The Sun Goes Down

Last night, I received an email saying I screwed up a website big time. But I wasn't worried because I knew I've triple-checked my work before I delivered. So, if there's anything, it was definitely not my fault. I decided to just sleep it off and send my reply the next day only to wake up to a much more terrible news.

Chester Bennington took his own life.

I'm not really a big Linkin Park fan. I'm not really into screamo. But maybe the influence of my friends who were hero-worshipping these guys eventually led me to the music store and had me screaming my lungs out with my precious Hybrid Theory cassette tape. It was my guilty pleasure. In fact, I still have the Meteora album until now. I didn't know what kind of music they made (nobody can predict how each of their new album releases will sound like) but it has grown on me until this very day.

I wouldn't have known how much this band had helped me until Chester's untimely demise.

I believe we all, at one point in some way or another, became that angsty, rebellious teen. Well, I had my moments. And like I said, I'm not really into screamo but Linkin Park saw my life in a way no one else could. The lyrics are always best at describing what an angry misunderstood teen was going through. It was like every song written was about me. And it made me feel better knowing that somebody understands my struggle. Chester's voice screamed for me when I couldn't. I was not alone.
I still have it. :)
I'm no longer that angsty, rebellious teen who would lock herself in her room and play Numb on full blast. All those screaming did help me fight off negativity while dealing with what I think are the worst situations of my life that I believe it somehow molded me to become the generally positive person I am today.

It's just so sad that it has to come to this - you know, feeling so faithless, lost under the surface. It's just so sad that he unknowingly rescued so many broken hearts but he couldn't save himself. It's just so sad that we lost another soul, a kind-hearted soul who inspired so many. In the end, it did matter. It effin matters.

The sun goes down
.

But the sun will set for you, Chester Bennigton. Rest in peace. You will be missed.

iVideo: Stay Connected on the Road

When Jan and I traveled to Singapore, one of our concerns is the internet. Sure, we can avail the ones offered by the hotels we booked to. But to travel in a completely foreign land, we definitely need internet on the road to stay connected, communicate with friends who are living there, and to easily navigate to places.

I thought we only had two viable options available. Either to use Jan's existing network subscription, which is really expensive when set to roaming; or buy a sim with data, which can also be quite pricey considering data is just limited.

But thankfully, services that allow foreigners to rent a pocket wi-fi device with unlimited data at a reasonable cost such as iVideo existed.


Confessions Vol. 12: My First Starbucks Experience

It's 2017.

Remember when I said I've never had any Starbucks before? Well, technically, I've had one when Renz and I decided to do our planning at Starbucks for our second public speaking stint. That was my first time to hang out at Starbucks.

Ever.

Confessions Vol. 11: I'm an Easy Girl

I've had three boyfriends in my life and not one of them has ever courted me.

I don't play hard to get. If I like I guy who likes me too, it wouldn't take long before I commit.

I was 14 when I had my first boyfriend. He was my close friend and our relationship was born out of a deal. "Let's play a game. Kapag nanalo ako, tayo na". Parang ganun. It was nothing really serious. We were still too young and scared. Konting kilig dito, holding hands doon. Ganun lang.

I Just Want to Be Pabebe for Once

Half the year has gone and as much as I want to take some time to review how my life has progressed in 2017, I just kept rolling my eyes.

Enter July. It has been raining lately and getting out of the bed every morning is becoming more and more difficult. But I do love waking up to cold mornings and grey skies. It's perfect for lazy people like me... which I think is also a bad thing because I still have more blog posts to put together. Product reviews, events, and a few travel posts that I keep putting off because... well. I am just damn too lazy.

I don't think I'll ever make it as a travel blogger nor will I ever be a good blogger. The fact that I simply don't like taking pictures of everything I do just amplified the truth that I am a terrible social media influencer.

But I am trying, really. I have just revived my Instagram account from the dead in hopes of sending my content across in a different way. Because truth be told, people (including me) are getting lazier and would rather scroll down through the photos than read posts. This kind of blogging style is dying. But I will keep on writing just so I have something to ponder on when I get old.

The rebirth of my Instagram is nothing but throwbacks of the travel photos I've never posted before, and some unflattering and awkward poses of me. I barely have followers. In order to create a cult following, one needs to have a curated feed and well-staged aesthetically-pleasing photos - something that I am struggling to have. I know, barf. More than ten years of blogging and it was only just recently when I decided to build my personal brand. That means I have to create more social media profiles with information about me fully (or selectively) fleshed out, not to mention I have got to learn slayin' those pina-blaggir poses. Oh gawd. Why do I have to do this? No one's going to be interested anyway.

Anyway, I just bought a dress online because I just want to be pabebe for once. It says it's free size but best fits small to medium frames. No offense meant, but I didn't know that plus size is the new small. Hindi naman siguro ako ganyan kapayat. Am I? Believe it or not, my waist line is 26. I wear a 27-28 pants. But I'm too lazy to return the item and argue with the seller. Gawin ko na lang syang daster pambahay. 
Expectations vs Reality. False advertisement at its finest.

Why Traveling Solo Is Not For Me

Traveling, among many other things, is my passion. But my love for traveling only sprung up on an epic scale when I met the love of my life. Unfortunately, my travel budget is not directly proportional to my passion. Otherwise, I would have been writing this blog post while enjoying a souvlaki on a boat as it tours around Santorini right now.

I'm not exactly a big traveler nor would I consider myself well-traveled. I'm not the one who could just quit a day job, pack, and never be seen again. I have my priorities and non-negotiables too. But I travel with every chance I get. Long weekends, holidays, vacation leaves, name it.

I've traveled to more than 20 provinces in the Philippines just within the past 3 years and most of the time, I shared it with Jan. Solo travel you say? Did it few times. Didn't die. But I would not say it's something I want to do again.
Wish Jan was here because I know he'd be creeped out by these dead mangroves that look like thorns. Haha *evil grin*
You see, I can easily make friends with strangers, I am not afraid to take risks, I don't mind eating alone, and I can do things on my own. I CAN TRAVEL SOLO, no problem. I just choose not to. And here are the reasons why:

1. I prefer traveling with someone to whom I can share my adventures with.

I've traveled as far as 900 miles away from Davao without anyone close to me. It was great! No doubt. The thing is, every awesome experience, every delicious food I eat, and every beautiful thing I see would just leave me mumbling, "Damn, I wish Jan was here. He would definitely love this."

2. Traveling brings us closer together.

And by us, I mean me and my friends, my family, or Jan.

Most especially with Jan. I have never been so grateful for having him as my constant travel buddy (partly because it's good to have someone carry some of my bags. Haha). I swear I am not needy. I can handle myself very well.  I do crave for me-times. It's just that I find it better when we do things together. Traveling is significant to both of us since a big part of our relationship is built on shared experiences. Sure, we have our quiet times. Sure, we have our share of misadventures. Sure, we have our little dramas. Sure, we've seen each other's worse. It isn't always perfect but we enjoy every minute creating memories, strengthening our relationship in new places together.

Traveling with someone will either make you or break you. In my case, I have not yet traveled with anyone I do not like. And honestly, it's more fun being with a company you already know - all the more reason why I'd rather not travel solo.

3. Traveling solo makes you confident, helps you conquer your fears, makes you know yourself more, and it gains you new friends.

So does traveling with someone.

The only striking difference I see is, solo travel is more expensive. And I must admit bitterly, I do not have the luxury to do that.

4. Traveling solo can be lonely.

It can be fun, yes. But it can also be lonely. For someone like me who is not accustomed to be alone, I can get lonely pretty quickly once I return to my hotel room on my own.

Traveling solo creates memories. But it does not leave you with memories that you can share for the rest of your life with the same people you created them with. It does not leave you that warm fuzzy feeling when traveling with someone you love. And I would not trade it for anything in the world, not even a solo travel to Paris.

Yes, traveling solo is great, fulfilling, and liberating. I might even do it again. But right now, I choose to share my adventures with the people I love because someday, I would love to relive and laugh about those memories with the significant people I have shared it with.




Pusan Point: Where the Sun Shines First

Just when I thought there won't be any travels for me in the next two months, the curse month really has its way of telling me that things will never go my way because I just found myself traveling to the easternmost point of the Philippines only to have my breath be taken away by this gorgeous sunrise.

Once You Go Clack, You Never Go Back

Keep writing.

That's what Jan told me when he gave me a mechanical keyboard. I've always wanted one but I feel wary about spending too much for a goddamn keyboard that pretty much does the same thing a cheap keyboard would. I never really thought of actually owning one.

But Jan knows better than spoiling me with flowers and teddy bears. He knows me too well. He knows I'll go gaga over this. And naturally, I went gaga over this typing just every word I know. Ketchup. Turtle. Benevolent. Oblong. Sound. Glorious. Sound. Much. Amaze. Wow.

Vlog#3: El Nido

This is not a blog post. In case you didn't know, I am starting my YouTube channel. It doesn't have much yet; just a few of travel vlogs that I can't seem to perfect editing, but I'm getting there.

Also, I'm asking the high heavens to give me patience and perseverance in filming, editing, and publishing videos. I never thought it would be this effortful. God-forbid I succumb to laziness.

Anyway, here's our El Nido vlog, I hope you watch and enjoy it! And if you like this video, please don't forget to give it a thumbs up, comment, and subscribe. :)


Hey June!

Hello there, cursed month! We meet again. And I'm not surprised I'm starting you off with a terrible cold.

You came in just to bring me bad news, huh? Did you think I was going to sulk in the corner knowing I'll be spending the whole month with you just miserably working my ass off and going no further than the kitchen? You think I'd cry my eyes out because my birthday trip to Siargao is not happening?

You only have 30 days, dude. So try to do what you do best. You know, beat the crap out of me. But you're not going to win this time. You will fail. I will not be intimidated even if you stare at me with your uncanny ways of always coincidentally bringing mishaps in my life at this time of the year.

I will just suck it up. Take you one day at a time. You are only a mere thirty freakin days. And when I'm done with you, I'm going places, June. Places!
My kind of window.
Oh wait, July will also be working with you? Then bring it on, you two!

But really, please be good to me.

P.S. Nothing serious here, folks. This is just my obnoxious way of saying there will be no travels for the #LakwatSARAH in the next two months. Which could only mean, this blog will only have something new if sh*t happens. Otherwise, it's really going to be quiet. Haha. Bummer.

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 jologs:
Jolina Magdangal (image from pep.ph)


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.