taking the same steps the others took sometimes won’t work for you

an aftermath post from my Sagada trip. one of the realizations i had, lalo na nung nasa cave, nakalimutan ko lang isulat sa nakaraang post.

sinabi ko ito sa friend ko nung pabalik na kami from Bomod-ok. bigla kasing sinabi nung guide namin na “sundan niyo lang yung tinapakan / ginawa ng nauna sa inyo” or something like that, then nung tinry ko na, hindi naman tugma sa akin. nahirapan ako lalo. doon ko naisip, yeah, that one worked out for him/her, pero sa’kin, it’s a no. charot. hindi suitable.

nai-relate ko tuloy sa totoong buhay. i mean, sa ibang aspeto ng buhay (ko). these past few days, napapaisip kasi ako e. insecurities and anxieties were trying to enter the picture once again. hindi naman siguro ito mawawala ‘no? parang once or several times in our lives, iyong dalawang iyan magpaparamdam. tipong okay naman, smooth ang byahe mo then may batong sumulpot out of nowhere, and suddenly nasira na yung gulong. nailiko mo pa sa ibang daan.

maliit na bagay kung ang example ko lang ay yung nangyare sa akin nung trip pero kung susuriin, malaking epekto ito sa mindset e. lalo na sa mga hindi sure, or naiinip, or nagdududa sa mga ginagawa nila.

like mahself, bakit pa ako lalayo?

may mga times na hindi ko na alam kung may patutunguhan pa ba ang lahat ng mga ginagawa ko, kung may pag-asa pang magawa ko yung gusto ko, o simpleng mapuntahan ko yung isang lugar na walang alalahanin. sa ngayon kasi, parang unti-unti nang nawawala lahat ng sparks sa loob (naks sparks, parang engine lang. ehe) — the goals, the wants, the standard na unconsciously kong nai-set sa sarili ko. like, nasaan na iyong mga iyon? minsan hindi ko na nga naiisip e. go with the flow na lang, come what may. bahala na. nawalan na ng gana e… sad nuh. parang halamang kakarampot na lang ang dahon at hinahayaan na lang malanta.

well anyway, balik na tayo sa title nung post, lumalayo na naman ako. kahit papaano naman, nakaka-motivate yung idea ‘di ba? tipong pasuko ka na, ayaw mo na maglakad pero maiisip mo, baka mali ka lang talaga ng nilalakaran. o kaya ibang paa pala dapat yung ihahakbang mo, ‘di fit sa semento; o baka yung daan na iyon hindi para sa iyo, baka kailangan mong mag-try ng iba; o lumiko; o magtanong ng direction.

sabi naman nila, may kaniya-kaniya tayong time frame ‘di ba? wala namang nahuhuli. may kaniya-kaniya din tayong speed limit, maaaring mabagal sa kanya, pero pinakamabilis na iyon para sa’yo.

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My Sagada Trip (0208-1019)

Hello WordPress pips. How are you? I hope you’re all fine, and if you’ll ask me, I am. I just had a truly nice start of February, and I am going to blog about it in this post. :)

We went to a Sagada (with Banaue & Baguio side-) trip for 3days and 2nights together with my sister, her officemates, her officemates’ friends, and my dear friend, L.G. And men, it was so awesome! I never thought that I’ll be visiting the province this early month of the year. Actually, my friend and I originally planned to go to Kalinga, but because of some unpleasant turn of events, and as if in a perfect timing that my sister was also looking for a couple of people to complete their group of pax for a trip to Sagada, I asked my friend if we can fill up the empty spots. Glad that she said okay.

Our departure from Manila was Thursday night, so I had to file a leave as early as that day to prepare things and pack stuff. After that, I met with my friend in Eastwood, then we went straight to Cubao to meet my sister. From there, we traveled to SM North and met with others.

We were 8 in our group, plus 6 others (so that would be 14 in total) that were already in the van since we’re joiners (and we all hate that 6 loool but I don’t want to share anything about those pips, I am here to just reminisce the good thingsss hahahaha). So moving on. Our travel time to Banaue was approximately 8 long hours, with some stop over, of course.

The view was breathtakingly beautiful. Credits to Jhona for the landscape photos below:

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from l-r: Mich, Me, L.G, Kenia, Onang, Jhona.
I admit the the travel was a bit shaky for me since we were seated at the back of the van, (hindi kami nakatulog, nagdadasal ako buong biyahe lol). Kuya Janjan (our driver) was extremely a rough driver, but skilled enough.

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We had breakfast in a small carinderia in Banaue, and first day pa lang, broke na kami. lol. Food there is expensive.

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After an hour of travel again, we arrived at exactly 10am in our Hotel in Sagada.

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We were originally booked in Sagada Hub, but since the hotel was fully accommodated, and they already own the Indigenous Inn, we were moved there instead. We got keys for room 12 & 13. Our room is okay, but there were times that I think some elements / spirits were present in the room with us. Mehe.

We had 2 hours of free time before our first activity started, and those 2 hours were spent deciding on what activity to do first. After a while, we decided to go to Lumiang and Sumaging connecting cave for our first day. We started at exactly 1pm.

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from l-r: Onang, Jeyp, Mich, Jhona, Tristan, Kenia, Me, and L.G.
Well, for a first timer in spelunking, this was kinda intense. I literally freaked out (not much, but I freaked out) when I saw the holes that we need to go through, the steep and slippery rocks, and how dark the cave is. BUT!!! of course, I needed to get here out alive so I composed myself and pretended that I am strong. Mehe. Magaling naman ako sa gano’n, magpanggap na strong but deep inside susuko na. Charot.

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This life-risking idea was worth the try. The cave is so beautiful and the water is hellacious cold. What i meant for cold was the kind of cold that makes your body numb. There were times that I couldn’t move my foot because of it. Anyways, I’ll give you some pictures of the “life-risking” moment in the cave. You should really be physically fit for this activity though, glad that I still fit in the holes. Thought I would never make it. Sad reacts, but heart reacts too.
Credits again to Jhona’s cam (but it was Kuya Jordan who took the cave photos) below.

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Speaking of Kuya Jordan, he was our cave guide, together with Kuya “I’m Yours” (that’s the name he told us mehehe). Usually, they will teach us first how to climb and dance between rocks. They are kind too, and funny. I love their sense of humor. (So if you’re planning to visit Lumiang and Sumaging Cave too, I recommend Kuya Jordan and Kuya I’m Yours!!!

Anyways, I think the disadvantage side about entering the cave is they don’t provide helmets for tourists. The activity itself is really dangerous. Safety first is a must.

Well back to kuya Jordan, I had a little crush on him (hahaha we all had a secret crush on him) beccc men, he’s attractive and gentleman and he always waits for me huhu I’m such a weakling I know. See below for reference looool.

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I took a selfie with him, but won’t upload it here due to haggardness loool again.

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We got out of the cave I think past 5pm. Had dinner, clean thyselves, and sleep. We woke up at 3am and left the Hotel at 4am for our Second Day activity with our first destination that was guided again by Kuya Jordan: Marlboro Hills.

It was freaking cold. I can see our breaths while talking / breathing just like in movies that was set in a cold country! The plants are also frozen in crystals, and aaaah, it’s my first time to see it, I was truly amazed.

We waited for sunrise in Marlboro Hills and that moment was one of the most serene moments of my life. I thought of nothing, I just stared at the sun even it hurts my eyes, the still trees that sometimes dance, the misty mountains that invites me to visit them more. I wish I could stay there. Forever.

Our next destination was the Blue Soil.

We were actually tired after walking for almost 5 hours, but we still have one more destination to go. I was planning to not go to Bomod-ok falls and just wait for them in the van, but they say to not let go of the “chance”, it’s not everyday that you go here. So even though my thighs and legs and my whole body is screaming loudly of pain, I still went to Bomod-ok. Again, it’s worth it.

But before we proceed to Bomod-ok falls, we had lunch at the place called St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, but unfortunately forgot the name of the restaurant that offers boodle-fight style menu. It was okay. Their juice is fresh. I like it. But their chicken is cold. Mehe. Everything is cold there. Unless you’re going to heat it.

Moving forward, after an hour or two of resting in the place, having a conversation and getting to know each other, we continue our journey.

There are almost more than a thousand steps before reaching Bomod-ok falls and the idea of climbing those stairs to get back to where our van was is already exhausting D:
That’s why we chose another path. Steeper than the stairs, but has more beautiful view.

Bomod-ok falls water is freakingly cold x 100 than Sumaging’s!!!! It’s like my blood stopped running lol. Pero actually, mas mahaba pa talaga yung nilakad namin sa in-stay namin sa falls kasi super lamig talaga. xD

I think we left Bomod-ok falls around 4pm, and took the trail less traveled lol. I mean, we didn’t choose to take the same path going to Bomod-ok falls. And we’re glad we didn’t. Because we experienced and we appreciated the beauty of Sagada more in the harder way. Harder way means, pataas talaga hingal si ako e. Nakakalula pa.

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Anyway, the name of our tour-guide to Bomod-ok is Ate Gladys. She is so kind and patient to us. Hope she smile a lot. :)

After Bomod-ok was Lake Danum — to hopefully watch the sunset. But to our disappointment, we didn’t see the sunset. We went back to hotel instead and choose to take a rest… not. Hehe. We actually played UNO cards in our room and drank a little of alcohol despite having tired bodies.

Our Day 3 was spent packing things up and going to Baguio. I must say that we didn’t actually enjoy the Baguio side trip due to limited time. We only got the chance to stop over at Good Shepherd, and spent an hour or two in Burnham Park to have lunch.

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We had lunch at Good Taste Resto, and the funny thing here: others are at the other branch while our feet (and google map) led us to the main branch. I AM SO EXHAUSTED walking almost 100 meters back and forth!!!

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I don’t have any idea that there are two branches of Good Taste in Baguio. My sister, friend, and I went to find the comfort room while the others went straight ahead to the resto to order food. Naloka ako, seryoso. Gutom much pagdating namin sa branch kung nasaan sila. :( hehe but again, worth it na naman — that lead to some realizations.

One thing I realized while in this trip.

“Nothing safe is worth the drive”. This is actually Taylor Swift’s lyrics in her Treacherous song. Well, my interpretation is this: if you never try something different or something that makes your heart pound at its fastest, you might be letting go of a beautiful chance.

So this, this was my journey to Sagada with some newly-found friends!!! I’d love to go back here someday. Maybe not to go spelunking or trekking, but to simply write… and maybe meet new people too. :)

PIZZA STREAT

Hi everybody! It’s actually midnight as I write this post because I couldn’t sleep yet, blame my insomnia ugh, aaaaand this will be about a pizza (and pasta) restaurant that we tried last Sunday. The store is called Pizza Streat, and it is just located in Taytay, Rizal.

I discovered the resto in a facebook post and it somehow gone viral because of their promo of Unlimited Pizza and Pasta for only 198php. Being a fan of discovering new foodstore and eating, ofcourse, I suggested to my family to eat there. Excuse our faces, but here is a pic of us below. Hehe.

The place is not that big, but it is comfy enough for people who doesn’t mind the surroundings and just want to… eat.

The menus are very affordable, and the food is worth their prices!!! You can find and scan the prices in the photo above. I hope it is clear enough. Hihi.

By the way, I loved the Garlic Chicken Pasta and their Bacon&Fries Pizza!!! Highly recommended.

Thisis the Garlic Chicken Pasta. It may look simple, but it tastes good.

The uhm… couldn’t remember very well but it is Bascaniola something hahaha!

Marinara Meatballs Pasta

This one is a e seafood pasta, Mama said it just tastes like sardines though hehehe.

As much as we wanted to have a taste of other Pastas, we couldn’t because there is a leftover fee. I don’t remember how much for the pasta, but for the pizza it’s 20php. and speaking of pizzas… we just ordered three varieties: Chicken BBQ, Bacon&Fries and the 4-Pizza Flavor (Hawaian, Pepperoni, All meat, and Cheesy).I don’t have a pic of the last pizza though. But swear, the Cheesy pizza is delicious too!

As for the beverages, they also have frappes and juices. We only ordered rootbeer and fresh lemon juice so I don’t know if their frappes are good. But we’re planning to come back here and try their other menus so maybe I’ll blog about it again if ever. And by that time, I’ll be readying my tummy! Mehehehe.

Their staff are very accomodating also, you’ll only need to wait for about 15mins in total for your food to serve. This place is perfect for people who loves Pizza and Pasta in a very affordable price! Barkada’s will love the place and will definitely enjoy yhe food :)

If you’re wondering where in Taytay, Rizal, it is near Jollibee New Taytay Market. You will only walk a bit near a gasoline station and then cross the strEAT. ;)

Burr Espresso (for my blurry mind lol)

Hola pips! I rarely post something on a weekday, but this post was meant to be posted last Sunday, but because I wasn’t feeling well during that time, I am here to blog about the newly opened café shop in Angono!

Actually, I was supposed to meet a friend that day, but it got cancelled with the same reason why I am writing about this now. She was the one who didn’t feel well, btw. lol. Hihi. And so, I asked my niece if she could accompany me somewhere because I really want to go outside the house, and we ended up going to Burr Espresso, just in front of Angono Medical Hospital.

Good thing that the café is still open. And oh, I think they’re operating for the whole day. I saw the store still lit last Friday at 3am when we attended the Ginuman2018, so I guess the shop is open 24hrs. Well, this is just a guess. lol.

You will be greeted by someone upon entering. He’s also the one who opened the door for us, and I find it very polite. There is also a bench on the left side of the door, and a santa claus with gifts! Aaahh, Christmas is here.

The place is not that big, aaaaand I didn’t also take a pic of the other corners because there were many people that night. I am shy. Hihi. But the interior is cool. You can find different kind of tables here, high, and low, small and big.

Just like other cafés, you will order at he counter and pay before they serve you your food. I must say, the price of some menus are higher than the regular prices you can avail in local cafés, but I think it is also worth a penny. We only ordered two frappes (Choco Java, and Salted Caramel), a slice of choco mousse cake, a chocolate waffle (that I really liked!!!), and the Tuna-Pesto pasta (that I think my mother can cook, even more delicious hihi). 😅

They also have rice meals if you’re wondering. Most of the menu starts at 120php and above. :)

I didn’t notice if there was music in the café, the people were so noisy looool. Anyway, I will surely go back and try the other sweets!!! I liked their waffle much and I think the other cakes taste good too!

“Minsan, may mga gabing sana’y wala ng umaga”

This is somewhat a book reaction of Bata, Bata… Pa’no ka Ginawa? Pero let me post this in Tagalog, pasensya na. Wala ako sa mood mag ingles para sa kabuuan ng post na ito.

Sa wakas ay natapos ko na ang libro. Ang susunod sa listahan ay ‘GAPÔ at Desaparesidos. At katulad ng naunang libro na nabasa ko ay masasabi kong tungkol ito sa isang makabagong babae: isang kaibigan, makabayan, at isang ina na si Lea Bustamante.

Sa totoo lang, napapakunot ako sa iilang eksena ng libro na ito. Hindi kasi ako sanay na makatuklas ng gano’ng klaseng babae. Hindi naman sa puros negatibo, pero may kaunti akong hindi nagustuhan sa karakter ni Lea. Isa pa, masyado lang akong konserbatibo siguro.

Yep, naiintindihan ko na tao pa rin ang tao kahit kasal na siya, may karelasyon na, o committed na sa isang tungkulin. Hindi mo naman kasi matuturuan ang puso… Malaya kang mahalin kung sino ang gustong mong mahalin, at gawin ang mga bagay na gusto mong gawin, lalo na kung makakapag-unlad ito ng iyong sarili. Pero, may mga parteng hindi ako sumang-ayon, at nagpaduda pa sa akin lalo sa ibig sabihin ng “pagmamahal.” Oo, inaamin kong doon napokus ang aking atensyon sa buong pagbabasa. Alam kong may mas malalim pang ibig sabihin ang libro, tulad na lang ng pagtuklas sa sarili, pagsunod sa nais gawin, at syempre, pakikiaglaban sa politikal na aspeto ng buhay. Pero dito, sa pag-ibig o pagmamahal… sa paksang lahat ay makaka-relate, mas napokus ang atensyon ko.

Posible nga kayang magmahal ng dalawang tao, o higit pa? Pero kung mahal mo siya, at mahal mo rin ang isa… sino ang mas mahal mo sa dalawa? Bakit, at paano nagkaiba ang pagmamahal na iyon sa isa’t-isa, at sa iba? Totoong tanong iyon dahil hindi ko pa nararanasan. Isa ring mahirap sagutin, o kung masagot man ay mahihirapan pa rin akong intindihin.

Siguro, ang isa sa mga nagustuhan ko sa kwento ay ang karakter na ni Lea na kung ano desisyon niya ay paninindigan niya iyon. Naramdaman ko rin siya sa ilang katangian na nakikita ko rin sa aking mga kaibigan at maging sa aking ina. Si Lea, sa kabila ng magiging matatag ay mahina rin. Lalo na sa kaniyang nararamdamang lungkot at pag-iisa. Oo, may mga anak siya, pero naramdamang kong she’s still longing for something real. Something deeper. Hindi lang basta connection sa isang tao, hindi lang sparks. Sino ba namang hindi naglo-long sa gano’n ‘di ba? At kapag naramdaman mo ‘yon, mapapasabi ka na lang ng… “Minsan, may mga gabing sana’y wala nang umaga.” gaya ng title ng post na ito. Malaking tama sa akin ng parte na ito sa libro at naramdaman ko kung gaano kalungkot si Lea:

“Mahal kita pero mamaya’y wala ka na’t malulungkot ako. Hahanap-hanapin kita, iiyak ako, magdurusa ako… pero kasama ‘yon sa mga katotohanang kailangang yakapin ko. Doon ka, dito ako… kanya ka, wala ako. Pag itinanong niya ‘ko sayo, sabihin mo: magkaibigan na lang tayo.”

Malungkot hindi ba? Maligaya ka, pero hindi magtatagal ang kaligayahan na iyon. Malungkot ka, at babaunin mo ‘yon habang wala ang kaligayahan sa’yo. Madalas ay mas matagal ang kalungkutang mararamdaman mo, dahil matagal dumating ang ligaya, subalit mabilis mawala.

Naramdaman ko rin si Ojie. Gaya ko rin siyang lumaking hindi kapiling ang tunay na ama. Naramdaman ko kung gaano kahirap kapag tinatanong kang “Nasa’n ang tatay mo?”, pero mas maswerte lang ako’t mahal din ako ng tinuring kong ama na tiyuhin ko, asawa ng tiyahin ko’t kapatid ni Mama, dahil sa kanila ako lumaki. Heh. Share lang.

Ang libro perpekto para sa mga single mom, gaya ni Lea. Sa mga ina na mag-isang bumubuhay sa kanilang mga anak, na ayaw lang makulong bilang isang ina.

At para sa pagtatapos ng post na ito, narito ang dalawa sa mga linyang halos bumuod sa libro:

Bata-bata… pa’no ka ginawa? Dahil may dalawang tao riyan na naghandog ng sarili nila sa isa’t-isa, dalawang tao na nag-akalang magkabuhol na ang buhay nila. At kahit nang matuklasan nila na mabubuhay rin pala sila nang wala ang isa, wala nang magagawa… ang bata ay eto na.

Bata, bata… pa’no ka ginawa? Hindi bigla kundi unti-unti, tulad sa lahat ng normal na proseso ng paglaki. Unti-unti’y nakikita mong may iba’t-ibang mukha ang mga tao, isa-isang natutunugan mo ang iba’t-ibang kahulugan ng mga ingay at tinig. Sa paglaki, napapansin mong may mga tanong na mahirap sagutin, at may mga utos na mahirap sundin. Higit sa lahat, natutuklasan mo na habang naririnig mo ang mga sagot, lalong dumarami ang naiisip mong mga tanong….

Panda Love! ❤

Hello pips! How have you been? How was your looong weekend? Where did you spend All Saints and All Souls day? I hope you enjoyed and also got to relax during those times. As for me, it was good! I just stayed at home with my family, prayed for the souls of our dearly departed, and went to a Cafe in Pasig last Saturday. And now I am going to blog about the place.

It was my first time knowing that the cafe existed and learn that it’s quite famous. My cousin, who happened to stay a night in the house said she really wanna go there, and so we did. They say that it’s the first ever Panda-themed cafe in the Metro and millenials usually go to that place, even people from far away places (nearby provinces and cities) just to visit and try their food, and… of course, take a pic with all the panda stuff and costumes!

The cafe is located along Amang Rodriguez Avenue in Pasig. It was not far from the main road and can easily locate! We only used google maps and asked people of its whereabouts, and luckily, we found it!

The place was so jampacked that day and we had to wait for an hour inside its adjacent shop — Salon de Esa. I think they are sister stores / owned by the same person, so yeah.

The interior is very neat, with monochromatic colors of black and white and vintage-y tables. We were lucky that our table was near the panda stuff toys so we could take pictures right away!

I don’t have much pictures of other side of the cafe because there were too many people, and couldn’t capture the perfect angles so pardon me.

Well, aside from the cute interior, their foods are also a bomb! I can say that it was a bit pricey, but it will surely satisfy your tastebuds!

I loved their Quesadillas and Nachos!!! Well,you see, the first food that I always order upon visiting and trying out a new food store is their Nachos (if available)! and I could say that theirs is one of the best I have tasted so far. I so loved that it has veggies hihi. Also, the cheese of the Quesadillas is quite unique, and very creamy. I am not a cheese person, but I loved its taste! Not too salty. Yummm.

We also ordered a small panda cupcake which costs 50php, but don’t look at the price, I tell you it’s worth the money! I think there are other variations of panda cakes there that we haven’t ordered yet because $$$, but sure, we want to try it sometimes. So lucky that we also have another panda cupcake for free because it’s my sister’s birthmonth, and she availed the promo.

My second favorite is their Carbonara! It is very creamy, and at the same time hindi nakakasawa!!! I’m craving now!

Their spaghetti tastes differently but I also loved its aftertaste, much like mint or something. We only ordered these out of many menus but I (we) will surely go back to try the others! :)

And now it’s time for our pictures. Teneeen~

It’s me in my natural habitat. I have finally found my relatives. mehehe. Just kidding. I just love the huge panda over there, but I kinda pity the panda, looks sort of sad and… tired. Hehe. Hey, I’m not talking about myself lol. I’m serious.

It’s me, my cousin, and my sister. Aren’t we cute? Hihi. It’s been a long time since we last hangout like this, and I hope there will be next time (and more next time) soon.

If you wish to go to Cafe De Esa, just visit their facebook page to get more infos on how to get there! ;)

Saturday Errands

It was a looong day yesterday, and I was so drained yet happy to spend my weekend with fun and awesome people — my temporary team in the office, and some good old friends since high school.

We had a team building in the morning, so at 9am, I prepared going to The Grounds Resort in Antipolo, Rizal even though the call time is 8. Haha! I only had an instant noodles for bfeakfast because I know there will be food in the resort. Hehe. The travel was only 45mins or so from home, so glad the traffic was not that bad yet. Halloween / All Souls Day is pretty fast approaching and some people are going home to their provinces, so heavy traffic and volume of passengers are expected.

When I arrived at the location, my first reaction was the place was sooo comfy and cozzzzy! I really love it.

The resort is located inside Ticzon Herbal Garden. You won’t notice it at first, but if you walk further you’ll see the resort. One good thing about the place is the neighboorhood is very quiet and calming, you wanted to stay there forever.

The very first thing you’ll notice upon entering is a pathway and a fountain. There are also some several objects around and I swear they are so damn cute!

I love the birdcages over there, I only wish there are really birds inside. I think it will add more effect in the place since it’ s already naturey~ Hehe.

This is one of my faaaave~ The Cabin is very cute! I thought it’s only for display but I learned that it’s going to be our room and we can use it for the day!

You’ll love it inside! A cute wood table of four will greet you when you open the door together with a sink and a refrigirator, and in its right are the bedssss, a sofa, and a tv. Yep. There are plenty of beds, and I think it’s for approx 20pax! It’s perfect for overnights and staycation with friendssss!

The place is very vintage feels too! I so love the bicycle over there, I wish I could take it home hahaha!

Let’s talk about the pool. I love the fact that even though it’s sunny that time, the water was still cold and refreshing! Anyway, credits to Czae for this pic, I just grabbed it from her fb accnt hehe. It’s me in the pool by the way. I’m such a loner, I know. 😅

Aside from the place is good, the team is also fun to be with and I think that’s what made it more enjoyable. We sang Karaoke, cooked food, and shared laughter together! I forgot for a while that they are my officemates, it seemed like they were all really my friends. Credits to Ate Jam for the pics above.

We parted ways at 5pm and I met with my highschool friends afterwards!

It has been two years or so since I had a decent get together with the three of them, I was absent when they get to spend staycation last time somewhere in Cubao together with other friends, ’cause things were not really going pretty then for me, so I’m glad that I finally had time to catch up yesterday.

The funny thing is, even though a year or two has passed, it feels like it’s only months ago since we last met. You can really be comfortable with people you knew and knew you even after a long time.

We had dinner at Chubby Cheeks (???? I really forgot the name haha) Kamayan Restaurant in Angono, and stayed somewhere drinking milktea and frappe while talking about everything until 12am. Hehe. How I wish we could stay longer.

I realized that we are not getting any younger and I also noticed our improvement in terms of ~physical~ and ~emotional~ matter. We are really in the adulthood stage omg. :'(

So todaaaaay I’m also excited because I’m going to meet with some college friends. Hihi

Book Review: Dekada ’70 by Lualhati Bautista

My mind is fighting over what language I should use as I write this book review of Ms. Lualhati Bautista. But because, I started this post in English, I guess I have to be responsible in finishing this in English. Just correct my grammar if I’m wrong, that would be much appreciated. Hehe.

First thing’s first, I would just like to say some introduction about the book:
Dekada ’70 was set during Marcos’ Regime, and it was one of the political novel that depicts strong point of view about the Martial Law. This book made me appreciate the life more — this current life and state that we’re in, much to say. We’re still lucky to not experience suppression like before. We can consider ourselves more free though we’re not completely, compared to the past. Poverty is still rapidly increasing, and more people are still dying. However, we must be (somehow) thankful that we can now get to voice out our opinions anytime, anywhere.

Though aside from that, the book is also a feminist. Well, feminism dominates the political point of this book. It tackles and narrate how women struggled to live as a woman (not just a wife) before, esp. during the time when women being equal to men was still a concept. The book, indeed, is such a powerful tool and an eye-opener to all the women, especially housewives — mothers, to know their rights and discover their own capabilities as a woman.

Anyway, just to share you something, I got the book together with her other books in Manila International Book Fair this year and they were all signed by Ms. Lualhati herself!!! My heart was so happy even though I got broke after he he.

Getting to the post, I guess I have to start the book review.

Dekada-70-2nd

Setting
I am not familiar to the time that this book was written. I didn’t personally experience Martial Law, but I know some stories from the books and stories of the people from that time. I could say that Ms. Lualhati is such a nice story teller because she made me feel, and made me experience the struggles of the people in that time just by reading the book. From the moment you read the first ten chapters, you will be automatically be dragged to the past.

Characters
There are more than just one character in this story. It was not just about Amanda, the mother of five boys (Julian Jr “Jules”, Isagani, Eman, Jason and Bingo). It was about Filipino families who lived in the most horrifying times of their lives.

My favorite is Jules, the eldest son of Amanda and Julian Bartolome. He reminded me of my eldest brother, for the reason that they were the same. keyword: were. It was long, long ago so I think it’s now safe to share about it. My brother is already living a life far from Jules now, anyway. But I salute him for choosing to stand and make a move for the sake of the Filipino people.

I also like Em. Ah well, he is the most ideal character for me. I want to become like him. Because he chose to fight in a way that is less harmful than what his brother did. I can say that they are the same, but still different. He is also the calmest character in the book. From the time he entered college and pursue the thing he love, despite of his father’s opposition to him becoming a writer, he just stay calmed and pursued the course. And also the part when… he told his father what happened to Jason. It was a heartbreaking scene for me. If I were him, I’m probably running home already crying, making everyone panic.

The characters, despite of being written by just one person, made their own characteristics and personality in the book. For example, the five Bartolome brothers, they are children of Amanda and Julian, but that’s the only thing they share in common. They are all different, because they have their own lives, and choices. They create their own path in life.

Favorite quote
“Hindi iisang paraan lang nakikitungo ang tao sa kapwa niya, dahil siguro iba-iba ang pangangailangan natin sa iba’t-ibang tao, iba-iba ang inaasahan niya sa iba’t-ibang tao, tulad din ng iba-iba ang inaasahan ng iba’t-ibang tao sa kanya.”
(The reason why people don’t treat other people in only one way, because maybe we have various necessities from different people, we have various expectations from different people, just like different people expect various things from us.)

I may have to disagree to this just a little, because if you’re going to absorb the quote and it will made you say “yeah, it’s right”, then that will count you as an opportunist. But well, this is the cruel truth that is happening now in the society. Again, correct me, if I’m wrong.

Reaction
Well, didn’t I just write my reaction in the first part of this post? Hahaha. Uhm. I have nothing left to put in this part aside from I loved the book. It knows how to hit me in the soft spot and also make me question the truth written in the book. I suggest you should read this too if you haven’t. It is such a great story written by a legend.

I am currently reading “Bata, Bata… Paano ka Ginawa?” and I can say that it’s also a feminist book, so yeah. I’ll also try to come up with a book review after I read that. For now, I will end this post.

Ciao.

Oo

Kagabi lang ay nakita ko ang larawan niya sa facebook, ngayon ay narito na siya kasama ko.

Gusto ko siyang tanungin kung ano ang ginagawa niya rito, pero natatakot ako na baka ‘pag tinanong ko siya ay bigla siyang umalis.

“Hey.” ang nasabi ko na lang sa kanya matapos ko siyang lapitan.

Ngumiti siya sa akin at sumagot ng “Hi.” pabalik.

Tanginang ngiti ‘yan. Hays.

“Long time no see,” sabi ko. “Kumusta ka na?”

Medyo matagal siyang nakasagot sa tanong ko na iyon. Sapat na oras para pag-aralan muli ang kanyang mukha na halos ilang taon ko na rin na hindi nakikita sa personal.

Nagkalaman na siya uli. Katamtaman lang ang katawan niya kumpara sa huli naming pagkikita na parang kinulang sa kain. Hindi mo aakalain na ito na siya. Ganito na siya. Parang kailan lang…

Parang dati lang, nung mga highschool kami, mukha lang siyang mapayat na nerd na magaling sa math. Hindi ko siya pinapansin, dahil busy ako sa pagpansin sa iba. Nakakausap ko naman siya pero hindi mo masasabing malapit kami sa isa’t-isa.

Siguro, nung nagcollege lang kami tuluyang naging magkaibigan. Naging magkaklase kami nang mag second semester, first year. Nagtuloy-tuloy na hanggang makagraduate ng 2yrs.

Doon ko siya nakilala. Masaya siyang kasama. Marami siyang alam na cool na bagay. Minsan lang siya umimik, pero kapag nagsalita palaging may laman.

Doon ko rin nalaman ng bahagya ang personal na buhay niya. Pareho kaming hiwalay ang magulang. Iniwan kami ng papa ko, habang sila naman ay ng kanilang ina.

Magaling siya sa halos lahat ng subject. Magaling siya sa logic. Mabuti siyang kaibigan.

Doon ko siya hinangaan.

At doon ko siya nagustuhan.

Halos limang taon kaming hindi nagkita pagkatapos, o sabihin na nating hindi ako nagpakita dahil gusto kong kalimutan ang nararamdaman ko sa kanya.

Alam ko naman kasi na hindi iyon masusuklian.

Nito na lang ako sumasama sa mga pag-aya ng mga dating kaibigan. Madalas pa ay wala rin siya.

Biruin mo, ang haba na ng panahon ng nagdaan. Marami nang nagbago sa kanya at sa akin. Marami na kaming kwento na hindi alam ng isa’t isa.

Subalit gano’n pa rin. Yung mga mata niya, gano’n pa rin.

Malalim. Maganda. Biglang nawawala kapag ngumingiti.

Pucha.

Napansin niya ang pagtitig ko, kaya iniwas ko ang aking tingin. Nakakahiya.

“Ayos lang, ikaw kumusta?”

“Okay lang, tara kain ka.” pagyaya ko sa kanya.

Nalimutan kong bigla kung ano ang okasyon. Birthday ko ba? Birthday ng pamangkin ko? Ni mama? Sino ang may birthday?

Pero kung birthday ko, bakit siya lang ang dumating?

Kumain na siya. Nakipagkuwentuhan rin sa ibang bisita, habang nagninilay-nilay ako ng pangyayari. Hindi ako aware na close siya sa iba kong kamag-anak.

Ah, naalala ko noong nagpunta siya sa burol ng tinuturing kong ama. Kahit mag-isa ay nagpunta siya para makiramay.

Naalala ko tuloy nang pumanaw rin ang mahal niyang lola… ni hindi man lang ako napadaan. Nagchat lang ako ng condolence, at sinabing hindi na ako makakadaan. Nakonsensiya ako sa nangyari, parang napakawalang kwenta kong kaibigan.

Pero alam ko namang naiintindihan niya ikung bakit.

‘Di nagtagal, kailangan ko nang umalis. May lumapit na isa kong tita at sinabing uuwi na raw kami. Lalo akong nalito. Kaninong bahay ba ‘to?

Tumingin ako agad sa kanya. Tumingin rin siya sa akin at ngumiti.

Alam na niya sa mga tingin ko na nagpapaalam ako.

Hindi na naman ba kami magkikita? Kung magkikita man, gaano pa katagal? Iyan ang mga tanong na nasa isip ko… and as usual, walang sagot.

Maya-maya ay lumabas na ang mga kasama ko. Gabi na, kaya naman nakakatakot sa dadaanan. Nauna na sila, samantalang ako ay naroon pa sa kusina. Ayoko pa kasing umalis.

Nagmadali lang ako dahil bigla akong natakot maglakad magisa doon sa dadaanan. Sobrang dilim nang matanaw ko.

“Teka lang, hintayin niyo ako.” sabay takbo papalabas, tangay-tangay ang isang bote ng tubig.

Sa pagtakbo ko ay nalaglag ang takip. Kukunin ko na dapat nang bigla siyang sumulpot sa tabi ko at siya ang kumuha sa lapag.

“Tara na.” sabi niya, saka naglakad.

Paglabas namin ay umuulan. Napatingin ako agad sa kanya.

“May payong ka?”

Umiling siya bilang sagot.

Naalala ko bigla ang dati, umuulan din noon at wala siyang payong. Meron ako, pero ayaw niya yatang sumukob.

Inisip ko kung ayaw pa rin ba niyang sumukob ngayon. Pero bakit kaya ayaw niya noon? Hindi ko kailanman nalaman ang sagot.

Binuksan ko ang payong at inalok siya. Ngumiti naman siya at naglakad na kami.

Kinakabahan ako, pero bakit ako kinakabahan? Matagal nang nabura ang feelings ko sa kaniya. Hindi na dapat ako kabahan.

Pero nagpatuloy akong gano’n. Dinaan ko na lang sa kwento para hindi ko maalala.

Napansin ko na nababasa siya, kaya inusog ko ang payong sa parte niya.

“Lumapit ka ng kaunti.” sabi ko.

“Hindi na, okay lang.”

“Hindi okay, nababasa ka oh.”

Hindi na siya nakipagtalo. Lumapit na lang siya ng kaunti sa akin. Ako ang may hawak ng payong kaya hindi ko tantiya kung gaano siya nababasa.

Napansin niya siguro na tumitingin ako sa kaliwang braso niya, kung saan tumatama ang ulan, kaya kinuha na niya ang payong sa’kin.

“Okay lang ako, pero akin na nga.”

Nagtama ang mga kamay namin nang kunin niya ito.

Dumoble yung kaba ko.

Nasa balikat na niya ang pisngi ko. Tumangkad ba siya? Ang alam ko mas matangkad ako sa kaniya dati.

Alam kong ayaw niyang may didikit sa kanya kaya lumayo ako bigla. Masiyado yatang obvious kaya bigla niya akong hinila pabalik.

“Mababasa ka.”

“Hindi ah, i-ano… i-ganito mo ng kaunti, hindi naman ako nababasa.” naiilang kong tawa saka inayos ang pagkakahawi ng payong.

Muli, nagtama ang kamay namin.

Tinanggal ko ang kamay ko sa payong ng mabilis.

Tangina, kanina pa ako naiilang. Pagsigaw ko sa isip ko kasabay ng paglakas ng ulan.

Nababasa na ako, pero ayokong magpahalata. Ayoko rin kasing lumapit sa kaniya.

Bigla na lang akong nagulat nang umakbay siya sa akin, pero syempre, hindi ko rin pinahalata na nagulat ako. Alam ko namang ginawa niya iyon para magkasya kami lalo sa payong.

Hindi na lang ako umimik. Napangiti na lang ako at napa-oo nang bigla niyang tinanong…

“Ganito rin ‘yon ‘di ba? ‘Yong dati, ganito rin noon, ‘di ba?”

At iyon ang huli kong narinig nang tuluyan akong magising mula sa panaginip na imposibleng mangyari.