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Falling in love

Falling in love can be also about places. One thing for sure is that I don’t know where I’m gonna be in the next 5 years. So, I learned how to live my life in the moment.

Over the course of years, I have this love-hate relationship with this country but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to know and experience Japan.

A lot of people thinks Japan is all about cherry blossoms, matcha and sushi. However, it’s more than that…

It can be so deep it makes you feel like your drowning. Life is so raw that sometimes you even forget how to laugh and smile. And at the end of the day, silence can be your only friend.

But at the same time, you appreciate silence when the world is tiring. You love how raw life can be cause you learned how to stand up at your own feet. And lastly, you understand happiness is a proactive choice and you will define it on your own.

It’s like falling in love with a person. Sometimes, we hate their flaws but we accept it because we love them. For the last 5 years, I didn’t realized how attached I become with this country. Now, I know that I will be always torn between two lands. Japan is home. Philippines is home.

Hakone, Japan
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The hardest part of living in Japan

It’s almost 4 years now since I moved to Japan and this year is nothing but amazing. I was able to got home in Philippines last month for two weeks, my friends visited me here in Japan and it is their first time to travel abroad. It’s just March of 2019 and I can already say that this is gonna the best year ever. 2018 was really dramatic for me, depression, anxieties because of all the calamities happened in here that I had to face alone. But thank God I can say all the tears I cried was all worth it cause I am at my happiest right now.

Living and working in Japan for a quite while now, everything got so much better because I got used to the life I have right now. I built routines, met new people, more settled and got more matured at handling my life. There will always be mistakes and stupidity it’s part of life.

Being away from all your love ones is the hardest part, missing out important occasions like birthdays, weddings, Christmas, New Years and not to mention holidays that you always celebrate alone. Friends you want to see and hang out with were thousand miles away from you. Sure, I met new people and made some new friends but you know, you’re ‘go-to people’ ‘homecourt friends’ will always be different. They get you, the real you, you get each others humor that nobody else will understand but them.

I wrote this to give highlight to my friends who kept in touch for the last four years and made an effort to stay in my life even though I am already thousand miles away from them. It means a lot. I consider myself lucky and blessed enough to have people in my life that is so supportive that I can turn into when life is kinda overwhelming. They keep me grounded and reminds me of who I was before I came here. Life in Japan can be tiring sometimes and it is important to not lose yourself while living in this fast-paced life.

‘Keep swimming’

xoxo

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24. soon.

Every time it is year-ending I can’t help but to feel sentimental cause it means I am one year older again and it makes me reflect what the whole year has brought me. I am going to be 24 soon, mid twenties is coming and I don’t know what to feel. I admit I felt the pressure at first when everyone around me is either getting engaged or having babies. My facebook timeline is full of people found ‘the one’, someone to share their lives with and friends asking me to be their babies Godmother.

I was afraid to be alone. I was terrified to live this life alone and no one to share it with. I was hopeless romantic always searching for the one great love. Until I realized, it is way more scarier to get married with the wrong person just because you don’t want to be alone. I decided to change my perspective. I am living independently for almost 2 years now. I can completely do this life alone. I underestimate what I can do just because I relay my happiness with looking for someone until I realized nobody can make me happy except me.

23. 24 soon and finally I can say I am now emotionally independent. I am taking my time to know myself and I am not pressured anymore that I am alone because so what? I love my life. I am embracing this life alone the good and the bad and actually enjoying it. I am not bothered anymore if no one is out there for me because for me I am already enough for myself. This isn’t easy journey a lot of trial and error but you know what it’s all about mindset and perspective. Love yourself hard and when that love is full that’s the time to share it with someone else. As of now, I am contented with where I am and happy. I never felt this peace in my entire life. If someone is gonna be out there for me in the future, I will think of it just a bonus from above.

Braver 2019! Let’s go!

xoxo

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An Open Letter to Myself

Dear Self,

Lately I know you feel so disconnected with everything that’s going on with your life. Everything is just going down the hill  and you’re getting tired of keeping up with this strong facade. Then it hits you, drowning with your thoughts again..

You have to stop expecting people to give love and happiness to you. You owe it all to yourself because the only person who can give you all of those is no one but you. Nobody is responsible to make you happy. Only you, remember that. Love yourself so much that no one will ever dare to hurt you again. Self-love is never a selfish act. It’s about time to give all the love you are giving to people who are not worthy back to yourself. This is way long overdue. It’s about time to see your own worth.

I know nobody will understand your decisions when all you are trying to do is save yourself. You already gave so much. They will look for you once you stop doing things you usually do for them but don’t get swayed by half-baked efforts. You are worthy of all the love, effort and attention. Remember that. You are brave and strong. I know you will make it, like you always do.

Sincerely,

Self

xoxo

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Conquering Mt. Fuji

Summer time in Japan means climbing season for Mt. Fuji. I was caught in the middle of my life so stressed, depressed and unmotivated to do anything, so I decided to book a tour to climb Mt. Fuji last minute, it was a spontaneous trip with my friends who also just want to get away with the routine of life.

I took overnight bus from Osaka to Tokyo where the meeting place is. I was part of a tour with other tourist from all different parts of the world. Our tour guide explain to us the guidelines while climbing the mountain and they said we are very lucky cause the weather at the mountain is perfect cause the typhoon just passed by the other day.

11:30AM. Our tour bus took us directly to station 5 where the climb will start and we have to climb until station 10, sounds easy? No. Station 6 is okay but station 7 until 8 is very rocky and stiff, I suggest rent trekking pole it will save your ass from sliding, falling and it will give your more stability while climbing or walking.

6:00PM. When we reached station 8 where we will stay overnight, have dinner and rest before we reached the summit. That’s the only time I somehow properly wash my face, used bathroom and clean myself a bit cause I still can’t take a shower. They offer post cards which is exclusive only at the mountain where you can send to your loved ones or yourself.

1:45AM. The most difficult part for me climbing at dawn with 4-5km/hr wind and 5 degrees weather. The way to the summit is very stiff and dark it took us 2 hours before we entirely reached the summit.

4:15AM. The most rewarding part waiting for the sunrise! As the sky clears and you can see all the clouds beneath looking so soft and fluffy that I actually want to dive in feels so unreal. Then, me watching the sunrise at the summit of Mt. Fuji I just can’t think of anything. It might sound so cliche but as I watch it, everyday is literally and figuratively a brand new day!

That moment in my life will definitely be one of the books and I will always look back at when I’m so tired with my life. Imagine everyday the sun rises for all of us and me as a night person personally watching it, I never knew how amazing it can be! It feels like magic and surreal. I felt completely happy, high, positive and energized after I witnessed it. There are no words and adjective to describe how great it was.

xoxo

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How to Love Strong Independent Woman

For years she build herself up, spends day and night to really know herself, took countless of downfall before she finally accepted and love herself-all the good and bad. She value her solitude more than anything that’s why it’s tough to crack her wall. You’re so lucky to love by a woman who value herself.

1.She doesn’t need you. She wants you.

Bad day at work? She knows how to make herself happy-a jar of ice cream and netflix but she still want you to be there by her side to comfort her or watch rom-com movie with her while she’s sobbing, wipe her tears, hold her hands and hug her until she feels better.

2. Don’t be intimidated with her

We all know men’s ego are so big when they see women who are doing great and being successful more than them they feel so interfere. A boy will see her as a competitor and get intimated by having her shit together. A man who truly loves her will be supportive and a great cheerleader.

3. She is living up with her expectations

Strong independent woman expectations are so high because she always set the bar so high for herself.  So please don’t get tired when you think she’s being so demanding she just wanted you to be the best version of yourself that’s why she is always pushing you to do great things.

4. She hates being weak

Everyone around her admire her for having strong personality. You can never see her cry because she hate herself more than anything when she’s being weak. She will try her best to shrug off the negative feeling she has and show up like nothing is bothering her. Talk to her. Make her feel safe. Tell her it’s okay to cry and not be okay all the time. Be her safe haven that she can lean on when she can’t handle her world.

5. She tend to be workaholic

She understand that career is not everything but she is always chasing after success. Ask her to spontaneous adventures and dates like hiking on weekdays, long drive where you can alternate driving cause she knows how to handle car, take pictures of sunset. She won’t turn you down because she is addicted to life experiences. Remind her the world is vast and don’t be confined in her little world.

xoxo

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P A U S E.

pause noun: a temporary stop, a break in verse 

I admit I always try to do things big or small on my own without asking the help of anyone cause I don’t like the feeling of being a burden to someone or put them in a bad place cause of me. That’s why no matter how hard the situation is, I will try my best to solve everything in my power. AS IN EVERYTHING…only to find myself at the end of the day so exhausted and drained.

Each day I live like that without realizing how hard I was to myself, until I went back home in Gifu for 3 days off. Being the ultimate ‘probinsyana girl’ big city like Osaka is kinda overwhelming. It’s so fast-paced and feels like 24 hours is not enough to get things done. I tried my best to keep up with this lifestyle. The funny thing is, I never thought I was being toxic to myself.

During those 3 days break from my city life, I had lots of realizations and how important it is to practice pause from life and just breath for a while. That’s the only time I slow down and took my time. I rode my bike, stare at horizon, took picture of sunset, walk at park, cook food for my brothers, drink beer with my father, genuine conversations with mom. It made me think and understand how blessed I am.

Yes, career is important but don’t forget to pause. The biggest reward we can give to ourselves is time. Assess yourself, meditate where are you now in your life? Are you happy? What makes you happy? What’s stopping you to do the big things? Why are you afraid of the unknown? or you can just let go everything, smile and utter a small prayer that everything will work out just fine.

Always be grateful about the little things in life cause when you look back at it, you will realize they were the big things. It can make your heart full and soul at peace. We are only humans, not capable of everything and ultimately not perfect. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and treat yourself better.

xoxo

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Adulthood. Since when?

2017 is the plot twist of my life cause this is the first for me to be independent. I grew up with strict and conservative grandparents that’s why I always crave for freedom. When I got the chance to move out of our house and live by myself without second thoughts I grabbed it right away. So at 22, I am that ‘independent woman’. I create these image inside my head of what am I gonna do once I have my own apartment. All of it was beautiful, exciting and fun. I thought it will be look like college sleepovers but reality hits me like a truck. I don’t know why I have this habit of making major decisions without really thinking about it.

At firsts it was a struggle, the emotional aspect of it is tough. I can’t sleep cause it doesn’t feel like home, getting home with no one to talk to my family is big I’m not used to silence, eating alone all the time. Even the day-to-day living was hard cause after long of work I have to take out the trash, cleaning dishes, laundries, cleaning, cooking, understanding your taxes, paying your bills all by yourself which I took for granted before.

This whole adulthood phase is all new to me that’s why I am so overwhelmed. I still fucked up, missed work cause I’m too drunk (don’t tell my mom), hitting snooze button for 100x, eating junk for the whole week to make ends meet, panicking over petty things. In short, I still don’t have my shit together I think we all do. No one have it all together. It’s bullshit some are just better at acting like they do. No matter how old you get life will always be a bitch but that’s what makes life interesting and worth living for. Well, my point is don’t be too hard on yourself as long as you’re trying world will understand.

I am not ready with adulting and I will never be. It’s fun but in a different way. The accomplishment when all your bills are paid, all laundries are done, sink is empty . It’s the little things that counts and don’t forget to celebrate it cause nobody will understand what does it takes you to get it done. The fulfillment finding out you can actually feed yourself and completely getting in control of your life. All the decisions big or small without the influence of anyone. It’s still tough but I won’t trade it for anything else cause I won’t have it the other way around. 2017 is life changing, indeed. Be grateful always!

‘Adulting is realizing we’re just children with taxes.’

xoxo

 

 

 

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Failures makes sense

May 16, 2015

How can I forget that day? It was the day I changed my life forever. It only took me one day, one-way plane ticket and one decision into a completely different life. Since coming to Japan, I always find myself defying my norms. I only had failures after failures, my insecurities eating me up but I tried my best not to give in cause I know to myself I’m not that weak. I fought the hardest that I can, chase the path I thought was the right one for me.

I thought I needed no one. I think highly of myself and didn’t rely to anyone cause I always believe I got my own back. I put too much pressure on myself that at this certain age, I should already achieved this and that etc. that’s why when my plans didn’t worked out the way I wanted it to be I always get disappointed and devastated.

There was also times, I questioned the Most High cause hey I’m trying my best, I always worked hard. Why it seems like it’s getting nowhere? Why it’s so easy for some people to get what I wanted without so much effort? Life is so unfair. I’m being such a bitch here I know but it was all in the past. Sorry. I forgot that God’s plan for me is even greater than what I plan for myself. I forgot to ask Him. I only rely on my own thinking and strength. But  I understand now, every failures I had was God’s way of saying ‘No, I have bigger plans for you. All you have to do is trust Me, my child.’

I got tired from all the failures and disappointments I had. The day I decided to completely surrender everything to God was the best decision I ever made. Ever since then, life surprises me. God will send you people as instruments to help you to realize His will. Currently, I’m on my way to a better place and I know that this time, God is walking me through. This is all His plans and not mine. All my failures makes sense. I was chasing the wrong path all along. I owe everything to Him I can’t do all of these alone.

For every lost souls, I completely understand how hard it is not to know what to do with life. There are days where you don’t feel alive and just empty soul. So we tend to chase and look as desperate as we can but we often forgot all we have to do is ask and trust Him. It’s that simple. It’s not a matter of religion. I hate religion it causes division among people but I do believe in God. I just don’t believe in any teachings even though I was born and raised as a Roman Catholic.

Always keep on trying, no matter what the results might be. Do things you think can help you at the moment. Be brave and make yourself proud. We got this!

‘Keep in mind the recipes for success: work, pray, think and believe.’

xoxo

 

 

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Summer Paradise: Coron, Palawan

Hi, Readers! I’m MIA for quite long cause I came home to spend summer time with family and friends. I want to share to you what happened to my well-deserved vacation and budget tips on how to travel without being broke. So the adventure begins! YAY!

I went to Coron, Palawan together with my college besties. We’re planning this trip for 2 years cause our broke-college-students-dilemma put us on hold. Now that we’re employed, finally we made it to Coron! It’s always been in my bucket list to travel Coron cause of the stunning pictures that I saw on the internet and blogs saying how majestic the rock formations of this beautiful island is. Truly I was not disappointed, Palawan is a paradise.

We’re group of four all girls and stayed at Momita’s lodge for 3D2N for only Php3,500 each including tour, accommodation and daily breakfast. I surely recommend Momita’s for anyone who wants to travel on budget.

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We took this picture inside Momita’s lodge.

I didn’t managed to take a picture of the whole room cause we got too excited but as you can see, it’s really wide and spacious. It has 2 double beds, 1 single bed, fully air-conditioned, 2 ceiling fan, 1 stand fan, 4 towels, 4 soaps and private bathroom. Momita is the owner of the lodge and this is also what the guests called her. She is really nice and welcoming I can see my grandma to her. She offers variety of rooms depending on your budget and how many persons. You can search her website online at www.mommitaslodge.jimdo.com  for more details.

Day 1

1st Stop: The Hunt for Food

We have ample of time to roam around the city before our tour begins..

So we decided to look for restaurant cause we’re really hungry fresh from our 30mins flight from Manila to Busuanga..

One of the many restaurants that are flocked together at the city of Coron. We choose this place cause this is the nearest to our lodge and the food looks appetizing.

Stingray in Coconut Milk

What makes this restaurant different is they served stingray in coconut milk. This is the first time in my entire life to eat stingray. It tasted like Bicol Express but the texture of it is like shredded tuna meat. All in all, it’s delicious worth a try!

And of couse, the undying love for Pork Sisig! Nothing beats the authentic Sisig back home. 2 cups of rice please!

2nd Stop: Mt. Tapyas

Momita only told us that we’re hiking 721 steps to the peak of Mt. Tapyas. We didn’t bring anything not even money cause right after hiking this mountain we’re going to Maquinit Hot Springs and there will be no lockers to put your belongings. So being the vigilant us, we decided not to bring valuables. It was a really bad move not to bring money cause we’re really exhausted and thirsty after hiking, good thing our tricycle driver is really nice. He lend us money to buy water. Thank you, Kuya! lol

On the way to city tour and Mt. Tapyas

We take pictures in between to ease our tiredness..

and to make everything worthwhile lol

3rd Stop: Maquinit Hot Springs 

This is my first time to actually bath into a natural hot spring. The view and scenery is therapeutic and the soil is really red. That’s when you know it is all natural. The warm water is so relaxing and it has pebbles underneath like a massage for your tired feet. This is a must-see if you die for a scenery like this especially, if you’re too fed up with the city life. There are also cottages in the place and grill joint where you can eat and drink.

The hot springs are divided into 3 parts: 1 big pool and 2 smaller pools

The path on the way to the hot springs

4th Stop: Where to dine for Dinner?

After a long day, we came back to our hostel just to fix ourselves and look for dinner. We landed at Carl’s BBQ just along the city of Coron. Their food are delicious, really affordable and serve in platters. Their ambiance makes you feel like you’re really in an island and good for groups and family.

We ordered crispy pata, calamares, baby back ribs, mango shake and bucket of beer for only Php1,265. Traveling in groups really shrink the expenses cause it is always divided by how many of you. I’m so sorry didn’t managed to take a photo of the food due to hunger.

While waiting for us to be seated, we asked the waitress to take a photo of us. I love the people of Coron they are just so accommodating.

They have different types of cottages to choose from. They have tree house set-up, long tables, and this cabbana style cottage.

Our first day ended full of laughter until you’re stomach hurts. It feels so good to just laugh like that again, can’t remember the last time we experience it. Also to catch up with my friends cause didn’t saw them for too long and we have many stories to tell. True friends are indeed gold.

Day 2: Island Hopping

The day we’re waiting for! We are all excited about this tour cause we can finally see the majestic rock formation, clear water and priceless scenery. There are places you can’t go without life vest, aqua shoes and mask and snorkle. They are just being careful cause of the 2 tourist died at Coron recently.

1st Stop: Twin Lagoon

I am so excited cause I can finally see and experience the beauty of it. The place I’m always dreaming about is right here in front of me. The pictures has no justice how atonishing the place is.

They have improvised stairs in between the rocks for you to go to the next lagoon. It is quite steep and the rocks are really sharp so be extra careful when using the stairs but it’s just a few steps.

Twin Lagoon has different water temperature vary from warm to cold. Amazing isn’t it?

On the way to Twin Lagoon

Look at those rock formation. Amazing God!

2nd Stop: CYC Beach

It’s a small white sand beach with clear turquoise water where you can swim, drink and eat ice candy cause locals sells them in their boats

The view is jaw-dropping

 

That clear water says it all

3rd Stop: Kayangan Lake

This is the controversial lake cause this is where the 2 tourist died. I heard from the locals it was temporarly closed but luckily, it is opened again the time we visited it. You have to hike in order to get to the lake, it is quite long so be prepared. But the hike is always worth it cause of the stunning scenery. Tour guides doesn’t allow the tourist to enter the lake without life vest.

The entrance to the hike..adventure begins!

The view that will welcome you when the boat dock at the entrance of Kayangan Lake

A photo in the actual lake. Clear water and rock formations are love.

4th Stop: Sunken Japanese Wrecks

It was a Japanese war ship during the WW2, I was mesmerized by the beauty of this ruins. It is amazing how something so destroyed can be this beautiful. Truly, nature has its own way of healing itself.

 

No filter photo of the sea. Be amaze!

That is the shipwreck surrounded by many marine life. The beauty of ruins another no filter photo

5th Stop: Coron Reefs

This was our last stop for our Island Tour and definitely the most beautiful one. It feels like I enter into a ‘whole new world’. It is a long trail of mesmerizing coral garden with shades of pink and blue, alive corals that are breathing, a home of many marine life. Philippines is so beautiful, I’m craving for more. All credits to the Most High, our world is beyond beautiful.

It was so beautiful that I actually forgot to take pictures because I was so busy just enjoying the moment and appreciating all beauty in front me. I’m sorry.

Day 3: Last Day/ Souvenir Shops

Filipinos definitely won’t forget ‘pasalubong’ for loved ones. Before our morning flight, we decided to roam around the city to look for possible souvenirs to take back home.

 

The mandatory t-shirts and keychains in every souvenir shops.

Also the ref magnets, but I love this wood type.

 

So that’s how our Coron Adventure ends. If you want peace, nature and sightseeing definitely, Coron is for you. The island is really small, it’s like a size of a subdivision back in the city. You can finished the city tour within a day. In terms of safety, we traveled Coron all girls we go out until midnight walking around the city and we didn’t experience any danger at all. The locals are really nice, polite and helpful maybe because you can notice that the major livelihood of the people are their tourism. So they really take good care of their tourists and guests.

Also Coron is really budget-friendly and affordable, I’ll show you the breakdown of the total expenses I had:

  • Airfare from Manila- Busuanga vice versa via Skyjet: Php5,319
  • Tour and Accommodation (Momita’s Lodge): Php3,500
  • Pocket Money: Php3,000
  • Total: Php11,816

My entry for Hana’s Travel Bucket List: Coron, Palawan, Philippines CHECK!!

xoxo

 

 

 

 

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