Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Hook Up Culture: Opening Doors


You find yourself stuck in the middle of an alleyway without any recollection of where you are or how you got there. A huge blaring "Welcome" neon sign plastered atop a jarred metallic door in an old abandoned building with artistic graffiti scattered on its walls stare right before you - it is a rather thrilling and mysterious sight yet a frightening and disturbing view to stumble upon in the middle of a chilly night. You suddenly hear a distant clock ticking when you realize that you still have your wristwatch. The time stamp reads 2:13 just as a sudden blast of cold air forces you to come in. 

A couple of hasty steps inside, you find yourself surrounded with a different breed of people. You hear a faint whisper behind you, "Welcome to the hook up culture." You take a step back, look around, ponder and ask yourself, do I really want to go back to a life of boring dates and endless sessions of over thinking or do I want to join in the fun and forget about the consequences?
---
The above scenario is a depiction of how our mind works. We are given choices and we are given the freedom to decide whether or not we take the high road or go down the easy way out. 

The Definition
The hook up culture involves two consenting adults doing the deed. One of them or both of them might be involved in a real relationship but not with each other nor are their relationship partners aware of what they are doing behind their partners' backs. (Have anybody ever heard from their conscience these days? You lying cheating dbags!) It could also mean two consenting friends who aren't involved in any relationship but are doing it for the sake of fun. (Well good luck with the emotional baggage, hun!)

The Urge
Humankind has gone a long way from discovering how to start a fire to building huge skyscrapers. Why does it feel like we have gone back to our primitive selves though? Some people can't literally get their business to stay in their pants! Is it a matter of ego? Or just pure fun? Nevertheless, everything we do in excess is a major no no. This was supposed to be a concern only for the guys but these days we even have girls who do their own bidding. What kind of world have we created?!

The Consequences
STD's? Getting pregnant? Getting a girl pregnant? Ruining your relationship? Ruining someone else's relationship? How about the emotional outcome? Is it even worth it?

The Active Participation of Women
It was actually a surprise when I found out that more and more women are into this kind of culture these days. I am pretty sure it stemmed from the fact that we want gender equality. We have been wanting it a long time and we have accomplished a lot since then.

The saying "Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man" is an example of how we have ridiculously based our emotional well being on the gender whose main thought in life is their primal nature. The fact that ladies have their emotions always on peak is not something to be ashamed of. This is the reason why it has been working for centuries. This sudden shift is why it is almost impossible to find true love these days. In part, it is actually our fault for believing in that false statement. We are most lovely when we are vulnerable - when we feel the most. Don't let anyone tell you either wise. 

The Wake Up Call
No more sugarcoating. Enough is enough. For those of you who have happily welcomed this absurd culture, yes, I am here to judge you. I am here to put pressure on the ladies to take action and say NO. I am not saying that the boys are exempted to this fault but I take pride in knowing that my own gender can turn this insanity back around. Be the kind of person you want your children to look up to. Would you seriously exchange those few moments for a whole lifetime of regret? Think now. Remember, there is always a neon EXIT door on the other side of the building. Make the right decision. Make the mature decision. It is never too late.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Travel Diary: Marine Sanctuary in Apo Island

Disclaimer: Photos are owned by the blogger unless stated otherwise.

We took a risk the day before by changing our itineraries last minute. We were originally planning on staying in Siquijor the whole Day 2 and just take a side trip to Apo Island from there but to our dismay and to be honest, lack of proper planning we were told that it would cost us three Php 3,000 to rent a boat to take us there. It cost too much but we really wanted to go there so we packed all our bags and headed back to Dumaguete Port. We were able to catch the last ferry ride from Siquijor that afternoon which was scheduled to depart after 4pm, I think.

Upon arriving in Dumaguete, grabbed a tricycle to take us to the bus terminal. We rode the Bayawan  route and just asked the conductor to drop us at the Malatapay Market. It was already past 7pm when we reached our destination. Mind you, we did not have any idea where we could stay the night. We were walking through this narrow street when all of a sudden, the electricity went out! The whole place was in darkness but we just kept walking. We were planning on reaching the coastal for there was most likely a resort there. This man came to us and advised that he knows this resort where we could stay and we took caution of course. After all, we were in a completely dark environment, everyone were strangers and we were all girls. The man led us but we refused to go the shortcut he showed us so he led us to this different route where it was much safer. He brought us to Dream Diving Resort where the couple who owned it was nice and offered free breakfast for our accommodation. We unpacked and had our dinner at one of the resto's in Malatapay Market where Ate Rose invited us to their annual fiesta held every 4th to 5th of April where since she's a local in the Island, she'd provide us free food and accommodation! Definitely on holding on to Ate's promise. :)

Day 3.1: Zamboanguita

The day after, we got ready for the trip and went back to Ate Rose's resto for breakfast. The brekky at the resort would be ready by 8am but we wanted to get an early had start so we advised the owner that we'll have it for lunch instead.

View of Apo Island from Dream Diving Resort
We were probably the earliest to travel to the island. It was shortly after 7am. It cost us three Php 2,000 for the little boat.

Off we go! I clearly looked like I needed more sleep. lol | Photo credit: hiyasmg
 Day 3.2 Apo Island
 Photo credit: hiyasmg
We clearly did not want to waste time. After the registration, we immediately went off to the sight where the locals said the turtles just got fed. Here's a nifty trick, go to the Island early where the turtles haven't been driven far away by other tourists. We were the first ones there and it was a blessing since Yas and Juay can't swim. I might have been the only one who can swim but it doesn't count since I'm too scared to go deeper into the ocean. We did not even have a hard time finding them since they were still near the shore! We were so excited and they were so huge and so pretty and I still can't get over them!!!!

Photo credit: hiyasmg
Lucky Yas got to take a photo with them. I was such a loser since I forgot to turn it on when it was my turn. Boohoooo!!! Still, I was so happy that I got to see them firsthand. It was an experience to treasure.

Mandatory underwater selfie! | Photo credit: hiyasmg
The corals was b*tch tho and as a result, I came home with scarred feet. Anyways, it was hella worth it! I'll make sure to buy snorkeling shoes next time. It will definitely help lessen the pain when were trying to chase the turtles to have a photo op with them.

Our tour guide and boat driver then accompanied us to the other side of the island where the Fish Sanctuary was but unfortunately because of the typhoon, they are still on the process of restoring it. The tour guide says that they have put up artificial corals to attract the fishes back while the real corals are still growing. Hopefully when we get back, they will reopen that other side of the island so we can swim with the fishies.


We only gave ourselves half a day there since we had to get back to Cebu for our flight in the evening.


Cute little turtle necklace with red beady eyes for souvenir.
We bought souvenirs, talked a little to the locals and said goodbye to the turtles which we have grown so attached with.

Oh bittersweet goodbyes. | Photo credit: hiyasmg
We then packed our bags, had American breakfast meals for lunch which was truly yummy and said our goodbyes to the owners of Dream Diving Resort. We rode a jeepney back to Dumaguete City, asked the locals where the nearest drop off to that will lead us to Sibulan Pier. We followed the instructions, asked locals again to make sure, rode another jeepney to take us to the port and by this time I was pretty sure that we weren't going to make our 8pm flight. We took the fastcraft to Liloan Port and upon arrival, we were glad that there was a Ceres bus direct to Cebu City already waiting. We took our seats but to our surprise it was all reserved! People there said that they bough their bus tickets back in Sibulan Pier. It was already crunch time so we used our charms and asked the bus driver if there were any vacant seats left and thank goodness there were!

Conversations faltered, power banks were used into oblivion, music playlists on endless repeat and after four hours of trying to kill time, we finally arrived in Cebu City. Since we knew that we couldn't risk anymore time, we got off the bus, took a cab to take us to Cebu-Mactan International Airport but was unfortunately not lucky enough to reach our flight. We paid our dues, bought more souvenir from the airport, I bought a ukulele (which made me feel better considering the circumstances) and finally waited for our flight to board.

Click photos to be redirected to other chapters of my travel diary:
Day 1: Ancient Mysteries of Siquijor
Day 2: Siquijor's Mystical Waters

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Travel Diary: Siquijor's Mystical Waters

Disclaimer: Photos are owned by the blogger unless stated otherwise.

Day 2.2: Siquijor

We finally got to feast our eye sights on beautiful bodies of water for the last few stops. First up, Cambugahay Falls.
Compulsory photo in front of the falls.
View from above of the falls. We had to climb down loads heck of steps before we reached the foot.
The second falls from the entrance. 
Oh you know, just casually chilling. ;) | Photo credit: hiyasmg
Swing rope challenge. Photo credit: hiyasmg
The freakin' peer pressure! I am not an adrenaline junkie and I surely won't risk my life when there are a million ways I could think of how I could die from holding this wretched rope but the freakin' peer pressure got me. The result? A painful face plant! Hells not doing that again! Ha! People should know that catastrophic thinkers like I can't even go through a normal day without getting a death-causing scenario in their head let alone getting thrown in a situation like this! I'm ranting, aren't I? It was a thrill but I lost memory of where I was mid-air and thank goodness the kuya at the bottom brought me back to reality when he told me it was time to jump. First time I succumbed to peer pressure, not gonna do that again. :D Oh well. Moved on, done that. 

Took a swig at fresh coconuts after those ambitious stunts. | Photo credit: hiyasmg
Back up the steps we go! We were panting halfway through. | Photo credit: hiyasmg
Last but worthwhile stop, Salagdoong Beach Resort!
Whew. Look at that darn surreal view! | Photo credit: hiyasmg
My travel buddies deciding whether they should jump and myself scared out of my wits but still full on supporting them! | Photo credit: hiyasmg
Mandatory selfie on the jumping board. I was too chicken to go on the edge. | Photo credit: hiyasmg
Hells yea. #ootd
Had a last minute change of plans. We decided to come back to Dumaguete that afternoon just to visit Apo Island. We panicked, packed and bought of Souvenirs just in time for the last ferry ride back to Dumaguete Port.

P.S. FAVE SOUVENIR EVER! Way to commercialize the Island's infamous witchery and mischief. :)

Click photos to be redirected to other chapters of my travel diary:
Day 1: Ancient Mysteries of Siquijor

Travel Diary: Ancient Mysteries of Siquijor

Disclaimer: Photos are owned by the blogger unless stated otherwise.

Day 1: Cebu-Dumaguete-Siquijor

Fair Warning: Skip to Day 2 down under if you'd rather not hear the gory details of how we finally got to Siquijor. It bored me out of my wits just writing about it.

We took the longest route everrrr to visit Negros Oriental but it was worth it (and we didn't have a choice so)! We flew via Cebu Pacific Air at five in the morn. Our main destination was Siquijor and because the airfare tickets via Dumaguete a week before our chosen date of travel was really expensive, we just had to go with the lesser of all evils which was Cebu. It was our fault anyway, we waited last minute to book tix. Bad move, I know. I didn't even know I was coming along until only a couple of weeks before. Okay. Enough blabbering. Off to Cebu we go! Or Mactan rather, since that's where their airport is.


We arrived shortly after six since our flight got delayed. Here's a compulsory selfie I took on our cab from Mactan International Airport to Cebu's Southbound Bus Terminal. My travel buddy is clearly sneaking in some snooze time since she was from another venture the day before. Upon arrival at the terminal, we waited for her college buddy to complete our girl pack. :) We had our breakfast there and was dumbfounded when they said that they didn't sell any rice. They had what they call a "puso" tho. Not to be mistaken for the tagalog word "puso" which means heart, the former has its last syllable accented when pronounced. Upon tasting and researching, it was technically still rice but the locals refused to call it so. 

Photo credit: eatyourworld.com
We then took the Ceres bus bound for Bato (via Liloan). It took about five hours. It was tiring and I got soooo bored. Thank goodness for technology (powerbanks, mobile data and mp3!!!!). The beaches in Cebu on the way to the pier was also a majestic view to behold. We even planned on dropping by one of Cebu's beaches on Day 3 but our itinerary got screwed up. More of that later on.

Juay (left), myself (center) and Yas (rightmost). | Photo credit: hiyasmg
We got off Liloan Ferry Terminal, rode the fast craft bound for Sibulan Pier. Duration of travel is around 20 minutes. Upon arrival, we then rode a trike bound for Dumaguete Port and from thereon, take a ferry direct to Siquijor (FINALLY!). We arrived shortly before five in the afternoon. Imagine my relief when we finally arrived. Take naps during travel whether it is by plane, bus or ferry makes me woozy so I'd rather stay up. My travel buddies, on the other hand, had no problem with this so they had their nap times throughout the day whilst I was tired as heck.

One of my travel buddies, Juay has a friend who has a cousin from Siquijor which is why we got a free ride when we arrived there. How awesome, right? My other travel buddy Yas pre-reserved a room for us in a resort but upon consulting the local, they said it was an awful place so he took us to another resort which we fell in love with. He then invited us to his home for dinner after we got ourselves settled at the resort, took us for a mini-tour and even called up a trusted tricycle driver to book us for a tour the next day. He even got us a discount! Sweet! After that, off to dreamland we go.

Day 2: Siquijor

We set our alarms at six in the morning to get an early start for the lost day before. Our ride came at about seven and the first stop was The Old Enchanted Balete Tree and Fish Spa.

Apologies for the crappy photo. I should have used my other phone. 
The pond thingy you see at the roots of the Balete Tree houses fishies and we dipped our feet in for them to munch on. It was my first time and it was ticklish and the larger of the fishes was kinda scary so every time the bigger ones came near our feet, we made sure to get our feet off the pond. Wouldn't want our toes to get bit off on our first stop, wouldn't we? ;) The humongous tree was old, eerie and kind of fascinating to look at.

Up next is Capilay's Spring Park.
Photo credit: hiyasmg
Next we have is one of Siquijor's centuries-old church, The Lazi Church.

We went inside the Church and said a little prayer. They are renovating some of the parts of the Church but you can still see fragments from the original structure itself. It felt unreal and kind of scary that it might topple on you. The wooden floorboards was even hollow underneath.

Across the church, you will come upon an old-age Lazi Convent or their Heritage Musuem. We were, unfortunately, too early as it hasn't opened yet but we still took a peak inside the convent.
Photo credit: hiyasmg
Photo credit: hiyasmg

We were in awe on how these two infrastructures still manage to stand on its feet after all those years. The convent also serves as a school for elementary students.

Click photos to be redirected to other chapters of my travel diary:
Day 2: Siquijor's Mystical Waters
Day 3: Marine Sanctuary in Apo Island

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

His and Her Story (Past and Present Comparison)

At this point in my life, I've been clawing to the past more than ever before - Old English literature, classic romance flicks and tunes from my childhood (90s) are but some of the gems that kept drawing me in. Don't get me wrong, this does not necessarily mean that I would choose to go back down my own memory lane and change anything from it for I have no regrets but if given the chance, I would gladly take a stumble through history to get to experience what it was like before.

I have always felt nostalgic about the past and no, I do not mean my own. A past that I have learned to love, a past that I constantly reminisce and a past that I always dream about. A past that I haven't lived nor experienced but a past that I have only heard and read about. A past so raw but a past so pure.

-------

Human beings have this constant need to look for comfort, to ease the hardships that life brings to the table and to make our lives easier but have we ever stopped to think that may be we have gotten ahead of ourselves? Have we already gotten overboard with all this development? Are we moving way too fast? I do get that change is constant but this constant need to change sometimes feels so consuming that we forget to be thankful, to accept the way life is and to just be contented.

Modern sciences have made it possible for us to cure diseases that used to wipe out an entire race; technology allowed us to fast forward time in terms of inventions where we can swiftly finish a menial task that used to take hours and even to the point of reaching our loved ones on the other side of the globe in mere seconds compared to the months of waiting for a single snail mail from them; inexplicable theories that our ancestors believed have now been dismissed; and our culture in general changes as time passes by.

BUT with this power to change within our grasp, we have neglected the negative effects it has brought us. This will be quite a long list if I tackle every aspect and you will probably get bored out of your wits so let me just rant about a few:

Lydia Ward | Guy's Hospital London | 1907
The Modern Sciences
We might have cured diseases that were considered deadly before but we also made it possible to clone animals and most probably in the near future (or most likely right now and the public is just unaware), humans. Can we just focus on curing diseases please? Stop all those unwarranted wishes to live forever. Jeez! Haven't you all lived enough?


The Environmental Impacts
Gone are the days where we rely on Mother Earth for heat and cold because we can now create artificial sunlight and rain. Worst-case scenario? Forcing artificial weather causes a major impact to our environment. Unending snowstorms, super typhoons, longer periods of drought, rainstorms... Oh! The list is endless! Let me just redirect you to the nearest doomsday flick.

Nagasaki | Hiroshima Attack | 1945
The Digital Warfare
I am not in the position to discuss specifics since my knowledge regarding this is limited but but but come on, with just a click of a finger, we can now hack into government servers. Give and take a few years or so, the robotics industry in Japan will probably or is probably already making their own Transformers (see movies). With just a touch of a button, North Korea can launch missiles to destroy a country. Let us just wipe out the whole world while were at it, shall we? This need for power is just suffocating!

The Future of Music
I feel like an old lady by saying this but why do we have to create new genres of music? Haven't we had enough? I mean, there's nothing wrong with it for I love how it's growing but there's just too much and I can't catch up! Haha. I'm literally googling this as we speak for I only heard about EDMs where I think it's like the modern disco music made by the DJs without the vocals, I think, alongside with (thanks Google!) but not limited to are Rap Rave(?), Dynametrix (?!), Gyp-hop (?!?), Igbo-Highlife (?!!) and whatever genre there is that I can't even comprehend.

Why am I ranting, you may ask? Let's see, my generation (90s and below) grew up being taught by older generations about The Beatles and The Rolling Stones; listened to Britney, Christina and Mariah; sang along adorable boy bands; learned classical pieces from Bach and the lot; you do get the gist, right? The next generation, I won't be that much worried since we still have a few more worthy singers upon us but my dearest great great great great great grandchildren, I hope for yoursakes, a worthy playlist.


I do not know if I should applaud this generation's creativity since relationship titles have gone a long way. Take me back to the days where Husband/Wife and Boyfriend/Girlfriend were the only titles that exist because these days we have FWBs, FuBus, Friendzones, Titleless (those that obviously like each other and go on dates but are hindered by circumstances or revelation of feelings)... Hhm. I'm drawing a blank at the moment but I'm pretty sure there are still more titles. So tell me y'all? How did everything get so complicated?! If you like me and I like you back then let's just be together damnit, forget all those other title nonsense. Pft.

Our parents celebrated Anniversaries but how did it get so low that we now glorify that we can actually stay a month in a relationship! Monthsaries!!! Who the heck invented that?! Can't we trust ourselves to stay longer? A freaking month! That is just ridiculous! It goes to show how much our culture has grown or shrank for that matter, relationship-wise. It's probably the technology, the media, the norm or whatever so I beg you, please take me back in time! Let me fall in love with a renaissance man. Let's fall slow, fall true and fall for someone who'll go forever with you.


"With great power comes great responsibility."
-Voltaire

Yes, you read that right. I just quoted Uncle Ben from Spiderman. Haha. We may not have supernatural powers but what we do have is the power to change and to choose what to change so with this huge feat in our hands, we must all learn how to act responsibly. Go ahead, change the world for the better but please not to the extent that we sacrifice the finer things in life where we could eventually lose ourselves. We are so obsessed with changing that we don't even realize what we are doing wrong. Sometimes it's okay to look back, stop, breathe and think for a while before we act selfishly on it. Wake up people! Wake up!

Monday, September 29, 2014

MIXTAPE

Ours were the words that you hint
Ours were the times we don't think
Ours were the tracks that we sing
Ours were the love that we bring.

Ours were our voices in sync
Ours were the moments we don't blink
Ours were the love songs recorded
Ours were the lyrics embedded.

Ours wasn't love letters in form
Ours were expressed in love songs
Ours were raw recorded tracks
Ours were our voices healing the cracks.

Ours were the songs exchanged
Ours were the melodies played
Ours were the rhythm of the tracks
Ours was the love we can't get back.

Ours was a mixtape like no other
You sent me a song with your cover
Your voice sent shivers in my heart
And that's how our love set us apart.

***

Story behind the poem:
I always had a weak spot for singers or musicians and at the time, I didn't even know that this guy I was seeing could sing nor play all those instruments. He surprised me by asking for my email address and sent me his own version of two love songs. That was how it all began. I sent him back my song covers. I put my guards down. I fell inlove. I found out he was a jerk. End of story.

Our love letters were in the form of love songs we covered and the sweetness of it is a memory I'll cherish forever.

He.

He who came.
He I can't blame.
He made my heart go insane.

He who dared.
He who shared.
He whose soul made mine flare.

He who sings.
He was so keen.
He provided that magical feeling.

He who pines.
He who shared his time.
He whose charm is oh so divine.

He who lied.
He never can decide. 
He always knew how to defy.

He who promised.
He who vanished.
He whose heart is extremely savage.

He who I loved.
He came from above.
He stole my heart with a violent shove.