Mayo Uno (and how it changed me)

Disclaimer: This was written last May 1, 2016 after reminiscing my first ever Labor Day rally in 2015. 

We were in our 3rd-year high school when our Social Studies professor, Sir Joel, required us to read the daily news. Every other day, he would call a random person to report whatever he or she has read. We loved that class, but we hated reading current events as much as we hated reporting in front. Come on! We were just bunch of teenagers with juvenile love problems and acne breakouts. Who would care about Erap or Gloria that time if you were a tween? Sir Joel was the one who told us that Andres Bonifacio should be our first President and how Emilio Aguinaldo was a traitor. That professor was not afraid to teach us the other side of our history, but most of us, including me, never really cared.  My social studies professor was branded as an activist in the campus. In fact, our school was known for having progressive professors. I still graduated thinking that Aguinaldo was a hero.

I was never a fan of political activists. I never gave myself a chance to study about what they were shouting on the streets.  I grew up in a very secured apolitical community maybe because we were living a relatively comfortable life. People would always tell me, “these activists cannot just keep quiet” or “these people are always negative”, or “these people are getting paid by their leaders to participate in pickets”. I even got the “these activists are actually getting support from the communist Chinese Government”. These people were the intellectuals which I looked up to. I grew up thinking that a rally or any other organized-revolutionary activities were not the solutions to the pressing issues of our country. Many would tell me that we cannot blame everything to the Government. Continue reading “Mayo Uno (and how it changed me)”

Mount Tagapo Hike

I love easy and short hikes. I do not like those long tiring climbs. Give me a 1 out of 5 difficulty level and I am in.

I have my reasons. First, I do not like carrying big bags when climbing. I am not like my dad who is a regular hiker who hordes a lot of hiking gears, bags and shoes. I am his opposite when it comes to climbing. One small bag is enough to fit an extra shirt, a liter of water, my asthma inhaler, an energy bar and a small pack of sour gummy worms. Second, I am a lazy hiker. Long hikes bore me. I love summits but sometimes I find the trail very usual. Third, I consider myself a city guy and not a nature guy. Don’t get me wrong. I love nature and I love appreciating every bit of it, but I still prefer the urban jungle. Ironically, I can meditate and reflect in the hustle and bustle of the city and finds it difficult to stay still and quiet in front of a calm river or a mountain. This was the same reason why I loved noise while studying back in college and while getting ready for a good night sleep.

Last week, my friends and I had the opportunity to climb a level 1 mountain in Binangonan, Rizal. The mountain was called Mount Tagapo or commonly known as the “Susong Dalaga” (Maiden’s Breast) because of its shape. Continue reading “Mount Tagapo Hike”

Three Reasons Why You Need to visit the National Museum of the Philippines

I must go to a museum when I travel. Fellow travelers often tell me that museums are boring. Well, there are boring museums like the National Museum of Myanmar in Yangon but that one was already justified because Myanmar’s real museum is outside their actual museum. There are those extreme museums like the one in Hiroshima and Hanoi which I find depressing because of their war and post-war feels. But one of my favorite museums which balanced the boring-depressing adjective was our very own National Museum located in Ermita, Manila.

Here are the 3 reasons why I love this museum:

  1. It is free! My first visit was during the Museum month in 2015 when the entrance fee was free of charge. Last July 1, 2016, the Philippine Government permanently waived the entrance fee to the Museum from its original fee of Php 50 for students and Php 150 for adults. So there’s no reason for a young Filipino in and near Manila to not visit this museum.

Continue reading “Three Reasons Why You Need to visit the National Museum of the Philippines”