Dark and Twisted

Feeling a little murdery the previous days, like I just want to strangle someone and leave him/her dead on the cold floor. Kidding. Just trying to make some mess on my new favorite sketchbook. XD





I’ve been seeing things differently, literally. My left eye, at least. For almost a week now, my eye seems to make a straight solid line look like two blurred lines. I am not liking this. I really hope this is self-limited. If this continues for another week, I may have no choice but to visit an ophthalmologist.


Lost Boys


Sometimes, we focus our lenses so far to capture the landscape and forget that people also make places interesting.

Matnog, Sorsogon | December 25, 2015


Rusted hands

I received a sketchbook as a birthday present two weeks ago, which suddenly reminded me of my love for arts as much as my love for science. It has been a while since I last used a pencil to draw and not to shade answer sheets for exams. I should probably use the remaining pages of my old sketchbook before ruining this new one. Haha.My hands are rusted but whatever, it’s not the output, it’s the joy of doing it anyway. (Even abstract is called art.) And I’m trying to draw something different this time. Don’t judge 😉






“Ruffae, hindi na kita iha-hug kasi alam kong hindi ka hugger.”

After that statement, my classmate left and went hugging more people. Honestly, that kept me thinking. Am I really that detached to everyone? I totally disagree. Maybe there was one time when she hugged me, sensed that I felt uncomfortable and then she decided that I don’t like hugs. But that is so not true. I am a hugger, just for the right people. If you try to hug me, I won’t stop you; but it would certainly feel uncomfortable if you are not in my “To Hug List”. I believe that hugging is one of the most affectionate things in life. You have to earn it first.


Not your typical dayhike to Mt. Maslow

It has been more than a year since I quit my job, left the world of fun and travelling and decided to enter medical school. Every now and then I get to ask myself where I would be right now had my decisions been different. Would I have finally reached the peak of Mt. Pulag or set foot on the hills of Batanes? What would my day job be? Would I have continued as a researcher or entered an entirely different field, like hospital dietetics or food service? Would I have stayed in Laguna or found a new place? Would I finally be in a romantic relationship? The questions are endless, but it will be left unanswered because I already chose a different path.

I am preparing for an exam two days from now, but there is something about nights like this that make me want to assess my life, my current situation. As of this moment, I am sitting in my room, with the clutter on top of my study table, wondering how far I have gone from my original plan. You see, I never really thought, ever, of entering medical school. I even remember myself telling a classmate back in college that becoming a doctor is just for the super intelligent ones. Moreover, my family doesn’t have the means to send me to another five years of schooling. But here I am, trying to remember when the turning point happened.

During my interview when I was applying for a medical school, I said I wanted to be a neurosurgeon because I don’t want other families losing a member just because no one is able to operate and save that member’s life. Maybe I was just bitter because that was how I lost my father. A little drama will always win the interviewers’ hearts, right. But If I am to answer that question honestly, I’d say selfishly that I want to become a doctor because it’s the only reason for me to attain self actualization.

It was in summer, 2009 when I encountered Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Probably not the first time, but this time, it struck me deeply, especially the topmost level. How do I attain self-actualization? That moment, I thought the answer was to graduate on time, find a perfect job as a nutritionist dietitian, have a family and then grow old with the person I love. Cliche it may sound, but I was 16 then. Only four years later had I realized what I really wanted to be. I saw myself as somebody that I never even imagined of becoming. I wanted to be a doctor, and not just a doctor,but a kickass neurosurgeon. I’m still actually trying to remember why, of all possible options, I wanted to be a doctor. Maybe there really is no perfect answer, it just strikes you in the heart and that’s it.

That is why here I am, hidden behind these pile of notes, trying to study for my exams. I may not be travelling or hiking right now, but I know that this is the most adventurous trip I have been so far. And this is going to take for a while. Probably forever, since doctors never stop learning. But I am happy, because finally, I am nearing that summit of Mt. Maslow.



Mini Adventure: Sumlang lake

I have always been a dependent traveller. Mostly because I have a very little sense of direction and one of my greatest fears in life is getting lost. I have this scenario in my mind wherein once I get lost, even if I ask the people, they will point me to the wrong way, making it worse, until I run out of cash then I become a taong grasa and nobody will find me ever and I will just grow old with a sickness and just die on the streets- something like that. Therefore, I see to it that when I travel, either I have someone with me, or at least I have a recipe of how to get a place in full details.

Sometimes though I realize that my fear of getting lost is hindering me from seeing the world. Because I am so anxious of getting to the destination, I somehow forget to enjoy the journey. This has to stop, and only I can solve this problem. I need to be brave and just let go of my worries (and try to block that scenario that keeps on building in my head).

Earlier this week, I went to Brgy. Sua, which lies within the 6km permanent danger zone of Mt. Mayon in Camalig Albay, to gather data for my research. Since I decided not to have a partner for my research, I had no choice but to do the data gathering alone. Why didn’t I accept that partnership a classmate offered?

After I collected that necessary data for my research, I thought it was yet too early to go home. Besides, I was already in a place where I have heard good stuff about. The weather was also pretty perfect for an escapade. But before that, my stomach needed some food.  I tried looking for an air-conditioned restaurant (I had been walking in an oven for almost four hours already), unfortunately, there was none so I ended up in this 5-table eatery beside the municipal hall. While enjoying my lunch, I had a little chat with the owner and inquired about Quitinday hills. That was where I was planning to go. It’s like a local version of Bohol’s chocolate hills, only they were smaller. I was told that to get there, I needed to rent a tricycle with the usual rate of Php500. After hearing that, I realized that Quitinday hills and I weren’t going to meet that day. It was just too expensive for a solo traveller. Moreover, the owner kept on emphasizing that I shouldn’t go there alone, not that it’s unsafe or something, just because.

So much for planning a solo adventure. I needed a back-up plan so I went to the tourism office for more information about Camalig’s other  destinations.  They showed me a list and found out that it has more to offer (Hoyop-hoyopan cave, ancestral houses, old chapels, etc) and they also have this sort of tour where I can just rent a tricycle and it will bring me to all of the tourist destinations for a little less than a thousand bucks. I thought it was a good offer, unfortunately, my pockets weren’t prepared enough.

Just so the afternoon wouldn’t end up adventure-less, I chose to go to the nearest tourist spot which will cost me the least. To Sumlang lake it is. The tourism officer instructed me about the way. I listened carefully and noted everything he said. Good thing the place wasn’t actually that far (according to him), making my anxiety issues a little less. He told me to ride a jeepney and get off the boundary between Daraga and Camalig, where there was a monument of Pinangat, the municipality’s famous product. Then from there, he told me, I could just ask the locals for more directions.

A few minutes later, I was in a jeepney telling the driver to get me off the said boundary. Little did I know that not all jeepney drivers were familiar with the boundary and the Pinangat monument. Panick attack. I remembered the tourism officer that the boundary was only around two kilometers away from their office. After like three minutes (my seat wasn’t even warm yet), the driver pointed me to a corner where he said was a way to the lake. I asked him three times if he was sure, he nodded. Fine then, I got off and hoped that he was 100% sure of that nod. There was a sari-sari store at the corner and asked if that was really the way to the lake. I received an affirmation, however, they told me that it would have been better if I got off at the boundary and walked from there. Great, the famous boundary again. I didn’t want to waste another centavo and time to look for the boundary so I asked if I could still get to the lake from where I was currently standing. She said yes, and that was all I needed to hear. I asked her if I can walk from there to the lake but she suggested that I ride a tricycle. Tricycle it is. There were no tricycles around so I started walking. Some five minutes later, I asked a few locals if I was already near the lake. They said that it was still far and that I should just ride a tricycle. Silly hard-headed me. But there are no tricycles! A few seconds later, a tricycle magically appeared and the locals instructed the driver to bring me to the lake. Finally! Ten minutes later, the tricycle driver was asking another local of the way to the lake. Seriously? The locals pointed us the way. Good thing that there were many houses around and the barangay seemed alive; if it were not, and if it looked like a dead forest, I would have backed out. Another five minutes later, I was finally relieved to see the lake.


Sumlang lake wasn’t really the type that will put one in awe. The tourism officer said that this was the only body of water that catches Mt. Mayon’s perfect reflection. It wasn’t my luckiest day however because the sky and Mt. Mayon were covered with clouds and it started to become pretty gloomy. But I was happy, really happy that despite the odds, I still made it to the lake. It was somehow refreshing to arrive to the place with almost no people around, just a few children hanging out. Good, no crowd to ruin the solitude of my solo trip. For a few minutes, I watched the children play with the bamboo boat floating on the lake. They told me that I can ride the bamboo raft. Maybe later, I thought. For a few more minutes, I was just sitting on a bamboo bench thinking of anything I could think off.

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It was actually a really good place to reflect on life. After around fifteen minutes of staring at the lake water, a group of local boys arrived. They approached and told me that they saw me while I was riding the tricycle and asking for direction. Normally, I would have just ignored them and pretended to hear nothing, but I realized that it wouldn’t hurt me to be friendly this time. Besides, the children know the group of boys so I guess it was fine to have a conversation with them. They asked me if I wanted to ride the bamboo raft. At first, I declined, afraid that it might rain while we were in the middle of the lake; but they insisted, so I agreed. Besides, they were offering the ride for free, which usually wasn’t according to the children. The boys maneuvered the raft so that we could go to the center of the lake (it was a small lake so it took no time getting there). They said that the waters of the lake used to be really clear and that its floor didn’t use to be muddy until Mayon volcano erupted some years ago. I somehow felt bad hearing that.


It was starting to get dark so I decided to leave the place. But I promised my new friends to go back so that I can see Mt. Mayon’s perfect reflection on the lake. Besides, they also promised to take me to the hill nearby.


I learned many things during this mini-adventure but I am not going to talk about them one by one for this post has already gotten pretty lengthy. Go figure. haha


Complicated Me

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I used to believe that I am a simple person, like most people out there. As I grow older and more mature, however, I realize that I am far from being one. I am complicated right from the very start and I continue to be one each day.

Everyday I am faced with situations where I can just choose the simpler option, the easier one and just get it done and over with; but life would be too much boring if I did. I seek adventure. I thirst for that feeling of going into the unknown and finally getting out of it, successful. The rush keeps me alive. Moreover, it becomes more exciting because I am not the bravest person out there (plus I have anxiety issues); therefore, if I get out of a difficult situation accomplished, that is the best feeling in the world. It is the fuel that keeps me going.

So, if you are not in for a crazy ride with my complicated self and life, you might as well get off the bus. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. XD