Sunday, March 17, 2013

Graduate's Profile: The Traveler!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

"The Graduate" balloon in Gloria de Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte

My four (4) year old niece Shanara came to me yesterday with a request! She wants me to join her as she marches and receives her medal during her kindergarten's Moving Up Day Ceremony on March 25. Of course she has her parents to do that, but in her tender years she probably could sense that as the one sending her to school [with my nine (9) other nieces and nephews] her graduation's diploma and medals are enough payoffs to me! And sure they are, so I excitedly wrote down the date, gave her a hug and a kiss while I say "Happy Graduation!" 

Graduation Day: April 1998
Degree: Bachelor of Laws
Graduation Day is probably my favorite celebration, and so it is easy to lose count of the many Commencement Exercises I excitedly attended either for myself [from elementary to law school as well as in church seminary and institutes] or for others - like the graduation year -in, year - out of at least 1 of my 10 school - aged nieces and nephews, and the many graduation days I attended as a high school teacher, a law school professor or even as a guest speaker in my alma mater's Graduation or Recognition Day. The feelings of hope, excitement and a sense of accomplishment for the hard work and sacrifices put in prior to the last day of school, makes me look forward to every Graduation Day!

Come April 1, I will celebrate another day of graduation and commencement! It is a day of graduation from a thirteen years of remarkable schooling (not in the usual classroom setting but in many beautiful destinations here and abroad). It is the time I could say that I already graduated from negativism, fears, ignorance, and naivete! 

"NO FEAR" Tricyle in Cateel, Davao Oriental

It is a day I have conquered my fears and became a gutsy woman. Yes! I am no longer an acrophobe or a person scared of heights like that of hanging bridges. I used to feel a twinge of anxiety and fear in simply walking across a hanging bridge. So looking back, my travels has bridged the gap between fears and adventuresgradually exposing myself in small steps from the least fearful situation to the most fearful ones. This allows me to adjust to each step and overcome the fear incrementally - first just looking at the bridge in Cagayan de Oro, then walking halfway thru a bridge in Bohol, then crossing the bridge completely at Sunway Lagoon in KL, Malaysia, and finally enjoying the bridge walk at Sentosa, Singapore

I no longer fear riding a public transportation or vehicles without seat belts which before traveling was a daunting task, not being able to use the cheapest way  to get to our destination! 

"Maroon Bells" in Aspen, Colorado (USA) 
So now, with 660 cities in 27 countries and a high travel score on Geckogo, I can consider myself as a graduate of the school of hard knocks, where the reward is not a diploma or a degree, but an A-traveler badge in Lakbayan for travel in the Philippines, and a profile of person who has learned to overcome some habits, to welcome and embrace the world around me and within me by feeding my wanderlust!

Parasailing in Kota Kinabalu, (Sabah) Malaysia
But the greatest reward on this day of graduation and commencement is having a greater desire to cultivate my mind, expand my world, embrace Traveling as a lifestyle and find meaning and reality that, indeed, "Life is a sea upon which the proud are humbled, the shirker is exposed, and the leader is revealed"! (Pres. Thomas S. Monson)

This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival for March 2013 with the theme "Things You Graduated From After Becoming A Traveler" hosted by our Miss Backpacker, Kaiz Galang.  

Check out the previous blog carnival topics in Estan Cabigas' Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival.

Lakbayan Philippines Grade

My Lakbayan grade is A!

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Created by Eugene Villar.

Trotting The Globe

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I've been to 660 cities in 26 countries
Mhe-Anne is an explorer that:
does their own thing
doesn't mind roughing it
lives on the edge
Travel cred: high
I rank in the top...
0.1% most cities visited - Philippines
0.1% most cities visited - Brunei Darussalam
0.1% most cities visited - Asia

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