2013 Musings: connect, reconnect, disconnect

Two more days and we usher in the 2014 with high hopes that the coming year will bring us good health, fortune and love, connect with something new—places, people, and perhaps reconnect with what has been gathering dust on the busy desk-- the New Year’s resolutions list.

Davao has been busy connecting with development. The city’s business landscape is greener than ever that it’s luring in more investors. New commercial buildings are rising, living spaces are going vertical, hotels inaugurated, new restaurants and retail stores opened, and 2014 holds even more surprises for us.

The price of development? Heavy traffic and flooding. Unfortunate, yes, but there is a cure, somehow. This is what we have to face, connect with and solve before it becomes a major, major setback to our city’s healthy growth.

I like it that Mayor Rody Duterte reconnected with Davao and with what he does best—leading the city as Mayor.

Selfie connection with the Mayor who does what he does best- run the city

True, he has and is implementing strict regulations that which to many may seem unthinkable but look at the track record so far. Aren’t we healthier with the absence of second-hand smoke? Didn’t the liquor ban teach us to drink more responsibly? Maybe the speed limit is too slow but don’t you think it will minimize vehicular catastrophes?

Connecting with a new city regulation. It was met with apprehension, but remember when the no smoking rule was implemented? Isn't it good we're not breathing second hand smoke today?

Anything new is always met with apprehension and anger but we always get use to it. I said ”I will never ride a taxi cab again” when the new cab rate was imposed. But here I am spending more on cab fares more than ever.

When it comes to traveling, I know I will never disconnect myself from it. The adventure around the globe will always be exciting. This year I was able to reconnect with the love I had for my favorite European places— Paris, Rome, Florence, and got to connect with new ones—Madrid, Pisa, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo and Prague (now one of my favorite cities). 

Connecting with Prague. Now one of my favorite cities.

I have the Universe and my good friends, Tenny and Des, to thank for making this European sojourn a beautiful reality, and to Nico and Noemi of Agoda.com for the most restful and lovely accommodations in Paris, Prague and the Scandinavia. 

Reconnected with a city I love and connected with a new one. Paris with Tenny & Copenhagen with Des. Thank you for taking me with you guys!

Cebu was a surprise. It wasn’t a stressful visit as I perceived it to be. Maybe because and I found a home in Radisson Blu? It was a great time to reconnect with old friends who welcomed with open arms and connect with new ones, especially the peers from the industry. I think I will be seeing more of Cebu soon.

Reconnecting with Cebu & connecting with new friends- media peers- over lunch at Feria of Radisson Blu.

But there are always my favorite and regular destinations—Boracay and Bangkok. Twice a year I manage to be in these spots that I will never get enough of. Bangkok was even made more fabulous with the chic hotels like Muse and W Hotel that I came home to at the end of a very tiring day (again, thanks Nico of Agoda.com for making that happen), and in Boracay, it was a good feeling to step on the mat and reconnect with my body through yoga (thanks Nikki!). 

Forever connected with Bangkok which was made more exciting with a stay at W Hotel, thanks to Nico of Agoda.com, & Boracay with its million perpertually gorgeous sunsets.

And speaking of reconnecting with my body, it was good to see my waistline after three decades. Thanks Dr. Dennis Tan for disconnecting the clinging fats around my waist and siphoning it out. It took me ten years before I decided to have a procedure. Now I feel lighter and fast tracking back to a healthier, shapely me. J 

Reconnecting with myself via Yoga & my long-absent waistline via Dr. Dennis Tan's liposuction procedure.

But of course, staying in shape takes a lot of will power especially with these must-connect new restos in town—the Boiling Crab & Shrimp, Hoy Panga and its fried Sionga (SIOpao with tuna paNGA filling), Viking, and many more. After trying those, you’ll know which one you must keep reconnecting with.

Connecting with diet busters. Bag of yumminess by Boiling Crabs & Shrimps; Hoy Panga's Sionga, siopao na panga ng tuna; & Vikings' amazing buffet.

Every year I disconnect with articles of clothing that I never get to use. I believe it belongs to someone else. This also applies to people, it’s good to meet and make friends but know which connections to keep alive or unplug. Avoid “negatrons,” energy vampires, the pretentious and the ill-mannered ones. The clutter is never good.

Always remember— go for and hold on to the good and to what really makes you happy. Never mind what other people may think or say. Put yourself on top of your list.

Let’s wrap up 2013 and welcome 2014 with positivity! Thank you Universe and looking forward to the blessings you have prepared for me and everyone else in the coming year!

For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/ and http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/ 

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 29, 2013.