Are you the type who embraces change quite easily or are you like me or most of us who prefer comfort 99% of the time and stay in that zone as much as we can, as much as we are allowed to?
Change has lots of facets, degrees, phases, twists and turns, which make life all the more fun and exciting. If change is good and beautiful, that without a doubt is so easy to accept and embrace without so much thought and resistance. Change is sometimes internal, we change through our experiences, lessons we learn as we go along, and sometimes change is external, life imposes it upon us and we have no control about it but we only have to face it, trust that it will be for our good, optimize all the teachings it offers, either it’s obvious or it’s something that will unfold eventually.
Sometimes, when life is well, we like it to stay that way for a really long time, though sometimes, even when life is well, you know in your heart that you want something more, something different, something you think is better, more beautiful than what you currently have and where you currently are, and sometimes I go and dwell to that place and phase.I am happy and grateful with how things are in my life, I am so grateful for my family and every single person in my life, very grateful for good health and strength, I appreciate the people I work with and the place where I work, I look forward to the coming of the baby in our family, my very first nephew, and the changes it will bring in our lives. But sometimes, I will remember to ask the Lord to bring me to “this world” which I dream of, pray and hope for… If the Lord will grant that request, it will certainly require so many changes in me and everything around me, it is both exciting and overwhelming when I think about it. And after awhile, I will get back to my senses and be reminded that God holds my life, its beginning and end, He is my Father and He definitely has the best plans for me, for all of His children. From then on, peace will again fill me, and I am well.
Sweet surrender is a good place to be – always– whether you are currently in your comfort zone or you are brought to a entirely new environment.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
When I travel, I usually pack my clothes on the day of departure because I didn’t want my clothes to crumple (too much). I think this is okay for short trips, but not for 2 or 3 week trip. I tried to do that for my 3-week Europe trip, and it was not good, it’s actually a bad move, I ended up bringing so much clothes which was a nightmare especially in Europe!! I lost weight (even after so much eating – too much pasta, pizza and gelato) from carrying my heavy large luggage while transferring from one city to another. We explored 6 cities in 4 countries within 3 weeks, I knew it was only by God’s grace that I was sustained with so much energy and strength, and I was definitely in good health, before, during and after the trip, thank and praise God for everything and for sending kind-hearted people who helped me carry my luggage when I needed it most! 🙂
So on the day of the trip, I packed the lightest clothes, mostly white tops, because Bangkok weather was ranging from 32-36 degrees that time. I actually dreaded the hot weather but I just tried to prepare for it, I brought a big good old fan, facial mist, wet ones, towels, sunscreen, my good old Starbucks tumbler (which I always fill up with water), and extra shirts. Below is the photo of all the things I packed for the trip. On the day of return to Manila, I only had 1 shorts, 1 skirt and 1 sleeveless top which I was not able to wear, so I was really happy for doing a good job in my packing this time. 🙂 By the way, I ended up not using the distressed jeans on the photo, I wore a lighter pair of jeans with floral stitches thrice during the whole trip! 😛
Our 4th and last day was basically a travel/airport day, no more other agenda aside from checking out the nearby pool in our neighborhood which was less than a minute walk from our beautiful and big AirBnb, our happy home. We had hoped to atleast hang out by the pool and swim but we were so tired each night after a long day of travel so we didn’t have the time for some refreshing night swimming. Another thing that we ran out of time to do was to get some relaxing, must-needed Thai massage – definitely a must next time! 😉
So on our last morning in Bangkok, we tried to capture some more remembrance of our happy home and lovely neighborhood. 🙂
I had managed to do an endorsement shoot in the morning for a newly discovered drink which became an instant favorite ♥ Thanks for the sister for being my photographer! 😛
Before heading to the airport, we had our yummy breakfast at a “fancy” street food stall near our home 😛
Here’s the authentic, freshest, yummiest chicken Thai soup I had for brekky, and it’s the cheapest too! ♥
Of course, I wouldn’t let this day pass without my milktea! I loaded up on milktea for 4 consecutive days!
Before going back to our happy home to get our things, we had one last stop at 7-eleven. I would have hoarded lots of drinks (especially the collagen one, soooo good!) if only I wasn’t afraid of them accidentally spilling on my things! Next time, I should have a separate, durable bag for drinks alone! I ended up bringing home only 3 pouches of the collagen drink which I finished all in one day… 😛
Now, we’re ready to go and spend a few hours at the airport before our flight to Manila. The flight of Nikky, my brother and my sister was 5 hours earlier than Tet’s and my flight. So Tet and I had some time to window-shop, chill at Starbucks and chat a lot! 🙂
By this time, you probably know that I collect Starbucks cards from the places I visit, and even from Philippines when I find the cards lovely and pretty. And my very thoughtful and generous friends give me Starbucks cards as pasalubong from their trips too. 🙂 I find that they are the lightest souvenir that I can take home from my trips and also I get to enjoy a cup or two because when you “buy” the card, the cost of the card is actually consumable. 🙂 The cards are free in some cities/countries too! Here are some recent additions to my collection, which are gifted by my sweet and supportive friends. 😉
So for this Bangkok trip, getting a Starbucks card was part of the agenda. There were lots of Starbucks in Bangkok but we didn’t manage to visit most of them due to lack of time. I checked out one Starbucks branch, I forgot where, but I didn’t like the available cards so I didn’t get any. I thought I would get another chance to check out other branches, which I did, there were 2 or 3 branches inside the airport, I was able to go to 2 of them.
Tet and I went to the first branch after we had lunch with Nikky, Carlo and Kris just before they checked in.
n. A freshsoftItaliancheesewith a highbutterfatcontent,madefromlightcream.
My sister requested me to buy her a set of Starbucks demitasse, her collection. Sorry, I didn’t have a photo of it, but it’s a set of 2 mini-mugs with Bangkok and Thailand inscription on each, a good souvenir too. The first branch had no Starbucks card. So while getting the demitasse for my sister, I got tempted to get a cutie mini-mug for myself. ♥
Maybe after more than an hour of chatting and chilling at Starbucks, Tet and I waited at the designated Terminal to check-in. After we got in, Tet and I walked a long mile to find the 2nd Starbucks only to find out that there were no cards too! 😩😭😫 So I tried to keep my cool hahaha and I was glad that I got a better remembrance from the 1st branch! 🙂 Thanks much Tet for supporting me in my crazy pursuit though all in vain! 😛 But seriously, thanks a lot for walking the long mile with me to find the Starbucks on the other end (of the world) from our boarding gate, and window-shopping with me! Really appreciate it. Kob kun kaa. ♥
Now that I am about to close this 4-part series of my Bangkok posts, I would really like to take this chance to thank these 4 amazing, beautiful, lovely, fun-loving, easy going, generous, thoughtful, godly bunch! If not for all of you, I wouldn’t have a very special summer trip this year. I thank and praise God for our wonderful, glorious, short but sweet summer vacation. I am truly blessed to have visited Thailand for the first time with my Christian family and friends – that’s another reason which made this trip truly special. ♥♥♥♥♥ Where to next? 🙂
“Every good and perfect gift is from Above…’ – James 1:17
These are just some descriptions I have for Grand Palace. It is very true to its name, grand is actually an understatement. I’ve traveled quite a bit and have seen quite a lot but it still blows my mind each time I see such elaborate, intricate, gigantic edifice of different forms, kinds, architecture and history. How in the world were they able to create those structures some hundred years ago (sans machines, technologies, electricity) with such accuracy, beauty, artistry and intricacy…
On Day 3, we finally had the time to visit the Grand Palace. It’s a must see, never to be missed even on a hot day. But if ever I will go back with family or friends, I would prefer to go on a cooler weather. We were literally dripping with so much sweat because it was soooo hot, another underestimate. 😛 We were there between 9:00am – 10:30am. The whole place, though it was grandiose, it was still unimaginably and amazingly filled with tourists!!
I tried to take photos though I could hardly see through my camera lens because the sun was up and so bright even with my sunnies on.
Of course, the 🌞 didn’t stop us from taking group photos and videos and having some good laughs and blogger poses in between. 😛😂
As soon as we got out of the Palace, we beat the heat by rewarding ourselves with some ice cream. 😍
Since Day 3 was our last full day in Bangkok, it was also our last chance to do some shopping.
We requested our driver to bring us to Platinum Fashion Mall, where we first had lunch at the foodcourt, I had the yummiest Thai soup (forgot how it was called), but I was too hungry to even take a photo of it 😛 (sorry!) and then shopped. Since we had limited time, I bought first my friends’ requests and some souvenirs for family and friends.
When my friends go to Thailand, I only have one request – Durian Chips. I would have hoarded these chips but they are expensive! This one is almost P500!
When my friends go to Thailand, I only have one request – Durian Chips. I would have hoarded these chips but they are expensive! The one in round container is almost P500 ($10)!!
When my friends learned that I would be going to Bangkok, they all had the same word for me – shopping in Bangkok is cheap. So I kept it in my mind and heart 😛 and managed to keep myself from buying anything from the time the flight was booked until our trip to Bangkok – big milestone for someone who never failed to buy something new to wear for a trip (you know OOTD is life in IG). 😛 Each time I got tempted to buy a top, or a pair of pants, or bag, or even accessories, I would instinctively tell myself “that’s probably cheaper in Bangkok” and then I would walk away as fast as I could. 🤪
So the day of shopping finally came, but by this time, I’ve ran out of my pocket money, my ATM didn’t work, so I borrowed a few bucks from my brother & sister!! Lifesavers! 😛 So I depended on little cash and my creditcard but unfortunately, most shops don’t accept creditcard payment and some have 3% bank charge! But I still tried to go through each floor and looked for something to buy for momsy, my preggy sister and/or me. I managed to buy a dress and skorts (skirt/shorts) for momsy and nothing for me!! Amazing, such a breakthrough! 🤣😂😜
So I had some affirmations about myself through this experience:
✅ I’ve experienced this a few times – I would go home empty handed from mall wide sales. It came to a point when mall wide sales don’t entice me anymore. I don’t and can’t force myself into buying something just because it’s on sale.
✅ No fitting policy won’t work for me. I want to try something on and see if it looks good on me before I consider buying it.
✅ Too many options, limited time and crowded malls have negative effect on my appetite to shop – which is actually friendly on my pocket. 😜
✅ I would rather spend my money on food than things – I love to bring home some local goodies for my family and friends for them to try and taste. So I bought some locally produced coffee, milk tea, noodles, and snacks from Big C, a big grocery store near Platinum Fashion Mall.
Thanks to Eia for introducing me to this coffee brand (Khao Shong), I love it! 🙂
Travelling is one of life’s best teachers. You learn about history, culture, language, you learn how to adapt, socialize, you realize that the world is big (and beautiful) and you are just a small (but blessed and special) part of it, you learn how to be grateful for what and how you are, you learn more about yourself and the family, friends, and even the strangers you are travelling with.
On our 2nd day in Bangkok, our first stop was the Floating Market, another first and unique experience for us. Nikky was able to experience floating market in Bangkok, but on that day, our driver brought us to the first/original Floating Market which was far from the city center, between 1.5 – 2 hour drive. The Floating Market experience which lasts for about an hour costs 5,000 Baht. We were actually not expecting to pay anything for the Floating Market ride, unless we buy something, so we were quite shocked when we were told that the cost for the experience was 5,000 Baht! Anyway, we charged it to experience, appreciated that we had a wonderful and safe ride, the boat was made of sturdy and shiny wood and it was shaded/covered – we were protected from direct sunlight and heat! Lesson no. 1 – when offered with something, be it an experience, food, or anything, ask first how much it costs – when travelling, barely anything is for free! 😛
During the boat ride, we didn’t buy anything except food. 🙂 One common denominator in our group is we all LOVE to eat!! We are very passionate about satisfying our gastronomic cravings. 😛
After the Floating Market experience, our tummies were ready for lunch, yet another Thai lunch! 🙂 Our driver brought us to Maeklong Train Station Market.
Here’s what we had for Day 2 lunch 🙂 – all soooo goood, yummeeehh and cheap too!! 😉
And of course, a Thai meal wouldn’t be complete without….
After lunch, some train station photo-op 😛
Another common denominator with this group is we all love taking photos and groupies ♥
After lunch, we tried to do some shopping around the Train Station Market, but it was too hot!!
Our next stop was Golden Buddha (Sukhothai Traimit). The Sukhothai Traimit Golden Buddha is the largest Golden Buddha Image in the world, it was made of pure gold, with a price value of 28.5 million pounds and ages over 700 years by now. It is a valuable treasure of Thailand and Buddhism.
Outside the temple, it looks like this, photos below. We only went to the top floor. There’s a museum on the ground or 2nd floor but we didn’t go anymore.
Our last stop for the day before dinner is another top favorite – Jim Thompson House Museum. Thank you Eia and Gill for recommending this. 🙂 This is where you will learn something new, there’s a 30-40 minute guided-tour around the house museum – you will know who Jim Thompson is – you’ll learn a bit of history, your eyes will feast on all the rich, beautiful art collections inside, you will be refreshed with the greens and waters around. 🙂 We all loved it! ♥
After the guided tour, we went to the boutique where the Jim Thompson products are displayed and sold. My heart melt with all the beautiful silk products at the Jim Thompson boutique. I love the quality, the luxurious feel and the prints of the bags and scarves. It was love at first sight with this rice-large-silk-twill-hobo-bag but had to control myself from bringing it home, too expensive for me! 😛
RICE LARGE SILK TWILL HOBO BAG – ORANGE
But I knew from my melting ♥ 😛 that I had to buy something as a remembrance from this trip, and it has to be from Jim Thompson.
After my happy purchase, Nikky wanted to check out the restaurant inside Jim Thompson, so we did and we were happy to learn that all pastries were 50% off from 5-7pm! By that time, around 6pm, we were all exhausted, and loading up some sugar was a welcome treat with a beautiful, calming view of a big koi pond. 🙂
We loved all the cakes, sooo pretty and yummy!! 🙂
Before we called it a day, we took some photos with the Tuktuk inside Jim Thompson.
“Tuk-tuks or ‘sam lor’ (three-wheeled) used to be everyone’s favourite way of getting around Bangkok before the BTS, MRT and colourful taxis took over.”
Hope you learned something from our Day 2 adventures and enjoyed it as much as we did! 😉
I’ve been blessed with another short yet definitely sweet and super fun trip this April. It’s a blessing because my favorite sister Kris, I only have one :), and favorite brother-in-law Carlo gifted me with a flight ticket to Bangkok. 🙂 Thank you so much, you’re the best sister and brother to me! 😀 Thanks much too to Nikky for booking it for our group and taking good care of us all throughout, you’re the best! 🙂
This trip, my 12th country, Thailand, is very special in more ways than one. Aside from being our first time to travel together out of the country, it’s also my sister’s first out of the country trip and she’s 4 months pregnant with the very first grandchild of our growing little family. 🙂 It’s also the first time that we would get to travel with Kris’ and Carlo’s friends/churchmates, Nikky and Tet. 🙂
So many firsts! So many things to be thankful for! 🙂
This photo was taken in Bang Pa-In Palace (Summer Palace), our first stop on Day 1 – 18 April – Ayutthaya Day trip. The backdrop is called Phra Thinang (Royal Residence) Aisawan Thiphya-Art (The divine seat of personal freedom). Of all the places that we explored, the Summer Palace is actually my top favorite, we took lots of beautiful photos on this very beautiful place. ♥ I loved that this place has pavilions and gazebos laid out in a garden setting, Western style-buildings, there’s Victorian feel to it, everything is just so lovely. ♥
After taking lots of photos and shortcutting our tour around the Summer Palace because it was getting too hot already, we were ready for my much awaited Thai milk-tea, and Thai lunch!! 😛
Here’s our Day 1 Thai lunch, all soooo yummmm!!
After lunch, we were ready for another treat – Ayutthaya Historical Park-hopping all afternoon. 🙂
Thanks to my brother and sister for their GoPro, we’ve got lots of wide-angled photos and super funny videos. 🙂
Next stop, one of the highlights, was our up-close encounter with a biggie but uber cutie elephant 🙂
After our photo-op with cutie elphie, it’s time for my 2nd milk tea! 😛
That’s all for now for my first Thailand trip.
Posts on Day 2-4 will follow in the coming days, hopefully. 🙂
We’re on the 63rd day of 2018, 2 months passed by so quickly, right?
My first two months were great! Thank and praise God for all that He has done and for all the blessings He has poured upon my family and all my loved ones and friends.
The biggest blessing/answered prayer so far is my little sister’s pregnancy. 🙂 Our family is soooo happy and grateful for this blessing, such a great way to start the year!! She’s on her 3rd month and we are so looking forward to the new addition to our growing family.
We are also counting the days to our first out of the country trip for the year, it will be my first time to travel with my sister and brother-in-law to Bangkok. It’s my sister’s first out of the country trip so we are all very excited. 🙂
With regards to my #Goals for 2018, I think I am doing okay, I have 10 more months to fulfill most of it. 🙂
Read and study the Old Testament. – I’m on Genesis 16. I am slow but it is okay. Reading and studying the Word of God is not a contest, it’s about consistency, commitment, and building a personal relationship with the Author. 🙂
Finish one-to-one discipleship with muy bella, Mel. Then participate at the Victory weekend and be water-baptized as a Christian. – I hope to be water-baptized this year, I am not rushing this, I will happily and peacefully follow God’s timeline.
Join VictoryFort’s feeding program regularly. – I will join VictoryFort’s activities after my baptism. 🙂
Buy an oven and learn how to bake cookies, cupcakes and cakes. – My target for this is next quarter. I hope to buy an oven by April and start baking thereafter. 🙂
Save up Pxxx,xxx by end of the year. – I think this is attainable. 🙂
Read atleast one book per month. – I’ve finished reading these 3 books but I started reading them in late 2017.
I bought 4 new books at the Big Bad Wolf Book Fair, here they are:
Learn French using the Duolingo app. – This one I am not consistent. I should start again very soon!!
For the first two months of the year, I had a couple of disappointments which caused me momentary heartbreak but it’s all okay now. I think I was able to manage my emotion well, and hold my peace thus no relationship was compromised. I have forgiven and learned to let it go. I know it is never right to judge anyone, but because of what happened, I had a better understanding and appreciation of why God has commanded us not to judge our brethren.
“Judge not, that you be not judged.2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” – Matthew 7:1-2
I have been judged, and it hurt so much. People, even family or friends, will not always understand why we do what we do, so it is best to not judge. Each has his/her own reasons for doing things, in most cases, only God is our witness and He’s the only one who understands, accepts, forgives and loves us, no matter what.
Anyway, I am so grateful that God is always ready to listen to us, to hear our prayers, our cries, and He is with us to comfort, to give us peace and the assurance that everything will be okay because He is our Father, He is in control and He has the best plans for each of us.
Anyway, on a lighter note, I am very happy with my increasing commitment to working out/exercise. When I say “workout/exercise,” it means joining Thursday Bootcamp, planking and abs workout at home (checkout JessicaSmithtv), playing squash and doing treadmill at the company gym. I’ve recently discovered what will entertain me while I run, that is watching YouTube videos, I am specifically hooked with Erwan Heusaff’s videos, because it’s 99% travel and food! 🙂
On weekends, I try to jog/walk with my momsy, and then we would have coffee (and French toast and baked sweet potato, oooopppssss!!!) afterwards if the time permits it. I think I am officially a coffee princess, in other words – coffee addict, which is not actually bad, for as long as I am not drinking too much. 🙂
We are only done with the first two months of the year, but I have been blessed with so much already. So many favors and blessings from God through my loving family, well-meaning friends and colleagues at work, good health and strength, travels to look forward to, a happy, healthy, godly baby for our family in a few months.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2
The future is bright, it is so promising and filled with God-ordained circumstances. I am very hopeful and expectant of all things good, lovely and beautiful because my hope rests in the Lord.
We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you. – Psalms 33:20-22