It's official! I am a lazy writer. Sayang ang creative juices. Huhu.. Yes, there are times I have something curious in mind but somehow I just shrug and sleep it off. I don't even bother to write my ideas down! I feel so bad. I complain about not having enough inspiration but the moment I do, I let the Zzzz's get the better of me. Well, that's the price you have to pay when you work night shifts. BUT there is no excuse for it. Just like an addict (to sleep) or an alcoholic, the first step is to admit your "illness". So I accept it, I am a lazy writer.
So I am writing and POSTING this as a commitment to write any ideas I care about that come to mind even if I don't have time to post it! (because eventually, I will!)
I will not be a lazy writer any more.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
I was doing my usual blog hopping when I chanced upon a blog on Chuvaness.com . It's a compilation of commentaries from a group now branded as Anonymous Incorporated. If you check it out here, it's an expose by Anonymous people regarding the people and the pork barrel scam. It is very appalling to read all the information they have. I understand why they preferred to be anonymous. E talaga namang 'buwis-buhay' ang mga information na binigay nila. Plus, they're right. Media can and has the tendency to manipulate everything.
They sound like they are operating within the Napoles Company. One comment even said that all the issue (e.g Cotabato bombing) and others outshined the Pork Barrel issue. Let me just play the devil's advocate here, what if all the those other issues (masking as terrorist attacks) were really orchestrated by those in power and are involved with this controversy to divert peoples attention away from the scam? Afterall, media will always focus on the latest issue, the latest "buzz". I say, we must remain vigilant about this. This is our money.
Yes, my tax may be puny compared to others pero kabawasan pa rin yun sa sweldo ko. I am a taxpayer. I work (on a night shift--if that adds any more bearing) and I am a student at the same. But I am not working just to give a portion of my hard earned money to finance the lavish lifestyle of those in power. Like a tweet said (I think it was Ramon Bautista who said this), "Kung ordinaryong snatcher nga na barya lang nakukuha, ginugulpi ng taumbayan. Pa'no yung bilyon-bilyon?"
Don't you just feel they played us for a fool? At kung patuloy tayong magbubulag-bulagan, aba, hindi lang tayo mahiya sa sarili natin. Mahiya tayo sa mga pamilya natin, o sa future families natin--sa mga anak o apong pamamanahan natin ng ganito kabulok na sistema. Idadamay natin sila sa katangahan natin. Hindi ka makikialam dahil wala kang magagawa? Then at least be informed. React. Don't just go to work every day, complain about the Taxes and Deductibles you get on your payslip and then go back to work again. Don't be a robot.
Now that the Philippines is experiencing the wrath of Maring, we should all the more be concerned of what happened with the pork barrel. Let's not fool ourselves thinking we can get the money back. But maybe the government can at least form an independent body to investigate the guilty parties and if the PDAF can't be abolished, it should at least be regulated. They must not get away with this. And I ask, why didn't Department of Budget see this? Why didn't anyone check the supposed NGO's who will receive a portion of PDAF? Some of the alleged NGO's offices were non-existent and they weren't able to investigate that? Grabe lang. Well, of course 2 things, it's either they're really stupid and of course, they went under the table. It's a no brainer really.
All those billions could've built infrastructures to prevent all the flood, put doctors to clinics in the barrios, built more houses and roads, and sent more children to schools. But instead our taxes went to the Porshes, luxury bags and cars and houses of these greedy people.
*Sigh* The Anonymous Inc. wanted to get rid of them (politicians involved) so bad, that they think the only way to solve these problem is to kill them all (yeah, really!). Purge all of them and elect new sets of officials. Then the movie The Purge comes into mind and I imagine people doing a killing spree to eliminate corrupt congressmen and senators! Ayayayy! There will be utter chaos. But of course, I abhor violence even though really, if you think about it, there really is no way this can be resolved because they have money and most of all, power--power that people gave them when they got elected.
I wish the government could focus on long-term (even if it takes a long time) solution to flooding. I think we all have a part on it naman. The government for not building any flood-preventing infrastructures, the informal settlers who refuse to relocate and irresponsible people who still throw garbages anywhere and everywhere. Well ayan, inanod na ni Maring ang basura, magkalat na ulit kayo. (That's sarcastically speaking just in case you still have to wrap your head around it.) Taon-taon nalang Pray for the Philippines ang drama natin. I'm not being insensitive but I'm just saying, kung laging magte-trend world wide ang baha sa atin, it may affect the number of tourists that will visit our country. Sayang ang effort ng Department of Tourism. Or the tourists may not come back once they get the "Baha"mas experience in our country.
Anyway, enough with the blame game. Let's get into the issue that needs our immediate attention because a lot of people need all the help they can get right now. Even though I am thankful that me and my family are all safe, I feel somewhat guilty about it. Hehe. I am so blessed to be safe so I feel like I need to give back to others who are affected.
So here are some info on how we can help:
- Check out ReliefPh website for important updates.
- Also check out Rappler's website on list of donation drop-off points and evacuation centers.
- If you know anyone who needs to be rescued, text: RescuePH
- If you are in short of cash, look for places nearby where you can volunteer (you can repack goods, help in the distribution etc.)
- Donate to Red Cross Philippines just by texting the ff:
RED (space) Amount to 2899 for Globe and 4143 for Smart subscribers
You can donate the following denominations:
Globe: 5, 25, 100, 300, 500 or 1000
Smart: 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 or 1000.
I read that DSWD's National Resource Operations Center (NROC) are in need of volunteers. For more info you can contact 02-8528081 or 02-8512681 or visit their headquarters at NAIA Chapel Road, Pasay City.
Caritas Manila is also accepting volunteers and donations. Interested parties may go to their office at 2002 Jesus St. Pandacan, Manila.
For Maring Related tweets, you can hashtag #MaringPh, #RescuePh, #Safenow or #ReliefPh if you need help and to provide and/or get more updates.
Here are some important numbers in case of emergency:
Oh, and of course my dears, if you want to volunteer, make sure your areas are passable as well and your own safety must be the priority. So if you're complaining about boredom, go out there, make yourself useful and do something worthwhile. Feed your spirit. :)
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Remember my post last January about my dream to climb a mountain? If not read it here. I wanted to climb a mountain for so long but somehow find all the excuses not to. I know, I know. But then Midterms came up and we were asked to do a travelogue. I just knew in my heart that this is the right moment to climb my first summit. Unfortunately, it's hard to find a travel buddy who's courageous enough to climb it with me and at such short notice. You also have to find someone who has a good stamina. Naturally, I also wanted someone na hindi maarte. Ay naku. Pet peeve ko yan. First person who came to mind was my good friend, Arn and I was so right about him! Turns out he's been wanting to climb a mountain since forever like yours truly, too.
So I made travel plans and we pushed through and braved the crazy weather with Storm Labuyo about to hit our way and Signal Number 1 was already announced for Batangas and Cavite. But brave hearts and bad asses we were!
We chose Batulao because of the proximity and the budget of course. From the blogs I read, it was a good mountain to climb for beginners like us. You can also check out our expenses at the bottom of the post.
Tips on what to bring/wear for a day hike:
· Water (1L or more)
· Sturdy slip-ons
· Extra plastic bag (for trash)
· Extra shirt and shorts/pants
· Packed lunch
· Sense of adventure
From Robinson's Dasmarinas, we also bought lunch in a nearby McDonald's there to bring as baons. we were having a hard time finding a bus going to Nasugbu that wasn't SRO (Standing room only--hehe.) Guess we're both maarte that way. Haha. From Rob Dasma, we took a bus to Mahogany Market in Tagaytay and rode another bus in front of the market going to Nasugbu.
Next, we had our bus drop us off at Evercrest Golf Course in Nasugbu (it was just a few meters away from "Welcome to Nasugbu" sign) and from there we took a tricycle to the jump off point at the foot of Mt. Batulao. Since we're both first timers it is necessary to hire a guide for the ascent. I was surprised to find out tour guide fee increased from around Php 200 to 400 because all the travel blogs we researched still had the 200. Turns out the local government standardized the fees and had the guides are now required to wear I.D's and tags and have to be above 18 y.o. Bawal na ang kiddie guides (some of them I read are as young as 12 y.o.) Then we began our traverse towards the summit at 11 am.
(Please don't expect to see the green mountains because just like I said, we went there on a rainy Sunday.)
The view at the foot of the mountain. All greens.
With Aljon, our guide. Nahiya naman kami sa bilis niya. Ni hindi hiningal. LOL. You can climb Mt. Batulao with the Old (harder) and New route. Of course we took the new one since we were just there for a day hike and we need to get down asap because of the weather.
The hardest part of the climb for me is not going through the peaks but walking from the foot of the mountain going up the first peak. It was so muddy! I'm telling you, I slide like 3 times! But I welcomed every fall. It was an experience I needed and wanted to have. The mud looks "clean" anyway (like mud can ever be clean at all.) At least lupa, hindi burak gaya ng baha sa Metro Manila.
At the first part, I decided to go bare foot to maximize the experience. (Tip: Get your nails cut before the climb but don't get a full-on mani/pedi's)
I also wrote before that the reason I started running was because I wanted to improve strength for my future climb. E kaso nga before I climbed, I stopped running for months na. I'm telling you, my legs and arms were really, really sore after.
Some stops have buko, halo-halo and soft drinks for refreshments and in case you forgot or are saving your water for the rest of the climb.
For me, the longest distance was from the foot of the mountain to Peak 1. Again, I am blaming all that mud. We reached peak 1 at 12 noon.
The steep roads were definitely a challenge. Here's our guide probably complaining in his head how slow we were! Haha! Kasi naman for first timers syempre more pictures diba. Haha. But Aljon was a good sport naman and was very patient with us. :)
Sa lagay na 'to we were kind of in a hurry because Labuyo was coming but we still took our time. Roads are slippery and safety is still our first concern. We just thanked God that it did not rain during our actual climb, and it just drizzled after.
An abandoned hut/house.
Other mountaineers stationed their tents in a space between peak 7 and 8. What I also love about the climb is that people--locals and fellow mountaineers are so friendly. You always get a "Magandang Umaga/Hapon po" or "Ingat po paakyat" along the way coming from them. It's like you have a connection with the people here which made me feel comfortable and safe enough feeling like you know that people will be there when you need help in case something happens (God forbid).
We've reached the infamous peak 8. Back in 2011, a woman fell to her death at this peak. We "interviewed" a Manong who lived in Peak 8 for a bit and he said he's one of the guys who helped lift the body. She's allegedly a first timer as well who climbed together with her officemates. They took the Old trail to the summit and went there with the only guide they have was one of their friends (the only guy in the group) who climbed the mountain before. She got too excited daw upon learning that they're almost near the summit, hastened her footsteps and fell. So Manong warned us to really take the time we need and not rush ourselves going to the summit.
Chickens owned by the Manong in peak 8. O diba? Doesn't she look healthy? Ang cute cute ang ta-taba nila. Haha! At least you know they're given non-artificial food up there. Here in peak 8 is also where mountaineers register their names and pay Php 20 registration fee. It's another 20 if you plan to go down on the old trail. But since we only hiked using the New Trail, it's just a one time registration payment for us.
Cute kid goats.
The real challenge of the climb really started with peak 8. Peak 12 is the last peak before you reach the actual summit and it's 10-15 minute walk from it to the top.
A rock somewhere in peak 11.
No, I didn't really climb this rock. Pa-effect lang yan. Teehee.
Just look at this way going to the top! There were really some parts na gusto ko na lang gumapang. Haha! Going down, there were some parts I chose to slide down because I don't trust my knees. I have a very poor sense of balance (Yes, why did I ever climb a mountain in the first place?)
Not much flowers up there but Mother Nature sure made their colors vibrant.
And at last we made it to the summit at 3pm. Did I regret climbing at this weather with nothing to see but clouds? Hell no. I love that we were actually in the midst of clouds. I love that my legs were aching because I used them for something adventurous. I loved everything about it. It's not just about the view after all. Getting to the summit is my reward. Climbing at this weather made us prepared for the worse next time.
With brother from another mother, Arn.
Mountaineers usually eat lunch at the summit but we preferred to eat cupcakes instead since we don't want to feel heavy going down and we are dreading going down. We wished we could zipline our way down the mountain. Ha! By the way, we left summit at 3:45 and was back at the bottom at around 6. Had we not taken lunch when we got back on peak 8 and took a "buko" break it would've been a shorter time.
Deserve na deserve ko ang selfie na 'to after that long climb!
I'm one messy kid after the climb. Look at me! Apparently, my sense of balance was really poor that my way of climbing is up, down and slide. Teehee. Kidding aside, if you go there, the trails really are up and down, up and down. Makitid pa yung ibang daan, then bangin left and right. I probably would've backed out if the climb involves rapelling (using ropes to hoist myself up/down) but since it doesn't, I welcome the challenge of the slippery trails.
Back at the jump off point you can pay locals so you can take a bath/wash off on one of their houses for a fee which we did after. You can't possibly expect us to ride the bus looking like we do! The driver and bus conductor would probably give us the killer eye.
Honestly, I almost chickened out because in reality, I really don't imagine myself climbing a mountain. Sure, climbing a mountain sounds so cool but when I picture out everything, I was terrified! But then I told myself, on that rainy Sunday morning that if I won't do it today, I probably won't be able to do it ever. It's like having a kid or something, that you can't ever be truly prepared for moments like this. You just have to suck it up and do it. You know what? It was harder than I thought it was. But like I said, this will prepare me for other harder trails ahead. We were both walking like old people the day after but what I love about Arn (who is like a dear brother to me) is that for us, this wasn't a "We've checked it on our bucket list, now we can move on" kind of climb. We are now talking about other mountains to climb, going overnight for a full experience, to climb Mt. Pico de Loro and invite other friends (na hindi maarte!) and/or to climb Mt. Batulao on a good weather next time. I really recommend mountain climbing to you. It's a different kind of experience, one of the most unforgettable in my life. You are more one with nature and you'll never feel more alive (with all the pain and everything.) and you'll get your limits tested.
You also get to appreciate life more. While some were probably complaining of having poor cell signal or other trivial things like that, think of the families living here who have to walk up and down the mountain to go to school, or to the city and who don't have a decent bath room (yes! you do have to squat in some cases) or have to get water in the wells and yet they do not complain. They were thankful to have the electricity of course. Ah, the simplicity of life. People here are so used to hard work, mahihiya ka. (Well, ako. Haha!)
Isa pa at huling rason, baka magtampo ang mga bundok kasi puro kayo beach. :)
Here's our Batulao budget for that day in case you're all interested:
Bus (Robinson Dasma to Nasugbu) --- around 70
Lunch (but you can pack your own) --- around 80
Tricycle (from Evercrest to jump off and back) --- 25 X 2 =50 Php
Mountain guide -- 400
Water fee (To wash yourself at jump-off)—20 for wash and 30 if you want to take a bath.
Bus (Evercrest to St. Dominic/Talaba/Zapote) – 96
Jeep (St. Dominic Hospital to Jollibee Molino) -- 13
Total: Php 742/752 (with bath)
Sunday, July 14, 2013
"We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you're crazy to ask us to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us. In the simplest terms, in the most convenient of definitions." -Brian, The Breakfast Club
I've been curious about The Breakfast Club since I heard about it in (ta-dah!) Pitch Perfect with Jesse gushing about how it is one of the best musically scored movies of all time. (Queue music: "Don't you forget about me...")
I didn't expect much from it though. The plot's really a cliche of what a typical high school is. We have five kids from different cliques spending one Saturday of detention. The setting just revolved with all five inside the library and the whole movie is all about the 8-hours they spent inside and where they weren't allowed to eat, sleep or even study. So there's Claire (the princess), Andy (the Sporty), Brian (the Brain), Allison (the Basketcase/the emo kid) and Bender (the criminal/the rebel).
You'll find that the first few minutes of the film involved a lot of fighting between Bender, Claire and Andy. Out of shared boredom, they bonded over smoking pot that Bender sneaked in the library. With shared stories about why they're in detention and their troubled family life, the story ended with all of them being friends.
Predictable as the story is, I think many can relate to the story. Not fitting in, academic and peer pressure and not knowing what it is that you really want for yourself.
I can't even place myself on what clique I belong to when I think about high school. I'm not the prom princess or one of the "It" girls, I am not a rebel or emo and certainly don't make an effort or show concern about keeping straight A's. I'm so normal it's weird. I am just me. Simple, regular and average.
A scene that got me was when Brian asked what’ll happen on Monday when they get back to their own friends and groups to which Claire answered in all honesty, “No.” They weren’t going to be friends come Monday. They have to get back to their crowd and will eventually ignore each other.
See? That’s why Don’t you forget about me makes real sense. Especially the line: “When you walk on by will you call my name?” It’s because of that scene. It’s because of Monday—Monday they may never be friends anymore. On Monday, they may say hi to each other but call the other names after the other passes by because they’re afraid of what their “friends” might think.
Movies nowadays have OST’s na sobrang layo sa theme ng movie. Now I understand why Jesse said this movie has one of the best musical scores of all time.
Anyway, that scene made me think about my high school days. I don’t know, this was American High School and an American movie. Where I come from, I became friends with different kinds of people. I wanted variety. Feeling ko nabo-bobo ako if I hang out with just one group. I think you can learn so many things by interacting with different kinds of people.
Gasgas na pero “Don’t judge the book by its cover.” Everything and everyone change after high school. Yung mga akala mong walang future, they’re doing good for themselves now. I may not be close to some of them but I’m happy for the good changes in their lives. Some of us are accountants, still studying (for Masters, Law, Medicine or whatever), teachers, engineers, cooks or architects. Many of in our batch are even moms and dads to their darling kids now and high school sounds like ages ago.
I enjoyed my high school life. My best and closest friends are from the same high school as well.
So it saddens me when I hear the news about bullying, suicide and all that with kids these days. I hope they find it in their young mind and hearts that you are not defined by how you look like, the group you belong to, grades and most certainly not by number of ex’s you had. Over the years, you’ll learn that you do not know it all and that there’s still so much to learn.
In the end what I’m really thankful about high school are the friends I’d kept over the years. Knowing I have people who were there and will be there when I needed them to be.
Anyway I give it a 3.5 over 5. The director, waited for a good timing to present the vulnerable side of the characters. It was written by the late John Hughes who also wrote another film that's close to my "kiddie" heart--Home Alone and Home Alone 2 -Lost in New York. He's good in making the audience fall in love with the characters.