i’m ready for you, 2014.
six feet under. what do they have to offer?
is it the same with what they have above them?
blue, green, and serene?
or just the soil’s smell of nothing?
I want to participate in this week’s “A Day In My Life” challenge; however, since a typical day for me is something that does not interest me so, i don’t have the energy yet to share about it. I hope though I could still share something about it that what is worth of words. I still have a week.
For now, I have a post about a break from my typical days, which gave a sort of life to my everyday living because this day gave me some joy being away from work, city life, and stress. I don’t hate my usual days; even stress drives me more, but that feeling of BEING away and not seeing the usual things gave me a sense of self-love. I so needed this break, too, after undergoing a minor surgery and surviving it, thank you Lord (I might also write about that ordeal as a follow-up to my ‘medical paranoia’ post).
So where did I spend that much-needed break?
Rizal province. A little more than two hours away from Manila, specifically from Shaw Starmall where my brother, our cousin, and I kick started our mini-day-tour with a commuter van costing us 70 pesos each to our first destination, Daranak Falls in Tanay. I just want to put the photos now before this post is again taken over by my usual wordiness.
I thought we were still early coming in at around 8 AM, but the place was already crowded. It was a holiday, so we expected this. I myself was making the most out of the holiday that was why I still decided to go. The noise was a bit frustrating because I didn’t feel that much the serenity I was craving for, but the feeling this natural beauty gave me overshadowed that minor setback.
I wasn’t able to go to main part of the falls though since I was afraid to make my way to it. I can’t swim. I wouldn’t trust my life on the “salbabida” I rented. Just the part of passing and walking through the slippery rocks almost made me give up to even touch the falls’ water. I overheard the policeman telling a guy asking that the water on the main part is 30 feet, or 13 feet maybe… either one of them, it is still way more than twice my height. I just contented myself feeling the moment of being close to that natural wonder, shooting anything that caught my eyes, and watching some people with their “tricks.”
I left the place with a satisfied feeling. I might visit Daranak again (or its sister falls, Batlag) on a less crowded day. So far, this is the most affordable and nearest tour I had.
I didn’t forget that this Friday was also the Lord’s Day. When I was a child, my folks told the children to just stay at home and sit on this day because Jesus died for our sins. I saw that that tradition was totally different now based on the people in Daranak maximizing the day taking their vacation and the busy streets and roads we passed through going home. I don’t know how to feel about that since I myself was not anymore just sitting on this day, but I would never fail to thank God for His love and sacrifices on any days. Before we left the province, we went to Antipolo Church and I thanked God for giving me this day to be closer to Him through His gift of nature, to feel His presence in His home, and to appreciate His gift of life more.
I hope everyone has a fruitful Holy Week. God Bless.
Sometimes, you join them go up the trail unsure why you do it and what awaits you when you get there. There- somewhere unfamiliar, something that brings a sense of thrilling anxiety.
So, you go forward.
And what do you find?
Sometimes, nothing… or almost something, but then you’re not allowed to get to the beautiful part of that something. or at least, not yet.
So, you content yourself standing, viewing from afar, taking all bits of that beauty-from-afar that your limited 360 degree-view can get and hoping that that glimpse satisfies you enough. And you dare take a picture of it to savor that ‘I’m almost there’ or ‘I almost get it’ feeling. Even if it says, “No picture, please.”
Because you have to capture some reminder of your almost-glory. To remind you that even if you get somewhere, you know you still have to join the others and continue moving. forward.
I was actually reminded of the inspiring message of the book above (Stripe’s journey) when I learned this week’s photo challenge theme… the message that has always been a reminder for me to fear not, to not lose hope along the way, and to continue moving without stepping on anyone because somewhere someday, something beautiful awaits.
one, or make that two… two of of the boons of living in the city are going to your home province and traveling far doing so. in my case, doing both takes eight hours of butt-burning, leg-cramping, and body-freezing sit-down inside a bus. but i’m not really complaining. i prefer the bus actually. i can say that that is the third advantage of living in the city. a trip by bus is a “vacation” in itself. or more like, a retreat. i get to be literally speechless (except when some fellow dares to chit-chat with me and if he or she gets carried away, will narrate his/her entire life story, or when i’m luckier, meet someone who can make my trip “sweet”; but that’s a different story and not for this time). i don’t put earphones to deafen myself with my usual music, but instead, embrace those played on the bus (michael learns to rock, air supply, hotel california, and freddie aguilar- a local artist, a great one- and they are on the repeat, too; music with lyrics i have come to memorize because of my trips like these). and i get to do a lot of self-evaluation, which is always part of my journey home.
my trip last weekend beat my record last year of having only two visits to the province. unfortunately, the approaching christmas holiday is not really a holiday for my work, so the trip was also our pre-christmas celebration. good thing i do not have any more homesickness issues (but there’s always a serious reason every time i come home, and family better not know each; being with them overcomes whatever “reason” it is). my family is still always excited though to learn that i’m coming with the hope that i finally bring a guy along. they never quit with that. and of course, they’re excited for my pasalubong (any food or items brought home for the people who are awaiting the arrival; in our place, a box of biscuits is an infamous pasalubong).
being away for quite a long time makes me appreciate home more. fresh breeze. colder temperature. the greeneries. old reading materials, old photos, and old writings. mama’s food. and the best thing, family, which includes a set of its own– the bickering, the when-are-you-having-your-own-family interrogations, the stories that were told before and told again, but somehow still sound new, nanay’s (grandma) amazing strength being 90+, and just the mere presence of each other.
suddenly, things that were ordinary or were of less value before become special and are seen with a different perspective. i can say that some of the things i saw touring other places are also available in our own place, in our own backyard, and even inside our house. i don’t renounce going on trips to other places because that’s a different experience altogether and a different set of learnings. but traveling home the weekend that passed opened my eyes to things i didn’t give close attention to during the days that i was living here.
i am no photographer, and photos below might just be plain and simple. but they made me happy. and that’s the simple reason why i came home.
first morning of december. by the sea.
strolling. and church (been a while).
no other pictures of the good food i enjoyed. here are random ones though.
so, here’s what i think should be my subject if ever i pursue being a photo hobbyist. with a more legit and expensive (cough, cough) camera. (credits to my cousin Ling’s caring hands in growing such lovely flowers.)
and of course, my homies.
home? check. now, i’m all set for the world… or maybe, just some other places around here. :p
and thanks to you who have just spared me with precious time bearing with my “clicks” viewing all of them (i know, they might be too many already, but i couldn’t help posting all). would love to get a peek of your own “home,” too, or of any of your travels (better if with the sea). can’t wait. 🙂
green will always be associated with nature. it will always be of plants and leaves and of hills and rain forests. with all the advocacy for healthy and organic living at present, green is surely leading the race ahead of all the other colors. i like green more than the color in my name (you know, pink?). green is just stable, calm, and does not seem to seek any attention but you can feel her presence. i think i would have been more grateful to my parents if they had named me “green” or “greeny.” it would have been an odd name, but i would have surely avoided side-comments like “huh, you don’t actually look your name” everytime i need to introduce myself. although i have overcome that sometimes-cruel fact the color in my name brings, i have still pursued to be green. one of my frustrations is being a green thumb. my mother, grandmother, aunts, and cousins are, and even my brother is. i, on the other hand, just don’t know how to grow a single plant. when one of my officemates left the company, she left me with her bonsai plant. i was hesitant at first to accept the responsibility since i was scared that it would just die in my hands. telling me that i would just need to make sure there’s water in the pot, she eventually convinced me. i was somehow excited though to keep Sab (the plant’s name, which is short for “sabog,” the Tagalog slang for “messy” for the plant’s messy leaves) alive having that adage in mind from that Sandra Bullock movie saying that if one can keep a plant alive for some time, then he or she can get a pet, and if that pet stays in good health, too, then the person can already get a boyfriend or a girlfriend. so, i just looked at having Sab as my attempt on the first step. almost three years has passed and i still have Sab in my life. i never tried my hand though on a pet. maybe skipping on the second step is the reason why the third thing, the “boyfriend,” didn’t work out. anyways, since Sab’s good health has boosted my confidence that i can somehow take care of another being that has life (and as my first step of moving on from that “boyfriend” failure), i decided one day to have another bonsai plant. this time, it was to stay with me at home because Sab was with me in the office. unfortunately, it was a different case. i always forgot to check if she still has water, i sometimes dropped her when i got stuff near her, and i just seemed to forget that she was existing since i wasn’t seeing her often. this action, or non-action, of mine made her lose the stones in her pot and her once many leaves and twigs. i have thought many times of just disposing her to cover up my humiliation and failure and because i’m not sure anymore whether she will still survive or not. but she has managed to hang on, barely standing on her few stones. i also decided to hang on to her, and see where this will lead us both. she might die eventually, but i know at least, i didn’t give her up by putting her inside the garbage bag. i decided to take Sab home to be with her. i’m hoping that Sab would share her vigor with her and help me keep her alive. and i’ve just realized now i haven’t given this little green a name yet. any suggestion?
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