The start of the year brings much promise, and I’ve always been grateful for how gracious God has been in my life. Revamping this new website is one of the things that I’ve been busy with and thankful for as well, special shoutout to my web developer Ryan Recomono, and my sister Jessika for all the help! She also has a blog by the way! Click here to check it out! It was actually quite a busy start of the year for me, ushering the first few minutes of 2018 hosting for Sofitel’s NYE St. Tropez Soirée! So happy got to bring my family to celebrate the holidays there too.
Shoots started to pile up once again for both shows I’m currently hosting, Chinoy TV on ANC and Upfront at the UAAP on S+A. The hustle continues so to speak, and I couldn’t be more thankful for a strong start. But deep inside I knew I needed time to really breathe and let loose, away from the usual scene. One thing about me is that I’m not really a fan of routine. On top of that, it’s also been quite a while since my last real vacation, so my recently concluded trip in the beautiful slopes of Mount Naeba, Japan was exactly what I needed—special surprise included too! Dun dun dun! Let’s keep the suspense alive for now! Read on.
With the influence of my boyfriend who wanted me to try skiing since he found his first few tries quite enjoyable, I said why not? Let’s go for it! I expected to simply learn how to ski, chill out in the winter cold, eat my share of authentic ramen and sushi, and come home with some fun new memories and cute photos in the snow, ala Anna and Elsa! But low and behold, the lessons I’ve learned transcended beyond the technicalities of learning how to ski or taking the best outdoor photo in the snow!
God had a better lesson plan prepared, that would only propel me to the right mindset and direction coming into the rest of the year. And yes, He used skiing as a metaphor this time! God really speaks in many creative ways, only if you listen closely.
So here they are, broken down to into three.
ONE: KNOWLEDGE AND FAITH OVERCOMES FEAR
Mom and I were fortunate enough to have had YouTube videos and a pro ski instructor teach us the basics on “How To Ski!” Thanks for enrolling us, Morgan! Haha The newbies must adjust! But even after learning the main principles, you’ve gotta use the theories and baby exercises in the baby slopes, and apply your knowledge skiing down the real slope, complete with riding the ski lift and all, to see how much you’ve learned!
It was fun being a spectator when everyone around you, from the young toddlers to the elder lolos and lolas of Mt. Naeba were all so chill, enjoying every second skiing! There’s not a shred of fear in their bones! It was also quite comforting for the senses, being in the cold, surrounded by the pristine white snow, and hearing the soft swishes of the skis on the slopes.
But it was a different story for me as a first time skier! Much as I’m excited to enjoy this leisure sport ASAP, I couldn’t help but feel the butterflies creep in my tummy! What if I fall?! It looks so steep, can I actually do it? How do they do it so chill?
All these questions could only be answered if I were brave enough to try! How do you muster the courage when everything’s so new to you? I let the fear get to me, and my only coping mechanism was to scream my way down on my first few tries! But screaming as if it were a roller coaster ride didn’t seem like the most ideal for anyone! No to noise pollution right? Haha
On the second time up the ski lift, I clung onto my boyfriend’s arm saying, I’m scared! He then comforted me by sharing that you only feel fear when there’s a lack of knowledge. For example, when taking an exam you only fear because you didn’t study well. Same goes with other scenarios. We only fear because we don’t know. He then reminded and encouraged me that I’ve got this! I already learned and did my exercises— from breaking, accelerating and turning. So I shook off the nerves and had my statements of affirmation and coaching on repeat in my head!
The voice in my head was all “Strong knees! Wide stance! Keep the wedge! Relax your shoulders! Break!”
And before I knew it I was really skiing and enjoying the moment! I just had to focus on what could go right! Every time anxiety or fear creeps in, always remember to gain confidence in preparation and faith. We only fear because we do not know. So gain as much knowledge as you can, and always give a hundred percent of your trust to God, fearlessly!
My new Supreme baby from Diamond Sneaks! Brought my own ski outfit but there were also rentals available at the resort! We stayed at Prince Snow Resorts, in Mt. Naeba and it was pretty complete and packed! There were lots of locals, foreigners, families, students! There were enough restaurants, and other recreational activities within the compound so once you’re in, you don’t really have to go out! My Miu Miu sunglasses were actually the perfect shape, and color, just right to keep my eyes protected from both the sunlight and wind!
#MJdateventures “on ice”?! Haha
I got it from my momma! But seriously, she’s the cutest! Warm hearts together, no matter what the weather!
TWO: ALWAYS GIVE YOUR BEST BETTER
By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the saying, “practice makes perfect.” But how perfect can we human beings get right?
Practice doesn’t make perfect because perfect doesn’t exist! We can only expect to be better. So practice and hone your crafts, to make you better, not perfect. We can only be as good as the work we put in, together with the help of the kind people and mentors we meet along the way.
This is where humility plays a big role too. Much as we all want to be the very best like Pokemon masters out there, we have to recognize that we are not exempted from errors, from failures, from setbacks. Every success story always comes with a longer prelude of persistence and the grit to try, and try, and try again amidst the struggles. Do your research on whoever you deem as successful and you’ll see. Their backstories always took more than you thought, before all the glory.
If perfect doesn’t exist, does it mean we shouldn’t try as hard anymore? What’s the point right? No, we work hard and play hard, try to strike the best balance, not to achieve perfection. But we do better anyway each day, our “best better” if you may, because we owe it to ourselves, to each other, and especially to our perfect God to give it all we’ve got.
The reality of life is that no one really has it all. And this was reaffirmed after watching an inflight movie called Girls Trip on the way back from our actual trip. It’s hilarious by the way, other than having a pretty compelling and realistic plot! We were laughing our heads off on the way home!
But yes, as much as we have our own idols and Insta-goals we follow both from mainstream and social media… we know better not to assume that they have it all. So never compare, never be too quick to judge, acknowledge that no one has it all no matter how glossy or rough the surface looks. The best we can do is to be our best better everyday. And yes, that’s good enough!
THREE: LIFE = 10% SITUATION + 90% REACTION
Well it was all fun and cool both literally and figuratively during the day, getting the hang of skiing as the time passed! The beginner slopes were only open until 5pm though so we took a quick snack break over some warm drinks, apple pie, and chicken teriyaki pizza! Yum!
Then we resumed our ski sesh, but this time we had to ride the other ski lift in the only open course at night. As we rode the lift, I realised that the course was way farther than the course I was used to! But being the idealist that I am, I was like, “It’s alright, we got this!” But upon getting off the lift and reaching the starting point of the farther slope, I realised that it was also not just way farther, but also way steeper!!
By that time it was about 7PM, and I thought I still had enough energy left to ski down, but all of a sudden I felt my energy drop as I was overwhelmed or in today’s terms, shookt, seeing how far and down low I have yet to go! I guess the physical and mental exhaustion got to me already since we started skiing at 1PM that day! It’s also extra draining learning something new for the very first time and adjusting to how everything works!
So at the top of the higher slope, I found myself frozen!! Not the sweet Olaf kind of frozen, but more like the Nightmare Before Christmas kind! My mind shut, and my knees fell weak. All I wanted was to go back down and be cuddled up safe in my bed, on the sweet ground! One wrong move, and I’d completely fall down. The ice and snow felt extra slippery too, and basically I was scaring myself to death, thinking of the worst possible thing that could happen. I was quite convinced that I just couldn’t do it!
But clearly here I am alive and well, and long story short I conquered it with a lot of persistence, maybe a tear or two haha, and definitely with God’s divine protection.
No matter how challenging life can get, He will never give you anything you can’t handle. And when it seems too much for you, just you wait and your angels on earth will help guide you through.
At the steepest part of the slope, a kind Japanese skier helped us go down 20% into the course as he saw us struggle. I was in the process of removing my skis off, opting to walk down instead while hoping and praying not to fall, or collapse out of fear. Where was the brave girl who enjoyed skiing earlier that day? Well, brave can only take you so far when all your energy is gone too! Haha I should’ve known! The person who assisted us down was also kind enough to offer to call for a snow mobile to help us get down safely, but Morgan encouraged me that we can finish this together, we can do this.
Much as I was afraid and exhausted, I went for it. I only feared too because I didn’t want to end my good ski streak and fall again. But I couldn’t get to where I wanted to without braving it up and sucking it up—bumps and falls included. So with God’s grace, and what’s left with our can-do mindset, we safely made it to the ground, and know better now to not ski when you know you’re tired already!
The following day,
we stuck to the snow mobiles first close to the ground since I was still a little traumatised from the night before. But I must make new memories of skiing to make sure I overcome the fear and reignite the confidence. So we went for it, made sure we were well rested, before we tried again.
We ended up having too much fun that we were actually really bitin and left wanting more that time around! Morgan even took the challenge to go through the steeper, farther course at night yet again and ended up conquering it not only once, but thrice!!
I was all good on the ground, keeping it chill, playing with the snow, and sticking to the baby slopes for now! To summarise the trip in a nutshell, it was exhilarating, refreshing, and filled with the most unforgettable memories—From the fun, the fearless, the fearful, and everything in between!
Our snow mobile guide actually took these photos! Haha
How awesome right? Watch out for more of these scenes in action in my vlog soon!
Subscribe here for now to stay tuned!
Life really is what you make of it, and especially how you react to the situations faced upon you. As they say “Life is 10% situation + 90% reaction! — CS“ This includes the initiative to act when the situation’s 0%, take on a can-do attitude, and always tread on the humble road.
And you know what else they say…. What doesn’t kill you makes your stronger! And I know that despite life’s unpredictable twists, and inevitable challenges, we will always have a choice to overcome them the best ways we know how.
I really needed this trip complete with all its highs and slopes! Skiing is a lot like life. You have to trust yourself enough to move forward, to be brave enough to know it’s okay to fall… As long as you get back up, do better, trust the process, and of course enjoy the ride!
Here’s to the rest of the year, knowing there’s no need to fear!
Photos using my Fujifilm X-A2 camera with 35 MM Prime Lens. Love that it’s weather and dust proof too! Really ideal for traveling since it’s offers enough bokeh and depth of field, focusing on the subject, while not blurring the background too much! They’re travel photos after all! Other photos are from my phone since we already kept the camera at one point. All taken by each other! Hope you enjoyed reading through this entry in my new website, and I hope it motivates you more for the rest of the year as much as it has been doing for me!
Snowballs and snow angels,