Friday, September 21, 2018

Somewhere Only We Know

My birthday is just around the corner and since I'm not leaving the country this time, I'm racking my brains for a good destination. And these images keep taunting me!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Profile Picture

Namiss ko lang bigla ang ma-excite gumamit ng profile pic na may sea of clouds.

Before I knew it, I'm way over it na pala. I know...wala pala akong Facebook. Pero if I should make a new account, sea of clouds wouldn't be a big factor in choosing a profile picture.

In one world a sea of clouds profile pic would say 'astig ka'. In another it would say 'you're a newbie'. Whatever it is, your profile picture somehow summarizes who you are in social media. In fact, nung nag-oorganize pa ako ng treks, I would quickly reject applicants whose profile picture is Mt Maculot. Sorry na. Judgmental lang talaga.

Pero your time will come. Pagsasawaan mo rin yang Mt Kinabalu profile pic mo. Sa ngayon, namnamin mo lang muna kung ano ka.

Friday, August 31, 2018


I miss my childhood years. Back then, I'd just knock on neighbors' doors, and me and three of my friends would be off to Pantalan. Now Carigara Bay has been transformed from a once clear and blue bay to a murky  body of water--a helpless victim to siltation due to unregulated logging for more than two decades. But the sunset is still beautiful. No big ships still dock there so its long stretch is still a lovely place to spend the late afternoons. Two decades from now, a young Carigaran-on today could be reminiscing about this sunset.

I want to go solo camping in Alegria but a guide is required now. I don't mind the fee, I just don't need some unsolicited company.

I am now in the tiny island of Mactan but all the beautiful shorelines have been fenced by resorts. So much for my Boca del Cielo daydreaming!

Apparently what we see in movies where you just get outside and find a place where you could contemplate and meditate has become more and more elusive.

But I believe I'll find one such place once again. I just know so.

Friday, July 20, 2018

How To Save A Life

I would have stayed up with you all night had I known how to save a life

Based on the photo above, which guy, do you think decided to commit suicide the following day?

Karamihan sa atin na mga hikers ay escapist. Umaakyat sa kabundukan upang makalimutang sandali ang masalimuot na buhay sa kapatagan. 

Ten years ago, a very good climb buddy invited me to climb Mt Cristobal just the two of us. 'Bro, bat ngayon? Huwebes pa a!' ang reply ko sa text nya. 'Sige mauna na lang muna ako sa Majayjay tas sa Sabado kita na lang tayo sa San Pablo!' Ganun talaga yun, there was no way to dissuade him kung may maisipan syang gawin. Masaya ang naging akyat namin pero batid ko sa tema ng mga pahiwatig nya nung nag-iinuman na kami kinagabihan na may mabigat na dinadala ang kaibigan ko. Alam ko naman na na may problema sya kasi yun lang naman dahilan namin pag umaakyat kami nang dalawa lang kaming magkasama. Ang ibig sabihin nun, may problema ang isa sa amin. Subalit, kagaya ng kinagawian, we'd climb and laugh the night away without discussing our problems and the following day, we'd realize how trivial our issues were and how beautiful life is. Kaya ayun panay block ko sa mga pahiwatig nya.

Kinabukasan bago sya sumakay sa bus papuntang Manila, isang tapik sa balikat at isang sulyap sa ngiting hindi malilimutan ang paalam nya. Little did I know, that was the last smile I would see of him.

Rest in peace brother

Sari-saring circles of friends nya ang nagtipon-tipon nung lamay nya -- may mga tattoista, punkista, mountaineers at mga kababata nya. And all of them were wondering kung bakit sa akin, na bagong kaibigan lang, nagpaalam si Nixon. Ngunit may isa ding anggulo kung saan hindi pagpapaalam ang pakay nya. Maaaring isa pala akong baka-sakali sa araw na yun. Baka-sakaling mabigyan ko sya ng dahilan at pag-asa na mabuhay pa. And I am forever thankful to him for considering me as such and perpetually resentful of myself for refusing to be his baka-sakali, for blocking all the signs and for thinking that his problems were too small and that the strange tapik and ngiti were all too corny. 

This photo was taken that night the song 'How to Save a Life' by The Fray made so much sense. I really would have stayed up with you buddy all night had I known how to save a life. 

So I am advising all of you not to commit the same mistake I made. If God gave you the gift for words, the opportunity to be a very good friend to someone, use it no matter how silly it would look. 

Always remember that the prelude to suicide could be as positive as a carefree smile.

Don't judge. Save a life! 

When God took you back He said hallelujah you're home!

Blooger's note: This was originally posted on my defunct Facebook page. I have decided to post this on my blog so that the message may be perpetuated and that more good lives may not be wasted. Please share to spread awareness on depression and mental health.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

On Phone Calls and Privacy

In one of my recent sessions with my learner, we discussed a three-minute video from The Wall Street Journal (online) focusing on how voice messages could be more practical than text on Messenger, WhatsApp, Line and other messaging apps. It starts with the fact that phone calls have largely been replaced by text messages and it goes on to the prospect of text messages eventually becoming replaced by voice messages. A phone call, the video says, requires your instant attention. A text message, on the other hand, gives you the leeway to carry on doing what you are tied up with at the moment and the freedom to choose not just what and when to reply but also when to open the message.  This is the reason why texting has become more popular. In a sense, it gives you greater control of your time and privacy. But, according to the video, the microphone icon on messaging apps has slowly gained popularity in many business settings. To some, it could be bothersome to key in every character of their message. What would require a full minute to key in all the characters in 'Please let me know when you'll be available for a discussion on the beta testing of our new inventory system' could be reduced to a quarter of the time and much less mechanical energy. Moreover, in text messages, there is more room for misinterpretation of the emotion or mood that you want to go with your message.

YOU deserve a holiday!
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