11 Instagram Photos That Show Life’s Uncertainties in Perspective

In life, we learned to chase our dreams. We were once asked when we were young, what do we want to become someday, we uttered words without hesitation and proudly answered. Some of us wanted to be a teacher, doctor, policeman and even president of our respective nations. The innocence in us gives no doubt that there is a bright future ahead. And the reasons we provided were noble, coated with pure altruism.  

And believe that for as long as we pursue our dreams relentlessly, they will come true. We realized that reaching our dreams and goals weren’t as easy as staring on our favorite stars on a clear calm sky nor appreciating the formation of clouds. We have learned that life is full of risks and uncertainties we can’t predict. 

Though sometimes unsure to where we are headed. We continue to dream on because those dreams keep our life worth living. There are moments we question our ability in making them happen; and decided to settle for what we have in the present. 

We keep our faith as our strongest resort. What keeps those dreams alive is our faith that it will happen. Faith that manifests in our words and actions. However, we should never settle with faith alone, couple it with hardwork and perserverance; because dreams remain dreams if we won’t work on things to make it our reality. 

And realize that there will be people who would inspire us to keep on believing in the dream. Sometimes, we are so enamoured with the idea that our dreams are who we are. However, dreams are meant to be shared with the genuine people who surround us. In smiles, there are dreams; in despair, there are dreams waiting to be restored. They are not meant to be kept for ourselves. In reaching them, we must learn to give.  

In times of adversity, we learned to continue moving forward. There are times that life could give us the worst offer it could give; enough reasons to blame why it becomes unfair. But we were able to accept things as they are and move forward. Sometimes, the more we often question things, the likelihood we don’t get answers we seek. In life, the things we are so keen to know about comes out naturally by the time we are ready enough to hear the answers.  

Because we know that there will always be sunshine after the storm. We learned that no matter how hard life is; seldom we get used to it and appreciate that challenging the obstacles make the battle worth fighting.  

Then we pause for awhile and be reminded that there’s nothing wrong to stop.Let’s wait for the green light before we buckle up again and continue with our journey.  

Because there is value in waiting. Often times, we become so impatient and we consider things to be instant. We forget that the things worth valued are the ones we have steadfastly worked for filled with passion and enthusiasm. In waiting, it helps us to understand that nothing in this world with value comes in a glimpse of an eye. Sometimes the things that easily come may easily go, so think twice.  

We learned to challenge our realities and chose the life we think we deserve. Amid life’s troublesome road, we have chosen the path we think can give us peace and solitude. We refused to accept life’s chaotic uphill battle but it didn’t mean we were soldiers of cowardness. Sometimes, we were just brave enough to challenge them, even if it means being alone.  

Yet our journey in this world never ends unless it means going home. 

Photos used in this article are owned by the author.

Instagram: @rjamesbarrete



Resiliency over Adversity: A month after Yolanda

Yesterday, as we approach Ormoc City the damages done by Yolanda was beyond my expectations. Coming from the Visayas region it was more heartbreaking to see your people trying to rebuild what they lost (more unexplainable feelings when I hear stories about the death of their families, relatives and friends). Some said, they already accepted it, however at least they should find their bodies. Approaching to Tacloban from Palo, Tananuan and Tolosa was more extremely devastated. As of now, I reserve my judgment on how the President defines ‘normalcy’. I know it is really hard for the victims to start over, but to witness them trying to move forward is just so uplifting. It’s been a month since Yolanda yet some areas still look like war zones. Let’s not stop helping our fellow countrymen. More than immediate assistance, a simple show of sympathy, not pity is what they need. Let’s build a better Tacloban.

Seriously, this place turned out into something I only see in movies. Burning of debris everywhere to serve as source of light, police and military checkpoints, devastated buildings and homes, people seeking shelter on streets, unwanted smell of air because of dead bodies and foreign teams into assessment of recovery.

This is a new starting point for the people of Visayas and the government. We’ve invested so much to industrialization and commercialization and lost track of agriculture – something that the government should take into account for rehab and reconstruction.

I do not know if people here receive enough but I must say, they need more.

A boy plays sepak takraw in SOS Village as his father watches him.

A boy plays sepak takraw in SOS Village as his father watches him.

A shipping line ashores the coast line near Tacloban City that ravaged the houses near the shore.

A shipping line ashores the coast line near Tacloban City that ravaged the houses near the shore.

A man who works again as tricycle driver in Tacloban City.

A man who works again as tricycle driver in Tacloban City.

Homes turned into pieces of debris near the shore line of Tacloban City.

Homes turned into pieces of debris near the shore line of Tacloban City.

Children play near devastated area in Tacloban City.

Children play near devastated area in Tacloban City.

Residents selling products from nearby provinces to earn income to survive.

Residents selling products from nearby provinces to earn income to survive.

A man cleans the walls of Sto. Niño Parish.

A man cleans the walls of Sto. Niño Parish.

Portrait of Christ on dumped baskets.

Portrait of Christ on dumped baskets.

A room in a residential house damaged by Yolanda in Sampaguita St., Tacloban City.

A room in a residential house damaged by Yolanda in Sampaguita St., Tacloban City.

An old lady sits outside her house remembering Yolanda.

An old lady sits outside her house remembering Yolanda.

A young boy sells his goods while a man stops over at the shed that says: "I LOVE TACLOBAN"

A young boy sells his goods while a man stops over at the shed that says: “I LOVE TACLOBAN”

Photos taken via Instagram: @rjamesbarrete

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From grit to great: Lessons from Jonathan Yabut

I always hear from Jonathan Yabut‘s media interviews this statement, “You can never be too small to dream big.”

In the recent TedXDiliman, an independently organized TED event, Jonathan Yabut, first winner of the Apprentice Asia from the University of the Philippines Diliman shared his lessons to success. What amazes me about this person is his compassion in his profession.  In his talk, he shared 4 points about lessons on Passion from his experience in the Apprentice Asia.

GRIT TO GREAT. First Apprentice Asia Winner, Jonathan Yabut talks about his success at TedXDiliman.

GRIT TO GREAT. First Apprentice Asia Winner, Jonathan Yabut talks about his success at TedXDiliman.

Here are the interesting statements he shared:





Probably the most interesting and entertaining part about his talk that made the audience laugh, when he said, “To the person who broke my heart last year (with the tune of Adelle).. You could have had it all.”

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10 Quotes on Social Good: #2030NOW

1. Ben Keesey, CEO of Invisible Children


“Don’t take for granted that people care.”

2. Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent,

Representative to the United Nations


“Citizens have the capacity, as they did with Darfur, to put an issue on the map.”

3. Christina Grimmie, YouTube Artist


“If you can’t find what’s unique people aren’t going to listen.”

4. Ian Somerhalder, Actor


“Social media is changing the world, and we’re all here witnessing it.”

5. HRH Crown Princess of Norway Mette-Marit


“Young people want to be involved and really want to have their voice heard.”

6. Jeff Martin, CEO and Founder of Tribal


“Young people need to be asked what matters, not told what matters.”

7. Ernesto Arguello, Humanitarian & Entrepreneur


“We all have different inspirations, but one goal: a better world.”

8. Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever


“The world we want is an enormous responsibility.”

9. Bryn Mooser, Co-founder of RYOT.org


“There are things that people can do in the world — sometimes as simple as sending a tweet of support.”

10. Ian Somerhalder, Actor


“Millenials don’t just want to read the news anymore. They want to know what they can do about it.”

Image courtesy of Human Rights Campaign; composite by Mashable

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Make Your Move: End Sexual Violence

Make Your Move is an effort from Missoula’s Intervention in Action Project, a group of community organizations dedicated to ending sexual violence.

The goals of the campaign are to: 1) Engage men and women as allies to prevent sexual violence by increasing awareness and education about the dynamics of sexual violence and 2) Encourage bystanders to foster healthy non-violent relationships and interrupt attitudes, language and actions that support sexual violence.

ORIGINALS: By Make Your Move Missoula. Photos by Athena Photography. Posters by Partners Creative.

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Discover Philippines

Most of my followers probably know that I love to travel. The photos in this blog are perks of work, charity and of course personal travel. Also, this post will be updated from time to time since I am compiling all my photos and I’m having a hard time sorting everything. But I hope you’ll enjoy my photos of different places in the Philippines!

Vigan City

Cold early morning view of Calle Crisologo in Vigan City.

Zamboanga City

Perfect view to have your breakfast beside the pool at Grand Astoria Hotel in Zamboanga City


Ybanag 101: Maddulo Kamu! This sign welcomes you in Tuguegarao, Cagayan Valley.


When you want to release your anger and cause no harm to others, try the Tacsiyapo in Bangusan Restaurant, Tarlac.


The cozy lobby of One Tagaytay Place that makes you feel at home.

Sultan Kudarat

Fields of Sultan Kudarat.

St. Thomas Baguio

On our way to the top of Mount St. Thomas, the highest peak of Baguio City.


Bangusan in Pangasinan.

Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur

Scout Monument in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur.

PACMAN's Residence

Dinner at Manny Pacquaio’s Residence in General Santos City.

Murcia, Negros Occidental

The 7 Falls in Murcia, Negros Occidental.

Mount Canlaon, Negros Occidental

Mount Canlaon, Negros Occidental.

Morong, Rizal

‘The Road Movie’ Morong, Rizal.


Departing view at Batangas Port going to Calapan City, Mindoro.

Manila City Hall

Manila City Hall Clock Tower.


A mosque in Maguindanao.

Laguna Coco Palace Laguna

Coco Palace Hotel in San Pablo, Laguna.

Kidapawan, North Cotabato

Coconut trees shade the highway of Kidapawan, North Cotabato.

Kidapawan, North Cot

Outside the Capitol of North Cotabato.


Two horses dipping in water during sunset in Isabela.

Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay

A gloomy afternoon in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Iloilo City

Iloilo City

General Santos City

A busy afternoon in General Santos City.

Fontana, Pampanga

Fascinating lights of the Fontana Leisure Parks lobby in Clark, Pampanga.

Dipolog Zamboanga del

The exquisite style of Ariana Hotel in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte.

Davao City KTV

Amused photos in KTV Restaurant, Davao City.

Cebu City

Top View of Cebu City.

Cavite City

Cavite City.

Bacolod RH

The controversial Team Patay and Team Buhay banner in Bacolod City.

Bacolod City

Mouth-watering cakes of Calea in Bacolod City.


Enjoying the cool sea breeze in Digos City, Davao del Sur.


Camarines Sur Watersports Complex.


Calesas near the plaza in Vigan.


This is the most memorable travel for me. Engaged with our Indigenous People in Tarlac.


Morning view in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

7 Falls Negros

Murcia, Negros Occidental

I own all the photos posted in this blog.

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Camarines Sur

Peñafrancia Cathedral

Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Peñafrancia

Sunday Mass

Outside the Basilica (Pavilion-like)

A Window of Peñafrancia Shrine

with Abbie


After visiting some of the churches in Naga City, we went to Camarines Sur Watersports Complex. It is located outside of Naga, a 20-minute ride from the City. You won’t expect traffic on a weekend.

This is the place where you can rent equipment if you want to experience the most popular watersports in CamSur, ‘wakeboarding’.

Posing with a beautiful backdrop: Mt. Isarog

A row of Nipa hut-inspired cottages or rooms to stay in CWC.

Approve! 🙂

A guy doing some wakeboarding.

I will make sure that next time that I am to visit CamSur, I will definitely TRY this! We had no time, ‘coz we had to catch our flight in the afternoon.

Cassave cake with choco syrup

Hakaw (shrip dimsum)


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Shots of a Lifetime

I always have this mentality that if you are in a process of making good memories, you should always get your camera ready! So, I sorted out my photos for the past years and try to make good combinations of them randomly.

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” ~ St. Augustine

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive. ~ Anais Nin

“I love argument, I love debate. I don't expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that's not their job.” ~ Margaret Thatcher

"Praise the bridge that carried you over." ~ George Colman

"Life is full of ups and downs. The trick is to enjoy the ups and have courage during the downs." ~ Carson Kolhoff

“Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

" Let me live today like there is no tomorrow, regardless of how many tomorrows I may or may not see." ~David Gethings --- New Jersey

"Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means." ~Ronald Reagan

"Let me do all the good I can, to all the people I can, as often as I can, for I shall not pass this way again." ~ John Wesley

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My Top 20 Places To Visit

Life has given us short time to appreciate everything about this world; travel now and wander what the world could offer.  – RJBarrete

20. Vietnam

Left (Rice field in Vietnam provinces); Right (The mythical Ha Long Bay)

19. South Korea

Left (the romantic Jeju Island); Right (City of Seoul)

18. Japan

Tokyo, Japan

17. Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is second of the largest cities in Brazil and is legendary for its breath-taking landscapes, nonchalant peculiar beaches, and of course the annual Samba Carnival.

16. Somalia

Nomads drawing water from a well.

15. Russia

Left (Baikal Lake); Right (St. Basils Cathedral in Moscow)

14. New Zealand

Left (Lakes near New Zealand's Mount Tangariro); Right (Oceanium - Cannibal Bay, South Island, New Zealand)

13. Egypt

Sphinx and Great Pyramid

12. Nepal

The valley of Kathmandu

11. Israel

Left (Western Wall, one of the holiest sites for Christians and Jews); Right (The Bahai Gardens Temple & Cypress Trees)

10. Thailand

Thailand is rich in culture; Right (floating market)

9. Morocco

Left (Berber Village); Right (Day Trips from Marrakech)

8. London

Left (The Tower Bridge); Right (The Tower is one of London’s most popular attractions and for good reason. It exposes important history, houses the Crown Jewels, and offers more medieval armor than you can see anywhere else.)

7. Paris

Left (The Famous Eiffel Tower); Right (Basilique du Sacre Coeur)

6. New York City

Left (Manhattan by night); Right (Statue of Liberty)

5. Norway 

Fjord Norway

4. Greece 

Left (Fira Santorini, Greece); Right (Messinia Region, Greece)

3. Alaska

Left (Kodiak Island, Alaska); Right (Skagway Alaska)

2. India

Left (Taj Mahal); Right (Shimla, India)

1. Palawan, Philippines

Palawan Island, Philippines

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