2013 had been a great year for me and for this blog that I considered a product of hardwork and dedication. It was a very challenging yet amazing year filled with loads of ups and downs but at the end it blessed with so many things that humbled me in so many ways. Despite the heartbreaking tragedies and adversities happening everywhere not in only in the country but all over the globe, I see many reasons to smile and to be thankful for the gift of life and the beautiful people around me.
2013 was also a very lucky year for me and for this blog. Despite hectic schedules and busy works, I still managed to travel around the country and three neighboring countries in Asia – but still finding the luxury of time blogging about those places.
During the last quarter of of the past year, blessings came in great surprises. I was nominated and eventually bagged the Best Travel Blog Award at the very first Mindanao Blog Awards. Winning at the MBA was already a great reward for all the things I’ve done as a blogger. But when I bagged the Blogger of the Year and Social Media Advocate of the Year, two major awards from the 2nd Globe Davao Media Excellence Award, I deemed I am not just luckier – but I am so much blessed.
2013 was also a great year for me and for my friends helping at our HelpCateel Movement. It paved a way to find more friends that now I consider as family. And together, we continue to serve and help our people in our post-Pablo hometown of Cateel. Exactly a year after Typhoon Pablo ravaged our town, our team traveled back to Cateel for the staging of “CATEEL: A Year After Pablo | A Commemoration and Celebration of Hope and New Beginning”. It was such a very successful event that has touched thousands of our people who went there. And looking at how far we’ve recovered and moved on from the wrath of Super Typhoon Pablo that flattened our town a year ago, there is so much to celebrate, so much to be thankful! And personally, this gives me more than enough reason to be grateful and to pay it forward. Thus, I opted to spend my two-week holiday break in my hometown to celebrate our first Christmas after Pablo and welcome the New Year 2014 with great hope and new beginnings.
And so that season of love and giving, The Travel Teller spearheaded a reach-out program to the teens of my hometown of Cateel. Most of them were high school kids not so privileged to receive gifts as most of reach-out programs and gift giving projects there were more often given to kids. With the generous support of my sponsors, advertisers, followers and friends, “The Travel Teller” reached out to our beloved teens to share the message of love and giving dearly present in this Yuletide Season. It was such a great joy to see various wonderful faces filled with smiles of happiness and gratitude. It was such a very inspiring event that has touched those who were there.
“MAGPASAYA NG MGA KABABAYAN NGAYON PASKO”
The Travel Teller Gives Back | A Christmas Treat to 100 Teens of Cateel
I’m shouting out my sincerest thanks to all those who made this event such a huge success – sponsors, advertisers, benefactors and friends. To all my friends who went out of their way to share their possessions, my deepest love and gratitude for you. To all those who traveled far to come and be part of this event, SALAMATAY GAYUD KAMAYONG TANAN! I will forever be grateful for all the love and support you’ve given me and to my fellow Cateelenos. God bless you more!
Seeing this miracle of love and giving makes me a better pperson and I wish to do it every day in my own little way! To GOD be the glory!