home pride


This is a view I’d want to see to start and end my day. If I manage to reach becoming an elderly retired wrinkled woman, I’d want to be near this place.

It would be hard to make me appreciate beaches or sunrises and sunsets. I grew up in a place where we had all that. That’s hard to beat as a baseline. What is beautiful for me in terms of beaches and sunrise/sunset is what more breath taking than what Bacacay offers.

The mountainous scattered islands offer a  wide selection of spots to watch the sun rise and set. In these islands, one could explore beaches with no resorts, have a section of the beach to yourself, watch fisher folks as they go on with their daily routine. There’s no gourmet or foreign dish cooked for you. You eat what the people serve at their table. The electrical supply has a schedule and ice is a premium commodity. Of course you’ll manage to have a cold coke in your possession – somehow.


Karagumoy Festival

August 30 marks the town fiesta of Bacacay, Albay in honor of its patron saint Sta. Rosa de Lima (St. Rose of Lima). This year, the town fiesta coincides with the first Karagumoy Festival.

Karagumoy is the local name for the pandan family, which grows to more than six feet tall. The strips from the long leaves of the plant is dried,  flattened, and dyed before being woven into mats, hats, fans, and bags. The woven products is one of the main products of the coastal town of Bacacay.


So I gulped a liter of the cheapest bottled water I could find at 7eleven. It makes me wonder what’s the difference of the quality of water between a 24-peso and a 32-peso worth one-liter bottled water. These are convenience store prices of course. They’re both safe to drink, right?

I hadn’t visited the field in two weeks. It figures. I’ve been convincing myself that I can still reach the top of the office stairs without panting. The fact that I needed to convince myself, that makes it untrue. I did manage to get that much needed exercise.

As I made the last round towards the convenience store, I’ve decided. Only fresh coffee, fruit shakes, and water for a month. Meaning, no soda or iced tea or powdered juices.  Hah! That would be quite a challenge since I’m going home for a fiesta celebration this weekend. It will be a test of self-control 😀

Back to the water gulping part  (yeah, no 7eleven Gulps for a month by the way).  I didn’t realize I was that thirsty. I made it a point to be careful as I made my way up a few stairs. It felt like was going to spill out of my mouth if my body leaned towards any side.

I forgot the bloated feeling when I saw the empty counters at Sulyaw. Darn, this is what I get for starting (hence ending) the jog late. See how I forget things when there’s food (a way greater cause of worry) problems involved 😀 I remembered Papu’s was still open when I passed a few minutes ago – and I hope it still was.

Fortunately, it was still open. Meal 4 (6 pcs siomai +1 cup rice) plus chili and garlic for 38Php. Not bad. Even the rice serving seemed bigger. Or perhaps Ate took pity on me. (Did I look that hungry? ) Despite the reports on the microscopic organisms that allegedly reside in their siomai, I’m still breathing.

And why did I think of siomai as after-jog dinner only now?

By the time the siomai photo was uploaded, I’ve finished the meal. It’s a good dinner in preparation for an all-nighter. Yep, not much (to no) sleep for tonight. A draft 1 is due tomorrow.

So, a recap for the future me:

  1. Yep, after two weeks, you managed to jog. Keep jogging, will you? The pants say you need it. Don;t wait for the belt to confirm that 😀
  2. Include Meal 4 in your dinner options after jog/walk sessions.
  3. And most importantly, you promised to start a 30-day challenge without cola, soda, energy drinks, juices, GULP, powdered juices. It’s basically coffee, water, and fruit shake for you for a month. (I know you’re going to hate the past you for putting this is black and white.) Good luck!

that familiar place

Sanity. Yep, it’s a bitch. You try to hang on to it and it’s never easy. The funny thing is, you (nearly) lose all that sense of self-control over the tiniest things. Today, it was about adaptors, a 150-peso worth adaptor that I could not get hold of.

In between student consultations, I walked around the building several times just to find a more decent video input for the videoconference we’ve scheduled later this evening. The available adaptors and the computer units are just not compatible.

All afternoon, I kept bugging a colleague and I didn’t even notice it. I just knew I was irritated. All that negativity, I don’t know where I managed to gather that much frustration, irritation, and anger.

What I knew was that nothing’s going right – in everything I was supposed to be organizing. Late afternoon and I found myself in that spot – pink walls and all. There I stayed for quite a while. I don’t even like pink. There I stayed until everything seemed better.

That was that one place that when I emerge from, everything is better. It means I’ve found a way to deal with things. Until then, enclosed in pink stained walls, I stay. It took a few minutes but I’m relieved I got out. Seemed longer than what my watch tells me.

The great thing about all that fuss about looking for a better quality camera? We opted not to use it. The built-in web cam send clearer video that the video cam that had that adaptor.

I could only laugh. What else was there to do?


ma’s day

It’s the blessing of the mother’s beauty salon. Went for moral support – and food. Plus I get to be the day’s photographer.

It was quite eventful. Had a hair treatment, indulged in carbs fest with the kakanin and pansit, had a wrestling match with my seven-year old nephew (mine were all blocking moves), got a bite mark (still from the nephew), saved a few balloons from the nephews balloon popping tendencies. Why, it was quite a productive day!

The best achievement for the day? Surviving half a day with blaring sound systems. What is it with noise pollution and store openings/blessings?! I realized I love the mother more than I care to admit. Why else would I endure that volume level?

Now the mother thought it brought good luck. She installed sound systems inside the salon. That means noise. Great!

At the end of the day, I got to see the mother dancing happily – feet stomping and the twirl thing. So that’s how she looked when she’s happy (aside from receiving a large amount from the boyfriend). Interesting. All that noise we had to endure seemed okay. At least I got to see this. I hope she stays that way. She won’t. I’m sure. Still, I hope.


the week that was

I was about 30 minutes away from the cut off. It’s frustrating that I wasn’t able to accomplish this task. Now, I’d have to spend the weekend thinking about what I could have done to fax the list on time. Time I could have used for worrying about other things.

Having coffee with the friends helped make up for the stressful week. I’m having problems with my sleep. I just could not sleep – until it’s about four in the morning. I wake up and go to work groggy and cranky. It takes greater effort and longer time to process things. In this work, processing is something I have to do everyday.

I’m constantly finding myself asking for an apology for the things I forget (like the person I’m talking with said a few seconds ago), for making people repeat their statements, for the dead air during student consultations, for multi-tasking because everything’s piling up with this delay in remembering which task to deal with next. It’s crazy. I have to talk to myself as I type text messages to make sure I’m encoding the words I’m saying.

And the worst part of having little to no sleep for a prolonged period of time, I blurt out unprocessed sentences. These sentences can be rude, insensitive.

This week, I’ve been easily frustrated, irritated, anxious, overly guilty, and relieved-then-immediately-uneasy. I can’t remember any moment of calm. (Or perhaps, it’s just me being forgetful.)

Lack of sleep and PMS should never happen on the same week.

The coffee session helped a lot. For that, I am deeply grateful to the three friends. ‘Was still cranky (crankier than usual). And, I think a sowed a lot of seeds :S


I keep getting bruises and scratches – and I don’t even know how I got them. I’m no klutz (at least I believe so) but I just keep getting them. I’ll just notice them when I’m washing my hands or arms or when they start to hurt.

Minor paper cuts, scratches, bruises – how is it possible that I do not notice getting them? Sometimes the cuts, scratches, and bruises appear at the same time as if I’d been in a fight or a tumble – which I have no memory of. At least, there’s no blood, which is a great comfort.

The paper cuts are expected with me dealing with (piles of) student outputs everyday. The bruise, that’s another thing. It’s not like I have sensitive skin on something.

The sister jokes that perhaps I have too much on my mind to notice or perhaps I’ve gotten used to getting them that I don’t notice anymore. I just don;t think I have that much to think about to not notice. It’d be nice to think that I have high tolerance to pain, but that’s not the case.

I’ll find out whatever the reason may be. It’s just that I need to be aware especially of the cuts and scratches so I can be ready for pain whenever I wash the hands (especially on the side of the fingers) or arms. Gets me all the time.