“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” —Oprah Winfrey
Gratitude is like shopping and getting a GWP—Gift With Purchase. When we share kindness and gratefulness, we automatically receive a gift of feeling good.
As a Thanksgiving tradition, our family shares with one another what key blessings we are thankful for. With resounding praise, thanks for good health was top of mind. Most of us were just grateful to be alive and healthy. Equally important in our “gratitude list” was the gift and love of family. Whether the challenge is mental confusion, emotional turmoil or physical pain, we know we can always rely on God’s strength and divine intervention.
Despite the long road to recovery, we could just surrender in prayer and let God work His wonders. Gratefulness hinges on our willingness to accept God’s will over our own. Hard as it may be sometimes, there is true wisdom in the saying, “Do your best and let God do the rest.”
This year, my story of God’s faithfulness to aid my life’s challenges was so evident in my sharing at the Thanksgiving dinner of our Africa travel gang TropAfrica at Cirkulo Restaurant. Hosted by our fave restaurateur Malu Gamboa-Lindo, the sumptuous turkey dinner was filled with gratefulness to God for walking beside us during a health issue or the loss of a loved one. For God remains steadfast when we are lonely, desperate and brokenhearted. Even if the storm is still raging, we feel His presence.
Everyone has different family traditions, but we all encounter the storms of life. Harsh and threatening as they seem at first, storms have the ability to pave a unique path to thankfulness. In the storms of life, God is our only hope. His faithfulness and His goodness are present even during the darkest storm. It might not happen immediately, but our faith grows as we cling to Him. We are grateful not only for the joys of restored health and overcoming grief, but for the sorrows that brought us to a place of utter dependence on Jesus.
I try to cultivate a sense of abundance within myself, and I try to help those in need, whether family members or friends having a hard time or strangers around the world who need food and shelter. It’s not a perfect solution to life, but as far as I can tell, it’s the best we can do if we want to be truly human.
With a grateful heart, I flew to beautiful Boracay to join the special guests of Discovery Shores Boracay for the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Thanks to their over-the-top personal service, Discovery Shores even arranged my flight and protocol permits to fly into the island.
Landing at sea on the private Airtrav seaplane, I conveniently reached the resort without the hassle of waiting in the local airport. I was so lucky that our flight only had two passengers, as I had excess luggage of over 30 kilograms! Airtrav provides premiere seaplane chartered service straight to the shores of your favorite Philippine islands with a Cessna Grand Caravan Ex-Amphibian, which is the largest single-engine airplane produced by Cessna and seats eight passengers comfortably. It can take off and land safely on water—the Airtrav experience. It’s not every day that we get to fly high enough to maintain a panorama view of the Philippine archipelago and land on the bluest waters in the country. The seaplane can also be chartered for any occasion to any destination in the Philippines.
As we learn to navigate a postpandemic world where preventive measures are the norm, Airtrav makes sure that the safety of both our crew and passengers remain top priority. In light of promoting local travel, Airtrav aspires to bring the Philippine islands closer to you while making significant positive contributions to local communities by taking all possible paths toward reviving tourism in the Philippines. For details, contact tel. 0927-3828883.
To officially welcome Christmas at my favorite paradise resort, Discovery Shores Boracay held a tree lighting a few days ago with hotel manager Erwin Lopez, who invited all the resort guests to join the festivities. The resort’s 18-foot Christmas tree, located steps from the famous Boracay white beach, was lit up by family members of the resort owners. The tree is adorned with ornaments that showcase the multiple shades of the sea. The audience was serenaded with a medley of Christmas carols by the Boracay Ati Choir, who were dressed in lovely tribal attire.
Love in all forms
This festive season is “Love, Christmas.” It puts emphasis on love in all forms—love for family, love for life, love for big and small moments, love for friends, love for colleagues, love for the community, love for guests, love for country, love for food and love for nature.
The theme also puts a special highlight on spreading the holiday spirit in the form of love letters—a traditional way of expressing love and appreciation to someone dear.
Spend the holidays at Discovery Shores Boracay and fill your Christmas beach get-together with loving memories. The very first luxury hotel to open in Boracay Island, Discovery Shores Boracay is a timeless masterpiece sitting along the world-renowned white beach of Boracay. It offers 88 well-appointed suites and 11 indulgent spacious suites called Signature Suites that are sitting on an exclusive wing of the resort. (Tel. 7720-8888, email [email protected], discoveryshoresboracay.com.)
As inspirational thinker Deepak Chopra shared, “Gratitude opens the door, the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude.” No matter the circumstances, there must always be hope to cling to and gratefulness to express.
The secret to real happiness isn’t really a secret at all. It’s simply realizing the importance of counting blessings over burdens and understanding that gratitude has incredible power over grumbling.
Cheers to my awesome golfing father Alex Prieto, who celebrates his birthday today. I am extremely grateful that he is my unique and generous dad!
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