My first snow hike in Italy
My first snow hike in Italy

Hello, Ciao, Hola, Mabuhay! I’m Edward! 

When I was a kid people would usually call me “Edward Scissorhands” taken from the famous 1990 fantasy movie of a lad with – Scissorhands! Hahaha! I was three years old back then and at that age I was already curious where my mom got my name. Later on, I found out the obvious reason was that my dad’s name is Eduardo – yeah, so unique, I should jump with glee! (rolling eyes).

Anyway, soon my name was evolving; first I was nicknamed “Ward” then “Ed” and then “Edward”. One neighbour even called me “Richard”; she’s very confused (sigh). She told me one day that she saw me in the central market and called out my name and I ignored here; I felt sad for her. She said she was yelling hard “Richard! Richard” and I snubbed her – that totally explains it.

When I got to Italy my name further evolved: “Edu”. Here we go again! Wrong spellings lead to wrong nicknames. Hahaha! When I went to the Amazon Rainforest, I was baptized by the tribe chief as “Yuturi” – now that sounds cool!!!

I think I will it’s up to your imagination to call me anyway you want.

But I prefer Edward (please).

WHO AM I?

In 2002, I was involved with the Senior Scouts of the Philippines in Tacloban City, Philippines. During that year, I was invited to attend a National Scout Jamboree in a Zamboanga City in the south of the country. I really didn’t have money but our Scout Adviser paid for my fare and everything; I only had P300.00 with me but with so much gusto to see what’s out there.

We spent 3 days travelling by boat, hopping from one island to the other; and each dock was really a different world for me – another language and another culture. When we arrived in Zamboanga, the whole event allowed me to meet different youth from all over the Philippines, and since the Philippines has 7.000+ islands, the stories of each one was like a salad of all the good things I would like to experience, taste and see.

That started my desire to travel – it makes me happy.

Flight to São Paulo
About to board on my flight to São Paulo from Rio de Janeiro – I had excess baggage of 8kg!!!

lifeisabigsurprise.com? Why?

Life is a big surprise logoI chose this blog title because by far life has been surprising me in a lot of wonderful ways – always joking around like a silly friend.

In 2013, my city (Tacloban, Philippines) got hit by a super typhoon (Haiyan; the most devastating typhoon ever recorded) and a storm surge literally obliterated everything; engulfing my city and taking a lot of lives and dreams.

I just got from a paradise-island vacation and while braving the waters I said to myself that I was ready to die as long as my aunt and cousin could survive. We had to literally fight for survival, finding food and water amongst the spread of debris and dead bodies during the aftermath of the storm. We were all equal, we were all scavengers. I survived, we survived and I was so grateful – I swore to allow life to surprise me and it never failed – always wrapping gifts for me to check out. I wanted to live and experience life.

Goofing around in Apo Island, Negros Oriental, Philippines
Goofing around in Apo Island, Negros Oriental, Philippines

Unboxing This Gift Called Life and Demo Testing It

After the storm, a friend helped us to evacuate from my city and start a new life. Kind people worldwide helped us to get on our feet and then by a swing of surprising events. I found myself applying for a 1-year experience in Italy which later on became 2 years. When I was there, I got to meet thousands of people worldwide; the beauty of their cultures and their soul.

I was able to get to Ecuador and we went into the Amazon Rainforest to share in quotidian life of the Shiwakucha tribe. I also went to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Florianopolis to dance and sing with my Brazilian friends in the World Peace Forum 2016. I got to Poland to attend the world youth days 2016. I was able to visit Brussels and Antwerp and then drove to Germany and, by serendipity, arrrived in Koblenz the birthplace of Heinrich Heine (one of my favorite writers). I ate a lot of pizza in Napoli and got to meet David of MichelAngelo in Florence while getting lost in the canals of Venice and finding the tomb of Rafael in the Pantheon.

I have collected stories and this is what encouraged me, after so much procrastination, to become a travel writer/blogger and storyteller (at last).

Play in the sand
Life underneath it all

My Bucket List and The Blog

A long time ago, I saw a guest on Oprah and he was a successful “jack-of-all-trades” doing a lot of stuff especially finding ways to tick off stuff from what he called: “dream list”. After watching that episode, I took 3 sheets of paper and wrote my own “dream list”. I was in high school back then and had no idea how to achieve the dreams I wrote and they were a lot: 169 in all.

Then the film, THE BUCKET LIST was released and that really inspired me to start having some checks on my list, the first check was Horseback-riding; that really felt like an achievement. Further, other dreams were jealous and so I had to attend to them – they nagged a lot!

Even the writing of this blog was part of the list, so this is definitely another check!

The list goes on and I am determined to realize all of them because if you really want to do things, eventually, just do it! I always get surprised at how things just fall into place, most of these dreams needed little or no effort at all – so always believe in your dreams!

Genova, Italy ; first few days of vagabonding
Genova, Italy ; first few days of vagabonding

So, what’s in it for you?

Maybe you got here because a friend told you, or I forced you to come here! Hahaha! Or you are one of my friends in Facebook who’s wondering how I was able to get to a lot places??!! Or you wanted to learn about a place I may have visited or maybe want some tips on how to shortcut some computer or web-related problems. Whatever brought you here, WELCOME! MABUHAY!

I will share in this blog a lot of the things I learned from the adventures that I went through. Content on how to get to a place (the life-hacker’s way), simple solutions to seemingly difficult stuff, and feature articles of travelers and their vagabonding stories. You will also meet here, interesting stories of people I have met worldwide and how they added up to become the person I am now.

In short, I want to spread the goodness of life, and the magic of serendipity.

Dunas da Joaquina (Florianópolis)
Dunas da Joaquina (Florianópolis, Brazil)

Liked it? Share it!

Share this post with your friends