Ten Year Anniversary of My Morocco Adventure

Ten years ago I clearly remember we were all praying and wishing to own the coolest Blackberry phone.  It was the time when lifestyle magazine editors were the arbiters of taste telling readers what to see, shop and do.  Now our lives are ruled by the social media influencers!

me 10 long years ago inside our budget hotel in casablanca

Ten years ago, Alexa, Bixby and Siri may just be the names of your neighbor’s pets.  Now they are your reliable artificial intelligence who can help you with your missions and commissions.  It was also the time when watches were simply used to tell time and you have to manually count the number of steps you had for the day and need to go to the doctor to monitor your calorie intake.  Now these 3 aspects are just minor features of your smart watch!  

In fact this blog, ten years ago was still being powered under Friendster Blogging site prior to my switching to WordPress!  I switched/transferred Nengkoy blog to WordPress in 2011.

Ten years ago was my first long haul adventure out of the country.  Ten years ago was my Morocco adventure!  Though I spent my Morocco exploits with Australian friends, this was my first solo airplane long haul experience!  This I guess gave birth to my loving going solo on travels abroad.

me with joesel, the travel-savant

sahara dessert adventure!

inside a tannery in fes

And can you just imagine how backward technology was during that time?  So solo travel then was more difficult and more challenging.  Internet info then was a bit limited. I can still remember the countless times I personally called Qatar Airways to inquire and ensure that there is no transit visa needed during my lay over in Doha.

I have no idea about the existence of mobile wifi then!  Though internet was existing already, I clearly remember that me, Joesel and Charles had to go the nearest internet shop inside a medina so as to connect online and message love ones from other parts of the world. 

My cellphone was okay then but the camera I was using then was the compact digital camera type! Chinese has not invented selfie sticks and gorilla pods during that time so can you just imagine how we take turns in taking our photos and smiling on camera multiple times so as to get the best selfie angle?

a rest day at merzouga

casablanca mosque

Ten years ago, my Morocco experience was the start of the expansion of my viewpoints of the world.  My learnings of the world were no longer just sourced from the pages of the book I read.  It was the time when my comfort zone was ultimately tested.  It was the adventure that made me realize that I can actually do and accomplish things I never imagine I could do.  It was the start of my different way of growing. 

Wow! It was actually ten years ago and no way will I forget my Morocco adventure!

Happy January 3

If not your birthday or the death anniversary of a loved one, January 3 can be considered the most neglected day of any year. Who would want to celebrate anything significant on such a day when all the Hallmark-level type of revelry has just been concluded?  Who on earth would try to go out and shop or even dine outside when there are so much gifts you received last Christmas-peak-week and there are so much leftover inside your fridge? 

I bet my skinny pwet (translation: butt) you don’t remember January 3 last year and the year before that!  But you definitely remember the annually stirring, exhilarating and superlative January 1.

happy january 3 (this post is such a waste of internet space. hahaha!)

 But what about January 2? You remember January 2 because it is one of the worst days of the year.  It is the day you usually commence your New Year’s resolution, the day you start recuperating from a very bad hangover, the day you feel like you are a new you.  You remember January 2 because it is the day you would usually spend all day and all night on your bed.

But for January 3, it is usually be the understated, trifling and negligible day.  There are even times when such day is considered the most mundane because it is the day when everyone would go back to their ordinary, routinary and lackluster life — work, school and of course the usual wicked vice.

I guess it is only me who would greet you “Happy January 3!” (with exclamation point) and no one else.  No one else.

Happy 2020 Everyone!

Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365-page book.  Write a good one! — Brad Paisley

Let me take this opportunity to thank all the people who has been a part and made the pages of my year 2019 complete.  And to all those who I am to meet next year, please take it easy on me.

Happy New Year! — from me and Nengkoy (my mom)

I wish for more love, happiness and success to every one of us.  Remember to believe in yourself, be an inspiration to others and have an awesome New Year every one!

2020 New Year Advice: Moisturize!

While the internet is now bombarded with New Year predictions and resolutions, I want to instead give an advice to all folks this coming New Year.  I only have one word (repeated 3 times) as an advice. It’s “Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize!” 

I want all human beings to look good and look young for the rest of the New Year! So moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

But seriously, aside from its awesome aesthetic benefit, the act and process of skin moisturizing can actually be multi-yielding.  The rubbing of cream on your skin can be paralleled to being a “Me Time” concept.  It is an opportunity to have time for yourself so as to reduce stress and restore energy.  Thus, moisturizing is one circumstance of thinking and caring for oneself. It can be a way to enrich ones self-esteem!

can’t imagine a world without moisturizer!

Moisturizing cream does not simply fall from the heavens or can be picked incessantly from a fruit bearing tree.  These pricy facial serum, night creams and body lotions are not basic human needs.  These may actually be the last item you may want to buy out from your hard-earned money.  Thus, you need to have extra money to moist and nourish the largest organ of your body.  Therefore, my one-worded advice can be construed as folks needing to work harder this New Year to earn the needed extra gravy for your skin. Work hard!

Lastly, the end result of moisturizing can make you feel good.  And when you feel good, you can effortlessly establish inner confidence and upbeat attitude which will eventually exude and radiate to other people.  You can then be a channel of positive thinking and optimistic attitude this year.     

So follow my advice, “moisturize, moisturize, moisturize”.  Because if you do, I am so sure, you will be happy and laugh the loudest at the end of the year! Hahaha!

Christmas Socks From Miggy & Gabby

I love receiving gifts and I had loads of it this Christmas!  This blog post would become too long if I am to actually list each awesome gift one by one.  Let me nevertheless show my heartfelt appreciation by extending my sincere thanks and gratitude to all of you amazing people.  You know who you are.

But have you ever contemplated on which gift you receive this Christmas as the weirdest and most eccentric?  The gift that is so bizarre it makes you laugh and chuckle because it is so you?  I got one this year!

got my face printed on those socks! who on earth would think of doing that?!

hahaha! perfect fit!

My nephews Miguel and Gabriel gave me the weirdest looking pair of socks this year.  Both of them I guess knows that I have the strange tendency for an excessive egotism and high-level of self-adulation! And as soon as I opened their gift and saw what it was, I was laughing so hard!  These pair of socks is so me literally and figuratively!

Thank you Miggy and Gabby.  I looove it!

Notes On My Desk Calendar 2020

With a couple of days to go, I guess everybody now are contemplating on how the year 2019 had been.  This is now the typical time when people are thrilled and excited on what the New Year has to offer.

be in style in 2020

This also is the usual time when people receive gifts from friends and colleagues for a desk calendar, a notebook organizer or a journal planner.  I for one has been receiving these items every single year.  Yet regrettably it fail to organize my life!  I still chase those big dreams and pursue the pursuit of happiness.

And like every year, I again received a planner, a desk calendar in particular.  And while doing my long and arduous skin care, I happen to notice a small portion on this desk calendar where you got to write down your goals for each month.

With inflated optimism and pent up enthusiasm, I filled out the first 3 months of the desk calendar.  With scoops of anti-aging facial moisturizer dirtying my pen, this is what I have written….

january 2020

february 2020

march 2020

Let me greet you this early a very awesome New Year.  I hope everyone will Be In Style this New Year!

A Needed Upgrade Of Filipino Independence Day

Today, June 12 my country is celebrating its Independence Day.  It’s the day when Philippines was freed and got liberated from centuries of Spanish colonial rule.  All forms of media here in my country today seem to rejoice and acclaim the freedom my country had 121 years ago.  It’s not bad.  But such commemoration seem so 121 years ago that it failed to level-up and be upgraded in a more current and present-day perspective about freedom.

My country’s celebration is still so stuck about the freedom from political and social control by the Spaniards.  Every Filipino shouts that it really feels good to be free and independent! But are we really free and independent in the true sense of the word today?

Spanish folks definitely has moved on and would not really care anymore about the goings-on in the Philippines today.  Yet still here we are, still so stuck with the thought of being freed and be independent from these folks from Europe.

Can we simply upgrade our thoughts on today’s celebration?  I would rather rally about true freedom and true independence today in the context of the present-day Filipino situations and circumstances.  I guess it would be better if Filipinos would rather contemplate on whether we are really free and independent socially, politically, morally and (wallet-wise) economically. 

Yeah we have our own government but are we really free from shameless politicians and government officials? Yeah we have freedom of expression, but are we really free and be accepted by fellow Filipinos on who we are regardless of skin color, dialect, physical attributes and sexual orientation?  Yeah we are free from economic control by other countries but are we really independent money-wise that we no longer have to worry on where to source the dough needed for tomorrow’s food, clothes, medicine and shelter? Are we really free from traffic congestion, bad education and racial discrimination? Parang hinde! (Translation: It seems not)!

I don’t want to spoil today’s revelry.  Besides, bakasyon ngayon or it’s a non-working day today!  The last time I checked, Spain has no plans of recolonizing us.  And I guess we Pinoys still have a lot to work on regarding the true meaning of freedom and independence.

smile… it’s free!

Ismayl lang yata ang libre! Pridom ka dyan!

Happy Mothers Day 2019

The most challenging hurdle in the world, I guess, is to raise me as a child and that unthinkable task has been assigned by the heavens to this lady.  She’s a lot of things to a lot of people. And she need not be in cape nor costume to be my hero. She is simply the incomparable!  Nengkoy who else?

nengkoy unknowingly provided flowers in this tranquil garden.  photo from her most recent trip to japan

Happy Mothers Day!

 

Thanking the Heavens Via Santa Clara!

I am back in Manila.  And I am back in my usual normal routine.  I am, however, is not yet done with chronicling my 2019 NYC and Washington D.C adventure.  There are still an enormous amount of experiences that I have yet to write about.

But since I am back, let me just squeeze in this post.  A thank you and an expression of gratitude post to the heavens above for gifting and blessing me with such an amazing NYC and Washington D.C. journey.

This afternoon, I went to Santa Clara Monastery to express my hearty gratitude.  And in keeping with the odd and eccentric Filipino custom of saying thanks to Saint Claire of Assisi, I offered a dozen of eggs wrapped in colored cellophane.  I also wrote a short thank you note and have it lodged for the nuns to read and send it instantaneously to the heavens via Santa Clara.

I did this because I have always believed that prayer is done not because you are asking for something but because you have a ton to thank about.

By the way the colored cellophane I chose was pink and red which according to tradition has some mystifying meaning.  Red would be luck on travel and career while Pink would be for love life and family.  I was laughing about the “luck on love life”! Hahaha!

Thanks Saint Claire! My NYC and Washington D.C. adventure was a blast!

monasterio real de sta. clara de manila

Santa Clara, Salamat! Sa uulitin…