Carryover: Values to Keep from 2015 to 2016 (Be Open!)

by Jan 15, 2016Blog, Hearty Living, Inspirations, Travel Notes

Carryover! That’s the word that entered my mind when I think about the opportunities, experiences and values that I collected last 2015.

Usually when we talk about the New Year we think and come up with resolutions and fresh goals. But how many times do we really think about the things that we can carryover (something good and beneficial that we can transfer resulting from a previous experience or year) from the old to the new year?

When I think about this question two words reverberated through my whole year:


So to begin my year with my first blog (after taking a holiday hiatus), I want us to start talking. (Thus, my HOME banner for 2016 “Let’s Talk”!)

Let’s talk about the values that you can carryover from the previous year to the present one.


Here are the VALUES that I’ll personally keep and carry through:




How many times have you done anything unusual in the past?

I started my previous year with a trip to Northern Luzon that made me experience a number of new things. From karting to surfing, from feeding baby sharks to a musical and cultural trip to Zambales, from wakeboarding to hanging from a 10-meter high Giant Swing… they were all scary and… good!

I actually like it when I start something being scared then taking the courage trying and getting over it after awhile. It creates a feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment that I’d never feel if I wasn’t open to try something new.

So for this year, I want to try more daring new activities, visit more exciting places, and have a taste of new culinary treats!

“Be daring and excited to try unusual things.”

Hong Kong Disneyland

“New” Place : Hong Kong Disneyland

(I’ve never been to Disneyland ever in my life. So visiting it for the first time with friends while being sick haha was something new for me.)

Angel Wings Seafood Iloilo Food

New Culinary Treats : Angel Wings Clams

(To try new culinary treats is heaven for me! One of the places that I want to visit again is Iloilo. Why? They have an amazing variety of fresh seafood and they sell it cheap!) 


“The Proposal Garden” at Sonya’s Garden in Tagaytay

Surprises can come not just in grand boxes but in small and unsuspected containers too. Once recognized, those simple and “small” surprises can become more special and memorable.

When was the last time you appreciated getting surprised by a simple sight, sound, taste or feeling?

I like it whenever I take a shower (too much information? haha) then suddenly birds outside my home will begin to chirp. Strange… I know I’m a bit strange but I really like nature so the sound of chirping birds are like a natural serenade for me.

I also like it whenever I go to a certain place unexpected of what I’d be able to see and discover. Just like when I visited Sonya’s Garden last December. I never thought that they have such a place called “The Proposal Garden”. So yes, when I saw the secret garden, I really felt the LOOOVE… It was B-E-A-UTIFUL!

Planetshakers Concert

Planetshakers Concert

(I also like music and watching live shows and bands from time to time. So when a friend surprised me with a patron ticket to a concert – I was like “baaam”!)

Holiday at Ayala Triangle in Makati

Holiday at Ayala Triangle in Makati

(I think lights shouldn’t be underestimated too. In photography, light is very important. I like the touch of natural light in the morning and even the play of lights in the evening.) 

This year, I hope that I’ll continue to be a child at heart – recognizing the simple surprises in life and having the joy even in the most mundane things, getting amazed in common places and making the usual – extraordinary.

Sweet Surprise : Hot Tsokolate de Batirol

Sweet Surprise : Hot Tsokolate de Batirol

(Again, Iloilo left a special uhmmpphhh in my heart especially when we went at Camina Balay nga Bato. Their unlimited Hot Tsokolate de Batirol reminded me of my 93-year-old Lola Egly and my childhood.)

“Always be open to wander and to have the sense of wonder!”


Birthday Exhibit and Workshops

What keeps you from blessing or helping others?

I never want for my opportunity to help others to be solely based on my resources or the lack of it. I always believe that I can give something with or without a huge bank account.

And God showed me time and time again that being a blessing and helping others is not a matter of your financial status. It is actually based on your willingness to help and to share your time and gifts to people.

You are blessed to be a blessing. He can use you even when you’re in lack. He can show you how. Just have the willingness to be open and be His vessel.

I believe that each of us are gifted with a unique set of talents, strengths and abilities. I never met someone who doesn’t have any strength, talent or the ability and possibility to do something AWESOME. I also think that God made us value relationships because He wants us to connect and stay connected.

Last year, I found myself being so blessed with many friends who were willing to connect and bless the kids from Leukemic Indigents Fund Endowment. I’m grateful to friends like Mrs. Aileen de Guzman for allowing me to partner with her for my Birthday Exhibit where people also learned from her at her Detox Class, and to another friend Zumba instructor Mrs. Manisha Budhrani who shared her time and talent with us.

Friends also started to help from the start of the exhibit to the end of the class. This celebration was made possible not just by one individual but by people who are connected with one goal – to be a blessing. The event surely blessed the kids from L.I.F.E. and I, too was even more refreshed.

We are all blessed (in so many different ways) to be a blessing!

Love and Family


This couple certainly went through a lot of vulnerabilites

Years of love and being vulnerable together…

Are you ready to become more vulnerable?

I guess I wrote every thing that I needed to say about being vulnerable here and why it’s just okay.

Being vulnerable has its own beauty – it makes us grow, heal, be whole and it makes us love even more. But most of us tend to avoid being vulnerable. Why? Who wants to feel pain, to be in a position of uncertainty and to be exposed? But there’s something special when we discover our weaknesses and fears especially when we decide to make them as our strength and our avenue to completely trust.

This year, I hope to be more open to share my life and to get to know people. To heal, to cry, to be emotional (but not to be extremely and emotionally irritating), to listen, to laugh and enjoy,  and just be vulnerable with someone. And I hope that by being more vulnerable I’d be able to love and live better. 🙂

Open your heart to relationships and be connected!

Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm Bulacan Mr. Tony Meloto

Learning on how to create something great out of your vulnerability and fears.

(When we visited Gawad Kalinga’s Enchanted Farm in Bulacan last year, we also met its founder Tito Tony Meloto. Tito Tony is a very successful yet humble man.

He was gracious enough to answer my question on how he was able to start and conceptualize “Gawad Kalinga”. I remember his first word was FEAR. Because of the present state of our society, he got fearful for his children’s future. That same fear became his springboard to bring back the dignity of the people from the poorest of poor in notorious communities. This made him eventually provide sustainable jobs for families through social entrepreneurship.

Tito Tony’s immense love for his children and fear for their future, the vulnerability in his heart for his family- gave way for Gawad Kalinga, a community development foundation that continuously help so many families in our country.) 

I guess the moment you stop loving and being vulnerable is when it will hurt the most. That’s when you’ll stop living for something great.


Hello 2016 Door Tagaytay

What are the things that are hindering you from moving forward? What are the habits that are keeping you from progressing and from achieving your goals? Are there things or even (long overdue) baggages from the past that you need to let go of?

Whether it’s a bad habit, an addiction, material things, work/ business deal, even disturbing people or unhealthy relationships, or heart issues like unforgiveness, bitterness, disappointment, pride, we all need to get rid of something from the past.

Recognize and release the “ugly” things that consumes you, paralyzes you and keeps you, your mind, and your heart from moving forward.

Don’t prolong your own agony. Learn to let go and let God do the rest… You’re made to grow.

This year, my prayer is that I will continuously have the grace to release myself from anything that will hinder me from progressing. I want to be able to soar and not be limited.


After my first talk at Miriam College “Travel Logs and Blogs”

Are you open to try new opportunities even if it entails you to be out of your comfort zone? Are you willing to let go of your shy side and awaken something that is yet to be discovered inside of you?

Whenever I tell people that I’m naturally and usually shy, they immediately react in disbelief. Yes, whether they believe it or not I was actually born shy. I easily get intimidated and nervous by situations, people or things. But while growing up, I also thought that I need to eventually confront things that frightens me. Why?

Because I think nothing will happen if I won’t make anything happen. I want to really live life to the fullest. I think I’ll miss a lot of things if I’ll keep hiding inside my comfortable shell.

So how do you do it? I learned that it’s okay to be nervous. But I need to pass that stage by being courageous and gathering some guts to do something that scares me.

How do you get out of your shell? First you need to admit what you’re feeling (afraid, anxious, intimidated, etc.) then take the courage and act on it. And instead of thinking what could happen if you fail, think about the things that you’ll miss when you don’t do anything about it at all.

(This could or could not work for you as it will depend on you and your situation. Just sharing what I personally experienced and how I do it myself.) 

Book Signing Photo Shoot Coloring Book for GrownUps

2015 Photos: Contributed 3 artworks for “Delight in the Word” (a coloring book for grown-ups), Signed some “Real Men are POGI” books with my ‘piece’ on it, Taught Lifestyle Photography Workshop at “Moms-Day-Out”, was interviewed for one of the shows on GMA News TV, Photo Shoot for a Print Ad.

Every new opportunity that you take are doors for you to discover your potential and capabilities. Grab every opportunity that will make you expand.


Have you ever meticulously planned for something that eventually was ruined by something or someone? Do you easily get annoyed when your schedule suddenly changes or gets disrupted?

Oh the moments of interruptions and “suddenly-s”! How we feel awful about them?!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have plans. Whenever I travel I want to have a draft of my itinerary just so I won’t waste any of my day/ time. I say draft because most often than not I end up not being able to perfectly stick to it. That made me more open for changes and spontaneity instead of ruining my life by over thinking it minute by minute. (Just don’t make me hungry, exhausted and cranky. :p)

Sometimes the best, most interesting and memorable moments are the ones that weren’t planned, schedules that were suddenly interrupted, and activities that were replaced or changed. That’s what I experienced when I was in South Korea.

We clearly had plans in Seoul but day after day we were lead to be more open for changes. To be more spontaneous and fun. To move in the Spirit… Move in the Spirit…What?

Not to sound too spiritual but even when you’re not a super duper spiritual person sometimes you can feel that tug in your heart if you need to go somewhere or stay at a certain place. That feeling of being lead, that tug of being divinely interrupted. That’s well, kinda what it means when you move in the Spirit… not as in with a ‘ghost’ but with God’s leading unto you and your schedule.

Sometimes, the best plans are the ones that gives you freedom to openly and freely flow.

South Korea trip

More about the “divine interruptions”, the food, the people and places that we experienced in South Korea – soon! 🙂

(We had our itinerary and plans when we were in South Korea. But all throughout the trip, God taught us to be flexible and to enjoy each moment – whether it’s an inconvenience or not. God lead us to be open to His schedule and not just with ours. His timing is truly perfect and divine.) 

You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail. (Proverbs 19:21 NLT)

Nami Island Travel Autumn

Our surprise trip at Nami Island in South Korea

What are the values that you think you can carryover from the previous year to this new one? 🙂 



  1. joey @ 80 breakfasts

    Wise words indeed! I’d definitely like to carryover my attempts to find new adventures with my family…along with my attempts to organize our home which never seems to happen! 🙂

    • Joanne-Marie

      Hi Joey! Thanks for sharing the values that you want to carryover this year! 🙂 I would like to actually include that one on my list – To be open to be MORE ORGANIZED this year, haha! I need that one too. 😉 May you have the best adventures with your family this year.

      Btw, I love your website! So appetizing!!!

  2. Sareena Dayaram

    Such a great reminders as we kick off 2016 ! My favorite on your list is to be open towards being vulnerable.

    • Joanne-Marie

      Thanks Sareena! Sometimes it’s difficult to be vulnerable but I realized that it’s actually a gift. 😉

  3. Angeli Solmirano

    My favorite among your blogs… So far! 🙂 Ahehe until I finish reading all. Thank you for your generosity of sharing your thoughts/ideas. God bless you more, sis! 🙂

    • Joanne-Marie

      Awww! Thanks Angel! I had fun writing this one. Saan ka naka relate the most sa list? 😁 I love doing this and makes me happy to hear messages like yours. God bless you too!


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