#MargaGoeSolo: A Trip of Healing (Hokkaido, Japan 2016)

Warning: This isn’t just a travel guide. This entry is about my spiritual journey. So read on if you want to know how I became a stronger person and how I dealt with the obstacles I have faced.

Finally had the time to write about my #MargaGoeSolo trip! Read about how I got to Sapporo here. I was really blessed to have a friend there. She told me what I should do and showed me around. Ren, if you’re reading this, MARAMING SALAMAT!

What’s nice about my trip was that I was able to meet new friends who also are Filipinos. They are University of Hokkaido scholars. Some of them were from UP as well. Also, it was a good time for me to get in touch with my spirituality. It basically was a trip of healing.

Day 1: Arrival

On my first day, I was really tired. From the New Chitose Airport, I went to Sapporo station to meet my friend. She then brought me to the department store to buy some boots. I only had 300 USD with me. The boots cost about 4,000 pesos. It was worth it because it kept me warm. But imagine that? I had 200 USD left and I was able to survive my trip! I then went to my friend’s apartment and slept. I wasn’t able to go around. I guess seeing snow for the first time was enough for me. I felt like Elsa from frozen! Lol. So how does snow feel? Finer version of crushed ice—obviously cold. It only started snowing at night but I wasn’t able to take a lot of photos because I was too exhausted.

During the start of my trip, I had so many questions in my head such as why do people have to go through so much pain? How can one throw away something so precious? Why am I left with so many unanswered questions? And so on and so forth. I was very sad about what had transpired last November probably because I didn’t really know why it had to happen. There were some signs as to why it had to happen and many had their assumptions. But knowing me, I brushed it off and waited… Waited for the truth to prevail.

The start of the trip was the most difficult. Many associate winter as a gloomy season. But I guess as time passed, I got better.

Day 2: Otaru

From Sapporo station, it’s 30-40 minutes to get to Otaru. The place is known for its fresh seafood so that’s what I did first. I went to a Market.

  1. Made my own Chirashi Bowl Price: 2700 yen- this was really cool! You can choose your toppings and the seafood was so fresh. Definitely a must try.
  2. Mount Tengu Price: 220 yen -What to do there? Ski, have your picture taken in the photobooth, eat ramen, visit a ski museum, buy souvenirs, and see the view. However, it was snowing hard and it was already dark so I was not able to appreciate the view.
  3. Venetian Museum Price: 700 yen-  I was not able to take a lot of pictures because it was prohibited

  4. Otaru Canal
  5. Izakaya- went out with my new friends! Unli drinks! Price: 1500 yen My friends told me that the locals don’t drink as much as we do. They shared that one time they drank so much and then they were calling the waitress to order more drinks. The waitress did not go to them to entertain their orders anymore… I kept laughing when my friend shared this story with me. In filipino, “LUGI SILA.” hahaha

Day 3: Sapporo Beer Museum, Shiroi Koibito, and Odori Park

  1. Sapporo Beer Museum

There is no entrance fee for the Beer Museum however I suggest you taste their three famous beers. Price is 600 yen for 3 beers. Got drunk at 12 noon. I like the Kaitakushi beer the most. They serve it with peanuts! 32004044380_6f16f576da_k

  1. Shiroi Koibito

Entrance: 600 yen

Decorated some cookies which cost 1000 yen. I just wanted to be a kid again. It was really fun!

Ate strawberry shortcake to enjoy the view!

3. Odori Park- There was a German market when I went and a lot of beautiful lights. I did not stay long though.

Day 4: Nitori tour for Foreign students

I was really lucky that I was able to join my friends. Nitori is a furniture company by the way and they sponsored our tour. We only had to pay 1500 yen for everything which was really affordable. We were able to do a lot of things. Such as:

  1. Wood baking
  2. Bento Lunch- we also sang some songs and there was a raffle!
  3. Winter sports (Skiing and Snow rafting)

Day 5: Last day

  1. Kinotoya cheese tarts- this is a must try! Aside from beer, this is really popular. 31558704044_23a0ca3831_k

I got ready for my next country which was Taipei. I booked an AirBnB a day before and everything turned out really well. By this time, I felt really better because God was really there for me. Of course, the pain doesn’t go away that fast. It takes a lot of time probably days, months, or even years.

Fast forward to today, so many things happened after the trip. I thought I’d be okay after but everything came crashing down because my questions were finally answered last February. I was back to square one. I realized that sometimes it’s better for things to be left unsaid. But I guess my prayers were heard and God gave me an even bigger obstacle to surpass. Knowing the truth was even more painful than that November incident. But I guess it is true that everything happens for a reason. It really does make us stronger in the end. I am amazed also at how life turned out to be. I’ve been getting so many blessings and opportunities. In my Instagram it says there that my goal is to inspire others and that’s what I have been doing lately. I was invited to give a talk to a school and a company. I was able to touch some lives. That for me was an experience I will never forget. Aside from that, I’m taking my MBA, working out like crazy, cooking, and etc.

Life isn’t that bad right? Cliché but it’s true that there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel.

There are three books that have helped me in this journey:

  1. You can be happy again by Edwin Soriano
  2. Heart Detox by Bo Sanchez
  3. How to change yourself in 30 days by Bo Sanchez

Even if you’re not going through any difficulties, I suggest you grab a copy now because it’s really easy to read and it will definitely make you more positive.

What did I learn after reading them all?

  1. When we forgive, it doesn’t make the person’s actions right. It makes our lives a lot better. It takes out a lot of bitterness in our hearts.
  2. It is okay to not be okay.
  3. There are things we cannot control. The only thing we have control of is ourselves. As much as we want people to change and be good we cannot. We only have to take care of ourselves.
  4. Happiness is a choice. Choose to be happy.
  5. When we lose someone, a part of us vanishes as well. It leaves a hole. How do you fill the void? Not with someone else but with passion, dreams, hobbies, and the like.
  6. People will always say that when we love, we need to save some for ourselves. It’s not true because when we love it has to be limitless or “lubos.” Why? Because God’s love never runs out. Surround yourself with your loved ones because through them, you will feel God’s love.
  7. Hurt people hurt people
  8. Don’t wait for perfect conditions to change. Start now.
  9. Always take the high road. Be good to people that hurt you because in the end the goodness will bounce back to you a hundredfold. Never ever seek revenge. Just lift it all up to God.
  10. There’s no point in dwelling in the past. Move forward and continue to strive for greatness.
  11. Sometimes we tend to look for answers when in fact we really know the answers to our questions. We are just afraid to take the plunge.
  12. Worrying is very toxic. It stops us from getting to our destination. It sucks the life out of us by making us pessimistic. Stop worrying and start WORSHIPPING.
  13. It takes 21 days to create a habit.
  14. People do not succeed when they fail to plan. Start small. If you fail to plan, prepare to fail.
  15. Our thoughts and imaginations are very powerful. Visualize something positive- dreams, aspirations, because it translates to our actions.
  16. Don’t let your emotions control you. Let your emotions follow you.
  17. The truth will always prevail. Most of the time we are not ready for it but it’s there for a reason.  It just makes us stronger individuals.
  18. If they can do it with you, they can do it to you. (Sadly. This is so true.)
  19. Acceptance is key
  20. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. When you’re feeling sad, just go to church. Cry it out. You’ll feel better.
  21. Everything in life is a choice. It can make or break us. We got to live with it. That is why you have to think and think and think before you act.
  22. God will always be there for us no matter what. He is our pillar of strength.
  23. Patience. One day you’ll wake up and you won’t care anymore. Or probably you know how to handle the pain already.  It is a gradual process. Be strong.

Sorry for this long over due post. Been editing it for quite sometime now. Well since January of this year. Many people have been asking me about the quotes and books I post in my IG stories that’s why I decided to share my experience with you. Like I said, my goal is to inspire others so I hope you guys find inspiration in this entry. I guess I can say that “I’m stronger than yesterday” that’s why I decided to publish it.

Some people may judge you for doing something impulsive and for spending a lot of money. The question really is… IS IT WORTH IT? Of course. The best way to learn is from experiences. I cannot believe that I was daring enough to do this trip. I learned how to think of out of the box solutions when put in difficult situations. You see, we have to expect the worst (also in life) therefore we cannot sulk and complain about it. We have to fix it, change it, and be patient. Same with ourselves.

I stumbled upon this quote the other day by Anthony Bourdain


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