Be happy.

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Do you know the hardest words to utter aside from “Goodbye“? It was “I hope you’re happy“. It took me lot of rambling and cursing to say that, and really mean it.

God, it was so hard not to hate you for choosing to he happy. Something I never could have provided. Something I have yet to do.

We fought hard and I could not recall a day we didn’t. We threw books on each other, screamed across the hallway and blurted words we wish we didn’t.

Yes, maybe if we didn’t, we could have had a better story to write. Something brighter. Something you could have been proud of. But we didn’t. We we’re both too  proud we almost looked like fools  covered with madness.

The last time I checked, you were with this pretty lady, your hands were wrapped around the corners of her shoulder, and your smile was much more spirited.

I wish somehow, or maybe one day, I’d be able to do that too. I hate to admit it but I do envy you. You found it at last, didn’t you?

Well, it’s difficult not to compare myself to her even if it means rubbing salt to my already bitter wound. I know, she has always been better. She’s natural. I would have chosen her over me if I were you. Please don’t tell me. I know. I fucking know.

I was badly hurt. The damage you’ve brought to my life had a domino effect. Literally, everything just started to fall apart. We both knew someone had to leave because it was starting to asphyxiate our lungs. Don’t get me wrong though, I am not blaming you. I am blaming myself.

On a positive note, look what it has done to us. Are you not happier?

There are several reasons why I do not wish to remember because 1) this letter is supposed to tell you how much I want you to be happy and 2) all that’s left behind are memories, treasured, despite our tragedy.

I’m trying to ink my thoughts because my tears wouldn’t stop unless I pour it out. But please, please, don’t pity me or anything. This is just a way of allowing my emotions to completely, hopefully, restore back to normal. You still understand my predicament, right?

I remeber an old joke about repeating a mantra and attracting it afterwards.  This is not a joke though, I am saying it out of gratitude and honesty; Be happy.

and I’m sorry, for everything.

 

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Mt. Batolusong

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The desire to see the slopes and grassland over a mountain peak started when I first tried hiking. The grit and grandeur of far-flung wilds intimidated my innerself to question the wonders that lies beyond the concrete jungle we’re living in. It hurts to know that it became an enigmatic wall that separates us to the indefinite beauty of our physical world. From then on, I told myself that I’d have to visit more of these places.

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Lucky enough, our co-worker Mina agreed to hitch us on their family’s trip to Mt. Batolusong in celebration of her sister’s birthday (Happy Birthday ate Cindy!).

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It was actually a group hike managed by Laagan Backpackers (if you want, you can visit their group page for schedules. I heard that they always have climbs on Wednesday’s), Mina’s family are also joiners here. Overall, we were around 30 pax, I think?

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It was my first time to join a group hike and I’m glad I did because I learned that traveling with other people, strangers or not, makes a journey more interesting and lively, plus you also learn a lot from them, like how salt could prevent muscle cramps when placed under the toungue, and all other stuff I honestly had no idea before.

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Trivia: Mt. Batolusong, located at San Andres, Tanay, Rizal, is just two hours away from Manila. It has a peak of 645 MASL and a level of 3/10 diffiulty. They say that this mountain is part of the Sierra Madre range. Cool.

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As we were briefed, our guide said that our destination was subdivided into two ridges: 1) Duhatan and 2) Mapatag.

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The ascent to Duhatan, despite man-made route, was quite difficult because we had to pass through shallow terrains, rocky streams and slippery mud. I had to keep reminding myself to look at my steps instead of the greenery.

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Thankfully, There were people around who assited us all through out the trek. Also, the bamboos were useful when it became a bit challenging to walk.

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Since we started early, we had the chance to witness the sea of clouds when we reached Duhatan. It was so mesmerizing I had to stop and just stare at it, wishing that somehow I could just jump off and live with the clouds. I wanted to be part of it.

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Mapatag, for me, was more friendly to hikers, there were a lot of talahibs and other shrubs here covering area and the wind is strong enough to create a relaxing sound.

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Finally, when we reached the summit, it felt like all our hardships had paid off, the view on top was magnificent and irreplaceable (so with the memories).

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On other note, I loved the grassy trail going to Kay-ibon Falls (Yes! We had a side trip guys). What’s more refreshing than taking a dip into a cold water after a tiring climb?

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I had visions here that one day when I grow old, I’m going to set out  a camp and live my aging life on a farm, staring at the sky all day long.

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Tips: There are several side trips here which includes: Kay-ibon Falls, Sangab Cave, and other trails eg. Susong Dalaga. If you have more time and stamina, you may also want visit them. They’re all wonderful!

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It was satisfying yet the feeling of isolation and complexity still lingers as to what lies above the hidden vicinity that reaches above the sky. The very reason why the horizon remains a mystery to my bewildered heart. Still, everything else becomes complicated and beautiful.

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As we packed up, I remember vividly the untold stories of sunrises, the secret energies of trees, the melodious choir of birds and crickets, the vast museum of the wild which again, regains familiarity to the most beautiful part of ourselves, however lost and concealed within, always, always comes back to life.

Palaui Island

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The thing about going home after several months of working away is that you can finally slouch on a couch, stretch your arms wide open and distress all the toxic vibes that can potentially manipulate your spirit to dive in a pool of negativity.

Okay. Breath.

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Fortunately, my sister and her husband came home for vacation this June so we all got to bond together during my leave.

I really like it when everyone is present at home. It feels so comfortable. Even if everyone is really noisy and it’s crowded, and most of the time we’re fighting, it feels so normal, like one weird way of showing how we missed each other.

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A little information about Palaui: It is actually a group of islet strategically located between Pacific Ocean and South China Sea.  It’s verdant interior is filled with coconut trees, mangroves and rattan which makes it look like a jungle when seen at a distance. The beach is predominantly composed of fine and cream colored sand with clear to blue-green water. Furthermore, it became prominent in 1994 when it was declared as a National Marine Reserve, and in 2013, it was further popularized by the American reality TV show: Survivor.

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We started our trip at around 4 am in the morning (via private transport) and it took us around 6-8 hours to reach our destination. Note that this is depending on the speed and stop overs. Same time applies for those who wants to commute from Ilocos. As per research however, it takes about 12 hours of travel time if you’re coming from Manila.

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According to some friends, there are several home-stays around the area but when we reached the place, we only found one resort that was located at Anguib Beach.

Ps. Don’t even try to ask me why it was called: Anguib Beach Resort. lol.

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People said that the highlights of going to Palaui are as follows; Snorkeling, Island hopping, Trek to the falls, Sightseeing and Swimming.

As for the boat lease to reach the islands, there are several packages to choose from and rates vary depending on the destination.

Note: all prices are standardized here.

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As for us, since we were already at Anguib beach, we took the 3-island tour package comprising of; Cape Engaño, Crocodile Island and Punta Verde. This was worth Php. 3,500. You may also visit  pinaysolobackpacker to know more about the updated rentals.

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I would highly recommend that you visit Anguib Beach Resort and Cape Engaño. As for the rest, I think it was overrated and nothing was really interesting there.

Ps. This is just my personal opinion.. you may still venture for yourself because to see is to believe, right?

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Anguib Beach is blessed with tranquility. It has a long expanse of white sand bar which is visible during low tide (8AM-3PM) and becomes deep enough for swimming during high tide (3PM-8AM). It is also favored with calm water so it doesn’t really scare you to swim far.

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Ps. I also love that they have nets for volleyball here because I really enjoyed playing. Haha, hoping we’ll be ‘pro’ next time.

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There are four distinct lighthouses in Northern Luzon and one of which is Cape Engaño. Like the rest, it is mainly made of solar technology so it automatically operates on its own.

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It’s an easy trail going up to the lighthouse so you don’t have to worry. Our guide said that it takes about 229 steps to reach the place. Nevertheless, it’s all worth it because the hill offers a majestic view of the whole Palaui Island.

Note that you are required to hire a tour guide in this place. Rate: Php. 300/ 4 pax, additional 100 for every other more.

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Overall, the resort and other amenities may be a bit pricey but it doesn’t much disappoint. The thing is, we were able to unwind over this quick weekend getaway and  I was able to taste salt in my hair again!!! Haha. I don’t know but this will always bring me excitement and thrill. It  will always feel like home- love. love. everyone.

 

Communicate

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Question. How do we stay good amidst all the bad and chaos in this world? A weighty matter that is dangling my head lately. A pious inquiry that has to be discussed now or never. It keeps my mind traversing through empty pages, wandering back and forth to where my values are rooted from, or do I even have those to begin with? Kindly keep me sane for the next few minutes and I will tell you more about it.

I used to say that I would never change for a person; that I love myself and those who are willing to be in my life should accept me for who I am. Easy as that. But I learned that this idea, as I grew up, was nothing but childish. There is a certain point in our life where we should learn how to adjust and change in order for people to stay.

Communication has played a vital role in all healthy relationships. Once you cut it down or blurry it, it could bring a drastic change not only into our daily living but all through out our lives. That is why it is important to know how to speak up when we are already weighted in. The only difference is that we should learn how to express ourselves in a calm and collected way.

I hate how bad I was conducting this past few days. I know that I should be more flexible but deep inside, my insecurities were eating me. I hate how I was turning ugly and how my pride was stinking sky-high. I only thought about how hurt I was so I kept on misbehaving. I  kept acting and talking fooolishly thinking that nothing would change, but unfortunately, we only notice that something is altered once someone steps out of the line to speak and act about it.

They say that very reason of our existence is to interact with people and become part of it, the same way it is with us. But losing the channels that connect us with these people because of our attitude is not justifiable in any aspect. Isn’t it terrifying to know that one day, we’ll be gone and no one would even notice and ask why we’re no longer there? Keep this in mind: We need people in our lives.

Most of the time, we fight and mess up because we can’t relay our true feelings. We say we don’t know but deep inside we actually do, and we just don’t know how to say it. We act cool and find faults unto others, yes we have varying tendencies, but at the end of the day, aren’t we all just yearning for one thing? Understanding. And how do we get that?

First, learn how to understand yourself – know your feelings and why you’re acting that way. Then understand others – know why they are responding to you that way. And when you finally grasp the reason behind, coin your thoughts before blurting them out, because words are double-edged sword, it may bring damage to you and the person you’re talking with. Think of yourself recieving those words, how would you feel? Lastly, be honest and slowly convey your feelings out in the open.

Don’t be afraid to speak up, just don’t forget that in return, you should know how to listen. You may get a positive or negative feedback, but that’s okay, that is still communicating.  Try to contemplate on it instead, afterall, there is nothing greater in this this world than to be open and with the one’s we love, right?

Finite, Unpredictable and Brief #3

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It’ been awhile since I’ve last heard the silence that could pierce a heart. It’s probably the only reason why I tried to open my eyes. To see what was really going on. Continue reading “Finite, Unpredictable and Brief #3”

Matchsticks

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Heartbeats. Smiles. Exhales. I think it all started with that.

Somewhere, in a small well-lighted place, underneath a different October sky, everything was soft and static. There was a girl wearing a swagger pants and a white t-shirt. Her smile was wide and full of meaning. She was among the crowd yet she stood up there like a glittered light, like she was the only one moving in the center of the jam. She owned the place like a spotlight. Continue reading “Matchsticks”

Finite, Unpredictable and Brief #2

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He was standing at the porch that day, waiting for me to come home. He has always been a brat for that. He said today he’s going to teach me our math lesson, apparently because I scored the lowest on our exam while he did fair. But I knew he only wanted to tease me out of it. Continue reading “Finite, Unpredictable and Brief #2”