Albany, New York and its million dollar staircase


From Toronto to Albany, 630 km driven, 2 coffee cups, 1 bag of chips, 4:30 am wake up call and a nice New York State Capitol.


The winter didn’t stop us from driving, since we have our trusted winter tires installed in the car. And yes, we used a sedan instead of a compact car or SUV. We were kind of worried if ever we stalled somewhere in the interstate but, we got insurance anyway.


We parked at Sate street just near the Capitol since it’s  free parking on Tuesday in between the hours we arrived! It was really a lucky day to begin our roadventures!


In front of the NY State capitol is the old building of State Assembly. The freezing weather is manageable since this is south of Canada.

We didn’t have any itinerary to begin with. Everything we did is just all about impulse with the help of TripAdvisor, stock knowledge of history  and slight experience of the area. All we wanted to do is take a picture of great architecture, find anything interesting and just go out and see different places. If we have the entire month to drive, we will definitely stay longer than a day in this city.

I wish the Assembly Chamber staircase in the 3rd picture is much more detailed than it is. The feeling of the light coming from the ceiling gives more emphasis on the carvings of the staircase. According to the brochure, NY State Capitol staircases are the most prominent feature of the building and we couldn’t agree more on that –


And of course, the infamous Million Dollar staircase! It’s really called The Great Westerb staircase, they said there were a lot of restoration done to rebuild and reinforce the staircase and they’ve done a really good job in maintaining it for the future generation of New Yorkers!



HA! Focus on the staircase handrail and you would really see that there are detailed carvings, some are actually faces (ex. Lincoln)




Senate chambers where I feel like I belong (say hello to my destiny. lol) There’s an actual tour that we didn’t avail since we are heavy readers of brochures and we want to take our time certain section. I would love to visit and devour the interior architecture of the Capitol! Pictures can’t capture the ambiance and feeling when you’re in it.


War Room Ceiling

Beside the Capitol, they have this performing arts venue called the Egg. Maybe it’s the shape of an egg, but for me it looks like a UFO


The Egg

We never explored the area around the Capitol but it looks like there are more things Albany has to offer. I’ll definitely come and visit again for a full day if ever our plan to Vermont persist!



How I became a Trusted Traveler

Coming in and out of Canada/US may not be a burden for Canadians/Americans but the volume of people is really hard to endure. Any Canadian/American knows how long an immigration line could be during Holidays.

I remember the time when Delta airlines used to have only one line for all flights going out of Toronto. This means that even if your flight is later than other people, you will have to line up with them. I actually had a first hand experience of this situation. I arrived at the airport 3.5 hours before my flight but due to the unsystematic line up the plane almost left me. 

I didn’t really bother to enrol at first since I’m not planning to go on a monthly out of the country trip. But unforeseen circumstances happen and having one became a need.

So, the first question is.. – What is Trusted Traveler Program?

It saves you time by skipping the long lines in immigration. Card holders are considered as low-risk and pre approved traveler. 

Is it easy to apply?

You’ll undergo background check -national identity, criminal records, and so on. It would take weeks for it to review the application. If you get cleared, you’ll get a conditional approval status and next step will be the interview.

After successful interview, they will send you your global entry card that you could use whenever you travel either by land, by air, or by marine. 


If you’re traveling with a non-nexus person, you’re not allowed to use your nexus. 

It’s really a GREAT feeling to know that you’re being trusted by the country.Overall it’s worth going through all the process. 😊

WVYA Journey: reaching out to Filipino Student leaders

Sab and I had a plan of meeting a Filipino student leader to talk about World Vision initiatives. I was set that the meeting will be just a couple of people: me, Sab, Sab’s brother and 2 student leaders. I couldn’t be more excited about it!

Saturday, January 23. 

I woke up feeling energized knowing that FINALLY, after a lot time of reaching out to people, I’m starting to make some progress. My daily routine of heading to downtown got me lost! I’m already in College and Yonge when it came to my mind that I need to ask for the address of the meeting place. Fortunately it’s not far from downtown.

At Parliament St.

I arrived “almost” on time. I saw Sab waiting for me at the entrance. She eventually confessed that it’s not just a small group meeting. It’s actually bigger than expected (her “maybe more than 10” didn’t really help.) I’m not a shy person so it didn’t really bother me if I’m talking to a bigger group, I just need to compose myself before starting. I don’t want to choose the wrong words.


Honestly, I didn’t know that we have Filipino Centre in Toronto. It’s quite amazing and I feel like I belong the moment I step foot in the room. It feels like you’re in a comfort zone.

When I started talking to the students, I first asked them who knows World Vision. And as I expected, I only see a few hands.  That is the main reason why I want to talk to Filipino students. I want them to get involved, and be part of a change -a global change. I know they have the heart to do things for the community. I think we, Filipinos, are very good in helping people because we have that “Bayanihan” (Communal Work)  spirit instilled in our culture and it’s being passed on generations to generations.

The student leaders I met are dedicated to their work, they are helping kids (preschool, midschool, highschool, university) on their home works. They actually started a tutoring club! By looking at the crowd, I know I’m talking to the right people. I know that they have the heart and passion to make a difference.

It’s just a beginning of a great journey. I’ll trip, I’ll fall, I’ll make mistakes. But I will keep GOING. As I keep going, I hope to have my Filipino forces with me.


YES – on strict border policy. NEVER AGAIN for war


This was taken from the Nuit Blanche event. People could cast their vote and there’s a large screen showing the results. NO is leading the poll but I’m quite surprised that it’s almost a tie for them. I voted for No, and I stand firm on that decision [It’s obvious why I chose No]..


I feel devastated about hearing the tragic incident that happened in Paris, France. Innocent people were affected by the attacks which ISIS took responsibility of. I’m really scared that an act of war is happening all over the world. I couldn’t fathom how people could cause harm to other people. I don’t know how could they find joy about it.

PM Francois Hollande declare closure of borders and I believe that’s the best thing to do in this kind of situation. This is the first time after World War II that France declare a state of emergency. It’s something people should pay attention to cause we don’t want war to happen. We’re already in a situation where in any minute war will arise. It’s very contradicting that after November 11, Remembrance day, this tragic event happened.


Some people are asking “What’s happening to the world”. But it’s not the world, it’s the people within it. It’s us, who can do something but choose to be apathetic about it. Our beliefs are supposed to bind us together not oppose each other. We lack respect on other people’s culture, opinion and beliefs. It’s hard for us to accept each other’s indifference.Our elders fought for us to have a free country. We should never let that happen again. NEVER AGAIN. I watched a very touching video -a veteran’s message to people:

But meanwhile in SOCIAL MEDIA where errthing gets annoying..

I’ve been seeing posts from different people posting about Paris attacks. I remember that these same people are the ones who posted something about EU countries should be ashamed cause they have strict policy on their borders- some doesn’t even know what refugee status is. It’s infuriating that their posts are very contradicting. It only shows how hypocrite and trend seeker they are. [i’m really annoyed, sorry] Just realized how inconsistent they could get by following trends. So, for those people I’m referring to… here’s a good book about ISIS >  ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror

Welcoming “refugees” without sifting them through or bypassing the screening process will lead to terrorist attack. WHY? cause terrorist can disguised as a refugee. They have the capability to do it. Asking for countries to be “LESS STRICT” with their borders is like welcoming terrorist to harm their territory.


This should be a wake up call for us. We should have stricter border policy and do not let anyone suspicious get out of the radar. The safety of the citizens/people living in the country should be the first priority. We should NEVER bend on terrorist demands.  I hope PM Trudeau will be able to stand firm on this.


World Vision Youth Amassador


Last week, I received a parcel from World Vision Youth Canada. I couldn’t be more delighted when I saw what’s inside the parcel, a welcome kit for youth ambassador! The word awesome became too shallow when I dig deep into the thoughts written on cards and stickers.

Certainly, it made me more enthusiastic about planning my impact project. I already have a lot of plans (as usual) but I’m thinking about how to put it into action (I’ll get there anyways). I’m trying to make it simple but interactive. By just thinking of gathering all my resources to make this happen, is already making me excited. I just hope all the odds will be in my favour.


This is what strikes me the most. When we were asked what thoughts we fear most on a poster showed to us in our national call, with no hesitations or thinking involved, I typed in those words. I’m having difficulty on facing mistakes and letting people down when I know they look up to me. I want everything to be perfect but I also know that mistakes are inevitable. I just need to do what I want and need to do and everything will fall right into place. As far as I have the right vision and strong passion, I can do everything I want to do.JUST BELIEVE