2018: What Are The Books That Made To The Top 5?


Last year, I promised to go back to read more and watch less kind of routine.
Started with a goal of 30 books but ended up with 25, even though I didn’t reach the goal I  am contented with  what I’ve learned through those books, so here is my top 5 for 2018.

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#5 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

“Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away.
I think prime numbers are like life.
They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.”

I liked how the author showcase a unique window into the mind of a boy who thinks a little differently in this novel. This is brilliantly crafted and tries to make sense of the world as the main character sees it.

#4  A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami

“Body cells replace themselves every month. Even at this very moment.
Most everything you think you know about me is nothing more than memories.”

First time to read a book by Haruki and looking forward for more of his writing.
This is quite an adventure and lets you dive in a world where it takes you on the familiar trappings of a vision quest.

#3 Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath

“When we’re able to put most of our energy into developing our natural talents, extraordinary room for growth exists.
So, a revision to the “You-can-be-anything-you-want-to-be” maxim might be more accurate: You cannot be anything you want to be—but you can be a lot more of who you already are.”

This is one of a kind read since this is more of an assessment to help people uncover their natural talents.We’ll get the farthest in life if we focus on enhancing our personal strengths, rather than trying to balance out our weaknesses.The book will give you load of strategies based on your top strengths to give you the opportunity to do what you do best every day.
#2 The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization by John Maxwell

“The bottom line in managing your emotions is that you should put others – not yourself – first in how you handle and process them.
Whether you delay or display your emotions should not be for your own gratification.
You should ask yourself, What does the team need? Not, What will make me feel better?”

Leadership is not about leading yourself and others but it is more how you make others feel.The more you have a genuine relationship with the people around you the lighter the atmosphere in the workplace can be.

#1 The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by by Charles Duhigg

“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”

What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while. This book teaches you that habit can be both destructive and powerful.Once you know a habit exists, you have the responsibility to change it. If you believe in yourself that you can change and you make it into a habit – the change becomes real.



#87 Send Someone To College



November 26, 2018: A Day Of Triumph 

4.5 years  in the making for this to come true but this day serves as a completion of this bucket list item. I still remember the time how I said yes to my sister to support her education 100%, it was not easy but everything is worth it.

It is a great joy to see her in this milestone in her life. I don’t want her to feel indebted for the things that I’ve done to her but I wanted her to realized that I love her dearly that’s  why I supported her all the way.

It’s true that education is not the key to success but it’s an avenue to have better opportunities in life. I am excited of  what she will become in the future. Surely, will still be here for her for her next seasons in life.

#38 Travel Alone Abroad



September 25, 2017: A Day of Traveling Alone

It was my first time to travel alone abroad and first time to be away with my loved ones for more than a month. There were a lot of “first” to me during this trip as I didn’t expect that I will be flying to Australia this year.It all came in a rush.

 It felt good every time I accomplished things, may it be figuring out how to find my way home, riding in ferries and trains alone, cooking for myself a meal, asking strangers for directions and a whole lot more.This is truly one for the books.

Indeed, all i can say is that in a place where everything is foreign to you and you’re foreign to everything, you’ll learn to feel your heart and comprehend with your soul. ❤

#97 Parasailing



July 20, 2016: A Day of Flying High

If I were an animal, the first that comes to mind is to be a bird. I always admire how they soar high and enjoy the awesome view from above.Going back to Boracay, I never missed the opportunity to  try parasailing — an adventure up in the air.

For fifteen minutes, we were literally flying and  was able to take a mental picture of the beautiful bird’s perspective of the world below.I enjoyed the scenic beauty of the island, the blue waters, the sea breeze blowing through my body, the clear sky and the freedom of just soaring hundred feet above the waters.This experienced is truly one of a kind, and I am happy that I was able to crossed it off in my list. 🙂

#35 Have bonfire with my friends near the beach



January 10, 2016: A Day of Burning Joy

The beach is always on my list during my travels but I always missed the joy of setting up a bonfire near it. This year is different because I actually made it, added to the happiness is that I was with the beautiful people to share the warmth and joy of the night.

Why include it in my list? It is not always that we appreciate little things, specially this time that everything is already instant and convenience is our friend.
I believed once in a while we need to detach ourselves to the world  and just reflect and be at peace. The sound of the waves, the warmth of the fire, the coldness of the air,the light of the stars in the sky and heartfelt  conversations makes it a perfect night.

2015: Best 5 Read Books Continues


After a year of skipping this tradition, I promised myself to DO it this time. Even though I didn’t meet my book goal for the year, I am still happy to share to you my list.



#5  The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”

This book teaches a great deal about teamwork and leadership. I am glad to have read this in preparation for my next years’ goal.If you are a part of any team, i recommend to read it and if not apply all the principles at least remember and took heart the things that really matter to make your team, a great team.

#4 Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

“Do you see the consequences of the way we have chosen to think about success? Because we so profoundly personalize success, we miss opportunities to lift others onto the top rung…We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail. And most of all, we become much too passive. We overlook just how large a role we all play—and by “we” I mean society—in determining who makes it and who doesn’t.”

I am glad to have read more non-fictional books this year because I gained a lot of insights of what reality is. It is true that success cannot be achieved overnight and you can never do it alone. You need people, preparation and tons of hard work. It is said in the book that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, so I guess I have a lot of work to do to be able to meet my own definition of success.

# 3 And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

” I suspect the truth is that we are waiting, all of us against insurmountable odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us”

Another heartbreaking book by Khaled. I’ve always been a fan of history and Khaled is one of those who can write it vividly, adding strong characters make it a page turner book. From betrayal, sacrifice, poverty, liberty – this book explores the many ways in which families work.

#2 The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith

“Spiritual life is not a life of laws and precepts but a life of participation, affection and love, a life mingled and mixing with God.”

It changed the way I think about God.I didn’t know I have lots of false narratives about God until I read this book.It helped me a lot in renewing my mind and put on the new narratives and perception about Him.
If you want to get deeper with your relationship and know Him better read this book.

#1 The Martian – Andy Weir

“If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don’t care, but they’re massively outnumbered by the people who do.”

A Genius creation! I love how this story is about survival and science.
It’s like a science book narrating its own story and explaining explicitly how certain theories work through applications. Continue reading

#54 Plant A Tree



November 14, 2015:  A Day of  Planted Hope

It was a long trek up to the famous “Devil Mountain”, but the goal is not to reach the summit but to plant these seedlings that will soon become trees. It was a collaborative effort between companies and non-government organization called “Haribon”. It was one of the most rewarding volunteer work I’ve ever been to.

Why include this on my list? I believed it’s the little things humans do that  will make a difference. My little thing is to plant these little seedlings and hope that if someone will be able to see the full-grown tree that I’ve planted, he/she/they will be reminded that small acts  really makes a difference and they will be encouraged to plant one too.We only have one earth to live and it does good to mother Earth to pamper her while you still can and have time.

#17 Climb An Active Volcano


climb an active volcano

May 24,2015: A Day Of A Beautiful Disaster

According to U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 113-97, Mount Pinatubo was the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century after the 1912 eruption of Novarupta in the Alaska Peninsula, and by far the largest eruption to affect a densely populated area, which occurred in the Philippines on June 15, 1991.

It was nostalgic being here, although I wasn’t able to witnessed this tragic event, just hearing the stories of our guide of what happened that very day made me shiver. I am glad that I have seen it’s beauty after the eruption, it was so serene  but the consequences of this catastrophe were felt far and wide and those buried by lahars will be out of use for years to come.

#28 Have My Portrait Painted or Drawn


bucket list

August 16, 2015: A Day Of Unveiling Yourself

I was happy to cross out one of my bucket list courtesy of my good friends. It’s often said that people are reflections of their closest friends in many ways, you can draw conclusions from that, but I can say that the people closest to you know how to make you feel special: one way is to make a portrait of YOU using their creative mind and hands.

It might not be the best version of portrait that I’ve seen, but it will be the best suitable portrait of myself thinking that it is made by the people closest to me.The people whom I  often share the beauty, wonders and colors of  my life.

#31 Go Caving



March 21, 2015: A Day of Exploration

This was not the first time I have entered a cave but this was the longest time I have spent in cave and braved the narrow holes to fit ourselves.This is my first to explore the beauty of such and I never thought that big, long and dark place has amazing things to offer. It is a 3-4 hours of endless walk in a rocky surface, go through holes, soak through waters.We were a sweaty, sticky mess as we saw the light on the other tunnel of the cave but  really worth it.

Spelunking both the Sumaguing and Lumiang Caves is indeed a test of patience and endurance to finish and reach the end.I guess I’ll go caving again at some point, but not too soon.

# 18 Donate Blood



January 28, 2015: A  Day To Save Lives

It has been said that, 1 blood donation can save up to 3 lives, but it takes one qualified donor to make it happen.And so, the day has come when finally, I was able to donate my own blood.

I was anemic during my high school years, that is why on my first attempt to donate, I was rejected. I thought I wouldn’t have the chance, but as I try it again, I made it to the screening and the doctor said, I was already eligible to do it now.The experience is quite painful  ( I won’t elaborate it anymore ), but I will surely do it again and again.

Donate your BLOOD for a reason, let the reason be LIFE.

Did I Just Say That?


‘’ Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.’’ I’ve been searching for the author of this famous quote but I failed. I admire that ANONYMOUS author for saying this words but I personally think that for the most of us this isn’t true, because in reality words are like swords .It cannot literally cut you into pieces but deep down it can terribly leave stain on our soul. I think the quote could have been more realistic if it stated like this, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but WORDS hurt a lot more than getting beat.”

I believe that the words we utter have the power over life and death; it can build enough high esteem as high as the clouds but destroy to the point of ending a life. At one point in our lives I believe that majority of us have been hurt by the words spoken to us and we profoundly remember it up to now. Maybe you already forgiven the person, but you remember vividly the WORDS that he or she says about you (believe me, I know!).If words can only kill, I have died many times by now. My point is, we all need to be more responsible in the way we speak and what kind of words do we speak unto others because you never really know when your words can have an impact to somebody’s life.

So, be careful in every word you say, sometimes we speak spontaneously and we forgot how to pause. And at the end of it, you just caught yourself asking, “Did I just say that to him or to her? But it’s too late because the damage has been done before you realize it.

Today, I encourage you to choose your words wisely; speak the truth, speak blessings, and speak hope! Choose to speak LIFE with the words you say! Just what like the proverbs say, “Reckless words pierce like a sword but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” 

What is your “DASH”?


ImageI am always thinking of what my epitaph will be when I die, and so I immediately goggled for it to find some examples of great epitaphs and   then I noticed that after their famous line right under it, there lies  the years of their existence and between those numbers there stands a “DASH”.  And it hit me right there that instead of thinking of that line, I should give more importance to that “dash”. Today, I decided that from this day forward I will be a pursuer in living my DASH well.

Right now, if you cannot find meaning in your life or how to live it, it is your responsibility as a human being to create it. Some people are seeking the meaning of it and failed to answer it, because they always think that it is a noun that needs meaning in to it. Some even died without really knowing how to live it, because they only thought that it is a noun. Some lived to exist and haven’t had the experience of being alive. So, you must know first what is your purpose is because that will serve as your guide in living your “DASH”, that should go beyond life’s inequities. It is not enough to live it but to live it RIGHT, it is the greatest reward that you can have. Just what like the Psalmist says,’’ So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” This is also my prayer today, A HEART OF WISDOM to live my dash according to HIS will.

DASH will always serve as the bridge that connects your cradle to your grave. And bridge was an epic achievement! It is where life transcends! So tell me my friend, what is your DASH all about? I hope you lived a dash you’re proud of because your DASH will speak the loudest when your life is over.

2013: No Resolutions, Only FAITH Goals


It becomes customary for everyone, or at least most of us to make resolutions at the beginning of the year. We see things in our lives with which we are not satisfied, and we decided that this new year we are going to make changes. Very often the resolutions that we make center simply in self-improvement and for whatever will make us FEEL better. And most of the time it focuses on our own glory.

I am guilty of making resolutions too. I mean who doesn’t want to have better year or better results? I believe that we humans are always looking forward for better days and better version of ourselves. I have nothing against making resolutions, I do tolerate it but for the past 3 years, I’ve come up to a BETTER way to have this and indeed I got results that are far way better than having my resolutions before. We called it FAITH GOALS. Resolution is about resolving things that you haven’t succeeded the last year on the other hand, faith goal is about having list of goals rooted in FAITH. It may consist of your personal, career, family goals and etc.( the more detailed it is, the better). Having your own faith goals, it makes you ACT  more in FAITH, pray more and makes you HOPE–it is more than simply longing for something that it might happen, but it is confidence and assurance that it will happen. It might not come within the year but it will surely happen in its perfect time as long as you have the right motive in having it. And as you act upon it in FAITH it will also be nurtured in prayer, not just by you but by your partners in hand.

By the end of the year, you will be delighted how many in your list have been crossed out. There may be times that you won’t have a 100% accomplished goals, but it will enable you to act more, trust more, pray more, wait more patiently and stretch more of  your faith!

# 29 Go Trekking And Visit Some Falls


29mNovember 5, 2012: A Day Hitting On The Trail

“IT IS WORTH IT!’’: these are the words that I uttered upon looking the majestic waterfalls before me. It is really a very tiring hike, but it is well worth the effort once you’ve reach your destination. I never thought that I could make it to the top because the way up there is so challenging and my bare feet can’t seem to handle it any longer.

Why I include this in my list? It is for me to learn the art of perseverance. No matter how hard the journey is, you must keep moving forward, the harder the course the more rewarding it is in the end. I can relate it to LIFE itself. We might get tired sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that we have to stop. We should keep going through because there is more to life than being complacent and stagnant. We don’t know what our full potential may be if we won’t take risk. In the end, it is still the journey that counts the most.

Bucket List


        After watching the movie, “Bucket List”  starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman back in 2007, it quickly inspired me to create my own bucket list as well and write an article at the same time for each that I have accomplished. It took me years to finally complete my 100 things to do before I die. There may be some things that I’ve done and will be doing more than once, but I decided to document my “first encounter” with it.

        So, here is my list! Please feel free to share yours! And let us complete our hundred in our lifetime!

  1. Run a 10k marathon
  2. Ride a gondola in Venice Italy
  3. Watch cherry blossom in Japan
  4.  Fly first class
  5. Ride in one of the largest roller coaster
  6. Go on a cruise with someone dear to me
  7. See the northern lights ( aurora borealis)
  8. Have my portrait painted or drawn
  9. Climb a mountain
  10. Go to costume party and dress up as my fantasy character
  11. Organize a picnic outing
  12. Fly in a hot air balloon abroad
  13. Hongkong, Disneyland with family
  14. Climb the great wall of China
  15. Be a part of flash mob
  16. Have a published article or book.
  17. Climb an active volcano
  18. Donate blood
  19. Buy my car
  20. Go to Paris ( Eiffel Tower)
  21.  Learn to play piano (  Mozart pieces )
  22. Write myself a letter and open it 10 years from now
  23. Pay for a stranger’s  groceries
  24. Go on a mission trip ( local and abroad)
  25. Ride an elephant
  26. Take a photography course
  27. Visit the Taj Mahal
  28. Go and watch the Olympics
  29. Go trekking and visit some falls
  30. Attend Loy Krathong, the sky lantern festival in Thailand.
  31. Go caving
  32. Learn to swim
  33. Have a small library in my room
  34. Attend La Tomatina Festival in Valencia, Spain
  35. Have bonfire with my friends near the beach
  36. Eat a croissant at a bakery in Paris
  37. Experienced marine life up close
  38. Travel alone abroad
  39. Celebrate my birthday with street children
  40. Dye my hair
  41.  Bury yourself in the sand
  42. Milk a cow
  43. Go zorbing
  44. Bungee jumping in Malaysia
  45. Shoot a gun
  46. Fly a kite
  47. Take road trip with my friends for more than 24 hours
  48.  Direct a movie
  49. Go to church and dine in with my family
  50. Watch NBA championship live
  51. Get a whole body massage
  52. Go to Dubai to sky dive
  53. Read the Top 100 novels of all time
  54. Plant a tree
  55. Become a millionaire
  56. Send a message in a bottle
  57. Go swimming with Dolphins
  58. Learn a new language
  59. Launch a sky lantern.
  60. Be in a rap battlle
  61. See a snow
  62. Learn to drive a car
  63. Zipline
  64. Join amazing race ( local or international)
  65. Ride in a bullet train
  66. Walk where Jesus walked in Jerusalem and Israel
  67. Visit Maldives
  68. Voice dubbing
  69. Have a picture with my favorite artist
  70. See a birth ( human or animal)
  71. Travel across oceania
  72. Find the origin of my surname
  73. Visit Austria
  74. Watch a scary movie alone in the cinema.
  75. Discover different cultures by gaining a friend from other countries
  76. Go cliff jumping
  77. Eat in an exotic restaurant
  78. Go to Korea
  79.  Make someone’s wish come true
  80.  Get a license
  81. Ride in an airplane
  82. Check in  a 5- star hotel abroad
  83. Visit an orphanage
  84. Sleep on the street
  85. Be a travel blogger
  86. Experience surfing
  87. Send someone to college
  88. Attend at least  5 festivals in the Philippines
  89.  Finish the bible in a chronological order and live it out
  90.  Paint ball with friends
  91. Visit the Grand Canyon
  92. Fall asleep on grassy plains
  93. Have a picture with a tiger or snake
  94. Ice skating
  95. Eat in a fancy restaurant
  96. Watch meteor showers
  97. Parasailing
  98.  Visit museums abroad
  99. Watch a concert of my favorite band/artist
  100. Make a bucket list