Monday, April 04, 2016

April Climb: Mt. Manabu

Mhy, Pip, Shoti, Mhai, Pat, Jeca (photos grabbed from Pat)
Spent another weekend high up on a mountain with my friends. Being our third climb this year, we thought we'd be strong and well-prepared by now. But we were wrong; we underestimated the weather and ourselves. We didn't bring enough clothes, food, and tissue; things that we should always have in excess in every climb. Haha! What's great about it is, we learn new things from each other and from the climb itself each time. 

There are moments in every trip that will stick with you forever. Ours was laughing hard at Kung Fu Hustle on our bus ride to Batangas; the fresh buko juice; the Alamid coffee served to us by Tatay Tino; lying on the grass admiring the night sky full of stars; overlooking the city lights from our camp; the cold breeze the next morning as we watched the sunrise. It may always be tough in the beginning, but the process and the memories we all share makes it always worth it in the end. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Chasing New Things

I had a wonderful year, no doubt about that. My only wish is to have the courage to face the challenges the next one has to offer. Starting this year off with Neil Gaiman's advice: 'make mistakes' for it meant that you're doing something. The first 6 months has already been planned out for me and all I need is to show up, at the very least. At present I feel slightly anxious but I try not to think about what hasn't happened yet lest I want to be bombarded with negative thoughts. I often think that life is a theatrical play, not to be taken too seriously and best enjoyed for what it is at the moment. Don't be a mere spectator on your own show; play the part and make yourself proud. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

An enduring friendship

I went to see my Benavides friends last Wednesday. It felt surreal thinking about it now after 3 days. But at that time, it felt normal--it's as if time and distance hasn't come between any of us.
Seeing Hanna for the first time since she left for Chicago after graduation was like reuniting after just a semestral break. I knew she has changed since she moved. It felt apparent as we spent more time together. The way she speaks, the way she asserts herself, even the way she writes has changed a bit. But I felt transported, back to my younger years the moment we were rejoined. I felt 19 again, or something. It felt like home. My college friends are home. 
I can feel my heart warm up just thinking about it now, sharing the same space with all of them again. I fully understand why she would burst into tears at random times throughout the night.
Mozart Group: Pauline, Rej, Jem
Family: Hanna, Glad, Marko, Me, Ruth
VACER: Raf, Sugar, Kayle, PJ, Paul
Being surrounded by your bestfriends can be overwhelming, in a good way. It's one thing to reminisce the good ol' times in your head but to relive those memories in the presence of the people you were with when you made them is another--an entirely different kind of satisfaction. 
We played games, danced to 90's music, took tons of photos, and got ourselves a little buzzed with tequila. But there's only so much we can do in one night. As the evening deepened, my thoughts were hazy and one by one, some had to leave. 
Who knows what will become of us in the next 5 years. We attempted to write our future on a paper 5 years back during a retreat, with goals and aspirations that were hardly met. So we all wrote new ones & I tried to be practical this time. One thing I know for sure is, this friendship shall remain. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

One long weekend in Calaguas

Living in the city can be exhausting. So even though I was halfhearted about this trip in the beginning, I found myself looking forward to it right after I packed my bags. Just go with the flow, my friend says. As it turned out, this has been the best thing I did this month. 

Sleeping during long bus rides and waking up to see the greenery of summer landscape the next day. Going to the local market to buy food. To sharing an out-of-body experience of riding the toughest waves to get to the island with my awesome friends. Cooking our lunch by ourselves; playing Frisbee at dusk; cooking dinner followed by skinny dipping under the full moon. 

We played Heads Up in our tents until midnight. We slept on wet makeshift beds because it got soaked by the sudden storm. By morning, every thing was back to normal. We made breakfast and spent the rest of the Sunday under the heat playing beach volley and swimming. Mind you, even though my phone got soaked in saltwater (all these photos were from my friends), I enjoyed every minute of this trip; this was a much needed time to get away from the city and breathe fresh air. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Collective | Dweet

At the end of the day then, the most important question we should ask ourselves when evaluating our dreams, desires, and goals, may not be "What am I willing to do to attain them?" but "What am I willing to give up?" (source)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Kalinga: Weekend with Whang-Od

On the weekend of December 5, 2014, my friends and I traveled to Buscalan for roughly 19 hours to get inked by Whang-Od (native: Fang-Od), Kalinga's last mambabatok. We spent a good deal of time admiring the view on top of the jeepney.

The place was beyond what I expected. I have seen photos of it online but finally seeing it in person, I often find myself asking if it's real. That's how astonishing this place is.

How fitting to see this at a house that sits high up in the mountains. We didn't speak their dialect but the people in the village welcomed us warmly. At 96, Apo Fang-od remains strong and surprisingly unassuming. We had the privilege to spend the night at her very own house. Her mere presence is home.

She tattooed us the same afternoon we arrived. By the time we were all finished, she began doing household chores like feeding the pigs, cleaning the floor, and cooking rice. It was pretty cold that month and at one point, I shared a silent moment beside her in her makeshift kitchen, looking at glowing embers where she cooks.

Payak ang pamumuhay sa bundok. I found peace in the mountains and comfort, strangely, from the people I barely knew. A week after returning to Manila, I've begun questioning city life and the routine I've come back to. I felt restless and distracted somehow. The trip was over but the memories are with me forever.