Sharing you my recent life-changing events in an instant!

Me in Malasag Ecotourism in Cagayan de Oro
November of 2009, I started blogging without any idea what will the topic be. I wrote random thoughts first just to fill the empty posts of my blog. After a year a former coworker invited me to this historic place called “Intramuros” to join a roundtable discussion about the Manila – Acapulco galleons

In more than three years of staying here in Manila I was never interested in knowing its history. What is more important to me is from my place I know the way to the nearest shopping mall, to my office and back. But that all changed when I got home from the event. While posting a blog about it, I realized how our country’s heritage is taught very shallow on school’s textbooks.  It was more like a subject of memorizing dates and names but the whole story is forgotten. I used to yawn countless in our class because everything used to bore me until the story of these galleons amazed me and said to myself “I will relearn the history again this time on my own efforts.”
I soon found myself attending history lectures, book signings and photo exhibits of Manila’s finest: tour guide Carlos Celdran, talks of Paulo Alcazaren a noted urban architect and historians Michael Charles Chua, John Silva, Ambeth Ocampo and a lot more. Since then I cannot count how many times I went in and out of Ayala Museum, Yuchengco Museum, Ortigas Foundation Library, The Mind Museum, National Museum, Lopez Museum, Silverlens Gallery, University of Santo Tomas, Fully Booked, UP Diliman and Instituto Cervantes Manila joining related events.

December of 2010, another former coworker introduced me to a traveler’s website. By 2011 I met a number of foreigner travelers for coffee and I joined a lot of travel-related meetups.  I did not know about travel then. I was contented spending the whole weekend as a couch potato. But by 2012 my life changed in an instant and I may sound exaggerated but I have never stayed in front of a TV more than 30 minutes ever! I was reading a lot of newspapers and magazines to check any opportunities for meeting like-minded people around the metro.  I then started backpacking in Ilocos, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Bacolod and Guimaras Island. I only got 15 days vacation leave so these are the only travels I can afford in a year. I also went home in Bicol for 32 hours, only to realize it is better not go home at all than staying there in a very short time!

My travels are very few compared to those who have all the time in the world but it gave me two life-changing events in a row. First, my trips to Ilocos gave me the opportunity to participate to the International Conference on Cultural Tourism and I have started the path of entrepreneurship as a freelance travel coordinator for local packages. Second, my story of travels will be featured in a local magazine to be released this March. We had a photo shoot in one of high end private college school in the metro last December.  I was a little bit awkward posing like a model since I have never done this before.

My friends also started calling me “a woman of events” because I roam around the metro meeting people and joining events about social media, digital marketing, culture and heritage, travel and tourism and entrepreneurship. I owe this to a blogger slash traveler slash entrepreneur I have met before whom I can say I mirrored what I am today from his image! I have since partnered with accredited travel agencies, freelance tour guides, joining travel events to get to know more about our tourism industry.I have taken a one day crash course about how to set up a home-based travel agency and will be taking another because I feel I still need to know more.

I feel happy arranging trips of random people because I know this is all in the name of fun for them. My mobile is full of unsaved numbers and email full of threads from my clients. I have never been this busy all my life. Indeed this line “Turn your passion into a job and you will never work a day in your life.” I never get tired at all because this is what I love to do. I will also be in Palawan in a few weeks from now to spend my birthday for 5 days but it’s going to be a half- vacation and half – work trip. I will be looking for contacts to setup my own Palawan tour package there. Preferably I want to partner with locals not those established already so I can help them earn a living more. I can see myself building a travel agency soon but I don’t want to just rest on selling travel packages, I want to build my own startup company out of this. Now this will be another story I will post soon.

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