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26 April 2014

Calaguas Island; Paradise that hides behind large waves.

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We arrived at Paracale, Camarines norte at 9AM. Paracale is our entry point to reach Calaguas Island.  Before we leave the place, we grabbed first a breakfast within the proximity. We roved around the Town proper to see the Church, taste the local foods and cuisines – Authentic Bicol express.



We departed 10AM with a motored Banca in Paracale.



Meanwhile, The Calaguas is a group of islands in the Philippine province of Camarines Norte. It consists of the major islands of Tinaga Island and Guintinua Island, the minor Maculabo Island, as well as several other minor islands.



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We have to clash with Pacific Ocean for 2 hours to reach the place. I thought our boat will not gonna make it because of the very large waves ahead of us. That was really scary since I don’t know how to swim (Yes! Im a beach bummer, surfer and traveler, hence I’m not a swimmer). But when we arrived at the island, it was totally a big wow. It was cool and very picturesque view. The color of the water was like painted in a canvass. It was very saturated aqua blue clear water. Unlike when we were at the middle of the ocean, the water was very placid. The fine sand was very exquisite and you can’t even find dirt, seaweeds or algae floating – so immaculate. There were no other tourists in sight due to its remote geographical location. It was as if we rented the whole island for ourselves.



Moreover, there are only few small stores available around, the stretch of the shoreline is very peaceful and perfect for relaxation- far away from the stressful life in Manilla. The time runs to slow, so slow pacing. I’ve been to Bohol (Panglao) and Boracay but Calaguas is the best for me. Due to the thought that the island haven’t yet commercialized is the factor why I considered it as the best gem – very clean.



This Island that I described is Tinaga where the famous long beach called Mahabang Buhangin is located. Campers and backpackers are coming and going daily to experience its powdery white sands.

Getting here: (Another Option)




Take a Daet-bound bus; from Daet you have two options either get a boat from Vinzons or Paracale. If via vinzons, short tricycle ride to the port, boat rate is around 5k travel time is 3-4hrs. If via paracale where cheaper boats are found, one needs to take a van to daet town - paracale (30-45mins) then boat hire is around 3k. Travel time paracale-calaguas 2-3hrs.

There also daily passenger boats from Vinzons to the island.

23 April 2014

You’ll Never Understand Me until You Go with Me.

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I can even afford escaping one meal a day just to save up of my Travel
The Amazing Calaguas Island during my Travel Captured by Vin Bruts
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We have different interests that made us distinctive from one another. And that interest in our life reflects of who we are.

My friends and coworkers often misinterpret me because of my unique interest. If they invited me to watch movie, then I can easily decline their invitations. If they invited me to go out for Night Life, then I ignored their offer. But if stranger invited me for a travel, then right away I’ll go for it.

Why? Because of “INTEREST”. My Interest to Travel.
Bella Donna as she allocates her budget during our Baler Travel
“Nagsasayang ka lang ng pera (You are just wasting your money)”, my officemate said. But I just reacted with a smile with the statement “I can always make money, But I can’t always make memories”. Memories and experiences that will never always happen unless if I will go outside in a box – Priceless things and worth spending fo.

Wanderlust is a strong desire and impulse to wander, travel and explore. The feeling that motivates me to work hard so that I can travel harder. I saved-up a portion of my income for my travel, honestly majority of the portion was allocated for travel. In fact, I can afford escaping one meal a day just to save for my Travel. Wanderlust is more than the want to travel. It is a kind of feeling that you NEED to travel, usually because your mind requires a new outlook, and you feel, not quite trapped in your own location, but, more likely, nothing new is happening there.

So, when the wanderlust is on you, you have to go..

Moreover, I even sacrificed and sold my pet “Rocco” , a Pomeranian just to subsidies my wanderlust. I got “Rocco” when he was 3 months puppy for PHP12, 000 but after 1 year and half I decided to sacrifice him for PHP8, 000. I was emotionally attached to “Rocco” but my strong desire to wander dominates.

Palitan mo naman ang Cellphone mo ( You should buy new cellphone)”, my friend told me. My phone is almost 4 years with me. It has no camera, non-touch screen and non-smart phone. I’m not even jealous to those friends of mine who owned an Iphone and Samsung, not even in my dreams that I am wishing to have one. Not even planning to have branded get up and outfits.   But if friends of mine will shares his travel stories and that will be the time that I will feel envy.

Mag-ipon ka naman para sa future mo (you should save for your future)”, another officemate said.

It’s not just that I’m not worry about my future. Of course every one of us is dreaming to have a stable life and that’s why we are working it out now. Remember that our future will depends on how you live at the present. So for me, I am travelling now because I am dreaming to be a full time traveler. I am spending most of my budget to travel because I am investing my future – an investment of memories; I know I am not getting younger.
It's more fun to meet people with same interest . You tend to understand each other. ( Photo taken in Sabang Beach , Baler )
I am not dreaming a car hence I am dreaming a ride. I am not wishing for money however, I am dreaming to have the capacity of spending. I don’t want to be rich; all I want is to be free. I am not working for sustenance but I want a meal. I don’t want to own a house but a home. I want to live life to the fullest and experience what life can offer – simple life.

22 April 2014

Travel Tiredness is a Sign of a Fun Travel.

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Calaguas Island Travel  aftermath : Photo by Duane Bernardo
Captured by Monti Cañamaque during my Baler Travel
In every travel that we are planning, we need to be prepared physically- Like I’ve mentioned in my previous post.  But no matter how physically fit we are (travelers), we really get tired at the end of the day. But that feeling is not just the typical “tiredness” that we usually  felt while working in an office for eight hours, where-in you will get to the point of job resignation.  However, this “tired feeling “is due to the enjoyment and fun that we got from the entire day of travelling.

 Indeed, fatigued often to the point of exhaustion will only exist if your day is full of various adventures. You felt drained of strength and energy due to the quest that you accomplished in a day.

We will go far away, to nowhere, to conquer, to fertilize until we become tired. Then we will stop and there will be our home. There will be a time to rest and reminisce how far you went, how challenging your escapades are,  how long you travel, how productive you are, how brave you are to face those ventures.
Captured my Red Chuca after our Calaguas Island Travel
But getting tired because you enjoyed your life in a day compared on getting tired because of nothingness are two different things. You might felt tiredness due to stress from work or might get tired because of the excessive spending your energy from your breathtaking travels. But for me, I’d rather choose getting tired because of the execution of my travel plans, than getting tired from planning your travel – a plan that might not happened. I rather choose to get tired  of making travel happens because at the end of the day, you can go to your bed and close your eyes with a smile. With a statement
"I don't want to be understood because if people understand me, they get tired of me. I travel and I love it "

11 April 2014

Travel is to die for : A start of Friendship

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I want to write today , thats  it!

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I am very emotional today so i decided to write from my heart.
I dont know why i felt emptiness today? I just got from Travel in Calaguas Island April 4-6, 2014 and supposedly  i am refreshed. Maybe it just a post travel syndrome. 

I can still remember those happy moments with random people I've met during the travel in Camarines Norte. Sharing thought from those people even though we barely knew each other.

experienced bar hopping, night party, 
drinks and smoke.. name it.. but for me travel
 is the best thing i ever had." says J
ennifer Valencia Ignacio. She works in 
a BPO Industry in Makati. " You should travel but you 
have also to save for your self. We have also
 to be prepared like the preparation 
you did in every travel. Invest your money
 like how you invest memories" She added."In travel , you will learned how to value every centavo"

" I rather save my money for my travel rather than spending it in Starbucks"

" Travel is more fun. "

Bernard Medrano
" Im planning to file a loan in SSS in preparation for my travel this August to Palawan" Bernard Medrano says. He is a site engineer in Taguig. " I always allocate my income for my travel. Travel is one way for me to continue working. Because it motivates me to be more productive , to be focus and to be efficient because i know to myself that i have something to look forward." He shared. 
Marinette Atuel Galo and  Julieto Espra
I also had a chance to talk this couple maded Marinette Atuel Galo and  Julieto Espra who always travel. " We travel because its our way to bond the two of us. We spend less but we make sure that we enjoy in every escapades. We shared every misadventures that made the two of us stronger. " they said. The two of  them  are working under the Department of Justice.

Truly, everyone of us have monthly bills to pay. But we also have consider that life is too short to get stressed from all those payments. Scarcity is a hindrance. But as long as you make travel happens that is very important.

By doing a short talk to these people, I was really happy that sometimes travel is not just all bout the place but the people also. Undeniably, ‘We meet People maybe because we are either meant to change their lives or ours.

From then, our friendship started. We keep in touch using Facebook.. alerting each one of us ,if there is an affordable travel.


10 April 2014

Pilipinas, Tara Na!

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Pilipinas, Tara Na! is a domestic tourism advocacy campaign spearheaded by the Department of Tourism in partnership with various private organizations.

Mission
Pilipinas Tara Na! seeks to encourage Filipinos to discover the pleasure of traveling the Philippines, see the country, learn about the people and experience diverse cultures that make the Philippines unique.



This is the first of three Pilipinas, Tara Na! music videos by the Department of Tourism, supported by Smart Communications and Perceptions, Inc.

Pilipinas, Tara Na! v.1
Words by: Rene Nieva
Composed by: Mike Villegas and Rico Blanco
Arranged by: Angelo Villegas

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Ikaw ba'y nalulungkot
Naiinip, nababagot
Ikaw ba'y napapagod
Araw gabi'y puro kayod?


Buhay mo ba'y walang saysay
Walang sigla, walang kulay?
Bawa't araw ba'y pareho
Parang walang pagbabago?

Tara na, biyahe tayo
Kasama ang pamilya
Barkada at buong grupo
Para mag-enjoy ng todo.

Halika, biyahe tayo
Nang ating makita
Ang ganda ng Pilipinas
Ang galing ng Pilipino.

Nag-driving ka na ba
Sa mga bayan sa baybay
Ng buong Laguna de Bay
Tuloy-tuloy sa Tagaytay?

Nalasap mo na ba
Ang Lanzones ng Camiguin
Penoy balot ng Pateros
Ensaymada ng Malolos?

Tara na, biyahe tayo
Upang ating matanto
Tayo man ay iba-iba
Diwa't puso ay iisa

Halika, biyahe tayo
Nang ating makita
Ang ganda ng Pilipinas
Ang galing ng Pilipino.

RAP:
Mga kababayan, ating puntahan,
Dambana ng kadakilaan at kagitingan
Fort Santiago, Kawit, Mactan
Barasoain, Corregidor at Bataan.

Nag-shopping ka na ba
Sa malls ng Metro Manila
Naka-bargain sa Baclaran
Greenhills at Divisoria?

Nakapag-uwi ka na ba
Ng perlas mula Sulu
World-class shoes from Marikina
Abaca bags from Bicolandia?

Tara na, biyahe tayo
Nang makabili
Ng maganda at murang-mura
Gawa ng kapwa-Pilipino.

Halika, biyahe tayo
Nang ating makita
Ang ganda ng Pilipinas
Ang galing ng Pilipino.

Nakisaya ka na ba
Sa Pahiyas at Masskara
Moriones at Ati-atihan
Sinulog at Kadayawan?

Namiesta ka na ba
Sa Penafrancia sa Naga
Umakyat sa Antipolo
Nagsayaw sa Obando?

Tara na, biyahe tayo
Upang ating matamo
Ligaya at pagkakaibigan
Kaunlaran, kapayapaan.

Halika, biyahe tayo
Nang ating makita
Ang ganda ng Pilipinas
Ang galing ng Pilipino.

Tara na, biyahe tayo
Upang ating matamo
Ligaya at pagkakaibigan
Kaunlaran, kapayapaan.

Halika, biyahe tayo
Nang ating makita
Ang ganda ng Pilipinas
Ang galing ng Pilipino.

08 April 2014

Watch : Poi Dancing in Calaguas Island.

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Thank you Rei Gallardo for capturing this


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The first time I was able to watch and got amazed  of this super entertaining Poi dancing was in Boracay . It was performed by Boracay Phoenix Fire Dancers. I truly admired on how they executed the dance using the fire. The production was visually pleasant.

By then, I started to study it on my own by watching videos in youtube. ..

Luckily, last year while i traveled in Puerto Princesa  City ( in Pristine Beach to be specific ). I met this local who taught me some techniques. It was very challenging in my part.

But April 5,2014 was the day that I met Eca in Calaguas Island , she is a Poi dancer and she taught me how to dance . "You just feel the music and create your own choreography , you just let go your feeling."she said. " If you let your feeling controlled the dance, the Poi will automatically follows "she added.

So I started to dance with music,

Thank you Vin Bruts for this image


First... I reminisced the gracefulness of Boracay Fire Dancer
  Second... I applied the techniques that i learned  from Puerto Princesa local
     and Finaly...  I danced from my heart like Miss Eca Taught me..

Vin Bruts is on gray shirt and Rei Gallardo on green sando, its me behind Vin


Hope you like it...  

03 April 2014

Lenten Special: Visita Iglesia

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The Seven Churches Visitation also known as Visita Iglesia is a pious Roman Catholic Lenten tradition by attempting to visit seven churches or religious sites. Traditionally observed on Maundy Thursday, it is commonly practiced during any day of the Holy Week. Indeed, trek to churches is part of Filipino’s Culture. And as a Filipino Traveler, I can’t separate the fact that in every place I’ve been, church visit is always part of my itinerary.

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Since the day I travelled and started to blog, I noticed one thing- Church Pictures. Not just seven churches but innumerable.

Indeed, Lenten Season is about to come. Lemme, post a video of my favorite Christian Song Entitled “Jesus Takes the Wheel”. This Video is a compilation of my Church visits as the day I started to wander. I also chose the song because it is my favorite song that is appropriate for all my travels. “I let God to maneuver my life to avoid misadventures”.

Hope you like it….

01 April 2014

10 Things You Need To Know About Philippine Call Center Industry. (Part 1)

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Credit to Dugongpinoy.com
The BPO industry remains as a popular source of employment among young Filipinos with college degrees. “Based on sectoral projections, we are confident that BPO firms will be able to add an average of 124,000 well-paying jobs annually from 2014 to 2016, or a total of 372,000 new posts over the next three years,” Romulo said in a statement. Indeed, according to the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), the country’s IT-BPO industry could employ up to 1.3 million individuals by 2016. As more and more Filipinos rely on the industry for their livelihood, it’s domineering that Filipinos and Filipinos at heart be informed regarding how the Philippines’ BPO industry works.

I’ve been working in a BPO industry 2 years and 6 months now. I decided to change my job as a banker to a call center agent for some reasons – scarcity of resources. Working in a BPO industry is not an easy road for me, I need to be strong physically and emotionally. With these two and a half years, I can say that I was totally changed. And maybe I have now the capacity to share the things that you need to know about Philippine Call Center Industry.

1.      How BPO Exist?
There are four major stakeholders that play as a huge role in a BPO industry.

a.  The BPO Companies – A plain providers of email response and managing services, these have industrial capabilities for almost all types of customer relations, ranging from travel services, technical support, education, customer care, financial services, and online business-to-customer support, online business-to-business support to the BPO Clients. These are Companies situated in Philippines mostly owned by American, Indian and/or Australian.

b.   The BPO Clients – Are those companies who decides to outsource the services that they supposedly responsible on doing. Meaning “BPO Clients” pay “BPO Companies” to fulfill their duties (with legal ties/contract). Usually, these are large companies from US, UK and/or Australia.

c.   The Call Center Agent - is a person responsible for answering the quires of the “The BPO Clients’ customer “in case of customer support call center. They are responsible to satisfy customer and maintain good image for the BPO Clients’ company. It is a person hired by “BPO Companies” to work for “The BPO Clients” and to act as an employee as hired by “The BPO Clients” but the truth is he/she is employed in a BPO Company.

d.  The BPO Clients’ customer. – These are the callers from US, UK, and/or Australia.


2.      How to become a call center Agent?

Honestly, before I decided to transfer in a BPO industry, there were lots of considerations I ruminate. I was told by my few Bank officemates that I shouldn’t choose BPO because it is only intended for uneducated people. According to them that why should I work as a telephone operator if I finished a Bachelor Degree. Notably, they also mentioned that anyone can apply in a BPO industry but not anyone can apply in a bank. However, I still pushed my luck in a BPO industry.

I applied and I was rejected seven times in different companies. It was totally different way of selection process. I remembered, the first BPO Company I’ve applied was in West Contact (Makati), I was wearing long sleeves, black pants, necktie, black shoes with Kiwi shine and I brought my portfolio. I noticed the other applicants were not wearing corporate attire and everyone was staring unto me. The initial exams were all English stuffs and I didn’t even experienced computing numbers. And then everyone spokes English fluently with American accent. It was horrible experience.

After that incident, I learned that BPO industry is not just an easy job. It’s more than that. Call center managers require new hires to be extremely fluent in English.. Let me share you guys this important thing that I learned from those seven times of rejection and after my job offer – production. Accent – this is important, means paying attention to the way you pronounce and enunciates words is your priority. No matter how many grammar lapses you incurred during your interview as long as you delivered it in a confident manner with accent. I am pretty sure you will hit your target.

3.  Tips for the Applicants during Recruitment and Training Process.


Interviewer : How did you learned about this Company?
Applicant: Through my Neva!
Interviewer : Through whom?
Applicant : My Neva, the house next to mine is
                     my NEVA. (LOL!)
There are three major ways in applying in a call center industry; namely “Walk-in”- you just go directly to the HR recruitment department and submit your resume. “Employee Referral”- where an applicant is referred by an existing employee of a call center, you will only get surprise when someone calls you for a phone interview and you are oblige to speak in English regardless if you’re in the restroom, bus, MRT and any public places while the people around you are listening. (Tip: always ask the person who referred you because he/she might get a referral bonus, you can ask him/her a deal for bonus sharing). “Agency Endorsement”- an employment agency will conduct its own screening before endorsing an applicant to any call center. I experienced this scenario once before I was endorsed to STREAM GLOBAL (Mandaluyong). I will not advise this way because at the employment agency you will take all the selection process (I thought I was hired already) and when you reach at the BPO recruitment, you will undergo again the same selection process. So, you are just wasting time.  

At the HR office you will see innumerable applicants; I must say socially inclined people (I meant social climber). Why I say so, because you will hear Accents that are superb and you will see glamorous outfits of women and trendy get-up of men. Don’t mind them, always remember that you guys are all same applicants and you guys need a job (or who knows you might get a higher offer than them)

Here are the selection processes
1.      Phone Screening- also known as Versant wherein an applicant responds to a recorded voice to determine the voice quality over the phone. What I can suggest is that you need to speak louder and clear. It is also known as call simulation wherein an interviewer will play as a customer and you will answer the call.

2.      Examination- this includes aptitude tests, computer-based call simulations and emotional quotient (EQ) tests. During your behavioral test you should be aware that they are measuring your behavior.

3.      Initial Interview- conducted by the company human resource department or another outsource staffing firm to test the speaking skills, attitude and confidence of the applicant in responding to questions.

4.      Final Interview – to assess customer service, technical, or sales skills. This stage also you will be asked if how much is your expected salary.

5.      Job offer- Remember that a job offer is always offered at the end of the day. If the recruiter will advise you that they will need to review your application and wait for their call, don’t expect for it, that is their way on saying “you didn’t passed”. BPO recruitment is a one day process and HR department have a target headcount a day. Before signing the Job offer do ask about your salary, the taxable and not and etc. before you sign.

Part 2 Coming up next... soon..

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