Mars Shallow

Only three things make up my Facebook wall: travel, shameless plugging of my blog, and politics. And since I am living in Mindanao, the crisis might have gave way for you to guess that my Facebook wall is currently active. I made 4 posts since the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao three days ago and I think that's already a lot.

So if you want to see how I am doing with my life or if you want to look for something to blackmail me with, dig into this blog. I have cringe-worthy and hideous photos buried here since 2007. Stalking my Facebook profile won't do you any good and will only leave you with one question, "nagtatrabaho pa ba itong babaeng ito? Bakit puro gala ang nakikita ko." (That's what I've been always asked at least). There are far more interesting things you can find here. Things that I never post on Facebook. But I'm warning you, there are some things you cannot unread. LOL.

Anyway, this week has really been crazy. In fact, the past few weeks have been batshit crazy I would be terrified if I go through a week with no sh*t happening at all. Not!

I Did Not Succeed As a Nurse. So What? Part 2

When people ask me what my course in college was, I tell them one thing. When asked about my current job, I tell them another. And then everybody gives me a second look in awe or most likely in utter disbelief and blurts out, "As in?! Ang layo!"  Kung sa Bisaya pa, "atik?! layua ui!"

I participated in a survey from students who are conducting a study about people who changed career paths after graduating in college. I thought of posting it online because it just might inspire other people who figured out their college course isn't all they want after graduating. So here goes.

And oh, what you will read below are not the exact words I wrote on the questionnaire.
BSN 3C. First duty at Delivery Room, DRH

What is your course and where did you study?
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (major in Dancing. Haha, Kidding!), Ateneo de Davao University.

Why did you choose this course? 
I wanted to take Medicine. Since my folks wanted me to study in AdDU, I only have two choices for my pre-Med course, B.S. Nursing and B.S. Biology. I chose the former because nurses were so in demand abroad at that time (actually, that was my deciding factor). Plus, I would still be able to land a job to greener pastures in case I don't pursue Medicine. Unlike the latter, there's not much I can do with a Biology degree if I didn't make it to Medicine. Where do Biologists in the Philippines work anyway?

Top Ten Summer Favorites

This summer has been the summerest so far. The sweltering heat and my tan lines just said it all. But more than that, I was able to do a lot of things and see a lot of beautiful places.

Picture this... On the first day of April, I went beach bumming at Island Garden Resort in Pangubatan. Two weeks later, I completed a Basic Mountaineering Course, which includes camping, trekking, and rappelling. Then I went diving the whole day at the Taklobo Farm and Coral Gardens just a week after that. The next day, I found myself on a spontaneous road trip with friends and spent a day and a half riding the waves of Dahican. And then the week that followed got me more and more sun-kissed in El Nido. And since summer isn't over yet, this weekend was spent for a much needed rest and relaxation in Isla Reta. (Hashtag that QuotaKaNaSarah)

The last two months were the busiest and have gotten me overdosed with vitamin sea. But I definitely had a blast! And I think I enjoyed it even more because of these top ten favorites that have been rockin' my summer off.

1. Swimwear from Mermaid Catalogue
Swimwears are one of my guilty pleasures. I think I have more than what I need. And among all those rash guards, one-pieces, and tankinis that I have, this bikini has got to be one of my favorites:
El Nido, May 2017
When you have this kind of view, being toasted is the least of your concerns.
I love how it looks classy, sexy and wholesome at the same time. I got this from Mermaid Catalogue. And I swear, if only I have a lot of money, I would buy their entire collection - which is, by the way, also worn by celebrities and known bloggers and personalities. Anyway, I'm glad I don't have to look far for that perfect Instagrammable bikini without busting a budget. They are just within arms reach, ordering from their website is such a breeze.

Challenges of a Public Speaker

I change my mind.

I do not dream of becoming a sports and outdoor TV host anymore.

This is the third time in a row that I am invited to speak in public. And I wouldn't say I'm good at it. I just watched my last public speaking stint and boy, was I so fidgety. I can hear my voice tremble. Maybe it was the lack of preparation. Maybe it was the air conditioner in full blast. Maybe it was the stomach ache. Or maybe I am just not cut for it.

I am not eloquent enough. I get tongue-twisted. I am easily distracted. And people might think I suck. But you know what? I will still do it anyway because for some reason, I feel so alive whenever I am on stage - even if it's something I know I'm not really good at.

Yes, I no longer dream about becoming a sports and outdoor TV host because I'm starting to realize it. Or at least, napapractice ko na. That's a step. And I know I will get better in time. :)

----

Anyway, our first run last month was a success. They want us back to speak again. I guess, I didn't really screw it up after all.

So, if you are a working millennial and currently in Davao who likes to travel, come join us on May 25, 6-8pm at Lispher Inn. Get some travel tips from me and co-blogger Renz of thetravelingnomad.com.

For seat reservations, visit, like, and message M3 page.

See you there!
Click image to zoom

She Bangs

I once trimmed my bangs back when YouTube tutorials do not exist yet. I wanted to sport the same bangs like the celebrity most kids looked up to - she's no other than the legendary mother of all jologsJolina Magdangal. And no doubt, I had the most perfect bangs ever. I was even certain I looked like a celebrity.

Only, it was this celebrity:

What's Up, Doc?

I already told myself a million times that I'll never ever take any advice from Google whenever I feel something unusual in my body. It's a terrible idea. But if you knew me very well, then you'd know what I would do. And I did what I shouldn't have.

I have a pancreafuckintitis.


Hiking Taraw Cliff

I think scaling mountains on our anniversary is an unspoken thing. It's never in our intention to hike every anniversary, but it happens all the time.

I guess, part of it is the need to pause from climbing the corporate ladder and have a breather. Another part is simply because we have always been in constant search for adventure and we love doing offbeat things together.

So for our third anniversary, Jan and I conquered El Nido's highest, the Taraw Cliff.

Taraw Cliff, El Nido


I would say we are truly blessed that we don't have to go too far to experience one of the world's greatest wonders. I am so grateful to have experienced El Nido first hand (and with the one I love). And to see such magnificence from a bird's eye view made us so alive. However, getting there is quite an ordeal (as what I've heard from a first-time climber).

Oh, El Nido!

I wonder how many pieces of my heart have I got left because I keep on leaving them everywhere I go.

This time, I left my heart in El Nido.

El Nido, Palawan

El Nido wasn't really part of our travel plans this year. Yes, we've always wanted to go to El Nido but not anytime soon. I guess, luck was on our side and the impulse to explore something new was so strong, we unexpectedly made El Nido happen, not to mention sooner than expected.

Tres

Almost all of our trips were unplanned. But the latest one is the most spontaneous of all.

Two days before the long weekend, Jan and I were still unable to decide whether to celebrate our 3rd anniversary in Asik-asik Falls in North Cotabato or Cape de San Agustin in Governor Generoso.

Asik-asik falls is unique, stunning, and unspoiled. But a visit there only takes a day and after that there's no place else to go around North Cotabato. Not for a romantic celebration for that matter. Yes, we want to see this together but I think it's best to go there with friends.

Cape de San Agustin, on the other hand, could give us the romantic vibe because of the scenic and peaceful beach. But then, two days is already enough for that trip. And we have four days to spend. 

Then Palawan happened.


Jan: Hui! Asa ta karong weekend? (Hey! Where are we going to spend the weekend?)
Me: Wait. Mag-research ko. (Wait. I'll search for places.)
*after a few hours of being torn between two places*
Jan: Mag-Palawan na lang ta? (Let's go to Palawan then?)
Me: Taraaaa! (Let's goooo!)

Yep, just like that.

Two days after that discussion, we flew all the way from Davao to Palawan and had the best, amazing (and dramatic) time of our lives.

So here's to us and to more years and places to conquer! Happy 3rd! :)
May 2016 - May 2017
I think I am getting less and less cheesy with every year that pass (you might want to read my previous anniversary posts: Uno, Dos). But don't worry, my love. I love you more today than I did yesterday. Tinatamad lang talaga ako. Haha

What Happened?

I promised myself I will become a better blogger. And by that I mean, take better pictures like how most bloggers would do.

I've been going places and doing stuff lately that would have been blog-worthy. But I failed big time.

Just a few weeks ago, I took a Basic Mountaineering Course and had my first ever rappelling experience at Tagbaobo Falls.  And then last weekend we had an awesome diving experience at the Taklobo Farm where I saw the biggest and most fascinating giant clams my whole life.  I came home with hives and a puffy face from eating too much seafood while island hopping at Samal. And right now, I am 50 shades darker from spending a day and a half basking under the sun in one of my favorite beaches in the world, Dahican.

But why haven't I blogged about this when I had all the time?

Five words: I. Do. Not. Have. Photos.

I don't have photos that will make the reader want to read my post. You know, save you those long and boring posts and just let the photos to do all the talking - specially now that I'm starting to become lazy with words.

Well, at least, I have one decent shot:
Dahican Surf Resort

Make Your Own Chocolate at Malagos Chocolate Museum

Honestly, I am not a big fan of chocolate, unless it's dark. I'll take a Caesar Salad any day over a milk chocolate. Yeah, I do have a weird taste. I mostly say no to anything sweet.

But then, who am I to say no if given the chance to know how the "food of the gods" were made?

Ladies and gents, Davao is more than just the durian, pomelo, and mangosteen. We've got the best and most distinct-tasting chocolates here too. So if you are in for a literally bitter-sweet treat, may I present to you the first and the only Chocolate Museum in the Philippines!

The 230-square-meter museum is seated inside Malagos Garden Resort, just beside their Chocolate factory. So if you have been curious how their delicious, award-winning chocolates are made, step in and learn how the sweet magic happens.

The Chocolate Museum will help promote not only our locally-produced chocolates, but the awareness of cacao farming as well, which in the long run will open more job opportunities.

Here are some snaps inside the museum:

How Travel Changed My Life

Traveling did not change me.

I have always wanted to travel but adulthood caught me completely off guard. I would have considered myself successful though because I have a job that pays - only if it wasn't slowly taking my life away. I realized life is too short to be stuck daily in traffic and hating my boss. The world is too big for one lifetime that I would never want to end up regretting not doing the things I could have done. I longed for freedom. And so, I created mine.

I traveled one place after another to make a temporary escape from routine, cultural norms, social paradigm, work... pretty much everything adulthood has laid before me and be gone somewhere else where life is completely different. Well, it is indeed different.

I was welcomed with uncertain hitchhikes, uncomfortable habal-habal rides, slow buses, suicidal vans, delayed flights, and nauseating boat rides that have slowly opened my eyes to the ugly truth about traveling. How it isn't really an escape. How it pulls you back to reality. The reality not every traveler really talks about.
Balut Island overlooking Sarangani Islands
Traveling usually looks exciting and Instagram drool-worthy. Well, in some ways, it absolutely is. But traveling is not always pretty. It isn't always a journey to paradise as I would have hoped. It chews on your bank account and feeds on your time. It is physically and mentally draining. It can be disappointing. Heartbreaking, even.

4D4N Travel Budget and Things to Do in Singapore

A few months ago, I read Budget itinerary: 5 Days in Singapore for P9,500 and got excited about it. Who wouldn't?! We're talking about Singapore here. It got me optimistic that I wouldn't go home broke after our trip. But it's a good thing I've read quite a few blogs that led me to a conclusion that a 9,500 budget for 5 days in Singapore is impossible. And just imagine the horror if you get offloaded at the immigration for not bringing enough money to fund your trip.

While $10 USD is more than enough to get you a room for some Asian countries like here in the Philippines, the same amount is just enough for two meals in Singapore. Singapore is undeniably expensive. But with its clean streets, efficient mass transportation system, superb food, and interesting attractions, it is definitely a place you don't want to miss.
Things to do in Singapore

When we booked a flight to Singapore, we told ourselves that we'll go on a budget-friendly trip. Honestly, we tried. But making the most out of Singapore and budgeting don't really go well together. In short, we went a little over our budget but I would say it was definitely worth it.

So in this post, I will show you the things that we did, places we visited, how much have we actually spent, and how ridiculous it is to set a budget for a 5-day trip to Singapore for less than Php10,000 (airfare included).

A Simple, Peaceful, and Romantic Getaway at Island Garden Resort in Pangubatan, Samal

Whew! That's a long title. But not as long as the road that we took just to get to this paradise.
Island Garden in Pangubatan Samal


Situated more than 40kms away from Babak, Samal, the Island Garden Resort in Pangubatan is not known to many (at least for me). I've never heard about this resort until Jan's office mates decided to have their quarterly event here. But for some reason, the event didn't push through - which could only mean, Jan and I ended up having the whole weekend all to ourselves!

To My Favorite Human

"It's not always easy and sometimes life can be deceiving. I'll tell you one thing: It's always better when we're together"

I would definitely say everything is a hundred times better when we are together. Back then, all I thought is that every relationship entails a lot of work. But with you by my side? It's amazing how things can become light and breezy.

Today is your birthday. And I know you aren't really hyped about birthdays. But I just want the world to know that I am thankful for this day because your existence made a huge difference in my life. I am genuinely happy and contented in more ways than I could imagine.

There are so many things I wish I could remember to thank you for. But let me start with this: THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME. Thank you for giving me the kind of love that only few people are lucky enough to have. You may not be the sweetest man I have ever met but you are definitely the most sincere.

Thank you for extending your love to the people I love, to my friends, my family, and especially to Rhett. I guess, I have take back what I said. Yes, you are not the creative-romantic type and all, but this is really sweet.

Thank you for always taking good care of me, for listening and sitting through my rants, for always being there for me, and for being my number one (perhaps my only) fan.

The things you do for me, and the love, support, and inspiration you shower me propel me past my fears, dramas, and insecurities. I wouldn't be where I am right now if not for you. Keep being the wonderful and kind-hearted man that you are and I will keep growing as the woman you have helped me become - better, stronger, and more beautiful than ever.

You are not perfect. But I love you and your flaws without doubt and without restrictions. And I couldn't be more thankful that you are doing the same. You are, and will always be, the love of my life. I know I don't say this often, but whenever I say I love you, I mean it. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, JAN! And even if you think that I have already loved you with every part of my being and with all that I can, there is still, and there will always be, a room to love you a little bit more.


Happy birthday, my love!

I wish you happiness, success, good health, and a lifetime full of adventures with me. Stay awesome, handsome!



The Sunday Currently Vol. 7

No one's really interested about what I do on Sundays. But I'll write about them anyway.


CURRENTLY...  

Reading 
travel blogs about the places that I want to visit. Actually, I don't have solid travel plans. But I know something exciting is going to happen. The question about when and where still remains. But one thing is for sure, and I will quote my old friend Bilbo Baggins on this, I'm going on an adventure!

Writing
The Sunday Currently. I was supposed to write my a detailed itinerary from our Singapore trip but then I realized that I don't have a lot of photos to show. What happened to the promise of becoming a better blogger? I think I got too preoccupied with vlogging that I was not able to take photos at the same time. Either that, or I was just living the moment.

Listening
to 90s boyband hits. Backstreet Boys, The Moffats, Westlife, 98 Degrees, Boyzone, N'Sync anyone?

Watching
my first real vlog one week after I first launched it. Aaaand I just realized how shy I was. And it's something that my friends have noticed too. But I have an excuse: THAT WAS MY FIRST VLOG. And yes, it's really awkward when people stare at you. I hope I start not giving a shit about it soon because I can't wait to see my natural self in my upcoming vlogs. I promise to do better next time.

Thinking
about this one quote that caught my attention today: "You don't realize how poorly you've been treated in the past until someone comes along and treats you the way you should be treated." Damn. I still couldn't be thankful enough for having Jan in my life. :)

Hoping
for a positive and less stressful week.

Loving
this.

I did not spill that on purpose. And I'm going to eat that anyway.

Wanting
a drone. Is that too much too ask? Haha.

Needing
a much needed rest and sleep. My unexpected and unwanted guest is home. And he's been with me for almost a month now. Stop being too clingy, Insomnia. Just leave me alone already.

Feeling
Hungry. I'll be raiding the fridge after this.

Wishing
Jan a fruitful year ahead. Yes, his birthday is coming in a few days and I wish him good health, happiness, the good things in life, and more exciting adventures (that includes a lifetime with me. haha)

Clicking
why is this question even here?


I wish everyone a great week ahead! :)


Join The Sunday Currently blog link up by Siddathornton.