Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mount Tarak Ridge: Perfect Escape From The Metro Life

If going to amusement parks and spas in the Metro as well as eating in fancy restaurants in the heart of the City are no longer working to reduce stress then, it might be the right time to go up land and search for the inner peace in you.

It was way back almost half a decade ago when I was given the chance to experience what Mount Tarak Ridge in Mariveles Bataan is offering. Big thanks to my previous employer in Balanga Bataan for he did a great job in organizing this event. It was a company outing since we are doomed to our monitors six days each week completing our tasks. So we deserve this break.

I can barely remember how long the bus ride was from Balanga to Alasasin, Mariveles Bataan for I am so busy appreciating the place with awesome sound in my ears on. What I remember was, it is not a very long trip where in, you can sleep a on the way but not too short neither. It was my second time heading to Mariveles but the first one was simply for company training.

Registration is vital before starting the trek so everyone registered to the Barangay hall before having our first step for the actual trek. Following registration, we finally started our trek but of course we cannot avoid taking pictures along the way. It was not a very hard trek at first but every minute that passed by, trekking becomes more challenging.

First stop is the store. It is time to double check supplies. Yes, there was a store where you can rest and refill supplies especially water. What I remember in this place was an old man who ask who happened to be our team leader. He did remind us the rules that we need to observe on our entire journey. It is imperative to bring down the stuff we brought up and leave nothing but foot prints.

Trekking is getting more and more challenging as we move to the nest stop. However, it is getting more fun as well. Make sure to bring lots and lots of water especially if you are diaphoretic like me for you needed it. In addition to that, ensure that you have sufficient sleep the night before trekking. Seriously, you need it as well.

After burning thousands of calories, we finally reach Papaya River. Of course, everyone is hungry thus we started to prepare food shortly following arrival. After the first meal, I opened a can of beer and started making my hepatocytes happy again. Just imagine a can of beer, beside Papaya River with your awesome pals.. All I can is Awesome!

We spent the night in Papaya River for most of us are tipsy already. It was one of the nights that I will never forget for I sleep in the open with trees that serve as my shelter. I will definitely tell that story to my future kids. One more thing, my GIT is so sensitive when it comes to water but the water in Papaya River is friends with my GIT. No stomach trouble the day after the trek.

The plan was to head to the summit the morning after but it was no longer fulfilled because most of us are already contented but I am one of the few who wants to do more. We made sure that we left nothing but foot prints as promised and took nothing but pictures and memories then we made our first step back to our humble homes.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Olongapo City: My other – other Home

I consider Olongapo City as one of my home towns for the simple reason that the grassroots of my family came from this place. It was indeed a perfect place to spend quality time with your family and friends not merely because of its beaches but also for awesome night life that it is offering.

I am a certified beach lover. Beaches might not be as good as those in the Southern region of the country but I can say it is good enough for people who want to escape the busy life in the metro. And Hey.. They have Camayan Beach! It was just three to four hour drive from the Metro depending on the traffic. Other mode of transportation is through buses (Victory Liner) going to the heart of the City itself.

Its city life is not too far from that of Malate but I felt safer loitering around in this place probably because I consider this place a home though I barely stay in this place during my childhood. It was way more tidy that the sidewalks in the metro and big thanks to those implementing cleanliness in the city. Kudos to you guys.

Shopping Malls are not as classy as those in Greenbelt but they just have Duty Free and recently SM Olongapo. Duty Free was situated inside the base though but they have free shuttle going there. That was when I last went there, I am not so sure nowadays. If Baguio City has Camp John Hay, Olongapo have SBMA. If Manila has Ocean Park then Olongapo have Ocean Adventure.

As far as I remember, my grand mom who was from this place told me that the name of the placed was derived from “ulo ng apo” which means head of God. Perhaps, that is the reason why there was a head in one of the major roads in the City. I cannot forget “Jilibee” which is obviously derived from one of the famous fast food chains in the country. But wait.. It is not a fast food chain but a grocery store. My family have some funny stories on this store during their childhood which I just over hear sometimes in the past.
If you you are planning to go to this place, try going to White Castle which is located in the middle of the sea besides boat ride is not that expensive. You can even spend few minutes there and swim but remember to bring cash because you need to pay 10 pesos extra per head. I remember my brother who brought 100 pesos but was lost while we are still on our way. And forget to do that awesome jump when you went there but be extra careful because it is at times slippery.

We are staying in SBMA most of the times especially if my grand mom is going home for she is renting a house for her entire stay. No idea how to rent a place there though because everything was taken cared by my relatives. What I know is, it is indeed expensive. Life inside is a bit boring for there is nothing much to do. Majority of my time was spent in activities that include laziness.

There it was! Olongapo City is my other – other home.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Camiguin: A Place You will Surely Love

When you hear the place Camiguin, maybe what comes to your mind might be “Lansones” right away for they produce the sweetest “Lansones” in the country. In addition to that, they also offer majestic places that anyone can enjoy.

 We arrived in Camiguin around 2 or 3 in the afternoon which I can barely remember because I went there almost 2 years ago with my family. It was a long drive from CDO plus a roro ride. There are only few hotels basing on my observation while roaming around the island. We stayed in Bahay Bakasyunan which is a very nice place itself situated in the seashore with lots of coconut trees around. Amenities include a swimming pool, an outdoor Jacuzzi and a lot more for sports and relaxation but I am not going to focus on that. We booked our room there and go on wheels again primarily to visit the tourist spots in the island.

First stop, hot spring. It is indeed a magnificent place near Mount Hibokhibok. I can spend the whole day there because the water is very therapeutic. It has cottages which I am not sure how much would be the rate because I am not handling finances that time. As much as I want to stay there, there are other spots to visit on the itenerary, we next to maximize our time.
Katibawasan falls is the next stop, the water is very cold but I still conquered it. I have to, for the sake of experience. It was a very nice water falls that will really capture the eyes of every tourist. My travel buddies cannot stop themselves from taking pictures of the water falls and so do I.

Next stop is the sunken cemetery, There is nothing much to do here aside from picture taking but the story behind it makes the place worthwhile to visit. I won’t tell the story so you can ask the locals when you visit. There are a few mementos available here.

It was already a tiring day so we made the decision to head back to the hotel and call it a day. I am not into swimming pool but I will not let this opportunity pass. I enjoyed the pool alone. It was great but as I am expecting I felt feverish after. I also tried Jacuzzi while drinking beer and it was awesome.

The following day was reserved for the best place in Camiguin, The white island! It was situated in the middle of the sea with nothing but sand. Who cares about sun burn? Its Camiguin’s best place and it is my first time so sun burn? Bring it on! There are life jackets for rent in the shore line before going there. The waves in going there is really high so my mom is a bit scared but for me, it is fun!

There was a lot of people there building sand castle, snorkelling, swimming and others simply savouring the moment of being there like me. I tried doing all of the fun activities there though. When it is already lunch time, we head back to the hotel and took our breakfast because we still have a roro to catch.

If you are planning to visit Camiguin, make sure to stay there for at least 3 days or more because I know that Camiguin has move to offer. Two days and one night is not enough to discover the beauty of the place. I will surely go back!


Saturday, April 4, 2015

LPES Graduation 2015: Salamat Sa Inyo

 Sa maniwala kayo at sa hindi ako ang panauhing pandangal nong graduation rights sa eskwelahan kung saan ako nagtapos ng elementarya.. Hindi co alam kung paano co sisimulan ang speech co nung natanggap co yung paanyaya pero salamat at dumaloy ang kakaunti kong kaalaman sa pagsusulat. 

Napakahirap umuwi noong nakaraang linggo sapagkat tapos na ang finals ng mga prestihyosong unibersidad na nakapalibot sa terminal na sasakyan co at panahon pa ng semana kaya pahirapan talaga ang pagsakay. Dahil sa pagtatyaga, salamat at nakakuha naman ako ng ticket sa ikalawang gabi ng aking pagpila.

Eto yung speech co pero hindi na yan nasunod dahil sa dami ng nadagdag co at natanggal habang akoy nasa stage.

Magandang hapon po sa ating Division superintendent, sa ating principal at sa lahat ng guro ng la Paz Elementary School at mga bisita. Magandang hapon po.

Mas magandang hapon po sa mga proud na magulang ng mga magtatapos sa araw na ito, pati na ang kanilang mga kamag anak na nandito rin ngayon..

Pinakamagandang hapon syempre sa mga makikisig at magagandang nakatoga na nasa harap ko ngayon na sa wakas ay magtatapos na ng elementarya sa araw na ito.

Nais co po munang pasalamatan ang mga teachers ng La Paz Elementary School sa pag iimbita sa akin bilang guest speaker sa okasyon na ito. Sobrang tuwa co po nung mabasa co ang text ni sir kris na nagiimbita para maging guest speaker para sa graduation ngayong taon. At nakakatuwang isipin na andito parin yung ibang mga teachers co noong akoy nasa elementary pa. Hindi co akalain na dadating ang araw na ito na ako naman ang magiging guest speaker.

Kamusta kayo mga ading? Alam kong tuwang tuwa kayo kasi sa wakas gagraduate na kayo makalipas ang mahabang anim na taon. Naalala co pa nung graduation day namin  15 years ago, sobrang tuwa co din noon, hindi lang dahil nasa honor din naman ako kahit papano kundi dahil sa wakas ay nalagpasan co na yung anim na taon na punong puno ng mga assignments at projects na walang sawang binibigay nila maam at sir. (Pero nagpapasalamat ako ng malaki sakanila dahil sa ginawa nilang yun, madami akong natutunan.) Sa wakas! Graduate na ako sa mga quiz, periodical test at mga exercises na sumusubok sa aking karunungan. Kung ano yang nararamdaman nyo ngayon, ganyang ganyan din ang naramdaman co dati. Nakaupo sa may second row, nagbabasa ng kung anong susunod sa program, eksayted sa mga susunod na mangyayari. Sobrang saya co sa diplomang natanggap co. Diploma mula sa DECS na ngayon ay Dep Ed na, na nagpapatunay na tapos na nga ako sa elementarya.

Pagkatapos ng program na ito, naisip nyo na ba yung mga kasunod na mangyayari? Syempre alam co maraming magboblow out. Marami siguro sa inyo bakasyon ang nasa isip. Ayos na ayos lang yan. Damhin nyo ang bakasyon dahil deserve na deserve nyo yan kasi sa June, pasukan na naman. At hindi na kayo dito papasok syempre kasi high school na kayo. Madami sainyo sa Saguday National High School siguro mag aaral at okay yan kasi maganda din maghighschool dito sa atin, pero may ilan siguro na sa iba papasok. Sabak na naman sa bagong set ng assignments, exams at mga projects. Alam co naman na pahirap na ng pahirap, pero wag na wag kayong susuko. Masarap mag aral at matuto ng mga bagong bagay bagay at makakilala ng mga bagong kaibigan. Hindi naman masamang magkaron ng barkada pero piliin ninyo ang mga barkada na makakasama ninyo sa pagtupad ng mga pangarap nyo.. Yung makaksama nyo sa pag aaral at yung sasamahan kayo sa tamang landas. Piliin ninyo ang mabubutinh kaibigan.. Nagkaroon din naman ako ng mga barkada pero halos lahat kami ay propesyonal na. Sabe nga nila dabest padin daw ang high school.. Wag nyong sayangin ang pagkakataon na binibigay sa inyo ng mga magulang nyo para makapag aral kasi hindi lahat ng bata nabibigyan ng ganyang pagkakataon. 

Curious lang ako. Ano na kaya ang gusto ng mga kabataan ngayon. Habang binabasa co yung program para sa graduation napagalaman co na gusto plang maging abogada ng ating valedictorian at ng iba pa ninyong kaklase balang araw. Yung iba gustong maging pulis, chef, architech, teacher at nurse tulad co.. Napakagagandang mga pangarap. Kailangang kailangan natin ng mga yan, lalo na ang mga attorney kasi iilan palang ang abogado dito sa atin.

Eto lang po ang masasabe co sainyo, yung mga teachers natin, mga doctor, sundalo, arkitekto, mga abogado, piloto, kahit yung mag ari ng Robinson’s sa Santiago.. lahat yan nag elementary. Naisip nyo na ba kung pano sila nakarating sa kinalalagyan nila ngayon? Dahil yun sa pagsisikap at pagtyatyaga nila. Minsan silang nangarap at hindi sila sumuko hanggang makamit ang pangarap na yun at higit sa lahat hindi sila nagpabaya. Hindi nagtatapos sa araw na ito ang pag abot sa mga pangarap. Marami pang pagsubok ang dadating bukod pa sa mahihirap na exams at magagastos na projects.

Sa totoo lang, noong gragraduate ako ng elementary, gusto co nun maging engineer kasi engineer yung ilang mga uncle co na dito rin nagaral. Lage nilang sinasabe sakin noon. Mag aral ng mabuti.. mag aral ng mabuti. Parang sirang plaka na paulit ulit nilang sinasabe kaya walang excuse na hindi mag aral ng mabuti kasi natatak na sa utak co yun mula pagkabata pa. Basta ang alam co noon, kapag may assignment hindi pweng hindi ako gumawa kasi magagalit si maam o sir. Kapag may exam, kelangan magreview kasi hindi pwedeng bumagsak. At higit sa lahat, kapag may pasok kelangan pumasok kasi kapag umabsent lagot sa magulang. Noong nasa elementary ako, hindi big deal sa akin ang mga honor pero alam co nun gagawin co yung best co lagi. At sa tulong narin ng tatay co ay nagkakahonor din naman at taon taon siyang umaakyat sa stage para isabit yung ribbon co. Naalala co pa noon, hindi ako pwedeng matulog hanggat hindi nakakatapos ng isa o dalawang page sa librong pinapabasa ni tatay. Ang pagiging honor, isa lang yan sa mga basehan kung ano ang maaabot mo sa buhay. Marami pang bagay ang kailangang ikonsider. Marami akong mga kaibigan na bihirang mapunta sa mga may honor pero sobrang taas na ng mga naabot nila. Yung iba nasa ibang bansa na nga at may magagandang posisyon na. Sabe nila diskarte at pagsisikap daw ang sikreto.

Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga magulang ng mga magtatapos sa araw na ito, Hindi biro ang anim na taon sa pagluluto ng almusal at pagbibigay ng baon sa mga batang ito  bukod pa jan sa extrang gastos sa mga projects at mga pangangailangan nila. Alam co na hindi lahat ay may sapat na kakayahang maibigay ang lahat ng yun pero nagawan nyo padin ng paraan kaya salamat po sa inyo, ganyang ganyan yung tatay co noon.
Makwento co lang yung mga karanasan co nung nag aaral din ako sa Bayombong. Hindi naman kasi kami mayaman kaya maraming sakripisyo din ang hinarap namin noon. meron pa nga noon, Mageexam nalang ako kinabukasan pero wala padin akong permit kasi wala akong pambayad pero kinabukasan bigla nalang magtetext ng control number si tatay at naipadala na daw nya yung pambayad co. Hindi ko alam kung anong magic ang ginawa niya kaya sobrang proud ako sa diskarte nya. Lalo na noong magsabay na kami ng kapatid co sa college, doble hirap nun para saknya though may tulong din naming dumadating saamin. At nagpapasalamat ako ng malaki sa lahat ng sumuporta at tumulong saaming magkapatid. Di rin biro ang mag aral sa malayo, pero lahat ng yun, hinarap namin ng sama sama at ngayon sa awa ng diyos ay Engineer narin sya. Hindi co po mararating ang kinalalagyan co ngayon kundi dahil sa pagsisikap ng mga magulang co. Kaya malaki po ang pasasalamat co sakanila at sa lahat ng naniwala sa akin.

Sa mga magulang ng mga graduates, alam kong alam nyo na marami pang pagdadaanan ang mga batang ito bago makamit ang mga pangarap nila at malaki ang gagampanan ninyong papel sa pagkamit nila sa tagumpay. Kelangan nila ang suporta ninyo at gabay para makamit ang mga pangarap nila sa buhay. Hindi co sinasabeng hindi nila kayang makamit ang mga pangarap nila na sila lang pero mas mapapadali ang pagkamit nila sa pangarap nila kung susuportahan niyo sila. Kung kinulit na nila kayo ngayong elementary sila, malamang ay mas marami pang sakit ng ulo ang ibibigay nila sa inyo sa mga susunod na taon hanggang sa maging responsible na sila sa pag gawa ng sarili nilang desisyon.

Sana po mas dagdagan pa natin yung pasensya sa kanila. Alam ko pong hindi madali ang mag paaral, pero wag po sana tayong panghinaan ng loob. Magpakatatag po tayo, pasasaan bat matatapos din sila. Kung itong 6 years nga natapos yung 4 years pa kaya ng highschool at 4 years sa college. Alam kong mas mahirap na sa high school at college pero kapag nagtulong tulong kayang kaya yan. Basta pursigido sa pag aaral ang mga anak ay suportahan po sana natin sila hanggang sa makakaya. Sa inyo po sila huhugot ng lakas ng loob para harapin ang mga pagsubok na dadating saknila.

Sa inyo namang mga magtatapos sa araw na ito, wag naman masyadong maging pabigat sa magulang. Matutong tulungan sila lalo na kung sobrang nahihirapan na sila at alam mong may magagawa ka naman. Hindi habang buhay andyan ang mga magulang natin kaya matutong tulungan din ang sarili.

Ang tagumpay ay hindi lang nakasalalay sa anak o sa magulang o sa iisang technique lang sa buhay. Mahabang proseso ito, pero tandaan na walang tagumpay na hindi nagsimula sa isang pangarap. Mangarap kayo ng mataas total libre ito kasi yan ang unang hakbang para maging successful. Pero syempre wag kayong makakalimot sa dyos. Sabe nga ng mommy carol co noon sakin. Tandang tanda co pa,Kapag hindi mo na alam ang gagawin mo at gulong gulo ka na, pagsamahin mo yung mga kamay mo at magdasal ka sa diyos.

Kapag nasa tugatog na kayo ng tagumpay, huwag na huwag kayong makakalimot na lumingon sa pinanggalingan, tandaan, mas masarap ang tagumpay kapag sineshare. Magpasalamat tayo sa mga teachers natin, dahil kung wala sila hindi tayo matututo. Sa mga magulang na sumusuporta satin kahit minsan ay sakit tayo sa ulo.. sa mga kaibigan natin at syempre sa diyos.. Huwag nyong kakalimutan yung mga taong tumulong at gumawa ng mabuti sa inyo, maliit man o malaki. Maging mabuting tao at maging kapakipakinabang sa lipunan.

Ang araw na ito ay pagtatapos nyo sa elementarya pero simula din ito ng bagong kabanata sa inyong buhay estudyante. Marami pa kayong haharaping mga hamon at pagsubok. Pero wag niyong sukuan ang mga pangarap nyo, magsipag, magtyaga at huwag magpapabaya sa pagaaral. Maniwala kayo sa kakayahan nyo at mapapasainyo ang tagumpay. Laging tandaan ang tema natin ngayon at isabuhay.. “saktong buhay: Sa dekalidad na buhay pinanday”. 

Muli, maraming salamat sa pag imbita sa akin at maligayang pagtatapos..