Dear 2015

December 31, 2015

Saitama City, Japan

         That was amazingly fast.

        Before I begin my musing over the last 365 days of 2015, I would like to thank everyone who played a great part in my life. It wouldn’t be remarkable and crazy without YOU in it, and honestly it would be extraordinary if you will still join me on my next chapter…

Let’s continue to be a part of each other’s lives.

MT MANALMON

Thank You…

for continually sharing the ‘gift of life’

for all the joy and laughter you brought into my life

for all the precious time I shared with my loved ones regardless of hectic schedule

for all the surprises You showed me

for all the resources we’ve got to survive every single day

for all the friends I gained despite the storm

for all the chances I had to make things better

for all the strength to carry on

for all the determination to continue my passion

for all the pain I had to go thru to be who I am today

for all the tears I released to ease the agony

for everything

        I am not in control of everything that has been happening in my life, but I am grateful on how my choices in life turned out. I had to deal with tons of constant and consecutive changes but nothing beats the joy of living with my own family.

       Looking back to the first six months of 2015, I was merely enjoying going to different places in the Philippines, while attending few training related to nursing. I was trying to go back to my first love with no rush. It brought so much pain and confusion when you already know what you like to do but the odds seems to be unlikely. It was always a tough battle going back to where I was but I kept on moving. Little did I know, I am already changing path. I guess I was enjoying too much to notice the shift in my world.

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January – June of 2015 (Philippines)

        However, life keeps on challenging me. I was myself before I sleep but I woke up broken and tormented. My thoughts were eating me up and my eyes were drowning. I cried for help but no one heard me, I am not even sure if my voice came out. Just like other relationships, mine was not perfect and we had a lot of misunderstanding. People didn’t have to know everything about us. Whenever life check on me, I pray  and forgive.

“It sounds foolish to others, but I still believe that a person can change and that a person can be renewed.”

         Life can be ironic but still it can be kind and I am back with my family since July 1st of 2015. I can’t imagine how it all happened so quickly, from changing homes to adjusting in a new environment.

        I woke up no longer in my room but beside the person who carried me in her womb for nine months – my Mother. I am safe here, I always thought. As I stayed longer, I am getting used to new faces, fresh vicinity, changing seasons and in a country where language is totally different.

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      Not everyone knew that I had to risk all comfort in my first home – Philippines. I lived there for the past twenty three years of my life – since birth, to attending schools from kinder to college, building lifetime friendships, experiencing my first love and numerous heartbreaks and countless mishaps along the road.

        It’s where I started my everything but I am partly wrong… I am missing the chance of being with the important people in my life… I have accepted the changes wholeheartedly for it is my personal choice – to be with my own constants thru the good and the bad, under one roof. 

        They say I am lucky to be here, but I would rather say blessed. I am not here just to wander around.  Just like other adult, I have to work my ass off and do the things I am supposed to be doing at this age. I am honestly too lax about the life I have, or maybe I am too contented with what is already in front of me. And yes, I believe that everything too much is not good in the long run.

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July – December of 2015 (Japan)

        Everyday I tell myself that I wanted to DO MORE and BE MORE. I am very close to being certain that I am not born to do little so I engage in a lot of activities. I exhaust skills I can improve and I woke up every single day to learn something new and fun. I like to spend my twenty four hours doing the things that matter to me, the things I love. 

        Have you ask yourself, what do you really want?

      Well for me, I love sleeping or watching movies/series, crawled up in bed while munching Cheetos and drinking soda. I really do and I can actually cancel a date for this but it is not the life I wanted for the next twenty or thirty years of my life. It might be worth it for a short period of time, but “being more” is what  keeps me going so I resorted to start doing productive activities that nourishes me as an individual (aside from paying job) – I write what I want. I write what interests me. I write bits and pieces of my journey. I write my own story.

        One word, One sentence, One phrase will go a long way… So I kept my pen and paper ready most of the time to take every chance to TRY and TRY again.

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Birth of my newest ‘Baby’

        For I know that someday I will have my own family and I want my kids and grandchildren to know how life can be wonderful and tricky at the same time. Our old memories doesn’t need to be perfect, but we can start making it remarkable. 

        Just like everyone in this world, I made mistakes and I had my struggles too but my perspective is always brighter just like the sun, shinier in the dark like the stars…

         Our environment is already a world full of whiners, check the social media and it is pretty obvious. Instead of focusing your energy on the things that annoys you; focus on the things that matters to you. Start doing the things you wanted without compromising your career and relationships.

        I learned not to get tired of making myself better…so should you.

xoxo,

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The Devil’s Mountain

Throwback Story. 

As I finished my temporary job in my alma mater, Far Eastern University – Manila, I was invited by Kevine Billedo to join their “weekend trip” or mountain climbing on January 26 – 27, 2013 at Mt. Cristobal. I can vividly remember how excited I am to do something “new” after graduating from college. For four years, I am my own slave to receive my diploma. I am part of the band MYPP,Make Your Parents Proud. 

Mountain climbing never crossed my mind until the day I was invited. I made my own research like how does the mountain looks like, how to get there, do’s and dont’s and most specially the expenses. I’ve got what I needed in the Pinoy Mountaineer website. I also learned that Mt. Cristobal is also known as the “Devil’s Mountain”. It sounds creepy and since then I had butterflies in my tummy, so many what if’s but I still said YES. I really don’t mind who joins the climb because I am looking forward to a new experience.Fresh start. 

Let’s get started. First, what’s in my bag? I have 2 liters of water, 2 bars of snickers, emergency medicine, flashlight, whistle, packed lunch, jacket, malong/blanket, extra set of clothes and toiletries. I did not worry about the transportation since we’re going to use Chong Exoems L300 van. My friend has a tent good for five persons, so I’m IN! We were only expected to spend 650-700php which includes (transportation, registration fee, dinner and breakfast).

I met my friend in Green Park, Cainta at 3:30 AM. Now I am beginning to see new faces, I met Benok, Cholo, Sir Bren and Sir Migs. It was never hard to tag along since they were very funny and friendly. We immediately head to Victory Liner – Cubao, to meet other participants. I’m with people I only met but it didn’t feel strange. I am happy inside.

We traveled three to four hours to reach Dolores, Quezon. They used to eat in one of the carinderias along the main road, from there we ate breakfast and bought ingredients for our dinner.

This was my initial view upon reaching the jump off at Brgy. Kinabuhayan.

       Before we begin the climb, we were introduced briefly to one another and since some of us were beginners, including me, Sir Chong had to give us few reminders, mostly from BMC, Basic Mountaineering Course. 

 “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but foot prints, kill nothing but time.“

  1. Be respectful to the locals and their tradition. 
  2. Greet other people when you meet them in the trails or in towns.     “Good Morning Ma’am/Sir”, and the famous “Ingat po.”
  3. Do not throw your trash anywhere. You may keep it in your bag, bring it down the mountain and dispose accordingly.
  4. Do not vandalize on trees and rock formations. 
  5. Minimize your noise. 
  6. Do not bring home anything you find along the trail. Just leave it. 

Headcount, 19.

Take five’ means to have a short break.

 Pristine Mossy Forest

       This climb was no joke at all. Difficulty 4/9, Trail class 3. It was cold and I am barely sweating. It has intertwining roots served as the stairs and the tall trees became our cover from the sun. Trails were really steep and it will surely test the strength of your extremities. Physically, I didn’t have any preparation for this. At some point, we really need to catch our breath and we were given ‘take five’. There was also part of the climb that we need to literally “kiss the wall” to pass through. I can’t imagine how I look while carrying my 4 years old Jansport backpack. The climb was never boring, it was full of action. We started to talk about anything and everything. Since I am wearing my college jogging pants, they kept on teasing me by chanting my school’s UAAP yell, “Let’s go tamaraw, Let’s go”. Indeed, my heart was happy and motivated to finish this climb.

Upon reaching the campsite, gentlemen started to build our tent. 

 My first overnight on a mountain. 

               While waiting for dinner, I stayed in our tent and took out my notepad to write some thoughts of mine.

Reaching a mountain’s summit is like reaching your life goal. Your path isn’t always smooth and easy, it has its own ups and downs. People around can help you go up or will just simply pass by. Trust, or never. It’s your call. It’s your choice.

Dinner and Socials

       I never thought I will have a happy tummy on the top of the mountain. Everyone chipped in for our dinner and we had hot sinigang and sizzling sisig on that cold night. It was perfect! Thank you Sir Kim, Sir Chong and SirMigs for the delightful dinner.

They also brought some alcoholic drinks for our “getting to know” activity. You can ask or share anything, or simply answer what was asked. I am not drinking such but everyone did so I tried one shot. Just one. They say “tamang pakikisama”. 

Finally, lights off. It’s time to rest and I am sleeping with Kevine, Benok and Cholo. Relax, they were harmless. Kidding aside, it was very cold and my jacket and malong saved me. I forgot about the creepy stories, and slept soundly.

Out of the woods.

Sea of Clouds in Mt. Cristobal (1470 MASL)

       We woke up early to climb summit, approximately an hour and a half to reach the highest point of this trail also known as Jones’ Peak. It was breathtaking, and I can feel the cold wind touches my face. 

Finally, we made it. 

I made it. 

        Mt. Cristobal “Devil’s Mountain”, helped me to realized things and enlighten my  ideas about the devil. The devil wasn’t real. We create the devil inside us. It was the reflection of our own darkness that we nurtured in our hearts – fear, selfishness, malice, ignorance, doubts and hesitation.

Just like the other mountaineers, I faced and buried my own devil at the Devil’s Mountain.

 Face your fears. Acknowledge them. 

Accept them and take a POSITIVE STAND against them. 

        I am forever grateful on this climbing experience. Thank You, Almighty Father. We gained a lot, we had fun, we built new friendship and we conquered the  “Devil’s Mountain”.

If you reached this part, I hoped you learned something. Some details are too vague because I am barely recalling a memory two years ago. Thank you for reading! ♥ 

How was your first hike?