May 17, 2015

Bigger Than Anger

In movies, people have alter egos that think and act in different ways than the main characters would have. Remember The Mask? Incredible Hulk? And who would forget Tyler Durden? I think in our own little ways, we have these alter egos too - alter egos that behave in a manner that isn't aligned with how we see ourselves.

And really, how often have we lost our true selves in front of an intense emotion?

Imagine your friend Kat. She is a very amiable and unassuming person, but becomes overbearing when depressed. Or your friend Mark, a jolly guy that turns tactless when angry.

When we're talking, you're talking with me, Arlet. But when I'm angry, you're not talking with me anymore. You're talking with 'Angry', or 'Ecstatic', or 'Drunk.' This is not to say that I'm no longer responsible, because the words or thoughts come from me primarily. But I hope you can try and forgive me until such time that I am bigger than my anger, hatred, sadness, or confusion.

And for sure I'll try and forgive you as long as you're trying- whoever you are.


May 16, 2015

When The Truth Didn't Matter

Deep regret and guilt.

That was how I felt after seeing Emil and the other teams at the door. I just finished talking to management about the problems with Emil's team. The things I said were true, but I spoke bluntly and heartlessly- thinking that we were alone, only to find Emil and the others within hearing distance outside.

"Tell the truth, but be kind about it - especially when it's hard to hear." 

I've humiliated Emil by speaking ill of him "in front of" the other teams, and without giving him a chance to explain himself. I was such an asshole that night. And to be honest, I really don't know what to do about it...

Remember this, Arlet. And don't be such a jerk next time. Always speak as if the world is listening.

May 3, 2015

In Case of Fire

For less than a month, we've experienced 2 occasions of fire in the neighborhood. And on both occasions our family got very stressed - especially my mom. Firetrucks couldn't enter our streets because (1) firetrucks were too big, and (2) there were parked cars with no owners around. Some of our neighbors' home were also built with light materials that can easily carry fire. That said, I'm putting this out to (1) organize my thoughts on what just happened, and (2) serve as a reminder for everyone that accidents can happen - and planning beforehand can keep us in check and more prepared for such occurrence.


1. Plan two escape routes from each room
2. Plan where to meet outside
3. Save fire department's number
4. Confirm with insurer what will happen if the insurance policy gets burned?
5. Have a fire kit ready (backpack and list of things you need to get and can get in a minute or less ie money, car keys, important documents, computer back up, cash, etc) Include a whistle and flashlight to serve as signal in case you get trapped.
5. Have a fire extinguisher and water hose ready at home and everyone should know  how to use it.

Fire Prevention

1. Keep pets off cooking surfaces to avoid spilling/bumping anything
2. Unplug electrical appliances to avoid overheating and sudden explosion
3. Check for faulty wiring and cheap cords that does not follow safety standards.
4. Stay in the kitchen when cooking.
5.  Call the local fire department and request for fire inspection
6. Put smoke alarms in all areas of your home

In Case of Actual Fire

1. Practice low crawling - smoke is dangerous.
2. Stop, drop, and roll in case your clothes get on fire.
3. Never open doors that have warm handle
4. Make sure to know where your pet is and/or have a way of calling him/her

Keep safe.


April 12, 2015

The Weekend Warrior (Mt Gulugod Baboy)

I. Predicaments

A few days ago, I attended a meet up among travelers. The idea of leaving the corporate world to pursue a life of travel and backpacking was always brought up. While everyone was excitedly exchanging thoughts, I just heard my brain whisper, "Yeah, that was exactly how I felt before"


I couldn't believe myself. What have I become? I guess it could best be summarized by my post last March:


For the past weeks, I've been observing myself turn down all sorts of invites - mural painting, clean up hike, volunteering, camping, tour guiding, coffee, roadtrips, etc. (activities that usually delight me.) I felt no need to go out as much anymore, until I met a certain person in the backpackers meet up - someone I don't exactly know but have once bumped into. And without knowing it, made an impact to her life. She asked, in her most decisive way, if she could travel alone and see the world. 

I say, you go girl! You don't need any permission from anyone to see the world with your own eyes and feet."

Just a few minutes after, I saw another friend whom I met in a black market among artists. She was undergoing some kind of predicament herself. We all got to talk with each other and it was then decided that we'll hike together and prove whatever we have to prove. My declining streak was broken just like that. I remembered The Fraternity of Strangers, and the reason I enjoy traveling so much.

II. The Mountain Effect

We got to the peak after a little over an hour. It was supposed to be an easy climb, but I felt like passing out just before the peak so I asked for a break. It turned out that I was very low on sugar and carbohydrates - I was starving. I forgot that I hadn't eaten breakfast yet. I was so embarrassed of my poor judgment and carelessness. 

Boa constrictor digesting an elephant aka Sombrero island :)

The trail from Philpan was straightforward and easy to follow even without a guide. It's a combination of a steep uphill concrete pavement and rolling hills. It was challenging for my calves at first, but got used to the trail after a while. 

Kinto! Goku's flying cloud

Since we were the first to make it to summit, we had a lot of time to goof around and be candid about our circumstances - work, hobbies, and interests. We have different personalities, background, and view on things, but we share the same love for outdoors. That common preference made it easy for us to listen and try to understand each other. I couldn't believe at the depth of our conversations considering that we haven't known each other for a long time. The mountain is really good in stripping people off of their pretenses! It's the mountain effect!

After the trek, we went to Philpan Dive Resort for lunch and snorkeling. 

I figured that I'm giving my current lifestyle a chance. For now I'm contented with being just a weekend warrior. Heck I think I can even last a quarter without travel now. Nonetheless, the universe will always pull me back in, and when the universe calls, I'll gladly listen. 

The Weekend Warrior

See you around!

Expenses as of April, 2015

1. Bus from Manila to Grand Terminal, Batangas and vv- 300php
2. Jeep to Anilao and vv - 70php
3. Tryk to Philpan and vv - 60php
4. Philpan Dive Resort Entrance fee - 60php
5. Philpan Dive Resort Cottage - 150php from 300php  - we asked for a 50% discount because there was no one around anyway