August 8, 2013

Passion Night 4.

At the airport, waiting for our flight.
Went to Puerto Princesa with strangers.
How crazy is that? And how wonderful!

. . . . .

I know I will remember that experience for the rest of my life. But before I go all out senti (haha), let me tell you about that fascinating weekend.

If you have been stalking following Jim Paredes on twitter or faithfully reading his blog, you'd know he has been doing Passion Nights -- he invites strangers to dinner.

I was one of the lucky strangers who got picked for Passion Night 4.

The Dinner

We had dinner at Le Terrasse, a restaurant located in the heart of Puerto Princesa. Everything they served us that night was delicious! Whenever someone bites into something, the words "this is so good" with matching moans of delight were inserted into serious conversations.

Believe me, you wouldn't want to miss Le Terrasse when you are in Puerto Princesa. In fact, I only have two reasons why I want to go back to Puerto -- one, dine at Le Terrasse; and two, buy lots of nougat bars! Haha.

The dinner turned out to be very enriching. There were lots of stories and laughter and good food. I was, in all honesty, taken by everyone's spirit. They were all so inspiring and open. And brave. Considering that we were strangers to each other, our conversation was interesting and deep and honest. And if La Terrasse was open 24 hours, we'd probably be there until five in the morning.

So what did I take home from this experience apart from cashew nuts and the yummiest nougat in the universe? I carried with me nuggets of wisdom, loads of realizations, and stories of personal triumph.

That night also reminded me --

That while we all have different life experiences, sorrow and joy and other basic human feelings are the same everywhere. And that all of us have some kind of struggle, so there really is no sense in being judgmental and unkind.

That we all have our own special stories to tell.

That we can learn from and inspire each other.

That it is important to be grateful, for both the good and the bad. Gratitude always puts things in proper perspective.

That a meaningful life is one lived in purpose and intention.

That, to quote Jim Paredes, "It is good for the world to do crazy things." Like have dinners with strangers!

That we have to be steadfast in our belief that the universe will bring us beautiful surprises.

Most of all, the question Jim asked us that night placed me back on track after all the distractions of  recent years. It was a gentle reminder to revisit a dream that has been sitting in my heart for so long. And every step I am making from now on is towards its fulfillment.

On our flight back to Manila, I was seated beside Jim who shared his own truth and more nuggets of wisdom with me. I learned a lot from him. I walked back into my life with deeper sense of self and purpose.

Before Dinner

We arrived in Puerto Princesa in the afternoon of June 15 via Zest Air. Since we had a couple more hours before dinner, we went to Baker's Hill and Mitra's ranch.

There, we had pizza, took loads of pictures, and talked about anything and everything -- from music to politics.

We stayed at the Aquari Travellers Suites. If I go back to Puerto Princesa, I'd stay here again. The rooms were beautiful and the bathrooms were clean. The staff were so nice and helpful!

The Passionistas

These are the crazy-brave strangers I traveled to Palawan with.

Thank you Zion (when I feel like whining, I think of you and I'd end up boinking myself on the head. haha), JC, Sandro, Sheng, Mariel, Cate, Kat, Din, BV, Ditchay (amazing woman!), Lui, and Matt.

Thank you Jim. Because you are the craziest and bravest one of all.

. . . . .

Read Jim's article: It is Good for the World to Do Crazy Things

Read Zion's blog: A Night of Passion with Jim Paredes

Read Mariel's blog: A Night of Soulful COnversation in the Philippines’ Last Frontier

. . . . .

Le Terrasse Restaurant
Rizal Avenue, Bancao Bancao
Puerto Princesa City
Phone: +63 48 4341787

Aquari Travellers Suites
Junction 1, National Highway,
Brgy. San Miguel, Puerto Princesa City
Phone: +63 048 4330155 | 4330032
Mobile: +6392 88756258 | +6390 61691458

Zest Air
Makati Ticket Office
Philippine Business Bank Bldg. Yakal St.,
(near Makati City Fire Station, Makati City
Phone: +632 8882002

Mall of Asia Ticket Office
2nd flr South Wing SM Mall of Asia,
above Time Zone and beside Great Image
Pasay City, Philippines
Phone: +632 5569590

Express Ticketing Office
Domestic Airport, Terminal 4 NAIA Complex
Pasay City (previously Old Domestic Airport)
Phone: +632 8524313

Cubao Ticketing Office
Unit 38, Shopwise Bldg.
Timesquare Ave., Cubao Quezon City
Phone: +632 9134429

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  1. This is amazing! I wonder how it feels like.. And this is really very inspiring. :)

    REAlity Bites

  2. I admire all of you for being so brave in meeting some total strangers yet this is an amazing experience that can be proud of. I hope I can also join like this in the future. =)

    1. Maybe, you can join the next Passion Night. It will change you. : )

  3. This is so nice, Ms. Aileen! You have an adventurous spirit talaga =)

    And so lucky of you to have met Matt Mendoza (one of my childhood crushes haha!) and the owner of Ka Lui! When we were at Palawan last May I saw lots of Matt Mendoza's poster and we dined at Ka Lui but no close encounters with them hehe!

    And after reading Jim Paredes and Zion's blogs, I'm super curious now to hear you sing =)

    1. Hi Leah! It was a privilege meeting them (plus Ditchay, another person I think you'd love when you meet her). And Matt's really gwapo. Haha. I should try Ka Lui, too, when I visit Puerto again!

      Re my singing, it's actually a joke because I can't sing in tune! Haha.

  4. This is one cool idea! meet up with strangers. As in he hand picked you in the airport lang?

    1. Oh no! He asked people to send emails (by answering a question he posted in his blog) and then selected randomly from those emails. : )




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