The Secret To A Happy And Lasting Relationship

Many of us think that once you’ve entered a relationship, it means that, everyday is all about rainbows and butterflies, but I beg to disagree. Why? Because having to love someone does not entail loving them only during good times, but it means loving them even during the unloveable and worse times.

They say, you have the happiest and lasting relationship once you’ve experienced hurdles and successes during a long period of time together. But that is not always true. A lot of couples we know who have a lasting relationship (which we think the only thing lacking is the wedding, or worse is, they’re already married) have gone to separate ways. Why? Because along the way, after having been together for quite some time, you will experience things which will change your perspective totally. Once you’ve gotten yourself a job, or you started working overseas, or you met and started to mingle with new set of friends or colleagues, or you experienced a major problem in your life, everything will turn 180deg from your original thoughts and beliefs. Things, people, job, new culture, and experiences will change you, whether you like it or not.

Hence, after all the things you encountered, or having met the people you ought to work with, and all, at the end of the day, what you wanted, still, is to be with the one you love and chose to love after all these years. So what do we really need in order to stay in love and being loved by the most important person in our life? I think the secret to a lasting, happy, contented and healthy relationship is…. *drumroll… is…. to choose each other every day. One day at a time, choose each other. How is that even possible and helpful?

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First, you do not know what the future holds, you don’t control the sky, the moon, the stars, and every situation that is happening that might change your feelings to the person, BUT, if you choose to love the person everyday, one day at a time, I think it will be extraordinary, and let me say it… life-changing.

Think of this, everyday, in every hour, in every minute, and in any circumstances, if you choose to love the person, nothing will be at risk. However difficult it could get, even during the times you are fighting, or even if one of you is being a pain in the neck; once you turn your thoughts and efforts towards loving that person no matter how difficult and impossible the situation gets, everything is going to be a-okay. That, I promise you. But, what’s the catch? The rule of the thumb is, both of you should be practicing that every day. Why? Because, a relationship consists of two whole beings who are intellectually capable to understand, to love and to commit.

One more thing is when you practice loving the person in any circumstance, drunk or sober, you will not commit any mistake, even if you’re surrounded with unfaithful friends (who do extracurricular activities while their partners are away), or even if you are being pressured by your colleagues, nothing will be at risk if you choose to love the person in any circumstances whatsoever.

Sometimes, when the going gets tough, and suddenly you do not know where to go or what to do anymore, chances are, you might be finding yourself regretting something you already did that you shouldn’t have to; but if you take your relationship seriously, and you focus your thoughts to the person you love, no matter how tough any situation gets, at the end of the day, you will be able to sleep your conscience, good night; because you did the right thing that day, and tomorrow is another brand new day to choose to love the person. Remember, while the relationship lasts, love will not always be feelings anymore, rather, it will be a decision.

“You are the first and last thing on my mind each and every day.”

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7 Life Hacks I’ve Learned From My Soldier

A part of being with someone means learning their ways or adapting their own thinking and somehow, without intention, you tend to apply it in your own day-to-day life.

I’ve been in a relationship with an MIU (man in uniform: then-Cadet/Soldier) for almost 8 years, and I can say, a lot of his own “ideals” in life, I tend to actually adapt into my own life.

He is a Soldier, generally, we could conclude that he should be protective and strict, yes protective, and a little bit strict at times, and since we are soon to build a family of our own–a Military Family at that, he tends to be so heedful about the values we cultivate as a couple.

Since Day 1, he has been very “extra protective” of me because he knows how naive I am, how impulsive I am to making harsh decisions, and how I easily slip things on my hands, unintentionally.

So through time, I’ve learned these things from him, important values I think I could share to you, and I hope it will help you, too.

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Life Hacks I’ve Learned From My Soldier

NEVER VOLUNTEER INFORMATION

He is a Soldier, as much as I’d like to deny this fact, we will be having “extra special” kind of family in the future, where “extra” means we have to be very vigilant and careful because, bad guys do exist. If you know where I’m getting into, you know how important this really is. So I cannot barge around meeting new people and tell them my boyfriend is a Soldier, and he is currently assigned to this and that, etc, etc, our home address, where his parents’ home is, etc etc. FACT: I actually don’t carry any military-related stuff, his photo wearing his rank, or PMA souvenir, takot ko lang. Civis lang lagi dapat ang peg.

NEVER TELL PEOPLE YOUR WHEREABOUTS

First clue: He deactivated navi tools in our devices; and when I’m with him, we tend to keep ourselves being tracked by the social media, and stuff. I know sometimes it’s kind of overacting because who cares where we are after all, right? We are not celebrities, or VIPs, but he explained to me that he is a government property; he is a walking hot stuff with “barcode” ready to be snatched by some dude trying to ruin the democracy or so. LOL. Kidding aside, I should really give this some serious consideration, because I know he has Serial Number, and he is more important as I think he is, especially to the government.

So yeah, majority of our photos are “throwback” or “days ago” photos, and I’ve gotten used to it.

Read More: Military Relationship Facts

MASTER SELF-PRESERVATION

“No matter where you are, always be at peace with everybody. Don’t take sides, be neutral. Don’t open your mouth if you have any opinion about someone’s life, it’s not your business. Behave properly.” These are just his common precautions which he reminds me on a regular basis.

You know, I’m an INTJ type of person,  so I tend to be analytical all the time.

INTJ PERSONALITY: Rules, limitations and traditions are anathema to the INTJ personality type – everything should be open to questioning and reevaluation, and if they see a way, INTJs will often act unilaterally to enact their technically superior, sometimes insensitive, and almost always unorthodox methods and ideas. ~MBTI

(Take the “MBTI” Test to find out which personality type you belong, and share your results, I want to know!)

I tend to be critical about things, and I don’t settle for less. This is my then-personality and it has mellowed down as my BF tamed me through the years.

DO NOT OPEN YOUR MOUTH if you will only say bad stuff or suggestive comments to people who are not your people, haha MAPAPAAWAY KA LANG. Yes, I’ve learned a lot from this.

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ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS

When we go to a totally new place, esp buildings for that matter, I always find him looking for the “EMERGENCY EXIT.” He is very vigilant this way. Later on in life, I realized I’m becoming him. You know, we are a typical LDR couple so majority of my time I spend alone, and these “life skills” of his tend to creep through my veins before my own eyes. Haha I was actually taking serious precautions that my co-workers find me a little bit weird already. Haha

Read More: How My Soldier BF Got Over His Loneliness After I Went Abroad

SAFETY FIRST

Yes, whatever happens, choose the greater good for a greater number. hehe Basic Life Support 101. Kidding aside, you have to really prioritze safety. It’s better safe than sorry, sabi nga nila.

SAVE

I’m the type of person before who loves to YOLO. I spend my hard-earned money to unnecessary things, buying stuff I actully don’t need. Here comes Sancho, a spendthrift person, who saves and invests regularly. Even before he graduates from the Academy, he has already estbalished this habit, which now, I am currently applying because of his influence. LOL Remember this: save now, and it will save you in the future.

“The simple fact that is hard to learn is that the time to save money is when you have some.”

LOVE & TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Actually, this might sound a little bit funny, or “not-so-serious” item on the list, but hey! It’s actually vital. I was reading last month, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and I was actually planning to re-read it again, and on the early pages, I remember, author Stephen Covey explains that in order to “produce” you have to actually invest on the “production capability” or the P/PC Balance Principle.

Aesop’s fable of the Goose and the Golden Egg TM

This fable is the story of a poor farmer who one day discovers in the nest of his pet goose a glittering golden egg. At first, he thinks it must be some kind of trick. But as he starts to throw the egg aside, he has second thoughts and takes it in to be appraised instead. The egg is pure gold! The farmer can’t believe his good fortune. He becomes even more incredulous the following day when the experience is repeated. Day after day, he awakens to rush to the nest and find another golden egg. He becomes fabulously wealthy; it all seems too good to be true.

But with his increasing wealth comes greed and impatience. Unable to wait day after day for the golden eggs, the farmer decides he will kill the goose and get them all at once. But when he opens the goose, he finds it empty. There are no golden eggs — and now there is no way to get any more. The farmer has destroyed the goose that produced them.

But as the story shows, true effectiveness is a function of two things: what is produced (the golden eggs) and the producing asset or capacity to produce (the goose).

source: EFECTIVENESS DEFINED by Stephen R. Covey

Sancho always tells me this, “My, katawan lang natin ang puhunan natin sa trabaho, kaya dapat alagaan natin ang sarili natin.” He always reminds me to take my vitamins regularly, sleep early, stay warm, eat healthy, exercise reguarly and stuff, and actually he reminds me to update my “work stuff” regularly, especially my shoes or work clothes, because these things are the ones which I use everyday during work, so it has to be extra durable and could actually prevent incidents of injury, ie the shoes/car/ride that we use everyday. You know.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Yes, I know sometimes we’re kind of over doing stuff, but actually if you come to think of it, we should really be extra careful because we are inside the Military. We are not just civilians who snap around trying to challenge freedom; we are a part of the organization who actually maintain and uphold the peace and order for others to actually enjoy their “freedom,” and by this, we should at least, try not contribute to the problem, and do our best to at least help our MIU uphold their ideals by being vigilant in our own little ways.

Notes: Sancho is a Junior Officer of the Philippine Army, I, on the other hand is an ordinary girl from an ordinary family, trying to love an extraordinary man 🙂

Military Relationship is tough, but if you belong to us, like the PAGE for more “extraordinary” articles to read. See you soon! ~KimSancho

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The list goes on! What life hacks have you learned from your Soldier? Tell us your stories by commenting on this article.

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Read More:  9Reasons Being A Military Spouse is the Toughest Job in the Military

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5 Reasons You Should Do Your Best Today

Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.
This blog entry is inspired by my niece, Anne, who is now  a 3rd year Chemical Engineering student. She told me she’s been unmotivated for quite some time now, because of unrequited effort she is constantly having from all her engineering subjects, and for all those humdrum of college spectacles.

5 Reasons You Should Do Your Best Today

1. Remember why you started.

Life consists of sacrifices, and you got to take one for the team. Think of the most important people in your life, your parents, or your siblings perhaps; they’ve already took sacrifices for you, and this time, you got to take one for them, too.

Not satisfied, yet? Ok, think of your dreams. A couple of months or semesters ago, you’ve entered the school/university with the hope of becoming the best insert your future course/ occupation/ position in your humble town from your very own province. What happened now? Do you still want to be an Engineer? A Nurse? A Teacher? A Professional? An Entrepreneur? Or do you want to forgo this dream because you can’t take the fact that you only got 2-3 hours of sleep everyday due to school requirements? Mind the rewarding outcome, not the temporary comfort.

2. You’ve gone so far, don’t give up.

You’ve already hurdled great amount of effort before, why do you still want to give up now? A couple of months/years from now you will become the Boss reaping all successes which you got from your past sacrifices. The only requirement you need to do is to get yourself back on track and try to hold it together. It’s okay to set back once in a while, but you gotta make sure you’ll be back quickly to hold it together, again, this time, fiercer.

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Read More: 4 Habits Successful People Have

3. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

Remember, the harder, the better. In the future, you will not only encounter hills of problems, but mountains of them. So as you train to becoming the Boss, or the ‘Ma’am’ in your dream job/work/eterprise in the near future, it is necessary that you train in the worsts experiences and situations. You can’t be that good in your craft if you haven’t gone through the worsts.

A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.

4. Look up to your seniors.

You sure have someone you look up to who has already reached the zenith or the acme of your career. Don’t forget them during your battles, because they are impeccable proof who manifest that someone got off from your situation alive, and successful.

Read More: 10+ Signs You’ve Become A Better Version Of Yourself

5. Don’t forget that, “This too shall pass.”

Time is gold. This is classic, but I’m 100percent sure you do not want to get through this all over again, right? So do your best today. Screw later, because LATER is for people who want to set aside their future. They want to let the wind tell them where to go, and you don’t want that—a future full of uncertainties. What happens today dictates your future. Whatever you are doing today is creating your subsequent plans so make the best out of NOW.
Do something today, that your future self will thank you for.

Remember, it PAYS to be a WINNER.

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“Keep your head up. God gives His hardest battles to His strongest soldiers.” -Katie Schubert

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Read More: 24 Ways to Cast That Stress Away!

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4 Habits Successful People Have

“Successful people never ask if things will work. They are willing to try and find out.” -Brad Gosse

4 Habits Successful People Have

Open-Minded

A narrow-headed person always creates petty fights everywhere he goes, because he never listens. Successful people actually listen a lot, in fact, their words are always few, they tend to  be the listener most of the time, because they want to get innovative ideas from other people .
Don’t be too skeptic or doubtful, and carefully weigh your words before you throw them, because you won’t get any wiser if you always choose to be the talker, remember, your ears are two compared to your only one mouth.  So remember to listen twice as much as you speak.

Be curious, not judgmental. -W. Whitman

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Risk-taker

You know that uncertain paths might lead to wasteful end or regretful mistakes. However, when you won’t choose to take weighed risks, you will never go anywhere, and you can never change where you are, obviously. Studies show that elderly people regret most of what they didn’t do than what they actually did even if it went shoddily. So take risks. You only live once. Make the best of it. Life consists of numerous trials and errors.

The real risk is doing nothing.

Positive

Nobody has a positive life with a negative mind. True enough, you know a good and successful person if that person always bless. His words are full of positive thoughts, encouragement, and motivation, and whenever he speaks, you just want to jump off from there, and run back to your life, and try to fix it and start all over again. That’s the effect of a truly successful person. Successful people are eager to teach someone to be successful, too.
Positivity is a choice. Like happiness, it cannot be found outside us, but within us lies positivity. Remember to be like the protons, ALWAYS POSITIVE. 🙂

I will go anywhere as long as it is forward. David Livingston

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Choose SUCCESS over EXCUSES

Robert Kiyosaki once said, “If you wan’t to be rich, don’t allow yourself the luxury of excuses.” True enough, every time we decide to start something we really wanted to do, like pursuing our post-grad education, or even the most ordinary deed like house chores, there will always be something blocking us from doing it, right? And we allow it, habitually. Like, “later if my kid gets 2, or later if I’m done watching insert the name of your favorite show.”

You can have RESULTS or EXCUSES. Not both.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Admit it or not, you always choose the luxury of excuses because there lies your ‘comfort zone’ where everything is good and easy. If you want to draw the line from becoming good to becoming great, help yourself. Remember, the harder, the better.

“When you want to SUCCEED as much as you want to BREATHE, then you’ll be SUCCESSFUL.” -Eric Thomas

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24 Ways To Cast That Stress Away!

So this is according to WebMD on their article Stress Symptoms

What Is Stress?

Stress is the body’s reaction to harmful situations — whether they’re real or perceived. When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to act in a way to prevent injury. This reaction is known as “fight-or-flight,” or the stress response. During stress response, your heart rate increases, breathing quickens, muscles tighten, and blood pressure rises. You’ve gotten ready to act. It is how you protect yourself.

Stress means different things to different people. What causes stress in one person may be of little concern to another. Some people are better able to handle stress than others. And, not all stress is bad. In small doses, stress can help you accomplish tasks and prevent you from getting hurt. For example, stress is what gets you to slam on the breaks to avoid hitting the car in front of you. That’s a good thing.

Our bodies are designed to handle small doses of stress. But, we are not equipped to handle long-term, chronic stress without ill consequences.

-from Stress Symptoms,WebMD

*******PMG NOTES********

“Tough times don’t last, tough people do.”

Remember, it’s not the weight that puts you down, it’s the way you carry it. So here are some ways to bust the stress away. I hope you’ll find it useful. 🙂

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24 Effective Stress Busters

1. Just let it out. Shout it out loud like no one’s watching.
2. Eat it out. Just this once.
3. Listen to music.
4. Break your habit just for one day.
5. Have a relaxing bath
6. Light that candle. Explore those aroma varieties!
7. Take a walk.
8. Have a foot spa.
9. Keep a diary.
10. Sleep.
11. Make your own 3-year calendar and put those important dates in it especially your love ones’ birthdates!
12. Befriend yourself, and learn to chill.
13. Watch a movie.
14. Talk to a friend or two.
15. Go shopping.
16. Draw or paint.
17. Cook your favorite meal!
18. Take a selfie with a wide grin.
19. Start a scrap book or a photo album.
20. Have a cup of coffee.
21. Do sports.
22. Sing!
23. Jog.
24. Laugh!

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Next time you’re stressed:
Take a step back, inhale and laugh. Remember who you are and why you’re here. You’re never given anything in this world that you can’t handle. Be strong, be flexible, love yourself, and love others. Always just keep moving forward. ~unknown source

FINAL THOUGHTS:

When you’re stressed, remember to stop for a while and at least let your mind goes where it wants to.. just drift away… and then finally.. when you find your focus, go back to the battle. But remember that it’s always nice to take a step back once in a while, it will make you see things clearly, and do things wiser.  Good luck!

The list goes on! What do you do when you’re stressed? Tell us, so we can help others, too!

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10+ Signs You’ve Become a Better Version of Yourself

“The safest principle through Life, instead of reforming others, is to set about PERFECTING YOURSELF.” -B. R. Haydon

There are times in your life when you stop for a while and you try to assess yourself. Have you become better after all these years? Comparing to the “Past You,” do you think you have improved? Have you become the person you dream to be?
Self-evaluation from time to time will help us get ahead from our older selves and keep us in line with our goals and aspirations. So here is a check list to help us appraise ourselves.

ACCEPTING CRITICISMS POSITIVELY

Remember the time when a certain Teacher back in school tried to correct you and yet you didn’t actually listen because you think she was just mocking you in class? I once taught to students before, and it dawned on me that the only reason why teachers check their students is because they want them to be correct, nothing else.
This time is different. Now you think healthy criticisms will make you better and will help you improve your skills in your career. That’s why, you accept them whole heartedly and happily even if sometimes it crushes your bones.

LOOKING DOWN ON A PERSON ONLY WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO HELP THEM

“We rise by lifting others.”

When we were younger, social status was so important to us that at least once, we tried choosing our friends from the status they’re in (especially during grade school). As you mature, social status doesn’t matter to you at all. The only time you look down on someone is when you are trying to pull them up; to get in their shoes to better understand them. You only think the best way to help them is to know where they were coming from and try to start from there.

BECOMING EVEN CLOSER TO THE CREATOR

Right now, you believe the indispensable truth that there is a Creator of everything you see in the world. You perfectly know that without His guidance, you will not be able to get by even in a single day or two. You believe that wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you know that He is with you at all times keeping you safe and guiding you through the perfect path He prepared for you.

NOT MINDING OTHER’S OPINION OF YOUR CHOICES IN LIFE

I can’t tell tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone. Ed Sheeran

Now that you have grown maturely, opinion of other people doesn’t matter to you at all especially when you are making your own decisions. Only yours and your love ones’ opinion matter now. That being said, you realize that people will always talk behind your back even when things are done or not. So you just mind your own business instead, and focus your target straight through your goals with a bull’s eye.

TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR OWN MONEY

“The goal isn’t more money. The goal is living life on your terms.”

Now that you know how hard money is earned, you are not easily get carried away when you see a SALE sign posted on the walls of your favorite stores. You prioritise the need to meet your own necessities first, and thinking of saving a bigger amount, before cashing out money to buy your dream Chanel or Fendi bag or that MK watch you kept on seeing since last month. Compared to the past you, right now, you know how important money is and how a single refusal from your “wants” can move mountains if you put it in a good investment. Now you’re thinking of investing some amount of money for the future and you’re also considering long-term goals, even excited about joining retirement plans.

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CELEBRATING YOUR FAMILY’S UNIQUENESS

Before, when you see a happy, well-heeled family, you know from your heart you also want your family to be like that, and you get so envy you over compared your own family’s capability of providing for your needs. But this time is different, you realise the value of your family and you are proud of every effort they make. Now you know how different families are, and you know that no amount of money can buy your own family’s concord. You also know that whatever it is you are doing right now, it is because you have an ultimate goal for your family to jubilate later on.

ENJOYING THE COMPANY OF YOUR OWN SELF

KEEP CALM CAUSE I LOVE TO BE ALONE

Right now, “Me” time is no fuss to you. You even enjoy going to the mall alone, or walking leisurely in the park, or even traveling alone. You don’t have any problem going solo because you have turned into an independent, self-supporting person that you are right now.

TREASURING YOUR OLD FRIENDS & TAKING CARE OF NEW ONES

It takes time and some amount of hurdled hills to know who your real friends are. Luckily, you have your own friends and true enough, you have let time decide whether who’s staying or not. You know how important some minutes of Skype calls compared to long hours of chitchats when you were together. Even if you don’t talk constantly, and you are miles apart, you know from your heart that your friendship has gone through hard times that no amount of distance can separate you.

BEING OPEN-MINDED

Open our mind before your mouth.

Right now you believe that the world is changing so fast that almost everyday a breakthrough is being invented. What has been true before, might not be true today. So you become more adaptive to situations right now and you are open to sudden changes. You believe that even if others’ thoughts are not the same with yours, you know how important it is knowing that they have their own intellectuality and you respect it.

MEETING NEW PEOPLE DOESN’T SCARE YOU

Good things happen when you meet strangers

Self-contentment is a thing majority of people believe will help them succeed, but actually, nobody realizes their goals unless they conspire with others. Hence, you know how important it is to become socially active. This time, meeting people is a pleasure. You get more interested by their own stories, rather than bragging about yourself. And when you see them again, you do not remember them by the clothes they were wearing that night but by the depth of conversation you had.

PRIORITIZING OTHERS & LEARNING HOW TO COMPROMISE

Compromise need not mean cowardice.

When you were younger, you believe that the only person you have to satisfy is yourself. So you were selfish and everything you did was for your own sake. This time, you know how important others are  as  you are, so you learn how to compromise. By this, you got kinder and more generous to other people. You know that you will not always get what you want because others should be placed first before yourself.
Asking yourself “what’s in it for me?” doesn’t matter sometimes because you believe that others have needs, too, so you deny yourself of your wants and needs.. Hence, you became more self-less and compassionate.

ASKING MORE QUESTIONS

Don’t be afraid of the answers, be afraid of not asking the questions. -Jennifer Hudson

I remember my classmate in language class, when he tried to belittle me because I kept asking questions. Later on I think he got his doom when he didn’t actually pass a certain exam. Asking questions will not be a matter of life and death to you right now because you know perfectly that asking questions doesn’t make you less of a person. You do not want to commit mistakes later on so you are just being proactive.

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY

When you choose your behavior, you choose your consequences. -Dr. Phil

You know very well that what you are doing right now will greatly dictate what you will become in the future. So even the slightest detail in your work or a big decision to make matter to you. You know that you are responsible for your own actions and words so you become more careful with what you do and say.

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NOT LIVING IN THE PAST

Here’s to the future because I’m done with the past.

Some of us think that we have already moved on from the past, however, little did we know that a small glimpse from the past, frequently thought of everyday means we are still living there. Now, try to reminisce, when was the last time you had a great achievement? Was it when you got your college diploma? Or just recently when you got a promotion? Or the other day when you dined out with your family? Whatever it is that we think is important to us, however big or small, matters. However, when we look back and think that the past is better than today, well, maybe you have to re-evaluate yourself.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Being better than we were before entails a lifetime commitment. It is not a pill which we can take tonight and hola! tomorrow we transform. No. It takes time to learn and change for the better, but one thing is for sure, it will all start from a DECISION.

 

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OFW Story: Things We Miss From “Pinas”

2015 June: It’s already a month since I started my journey to a foreign land. Looking back, I never thought I’d ever feel this kind of thing you always hear from people, that feeling they call, “homesickness.” It never occurred to me that I’ve been feeling this sort of thing a few nights now. Before, I love putting myself to a restful sleep after a long and stressful day, but now, I’m already having difficulty sleeping at night. Maybe because I’m already homesick.

I’ve talked to some colleagues about this and true enough, they also feel this way. We ended up talking about what we miss being home.

FAMILY & FRIENDS

The only substantial reason why we chose to work a thousand miles away from our motherland is because of our family. Yet, they are also the ones who make us want to go back home as much as we could. However, when the waiting gets too long, all you have are your computer-printed photos of them which you tried arranging in front of your desk. There is no substitute to seeing your family and friends in flesh like you could do back home. No hours of doing/using Skype or Viber can replace the fact that you are living away from them, and you can’t do away from thinking they might have their own sphere without you in it.
 However, thinking negatively won’t help you achieve your goals while you’re in a foreign land. Remember, you are your family’s hope and as much as you miss them, they miss you, too—so much that they get misty eyes when they talk about you. Remember, keep your faith with you and call unto Him, whenever, wherever. He will come to your rescue, no fail.

 

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FOOD

No amount of authentic ramen or swiss chocolate can substitute to the taste we’ve accustomed to long before the age we started talking. Months before going to Japan, my friends and I used to visit some Japanese restaurants to try their cuisine with the goal of getting used to its taste. We were all excited when we had our first Ramen sided with Karaage and Tempura. Yes, we admit we devoured every piece of it at first but when days were passing, and all we can see is the same thing served on the table, we cannot do away from missing the native dish we got used to, growing up.
 For Filipinos like me, who doesn’t miss Adobo, Menudo, Sinigang, Tinola, Pinakbet, Pinikpikan, Dinakdakan, Lechon, Bistek, Chicharon, Dried Mango, Sampaloc, Malagkit, Sisig, Bopis, Empanada, Miki, Champorado at Tuyo, Papaitan, anyone?

FEELING OF BELONGINGNESS

I had this one experience with my friend while we were in a coffee shop. We were talking about how good the coffee was, meanwhile, a group of adults dashed passed us, just as we started speaking in Tagalog. I know, some locals do not want to be asked or to be disturbed, however, we felt like we were so gruesome that time that they really need to run as fast as they could from where we were standing. 
People living in a foreign country right now, will agree to me that there is this some kind of “awkwardness” every time you go to pubic places or even in a small get-together. When you are the “foreigner” in that place, there is this kind of feeling you encounter every time you mingle with the locals. It is not because they are not approachable or kind to you but they are not just “the same” people you know. Being in a foreign land entails that you need to act and think the same way they do. Don’t get me wrong when I say “the locals,” what I mean is the people originally living/residing in that place.
 Sometimes, you miss being carefree. Free from thinking you might get caught by the police without your Residence Card or passport with you. Free from thinking you might get summoned by someone because you might have spoken too loud or you might have used your camera in places you are not supposed to. It is just so different when you are in your own country where you can always ask people anything you want, or you can just be yourself without a bit of hesitation.

Read More: 5 Problems OFWs Hide Their Families

TRANSPORTATION

I know, majority of us opted to work abroad to seek for greener pasture. This means, we moved to a place where technical advancement is not a buzz, but just par for the course. However, when you get accustomed to high-technology transpo, you always miss this somehow-stressful, back-to-basic kind of ride back in your own country.
 For Filipinos like me, still, nothing beats the morning rush in the Metro, or the TryBike or Tricycles in the provinces, and of course, the famous Jeepney—who wouldn’t miss the moment when you pass your fare one passenger to another until it reaches the collector or the driver? True enough, the Philippines is still in her developing phase but this “Bayanihan” (cooperative endeavor, Google) all over the country is but unveiling.

 

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THE PLACE ITSELF

Sometimes, during an ordinary day, when you’re at work, you plan your way home with the thoughts of common streets leading to your house, and all of a sudden, you get back to your consciousness remembering that you are a thousand miles away from home! This makes you think more about things and places you miss about your own country.

Read More: 10+ Things OFWs Won’t Tell Their Loved Ones

YOUR HOBBIES

When you’re in a different country, although you can still pursue your hobbies, there is still some hindrances you will encounter like time, budget, etc. Like for me, what makes me happy is making pastries, while for my other colleagues, they love cooking native dishes. Although we have available ingredients here, it is still not the same taste like what we make back home, when we make it for our families to partake and when a simple cuisine means a special banquet to them.

FINAL THOUGHTS: There might be things we miss about home but looking back to our failures and successes, we should always be grateful about what we have right now–being in a “greener” pasture. We might miss home from time to time, but we should remember to be grateful at once because we have the opportunity to change our family’s future to a better and more convenient one. Kudos to all OFWs all over the globe!


Above photo from Nicole Lawvia pexels.com

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10+ Things OFWs Won’t Tell Their Love Ones

1.

What you see in FB posts taken from beautiful places were only visited once in a blue moon and the chance to take these photos were actually very rare. They just take a looooot of photos, for their family to see. Actually, it is just 1/16 of the whole picture.

2.

OFWs carefully choose what they post in their social media because they want to avoid getting their family worried about them. They won’t show you how hard their work is or how difficult it is to be alone from a thousand miles away.

3.

HOMESICKNESS is REAL.

4.

They are eaten by sadness especially during that particular time when they go to bed. They actually realize no one is waiting for them to share the bed with. (I mean, those precious moments you have when you know that after a tiring day, you are going to have kulitan moments with your kids, your parents, your siblings, your wife/husband and share the comfort of that soft, mushy, cushy, velvety bed back home).

Read More: OFW Story: Things We Miss From “Pinas”

5.

BALIKBAYAN BOX is not just an ordinary box. It is a huge box where all the love, care, affection and sentiments were accrued together to form and fill the box, complete. It is not just the pinaglumahang gamit, or “just those things taken from the sale.” It was carefully and wholeheartedly planned and bought just for you, that’s why you often receive it with your name written on it somewhere. This is hard to explain, but it is the reality.

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6.

They rush to SALE to get you the newest model or item you can possibly have with an affordable price. So even if their monthly budget is very tight, when the sale comes, they forget about the budget and rush to buy your bilin or pasalubong, just to make you happy.

7.

In order to complete the BALIKBAYAN BOX, what they do is to buy items from sale, or from flea market. They do it one item after the other. They do not buy the contents or items to complete the whole box all at once, because believe me, it’s not possible, because we can’t afford the whole thing.

8.

After buying one item after the other, some months will pass until they’ll finally realize it’s time to order the “box” from their maaasahang courier agency, most of these boxes are pre-paid so they shell out some part of their savings to pay for it. (One large box is more or less a hundred bucks, 100USD, so it’s quite expensive, some are cheaper depending on the destination).

Read More: 5 Problems OFWs Hide Their Families

9.

Even if they plan to send the balikbayan box in the next 6 months, they already have the “list” of what to buy and to whom it will be given.

10.

Every time they go to malls or department stores, most of the things they’ll see are items which are fit to a certain family member. Let me say it in Tagalog, “Ah ito bagay kay Nanay,” or “Siguro magugustuhan ni Bunso ito.” Actually, they seldom do think about buying themselves new things because they always prioritize their family who are left in the Philippines. They want you to be happy, and even with just a simple shirt or item from that mall, we expect that you will appreciate it because we remembered you.

11.

A simple “thank you” means a lot to us.

 

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12.

Most of our OFWs are always in their best behavior and stance when they are in their job, even if they are sick. So no matter how difficult it is to work when you have high fever, excruciating back pain or your cough is getting worse, they will patiently finish their shift because they do not want salary deduction. “Sayang kasi eh, pantuition na lang ni Bunso.”

13.

The reality of having no one to care for them when they’re sick is a life-sucking reality.

14.

After a tiring day, they won’t go straight to bed, because they still need to cook, do the laundry, iron the uniform, or to tidy up a little because nobody else will do this for them. Indeed, they are their own heroes.

Read More: 5 Problems OFWs Hide Their Families

15

Most of them stay at home for Skype calls or short period rests during their day off.

16.

Hindi masarap ang buhay sa abroad. Akala mo lang iyon.

17.

They suffer a lot from being spendthrift. For example: They do not use the heater even if it’s freezing outside because their electric bill will explode, basta lang makatipid, kahit lamigin, ok lang. Another example is: They actually eat the same food everyday, just because it was the cheapest version of bread or whatnots in the supermarket. Whichever the sale is, ‘dun lang dapat ang choice mo.

18.

Their appetite is actually limited by their budget.

19.

They love you so much that’s why they are willing to sacrifice everything for you, even if it means being away from you.

 

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20.

Choosing to work overseas doesn’t mean we want to escape the poverty in the Philippines, but we want to be the solution to this poverty.

21.

There are times when we’re alone in our room, and then we suddenly burst out in tears, because we miss you.

22.

Short messages from you means the world to us. Photo messages of daily events in your life are even better.

Read More: The Hardest Part Of Being An OFW

23.

Please do not think of us like we are very mayaman or big time, because we actually are not. Naninilbihan lang din kami sa ibang lahi, kahit gaano kahirap, titiisin para lang sa pamilya.

24.

Most OFWs go home without savings because they send their salary straight to their family. Salary means remittance. In short, dadaan lang sa kamay mo iyong sahod mo.

25.

When exchange rates are high, we are the happiest.

26.

We wanted to give you everything, or buy everything you want, but sometimes, the budget can’t make it, and we are deeply sorry.

27.

We are terribly sad when we miss all the important events in your lives.

28.

Social media” is our next hobby.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I did this post without the intention of making all the families of the OFWs (even mine) to feel sad or to feel guilty, but I did this on behalf of the OFWs out there.  All the things written in this post may not be true to every OFW all over the globe, but at least one is true, I must say.

To our families,  we just want you to know that we love you so much and you are always on our minds and hearts every waking moment of everyday. Your happiness, your presence, your care are the things we dream about before we go to sleep. You are the force that gives us determination. Just the thought of you being completely happy is what makes us get up every morning. We ask you to remember us always and pray for us every day, and make sure you are healthy and safe, because these things are the ones we want to make sure at the end of every tiring day away from you.

To GOD be all the GLORY!

Kudos to all OFWs!!!

***

Above photo from Skitterphoto via pexels.com

Read More: OFW Story: Things We Miss From “Pinas”

 

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How My Soldier BF Got Over His Loneliness After I Went Abroad

Actually, if I could go right into the gist of it, I could finish this post using a few words. LOL But of course, I won’t spoil it.

A will tell you a little background. But, if you are a follower of PMG/Proud Military Girl, you will follow through this post. But why in the first place I left him for a “greener pasture?” Actually, it didn’t just happen.

I told you in my previous post, “10+ Things To Do While Waiting For His R&R” that one of the deepest dents we had in our relationship was his first assignment.  During his Cadetship, and his month-long vacation after Graduation, I was there, and then came his deployment. He was brought to the South super far from me! First assignment, Mindanao. Typical area where Luzon Soldiers were being  deployed. I was really devastated.

I’ve tried doing stuff to keep me busy or to keep me from thinking about him, if he was doing okay, if he was eating well, and most especially, if he was safe. TBH, it made me a little crazy and paranoid. Some of the things I told you before about some things to do while waiting for his break, were actually effective–AT FIRST, but later on, after weeks of not hearing from him, I’ve decided I have to move on. I mean not from him, but from this “Kaydet Girl” Phase of my life when all I only think about was him, and his Cadetship.

This role I’ve been in during the past couple of years was actually fading. It was time to say goodbye. Right at the moment, during his graduation, he turned into a Lieutenant, yes a LIEUTENANT–not a Cadet, anymore. So this was actually a great transition of our relationship. Hindi na lang ito pa-tweetums. I have to take it seriously. I have to move on, too. Kasi siya nag-move na rin siya from being a Cadet.

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I know he was fine. He was doing okay, because he knows when he gets home, I will be there waiting for him. But things changed when I actually decided to try my luck overseas. At the early stages of my application, it was when he cannot use phones because of poor cellular site, and he was actually on endless military ops, so he wasn’t informed about it.

Then came a letter from Japan, I was actually chosen to be a part of a 4-5 year-scholarship program and I was asked to leave a couple of months on the date of approval. I was torn between pursuing my dream of becoming an experienced Nurse and my dream of marrying the love of my life. It was a dilemma. But after careful thought, of course, I was 21 years old. We were still young to get married, you know what I chose.

At first he was a bit excited for me because it’s his dream to visit this Anime Country someday, but later on he realized, how can he continue life without me? He actually said, “Sino na lang kasama ko? Sinong uuwian ko? Parang mawawalan ako ng kalahati ng pagkatao ko ‘pag umalis ka.”  I actually don’t know how to answer him. But I know, love will see us through. God will help us, I have faith in us.

The first months was actually hell. I’m sorry to use that term, but actually, I was always starting a fight. Haha. I’m super childish. He was busy being a PL, and there I was seeking for attention. But we’ve come passed it.

Then came the season of loneliness. This was the time he actually got depressed about my absence. It started when he went home from Mindanao and I wasn’t home to welcome him or be with him during his R&R. He was down in the dumps. He actually doesn’t want to go home anymore and want to forget he has R&R rights.

He was in a blue spell.

Then a message from God came and brought him back to sunshine! He actually bought a Doberman puppy and we named him, Aiki. Ai (愛)means love in Japanese, and Ki(気) means heart/spirit/mind. We just love him.

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I haven’t seen Aiki since his Dad brought him home, but actually, if God permits, I could see him in flesh next year. I’m excited to see him!

Hi Guys! This is Aiki and his Dad, holding him. Hehe Isn’t he adorable? =)

So how did my Soldier BF got over his loneliness after I went abroad to work? HE BOUGHT  A DOG. =))

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10+ Things to Do While Waiting for His R&R

I know even the minute you bid goodbye, you already start to miss him, right? I can say, “been there, done that,” but then again, even if we’ve been together for quite some time, time and time again, it pains me when he’s gone.  I know how you feel, because right at this moment, I’m feeling it, too.

“But girl, everything will be all right, alright?” This is what I could only tell myself, right now, and I could may be say to you. Everything is going to turn out well.

Let me tell you a little story, this happened when I graduated from College and he was still inside the Academy, that I think, he was a Cow, back then. Those times, I know I have to find a job because after all, (in God’s love and providence,) I’ve passed the board exam, and I was only waiting for my license number which will be issued by PRC. But then, to tell you frankly, I never chose to look for a job or to have a committed work-related stuff back then because I was afraid I might miss something from his Cadet “Milestone.” Gladly, I have loving parents who didn’t require me to look for a job or to give back as early as that time, they only told me to do whatever I want this time (because I think they were relieved that the “future” is mine after passing the NLE, and after all, I was only 20 years old that time). My parents were very supportive, so I never looked for a job after College, I just “enjoyed” or I think the better term is “rested,” after of course the grueling review for the exam.

While waiting for his R&R, I am as hopeless as a person who wants snowflakes in Summer. I just hang in there, waiting for his break, of course my parents know Sancho as early as that time, and they treated him as their own child, they were very supportive of us. (Sobrang tiwala, and kita niyo naman ngayon ang results ng pagtitiwala ng both sides ng parents namin, kami pa rin, at sa Awa at Tulong ng Diyos, hindi naman kami pumalya. Hehe)

Here are the things { I did, I am doing, and I think I will continue to do } whenever I miss him during his deployment.

1. CULTIVATE A NEW HOBBY

TBH, I’ve had a lot of “new” hobbies, name it: collected and tried to take care of plants (but after a week I’ve gotten lazy, so my Dad continued watering them and they withered after a couple of months hehe): took care of a dog (my Mom continued taking care of Britney~my Pekingese Dog, until she died after mounted by an AsKal, this is a true story, I will talk about this in a different entry post); I’ve tried ARTS! You know, crayons, paints and stuff on a canvass, after a few days, I got lazy again, you know what happened next.

I can talk for a day or two for the things I’ve done to help me cope with my loneliness because he was away. You might think I am overacting, but honestly, that time I was only 20 years old. Some hopeless romantic kid who just found out about love, so yeah, call me crazy. Hehe

So the point here is, do something new. Promise, it will alleviate your loneliness.

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2. LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE

The first language I’ve self-learned was Finnish. (Nauso kasi ‘yun dati sa Baguio e.) Then later, of course, Japanese. Try to learn a new language, it will be so dramatic if you say I love you in different languages, right? Or try to learn new dialects from our very own country, like for me, I speak Pangasinan and Ilocano fluently, and I am currently learning how to speak in Cebuano, because Sancho was assigned to a Cebuano-speaking area and actually he could already speak fluently that sometimes he doesn’t notice he’s talking to me in Cebuano. (Lagi niya ako Binibisaya nang hindi niya napapansin, gusto ko rin matuto para makasagot ako sakaniya hehe.)

3. ENROLL IN A SHORT COURSE

That first assignment he took right after his graduation was one of the deepest dents in our relationship. But I took it head on, and came out alive and somewhat productive. As he was busy applying his military prowess in the field, I, too, was applying my baking prowess.  LOL I enrolled in Baking Class for about a month or so. At first it was just for fun, or something to keep me busy, then it dawned on me, I was actually enjoying every single minute I spent inside the Baking Lab. I just lab it. LOL

Learn something new, promise it will be worth it, want to know why? Because when Sancho learned I was good at baking, everytime he comes home from deployment, we bake and cook together. It’s actually kind of fun! Next time, I’ll be enrolling in Culinary, promise!

4. VOLUNTEER

There are a lot of weekend activities you could do in your own community, it will really help you expand your horizon or grow your network.

When Sancho was busy during his first assignment after his graduation, I was left with no choice but to actually face reality of finding my own career path. I’ve volunteered to a provincial hospital and signed up for a Dialysis Program/Training–which I think I got from his brother, because his brother is a Dialysis Nurse. After the training, I went back to Baguio and thought of signing up for PMA Station Hospital’s Nurse Residency Program. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, I was actually that Nurse who took care of Cadets and Soldiers for almost a year inside the Academy! I will share some stories about my experience  in a different post.

5. TRAVEL

The first area I’ve ever been to without him was in Aklan, yes in Boracay. We also went to Iloilo to eat Bachoy with my Family. Believe me, it will give you stories to share when you’re already back in each others’ arms.

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6. PLAN YOUR NEXT TRIP TOGETHER

I’ve always wanted to go to Tagaytay! Haha I never had the chance to go back there as and Adult. LOL I’ve studied Language in the Metro for almost a year but then again, I never had that single chance of going there. Oh wait, I have. It was when he got back from Schooling and then I tried to lure him into going there but when it was time to leave (at 0300H) he actually asked if we could do it some other time, and went back to sleep. Poor baby!

So plan your next trip and actually implement it. hehe

7. MAKE YOUR BUCKET LIST

Believe it or not, I started to make a list of our “Relationship Goals” when we were only days old. Haha I will actually take a photo of it if the notebook was with me, but it is in Sancho’s keeping. I wrote there stuff like, go on a Movie Date, Dance in the rain, Travel together etc etc etc… Be specific!

8. DATE YOUR PARENTS

After College, I told you I didn’t for once look for a job, so I had the luxury of time to be with my parents as in ALL THE TIME for more than a year. We had coffee 3x a day in our house, we went for road trips together, we saw some movies together, and we went to new places. Thank God I had the chance to be with them esp my Dad.

9. MAKE YOUR OWN SCRAPBOOK

I always wanted to make our very own scrapbook, pero laging hindi natutuloy. Print your important photos and make some scribbles or do some arts! I think it’s fun!

10. MOSAIC YOUR PHOTOS

I want mosaic of our photos together. Pero I want puzzle pieces para may twist. I just don’t know how to do this, yet. But, I think, when I’ll get time, I can actully look for a suitable app and put my hands on it. Try it, too!

11. MAKE AVP OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP MILESTONES

When we get married, I want to show a audio-video presentation of how our relationship started. It might cost me lengthy hours of doing it, but I think it will be worth it. Make yours, too, and show him when he gets home!

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FINAL THOUGHTS: Waiting for his R&R is actually boring. Hehe But then again, if you look on a brighter side, you will realize it’s actually quality time for yourself and for your family to bond or to do new things. Keep yourself busy with things to do, and later on, just before you know it, he will be there right at your doorsteep looking for you. Go girl!

***THE LIST GOES ON! Comment or message me so we can input your thoughts! I love to hear from you! What do you do during his Deployment aside from work? 🙂

Above photo taken from Naoshima Island with Sancho. Sorry for our sun-kissed feet! LOL

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