸ˜‰

It’s Goblin playing in this TV and BTS songs in the other one.

곧 λ§Œλ‚˜μš” 제주 μ‚Όκ²Ήμ‚΄! μž˜μ•˜μ–΄μš” πŸ˜‰

Me the 2nd time. πŸ˜‚

A Weekend in South Korea

If you didn’t know, I have a Weekend Trip to South Korea. But everything was only a plan. Coz everything was canceled. Plane tickets, hotel reservation, and yeah, my itinerary. Why? COVID-19 happened.

If it pushed through, it should had been last April 2020. A very impulsive buying of plane ticket coz of a single entry visa approval and an airline promo fare.

And since it didn’t happen at all, I’m gonna share what could have been my journey if only I was able to make it. I am not sharing any photos with this post yet. Coz I am hoping that I could be there one day and follow this itinerary. Then I will update & include my actual photos. #motivation πŸ˜‰

This itinerary has been detailed out as I wrote this post. Anyways, here it is… 😊

DAY 1 APRIL 3 FRIDAY INCHEON DAY

1300H (PHT) A travel from Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 to Incheon International Airport.

0655H (KST) Arrival in Incheon International Airport. Go through the Immigration and have breakfast in one of the stores in the airport. Don’t forget to buy the T-money Card which you can use to pay for the train, bus, or even in 7-eleven.

0900H-1030H (KST) Travel from Incheon International Airport to Wolmido Island. Go to the Incheon International Airport Terminal 1 Subway Station. Take the 곡항철도 4001 (Blue Line) Platform μ„œμšΈμ—­. After 5 stops, alight at Geomam Station then transfer to 인천2ν˜Έμ„  20236 (Orange Line) Platform μš΄μ—°(μ„œμ°½). After 12 stops, alight at Citizens Park Station then take Exit 1. Go to μ‹œλ―Όκ³΅μ›(λ¬Έν™”μ°½μž‘μ§€λŒ€)μ—­ and take Bus 2 Wolmido Island. After 28 stops, alight at Wolmido Island (City Tour).

1030H-1400H (KST) WOLMIDO ISLAND (월미도). It is an island 1 kilometer off the coast of South Korea near Incheon. It was once connected by a highway in 1989 and was later connected by a monorail which opened in late 2019. It is perfect weekend destination and tourist area. It has a lot of things to offer from historical sites to park to theme park to different sightings like the fountain show to delicious seafood restaurants.

  • Wolmi Street
  • Wolmido Lighthouse
  • Wolmido Theme Park
  • Have a lunch at the Wolmido Seafood Restaurant

1400H-1420H Travel to Songwol-dong Fairy Tale Village (μ†‘μ›”λ™λ™ν™”λ§ˆμ„). From Wolmido Island, take either Bus 2 or 45. After 8 stops, alight at μ†‘μ›”λ™λ™ν™”λ§ˆμ„.

1420H-1500H SONGWOL-DONG FAIRY TALE VILLAGE (μ†‘μ›”λ™λ™ν™”λ§ˆμ„). It is village which the government renovated by creating Mural paintings and painting the houses’ walls with vibrant colors. The village features different fairy tale characters including Korea’s own folk tales. There are cafΓ©s too for visitors to chill.

1500H-1520H Travel to Jayu Park (μžμœ κ³΅μ›). Walk 3 minutes to Songwol-dong Fairy Tale Village bus station. Take either Bus 2, 10, 15, 28 or 45 and after 1 stop, alight at Incheon Station (Chinatown). Walk for about 6 minutes to Jayu Park. Or you can walk from Songwol-dong Fairy Tale Village to Jayu Park.

1520H-1600H JAYU PARK (μžμœ κ³΅μ›). Jayu is the Korean word for Freedom. It was originally called Manguk Park (Thousand Nation or All Nation’s Park) then later changed to West Park during the Japanese Colonization. It was then finally named Jayu Park (Freedom or Liberty Park) when the statue of General McArthur (who led a successful kanding of the allied troops at Incheon during the Korean War) erected. In this park, you can see the statue of General McArthur, view of some part of the downtown, harbor facilities, freight boats and whole ocean. There is a small zoo perfect for family, a pavilion, and surrounded by old buildings. A Cherry Blossom Festival is held every April when the cherry trees bloom fully along the uphill road.

1600H-1620H Travel to Jjajangmyeon Museum (짜μž₯λ©΄λ°•λ¬Όκ΄€). Walk about 7 minutes to Wolmido Island Station. Take either Bus 2, 10, 15, 28, or 45. After 1 stop, alight at Incheon Station (Chinatown). Walk about 3 minutes to Jjajangmyeon Museum. Or you can also walk from Jayu Park to Jjajangmyeon Museum.

1620H-1700H JJAJANGMYEON MUSEUM (짜μž₯λ©΄λ°•λ¬Όκ΄€). This is a museum about the black soybean noodles or popularly known as Jjajangmyeon. Here visitors can learn on the history, its manufacture and even the influence & value it effected on Korea.

1700H-1715H Walk to Chinatown

1715H-2000H CHINATOWN (μΈμ²œμ°¨μ΄λ‚˜νƒ€μ›). It started to operate during the opening of the Incheon Port in 1883. The place has lots of restaurants. There are also temples, Mural paintings and other spots that you can check. Of course, do not forget to try authentic Chinese cuisine.

2000H-2130H Travel to Guesthouse for late check in and rest. This varies to where you’ll stay, but my accommodation would had been supposedly in Hongdae. So from Chinatown, walk 2 minutes to Incheon Subway Station then Enter via 3. Go to Platform μ†Œμš”μ‚° and take the Blue Line 1 (107) and after 21 stops, alight at Sindorim. Change to Platform λ‚΄μ„ μ†ν™˜ and take Green line 2 ν˜Έμ„  (234). After 5 stops, alight at Hongik University and take Exit 2. Walk for about 6 minutes to the Guesthouse.

DAY 2 APRIL 4 SATURDAY CHERRY BLOSSOMS DAY, HANOK VILLAGE & DONGDAEMUN

0900H-0940H Travel to Yeouido Hangang Park. From Hongik University Subway Station, go to Platform λ‚΄μ„ μ†ν™˜ and take Green line 2ν˜Έμ„  (211). After 4 stops, alight at Chungjeongno (Kyonggi Univ.) and follow signs for 5ν˜Έμ„ . Change to Platform λ°©ν™” and take Purple Line 5ν˜Έμ„  (510). After 4 stops, alight at Yeouinaru and exit via 2. Walk for about 4 minutes.

0940H-1100H YEOUIDO HANGANG PARK (μ—¬μ˜λ„ν•œκ°•κ³΅μ›). Every spring, it holds the Cherry Blossoms Festival. In here, one can rent a bicycle to tour around. There are convenience stores, information center, and nearby parks. One can also do the Han River Cruise, the Floating Stage, Cascade and Piano Waterway.

1100H-1140H Travel to Bukchon Hanok Village (λΆμ΄Œν•œμ˜₯λ§ˆμ„). Walk for about 5 minutes to Yeouinaru. Enter via 2 and go to Platform 마천. Take Purple Line 5ν˜Έμ„  (575) and after 7 stops, alight at Jongno 3-ga. Change to Platform λŒ€ν™”. Take the Orange Line 3ν˜Έμ„  (310). After 1 stop, alight at Anguk and exit via 2. Walk for about 11 minutes.

1140H-1330H BUKCHON HANOK VILLAGE (λΆμ΄Œν•œμ˜₯λ§ˆμ„). This is a home to hundreds of traditional houses called Hanok. Close to Gyeongbukgong Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Jongmyo Shrine. Bukchon literally translates to “northern village”. These houses operate as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses. It is an actual neighborhood with people’s homes. Thus, visitors are advised to be respectful at all times while looking around.

1300H-1400H Travel to Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Walk about 12 minutes to Anguk Subway Station. Enter via 2 then go to Platform 였금. Take Orange Line 3ν˜Έμ„  (352) and after 3 stops, alight at Chungmuro. Change to Platform λ‹Ήκ³ κ°œ and take Blue Line 4ν˜Έμ„  (409). After 1 stop, alight at Dongdaemun History & Culture Park and exit via 1. Walk about 6 minutes.

1400H-1630H DONGDAEMUN (λ™λŒ€λ¬Έ). It is a top attraction visited by international tourists. There are a lot of things to see and do here. There are several hidden attractions too.

  • Dongdaemun Design Plaza (This landmark of Dongdaemun designed by Zaha Hadid and shaped like a swirling spiral representing the dynamics of Dongdaemun Fashion Town. It has a fascinating design in and out.)
  • Dongdaemun Gate (ν₯인지문). (This was built yo protect Hanseongbu which historically housed important government facilities. It was the gate on the east side of the outer wall of Seoul Fortress among eight gates.)
  • Cheonggyecheon Stream (It is an all-time favorite leisure place to relax or hang out in the heart of of the capital.)
  • Ihwa Mural Village (μ΄ν™”λ™λ²½ν™”λ§ˆμ„). (It is known as a moon village and set in the hillside. There are a lot Mural paintings and artwork here.
  • Naksan Park & Seoul Fortress Wall (Naksan Park is a great place to see the Seoul City Wall and rake in views of downtown Seoul.)

1630H-1720H Travel to Seokchon Lake (μ„μ΄Œν˜Έμˆ˜). Walk to Dongdaemun Bus Station. Take Bus 301 Jangji Public Garage. After 26 stops, alight at Seokchon Lake, Hansol Hospital. Walk for about 6 minutes to Seokchon Lake.

1720H-1930H SEOKCHON LAKE (μ„μ΄Œν˜Έμˆ˜). Also known as Songpa Naru Park is famous for being one of the best places in Seoul for Cherry Blossoms and sunset viewing. Lotte Tower and Lotte World can also be seen within the area.

1930H-2030 Travel to Hongdae Shopping Street. Walk about 8 minutes to Jamsil (Songpa-gu Office) Subway Station. Enter via 2 and go to Platform λ‚΄μ„ μ†ν™˜). Take Green Line 2ν˜Έμ„  (211) and after 23 stops, alight at Hongik University. Exit via 9 and walk for about 8 minutes.

2030H-2230H HONGDAE SHOPPING STREET (ν™λŒ€). Hongdae is a neighborhood known for its youthful and romantic ambiance, underground culture, freedom of self-expression, unique cafΓ©s, cozy galleries, accessory stores, fashion shops and art markets. There are also cultural events, street performances, and festivals held here.

2230H-2245H Walk to Guesthouse

DAY 3 APRIL 5 SUNDAY CHURCH, LIBRARY, MALL, CHECK OUT

0800H-0830H Check out and leave stuff at Reception Area

0830H-0900H Travel to Myeongdong Cathedral. Walk about 7 minutes to Hongik University Subway Station. Enter via 2 and go to Platform λ‚΄μ„ μ†ν™˜. Take Green Line 2ν˜Έμ„  (234). After 7 stops, alight at Euljiro 3(sam)ga and exit via 11. Walk for about 8 minutes.

0900H-1000H Attend the Mass at Myeongdong Cathedral (μ„œμšΈ λͺ…동성당). This is the Church for Archdiocese of Seoul and the birthplace for the Roman Catholic Church community in Korea.

1000H-1200H MYEONGDONG (λͺ…동). One of the primary shopping districts in Seoul. There are many brand names and department stores in the area. It also has restaurants and fast food.

1200H-1300H Travel to Starfield COEX Mall. Walk to Myeongdong Subway Station and enter via 9. Go to Platform μ˜€μ΄λ„ and take Blue Line 4ν˜Έμ„  (456). After 7 stops, alight at Dongjak (Seoul National Cemetery) and go to Platform μ€‘μ•™λ³΄ν›ˆλ³‘μ›. Take Brown Line 9ν˜Έμ„  (938). After 4 stops, alight at Bongeunsa and exit via 7. Walk for about 5 minutes.

1300H-1500H STARFIELD COEX MALL (μŠ€νƒ€ν•„λ“œμ½”μ—‘μŠ€λ«ƒ). It is Asia’s largest underground shopping mall. It has everything one needs, all in one place. It has a combination of fashion, food, culture and entertainment. The Starfield Library offers a space of rest and entertainment with books.

1500H-1600H Travel to Guesthouse. Walk about 8 minutes to Samseong (World Trade Center Seoul) and go to Platform λ‚΄μ„ μˆœν™˜. Take Green Line 2ν˜Έμ„  (234). After 20 stops, alight at Hongik University and exit via 2. Walk for about 6 minutes.

1600H-1700H Change, Arrange & Claim Stuff

1700H-1810H Travel to Incheon International Airport. Walk for about 13 minutes to Hongik University Subway Station and enter via 5. Go to Platform μΈμ²œκ³΅ν•­2터미널. Take the Blue Line 곡항철도 (4013). After 10 stops, alight at Incheon International Airport Terminal 1.

1810H INCHEON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. Check in, dinner and go through immigration then wait for the flight.

2050H Travel back to Cebu

So, there! As what my latest trips had been, I always go through not so jam-packed itinerary. This might be like it but I am always flexible with my schedule. Coz I don’t want to get stressed doing everything even though I am exhausted and no longer enjoying the places I’m going.

It’s impossible to go to every tourist spots or attractions on a trip. Unless you’re staying for months. So don’t get yourself stressed out. If there are places you can’t go, think that you have to go back to visit them. πŸ˜‰

And yeah! I hope that I could visit Seoul or South Korea again and make this itinerary happens. Plus, I’ve got a lot of places that I want to visit and food I want to try. Thanks to all the variety shows I have watched during the pandemic. There’s no harm in dreaming and trying. πŸ™πŸ€žπŸ˜

REFERENCES FOR INFORMATION:
Visit Korea
The Soul of Seoul
Incheon Roadplanner
Korea to do
Lonely planet
Visit Seoul

Falling in love with Hospital Playlist

Somebody recommended to me last year to watch Hospital Playlist because it is an amazing Korean Drama. However, I did not watch it because I am not into hospital stories. I love detective stories more. πŸ˜…

However after listening to there OSTs a couple of times, I got to like them especially Aloha & Me to you, You to me. Since I am not watching any series anymore, I gave it a try. And well, I fell in love with it. In fact, I can’t wait for Season 2.πŸ˜‰

Hospital Playlist is a story of 5 people who became friends since their pre medical school days until now that they are known and skilled surgeons. Lee Ik-jun is a General Surgeon, Ahn Jeong-won is a Pediatric Surgeon, Kim Jun-wan is a Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Yang Seok-hyeong is an OB Gynecologist, and lastly the only woman, Cha Song-hwa is a Neurosurgeon.

What this series made me fell in love and amazed?

THE LOCATION

In the first scene of the first episode, it shown the hospital. It was called Yulje Medical Center (율제 병원). It looks more of a luxurious shopping center than a hospital. It looks so new, covered with glasses all around. It looks so clean, so amazing. It is definitely looks like a first class hospital.

I found out later that it is the Ewha Woman’s University Seoul Hospital. It is also featured in other dramas and won awards.

THE STORYLINE

The storyline covers the life of any medical personnel, friendship, relationship, family. I like how light the story is. It does not have any heavy issues like politics or bad people. Literally bad people that would kill for their own sake. It is totally light but you will get hook with it. And when you came to the last episode, it really calls for another season.

Any medical people or even normal people like me would learn a lesson or two about medical stuff.

BTS OF MEDICAL PERSONNEL

Since the story covers surgeons, it obviously would feature a lot about medical and the hospital. But the more you watched it, the more you will feel how hard it is for these medical personnel especially doctors and nurses.

They will always put the patients’ life first or in priority before their own. They would skip meals or have late meals. They would even have sleepless nights or even have an interrupted nights. When they are out with friends, they will be called anytime. They have to keep on learning. They need to study the chart of theor patients. They need to run if their is in critical state. They are always on call. They need to perform surgeries in hours. Some would take 2 hours and some would even extend to almost 20 hours. That long, they will be in the Operating Room, doing everything to save their patient.

But the hardest thing I guess for every doctors is to not be emotional. They are still humans but they will have to stay strong. Most especially when their patient will die. When their patient is in critical condition. They have to comfort their patients’ family too.

But the best thing would be seeing their patients getting well and doing fine again.

Yet I was thinking, if this drama is showing how crazy it gets in the hospital when there’s emergency or critical patient, how much more it gets crazier now that the world is attacked with the virus.

HEALTH

There are a lot of emergency or health concerns everyday that a hospital or a doctor would attend to. But due to this, doctors would have no more time to attend to themselves.

This would teach us to be healthy. To do our best to be healthy. Because if it is hard and inconvenient for us to be in the hospital, it is harder for these medical personnel.

FRIENDSHIP

I love how strong the friendship of the 5 surgeons. They have been friends since 1999 and 20 years later, they still stick together. They open up everything with each other. They comfort each other. They even are like family with each other’s family.

A kind of friendship that everyone should have. How 5 different types of people clicked together and how they understand each other. That’s very amazing. 😁

RELATIONSHIP

Well, the drama also tackles about relationship. With colleagues, with partners and with family. Whatever kind of relationship you are in, there will be sometimes an issue. It does not have to be huge but it is not always perfectly fine.

Colleagues could have issues on how they handle the patients. Or if one colleague is slacking off. Partners could have issue with their relationship especially on how busy a doctor is. But some partner would cheat too. Some would stay loyal and true to each other. And lastly, family. Issues with family would include losing a loved one, a cheating husband, a sick mother, a son who wants to be a priest but you’re all against it. Lastly a friend that likes his friend but wasn’t able to say it because he’s afraid things will be awkward. A subordinate that likes the professor and opened up about it but got rejected.

THEME SONGS

Well… As I mentioned earlier, I came to watch this because of the OST. πŸ˜…

They really do have wonderful songs with wonderful meanings and rhythm. It is very catching and it can make you have Last Song Syndrome. ☺️

And what’s nice also with the drama is that they have introduce different songs every time. Since these 5 friends are good with music, they formed a band and they would practice when they have time. And they are all so good. Check out Mido & Falasol. πŸ₯°

CHARACTERS

I think the success of this drama is also because of the characters or the casts. They are really well fitted to their characters. They did an excellent job to give justice and make their characters into what it should be. It could catch and connect the viewers.

Whom I love the most is Lee Woo Joo (이우주), the son of Lee Ik-jun (이읡쀀). I even screenshot him. 😁

If you haven’t watch Hospital Playlist, try watching it now. You won’t be wasting your time. You will surely get on hook. And you will really really really want the Season 2 to be aired already. I can’t wait to watch it. 😍

Update: Season 2 will air starting June 17. Can’t wait! 😁

Stay Single Until…

Stay Single Until you find someone who has the kind of humor you are looking for. Someone who can make you laugh. Someone who can connect with you.

Stay Single Until you find someone you can talk to about anything under the sun. And yes, the moon too. Whether it’s sunny or rainy day. Someone who does not run out of things to share with you. Someone who’s silence is not boring or awkward but still comfortable.

Stay Single Until you find someone you can open up and will not judge. Someone who is open-minded enough to understand what your are saying. Someone who will not judge what you are saying. Someone who will try to assess and think deep.

Stay Single Until you find someone who will listen to you. Someone who knows what you are talking about and most especially gets what you are not saying. Someone who is willing to listen to your rant without complaining. Someone who is very interested to listen to your story. Someone you can share about anything.

Stay Single Until you find someone who will support you, your decision and your plans. Someone who will not be a hindrance to what you want to do and achieve in life. Someone who will be happy that your have goals and dreams. Someone who will share and help you achieve them.

Stay Single Until you find someone you can be who you are. Someone who will accept your craziness, flaws, and imperfections. Someone who will not try to change you just to fit for themselves. Someone who will be proud of who you are and what you have become.

Stay Single Until you find someone who can be loyal to you. S/he does not need to be clingy and stays with you 24/7. S/he does not have to stop seeing her/his friends just to be with you. But someone who can meet anyone along the way who is better, more good-looking, wealthier, more intelligent, way better than you; but would still choose you. In short, someone who does not cheat.

Stay Single Until you find someone who can be true to you. Even it means hurting you. Someone who can express her/his feelings either it’s good or bad. Either s/he is happy, angry or frustrated. Someone who would not sugarcoat things just to please you. Someone who will let you see the real person s/he is. Someone who does not pretend. Someone who does not hide anything and most especially anyone. Someone who would choose to be true and transparent even it means hurting you than choose to keep it and end up, fooling you & hurting you more.

Stay Single Until you find someone who is proud of you. S/he is proud to be called your partner. Someone who can defend you when you are not there because s/he knows who you are. Someone who will not hide you to anyone or finds you embarrassing. Someone who would get excited to show you to the world.

Stay Single Until you find someone who will value your family and value her/his family as much as you do. There is nothing more loving and amazing than someone who loves her/his family a lot. Coz if he won’t love her/his family who gave birth of her/him, who were there since s/he was young; how can s/he loves someone who just arrived in her/his life 20, 30 years later.

Stay Single Until you find someone who love God as much as you do or even more. There is no relationship more blessed than the one with God in the center of it. Someone who believes in God because s/he has faith in Him. Not someone who shows it just for you to be impressed. You don’t have to be in the same religion to do that, I guess. You can still do that even you’re in different religion. As long as you believe in one God.

Stay Single Until you find someone that can make you a better version of yourself. Not someone who will push you to be that person or to change. But someone who in a good way, influences and inspires you to be better. You will surely know that when you meet that person.

Stay Single Until you find someone who will make you truly happy even more. Someone who will give joy in your life whether you’re geographically together or even long distance. Someone who’s little text messages or late night calls will brighten up your day and will keep your stress away.

But Stay Single Until you find someone who can make you fall in love with yourself more. Someone who still want you to have your me time. Someone who will give you space not because s/he is annoyed or you’re suffocating. But because s/he wants you to spend time or enjoy some time with yourself. Someone who will remind you not to forget about yourself.

Above all, Stay Single Until you can be sure that whether you will be together for good or you will end your relationship, you will not be miserable. Yes, breaking up will be painful. But when that time comes, you will still be whole. Why? Because you gave yourself enough love to live and to be happy even without that someone in your life.

Remember to always love yourself first before anyone else. Because everyone can leave you except yourself! πŸ˜‰

Hmmm.. We’ll see if we can find this someone one of these days. πŸ˜…

My Mantra in Life

Pandemic has been really the time that I was able to reflect a lot of things about me and my life. If I would look back in the past year, my mindset has changed as well. I guess, myself itself had some renovations or improvements.

Due to this reflection, I had some mantra that I want to share. Maybe it could also apply to you. πŸ˜‰

FAILURE IS NOT TRYING & REGRETTING

Actually, I developed this mindset even before the pandemic. That time when I did a big risk and decision for myself. We sometimes limit ourselves to our comfort zone and we are afraid to go beyond that because we are afraid to fail. We are afraid that our decision might not be right. That kind of feeling of failing.

But is that really what failure is? Unfortunately, no! Failing is if not trying, regretting, and having what ifs. If you are too afraid to fail so you didn’t try, you will always wonder what could have happen if you did. You will reach to the point wherein you will regret. That you should have try it. Coz if you tried it and failed or your decision was not the right one, then fine. At least you have a clear picture and result to what you aim to do.

For instance, you always want to work abroad. You left your 5-year employer and took a risk in going abroad without even an employer yet. You found one but later on, you realized that you didn’t like working away from your family. Even you were there for a year, you cannot still adjust. You are still homesick everyday and is struggling. So you decided to go back home. Your old employer may not accept you anymore but there are other companies you can apply.

That is a better decision than not doing anything, staying in your employer for another 5 or so years and wondering everyday what could have happen if you went abroad. You will always have that blurred image of what if.

DO IT ON YOUR OWN PACE

There are many pressures in the world. I guess that has been a normal and natural thing already.

When you are single, people would pressure to get one. When you are in relationship, people would pressure to get married. When you are married, people would pressure you to have a child. Good thing that no one is pressuring someone to die. I hope there is none. Really!

Anyways, do it in your own pace. Make your dreams real in your own timeline. Never let other people’s opinions affect your life. Besides, they are not the one who will go through what you need to in order for your dreams and goals real. It is you. Just you!

Also, never get envious that others have what you dreamed of. Because maybe like you, they also have dreams or goals that they are still working on. And do not let social media affects you. If it affects you negatively, leave it for a moment until you are ready to face it and not get affected.

Do what you have to do because it is what you want. Not because it is what the world ask you to.

YOUR HAPPINESS IS YOUR CHOICE

We are responsible for our own happiness. You cannot blame other people if your have been lonely or so. Yourself is your responsibility and your business. If eating lavish food makes you happy, then buy one. If being with your family makes you happy, then pay them a visit or go home.

Do not put the responsibility to other people. Do not rely on other people so that you will be happy. Because if that someone leaves you, you will totally become miserable. Use your energy to give the joy that you deserve. It will not always be a happy day. We will always have our blue days. But always set your mind to make yourself happy no matter what.

THINGS ARE HARD BUT CHOOSE WHAT DIFFICULTY YOUR DESERVE

I also realized this before the pandemic. I realized that everything is life can be hard. But choose the kind of hardship or difficulty you deserve. Ask yourself, “Is this what I deserve?”, “Is this what I want?”, “Is this what will make my happy?”. And also, never get to hard of yourself.

For example with work. You have become stressed out and burned out with your job. Everyday that you have to work is like a torture. You are not happy anymore. So you decided to put up a business instead. It is a difficult choice to begin with. But even how difficult it is, it makes you happy and contented. It is that kind of difficulty that you can take and that can make you smile.

CHOOSE YOUR BATTLE

In connection to choosing your difficulty, choose also the battles you have to fight. Not all battles deserve your energy. Not all battles even deserves your time. So choose wisely what to mind, to react, to fight. Afterall, you will be the one to face it and no one else.

For instance, you read negative posts online. With what’s have been happening in the world, it is inevitable that there are people who will rant or express themselves negatively. And you became bothered with that. It seems it affected you negatively as well. It gave you the negative aura. So you have the options. You can unfollow if not, unfriend that person or stop scrolling newsfeed or using social media. You have to learn the way for that negativity not to consume you and your energy.

DO NOT SEEK VALIDATION FROM OTHERS

With the widely used of social media, it has became a tool also for people to seek validation from others. How? They would post something and would check on how many reacted or commented. If no one would, they will get disappointed.

You are beautiful in your own. You are strong, smart, amazing. You do not need anyone to validate or justify that. If for them you are nothing, so be it. As long as you are something wonderful for yourself. That’s what we called self-love. Something that you yourself can give. And something others cannot give.

When you have that self-love, eventually you’ll know your self-worth. And when you knew that, you will start giving the love you deserve and being with people who see that worth. It is then the time that you will lower your bar just for the society to accept you.

Never lower yourself just to fit. If you don’t see your worth, then they don’t deserve you. They don’t have the right to tell what kind of person you are especially if they don’t know what you have been through.

And never let social media be the reference on how we look other people. What we see in social media is not always the reality. Many can hide or is hiding behind any post. Coz people would choose what they want to post. 😁

LEARN YOUR WHYs

This one I learned from my boss. Something that opened up my mind on what’s really my goal in life. Most of us would maybe say we want to give a better life for our family. Some might say to travel the world.

Try to ask yourself then, “why are you doing what you are doing now?”. “Why are you sacrificing this much now?” “What’s your goal in life?”

If you know that or have some idea, then it’s time to figure out the ways to possibly get it. There will be a lot of things. It may even take some time. But make sure that as days go by, make that WHY clearer. When it’s clearer, you have a better vision on what to do next.

LIFE IS UNCERTAIN

If there is one thing that all of us learned because of the pandemic, surely it about the uncertainty of life. Today we are healthy, the next day we can be in the hospital. Today we are laughing, the next day we are crying. Today we see our family, the next day we cannot see as well as the world.

With the virus and rapid transmission that makes thousand and millions of people got affected, life is surely uncertain. But it has always been like that ever since, yet the pandemic just made it clearer for us.

So let us do what we gonna do. And even how life is uncertain, let us not lose hope. Let us pray that God will wake us up and our family the next day, the day after that, and so on. Because in this uncertain life, there is always one certain thing. That is the love of God for us. Never forget that.

NEVER GIVE UP EVEN HOW HARD IT GETS

Honestly, I almost did this before. I even came to the point wherein I asked God why us. Again, why us. And even asked Him too that it’s already enough. Then God made me realized that we’ve been through it because we are strong. Because we can do it, we can survive from it. That made our family stayed tighter and stronger even how separated we are geographically.

I also remembered crying and hugging my sister for the first time because I got scared. My father was sick and there was something in my laboratory result. That’s after my brother went through some challenges too.

But the strength of my mother made me strong too. She’s a worried like me. She surely wasn’t able to sleep many nights out of worried or maybe figuring out what she can do. I must say, she is the strongest in the family. And when my father was sick & need to be admitted, we asked her if she’s okay, she would say that she’s fine and that we should not worry. When I think of how my mother made that strong, I knew instantly it’s because of how much she trusts and lifts up to God. When we’re questioning to God or about to give up, she would say that we just have to pray. And we never stopped since then and even before that.

And now when I think of it, I realized that it can be tiring. It is totally tiring and hard. But God will never give us some challenges we cannot survive. We can rest when we got tired. Just rest. But never quit. Never give up. Coz when you do, you lose. πŸ˜‰

YOU ARE NEVER ALONE

Going through everything that we’ve been through, crying in secret for a couple of times, getting afraid to what could have happened, worrying day & night led me to a realization that I am not alone. Never am I!

I have God, that’s number 1. I talked to Him every single day though sometimes I am annoying already. He answers me in different ways.

Then I have my family. Those people who never leave me nor made me feel I am all by myself. They give me strength and my hope. And they keep me sane especially our little bugoy.

Lastly my friends. Those people who are always there for you even if you don’t communicate or meet often. Yet their presence is strong.

You too. When you feel that the world had turned their back to you, then turn to God. He will never abandon you. He just needs you to talk to Him. And He would listen willingly and wholeheartedly.

HEALTH IS IMPORTANT AND SO IS YOUR FAMILY

The greatest lesson this pandemic gave us is that health is important and our family. Taking good care of our health, making sure that we are safe, staying healthy are not just for our own self’s benefits or sake but also to our family.

Every time you get sick, your family will feel the pain too. When you are struggling, they are too.

So let us continue to be mindful and to be careful for the sake of ourself and our family.

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD

This is true since then and every single day. When the world thinks that things are not possible, remember that everything is possible with God. And it may sound clichΓ©, even impossible is saying I’m Possible.

So when you lose all your hope that things seem not to fall the way you want it or you are really really struggling, lift up to God. Talk to Him. And maybe it is not happening because it is not for you. Because you deserve a better one. You might feel the struggles because God is preparing you to become a strong person. And when you’ve become a strong person, you are now ready to face a bigger challenge with a better result.

As you do not lose your hope, do not lose your faith in God too. Nothing is impossible with Him but His plans are better than ours. Remember that. ☺️

So there… I hope I made sense and these are something that could be helpful to you too. And as I gone through these mantras, I realized that maybe I had become this person that I am now because of the challenges and struggles I have been through. Sometimes if not most of the time, the best teacher is really our real life experience.

And now, I’m working out for my goals. I’m nagging God to grant me my dream. But I need to work on it too. Well, I will do my best to make it happen. One day… πŸ™πŸ₯°

A life in the island

It’s been two months already since I went home in the island. And it’s been a couple of days already since I’ve been back in the city.

This time that I went home has been more meaningful, valuable and a lot of things did happen. But well, as always, I just didn’t want to leave. Yet left with no choice.

After working from home for about a year, things had been pretty routinary. I wake up early in the morning (around 6AM), start my day by logging in, checking emails, chatting my colleagues for whatever reason until I will decide to eat breakfast. I will usually take a bath at around 9AM before our daily huddle at 10AM. Will have lunch at 12NN (more or so), take the 1 hour break, then resume to work until it’s time to log out at around 4:30 to 5PM. Unless needed, I would extend to later hour. Then, I will do my personal stuff but mostly watching dramas or variety shows.

It’s like that almost everyday. That’s from Monday until Friday. And yet, even how routinary it seems, every day is still different. It is still unique. For once, the clothes I wear, the food I eat, the meetings I have, and so on.

When I was in the island, life seems to be out of routine. Though there are stuff that I do almost every single day. Like watering our plants that would usually take me from 30 minutes to an hour, cooking for lunch & dinner, watching TV shows with the family. I think that’s my routine work. And other things I did were not always the same.

I sometimes went to the town to work. We would sometimes buy icecream at night and ate in the balcony while talking about anything. We would sometimes went to my aunt or uncle’s house, had a little chitchat until it’s curfew time or beyond it. We would go to the beach during Sunday to have lunch then went to church after. We would roam around the island and check some new places or activities or restaurants.

Every day is really different. There is always to look forward to every day. Though I told my mother that it seems it is not my forte to just stay at home and do those household chores coz I’m lazy at times. Well, my father said that. Haha

Why? Because sometimes he would let me do something like buy fish but I won’t move immediately. Or I won’t do it at all. Hahaha

If you are an office worker like me, you would not know how tiring it is to be at home. You will always find something to do. Once you’re done with one task, you can find another one right away. We cannot really belittle anyone just because they are housewives or househusband. Because it is not easy.

Though some chose that. Some don’t have a choice. But it is still something that we should be proud of coz we can make the house clean, orderly and comfortable to stay. We can feed our family and even our pets. And the list goes on.

So if I will be asked again if I want to just stay at home and do all those chores? Hmmm.. Maybe this time, I want to be outside the house, explore the world, write stories like this. I still cannot just stay at home. That’s a big move to do. Hahaha

But maybe one day, we don’t know. We’ll see. But I will always love to be at home. If I can just go home, stay and work in the island, that would be so much better. Again, we’ll see. πŸ˜‰

For now, I’m grateful to be able to go home, to spend time with my family, to meet some of my friends, to make some chismis, to eat fresh kinilaw, to go to the beach, to roam around the island and most importantly, to be carefree & free from worry or fear. Because I know, I can go out without worrying about the virus. I hope it will always be like that.

See you again soon, Siquijor! Always welcome me, okay? Soon… 😍

Disconnect to Connect @ Sermon on the Mount

Disconnect to Connect as I want to describe that weekend when the whole Tropang Laagan went on a trip.

We started our journey at past 12NN from Ayala Centralbloc. We were picked up by the van that we rented with the help of the resort.

After 1 hour and 30 minutes of travel in a zigzag road of Transcentral Highway with trees and mountains along the way, we arrived in Gaas, Balamban.

And we finally saw Sermon on the Mount Retreat Resort, our private place for the weekend. πŸ₯°

It is located along the road so it is very easy to locate. You can ride the V-Hire from Cebu City terminal or rent their shuttle.

We were welcomed by the friendly and accommodating owners, Ms. Chona, her husband and her daughter.

We still have to wait since it’s still early and they’re still cleaning the place after the guests had check out at lunch. We were then guided to the kitchen a few minutes later by Ms. Chona.

We were all amazed of what we saw. An open kitchen with small swimming pool by the edge and a clear view of Mother Nature. Everything is made of wood which adds a relaxing vibes to the place.

She then gave us a tour, instructing us on what to do, telling us on what we can do, and sharing to us some details of the resort including the rules.

In the kitchen area, aside from the pool and the cooking & dining area itself, there is also a lounge area, a karaoke machine, a shower room, a toilet, a sauna. The lights are so warm and there’s disco light.

Some were roaming around and taking pictures. Some were on the karaoke area, singing. Some were preparing the food headed by our Chef Neil.

Then the fog filled up the whole place. It turned the green view to white. Though just for a few minutes. But it looks magical. 😊

When the room was ready to be occupied, we went up and again, was amazed of it. It is in the 3rd floor (above the kitchen). It has a clearer view of Mother Nature. The interior design is sooo relaxing. It was really built with love and the feeling to make it homey. Coz indeed, it is very homey.

Later that night, as we strolled in Banquet, we saw Ms. Chona. She offered us to take our photos. She’s a photographer by the way. Aside from having a business with lights (LED, etc.). And we had a short talk about the place.

It was built in 2019 but they started receiving guests in 2020. The place was built with the help of an architect but the design was their ideas. They love woods, that’s why there’s a huge presence of woods in the resort. And yes, their business is about lights so they really used amazing lights.

Their goal really is to make it homey and one with nature. So on their rest days, they will go there and plant different kinds of flowers and plants. There are different animals you can find in the resort too.

Upon our arrival, we were welcomed with 2 huge dogs – a husky and a mixed breed of bulldog (I forgot the other breed). They have 2 turtles & fishes in the pond. They have a tiny snake placed inside a glass cage outside the kitchen. They have birds too.

They built the resort slowly and they’re very hands on. With the help of their staff, they made an amazing place for them to stay when they want to escape from the hustle & bustle of the city. But they also opened their home resort to the world. Most especially to those people who want to have some relaxing, peaceful time with themselves, with their friends or family. And with Mother Nature.

There is no mobile signal in the rooms, the kitchen and the Banquet. The mobile signal is only in the entrance area, near the road. Though they have WiFi but they can only allow up to 3 connections since they’re using it as well.

And that’s why, we were really disconnected from the outside world. We only got to use our phones to take photos or to listen to music.

It was a good way for all of us to really connect and interact. We talked, we laughed, we sang, we dipped in the very cold pool, we went inside the sauna, we admire the place together. And that night of heart-to-heart talk was a game changer too.

The next day, me & April woke up so early, around 5AM. To witness the sunrise. We sat on the chairs at the balcony of our room with a cup of hot beverage. Talking about life and stuff, as we always do together. While watching the colorful sky changed its color. Until it was so bright. And the rest started to wake up too.

I ended the trip by eating my breakfast and bidding goodbye to everyone since I had to go home earlier than them. But I was really glad to join the trip and reunite with them. It was an awesome trip indeed.

And it was made possible because of the efforts of everyone. Most especially to the organizers, April & Neil and to the whole family of Sermon on the Mount Retreat Resort. 😍

So if you are looking for a place to stay that is so close to Cebu City and yet would feel really relaxed, at peace and connected with nature; then Sermon on the Mount Retreat Resort is the perfect place to go. Drop them a message at their Facebook account. Ms. Chona is very responsive. πŸ˜‰πŸ‘