The Road To Bagan

Two years ago, I saw this picture:

Lonely Planet's winning Photo from

Lonely Planet’s winning Photo from

This is one of the winning shots of Lonely’s Travel Mosaic contest.

My jaw dropped the first time I saw it. So I promised myself, “I’ll have my own photo one day”.

ENTER: Bagan, Burma (Bucket List) – 2010

Like an average daydreamer, I started with a plan…a plan that failed.

I also started to save money, but it went somewhere else.

Then my dad got into a financial mess.

It affected each one of us, my mom, me, my siblings.

I had to find a way to support myself.

I also struggled emotionally at work, thinking about my future.

This is the Philippines, a 3rd world country.

I earn to eat and pay my bills. A movie once a month perhaps. And that’s it.

What iPhone are you talking about?

At one point, I had no money.

So I ate food that I didn’t like.

Then friends passed away.

Death haunted me…

and I nearly collapsed in a very busy, chaotic area in Manila.

Palpitations. Blood pressure dropped.

For two days, I couldn’t get out of bed.

Thought I was going to die.

My fate: an irreversible heart condition.

The medication is forever, my dear. XOXO, your Cardiologist.

Then they started knocking on my door: depression…and paranoia..and hypochondria.

There was enough FEAR to fill my head.

Fear of collapsing again. Fear of being alone. Fear of death.

Along the way, I hurt friends, I lost friends.

I wanted comfort. I can’t tell my mom. She had a quadruple heart bypass years ago.

I sought help.

My psychologist told me to come back and see her.

I cried. I asked God why He’s not helping my dad.

I asked why He wasn’t helping me.

But, in the middle of it all, I kept on going. My faith intact.

I continued to work hard.
I continued to accept what life put in front of me.
I continued to believe.
I continued to LIVE.
Suffering is part of life.

Accept. Believe. Sacrifice.Live.

The result?

temples of bagan
My own photo… I MADE IT.

Bagan, Burma = CHECK / Nov 2, 2012

Bagan can be reached via a 12 hour overnight bus from Yangon. Fair is 15,000 Kyat (about $17 / 700 Philippine Peso). Bus tickets can be booked through your hotel a day before departure.

7 thoughts on “The Road To Bagan

  1. congratulations on your asian adventure rics! life itself is a huge journey already, you are more than prepared for it. See ya soon, my friend! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Visiting Mingun Pagoda | Rica's Rucksack - Travel Blog

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