Farthest So Far, 2016

One of my goals for last year was to travel to at least one foreign country, and I’m pleased to report that I accomplished it. My four-day stay in Hong Kong with my family was the farthest travel I’ve had so far.

It all started when the music festival Clockenflap released bits of their lineup in the earlier half of 2016. I was feeling pretty confident about flying out of the country, so I asked my sister, a somewhat seasoned international music festival goer, if she was up to it. Seeing us scour for cheap flights online, my brother (IIRC), suggested that the whole family should join. We found ourselves booked for Hong Kong for November.

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Down South, 2015

This is a trip that was born in five seconds. Yep, my decision to go to Cebu was pretty quick, rather spontaneous, and the risk was quite high; the rewards, however, were glorious. Sometime in April, my parents planned a trip to Cebu to visit my grandma on Mother’s Day. None of us had concrete plans joining them because it was KKB–kanya-kanyang bayad. LOL. One morning during the last week of April, they were having their plane tickets reserved online. I was tying my shoelaces then, when my parents asked me if I wanted to go with them. I finished looping the laces in my right show and said “Yeah, okay.” That was roughly five seconds.

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In Between Pines, 2015

Part of my new job entails collecting outputs of research from faculty and researchers from different campuses of the UP system for publication. Last March, I had the chance to travel up north to meet with researchers from the UP Baguio campus.

An item in my list of goals for 2015 is also to travel to Baguio. My previous travel to the famed City of Pines and Summer Capital of the Philippines was in 2009, for a science-themed camp when I was a high school junior. Sobrang tagal na! Though traveling for work kinda bums me out, I had to suppress my excitement when I was called in for a meeting about this trip.

Here are some of the photos I took with my sister’s Fujifilm X20–a superb camera, I must say! The photos featuring my new watermark that bears my name! Wow!

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How Boracay Shut Me Up

I have always loved the beach; I have spent many childhood summers at the beach in my parents’ hometown in Bicol, and I’m even thinking of building a house for my family on the shore if ever my income would allow so. But Boracay was a special case. I used to look condescendingly upon Boracay and the people who have been there. Sure, it’s a pretty beach and all, but I never understood the fuss and exaggeration. This certain fuss heightened during #laboracay (a portmanteau of the words Labor Day and Boracay) last month, when the beach was flooded with party-goers on the first few days of May to celebrate Labor Day. But the thing is, I have no experience to back up my condescension. My parents never brought me and my siblings to this place when we were younger. I am basing my scorn on photos online and stories from friends, which is bad. Very bad.

The UP Pep Squad, which I am part of–well, used to be a part of, because I already graduated–usually held its annual team-building activities in Boracay. I was not able to join during the previous years because my parents forbade me to go. This year, something miraculous happened–when I asked for their permission, they said yes. So I found myself hauling my ass to Boracay last May 29, along with the other members of the squad. And there, I finally understood what a big deal Boracay was.

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