Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The World at My Fingertips

On May 29, 2013, I crossed yet another ‘first’ on my imaginary bucket list - I flew alone.

No, I don’t mean Supergirl flying (I wish!), I meant lounging at the skies at the comfort of an Airbus.

I went to Iloilo for work. Was supposed to go with my boss, but since he had an emergency, I had to proceed without him.  

The details are unimportant, but on that day, I remember learning 2 things: 1.) that you have to always be ready to step up at any given time, and 2.) flying alone feels so liberating I couldn’t stop myself from imagining that I was at my own coming-of-age movie.

Lesson #1 probably deserves its own blog entry, cause that first solo business trip must’ve had its own tape if I were Hannah Baker - except my tapes would be of events that helped me achieve my 2015 goal. We can maybe call that, 13 Reasons How? (Sorry can’t help it!) I digress.. that isn’t today’s story.

Today, I’ll talk about that coming-of age-movie feel.

I wasn’t used to flying before 2014. Sure, I had trips here and there, but it wasn’t something I did regularly. I flew so seldom that for previous trips, I always went to the airport unreasonably early it put the worm’s early bird to shame. I was always paranoid and imagined I’d get left by the plane, or that my taxi would be flagged for some traffic violation. Or maybe I’ll trip from walking and my luggage would fly and it’ll take me an hour to re-pack my bag. My imagination’s got to chill, I know.

All these started to change though when I first flew alone. You know that music video vibe that you just suddenly do when alone, feeling your every movement as if magnified by a camera - unknowingly magnifying your thoughts too - making you feel and listen to them more intently? Yes. That one.

Some people get that moment in the car, some by their office window, some by their bedroom. Mine was at some thousands of feet up high, with the beautiful blue skies as backdrop.

It didn’t stop on that plane. As my solo work flights grew more frequent, opportunities for self-reflection became just about all the time: i.e. I didn’t realize that pizza vs cinnamon roll was an unbelievably hard choice to make when you have limited airport options. Or that I had so much free time on my hands that I learned I had a barely noticeable mole on my arm. 

Yep, travel changed me in a 2-step function.

First, it made me self-aware. 

Both solo traveling for work and vacation trips with family and friends have helped me discover more myself. 

For example, traveling confirmed that I’m pretty useless with directions. Made me realize too that my favorite type of ~chill~ is to sit by the beach and listen to the sound of the waves. And that despite the fact that I love the beach, I really couldn’t learn how to swim. But that’s because it’s not the swimming that I like, it’s the peace that I get from the sea breeze that I breathe, the relaxing feeling of my toes digging the sand, the calming of my senses as I listen to the beach waves.

Helped me discover people’s moods and my reception to them too, my pet peeves and my soft spots, my shortcomings and people’s kindness.

This step is a long, fulfilling, beautiful ride. It still is ongoing. Coming off a long term relationship from college, these trips have helped me recognize the real me, not co-defined by another person. I was so used to being with someone that decisions, preferences, and priorities have all been influenced greatly. This is not to say that that was bad - it’s just that during those formative days, I grew to be someone that wasn’t just all me.

To finally get to know myself, at my own pace and style, filled my tank so much that I just knew I was always going to be okay.

You know what I mean? Like that switch of self-assurance was turned on, and there’s thankfully no going back. I was going to be okay. I know myself, I will handle myself no matter what.

I got to enjoy life better because of this; I travelled more, bonded with friends more, and got to appreciate the world better. And this was when I was able to catch my second realization.

That I, with my whole self-assured self, am nothing but a dot in this universe.

I mean, right? A dot.

I get so consumed with work at times that I look back at moments where I stare at a beautiful beach sunset, and realize that life is so much more than just a presentation.

I see kids playing by the local streets and know that life has stages and we all just have to enjoy each one of them.

I stare at the vast seas and realize that I am nothing but a small speck of life, trying to make a difference, living the best way I can.

Or at least I try to. 


We can all just try. 

Traveling has enabled me to look at life at a different perspective; knowing that beauty comes in all forms, and that appreciation is a noun that needs to be turned into a verb more.

I’m excited to continuously discover how my travels will further shape me and my view of the world. It has so far not disappointed, and I am positive it will continue to impress. 


Thank you Traveloka for this challenge to reflect!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Hong Kong 2016 Travel Experience

I was supposed to do a detailed itinerary blogpost on this, cause I spent weeks fixing that and wanted to share it with everyone. But because 1.)  I'm lazy and 2.) I'm sick (2 days sick leave to kick off the year, what a start!), I'll be leaving this video instead.

My first attempt at videoing. Not really ~vlogging~ but just videoing the experience.

Hope everyone had a great 2016!

Hong Kong with the family
November 28 to December 3, 2016

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Scraps of feelings

Like in tv shows that we watch a lot of episodes in my life are just fillers. Arcs that are irrelevant to the whole point of my plot, nothing more than time that must be wasted spent to fill the 24 hour day waiting to be lived.

I go to the office pantry and wash my mug to prepare some tea. I go to Dumaguete to swim with the pawikan and just lay on the hot, white sand. I go to Tagaytay for the birthday salubong of one of my friends. I wait for the elevator while i eat my Mcdo caramel sundae, carrying another paper bag where my apple pie waits to be enjoyed a few moments later.

I enjoy the smell of an officemate's coffee while I stare at my Excel. I drive 110kph when the limit is 100. I finally find my go-to moisturizer after going through 4 branches. And then I later on find out it has been completely discontinued. I eat chicken-spaghetti for 11pm dinner at the airport after another fly-in fly-out work day. I thank God because I am safe.

I think about love and how it saves the world. I think about butterflies in my stomach and when I'll get to feel it again - for the right person. I think about happiness and what it means. 

I mean, what is happiness for you?

I think about my plot, which of my episodes matter and don't. Then I wonder who's to say that my tea preparation is an irrelevant episode. Or that me eating sundae and apple pie before my actual lunch is an arc that needs no mention.

Who am I to say that my most mundane activities are fillers, if I don't really know my plot. I take pleasure in not knowing, although admittedly there is relief in knowing some other things. I'm happy I know I have my bed, I have my desk at work, I have my red notebook, red card holder, and red mug. Until when, I don't know, but as for now, I am sure.

I thank God for the things that I am sure of. I thank God for a lot. I sometimes feel selfish asking for some things when there is constant reminder in the streets, media, internet - that life hasn't been fair for many. What did I do to deserve more than what others are having?

I hope 2016 brings to everyone the love that they deserve. Everyone deserves true happiness, whether through love, career, family, advocacy - to each his own.

Because if you're not happy, what's the point?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cebu - Bohol!

These are just a few photos from last August's Cebu-Bohol trip with friends. It was a packed 5-day itinerary where we spent a day and a half in Bohol, and the rest exploring Cebu. We were able to visit Oslob down south, and Bantayan Islands up north (where I got stung by a Jellyfish!!! Haha but still the beach is love!). I would say that all the places we visited are highlight-worthy. The two provinces are rich with spots that we could just explore leisurely if only we had more time and money!

My favorite of my entire stay though, was when I finally met my sponsored child from World Vision, Shane. Her birthday's in August so I knew that it would be the perfect time to meet and celebrate! Seeing and finally getting to talk to her and her family was such a beautiful humbling experience. She and her family was shy, especially that they're not very fluent in Filipino, but their smiles and gratitude was more than enough to let me know that they appreciate the visit and everything else. Hopefully I can visit back for her graduation, especially because not only is she a pretty kid, but she's also top of her class! That's my girl!

Hoping to explore more of Pinas!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Kaleidoscope of summer

From the chill, easy, arsty and [dare i say] hipster-ish resort, to the most beautiful beach sunset that i have ever seen so far (photos below are NOT filtered!), this trip to the Circle Hostel at Zambales has got to be the perfect getaway to cap off my summer month of May. Such a palette of colors in one weekend!

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