I’m Over the Moon, Way Over It!


“August 27th will be your medical exam at St Luke’s and if all is ok your visa and flight ticket, you will fly to this country on Sept. 20th”. Damn! I freeze for a while after hearing this… too good to be true. Yes I always love the idea of travelling to different places for vacation pero esta vez estoy desgarrado entre su salida y permanenciabut this time I am torn between leaving and staying.  This is not the usual 3 days and 2 nights or over the weekend kind of travel that I am used to instead this means I have to move abroad for a few years on a job contract.  I am one of those Filipinos who dream for a greener pasture abroad in exchange of more convenient lifestyle until all of a sudden I detoured when I learned about this entrepreneurship and location – independent style of living. I just took a few steps to the path of being my own boss and I am loving it so much. I am all set to build my own startup company as a founder on my way to look for co-founders who share the same vision that I have then a kick-ass mobile app. But it seems that there is a greater force that is trying to intervene against my will. And who am I to say   that I am the only one who knows the best for me?

Anyway enough drama for now instead I want to share with you my recent weekend filled with culture and heritage kind of events I joined.  Even though I sell tour packages and festival slots, I don’t have any qualms about the do-it-yourself way in fact myself I do this because most of the time I am alone travelling.  I also love joining free tours, countless museum visits, roundtable discussion and photowalks organized by the country’s best heritage enthusiasts. From Lawrence Chan’s art deco tour of Metropolitan Theater , to Paulo Alcazaren’s talks about Manila’s architecture and urban living, Michael Charles Chua’s  The Parisian Life painting of Juan Luna and a lot more.  Of course my top favorites are Ambeth Ocampo and Carlos Celdran. If they were my teachers during my history subjects way back when I was a student, I would probably declare them as my best teachers. 

Eid-Ul-Fitr Celebration of our Muslim Friends

Friday, I once again “reunited” with Couchsurfing Manila – a community of travelers for a photowalk to Muslim Town of Quiapo. I haven’t joined them for such a long time as I am busy but I want to credit this site for giving me a few opportunities and meeting like-minded people. For those who are not aware of Couchsurfing – it is the facebook for travelers. Let me share you a few photos. I love photographing the women wearing their traditional clothes: abaya and headscarves. I so love the most the kids because they are so cute wearing these. They let us get inside the vicinity of the Mosque at Globo de Oro St but not really inside where they pray. Then we walked around and we see a lot of food stalls selling Halal food, the street-style though.






Saturday, I went to My Filipinas: The Heritage Talks Session 1 at Intramuros.  I love the talk of Carlos Celdran, sharing his slides about heritage. And it is not that dead boring kind of I used to when I was a student. You chuckle, you laugh and you giggle while you hear him talking.  It was the first time I hear him talking about tourism as the newly appointed Manila's Tourism Consultant. As how I understood it,

[As usual] There is no enough funds for our tourism campaign so he encourages everyone to do volunteerism in whatever way they can to help uplift Manila's tourism environment. He will start to do tours NOT to the foreigners but the locals to make them more appreciative of our own culture and heritage. He will conduct a lot of free walking tours, renovate the streets of some of the historical places in Manila: CCP, Luneta, Quiapo, Paco, Sta Ana, Intramuros, Ermita and Malate thru the help of Architect Paulo Alcazaren. If these are successfully done, you can literally walk alone at night secured to these places. He said to stop posting trivial history facts online, but get off your ass and do what you can do.

Screengrab from Carlos Celdran's Facebook Fan Page

One of Ambeth Ocampo's must - listen to history talks. 

I also love the talk of Ivan Man Dy, he is the founder of Old Manila Walks - an 8 year old renowned organizer of walking tours. He combined his love for culture and heritage to entrepreneurship. He brings people to heritage-rich districts for a fee by doing tours.   I can totally relate to him in every words he is saying since we do  the same. The only difference is he has gone a long way and me I just started.

So there you go, I am literally over the moon now, way over it of so many things that are happening beyond my control and beyond my will. I am not saying that I have been an expert by joining to these kind of events or being with these heritage advocates and enthusiasts.  Just that I am always bumping to them a lot of times.  Whether I push through to move abroad or stay, I am ready for anything that will happen along the way. 

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