Sunday, December 7, 2014

Best Places to Travel 2015

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Living Your Life to the Fullest

The untimely death of a friend who was just 23 years old led me to write this blog. He lived a very promising life. He had all the qualities to possibly make it big in this world. He was smart, good-looking, charismatic, cultured and truly a really nice guy. And as far I as I know, he didn’t have any vices, he maybe drinks occasionally but that’s it! And then one morning, he just didn’t wake up. Many were shocked and saddened by the loss of this good soul but certainly he made an impact to me and to many others.

I have long reconciled that death is inevitable. Whether we like it or not we are going to die. But the unfortunate thing is, we just don’t know when. Very often we take things and relationships for granted, we only realize its true value when its already gone or too late.

Here are some bits of wisdom on how we can live our life to the fullest.

 Live simply. Life is supposed to be simple but we insist on making it complicated. We overthink, over analyze, and overkill a lot of things in life.

Stand by your values and principles, don't compromise. Mark 8:36 "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?"

Pray. Prayer is powerful! It can even move mountains. Acknowledging that there is a greater being who is God and he is bigger and mightier than all the planets' problems combined. Giving thanks and praise to him for all that he has done for us is the best thing we can do to honor and glorify Him.

Take a leap of faith. Don't settle within your comfort zone. There is always something better out there. Growth requires taking chances and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Choose to be happy. Many would associate happiness with having a lot of money. It is not always true, money cannot buy us lasting happiness.  I have read and heard a lot of stories of wealthy people committing suicide because they are not happy with their lives. Happiness is a choice and you have to consciously make that choice.

Don't be afraid to fall in love. Alfred Lord Tennyson once said that it's better to have loved and lost than never love at all. It's okay if some people won’t love you back, keep loving anyway.

Show your family that you love them. Words are good but action is much better.  It's not only diamond that lasts forever, family is forever too. In your ups and downs, family will always be there for you. Ready to accept and embrace you no matter what is going on in your life. Sometimes, there can be misunderstandings but don't let those nuisances break your bonds. Always forgive and move on.

Travel. Traveling is to take a journey into yourself. There is a big world out there waiting for you to explore. When you are out there somewhere you will discover more about yourself, your strengths, weakness and your limitations. Your experiences in your travels will enrich your outlook and can change your perspective in life.

Volunteer for good causes. When you volunteer for a good cause in a way you are giving a part of yourself. It always feels good when you are able to help. Giving and helping is a privilege which many would refuse to understand. The world we live today is ruled by greed and materialism, dare to be different! 

Exercise regularly and eat healthy. Health is wealth. You can do nothing if you're sick. A sound body will result to a sound mind.

Smile, laugh, be silly. Research has shown that there a number of health benefits contributed to smiling and laughing. Laughter is the best medicine they say. So laugh often!

Make friends not enemies. Having friends help multiply the joys and divide the sorrows. We tend to cope better when we have someone giving us emotional and social support and advice.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Winter Trip to DC

My trip to the USA in December 2010 would not be complete without a quick tour at the nation's capital. I was determined to see the historic structures DC is famous for. The 5-hour bus trip from New York to DC in a freezing winter night was all worth it. Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. The centers of all three branches of the federal government of the United States are in the District, including the Congress, President, and Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments and museums, which are primarily situated on or around the National Mall.

Washington Monument
By law, Washington's skyline is low and sprawling. The federal Heights of Buildings Act of 1910 allows buildings that are no taller than the width of the adjacent street, plus 20 feet (6.1 m). Despite popular belief, no law has ever limited buildings to the height of the United States Capitol or the 555-foot (169 m) Washington Monument.

Great view of the Washington Monument

 Washington, D.C., is a planned city. In 1791, President Washington commissioned Pierre (Peter) Charles L’Enfant, a French-born architect and city planner, to design the new capital. The L'Enfant Plan featured broad streets and avenues radiating out from rectangles, providing room for open space and landscaping.  He based his design on plans of cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, Karlsruhe, and Milan brought from Europe by Thomas Jefferson in 1788. L'Enfant's design also envisioned a garden-lined "grand avenue" approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) in length and 400 feet (120 m) wide in the area that is now the National Mall.

The National Archives

US Capitol Building

The White House

Lincoln Memorial Building

DC Train Station

Ulysses S. Grant Memorial

Smithsonian Museum

America's Most Iconic Bridges

I have this love affair with bridges. I always get fascinated with the parallelism between bridges and the purpose of human existence. I'm interested to know how bridges were built and why they were built. Bridges connect places, without them, it would be very hard for people to travel from one place to another unless of course if they own a boat or helicopter ^_^.  And as humans, we can serve as bridges too..of opportunities and relationships of people around us. Isn't that a great and noble thing?

These are some of the most iconic bridges in America that I've had the chance to see and even walk across. 

Manhattan Bridge, New York

The Manhattan Bridge is a suspension bridge that crosses the East River in New York City, connecting Lower Manhattan at Canal Street with Brooklyn at the Flatbush Avenue Extension. The main span is 1,470 ft (448 m) long, with the suspension cables being 3,224 ft (983 m) long. The bridge's total length is 6,855 ft (2,089 m). It opened to traffic on December 31, 1909. It was designed by Leon Moisseiff, and is noted for its innovative design. As the first suspension bridge to employ Josef Melan's deflection theory for the stiffening of its deck, it is considered to be the forerunner of modern suspension bridges and this design served as the model for many of the long-span suspension bridges built in the first half of the 20th century. 

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, New York

The Verrazano–Narrows Bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge in the U.S. state of New York that connects the New York City boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn. It spans the Narrows, the reach connecting the relatively protected upper bay with the larger lower bay. The bridge is named after Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano who, while in the service of Francis I of France, became in 1524 the first European to enter New York Harbor and the Hudson River, and for the body of water it spans: the Narrows. It has a central span of 4,260 feet (1,298 m) and was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its completion in 1964, surpassing the Golden Gate Bridge by 60 feet, until it was in turn surpassed by 366 feet by the Humber Bridge in the United Kingdom in 1981. 

The bridge establishes a critical link in the local and regional highway system. It marks the gateway to New York Harbor; all cruise ships and most container ships arriving at the Port of New York and New Jersey must pass underneath the bridge and therefore must be built to accommodate the clearance under the bridge. Since 1976, the bridge has been the starting point of the New York City Marathon.

The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, the mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the U.S. city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County, bridging both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Philadelphia, PA

The Benjamin Franklin Bridge is known informally as the Ben Franklin Bridge and originally named the Delaware River Bridge, is a suspension bridge across the Delaware River connecting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Camden, New Jersey. Owned and operated by the Delaware River Port Authority, it is one of four primary vehicular bridges between Philadelphia and southern New Jersey.

George Washington Bridge, New York

The George Washington Bridge – known informally as the GW Bridge – is a double-decked suspension bridge spanning the Hudson River, connecting the Washington Heights neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City to Fort Lee, Bergen County, New Jersey, in the United States. Interstate 95 (I-95) and U.S. Route 1/9 (US 1/9) cross the river via the bridge. The New Jersey Turnpike (part of I-95) and US 46, which lie entirely within New Jersey, end halfway across the bridge at the state border with New York. At its eastern terminus in New York City, the bridge connects with the Trans-Manhattan Expressway.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York

The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in New York City and is one of the oldest bridges of either type in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River. It has a main span of 1,595.5 feet (486.3 m), and was the first steel-wire suspension bridge constructed. It was originally referred to as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge and as the East River Bridge, but it was later dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge, a name coming from an earlier January 25, 1867, letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and formally so named by the city government in 1915. Since its opening, it has become an icon of New York City, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972.

I wish I could travel more and see other beautiful bridges around the world.

Hollywood - Land of Dreams!

At some point in my life, I dreamed of becoming rich and famous. And for sure many of you do. It's obvious that those longings are subconsciusly influenced by the Hollywood movies that we watch. The famous line from the happy man in the movie Pretty Woman resonated with me while I was walking the streets of Hollywood. "Welcome to Hollywood! What is your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams, Some dreams come true, some dont; but keep on dreamin'- this is Hollywood.

The Hollywood Sign

Hollywood is the symbol of fame, power and glamour but do you know that almost all of the stars who made it really big in Hollywood started with just a dream? 
The thing about our dream we cannot just simply pray and ask God to make our dreams come true. That's not how it works in this universe. There is no thing as magic wand in the real world. We got to really have to want it to get it...When we build a house we cannot just say to the architect, I want a nice house, you have to describe what nice is...very specific - how it will look like, how many bedrooms, interiors, etc...The same thing as our dream. we have to know exactly what we want and from there we find ways how to make it a reality.

Hollywood Boulevard

The Wax Museum

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Rodeo Drive

Virginia Beach, VA - The Longest Pleasure Beach in the World.

I got an opportunity to celebrate 4th of July 2013 with great friends at the famous Virginia beach, VA. Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfront. Although best known for its tourism but the military and agribusiness sectors contribute significantly to the city's economy. Tourism produces a large share of Virginia Beach's economy. With an estimated $857 million spent in tourism related industries, 14,900 jobs cater to 2.75 million visitors. 

The city is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest pleasure beach in the world. The 35-mile coastline is comprised of Virginia Beach resort area, the Chesapeake Bay beach, and Sandbridge beach. It is located at the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, the longest bridge-tunnel complex in the world.

Virginia Beach

Hotels by the beach

Grommet Island Beach Park

A view of the beach from the hotel

The long stretch of white sand beach

Happy Beach Bummers

Virginia Beach

Poseidon or Neptune, Am confused!

Standing tall and high

Law Enforcement Memorial

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Stunning Beaches in the Philippines

The Philippines is an amazing country in the southeast coast of Asia blessed with so many natural resources. It is famous for its beautiful and stunning beaches. Below are just some of them.