Saturday, November 2, 2013

(Almost) 25

I spent the first couple of years in the "real world" treading on a straight path. Determined to never lose focus, I had my eyes fixed on that shiny prize. But a literary genius once wrote, 'The true path is chosen by our ability to love it and not to suffer for it.' And even though I am not sure if my understanding of that precious one-liner is right, it is what lit the fire in my heart that eventually gave me courage to stray.

Today I find myself in a place where my 20-year-old version prayed so hard to never find herself in. I am at a playground: no path, no prize, no fool-proof plan. Everyday, I laugh a little when I look back on days I asked for a clear-cut path and thank the heavens for not answering yes to every prayer. Do not get me wrong. It's not all rainbows and butterflies; it's not all bliss. 

There are still many moments in a day when I second guess myself. There are mornings filled with doubts and worries and a hundred reasons to not even bother lifting a finger and just give up. There are minutes within a seemingly uneventful day when I ask myself the scariest questions in silence. 

There are moments when the amount of courage you have left can only cover the surface. Your hands do not tremble; you can look the person across you straight in the eyes. But your heart remains clouded with fears.

Being older doesn't equate to the absence of difficult questions. Getting older comes with a whole lot of tough times on an entirely different level. But there is peace and freedom in uncertainty that my 20-year-old self would have never appreciated. I am a few days away from turning 25. And even though I am still very, very far from having all the answers, I have a few things figured out:

Being 25 gives you sacred moments in the middle of those questions when you are capable of pulling back and finding your center. Being 25 is having a grounded, safe and strong touchstone at which you can anchor your heart when the avalanche of doubts comes without warning. Being 25 is having the maturity and poise to weather the storm because you may have not figured out everything but you have already proven so many times over that 'this too shall pass' is one of the most true things ever written in this world. Being 25 allows you to celebrate the vast, empty field, instead of yearning for a pre-determined path.

I do not usually give so much importance on birthdays because I believe that there are more small, underrated victories in a year worth celebrating than the day you just inevitably turn a year older. But what the heck, it's (almost) my birthday and I'm giddy with excitement for all the things that would unfold, while I work and play and love and dance and worship.

Cheers to the big 2 and 5! :)

Travel Soulmates part 2

I shamelessly declared my love for the people I call my travel soulmates in a previous entry. I used the word ‘shamelessly’ because I never bothered to confirm whether I can officially call it an affair or it’s something that rings true only on my side of the story. But, whatever. I love these people too much I'm adding to the reasons why we are travel soulmates. As follows:

Coron crew! :)

We do not make fool-proof travel itineraries. What we are so good at is dodging bullets. Budget limitations, schedule conflicts; name it, we’ve probably succeeded avoiding the most usual travel boo boos out there. That includes thinking 1:00 in our plane ticket pertains to 1PM, instead of 1AM!

So, we dodge bullets. Unfortunately, in our most recent trip to Coron, what were fired to our direction weren’t bullets we can avoid. It was a storm. It was gloomy skies spread over the island. It was a disaster. Coron is known for its pristine beaches, snorkeling areas and diving spots. It has summer written all over the island. So when we found ourselves waking up to drizzle and occasional thunder, we did what we normally would have given the situation:


We took boat rides, run across the shore, swam in the rain and admired the magnificence embracing us without complain. Not one soul was dampened by the rain. We were kids, we were on an adventure. Everything was perfect! Our enthusiasm wasn’t limited to when we were surrounded by the ocean, mind you. We climbed the 700+ steps to Mt. Tapyas savouring the sunshine and went down the same path drenched in rain without a care in the world.

And that part in the middle of the sea when we went through a ‘subasco’, I can’t even begin to tell you how alive I felt inside that catastrophe. It was both scary and exciting that my brain was confused I just started laughing. 

I made a list before:
We jump cliffs, we topload, we swim with sharks, etc.
Today I add to that….
We do not shrink in the face of misfortune.
We do not throw tantrums when reality doesn’t live up to our expectations.

I am so proud that none of us threw a fit when Cebu Pacific announced that our flight got cancelled. TWICE. Although, I couldn’t exactly say I’m proud of how, in the 2nd cancellation, when Cebu Pac informed us that they are shouldering our accommodations in a 5-star resort, rather than feeling somewhat disappointed due to the delay, we acted closer to winning the jackpot. Again, we’re kids on an adventure. We take what we can get. :)

The happiest stranded bunch! 

This may sound overly contemplative of an experience that can happen to just about anyone but I’ll say it, still: I find it very, very comforting to have such optimistic people in my life.

All sorts of lovely!

There may not be any need for sunshine to appreciate how lovely Coron is. Nevertheless, we brought our own. :)


“Singing in the rain. I'm singing in the rain. And it's such a fucking glorious feeling. An unexpected downpour and I am just giving myself into it. Because what the fuck else can you do? Run for cover? Shriek and curse? No--when the rain falls you just let it fall and you grin like a madman and you dance with it because if you can make yourself happy in the rain, then you're doing pretty alright in life.”-Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (Story of our extended Coron trip)

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