Posted in Milestones, Personal Events

We have come a long way

We are never the same person that we are yesterday. We are definitely not the same person we are a year ago. 

I was waiting for my bus to arrive when this song played. It was one of those songs that reminded me of a memory that was long gone. Each time it plays, I’ll think of a certain someone and tear up. When I heard that song on that day, however, it didn’t hurt. I just enjoyed the music, moving my head to the rhythm. 

I was browsing IG stories and saw that same person on a friend’s story. Usually, there would be a pang in my heart and tell myself how much I miss him. But during that moment, I felt okay. I even replayed the story just to be sure, but nothing

It was the date when my ex broke up with me four years ago. Looking back, I was in so much pain I thought I would not recover from. I was crying, begging him to give us another try. It was a dark season for me. But here we are now, glad that my relationship ended.

There were many aspects I would love to share — ones that do not involve the same person I have been talking about the entire year — but I would rather keep them to myself and my loved ones. After all, there are stories you tell, and there are stories you don’t.

The bottom line is I have made progress, in every aspect of my life. I am growing everyday. It’s scary and exciting at the same time. But above all, I’m grateful for all the lessons and for what’s yet to come.

x

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Posted in Works

Author Series: Alvin Yapan

Nakaupo lamang ako at taimtim na nagbabasa nang ‘di ko namamalayang tinatangay na ako. Ganito ang tagpo sa tuwing babasahin ko ang mga likha ni Alvin Yapan, isang manunulat sa Filipino.
Regalo (2014) ang unang akda niya na nabasa ko mula sa koleksyon ng maiikling kwento Ang Labintatlong Pasaway. Aaminin kong maaring hindi ako naging patas pagdating sa pagbabasa noong una dahil emosyon ang pinairal ko. Napukaw ang atensyon ko dahil pamilya ang isang aspeto dito at nanatili ako sa pagbabasa dahil ‘di ko magawang bitawan ang daloy ng kwento. Mula noon, hinanap ko ang mga likha nya. Nalaman kong manunulat rin pala sya ng pelikula tulad ng Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (2011) at ang naging kontrobersyal na Oro (2016).
37th Manila International Book Fair noong nakita ko ang Sangkatauhan Sangkahayupan sa booth ng Ateneo de Manila University Press. Wala na akong perang dala noon kaya’t sa sunod na MIBF ko pa ito nabili. At tulad ng ibang libro kong binili, matagal itong nakatago bago ko sinimulang basahin. Pag-ibig sa Ikatlong Daigdig ang binabasa ko noong napagtanto ko kung bakit ba ako nahumaling.
Natural ang daloy ng mga salita sa gawa ni Yapan, tipong ‘di ko namalayang iba na pala ang pinupunto nya. May mga paghahalintulad na nakapaloob sa kanyang akda ngunit hindi nito binubuwag ang daloy ng istoryang gusto nya iparating. Ninamnam ko ang bawat detalye at ‘di ko naisip taba lamang ito ng akda. Sabik akong matapos ang kwento at malaman san nga ba hahantong ang tagpo. Pagdating ko sa dulo, ‘di ako bigo. Natapos ang kwento at nanatili akong sabik, hindi para sa isang sequel, pero sa panibagong likha nya na aking babasahin.
Saludo sa iyo, Ginoong Yapan!
Posted in If We Were Talking, Music

Balikan kung bakit ka nagsimula (Ben&Ben)

Trust Ben&Ben to reach your hearts whenever they write a song. I’ve been a fan since our University days and have been hooked ever since. They write amazing songs in either Filipino or English. You must have heard Leaves, Kathang-Isip, Ride Home (my personal favorite) or Maybe The Night on the radio several times now.

And recently, the music video for their song Susi was released. Nothing but respect for this group. I mean,

Nakulong, nakulong, nakulong ka…

Nakulong ka sa maling pag-iisip 

 

Pasanin man ang mundo

Wag ka lang susuko

Nandito lang ako

Mga batikos wag nang diringgin
Pakawalan lang yan sa hangin
Bukas ay malapit na rin dumating

Lumaban ka pa rin

Balikan kung bakit ba nagsimula
Bago mo sabihin na ayaw mo na
Wag mong sosolohin
‘Di ka mag-isa

 

Ikaw pa rin ang susi sa mundo ng iyong tadhana

 

I have been playing the song non-stop, being fueled by hope on each rewind. To anyone feeling down, worthless or maybe you just needed that one push to move forward, listen to this song. I’m just gonna translate some of the lyrics as a final message to anyone reading,

You are not alone in your battle. When everything doesn’t make sense, when you feel like giving up, always remember why you started. You can do it, hun!

Posted in Milestones, Personal Events

This is It

When you see it, you’ll know.

I’ve been waiting for so long, looking and searching for the right one. There have been many rejections. There were also opportunities that I rejected because it didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to start anything that I’ll abandon later on. It would just be a waste of time and effort. I almost gave up. I almost settled. I’m glad I didn’t.

What’s meant for you will eventually find its way.

I admit that I am scared. I was given this blessing, something that I have prayed for. I want to make the best out of it. I hope I don’t chicken out. I hope that I don’t screw it up.

So help me God.

 

Posted in Travels, Zambales 2018

Overnight at Anawangin Cove, Zambales

It was when I noticed my tan lines have faded when I realized that I have not written about our Zambales Trip last May 19-20, 2018. I intended to, but I got really busy (I cannot stress this enough). Okay here we go


I’m not sure about you, but my high school friends are still close up to this point (some of us are on the workforce while the rest are on their post-grad—medicine, law, masters). It took a lot of effort (thanks Ish!), but we finally arranged our first out of town trip! We had several options in mind, but the winner was Anawangin Cove, Zambales.

One of us found a good deal online (https://anawangintravel.blogspot.com/) where we spent Php1700 each (we were 10). This included the transportation from Manila to Zambales, boat ride, tent rental and food. We spent additional ~Php 200 for environmental fee, table fee and hiking. Aside from the hidden charges, what annoyed us on this trip was being ‘lost’ in the beginning. When you get to the Island, there is more than one resort and it wasn’t clear which one was part of the deal. Thank God we are able to negotiate in a diplomatic way even if the staff on this particular resort was not cooperative. I’m getting ahead of myself.

We left Manila at 1 in the morning, had a quick stopover somewhere (my eyes were closed the whole time I did not take note of the stopover LOL) and finally arrived at  Pundaquit, Zambales. We waited for Alan (the one in-charge) then boarded that boat to Anawangin Cove. The boat seemed small but our group + the boatman + cooks fit. The water was clear and the view was AMAZING. The boat ride was already relaxing.

When we got to the island, we had a little fiasco because of the resort but we got through. We set up our tents (yay I learned how to do it thanks to my friends from UP!) and dressed up. I decided to change inside the tent because the line in the ladies’ room was too long. We spent the day hanging out in the sea, enjoying the view and took a lot of photos. When the sun started to show, we went back to our tents.

Our lunch was already prepared by the cooks. It was delicious! This is the advantage of signing up for  tour: food wouldn’t be a problem. After we cleaned up, we grabbed halo-halo from a nearby store and rested in our tents later on. It was so hot I was surprised I fell asleep. The reset of my friends played UNO. We went back to the beach when the sun’s glare became kinder. Stories and kulitans later, we went back to our tents to prepare for the short hike.

It was a short hike, but it was majestic! I cannot put into words how beautiful it was. All the stress from the resort fiasco, summer heat and basically everything I was going through, just fade away. It was one of those moments that make you glad you’re alive. We waited for the sunset before going back.

We went to the beach to wash up then to our tents where food was already served. After our hearty meal, we waited patiently in the bathroom to rinse ourselves. When all of us was ready, we all sat together around the bonfire. We brought alcohol, but didn’t drink AT ALL. I preferred getting lost in the sky full of stars. I was so thankful I was able to witness such beauty.

The next day, we packed up right after breakfast. We passed by Capones Island then proceeded to Camara Island. It was stunning. I apologize for the lack of words I was just really overwhelmed by the place’s beauty. We stayed for a few minutes before going back to the island then headed back to Manila.

This trip was so meaningful for several reasons. One of which is being able to detoxify. Because there was NO SIGNAL for any cellular network, we were able to really detach myself from social media for at least 24 hours. It is amazing how a day can change the way you think of the future.

x

Featured image was by Royce Untalan

 

Posted in If We Were Talking, Music

Gustong-gusto ko nang makita ka’t muling nasasabik

Sinusulit ko lang ang mga natitirang oras ng weekend dahil kinabukasan, balik na naman sa trabaho. Kaso mo, tinamaan ako sa isang kanta. Ang galing din talaga ng epekto ng musika. ‘Di ko na naman napigilang maluha dahil miss na miss kita.

Kahit wala sa piling, hindi mo lang napapansin
Dahil itong damdaming, ikaw ang lagi ng hiling

Ang tagal na, pero ikaw pa rin talaga. Naiinis ako sa pagkakasulat ko nito. Ang pangit ng tono pero habang lumuluha ako kanina, ang ganda ng daloy ng mga iniisip ko. Ang bottomline lang naman kasi nito eh… ayun. Alam mo na ‘yun. Nakakatawa kasi ‘di ko naman talaga kailangang sabihin para malaman mo. At ‘di mo rin naman kailangang sumagot para maintindihan ko.

Ayan na, nasa title nitong blogpost, lyrics ng Hayaang Maidlip ng Join the Club.

…hindi na makapaghintay
Sa iyong pagbabalik, at huwag mong isipin na balewala
Sinta gustong-gusto ng makapiling lang kita..

Sorry sa mga nagbabasa na hindi naman para sa kanila itong isinulat ko. Nakaka-disappoint talaga ‘tong pagkakasulat ko, sa totoo lang. Pasensya na. Ang tagal ko na rin kasi walang paramdam tapos ganito pa ‘yung bungad ko. Sobrang busy ko lang talaga. Ang daming ganap. Isa pa, kaya ang siguro ako natahimik kasi ‘yung gusto kong kausap, ‘di ko rin nakakausap. Para sa kanya nga itong post ‘di ba.

Ito na ang pinakamalabo sa naisulat ko. Para lang akong nag-rant dito. Edi sana nag-twitter na lang ako ‘di ba. HAHAHA. Ewan ko ba. Miss na miss lang talaga kita.’Lika na. Uwi ka na.

Posted in Palawan 2018

Iwahig Firefly Watching | Day 4 in Palawan

After more than a month, here’s the conclusion of our Palawan activities! We went back to Puerto Princesa, enjoyed an extravagant lunch at Ignacio Residence, bought pasalubong, went to Iwahig, went back to city proper for ktv, and went back to Manila next day (huhu). Palawan was amazing and Iwahig Firefly Watching is an activity I would recommend!

We drove for about two hours from the city proper to Iwahig. The usual tour is around Php 800 including the van and the firefly watching itself. There’s also an option to have a buffet dinner within the area. We signed up and waited. While waiting, we applied insect repellant (you can buy from the location itself) and enjoyed the sunset. There was an old bridge just above the river where you can take photos. Just look at this view!

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The sunset made me feel like I already got what I paid for, but there’s so much more. The queue is long and the boat leaves every few minutes boarding only 3 people excluding the boatman.  Boarding started at 7pm. Despite the wait, I did not get bored because of the performance of a particular dance group from a school at the Iwahig. They performed different folk dances of the Philippines.

It was a dark night, an atmosphere preserved in order to preserve the living conditions of fireflies. The boatman is also the tour guide. They are knowledgeable and very enthusiastic. I particularly appreciated their community upon knowing that it was the initiative of the community (not the local government or anything related) to preserve the area. They are proof that any location can be efficient when the whole community participates in making it possible.

Because it rained during that day, the planktons in the river weren’t visible and the fireflies present were fewer than usual. Even so, the experience was still amazing. I  remember seeing the first few fireflies in the mangrove and I already got excited. There was a time when the fireflies only lit up when we passed by it. I wasn’t able to capture any of it with my camera, but it surely left a mark in me. It is one of those things in life that we just have to experience and we keep those memories to ourselves.

Iwahig Firefly Watching is also a learning experience because the boatman would give trivias during the tour. Aside from the fireflies, you can look up and gaze at the stars too. There would be moments when fireflies would go near you, an experience that I was lucky to experience. It’s amazing how the little things, no matter how fragile, can go together and make something so beautiful.

If you ever go to Palawan, don’t miss out on this experience! It is so calm and yet so stunning.

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BTW, this was our feast at Ignacio’s:

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