25 Invaluable Lessons From Travel, Photography, Blog & Love in 2016

My 2016 has been a roller-coaster ride!

With summits of joy and unfathomable depths of sorrow, the rise and fall of which defines my journey. There are a lot of things that transpired this year that contributed to where I am now but I must say it wasn’t an easy feat. It showcased a lot of challenging points: fear, loss and uncertainties which I bet we’ve all experienced. I’ve learned that the best thing to do is just ride it through knowing that it will end sooner or later. It may be shaky at first but soon enough you’ll gather the strength to get back up and start living your life – reaching for your goals – again.

On a positive note, 2016 also highlights triumph, positive transformation and love all rolled into one great journey. As inspired by this heartwarming video of AirAsia Philippines’ #ThankYou campaign, I’ve got to say we can fill the air with appreciation and express our gratitude even in simple gestures regardless of age, place, sex and occasion.

As for me, I won’t let this year pass without expressing my gratitude to everyone who showed support and love to Vivomigsgee as a traveler, instagrammer, blogger and as a friend. With this, allow me to share some of the meaningful milestones and the corresponding lessons travel, photography, blog and love taught me this year.

1.) Run a Marathon with a Loved One

For three consecutive years, I’ve been joining the annual Cebu City Marathon for the love of running. Run half-mary (21K) once again this year, but this time, faster and bolder with a personal record-breaking runtime of 2 hours, way faster than my previous CCM experience. Thankful for my sister Atty. Liezel Abas-Regañon who ran with me, gave moral support and taught me that running, just like life, never gets easier, you just get stronger.

2.) Lost my phone during Sinulog and returned the next day

I was so busy capturing this spectacle from Lanao del Norte in my GoPro (later announced as the Grand Champion – Free Interpretation Category) when I didn’t notice my phone slipped thru my pocket.

Sinulog may be a fun celebration but when any of your belongings get lost during the parade or street party, believe me it will somehow affect your mood for the rest of the day. Lucky for me, the person who found it is a good samaritan, a photographer from Ozamiz who joined Sinulog for the photo contest. I tried contacting my phone hoping someone found it and when he replied via my number, I asked for it to be returned, and he never hesitated. Some of my friends doubted that it will ever be returned back to me but I’ve never regretted my decision to put my trust on a stranger and so my faith in humanity has been restored.

3.) Valentine’s Day Feature in Cebu Daily News and www.iluvcebu.com

Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers. You can show your love to the environment, especially Mother Nature, by spending your precious time in the outdoors. Thank you Doyzkie Buenaviaje and team for this.

4.) Plagiarism at its best

It was the first time that someone stole my work (or at least known to me). That moment, I don’t know if I’d be mad or be flattered with such incident but one thing’s for sure, stealing someone’s work(s) and represent them as your own is not cool. It’s a big NO! NO! Don’t be like aljasper. ?

Thanks to Dave Patrick Sanez (@davful) for informing me on this matter.

5.) IG entertainment hub moderator

Currently one of the admins of @excellent_asia and @mountain_greatshots where I get to choose and showcase the beautiful places in Asia and great captures of mountains around the world. Beauty is everywhere and learning to appreciate beautiful places is always a good thing. Cheers for recruiting me sir @choi0811 and @thedeafmutespeaks.

6.) Travel Speaker

Attended Wanderlust: Travel 101 Seminar last February 18, 2016 and I shared my insights to some of the USJR students about the perks of traveling. It was my first time to speak in public about travel-related stuff and I can say I’m proud of myself that moment. I emphasized that traveling doesn’t need to be expensive, that you’re not required to spend your long time savings in one luxurious getaway, that one can travel on his/her own style.

7.) Summer in Samar

Extended summer spree in two of three provinces in an off-the-radar local destination, Samar Island, with two awesome travelers in PH @thelakwatsero and @neverbeendan. Did spelunking in the largest cave system in the country ~ Langon-Gobingog Cave in Calbiga, Samar and enjoyed dipping in the natural hidden pool cave in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. While everyone’s busy with the May 2016 Election, we chose to escape from the urban madness and spend it exploring the beauty of the underworld in Samar where nature at its best can truly be experienced.

8.) Involvement in External Volunteer Initiatives

Featured in an annual corporate report for my contributions in the community. I may not have all things in the world but I give back because I believe that love means nothing, if one doesn’t share it. I was definitely thankful for these life-changing opportunities offered by Volunteer In Cebu and iLearners Inc.

9.) Cebu Summer Instameet

Photo credits to @jak73

Strangers turned friends as we gather as one with the Earth. That’s how I summarized my first Cebu Summer Instameet last April 17, 2016. Summer is best experienced with some of the talented Cebuanos who share the same passion and interest beyond the square-feed of instagram, namely: @awesome.lei @jak73 @willjr42 @josephbensig @kimartinii @jazzmelendres @foureyedlaagan

10.) Collab Engagement with Local & International Brands

Thankful for the great opportunity that some companies, both local and international, got to collaborate with me, and for trusting their brands to my humble account! Didn’t ask to become a social media influencer but this blessing is something I cannot take for granted. ???

11.) Traveled Negros Oriental and Siquijor with High School besties

From Dipolog and all the way from Dubai, my high school classmates and I decided to travel together for the first time after 12 long years. I realized that your friends will do “buwis-buhay” stunts with you in support of creating a stunning photo, all for the love of friendship and instagram. Love you guys @jireh_jirot @altheamerced @emsmithcb @pily0nghusband.

12.) Quit my dream job

AhHh, my first love ~ my dream job. I was connected in Cebu’s real estate giant for almost 5 years and for some reasons my professional growth didn’t go well as I expected it to be. It was heartbreaking to sever ties with the company I really love but I believe I made a right decision. Thanks for making my stay worth while Liza Gementiza, Julius Ceballos, Moonyen Monte, Finance girls and IT team.

This will always be my guide: Don’t stay where you are not appreciated. It will be the place you’ll lose yourself.

13.) Traveled around Mindanao for 9 days

This is my first time to travel in four provinces in Mindanao for more than a week with my travel buddies namely @emsmithcb @iameleimath @iamjumper @count_gabz @roycats. The last time I had a long trip in Mindanao, I traveled solo and I can say that your company during travel can make or break your vacation. It’s best to be surrounded by people who are crazy and fun to be with to create one lasting awesome adventure.

14.) Revealed my logo

It was August 11 when I was totally stoked to introduce my biggest project yet thru this Vivomigsgee logo. It showcases a daredevil who is up for an adventure as experienced through travel, photography, blog and love. When you want (to do) something, you’ll find a way. All the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’

Special shoutout to the pro artist behind this gorgeous logo, Chester Scott Flores Hinagdanan @chesterscott The best bai! ??

15.) Published my first blog post

Photo taken at Capilla Sta. Ana Maze Garden.

It was my birthday when I published my first blog post. From that very moment, I became an official blogger and it was the best birthday gift I ever gave myself. I’ll forever be thankful for the moral and financial support of my sister Melanie Abas-Salac. ??

A successful blog doesn’t happen overnight. Just like any other artistic craft, it takes sweat and blood to create one great masterpiece.

16.) Got my first invite to review a private resort

Dome bungalow by the cliff

Been blogging for three weeks since my birthday and reaping its first fruit has come a little early. Thankful for this opportunity as it has opened to a lot more invitations to events and exclusive reviews. It has dawned on me that you just love what you do. You’ll be happy to do projects you’re passionate about.

See full review here.

17.) Reached 100, 000 hits in less than 2 months

Mind you, it is not bragging. I just feel so blessed to achieve this milestone for a very short span of time of being a blogger. Couldn’t achieve this without the support of all my readers! A very big #ThankYou!

Nothing is impossible when you are determined and driven by the things that motivates you. Always remember: blog not to impress, rather blog to inspire.

18.) Member of Cebu Bloggers Society (CBS)

Photo by Sinjin Pineda (current CBS President)

I became a member in the first and premier blogging organization in Cebu ~ Cebu Bloggers Society. This is one of the decisions I’ve made this year that has made a huge impact to my blogging career. I’ve met a lot of diversified bloggers, exposed to a vast of awesome opportunities like being invited to a lot of events, engaged with the media and PR officers, learned the technicalities of some blogging aspects, and shared vital blogging secrets, to name a few.

Special shoutout to the following mentors: Guada Cuizon of supercebu.com, JL Mainit of viajeracebuana.com, Alem Garcia of ukayukaydiva.com, Ian Limpangog of freedomwall.net, Ram Cuizon of truebluecebuano.wordpress.com and Mark Monta of facecebu.net.

19.) BCBA Finalist for Photoblog Niche

Despite a greenhorn in the blogosphere, I’m one of the lucky few who get to compete with four other #TopCebuBloggers in the Photo Niche category. Can’t contain my excitement and appreciation to Best Cebu Blog Awards for the recognition as one of the finalists, to have a chance to be an ambassador of Uber and got to meet other talented bloggers in Cebu whom I now consider as friends namely Marco of countocram.com, Jed of thejdgalz.wordpress.com, and this year’s winner, Rea of blissfulsnapshots.com.

20.) CBS Talks Speaker

Photo courtesy by CBS Talks FB page

Had a chance to share an inspirational talk to current and future bloggers during CBS Talks: Back to Basics held at Primary Homes last November 26, 2016. Imparted this very core of why I blog ~ to be an inspiration:  “Blogging not only helps you grow personally. It also changes the life of your audience. It leaves an impact to the readers. Make a positive difference in the lives of others by sharing your time, photos, and ideas to the world.”

21.) Won a Contest “Pin My Travel Map”

Feeling giddy about winning the contest, organized by a giant PH travel hub (102K IG followers ?) in collaboration with a sophisticated online entrepreneur @DaydreamRepublic. But I was more excited over the early Christmas gift that went along with it.  With Pin My Travels pinboard map, great travel stories are about to be unfolded by pinning where you’ve been and where to wander next (Yay, I’m already halfway).

Always cherish your travels! Every pin represents a story of adventure and a dream awaiting realization. ???

22.) Ambassador of Men Of Outdoors

Photo credits to Otep Mercado

Became one of the official ambassadors of Men of Outdoors, thanks to Prince for choosing me among hundreds of applicants. For the love of outdoors, I consider this opportunity as one of its perks. If you are passionate about something, anything is possible.

@menofoutdoors t-shirt is a revolutionary product like no other. Find out why!

23.) Vivomigsgee Holiday Giveaways

VivomigsgeeHolidayGiveaways Promo

VivoMigsgee is filled with gratitude by the overwhelming love and continued patronage of his readers and followers. With this, Vivomigsgee decided to give away amazing gifts this Season of Giving to 11 lucky winners through this first-of-its-kind promo entitled #VivomigsgeeHolidayGiveaways. Indeed, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

See results of my appreciation here.

24.) Bestie’s wedding is an instant reunion (7 years after graduation)

First of all, I’d like to say many congratulations on tying the knot Jeannie June and Raymund Libatique! Jeannie’s the first one in 7DGS barkada who got married and it became an instant reunion for the group in a chilly haven, Tagaytay. Nice to see you Judelyn, Charmyl, Kristine, Lorina, Erniestene. See you Lorraine in Tani’s wedding. =)

This reflection of mine is more geared towards #adulting. Yes, we are already in the mature stage of our lives where we will have our own families, having kids of our own and live a whole new different phase in our personal lives. We are not getting any younger, so we better get the most out of life.

25.) My first attempt in vlogging (Video blog)

This form of blog seemed challenging at first but thanks to my adventure buddies @iamjumper and @theislandboyy who made my first vlog entry fun and not so trying hard. I welcome any comments, Lol! Will definitely make more vlogs soon! =)

It may sound a clichè, but this totally sums up my learnings: I’ve still got a lot to learn in this one of a kind journey we call life but I know I will go places ‘coz I’m confidently dauntless with a heart! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart! ??

What a crazy adventure 2016! Fight 2017!

How about you? Who did you thank for this year? What have you learned in your 2016 journey? Care to share via comment section. ?

11 thoughts on “25 Invaluable Lessons From Travel, Photography, Blog & Love in 2016

  1. I think it was a great idea that you started blogging! Been my pleasure to meet you through the blogosphere. Wish you more success in life and cheers to more adventures ahead! 🙂

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