Puerto Galera x Earthquake

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Last April 8, 2017, my friends and I went on yet another beach adventure. We spent three nerve wracking, adrenaline-inducing, sun-filled days at White Beach Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. From Alabang, we rode a bus to Batangas Port, and from there we boarded a boat which in all honesty wasn’t my most favorite part of the trip to our destination. That 1 hour-or-so boat ride was too overwhelming for me since it’s my first time, but luckily, I was able to keep my nausea at bay so there wasn’t any throwing up involved. Each time my insides did a 360° turn and back I just closed my eyes and prayed to God to spare me and have mercy on the people within a 2-mile radius. It got better on the way home, though–I didn’t feel dizzy at all. In fact, I was able to munch on some snacks and succeeded in managing my whole digestive system.

At around 10 AM, we finally arrived after what seemed to be the longest 1 hour ride of my life; however, we had to wait for a little less than 2 hours for the check in time. We decided to grab some breakfast at a random restaurant which quickly became our favorite spot because of their superb customer service, not to mention their fire dancing skills. So we just hung out for a bit while our room was being prepared. I ordered tuna omelette (because duh, breakfast), while the others had pork adobo, japchae and a dish that looked more like a beef caldereta than beef stroganoff. Didn’t get the chance to take a picture of our meal because we were obviously too famished. As promised, we got settled in by 12 PM. The room was nice–nothing too fancy schmancy. In it were two beds that could fit a total of 5 slim people and possibly 2 toddlers, one very awesome bathroom because of the heater (not that I needed it lol), a small TV which would seem just like a big rock to a teenager, an old-looking closet, cupboards, etc. We took an involuntary nap because our flabby bodies needed a little energy to face the day ahead of us; however, we were awoken by a shake. It felt like someone was rocking the bed really hard and even before I opened my eyes, I knew what it was. Our room was on the 2nd floor and so we hurriedly ran down the stairs to look for an open space. As we reached the ground it was still continuously shaking and for a second there I didn’t know what to do because no matter how far we go, we were surrounded by water and you know what might come after that. Guests from nearby resorts were already outside the building when we got out and you can clearly see the fear in their eyes. We waited there for approximately 30 minutes and then went back to our room to fix our stuff in case anything crazy happens. The most frightening thing about it is it’s just been a couple of days since the last earthquake hit the same area (Batangas), and it’s really inevitable for a commoner like me to jump into conclusions. I’m honestly so proud of myself for not going into a full-blown panic attack. *pats self on the back* According to the news, the 5.6 and 6.0 magnitude earthquakes we experienced cannot generate a tidal wave and that’s probably where we regained our confidence to just enjoy our vacation with an aftershock here and there.

Here’s some photos taken from our phones :

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Click here to watch Ian’s vlog

Our hearts grew very heavy knowing that it’s time to part ways with the sea. For me it’s almost the same as breaking up with someone you’ve been with for a long time, and leaving is just so hard and unbearable. Unfortunately, good things come to an end. This trip is definitely one for the books, though!

“commori tibi caelestes”

An open letter to the guy who I thought I knew

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It’s been a while since we last talked and honestly, I can still remember fragments of that conversation. We said some things a whole lot of awful things to each other that led us to where we both are now. Some we regret saying, some we don’t. I believe there really is a reason for everything; and in that very moment, the truth simply had to be blurted out because we needed the space to breathe. I have said and done hurtful things to you (some you may not even know) and I just want to apologize for all of it and thank you, too, for teaching me a few things.

Thank you for teaching me that an open communication between people who are in any type of relationship is as vital as their feelings towards each other. People who love us need to be able to tell us things be it good or bad, important or spur of the moment, mundane stuff without thinking it’s stupid or irrelevant. And since it’s a two-way street, we also need to have the freedom to express our thoughts without being worried about what the other person might think and say. Sharing what you feel about each other shouldn’t be a task to tick off of your To Do list everyday. Thanks for making me realize that feelings aren’t always enough to make a relationship last and that the amount of time spent together doesn’t always define strength.

I also learned that there is a super thin line between loyalty and faithfulness and it could be just me but….People can be loyal to someone, be available for them whenever you need them and be devoted to them but only a few actually remain faithful and keep their hands in their pockets. We’re all human and giving in to temptation is a solid manifestation. It’s like the last slice of pizza and you’re there just looking at it– you know you’re already full but you’re still thinking of getting it for yourself. There are people around you but no one’s actually watching so then it’s all up to you if you’re going to indulge or leave it alone and let someone else have the heavenly sin that is pizza.

And out of all the things that didn’t make the cut, the most important thing I’ve learned throughout this whole process is this: We can play safe and be ordinary in other things like washing the dishes, choosing crappy beer at the store and buying cheap wine, but I think love shouldn’t be one of them. If it doesn’t make you crazy or at least make your insides tingle then I don’t know what you’re still doing. I simply don’t know how I can stress this enough….if we are in a relationship with someone but there’s no fire or even a spark and being with them feels like a chore, then we’re merely just a breeze when we could always be a cyclone. It may not always leave us in cloud 9; it could destroy us and everything we hold close to us, but isn’t true love worth all the damage?

Thank you for teaching me this in your own way.

– G

Part 1: The aftershocks of a break-up

I woke up
to the sound of the rustling wind
whispering words I cannot comprehend
the cold
which once was an estranged friend
is now here to accompany me
through this forlorn journey
that will lead me to the hereafter

I woke up today
with tears in my eyes
I pulled the sheets closer
to remember the warmth you exude
that I so long for each day
your body next to mine with
our lips intertwined
will never cease to bring forth the fire
and desire to be yours once more

this pain
is like a tsunami in my pocket
that I carry around like a gun
this emptiness
is like a spell without an antidote
that I’m willing to wear like my favorite lipstick
because losing you
is a disaster
that is by far the only kind of death I want to know

it’s such a shame
for people like you and me
to part in the most despicable way
as my love for you has now become
a monster in disguise
waiting on a prey
secretly hoping it’ll be you again one day

I quit my job and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made

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…..unless you’re notorious ass kisser then this won’t probably work for you.

More than two years ago I applied for a job in a small company not too far from where I live. It was obviously not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life but it was great; the travel time was quite reasonable given the horrendous traffic in my area and I needed the money so I took the offer. It was so awesome. The place was small and I knew everyone in it–it even made me feel at home to be quite honest. Although the nature of work wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, there was a brief moment where I saw myself staying there for a long time. It personally wasn’t my dream job, but it had grown on me as I eventually learned the ropes, became comfortable and even got recognized a few times for doing such a good job. At the time I was quite content, you know? I was making and spending my own money while also providing extra help for my family. Doesn’t sound like the worst thing, does it? So why did I quit my job despite all my adult responsibilities that’re waiting to kill me?

Quitting is often regarded as a sign of weakness but sometimes, quitting a job you so despise will turn everything around. Holding on to it longer as you watch it drain you won’t do you any good–that’s torture. I wish I had known that sooner, though.

I brushed the thought of leaving numerous times throughout the last couple of years because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I cracked up and cried so many times inside the bathroom stall, thinking of just running away but ended up in the same old desk with the same old, awful people. Believe me when I say I tried so hard to toughen up however, I wasn’t fully aware that I had to sacrifice so much of my energy and patience being in a stressful environment for 40 hours every week. I thought I had to suck it up and be a man, but it turns out I can only take so much.

I quit not because I’m weak but because I simply, utterly cannot stand people who think so highly of themselves and dismiss others so easily like they own the world. I respect that there’s a hierarchy and all but what I couldn’t understand is how corrupt and rotten a company’s so called “system” can be. Well I guess you automatically become the enemy once you notice the sickening smoke coming out of the chimney.

My point here is don’t be like me. Don’t be afraid of what’s next for you or how you’re supposed to pay for your bills or what you’re going to eat tomorrow–wing it! No, seriously. If you’re unhappy with your job and waking up requires you to exert so much effort, then it’s definitely time for you to say bye-bye to everyone who you have been wanting to injure so bad. Do yourself a huge favor and find a company that will treat you fairly or better yet, do something that will lead you closer to your passion because we can’t just keep letting other people bring us down as they climb their greasy pole.

What it’s like living with a relentless overthinker

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If I were to count the times where I found myself drowning in my own thoughts and feeling like the most unworthy person in the world then I wouldn’t know where to start. As a young child I always felt like I wasn’t good enough, like I wasn’t cut out for anything. I would study hard for my exams, stay up late making test reviewers but I still never came first. Even then I’ve already accepted the reality that there’s always going to be someone better than me and that no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be the best nor anyone’s favorite.

If I were to be asked if I’ve already hit rock bottom, my answer would be yes. I’m just approaching my mid-twenties and I honestly feel that I’ve already been through hell and back. People go through different kinds of pain and though I used to think my problems were not to be given much attention, I eventually came to understand that problems, no matter how big or small are still problems. My rock bottom which I feel like lasts for an entire year could just be a day in the life of another person and I respect that. Not too long ago I was at my lowest and darkest, to say the least. I was met with a situation that I couldn’t seem to deal; I tried but I just couldn’t make myself get through it. Maybe I simply didn’t try hard enough or maybe it was all in my head. I felt extremely hopeless and helpless as though the tunnel had already closed and there’s just no more light for me to look forward to.

My thoughts had taken over me and it had an instantaneous ripple effect on the people around me. I’m not going to lie that it doesn’t happen anymore because it still does. The darkness still comes even after the sun has just shone. It eats me up and kills what little kindness I have left for myself. When it’s here I look at myself in a totally different light like I’m a worthless piece of shit wanting to just end and cut everything off. I get extremely selfish and what’s worse is I feel disconnected. I always feel the urge to stop whatever is happening and lie down on the floor and mourn for the loss of something that was barely even there.

I want to be alone and that’s where it gets ironically messy and beautiful at the same time. When it’s here I push people away, thinking that’s the best thing I could do for the both of us; hoping to not drag them into the black hole that is my restless mind, but all it causes is pain and a decade’s worth of tears. I realized, though, that that’s not how this awful thing works. All along I’ve been fighting this battle alone not knowing that I needed someone who would stop me from hurting myself. Someone who knows me well enough to see past the laughter and the facade I keep up: the one that disappears at the most unexpected time of day. Someone brave enough to break the wall I’ve been building around me my whole entire life. Someone that would keep me sane.

If I were to count the times where I picked myself up from the ground and stood up to try again……I wouldn’t know where to start and stop because every waking day is a battle. Every day is both a challenge and a chance to learn and move forward. I may not be the most optimistic person in the world– I may stumble upon the rocks and drown deeper into the ocean many more times, but so long as there’s a spark in my eye, I’m never letting go.

Feliz San Valentin

I’ve never been the most excited about February 14.

I mean I have to admit that I had my moments as a teenager–you know, you get all the tingly feelings when you receive a gift or two from your special someone (or from other admirers too if you’re that in demand lol). Yeah…I remember those days. It made me feel important all of a sudden, like I exist even just for a day out of the whole year. But I looking back I don’t think it made a difference at all; I’m still the same person who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about holidays or money making celebrations such as Valentine’s day and receiving gifts in general. I don’t even like celebrating my own birthday to be quite honest with who ever is reading this. I’m not ungrateful, though, I just feel very uncomfortable every time someone hands me anything even if it’s not wrapped in the most decent wrapping paper or if doesn’t have a fluffy ribbon on it. Maybe I just cannot wrap my head around the fact that receiving gifts from people who love you is normal.

But I’m working on it, I’m not always the bad guy. I’m trying my best to be more appreciative of even the simple gestures people show me because I know that doing so would make them feel that their efforts are worth it. Because I know that I would feel the same way if that were me.

So this Valentine’s day I didn’t get any chocolates, flowers or a stuffed animal–no fancy dates too (huge thanks to whatever it is I ate that made me sick). Instead I got a Youtube URL and I could not ask for more! This is more than enough to make my heart smile. I don’t need more cavities or decayed roses in vases, just the thought of someone making ways to make me happy every single day is all that I’ll ever need. And it got me thinking, “how can I hate Valentine’s day now?”.

Soul Surf 11

This is a long overdue post but whatever.

The 11th surf break in Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union occurred on October 28, 2016. For those who are curious as to what this Soul Surf thing is: it’s a “surfing, music and arts festival” where people from the Philippines and also from around the world gather for the weekend. It’s been one of the hottest party destinations since 2005, and I am more than glad to have been part of this amazing event for the last 3 years.

As we all know, the Philippine archipelago is composed of an estimated number of 7,101 islands which means there are plenty of other beaches waiting to be visited an awed. How nice would it be to be Anthony Bourdain for a month? How happy would I be if I could get paid handsomely for just traveling and eating? Oh, man.

But what really pulls me back to LU? Why do I keep coming back despite the long travel time that results to achy butts?

My paternal grandmother’s family was born and raised in San Fernando City which is just a 15-minute ride from where the annual event is being held. As a child, we would go to the province during summer vacations and I’d be so excited to just spend the next few days out in the sun and waves. I remember being so thrilled to change in to my blue Pikachu bathing suit and run towards the beach with my sisters and cousins–oh the memories! I didn’t go back until a few years back, though, and honestly, I don’t know exactly why. Most probably because of school, dance, and then eventually work.

I don’t know what it is with me and the beach, I just……. I simply don’t care for whitening products if you’d ask me (lol). I don’t mind being under the heat of the sun for hours doing nothing so long as I can feel the sand under my body and the sea in front of my eyes. Hearing the sound of the waves crashing against the shore is music to my ears–it makes me want to join the band. It’s as if the sea is seducing me and inviting me to be one with it. It seems so peaceful and dangerous at the same time and there’s no denying that I love that about it. Being at the beach makes me forget all my worries and fears; it makes me feel like I can leave all my burdens on the shore and watch the waters come after them and devour them whole.

The last three years of attending the event have been extremely fulfilling. The music, crowd, people I came with and the experiences are all unforgettable. I can recount all the happenings from each year but I’d rather include that in another post. For now, here’s some photos taken from my friends’ phones.

 

How to: Adult

 

If you are in your twenties I’m pretty sure you are struggling with problems with your love life, friends who turned out to be enemies, your boss or job that you hate so much or just life in general. Being on this stage might be the most favorable time for some people my age, but not for me. I am seeing others slowly reach their dreams in front of my very eyes and am just astounded by how they are able to do it. Some of them are already successful in what they do be it professionally or personally; they are either getting their master’s degree or happily juggling work and taking care of their children. This must be the turning point between teenage life and adulthood. How come I was taught to compute the mass of the ball on the Moon but not handle real life issues such as dealing with job application rejection or keeping a stable income to pay bills and all that hassle? I’m positive that this was not in my curriculum back in college. Can I just go back to being 7 years old? Or not. I’m not exactly sure if it was a good time either but at least I can only remember so much. So tell me, how does one take on life and own it?

This is my journey to getting where I am destined to be. Join me as I swim through the tidal waves and read my mind as I watch it all unfold.

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Cheers to this cruel but equally beautiful life!

Genie