A Day in the Kingdom of Monkeys

Have heard about Monkeys since I was a child but have not gone to a Zoo or any animal park to see in person this family of Apes. Upon hearing from a friend this so called Kingdom of Monkeys in Thailand, I googled right then on how to visit this place.

At 6:30 am, the train left Hua Lamphong station and at almost 10 am, we were in Lopburi. This old province is also known for the vast Sunflower Field (was not in season during my visit) and ruins of temples reflected in the era of Khmer Rouge of Cambodia. Lopburi also became the second home of King Narai of Ayutthaya.

Before reaching Wat Prang Yod where Monkeys reign, you can talk a few walks first to Wat Nakhon Kosa, a small old temple or choose to go first to Wat Phrasri Rattana Mahathai which is behind the train station., one of the most beautiful old temples I have visited in Thailand. The colors of the walls described the hundreds of years ruins yet remain a clear history  of Lopburi.  Then proceed to Phra Prang Sam Temple and from here, you will start seeing Monkeys roaming around the place, even on top of the City Gate structure they are there watching you.

Across the street, you will see Monkeys outside the steel fence of Wat Prang Yod running, some just sitting and waiting  for their food. The entrance fee is 50 Baht (young and old, local or foreigners).

Inside the temple you can see walls of art though not that clear, you have to have a good eye vision and the love of culture and the arts to have interest to go nearer and appreciate the se old masterpiece. There are also caretakers inside to assist you if Monkeys misbehave.

I went outside the temple to take more photos of the Temple and to these unpredictable creatures. You need to click and click as most of them are camera shy. They knew you are taking photos of them. It is like a photo shoot where the celebrity walked out.

While I was enjoying taking pictures, suddenly  one monkey jumped unto my back and pulled my long hair. Even if I ran (yes, imagine you are like a kid running around😊), this monkey keeps chasing me. One Staff helped me, took the monkey away and told me what to do to in my next visit.

These are the To Do Things to avoid a spoiled day ( I was almost) while in their Kingdom:

1. Tie your hair.

2. Place your bottled water or food inside your bag.

3. Avoid placing bags on your back.

4. Avoid wearing cap or hat.

5. In short, carry only your camea or mobile phone.

Nevertheless, my day in their Kingdom was fun ( who would not agree – chased by a monkey), and educational- seeing the beauty and culture in the ruins of temples in just two hours is indeed awesome!

Do you have experience same as mine when you were in the Kingdom of Monkeys?

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Bangkok to Cambodia by Train for only 48 Baht 

If you are planning to travel to Cambodia and having a hard time finding promo ticket from airlines, traveling by train is another option and for only 48 Baht.

Yes, you read it right-48.00 Baht. 

How to get your ticket?

Go to Bangkok Railway Station in Hua Lamphong and buy your ticket. The travel is everyday (5:55 am and 12 noon) so no advance booking. 

How to get to Hua Lamphong?

The easiest way is by MRT (Subway Train) and get off at the last station which is Hua Lamphong and proceed to Exit 2 where at the end portion, you will find the Bangkok Railway Station.

The travel time from Bangkok to Aranyaprathatet is six hours. From the train station, take a tuktuk at 80-100 Baht per person going to Poi Pet Immigration for visa stamp (departure) then proceed to Cambodia Immigration for the arrival. After the visa stamped, take the free shuttle bus to the Bus Station going to the center of Cambodia such as Siem Riep. You must be good in bargaining to  lower the fare with a starting offer of 48 USD and you should be in group to share the cost.

We reached in our hotel in Siem Riep after 3 hours of traveling. Accommodations and food are cheaper also in Cambodia (please see my photo).

You need to book Tuktuk to pick you up early to catch the sunrise at  Angkor Wat which we paid 20 USD. The tuktuk driver will take you to buy ticket and always bring your passport. There is only one official ticketing office so no scam here. We left the hotel at 4:30 am.

Since we have decided to catch the Bus going to Bangkok at 11:30, by 10 am we are done. We reached back to Bangkok before 7 pm. 

Advantage of Traveling by Train:

1. View the rural living of Thailand such as farming;

2. Take more photos or videos of the green outskirts from different provinces;

3. Can do your stuff while traveling such as writing blogs or take some rest as the train is comfortable to sleep while sitting.

Disadvantage? Travel time obviously.

Overall, it was a good, worth sharing experience seeing the different world renowned historical sights in Cambodia. Thank you Thai Government for this 48 Baht traveling by train- done first travel  in my bucket list. 

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Souvenir Photo before the graduation program starts.

(How I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree from a Prestigious University Back Home in Less than a Year While Working in Thailand).

From 1992 to 2013, Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) has produced more than 7,000 graduates from different accredited universities and colleges according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the government agency who is administering this special education program of the government in the Philippines. This Executive Order No. 330 signed by then Fidel V. Ramos is perhaps one of the most significant and relevant signed by a Chief Executive in the country. Created to give chance to undergraduates to finish college based on their skills, character, knowledge and work experience without hampering their current work schedule.

Why I am sharing this?

This is your chance now working women (and men) to finish what you have started or start what you should have done. I know there are reasons why you were not able to finish your four-year course. Either you need to stop and work or untimely marriage (like me).

At 18, my new family became my instant subject as a young housewife. Motherhood was not only my practicum but became my permanent full-time career for 20 years. However, realizing the hardships of being a solo parent, I decided to resign from my post as Administrative Aide VI from our local government unit to work abroad. I applied different jobs and even though I am fortunate, I had also my struggles in finding it and made me realized the importance of having a bachelor’s degree. These prompted me to decide to pursue my long -keep dream:

1.Empowerment/ Career Advancement- One of the reason I decided to leave my job for 10 years in the local government back home is discouragement. Yes, in my mind I will retire with the same job title I have now because I cannot be promoted. I cannot apply to positions with higher salary grade I believed I am qualified based on knowledge and experience. Adhering to the rules and regulations implemented by the Civil Service Commission, one must have a degree and with Civil Service Eligibility. I got mine but Sub-proof limited to Technical Position as I obtained it through my TESDA Encoder II equivalency. I am no longer connected in the LGU but having my bachelor’s degree while here in a foreign land, I believed would give me confidence to apply for a job I believed I am fitted to with a salary that will commensurate my capacity. Also,anywhere in the world college degree is the first requirement if you apply in companies especially if you aim for higher position.

2. Set an Example- I want to set an example not only to my grandchildren but also to women that there is no late in education and the importance of perseverance. It is really difficult combining work and schooling and the financial requirements but I motivated and challenged myself that in every problem there is a solution. We must not stop dreaming and must not stop working for our dreams.

3. Competitive- To be able to catch with young minds and latest innovations such as in office operations, I need to increase my knowledge. Well, I love reading but it is not enough. My brain needs additional information to boost self-confidence especially at work. At my age now and with many new inventions and modern resources, I need to be updated and by pursuing my college education, I am certain I can learn more.

After pondering, I sought assistance from DLDP Consultancy, a Bangkok based Education Consulting Agency established by Filipinos also. All the requirements were submitted to the Agency since they are the ones who coordinated with the University of Baguio. The process was not that easy aside from the tuition fee to consider, the documents need to be completed including the pre-assessment tasks given by the Deans but because we were assisted by DLDP, the loads became lighter. After submitting all the documents (stage 1 &2) final assessment (stage 3) came. Validation of my requirements for qualification through Skype was done (as mentioned, no need to have personal appearance) by the panel of Deans led by Ma’am Tess, Director of UB ETEEAP and after deliberation, I was accepted and my journey started. Actually, I first applied for a University in Davao City but they required me to go home for the Final Assessment which I declined (no budget for the ticket). Under UB-ETEEAP Program, personal appearance is not required since the program addresses the prime reason why an individual cannot study in traditional method. For me, I was on the right track when I chose University of Baguio under ETEEAP through DLDP Consultancy to fulfill my dream. UB-ETEEAP is so designed to working individuals who want to finish tertiary education especially Overseas workers:

1.Deans are there not only to educate students but understand the situation which is very important to overseas worker like me.

2.Training and work experience are carefully validated and verified but an advantage to applicant to earn more credited subjects; I have got 10 years in government service and this helped me a lot;

3.The modules or tasks are given one at a time so I did not feel any pressure because I had my deadline when to submit;
4.DLDP assisted me in my tasks such as reviewing my essays and sending reminders;

5.I do not need to spend time and money in going to school or institution because the program offers modular and non-attendance. I have my deadline and if I have questions or my answers need revision, DLDP coordinates between me and the Deans;

6.Most of all, the tuition fee is lower compared to other affiliated colleges and universities especially institutions operating outside the country.

My job functions for 10 years as Administrative Aide VI of the LGU were credited as well as my TESDA Certificate (yes, so attend any free training now) and other government sponsored training and work shop. Also, my subjects from Brokenshire College, the last school I attended were also counted, and my work experience here in Thailand as Customer Support was included in the validation and credited.

Self-discipline (no Facebook) was imposed by me and I filled my cup with overflowing determination and constant prayers. After my office work at 5, I am at Chamsuree Square writing my tasks as this place has space on the ground floor intended for studying, air conditioned and for free. My brain functions if I am comfortable. If needed, I will go to Terminal 21 (one of Bangkok’s best shopping mall) to use free wi-fi as my prepaid package cannot open Google especially if it is nearly to expire. I also conducted interviews to personnel for my subject in my thesis which is Sunrise Tacos. Carrying the heavy laptop which I only borrowed from my friend everyday did not cause me to surrender, even the ten pages per task for my major (Operations Management). In some cases, it cannot be avoided tasks are submitted late. Most of all, the financial aspect but the Lord is good all the time. He showed me the way where to go and whom to go.

In less than a year, I finished my tasks and at 46, I graduated last May 28, 2016 at the University of Baguio-this time I need to go home to feel the moment long I have been dreaming of. My dream of accepting my college diploma wearing black toga turned into a reality. I was so emotional on that day because I remember my late parents who had high expectations on me. I know I failed them and on that day, I wanted them to feel they are proud of me and tell them I am not a failure.

Looking back, maybe everyone thought that I could not finish college anymore because of obvious reasons; married, children needs to send to school first and financial incapacity. Some said I am too old and too late to continue college. True, but as years went by, my dream to earn a degree became my desire. For me, it is my legacy not only that piece of Diploma but instilled in us the importance of having courage and believing in ourselves and trust on Him in every thing our hearts desire.

It may take years of struggle especially if you have your own family that you need to consider first than yourself. Just live things the way it should be and always look for the opportunity in every situation and be patient.

Below are the lists of requirements I submitted to DLDP Consultancy, Samutprakhan, Thailand (visit: DLDP Consultancy Facebook). Hope this guide may of help to your application and like me fulfill your dreams as well:

1.Filled Application Form from UB-ETEEAP
2.Service Record from the LGU (to certify I have minimum 5 year- experience)
3.School Records from last school attended
4.Recommendation from my new Employer
5.Employment Certification from my former Employer
6.IELTS Certificate (or any of your Eligibility, if you have only)
7.Certification of my job descriptions signed by my former Department Head in the LGU
8.Certificates of Training (Civil Service Commission, TESDA, Department of Agriculture, DILG Write shop)
9.Certificate of Awards (Annual Report and Barangay Development Plan Preparation)
10.Certificate as Volunteer

If you need additional info apart from the above, kindly drop a comment and I would love to share info based from my experience.

 

How I moved On from my 20-year Marriage in Just 60 Days

 

 

Imagine how painful it is to end two decades of being together. The hardships you had invested to make the relationship last and doing your best to play your role as a housewife and mother, neither of them can hold the truth. Things that need to end has to end.

As  human, it came to a point in my life that I feel tired emotionally of repeating my forgiveness from his repeated infidelities. The fears I had inside turned into fierce that fueled all over my veins and made me strong enough to decide. My soft heart became hard like a rock of stone that I cannot feel the hurts anymore, like I was injected with anesthetic.

September 03,1998- The day came I accepted the truth that everything I have done to hold this sanctity is actually self-denial. My sense of understanding reached its peak and the tip has no room to grow. Nothing special on that day except my liberation.

Here are the things I did that I believed helped me to move on for a very short span of time:

1. Connect to Social Networks- At first, I had Friendster then Facebook. It was a great chance to connect with my old friends from primary to high school especially those living across the globe. Then a friend made my Yahoo Account and brought me to Internet Café for the same reason- to entertain myself. Yup, Yahoo Chat after office work and I signed up to dating sites such as Date in Asia, Tagged, Cupids and a lot more that I cannot open anymore because I forgot the password, lol… (not into it now). It was fun chatting with new friends and some of them I still have connections through Facebook. For only 20 pesos, problems are forgotten. ASL- Age, Sex, Location? the first questions that puffed into my message box. Now, my ASL is 46/F/Bangkok. Sounds corny but really true.

2. Reunion- I visit high school friends during weekends especially the girls and will have barbecue or had light drinks while remembering those funny yet unforgettable days: JS Proms, Citizen Army Training and the making of fish nets ( I graduated from a Fishery School). It became our regular meet-up and we decided to hold our first Batch 88 Reunion last December 2009. My batch mates were thankful  for organizing the said activity which I responded I could have done it if I am not now separated. Importantly, I have more time to talk with my siblings and more bonding time with my niece and nephews together with my kids.

3. Work Harder- I was fortunate I had office mates like my own family that supported and understood me all the way including my Department Head. He would send me to different training that really made me nosebleed-1 week write shops almost every month and sometimes twice a month and assigned to go On Field to conduct consultations to far flung areas, aside from the Office Order approved by my Department Head for me to render overtime service during weekends.

4.Community Service- I participated again to different activities such as Fiestas or Foundation Day in our community which I used to do before being the president of our Youth Organization then. I volunteered myself to prepare the Program of Activities and Stage Decoration. Being with the neighborhood which I seldom when I was still a “wife” really helped me ease the pain and without asking them, they gave advice and offered to pray for me. It really lightened my load.

5.Double my Faith- I remember the first Sunday I went to hear Mass as a separated wife: the question rolled in my mind were- Will they will wonder why I came alone? Do they know? But I forced my feet to go inside and I realized only the first time I felt that. Every time I was at our Thursday Breakfast Fellowship, I focused myself to the preaching and absorbed every word uttered by the Preacher. It helped me a lot as my mind was enlightened to things happening to me. The acceptance was easier because HIS words explained to me the reasons.

Yes, everything happens for a reason:

1. I got to connect with my old friends and meet new friends as well;
2. I have the opportunity to spend time with my friends and family which is very important;
3. I have worked efficiently and improved my skills;
4. I have mingled again with my neighbors which I believe very important because they are our CCTV, as the slogan goes and shared some of my abilities;
5. I am not that religious but my strong Faith made me a stronger woman by giving me a forgiving and loving heart even in the midst of trials.

Until now, those 5 things I did are still my “helping factor” especially if I feel alone but level up, hmmm. I am now using Messenger, catching up with fellow Filipino or expat friends sometimes, though (OFW life is busy life), concentrate on my new job, go to church as I often as I can. My volunteer perhaps is when I give advice (send them pm) based from my knowledge and experience to my fellow when I read posts on community or groups on Facebook.

When we focused to our future and think that we have our children to live for, I believe even no. 5 alone or pair it with no. 1 to 4 can make you moved on for a short time. Why prolong the agony when you can be happy.

Question: Are you now in the process of moving on? Aside from the above, what are you into that opens your door of opportunity ? Or what have you done that made you now stronger as ever? Please don’t be shy to share. Drop your comments.