Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Kikay Mountaineer Part Deux

My so called "love for nature" was refueled after A asked me if I wanted to go hiking in Biak Na Bato National Park. This was the first time I got asked to go hiking. In Bulacan. And in a "National Park"! Wow!

With only an hour of sleep and less than 12 hours before my shift, I took on the challenge and donned my so-called hiking gears. I was like, "Bring it on!"

Wait? This is not a hiking gear?

In Biak na Bato National Park, we passed by caves and creeks and I think we needed to cross a bridge twice. Everyone who knows me knows I have a paralyzing fear of heights. My knees just wobble and my hands get clammy everytime I'm anywhere higher than 5 feet (let me stand on a high chair and I get scared already). But my hiking buddy was merciless and I knew he would leave me on the other side of the bridge if I didn't get my act together.

Every part of my body hurt after that trip and I swore to myself I'll never hike again.

But I did it again...

I climbed Mt. Makiling with A and his Mom. I was a little embarrassed that A's mom who is almost twice my age had a faster pace than me. While nearing the summit, I was almost out of breath. I silently wished we'd just head back together but A was so eager to reach the peak. Thank heavens, she decided that we should get back before dark.

When I finally got home, I laid on my bed, looked at the ceiling and wondered what I've gotten myself into.

And again...

Holy Week was a tough time in regards to my romantic endeavors. And while a friend surprised me with a round trip ticket to Boracay, I found myself taking the trail towards Mt Cristobal, the Devil's Mountain, this time with my friend Nona (the one I went with to Calaruega and supposedly a mountaineer). Why I chose the strenuous climb over some r&r by the beach, I will never understand. It was the most difficult climb to date and I had to stop two thirds towards the summit because my knees and feet were jelly-ish already. Nona went back and stayed in the car after she decided that she reached her hiking limit of 30 minutes (peace). I ended up taking an afternoon nap and reached the peak in my dreams. A went ahead and successfully represented the team up at the summit.

the world is my oyster and the earth is my bed (just woke up)

And again...

I've climbed two mountains but haven't summited yet. I was disappointed with myself. Who goes hiking and stops midway? A suggested Mount Batulao. It looked promising and Pinoy Mountaineer said it was an easy climb. The pictures looked amazing too. What's not to love?

The dusty and vertigo-inducing trail!

with my best friend Joe

lesson learned: next time try a hiking pants and save the Guess shorts for a movie date

After our Batulao climb, I was two shades darker and with more pimples to boot. One toenail died too. Looking down from the summit, I almost called my private chopper to rescue and bring me back to Manila until I realized I didn't have any. I was like, "Why am I climbing mountains when I have to go back down again?" But I remembered that on our way to the peak, we crossed paths with two other climbers on the way down. There was nothing remarkable when I first saw them until I realized one was blind. It was amazing! And because of that blind climber, I treasured my first view from the top even more. My first summit, yey! I felt like I could retire and go back to my normal life.

but I just had to climb one more time...

This time, A and I went with Jamboree Mountaineers to Pico De Loro. It was our first climb with an organized group (not that we're not organized, I'm just saying...). I had a lot of fun, I didn't tire myself and there were a lot of breaks during the climb. The hardest part was just before the summit, a few minutes before I had my period! Yes, I had my period at the summit! What a feat! Good thing, one of the girls have an emergency kit and I had a spare shirt to cover my stain. I was not able to climb the parrot's beak but the 360-view from the summit overlooking the Hamilo coast was enough treat.

yes, that's supergirl's cape/coverup

A who fortunately didn't get sunburnt

fantastic four at the summit

Plus, our last climb was featured in GMA 7's website:

I know I prayed for a guy who goes to a spa every week and only plays chess as his sport. I didn't find that guy but I found something more - a whole new world of breathtaking beauty and someone who appreciates it as much as I do.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Kikay Mountaineer Part 1

I never thought that I’d be keen on hiking mountains; the dusty sometimes moist earth clinging to every exposed part of my skin, the seemingly endless trail, hours of asking “malayo pa ba?”, the blazing sun rays that my SPF50 sunblock has no match against, my fear of heights, getting lost and anything and everything that crawls and has tiny feet as well as my excessive request for pitstops create a weird juxtaposition with that of my usual self.

When I told a close friend I was going to hike she virtually laughed at me.

I, too, laughed at myself at first. I never imagined myself as a mountaineer mainly because I lack the proper attire. I only have one pair of rubber shoes (something that I was forced to buy when I signed up for Fitness First). Everything else in my shoe cabinet are high heels, stilettos, pumps, peep-toe sandals... well, you got the idea. I didn’t have a loose shirt, hiking shorts or a backpack. I had to borrow stuff from my brothers to their dismay. Also, I have a weak lung, knees, legs and feet. My biological composition was not made for this kind of stuff. I love virtual shopping, dining, watching movies, reading books, getting a massage and everything that spells relaxation (and boring to some). I don’t like sweating too much and getting dirty. For a couple of years, I didn’t have any sports aside from shopping and Dance Dance Revolution and I was physically unfit to the 100th power.

In fact, a year ago I went on a trip with my friend to Calaruega – the chapel on the hill. It was a hill and for Pete’s sake – I couldn’t even manage to hike and reach the summit. Instead, I wished my friend good luck, told her to take lots of pictures while I ended up lying on the grass with a good book.

But fate has its way of finding me (naks!). My first brush with hiking came when I dated a nature lover in the middle of 2009. I remember him asking me to go out on a surprise date. He specifically requested for me to wear a short skirt. Eager to please my man, I did wear a short skirt complete with platform heels only to find out (surprise surprise!) that he was taking me to the National Museum, Rizal Park and Intramuros. Nakakaloka talaga, naglakad ako ng nakaheels at mini skirt sa Luneta of all places at kebago bago ng sandals ko napudpod agad ang takong! For a few seconds, I was scared that Jose Rizal will haunt me in my dreams. I considered dumping the guy right then and there but being the forgiving kind-hearted woman that I am, I gave him a second chance. On our next trip, he took me to a nice beach and I almost considered it a relaxing weekend until the next day when he at 12 NOON asked me to go hiking. When I refused, he called me lazy so I convinced myself to take the challenge, put on tons of sunblock and eventually gave in. I was burnt so bad after two hours of walking plus he jokingly called me "negra" on the way back. I didn’t talk to him for weeks after that and eventually broke up with him. I asked myself why I always attract the wrong kind of guys and prayed hard for God to let me find a guy who goes to a spa every week and only plays chess as his sport.

I almost did. Almost.

Monday, March 15, 2010

of risks and taking chances

Whenever I make a tough decision in life, I always think about this – is the gain worth more than what I am risking?

But life’s such a bitch on me so I have to think about it harder. What if the thing you are risking is already out there in the open and you are just holding on to an eeny teeny bit of hope? What if life asks you to finally let go of that final piece, else you lose everything you are about to gain? Would you finally let go? Or would you throw everything away to hold on to that small glimmer of hope?

Even if it doesn't promise anything. Because it's just what it is -


Monday, November 30, 2009

The Warrior and the Child

So many things have happened these past few months which is why I decided to change my blog layout. It's still messed up though and my new header is the most I can do with my (limited) Photoshop skills hahaha. Anyway, I'm back to writing and can't wait to start posting new updates about my rollercoaster of a life. Here is the last piece I wrote before I went on a hiatus. I'm sire you'd figure out after reading this piece why I needed to get away...

April 1, 2009 was one of worst days in my life. I found myself running in 3-inch stilettos in front of Mercury Drugs not knowing where to go. I felt so helpless as panic engulfed logic. I still am not ready to write about what transpired that night but all I know is that it changed my life. I now found that invisible ink flowing from my veins to my pen. Now I know I won’t be writing in vain.

I went there not knowing what my main purpose was. I just felt like it was the best thing to do. Perhaps I was seeking refuge or just a mere sign of sympathy. I still shiver with fear just thinking about how I managed to escape but at the same time felt overwhelming gratitude just for being alive. I was obviously torn.

She was seated across me; her eyes big and questioning that I couldn’t help but come out of my invisible shield. I smiled at her and she smiled back, shyly. I excused myself and went out. She immediately followed.

“What’s your name?” I asked.


“That’s a nice name. I’m also named after a flower. I’m Rose.”

She fidgeted with my bag while I heard a woman’s stifled cry in the other room. I presume it’s her Mom. Good thing, the little girl did not notice. I shouldn’t let her.

“Do you like to dance?”


“Ahhh… you like to sing then.”

She nodded eagerly.

“Who’s your favorite singer? Sarah Geronimo?”

“No, I don't like her songs. I like the song ‘I believe’”.

“What’s that?”

She started to sing in her sweet little voice, “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside…

The usually glum and dark room seemed to lit up, filled with a hopeful melody. I didn’t shed a single tear throughout the terrible incident nor even after it. But as I found myself singing with her, my tears fell down - one by one.

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be…”

It was the same song I used to sing as a child. It was my favorite. And hearing it now, sung by a four-year old seemed to me as more of a coincidence.

“The greatest love of all is easy to achieve – learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”

I was speechless for quite some time. I couldn’t believe that there I was, defeated with distress and self-pity being rescued by a four-year old girl. I was so messed up and almost giving up but she was still full of hope. I felt like a child again – seeing with her eyes. The world was perfect and I was safe and protected in a shell of parental love. How I wish it was still the case for the both of us.

She waved goodbye as I tried to force a smile. I wished things could have been different – for her and for me. I wished nightmares didn’t come to life and children are spared of life’s cruelties. I wish we can go through this and emerge unbroken and strengthened. How I wished I met her at a different place. I wished as hard as I could - I wished for her more than for me.

After filing my case, I walked out of CIDG’s Women and Children’s Protection Division - a place filled with women and children who are physically and sexually violated. I went there not knowing what my main purpose was. What I didn’t know was in that desolate room often filled with shattered dreams and defeated spirits, is where I will find one of my life’s purposes. After hearing Daffodil's story - how she was sexually abused in her own home, I found the strength to carry on and start all over. God has led me there and sent His angel to help me realize the reason behind it all.

For the first time after the incident, I felt a sense of peace as Daffodil’s gentle voice continued to echo in my mind.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Up, Up and Away

I didn't want to watch Up at first, despite of the good reviews I've read about the movie. But after my friend promised that we will watch Time Traveler's Wife next Sunday, I finally agreed.

The movie tells the story of a quiet boy named Carl who meets a rather aggressive girl named Ellie. Together, they both dreamed of an elusive adventure that they always seemed to put off until Carl outlived Ellie (this is the hearbreaking part). Finally, he decided to chase their dream and found something more than he hoped for.

Up is as enchanting as it is inspring. It made me want to break out of my cynic shell and just take that first step to making my ultimate dream come true but at the same time, it taught me not to be afraid to make new dreams. It's definitely a must watch. The best movie from Pixar so far. And oh, I was deeply touched that I was inspired to make a poem. Warning: it's kinda cheesy.

Paradise Falls

You came like a dream
Vanished before I've seen
The wonders you brought to me
Went as quickly as a breeze

I hold on to what was left
I screamed 'til I'm out of breath
I closed my eyes and tried to pretend
That you'll hold me until the end
Though I know I have to let go...

I'll never be lost
As long as I follow my paradise falls
I'll chase wherever my heart goes
Until I arrive at paradise falls

I'll take that step away from you
I won't be scared to dream a dream or two
Like a bird that escaped from my grasp
I watch as you spread your wings at last...

Because I'll never be lost
As long as I follow my paradise falls
Oh, paradise falls
I'll see you at paradise falls...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ako Naman

Ngayon ang unang araw nya sa eskwela. Bakas sa kanyang mukha ang magkahalong sabik at takot. “Kinakabahan ka ba? Okey lang yan. Ganyan din ako dati,” sambit kong may ngiti sa mga labi habang hawak ko ang kanyang kamay. Naalala ko nung unang araw ko sa kindergarten – gabi pa lang hinanda na ni Nanay ang uniporme ko, sapatos, bag at lahat ng kailangan ko sa eskwelahan. Araw-araw hanggang sa nakatapos ako ng hayskul, gumigising siya kasabay ko. Siya pa ang nagsusuot sa akin ng medyas at sapatos. Naiiyak ako ng di ko mawari. Ganito pala ang pakiramdam. Ako naman ngayon.

“Nanay, basahin natin ‘tong Sleeping Be... be...a...u...ti. Turuan mo na kasi kong mag-Ingles,” pangungulit ko sa aking inay. Masipag akong magaral noong ako’y bata pa pero ang pinakahilig ko ay magbasa – ng malakas! Iniiba-iba ko pa ang boses ko noon lalo na pag nagbabasa ako ng Funny komiks; nagboboses bata ako, boses matanda, boses robot, boses butiki.

“Si Tatay ang magtuturo sa iyong mag-Ingles,” sabay turo nya sa aking Tatay na agad namang kukuha ng libro at tatawagin ako. Hindi ko alam kung bakit ayaw na akong turuan ni Nanay samantalang siya ang nagturo sa akin ng abakada at pagbibilang. Siguro dahil masyado siyang abala sa pagluluto.

Hanggang sa makarating ako ng unang baitang. Medyo bihasa na kong mag-Ingles noon ngunit doon din nagsimulang dumalang ang pagtuturo sa kin ni Nanay. Ngunit lagi nya pa din akong pinapabasa ng libro at tuwing hapon ay parang Martial Law dahil bawal manood ng TV hangga’t hindi natatapos ang takdang-aralin. Nagbunga naman lahat ng iyon dahil lagi akong naguuwi ng medalya. Tuwang tuwa ako pag nakikita ko ang ngiti sa mukha ni Nanay, pagkatapos noon ay bibilhan niya ako ng hamburger o di kaya’y sosorpresahin ng bagong mga libro.

Nasa ikatlong baitang ako noon, mahigpit ang kompetisyon sa klase. Nakakatawa mang isipin ngayon, umiiyak ako kapag hindi ako nakakakuha ng kompletong marka sa mga pagsusulit. Naalala ko isang beses, magpapasa kami ng proyekto noon sa Hekasi, ngunit hindi ko natapos. Ayoko nang pumasok noon dahil wala akong ipapasa pero sabi ni Nanay ay tatapusin niya daw at ihahatid sa eskwelahan ng umaga ding iyon. Nagantay ako buong umaga, tingin ako ng tingin sa bintana. Hanggang sa sinabi ng guro namin, “Ipasa niyo na ang mga proyekto niyo. Ang tatlong pinakamaganda ay isasabit natin sa harap.” Pakiramdam ko noon ay maiihi ako sa salawal ko. Bakit hindi dumating si Nanay?

Nung umuwi ako ng hapon na iyon ay padabog kong sinara ang pinto at hinagis ang baunan ko sa lamesa. Binali ko din ang headband na binili ni Nanay sa inis ko. Hindi ko siya kinausap ng isang araw. Pero deadma lang siya. Hindi man lang nagsorry.

Nakapagtapos ako ng elementarya sa loob lamang ng limang taon at sa limang taon na iyon ay nagkaroon ako ng 18 medalya. Naging iskolar ako nung hayskul at sa awa ng Diyos ay nagtapos bilang valedictorian. Ang saya saya ko noon. Pakiramdam ko, ako ang pinakamatalino sa buong mundo. Paguwi namin ni Nanay ay sinorpresa nila ako ng engrandeng handaan. Andun ang lolo’t lola ko pati na din ang iba naming kamaganak.

“Ipakita mo sa kanila ang mga medalya mo,” panghihikayat ni Nanay.

Hinalungkat ko ang pinakamalaking aparador sa bahay kung saan nilalagay ni Nanay ang lahat ng mga importanteng kagamitan. Lagi niyang pinapaalala sa akin ang importansya ng edukasyon. Tinuturing niyang totoong ginto ang mga medalyang tanso lang naman talaga.

Palabas na sana ako ng mahagip ng aking mga mata ang isang kumpol ng mga papel na naninilaw at halatang luma na. Binuklat ko ito – ang aking proyekto sa Hekasi! Bakit nandito ito? Siguro nakalimutan ni Nanay na ihatid ito noon. Tinignan ko isa isa ang mga pahina at di ko napigilang humanga sa aking sulatkamay. Aba’y lagi pa nga akong pinupuri ng mga guro ko noon dahil napakahusay ko daw sumulat. Ngunit nakita ko ang mga sumunod na mga pahina... tila ba isinulat ng isang batang nagsisimula pa lamang magaral; naghalo ang mga malilit at malalaking letra at mali mali pa nga ang ibang mga salita. Bigla na lang tumulo ang mga luha ko. Eto pala ang dahilan kung bakit hindi niya ibinigay sa akin.

Ang nanay ng pinakamatalinong bata sa buong mundo ay hindi pala marunong magsulat.


Kahit mahirap lang kami, nakapagtapos ako ng abogasya at ngayon ay isa na sa pinakamatagumpay na abogada sa lungsod. Hinding hindi ko makakalimutan ang mga natutunan ko sa eskwelahan at higit sa lahat ang natutunan ko kay Nanay. Sinabi ko noon, darating ang araw na ako naman. At ngayon ang araw na iyon. Tuluyan na ngang dumaloy ang pinipigil kong mga luha habang pinagmamasdan si Nanay papasok sa kanyang klase.

Ako naman ngayon, Nanay.

Me, My Mom, Aunt and Ate

This is for my Mom- a story inspired by her. I hope someday she'd get to read it.

I have to say that my Dad couldn't have picked a better wife and my Dad's relatives couldn't hate her more. You see, my paternal Grandma's side was very matapobre. Naalala ko nung minsang naguwi ng babae ang pinsan ko sa ancestral house namin sa Pangasinan, hindi pa nakakaupo yung babae eh pinaalis na ng lola at mga tiyahin ko dahil mukha daw "golddigger at squatter". At least I have an idea kung kanino ako nagmana (sa panglalait lang ha).

Growing up, nakita ko kung pano maliitin ang nanay ko ng mga kamaganak namin dahil Grade 2 lang ang tinapos niya. Kasalanan ba niya kung maaga silang naulila at walang mga kamaganak na tumulong sa kanila? Ilang beses kong narinig na sinabihan siya ng "walang pinagaralan" kahit ng pinsan kong babae na kaedad ko lang. By the way, it only proves that education cannot buy class and good manners. Mahirap makita kung paano siya api-apihin habang wala ka namang magawa para ipagtanggol siya. Ano bang magagawa ko noon kundi tumahimik at pigilin ang pagiyak? Pero sinabi ko sa sarili ko, "P*tang ina niyong lahat makikita niyo balang araw..."

Now, me and my sister are having her home-schooled and I consider it one of my greatest achievements. Tuwang tuwa ako lalo na kapag sinasabihan ko siyang bawal manood ng Tayong Dalawa hangga't hindi tapos ang assignment niya. Hehehe... aba'y pagkakataon ko na ding gumanti.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Long Live the King! Long Live Love!

I never thought that I'd write a post for Michael Jackson. Not that I think he is un-postworthy, it's just that I know everyone's been writing about him the past few days and are very emotional about his death. I'm not a cold heartless bitch but I didn't think I could give Michael Jackson as much outpouring of emotions as other does. And I don't want to write about him just for the sake of writing about him. I don't write about anything unless I am utterly, greatly, moved.

I do consider him an ICON. Although I'm not that musically inclined, I tried to reach the higher notes of I'll Be There and You Are Not Alone as a kid. And I did, at one point in my life, try to imitate the moonwalk in vain. I mean, who didn't? I'm sure everyone tried to be a Michael Jackson at one point or another. And I'm not just talking about his creative talents.

As a kid, I idolized him and as an adult I tried to understand his actions. Everyone criticized what he's done to his physical appearance - lighter skin, thinner nose, deeper-set eyes and heaven knows what else. We all know it's a plastic surgery that went wrong but maybe (and my guess is just as good as yours) underneath all the facade is just a simple person trying to fit in a crowd - a kid trying so hard to please everyone. Just like me, just like you and just like everyone else.

I remember Michael Jackson, I remember "The Way You Make Me Feel" and I remember him changing the music industry and culture, as well. But what I won't forget, is him being a father (biological or not) who brought his daughter to great tears in his funeral.

At last I could say - I was utterly, greatly, moved.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

To The One Who Stil Holds My Heart

>it's amazing how one person can break your heart
but more amazing that you still love him with all the little broken pieces...
this is just a very simple poem
but it's everything I have to say

Just the way he laughs
make me smile
The stars will be shamed
With the twinkle in his eyes
I’m at my happiest in his arms
And his voice caresses me like a child.
He tells me I’m beautiful
the best thing that happened to his life
He makes me at ease and comfortable
That I don’t have to pretend otherwise.
He calms my irrational fears
He never made me shed a tear
He holds my hand
And everything becomes clear.
He is my guiding star,
My angel in the dark.
He is my soulmate.
He is my heart.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Independence Day

Two things I rarely talk about - religion and politics. Not because it doesn't interest me but on the contrary, I feel strongly about these things. And I don't want to be like the rest of the imposing crowd who shove their opinions in others’ mouths. I definitely won’t do that BUT thanks to my blog, I can still voice out my POV.

I was in 2nd year high school when we had our debate in Social Studies: parliamentary vs. presidential system of governance. I forgot on which side I was but one of my main arguments was that it does not matter what political system we have. The power has always been in the hands of the masses. We had a revolutionary government, heck – even a dictatorial one and we endured both. I always believed we can survive in spite of whatever type of government we have. Unfortunately, I can’t say if that is still the case.

After EDSA I, came EDSA 2 which I think was a total disaster, after it was EDSA 3 which was an even more disastrous idea. Not only did those conniving bastards used the legacy of the first EDSA revolution for their own selfish intentions, they also ruined a Philippine honor. What sets apart EDSA I from its contemporaries was the very reason it existed. Filipinos were fighting for freedom - not for a politician, not for a political party, not for a political agenda. Not for anything but freedom.

Now, almost every rally has a political motive behind it. Majority of the people participate not because they’re fighting for their ideals but because they are promised a measly 300 pesos for their attendance (based on first-hand experience). Should we blame the users or the ones who allow themselves to be used?

What’s killing the country is not the constitutional change but the lack of our nation’s decent leaders and the good judgment of its followers. The rest just don’t care and they’re just as appalling. We’re all waiting for a Rizal or Bonifacio incarnate. But why do we need to wait when we can be the next one?

It all starts with a little step.

Perhaps, a step as little such as writing a blog about it.