Here we are again, late in posting as usual. I have to get back to my habit of writing for sure.
This year’s August was memorable. Marks the first time I get away since being locked down by a global pandemic (that just had to happen in my lifetime!) almost 3 years ago.
But first, of course my friends had planned to hang (like how they’ve been doing for the past xx years) somewhere on my birthday and up to the mountains we went.
For those who are new here, I stopped celebrating my birthday when I turned 20 but my friends have since planned to, every year, with no miss 😂, so I started getting away and go on adventures instead [of hassling them]. That until the pandemic hit, and it’s back to how it was but I’m not complaining. I savor these moments with my closest people, the few precious ones.
A week after, we flew out.
Here we are: me, my sister Sarah and Christine checking in to fly to London to visit the Queen (may her soul rest in peace).
Unlimited drinks on board and the crew of Singapore Airlines were just awesome!
This plan to travel to London started last year when Christine randomly mentioned that Coldplay will be touring again and just announced their MOTS World Tour dates. And her being the true-blooded Coldplayer that she is, asked, no cross that out, announced, lets go watch the concert at Wembley! Next thing we know, we’re queuing to buy concert tickets 😂
The concert was not til August 21st as it was moved from the 19th due to train strikes around London, so we had like 5 days to kill.
We stayed at Wembley so we are near the event venue and true enough, the hotel we were staying at was walking distance to Wembley Stadium, like literally right around the corner. It was early in the morning when we arrived and it wasn’t until 2pm that we could check in so we left our luggage with the concierge and just roamed around.
The oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and has been the family home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years. It was an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen (when she was still alive) and is still very much a working royal palace today, home to around 150 people.
It would have been so nice if we were allowed to take pictures inside the castle, it was like watching historical documentaries in live action, so detailed, the rooms filled with richly decorated interiors, it was just so so beautiful.
The City of Bath was such a mesmerizing view. Clad in Georgian and neo-classical architecture, it was indeed one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to.
Day 5 | Coldplay at Wembley
Finally the day we have all been waiting for, the main reason why we flew 18 hours to London 😂
Music of the Spheres World Tour 21 August 2022
Secured VIP tickets with early entry passes and dude, this was our view! Right beside the bridge of stage A and B.
One of the best productions I have been to so far, the concert was so well organized given attendance was 80K strong, that much people! But there was no pushing, no one cutting in line. Everyone was so nice and friendly and just excited to finally watch Coldplay live!
Awesome awesome experience!
London, England, overall was such a nice experience! The weather was great, the people were lovely, will definitely be back!
It was a lonely Thursday when I impulsively got on that plane to find myself.
Soothe the trembling hands from a longing so unbearably painful, the noise from my throbbing chest so awfully loud.
Is this how it is to love truly? To intentionally be blind from candied lies and dilated pride? Could I even take it all in? For the longest time, could I or should I or would I? Must I?
Blank spaces. I remember staring at the wall of the four corners of this cramped up space I pretty much called home for the weekend, waiting for a call that will never come and started to ask my self, am I even significant? So many unanswered questions kept running through my head and it kept me awake most of the night, inviting insomnia overthinking on the past 12 years.
And in between the commotion of what ifs and regrets I try to battle when evening comes and the silence sets in, I realize that life is a fleeting goodbye and peace is a fragile bonus. I realized, as I grew older, the circle I treaded, once wide, has become small and narrow, and I’d rather that. My time is now. This is my time. And I choose to be selfish. I will release myself of anything that does not curve the corners of my mouth and quiet the insecurities that threaten to surface. I will feast on wonder, on silly nonsense, on joy, on self love; to wake and greet the reflection that has evolved into this beautiful version of Me. Wounded, scarred, but slowly healing.
Writing this in the rainy season to maybe remind me, us, some remnants of summer.
First proper vacay out of town for the kids, finally out after 2 years!
Now off to Boracay Island!
Road trip took maybe 4 hours if we haven’t stopped by some Mcdonald’s and Jollibee to eat. Aftermath of the typhoon was still very visible, the roads we passed by were either collapsed or flooded. Arrived to a very chaotic Caticlan port around past lunch time, took us maybe more than an hour to finally board and transfer to the island.
And just in time for sunset.
Stayed on the island for a good 4 days, from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday, and boy, did the kids have a lot of fun!
First night, finally caught up with half of my forever dates!
Random beach day views
and random skies.
And as everything else, all things come to an end.
I’ve visited pain inflicting places I swore I never would. Dove down to hurtful memories and surfaced out of breath. I’ve listened to tear stained songs I thought I couldn’t bear to hear. Laughed like a crazy woman between mundane circuses. I’ve danced tirelessly on the dance floor since after I thought my bed was my only comfort. I’ve opened up to new faces when I swore I will never trust again. I’ve apologized for things I wish I have never done, things I wish I have never said. And I’ve forgiven myself for all of it.
You will heal. I promise. In time, you will heal.
Photo is of my 96 yo grandma’s place, totally devastated by typhoon Odette. First floor of her house was entirely submerged in flood, water stayed for 2.5 days. Road to is not yet cleared, had to park the car on the roadside and walk going in carrying supplies that would last for a month. No electricity, no clean water available, they have to go to the nearest town just to secure. Despite all, still thankful they are safe. Much repair is to be done, but we’ll get there. We’ll get there.
I think—no, I believe I haven’t written in a very loooong time. This pandemic has fvcked up my sleeping cycle, my body clock, my little to less routines, and totally drained out whatever is left of the creative ink circulating in my brain. I started this back last year if I’m not mistaken? And I guess stories of certain events and bent up feelings of excitement coupled with a little anxiety finally finished it. Soooo, yeah, here haha.
* I started writing this post in July but I don’t know how I just can’t get around to finishing this, or anything that I’ve started recently, even just finish a Kdrama or a book or whatever it is. I feel so uninspired (to write) and just plain lazy.
I felt nauseous when I rode the ambulance, it was driving too fast, my stomach churned as I tried to sit still and not topple over. It took less than 20 minutes to get to my destination out of town.
It was a gloomy afternoon, rain threatened to pour, gray clouds loomed over towering trees and the rumble of thunder can be heard from a distance .
I was met by nurses in space suits when I arrived at the mountain resort turned quarantine facility, briefed of the going-ons of the place and was escorted to my room. And that was just the time my situation started to sink in. I did not know if I wanted to cry or be mad or laugh like crazy so I dropped myself on the single bed by the end of the room and slept.
It was just one party, I say, and I let my guard down. 3 days later I was coughing my lungs out, my throat itched and hurt like hell, I was catching my breath, it was so hard to breathe. 5 days later I lost my sense of smell and taste. My swab result turned out positive.
Somewhere, somehow, I knew it was Covid even before testing and it scared the hell out of me. I have asthma and cardiac arrhythmia but that did not really matter, I was mostly scared on how I will affect the people around me, the people I interact with daily at work and at home. I have senior and sickly parents, I have an asthmatic kid, I have a diabetic boss, I have a pregnant colleague and another one in remission from thyroid cancer. It was too overwhelming, I felt like falling into depression.
My mind was blank. I slept away my first week, my roommate started to worry. I did not feel like interacting with other people or seeing the nurses or consulting with the doctor. Insisted even when it wasn’t allowed and went down to the river because I just wanted to be alone and away.
It was the longest 2 weeks of my life.
This pandemic, it’s indescribable. It has changed the way of our lives beyond recognition. It’s widely stigmatized and discriminated, I had to tell the ambulance driver to not turn on the siren when they picked me up so my neighbors won’t look.
But I’ve learned so much in the 2 weeks I was quarantined, that there are still so much that I should be grateful for.
I am grateful that the strain I caught was not deadly and I was able to overcome the disease. I am grateful for the nurses and doctor who looked after me at the facility. I am grateful for the community I was able to get to know and embrace in the 2 weeks I was there, it made my quarantine stay more bearable. I was able to laugh, share stories, binge on zombie movies and indulge in delicious food even when it tasted bland on my end.
I am grateful that the people I left behind at home and at work are well and safe despite being close contacts.
And that I was able to get some rest. Mobile reception was bad I unintentionally did a digital detox, away from social media and just de-stress. I was able to just laze around, not minding the time, and even finished 5 books during my stay. I consider myself lucky that my workplace took care of me, accommodated me in a conducive facility as compared to others in the province, and everything was for free.
I realized that we’ll never go back to how it was. It’s been almost 2 years and the pandemic is still here. A lot of people are still in lockdown, unable to go to work, unable to go to school, unable to meet in public places, struggling in isolation stations from the lack of hospital beds, dying in the ICU, people everywhere are dying because of Covid. And during times of existential uncertainties, we instinctively desperately strive to be with family, but we can’t. I missed my kids so much during the 2 weeks I was away from them.
This Covid thing, we are confronted with the true uncertainty of human existence and the true vulnerability of human life.
That its’s such a terrible waste of time to drown ourselves in an endless unwinnable war for wealth and status and power and not recognize the value of people [our families, our friends, our colleagues, even acquaintances and strangers], instead.
That this forces us to appreciate the value of freedom — the freedom to move, to be with those we love.
That this braves us to stop procrastinating and push ourselves to pursue those things we’ve always dreamt about, because we may run out of time. But this also allows us to pause and bask in the moment, soaking in the mundane and rest.
I had Covid and had so many realizations at that despite the fear and anxiety, and luckily, thankfully I survived.
And just to put this out there, get vaccinated people.