Budget Day Trip in Antipolo

Antipolo has been one of the nearest weekend destinations which you can enjoy within your budget. Even if you are coming from North, South, or even from the East, then you should experience how Antipolo can satisfy your travel needs.

Here’s the answer to your question: Where to go in Antipolo?

My friend, Ate Beth, and I woke up early for our trip. We’re both from Rizal so it’s easy for us to take the road less traveled. Going on a weekend or a day trip tour in Antipolo required us to wake up early in the morning.

From Tikling, we rode a jeepney going to Hinulugang Taktak. Jeepneys from Crossings, and UV Express from Antipolo surely passed here.

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Here’s an enchanting view in Antipolo that you should not miss. It offers scenic view like the typical falls that you see on pictures. When they say Antipolo, Taktak must be the first thing that comes into people’s mind. There are spaces here where families can eat snacks together. Swimming pool and venue are available for use as well. You can also buy pasalubong before you leave. There is an entrance fee worth 30php for students. PWD and Senior Citizens are free from this payment. (TIP: Always bring your student ID to enjoy unimaginable perks. Hehe.)

After some time, we went out from Hinulugang Taktak, we went to Parish of Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is the exact church where Popoy and Basha got married. You’ll enjoy the feels once you enter this majestic church.

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Parish of Immaculate Heart of Mary’s Mass schedule is 9:00am and 10:30 ( I think. If my memory serves me right). Get ready to pray to look for your own Basha/Popoy. Fast Fact: This is the parish where the Bishop of Antipolo stays.

After visiting this church, we went to our next venue: Pinto Art Museum. It was only one tricycle away. I think we only paid fifty pesos. Riding tricycles in this area was such a big help for people like us. However, I think, this was quite pricey. Just be ready with your coins, though.

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Pinto Art Museum is filled with amazing structures and designs which can make your heart melt.
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It also showcases art works, sculptures, and paintings that captivate one’s soul.
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My favorite part is this ethnic side of the museum.
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T his is my favorite view. I love how the color of the water, sky, and trees complement and blend.

The entrance fee in Pinto Art Musuem is 200 pesos. But, if you are a student (undergrad or graduate), you can enter here for only 100 pesos. Amazing deal, right? For Senior Citizens and PWD, they can avail for 20% discount. There’s a lot to discover in this Museum. There’s even a map where people can use once they feel groovy in roaming around the museum. This location is perfect for instagrammable locations.

It was 12:00 noon when we felt the urge to eat. Thus, our next stop was in Mom’s Pot Restaurant.

18622580_1567612433257253_8263769183885979798_n If you want to eat a lot in this trip, then you should try Moms Pot Restaurant. Enjoy their home-prepared meals for only 125 pesos . This surely fills your tummy with delectable lutong bahay meals. You can choose from plain or java rice. There’s a wide variety of viands. PLUS, there’s also dessert.

After eating here, we rode another tricycle which headed us to Cloud 9. 🙂

The 360 View in Cloud 9 is what people look forward to in going here. Before somebody gets to the top, he has to pass through a narrow bridge. This bridge is so breathtaking. We definitely are nervous in walking through this. Huhu, we’re proud that we are able to cross this challenging bridge.

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360 degree view from Cloud 9’s highest peak.

There’s an entrance fee of fifty pesos before you can experience this. In the same area, there’s also a restaurant where you can satisfy your tummy’s needs.

I would love to see this venue in the evening. I wished to imagine how lights flicker while I stare at them. I wanted to know how the starts look from this spot.

It was two in the afternoon when we managed to finish our trip. We’re supposed to go into another cave found in Antipolo. However, I suddenly felt tired and hungry at the same time. So, we went to the city itself and looked for a cafe where we can charge our phones and our tired bodies.

Here’s our expenses.

Transport going to Tikling – 50 pesos

Hinulugang Taktak entrance fee – 30 pesos.

Trike going to PIHM – 30 pesos

Bottled water – 50 pesos

Trike going to Pinto Art Museum – 50 pesos

Entrance to Pinto Art Museum – 100 pesos *discounted*

Trike going to Mom’s Pot – 50 pesos

Mom’s Pot Buffet – 125 pesos

Trike going to Cloud 9 – 100 pesos

Cloud 9 entrance – 50 pesos

Total: 645 pesos! This changes if you are coming from a distant location. I think 800 pesos is enough. You can also add Antipolo Cathedral in your trip. In our case, we are already familiar with the church because we often go there every Lent.

Do you recommend other places to visit? I am still looking for more places to visit. Places within the area or near Rizal. Any suggestions?

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How I came up with Paano Mag-move on

When my editor first called me, his first question was, “Kim, paano mag-move on?” Of course, I startled. The question was so corny. But as he spoke, he explained that their creative team decided to publish that manuscript as well.

Paano Mag-move on is my first non-fictional book published under St. Paul’s. It is filled with chapters named after the most frequently asked questions of the youth about love. I’ve never thought about the publication of this book. It just happened.

I started editing the manuscript, submitted it in October, revised it again in December, and finalized the cover, layout, and pictures inside it in January. We assumed to release the book by February just in time for Valentine’s Day. But, it didn’t happened.

The release of the book was delayed. It wasn’t released in March, but April. When I got my proof copies, something went wrong. So, I had to wait for more weeks to settle things up. FINALLY, after several weeks, the final-est book was released in the market.

I sold some copies to my friends, and they all welcomed the book. Then, I courageously asked my publisher if this could be one of their nominees for the Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards. It’s an award for books published under Catholic publishers. There’s new category, btw, and it is about Youth. But, there’s a registration fee worth P3,000. I had to enlist 13th Prayer and Paano Mag-move on, so I needed 6,000. Where on earth would I get that? Since my publisher wouldn’t support my entry, I had to do something.

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Shamelessly, I sold copies of my two books 13th Prayer and Paano Mag-move on for 500 pesos for each set. (Ang kapal lang no?) I even posted this on Facebook to seek help from my friends who could be so blessed and wanted to share their blessings.

Overnight, I receive messages asking how could they support my endeavor. Huhuhu. I am so surprise seeing messages from people whom I’ve thought would never care. They do and they are so supportive about this.

With the divine providence, I  was able to raise funds just in time. (Lord, you know how thankful I am for these blessings.) I was so surprised knowing how many people actually cared and supported me.

Then, after the nomination, I proceeded in promoting my books. But then, I didn’t promote books to make money out of it, but to spread the words in this book. This contain life-changing reflections which I believe help the younger people/reader to learn how to address their issues in life.

The pictures above are just some comments from my readers who bought the book. 🙂

The experience is indeed overwhelming. I am able to meet new friends, to reconcile with the older ones, and to explore life outside my comfort zone. I keep on posting and sharing it because writing Paano mag-move on has become my ministry as well. I believe that I am able to serve God through writing this and serve the youth by reminding them how God loves them.

I just want to thank the people behind the precious cover and layout of this book. Ms. Dani for the cover, Ms. Jhuly-Ann for the drawings inside, and Ms. Nikki for the lettering of the book. You, guys, are so awesome. If you wish to work with them, just tell me. 🙂

As of now, I am still waiting for the results. Whether it is favorable or not, I believe that God has a plan for it. Hehe!

Now, the question is, have you moved on? 🙂 

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See the brighter side of life.

“Alam mo, masyado kang negative,” said our principal who just read my book 13th Prayer. I was fortunate to had a chitchat with her regarding my first book in St. Paul’s. It was last week when I gave her a copy of my book. I was too shy enough to give that book to her because that book is a product of my creative and wishful thinking. I believed that book wouldn’t pass her standards (she is a nun.) But then, things changed when she reviewed my book.

I was at the principal office asking for permission to leave the campus for an hour. I needed to show a gate pass signed by sister before I could go out. When I first came, our principal wasn’t there. I went upstairs to see my immediate boss. She signed my gate pass. I had to pass by the principal office again and had it stamped. Luckily, Sister was there. She personally signed my gate pass. Now, I had three signatures for my gate pass. Then, while she was signing my gate pass, she told me that she already read my book.

The crazy version of me asked, “Would you recommend the book to our students?” I was referring to the students in St. Paul’s. 13th Prayer was somehow cliche. So, I didn’t have the confidence to promote my book to my school. She told me that I was too negative about my book. I should be proud of my book because it tackled reality that every youth experiences. In fact, the book would be of great help if it would be read by our students.

I asked her a follow up question. “May I post a poster of my second book in school?” I was sooo ashamed of asking this question. I didn’t know that she would agree. She immediately recommended me to see our Directress. I had to ask permission, but if she would be asked, it would be fine with her.

The next day, I talked to our Directress. She agreed. She signed the poster. It was posted. As easy as that. But things were not as easy as this when I was just conceptualizing all these things in my mind. I was too negative regarding this. Not the kind of negative that absorbs pessimistic energy, but the lack of confidence.

I write books, yes, but then I do not have the courage to share it to my friends just because I think my book won’t pass their taste. I am self-proclaimed corny and cheesy person. So,  I don’t think that they will like it.

BUT I WAS WRONG.

This certain event in my life reminded me to keep holding to my faith. God has given me the talent in writing in order to share His Good News. Hence, I shall do my best to become His instrument. I shall never cease in serving and loving him through writing. I know, I still have so many paths to take, but writing a book for the youth that leads them to God is definitely a good start in journeying this path.

From now on, I will not limit myself to what my eyes can see, my mind can think, and my ears can hear. I will depend on God and see brighter things in life. There is so much to be thankful for. I am happy about these things!

Praise be to God!

Have you been so negative lately? Why?

Turn that negativity into productivity. Learn to act, and trust God. 

Strain forward, 

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Believe or leave?

I live in a city where heavy traffic prevails. It the center where people in the neaby provinces pass by. Since college, I always endure how hassle traveling can be because of this scene every single day. Now that I am employed, everything gets worse. 

I do not know if they mean it when they schedule road repair in June. Classes has started and that’s the same period when they do all the renovations needed. Thus, there is always a series of traffic violation committed by the truck drivers who insist on passing this narrow road. 

This misfortune happens to me. I am a victim on how this traffic kills productivity. There was this time when I left home at 5:45. I allocated one hour as travel time. But then, since the road was occupied with big construction materials, vehicles were allowed to use one lane only. 

Since most of the tricycles I ride are stuck in the traffic, passengers are stuck in their terminal, too. There is a long line for passengers who do not have a choice but to wait. Imagine fifty people, standing in line, enduring how hard is it to live as a commuter. We have no choice but to wait.

As I wait, I realize that there are ways on how to react on this matter. It’s either to complain or to accept the fact. One can initiate plans on how this matter can be resolved. Some people can make themselves busy while waiting. Some of the passengers just talk with their friends. Some of them prefer to leave the terminal and look for another trip by any chance. Some may simply give up and beat the situation next day. I choose to wake up early the next day and adjust my schedule if necessary. 

The way these passengers wait is just like us when we pray. Sometimes, God doesn’t reply to us right away. He lets us wait. Maybe, he tests our patience, or sometimes our faith. He gives us situation that builds our character. Through waiting, our trust to God strengthens. The way we respond is certainly the manifestation of our faith. 

In waiting, we choose to believe or leave.

Have you prayed so hard yet received no response? 

How do you handle it? Do you believe or leave?
Yours in Faith,

Feeling unworthy?

If you have read my book, 13th Prayer, you’ll know that I have attempted to write a decent book. Compared to the previous titles of my first romance books, 13th Prayer is somehow different. When I finished the manuscript, I’ve submitted it for publication. My first signing is for this book and of course, because of the greatest Writer in our lives.

During our INSET program, my fellow teacher encouraged me to compile prayers specifically written for the youth. She told me that I could be of great help to some students who struggled in their faith. There were times that I ask myself whether I am worthy of writing a prayer book. A real prayer book with reflections and hardcore depth. A kind of book that could help youth in their prayer time. BUT, the case was, I didn’t have the confidence to do such thing.

How am I supposed to write a prayer book if I am filled with emptiness? How can I help the youth in their journey if I am lost as well? Loss of words, too.

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When I shared this idea to my closest friend in writing 13th Prayer, he told me one simple thing, “Who else is worthy then?” His words of encouragement totally uplifted my disheartened soul. The following day, I started writing reflections about my daily activities. Then, I received uplifting feedbacks on how people were thankful enough that they were able to read my blog posts. I was so inspired to write more.

These words of encouragement heal my broken heartedness. I am amazed on how God works His ways for me. I am so glad that I am used as His instrument in sharing His word. After confession, I feel so free and motivated to share what I know. I have returned to my very main reason why I have taken up Malikhaing Pagsulat—it is really to share God’s Word.

You are always worthy of God’s love!

How about you? Were you in doubt lately? Do you feel unworthy of anything? Go back to where you started. Always bloom where you are planted.

Sharing God’s love, 

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In darkness, there’s light

My last confession was two months ago. It was my way of preparing myself for Lent. But then, I wasn’t able to confess regularly. I became too busy preparing for our requirements for clearance. I exhausted all my strength in completing tons of paper works. When I say tons, it was really tremendous piles of documents needed to be filled out and submmited before the dealine. Not submitting this could lead us to poverty for the next two months.

Since I was probationary 2 that time, I didn’t have an income for the month of May. School’s policy, for your info. Thinking about this, I decided to find some ways on how to earn that time. I got myself involved in our school’s summer classes. I searched for freelance works. I even worked as an editor and proofreader for some of my writer-friends. My summer was filled with workloads. And of course, I thanked God for this opportunities.
However, because of those loads, I neglected some of my duties in our parish. I wasn’t able to attend our monthly meetings. I ignored some of our formations. I had attended Sunday Masses, but I did this just to compensate my guilt. There were series of Sunday activities in our parish but I didn’t help.

At first, it was nothing for me because I fully trusted my fellow youth ministers. I excused myself believing I must concentrate more on my due research paper. But, this was the thing I must regret doing. I excused myself because of these invalid reasons. I left Sunday meetings, and my regular confession. Fame and money were two most important things for me before.

Time came that I felt exhausted. I did feel total darkness. My heart stopped beating. I even asked myself if I was still happy.

Unfortunately, the things that made me busy didn’t make me joyful and satisfied. 

So, on one random day, I left our school early. I arrived home at 5:30 PM. I decided to attend Mass. It was a surprise, probably, for my spiritual directress, because that’s the only weekday that I attended Mass again. We talked. I shared my feelings, and reflections. She told me that I should find light in times of darkness. Even if there’s only little light, I should search for it.

The only thing that could help me find light is through confession. I brought myself back to Pasig Cathedral, had my confession, and rosary. I cried while praying to God, while asking for forgiveness.

Through confession, I am healed, renewed, and changed. 

It is a ten-minute activity that can change someone’s life. Hence, if you’re feeling in pain, doubt, and darkness, seek the light. Our sins lead us away from God, but confession pulls us back closer to Him. God is always present. He just waits for us. All you need is to seek Him.

May your life be filled with light, 

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Live, Love, and Teach with a Purpose

Most students are back in the classroom. For us in St. Paul, classes resume on June 19. I thank God for having time to blog about the theme and topic I’ve been itching to share with you, guys: my work. I studied Education major in English back in college. Since my course of study is related to English, it was easy for me to get full-time, and even tons of part-time jobs. But, it never ends there.

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Live

I live by the quote “Live life with a purpose.” I totally adhere to this because our social purpose keeps our heart moving. As an educator, I have always had this goal of supporting the greatest advocacy in life — teaching. I’ve considered the English language as my forte; thus, teaching English is my life’s purpose. I’m lucky that I discovered this early. Some have taken time in knowing what their true passion is.

It was in the summer when I started to teach English online. I decided to teach English that time just to  make my vacation worthwhile. I had nothing else to do. So, I decided to teach ESL foreign students. Luckily, I got hired and experienced new working environment. However, after few weeks, I decided to quit for I did not see my purpose in just merely teaching them online. I was not motivated to teach because I only teach for a living, not as a passion.

 

Love

I quit not because I was tired but because I did not see myself growing and doing a socially significant task. I felt like a robot that catered to the needs of human beings. This was the reason why I searched for another company that would cater my goals, purpose, and at the same time, my forte. That was the time I searched for another company and found Learntalk. They do almost the same thing as what my previous company did, but what makes them different is their contribution to building a nation.

In fact, recently, they had a training program that included the Jesuit Volunteer Philippines Foundation, Inc. (JVPFI). Last May 25, 2017, Learntalk gave teacher training about the use of  English in the classroom to these volunteers. This allowed the volunteers to be more knowledgeable about using English effectively in teaching.  Valery, Learntalk’s training manager, told the volunteers to keep their students engaged and interested.

 

Teach

This partnership allowed the Jesuits volunteers to learn  how to handle students using the Learntalk methodology and how to write lesson plans based on British Council standards. They were taught strategies in keeping their students engaged in discussion. Long and boring discussion was discouraged. Indeed, Learntalk’s mission, “English for everyone,” is true to all. As a teacher, I am amazed on how these people show concern and pay attention to the needs of the  nation. They continuously extend their services by communicating with the Uruguayan government so they could also provide English lessons to public schools.

How I wish I could do things such these. But now, I am still confined in the four corners of my classroom, still, teaching English to first graders. I am new to teaching to little kids. Hence, it is really something challenging, but something that I look forward to. Currently, my partner and I are in the process of finishing our materials for the entire school year. By the way, I am also on the process of planning a unique design for my classroom. Do you have any suggestions?

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