Memento Vivire No. One

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It has been a while since I last updated my blog. Busy — not properly allocating time to think what to write about — and uninspired — not motivated enough about what has been happening around — were my two reasons, I think, why I was on hiatus. But now, I felt the urge to tell an invisible crowd whatever random suppressed thoughts I have. One of this blog’s main purpose is to serve as a therapeutic tool in expressing myself and I am compelled to take advantage of it.

The best is yet to come. A phrase which has become my mantra from last year. I was really looking forward to it. This year, I think it was answered. I’ve just been from Malaysia and things turned out pretty well than yesteryear. I am really grateful for the unexpected opportunity given to me. Despite the stress it brought along, there are still far better things I can hold on to: learning something new, travelling farther, gaining experience, meet nice people, work with an amazing team. And yes, the best things in life will keep on coming.

I’ve been to different places around Kuala Lumpur — all touristy spots. I’ve told myself I should blog about it. I wanted to, and I will. Dozens of pictures and videos are already stored on my photo library. Motivation and inspiration are all I needed to write about it. Might take some time but I will make sure it will be worthy to read. Memories, memories are all we have. Cry, try not to cry.

Someone divulged an information I’ve withheld for a while. Actually, it was more like an open secret. People in my circle already knew about it a long time ago and I neither confirm nor deny because I think it is better if it remained as it is — stay the same on the surface but nonetheless be bold and loud underneath. Oh well, but as I said, it was already revealed so there is nothing more I can do but to add more fuel to the fire. Unless there will be a stream of water ready to kill the blaze and leave the ashes onto the air — take everything into nothingness. Fortunately for me, that hasn’t been the case yet. Let’s see how it goes. I hope this is unlike those fireflies which got burned because they were too much attracted with the light coming from the gas lamp. Keep your distance but never leave. Keep your presence and feel the heat. Give me a chance, make my heart beat.

Gladly, no one’s ever gonna read this post in full length. Because who would? Who will bore themselves with something uninteresting as this? It is a relief that I could tell the world what’s on my mind. Publicly reveal my inner thoughts without causing too much attraction. Even if I post this on social media, nobody would give a shit and that’s a reality I have accepted long before. After all, this site is all just about me. People perhaps will just glance at it, never comprehend what is written. I am free to speak out. Gladly.

Getting Off The Grid

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It has been a while since I deactivated my Facebook account. Mixed emotions — mostly frustration — led me to do it. I was at a cozy cafe that time, sipping cold chocolate frappe drink to temporarily ease my mind. I already had a couple of attempts to deactivate it before but then I also immediately diverted my thoughts about it by doing some other stuffs instead. But that night was different. I was so physically and emotionally distressed so I decided to finally put it into action. The burden I felt inside must be relieved and it seemed like there was no other way but to channel my extreme unhappiness into deactivating my account, be gone for a while. Poor target. Bye Facebook.

Will it be worth it? Will I miss something? Will people look for me? I really don’t know. I highly doubt it. All i know is I just wanted to release the pressure and be off the grid for a while.

The following days was just fine. Even though I was uncertain how I will contact some of my family and friends, I was still commited to my decision. Moreover, Twitter, Instagram and iMessage still connect me to the world so I ain’t completely a cave dweller yet.

When people ask me why I did it, I tell them I just wanted to and I feel the need to give myself a temporary “social media detox“. Another follow up question was “Who made you do it?“. Like seriously? There must be someone behind this? Is it always about another person why you do this unusual thing? I was still in the stage of denial.

After a few more days, I realized why I really deactivated my account. What my friends said to me was actually true. There was this one person who made me pull the trigger.

Three Reasons:
You made me upset. And so my stomach. I wanted to puke and get rid of this bitter taste. Your decision to choose that other person over me made my heart torn into pieces. It could have been us. But you never gave me a chance. This feeling again. The experience to be in another situation of unrequited love. If only you have a clue about the pain and rejection you put me through.

I wanted your attention so bad. I was hoping you’d notice me and ask me why I did it. Your curiosity towards me would make me feel I am still important to you. I could have given you the truth rightaway. Then I could have stopped my insanity. If only you knew how crazy I am about you.

Getting away from you was another way to protect myself from further breakdown. I still love me. I wanted to prevent myself from holding on to false hopes whenever you view my days or whenever you react to my status updates. Silly. I could have just blocked you, unfriended you, added you to my restricted list or hid your posts from my timeline. I should have just refrained myself from viewing your profile. I should have just restrained myself from sending you messages which you’ll predictably turn seenzoned. Rather, I chose to disconnect from the other people who care more. It still amazes me how love can make me do mad things.

Days have passed and you still don’t give a fuck. You didn’t even wonder why. Even a slight amount of care wasn’t shown, not a single bit. Either I failed miserably or I just expected too much from you. Heartbreaking double damage. I should have no feelings like this to you but surprisingly I have and it slowly tears me apart.

But eventually, I have come to my senses and it’s quite a relief. It started by accepting the fact that some of the things I desire don’t go according to the way I wish them to be. Reciprocating my feelings for you is one of them. It’s easy to like you. It might be hard to unlike you but it’s doable. After I finished publishing this, expect that I got better and I’m ready to be back to Facebook.

Wandering Laguna

​DIY Travel Philippines is a Facebook group where people share photos, expenses, itineraries and hacks about their travel experiences. Lots of information are posted here which other travelers alike could be interested with. Like the one I was tagged by my friend Hazel: a trip in Laguna entitled “5 destinations in 1 day”. At first I was skeptical about it. Could we really go to five different places in one day? Well, others have done it so I think it’s feasible and I want us to give it a try. Few days later, I created an FB event to invite my friends and colleagues from SM Retail ITS. I was glad they showed their willingness to join.

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It was a cold 3AM morning when we all gathered at McDo Buendia except Mark. I was astonished by the punctuality of everyone. We were off to a great start. What was more was that RJ began the day with an epic fail. His bottled water accidentally spilled on his bag and most of his stuffs got wet. One by one he put out his things to check them. From that we learned that he brought a hotel-room sized towel. Going in a beach my friend?

Few moments later, we rode in a bus bound to Lucena, Laguna. We asked the driver to alight us from our destination as we were not familiar with it. Learning it as we go. Where we should go off was in the itinerary but of course it’s better to be safe and double check. Then, most of us grabbed the opportunity to catch sleep. Later on, we thought we should already alight. RJ on his thuggish manners, awakened his seatmates and asked them to make way for him. Jayven woken up Tats, who in turn walked automatically like a robot. Then we found out that we weren’t there yet. Candid laughs can be heard around and I was still trying to process what was happening. Did this really happened or I was just dreaming? What else did I missed?

It was more than hour more when we reached San Pablo. The darkness and mild rain showers kept us cold. We stayed in Jollibee to wait for Mark. He came after almost an hour. We went off and then asked the locals to point us where to ride a jeepney to Sto. Angel. They kindly helped us. Lost and found.

Sto. Angel South Trail was our chosen path as it could lead us closer to the twin lakes. We reached the barangay in no time. A kid guided us to Pandin Lake. After a few minutes of walking, we witnessed the tranquility it offers and got mesmerized by it. We reserved a floating cottage and ordered meals so that it will be immediately prepared when we get back later.

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We started our hike after all of our tour guides came. The path was relatively easy but muddy. So easy that we walked like we were just having a window shopping in a shopping center. I wonder why we moved so fast. If I wasn’t mistaken, two veteran mountain climbers were first on the trail – Gerald and his childhood friend Leonard. These twins hurrying for something sale?

I couldn’t get much video because we were walking fast. And it was raining intermittently. I opened my Bluetooth speaker — blasting upbeat songs mostly sang by black people. They were lively that even Tats danced at the tune of Juju on that Beat and sang the chorus of Black and Yellow while his girlfriend Quency got slightly amused.

We fetched banana leaves to prevent ourselves from getting wet from the drizzle. I thought this could only happen in my grandma’s stories. She told me that when she was still a child, they do this as an alternative to umbrella. It wasn’t that effective but it will be a treasured experience.

When you bring your special someone with your group of friends, expect some grilling from them for fun. That was what happened with the three love birds in our group, especially to Sir Brian. They were trying to catch and trap him by interrogating him while his wife was near. But still, their love prevailed. Both of them were a good sport for riding the jokes. I’m still wondering though who is sir Bryan’s cousin they were talking about?

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We reached the peak after a few hours. There was no clearing — clouds hid the view. We went into a hut as it was still raining lightly. There we ate, talked, relaxed and laughed.

There was a wooden made bed where RJ comfortably laid until a disastrous event made it broken — Ram sat on it and it suddenly collapsed. Obviously it can’t support their weight plus the other people sitting there. It happened so fast and we were a bit shocked. But then, we saw the humor on this and just moved past by it. From there I started to witness an act done so naturally by Ram and RJ. It was as if I was watching a play in a comedy bar. They started to jokingly blame each other for the mishap. RJ sometimes tried to use rhyming words he learned from watching flip-top battles to beat Ram. But Ram doesn’t want to lose so he used his wit to fight back. Punch lines from each corner that made us all have a real good hard laugh.

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There could never be a dull day whenever Ram and RJ are together. These two always tease each other for fun. Criticizing one another with the way they look and calling names like they were still a child have already become their habit. Pork Chop duo gave memorable turn of events to this adventure.

Jayven shared a bit about his unrequited love with a girl he likes. He said he has already moved on but his sadness was still visible on his face. Anyways, he seem to be dating somebody else already and that’s a good sign. Moving on.

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Sir Eric was was enjoying and appreciating the beauty of the nature around him while he was in his usual calm demeanor and executive aura.

We had three GoPros that day. We were not so prepared were we? I wonder who is going to buy a drone and bring it next time? But for now, to mimic a drone shot, Ram timed his cam and then threw it in midair. He wasn’t able to catch it when it fell to the ground. Its casing broke. Needed to practice and break more. We just took a normal shot then.

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Thick layers of white cloud still hid the view. We just started to descend after accepting to ourselves that they won’t go away now as we would like them to be. Well, let’s just say we experienced a sea of clouds.

RJ already felt the stinging pain on his legs. One of the guides, on his native dialect whatever it was, said that he’s quite scared to be pinned by the weight of RJ. He didn’t talk in Tagalog but all of us understood what he meant! We all laughed as he looked serious.

Meanwhile, Tats has been tirelessly assisting Quency. But most of the time it was the other way around. Just kidding. Seriously though, they’re perfect fit for each other.

In almost two hours we reached our start off point. The foods we ordered were slowly being served on the floating cottage while we clean our shoes, legs and pants from mud. I quite feared for Hazel’s fragile arms it might break anytime while she was pumping water for Luigi to clean their shoes.

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A few minutes later, we rode in the floating cottage. Pandin Lake was beautiful and serene. Our guides slowly pushed our cottage to the other side through a rope. We ingested our lunch — Tilapia, mixed vegetables, small shrimps, pork liempo and rice while we drift away.

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We had two hours to stay, relax and swim. Life vest is required to be worn at all times during swimming to prevent us from drowning in this deep lake.

Jayson was really afraid. He must have tried all of the life vest and never really trusted their capabilities to support him. He was still cautious even if we assured him that it was really safe. Eventually, he did swam after several hundred years of fighting his fear.

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A few minutes walk was all it took for us to reach Yambo Lake. Just a glimpse on it was enough to make me relax and forget about something. Anyways, we captured group shots which were a bit shocking for me. Jayven did something silly behind Sir Eric’s back. Haha. But on the bright side, those pictures were funny. Some frozen moments that could show that we really had a great time.

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Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery was our next stop after our twin lakes excursion. I’ve really wanted to go here because it was featured in Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho before. It got me curious ever since and I have taken a note that one day I’ll visit this place. So I really pushed our team to go here.

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The vicinity has a wide open space yard with a well maintained lawn. A small old church stood steadily at the far center end. Both on its sides are walls stack up with tombs. If you could imagine, kids could be running around here, playing and laughing. They don’t seem to care whether the living see them or not.

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We went ahead inside the church. Its interior was under construction. There was no caretaker so we went right away downstairs to see its mausoleum. It was just a small underground layer of tombs, a burial site for the wealthy people hundred of years ago. I thought it was really a big tunnel of catacombs like in Paris. But it wasn’t. We just took photos afterwards. Not really spooky at all.

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Our last stop was at Bunga Falls. We rode in another jeepney, tired but still excited. Hoping that the falls was good enough to recuperate our weariness. As we walked, we could already hear the rage of the free falling water. A few minutes later we were able to catch a glimpse of it. Honestly I was a bit dissatisfied as it wasn’t majestic as I’m expecting it to be. Others were not enlightened to swim. Nevertheless, we still rented a cottage where we could stay, waiting for each other who would swim or not.

Later on, we saw an adrenaline filled show from the cliff drivers. I was quite nervous even by just watching them at the edge. To jump or not to jump? Actually, waiting for them to do it was more tense than the act itself. Other people scream as if they were the one jumping.

Moments later, Mark, Ram and Sir Brian felt the rush in their blood to try cliff diving. How did they feel? Did their knees shake too? Did their heart beat faster than it should? One thing is for sure though: I will never, even once in my life, dare to try this kind of activity. I’ll just let these courageous and brave young souls to do what they wanted to do.

I was tasked to capture videos for them. Sir Brian was the first one. The look on his wife’s eyes say how much she also felt nervous. Moments later, after he has mustered his courage, he jumped right away. Within a split second he was already swimming vigorously. His face and body was red. His wife on the other hand was proud of him though. It was like she was shouting inside of her “that’s my husband”.

Next was Mark, and then Ram. I’ve already witnessed these two cliff dive before. I know this one was just easy peasy for them. They will jump wherever and whenever it’s possible. They enjoy the thrill it gives them. I bet they wanted to try it again.

Later on, we started taking a bath. An hour or more was consumed for us all to finish. We were supposed to go to Laguna Lake and try biking but we run out of time. It was getting dark already. Everybody just agreed to go back to the city, eat and then go home.

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I was really happy that day because we once again made this trip come a reality, not another drawing. Even though I was already not working with them, somehow I still had a way to get along with them, bond with them. They still trust me to organize our activities and I really appreciate them for that.

Unraveling about something I’ve been wondering about for a long time has also been my side mission and it was a success. Disappointment and change of mood weren’t how I reacted as someone expected it to be. Rather, I was just be cool with what I’ve learned.

I’m with amazing people and I really had so much fun.

Mt. Binacayan and Wawa Dam

Is it about trying out something new? Is it about the captivating view? Is it about falling in love with the beauty of the nature? Is it about the social media worthy pictures you take? Is it about conquering your fears and doubts whether you can make it or not? Is it about getting physically fit? Is it about the moments you have with the people you are with? Is it about the satisfying feeling of reaching your destination after the tremendous effort you put in? Whatever your reason is or whatever your motivation is, you’ll surely gain a memorable experience in climbing a mountain. Adventure is out there. You just have to say yes.

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It was a cold Saturday dawn when me and my friends met at Jollibee Farmers Plaza Cubao — the usual meeting place of hikers. The meeting time was 3AM but I was already within the vicinity at around 2AM. We left at around 5AM because we have to wait for everyone to come. We rode in an FX going to Rodriguez, Rizal which was readily available outside. After almost an hour, we rode in a tricycle. When we reached the barangay hall of San Rafael, I was shocked to see the surplus of the people there. Lots of hikers registering their names, ready to start the day with their respective tour guides. I thought I won’t experience that scenario. I have seen pictures posted on FB Groups by other hikers where there were lots of them climbing a mountain. A prominent example is Mt. Ulap. I never thought this would also happen here.

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The locals are selling rash guards, gloves and other hiking equipment at an affordable price. There is an available market and they clearly took advantage of it. Tour guides have also been roaming around, looking for groups which they can have contract with. It is required to have one per five people, P500 per mountain. The first to approach us was Arnel. After learning that we were nine in the group, he recommended another one — Baby.

I registered our group at the DENR for Php 50 per person. Initially, I indicated that we’ll climb two mountains: Mt Binacayan and Mt. Pamitinan.

My friends and I started climbing Mt. Binacayan at sunrise. We set out just fine. The weather wasn’t too hot. Our tour guides helped us all the way — they even carried some of our bags. It was a steady uphill climb, just the right amount of effort and we can reach the peak in time.

Within a few minutes, Hazel and her boyfriend Luigi already felt the burn on their legs with every step. I heard them calling each other “bhie” (short for baby) followed by an instruction to do this one or that one to protect each other from any mishap. You never know if this trail could break or make their relationship stronger. LOL. They still persevered though. Lovers on the mountain.

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RJ had improved, he got stronger and faster compared to our first hike in Mt. Balagbag. But he still uttered lots of complaints. Haha. Anyways, he told us that he had been running to increase his physical endurance. He even had the courage to bring a heavy bag full of groceries because he already knew that he can ask the tour guide to carry it for him. Hazel’s been teasing him though — calling his name and shouting “ano bukas na lang?”. Magic beans and its wonders.

We just stop every once in a while to recuperate our strength. Big boulders along the way. Some were even sharp. Good thing our gloves were strong enough to protect our hands.

Mark was teased because he looks like a field reporter because of his outfit. Atom Aurallo as they say. He ever wore shades which resembled him to Neo of The Matrix. Though because of these, when we were on our way, some girls were giggling and then asked his name. He then shyly smiled and said “Mark”. Atom and his electromagnetic field.

Jayson likes to keep his thoughts to himself. Whoever knows whats he’s thinking about. But then, he couldn’t contain his emotions whenever he sees someone he likes. There were lots of girls and he has been silently checking them out. Hokage mode activated.

Sleep deprived Ram was on his usual joker persona. Even though he was sleep deprived because he played dota all night, he still had the strength to throw punch lines whenever he had a chance. Mr. Bean on the loose.

Gerald seemed to enjoy every step of the way. He has already been hiking before and had already climbed several mountains. I guess every fiber of his body really missed this kind of activity. He even positioned himself as a sweeper at one point. Dragon awakened.

Jayven carried on even though he gasped from time to time. He also experienced knee locking. We just advised him to stop for a while, stretch it and just continue whenever he can. His burning desire to trek this mountain was still visible though. We’re happy he came with us on this trip. Better late than never.

We haven’t even reached the pinnacle when my newly bought jogging pants got ripped apart. It was embarrassing. I will just buy a durable trekking pants next time to prevent it from happening again.

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We reached the top after a while. The view was worth it. It was really magnificent. We could see Wawa River and several mountain ridge. It would have been better if there were less people. My friends and I have to patiently wait for other groups to finish their selfies. We’re alert when they are about to go so we could easily takeover their place.

Buwis buhay selfies here and there. On the big boulders, on the cliff. One by one we took our best shots and best angles. I even took videos for compilation. We decided to go back down when we were satisfied. It took us about two hours to ascend and two hours to descend.

Honestly I was a bit unsatisfied on this trek. First, there were lots of people and I hate the crowd. Noise pollution was high and the unnecessary traffic on the trail was disappointing. We couldn’t even stay for long on the peak because the time to stay there was limited. Other groups would also like to relax and snap pictures so we have to give way. Second, I think this was an easy trail. Moreover, this was really unlike the first two trails I had in Mt. Balagbag and Mt. Makiling where I could take my time to walk peacefully and talk in depth with the people I was with. So next time, as much as possible, I’ll choose more challenging and less popular hiking destination.

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It is an advantage for the tourist guides to have their team climb multiple mountains in a day as it will make their earnings bigger. Imagine Php 500 per mountain. But that’s not our case. The second mountain where we should go, Mt. Pamitinan, has been experiencing unwantes foot traffic as told by the locals. So we didn’t proceed. Despite this, there was already an alternative activity which was to visit Wawa Dam. Binacayan cave is inaccessible. I was told that somebody built attractions near it without government permit. So it was already shut down on the very first day of its opening. It has been like that for a year.

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On the dam, there were floating cottages made with bamboos. We rented one for P500. The soaked flooring made our shoes wet. Our bags ended up on the table where foods should have been. They should have stack up more bamboos for the flooring until it is high enough not to be reached by the water.

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The water was cold and green. And you are cold and blue. The water was deep. Just like how deep I was thinking about you and me. The water was calm. Just like how you make me calm whenever you’re beside me. But when it flows on the edge, on the falls, it was raging. Just like my raging heart when I fell for you. Why do I have to think about you, about us, even though I was in a better place far away from you? #hugot #huU?

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One stared blankly into space. Some relaxed. Some napped. Others swam. Others ate. Others danced. Everyone was happy. Everyone felt tired. Everyone got satisfied. Everyone did whatever they want.

Traversing Mt. Makiling with Team HERO Mountaineers

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Team HERO Mountaineers, a group of people who wanted to Help Everyone to Reach Out, spearheaded a day hike at Mt. Makiling Laguna. Joining this challenging trail made me glad. I bonded with my friends, got acquainted with new people and fell in love once again with the beauty of our mother nature.

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Team HERO Mountaineers group shot

It was a fine morning when I received an invitation from my friend Marvin asking me if I wanted to join him on his next adventure: MakTrav (Makiling Traverse). I was quite hesitant at first but then I accepted since I think it would be fun. He also invited Brian — my previous workmate and our mutual friend — to join us.

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My first ever travel bag tag from a hiking team

Our group’s meeting place was in Jollibee Farmers Plaza Cubao. I was astounded by the number of people — hikers alike — who were there to meet their respective team of mountaineers. Being in that place surrounded by crowd of people who share the same enthusiasm in hiking was awesome — I felt a sense of belongingness.

Later on, Marvin introduced us to Len, his friend who invited him in this MakTrav. I also met and talked to other people within the group. We mostly discussed about our experience on the mountains we had already climbed, our common denominator which glues us together.

I just found out that my second climb was major one with a difficulty rating of 5/9. I wasn’t really paying much attention to those details. I just know that there’s no going back once we started and I really wanted to conquer this one.

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From left to right: Marvin, Brian, Xander and Len

We left from Cubao at around 4AM. I took my chance to sleep in the van but I wasn’t able to do so as my mind was wide open, wandering about the things that could happen along the way. We arrived at Sitio Jordan, Brgy. San Miguel, Sto. Tomas, Batangas at around 7AM for registration. Our journey began a while later.

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The weather was perfectly calm. Fortunately, the clouds blocked the sun from slowly roasting our skin. After about an hour of steady walking, I realized that my legs didn’t ache that much like it did during my first hike at Mt. Balagbag. Did it mean that it became stronger and had already adapted to the rigors of hiking?

While on our excursion, to start a conversation, I asked people near me what is the nature of their work and where they are working. My curiosity about their decent day jobs opened my mind about what other people do to earn a living. It also enabled me to know them more.

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It was a steady ascent. A series of dry, sometimes wet and slippery land. Various kinds of plants and trees were visible everywhere, giving life to the mountain. There were also cliffs that could possibly take your life away with just a simple mishap. We stayed alert and careful as much as we could to prevent any accidents from happening.

To that person I like: if ever you slip over the cliff, you would realize within the last seconds of your life how I feel whenever you ignore me — helpless. I would hold your hands tight and never let go. I wanted to save you, to save us. But sometimes you have to let go of the person who brings you pain and heart ache. So goodbye. But of course, all of these won’t really happen cause you weren’t here. You would rather be somewhere else, a place distant from me.

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Bloodsucking limatik or leeches were along the way ready to attack and I just don’t care. Some shriek and cry out for help whenever these little parasites came into contact with them. Oh people, if only they were aware that these creatures is unlikely to leave long-term damage and they could easily get rid of them — flick them.

Scenic view was clearly visible once we reached the top part of Mt. Makiling. We took the chance to take photos before the fog conceal its picturesque landscape. Nature is so marvelous it indeed took away our exhaustion.

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We continued our uphill climb. The road got steeper. Boisterous wind blew away sporadically. Drizzle added difficulty to our route. Little did I know that rappelling was also part of this trail, good thing I have a strong desire to continue. Breathtaking sceneries help me to move on and survive the assaults.

I really like the wireless bluetooth speaker I brought with me. I could play random songs along the trail which made me focus and just enjoy the moment. Good thing it had plenty of charge.

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We reached the peak at 2:20 PM. There was not much that you could see at station 30. I was a bit disappointed. I thought there was something more. Nonetheless, I felt relieved that we were successful and safe upon reaching it. We met others at the top and then took some photos. Minutes later, we started to descend. Twenty-nine more stations to go.


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There was a habal-habal or motorcycle ride which could take us to our exit point. My group decided to walk through UPLB College of Forestry to fully complete the trail experience. It was already late night when we reached the venue. Upon arriving, I cleanse myself from dirt. A refreshing bath it truly was.

It was a long, tiresome and fulfilling day. Team HERO helped me to reach out to other people and especially to the nature. Their event was a success. I am looking forward to climb more mountains.

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Year in Review: Things I Am Grateful For In 2016

Year 2016 has been a series of ups and downs. I reached for something big which I really wanted but fate wasn’t good enough to me. My desire was not granted after all of the planning and effort. Nonetheless, it didn’t stop me from pursuing my other life goals. Coz life goes on, baby.

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Exploring Singapore
This is my first overseas travel. A mixture of hope, nervousness, excitement, and disappointment. It was a bittersweet memory. Nevertheless, I am still grateful that I made it happen and I won’t regret someday about not having the courage to do it. At least I’ve tried. Optimistically thinking, the universe has a bigger plan for me.

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Masasa Beach, Tingloy Batangas
Another fun memory with my college friends. This was our second far far away out of the town trip after our Ilocos tour. I am grateful for the company of the people I was with and the laughters we shared together.

Fractional Laser CO2
I have to undergo several sessions of fraction laser CO2 therapy for skin resurfacing and rejuvenation. Why? It is all because of the permanent marks my teenage days left me: acne scars. Now I have to literally pay the price. Good thing I have the budget to avail Shinigawa’s four sessions of fraction laser CO2. The procedure was fast but painful and will leave scarring for almost a week. After that, it will heal and new skin will emerge. Acne scars fade with each session. So far I am happy with the results. I am grateful for this kind of opportunity to improve myself.

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SM Friends and Activities
I’ve met awesome people in my new work in SM Retail and became friends with them. We had a lot of fun activities such as Archery at Kodanda, wet activities at Laresio Laguna, bachelor party, Trekking at Mt. Balagbag, bowling, skating, lunch-outs and dine-outs. I am really grateful to have met these people. They are really cool 😎

Blog
It was once just a dream to have a personal blog. Now, with the right amount of inspiration and self-discipline, I was able to post articles about my ideas and experiences. I am grateful that this blog of mine is still alive and I am also thankful that I can express what is on my mind through writing.

2017 Photos and Videos

Photos and Videos
My iPhone’s storage has been occupied by lots of photos and videos. Count? 4,471 photos and 183 videos at the moment of writing. Size? Almost 30GB! I want to just store them and look at them one day when I become sentimental. Haha. I am grateful for all of the memories.

Books
Reading a book is fulfilling. This year I’ve read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins; The Maze runner, The Scorch Trials, and the Death Cure by James Dashner; Retire Young, Retire Rich by Robert Kiyosaki. I am grateful to have been in another place, met people and see how they think, by just reading a book.

Items Checked On My To Do List.
Late this year I posted My To-Do List Before Twenty-Sixteen Ends. Well, I was able to do most of them. Like read books, set to a new place, try new activity, save more money and give love. I am grateful that I achieve things in a short span of time.

Give Love.
It really amazes me up to this day that I had the courage to tell someone how I really feel. In years I’ve built my own fortress so not to hurt myself. But not this time. I let my wall down. I let myself be vulnerable. It was unthinkable, specially for me. I am grateful to that person who made me honest to myself.

All Year
Family and friends. I am blessed to have a loving family whom I can be with for the rest of my life. Other than that, I am also thankful to my longtime friends and new friends. I am lucky to have them. These people around me is the reason why life has been more amazing.

Work and money. I am thankful for the companies which accepted me and helped me to develop my programming skills. Also, I am happy to have earnings and savings which let me do things I wanted to do.

Health and wellness. I work hard to develop my physical, emotional and mental health. I am happy about the results so far and so, I will continue to strive harder to improve on the these things.

Overall, 2016 has been really good to me. I’ve gone far and did a lot of things I thought was impossible before. I’ve also failed and rejected a lot of times. Nevertheless, these made me steps closer to the person I think I wanted to be. I became stronger and braver to face realities of life.