Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Archive for June, 2014

Cultural Immersion (Second Stop): Hopping the Hundred Islands

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI dreamed of relaxing and writing in the middle of a small island surrounded by white, fine, sandy beach with a lush forest at its very core. Remotely, this island would sit in the middle of a vast sea green ocean, which would calm me even more. Sounds like a vacation for a terribly rich kid, huh? But it did happen to me on the first weeked of June, right in one of the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan.

For the first time in my life, I dropped by Alaminos, Pangasinan just for anGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA island-hopping tour on this popular tourist destination in the north of the Philippines. We first stayed overnight in Quezon Island, named after one of the country’s former presidents. This island is one of those developed islets open for visitors.

But the idea of being alone in the island did not happen though. There were packs of tourists by then (especially, it was a Saturday). But it dosen’t matter, as long as they don’t bug the other tourists. Just bring along your tents or sleeping bags, you can choose to sleep along the sandy beach or on the tree-filled hilltop.

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Quezon Island — my kind of place where I can relax and write my dreams away… 🙂

But while vacationing, I finished a few writing assignments while charging our phones. The fresh air, the sound of the sea, and the very ambience of the place was perfect to complete my task.

Then there was the threat of rain — strong rains. I was amused with the other tourists lounging and cheering at the coming gale while trying to fight the wavy waters.

Don't be scared when the rain threatens to loom over you

Don’t be scared when the rain threatens to loom over you

The dark clouds passed by. No terrible rains. Just drizzle. Twilight was falling.

It’s relaxing to walk along the beach while the darkness was slowly enclaving us. On one side of the island, the waves were slapping my feet like paddles. While the other side, the waters were very calm. It’s a surreal world for me — no cars and buildings, just nature and the ocean.

Living in an island though is not living in a highly technological world. I

It's good to bring tents for overnight stay. That night was just windy, but it did not bother our sleep

It’s good to bring tents for overnight stay. That night was just windy, but it did not bother our sleep

suggest that when you plan for an overnight stay there, better bring enough food, paper plates, flashlight, and drinking water. There is electricity but the lights are low. If you wish to take a shower, better go straight to the sea. The water used to shower in the islands is also seawater.

It’s nice to take dinner and sleep in a remote place. Come morning and a beautiful view welcomes you.

But the adventure begins Sunday.

Before island-hopping, we went snorkeling. It’s my first time to do that. It’s GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAlike looking above a giant aquarium with clown fishes and blooming corals beneath you. Wow. It is weren’t for water entering my nose, I could have stayed there longer. Too bad, I don’t have an underwater camera. Twenty minutes was the time given since there were other tourists coming. But we stayed a bit longer than that.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERASecond stop was Marcos Island. There’s a cave where you can dive into the waters. Disappointingly, I couldn’t bring myself to jump because of my fear of heights. Next was the Children’s Island. It’s named so because the waters are shallow for kids to walk through in order to reach another islet nearby. Last stop was the Governer’s Island, where I had seen personally that postcard view of the Hundred Islands. Now, these are the main islands where tourists can drop by and have fun.

Have I mentioned that this kind of vacation is for rich kids only? Not really. In fact, it’s affordable. For a group tour, you can get a deal of P800-P900 each person. With it is a boat and tourguides who can ferry you from island to island. Well, some of the tourguides actually led us to buy their Alaminos Longganisa, which is really good. There are a lot of transient houses at Alaminos, where you can stay and shower.

If you are more familiar in Manila, just take a bus going to Alaminos, GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAPangasinan. It’s about P400-P450 on the estimate. The trip would take about four to five hours. You won’t get lost because the conductor will tell you where’s the stop going to the Hundred Islands.

Summertime would be the most preferable season to visit. April or May at best. When we came there, the time was nearing rainy season. It’s no wonder heavy rains fell when we went home in the afternoon.

With this short trip, we’re not able to visit all the islands (and none of us were able to count if the Hundred is really a hundred). But it carried a good memory for me. Too bad, none of us brought home an Alaminos Longganisa because of that heavy rain. I guess that’s a good reason for me to return there soon. 🙂

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Winning 2048

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Remember when I deleted 2048 a month ago?

But one month after, June 1, I got the 2048 tile!

I know this is too late, but still I would like to commend mathtuition88 for sharing me tips on how to get the goal of this game. This is the reason I was challenged to download the 2048 app again. The crazy part here is, I stopped getting addicted on the game the moment I got the 2048 tile (so no more deleting the app). For those who still couldn’t, here’s a handful of tips from his link: http://mathtuition88.com/2014/04/14/2048-math-game-free-strategy-guide-walkthrough/

Have fun! 🙂

Taking A Peek at “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children”: A Therapy From Reality’s Bite

Since Thursday, I can't wait to go home just to read where I've stopped. And I'm glad to finish it this Saturday afternoon. If it weren't for work, I could have just finished this in one day :)

Since Thursday, I can’t wait to go home just to read where I’ve stopped. And I’m glad to finish it this Saturday afternoon. If it weren’t for work, I could have just finished this in one day 🙂

These past two weeks had been strenuous for me. So, strenuous, I’ve had dreams (or should I call them gentle nightmares) of my heavy coverages. I couldn’t believe woke up Monday morning from dreaming of Senator Bong Revilla when he surrendered at Sandiganbayan. It did horrified me when I woke up the next day after dreaming of Senator Jinggoy Estrada when he surrendered Camp Crame for the next day. These, the pork barrel scam issue, and other concerns at work, have been ticking me off when I would wake up in the wee hours of the morning.

Even though I’ve been witnessing soon-to-be momentous histories, my job as a journalist is so exhausting and routinary, I’d sometimes think of quitting. If only I’d like to sit down and have a world of my own…or discover an extraordinary life I never had before.

So did Jacob Portman, the main character of a book entitled “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children”. From a lonely life as a teenager in a well-off family, he did not realize what was in store for him as he discover the strange truth behind his grandfather and his own identity. Thanks to a good friend of mine, this book had been my theraphy after work. “Miss Peregrine’s” has served as an escape for me after the gruelling reality of news and politics. Every page brought me to Jacob’s world of Before and After and its ending made me hooked for what’s next.

Oops…I’ll keep myself from being a spoiler for those who haven’t read the book.

The cover might give the impression of a horror story for those who are not familiar with this book. An old past century photograph of a poker faced girl rising above the ground might give the creeps, add it with a backdrop of a couple of dead trees against an unexplored forest. But when you begin reading, it’s not meant to give you goosebumps with everything peculiar in the story. Rather, it keeps you excited in every mystery answered (and still undiscovered) in Jacob’s trip.

So, what’s up with Miss Peregrine’s House and her peculiar children? What’s Jacob’s doing in this book anyway? You have to read it to find out.

On the other hand, I’d like to commend the author Ransom Riggs for writing “Miss Peregrine’s”. It was very cleverly-made and creatively-rich for being his first book. Impressively, he put together a well-made story from a collection of vintage photos, as they all matched the narrative and the mystery it enclosed.

For those who wonder what “Miss Peregrine” has in store for you, all I can say it got all the mystery that Sherlock Holmes couldn’t beat and the excitement more worth than a 24-hour jet ride to your vacation. Yes, not to mention peculiar people (and children), time travelling, and odd but powerful opposition. Even my mom, a real book lover, couldn’t resist it. Now, she’s demanding for the second book. And yes, it’s published!

Now that I’m done with it, I hope I can begin with its sequel “Hollow City”. I need to convince my friend to lend it to me this week. 🙂

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