Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thank you for the Journey

Birthdays are abhorred by many, loved by some, and welcomed by none of the celebrants. It adds numbers to your age and as it increases, so does the magnitude of reality that time is running out. It was as if only yesterday that I was 24 years old, a new engineer in a Japanese multinational firm. Very naïve, idealistic and determined to be a millionaire at 40. I hatched up plans to earn and save money. Dreaming and scheming on how to achieve that 'Plan'.
But alas, after two decades, a bike accident, several jobs, and multiple global financial crises later, I've not achieved that elusive Millionaire status.
So I decided not to focus on becoming a Millionaire, but instead to search for something more meaningful than accumulating financial wealth.
Don't get me wrong, I do not hate money nor do I love it. I view it as a mere tool to achieve my goal.
And my goal? To help preserve this planet not only for my kid bit also for the children of other parents.
In my youth, like any green horn, I defined success as having the biggest house, the most expensive car and the most amount of money in my bank account. Who wouldn't want it? Like everyone who dreams of such things, we set out to earn much. Working for companies, working for ourselves through business. Some resort to illegal activities to fast track the 'dream'
But as the years go by, I watched in frustration how painful it was and how unachievable financial wealth could be if you only worked honestly. I am not the kind of person who would resort to illegal means just to achieve financial wealth. I saw friends and relatives die, unable to take wealth with them. I felt awful inside. What if I'm chasing the wrong goal? What if there's something more worth achieving for?
Then I started chasing a different kind of wealth, the one thing that is more important than money. And that is the sustainability of life.
What would benefit you and your future generation if the means today of accumulating money would destroy this planet eventually?
I started caring for the environment. I chose a different path to wealth, I chose sustainable living.
As I embark in the last half of my short journey in life, I ask you to do the same, stop joining the rat race and start living a sustainable life.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Eighty Five Kilometers, Three Provinces, One Endurance Ride

Once in a while you got to throw yourself off from routine and follow the road to wherever it leads you. "Do one thing everyday that scares you", so a song goes. 
Sunday September 7, 2014.
Instead of going my usual route of Nuvali - Casile - Palace in the Sky - Silang and back home, I did a detour and found myself a little bit of exploring. I descended Sungay and went back Tagaytay via Sampaloc - Leynes.
A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on
A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

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Rediscover Manila

If you think you know your neighborhood very well because you have lived there all you life, you are mistaken. A city evolves, grows and changes just like the people living in it. In the spirit of adventure, my office mates and I explored Manila once more and experienced the rich culture and sights this awesome capital city.

Rizal Park

First stop: the famous Rizal Park. This park is frequented by local and foreign tourists for its history. Locally known as Luneta, Rizal Park's history goes way back in the Spanish Colonial times when Paseo de Luneta was built in 1820s. Since then it has evolved, gradually adding features like the Rizal Monument in the early 20th century. The latest addition is the photo-bomber building that sticks like a sore thumb.
The famous Rizal Monument, Flag and the scene-stealing photobomber building
Photo bombers
Alvin enjoys biking at the park does Hubert

Tamaraw sculpture at Kilometer Zero


Next stop: Intramuros, the oldest district in Manila. Its history goes way before the Spanish Colonization period when native traders exchange goods with Chinese and Malay merchants. We visited Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church while we are inside Intramuros

Entering the Walled City
Historic Manila Cathedral

Worm's eye view
San Agustin Church
San Agustin Convent


To top off our adventure, we went to Binondo, the oldest Chinatown in the world. Here, we explored Ongpin Street, where the CNN-must-visit Cafe Mezzanine is located. We stopped to eat and savored Maki-mi, a noodle plus meat treat smothered in thick soup.

The oldest Chinatown in the world... for real man!

Maki mi

So, explore Manila and rediscover the rich history and cuisine it offers. We will be back next time!