TOP 3 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GO ON VACATION (AND VISIT THE GIANT CLAM SANCTUARY)

Bored and stressed out but cannot find the time to go on vacation because of some responsibilities at work? Consider these three important reasons why you should go on vacation this weekend.

WHY YOU SHOULD GO ON VACATION

No. 1 Relieve Stress and Improve Health

Now, we all know that chronic stress is not good for our our bodies. It decreases our immune system’s ability to fight infection and ward off diseases. So the less we go on vacations the more likely we are to get sick and we don’t want that!

Chronic stress can also affect our sleep patterns and our body’s ability to digest food and that can result to not getting the right amounts of nutrient necessary to keep us fit and happy. I don’t know with you, but I definitely don’t want to be a grumpy old troll.

the_bukidnon_pilgrim_in_vanishing-island_samal
(R to L) my brother (and web dev) with their family pet, Mr. Satotz; my 11-year-old son, me, my 5-year-old son, “Flash,” my husband and my brother’s fiancee at Vanishing Island (the sand bar vanishes at high tide).

No. 2 Build and Improve Relationships

Successful vacations, whether with family, friends or colleagues, can have positive and lasting benefits to our relationships.It allows everyone in the group to build memories together and a chance to share experiences outside of the ordinary. While in most cases vacations can have their healthy dose of stress (something does not go as planned, somebody is not as ‘game’ as everybody else, etc.), the positive benefits of going far outweigh the negative. It allows everyone in the group to strengthen their ties, improve communication and increase their sense of oneness.

No. 3 Maintain or Increase Productivity

Taking the time out from work and daily routine has more benefits to us than we can imagine. People are good at coming up with all sorts of reasons not to go.

“I can’t possibly leave now. I’ve got work to do, deadlines to meet.”

“I’ve got tons of work to do. The paper works are endless and there are reports to turn in.”

“I don’t have time and I don’t have money.”

Gosh, that last one does it. I can definitely relate. But believe it or not, going away on vacation from time to time will not only be beneficial to you but the company you work for (or your business) as well.

In an article published by Forbes, a certain study was said to have shown the benefits of taking time off from work, among which are increased productivity, stronger workplace morale and greater employee retention.

If you want to increase productivity and creativity in both your personal and professional life, go manage your calendar now, drop everything this weekend and go take those paid vacations. Take your family and friends, or even your dog!

…and Why You Should Visit the Giant Clam Sanctuary

Just this weekend, my family and I, along with my siblings, crossed the Davao Gulf to visit the Island Garden City of Samal. My brother even brought their dog, Mr. Satotz. It wasn’t in our itinerary to see the giant clams at the Giant Clam Santuary in Adecor; we didn’t even hear of it until the boatmen mentioned it as part of our itinerary. I guess it’s pretty obvious that we didn’t really have a clear itinerary planned out. All we wanted to do was get on a boat, spend a weekend in an island and enjoy some time off from work with one another.

the_bukidnon_pilgrim_at_the_giant_clam_sanctuary
My family and I at the Giant Clam Sanctuary in Adecor, Samal Island.

Fortunately for us happy campers, we made a really good deal with some friendly boatmen who took us to the sanctuary where we got to see some five endangered species of giant clams up close in their natural habitat.

You could not find the words to describe the fun my two sons, aged 11 and 5, were having and they don’t even know how to swim yet. This goes to show that the sanctuary is one of the most child-friendly, family-friendly destinations in the island.

We adults had fun as well, especially my husband. My heart was simply filled with joy seeing him having fun in the water like he was a carefree kid once again.

My husband and Nemo’s cousin. Notice the giant clams in the foreground.
Find Nemo
(Photo Credit: thetravelingkit.com)

If you are already convinced that the Giant Clam Sanctuary should be in your top destinations this weekend, wait til you hear about the benefits of close encounter with animals to both adults and kids. Scientific studies show numerous health benefits of interaction between humans and non-human animals, among which are improved focus and attention, reduced blood pressure, depression and anxiety, greater self control and a lot more. I know that in most animal-assisted therapy the commonly used animals are horses, dogs and cats. I saw how my then three-year-old son Jun Edward a.k.a. Flash calm down next to his 800-pound friend Ayax the Horse as they both nibble on a piece of bread. But I also saw the same subtle blend of calm and excitement as he watched the pink starfish whom he called Patrick, slowly bend to his touch.

Tourists in the sanctuary are assisted by professional tour guides and ours was perhaps the friendliest guide I’ve met. We rented a GoPro camera for P300 and he took our pictures for us, so all we had to do was swim and have fun looking at the clams and other marine species in the habitat.

If you need a detailed guide on how to get to the sanctuary, check out this post by The Traveling Kit. She provided a pretty detailed instruction on how to get there and was also kind enough to allow me to use some of her photos here. She wrote the post a few years ago and I have to mention that the entrance fee at the sanctuary has now gone up from P75 to P100 per head. Life vests and goggles are also available for rent at P100 each. GoPro camera can be rented at P300, just bring your own memory card.

I believe God made all these for His children to enjoy and experience. We, as travelers in this life, are here to experience all of God’s goodness. Dropping by the Giant Clam Sanctuary not only gives you an opportunity to savor nature’s best but a chance to contribute to the preservation of these endangered species as well. Every peso you spend here goes to the maintenance of the sanctuary.

“Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders.”

-Job 37:14

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”
-Job 12:7-10

So what are you waiting for? Use those paid vacation days and head south of the Philippines. Bask in nature’s beauty at the Island Garden City of Samal.

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