Adventures ni Tolits ’14

It’s that time of the year again. Formulate resolutions. Buy twelve pieces of twelve round fruits. Rearrange furniture. Wear something with polka-dots.  Make loud, obnoxious noise. Burn hard earned money(fireworks). It’s the last hurrah before the year ends and the welcome party for the coming new year.  All part of the traditional way of celebrating New Year’s day.

I don’t plan on being tagged as the Scrooge of New Year so I’ll keep my rants about some of these traditions to myself. (Send me a private message on Facebook and I’ll share them with you. Haha.) However one of them I feel strongly about, so I’ll share it. I have never been a fan of the so called “New Year’s Resolutions”. To me these are unrealistic goals that you will either forget or feel bad about, once the year ends and you realize you weren’t able meet them. This belief of mine was further reinforced during a conversation with someone I now consider as a mentor. He said that he prefers reflections over resolutions, mainly because on reflections, you will see how you past choices has affected your present and from there you can base your future. I found myself mentally and physically nodding as he was saying these things. I couldn’t agree more. Two years ago, it seems I had a similar idea. I made a note on Facebook sharing the random realizations I’ve had during the year. This post I’m writing now can be considered as the sequel.

2014 was a year full of adventures. The second day of the first month began with me traveling to Bonifacio Global City to take the final assessment before I officially start a new job.  Prior to this, I never thought I will be able to commute alone going to Manila. I found the idea too intimidating. I realize this might sound exaggerated to some, but that’s how it is for me. Fear of the unknown should not stop us from doing things, you will never know until you try.

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Something decided to make a comeback this year, my beer belly! Haha. Late last year till early this year I was finally able to trim my gut to a decent bump. By the middle of the year I noticed my midsection was growing again! I’m not sure if this is a reflection or an excuse but my returning belly meant I am able to have full meals regularly. I need to exercise though.

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I’d like to believe that it was maturity and experience that taught me to value relationships over pride. I have lost good friends in the past because I chose pride. There is no shame in making the first move to make amends and keep a relationship. However it’s also important to know which ones to hold on to and which ones to let go. The ones I have now, I intend to keep. You guys know who you are. Ditak kayu mu naman eh. Special mention my best bud,  eight years and counting man! Don’t make me a godfather yet. Let’s get filthy rich first!

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I’m not a regular church goer. This is due to the fact that I easily get distracted when attending mass with a lot of people. Getting distracted for me defeats the purpose of going to mass, which is to communicate with God. When I communicate with Him it’s like I’m talking to a best friend and I do this where ever I am because I believe He always listens.

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One of the questions I constantly get from family and friends is when will have my own family. I admit I have given this some thought. This will happen eventually, someday I will become a father and have a family of my own but for the time being, I do not see myself ready to take on that road.

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Judging a book by its cover is a well worn cliche for a reason. We tend to pass judgement based by what we see on the surface. Good thing we always have the option to open the book and read it. Several misconceptions of mine were corrected this year. There is really more then meets the eye. (cliche ulit!) Open the book, read it, comprehend. You might discover something legendary.

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Writing is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but was never able to. It might have been fear, laziness or both that kept me from pursuing that dream. That dream became a reality because of this blog.(huge thanks WordPress!) I will continue writing my random thoughts on life’s never ending adventures regardless if other people reads it or not. There’s something fulfilling in seeing my thoughts in form of sentences that develop into stories and for me that is more than enough.

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More adventures coming..

 Gratitude 2014! What’s up 2015?! Happy New Year!

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Trip lang

Ever had those moments where you suddenly had the desire to go on an unplanned trip? Then you end up talking yourself out of it because you don’t do things that randomly, so you revert back to your normal planned out existence. *long deep sigh.

Back in October, (Yep, still working on my backlog. Haha.) I was on Facebook chat with a couple of college buddies, we haven’t seen each other for quite some time and was throwing ideas back and forth as to how and when will we have a session. I jokingly suggested they come over to my place and we’ll have our session here. Next thing I knew, my off hand invite was taken seriously and three people were on their way here and I was not prepared for it. As I have mentioned on my previous posts, one of the perks of living in the mountains is when I invite people over they come up with excuses not accept the invite. Clearly this was not one of those times. Lol. Lucky for me, my buddies are not “maarte” and can make do with what was available.

Long story short, they were able to reach my place, no thanks to me because apparently I was no good in giving directions. Haha. Good thing they had decent navigation skills or they would have been lost. After buying session supplies, one of my buddies and I started talking about our long overdue trip to Morong, Bataan to visit our good friend who currently works there. He suggested we go ahead with that visit that night, an unplanned road trip. My first reaction was to ask him if he was serious, he was and I was up for it. The one who owns our ride agreed to the plan, the other one was passed out in the back seat, drunk from a prior drinking session, so he did not have much say on the matter. Lol.  So we informed our friend that we were on our way to visit and we were off.

It was 10:30 in the evening, with our meager supplies we began our road trip. One of the good things about a late night road trip is that there is zero traffic. The downside though is you could easily get lost which almost happened to us several times. Hehe. The trip was uneventful until we reached Subic and was pulled over for swerving. We caught a lucky break though and was just given a warning. After a couple of wrong turns, one even leading us inside the Zoobic Safari, we finally reached our destination, Phi Phi Beach Resort. It was 2:30 am then.

Our drunk buddy chose that time to wake and throw up. After that he got the pleasant surprise of finding that he woke up in Bataan. Haha. After a couple of miles and few hours we were finally able start our session. I noticed how mature we have become compared to when we were in college. Our session lasted till sunrise with us talking about work, misadventures, love, politics, and life in general.

After a power nap, though still a bit groggy, I decided to explore. The resort was huge. Its was October so there only few guests, the place was quite peaceful. The blogger in me kicked in. I knew I had to write about this adventure. I walked around, took some pictures with my trusty smart phone then went back to our room.

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We ate cup noodles and bread for breakfast then slept again. We woke up to brunch given to us by our sweet friend who we were not able to bond with because when we arrived she had to sleep for her work the next day. If you are reading this, big thanks to you not for the food but for the friendship, Thank you.

We slept again after eating. (#batugan) Woke up wanting to swim. A quick dip and it was time to leave as one of my buddies had to go to work.The trip home was a chill drive broken only by a quick stop at a fastfood for late lunch.

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I was home by 6:00 pm with great memories of an unplanned adventure.

I look forward to more unplanned and unexpected adventures this coming 2015. Sabi nga ni Sheyee at Sam Pinto, “Pinakamasaya ung di pinlano..”

more adventure coming..

Peace out!

Ninong Duties

One buddy of mine has twenty seven, another has forty plus of them. I’m talking about godchildren or “inaanaks”. This is quite mind blowing for me as I only have four. Hehe.  As a socially awkward person, I am fully aware that I do not have large number of friends and acquaintances and I like it that way. I know the ones I do have are for keeps. I’d rather have a hand full of real friends than a crowd of acquaintances. This, and probably the fact that I’m an infamous “kuripot” are the reasons why I have a modest number of godchildren.

A godparent for me is not just someone who gives money or presents every Christmas. It’s a lifetime commitment to be the child’s second parent, to help in any way possible in raising the child to become a good person. This is why I consider it as a huge honor when someone asks me to be a part of his or her child’s life as their godfather. For me this equates to trust. Trust that I can be a good influence in their child’s life. Trust that I will consider their child as my own.

I make sure I am there for the christening ceremonies, I do not believe in having a “proxy”, if I am not there, I do not consider it valid.

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Akisha Nicole Agustin,  5

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Hannah Francine Madrid,  3

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Mickela Ciana Luciano,  2

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Brent Cyrus Beat,  1

I currently have four godchildren, three girls and a boy. Aside from their parents being my good friends, these kids have another thing in common, I was one of the first persons their parents told about their conception.  One them I learned about right before the final exams in college began, one, a few months after her parent’s honeymoon to Boracay,  the other two, were few years after college. Along with the good news came the honor of being asked to be their godparent.

Traditionally, godchildren visit their godparent’s house during the holidays to pay respects and of course get their presents. Living in the mountains does have it’s perks. When you invite someone to come over to your house you’ll get various excuses not to accept the invite.  Why is that a perk you say? It is a perk for me because I’m saved the trouble of cleaning and preparing the house for visitors! Lol. This year instead of waiting for my inaanaks to visit me at home, I decided to set a dinner with their parents so it would be more convenient to all parties.

The dinner happened few days ago, met with three of my close friends and their happy families. I was the only one single that day since my other single friends had prior commitments. I was teased by my married friends, asking me when will they see me having my own. I searched myself for any signs of envy and came up with none. I was very happy to see my them having their own family, but I knew I did not want nor am I ready for one just yet.

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The dinner was eventful, mostly because of the antics of the kids. Lol. During the course of our meal I saw a new side of my friends, I saw them as parents, I think that was the time that it really dawned to me that they now have another human being to take care of. I liked this new side of them that I saw. Hopefully when my time comes I will be able to do the same.

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So far I’ve been blessed with four godchildren, I believe I have another one coming by next year. Keep ’em coming guys!

more adventures coming..

Peace out!

Thoughts ni Tolits: Chapter 1

Random thoughts.

Some make sense.

Some do not.

It’s a glimpse inside my twisted mind.

Being average gives you your best chance to be great by your own efforts.

Your world is only as big or as small as you allow it to be.

It’s better to stay silent than try to explain to someone who has a shortage of brain cells.

Chase your dreams, no one else will chase them for you.

Some people are so full of air its amazing how they are able to stay on the ground and not float away.

It’s not what you wear, it’s who wears it.

Love is love. It is not bound by time or space, not limited by numbers, not determined by what is socially accepted.

There is a huge difference between being careful and being paranoid.

No matter how important you think you are, you are nothing but a minuscule dot in the universe.

When a mistake is repeatedly committed it evolves in to something called stupidity.

The number of people who are there during your funeral are not the measure of what your life was. It’s the number of people who will still remember you long after the funeral is over.

Happiness and Contentment.  Hardest to find, easiest to lose.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However that does not mean that they are all right.

Fear of being alone often leads one to hold on to someone who has left or was not even there in the first place.

Even the best laid plans fail. Always have Plan B, C and D

Smoking is something smokers cannot explain and non smokers will never understand.

If you believe that someone is better than you are, then you are right.

When a someone is being nice it can mean two things. He/She is really a nice person. He/She needs something from you.

Time is the most precious yet most under appreciated gifts we were blessed with.

You’d be surprised at the things you will find out when you learn how to listen and not just hear.

When throwing something, be sure you will not regret it when someone picks it up.

Anything broken can always be put together, but it will never be the same again.

Age is not the sole basis of wisdom.

Pretending to be something that you’re not is the most pitiful state you can ever be in.

The pain of rejection is something that will not be numbed by the number of times you’ve experienced it.

No one has been blinded by looking at the bright side.

It’s not always someone to talk to, at times it’s just someone to listen.

Choosing is the easy part. Living with the consequences of that choice is the real challenge.

 

 

Peace out!

12.13.14

While browsing Facebook feeds I came across this photo. I excitedly downloaded it and was about to hit share when I realized that it pertains to yesterday’s date. Hehe. Oh well, I’ll just use it as the title of this post then.

12.13.14 was a Saturday. I planned to sleep till noon, check my blog, eat,  get some writing done, then meet a couple of friends for dinner. This plan changed when I got an text from my cousin asking me to accompany her in her Christmas shopping. My cousins I are quite close, but we rarely have time to bond, so I obliged to the invite.

One of the things I love and hate about the holiday season is that people seem to crawl out of the wood works all at the same time. It is nice to see families and group of friends bonding while doing their Christmas shopping. However this also means traffic, jam-packed restaurants and fast food, long lines at ATM machines, fitting rooms and cashiers.

This is exactly what my cousin and I encountered at a famous local mall. Fortunately with some patience, focus and luck, we were able to accomplish what we came for. Then came a happy interruption to our plans. We bumped into one of our cousins and she excitedly informed us that there was a free screening of Kapampangan movies. The word “free” was enough to catch my attention, but then she proceeded to tell us that her Mom and her sister were starring in one of the films to be shown!

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Next thing I knew we were inside the venue of Cine Kabalen, watching Kapampangan films. Then came Mis Da Ka. the film featuring my relatives. It was a surreal experience to watch people you knew your whole life on screen. The film was brilliant! I was not surprised when a text message from my cousin informed me that her sister bagged the Best Actress trophy, her second consecutive year of winning! and Mis Da Ka won Best Film and Best Director.

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Props to everyone involved not only in the movie but in the whole Cine Kabalen event. There should be more events like this.

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Groupie!

I then had to rush to another mall to meet with friends. When meeting with friends, I am more often than not late. Haha. It’s probably why karma decided to give me a dose of my own medicine. This time I was the one who was early. My original plan was to have dinner with them, however my stomach had other ideas. I ended up eating a meal by myself by the park benches. Lol.

The meet up was worth the wait though. These are people I knew in college but we moved in different social circles back then. There was hardly a trace of that last night though. Not only did I enjoy their company, I also learned and realized a lot of things. It was one of those moments you wanted to prolong but eventually had to end. It was an awesome ending to a very eventful day. Thanks Legendaries!

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Thanks Harry and Hermione!

It’s always good to have a plan. However, life is fond of throwing pleasant surprises and happy accidents our way that can set the plan off course. In these instances, its better to just go with it and have fun rather than be pissed. You might even end up enjoying the change. That was my 12.13.14. How was yours?

***credits to the owners of the photos used in this post

more adventures coming..

Peace out!

Un Expert Review : Mockingjay Part 1

It was one of those spur of the moment, unexpected adventures. These types are usually more fun than the planned ones, especially since “mas natutuloy pag biglaan” is a line that is very true. Originally, I was only going to spend my Friday at Fully Booked, Marquee Mall along with a fellow bookworm. By the time we met, we were both hungry,  so I decided to hit two birds with one stone. I had to go to this restaurant for additional pictures for a blog post I was working on (#bloggerduties). We ended up having an early Korean dinner. While eating, a friend called my companion and the next thing we know we had a ride to Marquee and another companion for our Friday adventure. After enduring the Friday rush hour traffic, we finally reached the haven for bookworms, Fully Booked.

Apologies for the long introduction, it was necessary to make a point. As the title says this is my Un Expert Review of the movie Mockingjay Part 1. Normally this should be very predictable since I do blog about my adventures. However, I did not plan to watch a movie that night and the movie we watched was the third part of a movie franchise which I haven’t even watched the first two movies yet! Lol. It’s a good thing I was able to read the books few years back when the first movie was just in the works.

The Hunger Games is a best selling, three part dystopian book series written by Suzanne Collins. As the trend goes, the book series was also made into motion pictures. Like the books, the first two movies were box office successes. It’s probably what prompted the guys behind the movies to break the last book in to two parts.

Here are my un expert thoughts and opinions about the movie. This will contain spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the movie or read the books, you know what to do.

The Mockingjay part 1 is another proof that Jennifer Lawrence is an excellent artist. When she visits District 12 for the first time and sees what’s left of it, the time she walks inside the hospital of District 8 and the people give her the silent salute, every time she sees Peeta on screen, when she realizes that Snow plans to kill Peeta, her breakdown when Snow tells her he knows about the rescue mission, her expression while Peeta tries to strangle her to death and the way she hauntingly sang The Hanging Tree, these are just some of the numerous highlights of Jennifer Lawrence flawlessly breathing life to Katniss Everdeen.

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The way Josh Hutcherson played his role as Peeta Mellark made me think about the sacrifices actors go through to make the role realistic. In every interview Peeta has with Flickerman there are subtle but noticeable changes. The change became even more pronounced after the rescue. Props to the people behind the scenes as well, they did a good job of making the torture Peeta has gone through implied but very evident. The way he looked in that last scene was perfect.

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I appreciated the idea of propaganda videos or “propos” as Plutarch calls them. Before the actual attacks, propos were used by District 13 and The Capitol to shape the belief of Panem’s populace, pitting Katniss and Peeta against each other. This seems to mirror our society today. What we see in the media, we tend to believe is true, not knowing that for the most part, a lot of planning and manipulation is involved for it look true.

The propos scenes that stood out to me includes the hilarious outcome when they try and fail to make Katniss believably deliver a script about her being the Mockingjay inside a studio.

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Next one was the edited version of  the footage taken during and after the Capitol bombed the hospital at District 8. The untouched version was powerful enough, but the edited version was the bomb! (Pun intended). “If we burn, you burn with us!” Lastly, the series of “interviews” of Peeta with Flickerman. They were believable as they were disturbing.

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At the end of the day you just need a person to look up to,  maybe a hero or a star, excellent script writing and awesome editing. Brilliant marketing.

The attack on the dam, where people willingly became the human shields so the ones carrying the explosives can get past the guards and set the explosives off,  with the Hanging Tree being sung in the background was a particularly powerful scene. It left me with goosebumps. The message was clear, even the oppressed can fight back when the the oppression becomes to much. They can fight with abandon since they have nothing left to lose. This is something the people in power now ought to think about.

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President Snow had it right when he told Katniss that the people you love the most are the ones that can really hurt you. This is so true both literally and figuratively. In Katniss’ case it’s even deadly as Peeta had been hijacked and set to kill her.

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My first thoughts when I saw Cressida were “Oh Game of Thrones!” and how hot she looked with the side of her head shaved and tattooed. Hehe. The role was a perfect for her. New crush alert! Lol.

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Alright, that ends the part for what I saw, let’s talk about the scenes I did not see. Sometimes its better to watch the movie version first, then read the book after, so you will not have any expectations.

Before Katniss consents to be the Mockingjay she had her demands. All of them were in the movie, except the one about killing Snow. I wonder why the producers chose to leave this out as this is for me a very crucial part of the story.

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President Coin in the movie was almost nice, a word I will never use to describe her in the book. She imprisoned Katniss’ and Peeta’s prep team, did not treat them humanely, this was not in the movie. She and Katniss even seemed friendly, which was not the case in the books. Even the military strictness and the frugality of District 13 was, I think downplayed. The only indication of frugality for me was the identical grey jumpsuits.

All things considered, the movie was awesome. They way it ended with both Snow and Coin thinking they now have the upper hand and Katniss in a neck brace helplessly watching an emaciated, hijacked, and tied down Peeta, set the tone of what is to happen on the second and final installment of the movie franchise. I’d give this movie four out of five stars just because of the difference from the book.

My fellow bookworm gave me good reasons why some parts of the books are not included in their movie versions. She said it can be because these scenes an either be too complicated or not really necessary and will not change the flow of the story. In some ways I agree with her, but I will still wait for a movie adaptation that will be able to stay faithful to every detail of the book, until then..

Are you, are you, coming to the tree..

more adventures coming!

Peace out!

Jay : Chapter 1

Wala naman siyang problema nung gabing yun, mag-isa siyang umiinom dahil hindi siya nasipot ng kabarkada niya.  Ayos lang ito kay Jay, sanay siya na mag-isa.  May iba pa naman siyang mga kaibigan na maaring maaya, pero mas pinili na lamang niya magsolo.

“Dati-rati, sabay pa nating pinangarap ang lahat, umaawit pa sa hangin at amoy araw ang balat…”

Napangiti si Jay ng marinig ang kantang iyon habang mag-isang umiinom  sa isang bar sa Balibago. Nababaduyan man siya, gusto niya ang kantang iyon, inilalarawan kasi nito ang 90’s, panahon ng kanyang kabataan. Nanumbalik kanya ang isang nakakaliw na alaala ng panahong nagdaan.

Nagbabakasyon siya noon sa bahay ng tiyahin niya sa San Fernando. Solong  anak si Jay kaya sabik siya sa kalaro. Iyon agad ang kanyang hinanap pagdating nila sa bahay ng tiya niya. Hindi naman siya nabigo, dahil sa tapat ng bahay ay may nakita siyang isang batang babae. Linapitan niya ito at inayang maglaro. Kahit noon lamang sila nagkita agad naman silang nagkasundo.

Bahay -bahayan ang nais na laro ng batang babae na agad namang sinangayunan ni Jay. Masaya siya dahil may bago siyang kalaro, kahit anu pa ang gustong laro ng batang babae ay payag si Jay. Nang mag-laon, maliban sa paglalaro ay namamasyal na din sila sa may kalapit na parke kasama ang taga alaga ng batang babae.

Halos araw-araw ay magkasama ang dalawa, napuputol lamang ang paglalaro nila sa tuwing ang papauwiin ng kanyang taga alaga ang batang babae upang matulog sa tanghali. Isang araw, habang masaya silang naglalaro ng bahay bahayan ay tinawag ng kanyang taga alaga ang batang babae, pinapauwi na ito para matulog. Ayaw ng batang babae ngunit sa huli ay sumunod din ito at umuwi. Naiwan mag isa ang batang si Jay. Kinabukasan ay nagusap ang dalawang bata.

“Ayaw ko na sa amin, palagi na lang ako pinapatulog ni Ate.”

“Gusto mo dito ka na lang sa amin tumira?”

“Talaga?!”

Oo! Kunin mo na yung mga gamit mo, share tayo dito sa bahay bahayan natin!”

“Hmm.. puwede ko ba isama si Teddy ko?”

“Oo naman!”

Umuwi ang batang babae ng tangahaling iyon upang matulog. Kinahapunan ng bumalik siya kina Jay may bitbit siyang maliit na kahon at yakap ang isang teddy bear sa kabilang kamay niya. Nakasalubong niya papasok ang tiya ni Jay. Nagtatakang tinanong ng matanda ang bata kung ano ang dala nito. Sinabi ng batang babae na mga damit niya iyon, sinabi din niya ang usapan nila ni Jay na doon na sila titira sa bahay bahayan nila. Hindi alam ng matanda kung matatawa ito o pagagalitan si Jay dahil sa nangyari. Kinausap nito ang dalawang bata at ipinaliwanag kung bakit hindi maaring doon tumira ang batang babae. Matapos ang madaming tanong ay naiitindihan din ng dalawang bata ang nais ipaintindi ng matanda.

Nagpatuloy ang pagkakaibigan ng dalawang bata hanggang sa kailangan ng umuwi ni Jay dahil tapos na ang bakasyon. Bago naghiwalay ang dalawa ay nangako si Jay na sa susunod na bakasyon ay babalik siya uli sa bahay ng tiyahin niya. Maglalaro at mamasayal sila ulit. Nangako din ang batang babae na hihintayin niya si Jay.

Ngunit laking pagkalungkot ni Jay ng sumunod na bakasyon.  Wala na ang batang babae. Kasama ang kanyang buong pamilya ay lumipad sila pa Amerika upang doon na manirahan, Ang naiwan na lamang sa bahay ng batang babae ay ang dati niyang taga alaga na siya na ngayong taga pangalaga ng bahay.

Ito ang alaalang nanariwa kay Jay ng marinig niya ang kantang iyon habang mag-isa siyang umiinom. Naisip niya, nasaan na nga kaya ang batang babae ngayon. Kahit anung pilit niya ay hindi niya maalala ang pangalan ng unang babaeng hindi niya sinasadayang naaya na maglive in.  “Ang aga ko pala lumandi!” natatawang bulong ni Jay sa sarili.  Umorder pa siya ng isang bote ng beer at pagkaubos niyon ay nagpasya na siyang umuwi dahil tinatawag na siya ng kanyang higaan.