January 6, 2017

2016 Travels: The Mission Continues

2016 is over and I can't help but remember it with awe, fascination, and thrill.

Looking back, the evidences of God's grace and guidance are clearly seen and felt. God has been so good and faithful to me. His blessings were abundant. His strength never failed me. His care sustained me. His grace embraced me. His love inspired me every day.

And now as I am amazed by what God has done to me throughout the year, I remember these words by the prophet Jeremiah,
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23.

Yes! Indeed, Paul's words are trustworthy too,
But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you. 2 Thessalonians 3:3.

Last year, I published a blogpost about my travels in 2015 entitled, "2015 Travels: 13 Destinations, 1 Mission." This year, I am making this recollection of my 2016 travels with a focus on God's faithfulness to me and my mission work throughout the Visayas islands.

Since 2013, I have been a part of One Year in Mission (OYiM), a young adult ministry of the Youth Ministries Department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This ministry focuses on empowering the youth for evangelism, leadership, and community services. And until now after three long years, I am still doing the mission that God has called me to do— to share the love of Jesus and inspire my fellow youth to do the same. So, I keep this motto always in mind: "Forward in Mission."

So now let me take you back to all my travel and ministry adventures in 2016!

March 2016:
> Cavite, Philippines
We attended the Hope Channel Philippines Cinematography and Scriptwriting Workshop at the beautiful campus of Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in Silang, Cavite.

With the Hope Channel-Visayas team.

May 2016:
> Cuatro Islas, Leyte, Philippines
Together with some youth leaders, we explored these alluring islands in Inopacan, Leyte.

At Digyo Island, the fourth island of Cuatro Islas.

July 2016:
> Singapore
> Indonesia
> Malaysia

This trip is awesome! One out of the country trip and three countries explored. This trip was made possible through the generosity of Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) Youth Ministries Department. From Cebu, we passed by Singapore where we had a meeting and shopping. Then, we proceeded to Indonesia where we helped in the preparations of the 2nd SSD Pathfinder Camporee in Bandung. After the event in Indonesia, I went home passing by Singapore (again) and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Photo op at Chinese Gardens in Singapore.

Selfie at Universitas Advent Indonesia (UNAI) in Bandung.

Arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA 2).

August 2016:
> Can-abay, Samar, Philippines
> Tacloban City, Philippines
> Palo, Leyte, Philippines
> Ormoc City, Leyte, Philippines
> Southern Cebu, Philippines
> Vietnam

This month started with a trip to Samar where we graced the EVC Youth Leaders' Summit. Then we had a tour and survey in Tacloban, Palo, and Ormoc in Leyte for the upcoming SSD Mission Adventures this June 2017.  We also toured around southern Cebu stopping by at Dalaguete Beach Park, Osmena Peak, Oslob town proper, Oslob whaleshark watching, Kawasan Falls, and Moalboal White Beach. Then the greatest trip of this year happened! I had the opportunity to go to Vietnam. It was very memorable because of friends and experiences while we were there.

The boat ride to Can-abay, Samar.

At the Yolanda Memorial Marker in Tacloban, Leyte.

San Juanico Bridge

MacArthur Memorial Park in Palo, Leyte.

Chilling at Lake Danao in Ormoc City, Leyte.

At the summit of Osmena Peak in Dalaguete, Cebu.

At the Independence Palace in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

October 2016:
> Iloilo City, Philippines
> Guimaras Island, Philippines
> Bacolod City, Philippines
> Matag-ob, Leyte, Philippines
> Albuera, Leyte, Philippines

The youth in Panay Island invited me to be one of their resource speakers during their WVC Youth Leaders' Summit in Iloilo City. It was a blessed experience too! We also had a side trip to Guimaras Island. Then from Iloilo, I went to Bacolod to witness the NOC Youth Festival. After that, I traveled to Matag-ob and Albuera in Leyte to grace their District Youth Association Camp Meetings.

Group shot with the youth leaders of Panay Island under my module sessions.

A beautiful beach in Guimaras Island.

NOC Youth Festival winners.

Groupfie with the youth in Matag-ob, Leyte.

District Youth officers in Albuera, Leyte.

December 2016:
> Bacolod City, Philippines
> Silay, Negros Occidental, Philippines
> Bago, Negros Occidental, Philippines
> Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
> Pinamungajan, Cebu, Philippines
> Southern Cebu

The last month of the year was a very busy month! The first weekend of December was spent in Negros Occidental as we visited the youth in Bacolod, Silay, and Bago. The second weekend was spent with the youth in Aloguinsan, Cebu where I had the privilege to be their main speaker during their District Youth Retreat. Then before the month ended, the place where I work had a family tour in Toledo, Pinamungajan, Barili, and Moalboal in Cebu.

Lunch with the youth in Silay, Negros Occidental.

The youth Compassion team in Bago, Negros Occidental.

Early morning view at Baluarte Park in Aloguinsan, Cebu during the youth retreat.

My CPUC Family at Hidden Valley Resort in Pinamungajan, Cebu.

Mantayupan Falls in Barili, Cebu.

Snorkeling at the White Beach in Moalboal, Cebu.

Hoooh! I can't believe that 2016 is over and 2017 had started already. Yet I know that this year will be awesome (once again) because God is always faithful!

With God, there is providence and protection throughout our life's journey. #MissionVisayas

This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival for December 2016
with the theme "2016: A Year-ender"
hosted by Mervz Marasigan of Pinoy Adventurista.

For my previous Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival entries, click here.

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