Top 10 Things I’m Grateful For in 2017

Every end of the year, I try to look back and list down the things I’m grateful for just because I don’t want to take all the blessings I’ve received for granted. It also reminds me that those things happened not because of myself. The ultimate reason was God, His favor, and next to it were the contributions of the people around me, regardless if they’re big or small. For this year, I tried to list down as much as I can in my journal, and the following ten topped my list, in no particular order.

1. Life of My Loved Ones and Friends

My family, my loved ones, my VG-mates, church family, and my friends are my support system. Sometimes they know me more than I know myself. I thank the Lord every day for their lives because they’re my inspiration, and source of both encouragement and rebuke. I’m still a work in progress and it’s more fun to surpass this journey knowing that I have them just around the corner.

2. Travel Breakthroughs

I explored South Korea, Thailand, Macau, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Bacolod, Puerto Galera, Bukidnon, Mt. Pamitinan, and Negros Occidental for the first time this year. I was also given the chance to revisit Hong Kong and Palawan. Aside from my own travel fund, some trips wouldn’t be complete without my mom, of course.

3. Scriptonym Writing Services

I know this sole proprietorship still has a long way to go, but I’m grateful because Scriptonym Writing Services has provided most for me this year. To my clients, just in case you’re reading this, thank you so much for trusting a 23-year-old girl. I’m looking forward to more years of business with you. May God bless your endeavors!

4. Bonding with the Indigenous People

For some reason, my heart beats for the indigenous people. I was ecstatic when Reach Manila conducted the medical and dental mission, and gift giving activities for the Aetas this year. Indeed, sharing the love of the Lord to other people either through service or sharing gives joy. What a privilege to see the simplicity and beauty of their culture! It was an experience I’ll treasure for a lifetime.

5. First Bylines in a Magazine

I’ve been a ghostwriter for quite some time now so seeing my bylines in a magazine was really a big deal for me. It was definitely a bucket list, kilig moment. I’ll forever be grateful to the creative director who trusted me with the Profiles magazine project. I can’t wait for more in 2018.

6. First Sponsored International Trip

Until now, I still can’t believe a travel agency really provided for my accommodation, van transfers and tours in Bangkok, Thailand. Thank you, BC Travel and Tours Corp! I can’t wait for my travels lined up with you in 2018! Thank you for trusting me again!

7. Mistakes and Lessons Learned

Mistakes and failures teach me most about life. This year, I’ve said things I probably shouldn’t have said; I’ve hurt a few people; I’ve abused myself; I’ve disappointed God. The biggest lessons I think I learned this year were: (1) to avoid being impulsive, (2) take care of your health, (3) be patient, (4) practice humility, (5) pray about anything, (6) wait on the Lord, and (7) to really look on the blessings rather than the sad plights. Of course, no one is good and perfect apart from God, but I try my best to pray about the things both other people and I don’t like about myself. I’m sorry to the people I’ve hurt in any way, whether I know it or not. Please help me pray to also overcome my weakest points.

8. New Friends

Shout out to Team Arayat, #OnHigherGround roommates, churchmates, new friends from RRD, and the people I’ve spent memories with this year. As cheesy as it sounds, I’d like to thank you guys for simply coming into my life.

9. Redirection and Revelations

Receiving a personal word from God is incomparable. It helps you grow in faith and it gives you direction, knowing that God is leading you somewhere and He wants you to do specific things. I always experience awe whenever God tells or reveals something to me through the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and other people. I mean, who am I to even receive a word from the One who created this world? This year, I have received several personal revelations again. They required sacrifice, obedience, audacious faith, and above all, trust in the Lord. They weren’t easy and until now, I still plead God would give me the capacity to obey Him when He tells me something without negotiations and reservations.

10. Exciting Opportunities in 2018

During the last quarter of 2017, God has opened doors and has given me new opportunities to continuously grow as a person, a daughter, a sister, a writer, and a young entrepreneur this coming 2018. I can’t wait to reveal them soon! I worry about things sometimes, and it’s comforting to know that everything is falling into place because Someone up there is controlling everything.

 

How about you? Have you listed the things you’re grateful for this 2018? Go ahead and thank our Lord for them because He’s the ultimate source of those blessings. Have a blessed and wonderful new year ahead!

11-hour Macau Day Tour with Klook

We’ve known Macao (traditional) or Macau (modern) as the casino capital of the world. With a land area of 30.5 square kilometers, this Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China has about 650,000 population. Quite ironically, Macau is composed of 36 casinos and 17 Catholic churches. It’s widely influenced by the Portuguese culture as it was colonized by the Portuguese from the 1500s to 1999. 

For the second time, I went to Hong Kong with my family last November. Since we weren’t able to visit Macau during our first visit in 2014, I decided to avail a Macau day tour from Klook. This post is not sponsored by Klook, but I decided to mention them because I really learned a lot from this tour. Our tour guide, Mario, mentioned numerous noteworthy facts about Macau, its history, their current way of living, the people, the government, future improvements, and more.

Listed below are the places we visited on our 11-hour Macau day tour, plus other inclusions.

 Macau Tower

                                        

Standing 338-meter tall, this tower holds the “highest bungee jump spot in the world” title. It has 63 floors and is also known as Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre. If you’re not that into an extreme adventure, you may opt to shop, dine or watch a movie in Macau Tower.

 Grand Emperor Hotel

  

Owned by the rich and famous superstar Jackie Chan, this casino-hotel exudes luxury as it has 78 pure gold bars in the lobby. Each gold bar weighs 1 kg. and is embedded on the floor. Another “attractions” here are the physically attractive Roman guards. Oops!

 A-Ma Temple

We also visited a Chinese temple of the sea-goddess Mazu. The best part of dropping by here is being able to buy a box of mouthwatering Portuguese egg tarts nearby. I’m not a fan of tarts but I was able to finish three of those in just one sitting. Yes, it’s that good.

 Senado Square

Senado Square

This UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site is a must-see for tourists because of its picturesque architecture. The 3,700-square meter square has a business and a religious zone. It’s ideal for shopping, although you might need to brave a sea of people during weekends so be cautious of pickpockets.

 The Ruins of St. Paul’s

Another spot that holds the UNESCO stamp in Macau is The Ruins of St. Paul’s. It was built in 1602, and was burnt down on 1835, leaving only the granite facade, some artifacts, and 68 stone steps.

 St. Dominic’s Church

st. dominic church

You’ll see this yellow Catholic church in the middle of Senado Square. Built by Spanish-Dominican priests, it’s considered the 31st world heritage location in China.

 The Venetian Macao

                                     Macau Day Tour

This is probably one of the most popular casinos in Macau. It’s a close replica of Venice in Italy – both in structure and ambiance. We stayed here only for a few minutes to explore and take some photos.

 Kum Iam Statuegoddess of mercy

This bronze statue is located on the manmade island in Macau, the Outer Harbor. They call her Kum Iam, the Chinese Buddhist goddess of mercy.

 Other Inclusions

Aside from pick-up and drop-off from and to B.P. International Hotel in Hong Kong, the fare for the 1-hour ferry ride back and forth Hong Kong and Macau are also included in the package. Our buffet lunch at Metropark Hotel Macau was also included.

 

For less than P5,500 per pax, the tour is already sulit for us. So if you’re also planning to go on a side trip to Macau from Hong Kong, I highly suggest that you avail their 11-hour Macau day tour package. Again, this post is not sponsored by Klook, but I’m writing as a satisfied client. 🙂 I hope you learned something from this entry. Have a great day ahead!