5 Year Blog Anniversary + Giveaway You Don't Want to Miss

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Yay! It’s Project Gora’s 5th year anniversary! Well technically the anniversary was in August, but let’s just say that like most things in my life, I am a bit late to the party. But there’s a good reason, I promise. :)
it's finally here!
I started my blog as a place for me to share my experiences in traveling the Philippines, Asia and beyond.  I was able to check off most of the things listed in my bucket list, to visit places I never imagine I could see one day and to document my travels. I experienced so much, this post is not enough to tell you all about it. But let me share with you the top 5 life lessons I learned in the past 5 years, all of which helped me to be better, although it certainly didn't feel that way most of the time. Lol!
Do it now!

1. Do it now.
If you keep delaying your plans to do something, chances are you won't be able to achieve it. That 'someday' can be NEVER. If a job isn't something you want to do, drop it.
shopping or a round trip ticket to Thailand? :)
2. Traveling is for everybody. 
People think I am rich or I have rich parents filling my bank account regularly. To be honest, both my parents are no longer working, so basically I am the breadwinner of the family. After I paid for our monthly utilities, medicines, grocery, and insurance, I set aside some money for my travels. I also do some freelance work online if I have an upcoming out of country trip.

As cliche as it may sound, you do not need to be rich to travel. Give up Starbucks or online shopping, and you'll probably have enough money to fund your trips. When you travel, stay in a homestay, hostel or guesthouse. Go DIY-style instead of joining group tours organized by a travel agency. Eat at a local restaurant or prepare your own food. Walk instead of taking a taxi. And I should not forget to mention that traveling on the cheap yields all of the most amazing travel experiences. :)

Wherever I go, the Philippines will always be my home.
3. Appreciate home
While traveling other countries for the past 5 years, I learned how to appreciate home. When I first went out of country, it did not take too long for me to miss home, my mother’s cooking, my father’s paglalambing, my dogs, and the cheap and dirty jeepneys. Although I easily get homesick, I still love the feeling of being away because my loved ones will be there to greet me with open arms when I come home.
health and well-being
4. Value your health and wellness
I can’t afford to be sick. That’s what I always say when I get too lazy to walk, take multivitamins or eat healthy food. Although I can’t claim to be super healthy, I try my best to boost my immune system, especially when I have an upcoming trip.

The first time I got sick while travelling was in Bali, Indonesia and this was by far the worst sickness I've ever had while travelling. I contracted Traveller’s Diarrhea, which is a stomach and intestinal infection. I always believed that street food is a great way to explore local culture and cuisine, so I did not bother checking how the food was made. Born and raised in a third world country, I was pretty confident with my immune system. Lol! Thank God I got sick on our last day, so it did not ruin our travel plans. It would also cost a lot of money if I’m going to be hospitalized in a foreign country.
Yeah, don't expect travel to solve your probems
5. Travel won't fix your problems.
Yes, don’t think that life away from home is easier and that changing your location will magically fix your problems. Although travel cannot solve your personal issues, you can use it to escape. For me, escape is not really a bad thing because it can be an enlightening experience. It gives you a unique kind of perspective, which in turn allows self-examination.

So, that about it! Travel once in awhile and if you’re concerned about travel expenses, save up for it. Consider what life lessons you may end up missing out on. ^_^

*** Project Gora and V&M Naturals Blog Giveaway ***

BTW, this post is not just the blog’s anniversary celebration, but an opportunity to wholeheartedly thank you, my dear readers. I’m launching a blog giveaway for the very first time in partnership with my favorite local skincare brand, V&M Naturals. The reason this giveaway took me some time to launch is because it was important to me to find the best way to show my huge appreciation and gratitude to you, whether you accompanied me on this journey over the last 5 years or if you were just recently introduced to my blog.

What is the prize?
Only one winner will get 5,000 peso worth of V&M Naturals Products and an overnight staycation for two with free breakfast at the B Hotel Quezon City.

What’s in the amazing V&M Naturals skincare kit?
  1. Poppy Plush (Emu Oil Based) Soap - this is my first love ever since I've been hooked on organic/handmade artisanal soaps. This soap repairs and hydrates skin with pure emu oil and poppy seeds, among other natural healers. It's just so great, I can't even!
  2. Underarmour Acai + Mulberry - this is my HG (Holy Grail) deo! It has lightweight deo-spray formula that won’t leave a sticky underarm feeling. It's fortified with Emu Oil, Aloe Vera Leaf, Licorice, and Mulberry extracts which helps me achieve lasting underarm freshness. :)
  3. Keep Safe Tinted Sunblock - a lightweight sunscreen that leaves no sticky feeling! This has replaced my Holika Holika BB cream, because honestly this tinted sunscreen covers all the basics I need. 
  4. Fully Refined Emu Oil - this is my HG natural oil. SRSLY. Many people, including myself, are raving about this product because of so many great reasons! If you are not familiar with Emu Oil, it's natural healing comes from the Emu bird, only found in Australia. It’s been used as a safe and effective treatment for various skin conditions. Even the Australian Aborigines used this since time immemorial! Amazing, no?
  5. Witch Hazel Toner - this is another personal favorite (aside from the Guava and Cucumber Toner). It's a pore-minimizing facial toner that won’t disturb your natural moisture balance and is perfect for oily, combination, and acne-prone skin. As it’s a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, it’s able to battle free radicals to protect against skin damage.
  6. Shades of Shave Foam - this cleanser and shaving foam for men is a dual-purpose cream that protects skin during shaving. It soothes and calms irritated and inflamed areas as well as protects skin against sun damage. I haven't used this personally, but because it's from the brand I trust, I have no doubt it's great. :)
  7. Bare It All Cream (Minty) - this hand and body lotion delicately soothes, brightens and moisturizes skin. It is enriched with Emu Oil, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Papaya Fruit Extracts and Peppermint Essential Oil, that effectively targets roughness, dark patches, and chicken skin. It doesn't leave a sticky feeling and the scent is to die for!  
some of my favorites from V&M Naturals :)
How to participate in the giveway?
This blog giveaway will be done in a raffle-like manner through Rafflecopter. Participation is absolutely easy and all you guys need to do is to follow the steps provided to gain entries. 

Steps in Rafflecopter: 
1. Log-in to the form either through your Facebook account or email 
2. Do the 4 required steps that will be displayed in order to be counted in the giveaway. Once done with the mandatory steps, you will unlock additional steps. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions 
1. The contest is open to Philippine residents and will run for three weeks starting from October 9 (12 AM) to 30 (12 AM), 2017. The lucky winner will be announced on October 31st through my social media pages (both Facebook and Instagram).

2. The staycation prize is a personal gift from me. If the winner is not from Metro Manila, I can offer an alternative accommodation near his/her location at equal or lesser value.

Good luck everyone! Feel free to share this giveaway and tag at least 5 of your family and friends with the following hashtags #projectgora #vnmnaturals #vnmnaturalsxprojectgora #giveaway ^_^

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