a matter of choice

That sudden wave of irritation and anger, of impatience and anxiety, of self doubt and helplessness.

Will you allow your day to be ruined or will you become a better version of you?

It is always a matter of choice.


Destination: Day 6 of 6. Yogyakarta


This is us (L-R: Dana, me, and Aiza; Aldo taking the photo) in the check in line at Yogyakarta Airport. We looked happy that late in the afternoon despite not having lunch because we were still high on adrenaline from the morning’s purchases 😀 (To think that I was sick just last night.)

Got the bags 😀

Still trying to convince myself that it was good buy. It was one long transaction but I did manage to get a wallet, a satchel bag (that my laptop could fit into, thank goodness!), and a luggage bag for less than 15oUSD (1,350,000 rupiah or roughly 6,000 Php for all three pieces). It’s way more expensive than my usual purchase but the amount I paid for the three items would only  buy one leather bag of the same quality in the Philippines – or so I keep telling myself.

946578_10201469878129890_416252609_nOur transaction started about five days ago at one of the stall along Malioboro. I asked how much the biggest bag cost. They said 900,000 rupiah. Too expensive. But it was genuine cow hide leather. I was advised to think it over.

This morning, we started with 700,000 rupiah for the luggage/overnight bag and 600,000 rupiah for the satchel bag. Somehow, I ended up getting the overnight bag, satchel bag, and a wallet for 1,350,000. It was crazy. I couldn’t even keep tract of how much each item cost. But I did appreciate that the men minding the stalls were good-humored. They remained in smiles despite the prolonged haggling. We were barat customers. No doubt about that.

For the next months, I’d be living on pancit canton to recover from such this trip’s expenses. I think, it’d be worth it.

Our leather purchases firmly at grasp, we then proceeded to look for Mirota Batik, a batik shop highly recommended by one of the Indonesian participants  at the conference. She said that the shop had fair priced batik as well as other Yogyakarta souvenir items. It was a long search for the store but we did find it.

This is one trip I really enjoyed – especially after we have finished with our paper presentations.

Deeply thankful for Aldo who was kind enough to deal with the hotel reservations and  flight bookings as well as the photo documentationDana for the stories and insights – and the photos of course 😀 ; and Aiza for opening such a wide range of conversation topics 😀

Yogyakarta is one place I’d definitely return to.

Destination: Day 5 of 6. Yogyakarta (Borobudur and Prambanan Temples)

It’s our second to the last day in Yogyakarta and we just had to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the area. The first stop was Borobudur. IMG_2780 IMG_2791 IMG_2792 IMG_2798

I just had to have my photo taken. Thanks to Dana 😀

Outside the temple grounds, I got to practice my haggling skills with the local sellers. Got a five bells half their initial prize and a pair of leather sandals for 50,000 rupiah. Still had to do better. I have my eyes on this particular bag at Malioboro. Tomorrow’s my last chance to get that bag. Must train well today.

Our group had lunch and then dozed almost the entire trip to Prambanan. There was a long line for touring the main temple. I opted to explore the smaller structures and the temple grounds putting the newly purchased sandals to the test. They were strong and comfortable.

Tip: If you’re a student, bring your school ID as it would give you a discounted rate for entrance in the temple grounds.IMG_2864 IMG_2865 IMG_2870 IMG_2804 IMG_2857 IMG_2858  IMG_2861 IMG_2862 IMG_2810 It was dark when our group left Prambanan. Other members of the group needed to rush to Malioboro to get souvenirs for friends and family back home. We, on the other hand, still have more time to shop tomorrow since our flight is in the evening 😀

Destination: Day 4 of 6. Yogyakarta (22nd AMIC Annual Conference)


Today marked my first international paper presentation. It’s Day 3 of the the conference. I thought I had no photos. Thank goodness Dana, one of our students managed to document this. Deeply grateful for that 😀

From a panel of seven presenters, only three managed to share their papers. It was nerve-wracking to present in the hall with a foreign audience.

One of  my sandal straps gave up on me a few minutes before the presentation but that was the least of my problems. My condition worsened from headache to sore throat and fever. Not the best condition for a paper presentation. Secured a pack of mints and bottled water before I sat at the speakers’ table.  The first two speakers gave me more than enough time to figure out how I’d deal with the microphone, pointer/remote control, and my presentation script with two hands.

Survived the morning thinking of cutting the afternoon session for some sleep. Although I should admit that our panel chair’s “Good paper” comment did help a lot in making me feel better.

Did I mention I forgot my certificate of presentation in the hall? Lacking one sandal strap, the walk back to the hall then  back to the hotel lobby seemed longer. After several more minutes of waiting for a taxi at the hotel lobby, I managed to get a ride back to our hotel and sleep the entire afternoon off.

Destination: Day 3 of 6. Yogyakarta (22nd AMIC Annual Conference)

Big day for research Aiza and Dana. Their paper presentations are included in today’s sessions. Dana will present in one of the morning sessions and Aiza in the afternoon.

This year’s our University’s biggest delegation in the conference for both student and faculty paper presentations. It’s a great source of pride – especially for the undergraduate researches. Only few undergraduate researches were selected, many of our students included. Our delegation was one of the biggest in this year’s conference.

After the afternoon sessions, we decided to walk back to the hotel. We stopped by Malioboro Mall for dinner and groceries. While Aiza and Dana were already relived to have finished their presentations, it was Aldo and my turn to cram for our presentation the next day.

It’s gonna be a long night. Some things never change. Cramming.



Destination: Day 2 of 6. Yogyakarta (22nd AMIC Annual Conference)

It’s the first day of the conference.

Was delighted to see the hotel’s breakfast buffet. The conference registration starts at noon so we leisurely took our breakfast. So far, everything about the hotel has been great.

We arrived in the conference venue early so we were able to get good seats. I’m not sure if it was the extreme temperatures from yesterday’s travel or if it’s a bug in the conference hall but I had the chills and a sore throat.

We explored the other streets near the hotel to look for a place for dinner. It was then when we discovered Loving Hut. They had a a wide range of affordable menu items. When I saw the Drinks page, I wanted to order one of each. I could imagine myself spending an entire afternoon in the place.


I forgot what this was but it’s pineapple and cucumber in lemon juice.

Two nights in a row. Great food. I love this place 😀

Destination: Day 1 of 6. Singapore and Yogyakarta

Our first complete group photo (sort of)

Being a presenter at the conference was such a blessing. It’s an opportunity to travel and a good excuse to spend.

I want to enjoy this trip as much as I could because I know I’d be back to pancit canton and siomai mode when we get back. It’s a chance to get new stamps in the passport. Thankfully, I managed to put my passport to use before it expired. Feeling blessed and thankful.

This was my first time in Singapore and Indonesia. Good thing I’m taking this trip with Aldo (see window reflection in the photo above), Aiza(right), and Dana (left). I did wonder what act of stupidity I’d be doing for the next hours during the our check in at NAIA III. It turned out that it would be in the accomplishment of a form. Wrote my passport number in the wrong box 😐

We had a few hours to spare before the flight to Yogyakarta so we went to see the Merlion – the small one. I’ll remember Singapore as the country with such expensive bottled water (we’re talking about the non-fancy brands). 

It was dark when we arrived at Yogyakarta Airport. It was comforting to see long cues at the immigration line and the lack of a moving carousel for the luggage. Felt like home 😀

Got settled in our hotel and rested for a while. We went out for dinner. This garden restaurant at the second floor  of the building across McDonald’s seemed interesting. Looking for the entrance was quite a challenge but we did find it.

IMG_2753 IMG_2756

Ordered a beef dish. It was good. Loved it. If this is how their food is, I’m going to love this place 😀