Wolves howl as the night grows deeper.
Twigs sway with the wind on its fingertips.
The first raindrop falls on my bare skin.
I always thought of “chance” as something you just get. It’s just like nothing has changed. If you were given a chance to do something or change something, then good, if not, well it’s fine. And for me, that’s all there is, there’s no catch, no light at the end of the tunnel, no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
To tell you the truth, that’s true. A chance will only get you as far as making the same stupid ass mistake you’ve made – a hundred times. A chance will only make you feel as if the world has nothing much to offer, a desperate calling of the universe asking, “what the hell are you doing?” And I guess that’s all there is.
But the universe being its kind self, nods its head, takes a deep breath – and gives you only that – a chance. Oftentimes, you will question yourself, confuse yourself, doubt even, because why would something so precious and unlikely, a tiny bit of hope and a spark of light – come to you? Shaking in disbelief, you laugh.
But of course, the world will not have much to offer to you, but you have yourself, and twenty four hours. That’s all there is.
Our respective jobs has made us coffee-dependents, email junkies, and nocturnal creatures. Staring at those computer screens all day, answering a gazillion emails, and plainly succumbing to being a corporate slave. But of course, all work and no play makes us cranky and moody, and so the holy threenity (composed of me, my lovely friends Jessa Dungog & Gaila Vivares) decided it’s time to get out of our comfort zone and explore the waves of Siargao 🌊. It was one of the best trips I had so far and I will definitely be going back again! It was also one of the first few trips that I have been on without any family member. So hello to that!!
So to begin, Siargao Island is a tear-drop shaped island in the Philippine Sea situated 800 kilometers southeast of Manila in the province of Surigao del Norte. Siargao Island is greatly influenced by the winds and currents coming uninterrupted from the Pacific Ocean, intensified by the Mindanao current running westward through the Siargao Strait, which is why I guess the waves are so imminent.
Siargao is also the surfing capital of the Philippines!!!
So to fast forward, we booked a flight to Surigao City from Cebu, and from Surigao, we hopped on a ferry to Siargao Island. We were so giddy and excited and nervous and just all around stoked about the experience. We’ve never been to this place before and we’ve done just a little research about it. We haven’t booked any hotels yet (since most require 3N, 4D stays), so we just wanted to try our luck. We were kinda scared at first because what if there would be no hotels there?!?! Right? But we are fearless nomad princess warriors. So, what could go wrong?
When we first arrived, we saw that the airport/city was still a bit in maintenance since an earthquake occurred a month ago (we were a little apprehensive if we’d go through our trip, but who could stop these giddy girls right?)
Anyway, when we arrived, we rode a tricycle and had a quick munch in a local carenderia. We didn’t take pictures at this instant because we were s t a r v i n g. Haha, then we rode a small fast craft in the early afternoon en route to the zen island of Siargao! Slept for a few minutes and then woke up to the shaking of the boat (not a boat person, btw) and noticed it was raining. Went back to sleeeeeep. Woke up around 2 and voila! We are here!!!!!!!
Thankfully, there were a lot of resorts around, some are fancy, some affordable. We went around and found the perfect place. Perfect since it was directly the boardwalk outside and we can hear the waves just calling us already. So we booked Keso Resort for 2 nights and rested for 5 minutes to check on our things and take pictures. You know, for their instagram/snapchat. (i uninstalled mine a long time because phone issues). SO! Shall we get to main course? The BEACH!!!
Ah yes, Wish i could live here…..
We had our activities planned our for our entire stay while we were swimming. No pictures this time. We just enjoyed the beach to ourselves!!!!!!!!!!! PARADISE!
I feel like listening to all the Aviicii songs already! Hahahaha, after walking around (phone-less and camera-less since we had them charging the room, we just realized how beautiful this place is. And how untouched, how un-commercialized it is. Crossed fingers it will stay that way please.
It’s such a breather not seeing buildings and cars and buses and people wearing those blazers and not to think about work for a short time. It’s definitely a good feeling. Realizing we’re not getting any younger, we talked about our plans in the future, our personal lives and how we want to be remembered by when someone asks us, hey do you know her? Funny how strange and mysterious things happen to us in unexpected ways, we don’t argue, but we go with through it and hope it takes us somewhere beautiful. And here we are. With my friends. On the paradise that we call Siargao! Must come back here the soonest! So after the chitchat, we checked a few places we could have dinner in, and sadly, the thing about Siargao is, since it’s a very secluded area, you’d have to rend a motorcyle/tricycle to go around the area. It was around 6pm and the nearest restaurant we could find was at the nearby resort. We would’ve wanted to try something local. Lesson learned. We also wanted to sleep early since we were exhausted from the trip and from all the squealing and fan girling of the beautiful paradise. Planning to wake up at 5:30am since we booked surfing lessons at 6! Talk about balance, goodluck to me!
Our surfing lessons were at 500/head for an hour and boy, it did not disappoint!!! My friends and I took on the challenge and learned the basics on the shores before wandering off and taking the waves. Damn, it seemed so easy on the sand, but when we were on the sea, it was a bit hard. But that’s for the first 15 minutes (char). I got the hang of it after and surfed like a maniac. But Jess and Lala were the fast-learners for this, clap clap! I was the last to master this. Huhu, is it because of my huge thighs?
They also had an option of someone taking videos and photos of us when we surfed and most of the bloopers we had. I think it was 500 as well. I forgot. Speaking of bloopers! We had a lot of videos. More on that later!
Hurrah! I finally know how to surf. *brags to friends bah! do u know how to surf? i know!!! and then *panics because i have a memory of a clownfish
Anyway, we were famished!!! We ate our scrumptious lovely breakfast prepared by Keso staff. We had the same order because that’s what girlfriends are for, right? Duh.
Aaaaand my stomach just made a sound. I’m hungry just by looking at this yummy perfection. *meow
One of the Keso staffed approached us and said that we needed to go since someone already reserved the room for the day?! sorry i was a bit confused about this part because we were a bit frustrated why they didn’t tell us ahead of time. Good thing we paid in half. So, we bid the resort goodbye and transferred to the resort next to it, Boardwalk, a bit more pricey but definitely worth it.
Soooooo, to continue our adventure, we rented the koya tricycle that helped us two days ago to accommodate us to our island hopping! It was his banka (boat) and we negotiate to and fro, got a cool rate of 1500/3 islands! It was a bargain and a match made in Siargao. We had the boat and the whole afternoon to ourselves. Awe-some!
I apologize in advance because I forgot the names of the exact islands we were into, but they were (Daku Island, Naked Island and Guam Island). If i get it wrong in the next few photos, please let me know!!!! sorry i have the memory of a clownfish.
One thing I was really thankful about this trip were my company, these two brats. Haha kidding. The trip was a delight because they made it feel like home. They are my friends when I was the happiest and they were with me when I was at my lowest. We got through the grey bits together too. Each one of us has a distinct trait that complements well with our little group, thank God. And by the way, I’m the clumsy-weird one. So, that’s that!!! Let’s get to these islands shall we?
So, the first island we explored was Naked Island.
NAKED ISLAND. We were wondering, why naked? Do we have to get naked to get in? Is it a nudist beach? noooooooo. Because the damn place is pure sand. PURE SAND. IMAGINE THE PURRFECTION. My photos dont do justice but believe me it’s a slice of paradise. Thank God it was sunny. It was a 15-20min boat ride from the island and we were pointing random islands and asking, “koya is this it? kani? mao ni? taka ka jes! (is this the island? how about that one? or that one? no? jes, stop pointing at random islands that’s not the right one” sorry i had to put it into verbatim because it was funny hahahaha time flies.
You might a little patch of grass but that’s it. There’s not hut, or cabin, or a tree (but i saw a plant) or anything! It’s bare naked. And there were such a few people there that we just said, to hell with it! and wore our bikinis. In Cebu, I usually don’t do that because we see judgy eyes not far away. But here, who cares?!?!?!?! YOLO right? lol.
GUYAM ISLAND. Now before we get to our funny story, you might expect a lot from this island before booking or flying out, like fast wifi, or spotless beaches, no crowds – you are wrong. Sometimes the “spotless” beaches you see on social media is fake. So many filters and adjustments, it just kinda disappoints people, don’t do that okay? Which is why, before flying out here, we really told ourselves not to expect too much. Well in fact, we didn’t expect anything. We just wanted to have fun and take time to waste a moment for a while, which made this trip memorable!
Now, on to our funny story. this island was as calm as a peach, there were a few cottages with families playing volleyball and some kids swimming. No sweat, we found a semi-secluded spot where we could just laugh our asses off because we ventured into an island hopping and we don’t know how to swim. Sounds cool, right? YES! So, we dove right in. And guess what? THE WAVES ARE STRONG. Not the kind of strong like lifts you up, but the kind that really washes you away from the shores like it brings you away from it. Not really sure how to explain in (i suck at explaining natural phenomena) but it seems like the waves would just suck you into the ocean and all the sands gets inside all the weird bits in your body. It was so funny. I was holding a 100 peso bill because we heard there was gonna be a fee for the island preservation or something. So all the while, I was holding it up, while we were swimming! Just imagine how funny and hard it was, we were laughing so much we just didnt care! The bill got wet and i just didn’t care anymore. We were having so much fun from the all the crazy-ness. Jessa took a video of it and we will never post the whole thing (with audio) because it would ruin us forever (me mostly because i was hysterical). Good times!!! When we were done swimming, we asked around if there were any fees, and guess what? no feees!!!!! So much for holding it up high, huh? I just put the bill on my lap and let it dry when we were on our way to the third island, Daku.
DAKU ISLAND. Not sure why it was called daku but it wasn’t really big. HAHA! A lot of people were there though, we also paid 10-15 pesos each for the fee. A lot of people were there, swimming, dancing, singing their way through life. Whew, why can’t I earn money this way? Life is just better simplified. People insist in making it complicated. We enjoyed the waters and swam a bit deeper because we are brave women!! And there were also rented bancas so that we could just rest our arms when we get tired. It was around 4:30PM when we retreated back to the island and took a catnap.
We strolled around the area, bought a few souvenirs for the folks back home (i didnt forget u guys come on) 🙂 This adventure would’ve never been possible without you. Hihihihi. Our trip has almost come to a close, and we were now thinking of coming back here. 3D2N ain’t enough, people. Believe me. So many things to do and sights to see, time flies fast here in Siargao!!!
We also talked to a couple of locals and felt really good that even by the simple livelihood they have here, they are happy people who are just chill and want peace out here.
We would’ve loved to stay here for a couple more daysssss, but our corporate lives have to go on……. but definitely, definitely coming back!!!!
So far this has been, and i have mentioned this to my other friends a million times, one of the best trips of my life, because it was such a beautiful paradise, and I spent quality time with my girlfriends. Need I say more?
Two hours before our flight, we stayed in the nearby cafe, Basti’s for brunch and coffee before boarding and going back to our surf-less lives in Cebu. Love u Cebu, still!
Sorry if most of the photos aren’t in great quality, though. Sometimes, our eyes see things more clearly than captured photographs! Hahahaha, just making an excuse here.
But seriously, Siargao is one for the books! A paradise.
Here’s a video-montage of our Siargao stay! Definitely coming back! 🙂 🌊
I’ve been making bold career decisions lately, and it has been such a crazy ride for me. This is my first job, the one I literally panicked for, the one I said, ‘I really wanna stay here and grow.’, the one I visualized myself walking in the lobby being all smug. But what happened?
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment when I just didn’t give a fvck anymore. I’m sorry for the swear word, but it’s true. It’s just always going to be one of the moments when you say to yourself, ‘oh, this moment will pass. This is just one of those weak days.’ A day turns into a week, a week into a month, and after almost two years — 80% of what I learned was because I observe, I read, I listen. My first day was as clear as I remember, me being pushed doing tasks I wasn’t even given training for. But that’s not the point.
When people will read this, they’ll think, ‘oh, she’s just a newbie. She doesn’t know anything about the struggles of working. She’s just being selfish.’ Am I? Well maybe I am. I am, because I know what I am capable of, and I am so much capable of doing much more rather than memorizing the answer keys and giving out exam instructions everyday for the past two years. The. Same. Old. Instructions. For. Almost. Two. Years. I know I sound frustrated, but I guess I have the right to be. Life doesn’t stop for anyone, and as an eager noobie who wants to suck the marrow out of life before it’s too late, yes, I want to explore, and challenge myself to go through hell and back, as long as it’s worth the ride. But now? I don’t even want to get out of bed anymore.
It sucks, because I love the people here. I love working with these active, funny and passionate people. And they are one of the biggest reasons I stayed. I stayed because I want to believe that there is something for me out here, something special, something else, but I guess it’s not enough. It has been one of the toughest weeks of my life, my mind thinking of infinite possibilities of what utter chaos would happen if I choose to leave. But I need to. I need to. I’m done waiting.
People will always leave, that’s just a fact of life. People come, people go.
But wherever we are in this Earth, we will look at the same moon.
I had quite the moment gathering these photos for this post. I like taking photos of the places I’ve been in (some even ugly photos), but still, the beauty remains. It makes me feel like I left a part of my soul in these places. Would that mean I’ve got little left? *shrugs
I’ve taken photos of sunrises and sunsets of the ocean, dusks and dawn, concerts where I sang, nope, screamed, at the top of my lungs, mountain highlands in Bacolod and we went there while it was raining, skyscrapers in Singapore, ancient mansions in Silay, museums in Cebu, parks and playgrounds the city, my alma mater that I visited because I was hoping to get another alumni ID since I lost mine, at the local restaurant where my family and I always eat lunch or dinner (great food by the way), beach house in Catmon where almost everyone got drunk (except me), fireworks in Sinulog because we all know Cebu parties the best, the tranquil ocean in Dumanjug where my sister and I spent a night in my uncle’s rest house and I was pretty sure I slept like a baby, the pool house in Talisay where the office spent the Christmas party together and intact because a few months everything changed, the beach front where my friends’ stopped for a while and admired the afternoon sun along with our selfies (haha), the beautiful and aesthetically pleasing church where my cousin got married in, because you can never take enough photos of aesthetically pleasing places am I right am I right, BadBoyWingz where my office mates and I devoured chicken wings, we didn’t even order much because it was a bit pricey, but damn that place has some nice light fixtures, one of the family favorites and one of my so-so likes – Papa Kits Fishing Lagoon in Lilo-an, where we spend random Sundays fishing, swimming, wall-climbing, eating, swimming, some more eating, drinking coffee – yes, in that order.
It has been a hell of a year, all the emotional turmoil, mixed with joy and disappointments. I don’t know about you but it has been a productive year. On some days I have cried my eyes out for the things I wished I would’ve done, or things I would’ve changed. But on some days, I feel like a sunshine radiating on everyone and asking if they’ve had enough scoops on their ice cream. I’ve had my fair share of ROFL-ing and LOL-ing, and I’ve come to realize that this year has been entirely about me taking risks and letting go, because damn it, I am twenty-two, and it’s about time I live my life the way I want it. That being said, I have understood my family better, why they do this, why my parents sometimes don’t allow me to hang out, why my sisters are overprotective (sometimes), the way things work – taxes, paying bills, grieving, hopelessly moving on from something that has never even started, babies, death, more babies, the glitzy politics of work, and the idea that there can never be too much love for another human being, because sometimes, it all just falls into place.
I have grown a deeper sense of appreciation for art and music – because, simply put, they were there for me when I was not entirely myself. They made sure that I always put my feet on the ground, and remind me of who I am and what I value. I don’t know much about art and music, I just believe that they are there to disturb and comfort you in all aspects of life.
I know I still have so much more to discover about this so-called life and the intricacies of online shopping, but I hope 2017 will be as much adventure as 2016 has brought me.
There can never be too much of the places I’ll explore.
My curious three year old niece once asked me what my favorite color was. Without any hesitation, I answered “My favorite color is black.” She then flashed me a confused look on her face and asked, why? And I began to question myself too.
Aside from the fact that black looks good on everyone, I had nothing to reason myself with. And I don’t think I need to find one. But when my niece questioned me, I started to ask myself too. Not the guilty type of asking, I just got curious.
I read a short article, I forget the site, that says black is the fusion of all the colors there are. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I thought that that idea was very beautiful. People tell me black is ugly because it isn’t colorful, but it is the most colorful shade there is in existence. We compare black to something negative, it has always been the stereotype in today’s society. Sometimes it is even imposed as dull, or boring. Oh well. Haha.
Every human being in this existence has different colors inside of us.
We are white when we are born. We are pure, innocent, naive, peaceful and guiltless. White symbolizes clarity, when we unearth the truth of our being.
We are blue when we are sad, hurt, pained. In the color blue, we find the comfort and tranquility. We are blue when we fly, elevated forty thousand feet above . clouds.
We are filled with passion in red. The desire and hunger for anything, knowledge, justice, love. The intense passion of anger, lust and love, the holy trinity of emotions. We are born red, we bleed. We fight for what is right, and in the end, we march on.
Finding solace in grey, we try to understand this life’s uncertainties, and the meaning of it all. When we are oblivious and doubtful of our decisions, when we stand in the middle of a war within ourselves, we are grey. Grey emits the smoke and fog to fill the void in our hearts. Sometimes it is not enough.
We are yellow when we are happy, exuding radiance in us. When the sunlight touches our skin, and it’s summertime and we forget all our problems for a moment. All the memories from our childhood is stored in the yellow in us.
Wandering creatures like us never miss out on the color green. Green is the color of nature. And when we feel adventurous, feeling like we could leave everything behind us, seeking for a better perspective of things, we are green.
A beautiful metaphor for life, colors present the very core of what we are made of, that we are all a sum of our parts, and we are worth more than the dust in this galaxy. Black stands for the irrevocable truth that we have so much inside of us, some might have more darkness, some with more light, but it doesn’t make it less beautiful.
Do you know why I don’t like answering early morning telephone calls?
Well, obviously you don’t.
I don’t like answering early morning telephone calls because of the precise reason that every single time that I do, it always has to do with someone who just died or someone dying. I could remember my auntie calling me because my grandma was dying, I could hear her voice cracking, and other hushed voices in the background. It was unnerving, the moment when I knew someone had died, and I felt numbness to the world. I could hear nothing but static, and my pale face looked even paler as I told my mom as to what happened. Then everything would go back to “normal”, me eating my breakfast and going to school.
Death approaches each individual differently; one could be as an enemy, one as a long lost friend, and one as a solution to life’s heavy burdens. But all of us end up six feet below. We all end up in that wooden box forever.
Do you know that I like cemeteries? Oh no, I’m not morbid or anything, I don’t relish in the thought of someone being laid underground. I like cemeteries because of how peaceful it is. Well, a lot of us like staying in mountain tops to think, or at the beach, I do too. But it’s a different kind of tranquility I experience in the cemetery, something ethereal, like it was a different world. Most of the people that go there during All Souls’ Day usually stay there for thirty minutes tops. They just say a quiet prayer for their loved one, and then leave. Some stay there for a night, talking about their run-of-the-mill life, as they say, but whatever. Some families gather to remember their loved ones, their celebrated life, memories of a tangible past with an intangible future.
At cemeteries, I could actually think. There’s this certain calmness in cemeteries, I can’t really describe it, but it makes me feel mortal, in a spiritual sense. It’s almost as if I could feel the spirits from the wind as I pass by their tombstones. One particular thing I like to do there, I read every tombstone I see, and calculate how old they were when they died. Some lasted for more than 50 years, some even reached 90 (good for you folks!!), however some unfortunate few never even made it to 10 years. When I finish calculating their ages, I also think about who they were before they died. Was she a law student? Was she a mother of three? Was he a policeman? Was he an overworked businessman? Was she a hopeless romantic? Was he a retired military officer? I grow more curious of their lives. What were their hopes and dreams? Were they accomplished or did they just remain an abstraction of their long lost fantasies, forever floating in this dimension? What did they last think about before they died? Was it their families? Spouses? Children? Mistress? Money? Businesses? My curious mind grew even more interested on these questions. Perhaps they didn’t get everything they wanted out of life, but were they happy before they died? Were they at peace? All these lingering questions floating and not a single one are answered.
As we go on with our daily lives, no matter how frustrating the circumstances may be, never forget that you’re living in borrowed time. Ever y time I go to a cemetery, I am always reminded of that overwhelming thought.
Some say when you whisper your deepest wishes to the dying, it usually comes true.
Someone told me I looked different today, that I exuded a different aura. And I’m like, “Wait, why?”
Once upon a time, a little bird was seen eating corn kernels overlooking this magnificent view of the city. It was sunrise. After eating, the bird usually goes for a stroll at the park, and talk with other little birds.
“Chirp chirp!” the little bird chirped.
“Chirp?? Chirp chirp… chirp!” the other bird replied.
And several birds chirped and chirped and chirped. They usually talked about the people in the park, or the happenings, the weather, family, love, life. These eight birds went on with their daily tasks and routines after. The little bird, our little heroine, wanted to explore the world a little bit more. She was always like that, always dreaming to be somewhere else. One day, when the little bird was flying around wandering, she met another little bird.
“Hi.” The other bird said.
“Hello.” The little bird replied.
And from there, they became friends. They wandered around, exploring the city together. They flew and flew and flew… These two birds became something more. When nighttime came, the other bird always drops the little bird home to her small little shelter by the oak tree in the park.
“Sweet dreams.” The other bird chirped.
“Don’t let the termites get you.” The little bird replied.
On and on these two birds went flying together, they talked. They ate. They watched people. The little bird was so happy, and carefree and reckless. Now, the little bird seemed to notice something, “I think I like the other bird.” She blushed as she told her seven bird friends.
“We’re happy for you!!!!” chirped the other birds.
Then, they continued their chirping session.
One day, while they were flying together, this time at a local pizza bar, the other bird looked sad.
“Are you okay?” the little bird was concerned.
“No.” the other bird replied glumly.
The little bird, who in her entire life, has always managed to make people smile, and so she tried to cheer the other bird. The little bird made jokes, made riddles, and did little things she thought would cheer the other bird up. But sadly, it didn’t. She felt bad.
“What happened? Tell me.” the little bird grew weary.
“I don’t want to fly with you anymore. I have plans in life that you’re not part of.”
The little bird was heartbroken. In a short span of time, everything changed. But the little bird knew deep inside her gentle heart that everything happens for a reason. And so, she held her head up high, spread her wings and continued to fly. Day after day, she thought about all the great places she would soon see. She then realized that she wasn’t the same little bird she was before. She was not the little bird anymore. Something even more powerful burst within her, like a new bird emerged. She was eating corn kernels at the beach, enjoying the company of a fellow bird friend, and something dawned on her, this sort of calmness and tranquility, and she finally understood that all birds fly in different directions in life. Some birds fly with you for only a short time, some even just pass you by for a minute, some stay with you until the end. “That’s life.” She thought to herself.
The bird now soars in a direction she doesn’t know where it leads to.
But she hopes that wherever life takes her, she will always end her day with the most beautiful view.
And I guess I finally found the answer to that question.