July 20, 2014

Hair Talk (Oh Boy)

"Kulot-salot."

I was a target of bullying when I was a lot younger. Boys would often tease me for my curly hair. And so I wished that I had long straight hair instead.

Fast forward to college, people would still make comments about my hair - but by this time, I have already developed that attitude of not caring about others' opinion on my appearance that much. And to be fair, their comments are mostly out of fascination and not bullying - not that they can bully me anyway.

"Your hair has command on its own. It arrives before you do." (Solitario, 2013)

After not cutting my hair for some time, my hair kind of owned me instead of the other way around. In fact, my friends named my hair Elizabeth, because they thought it deserves to have a name. HAHAHA. When we would meet, they would ask how Elizabeth is doing.

Yes, I have such retarded friends :)

They even renamed my hair Lizzie after I had a hair cut last year:

Elizabeth (aka Lion King) and Lizzie. HAHAHA

After Lizzie, I now have Liz:

Liz - pixie cut for curly hair

How I wished Liz is always like that, but no. I have to blow dry the front part to make it look like that. Otherwise , I look like a  contestant of that's my tomboy grand finals:

I really do look like a boy (especially from afar, huhuhaha)

Oh boy.

I ain't got time for blow dry, nuh- uh! Aside from client expectations, hair must probably be the next difficult thing to manage.

Someone, help me please.
Arlet  (& Liz)

July 16, 2014

Plus Ones

Love is always in the air, and I almost don't want to breathe it.

HAHAHA. Kidding aside, my group of friends is getting bigger and not because I'm getting friendlier, but because my friends are introducing their plus ones.

#Friends

The Original Eleven (minus Luigi)

#Friends plus ones

Ay kagulo sa dami, next time with babies na sila, OPS jk :))

Needless to say, their plus ones are as awesome as them, except maybe for Jiah - She's definitely more awesome than our friend Jared. Hello, Jared! Your mom is also awesome!

Getting surrounded by these couples is another story though. It's a bit freakish especially once they start talking about being stable, marriage, settling down, and a bright (blinding actually) future together. And they seem to talk about such all the time - during roadtrips, dinner, upon waking up, before sleeping, while waiting for pizza - all the time. Suddenly, you smile and wonder how you've got nothing figured out anymore. Gosh, I don't even know what to eat for breakfast tomorrow.

Whatever. HAHAHA

Cheers everyone! To growing together, and solid friendship!

The Boys

The Girls!

 And the ones who has to take in and swallow all the cheese of the couples:
The Singles

Dati barkada meal lang, ngayon plus one meal na. HAHAHA. Okay last ko na 'to for today :) 

See you around!
Arlet

P.S.
I must be invited to the wedding or the baptismal or I'll be aunt Maleficent for you - the old version :)

June 25, 2014

One Way Trip To Manila

I was raised by my grandparents.

I grew up watching pigs eat noisily, pestering roosters before a cockfight, saving myself from an angry turkey, and taking a nap at around 3 in the afternoon. On days that I am not getting up close and personal  with animals, I am usually up a guava tree, making sense of the clouds above me. Hakuna matata (no worries) indeed.

And then I turned six. 

Probably not six?

Six - the magic age wherein I must start going to school. But school was far far away from where we lived. School was in Manila. And Manila was too far for my grandparents to accompany me and fetch me everyday. And so I had to travel to Manila without them, and live with my parents and brother instead.

I have heard of Manila before. It's a famous place. All our neighbors seemed excited to go there. I would frequently hear remarks like "she got a job in Manila!" to which someone would reply, "Wow, I hope my son will to!" I imagined Manila to be some elite place only the few could have the fortune of visiting.

I am now 22 years old.

I grew up playing noisily with other kids on the streets, pestering ice cream vendors and taho vendors for an extra scoop, saving myself from racing jeepneys, and gazing at the people rushing by at the LRT station.  

I have fallen deeply, madly in love with Manila.

No, Manila is not an elite place where the fortunate resides. It is the good, the bad, and the ugly - a melting pot of Philippine history and culture, a picture of hardship and luxury, a place where I can look reality in the eye and still see hope in it.

A melting pot of Philippine history and culture

Whenever fellow travelers or couchsurfers would ask me which places to visit in Manila if they wished to learn more about Philippine history and culture, I would accompany them to Intramuros and Binondo.

June 2, 2014

The 45 Degree Angle Challenge (Mt. Sembrano)

Math and numbers have always been difficult for me, but this time around, I understood perfectly what a 45 degree angle is. I understood perfectly what it looks like, and more importantly how it feels like (to slip on such, ouch!)
This slope made me obtuse! (What does that even mean? HAHAHA)

Located in Tanay, Rizal, Mt. Sembrano is one of the nearby mountains from Manila. From Starmall, you can ride an FX to Tanay (70php), and then ride a jeepney to Brgy Hall of Malaya. (20php). Be wary of trusting tricycle drivers.

Malaya Barangay Hall

The Barangay hall of Malaya, where you will register and pay 20php, is the major drop off point for the Mt. Sembrano trek. You can also rest and take a shower here after the climb. Barangay hall officials will offer themselves as guides for 300php (up to Manggahan), or 500php (up to campsite/peak).


The trek is mostly uphill, unlike other mountains which are a combination of both. On the residential area part of the mountain, be careful of your steps as several horse shits are waiting to be stepped on. Lots of mangoes (and jackfruit), on the place as well, they're selling mangoes for 150 php per sack there! Sweet baby jeezuuz!

Manggahan Area

The manggahan area marks the first half of the trek. There are lots of mangoes /mangga/ on the area. Hence, the name. If you would like to rest or eat, I suggest you do it here already, since the following stopovers have no shade. Another 10php entrance fee will be collected here. You can also buy a whole coconut for only 10php.

May 27, 2014

How to Lose #Friends After College



Before answering the question how to lose friends after college, let's ask first why one would want to lose friends in the first place. Not sure for you guys, but I like to keep my close friends and relationships as minimal as possible, because (1) I believe that one can have too many close friends, and (2) I would like to protect my freedom as much as I can - and that involves getting rid of needless commitments, and yes, unnecessary friendships.

On having too many close friends

If you have a lot of close friends whom you'd need to attend all at once (due to same reasons), then you will be forced to prioritize someone or some few people only. You definitely cannot attend to all of them, but how can you even call yourself their close friend if you can't even attend to them when they need you?

On protecting freedom

The more close friends you make, the more commitments you will have to keep, and ultimately the less time/freedom you will get for yourself. Remember that if you want freedom, then always get rid of needless possessions, relationships and commitments. And I say, "give me liberty or give me death."

Now, let's try to answer the question, "how to lose friends after college?"

May 4, 2014

Adieu. All is Well.

"I will not insult you by trying to tell you that one day you will forget. I know as well as you that you will not. But, at least, in time you will not remember as fiercely as you do now - and I hope that that time will be soon."

I am like you, someone who walked by her side from time to time. From time to time only because she was always out there, seeking the world, and then happily showing it to others, happily showing it to me - I love the world more because of her.

Love.

She didn't always say it, but I know she loved me, and I know she loved all of you too. She used to be a very proud person, but love eroded that. She would apologize for things that aren't even her fault, because she hates letting time pass by with her loved ones mad, disappointed, or sad because of her.

She was kindhearted and inspiring.

She believed that the least she could do when something falls to her feet, is to pick it up. And that she did. She did what she could to help those that she can - whether it's giving food to street children, joining outreach programs, or visiting cancer ward patients.

She stood for what she believed in, and worked hard for it. Whenever I saw her working (so hard), it became almost impossible for me not to root for her.

Happy.

She had her demons, but you could tell that she was genuinely happy, and in awe with life. Her eyes looked at the world like it was her first time to see the clouds. Her face turned to the sun like it has never seen the sun shone. Her smile gets to the heart of people like it has been there before.

She enjoyed her stay here; she'll most likely enjoy wherever she is now too. All is well.

So long, and I love you.
Arlet

May 1, 2014

Anywhere is Good. Whatever is Fine.

It has been a season of change and transformation for me. I am not as in control of things as I was anymore. And it scares me. That same fear is the reason why I felt like running away for a few days - running back to a place and situation I'm familiar with.

I am still in the process of taking "that jump."

My little vacation turned out to be very exhausting, because I seemed to have traveled with the whole Manila crowd, but hey I'm not complaining! HAHA in fact I'd go (anywhere), no matter what, no matter how.

1. Liliw, Laguna

Liliw is a quiet town with a scenic surrounding. The mountain towering in the background, the beautiful people walking to the church, the blue sky watching over us, the icy cold drinking water from the spring - the place can really bring back one's sanity

Up in the sky, you can see forever.

It was my first time to get hosted by an extended family, and it brought back  a lot of childhood memories - I was raised by my grandparents, uncles, and aunties in the province after all. It was crazy! I was asked a gazillion times if I had eaten or not, and consequently was invited a gazillion times to eat more. God forbid I say no! Haha!

2. Majayjay Falls, Laguna

Majayjay falls area changed a lot since I last visited. The hanging bridges are no longer safe to pass by, the rooms have been burnt down to merely foundations, and camping seemed to be the only option of lodging inside the premise. The water falls is as cold as ever though.

Too many people competing for space

3. Laiya, Batangas

Life is beautiful.

The crowd in Majayjay was too overwhelming that my friend and I decided to move to Laiya. We would have climbed Mt. Daguldol since the jump off point is just around the area. Unfortunately, circumstances didn't permit it. We had to settle for the beach, which can be enjoyable if you stay on the farther side, or if you swim to the raft in the middle of the sea and stay there. Nothing to see underwater though.

It was an exhausting and rejuvenating break for me. In the future though, I probably won't head to Batangas, Laguna, and Quezon province during Holy week. It's a battle field.

Shout out to the kind people we've met along the way: (1) our neighbor campers who provided us food, cooking oil, cigarette, water, etc, (2) the barangay personnels who helped us get a ride, (3) the couple who gave us a ride from Batangas to Quezon, and of course (4) the family who hosted us for 3 days!

"You don't have to be special, you just have to be a good person"

Cheers to a good person!
Arlet