Dec 4, 2015

Quick thought

Being with different people and having been to different places is an eye-opener. Main thing that I have learned, I guess, is not to settle with less. Perhaps, knowing a lot of options considering that you have explored many things allows you to pick the best choice. You have learned a lot, with that you are wiser.
Knowing different kinds of people taught me to become open-minded. It's like pretending to be a Psychologist to blend in and create a network, which is the most important thing as I explore the world.
Poverty is a mindset. It is. People say that they can't do anything because of lack of money. I know it is that tough, been there. But I think it is all about daydreaming and striving hard to achieve something that transcends people's concept of poverty. I don't think it is a hindrance, as you go along the way, there are much more to overcome. It is all about knowing the silver lining at the end of the rainbow to get through that.

Nov 24, 2015

Hahahasula

If I could sing with all might this song in an empty room- that would be the best. The feeling of no holding back and being yourself as much as you want fancy me everytime I step out of this room to meet the day.

No one hears the way I scream so loud inside, like a drum roll which never halted. They just see the usual face with no worries painted - if they only come close and listen to the faint voice screaming inside me. They'll know me, they'll discover me. But no one does that, none yet.

Nov 9, 2015

Ride: My inexpensive luxury

Tonight I recognized how much public transport accompanied me through my loneliness and in exploring the wild.

I can imagine myself seated there sideward - my usual position. I love how the air caress my hair as the vehicle's in motion.  That spot near the door is my favorite where I can easily get off when it's my stop. I only hear my mind speak of my dreams, and my eyes locked in one direction looking beyond as faint voices of passengers inside try to divert my attention.

But the moment is mine, free to think of the moments have been, should've  been, and will be.  This is the only luxury I get often.

Sep 18, 2015

Drawing the line

Can anything be funny, or are some things off limits?

I was short-tempered when it comes to jokes, but as they say 'you are a loser if you give in'. At some point, I passed through that stage of resisting jokes thrown at me. I learned to become submissive; I now can laugh about it and go with it. I even know how to joke back.

In fact, being able to handle a joke makes you a teamplayer. People will eventually skip making jokes about you when they see that it doesn’t have an effect on you. They see it as boring, and they don't want it to end at some point like that. Sometimes, being with a group of  people who jokes a lot wouldn't  stop without, at least, putting that someone into the limelight of embarrassment. If that someone is lucky enough, he wouldn't leave teary-eyed, just a hammered ego. And I pretty much know how that feels.

So, how will you emerge as winner in a joke battle?
Be cool. Don't show any signs that it is getting into you. They will probably throw more if they haven’t seen it affect you. But as they repeatedly do it, they'll get tired of it.
Always learn how to fight back, once they see that your joke is more powerful than theirs, they'll surrender.
Lastly, show them that you are not vulnerable, that whatever joke it is - you know how to handle it.

Sep 15, 2015

Buy me some honesty

You can't rely on smiles, stories, and actions in assessing what people think. Those are masks of identity to blend in. Truth is, they are afraid to show their true self because of judgment. It is what rules their life. Keeping it all in somehow make them coward or fake by not saying what's on their mind outright.



Sep 11, 2015

Standout

When was the last time you really stood out in a crowd? Are
you comfortable in that position, or do you wish you could
fade into the woodwork?

I was about 8 when I first stood out in front of a large crowd, it wasn't simple.The poem I practiced for days seemed to have vanished when I opened my mouth. It took me a moment to recover, and recite the first stanza of the poem. I went on in pauses until I heard the noise of the claps signaling the end of my recital.

I was even more shy back in high school. As a teenager, I became more conscious  about myself that I felt anxious being in front of the crowd, except for the things where I had to do it  for the sake of grades. I remember liking the feeling of being at the backstage for , atleast, when I make a mistake it wouldn't create such a big fuss. Being at the backstage, kept me away from backstabbers, and made me do things efficiently without having people's attention. It was a sense of relief.

College though was more difficult for me. I can no longer be at the back anymore. I had to practice being confident most of the time as we are always dealing with people. The experience I had with all the school activities, somehow, improved my social skills, much more when I graduated. I realize the benefit of having lots of exposure - because I know it'll help me grow as person.

Sep 8, 2015

Nice

Nice is good. I knew that once you treat people nicely, it goes back to you ten folds. I have lived believing that for long. But I think in the process of growing up I forgot what it means to be nice. Not all people pay back with kindness, in which I'm still in disagreement. You'll lose the good values you have before you know it - and it sometimes hard to regain.

Sep 5, 2015

PCC Milka Krem

Who said that the land of carabaos can't be classy?
You might be in awe once you set foot in the infamous Milka Krem (a carabao milk café) of Philippine Carabao Center. This is the first built café that offers various carabao milk products: from its signature chocomilk and ice cream to pastries and cakes.  The café can pretty much compete with starbucks.

Milka Krem

Products

Milka Krem's interior offers an ambiance of both comfort and class. It somehow uplifts the face of the agricultural sector and carabaos in the Philippines. Inside you'll see displayed figures of carabaos and farmers who play a major role in agriculture. And I must say, this café is one of the best projects of the Government thus far.

Interior


Carabao milk delivered to Milka krem are mostly from contracted farmers in Nueva Ecija. So if you buy milka krem products you also augment farmers' income. 
Being the only milka krem branch so far, Milka Krem caters to many customers everyday. And this café is definitely a must try for café lovers.
So if you happen to be nearby check out your PH OpenSnap, an app for foodies like you, and head to Milka Krem for a taste of agri with class.

How to get there:
Since PCC is a landmark, locating it isn't really hard.
Milka Krem is just beside the main office Philippine Carabao Center, along maharlika highway going to San Jose City. 


Complete address: Maharlika Highway, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija

For more restaurants and food finds, download OpenSnap app from App Store or Google Play.

Sep 4, 2015

Life line

Do you believe in fortune telling? Yes.. Maybe.. No...
For some reason I've had it. Last year was the final one when I was so desperate in knowing Mr. Right  and partly because a friend of mine pushed me to do it.

Well, fortune telling is sometimes unreliable (or always unreliable). I pretty much believed that March 2015 was going to be good for me. Though there were those who seem to take notice of me, no one dared took the next step besides staring and giving me the feels. I was so silly for believing in it in the first place.
Here's what I remember the fortuneteller told me:
"He is tall, dark with rounded face. In fact, taller than you with big built." 

Totally the opposite of what I imagine him to be because I like slim guys with less bulky muscles. Yet it somehow, gave me something to look forward to, so whenever I see rounded-face guys "Perhaps he is the right one" (Joke!!!hahaha). Perhaps, not to that extent but it does gave me a hint (what a hopeless me). And then I met few guys with rounded face, but nah they were not. I was literally taking that fortune telling seriously hahahaha.
Now its been five months, where is that guy you are talking about Auntie? Or maybe you were referring to March 2050.(sigh*)

Sep 2, 2015

First Baker

Living for a year and a half in Nueva Ecija, perhaps I have become familiar with what food to go for. So if you have heard of Silvanas, probably you have tried the one in Negros already or maybe some bakeries that offer that tasty cookies. But hey, Nueva Ecija can also offer you with their own silvanas.




First Baker is the known bakery that makes silvanas in Science City of Muñoz (or probably in the whole province of Nueva Ecija), it is tested and recommended as 'pasalubong' as well. And aside from silvanas they also sell yummy cream puffs, which I don't think other bakeries in Muñoz have.





Yummy Cream puffs

You can check it out at PH OpenSnap, and locate this humble bakery in its branch in Science City of Muñoz proper, Central Luzon State University (CLSU Market) and San Jose City.

For more restaurants and food finds, download OpenSnap app from App Store or Google Play.

Aug 31, 2015

Seoulmate

Being a fan of anything Korean, this Seoulmate cafe got my attention. No I haven't heard of it before but as the hotel where we stayed is just in front of this cafe - what a good opportunity to try it.



The sign is very noticeable, which makes it very Korean. So funny how I can get so gaga over trying this things. Without much thought, we proceeded, and ordered its Korean Citrus Tea.



There are variety of drinks to choose from, but I would recommend ordering their Korean Organic Tea which is what I ordered to be different. (But I wonder if it's really authentically organic, well, well).  


While seated, you can examine the inside much closely or ardently listen to the beautiful korean songs (you will love them, I guarantee you). A very relaxing place for chitchat, reading and studying. 
There was this one Korean customer who just ordered a tea and buried her face on reading a book. 


It is a new opened cafe judging by its newly painted facade and interior.


And speaking of interior, you might want to bring your soulmate and post your names  on this wall.

Seoulmate Cafe is located at D'Leonor Hotel Building, J.P Laurel Avenue, Bajada, 19-B Poblacion, 8000 Davao City. It is open Monday to Saturday 11:00am to 1:00am. You can also find this cafe on PH OpenSnap.

For more restaurants and food finds, download OpenSnap app from App Store or Google Play.

Aug 25, 2015

Train

"I sit here riding on a train going somewhere while they read my letter of regret, while they talk about my incompetence and my cowardly attitude towards knowing the truth.
As they utter their words of surprise as to why I'm gone. I took a sigh of relief for I'm free"

That came out of nowhere. I imagine myself riding that bullet train in Japan, staring at the scenic mountain view while seated on the train's comfortable cabin. Without feeling it's moving, without knowing that the clocking is ticking. I would trade anything, if I maybe too innocent, just to have that one ride.

Aug 23, 2015

Kel'z Cafe

It might not be known because of its label as an agricultural science city, but Muñoz, Nueva Ecija have cafes worth trying for. And as I was looking for a place where I could sit, relax, and eat alone, without so much people around, I tried Kel'z Cafe. And the place is just what I needed.



Not much people go during holidays or weekends, as far as I know, since I come during those days. And I haven't seen it really full though, but I love it because people don't really flock that much which gives me more space and freedom to stay long. I already have friends brought there after trying it and we usually stay for an hour.


Tuna Pasta

Chips and fries



If you are somewhere in Nueva Ecija and in look for local cafes, check out PH OpenSnap and head on to grab your next cup of tea!

For more restaurants and food finds, download OpenSnap app from App Store or Google Play.

Aug 21, 2015

Focus


One of my favorite teachers once told me that to get into where you want to be is to focus on it. I remember my innocent and eager self upon hearing it from one of the best teachers I know. Yet now I wonder, was I the same as before?
For three years of working and being with different people, my lens with my viewfinder is still looking for something where I could focus on. My experience is still not enough in knowing what I'm passionate about. But I know my teacher was right, I need focus.

Jul 21, 2015

Dynamite: The Recipe that I just Knew

Dynamite.  Sounds intense. I didn't know it could be a recipe, such an ignorant me? But here in Luzon it is  a recipe that they have for chilies. I'm talking about the long green chilies used for soups. It is guaranteed that you'll love chilies, if you'll taste dynamite.

I knew about it months ago but I only made one yesterday with a twist. By twist, I mean, deviating from the usual ingredients used. I am no chef but my friends as critics said it was good. (bleeeeh)

So here are my ingredients:
Lumpia wrapper
Corned beef (instead of ground meat, cause it is expensive)
potatoes
Cheese
Chilies (which I got from the farmers we've visited)
Cooking oil (just enough)

I cleaned the chilies first and removed its seeds. The seeds are what makes it spicy, the hollow space where seeds have been removed is where you put the filling.

after seeds are out
I then cooked the filling, which is the corned beef and potatoes. By the way, removing that much seeds caused me so much pain. My hands were so spicy all throughout the night, so be sure to use gloves or apply oil on your hands before touching the chilies or else you'll end up like me. :(
Once done, start stuffing chilies enough to fill it. Put a slice of cheese inside after filling. This could be laborious so try to get some help when needed. 
You can now then wrap it with the lumpia wrapper and it is ready to fry.



The end product should be like this:



Jul 16, 2015

Impulsive me


I consider myself an impulsive risk taker, as I tend to do things without a concrete plan. I believe that true happiness comes from informal,  candid events where you feel relaxed - away from the busy reality of the world you are in.
Spur-of-the moment decision makes me think less, and seize moments without second thoughts. Doing so feels like letting go of everything negative that's haunting me for so long, that after I feel new again - in both mind and soul.
The effect it has brought in me gave me a reason to look forward to the best things nature  has to offer.  It also inspires me to be me - that in every leap of faith of conquering my fears- I unleash something good in me.


Photo: Hanging bridge of Soro Soro Spring Resort in Batangas

Jul 14, 2015

Loving is that hard



I have friends who loved and happy, who loved but empty, who loved and got hurt and who loved mistakenly. But recently, a friend of mine confessed that she loved at the wrong time.

I am a listener when friends talk about their love life and at times, a commenter without experience. Pretty absurd right? But most of the people like me provide reasonable advice to those who become unreasonable when lost in love.  We give practical decisions which is not that easy to do but can be an eye-opener when someone become stupid. (Sorry for the word).

I asked myself, if how much it really hurts to love someone. Listening is not enough to know it. There were times when I felt like their stories were the same old song played everytime, nothing new, and I lost the sense of sympathy.  But I see the hurt in their eyes, the sincerity in their voice as they told the story one by one. As a listener, you need to comfort, you need to comment, you need to counsel. Being a confidante in this kind of situation is sometimes a matter of urgency. You don't have the experience in the first place but the beauty of it is they get the outsider's perspective of what should be done.


I still don't know it but maybe in time I will understand.

Jul 7, 2015

She cried



I saw a friend cry tonight. She didn't shed tears but I know her heart did.
In a public transport, she quickly took a glimpse of the man she's secretly in love with as that man took the night off to spend with the one he likes.
An isle apart, just across, sitting opposite each other. She stared in silence. The most awkward moment she could ever have. She froze in disgust and at the same time in pain. I asked her, if she's ok, she camly said "I'm ok ate".  But I know she wasn't.
Deep inside she wants the jeepney to stop so she could get off. But I admire her throughout all of it, she managed to keep it all in.

Dear Ann,

I know how you feel and it sucks. It happens to me all the time that I already learned to fake my laugh and act infront of everyone just so they won't notice. But when I'm all alone, I cry myself out, like there is no tomorrow. You wish it wasn't him or you wish you were her. Recovering can be painful, but soon you'll forget about him. I know you will.


Ate Tim

May 25, 2015

Blogging personally

I've written personal posts lately as I struggle to understand what is going on my mind. You'll read posts of how down I am and how I see the world so negatively (opposed to what this blog should be, forgive me). Nothing to worry about it though, I'm fine. I'm just passing the quarter life crisis where you overthink things quite often.

Obviously this blog has been a great outlet of all of that. And it surprises me as to how it makes me feel lighter everytime I hit the publish button, like "there it is, another baggage out". These might not really entice readers but I'm not up to what they think so long as what I write makes me feel better. Probably, the main factor of all of this is the fact that I love this "writing-whats-on-your-mind" kind of thing. As I've been doing it quite often, I feel incomplete without writing something down sometimes. It has become a routine, I just found myself staring at the computer screen while hitting the keyboard spontaneously. I am the critique of what I write, cause it is my own thoughts. For that, I thank the person who invented blogging. 😅

May 22, 2015

Mixed Emotions

I'm helpless. But people won't believe that cause every person can help himself. No one can help you but yourself.

Be yourself. I am. But the people around dictates who I am and I'm changing without me knowing. I'm trying to be one but 'm being compared. I want to be myself but it doesn’t really go along with where I come from. It's pointless.

I'm deprived. I wanted to do something  but there's no opportunity for me to do it. Plus having no support from people around makes me feel down.

I am not trusted. I am being questioned of the things I do even if I spent hard times doing it. My tasks are small and I don't  even know if my outputs are useful.

I am intimidated. People around are better than me and I feel so small. They seem to be prying on me to fail.

I lost motivation. I don't know if I like what I'm doing anymore. I feel confused and empty.
Friends are fleeting. The friends I've known for months are slowly going away. I'm losing my circle of friends.

Something sucked all my positive vibes. I now hear people say negative things, I see people  criticizing people. The people that I try to think of positive things about, now seem to be mean and naïve.

I lost that smile. People see me as a happy person, at least I need to maintain that impression. However,  to bring back that real smile takes time.

I don't know if there's a person who will like me back. Petty so petty. But if I have just one person by my side maybe I will feel at ease. I need to extend my patience or else I'm going to fall for the wrong one.

No one will understand me. Hence the reason for writing this down. This is harder to say than write. I find it arduous to explain things because it'll just make it more complicated.

I can move on. That's the silver lining there. Despite all this I know I can get out of this. I'm just trapped in a maze, taking my time finding the way out.

May 16, 2015

My Day off Work

I have noticed quite a few things lately.

I stepped inside a café, and for the first time ordered a hot tea paired with the cheesy fries. It goes well with it, while I buried myself on my phone reading other people's fb posts and mine.

At a distant, I can hear this cute little boy speaking straight english entertaining customers. I just laugh at the scene of it. Awesome kid. And there is this young couple by  my side giggling at each other. At a 10 o' clock direction are girl friends with a monopod, taking pictures of their moments together.
I was just right there, taking my time. The only person who can take notice is the waiter who knows me well as I frequent there.

I'm  loving the idea of being a stranger. Aside from having freedom, you see people in a different way. Sometimes smiling at a stranger feels like an act of kindness already- it's gratifying.

Maybe I spent almost an hour enjoying the privilege of connecting to a free wifi. That's one thing good about cafes, by the way. I took off and headed to this barbecue place I love. People are waiting, but regardless, my order came in first as I ordered less. New customers kept asking for isaw or chicken intestine (this is not disgusting, it's yummy), it's their specialty. But the husband owner says it's sold out but the wife owner said it's available. I heard them argue for a moment, I can sense that the husband is dominant and quick tempered for being angry to such a petty matter. A bit humiliated, the wife just smiled at me and I smiled back to make her feel what I heard is nothing. I remember the husband said something bad. Such a ghastly husband.

Back to the customers. A bunch of guys came to order. I must say, good-looking guys who would not notice but envy beautiful girls that might pass by. They talk in such a high pitch manner, and I was listening. I took my order and left thinking, these guys are such a waste. World is changing and people around are oddly changing too.  

May 9, 2015

Arabela in Liliw, Laguna

I'm not a fan of Italian pastas. However, I like pastas cooked in Filipino way. My palate is very much accustomed to the sweet and sour taste of Filipino cuisine, that eating the opposite would be a great adjustment. And, indeed, it was. But I didn't regret dining in this place. I am always amazed by how I manage to change my perception on things by giving it a try.
Both sides are line of shoe stores. It was raining the time we were there but that didn't stop us from checking every stores
As a first timer in Liliw, Laguna, there's not much to see but the array of shoe stores in every street corner. Liliw is a quite secluded town which is famous for the cheapest and durable shoes. It can be a hassle to go there if you don't have a private car. So if by any chance you happen to drop by, you need to grab the opportunity to buy any shoes you want. That's what people told me.

Yet going with the person who frequents there, I've known that it is not just the shoes that this place can be known for. He brought us to this cute little family resto that offers pastries and pastas.


This is just to show you how low the ceiling is. 
For a bit of history, the place was just an underground of the house converted into one decent resto. You'll find how low the ceiling is once you go inside. But that what makes it so cute.

There were lots of pastas to choose from, but I went with his suggestion to be safe.  
We all had a sort-of chicken pasta (forgot what exactly it's called) and frappe. But with only an hour given to us to go around and buy, we just had a limited time to finish our orders. I ate mine in just 10 minutes or so but we still ended up being late. Everybody was waiting for us and got a bit jelly for only having ourselves eat there.


Here are some of the things on their menu. Their price starts from P200 up.
 The so-called chicken pasta.


Frappe

Knowing that this resto has long been existing, there were lots of reviews about it, not only in the net but also in leading newspapers. 


A compilation of newpaper articles about the resto.
It's wise to make a reservation ahead of time  because sometimes it gets so full. We were lucky that there were only few customers when we were there. ;D

Apr 28, 2015

That moment…queer moment

Queer. Life gives us that moment. When we laugh at somebody's nonsensical jokes, when we tend not to love those who love us, when we get things we don't even want, when your dreams are in somebody else's who don't even value it. The list goes on…

Most people say, "that's life", but yeah what a crap! They sounded like it is a dead end, like you can get by with it because that definitely happens. It absolutely happens, but it doesn't mean you can't do anything about it. Maybe some say it in a very optimistic sense though, which is quite good cause they may know a leeway in case everything fails.  I just don't like people telling me that, it doesn't sound emphatic rather sarcastic. Perhaps, it depends on who says it.


Apr 22, 2015

A test of character

We always meet someone that will test our character. Someone that will make you do anything, that never in your life you thought you'll be doing. But just like a pencil with its sharpener, our life gives us people that will make us know ourselves better and grow from what we once were.

When I met mine, t' was probably one of the hard times. I was caught off-guard, trapped with the people completely opposite myself. I call it character suicide, cause I'm indulging myself into a situation I haven’t even mastered yet. But, indeed, instantly throwing yourself into a deep pool will make you learn how to swim.  I thought to myself, I wanted this so there is no turning back and might as well enjoy the rough ride. And in every rough ride, is a very satisfying feeling in the end.

That was a complete out-of-the-comfort-zone I've done so far - and it gave me lots of experience that I couldn't have had if I stayed the same. Everything just takes a leap of faith, and a certain mind to do it. We need to get used to the bitter times cause life will never offer every flavor of sweetness the whole time.  You need  to have every kind of flavor there is to taste that wonderful life. 

Apr 16, 2015

This is my lead

Maybe it is difficult to reconcile old beliefs with new ones, because having a new perspective in life will either make other people support what you believe in or turn their back.

Leaving old beliefs that hinder you to a lot of things, is a way to recognize your ability to grow as a person. It is a courage that everyone has to make at some point in their lives.

But beliefs associate you with people, and once you changed yours they may follow and understand or completely make a stand of what they believe in. That happens. But what's dreadful is, you discover how unreceptive some of them are.  That no matter how you understand them, they won't understand you back. How you wish they can be as open-minded as you are but they are not. You see them trapped in their own little world, attached to status quo.

I'm trying to get away from the usual norm, the norm where status dictate where you fit in. We are born to think, what we like, what we want and what we see right for us. If some situation seem to hinder that at least you tried to get what you want - and that's what matters. It may seem suicide, but it is one of the truths we need to face. We need to live like we lived. If for some time I have thought society is ruling  my life, now I will take my lead. I am the captain of my life.

Apr 13, 2015

Thai Food

Meeting an adventurous friend, can be a great time to explore new food. So we have agreed to have a dinner in a Thai resto in Trinoma out of gusto. I suppose it was a newly opened one considering the furniture and signage.

A classy interior you'll find there.

It took me minutes to choose my order since I'm not familiar with the foods' names so I had to look at the photos for something that is yummy. We ended up ordering these…

Looked like a fresh lumpia to me. But it isn't, the wrapper is different.

Now this is like the omelete with noodles inside.

The sauce. Quite Filipino ey?

Generally, South East Asian cuisine can be that similar to each other but every country still has their distinction. With Thai food, I don't find it hard to adjust with the taste. I'm just amaze by how they put lots of pepper on food. Regardless of that, I think I can live in Thailand. hahahaha

Mar 31, 2015

Arabela in Liliw, Laguna

I'm not a fan of Italian pastas. However, I like pastas cooked in Filipino way. My palate is very much accustomed to the sweet and sour taste of Filipino cuisine, that eating the opposite would be a great adjustment. And, indeed, it was. But I didn't regret dining in this place. I am always amazed by how I manage to change my perception on things by giving it a try.

Both sides are line of shoe stores. It was raining the time we were there but that didn't stop us from checking every stores
As a first timer in Liliw, Laguna, there's not much to see but the array of shoe stores in every street corner. Liliw is a quite secluded town which is famous for the cheapest and durable shoes. It can be a hassle to go there if you don't have a private car. So if by any chance you happen to drop by, you need to grab the opportunity to buy any shoes you want. That's what people told me.

Yet going with the person who frequents there, I've known that it is not just the shoes that this place can be known for. He brought us to this cute little family resto that offers pastries and pastas.


For a bit of history, the place was just an underground of the house converted into one decent resto. You'll find how low the ceiling is once you go inside. But that what makes it so cute.  

This is just to show you how low the ceiling is.
There were lots of pastas to choose from, but I went with his suggestion to be safe. We all had a sort of chicken pasta (I forgot what exactly it' s called) and frappe. But with only an hour given to us to go around and buy, we just had limited time to finish our orders. I ate mine in just 10 minutes or so but we still ended up late. Everybody was waiting for us and got a bit jelly for only having ourselves to eat there.

The so-called chicken pasta.
Frappe

Here are some of the things on their menu. Their price starts from P200 up.
Knowing that this resto has long been existing, there were lots of reviews about it, not only in the net but also in leading newspapers.  

A compilation of newpaper articles about the resto.
It's wise to make a reservation ahead of time  because sometimes it gets so full. We were lucky that there were only few customers when we were there. ;D 

Mar 30, 2015

Team Cabiao: 2nd Time Around

I've become a follower of every VSO-ICS cycle in Nueva Ecija. It's weird but I just can't get enough of the feeling of meeting new volunteers especially when they make me feel so welcome.  Volunteers are volunteers - that one similar connection alone keeps the bond together. No matter the background, the status and all the differences. The relationship goes beyond that. 

As  I write this, the 2nd cycle of Team Cabiao has ended. Their cycle started last January and another batch will be deployed in May to continue their work. A very fast turn-over. But that way, ICS can change  more lives of young people per year. And just like the the famous line of the song, "Every new beginning is just some other  beginning's end'.

Team Cabiao with their Host family

Feb 28, 2015

Life @23



God finds ways to touch our stubborn hearts. HE completely had me on my birthday.

Maybe I have forgotten to appreciate the kindness of people for so long, because when it comes to saying "Thank you" sincerely, I find it hard to do. I consider uttering those words as an act of sweetness, and I'm allergic to it.

Being sweet to people is just not my thing.

But others misconstrued it as being rude. I got comments from people about it but for those who knew me well, they have accepted that part of me.

However, there are cases that I feel guilty for  forgetting birthdays of my dear friends. I often settle in the assumption that a lot of people greet them anyway, so my absence from their message list wouldn't be noticed that much. Then, I thought of myself. Myself who has a very shallow happiness would jump in glee even in a short "Happy Birthday" greeting , maybe, so are them. I kept that truth to myself until I completely realized the value of showing how we care to people dear to us.

At times, our pride keeps us from doing something childish, lovable and kind. Perhaps, that's what happened to me. But the moment you decipher the importance of "caring", you will appreciate the feeling that exudes from within. Tonight people showed me how beautiful it is to be cared and loved. And for that I need to give back. Wholeheartedly.

It is a hard lesson for me to do what I don't do. But if my kind message would mean happiness to lots of people, I'll risk my pride.

To all the people who made me feel special and loved, I'm so grateful to have them in my life. They made me realize that a person who is wicked and stubborn like me deserves the kindness of their heart. And I couldn't thank them more for that.

Tonight as I turn 23, and another chapter of my life unfolds, I'll share the highlights that have made me come this far.
The past year has been a very good year for me to finally travel and test my palate, and I hope I'll have more this year.  AJJA!

My move to Nueva Ecija
This year also marks my one year here in Luzon. I remembered the first time I set foot on this place, my childhood memories came into a flashback. It was one of the things why I wanted to be in Luzon - to visit the place where I had my best childhood memories. Though I wasn't able to drop by at the place where we actually lived in, passing through that place was more than enough for me. It changed a lot. More establishments are seen anywhere. But the dunkin donuts where  I bought my first donuts with my own money was still there, as well as the school where I studied. As I saw everything that was familiar to me, photos and scenes of everything I did flickered in my mind. It was one of the best feelings I had!

First work travel
Welcome to Clark Pampanga!
City and sophisticated vibe welcomed me when we arrived in the Hotel. That was my first travel, and  I couldn't hide the excitement I had inside. For years, I thought I will never be visiting the province again, but there I was, savoring what life has to offer. So if my first visit 15 years ago was in a resort in Arayat, which I have forgotten the name. And to note I was 6 years old that time. My second, was in Clark who tells me both of tourism and history. That was more than a decade you got there!

I was in Baguio
Baguio is definitely in my travel list. When I marked it out of my check list last year, more visits ensued right then. There is something, with the place that I couldn't get enough of, maybe the hilly streets which keep me in awe of how skillful drivers park their cars, the busy market full of fresh veggies and fruits, and people - and of course strawberry, the cheap and cute bistros, and maybe the fresh air and morning breeze that greet new life. Baguio is one of the best place to be, in times of loneliness or happiness. And the nearest place to be in to have that out-of-the-country feel.



Exploring the Mt. Province
From Banaue and  Batad to Bontoc and Sagada.
That trip is the craziest I had so far. I think I got the road trip I've always wanted to do with the right people. After I almost killed myself descending and ascending that majestic place, Batad, I told myself, I definitely need exercise. Nothing caused so much pain on my knees other than the hiking in Batad. When my friends ask about the experience, I tell them that it caused me lots of sweat, sip-on, trips just to get there. But all was worth it - I just laugh at the experience and the week's can't-walk complaints. Probably the things that are very remarkable are the topload rides, walking the streets of Sagada in freezing cold (because we got wet), trying out suggested and new restos, being with a friend who tells lots of stories, and doing all the things I never do.
I'll visit that place again one of these days.



Isdaan in Tarlac
This was the first official lunch-out with my new found friends in Nueva Ecija. The resto is sort of famous in the provinces of Luzon, whose owner is said to be Heart Evangelista's Uncle. Anyway, we had our lunch in its branch in Tarlac, as the name suggests fish haven, cottages were floating on a very large fish pond. That food trip was added on my blogging list.



Sky Ranch Tagaytay and Pampanga
I don’t intend to visit amusement parks, it just so happen that we had a side trip at Sky Ranch in both Pampanga and Tagaytay. And as I go gaga over new and wild adventures, "Lets do it!"
Remember that I've always wanted to try bunjee jumping, sadly they don’t have it there. However the rides we had made it interesting for me to conquer my fears.



Nueva Vizcaya and Baler, Aurora
It was work related but I had fun accompanying our trainees to their field evaluation. Hahaha. What a pretentious me! Ok, to be honest, I had absolute fun when we ate at the street restos of Vizcaya and Baler, stayed at the beach and took some pictures, bought souvenirs, strolled the streets of Baler while we laughed at our trainee's jokes. That was the "fun" that I do only with friends but it happened there with them.


Hot Air Balloon Festival
It would have been nice if I was in that balloon, but I was not. Riding it was for rich people, huh. To spend almost 20K is unreasonable for me to do at the moment (cause I'm broke). Anyway, seeing the hot air balloons for the first time was worth the P300 ticket.



Got my passport!
Ok, initially I don't have the passport on my hands yet. But it’s going to be delivered in March. That's another cross-out on my check list there. And I hope having it will open doors to new adventures! 

As part of the learning I had in the past years, I will continue to be invincible and confident. My volunteer stint has been a very big part of my learning process and I owe most of my optimism to the VSO-ICS program. Hope this year is another year for me to appreciate what the world has to offer.  Ganbatte ne!