Seagull Mountain Resort, Bu-Da

I'm not really in the mood to write about anything right now. But since our Seagull Mountain Resort was such an amazing adventure, it would be a crime if I let the days pass without sharing it. Because despite the deep sh*t I am into, I believe this is one of the best days of my life. :)
Seagull Mountain Resort Waterfalls

Ellipsis

While playing a game we called "catch the killer", where players can be either a killer, a healer or just a normal citizen and citizens will have to investigate and guess who the killer is (and we can only guess by observing their reaction, what they say, or how they act - it's more like a psychological game), I won three times in a row of being a killer. Not that I have a mind of a killer. But they said I have this game face on, a poker face. They can never tell.

I guess that's what I'm really good at. You know, hiding how I truly feel. People see me happy. And I know I just feign it. I can never lie to myself. When alone, I drown in tears and pretend like everything's okay the next day. I may seem to look happy but I still feel that sting, a pang of fear, uncertainty, anger, and remorse all rolled into one. Beyond the laughs I feel pain. And not even the loudest laughter can suppress it, not from me at least anyway.

So this is how it feels when you've just given up. This is how a heartbreak feels. The pain is just so real. How am I surviving this? Do you know the line just fake it until you make it? Well, I think  it's working pretty well for me. And I hope I can get through this in one piece.

Anyway, sorry for the short pathetic post. Shit happens and I just needed to vent.

P.S. I'm not a pathetic-emo-looking-damsel-in-distress, I still flash a smile despite being in the pits, and that for sure is the only thing that's remaining genuine right now. :)



Look on the bright side

I remember the time during a long bus ride from Gensan to Davao, I had this great conversation with a friend. And among all the things we have talked about, there's this one line he uttered that struck me the most which now became one of my life's mantra: Look on the bright side.

I've heard this line a thousand times before but I never really took it by heart until I'm the one sinking in deep shit. It got me to thinking, yeah, why would I linger on the negative when I can just look at the positive side and head towards that direction?

Yes I know, it's easier said than done. But there's no harm in trying, right? So to fully embrace that line and learn how to turn lemons into lemonade, I'm starting with small steps that will eventually lead me to see lifein a positive way, which you may find helpful too. So here's to a good one:

Count your blessings. Even the simplest and smallest ones. A friend gave me a candy that saved my arse from getting knocked out inside the office. See? that's one example.

Surround yourself with happy people. Happiness is like a virus, it spreads and it's contagious. Laugh. Joke around. Have fun. Nothing beats a heartfelt laughter or two a day.

Don't sweat the small stuff. You can just shrug off and dump those bad vibes and worries away. Just choose your battles wisely.

Smile. Enough said. ^____^

And if life has really been throwing you a lot of shit, look on the bright side, life would rather be dull if you were only smoothly sailing. :)

By the way, here's a song that goes out to all of you. Just listen and chillax:

Livin' on a Prayer

Today, I decided to stay home, bond with my son, relax, and I finally got the chance to turn on the tube. Sadly, all I see is the heart-wrenching devastation the typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda has brought to my countrymen. My heart goes out to those people who have lost their properties, pets, love ones, everything in a blink of an eye. But at the same time, I am also thankful that Davao was not affected even though it has been warned.

However, it got me to thinking. Yeah, we may have been spared from the calamity but each one of us, wherever we are may have experienced devastation in more ways than one - like broken relationships, abandonment, failure, rejection, losing the finals game, losing a job and the list goes on.

You see, when things like these happen, more often, we become too vulnerable that our emotions stir heavily and may become too overwhelming that we just let our emotions take control over us, which can result to our defeat. We may feel like we are already at the edge of the cliff, alone and not knowing where else to go. Coping from a devastation is like a jigsaw puzzle, you put the pieces back together, only in a much more difficult level; it's like putting back the pieces of a broken vase and you can cut yourself and bleed in the process.


But difficult and hopeless as it may seem, I firmly believe in the saying "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."  When all is lost, I know there's someone up there who will never leave you nor forsake you and He won't give you something you cannot endure. When you feel alone, there will always be someone you can turn to, and you can always draw your strength from Him through prayers.

I'm not a religious person to begin with but I pray. I do believe in the power of prayers. And I believe prayer doesn't only change things, but it changes the person and the things he can do. Yeah, people can really be skeptic sometimes, but when you've already cried countless of nights, holding on to that little ray of light and saying a little earnest prayer wouldn't hurt, right?

So when you feel like everything you hold dear is gone... PRAY. For a man is in his strongest when he kneels down and pray. Pray when you struggle. Pray when you triumph. Pray without ceasing. Pray. You may not see the answers immediately, you may not get the kind of answers that you want, but have faith... you will never know what prayers can do. :)

===☼===
Anyway, I'm sharing with you a song that I really love, not only because the song rocks but because of the message it's trying to tell the listeners. It symbolizes hope - that when times are really tough, never give up, just hold on, and live on a prayer.

We've got to hold on ready or not
You live for the fight when it's all that you've got

Ooohhh, we're half way there
Oh, livin on a prayer
Take my hand and we'll make it, I swear
Oh, livin on a prayer

Lessons from our SarBay adventure

Ever since I became a mom, I have inadvertently alienated myself from all forms of fun. I was reluctant to nightlife parties, I've always said NO to barkada outings, booze became a thing of the past, and the list goes on. Family-work-chores-wash-rinse-repeat. Yes, I was that lifeless. The only ember that's keeping my life aglow is my son.

Life was quite easy (and bland) back then that boredom became my comfort zone. But I guess I've seen what I am becoming, a wallflower - unsociable and almost non existent to many people, that I decided to step out of it and become human once again.

My new job, or my officemates slash new found friends rather, have opened a new portal for me. The life I never had in the last four years is slowly coming back. And I am already seeing the way I once was: a free spirited kid.

Okay, I'm already getting deep. So before I drown you with my sentiments, let me just tell you where my thoughts are coming from. Last Sunday, my colleagues and I went on a getaway to Gumasa, Glan, Saranggani Province - a 4-hour trip away from Davao. Everything from the bus rides to the long walks to the food we ate to the games we played to becoming hitchhikers sucked the stress out of us.

So little time, so much to do


I started to read a new epic fantasy novel the other night and I knew that it is an awesome book because the first few pages held me captive. The only thing that's keeping me from turning the pages is the fact that I still have work in the morning. Bummer.

You see, reading a book measures my stress levels. The less books I read would mean the more stressed I am. I haven't read a book in a month, my blog posts are dwindling, and not to mention, five pimples broke out in my forehead. So yeah, go figure.

I've been doing a lot of stuff lately: work, family, house chores, the nightlife I never had in the last four years, and my new found love, badminton. But I am not complaining because I actually enjoy every minute of it (except for the chores. lol). I just need a breather. Really. What would I not give to pick a book or two and have at least 3 hours for myself? :)

Anyway, here's a song I love since I was a sixth grader. Enjoy!





[I Love Mondays] Triple Treat

First, I would like to thank the slight, almost unnoticeable pain in my jaw that I felt when I got home tonight. I realized that I have been laughing and smiling most of the time for the whole day as my officemates and I talked about the wacky and catastrophic episodes during our company's team building that happened just last Saturday. Well, we all had a blast and we definitely have something fun to talk about. Two days, and we still can't get over it.

Second, who wouldn't love it when one of your bosses comes over your desk to give thumbs up and commends you for a job well done? It feels oh so great!

And lastly, an officemate brought a box full of mango squares and it was my first time to eat one. I'm not really into sweets, but this one takes the cake. I got one happy tummy, yay!

I love Mondays. And this Monday has really been good to me... it's definitely a triple treat. September has been awesome. It started well and it ended well too... Thank you Lord! :)



Changing Lanes

Everyone who knew me and those who read my blog know that I've been working at home ever since I got my first job. July this year, I was quite devastated when I heard the news that the company I work with (and came to love) has to put me from full-time to contractual work since sales and AU dollar rate have been declining. Meaning, I only have work to do and get paid when the need arises.

It's actually the biggest heartbreak of my career because: One, my bosses are really nice. You will seldom see nice (and forgiving) foreign bosses like them. Two, I had a great team. A project manager and developers that I can collaboratively work flawlessly with, beat that. Three, it's the highest paying company I've ever been to that my salary as a designer can equal to that of a developer (or even higher compared to other companies).

I admit it, I know it's shallow, but the last one bit me the hardest.

I guess blessings in disguise can come in many forms and one is losing your job. I ended my full-time contract with my previous company in mid-August, and I got hired and started working on the first Monday of September in the BEST freakin' office ever. E-vuur. Well, it's God's way of saying, when He takes something away, He will indeed replace it with something much better. And I never expected it would be this soon.

Here's to why I think it's the best:

1. I have the best view. Overlooking the serene view of Davao, the gulf, and Samal island is just half a glance away from my desk.
What a beautiful distraction. ♥_♥

Transitions

September marks the month of transition. Well, to most Pinoys, the start of BER months mean a transition from the ordinary days to the festivities of Christmas. As early as the first day of September some friends are already posting Christmasy statuses on Facebook. So if you're getting a Christmas greeting in social media as early as the first of September, we have not lost our minds. It's just a culture thing.

Well, yeah, I feel the transition. But this September begins a bigger transition in my life. Starting tomorrow, I will be a WAHM (work-at-home-mom) no more. Yep, you heard that right. I will no longer be waking up at the heat of the sun on my face, turn on the laptop and work on my jammies. Starting tomorrow I will have a new routine which includes dressing smartly, beating the rush hour, getting stuck in the traffic, going up the elevator, and checking in.

Not only that, I will also be transitioning from being a Web Designer to a Design Engineer a.k.a. someone who designs software or apps for ios and android. Well, the tasks are not actually far from my previous work as it uses the same software and media, and it's still digital designing. It's just that I have no experience for this and unlike web design I still do not know the essentials of designing apps, you know, functionality and performance-wise without compromising aesthetics and stuff like that.

My training will start tomorrow. I'm not afraid on jump-starting into a new challenge. What I'm more afraid of is the change. The fact that I will no longer be working from home. Meaning, I will no longer be the one to feed my son, get him to take his vitamins, prepare him for school, review and help him with his assignments and so on.
Note to self.

Well, I shall bless the day I get through this. So September, please be good to me.

And Merry Christmas by the way. :)




Bookshelf Tour

For months I've been going back and forth the sites Share Your Shelf and Book Shelf Porn.  I really enjoy looking at other people's bookshelf. Bookshelves fascinate me. And I easily fall in love with bookshelves no matter how organized and disorganized they are. Finding new reads, seeing what others read, what books we have in common, how one organizes his shelf... I think it's orgasmic. I believe that is every book lover's nature. Right? So, I thought I would like to share and bring you on a virtual tour to my own bookshelf.

I don't really organize or arrange books in particular way. Although, I do rearrange my books (for hours!) from time to time because I find it comforting. Mind you, I am a very messy person, but when it comes to my shelf, OCD always kicks in. hahaha. Although I was never one in the first place. It's like some OCD inducing bug bites me whenever I get near my shelf. LOL.

While others organize their books by genre, by color, or by author. I just put whatever fits. But, fantasy books always go to fantasy shelf, and series/trilogies/sagas always go together. Anyway, here's a closer look for each shelf. Just click the images for a bigger view.
Wheel of Time Shelf, Lord of the Rings, Abhorsen Trilogy, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss
Topmost shelf: Fantasy shelf :)

Random Thoughts on Reading and Books


- I love to read.

- I read whatever I get my hands on.

- Although I'm not a particularly big reader. I have an inconsistent reading habit. I may read 10 books in a month or I don't read anything at all.

- I may be a fast reader that I can devour a 750-page novel in just one day or very slow that a 300-page book might take a month. I guess it depends how much a book can captivate me.

- One thing is for sure, I don't leave a book unfinished, no matter how much I struggle getting through to the last page.

Nothing Compares to Weekends Spent Simply with Family and Coca-Cola

Every day, I'm juggling between family, work, and house chores. As someone who spends stressful hours on weekdays, weekends are definitely the days I look forward to.

Davao itself has a lot to offer if you want an awesome weekend blow-out;  bands, party, booze, beaches, food, adventures, they're everywhere! On weekends, I have the liberty to stay up late and wake up late, spend hours chilling at the mall, get wasted at late night gigs, or have a blast on a planned out-of-town getaway. But ever since I became a mom, weekends have never been the same.

During the first year of being a mom, I thought weekends stopped being fun. Well, actually it did. The supposed hours spent chilling at the mall is replaced with a mountain of laundry and clothes to iron. Gigs turned to whines, woes, and endless badgers from my little monster. Getaways become pretty exhausting that I would rather stay all day in bed, recharging for another stressful week. In short, weekends were no different from my dreaded work days; it turned to be a routine that's downright tiring and a hell lot boring.

I thought I'm gonna have to live with and get used to that. But then I chose not to. I prodded myself to let go of my old life and embrace the new one instead. I opened my eyes to an abundance of small blessings. Yes, the sudden change of my weekend activities has caught me off guard but it taught me a lot of things too, one is, learning to appreciate and be thankful even to the littlest and simplest things.

Gone are the days of being careless and free. But who says I can't have fun without the usual gigs, parties and getaways? I believe that even the simplest things and the most mundane activities can make the weekends the greatest. Point is, there are little things around us that can actually make us happy, only, they often go unnoticed. I always think or plan of the great things that I want to happen instead of looking at the things that I already have, so it's no surprise that I ended up complaining. I have always regarded that it is the grandest, most expensive, and finest happenings that make the best memories; but I realized that more often than not, the fondest and most cherished ones are created from genuine happiness. Happiness in their simplest form.
Good book + Coke + scenic view of Mt. Apo. A well-deserved weekend. :)


Revisiting the Old Davao...


....through photos!

I was born in 1985 in Manila, but we moved to Mindanao before I turned 1. I spent 27 years in Davao but only cared about my hometown when I turned ten. I never really got to see the beauty of Davao in the late 80s and early 90s. But thanks to Davao of the Past | A Repository of Old Davao Images, I got the chance to visit my beautiful hometown even in the earliest times.  Yep, even as early as the days of Spanish Colonization.

Delight came over me as my eyes feasted to more than a hundred old photographs. I feel so nostalgic even though I know I haven't been to that time, but I know it is where I always belong. Seeing the beautiful and developing years of Davao has made me happy; but sadness coupled with yearning also dawned upon me as I know I will never be able to visit those places. Not in their grandiose form, to say the least.

These are just a few of my favorite photos that I grabbed from the page (circa 1920s-1980s, in no particular order). Way better than any instagram filter, right? So see for yourself the beauty the old Davao has to offer. What would I not give in a heartbeat to jump back to this era? :)
The old cinemas in Claveria where we used to watch a movie doubled with another movie.
 Of course, this photo is way older. 

Duterte has Davao's Support

We came from different cultures, different families, practice different religions, go to different schools, live different ways. We are so different in so many ways but there's one thing in common about us, WE ARE DABAWENYOS. And we are so proud of it.

Well, who wouldn't be? Davao is the only place in the country where I feel I am most safe. It's the only place where you can actually walk around downtown area in the wee hours of the morning while flaunting your most expensive gadget and not feel worried about it. Or where taxi drivers don't take advantage on you, especially when you're a tourist. Or where you can't spot a single smoker in the open (yep, health-wise, it's the safest). And yes, I can name more.

Thoughts On Being a WAHM

When I'm on facebook, I don't just spend my time stalking on people's profiles and read about what they do with their lives. I join groups. Groups for mommies, bloggers, freelancers, hobbyists, online money makers and whatnot. Groups where you find healthy discussions, lessons from experiences, advises, and whatever useful tips you can get from there. Yep, these groups actually prove that facebook's existence is not just for stalkers, braggart, and/or attention seekers - just like every one of us. hahaha

While lurking on one of my most visited groups, Girltalk - a group for women, particularly moms who want to share their journey of motherhood, I came across a number of threads about full-time working moms who are in a dilemma of quitting their jobs to become full-time hands-on mom.


Happy Meal: Despicable Me 2 Minions

I never really buy happy meals. In fact, I never really like McDonald's, save for the Coke float and hashbrowns. And except when I'm with friends and it's their fast food choice (i'm submissive) or when I am in for a treat. But I don't eat there just because my taste buds say so. I prefer to eat greens, thank you.

But anyway, I cannot resist the minions. I am one of those who has gone loco over these cute little yellow henchmen (Potatooo-o-oh!). My son loves them, but I think I'm the one who's more excited about it. LOL. Oh, it's the kid in me again. Hence, our first ever happy meal toys.
Happy Meal Minions
Complete cast. Jerry, Tom, Tim, Dave, Stuart, and the two evil minions.

It's not really complete. It lacks two. But I don't think we need another Tim and Stuart, same characters just with different action/version. So yes, basically, it's complete. And I think R's gonna puke if I have to shove another burger to his mouth. Well, you should know how boyfriends function. They devour the food we don't like, we get the toy. Haha kidding. I ate.

And you might be wondering why I bothered to blog about this? It's my FIRST ever happy meal. So please spare me from my kababawan. :D





Girls Toys for Little Boys?

Last Saturday, we went to a toy store and I gave my son the liberty to choose whatever toy he wants - on a limited budget, of course! I already got over buying him expensive ones, because I learned that for a child below the toddler age, whatever the brands, or how much the cost, those toys are just a piece of plastic waiting to be destroyed. haha

Anyway, after scouring shelf after shelf, my son finally got to pick the toy of his choice. Not that it was surprising, but yes, I was surprised that he chose an unusual toy. I mean, it's pretty unusual for a 4 year old boy to choose a kitchen set over cars, action figures, tool set, legos, or swords (yep, he's been obsessed to swords lately. I put the blame on Mickey Mouse: Three Musketeers and Juan dela Cruz. lol).


Our First School Battle: Homework

Letting a 4 year old who has just learned how to write the alphabet (in a scribbly-squiggly way) do a Science homework, to write five activities you do using the parts of your bodies, is just exhausting. Yep, in my part. They've been in school, learning stuff all day (or half day for him), to add another homework I think would be an overkill. I even have to ask myself, What have I gotten my son into?

He's only in number 2 when he started losing interest. And at number 4 I started losing patience. He's getting distracted and I'm getting frustrated. I'm afraid that I may get too frustrated that I might inadvertently be putting him under pressure. I might even forget that he's only a kid, a toddler for that matter. Which beyond any doubt, is something I don't want to happen.

You know you have very awesome friends when...

Friends support and wish you success whatever your business is. But when your friends abuse and make the most out of your business to the point that you are already losing rather than gaining profit and they just laugh boisterously about it - then you know you have the best and greatest friends. Hahaha. Refill lang ng refill ng ink at photopaper. Kamot ulo na lang. Hahaha! Great times! ;)

Just a few of our crazy episodes (from our buddy's photobooth business):

[I Love Mondays] Red's First Day!

It's Monday! And today is The Queen's Birthday! The Queen's Birthday is a public holiday that celebrates the monarch of the Commonwealth, currently Queen Elizabeth II . Well, as someone who has spent her entire life in the Philippines, Queen Elizabeth's birthday has nothing to do with me. But since I work under an Australian company, I am given this day off! Woot! Australian public holidays don't fill all ten fingers in your hand, and I'm really thankful that this day fell on my son's very first day of school.

I am so happy that I was there to see all my child's sloppy firsts. I've never missed a milestone, and this, his very first venture in the real social world, is something I don't ever want to miss.

I've already set my mind to take an off from work when this very day comes. Just so you know, Australian companies pay you by the hours you worked - which means no work no pay. And I was already ready to sacrifice the day. But hey, thank God it's The Queen's Birthday! :)

Angels in the Rain

Last night, R and I went out to have dinner at SM. Not long after, heavy rain started to pour, and just when we reached Matina, rain water was already above the ankle level and rising. (Yep, I'm also asking myself the same question, what happened to Davao?)

We're only just a few meters, perhaps about 10 meters away from SM's parking lot when our vehicle refused to move. It didn't want to start. We're stranded under a heavy rain, where flood is gushing and already knee deep (and rising). And yes, we're really starving.

A few minutes later, a boy (about 16-18) came out of nowhere, ran towards us and knocked on the window, gesturing what appears to look like pushing. From the inside I could hear him shouting "Tulak?!" In a situation like this, I don't think somebody will ever refuse.

Under the rain, they pushed our vehicle with all their might. I'm not talking about a small sedan car here, not even an SUV, I'm talking about a truck, a small media truck loaded with media equipment and heavy speakers at the back. Imagine how heavy would that be? And they have to push the truck all the way to the parking lot on an inclined parking entrance.

I prepared 100 Php to pay them, R even argued to give them 150 because they are many(about 8-10) and the truck's really heavy. They're even the ones who took the parking pass from the guard and handed it over to us. But when we gave them the money, they just flashed a big smile and said "Ayaw na kuya, trip trip lang namo ni" (Don't worry about it, we're just doing it for fun). I'm surprised that they refused even though we insisted many times. I mean, it's pretty common here that tulak boys would watch out for cars that have broken down during floods and heavy rain, and push them in exchange of a few coins. I gave the boys an incredulous look, but they just waved and turned around.

They are indeed angels in the rain. All we can do is to thank them with all our hearts. I just hope we didn't insult them with the 150 that we tried to pay them. They walked away knowingly or unknowingly saving the lives of three people, and no amount of money could ever equal to that.

To the people who helped us out there, I don't know who you are, I may not be able to recognize your faces when I chance upon you on the streets, but somehow, someone up there saw your heroic deed and we know that it will not be forgotten for sure. May God bless you more and more. And again, thank you very much!

Faith in humanity restored. :)




lack·a·dai·si·cal


I've never been this idle since I got myself into the world of WAHMs (Work at Home Mom). You know, given the time I save from commuting to and fro, I should have the liberty for a hobby or something.

Okay, I do have a hobby but it's not as strenuous as before. As a matter of fact, it doesn't even require to move a muscle. lol

When was the last time I actually worked up a sweat? Or tried something new? I used to be soooo active. I was once a football player, a dancer, a mountaineer. But now? Now, I am exhausted. Exhausted for doing nothing. I fear that my thirst for thrill and vigor has slowly gone away. :(

Right now, (yes, in bold uppercase letters) I TERRIBLY MISS:

Discovering your child's passion: What could be stopping them?

"Make your passion your profession, and work will become a game." -Rancho, 3 Idiots.

The quote is so true in many ways. I am happy that I'm walking through this path. As happy as I was contemplating what became of my life and my career, I feel sad for the youth nowadays. Life in the 21st century is becoming easier and harder at the same time. Due to the rise of technology, everything can be done at a touch of a button. And due to all these techie gadgets I realized that it's almost impossible for the young ones nowadays to discover their passion. 

I remember the time as a kid in an adult function I am given a pen and a paper to keep me occupied, and then I'll start doodling and scribbling. Right there and then, I know my love for art sprouted. But now, I see 'well-behaved' kids everywhere, even in playgrounds, too busy pressing those little handheld machines, totally shut from the environment and any social interaction. It's just sad to see that some parents tolerate this kind of habit just to make their children shut up and stay in one place.

How will these children find out what sparks their interest when these gadgets have taken away their time to explore and discover what truly excites them?

The simplest and easiest way to unearth your passion is tracing it at a starting point, your childhood. What you love to do as a child is most likely what you would want to become when you grow up. Yes, it may change. But you will never know until you try. And as a child you still have a lot of time to develop love-hate relationships with the things that you do. With a child's mind being limitless, open, imaginative, creative, free, and pure, you will never know what can be discovered.
These electronic gadgets do not only take away childhood, but also the discovery of a budding talent or a skill. It takes away the opportunity of unveiling hidden desires and passion waiting to be discovered. Save for those kids who want to become game and app developers for they've been exposed and have embraced their passion early on. But what about those kids who could have been a playwright, a musician, an archaeologist, a detective, a visual artist, a football player, or an inventor? 

Living a life without passion is miserable. If you think it's okay to do something you don't love, then I can say that you are not truly happy. And this is not what I want to happen with the children, especially my son. I'm not totally against technology, as I know it can help in some ways. But as much as possible let's try to steer clear from gadgets and let our children play outside, let them touch and hear the real things, engage them to physical not electronic games, and just let them freely discover what they truly want.



SarBay Fest 2013

What's not to love about pristine beaches with a long stretch of white powdery shores? Plus, there are fun-filled activities you can enjoy by the day - games, sports, body painting, henna tattoo, water and sand activities; then a rock concert, pageant, foam party and magnificent fireworks display to end the fest! Yes, everything happened in Sarangani Bay Fest 2013.

SarBay Fest is a 2-day beach festival held last May 24-25 at Gumasa, Glan, Sarangani. I am one of the 70,000 attendees. Gosh! I never thought it would be that many. Well, it wouldn't be called Mindanao's biggest beach festival for no reason. But the despite the number of people, it wasn't that stressful, it was actually very fun.

I'm still at lost for words at the beauty Sarangani beaches have to give. Everything looks so stunning and amazing.Anyway, I won't be too generous with words because everything I say will be an understatement. The pictures, which I am well aware do not do justice to the beauty of the place, will tell you all. :)
Sarbay Fest 2013
Jet Ski Competition. There was also Bankarera, Sand building comp., Fun run, Beach volley, Beach football, and other sports and mini-games that I wasn't able to take pictures of.

Of Nancy Binay and Dream Jobs

After the fast but rather disappointing turnout of 2013 election results, a lot of jokes and memes have gone viral in the world of social networking sites. And the most prevalent are Nancy Binay's.  And of course, following the memes, Nancy Binay wasn't able to get away with name verbing. Remember "i-Dawn Zulueta mo ako", or "na-Janine Tugonon si ganito"? this time, we have
Upon seeing this, I just remembered- I have big dreams, jobs to be exact, that I would love to achieve but just like Nancy Binay, I also lack experience. The difference is, I don't have to spend a single taxpayer's cent.

But I won't talk about the elections, or Binay's win and her lack of background and experience, or how I think she'll screw up in the incoming years. I've had enough of that. There's nothing more I can do but to pray and hope for the best. Today, I'll talk about my dream jobs. Jobs I know I have the heart for but never had the real hands-on experience.

 Here goes (in no particular order):

Dream Job #1: Be part of Disney Pixar Studios
For what position? I don't know. I just want to be part of the team. I know little to nothing on animation or filmmaking, or whatever's behind the scene of every Pixar film. But hey, I can learn. I was a BS-Nursing graduate and I ended up being a web designer and have also coded/developed a lot of websites. Point is, I can learn. And yes, I can dream on.
Can I?

Dream Job #2: Sports Unlimited Host or something like that
Dyan Castillejo's Job. Yeah, I've always wanted her job. Athletic and adventurous as she is, that's just me. Hosting won't be a problem, as I've done a thousand of reporting in front of our class before. I got a lot of training eh? Hahaha. But really, who wouldn't love this job? Traveling and venturing on new and adrenaline-pumping activities? Not to mention they pay you while doing it. I'd kill a fly with my bare hands to get the spot.
Shameless confession you don't really need to know but I'll tell you anyway: I have auditioned to be part of a late night travel show Trip na Trip. Spent the whole week trying to send my email application (with video), but it gets bounced all the time. Not for me. hahaha

Dream Job #3: Wildlife Biologist
I am not just a dog person. Ever since I was born I already have a soft spot for animals. I always get fascinated with them. I think they're even smarter and have more heart than most people. I've always wanted to understand them. I love animals.

This is why I am so thankful mom bought me those big books of animals when I was a kid. This is why I watch Animal Planet and NatGeo whenever I have the chance (note: I grew up without a cable tv and I'd kill for the remote). This is why I never get sick of watching animal documentaries and small clips in Youtube even though I've watched them a gazillion times. This is why I always perk up whenever we visit the zoo or an animal sanctuary. This is why I would like to get a chance to be in the place of Tippi Degre, the real life Mowgli, even just for a day.

If money is not an issue (a dire need at that), I may have become a zookeeper here or maybe a vet.

These are the jobs that I have no formal study or training whatsoever. Jobs that I want, triggered only by passion. Realistic albeit almost close to impossible for me to attain. I do have realistic and attainable goals in life, but daydreaming once in a while wouldn't be so bad, right?

We all have dreams. We all want something, we're just uncertain because we know we lack experience and confidence. But we can always dream, and try, and fail, and try again. (Just don't do it at the expense of the public and the taxes they're paying. Just don't.)

I love my current job and I'm very happy with it right now. But if one of my dream jobs gets delivered right at my feet, there's no doubt that I'll grab it whatever the odds may be. Who knows? Maybe I'll be lucky. Looking into the bright side, maybe I have a Nancy Binay to thank. ;)

How about you? What is your dream job? I know you have one. :)


Photos courtesy of Google, NancyBinayed photo courtesy of Facebook shares

[I Love Mondays] Sweet Surprise

A mailman knocking at our doorstep isn't new to me. I've been buying online and a package is always to be expected. But today, it was different. I got a knock from the mailman with a package addressed to me but I don't remember buying anything online recently.

To my surprise, it's from the company I work with. :)

It is nothing expensive, like a tablet or a laptop (*ahem*) hahaha kidding. But it is the thought and sweet surprise that really made my day. Been working at home for 4 years from different companies, and this is my first time to receive a gift from a cyber employer. My bosses are oh so awesome!

Gifts, whatever the occasion is, are wonderful. But what's not to love about a surprise - especially when given in an ordinary day - on a hot and tedious Monday? Seriously, how freakin sweet is that?

I am very happy that my work is appreciated. That's pretty enough to motivate me to work harder. :)
Big hugs and thankies to my big bosses! :)




Mother's Day Tribute

I have not been the most obedient child, nor have I been the sweetest or thoughtful one.  But it seems like God is still in favor of me because He has given the best mother of all time.

A lot of my friends know I did not have the best relationship with my mother. I am hard-headed, stubborn, rebellious, and a tad spoiled brat and she, on the other hand, has the eye of the tigress and the mouth of a machine gun. We do just fine lest our heads collide - it's gonna be chaos.

Send My Love to Heaven


This could be the most compelling and heart-breaking short story I have ever read. I've read this when I was in high school. Thought the emotion is just coming from schmaltzy-waltzy-easily-touched teenage girl. But at 27? A little tear still tried to push its way out of my eyes. Up until now, I do not know who wrote this story, but I salute to you.

Read it. I'm sure your time will be worth it. *hands you a tissue*

Davao Bloggers Acquaintance Party 2013

A Tale from a First-timer

I've never been to any bloggers social gathering before. I never had the courage to join, especially when I know nobody.  Last Friday, May 3, 2013, was different. I decided to join Davao Bloggers Acquaintance Party just because. I was apprehensive but at the same time excited. In fact, too excited that I forgot to bring my camera and my phone *facepalm*

The venue was at Krispy Kreme - SM Lanang, but to me it felt like I was in a jungle. Really. I felt like a very little mouse in a jungle full of big unknown creatures. I do not know anybody, except perhaps for the familiar faces I've seen during my usual rounds of blog hops. I was intimidated and too anxious to go anywhere near the big ones, like they're a predator and I'm a prey.

Nobody knows me. But that's probably a good thing. I can just sit there quietly, try to be as small as I can be, and assume that I am invisible to everyone else. And for the win, I didn't have a phone that I can tinker so that I can pretend to look busy. I just sat there and read Krispy Kreme's paper placemats featuring their Mickey Mouse treats even if there's really nothing there to read. Muntanga lang. hahaha =D

It was a perfect fifteen-minute pathetic moment. But I didn't want to be pathetic (yeah, 15 minutes too late). So I flashed a gawky smile to the first stranger in front me and started a small but awkward conversation. Then one stranger after another, they came welcoming me with big, warm, friendly smiles. In a heartbeat, I snapped back into my senses. Hey, I am not in a jungle. I'm in a Davao Blogger's Acquaintance Party! And these creatures here aren't scary after all. Armed with shy His and Hellos, I made my way through the jungle meeting new people.

Yes, I survived.

To cut the story short, I enjoyed the night. I enjoyed their presentation of how Davao Bloggers started, their previous and incoming activities, and their goals. Which makes me want to slap myself for not joining this group ages ago. What have I been missing? Sigh. I am so amazed by their camaraderie. The fellowship they have shown is different. They are a family. The more I see them together, the more that I yearn to be part of it. Which I believe I should be. (Brace yourselves, new member coming! hehe)

I enjoyed the games and of course, the food! It was an awkward start but ended with a blast. A big one at that. And now, I look forward to more blogger gatherings like this.

 I'd like to grab this opportunity to thank everyone, especially the officers, behind the Davao Blogger's Acquaintance Party. Thank you for bringing us together. We, especially the newbies, need events like this. A chance to gather, mingle, share and just enjoy the day with our fellow bloggers.I certainly think this is still, after all, a jungle... only filled with crazy but beautiful and friendly creatures.
The attendees. Me, the girl in yellow green.  Photo courtesy of Algene Cutamora.
And of course, the event wouldn't be a success without our generous sponsors whose support has gone a long way. Your are truly appreciated.

Krispy Kreme
Smart Communications
Ogilvy Public Relations Manila
Crea8tech Solutions
Canon Marketing (Philippines), Inc
Sun Cellular
SM Lanang Premier
SM City Davao
Maxima Aquafun Resort
Wayph.com
Yellow Hauz




As you can see, I don't have pictures to share. I just snagged one from a fellow blogger. So the next time I'll join gatherings like this, I'll forget everything but the camera. hehe



Early Days of Graphics Designing

My love for digital art started from a simple photo manipulation. I was 17. All I did was edit a photo by adding fancy texts, splatter some brushes here, add some glitters there, added fancy filters and voila! I called it art. And I was so proud of it.

Then one photo after another, I started to improve. I explored almost stueverything that has something to do with pixels. From photo manipulation to vector to vexel to digital paint. It became more than a hobby... it became my passion.

Today, I'd like to share with you my firsts on every type of project I made. These are just a few of a hundreds of my projects during the early days of  still learning how to unleash creativity using the digital technology.

The Pixelated Lass

I finally came up with a domain for my blog. Presenting!

 *drum roll* 

thepixelatedlass.com

Why ThePixelatedLass?

First of all, I feed on pixels. I am a graphics and web designer by profession. And my hobby has something to do with pixels too. But for formality reasons: this blog, each post here represents one single pixel of a larger hi-res image that I call my life. And each pixel is differently colored - from grayscale to the most vibrant of all - that when put altogether, these little pixels will create the most beautiful picture of all.

And of course, I am still a lass. Turning 28 this June, already a mom, I still can't consider myself a full-fledged adult. You see, most people say I look younger than my age and I act younger than I look. The child and youth in me will always be with me no matter how much I age. Yes, I can act like an adult, but I guess I'll never be one. Being an adult is overrated anyway, or at least that's what I tell myself. I'll always be a lass, no matter what. I think I can live with that. :)

An oh lookie! I'm almost done with my banner! Yey!


Naming again... and it's hard

Do you know how many times I've gone through the tedious process of naming something? Now let me see...

RPG Character Naming. I've been an MMORPG player since I was 17. And creating an in-game-name would take me from morning til dawn. Not exaggerating. Gamers definitely know this. I have to think of something that's cool, easy to remember, and remarkable, and of course, not taken yet. Yes, it was that miserable. I've played a number of games for years, but haven't gotten past the first stage of naming in-game characters instantly.

Blog Titles. I've been blogging since 2003, merely just for an online diary. I've used many platforms before. I've had livejournal, friendster blogs, gaiaonline notes, multiply blogs, myspace blogs, blogsome, wordpress, and tumblr. But then again naming one blog title is harder than writing a 1000-word essay.

Baby Names. When I named my son, I've gone through many baby name books, the internet, portmanteau of our names, suggestions from friends, and then a thousand lot of brainstorming, even arguments with R. It took months to come up with something. Months of listing then scratching out. This is permanent. This is not for me. Therefore, it has to be good. It has to be something I know my son will love. Nevertheless, I think this is the only naming process I enjoyed and truly giddy about. But still, it was hard.

Business Name. Then the birth of my now defunct online shop for babies and toddlers (technically it's still there, but it no longer serves its purpose as an online shop). I've gone through google translate, books, naming suggestions, and again, a lot of brainstorming, sorting, and finalizing. It was hard to come up something that is professional, unique, easy to remember, something like a brand identity.

Domain Names. Wait. This isn't the first time that I'll be thinking of domain names. How many domains have I registered already? 4? And how many are still running? Only 1 (my portfolio), albeit inactive and outdated. lol. I have this tendency to change blogs from time to time, also changing the domain names. But I think this will be the last (ooops, I've already said this before. hahaha)

Now, I'm despicably on another quest for naming. An effin domain name for this blog. I hate it because I got deprived of another good night's sleep. lol. I have a lot of ideas in mind. In fact they are so overwhelming that I just can't make up my mind anymore. I might even end up choosing none. Haha

I wish this is just as easy as naming a fish "Nemo" or "Fishy". But no. It. Is. So. Damn. Hard.




The Joy in Plastic Covers

I blog about anything. Even the littlest randomest thing about my life. And today I'd be sharing just another mundane post. Plastic covers. Does this interest you? Of course, not. Who cares about plastic covers anyway? They're just petty little transparent things that doesn't really have any impact to our lives, albeit useful. But you don't think it's really worth blogging at all, do you? Well, it doesn't matter. I'd blog about anything that makes me happy. So please, excuse my kababawan. hahaha :)

The Book Thief

I just came from a heartbreak.

F*** you Markus Zusak. I hope you are now aware how many people could have hated you so much for writing a terribly depressing but brilliantly written novel. 550 pages. Five hundred fifty gripping pages. Tearing my soul page by page. I am amazed how you can actually create such a simultaneously beautiful and heartbreaking story. I don't know how you're doing it, but just keep it up. You sir, are a genius.

Mang Nanie: More Than Just a Book Caretaker

What can I say about a man who turned his home into a free reading library? A book caretaker? A street librarian?

Hernando "Nanie" Guanlao, a man with an overwhelming passion for books set up a little library - encouraging little kids, students, young adults, and adults to read. It started some time in year 2000 with his own books of no more than a hundred. Placed it outside his house by the door to see if people will be interested to borrow them, and they did. Some are even returning with more books to add to his collection. Thus, the birth of his public library, or simply he calls it, Reading Club 2000.

It is a library with no strict rules, the only rule is to enjoy reading to your heart's content. Readers can take home as many books as they want and they can keep it for long without having to worry about overdue fees, they can even keep it permanently. For the many years that he was running his public library, rather than having a dwindling number of books, his collection seems to grow amazingly that it has already taken over his house as more and more people donate to his cause (Bless you angels!) This just proves that despite the instability of our economy and the redonk rise of prices, some of the best things in life remain free. :)

His goal to share the joy of reading to local communities didn't stop there. To be able to reach out and help the marginalized communities in Manila, he travels with a big pile of books in his "book-bike". He also sends boxes of books for different public schools, barrios, remote areas and island provinces. He devotes himself distributing the books that were donated by kind-hearted donors and he has already contributed a lot for the literacy of many people. I do believe that this man really deserves a recognition more than this blog post, more than the written articles, more than the TV guestings.

I've heard of Mang Nanie last October 2012 when I was given a web design project. I was moved by his deed. And since then he became my inspiration. Mang Nanie is from Barangay La Paz, Makati and I am from Davao. But despite the distance between us, I feel like we're already connected. I am a book lover and I love reading books, that's one. Two, I am honored to design the official Reading Club 2000 website and logo.
It is so far the simplest design I've ever created for a website, but it's the project I feel the most honored. I'm telling you about this because I am so proud of what I did. :)

I and the rest of the team (the company I worked with) are happy to be a part (at least) of his advocacy. That even in our very own little way, we helped in spreading his act of kindness through the internet. That through his website, we'd be able to reach out to more people throughout the country and worldwide. To let people realize the importance of reading. To inspire other people to help those who are not given the privilege to read. To reach out to you, to us, the more fortunate class. We are so lucky that we were given the opportunity to learn, to read. And we have brothers and sisters out there who have not even held a book yet their entire life. I know that we, even in our own little way can help.

I really admire Mang Nanie. He's more than just a book caretaker or a street librarian. He's a modern day hero. An inspiration to everyone who loves to read and those who want to learn to read. He's someone to look up to. Someone who has shown that you really don't need money or great influence to be able to help. I wish I'd be able to visit his place one of these days with a pile of my old school books. I'd be very honored to meet a man that has inspired and helped many. I love his pledge to help people gain easy and free access to literature and education. Not everyone in the Philippines is privileged enough to own a book or two, or worse, read. But if there were other Mang Nanies around, our country would definitely be a better place.

"You don't do justice to these books if you put them in a cabinet or a box. A book should be used and reused. It has a life, it has a message. As a book caretaker, you become a full man." -Nanie Guanlao

Mabuhay ka Mang Nanie! Saludo kami sayo!


Thankful for Mondays

Most of us dread Mondays. I say "us" because that definitely includes me. Monday comes when you least expect it, so stealthy, so quick, striking you hard right in the face. Weekend over. Finito. Which made me feel like I haven't had any rest. No wonder why I hate Mondays 8 days a week.

But no matter how dreadful Mondays are, little things happen that either make us smile or laugh, let us feel relieved, or comfort us. It's just that they always go unnoticed. Good things happen on Mondays too, we only choose not to recognize them because we loathed Monday in the first place. So from this day forward, I'll be posting about petty little things that made my Monday a good day as my way of saying "I thank God for Mondays."

Giddy Monday
Today, R came home with an enrollment form, the tuition fee statement and the list of requirements (school supplies) for Pre-schoolers. My eyes widened as I read the last one. I am thrilled.

This Monday, I am thankful for that giddy feeling the list of requirements brought me. Why? Do you remember everytime school is nearing that your mom will take you to the mall and buy you new school supplies? Do you remember how excited you felt at that moment with your new loot? That's one of the happiest moment for me as a kid. The best back-to-school-thing ever. And that is exactly how I feel right now. Except, the school supplies are not for me. :)

I am so excited. I am excited to buy Rhett a new bag, lunch box, new shoes, new books,new pencils, new crayons, new notebooks, new everything! At 27, I still find myself overly excited about new school supplies! Hahaha! It's one childhood bliss I can never outgrow. Anyone share the same sentiments?


Meet my new reading buddy

Passed by the flea market this morning and I happen to spot a cute little Furby! It's so cute that I could not resist to take hold of it immediately. So cute that he deserves this post! Hahaha. Yeah, yeah sometimes I do have a different eye for "cute".

Tag says it's from Tiger Electronics, year 1999. It's in excellent condition (it still has a tag but it's torn into half, so I just ripped it away), it's clean and adorably cute.  And what's more surprising it's only 10 Pesos! ($0.25). No, this is not the creepy talking Furby, this is just a plush. Don't panic. ;)

I went home not knowing what am I to do with it. So I just randomly placed it on top of my books then I suddenly knew what I want next... I want more furbies! Haha I am weird. While almost everyone is creeped out by these big-eyed plushies, I on the other hand have this sudden obsession. (And now, I feel like a child again. >.<)

The Perils of Working from Home

When people learn that I work from home, I get different reactions. Most people would say "Ka hayahay."  Hayahay is a term from our local dialect which could mean any of the following: relaxing, comfortable, convenience, ease, and all other terms related to it. It is as good as saying "It must be nice to have a stress-free work."  

No, not really. And there's no such thing.

Sometimes, people envy me, thinking that I hold all the time for myself. Note, thinking. It seems most people with "real jobs" think home-based jobs can be as easy as just clicking the mouse, (e.g. paid to click, networking, referrals, ponzi schemes) earning while doing almost nothing. No. These are real office jobs we do, only we chose to be at home.

Working from home is not what you really think it is. I am well aware of the perks of working at home, and I absolutely love it. However, I can't deny the fact that I also need to acknowledge the perils that come with it.
My Workstation


Achievement Unlocked: Get Others to Read a Book


My love for reading started at an early age. From my childhood years to present, I lost count on how many books I have actually read. Books have introduced me to people, pierced my heart, taken me into new and unfamiliar worlds while I lay captive on my own bed, and who knows what else I can experience from the pages of the book. I love getting lost in the books and emerge later feeling devastated to be back in the real world.

I love to read. And I have this tendency to influence or encourage, or should I say, bug those people around me to read.

For many years I struggled in letting the very reluctant boyfriend read a book. I've had several attempts, but at least, not all efforts were done in vain because last year I have actually managed to let him read a 300-page book. Haha! Okay... he liked the Hunger Games movie, that's why he "willfully" read Collin's Catching Fire. He liked what he read but he said his eyes got somehow strained and stressed (oh the excuses).
Oh well. I guess it was a torture for him. And though he did not fully embrace reading, I felt victorious. It was very overwhelming that I made one soul finish one book his entire life. And that's not gonna stop there. Not ever.

Not now that I have a son to whom I'm hoping he'll also get those reading habits from me. So as early as two I started buying him board-books. But don't worry son, there's no pressure at all. Perhaps we'll just do a little poking and pushing. Or maybe there's no need for that. Now he's almost 4, I can see he's getting fond of reading. After work, he would oftentimes ask me, "Read tayo ng book, Mom."  And I love it when he does that. Although he can't read yet. He loves to follow the words that I read, point at pictures and make up his own stories. It's just starting. I can't wait til he'll learn to read and would soon be flipping the pages of my books. We'll get there. :)

Anyway, I would also like to encourage everyone, to get others read a book. You see, not everyone is privileged to read. Many of our brethren desperately want to learn. We, on the other hand are fortunate enough, let's not put it to waste.


What happened to the good ol TV shows?

As much as I want my 3-almost-4-year-old son to steer clear from the internet, TV, and other tech gadgets, sometimes I find myself the need to give in especially when I have to work my ass off. We never hired (and have no plans of hiring) a nanny for him. So I'm all hands-on to him while I help R make the ends meet. But I am so thankful that even though I work full time, I am still able to monitor all his activities; the games apps he plays, every normal and the not-so-normal things he does, and of course, the TV shows that he watch.

It's disappointing to see that TV shows nowadays are no longer child friendly. I remember when I was a child that I enjoyed these shows every morning:

Hukad: Favorite om nom nom place

I'm a bad food blogger. I don't blog about food or restos no matter how good or bad they are. I'm a bad food blogger because 1.) I don't no longer take pics of the food I'm about to eat,  2.) I'm bad at memorizing and too lazy to take notes on prices, dishes, and whatnot, 3.) my vocabulary's limited that I just can't find the right words to describe a food.

I'm a bad food blogger, but I'll blog about one anyway. I'm making a review, a very brief one for my new fave resto. From the bottom of my then-empty-now-satisfied-tum-tum,  I would just want to say that

Birthday Gift Conundrum

My dad's birthday is approaching. Well actually, it's still 2 months away. But since he lives 8,000 miles away from us, I have to decide in advance and purchase in advance. Right now, I still don't know what to give him but I already have ideas. I'm just undecided. It would really be easy to decide if only I can afford it all. Sigh. Anyway, here's what I have in mind:

First option: Shoes

I'm scouting for nice comfy shoes that would be perfect for his casual wear or for work. He's not a runner but I'm thinking of Reebok RealFlex Transition shoes. I've already read tons of reviews from amazon, runner forums, and other sites, and 9 out of 10 gave positive comments. People have raved about its lightness and comfort, which I think would be perfect for my dad's daily walks.
Although I'm torn between this and Nike Free, this one's winning the race.
Second option: Leather Wallet

I remember my dad having a wallet that's really old, with a lot of scuffing and has seen better days.  Yet he seemed too hesitant to replace it because he would rather save the money for us than buy a new one. Now that he's in US, I think he does the same. He's the type who doesn't really give a damn even if his shirt or shoes gets worn out, let alone the wallet.
It doesn't have to be Nike, I just want something durable for veeery long term use.
Third option: Stainless Steel Watch
I don't have a particular reason why. I guess because this is a common gift for dads.
Why these? Because these are the things he can use everyday, if not, most of the time. I want to give him something that would really be useful to him, something he can use ordinarily.

I know this is just nothing compared to what he has provided us all our lifetime.This can never repay all the hard work he has done for us. I want to give him something because, I hate to admit it, I haven't given him anything yet since he went to work abroad. I just can't afford to pay for the freight charges from Philippines to US. Pffft! But now, there's no excuse not to send my dad a gift, specially now that I found a way to send gifts without having to worry about sky high shipping fees and lost parcels. Yay!

These are the gift ideas I can think of right now. I need more ideas. Anyone? Something light, something that can be shipped and not be broken or be potentially stolen while in transit. So electronics, gadgets, or small appliances would be a no-no. I'm open for suggestions. :)

Update: (March 18, 2013) I bought the shoes. I guess he will be needing and be using this more. I bought it not for his birthday, but just for a random gift. I'll figure something out for his birthday gift. :)


Mistborn Trilogy

You know what's so depressing? it's when you're down to the last 50 pages of the book that is totally gripping and has held you captive and awake at nights. The fact that you're about to leave a different world that you have loved and the characters you got attached to. You're excited to know how it's going to end and at the same time saddened because you know that that's the last of that world.


Leave Mt. Apo Alone!

I was only a highschool sophomore when I had this strong urge to climb Mt. Apo. Six years later, I conquered the highest peak of the Philippines, the most majestic of them all. It was in my bucket list and it will always be on my bucket list, because I plan to return whenever I will always have the chance, as long as I still can.

Why? Because IT'S THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE I'VE EVER BEEN TO. It's a home of everything a city never had. It's a home of peace and serenity, a home of bliss, a piece heaven.


Our journey to Mt. Apo was just like any other mountaineers' journey. We endure the cold, withstand the heat, brave the steep boulders and cliffs, we sleep in tents that barely shut the chill and get soak whenever heavy rain starts to pour, we carry packs heavier than us, we trek unusual, uneven, and slippery terrains the whole day with lunch as the only break, we search for our own water from under ground or streams, we get lost, injured, hungry and thirsty, exhausted, and the list goes on.

We wouldn't be able to survive all these if it wasn't for the company we had, or for the breath-taking scenes we come across from time to time. We kept going because we know something up there is much better. Something amazing. Then we conquered. We survived. We reached the peak proud and still whole. It was indeed a piece of heaven on earth. All the hunger and tiredness gone as you stand in awe at God's marvelous creations.

Mountain climbing isn't only about the splendid views and the challenges we face from each step we take, it also fosters camaraderie, leadership, and devotion. Mountain climbing is the best experience to learn survival skills. Plus, it enables us to be ecologically aware and promote a cleaner and greener nature. So why take it all away? Why ruin something so beautiful?

LGUs from Kidapawan are planning to make a stairway to Mt. Apo. Hell no! 16,620 steps to Mt. Apo is a big ball of sh*t. For those of you who do not know what I'm talking about, click here.

When you climb Mt. Apo and be one with nature for a few days, you'll find yourself caring for everything around you, even with the smallest insect on the ground. Reaching the top will take you to a sojourn euphoria. You'll pause at the sunset ignoring the chill, the pain and the fatigue, take a deep hard breath, and find yourself some peace.

Come to think of it, if you are going to climb the peak through the stairway, you'll just take pictures. And that's it. It will no longer be the same Majestic Mt. Apo it has been, it will be nothing more but just a mere tourist park, horded by people pushing their way up trying to take pictures for instagram and facebook purposes. And take note, more people means more garbage! Which makes it more difficult to preserve what little is left of Mt. Apo. Pfft!

If I have to climb Mt. Apo again, I want to experience the same exhaustion, frustration, and at the end, triumph. I want others to experience the same. I want the next generation to feel and see what I've seen before.


PLEASE LEAVE MT. APO ALONE. Do not build the 7-km stairway to Mt. Apo's summit! For crying out loud, it's a NATURAL PARK, do not ever convert it into a one big giant playground. I'm not going to elaborate more on how they're going to fund the project or on how are they doing it or when do they plan to do it, because it's just bullshit and it saddens me more. And I hope it does not push through.

You know that I'm totally against the stairway.So I'm doing as much as I can to stop this. I pray for enlightenment of the Kidapawan's LGU and the people behind this proposal. If you think this is going to be a wise investment to attract more visitors, no it's NOT. You're destroying something that we're trying to preserve for a long time. You're destroying the earth.

Please, you can help too, the social media is a very powerful tool to reach out to the unreachable. Share if you must. Click here to sign in to the online petition. I don't know if online petition really works, but it's only 2 minutes of our time, so why not give it a try?

Davaoeños, Mindanaoans, it's the only one we have. Even for our brethren from all parts of the Philippines, it's our mountain, our highest peak. Please, let us all hold hands to help preserve the beauty and majesty of Mt. Apo.

LET'S ALL SAY NO TO STAIRWAY TO MT. APO!


All images are from No To Stairway to Apo, like the page and show your support. Thank you.

In my mail: Barnes and Noble Leatherbound Collection

Look what came in the mail today!

Barnes & Noble

You know how much I wanted these from my previous post. Gawd, I've waited for more than 2months for these books. Yes 2 months. Scared the hell out of me. I am used to buying stuff overseas and there was never any issue regarding delivery delays or items not received. But this one really gave me worries.

I didn't throw a hundred bucks for this just to be taken away by careless freight forwarders. Just so you know, a local bookstore actually sells books like these but since they're too pricey (almost 50% more than the original price), I decided to order from the actual Barnes and Noble site. Saves more even with the freight fee included. But of course, the loooong wait and anxiety is the price to pay.

The next big big thing


Excellent quotes from Warren Buffet:

On Earning: "Never depend on single income, make investment to create a second source".

On Spending: "If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need".

On Savings: "Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving".

On Taking Risk: "Never test the depth of river with both feet".

On Investment: "Do not put all eggs in one basket".

On Expectations: "Honesty is very expensive gift. Do not expect it from cheap people".


These are the words that I will live by starting today. I have a big big project in the next two years. And that big big project will be needing big big money. So the next big big thing that I'm going to do is to save save save, invest and take some risks, and always, always remember these big big words.

Wish me big big luck! :)

And also to you. Whatever your goals and endeavors are, I wish you to be happy and pursue whatever your heart screams.

Penguin Love

Lately my son's been obsessed with penguins. He loves watching Pingu and Happy Feet. And he never gets tired of them. Of course, whatever my son watches, I get to watch too. Curious of their nature, I started googling anything about penguins. Then I found myself watching all sorts of penguin videos - documentaries, funny clips, and other amazing and cute videos, for three straight hours. Gawd.

I want...

these...

Barnes and Noble Leatherbound Classics Collection

Would you look at that? I can stare at them forever! Seriously. Who could resist these beauties? The classics, gorgeous covers, leatherbound... ahhhhh (yes with a lot of h) they probably smell awesome. I know nothing beats those, you know, vintage leatherbound books, or it's nowhere near those Easton Press leatherbound collector editions, which is in no way I can afford also... but this is close to having that.