WPC: Wanderlust



The months of April and May are the Philippines summer months. Classes are closed and everyone’s taking a vacation. My nephew from another region of the country visits us. Since we live in our country’s third-smallest island, beaches and hills surround us. In this photo my youngest son gladly accompanied his visiting cousin in a nearby hill. It’s only a forty-five-minute walk from our place. 
While on top they could see the big houses below. Ours is covered by lush trees so it isn’t visible from where they are standing. Located farther are the sea and another island. Hadn’t it been cloudy, the sunrise could have given a misty glow to everything around.
But the morning exercise and the sights made the boys’ eyes sparkled with awe.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wanderlust

Go Greens

Go green

My reasons for planting veggies are the same with the above quote too. But mostly, to eat something fresh and organic.

Eating greens is also acknowledged in the Bible. Let me share a part of Dr. Josh Axe’s post on Top Ten Bible Foods That Heal where vegetables are included:

Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given somevegetables to eat and water to drink. (Daniel 1:12)

Instead of eating the tasty dainties of the Babylonians, Daniel and his friends requested to live on a vegetarian diet. When it was time for them to be presented to the king, Nebuchadnezzar and all of the leaders were astounded to see that the 4 young Jewish friends were more fit and looked better than the other young men who ate the Babylonian fare. Often referred to as the Daniel “diet,” history and biblical text actually support that Daniel continued his vegetarian lifestyle throughout his entire life.

Of all the food groups, vegetables are arguably the most nutrient-dense and safest to eat. There’s relatively no risk in consuming too many of them; whereas, if you eat fruit all day, you run the risk of spiking your blood sugar or developing dental caries because of the excess sugar.

Vegetables are so effective at healing that, according to the National Cancer Institute, cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, collards, kale, radish etc.) can help prevent cancer because they are rich in glucosinolates – a large group of sulfur-containing glucosides. Known to break down during chewing and digestion, these powerhouse chemicals can slow down and even reverse cancer cells growth. Additionally, it has also been reported that glucosinolates can treat the following health concerns:

  • Inflammation

  • Bacterial and viral infections

  • Carcinogenic toxicity

  • Tumor angiogenesis (blood vessel formation)

  • Tumor metastasis (tumor migration)

Thus, let’s go greens. And if you have an ample area, it it much better to plant your own greens.

purposivewriter - nezel yurong


A Bit Clumsy

a bit clumsyI thought I have passed through that clumsiness stage. The faltered steps, the bumps, the wounded knees, bruised foreheads were all experiences of a toddler. As I grew older, these experiences became lesser. Saved when I got pregnant with my two kids. Clumsiness is part of pregnancy, due to the changing center of gravity perhaps.

When we get older, I guess we will go back to being clumsy again. Just like my eighty-year old mother-in-law. She was walking on a flat surface; yet tipped over when she tried to take off the mud that stuck under her slippers, by rubbing it against the surface of the road. That little move caused her to lose her balance. We were just thankful she got only a bruised joint and no serious damage on her foot and leg.

My youngest son is now five years old. But I remained clumsy. Could you believe it? Actually, it is clumsiness in judgment that I am much guilty of. Clumsiness in actions is also a problem of other people, especially on the levels of competence. This made me to ask: Why did God create clumsy humans? Why did He not create, an all-careful human beings?

Of course, I have to answer my own questions in ways I understand. In reality, God did not create super humans. All because there is no point of having super powers when you are not destined to stay in this world forever.

Anyways, learning mindfulness may help in solving our clumsiness problems. For mindfulness helps us to focus more and concentrate more in what we do. WebMD also lays down a detailed study of clumsiness and how physical exercises can help to achieve more balance, stability and strength.

May you’re not that clumsy too.

purposivewriter - nezel yurong




WP Daily Prompt

Gretchen Rubin to the Rescue of My Urgh Day


As I opened my window to look at the rays of sunrise up in the sky, I was sad to see nothing. The weather was windy. I should have been happy because it’s my favorite weather. But I did not feel any excitement. I took a short brisk walk to awaken my spirits. Nothing happened. My mood danced with the rhythm of the weather more when it rained a few minutes after. I gave up. One of those urgh days. Everybody has it at some point.

Some days I pretend I am alright and successfully managed to pull through. Today I doubt it if I could manage the day with this mood. But I am left with no choice than to live the life I am given today. Though it would take that much effort to even smile, smile must I.

I do not even know if you could find some sense in this post. You know, those times when you do not want to do a thing because you do not feel like it, or just lack the inspiration to do it. Yet, you have to do it because you just have to do it.

Oops, wait! Before you quit reading, Gretchen Rubin seemed able to save my day. I just landed on her page. And the following are what she has to say about urgh days:

13 Tips for Dealing with a Really Lousy Day (Really Urgh Day)

1. Resist the urge to “treat” yourself. Often, the things we choose as “treats” aren’t good for us. The pleasure lasts a minute, but then feelings of guilt, loss of control, and other negative consequences just deepen the lousiness of the day. So when you find yourself thinking, “I’ll feel better after I have a few beers…a pint of ice cream…a cigarette…a new pair of jeans,” ask yourself – will it REALLY make you feel better? It might make you feel worse.

Me: I think I just have to feel this feeling instead of looking for “pain relievers”.

2. Do something nice for someone else. “Do good, feel good” – this really works. Be selfless, if only for selfish reasons. A friend going through a horrible period told me that she was practically addicted to doing good deeds; that was the only thing that made her feel better.

Me: I just listened to a friend’s woes. I think she just feels a little better.

3. Distract yourself. When my older daughter was born, she had to be in Neonatal Intensive Care for a week. I spent every hour at the hospital, until my husband dragged me away to go to an afternoon movie. I didn’t want to go, but afterward, I realized that I was much better able to cope with the situation after having had a bit of relief. Watching a funny movie or TV show is a great way to take a break, or I often re-read beloved classics of children’s literature.

Me: Gonna be scrolling my ibook for good reads.

4. Seek inner peace through outer order. Soothe yourself by tackling a messy closet, an untidy desk, or crowded countertops. The sense of tangible progress, control, and orderliness can be a comfort. This always works for me – and fortunately, my family is messy enough that I always have plenty of therapeutic clutter at hand.

Me: Good point here. I’ve got a messy desk.

5. Tell yourself, “Well, at least I…” Get some things accomplished. Yes, you had a horrible day, but at least you went to the gym, or played with your kids, or walked the dog, or read your children a story, or recycled.

Me: At least I’ve done my ten-minute brisk walk.

6. Exercise is an extremely effective mood booster – but be careful of exercise that allows you to ruminate. For example, if I go for a walk when I’m upset about something, I often end up feeling worse, because the walk provides me with uninterrupted time in which to dwell obsessively on my troubles.

Me: Done yoga and few stretches.

7. Stay in contact. When you’re having a lousy day, it’s tempting to retreat into isolation. Studies show, though, that contact with other people boosts mood. So try to see or talk to people, especially people you’re close to.

Me: I am at work. And I feel a little better just by chitchatting with co-employees.

8. It’s a cliché, but things really will look brighter in the morning. Go to bed early and start the next day anew. Also, sleep deprivation puts a drag on mood in the best of circumstances, so a little extra sleep will do you good.

Me: I guess, for me sleeping late is the culprit. Hadn’t gone early to bed for maybe three nights in a row.

9. Remind yourself of your other identities. If you feel like a loser at work, send out a blast email to engage with college friends. If you think members of the PTA are mad at you, don’t miss the spinning class where everyone knows and likes you.

Me: I need some more letting go. I just asked a friend to like my FB page which he did not do ’til now. He couldn’t understand what I am up to. A difference in perspectives.

10. Keep perspective. Ask yourself: “Will this matter in a month? In a year?” I recently came across a note I’d written to myself years ago, that said “TAXES!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I dimly remember the panic I felt about dealing with taxes that year; but it’s all lost and forgotten now.

Me: Oh, it wouldn’t surely. My body just give me this urgh day as a pause that I may take a rest from being so serious with my quests.

11. Write it down. When something horrible is consuming my mind, I find that if I write up a paragraph or two about the situation, I get immense relief.

Me: Just what I am up to. Not just writing but sharing it too.

12. Be grateful. Remind yourself that a lousy day isn’t a catastrophic day. Be grateful that you’re still on the “lousy” spectrum. Probably, things could be worse.

Me: I am so thankful I have a break from being so…. sensible? At least today I have an excuse to express that quirky side of me.

13. Use the emergency mood tool-kit. For an emergency happiness intervention, try these tips for getting a boost in the next HOUR.


Woow! Just felt better. Thanks Gretchen.

Have you ever had these kind of days? Don’t be afraid, it’s workable. Just look for your sense of humor, even if others may or may not understand.

Have a purposeful day!


In response to WP Daily Prompt: pretend.


The Most Important Lessons I Learned From A Not So Perfect Hiking Adventure

the most important lessons i learned from a not so perfect hiking adventure

The year was 1992. I was eighteen years old then. Just imagine the civilization back then of the third smallest island in the Philippines, the Siquijor island. A trek to its highest peak would be too adventurous and challenging. Camp Bandilaan, the island’s highest mountain, could only be reached on foot back then. Since I just came from the city, my aunt and two cousins invited me to take a hike there. During that time, the beaches are not yet developed for tourism, thus the local folks, as well as the visitors, believed that the most beautiful sight the island offers is its virgin forest and lofty mountain.

From where we start, we would cover a total of seven kilometers hike in order to reach the peak. My companions, though local folks, were not expert hikers. We followed a trail which they said was a shortcut to the mountain. Eventually, we lost our way. We had no compass, and no map. We then just followed my aunt’s instinct of where the way could be. Many times, we scurried because of some loud croaking and crowing. According to my aunt it was the sound of a snake calling for prey like frogs or roosters. We also found some loose snake skins along the way. My excitement of the hike was transformed into one of fear and worry. Who would not be, when you are in the middle of the forest, lost, surrounded by tall trees and lush vegetation and with no one to call for help. The look on my aunt’s face too was one of worried and afraid. Yet, she managed to encourage us to not lose hope, that we would find our way. Luckily, after an hour of wandering and searching, we found a trail that lead to the peak. We arrived at the peak at around 1 p.m.

The island is such a warm place. But there on top the wind is so cool. The sun was overlooking at us, but its heat failed to penetrate into our skin. The sight was very amazing because it was still foggy up there. From there we could see the entire island and all the neighboring islands surrounding it. I felt I was on top of the world, away from the cares and worries of the reality below. For thirty minutes I was on a different world, engulfed by nature’s beauty. It all was worth the hike. The sound of the leaves kissed by the breeze and of the birds chirping were all music to my ears. It were all meditative for me.

After thirty minutes of relaxing and having our lunch, we started the journey home because my aunt was afraid darkness would fall with us still on our way. Our trip back was faster and we no longer followed any shortcut paths. It was almost 5 p.m. when we arrived home.

I felt so victorious and fulfilled then. That was the first time I ever took a hike at an island’s tallest and most beautiful mountain. Only that there was one thing I was never prepared for: I got sick the next day. The reason? I got sore muscles all over because I did not take short or long walks before the hike. All in all that trip took us almost ten hours of walking. And I lacked the physical preparation for it.

From that experience I learned several, very important lessons (I also add some tips that are needed for modern-day hiking):

  • Before a hike, you must have walked an hour or several hours a day before the trip that your body would be prepared for it.
  • If possible never take shortcuts, wherein you have not been into before. You never know the dangers along the way.
  • Bring a map with you, and know some landmarks as a point of reference in case you lose your way.
  • Never forget to bring your cellphone and have the numbers for emergency. (At that time we never had cellphones yet.)
  • Always have someone with you who knows the place well.
  • Wear comfortable footwear.
  • Never forget your water and pack lunch, in case you’d be hiking for a whole day.
  • Wear a hat or a sunscreen.
  • Tell your family or someone that you are on a hike and the place that you are going to hike.
  • Pack basic first aid kit like bandages, moleskin, tweezers and antiseptic wipes.
  • Never forget your camera. (One of my disappointments. I never brought one when we did that hike.)
  • A sturdy backpack with a stomach strap is good to carry everything in.

A hike is a very good adventure. I never hiked for a whole day after that. But I am willing to in the future. Nowadays, I just do short and long walks with my kids; just a form of exercise for us. Hopefully, someday soon, I’ll be trekking at the same mountain with my family. I had returned there several times on a vehicle. But hiking would be much fun and challenging still.

Hope you have taken a hike one day in your life too. Have a purposeful day!


In response to WP Daily Prompt: hike.

Ideal Personality Traits

my ideal personality trait

Have you seen the first Pixar film Brave? It is a 3D computer generated movie about a princess named Merida, who was given a bow and arrow by her father, King Fergus. Merida used those to win her own hand because she did not want to get married by any prince who would win the bow and arrow competition.

Anyway, among the characters of that movie, what I loved most was the character of Merida’s mother, Queen Elinor. Queen Elinor was your ideal queen whose demeanor was so perfect and able to handle the worst of all situations well. In short, she was never perplexed whatsoever. I wonder if that personality trait is very much required of queens? And that is one personality trait I long to have.

To my dismay, I found out a personality trait could never be changed that easily. Because each of us falls under different personality types. These personality traits are what we are born with. It is also said that some of our personality traits are molded by our environment. In short, we act in a certain way because that is what the situation calls for. Even if, deep inside we are not that inspired to be that person we are showing ourselves to be.

Also nobody gets perfect because of his or her personality type. Each personality type has its strengths and weaknesses. That is why, each of us needs to improve ourselves to become a well-rounded individual. Take note there is now what we call emotional intelligence. This is one yardstick that shows whether we have found the right balance in our traits or not. If there is a certain trait that we want to own and which we believe could make us happy, we can learn to practice that trait in order to strengthen our shadow traits.

As for me, the personality trait I want to learn is that of being wise like the Dalai Lama. That trait that is so compose, so well-grounded, so strong deep within and could never be perplexed no matter what obstacles that are to come. Does this describes of faith on to something? I just remember this is a trait of most of the saints and believers. I guess so.

Well then, I can only sum it all up in eight words: I need to increase my faith in God. Here, perplexity could never bother me anymore. And with prayers granted, God could blessed me with traits I needed most in my journey towards fulfilling my destiny.

Have a great day!


In response to WP Daily Prompt: perplexed.



Radical Overhaul

radical overhaul

I woke up this morning feeling a little bit offbeat. Perhaps it is depression looming again? Before the illness, I was on cloud nine, counting the stars, watching intently what star shone the most.

Now that I am back on my feet again, a burden seemed to weigh on my shoulders. Was it frustration for failing to come up with my expectation of myself? Was there an imbalance in the chemical composition of my body that left me a little bit sad and bored? Or was depression playing hide and seek with me?

Haha! One thing I forgot, instead of asking what goes wrong, it must be better to look for what seemed right. I am getting healthier again, despite the acidity in my stomach. The ginger root tea is getting its mission. Sooner, this acidity would normalize. Sooner I would manage to get back to my ideal routine again.

It matters much how we see things; what are the lens we use to see things. If we look at things using the lens of negativity, negativity is what we see. But if we choose to see through the eye of positivity, we feel better; we are quite assured that Someone out there is looking over and making sure we are okay.

Someone out there carried me through my days of pain. I could have asked where had He been. Then I remembered, I was already okay because He came running to carry me. Had not it been for Him what would I be but a sick little earthling? I could not command the tides. I could not command the disease to go away. I could not command my food to grow. Everything is – because of Him. My duty is to recognize Him in everything I do; to thank Him for giving me another beautiful day to be spent with my loved ones. For if He should say, “Your time is up,” who am I to say No?

I may seem to be stripped of everything (my active thoughts, my positive outlook, my determination to follow my dreams, my energetic body), all because He wants me to focus on the most important thing at the moment. That is – to put my gaze solely on Him. He wants me to undergo a most radical spiritual overhaul. He wants me to deepen our connection. In the pursuit of my goals, I seemed to have put Him aside. Now, He is speaking clearly to me in my emptiness. In this emptiness, nothing comes in between. Just Him and me.

In my emptiness I bow down before my Master. In my emptiness, my God hold my hand so tight that I may remember, He is the most important goal of all. In my emptiness there is no sadness; for my emptiness speaks of His fullness. My God fills my emptiness with His assuring love and His loving Presence.

Now, need I complain? No. I Thank God. I praise God. My spirit has just gone through a love overhaul. And it is very beautiful.


In response to WP Daily Prompt: radical.




In the Rio Olympics, I have watched how athletes perform the individual sports of their choice. One sport I watched was the javelin throw. I watched in awe as the different athletes threw in what they’ve got. However, no matter the time and effort spent for the preparation, lapses happen. One athlete poised to start, determined to get the goal. She ran as fast in order to throw the javelin the farthest. But midway the momentum started to fade. She slowed, stopped and threw her arms in surrender. She lost her calculation. She lost her chance of gold.

At this point, I felt I was that athlete. I had the goal. I knew the strategy. Only that I just lost my momentum. I felt I was “stumpified.” That situation where you felt you were like a tree, ready to bear fruit that would be consumed by the people who hungered for it. But then a cruel woodcutter came and cut the tree down, leaving only a two-foot stump. I was that stump.

The best thing to do now is to start from the beginning, to where the momentum usually is born. A live stump still is able to grow shoots. Those shoots still could produce fruit in the right time. And the good thing with life is that, there is no such thing as too late. I can always start whenever I am ready. There are just obstacles I have to hurdle. Things may happen not according to how I want them to be, yet still I am able to make them happen in the rightest time. In God’s time.

Have a purposeful day!


(WP Daily prompt: stump)