bantayan2017

some thoughts/reminders:

cereal milk drink, first thing very early in the morning is not for me. i threw up before boarding the bus. i should just opt for ginger tea but ran out of it.

i like to be seated by the window. it helps me think. when passing the countryside and the seaside, i like to smell the scent of its air. i especially like the smell of freshly-cut grass, it sort of triggers some memories. i also like to smell the sea breeze, watch its beauty, the people and their way of life.
before dawn and early dawn, the wind could be wild and cold. it could cause flatulence. wear a jacket and pants or close the bus window near you and wait for the wind to be a little warm and calm. but. there are really people who seem to get used to it. maybe, it’s part of their daily routine. maybe, they became numb that the cold no longer bother them. maybe, the coldness outside is nothing compared to their coldness inside. i don’t know.

there are times we find it hard to sit still in a long journey. we wanted to be in the destination right away. especially when one is not feeling well. especially when we miss something. someplace. someone. we wish if only we could teleport from here to there. there to here.
and while we can’t physically teleport, we can in our hearts and minds. it’s like there is some space inside us containing memories. i mean… 5 years or more from now, i could read this again and scan through the photos in the order that it’s taken, could relive and bring me back in these moments in my own memory– the thoughts, the feelings, the lessons.

long journeys could be tiresome. thankfully, there are bus stops. in life, we also need to pause. stop. rest. reflect. refresh. recharge. even the birds make stops. and also, learn to take delight in the journey, coz our life is a journey and we have a destination.

it seemed the waves were playing games when we’re on our way to the island. the boat would dance a little to the left, straight again. left. straight. we could not instruct the waves to stop or control the weather.
in retrospect, there were times in our lives where we like to take full control of some things. some situations. yet, we really can’t. but, we can learn to take control of ourselves. one moment at a time. even when it’s hard sometimes.
in regards with things we have no control over, let’s learn to let go of it. seek and know the One who is sovereign overall. the One whom even the wind and the waves obeys. seek with an open heart and mind. we are wired to know before we trust. we should have no problem trusting Him for He is the epitome of pure love for He is love, but yes, we’re still in this human experience.
it is my prayer the we learn to fully trust Him each moments. even when it’s hard. especially when it’s hard.

in the island, there were a group of kids playing at a park behind their school. they have bright eyes and bright smiles.^^
one afternoon, there were some people skydiving and one was about to land, it appeared that his direction is going to be in this sand bar where people lay and chill. so everyone moved in haste. when the diver has landed and no one was hurt, we laughed at our faces.

the sea was silky smooth on our way back. and we happened to ride the same bus(with the same conductor haha) going to and from hagnaya port.

i once heard somebody on the radio saying, “wherever you are, be all there. do your best with what you can, with what you have.”

28-30 jan2017

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bantayan

(thoughts when in bantayan island.)

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we journey. we sometimes take a physical journey.
when we do, we pack things to bring.
we get to choose what to pack, it depends on us. what you thought you need. what you might need. what you don’t really need. until it comes down to–what you really need.

some have a lighter baggage, some heavy.
when there is trouble on the road, no one is exempted.
but it is easier to get through and navigate when you have a lighter load.

our life is a journey. it does not end while we live. it only change in forms.
sometimes it’s tiresome. sometimes pleasant. at times, tears of joy. other times, tears of pain.
it’s easier to navigate when you hold on to what you really need and let go of things you don’t need.
hold on to what really matters, and it is love. accept and learn the love from the true source of pure love.
the love of your creator. only then you can love yourself fully, to give love and love others.
and with that love, you will learn to let go of your past perceptions.
unlearning and unbecoming to relearning and becoming. rebirth.
our inner journey, the most significant journey.

we need some time to be alone. some solitude.
we also need to be with our pack. togetherness. of family. of friends.

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apart from you, i am really nothing.
but with you, i have everything.
everything i need.

your love is like the ocean, boundless;
its mystery and depth i cannot fully understand.
your love is like a child’s laughter, pure;
you still love me when i no longer loved myself
with all that i am, every shade. every bit.
when i have nothing else to offer,
but my wounds, hurts, frustrations, fears and confusions.
it’s good to know i could always run to you. to cry. to laugh. to tell all things.
anywhere. anytime.
though sometimes i desperately need your embrace.


feb 2016

 

Palawan

(note: this trip happened last feb 2015; El Nido and a bit of Puerto Princesa)



Plane.
My friend’s first flight. And this friend has fear of heights. Went well.
Bus.
Long bus rides, running swiftly on a swirling road. Bus naps.

Human beings.
Humans can be angels too, angels without wings. The seatmate from the plane waving his hand for us to share his trike ride going to San Jose Terminal. The trike driver, long-haired, like a rockstar from the 80’s, took us to the terminal, carried my backpack all the way to the eatery where we had our late lunch, then he reserved a seat for us at the bus. The masseuse who massaged me at a massage shop in El Nido when i wasn’t feeling well. She’s so kind and even asked me how i was when we see each other the next day.
My friend and companion of the trip, who keep up with me. Ma & Pa who called me the night before & wished me a safe trip. My Ate who skyped me and told me to enjoy. My Kuya who texted me and told me not to be foolish. Nang Lolit who also texted me and wished me well. And my younger sister who’s left in the crib with zoe(the furry friend) & able to managed.

Conversations.
On the bus going to El Nido, a man asked if we are “bisaya” and i nodded yes. He smiled and speak in cebuano. He said he’s originally from Zamboanga but his father is from Negros. He’s heading to his family in El Nido, his wife’s place. He rarely gets home to his family because of his work and said he spends longer time on his work than to his family. so if he visits home, they really make use of their time together.
Kuya Egay, 46, the owner of the inn we stayed, still wished to visit other places of our beloved Philippines like Cebu and Bohol, and he told us we’re lucky to visit El Nido at our age.
In a carenderia in Puerto Princesa, near the Cathedral church. The owner asked if we’re from Manila, we said, “no, Cebu.” She asked, “where in Cebu?” We replied, “Mandaue.” Then she said, “Diyan kasi naligaw ng landas ang mister ko, hindi na nakauwi.” (It’s where my husband lost his way and never came back.)
In Puerto Princesa airport, the man around 50, sitting before us overheard our conversation. Recognizing us as cebuanas, looked back and smiled. Told us he’s happy to hear cebuano language. He’s from Cotabato, but his late father, a cebuano. He went to Puerto Princesa because he has a cousin who own a property and asked him to come and see if he’d like to become the caretaker. He’s been in Puerto Princesa for a month and is excited to get home in Cotabato and share the news to his family. He’ll share to his family about the chance for them to have a peaceful life in a rural area of Puerto Princesa, contrary to their life in Cotabato, where he described as “chaotic,” that even at night when they sleep, they could still hear gunshots. He’s worried about his family if they remain to stay there.

Those conversations made me more grateful of what i have. For family, for friends, for peace that we experience, and for everything else that we take for granted sometimes yet very precious.

Many years ago i dreamt of this paradise. Now it came true, and it teaches me some lessons.
El Nido is stunning, breathtaking, eyegasmic & mysterious. It’s like a beautiful painting painted by God. It’s sunset, glorious.

One day, you’ll sit in solitude with your beautiful grey hair, playing images in your mind like flashbacks. some will make you laugh, some makes you cry, some makes you sad and some warms your heart. Then with contentment in your heart, you smile… Knowing that you’ve been in a long journey and you’re happy you arrive at your true self. A self with no self.

And while most things in this world is temporary– wealth, power, physical beauty, your sorrows and pains and life in this world. Some memories will be forever etched in your soul. Memories that in time your mind might forget, but in your soul remains.

Bohol

(note: This was last Aug2014, saved on drafts and forgotten.)
chocolate hills
Bohol for the first time. First fast-craft ride. thrilled. No-detailed plans. Just the plan to go via Tubigon, from there to Sagbayan then Carmen to Panglao and find Bohol Coco Farm, the place i have in mind to stay(we didn’t have contacts, so no reservation made.)

We leave on a rainy thursday morning but the ride was still smooth. An hour later, we were greeted by the green mountains & hills. The sky was still gloomy when we stepped on Bohol soil.
To commute was on mind to save our budget; but time-consuming. Jeepneys and buses are quite rare & leave on schedules. Found a van that could drop us to Sagbayan.

Walked. Ate. Enjoyed the sight before our eyes. The sun peeked from the clouds then the sky turned happy-blue.
The journey continues. Looked for a motorbike that could take us to the other sites & straight to Panglao with a minimal fee. Found Kuya Rene, turned-out he’s originally from Cebu (San Remigio.) He’s been living in Bohol for almost 2 decades with his family. His motorbike, 7-yr-old, thus making him a skilled driver along Bohol’s curvy roads. He shared his story why he ended up in Bohol–because of some circumstances of his life and it’s where he build his family. He laughed occasionally when he sees our reactions to the things we see for the first time in person. He laughed some more watching my friend, Jean scared shitless to touch(or just go near) the ginormous python.

Wide rice-fields. Carabaos. Cows. Goats. Old church ruins. On-going road repairs. The man-made forest. The amazing Chocolate hills. Korean girls in dress and on heels climbing the stairs to the view-deck of Chocolate hills.

Made it to Panglao at around 7pm. Thanks to the kind people we asked for direction & Kuya Rene for the long-yet-fun ride, we found Bohol Coco Farm.

Alona. Adorable & playful dolphins. Balicasag. Virgin Island. Chinese family & a Japanese couple as boatmates. Thanks to the boatmen and guide who lets us joined the trip with an affordable price & sir Efren of Bohol Coco Farm for helping us.

Bohol Coco Farm, 2 hectares organic farm with native huts, free coffee & water, free wifi, free light breakfast(veggies) and is run by the family of Ma’am Julia– mother owner & Sir Efren– father owner. They’re humble and helpful. They helped us with our island hopping tour & where to commute for our ride to Tagbilaran pier.
Ma’am Julia made us taste her very own mangosteen & turmeric wine, and it taste really good. They live an organic lifestyle and we fail to guess her real age.

Our deepest & warmest thanks to them & to the kind people we met, the beautiful sights to behold, made our hearts overflowing with gratitude. We felt very lucky to be in this planet, thus we should help take good care of our mother earth in simple ways we know, like, not throwing the wrapper of biscuits & chips to the ocean.

Two young teen-age girls-turned friends helped us find the way when we feel lost on our walk to Dumaluan, a wide-stretch of fine white sand along the area of this beach.

We’ve exchanged conversations with some of the locals about the earthquake October last 2013. They said t’was terrifying. Estefannie, a jolly teen-age girl said something like, “Abi naku the end na (i thought it’s the end).” Her statement brought me back to my own thoughts during that morning when it happened. I remember grabbing our dog–zoe & my sister–shaira, went under the wooden bed, praying with tears. That moment i asked myself, “What really matter in life, if this would be the end? my not able to get a degree mattered? does my stand in the society mattered? does not having our own house mattered?” i don’t know about you, but to me on that very moment, what mattered to me was my family, friends & the kind of person i became.

Yet now, if there’s a chance, i still wish to finish something though. Not because of the title that is added on your name (i’m okay with just my name.) Not because of a higher position or whatsoever. Not because of that paper that’s sometimes laminated and hanged on walls. But because of the things that i love to learn in the process & experience.

Sometimes, the things that you’ve learned that were hardly wired in your brain, crushed. Unlearned them. Rewired & relearned. Also, some things stays the same, i still want a wooden, native type of house, glossed and painted with a varnish. Inside, happy creatures who loves to sing, play and dance with music, with beautiful paintings hanged on walls. Outside, grassy, plants and flowers as little fences, herb gardens and dogs playing around, and is easily accessible to the beach.

Sunrise and sunsets are wonderful. In the race track, there’s a start & a finish line. Yes, it’s great to win. But sometimes, what’s important is how you played from start to end, and what it made you in between. Life indeed is full of ups and downs. But without the downs, would there be ups?
man-made forest

brokenness

dsc02690It is when you feel like you’re doomed, will the light enters in through your brokenness– broken spirit.

It is when you feel how to die, will you learn how to live.
It is when you feel meaningless, will you find meaning and purpose.
It is when you feel a storm, clutter and chaos inside, will you seek and find inner peace.
It is when you cried too many nights and days, will you deeply realize your need of someone higher, greater and powerful to take over and take control.
It is at your weakest and lowest, He is most strongest.
It is at your saddest, will you appreciate and find true joy.
It is at darkest, will you appreciate the light.

We tend to complicate life when we conform to the standards of the world– temporal things.

P.S.
There will be times you don’t know what to say from the how are you’s from people– even to your friends. Or where to start from “what happened to you?.”
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Malapascua…

Malapascua Island
Wandered-off to Malapascua Island last feb 2013…
White-powdery sand that feels so nice walking barefoot along the shoreline,
Warm kiss of the sun as it rise and sets,
The good laughs with family around,
The sound of waves that reaches the shore,
The warm feel when you dip your body in the clear waters,
The bob marley songs played as background music,
The fresh scent of ocean breeze;

Malapascua Island

Couldn’t help but for some moment, closed-eyed with silent songs of praise filled my heart and soul.

Moments and Impact…

There are moments that leaves an enormous impact in our lives. So great that it could change our points of view.
Change our attitude. Change our behavior. Change our feelings about some things. Change our lifestyle. Change our thoughts. Change our ways. In short, change our lives.

There are sweet and bitter moments, both are essential for our growth. Both could nourish our soul to become better or both could relinquish our soul and become bitter. It’s all up to us how to handle such circumstances.

Each day we have our moments… So it is important to fully live in the present moment. Scrutinize our past and learn from it. Stop worrying and start living. They say if you keep on worrying on what could go wrong in the future, you’ll miss on what could go right. Worrying could waste your energy. So don’t worry and trust your inner light, trust your intuition, trust the Creator of the Universe.