Joie de vivre is a French phrase that means “joy of living”. There is joy in living when all the dimensions of a person’s life are sweetly humming in unison, or are swimming toward the sea of integration. When there are love, faith, and hope, there can be joie de vivre. A person who is joyful understands that time should not be wasted; life must be lived boldly. Life cannot be put on hold. Every moment must be spent in realizing one’s vocation, and every second must be reserved for an expression of love.
The author started this blog to ponder upon his life experiences, his travels, his artistic works, and his identity as a human person. Through writing, he swims into the profundity of his emotions and his psychological encounters with a place, with a person, with an event, and with a culture. Walk with him as he recounts the joie de vivre of a Pinoy traveler. 🙂
Ryan Trinidad Santiago, the author, is a chemist who is hoping to take up his master’s in epidemiology at the University of the Philippines-Manila. He wishes to work in the development sector, especially in the field of health, and hopes to join international organizations in effecting positive changes in health care, disease control, and preventive medicine.
He was born in Makati, but his feet are all over the place. He graduated from Makati Science High School AND Devils Lake High School in North Dakota, USA (through an exchange student program of AFS Intercultural Programs from 2007-2008). His degree in chemistry was conferred in 2013 by the Ateneo de Manila University.
While in the US, he traveled extensively across the Midwest (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas). He had also been to Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. in the East Coast. His second travel abroad was in Japan (Tokyo, Iwate, and Hokkaido) when he was chosen by the National Youth Commission in May 2012 as one of the delegates for the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) to understand the disaster responses and the recovery efforts of the Japanese after the tsunami in March 2011.
Ryan started serious traveling in 2013, right after graduating from college. In December of the same year, he traveled alone to Thailand and Cambodia for 17 days. In January 2014, he climbed his first mountain, and he has been climbing one mountain each month since then. For the following weeks, he visited beaches, waterfalls, mountains, rivers, and rice paddies around Luzon.
When he was invited by the Cordillera Green Network to help out in an art workshop and in the opening of the Unoy Festival in Tinglayan, Kalinga, he quickly accepted the invitation. So far, it was one of the best travel decisions he had done. The Cordillera region had become his favorite in the Philippines.
Although Ryan clearly loves travel and culture, he also engages in various forms of art, especially music and literature. He keeps a journal where he writes poems daily and a separate journal for his thoughts that are prosaic in form. He wishes to publish those someday, and this blog is the springboard to that dream. Haruki Murakami is his favorite author.
Ryan used to be part of the Ateneo College Glee Club but, now, he is content with singing in his room and basking in the music of Taylor Swift, Josh Groban, Celtic Woman, Yannick Bovy, Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach, Mika Nakashima, and Scrubb.
Someday, he dreams of working in South America to learn more about the culture of its inhabitants and to perfect his Spanish.
If you wish to contact him, send your e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am excited to share with you the joie de vivre!
Your Pinoy Joie de Vivre