How Does Traveling Change Us by Joel F

Ho does traveling change us, travels and its teachings, joys of joel writings,
Ho does traveling change us? –

Traveling , it leaves you speechless and turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

How does traveling change us? Let me count the ways.

1. It opened our eyes.

We see things we never see before or things we pretend we’re not aware of.

2. It turns us into a storyteller.

Well what’s the use of reading a book if you can’t share its story. My friend once said that just because you can write a one paragraph article about something doesn’t necessarily make you a writer. To some extent i agree with him but come to think of it, if one can write , he is a writer , either a good writer or a bad writer doesn’t make a difference , after all it is your story. Besides, taste is subjective. ūüôā

3. We discover something about ourselves.

We all want to share our photos, where we’ve been, what we ate, what we did ,not just to our family and friends, even to strangers….as if we are always the center of other people’s universe. Can’t blame us, we’re all humans…needing validations and a sense of happiness , always thinking that something worth doing is worthless unless being shared.

A little peek into our travel journey and we discover, inside us, there’s a tinge of narcissism.

I remember an old friend saying “you can see how lonely a person is by the number of times he indulge in selfies.” I definitely beg to disagree, happy people want more happiness by sharing their happiness. Well, of course there will always be an exception to that rule. Most of us would rather share our experiences than our savings, i don’t think that’s narcissism and even if it is…..who cares? Love begins within , whatever that means.

4. We learned time.

“I don’t have time, i’m too busy. The truth is we all believe that we are the master of our fate and the captain of our ship and yet we never learn that time must be our slave and not the other way around for how can one say that we make our own life and yet we don’t own our time…that confused me. In any way one defines it, i learned that we learned the essence of time when we travel.

5. It changes us.

Either it transformed us into grateful beings for appreciating all the things we have or unsatisfied creatures yearning for more.

A certain writer says “it leaves you speechless” , yes, speechless because you realized that traveling is not about the places you’ve been to but the moments you discover that the journey begins and ends within you. .


Kindly Click / Tap this To Read   Alleys and Stairways.  Thanks.


Copyright © 2014 Joys of Joel by Joel F. All Rights Reserved.




Lessons From A Faceless Mannequin by Joel F

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Lessons From A Faceless Mannequin –

Passing by a window display, staring at the faceless mannequin, a sense of wonder touches me.  Why most of the time that faceless thing wears an outfit classier than mine.

That awkward moment when it can pull off an outfit better than i can.  So i tried to fit in all the sizes, trying so hard to replicate that thing and suddenly end up buying just to boost my self esteem.

That moment when i thought that fashion is all about name and not feelings.

How can a faceless emotionless mannequin tell me what’s good for me and what’s not?

I look into it and i suddenly see myself, a clueless expression covering my real emotions.  The inner voice whispering that fashion is you, only if you truly feel it, not how others see you nor on how the trends define you.

Fashion is never wrong. ¬†It’s like the clouds that change its shapes and the sky that changes its color. To be engulfed by it is like eating a cake and licking an ice cream.

Some days they’re so sweet, some days you don’t feel it , not because your mood dictates your taste buds but only because you think time is the culprit.

It changes as fast as that ice cream melts long before it touches your lips so you better have it.

So different from Art that time is not a chief antagonist but a friendly ally.  Fashion is an art, but art can never be fashion.  Art is timeless.

So next time i look at the faceless mannequin and see a beautiful window display, i just smile. I know i will never be Fashion. I will always be an Art.


Copyright © 2014 Joys of Joel by Joel F. All Rights Reserved.


The Story is Not Over Yet

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The Story Is Not Over Yet – – –

Staring at the blank moving wall, ¬†now called wallpaper, the memories keep flashing like a movie scene. I’m still in a state of confusion as to what usually follows after finishing the sentence not with a period but with a colon that never belong to a conjunction of a subliminal past and paradoxical present.

i truly cannot understand why a tinge of justification was needed for that fleeting moment of indecision or bad judgment.  Nope, it is not to be judged, i know in due time it is only to be understood.

The truth in not knowing the value of the moment until it became a memory.  That obsequious feeling of driving a wheel ,  disregarding the traffic rules inspite of  knowing that dangers will be waiting for breaking the stone that rocks the cradle.

The cradle that was all taken care of from infancy to puberty. ¬†The adolescence of the mind brainwashing humans that ignorance is a bliss. Until adulthood teaches you that it’s only a bliss until you take the risk.

The paradox of following your bliss believing that you can strive for anything. ¬†Anything is possible, ¬†even screaming sky is the limit. ¬† You can have anything but not everything. ¬†An oxymoron parable that sounds better than the aesop’s fable.

The fable that shows human  frailties using the art of narrating the pros and cons of an action with its lessons.  Realization of the long forgone wishes.  Pushing boundaries and eventually stepping over them.  The pursuit to fill your bucket list with the unending whispers that the story is not over yet but too late to edit the page.

Yes, the book was already printed,  but the story is not over yet.



Kindly Click this and read  The Accidental Writer. Thanks.


Copyright © 2015 Joys of Joel by Joel F. All Rights Reserved.





A Sinful Apple

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A Sinful Apple


I’m an apple but not just an apple. ¬†I’m red and green, ¬†and everything you’ve dreamed.

Can you plant my seeds?  Of course you can,  though it takes time for me to grow. You need the right soil, water, sunshine and hope.

You also need some patience and don’t expect me to be as perfect as you wish me to be.
You might get disappointed as i grow according to my time and my will.

Although i come in different colors and in odd shapes sometimes,
please don’t judge me by my color.

You can still get the same nutrients regardless how i look  like  from the outside.

Come taste me, i’m all yours for the taking.

Just like adam and eve. I know you can’t refuse me.

You can take my skin or strip it.  It wouldn’t really matter.

Although it hurts me when you wash me before you let me touch your lips
because you make me feel dirty.

Make me your cake, your pie, jam and anything you wish.

Just don’t let me die in your garden.
You wouldn’t really like my smell when i’m rotten.

And please remember i just don’t grow on trees , i grow on you.


Kindly Click this and Read The Wheelbarrow. Thanks.



Copyright © 2015 Joys of Joel by Joel F. All Rights Reserved.



Hello Kitty is not a Cat

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Hello Kitty is Not A Cat –

Walking in Honolulu, i saw this cute small car that has Hello Kitty prints all over it. ¬†Just like anything that reminds me of my childhood days, i didn’t let the moment pass without capturing it through my lens as fast as ¬†the memories start flashing again.

I grew up loving San Rio’s ¬†Hello Kitty. I remember playing around with my neighbours with this cute little cat stuff.

One sunny morning my boy playmate invited ¬†me to his house so we can play around with his new car matchboxes, racing cars in a small make believe paperboard race tracks ¬†and to his disappointment i would spend more time ¬†with his sisters, not because he is not a fair playmate but simply for the reason i enjoyed tinkering his sisters’ hello kitty pencil cases and stuffed dolls.

I used to think that Hello Kitty is ¬†a cat, who wouldn’t? ¬†Her name is Kitty, ¬†she has whiskers, and she really look like a cat until our neighbour’s guest told us that Hello Kitty is a girl!

What?! All of us refused to believe her until she told us she’ll be back …and yes she did, this time bringing a japanese book, with japanese words printed all over the the graphic book.

She said Hello Kitty is not a cat. ¬†She is a girl and gave us a ton of reasonings why she can’t be a cat. ¬†To our disbelief, we never talk to her since….all of us three girls! ¬†Oops, i mean my two gal pals and me. We never even bothered to play with her again (for a week i think) ¬†until she brought her older sister and their new huge hello kitty dolls all dressed in pink ribbons.

We all forgive her easily because we can’t help not to touch those cute little ribbons on Kitty’s hair. ¬†That’s the good thing being a child, we got hurt easily but we forgive quickly. ūüôā

Suffice it to say, she’s right all along. ¬†Hello Kitty is not a cat, although we prefer believing she is, ¬†just like we believe that Santa Claus lives in the north pole or somewhere in the neverland. ¬†Oh, the sweet joys of childhood memories.

#joysofjoelmusings  #hellokitty  #catfight   #childhood  #sanrio

Hello kitty, San Rio, Japanese Dolls, anime, childhood, memories


Copyright © 2014 Joys of Joel by Joel F. All Rights Reserved.




Five Crazy Reasons To Go Fishing

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Five Crazy Reasons To Go Fishing –

Fishing is a great time buster , a way to enjoy nature and a great stress reliever. I can actually cite a hundred reasons to do it but i respect your time so i come up with just 5 good ones:

1. ¬†Relationship = ¬†fishing with family and friends cultivate bonding. It strengthens your relationship when you have enjoyable shared activities with people who mattered. Well, unless of course you start fishing into their private life behind their back, that’s a different story. Proves that you don’t really need to go outdoors to go fishing. Just go online, log in to your facebook and you can tweet who’s got the largest fish in the group. hehe.

2. Health Reasons = it’s always better to get your own fish…fresh, as wild fish are known to be low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein and there are many fishes in the ocean, especially the wild ones! ūüôā

3. Fulfillment¬†= you get a certain fulfillment. ¬†Who wouldn’t? ¬†after a long bout of sitting and ¬†doing nothing, it’s such a great joy catching a big fish.

4. Creativity¬† = ¬†it brings out the best in you. You find creative ways of using ¬†a great pawn to bait the one you’ve been longing for.

5. Knowledge=¬† Fishing is educational. It teaches you a lot of lessons. You learned more about yourself, your strengths, hopes and wishes. It tests your patience and willpower that no matter what, by hook or by crook you won’t go home empty handed.

Fishing is like life, ¬†just when you thought you had the perfect expensive equipment to catch that elusive fish, somewhere along the way you’ll discover that it’s not how much you have or how prepared you are for that moment that gives you the exact advantage.

And at the start of that fishing expedition you won’t really settle for anything less than that “huge catch” ¬†because you rightfully deserve something bigger , not until you realized that it’s almost dusk, you’d rather have one crappy fish than nothing at all. ¬†ūüôā ¬† ¬† ¬†–by Joel F


Copyright © 2014 Joys of Joel by Joel F. All Rights Reserved.





The Chandelier

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The Chandelier –


I was in a bar when i heard the song again, Sia’s The Chandelier.  At 2 am something in the past comes back again. I don’t know why, there’s something with the chandelier that gives me this creepy feeling. Nope, it”s not the song, i’m referring to the “Chandelier” itself.

Although i’ve seen a hundred chandeliers in more than a hundred places, there are only two memorable occasions when the chandelier left its strong impressions.

First, when our family went to an uptown hotel, my sight was immediately centered to a humongous chandelier . As a child i was amazed by the chandelier’s  intricate design. The countless artful bulbs that give its blinding lights above the red carpet at the center of the lobby seem to welcome you with a screaming voice, announcing your arrival. It was beautiful. I was mesmerized until we went to a wake of a relative.  From then on, it change everything.

I was a child when we visit a  relative. The funeral home with its huge chandelier. The  chandelier had made its impact on my young mind.

The place evokes sadness, while the adults were having their conversation, i was left alone tending for myself. Since the place is not huge unlike that posh hotel, my wandering eyes were just restricted to the huge chandelier above the coffin.

At the center i see nothing but the white box and the chandelier.  And since i refused to look at the white box, my time was spent most of the time on that intricate but creepy chandelier.

Of course there were flowers, but the chandelier’s  presence is too strong to be ignored.  Its brass finished, its design and the lights seem like a distraction. Who would ever thought of putting a chandelier in a funeral home?

Their existence was supposed to be just for the sole purpose of welcoming us for a celebration, the one with grandeur and splendor like the one in the posh hotel..

But things have changed, as i reached the middle age, i realized that death is not something to be afraid of. Now i know why there’s a chandelier on that place, death is a  milestone, a step to the next dimension .

And the Chandelier and its lights welcomes our arrival to that final destination.

Although honestly, it’s an event i have long accepted that is bound to happen. It’s the only future event that i don’t really look forward to. ūüôā

So call me crazy , everytime i see a huge chandelier, i always take a second look because it always remind me of a wake, a funeral place.

I remember visiting a relative in L.A.  As soon as we entered her huge beautiful home, a huge chandelier welcome us and i tactlessly told my mom, “Oh My God Mom, this place looks like a funeral home, a huge mausoleum” (all white interior with fresh flowers, high ceiling and a huge chandelier).

Good thing, it’s just my mom who heard me, otherwise I might have offended my kind relative. I have no intention of hurting anyone’s feelings and i have no right to question anyone’s taste.  it’s just that a place with a huge chandelier reminds me of a funeral home.  My weird and crazy mind.

Looking back at this photo, I can see myself barely smiling.  Some memories are never forgotten. Years after, I still remember………….The Chandelier.

Copyright © 2014 Joys of Joel by Joel F. All Rights Reserved.



The Lost Child

thelostchildbyjoelf The sound of a scream as she opened her eyes. The movement of the ground was instantly felt. The place is too dark as she grasped for the light.  A lost child suddenly appears in the dead of the night.

She asked what happened? Why they are all alone, no neighbors to ask, no ¬†one¬† to hold.¬†The child speaks¬† saying he can’t believe , the moment he woke up, he’s walking alone.

She asked his name and he said he is john, she nods and say “Don’t worry i will ¬†bring you back home.” The boy replied ¬†“you are my home.”

Confused by the words but the tears in his eyes, gave her a message she can’t deny,¬† as the¬† boy¬† hold her hand and showed her wrists, the blood is gushing, from the cut she didn’t miss,

It is only then that¬† she felt the pain when the child start saying ” I asked HIM to make me, a part of this world, but how can it be , if my mom isn’t home”

Years had passed as she speaks on the floor, to all those who are lost and almost took their own course. She found the truth that life is a cord that binds ¬†not one , but all. ¬†As she leaves the hallway, she was greeted by a friend , who gave his gift for her son John’s first birthday. ¬†-by JoelF


Copyright © 2014 Joys of Joel by Joel F. All Rights Reserved.


The Bus Stop

The Bus Stop, joys of joel  poems,  poems about friendship
waiting for our dream guys…at the Bus Stop. What happened years after? The two got hitched while i’m left waiting ūüėČ

How time flies! It doesn’t just fly…it soars like superman. Just like a bus stop that is oblivious to its surroundings not minding whether there will be passengers waiting.

I remember this photo ,  taken  years ago when all of us were still single,  waiting for the bus while heading to the mall.

What happened years after? The two got hitched, found their dream guys while i’m still left waiting. haha. Life is really surprisingly predictable (sometimes!).

What is it in this photo that i will always cherish?

A lot! ¬†The essence of friendship, the wonders of expectation, the unpredictable path to one’s journey and the lessons that one learned as we leave the bus stop and start riding to reach our destination.

Along the journey, the bus stops picking up other passengers, just like us meeting others, some would make us cry, others would make us smile. Through it all, everyone that we meet has changed us in some ways.

With a planned route, the bus goes on its way, precisely timed , schedules religiously followed to arrive at a certain destination. Same route different sceneries, as people and places have changed.

Life is like a bus , we are its passengers, and the bus stops are our path finders. They are our markers as we stop and pause and decide which way to go.

One thing is sure though, whatever we’ll do when we reach that destination is as equally as important as what we do while we pause and wait at the bus stop.

So don’t be too impatient when life gives you its little stops and pauses.

Eventually when the bus arrive, you have your will as your ticket to hop in and take your journey.  For the meantime, enjoy, savour and learned from the sceneries. 

Copyright © 2014 Joys of Joel by Joel F. All Rights Reserved.

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The Bus Stop, Joys of joel blog, musings of friendship
time flies so fast…. my friend (a few months before giving birth)
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Honey’s Donut


Just Follow the Light and It will be All Right

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Just follow the Light –


The world is a stage and the lights are off.  A light can be a sign , for others it can be a path.

A writer once said there will always be light at the end of the tunnel, for him it means hope.  The light that beckons from a far that inspires the weary to keep going.

For some it is comparable to the candle that melts while giving light just like a used man, melting away his moments while being used for someone’s day.

Useful but not for so long, it turns all his mighty strength into a melted wax for a splinter of a purpose , vaguely appreciated and acknowledged but mostly overlooked and ignored.

It is not the light per se but the will to light up that really gives hope. The act of finding a reason, searching for any validation for that unfulfilled purpose.

The willful disobedience to the gloom of darkness that pervades while the storm is uprooting one’s confidence even if the stars are aligned to one’s disbelief.

The moment of unsurpassed illusion of ¬†the inevitability of life’s continuous spin regardless where the wind is blowing. To whom it is pointing, to where it is leading.

In the midst of this all, one’s destiny might be within moments of unfolding ¬†but fate has its way of intervening.

The sarcasm or the power of the world where one can either act or watch the play as it test our faith.

Somehow in the end, just follow the light and you’ ll see, ¬†it will be all right. Because You are The Light. ¬† ¬†– ¬†By Joel F.

Copyright © 2014 Joys of Joel by Joel F. All Rights Reserved.