Category Archives: Events

The Khmer Kingdom

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Khmer ; the ethnic people whom majority of Cambodians (current term used ) belong too.
 

Before Cambodia, the wonderful country was called the Khmer Empire first.  As we went on a trip around Siem Reap, we felt traveling through time. The structures then were preserved, converted into tourist spots and maintained for the world to see.

After settling for a while, we went out , escorted again by Hong, the tuktuk driver who fetched us at the terminal. We had alot to see but the rain which had been pouring all throughout the days we arrived in Cambodia, hindered us.  Not that it was raining still but upon seeing the outside, we were surprised how deep the flood was.

The Flower Power Team

Flooded area

Yet, as eager travelers and having a persistent tuktuk driver like Hong, we insisted of traveling through the flood to see the Floating Village. Halfway through, we were stranded.  Seems like the Floating Village came to us instead of we going there. Great.

Now the real adventure begins. 

Seeing the battle of Hong maneuvering his tuktuk, MJ and I decided to lessen his load. We went down. YES, IT IS STILL FLOODED. We immersed our feet into the flooded streets. Mama was left at the tuktuk. We decided we have to go back. It’s not wise to proceed with the thought of getting stranded for hours.

Flooded streets going back to hostel

Front of a house which looked like a pond

Mj and I managed to walk through water and mud with laughter and calmness. But our laughs were saying, “Heck! We have never done this in the Philippines!” 

We were full of eagerness. Upon arriving at Siem Reap Rooms, we took a short rest then got ready to tour the area.

  • Night Market

We were able to have a look around the souvenirs, Siem Reap has to offer. In all honesty, it was not really “looking” but more of “shopping“. Their stalls varied from all sorts of unique products like bags, cloths, jewelry, souvenirs and a lot more. The good thing is that it ranges from as low as $1 to at least $100 for silks Just bear in mind that these stalls cater to tourists so you may still haggle the prices. There were also local food to try on. Again, we went there with a bit of rain so it was hard to move around.

Shopping at Night Market

Stall at the night market

Jades and figurines

Jewelries

Tea with native container

 

  • Angkor Wat

We could say this is the highlight of our Cambodia trip. And if one will be asked, it is probably a must to see the Angkor Wat.  A trip to Cambodia is not complete without seeing the grandeur of Angkor Wat with your own eyes.  Many travelers would recommend seeing Angkor Wat during sunrise, and so we did. We started our trip by 5 am. Upon arriving, there were hundreds of several tourists waiting to witness the beauty of Angkor Wat at dawn.

Before entering, one will be given an Angkor Pass which is an ID  ( your photo will be taken) to reflect what kind of pass you have. For us we only took a One Day pass worth $20. There are 3 days and 7 days pass which means you can go back to explore this huge area that long.

Angkor Pass

As the clock ticks and everyone ready to see the sun…

rain started pouring….

So, yes, you guessed, our most awaited view of Angkor Wat at dawn will forever be embedded only on postcards and magazines. “Why?! Of all days and time!!”  

Came 6:30am and all we saw was a gloomy Angkor Wat beneath our lenses.  Yet, that did not stop us to admire and appreciate this amazing Angkor Wat through the rain.

Angkor Wat at daybreak

Posing behind Angkor Wat

The sun was still on our side as the rain  weakens and we were able to wander through the amazing structure that is the Angkor Wat.  There was so much excitement that was contained. As soon as the light beamed over us, we started the journey through the ancient walls around us.

A closer look

 

  • Ta Phrom

Who has not been aware of Tomb Raider and Ta Phrom?! Well, apparently me. Many tourists would plan their itineraries with Ta Phrom primarily because this was were Angelina Jolie strut some actions as Lara Croft. I was not aware until days before we got into Cambodia. I was mostly focused on seeing Angkor Wat. Little did I know that there is another gem waiting to be seen. Ta Phrom experience is slightly better as we were given some dry moments to explore the area. Everything was lush with green moss just covering every part of the ancient structures.

Something very nice about Ta Phrom and the whole area is that it comes in various structured design. Just like the above photo where I found somewhat a lifesized frame with detailed borders.

Ta Prohm

Inside the huge tree roots at Ta Prohm

Giant roots attached to temple roofs

This is another spectacular sacred temple area to be visited. There are many temples with its own beauty and story. As we wander along Bayon, I discovered different temples housed in one complex with many still in good condition. Many of these are being carefully preserved which I admire the Cambodians for.

One of the highlights of the Bayon temple trip is our elephant ride. I have been eyeing this ride since the Bangkok trip we had. It was not possible during Thailand visit as the elephants were not quite near within the city. Therefore, in this Cambodia trip, I made a vow to ride an elephant and include it as part of the itinerary. These gentle giants are a must see for me!

Of course riding the elephant is not free. We paid a certain fee almost equivalent to the Angkor Wat pass,( around $15). Well… you gotta pay for something worth it. Before riding them, you will have to feed them. We were given pineapples and had to offer it. Little did I know that these elephants love the pineapples that they eat it in its form with skin!  They just take out the leaves.

A delighted kid

It was a well worth it ride as we have circled around the southgate of Bayon temple. They have a carpet like feel. The ride was obviously bit bumpy but nevertheless exciting.

Leading the traffic

  • Back to the city

While we thought the tour at Bayon will be the last to see in Siem Reap, we were delighted to chance upon the city side of Siem reap and its offerings. I can call it a modernized Bayon Temple.

Fish spa! A tingling experience

There were so much to talk and write about Siem Reap and Cambodia overall . Too many nice photos to post. However, being there and actually walking through the temples, meeting the people and getting to know the culture will make this post alive and much appreciated. Every step leads you to another amazing sight. Whether you come on a rainy or dry season, make the best out of your trip and you will surely feel everything was all worth it.

 

The Year I LEARNed to Let Go

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Letting go isn’t the end of the world; it’s the beginning of a new life.

That is an anonymous quote which from the moment I read, I felt the connection.

Whoever said that may have felt the same hope in letting go.

Letting go is always equated with sadness, bitterness, frustration over failed dreams and just feeling of resentment on most cases. The year of the Water Snake, that is 2013, taught me alot about letting go and how it is not so bad after all. Surely, I have felt all negative emotions when letting go. When I look back at my year, I had been through major decisions of letting go. This is not the typical me, but due to that, I had been tougher, made of steel. Faith tested, faith empowered.

credits from: http://bwest.ca/

The year 2013, I have let go of my dreams, twice.  I have had in my hands my dream, I was in it already. It was mine, but I  chose to  let go.  Indeed, doing so needed all the courage in the  world. And I did not know where I got all my courage. When the thing you have to release is something you asked for all these years, something you want in the coming years, something you worked hard to get, it is really mind-boggling.

Regret is your enemy. When finally you let go, that  moment you felt peace, that is when regret slowly creeps in. Regret questions you over and over if that is the best thing you had done. But as I mature, I realized that letting go is not a big bad monster that haunts you in your dream, it is regret-which you created in your mind– that makes it hard for you to move on.

When I have flashbacks, surely there were times regret wins me over. Why did I not continued? Why did I not fought on? I could have closed my eyes and went ahead.  And the only answer I could give is that I wanted to be happy. In moments when you felt like Atlas, when everything is too heavy to carry, letting go is the best decision to make. That is what I tell regret, and indeed, regret vanishes in a flash. I feel lighter, I feel the burden gone.

credits from :atlas shrugged

Even letting go of the grudge and pain, I learned. It made me way lighter. When you are letting go of someone who has brought you some unwanted emotions,  you felt free. I felt free.  People can come into your lives and stay for years, some for a season and can bring you too many emotions.Yet, when they leave, you cannot cling on to those emotions they gave you. Those feelings must also go with the person that brought them. It is not for yours to keep and nurture.

I was able to do that. I may have not have quickly emptied all the feelings yet,at least 90% had left. And I felt I could breathe so much easy.

Let me list the valuable lessons I learned by letting go:

1. Letting go gives you back your happiness. You lost it while trying to cling on to something.

2. Letting go gifts you peace of mind. You breathe easily and sleep comfortably without any worries.

3. Letting go deepens your faith. When you felt you’ve lost everything, you still have faith.

4. Letting go makes you appreciate what you have. It makes you see and thank the things you took for granted when you where busy holding on.

5.Letting go offers you too many roads. You suddenly see the path to take, less bumpy, shorter ways.

6. Letting go pays you with a pot of gold. You lose some to gain more.

7. Letting go teaches you to worry less and be fearless. If you already lost something, you are brave to face anything, knowing you have nothing to lose anymore.

8. Letting go rebuilds your life. You start fresh, you are given another clean canvass. Do not hold on to an already full one.

These lessons worked well for me. They were all positive. Lessons that makes me proud.  If anyone had been through a tough choice of letting go, be proud. You are now one notch tougher and wiser  than your previous self or even others  whom you think always have the stroke of luck.

I will stand by these lessons and say “I am thankful I let go“.♣

The year that was and 2013 that is.

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It has been months since I last put my fingers and keyboard together.  Though, it has been long, I can still say I get excited every time I start typing. The joy and fulfillment is still here.

I want to talk about a lot of things that happened. I want to share  the happiness and misery I had. The anxiety, confusion and hope that 2012 had brought to me.  The past year had been a blast in totality. I could have not wished for more.

Let me give a brief of what my past year had been.

Emotions visited me. Happy, Sad, Confused, Excited.

What I thought could be forever ended in an unexpected day. Though I had visions of the possible destruction, when it’s there you still just could not believe it. It was surreal but it is normal. It is almost a dream yet a reality of life.

What I could not fathom is that I was thankful it happened and I went through it. Now I completely understand.

I have loved, lost and let go.

Another surprise came into my 2012. I am just so happy to be part of my dream department when another dream was fulfilled. It came when I least expected it. I believe it now, really. You will never be so ready.

I was given the opportunity to move to property level and even to a challenging department that I know will make me grow more as a professional. My new career came at the right time, when I and everyone else thought it is time.

New environment, new colleagues, new tasks. Everything fresh.

Holiday Inn and Suites Makati

Holiday Inn and Suites Makati

As I look back at my career ladder, one may say it was quick. Three years with three positions in just one company.  I could not be happier. I know I will still push bigger boulders along my path, but I believe everyone had their fare share of boulders.

The first I had been waiting.

Finally, I never imagined it would happen in 2012. My first ever flight abroad. Bangkok.

I used to imagine about it. I used to dream and plan of it. I just learned that you have to take action in order to make it a reality. You just cannot sleep and wake up in another country-at least for me it is not possible.

Being with friends made it more memorable. It is just so fun, so relaxing, eye-opening. I could just be me and not worry of what to do the next day.

Buying that ticket, packing your things and hopping on that plane is not so hard after all. You just got to do it.

I had addiction in 2012.  I really could not keep away from it.

The FEAST. The Happiest Place on Earth, indeed. Such a wonderful addiction.

taken from The Feast PICC FB page

My 2012 was filled with gratitude. I saw direction. I owe it to my renewed faith. Stronger and solid.

Blessings came pouring in. All emotions felt had reasons I understood. Had I not been at the happiest place on earth, I would have hated my 2012. I would have not received so much blessings and joy.

This was the best decision I had made, being at The Feast every single Sunday, amidst all situations I faced. And just like magic, my life suddenly produced blessings after blessings that I could not ask for more but only say my thank yous.

This 2013 is full of promises,as I say each year. The only difference now is that I truly believe it. With how I managed my last year,I know I will definitely recap my 2013 with even brighter and better things.