Beyond Bold

I’ve had several topics in mind to share with you which have stayed on the backlog list for months now, so today, I am unloading off one to free up my list and just to say I completed one good thing today– talking about being productive on a weekend. Aha!

I am going to take you again to the neighboring island of Bohol, 
as I promised I’m going to write in my previous post. I guess none of us here dislikes seeing beautiful places, even if it’s just through shared images.

When you are greeted by a rainbow, you know you are in the right place. 
Now, let’s see if I ever find that pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.

The sight of seeing sunrises has been one driving force that motivates me to jump out of bed, wherever in the planet I may happen to be at. Sometimes I got lucky if I got a company to share the moment, but it is equally wonderful to be alone in your own element, immersing yourself in the magic that is called, sunrise. All by yourself.

At times, I wish to paint them as beautiful as how I see them with my own eyes but I am a lame artist struggling to get my art better. So instead, I use my phone to capture these moments and document them whenever possible.

Our trip to Bohol was generally cold and windy. It was a rainy weekend as a storm was about to hit the Visayas region.

Interestingly enough as Kim and I were strolling, we didn’t find any gold. But we did found one which is waaayyy better.

Kim and I found, Pepper.

We saw her playing fetch on the beach. I guess, she loves the beach as much as I do, swimming in the water on an early morning.

I’ve had dogs before so I know how to pet and tame them. To say that I am super excited to hold Pepper is an understatement. All the dogs I’ve had– Pesh, Gosh and Powter just came to life upon seeing Pepper. She’s different though and naturally sweet because she is a girlie. My male dogs were super sweet and cuddly too but not to strangers. Pepper is such a sweetie.

Anyway, enough about Pepper because I might just get myself a new pet and that is something I am fighting hard not to do because I am not yet ready to become a mother, again. 🙂

The reason we were in Bohol was for the yearly general team building which is to be attended by all regular employees of Woven. It ran for 3 days with fun activities in between the day. 

On the first day upon arriving at the port from Cebu, we went straight to CHAP (Chocolate Hills Adventure Park) to try some adventure activities. After lunch, we headed off to Panglao. The team stayed in Panglao’s Bohol Divers Resort where most of the team activities and games were done on the course of 2 days.

Bohol is a huge piece of an island. Before my trip there in May of this year, my perception of the island was that it is more like my Cebu. Apparently, it is far from it in many ways. I love the somehow “Puerto Princesa- El Nido road vibe” once you travel in its outskirts because you will be literally crossing on vast forests, like we did in May. Of course for first- timers, it is safer to stay on more familiar roads to avoid getting yourself in trouble, which I believe is appropriate if you are not familiar with the place. 

As with our team building, we have a few colleagues who are from Bohol so the route was never an issue. We saved enough time to explore and get ourselves in more trouble.

So here I was, a scaredy-cat attempting another spine-tingling activity because, why not?

I now had a scar in my leg which will remind me of how scared I was to finish this ride and not collapse in mid-air.

It was super windy so for someone who weighs just 41 kgs, it’s hard to find your balance and kept the bike in its track. I got almost blown away from my bike.

Had the wind succeeded, I would have looked like a spider dangling from its web…. only problem is that, I cannot use my saliva to save myself.

And here’s me training myself to become Tarzan’s new Jane. 😀

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Embracing my inner Tarzan! 😂😂😂

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When I am in a new place like this one, I always make it a point to explore. I can’t be contented with just waiting for directions as to where to go–staying in your room to nap when you could go talk to a local, find an exclusive place to snap photos (even if you got chased down by five hangry labradors) or anything that is out of the itinerary. I have this desire to get lost in a place, in a moment. I’ve always believed that you learn better in life if you opt to explore the unfamiliar territories, bearing in mind how to still safeguard yourself.

I’ve done this before. And I will do it no matter where in the world I am.

Luck and Misadventures

Throwback to a time when I was brave enough to face my fear, head on.

Without much thought about an offer, I sit to sail with a heavy heart on the 18th of May with the hope that the experience would drive off some negative thoughts. It was a time when I struggled to find balance–not knowing if everything I ever put through with people had been worth the pain I am allowing myself to wallow.

I agreed to take the offer–took a day off from work and left the house.

As soon as we reached the city, we immediately stormed all ticket outlets that still have available tickets to Bohol, via any route. I almost never gotten myself a ticket as I failed, for the first time in my life, to bring an identification card. Surprisingly, not one ID was in my wallet and just so you know, I am never someone who forgets anything important. So that was bizarre.

It was Friday night and anywhere you looked at, people were desperate to get themselves a ticket to the island, with only the remaining available ferry bound to Bohol. Every other ferry was already fully-booked. Many weren’t fortunate; we found a way to get ours after an hour or so, and yes, even without my ID. I would have gone home alone in the middle of the night with a devastated heart if we failed.

That was the first problem we sorted.

It had started to drizzle while we were waiting inside the car at the harbor–waiting for our turn to get in. We were scheduled to depart around 23:00 HR, and while parked at the harbor, all of my companions fell asleep as it was now raining very hard outside. Nephew #2 had been begging us not to pursue the trip as he was scared the ferry would sink due to bad weather. We made all the convincing to ease his worries. The heavy rain made it extra difficult to ask for direction from anyone.

We got our tickets from Lite Shipping, which I know was docked just a few meters back from where we parked. Past midnight and we still did not hear any instruction from anyone. So we thought the departure was delayed due to the bad weather. Fast forward a few moments later, I watched in shock as one vessel started to recede from the port so I had to wake everyone up. I couldn’t be wrong about it. It must be our ferry.

It was still raining but my Kuya got out to ask a couple of drivers outside if they are on the same route as us. Yes, they are also bound for Bohol via Tubigon. So everyone rested their mind. While mine was still questioning. The moment every vehicle started to move forward to the ferry, we just went along. As soon as the car got in and settled, the crew immediately did all necessary procedures to secure the vehicle. I still was very unsettled for some reason, until I saw the word, “Batangas”. Haha! This time I was nervous and half-annoyed by my brother who still think the vessel we’re on was an affiliate of Lite Shipping. I insisted we asked the crew because I can’t go to Batangas on a ferry. But most importantly, I only wanted to go to Bohol, not anywhere else.

The next scenario was something I never anticipated to be involved in. Because as my fears confirmed, we got on the wrong boat. Our ferry has already left.

At this moment, the crew was in panic mode–others questioning, most were throwing blame to people who did not do their job checking our documents as soon as we entered the vessel. We tried to negotiate to just purchase new tickets so we could pursue the trip (yes, thankfully it is not headed to Batangas) and was declined because the tickets were already sold out. We were over capacity.

I don’t want to say it was blessing in disguise but because their crew were very quick to saddle our car soon as we settled, they could no longer move us out to exit. We were trapped, unless we have to unlatch and re-latch all vehicles that came after us.

Negotiations here and there and they decided to take us along–without passenger tickets. It wasn’t safe especially that we were travelling with the kids but we were left with no choice.

Off we went! We arrived at the port of Tubigon two hours later.

Fast forward a day after strolling around Bohol, we headed to Danao–with only a thing in mind.

This!!! I mean, the one in the image below.

Bohol The Plunge
Find me among the lush backdrop. 🙂

As I dangled for a few minutes in mid-air waiting for the cord to be released, thoughts rushed through my head–what if my nephews were right? That the rope would break and I’d fall to my death. Would I have a chance to survive an apparent accident of this kind?

I scanned through the vast greens below me to try to devise a way to survive should the worst happen. What I found below the greens are solid rocks as ginormous as trailer vans. If I’d be lucky to be caught up in the trees covering those monstrous rocks, perhaps I have a 30-40% chance of surviving, otherwise, it will be 101% fatal. So I skipped the idea and told myself, “we’re all gonna die anyway, if it’s my time, then my time it is. For now, I am just gonna enjoy this moment and this magnificent view because this does not happen to me everyday.”

It took us several hours through unknown roads and some not-so-safe towns with the help of Waze and Google map just to get to Danao E.A.T (Extreme Adventure Tour) — only to try this ride.

It turned out, none of my colleagues wanted to do it. I’ve been wanting to do it since a long time ago, before the Bohol earthquake in 2012 and 2013 hit and left most towns of Bohol in total mess.  They say, it’s much dangerous now after the earthquake so I had to check the area first before getting my ticket. It’s not so safe to be honest– the quality of the soil, the platform where the jumps take off is very unstable. I was scared to just watch jumper upon jumper dangled then thrown in the air for a few seconds and swing for a 100 meter for another minute. Free-falling was worse but what was way scarier was waiting for the machine to sloooowly recoil your cord so you can get back up to the view deck. It was so slow that I shiver in fright thinking the same thought I had before the jump.

All in all, it was worth it! The thrill started to sink in moments after and I was happy I survived it!

I’m not naturally an adventure-seeker but as I always say to anyone who ask me if I’m not afraid to try things, it’s not that I’m brave because I am a scaredy-cat by heart, but I’ll do everything I can to test, if not overcome my fears. I am acrophobic but I’ve learned to curb it little by little by trying out minute steps like standing on the edge of a roof, to standing on the edge of a cliff. My knees would still shake when I do this. Our phobia is not something we can immediately get rid off after a few tries. It will take time and I know I can conquer it eventually. Given the right opportunity, I’m willing to try anything.

There’s a different kind of freedom that comes along with overcoming your fear. It helped me grow, I believe. It’s good for mind conditioning. So I will not stop right here.

I first started conquering my fear during a Hong Kong trip, two years ago. I’ve again tried another on my second trip to Bohol in August in another adventure park called C.H.A.M.P. And also on the same month, I did one in Korea.

Let me tell you if that trip took the weights off me. But first, lemme share some other photos from that trip. I wish to share videos too but I am not a premium member here so it’s not allowed.

Apologies for flooding this post with my face. 🙂

Now, need I say more? 😀

One more thing, if you are planning to go to Bohol and is deciding as to where to stay among the many tourist destinations, I suggest that you check either Panglao or Anda. I believe majority of the tourists would prefer to stay in Panglao where the big hotels are located like the Bohol Regency. Panglao has a vibrant atmosphere almost akin to Boracay. The beaches are superb–with very fine sand. I might share some photos in a separate post of my trip to Panglao last August. But, if you love a little privacy and peace of mind, for me Anda is the place to go. They have private villas that will cater a few guests only so you know you’re far from the chaos.

Don’t just ask me which is my favourite because I will never tell you. 😀

The Case of Being an Asshole

I have hurt someone and now, I feel extremely terrible.

In a previous post, I talked about being cautious with my words and actions with regards to how I deal with people. But last night was different. Last night was the night I became a total asshole.

If you can see the irony of this post from the previous one posted, you may perhaps loathe me.

I hurt a special person because I was being careless, to a degree of being cocky… conceited. One slip that ruined the friendship the person and I built for months. Just one mistake was what it takes to make me realize perhaps, I’ve been doing this with all others as well, which I am just unaware of.

Time won’t turn back before last night. It’s impossible to undo what time has already claimed. Everything– words, actions, how you made the other person feel, is irreversible. Mistakes happen. If you are lucky, you get another chance to patch things up, if not to just ask for an apology.

Others were not, like in my case.

We embrace the truth that people come and go. There’s no getting around that truth. But today felt different and very disappointing because it was the first time I parted ways with someone who I would never had the chance to apologize for my mistake.

Perhaps when time and fate permit, we will meet each other again… and I can only hope the other person has the heart to forgive me when that time comes.

Please forgive me if in one way or another I did hurt anyone. Trust me, that’s the least I’d ever want to consider doing to another human being. And please tell me if I do, so I am aware.

I know I have not served my purpose. I was being a hypocrite for saying one and doing another. And worst, I hurt people unconsciously.

I will learn from this, I promise.

 

Is it time to go?

Social media have become a significant part of my life over the years. Since I had my first taste of internet addiction in High school, my definition of being social has dramatically changed.

Back then, the distinct face of social media that I remember was only Friendster. Fast forward almost a couple of decades later, I now have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as my main media for voicing out my opinions, while I use Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, WeChat and Viber’s chat service to keep in touch with family, friends and even business partners from around the globe. I also blog in WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr. Writing in these 3 platforms have helped me see life in a different perspective. I’ve met decent, driven and some of the most sensible people I’ve ever come across with through writing. I’ve also had accounts in Google+ along with Google Hangouts, Youtube, Telegram and Signal which I use very rarely. I also use LinkedIn for my professional connections. I used to have Skype. Actually, I still have it but I no longer use it for a long time now for some reason.

We all have our reasons why we keep a separate life/s outside the real life we have at the moment. Needless to say that I don’t see the need to have one. I personally would have chosen to never involve myself into this hullabaloo of social media frenzy.

But I have now. In fact, it’s been going on for years. And whether I am happy with it or not is still a thing I am trying to contemplate. True enough, I was happy at times by keeping it, especially with the people I met over the years that have helped shape me into the woman I am now. But on other days I realize, this is not what is all there is to life.

My reasons for keeping up these accounts had been clear to me the moment I signed up and hit the agree button in each terms and conditions I aimlessly tried to read and absorb into my brain: That I need a voice for when my mouth decides to shut up. And that voice is to affect in a positive way, in any way I can, with whomever I came to connect with through this medium.

Being introverted in a world that extols the opposite leaves me feeling an outcast. In the real world, I am often seen very aloof with people. That I kept myself in a secluded world away from the big and noisy crowd, distancing myself, absorbing and observing the world unfolding in front of me. And often, that is being interpreted as something negative.

But who’s to blame when you find talking to a complete stranger about how life had been for him more rewarding than listening to friends talk about the latest TV show? Or when you’d rather sneak up in bed with your book or laptop doing you know is going to help you with moving your life forward than going out on Friday night?

I crave genuine human connection. In real life as it is online, this has become a struggle we face in our daily interaction.

At this phase in my life, I already know where I stand. I respect everyone who may never get to understand why I am doing things my way or just why I am like this. I was designed this way. And others also were made differently. I understand that my silent demeanor is sometimes looked upon as a negative trait. However as humans, we have core needs  that connect us with one another, despite how we seem to be drifting apart in some aspects of our mental, emotional and spiritual being. I respect that everyone is made differently. And that uniqueness is something I often see as a challenge in terms of how I, as the silent and observant person, bring about the bridge and seal that gap with my noisy comrades. How I can still continue to be me and function as the person I was destined to be whilst bringing out the best in every person I met or circumstances I get to be at.

Contemplating about how my life changed since Facebook, I do not know if my goal had been met and if what I’ve been doing was helping me with being true to that goal. I believe I’ve been trying real hard to be positive and to stay that way with my online interactions. The responsibility to take care of what comes out of my mind is something I take very seriously. However, there had also been instances where you would read my posts and think I was on my sixth shot of tequila. Being sober in a world that is drunk in social recognition and validation is difficult. But is still achievable.

I’ve known people who have stayed away from this superficial world and are doing great in real life, without the need for the world to validate their successes, or even their existence. I knew some who put some limit to the frequency of using social media and they could be living quiet but fulfilled lives. Who knows?

But then, it all boils down to individual choices and preferences.

I’ve had intermittent use of mainstream social media the past months. I purposely stayed away for personal reasons. I let a couple hundred of people go to maintain order. There were big things that came up that surely did not need to be told to the world. And I don’t have to right now. I think with the right mind conditioning and clear purpose, I could leave all this social media accounts for good. I may not be able to delete my footprints on the net as if I never existed in this space once, but I think I could cut my internet life short, or perhaps go completely anonymous.

The hardest part of this plan would be missing a lot of people who have already become a part of my life, regardless if I know them personally or not. It would be like loving the characters from the book I am reading and when I was finished reading it, placed it on the shelf sealed with a promise never to re-read or turn the pages ever again. You know it’s just there but you also know you can’t reopen that book again, otherwise you’ll get lost in an addiction that you know you would find difficult to get away with. Because you believe that the more you dig deeper or re-read the chapters, you’ll be intoxicated and might never regain the same courage to let go of its characters again… To unlove them.

But really, are you willing to forego people and be content living with just the memories?

I’ve seen the possibility. But I cannot envision the pain.

On a stormy night like tonight, while the wind and rain is beating up outside, most often I go melodramatic. Forgive Typhoon Mangkhut, alright?

 

 

The Irony of Pretense

 

I know some of you may have grown tired of hearing me talk about my seemingly endless tirade on misery. It’s boring. It’s insignificant knowing it would pale in comparison to all the problems the world is facing at the moment. Trust me, it is not my intention to talk about all these nonsense. It is just at this time, I can do so little to appease the situation. So I have to resort into writing, which is mainly the reason why I am keeping this blog.

This is my outlet~ where others turn into drinking, partying or doing drugs, I pound on my keyboard and scribble my thoughts.

I am not giving any promises but I will tell you this would be the last of its kind~ for now. 🙂

Today, I woke up tired, maybe exhausted after staying late last night doing some online courses. But regardless of the exhaustion, I genuinely felt a sense of peace. I hugged myself for a few minutes before yanking out of bed, thanked her for the things that she has done to not be ruined by these recent storms and told her that I was proud at how she is fighting hard to regain her old self back. Self-hugs are not new to me, so are self-talks. I do it whenever I got the chance to. There has been a research conducted on this subject that suggests the way we cross our arms as in a self-hug actually impairs our brain’s ability to localize tactile stimuli and when the brain is confused, it’s ability to listen to pain signals is reduced. And as you may all know, self-hugs promote self-compassion, so why not?

Be kind to your self whenever possible. It is always possible.

I know this gesture may sound really silly but you know what, more than anyone, we should be grateful for ourselves for the things that we do everyday to better ourselves. We need an affirmation, from ourselves, that we will be fine, that we are beautiful and kind, and that we are strong regardless of everything.

Okay, maybe I am just really weird. 🙂

Based from my personal experience, it helps that I am also good at pretense. Surely, I pretend a lot that I am strong. And when I do that, somehow, I eventually end up believing that I am indeed, strong. I guess it has something to do again with tricking the brain.

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Those times when I was riding the ebb and flow of my own tide, I’ve made a conscious effort to keep myself in focus especially in matters concerning work. I can laud myself for being a well-functioning robot when I am in the office. It’s like I transform into a completely different person outside of time. I had to put a barrier in  between my career and personal life so I could protect my responsibilities and that I could function more than what I was required to do. Let’s talk about multitasking alright~ I can perfectly juggle fires and tsunamis on the palm of my hand without having to give any hint to the people around my circle that I was flailing on the sidelines, except those very few people who I chose to share this part of my journey.

Sometimes, I am just so good at it that I somehow forgot I am also in need of help. The paradoxical superwoman in the midst of chaos and trouble who was clinging only to herself to make it through the other side of the tunnel, well, she was very real. Will she make it through? Of course, just give her time. Even with all the bruises and wounds, she will rise above this eventually.

And when she does, the pain she was trying to drown will become the strength that fuels her to face the unknown.

I cannot affirm whether the way I deal with all the negative stimuli that are putting to risk my emotional stability is appropriate.

Immersing myself in so many activities that will keep my mind off the negatives, how I drown myself in the books and articles I read or the podcasts I listen to, even in the ways I tried to maintain my independence from people, somehow, helped me sustain my confidence that inspite of everything, I am still a capable human being. That I have all the capability to get out of this phase, alone or otherwise.

In a way, instead of using the word “escape”, I will use the word, “build” because these are things I do, not to escape from a painful experience but to build myself up to sustain another pounding.

Perhaps, I just need to continue what I’ve been doing and see if things will go back to normal~ or maybe, I should learn to embrace a new normal. And maybe then, other than becoming stronger than I was, I would discover something different and meaningful about how to live my life, go chase an old dream or dream a new one.

Life indeed, is beautiful.