Wednesday, May 9, 2018


i always thought that one can never have a lot of real friends. real friends, yes. but not a lot. a few, those who you grew up with, went to school with and worked with, will stay on as one of your lifelong friends. these are the individuals who you share deep relationships with and a special bond glues you together as one tight-knit soul-based group. these special persons are rare, akin to the rare gems and earth materials of the world, primarily because one needs to hit the right combination of timing (when to dig), tools (what to use) and aims (why and what to do). but when all elements come together and one lands a rich oar or a minefield and you meet these real friends in your life, you are in for the ride of your life and one can consider him/herself lucky.

but like i’ve said, these special persons, the real soulmates one can ever have, can never be that ‘many’. one to five maybe, can be a little more than that but almost always less than 10, based on different stages of your life. they may be some of your childhood playmates, classmates during elementary and high schools, batchmates and classmates during your university years and coworkers or those that you’ve met when you were already journeying in the world of withholding taxes. such was also the case with me. i have had a few real friends from the different stages of my life. a few from my younger years, a few from high school, a few from my UP days, a few from my years of working.

such was my belief that i was pretty much convinced that these true friends that i have now will ‘only’ be my lifelong friends… that i won’t be meeting a new set of individuals anymore, with whom i’m going to spend a lot of time with and actually share emotional bond with. i was pretty certain about it. and i’m ok with it. i was given some of the most intelligent, witty, fun-to-be-with friends, with whom i share the same wavelength. they do not judge me, rather they accept me for who i am. i do not get to see most of them very often due to busy schedules and other priorities. but when i see them after a long while, it’s as if we just had coffee the other day!

but God truly works in mysterious ways. He lets you be in a certain situation, unfolds His divine plans and opens up a can of goodies along the way. in my case, i didn’t have any plans of dropping by greenbelt chapel on that tuesday night in august 1 last year. but He swept my feet and drove these lower limbs to usher me to go inside the chapel. little did i know that this ‘trip’ to sto. nino de paz chapel will lead me to a “can of goodies”, goodies in this case are new friends! i let Him drive this new stage in my life, but of course, it did not happen in one big swoop. it was a process that i had to go through. i attended and finished the life in spirit (LSS) seminar, went through the growth in spirit seminar (GSS) and christian formation series. and in this journey of renewal, through the emmanuel catholic community, God led me to the dedicated women and men of the community, faithful servants, as well as the rest of my ‘batchmates’ in LSS and GSS 40. most especially, this journey led me to a new set of lifelong friends… the tropapeeps! a new set of brothers and sisters, all fun-to-be-with, smart, funny, down-to-earth, prayerful, unique and what’s more amazing, we are a group of pretty diverse individuals. we’re not of the same age bracket, we did not come from the same school and have different backgrounds in life… yet we clicked and bonded through prayer, Eucharistic celebration, teachings, as well as the common love for food, travel, fun and laughter! they came into my life at a very opportune moment… when i was rediscovering how to be a child of God once again. and this journey became an altogether fun and exciting one.

i’ve only met the LSS 40 and the tropapeeps in august last year but in that short span of time, i’ve already had quite a number of memorable trips with them. these are on top of our weekly (sometimes twice a week) dinnerchats (most of the time till the wee hours of the morning over mcdonald’s coffee and fries). 
  • we shared a commute-filled trip to hulugan falls, in luisiana, laguna in november. bus to sta. cruz, laguna; spent the night at a ‘PHP 10k-worth’ hotel in pagsawitan area; took the jeepney going to lucban; started the trek to hulugan falls (more on this in other entries) and discovered two other falls in the area. that was such a fun trip!
  • we also did videoke during christmas break.
  • in late february, i joined my brothers and sisters from GSS 40 to trek the not-so-easy, definitely not a leisure trek, mt. tapulao in palauig, zambales. this was undeniably not a day-hike, but a ‘die-hike’ (will write about this in separate entry)!
  • we also spent an overnight via airbnb in forbestown in one of the weekends in march. we cooked, bantered, dipped in the pool, played uno to our heart’s delight, had massage, prepped brunch, ate some more, had lots of laughter and good-natured bickering, a super fun weekend.
  • during maundy thursday and good friday, we did visita iglesia and visited 8 churches in laguna (pakil, paete, kalayaan, lumban, pagsanjan, magdalena, liliw and nagcarlan).
  •  just this early april, we went to pampanga for some kapampangan cuisine-filled trip and celebrated ‘kekekeka keka kekekeka keka’ for bro. we visited san fernando city, angeles city (remember ‘hiwa at kurtina’?!) and clark, as well as the towns of guagua, bacolor and mexico.
  • we even had an impromptu late night dinner at madam’s place since we were all insistent on ‘eating out’!
  • and during this year’s labor day, we ventured in our very first cinema trip as a group – thanos and the rest of the infinity stones and the avengers, where ‘two’ actually slept through the entire 2-hour duration of the film!        

have i also mentioned that we have our weekly ‘pamorningan’ sessions around makati?! yes, these are our colorful chats and banter about many things including the following:
  • life in general and the necessary toilings, plus the trials and how to go about it
  •  blossoming lovelife and how we enjoy planning upcoming ‘weddings’ and cataloguing their relationship milestones
  • about romantic lovelife and the absence of it for some and the ‘abundance’ of past lovelives for others
  • on single blessedness and the apolitical choice one has made around it
  •  heartaches and disappointments
  • politics, its divisiveness and the debates that come along with it
  • work and career and the everyday struggles of employees like us
  • the issues on our respective families
  • money matters of course, as well as the lending of money that leads to ‘laundering’
  • ‘interesting’ individuals and how these people (like a sister, who’s in dire need of help on mental health, who berated us publicly in mcdonald’s) either put a damp on one’s mood and drive us to pray more
  • dealing on emotions and how we should have more self-control
  • realizations and being more self-aware
  • showbiz and its trappings
  • jokes, jokes and whole lot of laughtrip subjects
  • food and our favorites, plus where to eat
  • travels, itineraries, bookings and where to go next
  • and most of all, on God and His love and faithfulness and how to recall, recover and renew as children of God. 

great and all great… big thanks to mcdonald’s greenbelt (where we sometimes bring our own food, pancit or cold cuts + pandesal, and only buy mcdo coffee or other drinks!!), coffee bean and tea leaf, mary grace, sinangag express, café breton, ayala triangle and other familiar joints in makati for giving us a space where to freely talk and actually stay for more than five hours or so, hahaha! and just last saturday, we had a marathon in BGC – a four-establishment and 10-hour tour that started with just hunting for a customized shirt (we got it from bench BHS branch). we had dinner in bonchon, transferred to starbucks for coffee, walked around to look for a place where we can ‘while’ away a sister’s disenchantment about a ‘special’ someone, decided to go to mercato and ended up in mcdonald’s! whew!   

in a short span of time, we’ve shared a lot with one another. we’ve had quite a number of great shared memories and i look forward to making some new ones. i also look forward to the rest of weekly praise and worship with these newfound friends, other church-related activities, as well as our in-town, domestic and international trips in the offing. what’s even better is each one of us prays for one another (especially for our personal and family-related petitions), we push and help each other towards our greater path to God and we look out for each other in this journey while also balancing it out with fun times and bonding activities.

“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.” – Henri Nouwen

now, i rest my case. God really works in mysterious ways and He gives us life’s delightful surprises in many forms. meeting and bonding with new lifelong friends, brothers and sisters, is one of these countless blessings. i’m convinced that one will meet new friends, real friends, at any point in life, especially when we let God “take the wheel” and we let Him in our lives. while one may have some lifelong friends already, there will always be room for new ones… all of whom will make one’s life a richer one. salamat po, Lord, for the gift of friendship.

let’s biyahe na ulit, tropapeeps and LSS 40!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

doy's inasal

una kong natuklasan ang malinamnam na imbensyong ito nang ang dodoy’s inasal ay nasa kahabaan pa ng kamagong. malapit ito sa barbershop ni kuya jerry kung saan ako nagpapakalbo kaya naman kada bagong tabas, siguradong mapapadaan ako rito para kumain at magalak sa kanilang manok na inasal.

pagkaraan ng ilang taon, nagsara ang dodoy’s. binili yata ang lupang tinitirikan nito. lumipat sila sa pablo ocampo extension, malapit sa kanto ng sampaloc. at dito natuloy ang aking love affair sa kanilang chicken inasal!

kaiba sa inasal ng mang inasal, ang manok nila rito ay malinamnam, malambot, hindi tuyo, malalasahan mo ang tamang pagmarinado sa manok bago pa ito isalang sa uling upang ihawin. di rin gaya ng sa mang inasal, gumagamit pa rin sila ng tradisyunal na pag-iihaw sa ibabaw ng uling kaya’t sumasarap lalo ang bawat pecho o paa na ihahain sa iyo. sinamahan pa ito ng masarap at mainit na sabaw, malamig at sakto ang tamis na kanilang iced tea, at siyempre ang nagdadagdag ng swak na swak na lasa’t panghalina, ang toyo, kalamansi at sili!

di ako nagtataka kung bakit sa halos isang beses kong pagdalaw sa doy’s ay lagging maraming tao. sa wikend, madalas ay maghihintay ka ng mesa bago makakain. buti sa akin, di ko pa naman kinailangang umupo sa labas para kumain. 

nabitbit ko na rin ang aking pamilya para kumain sa doy's. lahat sila ay sang-ayon sa sarap at linamnam ng manok na inasal dito. dumadayo pa nga mula sa pasig at novaliches ang iba sa amin! di na tuloy ako makapaghintay na bumalik dito at kumain ng inasal, namit gid!

Saturday, May 5, 2018


my new favorite! desso cafe calls it grain creamcheese! it is perfect with just about anything... coffee or matcha green tea frap. :)

Thursday, May 3, 2018


wala akong kotse o anumang sasakyan. at sa hinaba-haba ng panahon, wala akong balak na bumili nito. una, di naman ako nagmamaneho. kahit na nga mabilis lang daw matutong magmaneho ngayon… at lalong mas mabilis kumuha ng lisensya, di pa rin ako naeengganyo. pangalawa, may ibang pinagkakagastusan kasi. daming bayarin. mula sa bahay, sa upa, sa seguro, sa pang-araw-araw na gastusin at kung anu-ano pa. at sabi nga ng maraming may sariling kotse, lalabas lang ang pera sa sandaling magkaroon ka ng sasakyan. hindi ito kailanman magmamahal, bagkus bagsak agad ang halaga nito sa sandaling mapasaiyo na ang susi nito. siyempre ang dagdag na gastos at problema kung saan mo ipa-park ang iyong sasakyan. mahal ang parking sa makati! pangatlo, di rin talaga ako nahilig sa sasakyan. ewan ko ba. marami ang tumitingin sa pagkakaroon ng sasakyan bilang senyal ng pag-asenso ng buhay. may iilan pa ngang buong pahimakas itong pinangangalandakan sa madla. may iba rin siyempreng hilig ang pagkakaroon ng kotse. ito ‘yung mga tipong tila isang anak o alaga ang tingin sa kotse. pero hindi ako.

at huli, di ako kumbinsidong kailangan ko ng sasakyan. nang magkatrabaho ako, ang una kong ginawa ay lumapit sa trabaho. lumipat ako ng tirahan sa makati upang umiwas sa mahabang biyahe paroo’t parito. dahil malapit na ang bahay sa trabaho, di na kailangan pa ng sariling sasakyan. nilalakad nga lang magkaminsan ang distansya ng bahay sa opisina. bilang isang makatizen, malapit ako sa mga bagay-bagay sa aking tirahan. madaling makakuha ng taksi, isang traysikel at mararating mo ang sakayan ng bus at dyip, kaunting lakad at malapit na agad ako sa mga kailangang puntahan. dagdag mo pa ang paglitaw ng grab at uber (noong mayroon pa nito). dahil sa mga opsyong ito ay nagkaroon ng alternatibo at gumaan ang presyur ng araw-araw na paglalakbay. mahal nga lang madalas kaysa hindi pero nagkaroon ng ibang paraan upang makarating sa opisina o saan mang bahagi ng kamaynilaan. alam ko rin ang hinaing ng mga may sasakyan dulot ng matinding trapiko sa metro manila, kaya naman mas maigi pa ring ikaw ay isang simpleng pasahero lamang.

ngunit siyempre sumasagi rin sa aking isipan magkaminsan ang pagbili ng kotse. naiimadyin ko ang ginhawa’t sayang dulot ng pagkakaroon ng sariling sasakyan sa mga panahong gaya ng kapaskuhan o may mahabang wikend o di kaya kapag may kitaan kasama ng mga kaibigan. sa tuwing sasapit ang kapaskuhan, di magkamayaw ang mga tao sa kamaynilaan, agawan ng taksi at nitong mga nakaraang taon, abot langit ang mahal ng grab at uber. sa tuwing uuwi ako ng novaliches, sangkatutak ang mga dala ko pero kailangang makipagsiksikan sa mrt, pumila sa uv express at magkaminsan ay mag-backride sa traysikel. sa mga ganitong panahon, naiisip kong magkaroon ng kotse. iba rin siguro ang pakiramdam na isasalansan mo na lamang ang lahat ng iyong iuuwing regalo o pagkain at maaari mo pang dagdagan ang mga ito kapag dumaan sa mall.        

kapag may mahabang wikend naman, iba rin kung may kotse ako. mabilis akong makapaglalamyerda sa kung saan ko man naisin. nito lamang huwebes santo, kung may sasakyan ako, higit na madali ang pag-ikot sa mga bayan ng laguna upang mag-visita iglesia. bagamat di naman mahirap ang pagsakay-sakay sa laguna, mas madali pa rin ang naging biyahe sa mga bayan kung sarili mo ang sasakyan. pumunta rin kami sa pampanga nitong abril lang. mas mahirap ang paroo’t parito sa probinsiyang ito kaya kung may sasakyan sana ako, di na kami pasalin-salin ng dyip patungong mexico o guagua galing ng san fernando. siyempre kung may kotse ako, mas madali lang din lumarga basta-basta. di ko na kailangan pang pumunta at magbakasakali sa mga istasyon ng bus upang maging chance passenger tulad ng biyahe ko sa quirino at nueva vizcaya. bahagi naman talaga ang pagsakay sa bus o komyut sa abentura at sa kabuuan ng paglalakbay sa mga lalawigan at ng galak na marating ang mga ito. pero ibayong ginhawa siguro kung may sasakyan ako dahil hawak ko ang oras kung kailan ko gustong umalis at umuwi.

sa puntong ito, nag-iisip pa rin ako. nagtitimbang ng mga bagay-bagay… sa magandang idudulot ng pagkakaroon ng sariling sasakyan kumpara sa gastos at isyung kaakibat ng pag-aari nito. ginhawa laban sa gastusin, larga kung kailan maisipan laban sa problema ng parking, di na kailangan pang mag-mrt o bus laban sa isyu ng coding, ura-uradang alis laban sa bayarin at di na nakadepende sa grab o taksi laban sa bayaring ukol sa seguro at pagmementena ng sasakyan. karaming isipin, karaming bagay na dapat isaalang-alang. parehong may bigat at pareho ring may drobak. haaaayyy…

sabihan kita ‘pag nakapagpasya na ako. sa ngayon, umpisa muna akong mag-book ng grab dahil aalis na ako patungong greenbelt.   

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Aglicay Beach

Aglicay Beach, Alcantara, Romblon.
January 2018.

Huwag ka ring maging maramot sa iyong sarili.