Places · Self

Clearing your space

Angels have been “nagging” me to organize my stuff these past few weeks as an important part of my journey. I didn’t understand what the fuss was about and I didn’t think it was that imperative. My room wasn’t in bad shape and I was sure I didn’t have that much to organize.

Then today out of the blue I just felt in the mood to do it. To my surprise I found out that I actually have been keeping stuff I no longer needed and for sure I won’t be needing at all (majority composed of documents like old CVs and business cards). Without thinking twice I threw them in the garbage bag.

I also discovered that the stuff I truly cared about were not organized and kept safe enough (like old artworks, photos and travel souvenirs). They put a tender smile on my face – and I made sure I kept them neat and safe altogether.

Likewise, I found old office supplies that I could still use and put them together neatly (like old notebooks with lots of blank pages left, slightly used folders and envelopes and tons of colorful post its).

I have freed new storage spaces after throwing away what I labeled as junk and after organizing what I chose to keep because they still mattered to me. Now my stuff are no longer crammed together and I have put the eyesores in their designated storage. Each group of item is in its respective place as well and it’s easier now for me to reach out for something. It feels like my room can breathe smoother now – and so do I.

Now I get it why the angels have been persistent on pushing me to do this. I feel at peace now knowing that all that I have are things I choose to keep – things that really have meaning to me. I didn’t even know that I had guilt at the back of my mind stemming from the thought that there were stuff in my room that I should have thrown out but were still occupying space which I could have allotted for things that were actually of use or meaning to me – things that actually brought joy and inspiration to me.

I was just too lazy to get down and serious in cleaning up. Now I can chill and sleep peacefully in my room knowing that my environment has been updated to reflect my present circumstance and the person I have become. Now I feel more in the right mind and heart space to move into the new beginning that I have been preparing these past few weeks (actually, months).

P.S. Talkin’ about updates – I have finally updated the softwares I have been stalling to update and updated my wardrobe as well. I had a haircut recently, too. It feels like I am preparing for something major that I still don’t know what is actually about. But it’s okay, I am enjoying the process ūüôā

People · Places · Relationships · Self · Travel · Work

What my 2016 experiences have taught me

It’s not only okay to be ourselves, sometimes, it’s, in fact, necessary.

It’s what the situation calls for. Being ourselves may sometimes translate to “rocking the boat”, and we might offend or disappoint people in our circle. This certainly ¬†can be painful to us, too and most of the time we’d do everything to avoid it.

In my case, I didn’t simply wanna avoid it. I TORMENTED MYSELF BECAUSE OF IT. I made myself feel bad for being me and for having the opinions I had which were very different from those around me. I felt bad that I felt bad and different. There was no escape at all but to go inwards and imagine a different scenario, which might eventually lead to some sensible solution, but definitely won’t solve anything at the present moment.

I remember while I was in the middle of my misery, I suddenly had this “eureka moment”. I thought popped up, saying “What if your own unique way of handling this situation is what’s being asked for? What if it’s what’s actually necessary to go through this?”

Then it reminded me of what I already knew: All our varying perspectives matter because we make up the whole picture. Each of us has got something unique and important to contribute. We’re depriving the rest of this gift by backing off and not showing¬†up in the fullness of who we are individually.

I’m less tormented now. LOL. But I’m still not that comfy to be myself completely in all situations. Maybe that’s also a good thing, that I’m always aware and sensitive with regards to how I can perceived by others. We want to be real but we also want to be understood, after all.

It’s totally okay, and in fact, normal to fuck up when you’re learning something very new to you.

This is something I’ve learned a great deal about here at my current job. I’ve always loved and chosen to work in start-ups because there’s always something new. You’re always adapting, learning, expanding. Every day consists of new situations, new challenges, new people to work with. Especially in start-ups, you gotta move fast, too, while doing all these adjustments.

Oh and you know it. When you’re multi-tasking, learning many new things and moving fast, you know you’re gonna fuck up, too, A LOT – in the beginning. And you would usually fuck up in front of your colleagues. It’s a show for everyone to see, though definitely the point is not to humiliate you because after all everybody has been there, too (it still happens from time to time). They have to know so they can help you out and you can problem-solve together for the benefit of all.

It was really uncomfy and THREATENING even, at times, in the beginning. I felt like my¬†ego wanted to die a few deaths on top of each other. Making mistakes and being called out for them still sting until today, though it significantly lessened. What I’ve taken away from those is that I learned so much faster, too, because of my mistakes. I still make mistakes of course, but at least, I am making different kinds now – and better ones, too! – as time goes by.

Furthermore, people don’t really remember when you fucked up (especially if it happened too many times HAHA). What linger on is your attitude afterwards and how fast you learn and how far you’ve come in terms of your development.

I have a little thing to add though, don’t just listen when someone calls you out for your mistake, make sure you really understand his/her point. If you don’t think someone is being sensible (or if you’re simply confused about his/her point), you have all the right to speak out professionally and explain yourself – and you gotta do it. You don’t want people stepping on you, too, like a mat and you don’t wanna leave the impression that you’re just taking orders and that you don’t have a critical mind. Smart people don’t wanna work with doormats, too, you know. They don’t admire people who always say yes to them, they prefer to be around people who say yes to things they really agree with.

You’ll know you’re at the right place, in the right direction with the right people if you get all the support and recognition that you need and deserved.

Both in personal and professional aspects, I used to wonder why despite all my good intentions and hard work, I still hit the wall, I still get let-down and betrayed, even. For a time I thought that the world was just a fucked up place that whatever we do, we’ll still get smacked down over and over again.

I kept on and did my best to float despite the harsh waves and strong pull below. I kept trusting my heart and made decisions with its guidance. I kept on choosing to be brave and move forward with my desires despite the obvious lack of encouragement sometimes (or when it’s apparent that the odds were against me).

Somehow, somewhere along the way, I think I hit the right spot. I hit the jackpot. It wasn’t obvious, though (and I think it usually never is). It’s not a place of rainbows and butterflies, I assure you. No to sound cliche and corny, but for me it’s more like a fertile land of infinite wealth. Why? Because you just know you’ve just reached that place where all the things that are in alignment with your highest good can manifest.

The resources are there, the possibilities are there – all you gotta do is believe, focus AND get down and dirty – in short, DO THE WORK! You’ll always gonna do the work anyway, right, the only difference is that when you’ve reached this place, you’ll really feel the results you wanna get from all your beliefs and hard work. Not only that, many times, the reality will even exceed your fantasies. Hell yeah, because you’re never on your own. The Universe collaborates with you! Therefore you’ll never run low of amazing surprises! You can have your own time to rest, too!

You’ll really feel this extra push (which sometimes even feel like physical) to the direction you wanna go. The Universe lifts and pushes and pulls for us when we are in the path that is in tuned with our higher self – therefore with all of creation.

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Given all of these, I think it’s accurate to say that I’ve scratched a bit of the surface last year and this makes me less stupid and scared now to proceed with all the possibilities ahead this year. My heart is filled with gratitude to all those who graced my path with their presence! CHEERS to your year, too!

Activities · People · Places · Self

The Fish, the Wolf and the priceless wisdom they shared with me

I meditated using the Himalayan Singing Bowls music again. I used it for the first time when I met my owl guide.

This second time I found myself in an underground spiritual (not religious) chapel, where people threw coins into a pond and surrendered their fears. They didn’t pray for anything. They didn’t ask for anything. All they did there was surrender their fears, let them go.

I came closer to the pond because I saw a big black, shiny fish opening its mouth showing¬†me a key. It looked like it was giving me the key. I was sitting in a lotus position in front of the pond. I got up and walked to it. It completely spat the key on the edge of the pond. I asked the fish why did it have to give me a key. The fish asked me back, “Is it a key? It’s anything you perceive it to be.” The fish felt and sounded like masculine to me.

Still puzzled, I took the key. Suddenly I noticed I had chains on both of my feet. I unlocked them. I also unlocked the chain tying my wrist. I unlocked the chains on my arms which tied me to the people inside the chapel. They didn’t even seem to notice. They didn’t even seem to know that I was there. Maybe they didn’t see me. Lastly, I noticed a chain tying my neck to my mind. I unlocked it as well. I didn’t know these chains even existed before I got the key.

Suddenly the key changed into a very sharp, little, crystal dagger. I put it in my pocket wrapped around my hips.

I walked into a passageway where a steel door automatically opened. It’s a prison in the same underground chapel. I saw skeletons lying all around. I tried to push one gate and I discovered that it’s actually not locked. I went in to try to experience how it was like being inside one. Suddenly I had the impulse to look up the ceiling. I saw an opening. I didn’t understand why the prisoners died locked in while there was actually a way out.

I went up the stairs to the opening in the ceiling. I found myself in a misty and moonlit forest. Suddenly I was alone. I wondered where all the people in the underground chapel came from. I couldn’t see anyone walking towards it. I walked around. I saw a bonfire with a group of people around it. They looked like they were cooking some food and warming themselves up. They were wearing a hood similar to mine, it looked like a Jesuit priest’s robe. I wanted to see their faces but I couldn’t. I looked around and walked a bit further. When I turned my head to look at them again, they were gone, and so was the bonfire.

I stepped on a stone and it revealed a path to me. I followed it. There was a small house at the end of the path. I looked into my dagger inside my pocket. I saw it changing from a dagger into a key. Finally I decided it was a key. I used the key to open the door of the house.

I went in. I saw people who were wearing robes like mine getting busy on metal work. They were turning chains into keys. They were melting them and molding them. As I was observing them, walking around the place, something caught my eye from outside the window.

It was a fox. It was a black dog. No, it was a wolf. The wolf looked black in the dark. It was actually grey.

I went out of the house and followed the wolf. It lead me into another underground. In that place I saw foxes sculpting and crocheting – the universe. Yes, you got it right. They were creating galaxies, planets, starts and whathaveyounot.

We didn’t stay for long there. We went out and sat on a stone under an old tree.

The wolf said that all those that I saw were not real outside of my own mind. It didn’t mean they’re pointless or just hollow illusions. It only meant that everybody was a co-creator. We have always created worlds based on our perception and deliberate intentions and decisions on what to create.

I asked him questions. I asked him why did I receive a key. He said that maybe that’s what I needed at this point. What were keys for exactly? Keys were not just for opening doors. Keys were for opening locks in general. He said maybe I needed to free myself from all the self-imposed chains or chains that were imposed on me that I wasn’t even aware of to begin with. He said that there was always a way out. But opposite to the prisoners who died in the prison even if there was a way out, I should look up. Yes, that’s all I had to do.

I should open up my higher mind and seek the light, let the light penetrate me. I should seek to create a strong bond between my light and this universal light. I should come to that light every time I felt worried, afraid, lonely, confused, uncertain, ashamed, guilty, grieving, lost, etc. That light was my way out.

I told him about my current predicament, about my fears for my future and future with andy because they’re uncertain. I told him I didn’t know how to begin my life again, how to find that career that I would love and that would help me create abundance as well in my life. I also told him that I was scared of my future with my partner. What if he eventually decided not to leave his hometown? What if I never change my mind and still wouldn’t want to migrate to his hometown? Was it gonna be the end of our heavenly, powerful, loving, beautiful relationship?

The wolf said that I felt stuck in the dark because I didn’t know the other slices of the pie.

What about  his goals for himself and for the relationship? What about his opinions? What about his strengths and sense of responsibility to himself and the relationships? What about his own power? Likewise, what about the part of the universe? What about the plans of the universe? What about its wishes? What about its powers?

He said that I only knew my own part and I was just filling in the blanks from the pieces coming from the Fear Basket.

He said there were two baskets; Fear and Empowerment. He said that I chose to pick the pieces from the Fear Basket that’s why I felt fearful and stuck, feeling small.

I asked him how to change my attitude. He paused for a few seconds. Eventually he said that maybe doing that would be overkill. It would be overstretching myself. It’s not the easiest thing to jump from fear to empowerment. He said that perhaps the wisest strategy was to focus on what brings me joy. It didn’t even have to be a career or a hobby. I just needed to identify what made me happy and do or have more of it. By doing this he said, I would be totally engrossed in it, completely forgetting about my fears until events unfold, my partner¬†would eventually do his part and the universe as well. Everyone would contribute in the unfolding of events naturally.

This made me feel really excited. He said, “Look at you, your face even lighted up just by talking about this. I think you already know what it is that brings you joy.” I nodded at him, smiling.

Activities · People · Places · Self · Travel · Women

My Soul’s Journey

This morning I had the inspiration to meditate on my soul’s journey. My intention was to understand it more so I can better understand the events in my 3D life and how I can better navigate it to the benefit of all the parts of my selves, all my parallel lives.

I found this powerful meditation music on YouTube. I usually prefer to listen to an audio guide or a meditation music when I want to address a certain issue. It is more effective for me and more enjoyable, too. As always, I believe that nothing is random. We get what is the reflection of our subconscious. Even our imaginations are not random. I knew that this I bumped into this music because it is related to my soul journey and therefore it was right for me to use it.

This is what I experienced:

I was in the middle of a dessert, sitting in a lotus position on a cliff. I was facing these rocky mountains. The sky was clear and I could see the clouds floating calmly.

Suddenly a man came with a camel carrying all sorts of stuff. It looked like he was traveling. His energy was calm and so was the animal.

Moments passed by and more people came, too, on foot, with their animals. Men, women, children, all with their belongings with them. They’re walking in a coordinated way, as if they’re following an invisible line. When I zoomed into them to know more ¬†about what’s going on, I found out that they’re migrating to a place together but they were all inside themselves, reflecting/meditating/praying. They’re not talking to each other, they’ll just sometimes glance at each other or assist each other with carrying their loads.

They were in this meditative state because their souls were hungry for it. Their souls wanted to do it. They accepted this as part of their fate, their journey. They didn’t question it. They were moving because they were following the music in their heart, leading them the way. It’s like a magnet pulling them to a place they didn’t really know where. For them, the journey was more important than the destination. In fact, the journey was what it was all about. They were merely creating the destination while they’re in the journey. But they knew that the destination was just a byproduct of their journey, therefore the destination changed, too as they went through their journey.

A woman looked at me and we communicated with our thoughts. She said: “I see you. I see your journey. I honor your journey. We’re together in this journey but we also have our individual journeys that we need to go through.”

The night came. They gathered together around a bonfire. They were playing drums and dancing. They were dancing with eyes closed. Although they gathered together, they were dancing alone, deep inside their spirit. Dancing was their way of cleansing their souls, stripping all the accumulated emotions, beliefs and attachments that no longer served them, that weighed them down. As I saw them danced, I felt it in myself, too. I saw myself dancing on top of a cliff under the full moon. My eyes were closed and I moved as if I was exorcising the debris of lies which still clung to my spirit. I was crying because it was another way of cleansing my spirit as well. The music stopped. The dancing stopped, too. The people lied down under the night sky filled with stars. They closed their eyes.

The next morning came, the people packed their bags and started to walk again. This time, they felt more alive, more energetic – lighter. Their heads were clearer. They started to smile to each other, too and whistle from time to time. This time they moved faster, too, and I noticed that animals were walking, crawling and running alongside them: goats, lions, elephants, giraffes, horses, snakes, insects. Different kinds of birds were flying above them, moving in the same direction. The trees gave way to them and helped them move forward. It’s as if by cleansing themselves the night before, they’re able to go back to being part of nature again. They become One again.

This explains my longing to just go deep inside me, reflect, listen and understand from that place. I never really felt a pull to do something in particular even though I have achieved many things, explored and experimented and created all my life. The things that I have done would always take me back to that meditative state and see the world from the silence of my spirit.

Maybe my current life is about the journey of meditating and cleansing my spirit, of removing all the debris that are weighing me down. It is about going back to my divine nature and the fact that I am one with everything. It is also about being present and remembering that we create our destination as we go through our journey, so nothing is ever permanent.

Every outcome shifts and they shift depending on who we are becoming.

This leads me to think that maybe I have to stop berating myself for not knowing where to go, not having a “life purpose” or a pull to do something in particular.

This is MY PULL. My pull is to go inwards, because that is the only way I could move forward my journey.

There are no sign posts or maps to guide me through, only the pull of my soul can guide me.

Activities · People · Places · Self

Meeting my second animal guide – The Owl

I felt inspired to follow my dream and meditate about cleansing my soul this morning. I found this meditation music on YouTube which was just perfect for my intention.

It’s late at night, the full moon is up. I found myself sitting in a lotus position inside a cave, with a lit candle in front of me. An old man was making the music from the bowls. He was also in a way served as a guide for me while I was inside a cave. I sensed that I was in a time where people valued the caring of the soul and there were these places (usually caves) where people go to where they can work on their souls. There were these old men who act as protector of the individuals who were meditating inside. There was no time limit, you can meditate through the night.

At first, I was just staring at the candle. I saw it melting slowly, at a usual place. Suddenly, I felt the impulse to take the light of the candle into my hands. I raised my hands up and looked at it more closely. I put the fire closer to the candle and melted it completely. After that, I made these hand gestures as if I was sculpting the fire and the wax together into a ball. Eventually all the wax melted and just the ball of fire remained.

Eventually, I found the impulse to enter the ball of fire. The colors changed from yellow to blue to red. Then I exited the ball into the outer space. I sat on a rocky planet like the moon and just stared the ball of fire floating on space. I entered the ball of fire again and went back to my place inside the cave. I held the floating ball of fire in front of my face and made it bigger. I put the fire into my head and let it swirl there. My head was completely inside the ball of fire. My eyes were open.

Suddenly a furry/feathery being appeared in front of me. The image wasn’t clear at first. I just saw the black fuzz surrounding the big eyes staring at me. I felt fear at the beginning but I realized that it was not my own fear. It was the being’s fear I was feeling.

Eventually the fear became curiosity. The being completely revealed itself to me. It was not a furry animal. It was an owl.

The owl said that he followed me through the light that I was playing around with. He told me he’s always in the dark but he is actually fascinated by the light. He got curious when he saw I was doing something with the fire in my hands and my head.

He scribbled something on the rock where the candle used to be. It’s just a sequence of straight lines. He told me I could read it, I just didn’t believe so.

I asked what he can offer me in exchange so we can mutually transform ourselves. He said, he can accompany me in the darkness. He said that he liked to observe the shadow creatures in the dark because he is curious about them. Out in the light, you can see everything that you can. It’s easy for everyone to see in the light.But not everyone has the tenacity and guts to observe in the dark. People get easily uncomfortable so they choose to ignore it.

He said that shadow creatures didn’t really have their own power. They cannot go harming out other beings. Their power was mainly defensive. If you consciously tried to hurt them, kill them or become aggressive towards them then they can lash at you. But if you just observed them, they won’t feel triggered. Observation couldn’t affect them.

He also said that they can only harm those who were lost in the dark, who dipped so low in their vibrations that they sunk into the dark. Darkness was like a limbo and if you dip so low, you can get lost there.

On the other hand, if we consciously observed these shadow beings, we were coming from a different dimension, a different place, a different frequency. We were not lost. We knew where we are grounded. So we can safely observe them without being harmed.

He said that as we observed them, as we waited, we’ll see the truth underneath these shadow beings. There really was nothing evil underneath them. He said that he would best describe what was inside them as emptiness. They’re hollow.¬†We created them by feeding them.

The owl said that that’s what he can give me in return. I will teach him about transforming energy, playing with the light and he will accompany me in the darkness to learn more about the nature of the dark and the shadow beings. I said yes.

Now I have found a partner that can guide me as I explore my own darkness and shed my own light into it.

Places · Self · Travel

Dear Promo Plane Fares

You are not gonna be successful in luring me to buy a roundtrip ticket to somewhere I’m not dying to go to. I know sale promos operate that way – they trick the consumers into buying stuff they don’t really need or want but buy them anyway because their prices are way lower than the usual.

I’d rather save up and wait until I could visit one of those on my list again. So what if it takes me years? I’m not settling for mediocrity.

I took this photo in Paris, France (2013).
I took this photo in Paris, France (2013).
History · People · Places · Travel

To the Vietnamese people, the face of conviction and resiliency

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Dreams do come true. I know because things fell into place and I suddenly found myself in your land, walking among you. I had the chance to be welcomed into your warm home, to be listened to, to be explained by, to be shown an example on how to summon the highest self to rise above such great loss and heartache.

Ho Chi Minh City was a beautiful, fresh place. It’s peaceful, clean and friendly. I neither felt out of place nor scared.

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I’ve always had a high regard for you. Your fight against the French colonialists and the imperialist Americans have always been a source of awe for me. You weren’t afraid to lose everything that’s why you came out of each struggle in victory. Until now, you’ve proven the world why you deserved such¬†success over seemingly impossible enemies.

You won the wars. You keep on winning them by being stronger but more tender, by being firm but more understanding, by moving on but never forgetting what is worth remembering.

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I had a better understanding of what you’ve been through and who you were as a people when I was able to visit the War Remnants Museum, the Handicapped Handicrafts and the Chu Chi Tunnels. Your spirit was just amazing. How you transformed your limitations into opportunities, tragedy into beauty and strength would leave anybody speechless.

You fought in unity, rose up in unity, coped up with devastation in unity and rebuilt your country in unity. You’ve become indestructible individually and collectively.

People like you reaffirm the truth that it is possible to defeat imperialism, that it is possible to transform oneself and align it with the common good and that it is possible to create a new world order. You reaffirmed my belief that there are wars worth dying for because it’s the only way to have a chance for¬†a better life and a new beginning.

The revolutionary history of my people has always made me proud. Then there was you. You’re a source of more profound and lasting inspiration.

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Your ingenuity, conviction and unimaginable inner strength became your most valuable weapons.

No enemy would be powerful enough to knock you down. My people has a lot to learn from you in continuing and winning our struggle. Your struggle and victory is ours and all the oppressed people of the world. Embrace us with your revolutionary spirit.

*

On a more personal note, you made me realize that there’s nothing to fear and nothing to lose when you’re on the side of reason. Peace and prosperity will come to those who have the guts to fight for what is right and just. It’s how we grow up and become deserving of the life and the many chances we are given.

Music · Places · Self · Travel

To Daughter’s “If You Leave” album

So don’t bring tomorrow ’cause I already know, I’ll lose you.¬†

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You were the perfect soundtrack for my solitary trips in Europe.

Wherever each of us may be, I believe we need to have that time in our lives wherein we could allow ourselves to let go of the past and the future, to just be, to let ourselves be enveloped by all the sights, sounds and smells of the present as it happens, to be strong enough to surrender, to be humble enough to admit that we might be wrong all along and to be open enough to let love change us.

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That’s what the mountains and forests of Switzerland, France and Germany have taught me. You’ve been a worthwhile companion in¬†that once-in-a-lifetime part of my journey. I was able to feel and remember better as I listened to you. The coldness and sound of the wind somehow acquired a body of its own, the sunlight danced with more intensity no matter how fleeting it came to be. Thank you. Everything became more meaningful and loving because of you.

Places · Self · Travel

To Bangkok, the city where I first traveled solo

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You were a crazy place, I was a crazy girl and that was a crazy thing to do – flying all the way from Manila to meet a boy for the first time, bringing with me an average-sized shoulder bag (inside it only a couple of shirts and shorts) and arriving at 2 a.m. without any idea where I can find him, what will happen and where I will stay for the following three days. No one knew I went there. I’ve only told two of my friends of my whereabouts on the day after I came.

So I met the boy. I was disappointed (but oh well, reality bites). He was disappointed, too (not of me but of what I did before we met). He got pissed off, he said he wanted to walk alone in the streets because he’s that kind of person (someone who likes solitary walks at night). I refused to be left on my own so we ended up with the¬†agreement that we’d just find a guesthouse for me where I could stay for the night and the remaining days (the initial plan was for me to stay where he would be staying). We walked along the streets¬†for a while, spoken with the locals, asking if they knew of a cheap place to stay nearby.

Needless to say I was heartbroken and shocked, confused. It felt like I’ve been abducted by aliens who suddenly decided to open the bottom of the spaceship and drop me in the middle of some strange place. Things and people looked¬†familiar but essentially different. People looked like me but didn’t speak my language. I couldn’t even read most of the fucking signs in the streets.

Your people saved me, though. The old man from the guesthouse was nice, even the hookers I’ve spoken to were all nice. I surprisingly felt safe walking in your streets even in the middle of the night in the outskirts of the red light district (though foreign men looked at me, perhaps thinking I was a hooker, too since I was loitering in the sidewalk while waiting for the boy). Actually I felt quite comfortable walking alone, going back and forth the same streets, amused with myself for looking so foolish. I tried speaking with the people but most of them couldn’t understand English.

I decided not to meet up with him the following day even though we initially agreed to hang out in the evening in a bar nearby. Instead, I badmouthed him while we chatted (it was futile, I know). I spent the next day aimlessly roaming the streets.

To make it more dramatic, it was actually Valentine’s Day. I didn’t have enough Baht or US dollars and the currency changers won’t accept Philippine Peso (I was stupid, I know). I remembered eating only a piece of bread for¬†a day, that was ¬†before I found myself in the middle of a protest rally the following day where I fell in line to get some free lunch complete with desserts and drinks.

Could you just imagine that? I was alone in a foreign place; heartbroken and hungry on Valentine’s Day.

Miraculously while I was looking through my belt bag on the second day, I found another 200 Baht. So on my third and last day, I was able to afford a spicy Thai soup and an all-day ticket pass to their metro train. That enabled me to enjoy the places along the Sukhumvit line. I was able to go to Siam Square, a couple of temples and the tent city. I also went inside the Bangkok Art and Cultural Center since it’s free (by that time I knew my trip was worth it, I was having a good time). I was even capable of buying myself some street foods. The highlight of my trip would be Chachutak Night Market were I even got to treat myself some square Durian ice cream in a paper cup and bought¬†a vintage elephant necklace for myself and a Siamese cat key chain for a friend (I felt so rich because I’ve managed to actually do some shopping!). I left my stuff in the package counter at the mall early that day so I just came back to pick it up after enjoying myself in the market.

After picking up my stuff, I freshened up and changed clothes. I felt good. I was only a few hours away from my return flight to Manila. It had been a success for me that I enjoyed my trip despite what had happened (or rather because of what had happened).

However, I got a scare when I found out that the ticket to the airport was different from the all-day pass which I’ve already got. Again miraculously, I still had enough money to buy a ticket (I was left with 4 Baht after that. Whew!)

I wouldn’t know what to do if I didn’t have enough money. Maybe I would find myself begging. WTF, FTW.

I immediately had my peso changed to Baht the moment I arrived at the airport. I bought myself some nice, full dinner, pretending like a normal tourist. I freshened up again and decided to find a spot somewhere where I could sleep. It was my first time to spend the night at the airport. I felt asleep easily but woke up at around 2 a.m. because it was freaking cold. I went out to the smoking area because it’s warm there only to get bitten by mosquitoes. I went to sleep, anyway. I woke up again at maybe 4 a.m., slept again then woke again at 5 a.m. People were already staring at me so I decided not to go back to sleep anymore.

I had my rice meal breakfast beside a monk at 6 a.m., checked-in at 6:30 and left the city at 9:30. You wouldn’t imagine my relief when the plane took off…more so when the plane landed in Manila. I came back as a complete human being. I was safe. I survived.

It has been absolutely crazy but I knew it’s the universe’s way of saying:

You’ve always said you wanted to travel solo but you haven’t really tried it. If I had to use some boy (being the boy crazy that you were) to get you going, I’ll do it! Now that you’ve done it what could you say? You had what it takes, right?! It felt good, huh? You were a street smart ass after all. You were also independent and you could enjoy your time alone. There were a couple of things you didn’t know about traveling, especially about traveling solo, but you were a fast learner and every travel will teach you new things about the world and yourself. That was not about meeting “The One” or having great, wild sex (haha!), it was about knowing who you really were and taking that first decisive flight! I didn’t leave you alone, after all. Those miracles you’ve mentioned, of course those were my own doing.”

The universe was both a bitch and an angel and she’s right. It was my debut as a solo traveler. I just had to learn it the hard, strange, dangerous and messy way.

Besides, looking back, I realized that that boy indirectly inspired me to travel. I even got a few tips about traveling on a budget from him.

Most of all, I learned not to need anyone to be happy. I could be happy alone.

It’s strange how the universe leads us to the path where we should go. After that I was more confident and wiser to go around the world¬†solo. I’ve stopped speaking to that boy, of course, though I’ve already forgiven him and I’ve been secretly thanking him since then.

I’m coming back for you, Bangkok. I have to enjoy your drugs and night life. HAHAHA! I’m certainly coming back. I’d take the bus from Cambodia, maybe? Thanks for being gentle towards a crazy girl like me. Maybe you’re not that crazy after all. *winks

Places · Self · Travel

Sagutan ng mga Tula ng Bata at Mga Kabundukan ng Switzerland

Tulad ng Kabundukan

Halika, umakyat at maupo.

Langhapin mo ang amoy ng mga damo sa tuktok

at tikman ang mga ulap – magpahalik ka sa noo

Mahilig din palang mangyakap ang hamog.

Manatili ka pa ng kaunti, ‘wag kang mainip.

Medyo mahiyain ako pero hindi naman masungit.

Kamusta ka? Gusto kitang makilala.

Mayroon ako sa’yong ipakikita.

Pagod ka na ba? Halika at maupo.

Hubarin ang sapatos at magputik. Marami kang iniisip.

Tahimik lang ako pero nakikita kita.

Gusto mo bang umidlip at managinip? Sasamahan kita.

Magduyan ka sa agos ng mga asul at berdeng lawa,

marami kang maaalala. Saang banda ba ang masakit?

Hayaan mong ngitian ka ng ginintuang kagubatang

kasama ng araw sa langit.

Naguguluhan ka ba? Pagod sa pagtakbo?

Umupo ka muna at magpatianod.

Maganda ang paligid, hindi ba? Katulad mo rin

at ng maraming mga bagay sa buhay mong hindi mo na nakikita.

Hindi ako mapanghusga. Alam kong mahirap ang mag-isa.

Doon kung saan malayo at mahirap marating.

Iilan lang ba ang mapangahas na pumupunta sa akin?

Magpakatatag ka at palagi mong tatandaang mahal kita.

Magbabago ang panahon, mga kulay at amoy.

May mga darating at lilisan. May mga magpapaiwan.

(Palagi kitang isasama sa aking bawat pag-ahon at paglusong.)

Baunin mo sana akong lagi sa’yong alaala – ang pag-ibig kong matarik at mapagpalaya

at ang mga saglit ng ating maikling pagsasama.

*

 Sagot sa Tula ng Kabundukan

Tungkulin kong lumipad bilang pasasalamat

sa pagsalubong nang buong init at lamig

sa munting manlalakbay na tumatanaw lang sa langit –

sa nakapagpapakumbabang katatagan at karunungan mo

na sa sandaangtaon ay gumiba at bumuo pa rin sa’yo.

Tungkulin kong lumipad bilang pasasalamat

sa pagtitiwala mong kaya kong baybayin

anumang tarik at talas ng tuktok at mga bangin

walang putik at tinik na makapagpapasuko

sa baguhang mga binting gustong-gusto kang marating.

Tungkulin kong lumipad bilang pasasalamat

Sa pag-ibig mong tumitingin ng pantay –

walang mataas o mababa

at walang hinihinging kapalit

subalit nagpapasalamat sa anumang

abot-kaya kong ibigay, ibahagi

sa mga sandaling pinipili kong manatili.