I was blind for how many years for I failed to look at the bad side of everything. Is it a blessing or a curse? 

I’ve always had the liking for good things – of sweet stuffs, wonderful words, of sunsets, and of falling leaves. But through the years, I have realized that behind every good thing there lies an opposing counterpart.. the familiarity of bitterness after tasting sweet perfection, of remorseful words, of the lonely night that follows a beautiful sunset, and of the bare tree after all the leaves has fallen out. When you lost sight of pessimism, you will expect good things from everyone.. then a simple refusal will break your fickle bones. 

Never expect because nothing is there that will last forever.. no can, and no one will.



You. Yes you. Guess what, I want to destroy you and make you the most hated person alive. And thank you for making me hate pizza. Both of you. Ha!

As for you, it is not the end. Hurray for being so mature! Im so so proud of you. I want to eat pizza with you!

You. Do you remember that Mango pizza we ate last year? Oh God, time flies so fast. Hoho

You think I miss you? I dunno. Let’s see. Bake me a pizza cake and I might think about it.

Violet pizza? With noodles? Yes. How are you? I wish you’re doing great!

I saw you yesterday eating pizza with your friends.. and thanks for noticing my yellow shorts. Ha ha!

You. There are no yummy pizzas here! Probably in the next city. Let’s runaway.

And you! I think about you all the time (aside from pizza), after what you did (what you wonderfully did).. But I still hate you, FYI.

For Optimism

                 Mending a broken heart isn’t as easy as putting a bandage on a swollen wound. It takes up so much courage and recognition of that blistering soreness between your ribcages. You unconsciously push away everyone around you and realize that you wanted this people back in your life again. Pushing and pulling, ache and hurt, scar and healing. So many complicated processes to get back to your feet again, to walk.. to run.. to dance. Well, we can’t argue on that anyway – “growing up” taught us that everything would be possible, may it be in the slowest progression and longest route. Just like one begin to walk when he was first brought out into this world. Human instinct tells us to stand up and conquer the world. So in the end, giving up is not a goddamn option. Strength, motivation, self-willingness, acceptance – all these vocabularies weren’t coined for nothing right?

                                 For optimism.

Go Your Way

I already had my daily dose of melancholic grins and the nastiest expectation which I find it too difficult to pull back again as it swiftly fell along the hills of misery and deception. I had so much of those heart-breaking revelations, the dirty assumptions you hid, and the people unworthy of trusting.. of which, inevitably, also turned you to something undesirable. Where are all the trust and care you once promised?

“What the hell Nathaniel, I borrowed your phone just for a day and a friend of yours is badgering me all day long! Who the hell is Leah?!” she shouted. The vein in my sister’s forehead was so clear even if I sat two meters away from where she was standing.

I was shocked from this sudden outburst from her. “Wait Briony, I don’t understand you.. a friend? What? Can I see my phone please?” She handed it to me.

The revelations were so clear. Everything. Bad words were uttered, shattered trusts. I can accept them all, I sure can. But my family? My mother? You say bad words to her, and I swear, forgiveness will not even matter. We have loved her so much. Oh, and the one who even read the messages first was my sister! I trembled; scared of that fact and shivered with anger.

There’s no need for an explanation you say? Fine. If that’s what you want.

I stood there, blankly staring at the last SMS my sister opened. She was intently looking at me and asked, “Now Nathan, is she familiar? She’s on your phonebook anyway. ”

I don’t know her ‘anymore’. She set me free. She said things which cannot be taken back. She must have hated me. I am nothing to her and to them. The idea bouncing around my mind. Then I boldly answered – NO, I don’t know her.

Seventh Heaven

I never thought paradiso was just kilometers away from home. The place and the condition was perfect.. perfect happiness. Last May, we’ve gone rafting. And with the same folks, we had had our sequel for jolt-shout-laugh series and the electrifying adventure that our teenage souls look for, the quenching remedy to our unsatisfied thirsts.

Chasing Pavements II: Seventh Heaven at Tinago Falls, Lanao Norte

Getting ready for the 40-minutes trip

“Not yet” exhausted, on our way down the destination.

This photo was taken on the 200th+ steps. Note: There are 365 steps starting from the first to the last.

Testing the water’s temperature :p

Pause. Taking a photo at the mini-bridge.. the bamboo boat..

..and here again – this time, the falls as the background. *Kaisa-isang litrato na kumpleto kami*

Abs, where are you? *All-boys photo man toh*

Rested after conquering the 365-steps, we were exhausted at that time. But still, we managed to smile for the camera. Hehe

On our way home when we stopped and took some nice shots along the way.

*I don’t exactly know where this photo was taken, somewhere near NPC I guess?*

Photo edits and the images were all taken from ate Mhy’s cam. First-rate isn’t it? Thanks Kapatid! :p

Shots with my dear adopted sister while we were on our way down.

P.S. Oh! I like how ate Mhy took this shot for me, shows how excited I’ am, taken at the most candid moment – removing my shoes. Haha

More photos of our trip on ate Mhy’s blog, more in these posts: here and here.

We’re planning for the third trip. The destination is yet to be settled, the date will be somewhere between Christmas break and New Year’s. Looking forward to it. Hehe

Summer Blast Wrap-up

Three months. You can find a job if you’re lucky enough. You can travel to more than 30 countries if you are well blessed in riches. You can marry. You can finish a book if you want, and write one. Create hundreds of accounts in different social networking sites. Or you can just stay at home and wait for something good to happen. Three months is all takes to finish one whole summer. Yes, one whole summer.

I’ve been bouncing around the house and scribble down my jumbled ideas on “what-to-do” this summer, though nothing comes out of it. But as I laid down the maroon sofa, frozen and monotoned, the universe did its job on me. So much idea squeezed its way into the center of my reasons and to my empty day, thus, furnishing a new path to stroll on. All it takes is a little nudge to start the ball rolling, and my summer was strictly defined – overfilled gratification, first rate experience, and unanticipated insights on what I can be in not-so-far-away future.

Senior seniority. People come and go, you meet them in crossroads and sometimes you just don’t, but the memories remain. I have many friends, young and old alike. For me, age is just a number and the experiences they have is what matters. This year though, many of my friends graduated – older than me friends.  I wish them all the best, goodluck and soar high! Godspeed and God bless, may the outer world be friendlier than what I see in movies. haha

Speech library and computers. If given the chance to go somewhere, I would be in an exotic island toning my skin in a white beach this summer. But reality check: The choice wasn’t even there in the first place! Keeping my hopes up is a bad day dreaming, very bad. So instead of indulging myself in impossibility and dosing magic mushrooms in dozens (kidding), I enrolled two subjects for the summer semester – English 3 (Oral Communication) and Computer Science 1, which clarifies why “speech library and computers”. Contentedly declaring, I think I did very well in both subjects. (Who wouldn’t? Only two subjects for the whooole summer?) But aside from acquiring good ole grades, I had the honor of having brand new friends and a new mom – my “lovely” family. Having them for less than 30 days everyday is amazing, but having them while you laugh and cry is beyond amazement. English 3 is known for having variety shows, and thus, we ought to practice to learn by heart those steps, it’s our grades – not to mention, Im their president. Haha. Budding friendship is inevitable, and so does the love that formed between us. It’s a family.. a family worth having and treasuring perpetually. (Instead of going to a white beach and an exotic island, we ended up in a large pool and an exotic falls. Haha. Still worthwhile!)

Friends for thought. I had the wackiest time with my high school batchmates this summer. I never even thought that the trip would be a success. Need to elaborate my contentment?

Organization matters. As professionally as it may sound – YES, I had a good time joining the Ranao Council Inc. Annual Assembly on its 33rd with its well calibrated and esteemed list of members.

I was inclined to attend to in view of the fact that first of all, I am a bona fide member of the organization. Second, almost all member of the family is part of it. And thirdly, my dad is the current president of the council. I thought to myself, “One day, I’m going to be like one of them – strong-willed, respected, and someone looked up to by the young ones.”

The reunion. It has been six years since the last grand reunion took place. You see, Maranao people are extremely clannish. We hold our kinship ties as valuable as those to royal families. This summer, the second grand reunion of the grand clan took place. We amassed the whole area like ants of a flooding colony, we were at our peak, and the clan is very..  “prolific” in production. I already had my nieces and nephews by my second and first cousins, and Im just 18 at the moment. But never mind the number, we all came from one ancestor, Macabago – Cabugatan sa Marawi, a sort of an advisor, a duke, or a close relative to the royal family? I don’t really know what “Cabugatan” means, but it may present itself to me as a shock to learn that Im a prince or an advisor to the royal court! Haha. (Shoot! Again with the daydreaming. ) Ok, great! Enough with the history lessons, the event was a success even though rain smattered and thunderclaps drummed the night sky. I had fun, and I was glad I did familiarize who my cousins are. And pleased that my forbearer managed to bring into being a unified family of hundreds and a circle of relationships bound sturdily.

Talk about us. We were both parentless this summer. Mine went to Saudi and so does her’s. It’s a looong story. Ask me personally later. All I can say, “She gives me premature ventricular contractions.”

Mom and dad coming home. She was wearing flower patterned blue blouse and gold bracelets, he was wearing a spanking indigo polo and more than php10,000 Ray Ban shades, and not only armed with up-to-the-minute outfit but with a new outlook in life. She is my mom, and he, is my dad. After 30 days outside the country (particularly Saudi), nothing beats the wild scent and unruffled puff of air of their homeland, and where their family dwell. Baggage and luggage are the usual associates of a customary traveler; in the company of it all, the storytelling is never out of date. The account of their 2500 km travel around Saudi Arabia (city to city trek) is elevated to new heights as long as my mom and dad tell the story.. You can feel every curve and upturns of their chronicles, each jest, slapsticks, and weeps and wails, and the entire thrill behind the enthusiastic raconteurs.  We are all just happy that they did enjoy the outing they deserve..  We promise, this won’t be the last time you’d tour. We love you, devotedly.

Adieu summer! It wasn’t really the expected summer, or the looong break I dreamed of. But it was, at a standstill, “unmatched”. The summer was a cocktail of experience unlike any other. I was happy in one way or the other – meeting different kinds of people, having a good grade and good time in one, laughed day and night. I’m reasonably glad I had my summer at home. (Though I would be more contented if I were somewhere-off the grid, talk about “exotic”. haha) Well then, all graces to the next summer! Keep moving forward, as what Mr. Disney put it. Everything is laid down in the table; the ball is in your court.

Chasing Pavements

I can’t take away the fact that friends are, every so often, the ONLY people who can rub out all the grief-stricken memories that happened to pass right in front of you, the eye itself whirling at your very core. This write-up is all for you. I value the pavements we all chased.

               Coldness enveloped my whole body – deep in the blanket under its very warmth. The alarm clock was ringing it’s batteries out and I actively opened my eyes with enthusiasm, this is it, I’ m going with them and leave every bit of my problems here.

               I wore floral patterned polo with blue jeans matched with white Nikes. And packed the things I would probably need and walked out of the house breathing deeply, inhaling the fresh morning breeze, focusing my senses to my nostrils – every speck of the gentle wind, the atmosphere was perfect for a sunrise walk. The mood of free will came over me, peace was all around. I swear I could have smiled to anyone who I crossed with along the way.

               I’ve seen them across the road, one of my friends shouted “At last, he’s here! Let’s go guys.” The 2-hour trip underwent without second thought, without noticing the people around us, we were just happy we saw each other again for at least two years. For the rest of the road trip, we greeted each other, teased one another, laughed at our novelty jokes, remembered the days we used to enjoy, and asked one another how are they now and what keeps them busy. That road trip itself was incomparable and uniquely unpayable, I cannot do this with other people.. only to THEM.

               We headed to the rafting main office, and reserved for the next day. McDonald’s was near, so we ate there without hesitation. We planned our route, and decided where would we go and enjoy the day for the rest of the trip. It was agreed that we first stop at Quantum Fun, the arcade fare at the nearby mall. We played our hearts out, and acted like little kids, it’s a sure fireway to run from all the exhaustion laid down upon us, and mind you, all our coins were spent for tokens! Haha.

               Sweat trickled down our very neck. Our body was flowing with heat and everyone was pleading and kneeling for something cold, something that can replenish the thirst that burned our awfully dry throat. Seeps in empty bottles of softdrinks were everywhere, and at that very moment, we decided to go to Missy Bon Bon, a shop just outside the mall that offers desserts and ICE CREAMS. Yes, ice creams, the one we’re craving for a moment ago. We stayed, we cooled ourselves, and fixed our mind where to go next. We walked and goofed around until this photo studio shone in all its grandeur; we took some shots, posed and messed around, and finally recopied the good ones for remembrance. (The first three photos were taken there.)

               Kilometers away is a known destination among adventure goers, it’s a trip to the city mountain that overlooked the bustling urban in all its glory. But instead of hiking, we called a cab and rode to the top.. Lethargy and laziness was our ultimate best friends at the time, we just thought that hiking can take all our strengths away and not enjoy the view later in the sunset. But everything didn’t came out of what we intended, the supposed-to-be park is closed; it’s under RENNOVATION. What else can be direr than that!? Thankfully we didn’t even walk; it’s a blessing in disguise.

               So, what to do now after all the frustration? We made up our mind that we try horse back riding. We raced our horses to extremities; the lower part of my body was numb – I can’t feel anything, maybe due to the constant thumping motion made by the galloping horse. *It’s not our fault that it’s our first times*. We first stayed calmly professional, but the teenage spirit inside us kicked in. We dared each other for a race, a race worth having.. I thought to myself, “Things like these are the ones you get back on to when you’re old, the things you pass on and tell stories on your children and grandkids, that you rode your heart to the finish line with all your heart with a horse, laughing all your problems with friends and not mind the dirt on your face and the clown you have become, well, they are your friends in the first place.”

               The sun kissed its last rays to the eternal horizon, as if the sky was splashed with orange and yellow tint in a blue canvass. Tangerine skies, oh tangerine light, never say goodbye.

               We ate our dinner with all satisfaction. And eventually ended in a KTV bar, the lobby was surrounded by portraits of known musicians in the industry; from the queen of pop to the king, from RnB divas to rock and roll hall of famers, and from British bands to local celebrities. We sang, we danced, and we had fun. Oh, a night to remember.

              6am. My feet was curling up for heat, the air conditioner must have been turned on to high button. “Wake up guys, we must be at the destination by 8 am.” We were gathered to the vehicle that would take us to the rafting area. 40 to 50 minutes did take us to the rafting zone, and geared us up with the proper suits – yellow helmet and black lifejacket. *They even offered us some arm socks to block against sunlight to avoid sunburn.* We were first oriented on the rules and what-to-do-when-carried-by-the-river-current. But in truth, we didn’t even remembered the “so they say set of laws”.. we were all excited! And there, yellow aeroboats were ready for us, to take us on a 5-hour rafting in whooshes and rapids of white water foam.

               The feeling was intense. Adrenaline splattered all over and I could endorse it to death. ^^

               Taken as a whole, the undertaking of this trip was an accomplishment – I’ve forgotten what my problems are, and just enjoyed life to the fullest. There is so much to do yet. I love my friends, I love the trip! I have weaved a tale worth telling others, we promised at the very moment that years later, we will again meet and enjoy the company of each other again.

What is madness for the many, is logical for the few..