Posts Tagged ‘Philippines’

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Gloria in Manila

December 16, 2019

U2 | The Joshua Tree Tour 2019

The Joshua tree, which in fiercely adverse conditions, was seen by U2 as a symbol of faith and hope in the midst of aridity. The tree was named, by early Mormon settlers, after the Old Testament prophet Joshua as its branches reminded them of Joshua raising his arms to pray. — Valentina Magli

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After four decades, U2 has finally found its way to the PH.

I literally cried when they sold out 2 nights in Singapore. I mean these are legends, and it might be the only time I will ever get to watch them perform live and I missed my chance.

Blessed by the universe, they decided to add a PH leg closing their tour and I was so so so happy. I was like, GOD thank you for listening to me! And what was interesting, their VIP floor tickets sold cheap! It was like the universe was saying okay go on, watch and have fun.

Dec. 11 – Concert Day

Woke up at 3am to catch my 5am flight to Manila, it was pouring but I was too full of excitement, it didn’t really bother me. What turbulence? lol.

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After lunch, we drove through the almost 2-hour traffic up north to Bulacan, to the Philippine Arena where they will be holding their concert and was greeted by the blaring pipe-in of Where the Streets Have No Name on repeat for the next 4 hours. The crowd was very diverse, from Boomers to Gen Z, it was a picnic at the parking lot with all the collapsible chairs and coolers of beer, while waiting to queue.

Started queuing at 4:30ish to claim our tickets and get into the venue.

We finally got inside after queuing for more than 3 hours and was welcomed by a 200 ft × 45 ft state-of-the-art 8K video screen that flashed a loop of varied poetry from acclaimed poets and novelists from around the world, even featuring poetry from our very own Bino Realuyo, Eric Gamalinda and Dr. Jose Rizal as a prelude to the concert that started a little past 9pm.

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After The Whole of the Moon played by the Waterboys, I knew it was cue that the concert was about to start and we made our way through the mosh pit to the front of the stage. Just as the lights went out, Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam took the stage and kickstarted the show with Sunday, Bloody Sunday and everyone was up on their feet, hands swaying, singing, screaming.

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After a couple of songs, Bono paused to greet the more than 45,000 people in the arena “Mabuhay!” And likened to a church service, Bono made known his prayers for an epic night of rock n roll transcendence.

Then they started singing Bad from the 1984 album Unforgettable Fire, and I got so overwhelmed, I started crying. How wonderful that one of my favorite songs was being played live by legends right in front of me.

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As the concert progressed into the Joshua Tree album, the ginormous wall morphed into a backdrop of American deserts, endless highways, emblematic mini movies and a play of psychedelic visuals towards the end.

At one point, U2 dedicated the song Ultraviolet (Light My Way) to pay tribute to women game changers, to women who came together to rewrite history. To quote Bono: “When women in the whole world unite to rewrite history as her story that is a “Beautiful Day.”

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This included Filipinas Lidy Nacpil, Cory Aquino, Lea Salonga, and Maria Ressa. And so much blah has been thrown at U2 being political and shit. The band’s been playing freakin punk rock since 1976. For those unaware of the genre (and are so called fans up until..), it’s supposed to be political, look it up. They’ve always had a reputation for their strong humanitarian conviction and activism, so get over it.

Playing their encore, some songs were accompanied with Tagalog subtitles, just shows how inclusive this band is.

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After thanking everyone who came and stuck with them throughout the show, expressing their admiration of the indoor stadium, making mention that the Philippine leg is their 2,050th show, that not having come sooner, they have no excuse, and Bono saying ”from our single island to your thousand islands, thank you for making us feel so welcome on your islands, you’re making a new history for yourselves but the truth is, none of us are really an island and what happens in one country affects the other side of the world. From typhoons to drought, the way we live in one country affects life in every country. There is no them, there’s only us. We are…,” they closed with One, from their 1991 album Achtung Baby.

The concert ended at almost midnight and up to leaving the arena, I’ve been singing love is a temple, love the higher law, we got to carry each other, carry each other, some serious case of LSS.

And through the grueling exodus exiting from the car park that lasted around 1am to arriving BGC at almost 3am — took a shower, ate a bit of breakfast (dint realize I was starving from the concert) and went to the airport at around 5am to catch my 7am flight home and straight to my seminar.

Literally no sleep for more than 24 hours, but having endured the traffic, long queues at the ticket booth, food stalls, comfort rooms and the arena, and coming down with fever and all, just to experience an impeccably choreographed 2-and-a-half-hour show and hear the uncannily seamless voices of the band performing live and up close, was golden. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

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Here is their PH setlist:

Sunday Bloody Sunday

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New Year’s Day

Bad

Pride (In the Name of Love)

The Joshua Tree:

Where the Streets have no Name

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking for

With or Without you

Bullet the Blue Sky

Running to Stand Still

Red Hill Mining Town

In God’s Country

Trip through Your Wires

One Tree Hill

Exit

Mothers of the Disappeared

Desire

Encore:

Elevation

Vertigo

Even Better than the Real Thing

Every Breaking Wave

Beautiful Day

Ultraviolet (Light My Way)

Love is Bigger than Anything in its Way

One

 

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Thank you U2 for the once in a lifetime experience and thank you Poi and Jobelle for sharing this epic night with me! Truly magical.

xx

DMV

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First of Summer | Boracay 2019

March 4, 2019

Photo set | Boracay Island

This world-renowned tourist destination was closed last April of 2018 for rehabilitation due to irresponsible tourism and reopened on October of 2018, 6 months after, accompanied with lots of drainage constructions, demolished establishments and investment restrictions.

Side trip from work and even if I was feeling sick, I decided to tag along, just really curious to how this beautiful island looks now.

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Such a busy route, trips to the island are 24/7.

Although there are a lot of construction still going on on the island, it’s generally clean. Haven’t swam in these waters for the longest time as it was infested with algae, it’s like green muck all over.

But now…

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Water is really clear! I certainly took a dip despite the scorching heat and my runny nose.

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White Beach

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I get off days too!

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Puka Beach

There are still lots of tourists coming in but I guess it’s more controlled, no longer congested like before where you walk shoulder to shoulder with everybody else. It’s also really dim and quiet at night now.

Lots of leg room here.

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And of course, the island still boasts of its pretty sunsets.

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No filters needed.

Lots of sneezes but no regrets. Going to the beach was a good idea.

 

xx

DMV

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So What Now?

March 20, 2018

March 19, 2018 – On it’s final reading, The House of Representatives has approved the Absolute Divorce Bill.

A milestone for the Philippines, the farthest a divorce law proposal has gone in the legislative process.

Given that the PH is a largely religious country, the backlash on the bill is overwhelming.

I go on reading comments on the bill, trolls mostly citing biblical passages justifying that this is against the law of God. Others saying that if the bill gets passed into a law, divorce will be rampant in the country (WTF?).

First, why would there be a surge of divorce cases if ever the bill gets passed into a law? Does this mean that majority of the marriages in the Philippines are problematic?? Please enlighten me as I believe that if a married couple are standing on solid ground, a certain “divorce law” will not shake them.

If people only take the time to read what’s inside the bill (citing “that the proper court shall not start the trial of a petition for absolute divorce before the expiration of a mandatory six-month cooling off period, after the filing of the petition during which the court shall exercise all efforts to reunite and reconcile the parties”) instead of jumping into exaggerated conclusions, the world would be such a peaceful place.

Second, to those religious hypocrites, I fervently pray to the same GOD that you will never go through the hell I literally went through. I feel like these people who call themselves “Christians” do not care for the abused as long as their sacraments are kept “sacred.” But I wonder, why is annulment allowed when it actually weighs heavier? It was never protested even if it is unbiblical and ironically is a law accepted by the church. It’s a nullification of marriage, a total mockery of the sanctity of the said sacrament.

It is right that God hates divorce as stated in the bible but if you read in the same bible, HE ALLOWED IT because of the stubbornness of man and on the grounds of marital unfaithfulness and abandonment (see Matthew 19:8-9).

Points to ponder on:

  1. Is the government changing any of the teachings of the Church when Congress passed the bill?

  2. By legalizing divorce in the country, does it mean that all marriages will end in divorce?

  3. Is the responsibility of the Church to preserve the sanctity of marriage suspended with the passage of this bill?

Suggestion: the church in general, should be more proactive in preserving marriage rather than being so reactive. This is a challenge I believe a strong church will have to endure and in the process, it will generate more meaningful engagement with it’s congregation. The church should be adaptive to change and instead be the driving force in maintaining healthy marriages in our country. Church, do not be lazy.

Third, they say to think about the children. EXACTLY.

Would you rather that the children remain in a cold and hard environment? Would you rather that the children be witnesses to one parent’s abuse? Worse, would you rather that the children would also fall victim to abuse?

What is abuse?

Domestic abuse is not limited to just physical abuse. This is not just about the time when he grabbed his wife by the throat and slammed her on the kitchen door and banged her head on the window grills. This is not just about the time he yanked her hair and dragged her from the shower, naked, and threw her on the living room floor and kicked her leg. This is not just about the time he hit her face so hard that she had to miss her job interview because her concealer can’t even do what it was made to do. This is not just about the time that he spat on her eye because she found out he was cheating, again.

This is also about the time he made her feel ugly and worthless and stupid. This is also about the time he called her nasty names. This is also about the countless times he threatened to leave after every argument and she would desperately plead for him to stay to make things work. This is also about the time when he’d rather be lazy than help out with the household finances, even with the money he made illegally. She had to work two jobs. This is also about the emotional blackmail, him playing the victim card and putting the blame on her for whatever shit he was going through, using the sacrament of marriage as a foreground for guilt and manipulation. Hell, this is even also about the time he ripped her ragged cat doll to pieces and she had to pick up the parts and sew it back together because she can’t sleep without it.

Domestic abuse is not only physical abuse but also emotional abuse, psychological abuse and economic abuse.

The bill, in its declaration of policy, states it is intended to “save the children from pain, stress, and agony consequent to their parents’ constant marital clashes” and “grant the divorced spouses the right to marry again for another chance at marital bliss.”

It is heartless to make someone remain in an abusive situation.

Finally, how do you fix an irreparable relationship without spending for an arm and a leg? When you file for legal separation or annulment, it costs an average of P250,000 (and I’d rather spend that hefty amount of money on my kids) and is a lengthy, embarrassing and painful process. Again if people only read through the bill, the court exempts poor people (indigent is defined in the bill) from legal fees and listing domestic violence, attempts to engage a spouse in prostitution and irreconcilable differences as among the grounds other than feigning psychological incapacity.

Divorce is optional. It is not a replacement of annulment. It is merely an option and not an imposition. But because I am for divorce, I’ve been called lame, egotistic and somehow demonic. People need to recognize that everyone has a fundamental right to choose what is best for them. No one is stopping you to go ahead and live by your life principles but that does not give you the right to force your beliefs onto someone who does not share the same and start calling them out if they do not adhere to your views. Leave them to choose for themselves and stop being insensitive, self-righteous pricks.

I am for divorce not because I want to remarry, (I don’t think I will ever get married again) but because I want my freedom. I certainly did not wish for my marriage to end and fail but for more than 10 years, I’ve selflessly and endlessly gave “second” chances and I’m totally drained. I want mine too.

Please Universe, don’t jinx this.

 

xx

DMV

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Sitting with the Rebels

January 31, 2018

I used to not understand the complexity of insurgency; how it is deeply rooted onto ideologies so unfamiliar from what is taught through tradition.

The people branded as rebels have been stereotyped as savages. They are a people civilians have learned to fear.

What most fail to see is, they too are just, well, people. They too deserve to be heard, to be seen, to be felt, to be taken cared of. They too are citizens of this universe and they too have rights and is protected by the laws of the land.

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Now I’m not saying what they do is generally acceptable especially when clashing and raising arms against the military or when civilians get involuntarily dragged into their encounters, everything has it’s limitations. But what I’m trying to get at is despite the ruthlessness and notoriety, they have the right to equal opportunities accorded to all.

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Insurgency has always been a prevalent problem in our country which is why the government has created programs that extend development interventions to isolated, hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities, ensuring that they are not left behind. Programs anchored on inclusion, accountability, transparency and sustainability.

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For those unaware, I work with the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental under the Technology and Livelihood Development division. PGNO already has an existing peace program through the Provincial Peace Integration and Development Unit (Pro-PIDU) in partnership with the 303rd Brigade wherein former combatants who decide to surrender arms will receive a livelihood package. The province has an existing half-way house wherein returnees are debriefed for reintegration to equip them when they start a civilized lifestyle.

For this year, our office as part of the Pro-PIDU, decided to focus our services on armed conflict-affected communities considering that areas tagged as such receive the least due to the risk involved.

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Last week, we’ve started our first tranche immersing into these areas doing orientations on our services, livelihood trainings and assistance, conducting surveys and just simply getting to know the people and their culture.

I’ve cried more than once this past week, their stories are so heartbreaking. And I’ve seen first hand what it is like to live a life like theirs.

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There are so many problems most especially the basics: water, shelter, health. I’ve learned (and seen) that greed has grossly plagued those in power at the expense of the poor, thus insurgency. It has become a vicious cycle. The lack of political will gravely affects the marginalized and it is so sad.

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But we’ve expressed that not everyone in government is tainted. And I am glad that the communities we interacted with gave us the chance to be heard and is open to our aid.

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Despite their present situations, the people are generally happy and very accommodating. They’ve given us a feast (they grow their own food).

The experience is very humbling. Makes you realize how petty your problems are.

Thank you to the communities, the Barangay Captains and Council, the PNP for facilitating our visits and accommodating us. Thank you universe for keeping us safe.

 

xx

DMV

 

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Borabiba | 2017

March 24, 2017

Let’s open summer!

My friend who was celebrating her birthday and at the same time her and her husband’s 5th wedding anniversary, one random night, was looking through old pictures of our laboracay trip 2 years ago. Nostalgia got the best of her so 26 of us decided to celebrate in Boracay and it was one helluva trip!

Day 1

We rented a bus to accommodate all 30 of us (lol).

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And the party started waaaay too early.

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Pit stop at Ramboys! Mouthwatering-melts-in-your-mouth liempo for lunch. Yum!

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Off to the island!

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Checked in, lazed around for a while and met everyone around sunset. We stayed at Beachcomber in Station 1.

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The only thing pretty about this place. Boracay sunsets are the best.

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Epic party. Happy birthday Michelle!

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Day 2

Party day. Everybody’s complete!

Body clock woke me up pretty early so went down, had breakfast and did a little sunbathing. I think I overcooked myself. Waited for the rest to arrive from Cebu, Capiz and Iloilo and call time was 5:30pm.

Sunset sesh about to start!

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All set for the party!

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DJ Melvin Baridiano

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This view would never get old.

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Beer and beach = perfect mix

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Dig!

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DJ Slippy

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All out party. I leave all the memories and juicy stories in our Viber group (hahaha)!

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Day 3

Chill Sunday. Beach was clearest this day so we did a bit of paddle boarding and took lots of pictures.

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Sunset sesh at Spider house.

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Chilled by the pool till late evening and talked about GYM and WORKING OUT (lol).

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Day 4

Time to go home!

But first one last photo shoot.

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Stopped over at Rosa’s for that famous longganisa.

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Thank you Raymond and Michelle for the awesome weekend! Thank you Boracay for the great memories and thank you friends for the super fun time!

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xx

DMV

Photo credits: BORAbiba Viber group

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Where are you now?

May 30, 2016

Moalboal, Cebu

They say that one of the things you need to do before settling down is travel with your best friends. Well, none of us are settling down (me is a totally different story), we just like doing stuff and going places together, that’s all there is to it. Seascape before summer ends and getting that much needed vacation.

Jobelle, Joyce and Reggie were coming from Manila and taking the last flight to Cebu so me, to avoid waiting for them for too long, took the bus since most of the flights from Bacolod going to Cebu are really early. WRONG MOVE.

Weather was crazy and I swear, I’m never taking the bus again! It took almost 9 hours to get to Cebu! My ass and back was literally hurting from all the sitting.

So anyways, I hanged with my friends who’re in the city while waiting, did some catching up and grabbed me a few beers. Manila flight arrived round 3am (last flight from Manila is 11pm so they were supposed to arrive a little past midnight), I met Jobelle, Joyce and Reg at the airport and we left to go straight to Moalboal. Passed out the moment I got in the car. I think I must’ve been awake for almost 24 hours, don’t ask me why.

Day 1

We stayed at Blue Orchid Resort. The place is really nice with really friendly and accommodating staff.

While me and Jobelle were passed out, Joyce and Reg did some sick drone action. The things you do when jet lagged (lol). All things pretty.

Some sun finally!

Rented a boat in the afternoon and went on to search for Dory. Brought with us some cold beer too. The boat life, the good life.

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We got back to the resort at just around sunset, chilled by the beach and just enjoyed the scene.

Day 2

Joyce and Reg went to see the Whale Sharks in Oslob and left really early while me and Jobelle just hanged by the beach.

When they got back, we went on to do something new: Intro Dive. The things Jobelle make me do.

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Steve, the dive instructor, actually gave us a booklet about diving the previous day which we were supposed to read and answer in advance. Lazy me only got to read it that morning and found it quite confusing. Having to go through all those underwater signs and stuff made me anxious, I wanted out. But when he taught us the basics, it was rather easy. I just did not like all the stuff hanging on my back though. I had to like carry 25 kilos to the shore.

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Down we go…

Then this.

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It was totally different from what you see when snorkeling, this — you get to see super up close. Quite an experience! Felt like singing the little mermaid song. Thanks Steve!

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After dive happy hour!

Kiss from a sea hare. Bill said it squirts beautiful purple ink as defense if it feels like it’s being attacked. Hmmm…how to make it squirt.

Then this amazing sunset. Makes you just want to ditch life and get lost.

Decided to have dinner outside the resort so we took a pedicab to Panagsama. It was rather far.

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It was a strip of food stores and bars. The most popular one being Chili’s. But it was really crowded so we ate at the resto right beside it. I forgot the name of the place but it was empty so we had it all to ourselves, the food was really good, super busog! And the music from Chili’s was loud enough that we could sing and dance to it.

Day 3

Wouldn’t mind waking up to this every day. But then all things must come to an end. Jobelle, Joyce and Reg will be going to Boracay and Palawan after here. If I extend, I might not have a job waiting for me when I get home (haha).

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Went back to Cebu round 1pm, stopped by Carcar to buy some chicharon and checked in at Allure Hotel; went to Ayala to buy some drone batteries and hung out at John’s vape shop. It’s just opened recently, bout 3 weeks ago. Rcos Vape Shop. It’s at I3, where Bean Leaf used to be.

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Grabbed us some dinner at Sugbo Mercado. Lechon, Scallops, Siomai and Tipsy Pops!

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Slow night, no alcohol, just vape and lotsa laughs in between.

And yeah, I took the plane home. I didn’t care that I had to wake up really early to catch the first flight as long as I am not taking the bus.

That’s the majestic Mount Kanlaon, still spewing smoke and ash. Can’t wait for it to calm down so I could climb up this baby.

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Belle, Joyce, Reg, thanks for having me guys! It was awesome!

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Oh, we didn’t buy Bill beer. We have to go back.

 

Photo credits:

Joyce Ubas, Reginald Addae, Jobelle Nepomuceno

 

xx

DMV

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The Rebel

May 17, 2016

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Obsession Election

May 3, 2016

This 2016 elections is so intense, it has brought more division rather than unity. Everybody is at each other’s throats trying to prove some logical point why their choice of candidate is the rightful choice. Suddenly, everyone has become so concerned about a nation, everyone has become some expert political critic and social media has conveniently become fuel for hate. My feed is amazingly overflowing with negativity. Amidst the social media war, the heated exchange of quips, the cursing and mudslinging, some respond with tact and diplomacy while others, with their overwhelming passion for whatever cause they are fighting for, morph into rabid bullies.

The development of the campaigns has become chaotic, comical and unpredictable, it’s kind of embarrassing and plainly annoying.

But isn’t it, supposedly as one people, our aim is for the progress of our country? That is if we are genuinely concerned with the development of our country and not just riding with the sensationalized bandwagon because it is the social media trend.

Change. Everyone is screaming change. WE WANT CHANGE. The overused “change” has literally been the undying promise of every running or aspiring politician every election season. (And honestly, to be fair to the past and present administrations, there has been change, it’s just that most of us are just too naive to notice. Change is gradual, not drastic. Even Charles Darwin believes so.)

But change happens with us. Discipline starts with us, not with some government official, not with some political aspirant and definitely not only during elections.

We are all so quick to judge, to conclude, to blame and to complain. No government is perfect. It will always have its fair share of unforgivable gaffes but I do hope that as educated citizens, we could give credit where credit is due. It’s just sad, human nature as it is, we are bent to see faults rather than acomplishments.

Let’s try to reevaluate, what have we actually done to contribute to the progress of this country besides clocking in to work and paying taxes. Have we actually immersed ourselves in the community and experienced first hand the hell of a country we live in as what some are relentlessly claiming? Have we gone out of our way to find out facts to alleviate our ignorance and not solely rely on mass and social media? Are we adherent to our nation’s laws as simple as following traffic rules, lining up and waiting for your turn at the grocery counter or disposing your trash in the right receptacle bin? Have we grasped opportunities to involve ourselves in helping the homeless, the neglected and the abused?

If we really want to see real change, we have to be a part of the process.

Five days left of the campaign period, six days left before election day. By now, most of the voting population has already decided whom to vote so let’s show each other respect as what civilized people are supposed to do for it is our right to root for whoever we feel deserving. Regardless of who will win the elections, local and national alike, all of us will have to deal with it.

After May 9, most of us will go about our everyday lives like we normally do. But let’s not be insensitive to the marginalized multitude who’s become victims of abject poverty; let’s not be insensitive to the underprivileged youth, let’s not be insensitive to the abused women and children; let’s not.

All of us yearn for a better government so choose someone with integrity, someone with a clear vision for this country, someone with tact and wit and consistency, someone who is respectful and considerate, someone who values transparency, someone who upholds the rule of law.

Choose someone who complements your principles, values and beliefs.

Enough of being a circus. Stop with the drama. When you exercise your right to suffrage, think. Think of your countrymen, think of the children. Six years is a very long time.

 

xx

DMV

 

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Playground of the gods | #PulagingHappy

March 22, 2016

I’m still having a weekend hangover! So since the power is out here at the office, might as well put my mobile data into good use.

Last year, me and my friends were supposed to hike Mt. Pulag on my birthday but unluckily, it stormed. So when my best friend called me up last month if I’m up to climb this March, I did not have second thoughts and booked my flight even if it would just be the two of us with a group of people we wouldn’t know. I told her we could always make friends.

Flew in Manila March 17, flight was super delayed. Met up with Jobelle, grabbed dinner, some Jack Ds and packed.

Day 1 | March 18, 2016

Off we go! Met up with the rest of the Jeron group at Victory Pasay at 9pm. Left for Baguio at 10pm.

This was a really fun group! So glad to have met these crazies! Some wine action and lots of peeing going on.

Day 2 | March 19, 2016

Arrived Baguio past 5am I think. It kinda took long with the bus ride. From Baguio, we were headed to Baban Homestay in Benguet. And while on the road, we were graced to witness an amazing sunrise. The scene along the way was awesome too.

We had a couple of side trips on our way. First stop was the Ambuklao Dam.

Next stop was the Daclan sulfur springs.

Then headed to DENR for registration and orientation.

We were served some Pinikpikan for lunch, a local Cordillera delicacy. It’s beaten chicken, burnt and cooked. Yum! After lunch, while waiting for the previous group to check out at the homestay, we started drinking (haha).

We stayed at Baban’s Homestay because it’s no longer allowed to camp up the mountains. I’m blaming it on the many irresponsible climbers who leave their trash behind destroying the natural ecosystem. But anyway, it was convenient for us, we were able to sleep on a bed and have a hot bath. Though it would have been a totally different experience if we were camping under a billion stars.

Claiming this spot. This was the bench under the magical tree, the only place that has signal. Now resume drinking.

Scene at the homestay. Explored for a bit the plantation of really fat cabbages.

The place already has an awesome view in itself and so many pretty flowers all around.

Lights out at 7pm. Wake up call at 12mn.

Day 3 | March 20, 2016

Trek started at 1:30am from the Ranger Station. It would take approximately 4 hours from there to the summit. We took the Ambangeg trail, the easiest trail so they say, easy with challenging parts like the really steep uphill climb to camp 1 and peak 2. But overall, doable. We had an 8 year old with us so no reason at all that you can’t do it. Unless of course you have health problems.

Grabbed these photos from our guides Jeric and Jackie of TrailAd. Only had my camera phone with me and it just wouldn’t do justice to what the naked eye sees. Hello Milky Way.

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And moving on..

Beating sunrise.

Then this.

This amazing sunrise, a play of color and a spectacular view with 8C temperature on a summit 2,922 meters above sea level. Yep, amazing.

And what was more amazing was I got to share this experience with an awesome bunch!

  

Power nap before heading down.

And down we go.

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Just some scenes on the way down.

That’s Don Don, one of our TrailAd guides, and us catching a break through the mossy forest.

  

That’s Ate Imelda on the right. She’s one of the local guides who accompanied us during the hike and she’s 60 years old. Hats off to DENR for providing livelihood to the locals. One of their sources besides farming is acting as tour guides for organized hikes to Mt. Pulag summit.

And fresh buko juice at the bottom.

Hooooooot bath at the homestay then after lunch, took off for Baguio. Surprisingly, we still all had energy to mess around with each other. The games in the van would not put us to sleep.

Passed by the Jangjang hanging bridge along the way, the longest one in the PI running round 43km if I remember correctly.

Arrived in Baguio and sold our tickets for Manila at the bus station so we could rent a van going back instead and chill for a bit. Bought some pasalubongs at the Baguio Market, had some hot choco and dinner at Batirol and ended the night with “Ray Charles” at Baguio Craft Brewery.

Super fun night with the circle of trust! Left for Manila at exactly 10:27pm, passed out after 10 minutes in the van and arrived at BGC round 3am. Thank you Kuya Oliver!

Our itinerary for Mt. Pulag via Ambangeg trail with Jeron Travel and TrailAdventours:

Day1&2: Depart Manila for Pulag (B/L/D)

8pm Registration and meet at Victory Liner Station (Pasay).
9pm ETD Baguio.
3am ETA Baguio.
4am Depart for DENR station via chartered Jeepney.

Side trips:
• Ambuklao Dam
• Hanging bridge
• Sulfur springs

10am Register and attend a short orientation.
12pm Lunch served after orientation.
3pm Arrive at Homestay. Rest and free time for leisure.

Day3: Hiking Expedition (B/L)

1am Start trek to Mt. Pulag summit
2am ETA Camp 1, Rest
330am ETA Camp 2, Rest
530am Mt. Pulag summit for sunrise
730am Start descent from summit
12nn Lunch and wash up
2pm Jeepney ride back to Baguio
5pm ETA Baguio. Free time.
9pm Bus back to Manila

Things to bring:

Fleece Jacket + Down jacket + Outer Shell (must be suited for 0-7 degree temperatures, Mt. Pulag is where you can experience the coldest weather in the country)
• Raingear, Rain jacket/Poncho (VERY IMPORTANT!)
• Trekking Pants/Jogging Pants (Preferably waterproof and warm)
• Thermal top and bottom as a base layer
• Trekking Shoes/Hiking Shoes (Make sure you’ve test-worn them. If using rubber shoes, make sure to bring backup.)
• Gloves and socks
• Beanie/Head gear
• Plastic or Ziplock bags (for water proofing of your clothes, cameras and other items)
• Flashlight/Headlamp (plus, extra batteries)
• Personal whistle
• Personal meds, First Aid Kit, and Sun Protection
• Tissue Paper and baby wipes
• Water bottle (at least 3 liters if you’re sensitive to unfamiliar water; or just a 1-2 liter container, easily refillable with cool, fresh, clean and potable mountain water)
• Personal Trail food (candies, chocolates, cookies, nuts) and extra snacks

Contact:

G/F VM Tower, 727 Roxas Boulevard

Cor. Airport Road Parañaque, Philippines

Phone +63 2 854-1813

Fax Number: +63 2 854-0066

Website: www.jerontravel.com

Twitter: @jerontravel

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jerontravel

Instagram: @jerontravel

Thank you, thank you, thank you Nikki, Jeric, Jackie and Don Don for organizing this trip and thank you, thank you, thank you Jobelle, Tina, Anita, April, Trish, Misty, Sean and Miguel for sharing this super fun experience!

And also, thank you, thank you, thank you awesome God for really good weather, for a safe trek, for a spectacular view, for an amazing sunrise and for awesome new friends.

Til the next adventure!

Photo credits: Jeric Tugaff, Jackie Banzon, Trish Ayson, Jobelle Nepomuceno, Misty Zara, April Peñaranda

xx

DMV

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Sentiments | #APEC2015

November 19, 2015
Philippines APEC Protest

Protesters chant near a venue hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila, Philippines, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. Leaders from 21 countries and self-governing territories are gathering in Manila for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. The meeting’s official agenda is focused on trade, business and economic issues but terrorism, South China Sea disputes and climate change are also set to be in focus.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Read article here.

No, I do not walk eight hours to work since Monday because of road closures. Heavy traffic due to some national event does not happen in the area where I live. Call me insensitive but what is one week of sacrifice (and maybe a little exercise) to a possible breakthrough for our country? I’m not keeping my hopes up but WHAT IF? I don’t know what these rallyists or these anti-APEC activists thrusts are all about. I’m too lazy to even learn or find out. I’m not sure if they are that dense to not know the possible impact this APEC Summit could bring to our country or if they are just simply that naive. I don’t even know what the fuck I’m talking about in here.

Point is, a simple shove on what you are so accustomed of doing (on a daily basis) suddenly becomes a sensationalized national issue. I understand a week might be too long for the hassle of going through all the walking and traffic, etcetera. You might say I don’t reserve the right to comment on these because I do not have the privilege of experiencing it first hand, but so what. All these big shot leaders from around the world came into a forum for a reason. It’s not like they came together to just hangout and party or something. And wow, we are given the honor to host it this year. Out of the 21 member economies, they chose the Philippines, we won the bid.

Yes, the hassle of traffic, the walking-long-hours-and-kilometers-far-to-work dilemmas, the no-work, no-pay two day holiday, the cancelled flights, the business opportunity loss unarguably exists. But what also exists is that expenditures for hosting this APEC summit is spent on Philippine ground – goods, services, food, souvenirs, employment, exposure and promotion of local enterprises; anything related to this APEC summit will be spent and made here, not abroad, here. Not only that, we finally have a platform to open our doors to more foreign investments, market our MSMEs, formulate policies to enhance economic growth and improve trade relations, address disputes with some countries and all other issues just to name a few. I am no economist or expert but some of us are just too blind to see this.

And here we are again, whining and complaining and blaming government for a little shove off our comfort zones. If the government doesn’t do anything, of course we complain. If the government finally takes action, we’ll always find something to complain about. How else are we, as one country, grow and progress if we choose to remain closed-minded and stagnant and divided?

We always act based on heightened emotion and self-interest and sensationalize everything. So showbiz.

Makes me feel ashamed to be Filipino sometimes.

xx

DMV

Readings:

APEC What? An explainer of Manila’s high-profile week

What will the Philippines gain in hosting APEC 2015?

APEC Primer

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation website

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