Sunday, September 2, 2012
The idea of travel has been eating me for a while now. God knows I’ve been ripping my heart and my mind out, trying to find my purpose. I need to know what to do about my life, this life I spend sitting in front of the computer, doing work, surfing the net, and anything not involving any strenuous activity. Well, today is the culmination of years of pondering, the never ending coffee conversations about the future, and the nights I lay awake on my bed, thinking, what the hell should I be doing.
Before I resigned in IBM, I was set on writing my way out of poverty, probably live in Laguna for a few months until I’m able to stand on my own again. I gave myself another chance at DSM, however, hoping maybe there is something for me in the corporate world after all. But what I really want is to write. I couldn’t find myself writing at times but I would really, really love to write. I would write for work, for myself, for my audience around the world. Prof., a friend I met seven years ago once told me he felt I was destined for something big. Well, Prof., I think this is it. I believe in it with all my heart.
I was afraid. What if in the process of writing my way into the world, I lose contact of society. Be a recluse behind closed doors. Being the blabbermouth that I am, I shared my dilemma to Jaime, a man who truly inspires me. He said, “CJ, what do you think about writing from different places around the world?” And my heart exploded. I felt fireworks ignite inside my chest. I am going to write from beautiful places around the world. I will find beauty in grit, in chaos, in nature, in people, in frustration, in traffic, in family, in love, in my future lovely kids, and in my future lovely husband. For this I thank the truly inspiring people I got to know through the wonderful age of information, a.k.a. the internet. They are the travel writers around the globe, the writers and film makers who make my eyes twinkle with light, and my friends who believe that our life is an expedition and we should trek the best out of its stony path.
Today I start my journey to the future. And the whole world will be my address. I will walk all its paths with a smile pasted on my liver and my heart giggling with delight. And may God be always with me. Amen.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Last night, Oli sent a Facebook message to me and Ai. He wants to go back to Thailand this year even though we just celebrated the Songkran Festival in Bangkok last April. “I’d love to go back to Thailand,” I said, “but I’m saving my money for Italy next year.” Ai gasped (in text), said she plans to go on a Euro trip next year, maybe we should go together! My heart swelled and shivered like a girl on her first kiss. Exactly how I felt when we planned the Thai trip last December. I was giddy and jubilant and my face was shining (it was excess oil so I put on baby powder). At 3am, I slept with the thoughts of my one true love (W), Italy, the book I’m writing, and being an undercover agent.
|My partners in crime: Oli and Ai.|
I would have also thought about becoming a future nomad only if I learned about Nomadic Matt’s Win a 12 Day Trip to Europe! contest last night. See, Ai only sent us the link this morning. But no matter, now I get to add a kick-ass Europe adventure to my night-time fantasies – at least until I actually go to Europe. This is so exciting ohmygod!
Inhaling deeply, I asked my heart to please stop humping madly. “Reserve it for W,” I said. “Be calm, we have something important to talk about.”
“What?” My heart asked. “Oxygen? I kinda feel out of breath, actually. Can you inhale deeply?”
“Oh, there, better.”
“Great, so anyway, there’s this contest –”
“Yeah, yeah, the Matt contest with Hostelworld and Vayama, I know! I wouldn’t be so excited if I had no clue, yeah? Get a pen and paper. You ask the question, I say the answer, take notes.”
I cleared my throat. “Got it, thanks.” Glad my heart’s intelligent.
“Ready,” I said. “What’s your deepest desire?”
“No, I know, not that. Aside from him.”
“Oh, I want to become Jason Bourne, Aaron Cross, Ethan Hunt, and Hanna.”
“Hmmm… anything else?”
“Well, I’d love to read more books and see more movies and take more pictures and shoot more videos, and feel the cold breath of spring.”
“So poetic, I like that. That’s all I need, thanks.”
“Let’s have more heart-to-person talk again soon, okay?”
I tuned my heart out; asked my brain to process the interview, connect it to the Euro trip contest, and make a winning itinerary or something. More composed than its usual clumsy self, my brain readily instructed my hand to write the following:
Top 10 Awesome Things to do in Budapest, Prague, and Vienna for a 12-day Action-Packed Exploration in March 2013
1. Trace the steps of Jason, Ethan, and all the hot spies out there. Be careful of gun fires.
2. 16 is your favorite number, why not visit a total of 16 bookstores in those cities? Buy at least three books.
3. Converse with twelve Europeans, four per city. You’ll learn a lot.
4. Create videos that you can show to W. Make it cinematic and so breath-taking, he’ll realize you’re the one he truly loves. Oli said Prague is majestic so use a lot of Prague background.
5. Your one-time crush in your previous work lives in Budapest, right? You know what to do.
6. Vienna is probably just one train ride from Florence. Ask Dina and Alon to have coffee with you there! Alon can have yogurt, of course.
|My friend Dina and her son Alon, ang batang makulit.|
7. Take tons of pictures in Vienna and get a lot of souvenirs as well. When you get back to the Philippines, make a scrap book entitled: What if Sound of Music was set in Vienna?
8. Watch a local movie with English subtitles. Speak the local language when buying the ticket.
9. Budapest is a spa city. Yeyy Spa! Don’t worry, you earned it.
10. Eat.Pray. Love. in Budapest.Prague.Vienna. You know what I mean.
2012 is awesome but 2013 is the first step to liberation. To Freedom!
|Next thing to plan, my way out of the corporate world. Wish me luck!|
PS. Some of the pictures above are note mine. See the Comment section for the pictures' sources. =)
Friday, July 6, 2012
April 16, 2012
I hate it.
I hate it that we’re finally leaving Thailand in just a few more hours. This was definitely one of the best vacations I’ve ever had in SO MANY WAYS. I can’t share them all because they’re, well, private. Hahaha.
Oh, look what I got this morning!
So anyway, our agenda for the day was to go to the Grand Palace and the temple beside it.
|Super cool graffiti -- seen on our way to the palace.|
Cripes! We didn’t know it was gonna be jam packed!
I thought it was the palace. It was actually Wat Something… or whatever. Wat Whatever. Ahhh, The Temple of the Emerald Buddha pala. Thanks, Google.
I tried to get a decent picture of myself in front of this miniature Angkor Wat, but my dear friends Ai and Oli could not master my dslr in such a short time so I ended up taking their pictures instead.
And these monks. I love monks.
But what do you know? I got a profile-pic worthy picture!
Galit yata si Oli. Napagod siguro.
Ah eto, favourite picture ‘to ni Ai. Ang daming likes nyan sa Facebook page nya. Thanks to my suggestion na kelangan nya maglugay ng buhok. Bwahahaha.
Ah eto, favourite picture ko naman ‘to.
Oops, wait, I had to stand up. There was a royalty who passed through. I love royalties.
Ze Royal Palace and ze big guy.
It was effin mainit and we had to make kain so we decided to hunt for that resto Oli was talking about. Dun daw sa bandang area na frequented ng backpackers.
We ended up in McDonalds. Good job.
Thailand!!! Hay, Thailand, when will I see you again? I just want you to know that I love you and I’ll miss you and I’ll dream of you and I assure you I’ll come back for more of that delicious milk tea of yours.
I love you, goodbye.
|Here's to 10 years of friendship!|
Saturday, June 9, 2012
April 15, 2012
I don’t want to say it but…
I don’t want to say it but…
I wanna take it back but I can’t!!!
I've had the most wonderful time shopping, sight seeing, wearing the Thai national costume, eating, and spending the Thai new year with friends. I so need to do this again next year! (Sigh...) I'm super tired so let me just show you what we've been up to this day.
|We went shopping in Chatuchak. It's a super big dry market with all sorts of wonderful stuff.|
|If I were a girl, I'd buy one of these.|
|If I were Thai, I'd say hi to that guy in purple.|
|Jealous of this kid.|
|Bakit andaming telephone booth sa Thailand? Ah... baka hindi uso ang cellphone sa kanila.|
|View from the ferry. We were on our way to Wat Arun.|
|The King. Thailand's biggest celebrity. Mahihiya si Madonna sa dami ng billboards nya.|
|We ate in this small dilapidated karinderya, where all sorts of foreigners eat. The food were cheap but they were certified Delish.|
|Bakit ba walang Wat Arun sa Pinas?|
|I was so afraid to go up -- dahil sobrang steep. Pero kung yung math teacher ko nung high school ang tatanungin nyo, sasabihin nya, "stiff". Mahalay talaga.|
|But of course, I HAD to go up. Sayang ang BHT 200.|
|Dahil nasa Thailand kami, mahilig kami mag-Amen.|
|Ganda ni Ai.|
|Gusto ko syang saktan dahil mas maraming pumapansin sa kanya sa Songkran.|
|Pero nagmakaawa si Ai.|
|So sabi ko, "Okay, hindi na kita susuntukin."|
|"Ibabalibag nalang kita."|
|Kay Raymond nalang sya gumanti.|
|Next stop -- Palace. But it was already closed for the day.|
|So we decided to go back to our cold room in the hostel.|
|It was so hot, I couldn't resist the kiwi juice.|
|I met these cool girls from Singapore and Indonesia.|
|They tried to shoot me with water, but I ran.|
|But of course, we couldn't get away from the water and powder of Songkran.|
|It was super duper cool.|
|So, should I come back next year?|