Saturday, November 11, 2017

The mere thought of traveling and learning

I love to travel and make a difference. I was born and raised in Caloocan City. My dad is from Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte and my mom is from Meycauayan City, Bulacan. Therefore, I am a citizen of three cities, living life in the hustle and bustle of the metro.

The Labasin Lake view from Coco Pavilion at Villa Escudero. 
I started traveling when I was 18 to leave my worries behind and to widen my understanding of the world. I have always been searching for something new to explore, seeking to venture out and interact with people from all walks of life.

Taken at The Great Sta. Cruz Island in Zamboanga City. Image by Potpot Pinili of Travel Trilogy.
As a result, when I started college, I majored in Marketing Management. At the start of my journey, I created marketing materials and built connections. Three years later, I learned advertising, marketing research, marketing plans, and a series of useful social media marketing tools that help make marketing communication more effective and efficient.

Taken at Brgy. Madadamian, Echague, Isabela. Image by Ferdz Decena of Ironwulf En Route.
After three years of studying, I filed a leave of absence to try my luck outside the country as a visual merchandiser. However, the unexpected happened. Things are not always what they seem. My dream did not turn out as planned. My documents have expired. In other words, I was not able to leave the country. But that did not stop me from doing better. I looked for alternative sources of income. I worked as a marketing officer in a leading Korean salon in the Philippines, then went freelance as a content writer and marketing researcher, while pursuing my hobby as a travel blogger.

Luli Island is one of the islands in Honda Bay Tour in Palawan.
As a travel blogger, I have been to places I had never imagined visiting. I got the chance to board the iconic vinta of Zamboanga City. To discover the previously unexplored collection of majestic waterfalls in Isabela. To experience the white-powdered sands and sparkling blue waters of the world’s best beach in Palawan. To enjoy the colonial culture of Cebu City, Vigan City, and Taal, Batangas. To be sent on an all-in-expenses-paid trip to the land of Kiwi, New Zealand, after my short essay was awarded the top prize. Traveling opens my mind—indeed, our minds—to previously unknown possibilities and creates our paths to certainties.

The afternoon sky is partly cloudy, white patch blanket of clouds with thick blue sensations that mirror the colors of the sea. Taken at Malabrigo Pebble Beach.
Taken at the Monastery of Holy Eucharist, also known as Simala Church in Sibonga, Cebu.
The air is so cold yet the leaves of the tree are on fire. Taken at Auckland Domain in Auckland, New Zealand. Image by Andrew Russel Villena.
A year later, I returned to studying, striving to finish the work I had started. And now, I am in my last year of college, pursuing my passion for discovery and for traveling throughout more of the Philippines and beyond. I have learned photography, writing and the desire to see more of what the world has to offer. Life, as hard as it may be, never stops teaching, and so I continue to learn and never stop learning. Through all of this, I have realized that I find meaning in doing what makes me happy, in relishing what gives me joy, and in discovering what makes me whole. 


  1. I strongly agree! We should never stop learning. There's always something new for us to try everyday. Best of luck to finishing college and cheers to more travels.

  2. Life is a journey that teaches us a lot of things. It's the best teacher actually aside from traveling to different places and learning their culture. It's nice to visit other places once in a while but the introvert in me would get tired of talking to people and would just choose to be inside, lying down with a book. Also, good luck on the studying and I hope you get more adventures this 2018!

  3. I like your spirit of pursuing your dreams. One has to keep learning, else it stagnates. And travel makes you richer in terms of experience. Good luck to you in all your endeavors.

  4. I couldn't agree more. We are at our happiest when we do things we love the most. We always try and explore because of our yearning to learn. Traveling, for one, enriches us. Hope you travel far, write more, and share all.

  5. There's no other thing that is more rewarding than doing what you love the most! I personally did not imagine myself enjoying traveling.. it was way far beyond my expectations... I'm afraid of traveling alone but when I finally overcome that fear, I started to embrace the wonderful experience that traveling has to offer
    Congrats buddy and may this passion grew bigger and stronger!

  6. It is nice to read about your life experiences so far.Although you were not able to travel outside the country so far,I am sure you will fulfill it soon.Glad that you are continuing with learning including the things you love as hobbies.Hope to read more adventures around the Philippines.

  7. You are one lucky man! And apart from being lucky, you have also worked hard to achieve your present position. So, I congratulate you! I wish you all the luck in the future, to visit more countries and to continue writing as inspiring texts as this one. :)

  8. I think it is incredible that you have been able to walk away from this situation with such a beautiful positive outlook! I wanted to work in visiual merchandising when I was younger too - it's highly competitive!

    I would love to know what social media marketting tools you use if you feel like sharing? :)

    Safe and happy travels - I look forward to seeing where life takes you!

  9. Congrats on your travels and on almost being finished with college. Hope you acheive all you can dream. You have great goals to keep you motivated. Always keep pushing toward your goals.

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