Saturday, September 19

To My Almost

"I just want to belong to someone, Ruby. I'm tired of waiting. 
And it feels good with him." 

In the past few weeks, I've been constantly struggling. Struggling at work to keep up with the paper works, struggling with being away from my friends, struggling from the sadness brought by my Mama and Tito's departure, and struggling from forgetting you and how good you made me feel. There are days when I would be sad, cry, and wait for the misery to pass by... But nonetheless, I am grateful.

There is this person who made me feel so much better even though I am miles away from home; and this entry would be dedicated to him. Even if it's an imagination, a dream, or something that only I was able to feel, I am still going to write however I feel for you and that's okay.

I will never forget the first time you talked to me thru text. At the back of my mind, I was thinking... This man is so lame for saying the corniest pick-up lines and yet he made me smile. I was going through lots of work and I couldn't reply quick so I told him sorry but I won't be able to send fast messages back and he said it was okay, he was patient anyway.

Few days on and we talked about meeting each other and I really didn't have plans to meet you but you were just so persistent that I felt, maybe he is not that bad at all. He sounds so open and cool, very thoughtful even (clearly it was his sales skills), so why not give it a go?

When I met you, you were skinny and to be honest it wasn't exactly my type. Anyway, what could go wrong right? You sound so smart, honest, and all the more, you were the perfect gentleman. You would open the door, take whatever I need without being asked, and assist me do things that I would normally and was used to doing myself.

The past two months was a high. I got spoiled with good morning texts everyday, random compliments that would just come out of you, and your patience is nothing to be compared of. I love how I would learn things from you or how you just give me unsolicited touches to make me feel better. You knew the right things to say when I was sad or when I was just mad that you slept off the night before. I saw how you value your family and I thought, this is the kind of man that I would want to be with. I saw how you smile and how you were eager to tell me about your life - and I valued every second of it. I even remember when you showed me the Youtube video of the mathematics skill that I've seen Indians do and your cute laugh and joy when I finally learned how to do it - and the remark that you said when you see me enjoying it. That time when you asked me if you can meet my Mum when she visits (no one ever asked me that), I was surprised and I laughed. Who would do that? We are not even together. But deep inside, I was quite happy. You wanted to meet the people who mattered to me, and it's not all the time in our lives when people close to us would value the people we love the most. When I would scream at you in texts and just demanded things to be done due to my hormonal imbalance, when I seemed like this crazy girl that no one could deal with, you remained patient and even if we both know you were already annoyed, you remained cool, and you stayed. That's the remarkable part - you always stayed.

I don't love you, that's for sure. I know it for myself and I have always known. But you were great, and what makes me sad is the fact that you wouldn't be there for the rest of the journey that I have. How you made me smile every morning, how you comforted me when I wasn't feeling the best of myself, how you made me realize that whatever happens - I should be happy because I deserve nothing but that.

You and me knows why you had to go and I completely understand. The other day, I was talking to a friend and she told me, every time you're sad because he walked away, think. If there is any way that he would choose you will you be able to stay with him? No. Yes, I thought of introducing you to my family, letting my cousins meet you because they were just so excited for me (I've always been a baby and I never had anyone meet them), and I know they would be happy to meet you since for sure they'll be impressed by how hard working, smart, and decent you are. But after that, I barely see anything to follow... Honestly, what more can I do and offer? I can't even let you meet my Mum, only because I know she wouldn't approve. And even if there were a few times that I attempted to tell her, I only backed out as I was too scared of her reaction, even if I was just going to introduce you as a friend. Clearly, there's nothing more I can do and I wouldn't want you to waste your time with someone who couldn't even determine the future. So I realized, it's okay. It's okay to watch you walk away and to proceed being happy with someone else; because there's someone meant for you and that's not me.

When a person has made you smile and made you feel like nothing will be able to turn your world around - you will treasure him. And I will always do. Thank you for being a good one. When I was not my best and I was just angry and impatient, you were still there. When I always blamed you for being too attached and all the other things - you understood. I hope all the best for you and yes, I will remain the happy giddy girl that I am because that's how it was when you came and it will be still be even if you leave. All I wish for is one last time - one last time to see you smile, one last time to hear you say something, one last time to touch and hug you, one last time to finally say good bye. And no matter how hard it will be to get it, I will still pray and hope.

You were my shining star, my almost, my what if - I will never forget you and all the happy memories you gave me in a very short time. Thank you for being you and keep on chasing your dreams - the rest I will tell you when we finally meet.


Saturday, August 8

Seeing Mayon Volcano in an epic ATV ride

Hi, you!

This has been a productive day with a few hours to spare. I've been able to revamp my closet, finish my laundry, wash the dishes, and clean up my bed. Although I have two things left to do (if I didn't miss anything out that's it) - write a new entry on my blog (which I am doing now) and cleaning up files on my Mac (which really isn't easy after all). Wow, noticed how many times I inserted parentheses in my statements. That is a lot of second voice happening in my mind put in writing.

Anyway, going back to my narrative of our Bicol Tour... Let's re-visit my third day in the region! We traveled back to Legazpi shortly after we had our breakfast and went straight to our ATV meet-up point. It was roughly 30-45 minutes away from the city and practically near the Mayon Volcano.

The ATV was a high! We went for a few rounds of practice and woosh off we go! I tell you, more than the exquisite view from up high and the perfect cone-shaped volcano, the ride was equally fun and exciting. And since my words wouldn't do enough justice... you should see it for yourself through our pictures!

We had a few stop overs along the way like the picture shown above. This was taken at Cagsawa Ruins - it was built in the 17th century but was later on destroyed when the volcano erupted on 1814. From this spot too, you can view the perfectly shaped Mayon Volcano, too bad though it was blocked by clouds when we got there.

We finally reached the peak of the trail. Can't believe we were able to go that far, it was nearly half of the whole height of the volcano! Although on that distance, it was still blocked by the clouds. We were almost weeping when suddenly on the way back...

Tada! The perfect cone of the Mayon finally showed up! It was pretty awesome. There's actually a cute folktale regarding when the Mayon shows up or not and thankfully we were saved. You should definitely ask the tour guides about that folktale, guys. The view was definitely worth the ride. And hello, it obviously gave us a lot of fun, not to mention dirt and ashes too. We finished at around 7 at night, went to the hotel (thanks to the kind hearted kuya's from Bicol Adventure ATV Tour who offered to take us there), straight away showered, and had dinner! Took us 30 minutes each to scrub all that ash but no complaining! It was one of the best things in Bicol, you better not miss it!

Hit me up or drop a comment the next time you go to Bicol and I might be able to give you some useful tips! E-mail: 

Happy travels!


Thursday, August 6

Survivor Island: Caramoan

Hello, I see you again! After exactly three months of no show since the paper works at work have been crazy, I finally decided to catch up on where I left of. Not the lessons I learned on being an overseas Filipino worker though... More of resuming my travel stories only. 

Since the last post was about Day 2 in Boracay and we didn't do much anyway for Day 3, let's go and discover the next place I've been to - the survivor islands of Caramoan in the Bicol Region.

Aside from the best tour guide I've ever experienced, Caramoan is not to disappoint. The travel can be long, presumably also because we hit the wrong airport (Legazpi instead of Naga) and the 2 hours boat ride is sure to put your ass on heat, but no need to worry as the view along the way is almost perf.

The first day was merely spent on traveling to the island but we had a short tour when we arrived which is already at sunset. We went to this exquisite old church which makes a beautiful backdrop and prayer house for the people of Caramoan - St. Michael the Archangel Church.

It was founded in 1619 by Franciscan Missionaries and the church is like a 10-minute walk from our accommodation, the West Peninsula Villas Caramoan. You should check it out if you're planning to stay and have island tours in Caramoan. Kuya Ryan, one of their tour guides was prolly one of the best tour guides that I will and have experienced in my whole life! No exaggeration.

Anyway, we went back to the inn after that to lie down, rest, have dinner, and pretend to play billiards. We gave up eventually and decided to catch up on zzz's...

We went ahead on breakfast the next day and immediately went for island hopping. Be prepared to ride the waves though, I don't know if it was just unusually large when we went there or the boat was small but it was quite scary. I was silently praying and hoping that I get the courage to swim ahead just in case something happens.

Mind you, the travel between islands can be long. Considering we rolled two days tour into one (supposed to be 4 islands each tour), we were able to go to 8 islands in one day. Although forgive me as I will not be able to remember all of them...

First stop, Manlawi Island! Caramoan's ever famous sandbar. I think this one was the farthest that's why we had it first, and oh the water would rise soon if we don't get there in time.

This for me is the best island out of all the islands. Although you would probably argue that every island in Caramoan has something special and unique in it but this one gets me real hard since I have always been a sucker for sandbars.

Proceeding to the next stop... it wasn't really an island. It was also a sort of sandbar but when we arrived the water was already knee length. Nevertheless, the view was exquisite. I could wake up to it every day.

And followed by some water hair tricks...

We swam a bit and since the place for lunch was quite far (30-40 minutes boat ride) we headed for it right away. It was also a gorgeous one! I think the first three were the ones who stole my heart.


The next islands that we visited didn't have decent photos of me and some of it we just dropped by so I wasn't able to take photos. To explain (since it's so abnormal of a travel blogger to not take photos), my bag which carries the camera is inside a plastic bag full of our bags. Since the wave was a bit huge, our tour guide suggested we put all the things inside it. If anything in case.

We visited roughly around 7-8 islands in my count. Each of it was unique and mostly all of it were pretty small. Travel time from one another is a minimum of 20 minutes and a maximum of 40 but all of it was worth it!

Kuya Ryan, he was a cute one - undoubtedly very cool when taking photos, patient with all of our kaartehan and rough linggo, and super protective of his clients. We almost cried when it was time to leave.

There you go, my first day in the Bicol Region. See you tomorrow for my ATV adventure!

Happy travels!


Thursday, May 7

7 Lessons I Learned Working Abroad

There is no doubt that being an OFW was one of the hardest decisions I've made in my life. While almost everyone thinks that it is so cozy and comfortable leaving your home for a good amount of money - well, there are two sides to every story; and today, I decided to tell you most of the lessons I have learned in being an overseas worker abroad.

1. The world does not revolve around you. Being an OFW for merely around 8 months, I have realized that the world does not revolve around me alone. I am just one in a million, one in a million people who fights to survive, works hard to chase their dreams, and aims to take on what they think they deserve. Considering that there are more than a million people in the world, who am I to think that not every single person around me also deserves that something I've been wanting my whole life, who am I to think that for a single dot I am that person who deserves to earn that job, who deserves to be loved, who deserves to be on top. Not really - we are all reaching and wanting almost the same things. So if it doesn't go to you, well honey, that's how the world goes. Accept it and move on.

2. It places you where you should be - on ground. When I started looking for a job abroad, I lived on believing that everything will come the way they should be. Easy breezy, free lance, nothing to worry about because once I find that job, I will surely be on cloud 9. However, the way to the top is not always easy. You got to fight hard. A lot of people won't see you as you see yourself - great, fearless, and competitive. Some people doesn't simply look for those things. And unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, you will still fail sometimes. But it's not that bad. When I left Singapore to have another thirty days, even if I already had a hint of having a job, I still felt grounded. Contemplating on my journey from the beginning, it has kept me grounded. It taught me that not even a single minute should I be so arrogant because at any time, someone can burn everything I've worked hard for just because they can. It's not to make you lose your self esteem or make you feel worthless though, it happens because you have to recognize that it's not all you. People, no matter how long you've known them or seen them, contributed something. You owe them something.

3. There's no one else better to look after yourself than you. One of the hardest lessons I've learned here is independence. I am not really someone who always needed someone to survive but when I made it here - I've learned independence in a whole new level. No one was there to tell me to drink my medicines on time (when I'm sick), no one takes my laundry for me, and no one would cook my meals for me. My mother was such a big part of my life and she would always do things for me, look after me, remind me to do this and that, and when she wasn't there to pick me up from everything and the hardships of working abroad - I felt frail. I thought I couldn't be anything if she's not with me, but I'm wrong. I can do things, even surprisingly, I can do things on my own. She has taught me a lot and it was my turn to finally put those lessons to good use. She has done me proud. She was anything but a wonderful mother.

4. Family is everything. There are times when I felt really down and wished I was just back home, sitting, and enjoying my comfort zone. But then I think again, and I realize they are the main reason I am here. I want to help my Mom pay all her debts; debts that she acquired just to make me study and finish in a good university. I almost had breakdowns every single day, even more than once a day, and it made me strong. I'm awakened by the thought that every day I fight to survive is a day closer to being with them again.

5. In the end, everything will get better. At the end of each day, no matter how stressed or tired I am, I always comfort myself with the fact that tomorrow is another day and it's gonna get better. Even if now feels like I am the saddest person alive with my family away and friends being separated, tomorrow will be a new one. Tomorrow might still be sad but then there's another tomorrow and who knows what it will bring? No one. Not even me. And that's such a solid guarantee for something better - believing in something you haven't even seen. Believing that happiness might just be around the corner and it will get to you, you just have to wait and see.

6. Work hard. Your dreams are your fortress - source of your strength and comfort. Even if it's hard, continue. Always keep in mind that everybody's working hard just to get to the same place as you. If you don't keep on working, they'll get it and tomorrow will be another day put to waste coz you were too busy working on the wrong things. I'm not saying you should work hard to the point of extreme exhaustion and lazy days aren't completely wrong because you deserve to have chill days too but don't get too relaxed. Work hard! Your boss will love you for that. Appreciate it, even.

7. Be strong. Stay strong. As cliche as it sounds, you are your own hero. Yes I know you've heard this a lot of times but it's true. Life is amazing and you have to be strong to witness that. Constantly looking for ways to keep alive and kicking and blissful as the universe! You are here for a reason, you deserve to be alive. Show the rest of the world what you're made of, prove them your place. Believe that you're just as wonderful as the world and you are strong! You deserve to be alive.

There are probably more things to learn and I can't wait to discover all of them. For the mean time, I will keep on living by these lessons - hoping that it will help me get through each day smoothly. I am inspired and I always thank God for giving me the opportunity to learn these things at such a young age. There are times when I feel really really lonely but it will get better. Risks are meant to be taken, hardships and scars are to be celebrated, and surviving each day is always an accomplishment. There's no time better to enjoy it than now - be happy and keep learning.

PS. Will get back to my traveling stories once I get the chance! Happy reading!