Experiencing Puning Hot Springs

I remembered back in college when my Dad asked me to join their company initiated trek at Sitio Target, Sapangbato, Angeles City. I remembered that there were only a few bloggers that time, meaning information was limited about hikeable and trekkable hills (God, I am really old!). Still, with limited information, my dad, his coworkers, and my 18-year-old self continued to explore Sitio Target.

I remembered bringing my blue China-made iPod Shuffle full of Celtic Music, OST of Narnia and Lord of the Rings and loads of Enya and Kitaro. I was hoping for a meditative hike this time, unlike the one I had in Arayat where the trail was steep and slippery. And with Sitio Target’s charm, my goal to have a reflective hike was achieved. Sitio Target is not really a mountain. It is actually the ancestral domain of Aetas in Sapangbato which is also near the Pampanga side of Mount Pinatubo. My favorite thing about this place were the small canyon-like structures where water from the spring flows. Walking inside them felt refreshing maybe because this kind of nature was something new to me, or it felt like I was in a legendary film where elves and fairies exist. Forgive my hyperboles but this was how I remembered it back in 2008 where there were no such things as Facebook status update and HD Cameras are for rich kids. Continue reading “Experiencing Puning Hot Springs”

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”

Minimalism and Drama Queens

Minimalism in my own definition is putting stuff away which do not add value to us. I have written a post about it and I have cited examples of what I did with my stuff, my wardrobe, and my digital space. Some were radical. Some were things I did to simplify.

As my journey to minimalism continues, I realized that the minimalist lifestyle is more than giving away stuff, scanning papers to have more space and deleting useless phone applications. Minimalism also includes managing our emotions, thoughts, and energy towards the people around us. Like letting go of useless stuff, minimalism also allows us to let go of relationships which do not add value and quality to our lives. If we need to be intentional with our material consumption and our inner lives, we should all as well be intentional with our relationships. Continue reading “Minimalism and Drama Queens”

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”

What 1111 means to me

Disclaimer: This post was originally written last year (2016) a week after November 11, 2016.

A couple of weeks ago, my family and I spent a 4-day weekend in Baguio City, Philippines to celebrate my Dad’s 50th birthday. Baguio City is the family’s refuge and my mom’s favorite city; the 6-hour bus ride is worth it because of the good weather, fresh air, serene views and a melting pot of people from different parts of the country. The crowd was never a problem. Though my dad’s 50th is still on November 12, he requested the whole family, which means me and my mom, to hike Mount Ulap, a mountain in Benguet with 1 out of 5 difficulty level the day before his birthday. This is a perfect opportunity for me to travel, to bond with my parents and to make November 11 or 11.11 memorable to me, as it is also memorable to those who believe in Numerology.

Continue reading “What 1111 means to me”

Minimalizing. Is that even a word?

“I can’t go out tonight, I am minimalizing”, I said to my officemates when they invited me to go out for a coffee session last Friday night.

“Really, minimalizing? Is that even a word?”, one of them asked.

So after Googling it, there was actually a term but I am not sure how new the word was except that it has been used several times by those simple living blogs, where I also learned about the word. It’s still on red underline as I write this.

To minimalize the term, “minimalizing” means cutting down the excess. I started practicing this concept a couple of years ago but I fall short every once in a while when my auto-pilot consumerist behavior and tempting advertisements overpower this principle.  Some people would also discourage me and would often tell me that I cannot practice minimalism in the Philippines because we do not have enough. I would always think that minimalism is best to practice in a developing country where we need to challenge and question every capitalist-driven advertisements, products, and services. Where large companies where we hoard products are also the same companies which exploit the poor and abuse the resources of the country. Continue reading “Minimalizing. Is that even a word?”