I Appreciate You, Yes You!

I’ve been active in blogging for almost a year now, and it’s really amazing!

My very first blog was last 2015, when I came back here in UAE for a job. If you haven’t read “Where It All Begins” then you might get confused if you’ve read “Life As An Overseas Worker” first. But what’s more confusing is this statement hahaha! Anyway, I deleted my first blog because I’m not confident enough and doubting myself if what I’m doing is right and okay.

Fast forward to 2019, I started blogging, still not confident but I don’t doubt on myself anymore. I cannot please everyone, I cannot blog based on what people really expected in a blog but I’m trying. I blog because I want to motivate people, I want to share my experiences and maybe give some light to some people who are experiencing and experienced what I’ve been thru. I might blog something that’s too personal to blog or might post a topic that is really unattractive for some people. My vocabulary is limited.

But I really love blogging, I love conveying my feelings through blogs.

Especially the blogging and writing community. I’m really grateful and thankful for the community. I’ve talked and established a relationship with other bloggers from different countries. I haven’t personally meet anyone from the community yet, but I really care for those people. OMG why am I in tears? hahaha I’m just grateful for having friends like you guys, for treating me nice and for spending time to talk to me. The connection and not being easily judged. I’m overwhelmed from the support I’ve been receiving, from the friendship you are giving, from the trust and most especially for accepting me not just as Yourstrulie but as Liezl. You guys are the best! I cannot express in words how thankful I’am to be a part of this community. I love you guys and from the bottom of my heart:

Salamat


Gracias

Arigatogozaimasu

Kamsahamnida

Shukraan Gazilaan

Dhanyavaad

Grazie

Thank You!

Those are the languages I know in saying Thank you, I don’t want to google it and the list might be long enough we will take a couple of more hours just to read it hahaha!

I really do appreciate you guys.I will always have your back! I will always be here to support you. I will always walk the journey with you.

Yourstrulie now signing off…

Joooooooooke!! Will never happen ofcourse, loving the community and there’s no reason to sign off yet. 🙂

Have a blessed day guys and stay safe!

The Warmth of Armenia

Having fun is the best medicine to relieve stress and there are so many things how to do it— traveling is on the top of the list (I assume, how about you?)

I went to Armenia and stayed there for 5 days and I was still lucky to at least experience their winter which later on resulted to almost losing my voice for a month (My voice was so raspy one employee of the hostel I was staying at thought I was a man inside the girl’s washroom hahaha!). It is a budget-friendly country for tourists.

Armenia is the home of Mt. Ararat, where Noah’s Ark believed to be resting inside. Yerevan as the capital city and is the largest city of the country not to mention it is among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. World’s first Christian country.

It took us 30 minutes to travel from the airport to the city proper which our hostel was located, I stayed in Vagary Hostel which is very cheap and a nice place to stay. The owner was so accommodating and they are a wonderful person even their son. Every day the owner will visit us and check if we are enjoying our stay. Bringing vodka that is waaaaaay too strong but tasty. They even arrange the tour for us and waited for us to get back to the hostel.

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after buying the ice cream at Yerevan Square

We first visit Yerevan Square, taking pictures and appreciating the old buildings and the atmosphere, it’s like you were in a modern – medieval era. The locals are also very accommodating, we were walking and saw an ice cream stand, we were in the line when they noticed us and let us go through first, we were hesitant because it was kind of a long cue plus they also have children with them but they insisted and also the child was smiling at us pointing the ice cream stand and so we obliged. We believed (I) that they were not used to having a tourist in their country but I know for a fact that some are still visiting Armenia. The cute part is they thought we are Chinese but no we don’t have the chinky eyes and super fair skin Chinese use to have (some Filipinos also have a fair skin tho). after taking photos, looking around and buying groceries for our dinner (yep! we are being super thrifty haha) we went back to the hostel and started cooking our dinner, chatting to each other and drinking. Oh, and by the way, I just met them at the airport!

while riding the ski lift alone! some part still has snow where we are going unfortunately I can’t find a decent photo to share hahaha

After a fun and relaxing night, we first went out to Echimiazin, it was the first cathedral that was built in the country and the world’s oldest (correct me if I’m wrong). The main church is under re-construction but still open for the public to pray. We saw a parade of priests and sacristans inside, it’s very rare for me to see it personally it’s like you were pulled back in time. After that, we went to Tsaghkadzor which is almost an hour drive and we were pretty much excited to experience the snow (no snow in our country and where I’m working at lol). Ski lifts brought us to the other side of the mountain to enjoy the scenery, so when we arrived there, we were like in a war—snowball fight! it brings out the kid inside me, us. After we got tired we went back to the van and visit Kecharis Monastery which is a medieval monastic complex dating back to the 11th to 13th centuries. Since we all woke up late and headed out late we decided to go back to the hostel. That night we go out for a drink and went to 90’s Cafe Pub, it is the most popular pub in Yerevan and the cue going inside was kinda long (when we arrive there). We had a blast that night, we get to meet people who became our friends hang out, danced and chatted with them for the rest of the night.

It’s a marathon for me to reach Khor Virap hahaha

On our 3rd day we woke up early had our breakfast and headed out again, we decided to go first to Lake Sevan, since it’s winter it is super cold, even when we were wearing our jackets you can still feel cold. While we were sightseeing and looking around before going up the hill to visit the church, one local vendor handed me a moonstone I was actually returning it back to her since I don’t want to buy it but she told me it’s a gift from her and I was so thankful I ended up buying a bundle of key chains to give to my friends. After taking several photos, we decided it’s time to go to the church and the view was so beautiful plus the weather. In Lake Sevan, you will see different monasteries and cemetery. After that, we went to Khor Virap where St. Gregory the Illuminator, the first official head of the catholic church was imprisoned for 14 years and when I saw the monastery at the top of the hill (not that it’s high but it’s still high for me) I blurted out “That’s too high! Are we really going to walk that far?!” (I’m not a fan of walking if there are staircases lol) they just laughed at me and I don’t have a choice but to walk and climb the stairs. But when we reached the peak, it feels so amazing, the wind touching my face and the scenery.

the marathon was worth it! my unsuccessful jump shot hahah

The view of Mt. Ararat was breathtaking. After appreciating and looking around the monastery we headed to Noravank Monastery, just by going to the monastery makes our eyes even fuller. The view, scenery, color of the sky, the road itself is already entertaining, not too wide not too narrow and it’s like someone dug out just so we can go to the monastery. When we arrived there, breathtaking is an underrated word, I cannot find the exact words to describe what I’ve felt when I got there. The sunset also made huge participation in making the place more beautiful. Since it’s a 1-hour drive from Khor Virap to Noravank and 2-hour drive to Yerevan. We decided to go home straight and just rest for a bit and walk around the city again trying to discover where to buy souvenirs which we found in Yerevan Square but kinda expensive compared to other shops behind the Square.

the photobomber in Noravank Monastery
the eternal flame inside Tsitsemakaberd Memorial in Yerevan, flowers are offered to Armenians who died

4th day, I slept late so I woke up late. My roommate saw me going to the washroom and she followed me, I was still inside the cubicle when I heard my roommate talking to someone. Then I came out and when the receptionist saw me who happens to be the one my roommate is talking with, smiled and looked like she’s embarrassed and started talking Russian (their language). I don’t have any idea what’s happening until my roommate burst out laughing, and explained to me what happened. The housekeeper walked inside the washroom and since my roommate who was standing in front of the mirror while talking to me, she thought that there’s a man inside girl’s washroom (hahaha my voice was already raspy and since I just woke up it gave me the sound of a man’s voice). They were so shy and embarrassed about what happened, they re-open the free breakfast for me even if it’s already past 11:00 AM and made me a pot of mint tea. We were all laughing at what happened. It was already late so we decided to just stay inside the hostel, then the owner came and invited us to go to Tsitsemakaberd Memorial since they are commemorating the lives that were perished during the war between Armenia and Turkey. It’s like a museum with photos hanging and displayed inside. We went outside and waited for our turn to see the fire surrounded by flowers given by the people to pay respect and commemorate the lives of thousands of Armenian. It was really an honor for us to be a part of that historical event. Imagine of us being proud because we didn’t see any Filipinos or Asians in that event. Thanks to the owner of the hostel who really exert so much effort just to keep us accommodated. I also made a special bond with the owner’s wife, we were linking our arms as we are walking, keep on chatting about my life, her kids and what we love doing. She bought cotton candy for me and when we came back to the hostel, she asked me to go with her to the grocery store-bought Ice cream, peanuts, chocolates, and other foods for me (all of them really made my voice worse but I still ate them) I was really touched by her gesture and I really appreciated it. Well when other guests saw what she bought for me, they envied me (hahaha but I shared it with them of course).

5th day, It’s the last day and we were preparing our things and ourselves for check out. It was really a sad day because we already got attached with the people in Armenia most especially to the people who we are with everyday, the receptionist who became our friend, we are still in contact with her to this day, to the owners and to other people who are in our group (sadly most of them are out of reach already so I don’t know their whereabouts now).

Those uncaptured memories that are forever in your hearts are the most genuine thing you could ever asked for, sure the photos made you remember. But what’s behind that photos are the reason the smile on your face was carved forever.

Travelling is a learning, learning is a living. We travel to learn not only the culture and the history of the place but to learn how to mingle with different races, be friends with different people, become a family with them and have trust on them. There will always be a language barrier but this doesn’t stop us to know them. It doesn’t stop us to be good to one another. You will also learn how to de-stress while travelling, putting everything behind and just enjoying where you are. It will also bring out the best in us..the kid in us.. And we live to learn, we are learning endless things. And by learning, we live our lives to the fullest, we live our lives to be the best we can be.

You Deserve It!

Life consists of ups and downs, it won’t give you a pure bliss..it won’t give you just laughter..and it won’t definitely give you a straight path to walk to.

When I first entered the outside world (career world) I thought it will be easy, I thought I will be on the top—-no.

I joined an airline company and oh boy! it was really really a tough job. Talking to an irate passenger, talking to a non-English speaking passenger, profiling the passenger if they can travel (infants, sick person, pregnant woman). Always be cautious not to fret the passengers when there’s a prison inmate that will board the plane with them. Explain to passengers why flights are delayed and cancelled all over again right after announcing it and so on. But mind you, working in an airline company doesn’t give you the privilege to earn a lot of money (idk with other airline tho) except for the cabin crews and captains ofcourse (ground crew here! lol). But it does give you the privilege to be commended by the passengers you helped with and by the management who appreciate your hardwork in the field. The privilege to feel contented and happy seeing your passengers smiling and appreciating you. I love my job even if I had a few hours of sleep and most of the time staying at the airport to work even in my days off but I have to step down, take it slow and consider what my family requested. So I resigned and joined the local municipality of our town, still in line with Tourism which I studied in college.

After a year, I decided to go abroad and apply for work (which I partly regretted it– you can take a look on my first blog “My first love left me” ). On my 2nd week, I found a job but the owner keeps on hitting on me and harassing me by trying to touch my private parts so I left the job. I didn’t file a complain to the police ‘coz I don’t have a working visa that time so I tried looking for another job but got unlucky until 2 months later someone hired me, it’s a restaurant and it’s my first time to work in F&B and with that, I really work so hard until the HR who also happens to be my fellow country men told me that they cannot process my visa yet but they will provide whatever I need (another tourist visa). My initial plan was to take the salary I worked for a month and half then resign but again I got unlucky, my visa has expired, so I need to exit and buy another visa. They told me they will give my salary when I came back which never happened. I gave them 2 weeks to give me my salary and reimburse my visa expenses but I didn’t receive anything so I just left the restaurant and felt really down and stupid at that moment, I’m so broke in a city where my family is far from me. I have relatives who helped me but ofcourse I cannot ask their full support since they have their own family to support as well. But heaven is still good to me after I left, the restaurant closed because there’s only few diner left and the government issued them letter to close because of hygiene issues.

After 3 months, I got hired again and I’m lucky because they gave me working visa or so I thought. People are good there, my director is good but how he ran the company is not that great. People started taking advantage of him until our salaries got delayed, almost 2 months. My increment which they promised never took place, I wasn’t able to save that much and after working with him for 2 years, I didn’t renew my visa.

Then unexpected things happened, the year after quitting my job was the worst year of my life (see again “My First Love Left Me” ) I was hired by this laboratory, after my interview I got a call and offer the same day. I started working with them, everything seems to be okay they waited for me when I have to go home for my father’s funeral. Going back, I got offloaded 2 times (immigration was so hard on me huhubels) on my 3rd time, they finally stamped my passport. So I got back and started working but things started to be kinda off, but I just shrugged it off and not bother. But that was a mistake, salaries are always delayed and on installment basis, I signed for a secretarial post but later on became the Receptionist, Accountant (which I don’t have any background nor studied and work experience), HR and Collection Officer plus I have to call and set an appointment for my manager and doctors while doing all those tasks. I have 2 phones in front of me, only 1 computer and I still have to take care of the technicians who cannot work properly without my guidance to think I don’t know how to do what they are doing! (I’m getting hyped up just remembering it). I asked them if they can hire even one person who can help me because before I joined this lab there’s 4 people who are doing it. But they just told me learn to manage my time, yeah right! I’m calling for a collection while doing invoices while following up the cases to be delivered from the technicians while following up to the drivers the pick up request from clinics while answering the calls from the clinics and suppliers and while calling for applicants who are applying for technician, oh and not to mention going out to buy office supplies and picking up the boss’ son from school! My working hours is from 8:30am to 7:00pm sometimes until 10:00pm without overtime pay and I still have to work while eating my lunch. (ranting too much?haha sorry about that). I’m the one to be blamed if the case haven’t arrive to the doctors outside the country yet even if I’m following it up to the customs, I’m the one to be blamed if there’s no tissue and alcohol, and also when the bidet inside the washroom is not working, could you believe that?! Then I have had enough! I resigned, not because of the workload but because of the delayed salary and the management ( I know it’s not reasonable but what can I do? I need to support my mom who is having a therapy, my brother still doesn’t have a job that time, my father just died, I need to pay their bills and my bills here abroad, my house rent, my food and theirs, my fare everyday to go to work). Imagine not having a single penny during Christmas and New Year because they hold your salary while other employees already got theirs. I filed a complain in labour and luckily I’ve won.

I got so depressed of what’s happening to my life that time. Thinking that I should have died instead of my father, I’m not a better person, I’m not a good daughter and sister, I’m at this age and yet I’m still broke I still didn’t accomplish anything from what I planned and dreamed of. Thinking what have I done to go through all of this. It’s like I’m laughing but crying inside, I’m breathing but dead inside.

I was so so near in giving up until I received an email. One company invited me for a job interview and so I gave it a try. I got hired after 2 weeks of being a bum! I told to myself ‘if this won’t work out I’ll just go home’.

Everyone is telling me that my Director is a good man, indeed he is really a good and wonderful man and his family. My brother had to go to the hospital and so I asked if I can have a salary advance, without saying anything he opened his wallet and gave me the amount I was asking for. We have a big event to organize and since we finished setting it up early, he invited me over to their place, I told him I will just stay there but he doesn’t want me to be left alone. His exact words are, “I will not leave you alone here, I will not let you eat by yourself. Let’s go to my place, my wife cooked food. Let’s eat, take a rest and then come back.” So we go to his place, I played with his sooo cutie patootie son and ate the food which her wife cooked (it was so delicious that I decided to break my diet that time haha). My director knows how to run his company well. He is not micro managing us and he is giving our salary on time, so on time that I will get it sometimes on 23rd of the month! My colleagues are nice as well. I’m only a month old that time in my company yet he allowed me to take 2 weeks leave and go home to commemorate my father’s first death anniversary. This blog won’t be enough to tell how a great man he is and how grateful and blessed I’am to have him as my boss and to work in this company. I just hope the business will further boom and will be a conglomerate because he is the type of person who deserve it and will still be stepping on the ground, helping those who are in need.

It took me years to find the right person to work with and the job worth working for, not that my previous jobs were not worth it but compared to my current one I’ll say it really is worth all the hardships I faced before. After experiencing everything I’ve been and gone through, I can finally feel that I’m a deserving person. I deserve what I have and will have in the future.

People who are suffering from pain, feeling of being neglected, sadness and hardships tend to think they are weak and useless because they are in that kind of situation. WE are in that kind of situation. But NO! Those who are feeling those kind of things and in that situation are the strongest ones. Everything happens for a reason, so if you are in such situation right now. Don’t worry, your patience, determination and hard work will be paid off. Happiness will come into your way just like what happened to me. So stand up and use your experience to become the person you want to be. You’ll soon find it because You Deserve It! and who knows maybe it will happen to you right this moment.

Simply Thank you

Not all people you meet stays in your life. They come and it’s their choice whether to stay or go. It’s their choice if they want to travel the journey with you. It’s their choice if they are true to you.

I’ve met a lot of people before and thought they are my friends. Well If we share a common interest and have a good time together I already consider you as my friend. But that was a mistake, I should have not get my hopes high, I should have not let my guard down.

I’ve met friends I consider when I went to Armenia ( see The Warmth of Armenia ), there is this one lady whom I became close with. We share our past experiences, our feelings and some of our secrets to each other. We hang out and stroll around the city together, building memories but that was quickly shattered into pieces, she asked for a favor and I obliged—We are friends after all! And so the favors she’s asking keeps on piling up, I’m not asking anything in return tho. But not returning back what you’ve asked for is a different story. She begun ignoring my messages and calls until she just vanished just like a bubble. It’s my fault I trusted her easily. When I was in Oman I also met few people who became my friends and until today, I’ve been very close to this lady we are not talking everyday but when we do, it becomes overrated!

Then there’s your college friends, I have a big group of friends and up to this day only 5 remains in contact. I believe that you can still be friends even if you’re not talking to them for the time being and they are busy with their own lives, but just a simple hello or a simple reply wouldn’t hurt right? (or I’m just a clingy person?) but the memories are still there, good and bad. Everytime I’m looking at our pictures I can’t help myself but to smile and reminisce the good ‘ol days. Our bond in college are pure. And I’m thankful to those who remains to be in my life. We are all still friends in Facebook though, and that is still a good sign!

People says that High School life was the best part of one’s school journey, and it’s kinda true. Your craziness doesn’t have any limits, it molds your life and personality. My classmates are my friends and I’m not joking when I say all of them (maybe I’m their class president so they don’t have a choice?lol) and now it’s down to 2 whom I’m talking with almost everyday.

From where I worked before (see You Deserved It) most of them are still in contact and choose to stay. I’m glad for it. Now, I have made new few friends and I’m confident that they will stay until I’m alive. Why?Because they are my friends! simple as that! I started to create my blog last 3 years ago, but I deleted it and now, they are the reason why I’m starting again. Special thanks to my vlogger friend who is becoming famous now!(hahaha I know you are reading it, you are welcome!) and to this lady who keeps on fighting the demons pestering her, thank you! You guys made my tummy aches from unlimited eating (though they are really trying their best to keep the foods away from me) and cried from laughing loudly until someone tries to shut us up.

Appreciate the people who choose to stay and fight your demons with you. Give them importance not because they have something to offer and give, but because they stick with you without apparent reason. Laugh with them in times of happiness. Cry with them in times of sorrow. Accept them as they are, don’t try to change them as they are not trying to change you. They will say “I told you so” because of your stubbornness and it’s a sign they care. Don’t be lonely if you thought to yourself I only have this much of friends while he / she has a tons of it, it’s fine. It’s not about the quantity, it’s all about the quality.

Thank you friends who became my family, thank you for sticking with my craziness and thank you for not giving up on me! How about you? Have you thanked them for riding with your craziness?

Judge Us Not

Most of the people nowadays will judge you based on the course you’ve chosen to study in college.

I have been judged not by my family but by the people who barely know anything about me.

I studied Tourism Management (my cousin actually influenced me on this matter) and I’m proud of it. Studying Tourism Management is not that easy, well most of the people who thought that Tourism students and graduates only knows how to make theirselves beautiful, always holding make-up and wearing fancy high heels and dress. And it’s sad because when people knew what you’ve studied or studying will say “oh! you’re studying Tourism ONLY?why?”. I mean why do you have to ask why we choose to study Tourism but when people learned that you studied or studying Nursing, Education, Engineering and so on (I have nothing against to other courses) they won’t question your decision, instead they will congratulate you and wish you all the best you need.

Tourism will teach you how to become a certified tour guide, those sleepless nights just to memorize the destinations, tourist spots and attractions, town’s delicacies and the story of how one town was built, not to mention you need to create a funny or lively script for this so your tourists won’t get bored and their attention will be focused on you. You will also have to do research about that particular place, things, and food that cannot be found on the internet. You will have to think about how to entice your tourists. Then there’s a Tourism Planning subject wherein you will brainstorm with your classmates, friends, families, and professor how to determine and achieve the goals of the place, businesses, and tourists. How to implement the actions you have carefully studied so you can preserve or modernized the place. You also have to study and memorize the regions and it’s capital. Let’s say world geography! Airport code and country code which you can see on your tickets and on your boarding passes. The phonetic alphabet which you have to memorize but it’s not that hard tho. The thesis that you need to do for cruise management subject and tourism marketing. You have to memorize it all by the mind and by heart so you could graduate with flying colors and of course to apply it to your future work. Tourism will teach you how to differentiate the type of tourists according to their purposes. You will also learn that there is a Tourism law that provides a regulatory framework for the proper development and management of tourism activities. Which students and graduates had to study to be aware of the law protecting tourism and within it. The events you have to organize to showcase wonderful places in different countries. Tourism course will also mold your planning skills as you will be creating an itinerary for the tourists from the moment they wake up until they got back at the hotel, their safety is also your responsibility. Tourism will also help you boost your confidence as it is practicing and shaping you how to become a motivational speaker and an inspiring guide. It will groom you how to be you.

Tourism offers you knowledge not on how to properly put a make-up on but on how to be a better citizen of your nation than before. It gives us light on how to make our country attractive and inviting to other countries. I for myself already applied and still applying on what I’ve learned through those fruitful years in university.

People. Don’t ruin someone’s motivation and confidence just because your opinion is different. Instead of bashing, belittling and making them regret because of what they’ve decided to do, guide them and be an example.

To us who were judged because of what we have studied and studying, don’t mind them and don’t get mad or annoyed at them. Use them as a tool to be motivated to do better. Thank them for allowing the beast inside you to be fueled and be exceptional. We are who we are, don’t let it affect you and your decisions and choices in life. Just always aim high and prove to your self you are right!