Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Archive for October, 2016

Breathing Adventure: Achieving High Walls at Climb Central

 

We always itch for adventure but the rains always quell our thirst for the heights. Adventure, however, is not limited to the outskirts of the city. Sometimes, they can be found lurking within the city walls.

Rock climbing is one activity I’ve been planning to do for a long time. There are plenty of rock climbing centers in Manila but it’s in Climb Central where I have had my first taste of this indoor adventure.

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Located at The Portal in Greenfield, the Climb Central is an easy access along EDSA and MRT’s Shaw Avenue station (and a good place to kill time while waiting for rush hour’s traffic and long, boring queues to subside). This adventure center is recommendable to beginners like my friends and me. But if you think rock climbing is easier than mountain hiking, think again.

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Once register, you have this tag. Always bring this when going there. 🙂

This venue gives everybody a chance to unleash their climbing power. Huge and quite spacious, everybody had the chance to get a climb to the top. There is a regular section, a children’s section, and a section for professional climbers (you need to get a certificate to try that one).

Adult registration is only Php600 (this includes a one-time registration fee and equipment). Don’t forget to bring any valid ID when you register, more preferably a government ID since it’s your lifetime registration. They would give you a short briefing on how to belay with a friend and how to climb alone. After that, you’re free to go.

 

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Almost reaching the top!

 

And there’s so turning back.

When we thought our hikes already had steep trails, these 8 to 12-meter walls are 90 to 110 degrees steeper. Each section has its own challenge, ranging from huge close rocks to small, separate stepping stones. Some of them are even tricky, causing me to deliberate how to take the next step higher (yes, this activity includes a lot of thinking).

Those who were already used to the activity would challenge themselves further. The stones are color-coded and

 

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Another achievement. 🙂

 

they would step or climb on one particular color only. That I could not achieve for now as I struggled halfway the wall with my then-numb fingers.

I realize this activity needs the strengthening of the arms, wrist, and the fingers for gripping rather than focusing power on the legs for support. After a few climbs, my arms felt weak and they were trembling. Even though we had rested for about 30 minutes or so, I felt my hands couldn’t grip well anymore.

 

I did not get a chance to finish most walls because my fingers were not too powerful to grip anything (and even combing was a struggle then). For the rest of the day, I’ve had cramps and spasms. But I realized I’ve conquered new heights and gained a new experience. Since I got a lifetime registration, this is not the end of the feat. Rather, I need to practice more. Besides, this is a new skill that I might use when going on hikes. More push ups, then? Yes, I need to begin that soon…hopefully.

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Experiencing adventure won’t be complete without friends like Lans, Tina, and Larry. 🙂

Book Review: Captivated by “Room”

“Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra.”

Hearing a child speak sounds good to hear. It’s because they see the world as pure and simple, even if it is already hostile from the beginning. That’s how five-year old Jack came to know Room, which ironically was a prison for his Ma. 

Ever since he was born, Jack’s very world is the Room. His friends are Meltedy Spoon, Bed, Duvet, and Wardrobe. Skylight gives him a glimpse of the sky and God’s face (which is the sun and the moon). TV is his only window to the Outside. Besides all these, he has his Ma with whom he shares his love and companionship. 

Because Jack was raised in love and joy, he did not see the horror behind his existence. As soon as he was learning the truth behind his Ma’s story and why mean Old Nick would keep them from Outside, he would not believe it at first. 

This book actually tackles the dire topic of abduction, rape, and slavery, along with recovery and treatment. Bringing it to the voice of an adult would be depressing. But writer Emma Donoghue excellently brought it to light through the voice of a five-year old. The story is very linear yet it is very engaging because one would anticipate what Jack would think and experience on the moment they made their Great Escape. It does not matter if Jack himself may be grammatically incorrect for schooled adults but he was able to communicate the joy, the pain, and the struggles he went through as he finally touches Outside.

I must admit I was captivated by this book. Even as it ends, I want Jack to talk more. I felt attached to Jack while I listened to him recount a story that is riveting and touching as well.

Dare to enter Room. Once you do, you don’t want to get out of it until the last page.

Acting Like A Queen

“Hegai liked Esther and she won his favor. He lost no time in beginning her beauty treatment of massage and special diet. He gave her the best place in the harem and assigned seven young women specially chosen from the royal palace to serve her.”

Esther 2:9

I’ve always felt a dislike towards rich or powerful people. They seem snobbish towards the poor and the disadvantaged. But what I don’t realise is sometimes their regality is a reflection of their true identity that is honorable and pure.

Esther must have been regal in every way, the reason she was chosen to be the Queen of Persia. The six-month treatment given to her seemed to have spoiled her well. But it’s not meant to spoil her. It was meant to mold her into what she was meant to be.

I have been battling with an orphan mindset for a long time. (Maybe that’s why I love to recite the line, “Alms, alms…spare me a piece of bread” with wide, teary Puss In Boots eyes when I was in high school…nah.) But really, I’m 31 but I would move around like a sorry little girl by thinking I should not become better than others. I have always thought I’d offend people when I do. And this what hinders me to my calling.

I believe I have been called to be a leader since I was a kid. I have been placed as a leader in school projects but would not fare well, I believe. Others would see a leadership potential in me that I could hardly see. But I’d always shy away…

But no matter how I run away from the call, it always follow me. There are times I’d do well as an elder, an ate, a leader. But at the back of my mind, I’d tell myself I can’t do this…it’s because I’m afraid of failing.

But Esther, an orphan, did not act like one. Instead, she stood out among others by going beyond the notch. Before she became one, she already acted as a queen and already had the heart of a queen. Besides that, she dislodges all notion that all powerful and rich leaders are aloof and distant to commoners as she saves her Jewish people from being destroyed under Haman’s plan.

Romans 8:17 says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

So being a co-heir is like being adopted into the family of God! Because we accept Jesus into our lives, we share in His inheritance, the glory and yes, even sufferings. But I believe these sufferings are not meant to punish us but they are to refine us, knowing that Jesus Himself has carried the punishment meant for us on the cross. 

I need to act as one who is in authority, just like Jesus. I should not stalk around like a little orphaned girl asking for alms while the Father is willing to give the best for me. I need grace – extra, extra grace to get out of the wounds of the past and break off from the pride of the pity party in order to take the crown and overcome in love and boldness. May I become totally free, so as not to be hindered from what I am being called for.

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