My Life as a Blogger and Other (Not so) Recent Shiznits

Sunday, February 28, 2016 5 Comments A+ a-

I have over 50 drafts to date and not one of them is worth publishing anymore. Panis na kasi.

I don't know if I should feel bad about that or the fact that I got more stories still waiting to be written (cue: I Can Wait Forever by Air Supply). The blogging wells could run dry sometimes and I have a few things to blame. One, I am busy. And by busy, I mean, I do a lot of things that has nothing to do with productivity. Two, I have never failed at procrastinating. Three, blogging on a mobile device is absolutely frustrating.

But none of that really matters. No one's holding somebody a hostage to get me to write. So it's not really a big deal. Heck, the word deal should not even be brought up here. On the other hand, I feel like I am the one being taken hostage by this blog and it is demanding me to write something - and it does not matter if it is sensible or not. Damn you, blog. Why don't you just leave me alone?!

I can always quit though. It will save me the pressure of having to write something regularly that's not of a disposable value. But I won't. Whenever I am asked why I blog, I always give one solid reply. So if you are waiting for me to answer "because I earn from it" and expect me to talk to you about monetization strategies and shit, you picked the wrong girl. I have kept ads off my site. I find them annoying but not the same way those bakit-kung-sino-pa-ang-corrupt and drama-lang-walang-trabaho ads get into my nerves. But still, no one likes pop-ups and flashy banners, so I think I am kind of nice to spare you that one.

But I know you will not also buy my overused and overrated line, I blog for expression. Though I do love to express myself explicitly sometimes because I would explode if I won't be able to.

Blogging for expression is only half the truth. Of course, there's more to that story. The other half is divided into: one, I love the attention I get from it. Not everyone might openly admit it, but truth be told, any blogger would want readers and their attention. Otherwise, we would have just kept a private journal. And two, there are those little cherries on top of a pretty icing on a three-tier black forest cake which we can also call, the blogger perks.

As a small scale blogger who writes only about her misadventures, mundane activities, and what grinds her gears, I get to enjoy free passes, VIP seats, free dining, free trips and accommodation, free access to paid and premium services, gift certificates, free gadgets and so much more in an exchange for verbal diarrhea - the only diarrhea that I fervently enjoy. Although most of the time, I just get them with no strings attached.

The first two months of 2016 have really been great. Blogging has been slow but it was great. And believe it or not, it was not just all about the huge raid of freebies here and there. Blogging became a gateway to a lot of my life's little and even big accomplishments. And I am really grateful for that. To name a few are:

1. First and foremost, I finally took my commemorative trophy home. :)
Bloggys 2015

It took 3 months before I finally got my hands on these. I relished the few minutes of ecstasy when these were handed to me before my feelings got taken over by annoyance to the overwhelming Manila traffic.

Mt. Pulag: The Playground of the Gods Part 2

Sunday, February 21, 2016 17 Comments A+ a-

Brrr.

We were about 2,800 meters above sea level - that's just a hundred meters more to summit, maybe a few miles left to trek. I was clearly unfazed by the terrain. I was already told it was an easy trek. But still, for weeks, Jan and I conditioned our bodies for this. And it did pay off for it was definitely a walk in the park with a few uphills and steep climbs that did not seem to bother me. I never found myself catching my breath. And I could go on without taking little breaks. BUT I had to will myself to endure the cold that's never in Davao nor in any place that I've been to. Not even in Mount Apo. I have never shivered like this in Mount Apo. I had on me three layers of jacket and I can still feel the cold pierce my bones.

But the thought of those photos of every blogger who posted a perfect photo of Mount Pulag's summit was enough to propel me to go on. I know that's not what climbing is all about. But you see, we traveled more than a thousand miles from Davao and had to file a 2-day leave (without pay) for this. Judging from our time and financial resources, this is a climb that I might only do once. So a foggy view at the peak is the last thing I would want. Whatever we see up there, I sincerely hoped it was worth it.

It was still dark when when we reached the summit. The sky was illuminated by stars but it wasn't enough for me to see whatever's below us. It was just a vast and limitless horizon colored in pitch black. It didn't rain that night and the weather was perfect - which I thought was a good thing. But I was told it's not a guarantee we will see what we were here for. The weather in the mountains are an unpredictable lot - they can go from the most picture perfect sunny weather to the most unforgiving terrible conditions in a matter of seconds. If you're lucky, you'll marvel at the wondrous view of the playground of the gods. If not, well, let's just say it's the journey that really matters.

I kept my hopes up while setting my expectations low. I don't even know how's that possible. But I was in between feeling okay lang kung foggy and okay na okay kung cloudy moment. Unsure of what's stored for us, all I can do was collapse onto the shrubs, sleep, and wait.

Then streaks of yellow light started coming out from afar. The sun's rays were peeking and I can already see the endless and breathtaking view of the sea of clouds. Perfect! It was even more beautiful than I have imagined.

I was still shivering. I started to feel my thigh muscles becoming sore. Air was definitely thin and I was already drawing deep breaths. But whatever it was that I felt that moment, EVERYTHING WAS ALL WORTH IT.
Sea of Clouds Mount Pulag

Mt. Pulag: The Playground of the Gods Part 1

Friday, February 19, 2016 12 Comments A+ a-

How do I even begin this post? I have already spent 10 minutes just staring at the blinking cursor of this blank page and the rest of 50 minutes were spent just looking at all our pictures in Mt. Pulag (for the nth time).

I'm still lost for words.

With this beauty, who wouldn't?

Quaint Little City, Baguio!

Thursday, February 18, 2016 7 Comments A+ a-

Baguio is by far my favorite city next to Davao.

There are actually lot of things to do and places to go to in Baguio. But I'll be honest, the very reason why I was excited to visit Baguio is for the strawberries. I can ditch just any of the tourist spots in Baguio, but not the experience of picking strawberries (although the strawberry fields are not even in Baguio per se. Hehe)

Jan and I only had a day in Baguio, so I have to make sure we get to pick strawberries and have a lot of rest afterwards because we'll be having an exhausting adventure the very next day.

We arrived in Baguio at around 5 o'clock in the morning and the first thing that greeted me was the cold breeze. I was already having chills inside the bus and it even got colder the moment I stepped out of it. If I could, I would have just boarded back into the bus, turn the aircon into full blast and I would definitely still feel much better.

I was never built for the cold. I lack those natural thermal insulators a.k.a fats that could have given a little resistance. I knew Baguio is cold but I never expected it to be freezing that my fingers numbed and my body shivered at the gentle blow of the wind that then and there, I wished for a glass of warm milk. And I don't even like milk. But I swear, I'd be willing to chug one down in exchange of heat. I don't really remember what cold is anymore. The heatwave in Davao has spread to my brain, toasted it, and erased every memory I have of what it feels like to be cold.

Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw a taho vendor. A strawberry taho definitely sounds better than milk. So I bought one to save my cold butt from freezing. The warm soy pudding treat made me feel better that I gobbled it up in no time. It was so good, I wasn't able to didn't leave any for Jan. Haha.

And now that I'm blogging about it, I realize that I should have taken photos of the food we ate or places we went to. If I wasn't such a lazy person, that strawberry taho would have been instagram or blog post worthy, and then I would have tons of pictures to share, too. The Session Road in Baguio alone has a lot of tiny wonders and I don't have a single photo of it. Sigh. I know, I know. I fail as a blogger. Haha. But I won't apologize for my lack of effort in trying to fit in into the world of social media where everybody just knew stuff about you, what you did, where you went, what you wore, or what you ate.

Anyway, I still took a few photos. Here's how we spent our day in this charming little city. We definitely love it here. We had a blast.
First time to ride on a tandem bike.

Justin Bieber Can Back. Can You?

Saturday, February 6, 2016 19 Comments A+ a-

Hi!

I'm finally back! I guess, I really couldn't keep this blogging hiatus for a long time (yay!). Well, it's Saturday. I was slowly dying of boredom and I was about to finish myself off by listening to one more Justin Beiber song (I told you, I'm starting to become a Belieber) when I got an email saying I have won (a runner up) in Electrolux's Blog Writing Holiday Edition Contest. Sweet baby cheeses, life-saver, you are! Nabuhayan ako ng dugo.

Aside from winning and having a nasty virus that sent me sneezing and coughing sticky greenies (please excuse the mental graphic scene) that has done a pretty good job embarrassing me in quiet meetings and public places, the past weeks went by without much incident. I mean, I have been having no-bullshit days. And I think that's horrible. I cannot write anything when nothing bad happens (or when I'm too happy, too). And also, I haven't been thinking about anything lately. And that is terrifying for an over-thinker like me.

But not having a bad day isn't that bad at all. LOL. For the past few days, I have been working my ass off. And honestly, this new job is a bitter-sweet ride. I have got to admit, it wasn't easy transitioning from a skill-wise low self-esteemed Software Designer (that's how my previous boss made me feel) into a full-fledged Front-end Web Developer. But I love what I'm doing. I haven't gotten bored or stressed (yet) coding websites and fixing bugs, not to mention with a platform and framework that is totally new to me. Come on, Team Z, bring it on! (I hope our team lead wouldn't read this, baka kasi bigyan ako ng maraming tasks) Haha.

Anyway, Jan and I were supposed to have a medical examination today. But since this nasty sticky green goo is still dripping non-stop from my nostrils, I decided to just rest and have our med exam moved to Monday or Tuesday instead. Funny how this should be a perfect time to go and see a doctor but I had to be well before I can actually see a doctor. I need a clean medical certificate that would show I am fit for something that is physically strenuous. I'm afraid that a simple cough and cold on the record would restrict me from doing so. Paranoid lang.

Actually, I don't remember the last time I paid my doctor a visit. I usually turn to Dr. Google when something goes wrong. And funny how I still turn to him, when in fact, he can be scarier than any other quack doctors combined for he doesn't shy away from bad news. He has this pretty amazing way of convincing you that you have a brain cancer or ebola or that you are going to die.

We will all die anyway.

But I don't want to die of brain cancer or ebola. But maybe I would die of excitement. Because in the incoming days, Jan and I will be traveling far for another adventure. And I'm really stoked. And now that I think about it, uso pa ba ang laglag bala sa NAIA? Because I am now thinking how I find it derogatory not to mention dehumanizing that we have to secure our bags in the strangest, weirdest, and most ridiculous possible way just to protect ourselves from the very same people who were tasked by law to protect us. Hay nako! Makastress!

Nah. Here I go again, thinking about the worst possible things to happen. The chances of being victimized by Laglag Bala would be slim anyway. We're not even rich to begin with, and we don't even look rich. Pero dapat parin maging maingat.

Wow. I think I just talked about a lot of things in just one blog post. So much for the short hiatus, huh? February has been good so far. And I believe the rest of 2016 will be the same. See you on my next adventure! :)