A Quarter and A Month – Life in the Metro

Change is inevitable and I am in the process of learning, relearning, setting and resetting my life and trying to calibrate my dreams and goals. I have come into a realization that there are things that I need to prioritize and focus on. I have come to redefine my priorities and embrace the things that truly matter to me, thus I decided to come back to the place that is so close my heart, Mindanao.

Last April, I moved to the Metro for a career advancement and was really happy and excited to start anew. I had a new routine, met new people and had a very exciting start plus I started working with fun and equally amazing workmates. I also found a nice place where I shared with a very close friend (A friend way way way back college and one of the very few that so close to my heart and she knows a lot about me plus we complement each other so much).  I love the busy life in the metro though at times kind of tiring especially commuting but it opened my eyes to new things and made me learned about myself especially on the idea of surviving. I also love the night life, I mean, bars and clubs are open way too late compared to my city so more bonding and fun time with friends.

One of the downside (maybe true to all metro city) is the cost of living. First, I am paying the same rent with our rent in my home city but we are comparing here a single unit with a 3-bedroom apartment. The living space is really small and the  comfortable ones are with a hefty price tag. Food! Gosh, this is the most challenging part! Having to live in a city where vegetables and fruits are more of provided through own harvests or very much cheaper then having to pay way more than what you are used to in the Metro. Let’s say a kilo of mangosteen is 600% higher in the metro. Let’s not even talk about the vegetables, there may be cheaper but not so fresh. Seafood and fresh food are also an issue. Maybe, I’m just so used of the vast availability of these food in my city and hometown and having to enjoy fresh catch almost every day.

Living in the metro has its  own ups and downs and as I slowly embrace my love-hate relationship with the metro, I faced one of the tough challenges in my life which is to leave  and go back near my home city for very personal reasons. My decision is not indefinite and I know that change will always be inevitable. As for now, I am back but who knows when will I be back to the metro. I take things one step at a time and enjoy wherever and whatever the journey may be.

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TAGAYTAY 2017: The struggle and beauty of TAAL Volcano crater.

I have been wanting to visit the Taal Volcano crater since I visited Tagaytay last 2015 and I glad i had the chance to do it. Last June 17, 2017, I went to Tagaytay with a friend and we decided to trek and see the Taal Volcano since we want to see how a crater do look like (it is his first time to see a volcano too). However, I was not prepared how difficult it was to trek even with an easy trail to follow especially that we had to  do it at around 10 AM under the unforgiving heat of the sun .

There is also an option to ride a horse if you do not want to walk the 1.7 km trail but we opted not as I feel bad for the horse(my personal stand). It was really struggling for me but I guess the beautiful sight even to the way up is enough to keep me going. My pace is kinda slow esp that I did not have any preparations, no jogging prior to the short trek. There was even a time that when we were nearing the top, there were no longer trees we can seek cover and the steam from the volcano is also around adding to the heat we have to deal.

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Despite the struggles, I’m glad I took the opportunity to take the trip. It wasn’t easy for me but the beauty of the crater made the whole trip so worth it. I’m actually thinking of doing it again (but of course, I need to prepare before hand). While we were on top, we also went to the red lave view point where the view is much spectacular and breathtaking! We also had some fresh buko juice (cold!) to quench our thirst!

We stayed for an hour and descended but on the way down, I had to endure a painful muscle cramps on my calf that slowed us down. That’s the price of going there unprepared though!

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Upon reaching the center, we did not missed the opportunity to try the famous Tagaytay dish, Bulalo, and went to the Picnic Groove to unwind and buy some souvenirs!

Overall, the trip was fun and worth it even if we only stayed for a day!

Tagaytay is really a good place and really near the metro so it’s very much convenient to go there especially if you want to seek refuge and take a breather from the busy and fast paced life in the Metro.

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Photo credits: Jason KL

Work-Life Balance.

“How do you keep up with all the demands at work and still manage to enjoy life? You have mastered work-life balance!”

I get this questions a lot especially when people try to assess my life based on the things that I post on social media. It would appear that I spent most of my time going places and meeting people but that does not mean my life is just about enjoying it. At the same time, I am not the type of person who post my work woes and challenges on social media as it should be dealt with professionally.

I also don’t know how to respond to these questions because I deal things differently and I don’t want to appear insensitive to other people especially that they have their own struggles. I also have my own issues but let’s just say that I have learned to live with it and focus on more positive things instead. My work schedule is crazy, especially my last three years. I travel a lot but most of it are work-related. I have missed a lot of celebrations, important occasions at home, unintentionally ditched blind dates  and even some holidays are spent working. This may be crazy but this is the kind of work that I have chosen and been doing so this has become a norm for me.

I become frustrated too but instead of sulking with the realities, I decided to turn the tables on my advantages. I decided to make the most of every opportunity that is being provided. If i travel for work, I make sure that I have time to explore the place and negotiates with our admin for me to extend a day or weekend (on my own personal cost). If i have to attend workshops or training, I enjoy the amenities like the air-conditioned room, the hot shower and freebie.  If i have to attend and take part on extra activities, I give up some me time and have to extend working hours but  I would just think that this will be all worth it  especially for all the new learning and experiences thar I will get in exchange of it. Whenever I get to do field work near my hometown, i always head home even if i have to travel long hours in the bus just to spend even a day with my family.

I realized that work-life balance is a choice that we have to make given the circumstances surrounding us though there will be setbacks and challenges along the way. I am not saying I am good at work-life balance but maybe I have learned to balance happiness especially those that I can get from my career, family and whatever there is available especially that some situations are difficult to control but our outlook can. 🙂

 

Way Back Home

During the Lenten Season, I decided to go back to my hometown for a much needed break and to do a lot of thinking before transitioning to a new job and a new place. After three good long years in Agusan del Sur, our project has ended and I was offered a new job in the same organization but in a totally different place. I really don’t have a problem moving though it means I have to be away from my family especially from my cute niece but I have long accepted that this is the career that I choose and that change is a normal thing in the development world.

The idea of being away form home is a little bit saddening but I know that no matter where my feet will take me, I will always find myself going home from time to time because there’s no place greater than home plus home-cooked meals.

My short sojourn to my hometown provided me the needed break to rest and sleep really well after spending sleepless weeks in delivering close-out requirements for our project. Of course, my short break will never be complete without beach time especially that my province is popular for its beaches and sea features. Here are two of my favorite haven.

 

Sun Rise Beach Resort , Brgy. San Ignacio, Manay, Davao Oriental

 

 

Dahican Beach, Mati City, Davao Oriental