"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

one happy gurl

"what more could we wish for?"
--jollibee christmas ad

why i know i've been good and nice...

my first ever roommate in UP told me "i'll always root for you. you're the best roommate i ever had (and that's from me, who is a dormer for seven years)."

she's one of the few people i know who really know timing... i get to receive feel-good emails from her at the right moments -- and i mean those moments when you least expect that someone somewhere is still thinking good about you.

her emails, whenever i come across them, remind me of those rainy days when we would find ourselves outside of the dorm to eat balut or mais... just sharing simple moments among all other moments that could possibly exist.

everytime i find myself in the mall, when i pass by bayo or kamiseta or when i see coffee shops (even mere coffee tables), i get to remember her and wonder how she's doing... even my blue timex watch (which now needs a replacement strap) reminds me of her because she was there with me when i bought it.

i was going through the habit of "cleaning" my mail inboxes when i got to read again the emails she sent me more than a year ago... the things she told me matter a lot to me because she's one of those people who really got to see-and-live-with "the ME" after (and through) every work- and play-day.

here are some of the things she shared with me -- things which assure me of what my own dear mother believes about me: despite my legendary kamalditahan, i'm not completely bereft of good qualities...

"you know, ikaw, kahit hindi ka nagsasalita and malungkot ako, isipin ko lang na nandyan ka lang sa may tapat ng bed ko o study table ko, okey na ako.

kasi you are so mabait (and i don't need to ask favors from you to know that!) and you have this air, like everything has a solution so iniisip ko, oo nga naman.. because sometimes, you make each day seem easy and doable and most importantly-- forgivable ba when the going gets tough and the tough gets going...
(sent to me on march 2, 2005)

"hey, you never did beat me, when it comes to sleeping late (except when i'm sick)...

and i never did beat you when it comes to waking up (boy you can wake up without alarm clock, geez, that's genius)

then we'd sometimes share breakfast at rodics and then go about our business of saving the world

we'll see each other sometimes late lunch, hurrying for our classes, making faces over those dormmates (that's all thank you) who just wouldn't stop screaming..

and then go about our business again, this time, learning some more ways to save the world.

then we'll see each other again, and talk about the day, news, what conrado (de quiros) said, what our students said, what have you in between preparing our lessons for the next day, slaving through our masters or just pretending we're working....

then we'll see who gets to sleep first...
if it's you, i'll tell you to wake me up
then you'll say, "yes but you don't wake up"
and then i'll say, "kick me"
then you'll say, "one day, i'll really kick you."
i like you so much because i know you won't
(sent to me on july 8, 2005)

if there's one more thing you people should know, she also sent me these words at a time when i was still not so hell bent on traveling around the country:

"we should do a group thingy like we travel as a group -- the whole country ...basically, the group will be composed of people who love films, books, food and what have you, have nice sense of humor, play it safe mischievously, romantic, crazy, funny, smart but can be really stupid..." (she meant people like us!)

that i have a friend like her, it warms up my heart. that the universe allowed my paths to cross with hers and, in the process, made us very good friends, it's one of the blessings i'm very thankful for... at 24.

just so you'd know...

i turned 24 on december 18. i had my birthday celebration -- with lechon and birthday cake -- last december 17.

fit for a simple december birthday party

my first birthday celebration in 3 (maybe 4?) years
(nevermind that i was suffering from flu ;P)

...and i wanna thank the people who remembered and cared enough to greet me happy birthday: randy, ate river, anwar, kuyang, patrick, cheena, ralph, ivan, tiffany and jerk, yoni, imee, kuya eli, edson, sealdi, rose, sir rodion, joseph, johncy, miezel, mamang, papang, nikki, ate riza, vl, tita yen, ate bing and kei, mickoy, shella, tita emie, auntie ton, den, jing, tita bin, rv, ronron, tita ludy, daddy danny, mommy carmen, ate che, ate lyn, bonbon, tetet, uncle doods, auntie josie, uncle alan, neil al, bim, poy, auntie olive...oh dear, i hope did not miss anyone out.

on the very day of my 24th birthday, my papang brought home my happy food -- ice cream!!! ...and i also got to see a beautiful fireworks display right outside my room's window. hmmm, i think i'm gonna have a good year ahead.

warm childhood memories're made of these...

here's wishing you a happy christmas!

Friday, December 08, 2006

another weekend, another trip

"Wherever you go, no matter what the weather,
always bring your own sunshine."

--Anthony J. D'Angelo

early last week, the ids99 peeps in metro manila (and nearby places) received through text and e-mail a notice for a laguna weekend. everyone seemed interested to be part of the trip until the threat of a super-typhoon loomed and the plan seemed to fizzle.

BUT when saturday (december 2) came, the laguna weekend got pushed through! my ex-travel buddy (read: yoni), yeli, and i hied off to los baños (LB) to meet up with our hosts for the weekend, kenny and eldani -- whooo, rhyming names!

12.02-03.06 destination: laguna!

except that we walked the distance from the cubao mrt station to the bus terminal where we boarded the bus that took us to los baños, yoni, yeli and i reached our destination in laguna without much difficulty. well, we had to endure walking through people traffic and under the heat of the late afternoon sun in cubao. we also had to ask a lot of people for help along the way since we're not quite familiar with LB despite having gone there before... but, all-in-all, getting to laguna from metro manila was a nice travel experience.

it helped a lot that kenny was being a responsible host. after giving us instructions on how we could get to his place via a jeepney, he waited for us at the corner leading to his house. if he had not, we could have gone past his place and we would have found ourselves temporarily lost.

the night stroll in UPLB grounds
when we got to LB, it was already close to sundown. however, we still had to wait for the couple, rose and ilian, before we could finalize our plan for the night... so we waited for their arrival from sta. rosa.

so as to make the most of our time there, kenny gave us a night tour around the UPLB (university of the philippines - los baños) campus grounds... aside from introducing the landmarks and sharing a lot of trivia, kenny also told us maria makiling stories along the way. both yoni and i agree that he has a bright future at being a tour guide!

just some of our early evening photos

uh, actually, we had no exact plan for our laguna weekend. we just went to laguna and it was a come-what-may situation from there. we figured, we could either go hiking then camping or night swimming... either in hot or cold pool...

bad news, good news... you can never tell
it was around dinnertime when i received rose's text message saying she and ilian won't be joining us in los baños after all. because our expectations have already been built up, kenny, eldani, yoni, yeli, and i really felt disappointed. we tried to convince them to change their minds. however, our all-out efforts were not enough. they have decided.

then and there, our party of five decided, too. we're gonna have a blast... enjoy the weekend... elicit their envy!!! mwehehehehe... how very immature! well, if the succeeding pictures are to be taken as proofs, that decision did us good!

at this point, allow me to say that this write-up is dedicated to my laguna weekend partymates and, more importantly, to those who did not join us despite having been invited. :P

in this article are doses of what you've missed... kung inggit kayo, tama lang 'yan. mainggit kayo! bwahahaahaah...

fun dinner by candlelight at LB square

had rose and ilian joined us in LB, our party would have gone night swimming. after they rejected our "please get here" pleas for the nth time, we gave up and... dyan dyaraaaaaaaan... we scrapped swimming and decided to drive to tagaytay instead.

from laguna to tagaytay
after dinner, we all got inside eldani's car and off to tagaytay we went!!! BUT first, we made a stopover at sta. rosa...

some shopping and pictorial

we went inside the nike store, looked around, and enjoyed 'chronicling' yeli's shopaholic tendencies.

tagaytay, tagaytay!
the drive to tagaytay was quite long but it was far from boring. there was so much to talk and laugh about along the way, especially since we're all of the same age and iliganons and, therefore, have a lot in common.

the december night air that greeted us when we got to tagaytay was so cold to the skin. nevertheless, i was glad that we brought ourselves there that night. after all, tagaytay happens to be a place so dear to me...

laguna in tagaytay
we went inside cafe lupe. while the guys negotiated for a table, us gals went straight to the railing where we could still make out the silhouette of the taal volcano. for a moment, yoni mistook taal lake for laguna lake. hahaha... finding laguna in tagaytay, eh?? under the canopy of a star-lit sky, yes!

how's LAGUNAYTAY for a destination, huh?

enjoying the night inside cafe lupe

yeli aptly put it when she said this with amused expression: "kuyaw kaayo ta ba. sa manila dili jud ta tig-bar, tapos nianhi tag tagaytay para mag-bar!" (translation: we're weird. in manila, we don't go to bars... but we came to tagaytay for a bar!) hehehe...

the way i see it, when we're in manila, we just don't want to do what others usually do... instead, we'd rather have the things that bring us closer to home -- like inom sa balay. we don't go to bars despite the fact that, for people in manila, the idea of a night life is almost always associated with "bars".

tagaytay is not metro manila... and i think this is our excuse for being in cafe lupe that night. :)

it was a fun night! we saw the performance of two bands -- one fronted by a male and female duo whose singing and fashion styles failed to pass our vocal and fashion tastes, and another fronted by monique, a lady performer whose talent and looks more than compensated for what the other band lacked.

it was monique's momma though who got the crowd's loudest cheers that night. her cool momma belted out alicia keys' if i ain't got you and chaka khan's through the fire oh so well. we all became momma's instant fans!!!

photo op with the lady performer's cool momma

when we were about to leave the place, we played starstruck and requested for a photo op with the singing momma. it turned out, the momma was a bisaya herself. she hails from cebu... and she's the one wearing pink in the pictures.

party of five in tagaytay
yeli, kenny, yoni, eldani and i

on our way back to laguna, i fought off sleep by counting how many "colette's" signs we passed by starting from tagaytay. i managed to count 14 although i knew there were more -- some signs were not discernable due to the dark.

we were supposed to still go to "kenny's bar" in LB, but when we already got there, we changed our minds and instead opted for sleep. understandably so, it was already way past midnight and we were tired from traveling and the unexpected turns that we had to go through.

back in laguna

ah, what's the story here?

however, wonder of wonders, when we finally got to our hosts' apartment, yoni and i got back the energy to fight off sleep. i played five-star sudoku while she took pictures of yeli, kenny and eldani. after awhile, i got tired of my chosen mindbleeder so i helped yoni with taking pictures...

look at what we did to my mineral water bottle! see the san mig strong ice label? mwehehehe. it's a memento from our tagaytay night.

eldani's excuse for hitting the mattress ahead of us? "kamo daw kuno mag-drive pa-tagaytay beh."

in the end, it was still yoni and i who went to sleep ahead of the rest. eldani's trip to dreamland was interrupted by the arrival of kenny's friends for their "nightcap". us gals were also invited to join the gang but only yeli gave in to the invitation. yoni and i preferred to have our zzz's -- it was already near 2 o'clock in the morning.

sunday, 3rd of december

12.03.06: one fine sunday morning

when we woke up, it was another happy day. after a morning photo-session, yeli, yoni, eldani, and i went out for an early morning drive and to buy liters of fresh milk (actually we bought liters of chocomilk) from DTRI (dairy training and research institute), while kenny prepared breakfast...

after our hearty breakfast, we all got inside eldani's car again and had another morning drive. we stopped by UPLB's main library and had another photo-session -- this time, in front of the campus' famous pegarao.

pegarao: the pegasus and carabao hybrid

the eldani and kenny show

enjoying pook ni maria makiling

pa-picture-picture lang

12.03.06 laguna getaway moments

...and that pretty well tells the story of our laguna-turned-lagunaytay weekend.

what can i say? we're the masters of spontaneity. we make do with whatever circumstances come our way... and we make excellent springboards out of setbacks.

'til next time... whenever that will be!


here's how our text/email exchanges went after our lagunaytay weekend:

Kenny: Thanks for spending your Weekend at Los Baños with me and Eldani, it was such a great time...

Yoni: Nalingaw jud ko even if daghan set backs. Infernez na offset jud ang akong hell week sa office. Basta kay lingaw jud given the unforseen circumstances. Asa pa ka nakakita ug Laguna weekend nga nag midnight sa Tagaytay, wahehehe!!!

Val: Dili jud ta palpak. We know how to weather circumstances.

Yeli: Salamat for making my first outing with high school batchmates memorable. Lingaw man diay noh. Sa uulitin...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

destination: intramuros

"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake."

--Robert Louis Stevenson

it really can't be helped. yoni, my ex-travel buddy, and i just can't resist not being out. the other weekend, we explored intramuros -- the old walled city.

11.26.06 destination: intramuros

saturday, 26th of november. yoni and i met up in philcoa around lunchtime and, from there, we rode on a jeepney that took us to where intramuros is.

getting there was quite a challenge. although, i've been to intramuros twice before, i really still didn't know how to really go there -- and neither did yoni. we had to rely on some adventurers' luck. good thing for us, we took the right ride and were able to get off at the right place!

shutterbugs and camera-whores in one

after our huling hirit, who would have thought that we'd still get to have another picture-taking adventure so soon? didn't we say we're already ex-travel buddies?

shadows of the present falling on the remains of the past

the sun beat down mercilessly on us when we got to intramuros. nevertheless, yoni and i were not deterred from walking around and exploring the place. we kept at taking pictures every chance we got. pictures of us, of our shadows, of the ruins, of practically whatever... we're such shutterbugs!!! if i may add, we're such camera-whores, too.

so much to see, so much history

the war guns in intramuros are not as many nor as impressive as the ones we saw in corregidor but the sights to behold and the culture in the old walled city made our trip so worthwhile.

aside from the ruins, the gun emplacements, the plazas, the casas and the old walkways, there in intramuros are the old churches.

there's more than what meets the eye

i finally was able to get inside the san agustin museum and saw for myself the 44-step granite staircase which neal stephenson mentioned in the book cryptonomicon. prior to this visit, i've only been able to enter the san agustin church, the oldest stone church in the philippines and a world heritage site.

yoni and i paid the PhP80 entrance fee to the san agustin museum and we explored the place. taking pictures was prohibited in most areas and quite understandably so. security is of utmost importance. there are too many treasure troves in that museum -- from the old books to paintings to ivory statues to priceless records to historic and religious artifacts in gold and silver to vestments to foreign state officials' gifts... we saw chests and crowns decorated with big and small precious stones such as amethysts, emeralds, rubies, and diamonds.

the museum is also the passage way to fr. blanco's garden, so named because it was the botanical research garden of the prince of botany, fr. manuel blanco of the augustinian order. destroyed in 1945, it was restored in 1991 and has since become a favorite venue for wedding pictorials.

chances are you'll like this place, too

there's just so much to see in intramuros that yoni and i stayed even when the sun was already out. just as well. we got to see what intramuros is like at night!

oooh lights!!!

not only that. we also saw the parol (lantern) display in front of the "wow philippines!" booth and got friendly with the local children...

photo op with the happy kids of intramuros

we also got to witness intramuros' theater-in-the-round, a free-for-the-public live theater presentation staged in the city's plaza san ignacio. it was an awesome "a walk back in time" experience! prior to the show, we were entertained with the parade of characters, the live singing of several kundiman songs, and culturally relevant audio-visual presentations.

what's so good about the free theater experience aside from the fact that it was free? the actors were good, the production -- with live musical band -- was impressive, and the performance involves actual interaction with the audience!

a must-see for free: what more can you ask for?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

really pissed

i'm currently sharing a room with a hag. a bitch. i don't want to refer to her as a roommate because she only does injustice to how dearly the term means to me.

for having been assigned to a room inhabited by someone like her, i consider myself unlucky. i started sharing the room with her last november 8 and only close to a month of sharing space with her has already proven to be not good for me.

ha! fortunately for me, i don't have to endure sharing a room with her for so long. i'll be out of here in a week or so and, yes, i won't have to bear her uncool and suffocating presence anymore.

how could i have been so optimistic to believe that i'd get to enjoy her company like i did with my previous roommates?!? argh. i should have not forgotten that there's really such a thing as generation gap... and that a bitch could also come in the form of an ugly old pig who would make an issue on whatever little noise you make when she wants to sleep. like i don't have the right to move nor use my celphone to merely text a friend because my doing so keeps her awake?

i was texting one of my friends regarding a planned out of town one dawn time (about 1:30 am?) when she unexpectedly turned in her bed and blurted out "hay naku, dili man ta makatulog nimo oi!" (in tagalog, that's equivalent to saying: hay naku, hindi tayo makakatulog nang dahil sa 'yo!)

when i heard that, it immediately registered on me that she found the very soft sound resulting from my tapping of the keys disturbing, so i quickly let go of my phone, said "sorry," and closed my eyes in a quick attempt to chase sleep. i never thought she had more to say...

but pathetic person that she is, she further said, "pirmi na lang na nimo ginabuhat! maglisod tag tulog tungod sa imo. saba kaayo. magrespeto pud unta ka sa uban. natulog na makamata sa imong saba." (palagi mo na lang 'yang ginagawa! nahihirapan tayong makatulog nang dahil sa 'yo. ang ingay. matuto ka sanang rumespeto sa iba. natutulog na, nagigising dahil sa ingay mo.)

leche man diay siya! how would i have known that i was disturbing her sleep for days already when she only complained about it that time and didn't tell me so before? and, for crying out loud, i'm doing as minimal noise as i could whenever i'm in the room with her (and most especially when she's already asleep) and i'm not even talking aloud nor making calls in the dead of the night!!! how could texting be a crime when my keys don't register decibels like her coughing and snoring??!!

i suddenly learned that, in addition to the unwritten "the main light should not be turned on" law when she's already asleep, there's also an equally unwritten "no texting" law being enforced in our room.

excuse me, but i've never ever had that kind of issue with those i've previously shared rooms with. BUT then my previous roommates were as young as i am and very far from being fugly like her. maybe she's only in her forties? duh.

she has the nerve to make a fuss on the slight noise i make? what does she want?

well, for the record, her celphone's keys are noisier than my phone's keys. the sound that she makes when she's still tapping her lousy laptop's keyboard and i'm already in bed trying to sleep also registers in my ears. her coughs at dawn scare me and really disturb me from my sleep. everytime i hear her cough, i fear she's gonna either be choked to death or her lungs will spill out of her mouth.

did she hear me complain about her keyboard tapping?!? or of her coughing? or of the smell of food that persists in our room everytime she violates the "no eating inside the rooms" written rule being enforced in our dorm? or of how i felt slightly violated that she moved around the things on my side of the room without my permission? or of how she bossed me into forming the christmas socks that she wanted to decorate our door with? or of how tacky the christmas socks look because she does not know any better? of course not! i've been quite considerate. i did not make an issue out of any of those...

but after her uber-exaggerated reaction and hearing the "pirmi..." blahblahs that she blurted out, i've decided that she no longer deserves my goodwill. she is a fugly bitch and i don't care if her family believes otherwise.

she only has to provoke me just one more time, then she'll have to deal with a barrage of counter-offensives. just one more... and i'll give her war. just because she's older does not mean that she can always have her way.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

the month-long countdown

"A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving."
-- Albert Einstein

Lilypie Baby Ticker

let me begin this post with recent manifestations of my halfwit-ty tendencies:

"i deserve to dream because i sleep a lot."

"i like you because i like me."

...at, dear people, ito ang pinakamatindi...

"yung bata ngang kinain ng buwaya di natin pinatay, yung buwaya pa kaya?"

i was not drunk when i said that, bangag lang talaga.

weeeeeee!!! i'm turning 24 soon.

at 23, i feel quite accomplished yet i still desire to do more. there's still a lot to conquer out there and, well, things have just begun for me, so to speak.

yesterday, i finally saw the hard-bound form of my master's thesis and i felt proud of myself. i also went out last night for another let's paint session and, yes, i also felt proud of myself because of that.

i chose a bigger block of plaster to paint on this time. pictures? sure i'll be sharing them with you all soon, let me just find the time to transfer the photo files from my phone to the computer. for now, i'll just share that the block had a fruity design. the table of fruits reminded me of my first few successful painting sessions with my art mentor back in 1989 -- a long, long time ago. i managed to transform the all-white block into something very colorful and yummy to the eyes!

11.27.06 update: transformation of my new block

haaay, i used to draw and paint a lot when i was still a wee youngling (as if i really went through that phase of being oh-soooooo wee, hehe). my mother saw my fascination for the colors and clear interest in doing art during my early years, so she enrolled me in a summer art workshop. the school year after that and during the years that followed, i continued pursuing my art by spending a lot of my after-school time with an art mentor. i was made to join art contests and it couldn't be helped that i emerged champion in some (haha, ang angas ba?). i could say that the highlight of my grade school years was my romance with art. i liked going up the school stage during recognition ceremonies because of the artist of the year award. belonging to the top 5 of the class was just another reward.

art unfortunately took the backseat during my high school years. don't ask me why, it just happened. my ventures into visual arts around that time only surfaced in the form of projects and as hastily-drawn backgrounds for our plays. i ceased showing up at my mentor's place; i also ceased being inspired enough to join art competitions. looking back, it was a pity that i pursued other (probably lesser?) interests. i don't know, maybe it's just how things were meant to be.

when i got out from college, i told myself i'd get back to my art. my attempts in that direction have not really been full-hearted, however. sure, i've gone back to having art outputs but they only come at intervals of several months... and most often, i'm not quite satisfied with them. but then maybe i'm just expecting from myself too much.

it's been awhile since i last painted and actually enjoyed my painting output. so now here's hoping you would understand just how happy i felt when i saw how my latest painting session turned out. heaven. i really felt proud.

you know what's the idea playing in my mind? i'd love to mentor kids to paint during our common spare time... for free! i imagine it would be fun and really rewarding!

back to my turning 24. soon.

i'm sure one of the things that would come to my close friends' minds when they come across this article would be somewhere along these lines:

"you're turning 24! didn't you say you're getting married at 24??!
so what now???"

haaaay. that's one dream of mine that i knew will go pffft but dreamt of, nevertheless. dreaming is free, right? dreaming is free alright but reality has a price. i can't even completely take care of myself. can any other excuse top that? haha, do i hear you mumbling "excuses! excuses!"?

speaking of dreams, there's another dream that will not be made real.

didn't jory, sealdi, and i plan on reaching batanes before we turn 24? here's the update: jory and sealdi already turned 24, jory is in new york now, and i'm soon turning 24 but WE haven't gone to batanes!!! i was hoping i could have that "batanes before my 24th birthday" dream -- batanes being my dream destination and all -- but... i just know that current circumstances won't permit me. a trip to batanes would cost me more than what i can currently afford. plus, my time's being eaten up by things that i still have to deal with. there will surely be another time. as my travel buddy would say, 'timing is everything'. aight, timing is important -- that's my take on timing, by the way.

i feel i'm starting to be a little more responsible now. with that, i also get to realize that i have so many fears, after all. but i don't wanna discuss my fears with y'all now. not a lot of people are privy to them and most, i plan to keep only to myself... for now.

oh, i've been checking out cars lately. i've been thinking of owning them EVENTHOUGH I DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO BUY ANY OF THEM AND I DON'T DRIVE. it's just that they're my new idea of toys. i'm talking about real cars and NOT toy cars. gowsh, what's happening to me? oh well. oh well. oh well!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

lines, lines, and lines

lines from my fave movies...

There was a dream... You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile.
-- Gladiator (2000)

Rhett Butler: Do you know what I'm talking about?
Scarlett: No! I only know that I love you.
Rhett Butler: That's your misfortune.
Scarlett: Oh, Rhett! Rhett! Rhett, Rhett! Rhett... if you go, where shall I go, what shall I do?
Rhett Butler: Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.
-- Gone With The Wind (1939)

Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance... you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.
-- The Lion King (1994)

Squirt: Remember... rip it, roll it, and punch it.
Marlin: Look, you're really cute, but I can't understand what you're saying.
-- Finding Nemo (2003)

The man of my dreams has almost faded now. The one I have created in my mind. The sort of man each woman dreams of, in the deepest and most secret reaches of her heart. I can almost see him now before me. What would I say to him if he were really here? "Forgive me. I have never known this feeling. I have lived without it all my life. Is it any wonder, then, I failed to recognize you? You, who brought it to me for the first time. Is there any way that I can tell you how my life has changed? Any way at all to let you know what sweetness you have given me? There is so much to say..."
-- Somewhere in Time (1980)

Simon Wilder: Women. Ain't they perfect?
Monty: Not always.
Simon Wilder: Yes, they are, they're perfect. Don't matter if they're skinny, fat, blonde or blue. If a woman is willing to give you her love, Harvard, it's the greatest gift in the world. Makes you taller, makes you smarter, makes your teeth shine. Boy, oh, boy, women are perfect.

Simon Wilder: Yes I'm a bum. But I'm a Harvard bum.
-- With Honors (1994)

Well when I think of home, I... I think of something specific. I think of my, my hammock in the backyard or my wife pruning the rosebushes in a pair of my old work gloves.
-- Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, not small, but valuable. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void.

The odd thing about this form of communication is that you're more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.
-- You've Got Mail (1998)

Never knew I could feel like this. Like I've never seen the sky before. Want to vanish inside your kiss, every day I'm loving you more and more. Listen to my heart, can you hear it sing? Come back to me and forgive everything. Seasons may change winter to spring. I love you until the end of time.
-- Moulin Rouge (2001)

They cursed us. Murderer they called us. They cursed us. And we wept, Precious, didn't we? We wept to be so alone. And we only lust to catch fish so juicy sweet. And we forgot the taste of bread... the sound of trees... the softness of the wind. We even forgot our own name, My Precious.
-- LOTR: The Return of the King (2003)

That night, Dadinho killed his dream of kill.

Li'l Ze: Dadinho my dick, my name now is Zé Pequeno, FUCK!
-- City of God (2002)

Sometimes I dream about being a good father and a good husband. And sometimes it feels really close. But then other times it seems silly like it would ruin my whole life. And it's not just a fear of commitment or that I'm incapable of caring or loving because... I can. It's just that, if I'm totally honest with myself I think I'd rather die knowing that I was really good at something. That I had excelled in some way than that I'd just been in a nice, caring relationship.
-- Before Sunrise (1995)

Maybe what I'm saying is, is the world might be evolving the way a person evolves. Right? Like, I mean, me for example. Am I getting worse? Am I improving? I don't know. When I was younger, I was healthier, but I was, uh, whacked with insecurity, you know? Now I'm older and my problems are deeper, but I'm more equipped to handle them.

Memory is a wonderful thing if you don't have to deal with the past.
-- Before Sunset (2004)

some fave lines from songs and movies...

Can i keep you?
-- Casper (1995)

There is so much a man can tell you, so much he can say. You remain, my power, my pleasure, my pain... To me you're like a growing addiction that I can't deny. Won't you tell me is that healthy...?
-- Kiss from A Rose - Seal (1995)

How do you leave the past behind when it keeps finding ways to get to your heart? It reaches way down deep and tears you inside out 'til you're torn apart... How can you connect in an age where strangers, landlords, lovers, your own blood cells betray? What binds the fabric together when the raging, shifting winds of change keep ripping away?
-- Rent (2005)

What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant? That she loved Mozart and Bach, the Beatles, and me?
-- Love Story (1970)

I do not regret the things I have done, but those I did not do.
-- Empire Records (1995)

In a moment we lost our minds here and lay our spirit down. Today we lived a thousand years, all we have is now.
-- Run to the Water - Live (1999/2000)

There's no secret handshake. There's an IQ pre-requisite, but there's no secret handshake.
-- Reality Bites (1994)

that's all for now. remind me of the rest. hmmm... nothing in filipino? wait 'til next time. *winks*

Saturday, November 04, 2006

caution: a very long post

"On behalf of every Filipino, we invite you to come and see
the cultures, attractions, and sights
that make up our 7, 107 islands."

-- the Biyahe Tayo! travel advocacy campaign

you've been warned! this is one very long post (with 12 photos). to make up for the hiatus? you bet. hahaha...

first, let's have a run-through of what i've been up to. i packed my things, bade my room and roommate goodbye, left diliman, went home to my family and my iligan, traveled to davao, attended a scientific conference, met bisaya bloggers, had a memorable eat-all-you-can experience, hied off to samal island, went home to my iligan, traveled with my family to tangub city, and... well, you get the picture: from one experience to another, from one circle to another, from one place to another!

got backpack, will travel

i packed my things...
i knew that the moment i'm done with "thesis my quest" i wasn't going to stay any longer in metro manila, so i assumed the mindset of "i'm leaving, i'm finally leaving".

things weren't easy.

one week before my scheduled departure, i wasn't prepared to go. i was out in corregidor and enjoying my trip around that very historic rocky island. all thoughts of finally going home to iligan and leaving metro manila were temporarily set aside. i had not yet bought my flight ticket. i had not yet made any flight reservations. i had not yet packed my things.

i was stalling.

nonchalance | whatever you call it...
during the days leading to my departure, concerned individuals noticed my nonchalance about the entire matter and were curious to know if i've already packed my things and done this and that. i... i had no ticket, i had no box to pack my gazillion things in, i still had to sort all my stuff, i... i knew i was really going and yet i did not have the heart to really prepare for my trip home. i went on living day after day as if i wasn't moving out so soon.

as early as september, my family and close friends knew that i was going home on the 22nd of october (sunday)... yet i only moved to have my flight booked on the 20th of october (friday) and i only set out to purchase the flight ticket the next day (saturday). more than that, i only started packing less than 24 hours before my flight. talk about only doing things at the last minute!

after buying a balikbayan box and packaging tape, i went to sleep when i should have started packing right away. when i woke up, i tinkered with my computer, logged on, and put off sorting my things to a later time. i was really stalliiiinnnng. i eventually dealt with the box. i secured its bottom and the edges with layers of packaging tape... as slowwwwwlllly as i could. as i was doing that, i was stupidly singing "leaving on a jet plane", and my roommate couldn't help but be amused. when i saw my box already sturdy and ready to be filled, i decided to stall some more. i went back to facing the computer, absent-mindedly blog-hopped, and then... i listened to my rational side. "okay, okay, i can't put things off anymore. i'm packing."

packing frenzy...
pack, i did! i turned off my computer, dealt with my computer/printer cables, cleared my desk, pulled my books from the shelves, and got my clothes and stuff from the cabinet. close to ten hours and several trash bags after, i still wasn't ready to go. i realized i had too many things and i couldn't bring all of them with me in one go. my books alone took all the space in my oh-so-big maleta. the rubber on one of the maleta's wheels broke off due to too much weight! hahaha. with the balikbayan box already so filled with my clothes and with no extra big box to pack the rest of my things in, i had no choice but to temporarily leave a lot of my things behind -- under my roommate's bed.

i got so busy packing and arranging things inside my balikbayan box and maleta (and stuffing trash into garbage bags, too) that i did not get to sleep during the night anymore. at 9am, i still was far from ready to leave for the airport -- i've already taken a bath but i was not yet done packing.

my flight's estimated time of departure was 11:45am. i was only able to leave diliman at close to 10am. ah, talk about me courting flight misadventures!

good thing, all the universe conspired for me that day. i had a helpful roommate who saw me off at our dorm's entrance walk. i got a taxi with a genuinely nice driver. a good dispatcher helped me with my things in the airport and even got me a porter who patiently dealt with my 77 kilos of baggage. i was able to catch my flight. i got reunited with my family in cagayan de oro city on schedule. all of us, including my oh-so-heavy baggage, safely got home to our iligan. for all those, i am very, very grateful.

oooops! sorry...
bad thing, i forgot to pay my porter. in my excitement over the fact that i was given clearance to board the plane despite arriving at the airport way after the second call for securing boarding passes, i forgot about my porter! waaaaaaaa... i'm ashamed. i swear, i'll seek him out when i get back to manila and pay him several-fold to make up for my lapse.

i traveled to davao...
i got home on the 22nd of october (sunday). on tuesday night, 24th of october, i left home and made my way to davao city... alone. i took the 11pm bus going to cagayan de oro (CDO) city. the bus was the non-aircon type and, well, i could best describe that bus ride as biyaheng langit! hahaha... fast and furious speed. the bus arrived in CDO in no time and i was able to catch the 12mn non-aircon bus going to davao. la la laaa...

from iligan to cagayan de oro to bukidnon to davao for me!

bukidnon-davao (BuDa) land trip
the trip to davao reminded me of the beatles' "the long and winding road...". the road to davao was really looooong and wwwwiinding. it took long enough for me to go through that cycle of falling asleep and then waking up several times. hehehe.

i got to appreciate a lot about that trip though: i liked the cool air. i witnessed a beautiful sunrise. i saw the fog that enveloped the mountains. i loved the fact that even if i was traveling alone, i did not get bored nor scared. i did not know the streets of davao but i did not worry. i was bold enough to take on a que sera sera, what will be will be attitude.

davao city | 7am, wednesday, 25th of october
i got off the bus that took me there from CDO. i got on a taxi and told the driver to head for marfori heights. i got to marfori heights alright and was able to locate the house of my labmate in no time. yes, once again, all the universe conspired for me! hay, what a lucky child i am!

why was i in davao? for some nerdy and geeky major reason: a three-day scientific conference. i went to listen, participate, give a talk, and enjoy the company of my labmates and scientist friends. no kidding. i have proof!

10.25-27.06. some conference pictures...
disclaimer: no, that "atomic" item, that's not my slide

i had another major reason, too: another october travel adventure. ooh la la. traveling is really one of my passions!

while in davao, i took the opportunity to meet up with the bisaya bloggers there. i skipped one conference dinner and spent time with the davao-based bisaya bloggers.

evening, thursday, 26th of october
kars and i agreed to meet in ateneo de davao. when i got to ateneo (which, by the way, is the only place i was familiar with in davao aside from my host's house), kars was not yet there. it was raining hard that night and she was having difficulty getting a taxi. the one i saw standing on the steps of the main entrance was shawty. it was our first meeting ever! when kars eventually arrived, the three of us made our way to the venue and had dinner at suka't sili. let's see... my labmates and i had dinner at luz kinilaw on wednesday night and we bisaya bloggers had dinner at suka't sili that thursday night.

we ordered liempo, stuffed squid, inihaw na tuna belly, and iced tea. shawty ordered a bottle of red horse, too. while waiting for our food to come, we talked and talked about our bisdak existence and i took pictures of kars and shawty. when our food arrived, i took more pictures. hehehe. it can no longer be denied that i'm so shutter-happy.

from the venue, we decided to move to matina town square (MTS). as we were making our way out of the compound, it rained sooooooo hard! cats and dogs, man, cats and dogs... and na-testingan jud ang among pagkalaagan! instead of being deterred by the rain, we became more determined to get to MTS. while waiting for a taxi to come around to the already seemingly flooded loading/unloading area of the compound, i played with the camera and took more pictures. come high or low water, i couldn't be deterred from my attempts of documenting my get-together with the astig bisdak bloggers of davao!

we were eventually able to get to MTS. there, shawty ordered blugre's durian-flavored coffee for me. she said that i should taste it so i did -- it was oh-so-good! and that's coming from me who happens to be not a big fan of coffee -- i rarely (as in very, very, very rarely) drink coffee. while in blugre, another bisaya blogger whom i have not met before came to join our party. jerry came with his lalabs, ava, whom i've already met more than four years ago as my indoor group rapporteur in tagaytay. wow, small world!

10.26.06. bisaya bloggers in davao

it was a sober but fun night for the five of us: shawty, moi, kars, jerry and ava. i told shawty i was willing to glug alcohol as a courtesy shot for her but even that courtesy shot, i wasn't able to have. the time for me to find my way back to my labmate's house came too soon.

friday, 27th of october
my third day in davao started right. it's amazing how just one simple text message from that one person could make my day, hehe. i felt i must have done something right... or maybe it's just all the universe conspiring for me once again. cool noh?

in the afternoon, after the last series of conference talks, my labmates and i went to see the crocodile show in davao's crocodile park.

10.27.06. davao crocodile park

what did we see? exotic animals. colorful birds. playful monkeys. hyper-active ostrich. iguanas. an owl with cute eyes. rabbits. eagle. snakes. local chicken. leopard cat. turtles. monitor lizards. crocodiles. big and small crocodiles. cute baby crocodiles. far-from-cute adult crocodiles. moving crocodiles. open-mouthed crocodiles. hungry crocodiles. ferocious-looking crocodiles... and a very able tightrope walker who dared to play on the rope several times, seemingly oblivious to the danger of falling into that mossy pool filled with, you guess it, crocodiles!

after our trip to the crocodile park, we trooped to nanay bebeng's in marfori for an eat-all-you-can dinner. sulit! actually, it was our thank you treat to our generous host family.

10.27.06. eat-all-you-can dinner at nanay bebeng's

saturday, 28th of october
my labmates and i started the day early. we trooped to the apo view to meet up with another group. then, together, all of us got into this public utility vehicle that took us to the sta. ana wharf. our destination from there? the island garden city of samal!

10.28.06. yey, samal for a saturday destination!

island garden city of samal
fancy name for a place? sounds like paradise? ...but i guess the island lives up to its island garden city stature.

we got to samal island by swimming the entire distance from davao city. nah, just kidding! we took a ferry ride...

10.28.06. on our way to samal

isla reta moments
our group got off the ferry at sta. cruz, talicud, island garden city of samal. the beach that awaited us there looked majestic from afar... and it really was! white sand. clear seawater. nice beach. all ours. the sun beating down on us as we had fun on that part of the island gave us that complete tropical island feel!

10.28.06. island getaway pics

10.28.06. at the beach resort

10.28.06. at the beach resort, too
tropical food, glorious food, wonderful food

our samal island getaway moments? sight-seeing. talisay-tree climbing. swimming. starfish-ing. picture-taking. eating: durian and marang. more sight-seeing. more swimming. more starfish-ing. more picture-taking. more eating: chocolates, chips, inihaw na isda, inihaw na manok. more swimming (worth mentioning at least twice! hehe)... and snorkeling!!! we found nemo there!

10.28.06. end of our group adventure in samal

from samal, we hired a pump boat to bring us back to davao city. we were kinda hoping we would still be able to go all the way from magsaysay to malagos for us to visit the philippine eagle sanctuary. we really tried to beat time... but our best efforts were in vain. we were able to leave samal too late. when we got to malagos, the eagle facility was already closed. huhu. just as well, at least, we were given a good reason to look forward to our next davao visit (whenever that will be)!

i went to tangub city...
i got home to my iligan from davao on the 29th of october (sunday). on the 31st day of october, i traveled again! this time, i was with my family.

from iligan to mukas, lanao del norte to ozamiz to tangub city for us!

10.31.06. another travel
the family that travels together, stays together :P

my papang, mamang, two younger sisters and i (too bad, my kuyang is currently away) traveled to tangub city. what i liked most about this recent trip's the fact that it was the first time after a long, long time that we went to tangub without the family vehicle. the experience of us having to transfer from one ride to another and having to carry our respective bags (instead of just dumping them together in the car) seemed so novel to me, although i've already had that kind of family experience too many times more than 10 years ago.

you don't have to say it. i know my skin color stands out! in the pictures, i look like lasaw na champorado put beside whitish lugaw -- fine with me because i like my color. hehe.

why tangub city? it's my papang's hometown.

it's now the 4th of november. our family just got back from our trip.

oh, on a side trip to our relatives' place in bonifacio, misamis occidental, my sisters and i had some rafting fun...

bamboo rafting, sister bonding

(1) another "dear diary, i traveled, i hope this does not bore the reader" article has been brought to you by me. hahaha.

(2) if you don't find this boring, then you'll gonna wonder where my next destination will be... pray i'll tell. maybe you should just keep being posted.

(3) for another independent account of my night with the bisaya bloggers of davao, click here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

huling hirit!

two good friends slash travel buddies. one destination. thirty-six hours of adventure. two digital cameras. three camera phones. output? 600+ photos (only!!!) and fun, fun, fun!!! the story? uhmm... maybe later. for now, 24 pics should load.

corregidor: island of valor, peace, and international understanding

my travel buddy, yoni, and i hied off to corregidor island last sunday. this trip was supposed to be last september, two weeks after our white water rafting adventure in cagayan de oro city. however, circumstances beyond our control got in the way and we just had to cancel our plans.

last week, yoni brought up the idea of going to corregidor again. i jumped right in!!!

from laguna to baguio to cagayan de oro to corregidor to wherever

to be honest, we didn't know how to get to corregidor. we did know, however, that we really wanted to see that historic island fondly referred to as "the rock". as they say, if there's a will, there's a way. we surely had the will... and we found the way!

on board m/v suncruiser ii

open-sided bus for the corregidor tour

where's our next destination?

guns, guns, and more guns... big guns

fort mills headquarters, flagpole from a spanish warship,
gen. douglas macarthur park, lorcha dock, "gone with the wind" cine corregidor,
and filipino heroes memorial

pacific war memorial

exploring an old spanish lighthouse

in 1945, there was a japanese military cemetery in this area...
then, people conveniently forgot. it was rediscovered 40 years after
and was developed into a memorial park

the aftermath of a great war

"if we follow the sunset, will it ever end?"

malinta tunnel at night: a ghost-hunting adventure?

the malinta tunnel of corregidor served as the underground headquarters of the united states armed forces - far east (USAFFE) during the second world war. dug through solid rock and reinforced with bethlehem steel and japanese cement (japanese cement, mind you!), it took 10 years to build. many men (and women) of war stayed in this bombproof shelter, storage and hospital area.

the malinta tunnel light and sound show is a 30-minute walk back in time written and directed by lamberto avellana, a national artist, and narrated by frankie evangelista. it makes use of special lighting and sound effects (hence the name) to tell the the story of malinta tunnel and corregidor. life-like sculptures by another national artist, napoleon abueva, are installed in the tunnel's laterals alongside war relics. salvaged war footages are part of the show, too.

this day-tour experience will allow visitors to tread on the main tunnel only. to go into the laterals and explore the sub-laterals, one has to do the night tour.

many world war 2 soldiers and workers died in this tunnel...

our guide, kuya edward, told us that psychics who've visited the place have seen "their" presence in the tunnel. although kuya edward has not seen any of "them" yet, he had experienced being spooked after a tourist took his picture in front of the tunnel's still intact air vent. in the picture, a "nurse" of the world war appeared directly in front of kuya edward.

can you see the human bone?

had yoni and i not opted for the overnight package, we would have missed seeing the relics inside the tunnel so up close. we would have missed going through the tunnel's laterals and sub-laterals, too. this tunnel alone has got so much history and it's quite a work of good engineering.

so early in the morning...

the japanese tunnel
a smaller tunnel than the american-commissioned malinta tunnel

the mile-long barracks of corregidor once housed world war 2 american soldiers

there are many bomb shells all over the island...
these are just some of those that we've seen

where we were housed overnight | look, there's an eagle! it's real!

no, we didn't come prepared

postcard perfect: hug a tree... take pictures... be happy!!!

a collage of our favorite photos

need i say more?

want this adventure to be yours, too? hie off to corregidor and take the (sunday-monday) overnight package. it's gonna be worth your money! this adventure exceeded my expectations. i could say that i got more than what i really paid for.

huling hirit? the title of this post is the special request of my travel buddy. since i'm gonna be moving on, we might not be travel buddies anymore. hmmm... who knows?

ako, laagan? taka lang.

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