Rainbow’s Sunset

“Mahirap tumanda nang mag-isa.”

I used to instill in my mind that I should get married and have a family. Above all, it is one great achievement in life. Growing up, I realized that I was special. At first I was confused, until I became certain. This was not a phase. It was something I must live with in this lifetime. And that was when marriage and family became indefinite.

Thank you for your story, Fredo. Tatanda ako, kukulubot ang balat at manghihina. But I will be still because you’ve thought me that love has its own way of keeping you company. As long as you invest in love, it will return and take care of you even if you did not ask for it. It will be in the face of your lover, your friends, your relatives, your family — your own rainbow 🌈

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As we bid farewell

I have been led to believe that 2018 was not my year. For someone like me who values relationships tremendously, this year was painful.

I told myself that I wanted to prosper and be successful in my career and relationships. I thought I was doing great but sometimes life throws a curveball. There were a couple of incidents that took me by surprise. I was dumbfounded and my soul was crushed, to say the least.

Last night before I went to sleep I got a page from my journal and folded it lengthwise. On the left, I listed down all the things that I’ve missed and lost. On the right side, I wrote down all the new friendships, experiences and lessons I’ve learned. And that’s when I realized that I gained much much more.

Big thanks to my family and friends for ALWAYS coming through for me, for reminding me that happiness and self-worth should not depend on achievements and relationships, and for teaching me to slow down and have a healthy sense of detachment from the things and people I hold dear.

Now 2019 will be about taking everything into a notch higher — and about moving on and starting anew.

Happy New Year, everyone! God bless 🙂

Always

I know it’s not about the two of us but I would like to thank this lady for ALWAYS coming through for me big time. I sure wouldn’t have survived half my battles if not for God and His infinite grace and mercy, my family and herself. Thank you for staying and for choosing to believe that the beautiful story that we’ve shared from the beginning still isn’t over. Cheers. On to the next!

Miss you, 59

Was going through some old photos on my phone when I saw this. It had changed from the last time I saw it. I was with a friend who I had grown close with. We made the most unlikely of friends but we somehow supported each other through some pretty dark moments.

The last time we saw each other, I bid farewell to him few days before his flight. We now live far off from each other, practically in different time zones. I’m in a different job now and so is he. We’re both probably very different from when we last saw each other. Or at least, I know I’ve changed. I don’t know about him.

Things are different now. I’ve come to realize how temporary things are. But I’m grateful for the people who pass by and maybe even stay for a while.

Time tends to sneak away from all of us. But whether it be after months, years, or maybe even never, know that I’ll always be glad we became friends.

24th

If I inherited the genes of my greatgrandpa Menong and live to a hundred like him, I still have 3/4 of my life to learn more about things that may or may not matter in the long run. Here’s to being 24, to failing, to winning and to striving to be the best version of myself 🙂

Photo taken at Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines.

Worth it

This is my first solo travel and it made me understand the hype that lies beneath. You do it because it’s great for you. You do it because it’s fun. You do it because it clears your head of toxic and self-damaging thoughts. For whatever reason you have, you do it because you know the hundred-miles journey will always be worth it, no matter how hard it seems.

Of faces and places: Sagada Solo Trip Part 2

4:00 AM. Nag-text ang tour guide na nakausap ko sa Tourism Information Office na i-cancel na daw niya ang activity namin para sa umagang ‘yon. Plano ko sana na pumunta sa Marlboro Country at mag-traverse papunta sa Blue Soil Hill. May couple akong nakilala na gusto din’g sumama. ‘Yon nga lang hindi na sila sasama sa akin sa Blue Soil dahil pagkababa ng Marlboro didiretso na sila sa Buscalan.

Pero dahil nga maulan pa at mukhang hindi makikita mula sa taas ang pagsikat ng araw at ang sea of clouds, our guide cancelled the trip so I had to resort to my Plan B. Unang beses ko gumawa ng itinerary and okay din pala to prepare for another plan in case Plan A won’t work out for some reason. Pero syempre mas okay pa din kung masunod ang nakalagay sa itinerary. Hahaha.

I decided to go to Bomod-ok Falls instead dahil hindi ko rin naman ito napuntahan dahil mas pinili ko’ng mag-ikot at kumain nang kumain kahapon. So I texted Kuya Tour Guide and siya na ang naghanap ng grupo na pwede kong samahan. Ilang minuto lang, nasa loob na kami ng sasakyan papunta sa jump-off point pa-Bomod-ok. Pito kaming lahat. Dalawa sa mga kasama ko ay kasama ko din sa lodge na tinutuluyan ko. ‘Yong tatlo naman at Coastal Resource Management Volunteers mula US Peace Corps na nagrerender ng kanilang serbisyo dito sa bansa, at ang isa naman ay solo traveler din tulad ko.

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At the jump-off point. Nagbayad kami ng tour guide fee. Php 82.00 lang bawat isa.
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Kaunting orientation from our tour guide, Ate TG (Tour Guide; nakalimutan ko ang pangalan niya) Hahaha.
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Mahigit isang oras din ang trekking pababa ng falls. Nakakanginig ng tuhod.
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Napadaan kami sa isang barangay pababa. Sila daw ang mga sundalo na nagpapanatili ng kaayusan sa lugar na ‘to.
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On the way to Bomod-ok Falls. We’re almost halfway! And yeah, I got TJ’s back as shown in the photo (literal!)
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Following John and TJ. I cannot feel my legs anymore. Huhu. Joke lang.
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Stopped by Banga-An Rice Terraces. Ang ganda!
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This is it! The famous Bomod-ok Falls! Your beauty is enchanting!

After almost an hour of trekking, we have already reached our destination. The temperature that morning dropped from 19 to 15 degree Celsius. Still a great experience though. Ang mahalaga solo namin ang falls! Hahaha.

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Saya!
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Captivated by your beauty
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Si Jess. Volunteer din siya from US Peace Corps based in Cebu. Three weeks na lang babalik na siya sa US. Sad 😦
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The gang. Jess (based in Cebu) and Melissa (based in Mindoro).
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Bomod-ok buddies. Ako, si Kaye, si Jess at si Lee.
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I literally braved the cold! (and it never bothered me anyway. LOL!)

Take-away from my second day in Sagada

I was reminded that sometimes we need to step back and re-evaluate the things that really matter; the ones that bring us at our most authentic and happiest self, the fears that need to be conquered, and the love that comes from within.