Look Back

A Look Back at 2018… Grateful for the Year that Was

I am just full of gratitude these days. Aren’t you? And why shouldn’t we? Being able to wake up every day, be with our family and do meaningful work are actually more than enough to thank God for this wonderful gift of life He has given us. This is why my previous post was all about gratitude, for allowing me to have a career in the online world and live a dream lifestyle that I have chosen since retiring from government service in December 2007.  This post will also be about gratitude as I look back to all the previous year’s blessings. And I believe, I have one more gratitude post to write after this. My heart is just brimming with joy that I need to express all of them before I burst out of utter bliss. ❤

Before I look back at 2018 though, I want to look back at the last 3 years since we’ve had Tuz.

In a  nutshell… Continue reading

gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude: A Decade of VA Life

It’s nearing the end of the year and as I was looking back at the events that transpired this year, it made me look even further back… back to when I was still struggling in the corporate world, doing a job I wasn’t happy with, like many people do, with all the commute, traffic, office politics,  and stress that come with it. And I thank God for that fateful day as I was drowning while surfing the huge waves of La Union back in Dec. 16, 2007. Right then and there I told God that “should I survive these huge waves, Lord, I will quit my job and finally do what I wanted to do — be free”. And that’s what I did the next day! And I never looked back. Even my million peso retirement was not processed by me… someone else did because I didn’t want to even physically go back to my old workplace out of the emotional and mental trauma it caused me. When I say no to something, I really mean it. I didn’t want to be persuaded otherwise.

This was me ten years ago when I posted about doing freelance work for my very first VA client: Continue reading

How to Get to Siargao from Cagayan de Oro via Bus and Boat Rides

Six more days to go and it’s already Christmas! Oh my! How time really flies when you’re having fun! Have you gotten your Christmas plans down pat? As for us, we’ll be checking in at a nearby affordable hotel resort on Dec. 22-23 with our farm helpers and their kids as our Christmas treat to them since they’ve all been cooped up at the farm since they started working for us a few months back. It will be a pre-Christmas celebration and we’ll incorporate our planning session as well. Then come Dec. 24, we’ll transfer at a more luxurious hotel in the city, just our little family, which we haven’t done yet here in Cagayan de Oro City. It’ll be a very relaxed kind of Christmas compared last year when we celebrated it at the farm with all our previous farm helpers and neighbors. Those previous farm helpers of ours left us early this year at such a bad time and in such bad taste that I think I got traumatized by it (which is why until now our mushroom growing house is still not up to its capacity) so I’m choosing not to celebrate there because it’ll just bring bad memories.

Anyway, if it hadn’t been Tuz’s 3rd birthday last November, December would have been the perfect time to head to Siargao since I’ve never experienced Christmas in that beautiful island yet. But because it’s hard to leave our farm during the holiday season, we decided to visit Siargao last month and for this post, I’ll share with you how to get there all the way from Cagayan de Oro.

Are you currently living in Mindanao? Or somewhere in Misamis Oriental particularly Cagayan de Oro? Do you wish to go to Siargao any time soon and would like to find out how to get to Siargao from Cagayan de Oro via buses and boats? Well, that’s exactly what this post is about so read on… Continue reading

next level

Momtraneur, Off to the Next Level!

Hello, hello!

It’s been a busy month for me and my family. Before we headed to Siargao for a 9D/8N beach trip as a pre-celebration of Tuz’s 3rd birthday (and to de-stress and meditate as well because we’ve been feeling so burnt out and cluttered), we attended a seminar sponsored by CDO Homeschoolers last Nov. 3 where I learned that there are so many ways and techniques to homeschool your child and many of them are accredited by the Dept. of Education. Awesome! Now we have more choices for our baby! Tuz will also be attending a free 3-day class at The Abba’s Orchard, a Montessori school, next month to test the waters for him. So at least now, Mahal and I have more choices as to what kind of education we want our only child to have.

After the homeschooling seminar, we were on a long road trip the following day, 18 hours to be exact, from Cagayan de Oro to Butuan, to Surigao City then Siargao! We spent 8 nights there and it was heaven! I have so many content to sift through so I can share with you our amazing experiences of the island, this time, with our little boy. It was my 4th time there, but it was my 1st time with our baby, so it was more exciting and it’s like seeing Siargao again with fresh eyes.

By the time we got back to Cagayan de Oro, I was swimming in work deadlines and Mahal had so many things to attend to at the farm. Then Tuz had his 3rd birthday at Seven Seas (the biggest waterpark in the Philippines!) It’s only now that I finally had a little bit of extra time to write, to at least journal my thoughts so I can begin organizing the blog posts  I have in my head. After this, I’m off to buy a new office table and chair at Our Home in SM Downtown (so excited about that, that I was actually able to make space for it in our tiny pad! I hope it’s still there!), deliver our Mushroom Chili Paste and fresh vegetable harvest to customers and run a few more errands. Whew! Super Mom it is!

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Halloween 2018

Halloween 2018 – Transformative Lessons and Realizations

Let me begin by saying that Halloween is my most favorite time of the year. Christmas comes second and Summer comes third.

You can check out my previous Halloween posts here:

https://momtraneur.com/2016/10/21/nuvali-night-sky-cinema-2016-pre-halloween-prep/
https://momtraneur.com/2016/10/24/nuvali-night-sky-cinema-2016-family-event/
https://momtraneur.com/2016/10/25/top-8-things-to-do-in-nuvali-2016/
https://momtraneur.com/2017/10/31/halloween-2017-how-to-let-go-of-attachments/
http://sexynomad.blogspot.com/search/label/Halloween

And this year, I honestly thought that I won’t be able to celebrate it because of the following reasons:

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Tuscany Highlands Farm

Haciendera Mode On: Tuscany Highlands Virtual Farm Tour

People would always ask us if they can visit our farm. They could if they really want to. But because it’s such a far away place to go to being situated on top of a mountain where the roads are not yet paved, and the weather can be erratic, I’m going to just give you a virtual tour of our farm instead. You can click this link to begin your tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYpJ-u3yNtA&feature=youtu.be Or watch the video below…

Tuscany Highlands Farm is a set of scattered farmlands totaling to 8 hectares. These are mostly lands of Mahal’ parents, 2 hectares of which are personally awarded to Mahal by the Dept. of Agrarian Reform.

We have yet to fully develop the lands so what you’ll see are mostly corn fields, coffee forests, mountainous grasslands and the parcel of land (about 3-4 hectares where we are currently planting our green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, bell peppers, chili peppers and corn.

Come with me as I show you our farm

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Dakak Day Tour

Dakak Beach Resort Day Tour Review – How to Get There and How Much

Have you been to Dakak?

I’ve heard of Dakak since I was young. My mom would mention it from time to time saying that it’s one of the best resorts in the southern part of the Philippines owned by the former Zamboanga del Norte representative and businessman Romeo Jalosjos . My mom was born in Surigao and our ancestors have lands all over Mindanao so Dakak was pretty much popular in our family back then.

So when I became an adult, it became one of those places in my to-visit list. Continue reading

Toddler Meltdown

How to Prevent and Cope with Toddler Meltdowns? Here are 10 Ways.

Tuz is almost 3 years old. He is a happy and hyperactive child and is typically in his terrible twos. What I mean by this is that most of the time he is just happy playing by himself, playing with us or playing with other kids at the farm. Even though he gets moody and stubborn from time to time, especially when his sleep is disturbed or when he’s tired and couldn’t seem to go to slumber, he easily gets back to his positive, happy, hyperactive self. He doesn’t hold grudges (I know some toddlers who do hold grudges for a long time) and I’m just glad that with Tuz, after a certain episode of scolding and spanking — yes we spank our kid — it’s like nothing happened and he forgets all about it and gets back to his laughing, playing, hugging and kissing mood.

He also knows how to express his feelings at this age. Like when he just wants to cry, he will tell me “Tuz cry” or “Tuz angry”. After a few minutes, he will simply stop crying and then he will ask me to clean his face by saying “Clean it, clean it. Tissue and alcohol.” This means he wants me to get a WET tissue that smells nice and not a dry tissue but not necessarily put alcohol on it. I do put alcohol at the corner of the tissue if the wet tissue is not the fragrant kind. Then I wipe his eyes and nose with the fragrant wet tissue. He is OC like that (he probably got it from me coz I’m OC too) and we are really lucky to have him.

But on those moments, when he does have a meltdown, it can really be hell at home. He won’t stop crying. Spanking doesn’t help. He shouts. I shout. Mahal remains calm and becomes the referee between me and Tuz. And I just cry in a corner out of frustration and desperation which makes Tuz cry some more too. It’s a scenario I don’t want to relive. I’m sure you mommies out there get the picture.

Below is a video of Tuz I took weeks before when I couldn’t understand what he wanted me to do and ended up crying and crying for what seemed like an eternity…
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Royal Farm Resort

Royal Farm Resort Review – Mixing Business with Pleasure in Dipolog City

The last time we traveled was back in July and August when we did a road trip of Bukidnon, Davao, Camiguin and Cagayan de Oro City. I’ve been wanting to travel again to celebrate our 49th monthsary  last September 15, to celebrate our first year of stay in Mindanao as well as our first year of farm life, and just to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of our farm life (yes, farming, just like any kind of work, can be daunting, more so than office work because there’s always physical effort involved). So I’ve been ranting to Mahal how stressed I’ve been about everything, how I’ve been having a hard time adjusting to our farm life sometimes and I just want to relax and have a few moments to enjoy myself.

Then an opportunity presented itself after we hired our new farm helper. His name is Joshua. He mentioned that he has contacts in Dipolog who buy wholesale chili peppers. We can try to set up a meeting with them and see if we can supply them with chili. He has also been homesick after leaving his family behind so we decided to get his wife, his newborn baby, his two toddlers and younger nephew so they can all live with us at the farm, we can have more help and Joshua would be more inspired to work with us. And since we were already there, why not make the most of it?  Continue reading