January 31, 2016

From Mt. Manabu to Mt Malipunyo & Back (Batangas)

I was being immature and wanted to do a solo climb, but got to my senses the night before my planned hike and decided to go against it. 

I still needed to get away from Manila though. Luckily I found two climbers who were planning to hike Mt Manabu too. 

Since both of the other climbers were Batangas-based, we agreed to just meet there. It was the earliest I woke up for a climb because I was afraid I might get lost during the commute then end up being so late. 

From Fiesta Mall, we rode a tryk to the jump off place and started to hike around 6 30 am. We passed by locals who offered to be our guide as according to them the trail is confusing. My hike-mates refused politely since they have been there before. It was almost 8am and the trail we were treading still wasn't familiar to them. 


"Naku wrong way po, papunta pong Mt. Malipunyo yan" said a local we asked along the way.

And that is the start of our trek to the real jump off for Manabu. Turns out the tryk driver confused Manabu with Malipunyo. After around 30 minutes we found the way to Manabu. 


It was an easy trail covered with trees. There were white crosses per station. There was also Mang Pirying's hut wherein you can try homemade barako coffee for free. Then there's a campsite very near the summit for those who want to stay for the night. The summit area which can be identified via the huge white cross is very small, can comfortably accommodate maybe up to around 10 people at a time only. 

Summit of Mt Manabu

Mt Susong Dalaga, as was seen from Mt Manabu

Since the area was small, and there were too many flies and tourists, and no clearing because of the morning fog, we just started with our descent. We did a loop hike via grotto and back to station 4. We arrived at the Manabu jump off a little after lunch.

On the way back, we saw locals selling an iguana they found in the forest for P200 - it was kept in a coke bottle. I wanted to engage the locals with a discussion on environmental conservation, but felt it wasn't a good avenue to do so, and I wouldn't be able to sustain the act. I just retreated with a heavy heart.

What was I to do? What was the right thing to do?

Going There

1. Lipa-bound bus from LRT Buendia/Taft Station - Drop off at Tambo or Fiesta Mall (if within bus route)
2. Jeep to Fiesta Mall (8 php)
3. Tryk to Sulok, Brgy. Sta Cruz from Fiesta Mall

January 1, 2016

The Stories We Tell Ourselves (For the Year That Was)


1. What did I learn last year?

Arlet, no matter how firm you think you are in terms of your decisions, there will come compelling reasons that can change your mind. You may feel as though you have no choice, and tell yourself to just get on with fate as quickly as possible.

But even with a "handicap", you must still seize the day, and not live halfheartedly.

If you want to quit your job, then quit. Do not go to work and not give your best shot because you say you could do so much better if you wanted to. If you want to breakup with your boyfriend or girlfriend, then breakup. Do not stay in that relationship and tell people that you do not want to be there in the first place.

Do not live life as if you were forced into it.
Protect your thoughts. Have self compassion, but do not ever condone the sob stories your mind sometimes make up.

2. What can I do better this year?

Arlet, work hard and be nice to people. You're always so busy you forget that you're dealing with emotion-filled human beings. Being efficient is not good enough, one must also be tolerable if not likeable.


3. How much stress did I experience

Sometimes talking about a suffering eases it away.

The last quarter of 2015 was extremely difficult for me. I developed early signs of anxiety and panic attack. I had acid reflux and other concerns for which calm drops, and relaxing teas became my best friends. Fortunately I was able to reach out to people who've been of great support to me.

Walang sense 'tong picture na 'to dito pero kasi... basta :)

4. What am I grateful for?

Everything. If you ever received a random message or call or any form of "paramdam" from me for the last quarter, then thank you so much for responding. If you ever gave me a random message or call, it is highly likely that I didn't respond, but know that I appreciate it a lot.

Thank you so much for existing.

Here's to new beginnings - to second chances, third chances, and the unlimited chances we have to make our lives better! Because "we cannot be irreparably broken."


Happy New Year!
Arlet