Late night thoughts, anyone?

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Looking at this picture makes me realize how A LOT of things had happened in the past 19 years. Believe it or not, some of them made me not want to believe in life anymore…and some just taken the crap out of me. The world was, and remains to be, scary after all.

But looking back, despite what has happened, I am here ain’t I? I am happy to say that I’ve come to the point where I accept pain as a natural part of life. It just came into full circle now. It is not part of the complexities of life but is simply a process  I had to go through in order to appreciate it even more. Indeed, suffering is unavoidable but it is our perception of it that makes life different from everyone around us. We can always choose the life we want to live. 

And that is the greatest gift that God has given us. ❤️

 

Studying in Australia: The process of getting there

Girl-and-Suitcase

Ever since I was little, I always dreamed of studying abroad. Now that is has come true for me, I just want to share to you how easy the process was and how you can do it too!

Timeline

September 8: Having the idea

This was the day I decided that I wanted to study in Australia. I asked my Mom about it and she was very encouraging. She told me to ask Tita Nelda, a close family friend who is living in Brisbane, about how her niece applied. She recommended that I asked the institution IDP which is located in Makati. My Mom and I called the institution and immediately booked for an appointment with one of their student advisors.

September 12: Acting on that idea

We met up with Mr Roldan, my advisor, in the IDP office in Makati. He gave me the list of requirements needed so that I could study abroad. I commend the staff here because they were so much helpful—and it’s all for free!

October 17-18: Taking the English exam

Though I mentioned that IDP’s services were free, I had to pay for the IELTS though. It took me one month before I could take my IELTS because of delays in the processing of my new passport. NOTE: The passport is vital in order to sit the exams. I remember having a flu days before the exam to the point that I can’t even stand up! But then I thought how much the IELTS exam was (which is around P 9,000) and this dream that I have of studying abroad..so I went for it and did the exam. There are four parts of the IELTS: speaking, reading, listening, and writing.The first one was a speaking exam, which was a one-on-one interview with one of the IELTS’ senior officer, took place in a building near the IDP office on the 17th.  The listening, reading, and writing part of the exam was held at Dusit Thani Hotel on October 18.

November 1: Exam result

The results come out after 13 days. I was able to check the exam result online and thankfully, I got a 7.0 out of 9.0 overall band!!!

November 4: Submitting application forms

I submitted my application form and other requirements like my college TOR and IELTS test result to Griffith University via IDP. I just handed out all of the requirements to a representative at the IDP office and they are responsible for processing it.

November 7: Getting accepted at Griffith University

The day I got my acceptance letter from Griffith University! I was astonished at how fast it was.

December 9: Paying the tuition fee

Paid my first semester tuition fee and Student Health insurance via Bank Transfer at Asia United Bank. You could use any other bank of choice. We paid around $13,000 which includes the 1st semester tuition fee and health insurance which covers my whole stay at Griffith University.

December 12: Receiving the Confirmation of Enrollment

Got my Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) via email from Mr. Roldan needed for the student visa application. It is one of the requirements of the Australian government which means without the deposit, you cannot apply for the student visa.

December 18: Lodging my student visa application

Lodged my student visa application with help from IDP. I submitted the complete requirements to them and they are the ones who processed it.

January 6: Visa granted

After less than a month, I received my multiple entry student visa! Hooray! 🙂 It’s only a paper though..it won’t really be a sticker in your passport. I think you could ask for one but it’s a bit expensive.

January 18

australia-postcard-20131009

I am currently conditioning my mind with the life I am about to have in Australia. Since I’ll be living away from my family, I know I’ve got to be stronger and I’ve got to work harder. It’s a good thing that I will be living with Tita Nelda, who is also a Filipino, because I know that she could help me adapt quicker.

I am about to book my plane ticket by next week and I just realized how my time is ticking. I really have no idea what to do before I leave.


So that’s it! That was a timeline of how I got to studying in Australia! 🙂 If you have any questions, feel free to comment! Thank you guys and I hope this helped you in reaching out for that dream of yours.

Good luck! ❤ -M

The Green Lake (Grüner See) of Styria, Austria

💛 💙 💜 💚

International Bellhop Travel Magazine

Grüner See, Austria

Located near the tiny mountain village of Tragöß, Austria, the Green Lake is a seasonal lake that comes from the collection of snow melt in the large valley between the Karst Mountains. In the winters, the valley is simply a green park with hiking trails, plants and trees and park benches. During the summer, when the winter snows begin to melt, the runnoff from all that melting snow collects in this valley, creating a temporary lake.

The waters of the lake are not green, they are actually crystal clear and some of the cleanest waters anywhere in the world. The Green Lake gets its name from the very green grasses in the park which can be seen perfectly through the clear waters. Depths of the lake vary, depending on the amount of snow the surrounding areas got in the past winter, but the average depth is 2-12 Meters.

Grüner See, Austria

Scuba Diving…

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Finding Pleasure and Joy In God’s Presence

My Spiritual Breakfast

*Pleasure

Many in society have adopted the philosophy that life should be a trouble free existence filled with ongoing pursuits of lustful pleasure. Is our time on earth meant to be a continuous party filled with inordinate and excessive pleasure? Does said pleasure seeking produce a satisfying and lasting joy?

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SMO BEST 2K14 #tbw

Some of the Editorial Boards of the different Student Media Groups (Ang Pahayagang Plaridel, The Lasallian, Malate Literary Folio, Green and White, and Green Giant FM) with Ms. Ella, Ms. Deng, and Sir Randy.
The Editorial Boards of the different Student Media Groups (Ang Pahayagang Plaridel, The Lasallian, Malate Literary Folio, Green and White, and Green Giant FM) with Ms. Ella, Ms. Deng, and Sir Randy.

During my summer break, I was able to attend a team-building seminar in Laguna. I don’t know why but this chilly Wednesday night (and no classes tomorrow) compelled me to reminisce on this wonderful experience with these wonderful people.

Red Bull, buffet, butts, karaoke, etc. are just one of the words that pops into my mind whenever of BEST 2K14. But let me tell you the most important thing I’ve learned from the 3 days and 2 nights I’ve been with these people.

You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back. – Barbare de Angelis

Well, no, not the romantic kind of love really. It is the kind of love you have for life. Segwaying back into the past, I was always the girl who let the opportunities pass by because I was too scared to even try. I was afraid what others would think of me if I do this. In other words, I lived up to what people thought of me: nerdy, grade-conscious, and shy. I made sure that lived up to what they say I am. In the process, I got sad and depressed. You know that feeling that you cannot come out? Like there is something in your chest but you cannot express it? The feeling was like that. So instead of shining, I crumbled up in a little corner, afraid to show who I really am.

Now that I am in college, I told myself that it had to stop. I cannot do this to myself anymore. So the first step I did was to join an organization. In doing so, I have gotten the chance to showcase my skills and capabilities. I am glad that I’ve joined organizations because in the process, I found myself. Sure it was not comfortable at first. Who wants to trade eat, study, sleep, repeat with stress, no sleep, and hunger? No one, of course. But heck, I took the risk anyway! As the diagram illustrates, it is where “all the magic happens.” I must say that it is true. It is outside our comfort zone that we are able to grow and learn. 

where-the-magic-happens

Let go

Linking these thoughts to my experience at SMO BEST 2K14, it was an opportunity where I and the rest of the Student Media Group officers had to go outside our respective comfort zones. Once we arrived at the place, I was always with the people in my organization because I did not know the other officers from the other groups. But to my surprise, during the last day, I was a bit sad that we all had to part ways. I realized that if I had not let go and just stayed inside my comfort zone, I would not be able to meet such amazing people. By letting go, I welcomed learning and new experiences into my life.

 

Easier said than done

Okay, so I know this won’t be an easy road to take. It’s okay, we aren’t perfect. I also struggle to do this at times. But just being aware of the things you want to change in yourself is already a big leap compared to not even bothering to think about it. We sometimes do not feel like doing it. The comfort zone is comfortable after all! That is why it is called that. I know a perfect trick that would help you fight that. Think of everything you do in life as a choice. You control your own life because of your choices. If you do not show up to that meeting with a potential collaborator for your business, it is your choice. If you do not get up because you are too tired to exercise, it is your choice. If you do not review for your Finals because you spent time with your friends, it is ALL YOUR CHOICE. The importance of every decision you make, like ripples, will affect every aspect of your life. So do not go off blaming others why you can’t do this, you can’t do that. Again, it is a matter of our choices.


 

better-choices

Dream big!

I just woke up feeling very inspired. I wish to go to Australia and study there! After all, a good friend of my mom’s is a permanent resident there.

sydney opera houseI do not know why but I always felt like I am meant for something bigger. I’ve realized that this gift of life was given to us by God. Why can’t we desire big things for ourselves? This ultimate gift was given to us by God: the gift of having a choice.

From now on, I vow on erasing the negative stuff that fills my mind whenever I think of my dreams. Every day, I will focus on doing things that would help me in becoming that person.

Cheers!