Curiosity vs Guts

It just sort of turned into a habit. I do it even when nobody's looking, when i'm in my room all by myself. I'm a perfectionist. What is they say - 'Fool yourself to fool others'? But anyhow, Miss Frou, tell me, have you got guts?"

"Not really, no."
"Never had 'em?"
"No, I was never one for guts. Not likely to change, either."
"How about curiosity?"
"Curiosity's another matter. I;ve got some of that."
"Well, don't you think guts and curiosity are kind of similar?" said Frou.
"Where there's guts there's curiosity, and where there's curiosity there's guts. No?"
"Hmm, maybe they are kind of similar," I said. "Maybe you're right. Maybe they do overlap at times."
"Times like when you sneak into somebody's backyard, say."

"Yeah, like that," I said, rolling  a lemon drop on my tongue. "When you sneak into somebody's backyard, it does seem that guts and curiosity are working together. Curiosity can bring guts out of hiding at times, maybe even get them going. But curiosity usually evaporates. Guts have to go for the long haul. Curiosity's like a fun friend you can't really trust. It turns you on and then it leaves you to make it on your own - with whatever guts you can muster."

She thought this over for a time. "I guess so," she said. "I guess that's one way to look at it."

2012 "lakwatsa" in Retrospect

Two thousand and twelve has been really kind to me. Looking back, and listing down every single moment, I would think that all of it aren't just ordinary days, or trips, or even work. There are no ordinary moments, as they say. Every single thing that the universe conspired has its own reasons. Whether good or bad, I learned to appreciate it. After all, mistakes shape us, and apart from these departure-arrival scenes that took over my year, I am very thankful for everything. To a tougher, wiser, and hmmm a lot less emo?! Haha

So without further ado (and before I say too much inspirational-shenanigan), and however late this post may be, I present to you the highlights of my 2012 lakwatsa in retrospect.

dududunn.**   ** * < )//''** o*
(not necessarily in chronological order but most probably will be in a chronological order.)

Location: Hong Kong
Hong Kong or 香港, in a nutshell is a place full of people with small chinky eyes. The family planned this trip the year before. Here, I almost lost my beloved film camera, met a really warm Filipino family and witnessed the play of lights amidst the skyrocketing skyscrapers of the so-called Commercial hub of Asia.  I went to the land of that big-eared mouse and Ocean adventure, which is, by the way, the best amusement park i've been to, after Enchanted Kingdom, obviously. I like the tram, by the way.... Hmm and the fact that they serve milk tea at McDonalds.

Location: Tarlac
Who would think that this killer volcano has evolved into something beautiful? I still find it deadly though. I can't manage to swim past 10  feet from the lakeshore (I do not know how to swim?) But still, it's something one should experience here in our country.
The fragile landscape, the colors of a beautiful disaster, the risky trail, the dead silence of the crater inside this megalith, a bumpy 4x4 ride and not to mention the dreaded 3-hour horizontal hike above sharp rocks + under the searing heat of the sun.

This trip shouldn't be taken too lightly.

MT. PUNDAQUIT TRAVERSE //check out my post!
Location: Zambales
Probably my first "real" hike (gotta check this first from my mentor Ivan). Accompanied by the sun, good friends,  bottle of water and a little fatalistic attitude. This was day one of Ivan's birthday shenanigan, which, by the way, I really enjoyed. The varied landscape from rocky paths, bamboo arches, grassy slopes and the agoho-fied beach, this is one of the most visual-gasmic treks (well, aside from Pinatubo) that jumpstarted my career in what many call "pinaphirapan ang sarili sa pag-akyat ng bundok"
nb:  Kaso reminder lang dapat  magbaon ng madaming tubig.

Location: Zambales din ata
We did not settle for that overcrowded Anawangin cove, so we took another boat to Nagsasa, a lesser dense camp-beach-hike-swim destination in this part of Zambales. This is where we celebrated Ivan's birthday... (Si ivan first time uminom dito. uh-uh yeah you've seen that alright wag na magkaila) Oh and did you know *feeling streetsmart mode* why those seemingly foreign trees ended up in the sandy beaches of Zambales?
No? Okay.

Well... they ended up there because mount pinatubo, supposedly blew the seeds away back then!!!

CAPONES ISLAND //check out my post!
Location: Zambales din 'to
Day two of Ivan's birthday shenanigan. I fell in love with this island. Even though it's quite hard to reach this especially during monsoon season, the reward of climbing it's lighthouse with a rickety staircase is worth it. A 360-view of the western seas and the rocky outcrops of Zambales is a sight to see. We saw couples having their pre-nup shoot here as well and I bet it's a really nice place for a wedding.

But... you've got to assist the senior citizens on swimming to the shore, climbing a 100-feet staircase and hiking for 10 minutes.

But still worth it!

Location: Secret
That's Rizal area on the background, by the way, in case you're wondering, and a little pan to the right will be Laguna lake.
Of course, the rest of the year I've been sitting on my workstation (-_-)"
But I'm enjoying it, don't get me wrong, because most of the time I witness strange but nice events through my glass window, e.g, a sudden dance of lightning, a shy rainbow, clouds passing through their private thoroughfare, blue sunrise, a window cleaner risking his life, and even the chopper that brought our former president to the nearby hospital.

I miss this view to be honest, I just hope my boss assigns me back to that workstation.

Location: Baguio City
I was too curious about this structure before and good thing my companions from the Azalea residences team took time to checkitawt. I do find something creepy lurking behind those brittle concrete walls, especially on the empty corridors and rooms.

But i like it.
? - have yet to be proven

Location: San Juan, La Union
A moonset, my good ol' workmates, unlimited food (perhaps?), a hefty amount of beer over a campfire, gleeful crashing waves and even seeing the sun rise from the horizon while swimming in the shore, is just as perfect.

Surf's up!

TARAK RIDGE MAJOR CLIMB//check out my post!
Location: Bataan
Tarak Ridge rises bashfully along the lower side of Mt. Mariveles, in Bataan. If you've been on a plane en route NAIA coming from Manila bay, you can see it jutting just a few leagues from the Corregidor coast.
It isn't your walk-in-the-park type of adventure as tough trails, steep ascents and deadly cliffs are out and about.

But of course a rewarding scenery will be seen on top of the bald mountain ridge, and a strong sweeping wind curtain coming from Manila bay and the west can knock your tents down.

PICO DE LORO DAYHIKE (not to be mistaken with SMDC's hamilo cove)
Location: Mt. Palay Palay, Ternate, Cavite
It isn't a really good time for us and the mountain when we tried our first ascent in the twin peaks of Mt. Palay Palay. Aggressive clouding(?) were on our way and I didn't even get my photo taken when I was on peak 2 (selfish tendencies!!!)
Famous for its phallic rock.. er... monolith, i mean, the peak resemble a parrot's beak seen from a lower elevation, hence the name, Pico de Loro.

Pardon the photo above, by the way.

Location: Singapore
I haven't seen much of the Lion City but it's the people I met, the food that we ate and the environment that made an impression on me. I'm sure I'll come back here, not on an F1 race season, btw, for I don't want the hotel rooms charging an extra because it's freakin' F1 race season.

I still find this city, quite, maybe a little bit, or perhaps... lonely.
Saludo ako sa inyo, mga bagong bayaning OFW.

Location: El Nido, Palawan
Hear ye' I present 't tyou! El Nido!
Like any other corporate (slave) person, a long weekend or a holiday will get your numb asses off the office chair. Yes, I'm one of those, and truth be told, a weeklong trip to one of the most beautiful places in our motherland jumpstarted my November.
El Nido is just a 6-hour bus ride from Puerto Princesa City. Cradled by the towering limestone rock formations and the cove, this little town (which is, according to a local, the birthplace of Katrina Halili) is a jumpoff point of everything that is eyegasmic. Hmm not really out of this world, but a place where you'll be in awe at the world's creations.
If you're into beach hopping, snorkeling while having lunch, a hidden beach, a secret beach, lagoon beaches, helicoooopter beaches,or anything beach, then El Nido is just for you. And --- a really nice foreign tourist stock going out and about. Feast your eyes, skin, and tastebuds, that is El Nido!

Location: Mt. Palay Palay

And because the Mayans failed, we just hopped on a bus, took a long road to my hometown in Cavite and made a revenge climb to my unrequited love that is, Pico de Loro.
It was a very sunny day. Turns out that there was a weeklong dry spell and the muddy trail before has already dried up to its cracks. Everything was favorable for a revenge climb. I'm with almost the same persons who share the same love for mountains aka "pinapahirapan ang sarili sa pag-akyat ng bundok".
The day took a while, and as usual we were all tired but it won't end unless, I have a gazillion of photos at peak 2.

Traveling is a choice. Neither it is always an act of escapism. Going out there is an act of will, whatever reason you may have.

If you really want to try and see what this world has to offer with your own eyes, do it.
One thing though: Let's start on our own country. :)

For more and more escapades, and peculiar hours on the road! Cheers for 2013!

Happy Christmas!

6:00 pm, I took out my bike, plugged my earphones and started to pedal along the dimly-lit street of our neighborhood. It's Christmas by the way, and I can really tell that it is a whole lot different than before. Those houses that used to be serenaded by Christmas carols and flickering lights are now gone. Every house I pass by looked haunted, devoid of families that used to celebrate their Christmas at home. Probably everyone is enjoying their hard earned money in the consumer capital of the Philippines, or just chilling out in the sterile moneymaking malls.

I don't have anything against this, but it's just depressing that a lot of things has changed. The warmth I've been looking from a more personal and warm approach of Christmas, is now, somehow, replaced by the warmth of laptops, social networking, and mobile devices, e.g. (Facebook). What was once a day of hugs, handshakes, chatter, laughter, kisses, now became a day of virtual interaction. Sure, there are a lot of things that helps us connect by the dawn of the internet, I myself is an avid user and a victim, maybe. But this technology, when abused, can change a certain habit, a culture, or even a society.

Maybe I just miss those days when our family would just sit down the couch, listen to christmas songs or watch a movie on the eve and waiting for little kids sing their carols. A nice cup of hot chocolate before bedtime, and to wake up with presents waiting to be opened under the christmas tree.

And so, after those two hours of riding my bike around the neighborhood aimlessly looking for a thing that I don't know if still exists, I went back to our home and closed the gates.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Paper soldier

Eight days before christmas!

Technically it's monday now, and I still haven't got enough sleep. (There will be work this morning, and a couple of days before Christmas!). I am quite excited for christmas, by the way, apart from the gifts and all that consumerism stuff, haha! It's the only time I get to rest (mentally).

So tonight I just finished watching this underrated (but specifically awesome) one-shot shojo anime by Yuki Midorikawa. It enforced my overall appreciation of the yokai and everything that comes with it. Take note that I've been an avid watcher of his Book of Friends Series, so i am hoping I got the right background to support that. I am eager to do a review but I have no time!

Anyway, the illustration part is on full swing! I've been practicing a lot and trying different techniques in my idle time, trying my best to draw at least three per day. I'm sure I've got a long way to go... but there are a lot of inspirations lately, so I think this streak will take longer as it should. A friend said books now aren't that practical sources of design inspiration because we have the internet! He's right, to be honest, since I got most of it from different sites. Whatever I like, I just save it, study it and will try to incorporate in my design.

I was about to promise myself that I won't buy another sketchbook if I haven't finished the first one I bought, but I broke it shortly after I saw these really cool sketchbooks yesterday!