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. 🙂

 

Life

Crossroads. Endings. Fear. Life.

There is always an end for everything especially when we reached that point in life where we have to make a decision to what path do we want to take. No matter how great the journey is, end must come and change is also necessary. This is where fear starts to creep in especially if there is uncertainty of what the future may hold. I have been thinking the past few days and trying to reflect on what path must I choose, do i want to continue this kind of path or take this big leap of faith for something that I crave and wanted so much even with the scarcity of the needed resources. I can “yolo” life  as much as I want but am I ready for it? I have always been a calculated risk taker especially that I know that my life choices would eventually have a butterfly effect on the people around me. I am not in the better position too to just leave things behind and take this unbeaten and unpopular path of life. I know that what I want is not what the expected norms but I cannot deviate so much far from it as I have to deal with this s–t called “adulting”.

I know this is another phase, another chapter i have to close and let go to start anew.

This is life.

Hello 2016-err-2017

I would really say that blogging was not my top priority for 2016 and I missed a lot of opportunities to post all the amazing adventure that I did for that year. I did not have the time to create a 2016 montage video too to show you how my 2016 did fare just like what I did for 2015 but let’s see how can I summarize my 2016 for this post as I feel I need to at least share with you the highlights of my 2016 before I start my 2017 blogging journey (I do have high hopes that this is possible.)

January 2016

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I started my year right with a concert with one of the best Japanese rock band concert- One Ok ROck! You got it right! I went to Manila to attend the concert which I prepared for the last 5 months of 2015 with my dear Jrock-anime lover-ViK! We had a blast even we stayed for just 2D2N as we were also able to visit Manila Ocean Park, a day before the concert.

The concert was epic and Ryota was so hot with his shirt off, I mean he really did start without a shirt off till the end of the concert. It was the craziest concert I had attended in which I found myself dancing-jumping and rocking for two straight hours. Talking about my  adrenaline-insulin junkie self.

March 2016

A great friend of mine got married!

Samal Escapade with my siblings and other relatives

 

June 2016

I had undergone a major  dental surgery that almost drained my savings and whatever left of me financially. I do have a medical insurance but too bad it only covers basic dental services so I ended up paying for a whole lot of chunk with the medical bills -parents also contributed big time (Thank you Ma and Pa).

I also started to re-allocate and rebudget my finances for some adulting responsibilities (whatever left after the surgery)and I realized that adulting takes a lot of toll financially (kidding!). Traveling will not be as often as 2015 yet I decided to look at the brighter side of it and took it as an opportunity to try backpacking on a shoestring budget.

July 2016

Birthmonth and Baby Shower 🙂

I prepared a baby shower for my sister. 🙂

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Random Staycation 🙂

 

August 2016

For the whole month of August, I attended the ASEAN Youth Volunteer Programme in which I was among the 50 DRR Youth Leaders from 10 ASEAN Countries representing my beloved Philippines(host country). The program highlighted the participation and engagement of youth especially on issues concerning the ASEAN especially on Disaster Risk Reduction. If you are free, please also read my blog post about my whole  experience.

I am grateful to be part of this programme in which I have gained new friends and new experiences and I was just half way for my 2016.

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September 2016

This was a bittersweet month.

Last September 2, 2016, my sister gave birth to my beautiful niece, Iona.

Later that night, my beloved city of Davao experienced one of the challenging situation ever-a bomb exploded in the downtown area.I was really concerned especially that we were in the hospital at that time and I heard the code white announcement. I pray for the soul and continued healing of all the victims and their families.

I also booked a trip that I do really look forward for 2017. (Soon!)

I was also able to went back  to my hometown to visit my grandmother in the hospital and able to visit the popular Sibungan museum which is just less than 300 meters from the hospital. Three days after, my grandmother died.

October 2016

One phrase- OCTOBER BEACH FEAST! plus Maguindanao

  1. Dahican Beach, Mati, Davao oriental

2. Boracay Island

3. Baler, Aurora

4. Maguindanao

 

I also attended the wedding of my colleague 🙂

This is the first time that I attended a 4 AM wedding ceremony (most of the pictures are taken during the reception). I wok up at 2 AM just to do my hair and make-up and has to travel to the wedding venue. I dozed off during the ceremony though even I had a caffeine fix before the wedding. I dropped by to a 7/11 store to buy some coffee with the wedding outfit and make-up hahaha.

Some realizations that i have especially being in an age bracket that is considered marrying age is to invest into a basic dress that is considered the motif of the year. I did it last 2015 and 2016 which become handy to me. In an average, I do attend 2-3 weddings in a year and most of them have stuck with the motif so I saved big time with the dress. I only utilized one dress for a year but have become creative with accessories, shoes, hairstyle and make-up. 🙂

November 2016

D’Leonor Hotel, Davao City

December 2016

Holiday Season with various gatherings, celebration and reunions! (Too many photos!)

 

Overall, my 2o16 has provided me a lot of opportunities to learn, unlearn and relearn about myself. Things were quite challenging and I had a lot of bumps along the way but you know things just do fall on their right places at the right time. Some aspects of my life may not be where I wanted it to be but 2016 has taught me to be patient and savor every moment of it. I’m just happy with all the new friends, experiences and lessons that I have gained from 2016. I wish you all the best!

Hello 2017!

 

P.S. I have decided to take some time off from my personal blog as I need to work on my niche first so I will be back here in the meantime. I promise for at least one post per month and hopefully a weekly routine. Let’s hope ❤