From Money Illa to Manila - A Journey to Remember

Hello Friends!

Though this has come around two weeks late, well, better late than never!

In many different ways and for many different reasons, this post is special for me.


  • I had thought about this title WAY BACK, around 3-4 months ago, even before my itinerary was confirmed. I am glad that it did get confirmed, and I did go!
  • This was/is my first travel abroad, and again, I am glad it happened!
  • I am glad, not only because I had planned to write this and share with you all, but then, some of you had looked forward to read about it, even before I told you that I would write about it. I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
So the pleasantries apart, this post MAY be a bit longer than the others (I do not yet know, because I cannot predict) but I will try to keep it as short as possible! Happy Reading!

First things first: What does the title mean?

For all of you who do not understand Kannada, the word "illa" in Kannada means "not there". Hence the title connotes to my journey from "No Money" to "Yes Money" and then finally to Manila!

Why No Money?

Clearly because of my mistake. Due to my own callousness and lack of seriousness towards my work and life in general, I had had pretty difficult time in bringing together the much needed money to fund my travel. But at last, I did get sponsored and the travel did materialise. I thank my stars for that! In all that I went through for months together, I learnt some great lessons about so many different things.

What Lesson(s)?

  1. Money IS DEFINITELY important: It definitely is not everything, but then, it IS SOMETHING. Something Indispensable. Something Important. Something Valuable. 
  2. Money Doesn't Come Easy: It Never Came Easy to Anyone, It Never Will. If it comes easy, take it that it is bound to GO easy. You gotta slog it out to get the money. You gotta shed blood, if not tears, if not sweat. But shed, you have got to. Something.
  3. There are good people on this Earth: There are people who see the fallibility of being human. There are people who are kind at heart, though they may appear to be strict. There are good people on this Earth.
  4. There is an advantage in being Young and making mistakes - You can commit as many mistakes as you can (not deliberately though!), and in the end, you would still get forgiven, anyways, though forgiveness may come late, or after putting in extreme efforts towards repentance. 
  5. I learnt to be responsible towards my self and my work: Never again, shall I behave irresponsibly towards my commitments, work or otherwise. Never again, shall I behave casually with myself. The price we get to pay by committing these mistakes, is very high. We can't expect to get second chances all the time!
  6. Life is Ruthlessly Uncertain, Get Used to It: I didn't know whether I would be truly going till I finally got my visa on just the day before I was scheduled to leave. But well, we do not really know whether we are going outside our home country, until the immigration check happens, isn't it? I bunked my last exam to attend this Conference. Today I wrote the penultimate exam, tomorrow I leave! People kept asking me, was it so important after all. I said Yes. I say Yes even now. It has been very important to me, for many reasons. I was prepared for the worst, and was hoping for the best. It was hard. The wait was painfully merciless. But all for my good. For the goodness of the Lessons I learnt!
  7. India is Beautiful: So, I say India is Beautiful after going outside? Yes! Sometimes we cannot truly appreciate the home we live in, unless we go outside and have a look at it, and also its surroundings! India is beautiful in many ways - first and foremost, the FOOD! First things first always! Indian food is unmatchable. It's priceless. Secondly, the vibrant culture and the wonderful lifestyle. Lifestyle needn't always be measured in GDP. It would be stupid to do that. (Not that GDP is unimportant; refer to Point 1).
  8. Lessons from ManilaThe Conference - It was called the 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. It was a HUGE conference, with representatives from the UN System, the MPs from different Asian Countries and representatives from various CSOs the world over. It was a great learning experience. The People were awesome. The environment was so inclusive and welcoming towards human and ideological diversity! I only wish the whole world gets the vibes of inclusivity! The Stay - Food was the biggest problem throughout, and as one of my friends put it, it always has been, and will always remain so. I just got to be better prepared next time. The Travel - My First Experience on Air! Hahahaha, I had the child's excitement in me, and on my face, when the plane took off and landed for the first time! It is truly memorable! My co-passengers too were nice, Goodness Gracious! :) The local transport at Manila - The Kalesa (as Tonga is called there) owner duped me, I had the experience of being a "foreigner" for the first time, The jeepney ride was homely. The Shopping - I absolutely LOVED the bit of shopping I did there!
  9. Excitement I cannot Hide *wink* : Seriously! It has been an exciting journey for me! The whole affair, from the pre-travel preparations, which themselves lasted for months together, to the consummation of all the affairs, to the buying of a camera (lol!), it has been fun! 
So much for the Journey! So much for the memories! So much for Life!

From Money Illa to Manila, it has been truly a Journey to Remember for ever!


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