Archive of ‘Travel’ category

Toastmasters Midyear Convention 2015 – Bulacan (Day 2)

I wish I could say the 2nd day of the Midyear Conference dawned bright and clear. But I can’t because it didn’t . In fact, I woke in the midst of Typhoon Lando. I never really knew the meaning of commitment until that day. All I wanted to do was go back to sleep! But since I was the contest chair for the Evaluation Contest, I had to get up early so I could be at the Contestant Briefing at 7am.

contest host alex zetaPhoto by Leo Nogas

As much as I love competing, I also love hosting. So when Sha asked me to chose between judge or contest chair, i chose the latter.

midcon 2015 toastmaster hero sha nacinoTest Speaker – Sha Nacino (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

The test Speaker, Sha Nacino, gave a speech entitled “Make Your Passion Your Profession”. It was a speech I could relate to since I also believe in doing what you love for a living. She was then evaluated by the 11 contestants in the Evaluation Contest.


evaluation champions

  • Champion: Erika Ilagan – Division A (Mystique Coolture TMC)
  • 1st Runner Up: Arthur Park – Division B (Diamond TMC)
  • 2nd Runner Up: Raxel Ann Gonzales – Division D (Barangay TMC)

After the contest, there were 2 more Educational Sessions. Since the theme for the conference was Toastmaster Hero, we got to listen to two Filipino heroes tell us about their experience and how they managed to come out triumphant despite all odds.

toastmasters philippines midcon 2015 jonathan yabutThe Apprentice Asia Challenge Winner – Jonathan Yabut (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

Jonathan Yabut is the first Apprentice Asia Challenge Winner. I learned 3 things from him that day.

First, work smart, not hard. According to Jonathan, he won the challenge not because he was smarter or better than the other contestants. He won because he chose to work smart.

Second, learn to say no. There are so many opportunities in the world today. If you want to succeed, you have to learn to say no to some of these opportunities. Because you can’t possibly take advantage of them all. The key to success is focus.

Third, leadership is about other people. It’s not about you. The true value of leadership is in stepping back, not standing out. It’s about allowing others to shine.

midcon 2015 + toastmasters jonathan yabut

toastmasters philippines midcon 2015 maid to madeRebecca Bustamante – Maid to Made (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

Once a domestic helper in Singapore, Rebecca Bustamante is now the founder and president of Chalre Associates, a multinational recruitment firm for senior management executive positions.



  • Toastmaster of the Year 2014 – Pearl Villamarzo
  • Area Governor of the Year 2014 – DTM Johnny Uy
  • Division Governor of the Year 2014 – Division A Governor Lito Baldisimo

IMG_5310Toastmaster of the Year 2014 – Pearl Villamarzo

midcon 2015 + toastmasters area gov of the yearArea Governor of the Year 2014 – DTM Johnny Uy

DTM Johnny “Pawe” Uy led his area to be the first distinguished area in the world. Now that’s excellence.

Division Gov of the yearDivision Governor of the Year 2014 – Division A Governor Lito Baldisimo

midcon 2015 day 2Toastmasters from Division F

midcon 2015 + toastmasters alex zeta

midcon 2015 midcon 2015 commiteeMidcon 2015 Working Committee

toastmasters philippines midcon 2015 gabby

Midcon 2015 Chair – Gabriel Go Balauag

We all had a blast during the 2015 Midyear Conference. Kudos to Gabby, the Midyear Chair and the rest of the Midcon team for making this possible.

The best part of organizing the Midcon is everything that happens after it. I’ve been a Toastmasters since 2006 but it was only when I chose to actively lead when I found my greater purpose. Toastmasters is not only about attending two meetings a month. When you choose to lead, it can be so much more. For this conference, we focused on igniting the participants passion. To be more cognizant of the everyday heroes around us and become heroes ourselves. Through conventions, new leaders emerge.

-Gabriel Balauag (Midcon 2015 Chair)

discon 2016 commiteeDiscon 2016 Promotion

 I’ve been attending Toastmaster Conferences for years and they have always been a blast! The 2016 District Conference is going to be on April 28-30 at the Grand Convention Center, Cebu.

Registration Rates:

  • P 4,500 – Until Oct 18
  • P 5,000 – Oct 19 – Dec 31, 2015
  • P 6,000 – January 1 – March 31, 2016
  • P 6,500 – April 1 to onsite

Hope you can join us! It’s worth it.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.


Toastmasters Midyear Convention 2015 – Bulacan (Day 1)

Last weekend, I, along with a few other Toastmasters from Division F, flew to Manila to attend the 2015 Midyear Conference of Toastmasters held at St. Agatha Resort in Bulacan. I was excited for this conference because I’ve never been to Bulacan. I was also excited for our contestants to win in either the Evaluation or Impromptu Category. As the Club Extension Chair for Mindanao, I had to be there. I was hitting many birds with one stone.

toastmasters philippines midcon 2015Photo by Ed Fabonanmidcon 2015 toastmaster hero 6Photo by Ed Fabonan midcon 2015 toastmaster hero st agathaPhoto by Ed Fabonan

The program started with a parade of the members from all Divisions, the District Officers and Midcon and Discon Chairs. It was then formally opened with a short message from District 75 Director Boi Archie. The message was short and sweet mainly emphasizing the theme for his term, Change Your World.

district director boi archie toastmasters philippinesDistrict 75 Director Boi Archie (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

toastmasters hero midcon 2015 alex zetaWith our Evaluation Contestant and the President of Central CDO TMC, Eddie Garbosa and the President of the #recharged Iligan Toastmasters Club, Archie Velasco.

midcon 2015 alex zeta 2

Then the Impromptu Speech Contest came after, followed by numerous educational and break out sessions and the District Council meeting.

midcon 2015 toastmaster hero toastmasters of the day

The Toastmasters of The Day for Day 1


midcon 2015 table topics winners

  • Champion: Leonardo G. Nogas Jr. – Division F (Iligan TMC)
  • 1st Runner Up: Michael Malazarte – Division C (PICPA Cebu TMC)
  • 2nd Runner Up: Daryl Ponard – Division G (Pines City TMC)

toastmasters philippines midcon 2015 pj lanotPJ Lanot (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

Education Talk No. 1: Heroism on Communication

PJ Lanot is a TV and events host, commercial model, restauranteur and motivational speaker. He is a leadership, marketing and communications speaker for DTI, Trainstation and AIB Training.

toastmasters philippines midcon 2015 5Raul S. Manuel (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

Education Talk No. 2: Heroism on Community Development

Raul S. Manuel is the National Director for Convoy of Hope Philippines, a faith-based organization that leads in humanitarian initiatives across the Philippines. Through Convoy of Hope, thousands of malnourished children get food to eat, medical screenings and more.

toastmasters philippines midcon 2015 2

midcon 2015 toastmaster hero toastmaster hero midcon 2015

Breakout Session #1:

  • Global Accent for Global Toastmasters
  • Mastering Protocols
  • Crafting and Delivering Tall Tales

Breakout Session #2:

  • Improv Storytelling
  • District Council Meeting (District Officers, Club Presidents and Vice Presidents for Education)

division F toastmastersToastmasters of Division F – Heroes Night

Day 1 ended with a bang with Fellowship Night: Heroes Cosplay. I had so much fun running around and taking photos with the different super heroes. There were the usuals – Superman, Spiderman and Batman. And there were the more creative ones like Super Inday and Ironman – Leo’s version of it anyway. midcon 2015 toastmaster hero ed fabonanPhoto by Ed Fabonan

iron men of toastmastersHere’s a photo of the two iron men of Toastmasters. Can you spot the difference? :)

midcon 2015 toastmaster hero 2The District Trio posing in their super hero costumes

midcon 2015 toastmaster hero starwards familyAn entire division was all decked up in Star Wars theme. Princess Leia was out there somewhere.

midcon 2015

midcon fellowship night

And this is it for Day 1 of the Midyear Conference! Day 2 post coming soon!


For those who want to join the next Toastmasters Conference in Cebu, you may contact me for details. I guarantee, you wont regret it!


Travel Diaries: Bangkok, Thailand

We went country hopping last year from Vietnam to Cambodia to Thailand. Here are some of the photos I took during our Thailand Day Tour.

Floating Market


Photo from


Photo from

bangkok tour + betrulywealthy 8

Elephant Village

This is where you get to feed and ride the elephants. Elephants are herbivores and they need to eat 300 pounds of food daily to sustain them. Wild elephants spend 16 hours per day grazing and looking for food.

bangkok tour + betrulywealthy 10

104_elephant_village Photo from

bangkok tour + betrulywealthy 9
bangkok tour + betrulywealthy 11

Samparan Elephant Ground and Zoo


  • Elephant show
  • Crocodile show
  • Magic show
  • Zoo

bangkok tour + betrulywealthy 13
bangkok tour + betrulywealthy 12

bangkok tour + betrulywealthy 4 bangkok tour + betrulywealthy 15 bangkok tour + betrulywealthy 16

Damnoensaduak Floating Market Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo Sampran Riverside 4

Calypso Cabaret Show

Calypso Cabaret Show at Asiatique is a showcase of singing, dancing and some acting from Thailands ladyboys. Some of the performers were so beautiful I could hardly believe they weren’t real women. If you want a night of glitz and glamour then, Calypso is the show to watch! Tickets can be bought online.

bangkok tour + betrulywealthy

bangkok tour + betrulywealthy 3

bangkok tour 2 bangkok tour

El Nido Island Adventure: Tour C

matinloc shrine

On our second day in El Nido, we opted for Tour C. After breakfast we headed off to the beach to start our second round of island hopping!

Tour C

  • Matinloc Shrine
  • Hidden Beach
  • Star Beach
  • Helicopter Island
  • Secret Beach

el nido island tour

el nido island tour

el nido island tour

Matinloc Shrine

Matinloc comes from the word “Matinlo” – a word in El Nido’s local dialect which means “beautiful”. And true enough, the island was beautiful. Matinloc Shrine is located in Matinloc Island, a small island surrounded by crystal clear blue water. Aside from the shrine lies an abandoned mansion that used to be owned by one of the locals of El Nido who married a German. As to why it was abandoned, no one really knows. They say that the couple got into a fight and split up. Others say that they only bought the island because they found hidden treasure beneath. No one really knows the truth. But what I know for sure is that, El Nido certainly has a lot of secrets!

matinloc shrinePhoto from

matinloc shrine el nido tour

el nido island tour 7

matinloc shrine + el nido island tour 2

matinloc shrine el nido tourThe view from the 2nd floor of the abandoned mansion

matinloc shrine + el nido island tour 2

matinloc shrine + el nido island tour 2Matinloc Island view point

Hidden Beach

Hidden Beach is named as such because the beach itself is hidden by towering karst cliffs that surround it. As our boat could not dock directly on the beach itself, we had to swim a few meters to find paradise. We spent about 30 minutes snorkeling at Hidden Beach before heading to our next destination.


el nido island tour 3

el nido island tour

Star Beach

This, by far, was my favorite stop of the day. Why? One word. Food! ^_^ After visiting two islands, we headed here for a lunch break. While waiting for the food to be prepared, we had a great time playing around. Being at the beach just brings out the kid in me! 😛

star beach el nido

el nido island tour 8 star beach el nido 2 star beach el nido 4

 Stef, busily building a sandman

el nido island tour 9Hello Olaf! (Asian version)

Secret Beach

Another secret of El Nido was unveiled as we swam through this small opening to enter another beautiful version of paradise. I so regretted not buying an GoPro at this point. A lot of tourists were carrying one. Plus its water proof so you can take as many underwater photos as you want.


Photo from

secret beach el nidoPhoto from

Helicopter Island

From afar, Helicopter Island really does look like a helicopter. But once you get here, you’ll see that it has pristine white sand beaches that stretch on for miles and a variety of marine life – perfect for those who love diving. We had a fun time snorkeling as well. I had no idea that fish could be so territorial.

helicopter islandPhoto from

helicopter island palawanPhoto from

All in all, it was another great day! This concludes my Palawan vacation. I can’t wait to go on my next vacation! :)


El Nido Island Adventure: Tour A

El Nido, Spanish for “the nest”, is a small island 238 km northeast of Puerto Princesa. It boasts of majestic limestone cliffs, lush vegetation, white sand beaches and turquoise green waters with a wide array of marine life. It truly is the epitome of paradise. <3

From Puerto, we took a tourist van to El Nido. Travel time was around 6 hours. We left Puerto Princess at 9:30am and arrived at El Nido at around 4pm. After checking in, we decided to tour the island.

2015-05-04 13.28.32

El Nido is very laid back. It reminds me of the old Boracay. It doesn’t even have an ATM machine so be sure to bring cash.

The hotels  and pension houses are affordable, P800 – 1,500 per night. The food was a bit pricey. We ended up spending around 300php per meal.

There are 4 types of tours in El Nido, each ranging from 900-1,500php inclusive of lunch.

Tour A

  • Small Lagoon
  • Big Lagoon
  • Secret Lagoon
  • Shimizu Island
  • 7 Commando Island

Tour B

  • Snake Island
  • Pinagbuyutan Beach
  • Cudugnon Cave
  • Cathedral Cave
  • Entalula Beach

Tour C

  • Matinloc Shrine
  • Hidden Beach
  • Star Beach
  • Helicopter Island
  • Secret Beach

Tour D

  • Bukal Beach
  • Pasandigan Beach
  • Cadlao Lagoon
  • Paradise Beach
  • Natnat Beach

el nido beachAt night, the beach side restaurants gets filled with tourists – most of them Hispanics and Europeans. In fact, there were more foreigners than Filipino tourists.

el nido tour + palawan

This is the coastline of El Nido – the pick up point for island tours.

el nido tour + palawan

For our first day, we picked Tour A. Tour A is centered mainly on Miniloc Island. First stop is two lagoons, then a scrumptious lunch on the beach, then next is the hidden lagoon and then finally 7 Commando Island for some refreshing halo-halo. Don’t forget your sun block! The islands may be beautiful but the sun is as fierce as ever. We had to reapply after every stop to avoid getting burned to a crisp.

Small Lagoon

The best thing about the small lagoon – kayaking! You can discover the surrounding areas in your kayak while basking in the sun.

el nido tour + palawan

small lagoon el nido tour

Big Lagoon

big lagoon el nido

big lagoon el nido tour

big lagoon palawanSecret Lagoon

This tiny hole is what you have to go through to be able to get inside the Secret Lagoon. It reminds me of The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s like a secret slice of paradise contained within these limestone walls.


el nido tour + palawan This is what the Secret Lagoon looks like on the inside.

el nido tour + palawan

secret lagoon el nido

Shimizu Island

This  where we dropped anchor to have lunch. Shimizu Island is one of the best areas to go snorkeling in as they have a wide array of marine life. It’s like Discovery Channel in here. Just be careful of the occasional jelly fish >.<

shimizu island palawanPhoto from

el nido tour + palawan

el nido lunch tour APhoto from

I wasn’t able to take a photo of the delicious lunch prepared for us since I dived right in, but it looked something like this ^__^

7 Commando Island

7 Commando Island was our last stop for the day. We lounged around for about 30 minutes while eating halo-halo before heading back to main land.

1480594_10153293543369931_980794434502952055_n 7 commando island palawan

All in all, it was a fantastic day! The Philippines is truly a beautiful country. We have so much to be proud of. Even the Canadian tourists we were with kept on saying that although they have travelled around the world, the beaches in Palawan are among the best they have ever been to.

It’s more fun in the Philippines!

Go live a Truly Wealthy life!







Puerto Princesa Underground River


The Puerto Princesa Underground River is a protected area of the Philippines that’s situated on the north of Puerto Princesa. It’s also known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park and is found in the Saint Paul Mountain Range. It’s just a short boat ride from the town of Sabang. You’ll be filled with wonder at the majestic rock formations, seemingly endless river channels, numerous caves, marine creatures and bats inside the Underground River. In fact, as of 2011, the Puerto Princesa Underground River has been named as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature – along with the Amazon (South America), Ha Long Bay (Vietnam), Iguazu Falls (Argentina), Jeju Island (South Korea), Komodo (Indonesia) and Table Mountain (South Africa).

palawan underground river tour

palawan underground river tour

2015-05-03 08.54.15

2015-05-03 08.57.05

2015-05-03 09.32.25


palawan underground river

palawan underground river tourTourists are discouraged to bring food to the Underground River because there are snatchers here – monkey snatchers to be exact. The monkeys here have learned to open plastic wrappers and drink juice in tetra packs. So according to our tour guide – dont bring any food. During our tour there was one victim. And you can see the monkey enjoying the snack here >.<

2015-05-03 09.35.30

2015-05-03 09.34.44

underground cave palawanPhoto from

Puerto-Princesa-Underground-River-–-Palawan-PhilippinesPhoto from

underground cave palawanPhoto from


Puerto Princesa, Palawan – City Tour


The Toastmasters Discon was only two and a half days but Stef and I  decided to extend for another week to tour Palawan. On the last day of the District Convention, a city tour was scheduled for the participants who opted tour after the conference. (Some participants chose to take the tour before the convention started.) We were all loaded in one huge bus (all toastmasters!) and our city tour began.

First stop, LRC 908 Market Mall.

2015-05-02 14.32.30

LRC 908 Market Mall is located along Puerto Princesa, North Road. It does not look like your usual mall but rather like a cluster of stalls selling various kinds of pasalubong items such as tamarind candy, cashew nuts, cookies, Palawan T-shirts, bags and of course, pearls. Pearls are a lot cheaper in Palawan. They have 2 kinds: South Sea and Fresh Water Pearls. South Sea Pearls are more expensive. You can buy either those that have been set already or lose pearls.

Second stop, Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Puerto Princesa. 

Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Puerto Princesa 5

Photo by Ed FabonanImmaculate Conception Cathedral, Puerto Princesa

Photo from Ed Fabonan

This century-old cathedral in various hues of blue is located at Barangay Liwanag along Rizal Avenue.It was built during the 1800’s and was a spiritual refuge to many during the war.

Third stop, Plaza Cuartel.

plazacuartel palawan

Photo from

Plaza Cuartel is located just right across Immaculate Conception Cathedral . It looks like an ordinary park but it is actually the restored ruins of an old garrison. At the middle is a triangular marker that symbolizes the 143 American prisoners that were burned alive by Japanese soldiers inside a tunnel during World War 2

Third stop, Crocodile Farm (Palawan Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Center).Crocodile farming is the industry of raising and harvesting crocodiles to create commercial products like leather and meat. Here in the Crocodile Farm, two species of Philippines crocodiles are bred: the Philippine saltwater and freshwater crocodile. Aside from crocodiles they also have a mini-zoo and souvenir shop.

palawan city tour crocodile farm 3

Photo by Ed Fabonan

palawan city tour crocodile farm

Photo by Ed Fabonan

crocodile farm palawan

Fourth stop, Mitra’s House. 

This house is owned by the late Senator Ramon Mitra and family and is located on top of a hill. The view is spectacular.

mitra house palawan 6

Photo by Ed Fabonan

mitra house palawan 2

Photo by Ed Fabonan

mitra house palawan 3

Photo by Ed Fabonan

mitra house palawan 2

mitra house 2 palawan

Fifth stop, Baker’s Hill.

20816_10153289273334931_7080767615446027609_nNow This is my favorite stop because Bakers Hill is where all sorts of yummy goodies are made.They have all kinds of breads, pastries and cakes.

bakers-hill-puerto-princesa-palawanPhoto from



bakers hill palawan

bakers hill palawan 2


Photo from


Photo from

Their special is the Palawan Hopia which comes in 3 flavors – ube, mongo and pork. On top of that the place is just picture perfect! I had to stop and take pictures of every corner. They have well-manicured gardens, life-sized statues, playgrounds,cafe’s and peacocks.

This was defnitely a great way to end our Toastmasters Conference!


Toastmasters District Convention 2015 – Puerto Princesa, Palawan

district conference palawan division F

If there is one thing I love to do – it’s to travel. And if I can travel and still learn at the same time, that’s even better. That’s why when I learned that the 34th Toastmasters District 75 Conference was going to be in Palawan, I immediately registered. First, I’ve never been to Palawan. Second, I wanted to go to Palawan! <3 Besides, Toastmaster Discons are always fun. And since I was going, I decided to compete in the Table Topics Contest. Talk about “sulit”.

district conference toastmasters venue aziza

34th Toastmasters District 75 Conference Venue at Aziza, Puerto Princessa, Palawan

(Photo by Ed Fabonan)

district conference toastmasters

Photo by Ed Fabonan

For those who are not familiar with Toastmasters, it’s an international organization that helps develop your communication and leadership skills. There are different clubs all over the Philippines. A group of clubs form an area, a group of areas form a division. We have 11 Divisions in the Philippines and they form one District – District 75.

We have 2 conferences a year. The District Conference in April and the Midyear Conference in October. The highlight of these conferences are the speech contests.

There are 4 Speech Contest Categories in Toastmasters:

  • International Prepared
  • Humorous
  • Evaluation
  • Table Topics (Impromptu Speaking)

district conference palawan division F

Division F Toastmasters with our new banner from District 75

For this Discon, the 2 contests were International Prepared and Table Topics Speech Contest. The Humorous and Evaluation Contests are scheduled in the Midyear Conference. If you win the International Prepared Speech Contest, you get to attend the Toastmasters International Conference held annually every August for free. This year it’s going to be in Las Vegas, USA.


 Toastmasters from Division F

district 75 toastmasters conference palawan

district conference palawan ed tate

It’s basically two and a half days of learning sessions plus the speech contests plus FUN! We were so lucky to be able to listen to Ed Tate – the 2000 World Speech Champion share about his experiences and how we can be better influencers. We also had a host of other speakers including two of my good friends Sha Nacino and Coen Tan.

district 75 toastmasters conference palawan + coen tan

ed tate district conference toastmasters

Edward Tate 2000 World Speech Champion (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

District 75 officers

Lt Gov for Educ Boy Archie, Chief Ambassador Johnny Uy, District Gov Dotty Du, Lt Gov for Marketing Dulce Rañosa (left to right)

The Big 3 – District 75 Officers and our REP Chief Ambassador Johnny Uy

Here’s a summary of the learning sessions during the District Conference:

  • Keynote 1: Influence and Lead without Authority by Edward Tate, DTM – 2000 World Speech Champion, Trainer, Author

district conference palawan coen tanCoen Tan, DTM – Trainer Communications Coach

  • Plenary Session 1: How to Capitalize on your Speaking Skills to Turbocharge your Career by Coen Tan, DTM

district conference toastmasters REPJohnny Uy, DTM – Chief Ambassador, PIP (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

  • Plenary Session 2: Revitalized Education Program by Johnny Uy, DTM

REP ambassadors + toastmasters

 The REP Ambassadors of District 75 with our Chief Ambassador Johnny Uy

I was outside the room when the REP ambassadors got called on stage that’s why I’m just on the screen in the back. lol

DTM patrick district 75 district conferencePatrick Oie, DTM  (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

  • Plenary Session 3: Taking the Leadership Challenge by Patrick Oie, DTM

DTM ed tate district 75 district conference

Edward Tate 2000 World Speech Champion (Photo by Ed Fabonan)

  • Plenary Session 4: Story Finder: A Workshop on How to Create New Stories in Minutes by Edward Tate, DTM – 2000 World Speech Champion

district conference palawan sha nacinoSha Nacino, ACS, CL – Inspirational Speaker, Author

  • Breakout Session: How to Write and Publish a Book by Sha Nacino, ACS, CL
  • Keynote 2: Manage Things, Lead People by Edward Tate, DTM – 2000 World Speech Champion, Trainer, Author

Of course a Discon wont be complete without the speech contests. Here are the 2015 winners for the Table Topics and International Prepared Speech Category.

table topics 2015 contestants

Table Topics 2015 Contestants (Photo by Ed Fabonan)


table topics winners 2015

Desiree Balota, Alessandra Zeta, Adrian Baloyo (left to right)

Photo by Ed Fabonan

Table Topics Winners

  • Champion: Alessandra Victoria D. Zeta (Iligan TMC – Division F)
  • 1st Runner Up: Desiree L. Balota (Queen City TMC – Division C)
  • 2nd Runner Up: Adrian Carlo P. Baloyo (Health Care Circle TMC – Division D)


district conference 2015 prepared speech champion

Hyacinth Jade V. Malaca, Vincent C. Juan, Nedo L. Sasing (left to right)

International Prepared Speech Winners

  • Champion: Vincent C. Juan (Bench and Bar TMC – Division E)
  • 1st Runner Up: Nedo L. Sasing (BAVI TMC – Division L)
  • 2nd Runner Up: Hyacinth Jade V. Malaca (Cebu TMC – Division C)

Partying is also something that we at District 75 are good at. And it’s all in the name of good clean fun :) The Fellowship Night was scheduled on the first night and the Governors Ball was scheduled on the second.

fellowship night district conference toastmasters

Fellowship Night (photo by Ed Fabonan)

For the fellowship night, we had to wear something neon. There was a lot of food, great music and exemplary company. Although the table topics contest was set at 8am the following day I could not resist staying till the very end.

district conference 2015 governors ball

Governors Ball (With Toastmaster friends from different Divisions)

toastmasters discon 2015 palawan

The whole conference was a success! There was group of toastmasters who came all the way from Singapore to join the Discon and they kept on saying our Discon was so much fun! What can I say? It’s really more fun in the Philippines!

Kudos to Sucit, the Discon chair, and to the entire team for a successful conference. The next conference is going to be in Cebu and I’m definitely joining!

Discon 2016 Rates:

  • 4,500 php – early bird rate (1st 53)
  • 5,500 php – regular rate
  • 6,500 php – onsite registration

See you all next Discon!

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.



Monastery of the Transfiguration Retreat

bukidnon + monastery of transfiguration 3

For the Holy Week, I decided to go on a retreat with my partners from Truly Wealthy Realty – Stef and Chastine, at the Benedictine Monastery of the Transfiguration in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. I am, by nature, an extrovert. I love being with people. The nature of my job requires me to be accessible so that’s why I’m always online. But for this retreat, I decided to “unplug” myself – at least during the day. I switched my phone to flight mode – no facebook, instagram, calls or texts. It was a challenge to be sure but a refreshing experience.

The monastery is run by Benedictine monks and is famous for their pyramid shaped church and delicious Monks Blend coffee.

Cost: 850php/night

Inclusive of:

  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals (buffet style)
  • snacks
  • unlimited Monks Blend coffee

For reservations, contact Dom Paco at 0929-586-0649.

bukidnon + monastery of transfiguration 6Dining Area

bukidnon + monastery of transfiguration 8


bukidnon + monastery of transfiguration 9

Prayer Room

The whole place is so quiet and peaceful. It’s the perfect place to go soul searching or write a book . I spent two days reading, writing, reflecting and praying.

bukidnon + monastery of transfiguration 4

What I gained from my retreat was:

  1. Time with God. I was able to spend time with God without any distractions (my cellphone is my biggest distraction). This time I got to worship and pray without getting distracted.
  2. Time alone. Even though I’m a very sociable person, I have found that it’s still important to take time to just be alone. I took this time to pray about my direction in life, reflect on the lessons I’ve learned and strategize about how I can improve.
  3. Peace. It’s not that I wasn’t at peace before the retreat, but going on one allowed me to come to terms with what I couldn’t change and do something about the things I could change. Also, it gave my aching muscles time to recover. Ever since I started CrossFit, my muscles seem to be permanently sore.

bukidnon + monastery of transfiguration 7

What about you? When was the last time you went on a retreat? In this fast paced world of ours, it’s great to take time to be alone with God. It’s like diving in a pool of cool water in the middle of a scorching hot day. You’ll come out feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to conquer the world again!

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.



1 2 3