Monday, November 5, 2012

Escaping BTD (And because travel doesn't have to be expensive)

**** This is an oooooverdue post BECAUSE (I'm not going to make up an excuse here) I  AM LAZY.

BTD or Boredom To Death as what I call it.

Two weeks ago I was chillin' with my housemate when our conversation started turning towards how life can be so boring sometimes. How work can be soooooo consuming that it steals your personal time, makes you forget how to have fun and meet new people and friends (which, if you constantly do will eventually take you to the path of living alone for the rest of your darn life. Read : Becoming a spinster).

Of course that is not the way to go.

Absolutely not.

And so I realized I've been missing on something lately. I miss doing the very thing I love most about life...


It's been a year since the last time I hit the road. And by that I mean take a REAL trip. Suddenly I miss the beach, the sand, the sun (In this rainy season), the sea breeze, the crashing waves, the tranquility of the ocean, the kind of peace you find in a strange place...

Then it was instant.When I told my housemate that I wanna go some place quite where I can spend some time in the beach, she insisted that we go to Argao, in the Southern part of Cebu.

I've always prided myself as a planner. I never went on with my life without a plan, and which I always have a backup just in case the universe conspires against me.It was liberating when I immediately said "Yes" to her suggestion.

Not wasting any time we packed a few things, swung by a convenience store to buy water and some junkies, head off the bus station and jumped on the first bus to Argao.

Two hours later we found ourselves standing in front of the centuries old church of St. Michael, the Patron Saint of Argao.

St. Michael Church

The church was surrounded by equally old building that have weathered the test of times.

The old municipal building
my roomate sitting on a lonely bench fronting the old chapel
an entry leading to the beach

Talk about how the universe loves to ruin the "unplanned plan", it rained so heavy that we were almost soaking wet and shivering from cold. The good thing? We don't have a place to stay yet. The bad thing? We have to start looking for one before the wind dry us out in our clothes!

We found a comfortable place to stay at a very, very affordable rate at Luisa's Place.And the best of all our cabana is sitting on a beach front. How lovely!

view from our cabana just before sunrise

a fisherman sailing into the sunrise

the morning coffee ritual by the shore

this is how I see tranquility

A walk to remember :))))

By mid-day, we went to visit the Riverstone Castle. This midieval-inspired castle was designed by a Belgian architect and built in the early 2000.

I tried to pull out the "Free Parking" signage to not ruin my photo but it's just so heavy.

so this is me at the main door

the castle's facade and the two Armour guards

Rapunzel, Rapunzel... I can't climb up with your hair so short :))

the cozy restaurant

Let me in! Let me in!

the creepy wine cellar. I swear I had goosebumps here

wine cellar
I took a lot of photos but of course I can't place them all here.

So. If you like, visit my facebook page and.... just kidding!

Until my next spontaneous adventure! :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Road to MBA

It was not so long ago when I found myself sitting on the four corners of the room along with other 19 hopeful MBA students. The four corners became my haven and, whether I like it or not, the-place-to-be every Saturday for the next 16 months of my humdrum life.

It was exciting but sometimes boring. Could be sometimes easy but most of the time difficult while cracking your brains, strapping you down in the chair for the next three solid hours. It was fun, tedious, creative, informative, self-sacrificing, nerve-wracking, sleep-depriving and humbling experience for me.

That's how I would describe it.

But of course that doesn't include how stressful it was when we took the comprehensive exam for two days and the oral revalida that would make me shrink in jittery at the mere sight of the five panelists. The best part is, we all emerged in the "torture chamber" smiling and joyous with the result.

The last part of the journey? Applying for graduation.

I can finally say that sleepless nights are finally over. It was tough but the end of the road is just as sweet... And I'm looking forward to the crisp smell of my diploma. :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Almost there

Thirteen months ago, I went up for a challenge. A decision I never thought I'd make myself into. Oh guys, nothing serious. I'm just talking about my decision to take up masters program.

Back then I never thought of going to school anytime soon. But when opportunity presented itself, I took a stab at it not knowing how far it will take me.

It was fun. Well, as it is always in  learning. But there was always this difficult times. Those times when I really wanted to turn my back and give up. Many times I asked myself why do I have to do this? I already have a job. I've got a promising career. This is not really necessary...

During the course of the program I learned so many things I didn't know all along. These learning did not come from textbook, but from my classmates, my colleagues who were generous enough to share what they have learned. The weekly interactions, group discussion and case studies paved the way for unfounded realization.

It is alright to be contented. But it's better not to be complacent. The corporate world is a chaotic, unstable, fast-changing place to dwell in. It is best to be armed and stay ahead of competition.

True enough sleepless can be over too. The last semester for the program will end next week. That means I'm all done with class presentations and powerpoints. Huh!

I could almost smell my diploma and the toga... But wait, the biggest challenge is yet to come - passing the comprehensive exam and revalida. This could be the toughest one. So books, internet, journals.. get ready!!! I'm digging on you one last time.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

burn baby burn

No it's not Angelique the witch in The Dark Shadows talking...

It's me talking to my fats? Errr...bumpy muscles I mean. :)

It was in 2010 when I started going to aerobics and gym class. Aerobics was the fun part while weights is something that makes me want to dive in bed.

After 3 months of rigorous, butt bouncing, hip shaking exercise - and oh the weights! how can I forget them, I went down from 120lbs to 110lbs. And the tight clothes seemed to fit better again. (clap!)

Then I stopped.

I got so burned out with the routine. I wasn't ready for it either. I just wanted to shed off some pounds because... because I thought that's what I should be doing.

Three months of bench press and all that stuff is HELL to me. Sometimes I'd skip gym for a week. And when I realized I've thrown my hard earned money for nothing, I get the "motivation" to get on track again.

And now, I'm faced with the same problem years ago - WEIGHT GAIN and UNWANTED CURVES. Mygawd! why all the good food stuff result in weight scales going up? why can't I just sit on my desk all day long without gaining extra pounds? why there have to be consequences????!!!

This leaves me with no choice. NOW or NEVER!

Thursday came, I found myself standing at the door of the once familiar place. I'm hearing that upbeat music pounding again. The aerobics instructor's voice coaching, counting, and demonstrating the moves. The mirrors telling me there are still plenty of hopefuls. 

I'm one of them.

Two years after, and after so much talk about me going to the gym - I finally did it!

And this time, I'm meaning it.

Well, goodluck to me.

Monday, May 21, 2012

whatever happened to my love for writing

For months I had literally ignored this blog. 

Not just blogging, but writing itself.

I'm not going to blame my job this time. I'm not going to say I'm too busy to sit down and write. I'm not going to say my masters program stole my whole time and drained me.

Maybe it's one of those times when you're too tired to care about everything. When you just want to deal with the present and savor it to yourself.

Or maybe I just lack focus.

Or doing many things at the same time is no longer true to me.

Whatever it is, I'm glad I have revisited this blog.

And hopefully, I can fill it with many stories just like what I used to do before.


Hell yeah, I need to blog more often. I'm lost in this new blogger theme.
Since when did blogger inherited facebook's quirks?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Death by Chocolate

Last night we had our monthly social activity with colleagues. It became a monthly ritual when we discovered our love for food and talk over the round table.

Anyway, after dinner, we chilled at Casa Verde for dessert. We ordered this ultimate chocolate ice cream, about 6 inches in height.

Death By Chocolate. That's the name of this 'to die for' dessert. Chocolate cake plus nutty rocky road ice cream rolled into one - who wouldn't die? :)

Well, I didn't. But surely my fats and calories did! hahaha!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ooooppsss! there we fly again!

I had a "merry-go-round" trip last Friday...

Two weeks ago, my boss told me that I shall fly down to Siargao for a meeting. Wow, didn't I just sound like a corporate executive? Wait 'til I finish this.

Apparently, the company I work for is venturing into travel and tourism. They are developing a first class resort in Siargao, the home of prominent surfing waves called cloud 9. As the opening date is getting closer, we're burdened with a lot of preparations that needed me to go there to meet up with the travel agent from Germany and the resort's General Manager as well. So the trip is all about work, work and work. NOT pleasure.

I wasn't excited when my boss broke the news to me. Four days in the island with lots of work waiting is not my idea of an idyllic scene. Anyhoo, I've been to this paradise ten years ago and I was truly amazed with their rich biodiversity, unspoiled nature and pristine beach. That was one of my biggest trip back then (when I was still a student and could hardly afford an out-of-town trip for three days).

With less anticipation for pleasure and more on the business side, I packed my things for an unusual trip. My mother was kinda worried because of the looming typhoon on that part of the world. I reasoned that if the weather won't cooperate the airline will surely cancel the flight, but seriously, I'm already bracing for a bumpy, turbulent ride.

At the airport, I met up with my travel companion - the travel agent from Germany and three of his friends which he invited to tag along, my colleague and the newly hired staff for the island. This 'newly hired staff' doesn't know what 8 o'clock sharp meant. He showed up at 8:30am when the counter is about to close. I was already pissed knowing I showed up early so I can still have breakfast and he is about to ruin it coz we're boarding in the next 10 minutes. I decided to swing by Dunkin Donuts to grab a sandwich and a cup of coffee when the paging system called out our names. Holy cow! For the first time in my whole darn life I became famous (insert sarcasm here). And when we went up inside the plane, all passengers we're staring at us. We'll who wouldn't? We were the last passengers to board. Damn that newly hired staff!!!

Forty-five minutes later the captain announced we're about to land. Ten minutes later I still couldn't catch a glimpse of the runway. It was cloudy and foggy all over. Then I saw the ground below kinda blurry because of the heavy rain that poured just as we descended. I felt the plane touched the ground, like 5 seconds in the runway when it suddenly revved up and went up again. I was bewildered. I was looking at the flight attendant searching for answers but she was calmly seated in the front like telling us there's nothing to be worried about. Some passengers we're looking at one another, wondering why we took off. Others we're scared, panicky but the good thing was everybody tried to be calm.

I wasn't scared though. But I was worried why the pilot made that maneuver. I'm playing possible reasons in my mind while trying to control my fear. I guess it helps when you travel a lot. I've had some of the worst travel experience... and that particular situation shall become part of the list.

A minute later we heard the captain speaking from the cabin. He said, the rain poured heavily on our way down and the visibility of the runway isn't favorable for safe landing that is why he had to took off immediately.

Okay, for a moment there the tension eased. I was about to ask the flight attendant if we landed at the wrong airport. Glad I did not ask about that or it would have made me look stupid haha!

We were circling above the thick clouds for the next 40, read that : f-o-r-t-y-m-i-n-u-t-e-s before the pilot attempted his second landing. I guess, some things aren't just meant to be because halfway through the attempt, we ascended again and I felt the plane turning to the right.

We headed back to Cebu as it is not safe to land due to bad weather condition. I commended the staff of this airline for not compromising our safety. I was frustrated that I was not able to get there. But yeah, it's better not getting to our destination than not getting back home.

Anyhoo, that was the longest I've gone - Cebu to Cebu in two hours!!! hahaha! Beat that!

Back in Cebu airport we were faced with a long queue coz everyone's trying to get the next possible flight to Siargao. My boss who was worried about our situation called up and told me he was at the airport and saw our plane touched down then flew again. All he could say was : "Oh there they go. Happened to me thrice." Hahaha! I'm glad we're not the only one who had experienced that kind of predicament.

And because we needed to be at the resort this weekend, and the next flight to the island is on Monday, the only option we had was to go on chartered flight. Few minutes later I was talking to someone who charters flight to Siargao. But since it's a 5-seater plane, and there were 7 of us, my colleague and I volunteered to step out. I mean, that kind of weather and a small plane doesn't appeal to me. Besides, the pilot told us that it's still raining in Siargao but he can possibly land because the sky is clearing. On my part, I don't want to take chances. Not this time. I've been up in the air for two solid hours thinking if we can land or not. That's pretty tiring already and I don't wanna go through the same situation again.

By 2PM the small plane departed from the hangar. An hour after I was told they were able to land safely. Thank God.

Back home I was effing tired and sleepy. It was a veeeeery long day for me. But you know the perks of that trip? I saw this heart-shaped island en route Siargao. It was sooooo lovely! The sad part is, I was not able to take a pic coz my camera was on my bag which I obligely dropped at the baggage counter. Grrrrr...!!! Anyway, the next time I'll go there I'll make sure to take a snapshot.

And that was the only thing that made my trip worthwhile... :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

in the height of the 6.9 magnitude earthquake...

It does take a strong tremor to make me write about something...

Yesterday, I was on my desk when suddenly I noticed the floor shaking. I thought there was some construction going on downstairs. But then in just a matter of split seconds the floor beneath me violently shook, window glasses clashed like they're ready to go down anytime. I did not waste a single moment and bolted through the door.

It was a 6.9 magnitude earthquake. The epicenter was just 100kms away from where we are and that was the strongest I've experienced so far.

Almost a year ago Japan had it's worst temblor. Aryt, 6.9 compared to the 8-point-something-magnitude earthquake they had is not totally the same. But man, this is the PI and we don't experience as many earthquakes as our neighboring countries do and yesterday was one hell of a shock.

This morning, my colleague told me that I should join the next 42K marathon in the city. The thing is, when the tremor happened I ran past through him like a flash.

Me : ohmygod, earthquake???? meeeehhhh.... stairs! stairs!

It was like an instinct :
First, I realized there's an earthquake.
Second, I stood up.
Third, I ran through the door and sprinted outside.

Believe me, I was already outside before half of the population managed to go out of the building. Tsk!

That's right! I'm not exaggerating. I was halfway through the hallway when my colleagues realized to follow suit. They first ducked below their tables, mumbling "Lord, have mercy." But the frightening sound of the windows made them think otherwise.

I've always been terrified of earthquakes. When I was a child, I would close my eyes, say a little prayer and wait for the trembling to subside. In school, we're taught what to do in case of things like this and I knew it was a smart idea to go out when there's a way out. My adrenalin rush yesterday proved that I could still think clear even in life threatening situation (haha!)

After the quake, we were all advised to go home because they have to check the building for cracks and damages. Mid-day I was home, surfing the net for news when I read about the tsunami warning alert issued by PHIVOLCS.

PHIVOLCS issued alert level 2, which means that citizens should stay away from shores as there might be unusual waves following the shock. The funny thing about filipinos is that we easily believe in unconfirmed news, the word of mouth. I can't believe that in this time and age, with the sophistication of technology and the amount of information we could gather, we are still gullible. I'm not talking about the warning issued by PHIVOLCS... I'm talking about the irresponsible text messages that circulated which heightened the panic.

At 2PM yesterday, you could see people running around the streets from all direction. It was chaotic. The traffic was so heavy that it stopped moving. It's like in a movie scene - the ones with the apocalyptic theme where cars had stopped and people were running for dear life. These all happened for just one irresponsible text from a fucking demented person, who said that the waters were rising and there's a tsunami on the way.

Seriously? A tsunami in the heart of the city? Where did that fucking idea come from?

And these people... about 80% of them ignorant, believed the word to be true.

But where the hell was I?

In my room. Sound asleep.

But really, THAT.WAS.NOT.A.FUNNY.EXPERIENCE. It's alarming to know that a lot of people nowadays lack the basic knowledge. What's sad is that we immediately take the information presented to us without validating it. And what's even more alarming is that we forgot there is someone more powerful than this tsunami. Than this earthquake. We exchanged our faith in Him for one irresponsible text message.

While I was riding the bus on my way home after we're dismissed in the office, a song from Def Leppard played in the air while we're seated quietly pondering on what just happened.

♫♫ walk away..if you want to...

A smile puckered on my lips. I didn't just walk away...


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It's MORE FUN in the PI

Recently, the Department of Tourism unveiled their newest slogan "It's more fun in the Philippines".

Tourism had always been controversial in this country, even to the point of coming up with a good "come-on-over" slogan. To be honest, I liked the "WOW, Philippines" slogan even better. It was simple, clear and straight to the point. And when you say 'wow', you know for certain that it implies amazement. But I don't know why they decided to change it. Well, knowing the people in this.... anyway, the new slogan sounds OK despite the criticism that another country had used that shoutout some 50 years ago.

Just an opinion : Nobody owns the word 'FUN'. The hell if they've used it! At least it's MORE FUN in this side of the planet...

The DOT is making a huge campaign on this by inviting everyone to submit photos telling how fun it is to visit, travel and experience the beauty of our culture, the sights of nature and the warmth of the people. The trick is you have to come up with a witty, funny description that goes along with "more fun in the Philippines".

I'm a self-confessed adventurist. I've been to a lot of places which left most of my friends drooling (haha!). These places, the memories and fun that came along with it are priceless. So I made some photo memes to show my support to the campaign.

Here are some of my pricey photos from my memorable trips :

I wanted to make more photo memes. But when I browsed at my photo archive I was stunned with my enormous collection. It became harder which photo to choose. Well anyway, as soon as my perky mood kicks in, I'll make more of these.

Friday, January 6, 2012

And So I Realized There's Something GOOD Left In Me

I did something good today...

That kind of thing I don't "normally" do...

I texted my estranged friend...

" I just wanna say sorry for everything. I realized how far apart we've grown because of my stupid pride. Hope we could still be friends after all."

The last time I checked, I've eaten my breakfast and had my coffee. I also had a good sleep. But I don't know why I suddenly missed her.

We've been friends for many years. We took care of each other like sisters do. She has been a good friend to me until that heated discussion and my pride got in the way. We have not been talking for more than a year. All those times I secretly loathe her. And I don't know why.

All the people around us have been trying to help patch our differences. But I won't flinch. I stood my ground. I made a firm resolve that I don't wanna be friends with her anymore.

And that is why I don't know what happened to me this morning. For the rarest time, I swallowed my pride.

She did not reply though and I understand coz I hurt her too much. What's important is that I've set off my grudge on her - finally.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hi there 2012!

Hey guys! Haaaappy New Yeeeeaarrr!!!

My first post for 2012 and I don't know what to write...

Anyhoo, my new year's eve was just so-so. Cooked, went to church, had the traditional meal at the onset of new year, stared up at the fireworks and almost blurted out that I saw a UFO when in fact it was a sky lantern. Guess I've been watching too much TV shows.

The next day we had a slumber party with my girlfriends. We crashed at one of my friend's house and had a night full of talk, laughter, teasing, champagne, desserts and movies. We watched the Millenium trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who played with Fire, The Girl who...forgot the rest of the title) in one sitting. Good thing : I wanted to read the book but couldn't find time so watching it on screen was a pretty good idea. Bad thing : We downloaded the "not english version" (not sure but i think it was Swedish?) so we ended up reading subtitles for the 3 movies. Great!

So. 2012. What's in store for me?

They say this is a lucky year for roosters. I was born on the year of the rooster, which means... I'm luckier this year. Luckier because 2011 was already a great year for me. I was able to visit many places, I got promoted, dated someone 5yrs younger than I am. (nyahahaha..aryt, don't judge. it all started with the teasing and the next thing I know I was kinda attracted to him like he was to me. We hangout for five months and it didn't work out).

But the "bestest" thing that happened in 2011 was finding the one person who really mattered to me. Yay!!!

For this year, I pray that :

> it will be more peaceful
> the end of the world scare is NOT true. Though I firmly believe that no one knows the exact time but sometimes thinking about it really does get into my nerves.
> more career growth and opportunities
> good health for my love ones
> safety for everyone (think how disastrous 2011 was)

Resolutions??? Uhmmm.. I'm not really good at this but maybe I can take a stab. So for the sake of having a new year's resolution, here are mine:

> won't be late for work. Ahhh, wait. Except on Fridays coz it's my fab day, yah know?
Trivia : I got reprimanded for being 5x late in a month last December. The downside is : as a disciplinary measure, I'll be suspended for 2-5 days (I think). And the upside??? Hell yeah! I can use that for my next travel!

See that? There's always a rainbow after the rain. Ewww. Whatever!

> i'd try to be as understanding as i can be
> won't start a fight (This is negotiable. Depends on the issue)
> lessen my being unreasonable
> stretch my patience on colleagues who can't get instructions easily
> be more attentive
> be nicer to people who aren't nice to me (seriously? me?)
> blog as often as i can (2010 - 104 posts. 2011 - 40 posts. not even half of it. tsk, tsk...)
> to be more daringly honest on my blog (there are issues that i want to share on my blog but i'm having second thoughts whether to share them or not)

Okay. that's it for the resolution. I wish i can make some of it especially the first one before my boss thinks of kicking me out hehe...

Here's to a wonderful 2012 everyone!


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