July 16, 2017

Pointers for Newly Grads (and Not-So-Newly Grads)

Graduation Day with my Blockmates (March 26, 2010 DLSU-Dasmariñas)

"If you want something to hold on to, you have to have it first". And for you newly grads, you've just earned it, congratulations! They kept on telling you months before the ceremonies that "you'll soon be part of the real world", and before you knew it, you're already in it. The thing is, what is the real world? How do you take on it?

The real world is a world that is solely your own. A place where you can be whatever you want to be-with just one simple condition, you have to work for it. It doesn't always involve spending an 8-10 hour daily shifts at the office, or month-long preparations to land a starting point to a career path. Sometimes, the struggles that are in between are the ones you have to do extra work on. Surely there will be moments like "I got hired! But do I really want this job?" or "I hate this company, but is there something about this place that will help me get through to the next level?", such trade-offs and contradictions that honestly has struck our minds and my heart probably a hunderd times.

I know I'm not in a position to tell you how to be successful, for neither I am not at this moment. But as I write this, I guess I can tell you how I saw this journey and how I am seeing it now as I go through it. Here are a few tips I can share as we go through it together:

Set an ultimate goal for yourself.


On a deep chat conversation with my cousin Carmeline - a lawyer and somebody who I look up to as one of my mentors, she told me that "Everything ends and begins with your solid desire". One should be clear as to what he/she wants. Then, you push yourself towards that direction. Not always easy, she exclaimed, but you will make it. My drama king self still gets a tear or two every time I read what she said.

Ate Carm also told me that one should not be afraid of moving from a job to another. Because after all, it's not really quitting, it's calibrating your map towards that one specific goal. It may take you two or three of five jobs to finally get to your goal, but in the end, the sweetness of being in and living that dream is definitely rewarding. So as long as you don't have that goal, you'll just be floating in a big pool of a life with no reason. If you still don't have that dream, look for it, reflect, explore. It was my 27th birthday when she told these words to me which made me realise how I've been living my life without that ultimate goal. Now that I found my ultimate goal (a month after our conversation), I realise how scary it was not to have it.

Mistakes makes us smarter, makes us stronger. 


You've probably heard this one from a thousand people a million times over and over again. But to tell you, it's true. As of now to be honest, I can't consider myself as someone who is strong. I think I have made just a few mistakes in school, in life, in work. Not because I'm smart or I'm good at things, but it's because I'm afraid to try.

On a film I watched starring Shirley Maclaine, her character Harriet said that "We should all fall on our face". We've all been there right? Even if it's about school, or with love, or with life as we know it, we've all tripped and landed face down. For me, those moments aren't to be erased or be forgotten for those are the times where slips leave a mark where we least want it, thus will always make us remember how we made it through on such misfortunes.

Be Fearless. 


I'm not telling you to yell at your manager for being unfair, or join that interest group at work that teaches you how to ride a motorcycle with blindfolds on. Being fearless requires a strong heart that can resonate within yourself that "You can be whatever you want to be".

The world is very accepting right now. Your degree may be in finance, but the world of fashion awaits you just as long as you take that chance. A framed "Bachelor of Science in Computer Science" diploma can actually be a ticket to being one of the best Geographers in the world. If you're college course led you to a path that you really wanted, then good for you! But if not, it's not the end of the world for us millennials. We're young, we're fearless, we can make it happen, I trust in you!

Go back to school. Learn further, farther. 


Some of us dread school and for a lot of graduates, the only thing they miss about going to uni are their classmates and friends, never the schooling process. But I tell you, if you really want to go far, Graduate School may be your magic carpet to that palace in the clouds you are longing for. I spent a year in Master's but yes, I did well during my time but still, I stopped.

At first, I thought graduate school is not for me but then I realise, I'm just taking the wrong course, the wrong field. So right now do I want to go to Graduate School? By all means, Yes! But this time, I'll follow not what's required of me, but what field my heart really wants in, what my mind wants to learn more about. Oh I imagine how learning is when you're studying something you are passionate about.

You have to deserve it. 


I got this on a ride home from Manila with my cousin Caren Viniegra, who is also like most of you (yes you, reader!) who just graduated college and will be entering Law school. She got this statement from one of her older sisters Carmina (Carmeline is their eldest sister, how can you not love these siblings?). Caren told me that no matter how smart you are or how capable you are of doing something, if you don't work hard for it, then it will not be given to you. You have to earn it. When she said this, it sent me shivers.

There were times when I had this silent overconfidence within myself, about myself. On a job application as a corporate auditor for a prestigious airline company, I can say I did well every interview by showing them who I am, but I did not end up having the position. To be honest, the fact that I reached that fifth and final interview despite having a different college degree and job experiences that are way too far than what the position requires, it makes me smile as I look back to it. through that experience, I realise that aside from the thought that maybe God wants me somewhere else than there, I did not land the job because I did not deserve it. Not because I'm not smart enough or I lack experience, but because I did not prepare enough.

If you want it, you have to deserve it. Earn it by working hard for it.

***

I haven't been to were I wanted to be, but I know it all depends on myself, and God of course, to be on that very place. Being there won't be as smooth for some as it is easier for others, but all the efforts, the risks, and the hard work will definitely payoff once you're there. But to "be there", remember, you have to dream, fail, stand up, learn, and deserve it.

Graduation Day (March 26, 2010 - DLSU-Dasmariñas)

Never Stop Pushing!
Steve
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July 11, 2017

How do we Move On from Love?

Camiguin Sunset January 2015

"Love comes to us on times when we least expect it" - we get to hear this a lot but who can ever deny this fact? No matter how we shield our hearts and stay away from cupid's arrows, there's always that chance that it will hit a bulls eye right at the very center. But once all the love and care and concern starts to fail, how do we get to move on from it? Or worse, do we really move on from such love?

We can never tell that a love is true, unless we have something to compare it with. A past relationship or sometimes, through an experience by a friend or somebody close to us. Experiences really do play a big part on how we become wise not just with other aspects in life but also in love, especially in love. Saddest thing is, most of the time, love can only be proven true once it is ending. When it's over, the hurt isn't just emotional, you can even feel it physically with your body feeling different as it normally should. The big question is, how do get away from the hurt?

There's nothing much you can do to than to let it pass. As cliche as it may sound, aside from prayers, only time can do the healing. There are situations that can make moving on easier, but after all, nothing is easy when it comes to love. Love is something we don't impose and losing love and taking it out of your system is also a process that one can never truly master. But here's a few things that might help:

Distance


One of the most helpful thing is to distance yourself with your past love. Distance makes us realize a lot of things that will never touch our minds when we are near our used-to-be-special-someone. Through their absence, you'll realize how much of yourself you have provided to him, how much time and care and effort you have selflessly given to her, and yes, also through distance, you'll find yourself longing for that attachment you once had with that person. Distance can either make you or break you; thus you have to be strong. 

On the other hand, some others can never get this 'distance' thing going on a place where life left them as they part ways. This happens when you are in the same class with your ex-girlfriend, or you work at the same company with your ex-boyfriend, believe me, this is unimaginable. Seeing him or her every single day makes moving on way harder. There will be days that you just hate seeing them or even the slightest hint of their voice will irritate your hearing. And days will also come where you long for their company, their scent, their stare, their love.

Finding Your Next Love


Depending on the level of moving on that you are in when you decide to "bring on the next", searching for your next Mister Right or Dream Girl can both be good and bad at the same time. Besides, we enter a relationship hoping to find someone that will be our last. We don't usually enter a relationship just to have somebody 'for the mean time' but to have somebody to love for the rest of our lives. The thing is, if we are not yet ready as we do our search, the next one could just end up as a rebound.

Rebound relationships doesn't end up bad at all times, because there are accounts when the rebound turns out to be 'The One'. But always think selflessly. What if you found out that you are just a rebound? Someone who is just being used as a shield against an ex-lover, an ex-lover who is still the apple of their eye. It will hurt so much wouldn't it? So make sure you are ready and have moved on before you enter another relationship, Karma is a big bad bitch so better be on the good side of it.

Acceptance


Accept that you have loved. Accept that no matter if you were loved or not, you did love, you did exert time, effort, and most of all, feelings. Things that can never be taken back. What's hard is that when we love truly, it really never goes, it just diminishes or weakens, but it never fades completely even through time. We should accept the fact that the hurt will always be there but we can use it to make things better, to make the next relationship stronger.

Also, never regret ever loving. Because when you look back, it did made you happy, it did give you unexplained joy, we just don't know if the other person felt that way too.

Closure


This is probably one of the biggest 'gifts' one from a failing relationship can get. As much as we admit it or not, closure is very important. Why did it fail? Can it still be fixed? If not, can at least friendship be regained? Or if not again, will there be anything that can be taken from it that will give both parties peace of mind? Closure is the biggest ingredient in the recipe to bake the delicious moving-on pie. It gives you peace, serenity, and just the answers to all your questions why it all fell out.

Did he ever love me? Was she ever true to me in the first place? Was everything I did for him, worth even a little bit of something? As long as our minds are clouded by all these questions, moving on is a few million light years away. But the sad thing about this is the fact that not every ending relationship receives closure. As to any partnership, there's always one that gives more and another that gives less and unfortunately, closure can be one of the things deprived by someone to somebody.

Closure is very important especially for people who haven't love so much in their lives. Those that have guarded their heart for a long time and suddenly find themselves face to face with their first love, their one-true-love (at the moment) and also seeing it fade from sight at their very eyes. Just when everyone their age is starting to build homes and families, some people are just starting to get to know their first love. Sometimes, life gives love to a person a little late and that's when it's most crushing. The feeling that any time of the day, the bolts on your mind will just loosen. The false relativity that their fresh and immature minds think that an ending relationship equates to a relationship that has no love after all. This is wrong, well most of the time, because sometimes, some people are just afraid of the elements, contained on a certain situation, that they can't simply express how much they love a person.

Honestly, there are times that even as you look back all the love, you will still question it all in the end because closure is a big way to express appreciation and to show that even if the relationship, or for some cases, the would-have-been-relationship failed, everything that happened was real. Every feeling felt, every smile shown, every time shared, every text message, every video call, every funny joke, every thought - Closure affirms and makes you accept that despite the ending, everything that happened was all worth it, that everything was real. Even if your efforts weren't given a 'Thank You'. Even if your kindness and thoughts didn't seem to be appreciated. Even if the closest answer to your 'I Love You' was 'Maybe' and never an 'I Love You Too'.

***

To you who's been lucky enough to be somebody's first love, take care of it. You have no idea how hard it is for somebody to finally open up their locked heart, and give their all to somebody for the very first time. You don't have to feel the same way if you really don't. But please, at least give importance to that love so pure, so innocent, so immature. You may not be his or her last love, but at least you can make him or her a better person not by breaking them, but by being a great person that someone will remember forever with a smile. His or her next love story will always depend on the kind of movie you will be starring in for them. Never forget that this might be your fourth, fifth, or tenth feature film-for him, it's his very first. First love, first heartache, first heartbreak. Finally, as much as you can, please don't hurt him.

In the End, How do we totally move on from a love? We never really do...

Never Stop Loving!
Steve

This post is my entry for this week's "Our World Tuesday" where family-friendly bloggers share images of their world and tell us a little bit of the story about the place. If you wish to see more amazing stories from different parts of the world and do a virtual tour from their side of town, Click on THIS LINK

July 8, 2017

They Say: "What I Miss About DLSU-D"


"Hail! Hail Alma Mater! Hail to De La Salle!". Remembering the time while I was singing these lines on my Graduation Day last March of 2010, with so much heart and might just gives me chills. Nothing like it gives me a strong feeling of pride that for once in my life, and forever will, I shall bleed green.

Truly, one of the biggest things in my life that I am certainly proud and thankful of, is the fact that I am a La Sallian. For four years as a La Sallian student and another five years as a La Sallian educator, the culture and the heart of this Green institution has brought me to places I have never thought I'd be in.

Magdalo Gate (Gate 1 as we call it during our times)

But there are a lot of things that we really miss and remember after all those years. Specific memories like lunches at Jefcee's involving friends, Burger Steaks, and Shakes, early morning prayers during examination week at the University Chapel, lively conversations at the JFH kubo with your barkada as you show them your best impressions of your worst professors, and just the walking and walking and running and walking towards your next class at the other side of the campus.

Let's here what my dearest brothers and sisters from DLSU-D say as they answer "What do I miss about DLSU-D?"


Ian Lordeo G
BS Human Biology 2009
"3 things I miss in DLSUD: [1] Food at the Square Canteen. There's a lot of food choices like the pasta in Oven Maid and Ate Siony's Pork sisig. [2] Walking along the University Avenue - Gives me time to think of what to do and also meet friends. And last but definitely not least, [3] the very loving and nurturing professors and staff. I'll surely go back to Dasma whenever I have the time."

Maria Cristina P
BS Computer Science 2000
"I miss the feeling of being home while at DLSU-D. It has a breathtaking environment welcoming me each day which made my student-life delightful. I miss the La Sallian community, my professors and classmates. I love hearing messages in the Chapel too!"
Mervin M
Master of Business Administration 2009
"When I was studying at DLSU-D, my classroom is at the CBA Building which is located at the middle of the campus. Being a huge campus, I used to walk from the gate to the CBA Building. That's what I miss most. The long walk going to my class."
Mervin Marasigan is the owner of one of the Philippines' best travel blogs "Pinoy Adventurista" - visit it at http://www.pinoyadventurista.com/

Anne Mary Jay O
BS Information Technology 2014
"What I miss about DLSUD is the "homey" feeling when you are inside the campus. The chill vibe and the feeling like you are one with nature (not to mention we are the greenest campus). You know the feeling when you just can't wait to leave, but when the time comes, you'll feel a little bit of sadness. Unexpected #sepanx it is!"
Anne Oliveros is also a blogger and she is now based in Singapore. You can check out her spot at http://anneoliveros.wordpress.com/

Radzma D
BS Industrial Engineering 2006
"Definitely the long walks from Gate 3 to our classroom buildings, passing through the university oval, that's one thing I will never forget. Aside from that, being in the library on my vacant periods, sitting on the floor, reading every pocket book and novel I can get my hands on."


Marianne G
AB Communication Arts 2005
"DLSU -D has been my home for 4 years. This is where my personality was harnessed, where I was able to appreciate life even more, as I realized that not everyone or every student are privileged to study in this university. There are a lot of things or people that I miss here. First is my TWI family, Lani, Shinna, Chow, Dessa, Zan, Maroe, and Tina. The years of studies and exams every semester have been tough and I couldn't have made it without them with our every day pikunan, kulitan, and tawanan at the end of the day.

I miss walking at the EDSA pathway or the main road from Gate 1 going to Square Canteen just like fall season because as you walk with other students, leaves from the trees are falling as well. (MTV emote emote). I miss the buko juice from SBS canteen, the sisig of aling minervas, the stromboli from square canteen, and of course Jataynas! And of course, I miss my favorite professors Sir Geslani and Miss Sigari.

Being in the university is not just about studying or learning, it is about touching lives, respecting people, and faith in God which De La Salle has instilled in me. The feeling of being in La Salle, the atmosphere, it really is different."

Marianne Gobres also writes on her blog as Lakwatserang Cavitenia. Visit her blog at http://lakwatserangcavitenia.blogspot.com/

Sheryl K
BS Computer Science 1998
"What i miss about DLSUD, my alma mater, eventhough I work here, is the serene, tranquil atmosphere when I walk from what we then call "coastal", the straight route now from Rotonda to the University Food Square. Perhaps because between the school population then and now, you can even reflect while walking because of the defeaning silence going to that route.

Also, the food in the canteen. Back in the days, Ate Aning, the owner of A's canteen, the biggest canteen then, used to serve us their staple dish like Giniling(ground pork) with egg, which was super tasty, promise!! And their Hamonado(meatloaf) and Lechon Kawali(fried pork). This canteen was memorable to us because it serves food good for two, so were able to share so we can save!

Lastly, our beloved professors, who had different and great impact in our lives, who taught us everything they knew about life and academics, who has set the path that we have taken that lead us to where we are right now. To them, we will forever be grateful."


Ferdie Ray L
BS Management Accounting 2010
"What I really miss about DLSU-D is the serenity of the place. Students and professors can find a perfect spot where they can study, chit-chat, or even have picnics under the shades of big trees while listening to the chirping birds. Besides from being conducive for the above-mentioned activities, we consider it as a second home because we feel safe, loved, and nurtured inside the University. DLSU-D is truly an Alma Mater - a "nourishing mother"."

Kimberly C
BS Computer Science 2014
"There are a lot of times, even right after graduation, that I was asked this question and I just smiled every time. There are lots of things to include in the list but the people of De La Salle University - Dasmariñas definitely topped. You can never see people like them anywhere else as their differences are bound by one love, love for their Alma Mater."

Anthony C
AB Psychology 2011
"An environment friendly school, near my favorite computer shop, with a lot of beautiful ladies taking AB Psychology? Unforgettable haha! But most of all, those who have imprinted something on your mind helping you grow and be a better person."




***

We all have reasons why we miss our beloved Alma Mater, but as a true blooded Patriot, these things will live on every single day for the rest of our lives. We may have spent just four, five, or even seven years in DLSU-D, but these experiences and memories will always be as colorful as a beautiful movie in our minds and in our hearts.

Lake La Salle / University Lagoon

As I always tell my students before, "I am proud to be from La Salle, but it is forever an honor to be from La Salle Dasma."

Never Stop Being A La Sallian! 
Steve

THEY SAY is a segment on my blog which features a little survey where I asked a few of my friends and readers about a certain subject. A Topic is started and they would respond in the way it applies to their lives and experiences.

June 20, 2017

Pizza Volante at Wright Park

Pizza Volate - Wright Park, Baguio City

People associate Baguio City with it's year-round cooler temperature than any metro in the country. But for me honestly, Baguio City is all about food. With it's mild and cool climate, perfect for growing the freshest produce, Baguio City boasts of its high grade greens and veggies which makes every single food item a magical ingredient.

We were supposed to go to the Ilocos region in celebration of my cousin Judy's birthday, but we decided to cut our trip short and visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan. After we heard mass and said our prayers to Mama Mary, we decided to go up the Cordilleras and have lunch at Baguio City. Baguio City is nestled atop the province of Benguet, in the Cordillera mountain range, the reason why it has way better temperatures during these hot months, also the reason it is dubbed at the Summer Capital of the Philippines.

My friend Myrcel at Pizza Volante

Located roughly 246 kilometers north of Manila, we reached Baguio City in search of Lunch. Yes! We drove all the way up (5,000 ft altitude) just for a good and hearty lunch. Quickly, we have decided to have it at Pizza Volante. Around 9 years ago, me and my brother Wilson went up to Baguio and have tried Pizza Volante on their Session Road branch so I suggested we try their food the their place just in front of the famous Wright Park, near the Mansion.

The place is cute with a log-cabin inspired store with quite a few outdoor seats. We opted to be seated outside to enjoy the beautiful cool afternoon that it was. It was around 2 in the afternoon but the temperature is a perfect 24 degrees. Our kind server asked us for our orders and just as usual, we ordered all the same thing. But aside from our steaks, we also got a plate of pasta and a pan pizza for sharing.

Our hungry Birthday celebrant Judy waiting for Lunch

Note: Since the restaurant is located just across Wright Park, where horseback riding is an popular activity, we recommend taking the indoor tables.

But since the stench that time was not that strong, we seated comfortably on the outdoor seats, chatting right after we said our orders. We all ordered Porterhouse Steaks - all three of them had theirs Medium Well and mine, my usual Medium Rare. Let me run you through the dishes we had that lunch time.

Pasta Putanesca (Php 225.00)

Spaghetti Pasta topped with sauce made of Tomatoes, anchovies, black and green olives, and topped with parmesan cheese. Since this is a pasta dish, let me start with the noodles. It was a borderline of good and soggy. The consistency was passable but I have to be honest, it does bother me every time I chew on it.

But the sauce was another story. It was seasoned well, just perfectly to bring out the real taste of its ingredients. I also have to commend the amount of time that they used to cooked the sauce because the tomatoes and olives are not too chunky (I hate sauces with undercooked veggies - it's a sauce ok, not a salad). So overall, I think this was a good dish, but yes, the mid-soggy noodles were a bit bothering to me.

Porterhouse Steak - 250 g (Php 229.00)

So this was our main course, four plates of this one, each for one of us! This was a little disappointing for me. This one was served cold. I mean, not the cold cold from the fridge of course, but way colder than how you should serve a newly cooked meal. For the price of 229 pesos, which was super cheap for a 250 g steak to be honest, it was okay. But still, even for a low price, they should have done better.

Served with gravy, corsican rice, and mixed vegetables, I thought I was the only one with the cold steak since I ordered Medium Rare, but even for my friends who ordered it Medium Well, they did have the same findings. At first I thought it was the weather that it made it so cold so fast, but I don;t think it is since as our kind server handed us the plates, we started to dig in.

As per the menu, this were grilled over Lava rocks, so maybe I thought this is how it ends up when you cook them in that way. But I'm sure they can do so much better than this one. I think they should cut the steak proportionally too as to distribute the heat evenly , because my steak in particular, has a big flap of meat over the other so when I opened the fold, it was too rare on the inner parts where-in I can still see the shiny silvery things aside from the expected bloody finish.

10 inch Half Marengo - Half Kenny George (Php 269.00)

From a disappointing dish, let's move on to our last dish that did made me smile. Really, their pizza is their forte. From the perfect texture of their cheese (not just because of a high grade cheese but because of the perfect amount of time to melt it) to its amazing dough, this is a delight! I mean, just take a look at that photo above. You can see how perfectly kneaded the flatbread is on its crust. Not too thin but not too thick. And unlike the steak, this was served on a better temperature (still not perfectly hot though to tell you the truth).

Note: You can order your pizzas half-and-half (half of a flavor and half of another) on their 10 inch pan pizzas.

This oven-baked dish really saved the day for me. If not for this pizza, I wouldn't have written this article about our lunch at Volante but hey, I guess with this, they can do a better job on their other dishes, and not just with their Pizza.

***

Will I go back to Volante the next time I visit Baguio City? Probably yes! Will i order steak again, maybe I'll pass on the steak. But Pizza? Definitely! They still have a lot of pizzas for me to try which really gave me a hard time what to choose - Sardines and Mushroom Pizza, Chili con Carne Pizza, and Pizza Putanesca to name some of their works of art.

See more stories about their own places on earth at Our World Tuesdays

Never Stop Tasting!
Steve

Food Photograph credits to my best friend Rjay Miranda

June 17, 2017

Jusangjeolli and Jeongbang Waterfalls - Jeju Island Series Part 3

Striking a Pose by the Jeongbang Waterfalls

On our third day at South Korea, and also our third and last day in Jeju island, we decided to visit the nearby spots on our hotel. We were staying at Days Hotel Jeju Seogwipo Ocean located at the southern part of Jeju island province. We fixed all our things on our luggage so that when we get back from our short morning nature trip around the city, we'll be ready to go to the airport to board our evening flight back to Seoul.

First up, we decided to visit the Jusangjeolli Cliff. Located about 20 kilometers west from our hotel, the cliffs are one of the famous attractions in the south of Jeju. Tourists flock to see the basalt rock formations on the side of the sea. Since Jeju is an island formed by prehistoric volcanic eruptions, this unusual landscape is one of its products.

Ate Judy, Me, and Kuya Wilson at Jusangjeolli Cliff

We rode a cab that took us straight to the attraction. We passed by beautiful condominium complexes and university buildings that are built aesthetically. Everything was paved beautifully and everywhere you look, plants and trees are just growing together with the city's urbanisation. In about 25 minutes, we arrived to our destination.

It was amazing when we arrived because there was no entrance fee during that day, this is because of the month-long Spring Festival that the city is celebrating. It was a big thrill because this means that other attractions will also be free of charge because of this celebration. They call this month-long occasion as the "April Spring Scent".

Free admission that day due to "April Spring Scent"

We walked just a few feet away from the entrance and the springtime breeze from the ocean just started to embrace us, and then there it is. We are standing on a wooden structure built above the beautiful towering basalt rocks as the wind blew so strong! I was holding on to my glasses since I kept on switching from sunglasses to my corrective lenses but my cousin Judy did not escape the joking breeze when she dropped her sunglasses. Don't worry, it was not on the cliff side, but on the safe side. We waited for the other visitors to pass by us before I dived and reached for it.

Read about the first part of my Korean Adventure here: Roadmap to Jeju - Jeju Island Series Part 1

My Mommy and the amazing view of the Jusangjeolli Cliff.

After a few more pictures and breathing in the fragrant ocean breeze, we walked all the way up. I love the spring weather! The sun is up high but it doesn't feel harsh to my skin because the cool wind brushes it off.

Just before we left, I saw a tent with an elder Korean guy tending a table with an array of beautiful postcards. I checked each of it and read from its info that the photos were taken by just one name. Then I asked the man and found out that all these photos are taken by him. They are amazing photographs that feature the variety of scenes all around the island of Jeju.

All these postcards and photos are taken by the kind Korean man beside me

I bought a few cards as souvenirs and a few gifts to some friends abroad and then we decided to go to our next attraction. We wanted to see a waterfall but we can't really decide which waterfall to visit since there's quite a few even in Seogwipo itself. Finally, we decided that we will be visiting Jeongbang Falls which is just about a mile away from the hotel. So we walked all the way out from the attraction park to the highway and took a cab all the way to the waterfalls.

See more of Jeju Island including Udo island, Seongsan Ilchulbong here: Udo Island and Seongsan Ilchulbong- Jeju Island Series Part 2

We arrived at the heart of Seogwipo and into the seaside where we were dropped off by our cab. We walked all the way inside and reached the beginning of the stairs that descents from the top, all the way to the base of Jeongbang Waterfalls. Even from the middle of the stairs, you will already have a picturesque view of the waterfalls that cascades all the way to the open sea.

Jeongbang Waterfalls

It was majestic! When I was younger, I always feared waterfalls, especially the force and the sound that it makes, it scares me for real. But then I grew and with it grew my love and appreciation for this beautiful body of water that just brings out life and energy to a destination.

There were a lot of tourists that time when we arrived there just past noontime but its beauty is just enchanting. It is the very first waterfall that I have seen that shares a view with an open sea so it was quite astonishing just to be there, stand silently, and just feel the presence of God's creation.

Right after a few pictures and video shots, we decided it was time to go back to the city and grab some lunch before we head back to Jeju International Airport to catch our evening flight going back to the mainland. It was a quick, fast day but these spectacular sights just made all of it extra special.

See you again, Seogwipo!

***

Never Stop Being Amazed!
Steven

June 5, 2017

Cafe 506

Cafe 506 (Photo by my best friend Rjay Miranda)

Celebrating my 27th birthday, my High School best friends asked if I have something to do that Sunday afternoon? I just got home from a trip to Tagaytay with my dad, brother Wilson, and cousin Judy when I said I have nothing going on after lunch. So they told me about their plans of visiting our friend at the hospital in Cavite City and we'll have lunch thereafter.

It was quite a talk before we finally decided to have our lunch at Cafe 506. Located at EPZA Diversion Road, Kawit, Cavite, Cafe 506 has a wide array of delicious goodies on their Menu. It was probably my 3rd or 4th visit that time and I can see how they continue to improve and add more dishes to their list.

Happy 27th to Me (Cafe 506 - June 4, 2017)

I would have to say that the place feels homey and nice. I'm sure they can further improve the overall feel of the place especially with the lighting. I know how lighting is a challenge for cafes especially during the daylight, if ever they want to let their guests have that certain feel of a cozy ambiance despite the strong sunlight but there are ways I'm sure.

The greeter led us to our table. The place was not packed on that Sunday afternoon but there were a few groups enjoying their meal as we passed them by going to our table by the east window. Our waiter took our orders and we were so happy when our food arrived after about 15 minutes. Here are the dishes we ordered, of course I took a taste test of each and every one of my friend's foods HAHA

Kim Cheese Rice Bowl (Php 198.00)

My best friend Rjay ordered the Kim Cheese Rice Bowl. This dish is probably their own take on the Korean Bibimbap. Although without the usual vegetables that are present on the traditional Bibimbap, they stir fried the rice on Korean Red Bean paste and rounded it all up with Korean Style Barbequed Beef. To finish it all, Fried egg on top!

The taste of the rice is definitely Korean. The red been paste was very present to the stir fried rice and I have to say, the sweetness and saltiness of the beef complimented the dish's overall taste. To be honest, it was a little too tasty for me because I would really like the taste of the beef (especially the fatty parts) to shine through but it has been overpowered by the seasonings of the beef.

Pancit Palabok (Php 98.00)

Now to me, this one is THE BOMB! Their Pancit Palabok, which was my friend Faith's order, tastes perfect for me. Not too bland, but not too salty, which is usually the problem to anyone's Pancit Palabok. This particular dish needs extra care when it comes to the seasonings especially the amount of Fish Sauce that has to go to its sauce. A little more than the right amount of Patis [fish sauce] can turn your Palabok into a bed of salt.

But this particular one, I have to say, is seasoned perfectly! The noodles on the other hand is boiled to its correct firmness. If I have to go back, I'll definitely order this one.

Pritchon (Php 160.00)

Our class Valedictorian Ferdie Ray decided on the Pritchon. It is the traditional Lechong Kawali or Deep Fried Pork Belly, served with garlic rice and fried egg. Nothing very special about this dish but I have to commend the correct amount of time it took them to fry this up because it is both cooked well and the skin is perfectly crispy.

Beef Lasanga (Php 188.00)

Our dear driver Myrcel (she's also one of my best friends of course) opted for the cafe's Beef Lasagna. It looks so good and oozing with so much cheese, I mean, who doesn't love cheese? The pasta was cooked perfectly, just like the other noodle dishes we ordered, but here's my take on the taste though. They tend to go on the sweeter side on this one, and I may say, it was too sweet for my liking.

For me, if you are to make beef dishes, it is of prime decadence to bring out that natural savory taste of beef. It is a taste that I can only find in beef, which is very crucial as to working on dishes that showcases it. In our family of self-taught cooks, we have a saying that if you don't know how to bring out the flavor in beef, then better to use pork instead (pork is relatively cheaper than beef in my side of the world). Maybe they added too much sugar or the sauce based they used is more on the sweeter side. Over all, it wasn't that bad, but I've tasted a lot of better lasagnas than this one.

Longganisa Pomodoro Pasta (Php 150.00)

From a not so good pasta dish, let's move on to another pasta dish. This one is my choice and I have to say, I am proud of what I decided on. Their Longganisa Pomodoro is amazing. The dish was perfect, well, at least for my own set of taste buds. They used Penne pasta on their Pomodoro but they made the dish their own by using Longganisa for its meat component.

Longganisa, for those who aren't familiar with it, is a native Filipino sausage. Usually made of pork, it is popularly served fried for breakfast with rice and egg. What makes it different for it's cousin, the chorizzo, is the fact that it's cased slightly loose. Though both cased on sub-mucosa or animal intestine layer, most longganisas are not pressed as tight as the chorizo which is a lot more firmer.

Back to the dish, they made their Pomodoro sauce a fusion of all the tastes that we want. Sour from the tomato sauce, sweet from the longganisa, and yes, spiced by Chili! I would not actually recommend this dish to people who hates (and fears) spicy food but to those who love it, oh you have to try this one! Never to forget is the Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the delectable sauce that seals the deal with it's savory goodness.

From L-R: Marvin, Faith, Ate Judy, Ferdie Ray, Myrcel, Me, and R-Jay

Ate Judy and Marvin ordered their burger entrees served with their homemade shoestring fries and dip. We had a great time at lunch together and we all enjoyed our food. One thing that we love to do when dining out (which others think is weird) is we love to taste all of each other's dishes. It's a way to enjoy the restaurant and to know which dish we will actually order the next time we visit the place with our family or friends.

***

My Birthdays are never complete without spending it with these amazing people! Everytime I add up a year to my existence, I also add up another 365 days of laughter, tears, expeiences, and memories with these amazing set of weirdos friends. I am now 27 years old, which means I've been friends with these people for almost 23 years now, we've all been classmates since Kindergarten up until we graduated high-school, and we have no plans of breaking any ties for as long as we live.

Cafe 506 is located at:
EPZA Diversion Rd, Kawit
Cavite, PHILIPPINES
Phone: (046) 443 7581


Never Stop Friendship!
Steven

June 3, 2017

"They Say" Episode 4: Fast Food


No matter how many calories our favorite 'value meal' has, we can easily admit that fast food, at times, equates to comfort food. Oh that greasy burger, slices of cheese, and who will ignore that crispy french fried potatoes! Not me of course.

The Philippines has a wide variety of Fast Food chains both local and international that offers all kinds of goodies that we love. Whether we order it a-la-carte or by value meals, these places just gives us the sense of inner happiness with the very first big bite of that Big Mac from McDonald's or a forkful of that Jolly Spaghetti. One more thing that any Filipino would love to debate about is which chain has the best Fried Chicken.

I asked a few of my friends on what for them is the best fast food chain ever in the Philippines. Check out their answers below:

Jayson S
Jollibee

"Jollibee is Pinoy. The default go-to place for the hungry. Their food items are affordable, tasty, and sulit. Chicken Joy with Palabok [is my favorite from Jollibee]."

Kathleen L
Burger King

"I eat there two to three times a month. I'm good with their whooper burgers, even the cheeseburger is promising for starters. It's also worth mentioning their apple and orange juice for those who want to negate soda in their diet. Burger King is inventive when it comes to burger, from providing a wide variety of options, to serving their customer with freshly made burger. I love their flame grilled and juicy patty."


R-Jay M
Jollibee

"Even though I was a "McDonald's kid" before, I can't seem to get away with Jollibee. I guess it's because the menu is a diverse mashup of the Western and some Filipino comfort food. My favorite is non other than the Chickenjoy which just hits the spot! I usually go there averaging from 2-5 times a month."

Mark Gabriel L
McDonald's

"For me, the choice boils down to these two: McDonald's and Jollibee. It took me a while to decide which, for me, is the best fast food because I really like the both of them. What I love about Jollibee is the simplicity of the Yum and the pasta sauce of Jolly Spaghetti. I like the Jolly Hotdog and the Cheesy Bacon Mushroom Yum as well. However, the "overall" ambiance of Jollibee stores is a major turn off for me. It often feels so chaotic and sometimes gross. McDonald's on the other hand is cozy. What I love about McDo is their Double Cheeseburger (after taking off the pickles) and of course, the Big Mac! I like crispy chicken sandwich and McSpicy Chicken Sandwich (but they stopped selling this, I think). I like McDonald's fries more than Jollibee's. Jollibee's fries are bland and dry. Before I stopped drinking softdrinks, I used to order McFloat. Now I just order their orange juice or pineapple juice (rarely though). Having said all of these, McDonald's is the best fast food chain."

Ralph John S
Burger King

"My favorite fast food chain in the Philippines is probably Burger King! I usually order their signature Whooper, and of course with a large side order of onion rings. I usually eat there once a week since it's just 3 blocks away from where I currently live."


Jane G
Jollibee

"I believe the best fast food chain in the Philippines is Jollibee. It is the best because you would see the people falling in line and even willing to wait just to have a taste of their food, not to mention they are now global! My favorite items from Jollibee is their TLC [Tomato-Lettuce-Catsup] and Choco Sundae."



Never Stop Eating! 
Steve

THEY SAY is a segment on my blog which features a little survey where I asked a few of my friends and readers about a certain subject. A Topic is started and they would respond in the way it applies to their lives and experiences.

May 29, 2017

PROFILES: Sheryl Kamantigue


I've never been a fan of Frappuccinos lately but on that sunny morning, I was just a couple of sips away from finishing my cup. That is also when we decided that it's time for our interview. At 39, Sheryl Kamantigue is a Professor at De La Salle University - Dasmariñas, my Alma Mater. I was blessed to have been one of her students during my college years and when I was teaching, she was not just a colleague but became one of my closest friends.

Prior to the interview proper, we were already indomitably speaking for two hours for we had so much to catch up. For five years, we taught students together and spent almost everyday at the same faculty room. That is when I have known her, when I really have known who Sheryl was. Strong, warm, and yes - inspiring. Sheryl was the only name in my mind when I decided that my next interview will be with a Teacher.

Stevenson Que: Good Morning Maam Sheryl! And thank you so much for accepting my invite to be my next guest.

Sheryl Kamantigue: Yes!

Stevenson Que: Maam She, let's say you are speaking in front of an audience, How will you introduce Sheryl Kamantigue?

Sheryl Kamantigue: I have to say, I'll introduce myself as Sheryl, the professor, the teacher in DLSU-D. I've been teaching for 15 years and I can say that I'm happy and fulfilled as a person and it's what keeps me going with my life.

Looking Back


Stevenson Que: Wow 15 years!  So, let's turn the hands of time, tell us who Sheryl was during her early years.

Sheryl Kamantigue: Early years as a teacher?

Stevenson Que: As a person.

Sheryl Kamantigue: As a person, I remember myself as someone who's really determined. When you come from a background where things are not handed to you, you have to strive very hard and that's the time when I realize that education is the most important thing for me to overcome poverty. And for me to be able to do things for my family. I am where I am right now because of that dream.

From L-R: Clara (Mother), Alejandro (Father), Sheryl, Alex (Brother)

Stevenson Que: Was there any situation wherein you almost gave up on that dream?

Sheryl Kamantigue: Actually, on a dream of having a degree, No. When I graduated highschool and I wasn't still sure if I will go to college, I had this determination to tell my Nanay [mother], I should go to college. I should study. Or else nothing will happen. It's my faith in the Lord that tells me to say those things and I was never wrong with that.

Stevenson Que: You have always been one of my heroes. Being the breadwinner to the family, you still maintained that effervescent positivity in life. Knowing that you have siblings, do you think that being the breadwinner was a matter of choice to you?

Sheryl Kamantigue: I suppose Yes. That's when I realize that when you pray and you are specific, God will give you the specifics too. Because when I prayed to be able to graduate and earn a degree, I told God that I'd provide for my family. Perhaps this is it, this is the time and fulfilment of what I have prayed for. So you have to be careful for what you pray for. Being the breadwinner to the family is something that that keeps me going. It's part of my mission in life so I suppose I don't regret it.
"The attitude of being grateful for everything
that you are blessed with, that's one
source of happiness." -Sheryl Kamantigue
When you come to a point in life where you get to accept the situation you are in and you are thankful for it, because I wouldn't be able to be where I'm in without the help of my parents. The attitude of being grateful [to your parents], I suppose you are the person that you are because of them. I wouldn't live my life any differently.

Life as a Teacher


Stevenson Que: After we talk about your past and how you've been through life, let's talk about your profession. What is something different about being a teacher from other professions, in terms of character?

Sheryl Kamantigue: For me, I'm just being myself. People get to see me for who I am. Perhaps my students also accept me for who I am. My relationship with them is something that is so important that I don't have to pretend, to have to be someone else. That's why I don't have any difficulty relating to them. Teaching is really a noble job and I just have to be who I am. I just have to teach the way I believe I can influence my students and at the same time nurture them for being who they are.

Stevenson Que: How do you feel about living by the norms of what a teacher should be in this judgemental society? Do you think it's fair?

Sheryl Kamantigue: Regarding people?

Sheryl Delima Kamantigue

Stevenson Que: Regarding to the society that we have right now, where in you have to encompass certain characters to be something like a role model? Someone who is almost perfect?

Sheryl Kamantigue: When you relate to your students, they can see who you are. You can't hide, especially students nowadays, you can't fake them. They will know who you are, what type of person you are, based on your relationship with them.I'm not perfect but I suppose there's something in me that they see that I'm true and that I'm genuine. It is how I relate to them with my faith and belief [in God], that they see me as someone who is not a role model by being perfect, but a person they can imitate.

Someone who they can look up to, with the positive influences that I can give them. Because I can be a friend, I can listen to their problems, I can help them if I have a way to do so. I see my students as persons too. But more importantly, they are my students because I have to impart knowledge to them. But more than that, it's building a relationship with your students that makes them trust you and not judge you.
"Most students will forget their teacher, but they will never
forget the teacher that influenced them positively"
-Sheryl Kamantigue
Stevenson Que: I can attest to that because I have been your student. But to be honest, everything you said is actually evident and I can prove that. But how about for other teachers? Do you think it's fair that every teacher should watch themselves, their reputation with their students? Do we have an obligation to be almost perfect and be someone who should be imitated?

Sheryl Kamantigue: Yes, it's a big responsibility to be a teacher.. When you become a teacher, people look up to you, your students will look up to you. You are not perfect but your goal is to at least do things that will influence your students to do good.

As a teacher, attitude can influence your students. Even if you're not perfect, [but] you are trying at least to be perfect for your students, it's one way of getting the job done. Most students will forget their teacher, but they will never forget the teacher that influenced them positively. It's not always about the acknowledgement and recognition, it's being remembered that I have done or said something positive to them that they may always remember me by, that's already a mission accomplished for me.

Stevenson Que: Nowadays, do you think teachers of today are still respected by society? Why or why not?

Sheryl Kamantigue: There's this connotation that teachers are teachers because they can't go anywhere[in life, farther].

Stevenson Que: Oh Yes! I've heard that one.

Maam Sheryl and me during the 2014 Graduation Rites at DLSU-Dasmariñas

Sheryl Kamantigue: Yes. Society can be judging, but at the same time they can also be, [the term is] not forgiving eh, but very considerate. When people say that there will be no engineers, no lawyers, no doctors without teachers, that lifts the spirits of teachers up.

All professions must be respected, but I suppose it's how you separate teachers from other profession that makes you want to appreciate it more. At times, it's sad to hear these stories that teachers are regarded less, but at the end of the day, as a teacher, it is your own fulfillment that defines you. If teachers are not respected by the society, but as a teacher, you do everything in your power to be respected by your students or your friends or anyone who is in your circle, that's what's most important.

Stevenson Que: Was there a time that you had a difficult student? I'm sure! In my 5 years, I had a few, and you have been teaching for 15. Tell me about how you handled that situation.

Sheryl Kamantigue: Honestly, in my first years of teaching, I was very strict. These difficult students always give me a hard time-always absent, not submitting requirements, before i was really very furious. I was still in my 20s when I started teaching, I would retaliate. I would lose my patience. As you mature, you'll see that these students, these difficult students are those that have problems. Therefore it is better to understand and know where they're coming from instead of getting angry.

Stevenson Que: So it's not a matter of how the students are changing, it's a matter of how you change as a teacher.

Sheryl Kamantigue: Yes. Now, I try to see where the problem starts and try to understand my students. And if there's something that I can do, even if I have to get out of my way, I'd do it. Because there's always a reason why they are difficult, why they are doing these things to themselves, why they are the way they are. It's really a different phase, because before I just burst out in anger, even tried to get back at them. But now, it's a different story.

Love and Friendship


Stevenson Que: Tell us about this unwritten chapter, your Love Life? Is it really unwritten? Can you share about it?

Sheryl Kamantigue: I think it is really unwritten.

*both chuckles and laughs*

Because I'm in this point in my life where I am contemplating if I will still be able to get married or not. But when I talk to my best friend, what's nice about where we are in life right now is maybe because we are still needed by our parents that's why we are not yet married. It's a mission that we have to accomplish for our parents and not for ourselves. It's really good when I talk to your Ate Yen [Sheryl's Best Friend] about these things. But the good thing is we are still open to it, we're not giving up, yet. I suppose when you mature, the most painful heartbreak that you had is just something to laugh about now.

From L-R: Sheryl, Memey, Yen, Lhot

We've had our share of ups and downs when it comes to love life. We've met people we never thought we'd meet if not in that area. These people have helped us and shaped us to the person that we are right now. With your Ate Yen, I'm very sure she wants to get married. With me, I am...also, but I'm on the verge of contemplating that 'Lord, if it's not for me, then, it is not for me' I believe that every people has a calling. I may not be in the vocation of being married, but I can still be a parent to my nephews, students, therefore, it is not necessary for me to be a real parent. But I'm not closing my doors.

Stevenson Que: That's the good thing.

Stevenson Que: How do you manage to become both single and a person who is happy and thankful. Because I can see it in you.

Sheryl Kamantigue:I guess it's about being content with who you are and what you do. Knowing what could fulfill you. Being single has made me a stronger person, because I don't have to rely and do things on my own, I have to, I don't have a choice, but I'm happy. Being happy means realizing that you are where you should be, in a place where you are bound to. You don't need things, the affirmation of other people for you to be happy. The attitude of being grateful for everything that you are blessed with, that's one source of happiness. Therefore it's true! You can be happy and single at the same time.

Stevenson Que: You have been through a lot, I know that. I am very proud of what you have become today. Any words of encouragement to the Sheryl's today? people currently experiencing what you have experienced in life.

Sheryl Kamantigue: My advise, perhaps, is what I did. Because the experiences that I had were rewarding. Just have that dream, that goal, it's really important. At times I get sad when I realize that my students don't have that goal anymore because everything is given and provided for them. It's having this goal and doing everything to achieve it, to make it happen. And at the same time, balance it with your faith in God, your belief that things will go your way if you just pray and believe in yourself. I just prayed, I dreamed of earning that degree - which I did, and at the same time, I have this faith in God and with my family that kept me together.
"To those people who have been blessed enough,
at least be grateful for it;and still have
that dream that will make you feel
accomplished and fulfilled." -Sheryl Kamantigue
To those people who have been blessed enough, at least be grateful for it;and still have that dream that will make you feel accomplished and fulfilled. Have that sense of courage and determination that I had, things will go your way. It's not that easy but it will in time. There's no specific formula or element that you can use to get to where you want to go but you have to take people to journey with you. Put Emphasis in your character and how you deal and relate with other people. You can never say that you will not depend on people because  for sure you will need people to help you carry that burden, lift it up with you, and make your load lighter. Have that dream and be very specific on what those dreams are.

Maam Sheryl at the Grand Canyon, USA - 2016

Stevenson Que: Finish this Sentence. I'm happy right now, but I still want to...

Sheryl Kamantigue: I'm happy right now, but I still want to have my own family.

***

PROFILES is a new segment on my blog which will be a one-on-one interview with an interesting personality, as I ask them to share a page of their life as they know it. I've always wanted to be a journalist so this is my way of feeding my hunger for that little taste of being a host. Through this blog, this world that I can call my own, this is my talk-show.