Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘rest’

Breathing Adventure: The Roadless Trip to Calatagan, Batangas.

We were going nowhere as we had no plan to live by. The sun was beating hard on the small, dusty Batangas road, but we kept our chill as we searched for the nearest beach. Borat Beach was already closed, and Google did not give an update about that. Stilts Beach was a romantic one, enough for a couple in love to own the place for themselves to fulfill their dream wedding on a scorching Friday morning. We were on our own and we were depending on Google Maps, who pointed us to a small beach called Manuel Uy Beach.

Manuel Uy is for the budget warriors, costing only Php200 per head for the entrance and Php150 for an overnight stay. We had two tents in store, making me live off with my remaining Php650 for the food. I did not mind the leaves falling or the sand flying above our heads, because I felt like a little kid having a picnic by the beach for the first time.

Road trips are never adventurous without Tina and Lans. 🙂

Now, I don’t know why is the beach named as such (we can only assume that it was owned by some rich, Chinese scion called Manuel Uy). It looks a bit boring at first. The heat was enough to melt us beneath the tree, unable to imagine why the people were scrambling to the middle of the sea in the midst of a hot, cloudless, summer midday.

We spent the whole day dozing off and trying to shield ourselves from the sun, which seemed to follow us because it disapproved of our remaining fair skin. Somehow, this is the camper’s life I’d like to live on a sleazy, Friday day-off. For once I’d like to forget my desk, my computer and the thought that I was a robot.

Our duo tents that were never slept in. 🙂

Exploring the beach became a part of our game when the sun was beginning to set down. It was still hot, but the waters were a bit warm and comfortable enough to forget the scorching heat that persecuted us the whole day.

The beach is safe for kids because the deepest part of the waters were five feet (just don’t go beyond the line and don’t be a stupid parent). The fun part was trying to show off some swimming skills, but it looked like a bad idea because I forgot my cap and my googles. So, I just settled with some fancy sunset photos.

One thing I had anticipated in this trip was stargazing. Sleeping under the moon and the stars was a lovely idea, except when you’ve forgotten to carry a mosquito-repellant lotion. The breeze made me cozy as I slept with my face up to Orion and the rest of the constellation, who showed up when I was in the middle of my dream.

I almost could not sleep as I tried to wait for some obscure shooting star in the wee hours of the morning. The dawn broke very early at 5 am and we rushed to the refreshing waters again. We wanted to have one final soak before we leave at around 8 am, the time when beachgoers were beginning to flock the beach on a sizzling, summer weekend.

Ah, the summer roadtrip…the trip home was made better with bulalo (cow bone soup) and buko pie (pie filled with coconut meat). These are just some of the things I miss about Batangas. The next time we come there, we’ll try the other beaches. I just hope nobody’s getting married that day.

*Would like to thank Valcres, too, for accompanying us on this trip! We would not have survived without you. 😃

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​Vacation Forever

My seatmate kept me awake on the bus by loudly talking on her phone. Smartly dressed in a light brown office coat, she assured authority as she kept on instructing her colleague to close an order because she was getting late to the office. She was almost slumped sadly on her seat while her young, tired face starred at the window longingly. She made a number of calls to her boss, clients and other VIPs. Her tone, which shifted from being demanding to apologetic to friendly and then strained, revealed that she was vexed out in her job. Her stressful aura made me think about my hierarchy in the office world. The first thing that popped up in my head was never go up the ladder. I did not want to become like her.
I never desired to be on top of the career niche all throughout the ten years I’ve been working. All I wanted was a decent job and a good pay. I had this fear that when I get to the executive position, I’d loose my freedom, my social life, and my sanity. 

I only had this ambition to get into heights when I took a job in a media company. I did get a high-end job as a segment producer in a huge media outlet. This was my chance to become a popular reporter! In the end, I was not able to handle the toxicity of this job. 

Every time I feel bored or jaded in a job, my initial thinking was to resign and leave this toxicity behind. I’d change gear in my life plans, believing I’d be able to survive by becoming a missionary, a YouTube star, a philanthropist, an artist, or a hobo. I envisioned myself living daily under a grove of coconut trees while drinking cocktails before a clear, blue sea in the Bahamas. I breathe the air of freedom every time I resign, waving my arms like a freed slave from a maximum institution. However, this season of paradise is being slapped down by the reality of being financially empty. 

I was struggling during the first time I’ve resigned. I tried venturing into agriculture but was not successful in culturing earthworms. I tried doing freelance jobs but I was too scared to face foreign clients. I thought of becoming a missionary but there was no confirmed calling. Being a bum made me a bit depressed for a while. My savings were almost gone. I had realized reality at its finest. I need to look for a real job.

This is a dilemma for most millennials like me. Unlike the former working class, our minds are not wired to survive in one industry alone. We have multiple choices to choose from and we want to try all of them. When we are forced into hard labor, we give up. There is a gap between the older workaholic bosses whose excessive hardwork was able to build empires and the young freedom-loving yuppies whose existence is fueled by an unrelentless sense of exploration, passion, and entitlement.

My mother always remind me, “A rolling stone cannot gather moss.” Perhaps we need consider well before taking an offer. We need to switch off our dreamy selves before we embark into a decision. We need to learn how to be patient, to persevere, to find joy in every circumstances. One day, we have to pass down every valuable legacy to the next generation. If we keep on escaping every defiance in life, the next generation would learn nothing but escape and the underestimation of reality. Life is not made of holidays and sandy beaches. I had learned this the hard way. I have learned that I would be able to pursue my dreams when I have the right resources and I am focused with an orderly life goal. But I hope every industry, every executive and every boss would learn how to value their own workers by not pushing them into toxicity. Besides, we don’t need pushy bosses and loads of work to prove our worth. We, human beings, are more valuable than the services or the products we could produce and deliver for this rueful world. 

Little Respite, Big Blessings

It’s been a month since I’ve resigned from my job. There has been lesser thrills and even lesser frills. I would admit that I am already impatient to get into a new job. For the moment, I am looking at the blessings of having my “vacation mode”.

One my say that my decision to leave my job was foolishness. Perhaps. But the peace I gained when I decided to leave that company was a sign that it was time. This temporary respite from the competitive world is a season to rest and to prepare for the next season. It became my time of reflection; thinking of the new possibilities of facing another world.

Here are the simple, good things I’m experiencing in this respite:

1. Healthy living – In this brief season, I have found out how intoxicated I’ve become when I was working. I am a typical

Bananas, mangoes, and black rice...my everyday diet (",)

Bananas, mangoes, and black rice…my everyday diet (“,)

workaholic in an eight hour shift, not eating lunch until my work is done. I eat too much when I take a break – too much preservatives and fast food junk. But when I stayed at home, my mom would feed me with the more organic food such as *gasp* black rice. Yes, folks, better than the usual white rice than Filipinos consume everyday. It is richer in fibre and antioxidants. I even get to enjoy my morning banana and mango shake. Then I’d have apple mangoes and Indian mangoes straight from our trees. This is life, as one may call it.

Compared to when I was working, I could now get my eight hour sleep (add it with a five hour siesta if I don’t have much to do in this scorching heat at home). Before, I have been stressed even while I sleep. I had even dreamed my job every night – that is a nightmare for me! But it’s a good thing I don’t experience that now. My mom would tell me my eye bags slowly vanish. I don’t even have to compete for a bus ride home. I don’t experience the stress of waiting at the MRT queue for two hours anymore.

People noticed how I became thinner even though I’ve been staying quite so long at home. Perhaps, my metabolism became faster due to my healthier choice of meals.

2. Oh, the love of writing – Indeed, I could write again! I’ve been writing daily news articles and public announcements for four years, but not novels. I’ve had a gazillion stacked in my head. I’ve begun a few of them ten years ago without ever finishing them. When I got down to work and my fingers railed across the keyboards, I was stunned. I never thought it was difficult to write novels…much more the ones left a decade ago. They nearly wracked my brain as I polished them with details and events, twists and plots. It’s hard to put in words what have been circulating in your imagination. Now, I’m done and there are more waiting to lie down on the blank white pages of the Microsoft Word. The next step would be publishing. That’s what I have to worry soon.

One of my successful baking attempts: oatmeal cookies with Nutella filling

One of my successful baking attempts: oatmeal cookies with Nutella filling

3. Baking – Even though they end up as fudge bars, I will do my best to bake. It takes time, passion, and a hungry stomach. It’s fun, especially when your mom appreciates your baking.

4. Plans for studying – So as to make sure that cookies will end up as cookies and fudge bars as fudge bars, I need to learn and retrain. One day, it could become my business; I’m not planning to be an office girl forever. Another course I needed (I think) is to study English again…add that up with critical thinking using this language. I need retraining; this would be necessary for my next job.

5. More time to pray – The most important but the one I’ve missed most when I was in that company. Whenever I’d come home after work, I’d flop down on my bed without praying. I’d struggle to pray at times, leaving me with a five-minute, quick-dash, heartless prayer. But these times are different. I’d stay in my room for an hour or so just to have quiet times with God. With this, I am more strengthened and encouraged. We can’t go on the whole day without His presence. I realized how it is important to spend quiet times with God day and night, so that we can learn from His Word and listen to His voice. It also brings us closer to His heart. I’ve missed the day and night practice when I resigned from my first job, causing me to worry all the time. I’ve even missed this when I was working, causing me to be always stressed. I just pray that this prayer lifestyle would not change but flourish when I go back to work. I am still learning though. But now, I began to have deep peace. And this would only come through our daily fellowship with God.

Do I need to worry? I guess not. In all these things, I believe the Lord is in control. So, while waiting, I need to spend a lot of quality time with myself, my family, and the Lord. 🙂

We Live Not To Work

Sometimes, I wish I were an ordinary worker. I’d have so much time out with the people I want to be with. I can have my own time and schedule. No one can bother me once I log out.

But being a journalist is a special job. It requires you to be in tuned with the latest news and updates. Once you set it aside even for a day, you might never catch up.

There are times I feel so depressed in this kind of job I am in. Some of my fellow contemporaries in this industry would not have enough time for themselves. A senior reporter gave a joke that there’s no lovelife in the media industry. Most of the older reporters remain unmarried, tragically.

But it’s not about the job itself that hinders one’s personal issues (lovelife, namely). It’s just one’s outlook in life.

When we focus too much in our jobs, truly, we might never find time for ourselves, our families, and our friends. Yuppies at their early twenties and near my age (the nearing 30’s) live an idealistic mindset, most of us believing we can change the future through our jobs. True as it is, but we must never let our profession eat us up.

We have the tendency to become too workaholic, we live within the bounderies of our work cubicles. We loose our social and family life. We don’t mind the family problems that linger about us. We forget the real essentials in life, unconsciously. For most of us, we might not realize that this job we have is only appointed for a season. When we realize that, it’s too late.

Who says that only journalists go through this? I had the same dilemma when I was a BPO agent (a night shifter, mind you). I guess every worker would have the same dilemma, our outlook in life being out of focus.

We can try to be heroes in our profession but we should never be martyrs. Our professions are not the very foundation of our lives, but to discover the essentials that uplift our lives, we must learn to slow down and set aside work awhile. 🙂

Dream to Dream Forever

Keep those eyes closed like a little child
Dream like you’ll never wake again
Do not let go of the ribbons made of sunlight
Never stop whisking the waters made of crystals

Keep on chasing those cotton candy clouds
Drink endlessly the milky waterfalls
Dance like mad on the choco-mallow fields
Roll and crush the evergreen white paper grass

See how your golden curls whirl with the wind fairies
As your bright apple red shoes tap on its own
Embrace the rainbow curtains from the bronze pot of gold
Make faces at the sad, smiling moon

Sing along with your neighbor’s doberman
Who entertains with a bow, tie and everything like superman
Find candies and money from the community dump
With the mayor giving them away as the sugar plum

Be a hero charging the sand castle
Cutting the wicked paper dragon with mother’s old scissors
Win as many medals from a lizard gymnastics
Surf the concrete wave with your granda’s pillow volkswagen

All you can hear are chattering little boxes
With tiny ballerinas cooing with bell-like voices
Oh, please don’t let that deafening alarm wreck this world
Or I’ll wake up again on that miserable sick bed!

Escaping the False Dream

Felt like I’m in a dreamlike state. You know the sensation being in a dream while smelling the medicines in your room despite of having dreadful colds. After that you find yourself in a restful but desperate state on your bed. But in my case, I don’t find myself on my bed after witnessing the rush hour. I was already awake for a long time.

The terrible news is when you can’t hit the bed despite of being sickly. The dreamlike state is actually a reality in a guise, causing the hours turn slower than you could ever imagined.

This, my friends, is my dilemma for the moment, aside from the embarassment my coughs caused against my image.

I just had heard from church yesterday that we get so caught up with the “greater things” that we forget what the Lord really wants us to do. My standard of excellence is when I get my story right, perfect, all the important elements, interviews are gathered no matter how hard it should be taken. And this desire for excellence causes me to focus on the wrong things, forgetting that I should be taking a rest. Once I realize it, its too late and I’m already too off-balanced.

The madness of the rush hour, the speedy routine, and the game of perfection is a trap to forget the essentials. Actually, it is the balance of priorities that gets us to the top, not of a company, but in life.

And so, how I wish this realistic dreamlike state ends immediately. I can’t turn back and end my story now. I just have to move on and make the decision to redeem my health by taking an important element in life: REST.

Revival of a Lost Warrior

Like a fallen tree I lay dying
On a barren soil battered by rage
No matter how I tried to stand up
I am pulled back into its perilous embrace

Bring me back to pastures green
Carry me beside the still waters
There let me be revived from within
And grow back to reach the sky

I once thought I can bear this earth
Its savior sung in a thousand songs
Yet I am one single warrior
In need of a thousand friends

Gather once more my scattered thoughts
Put me back into the arms of love
And sing to me unspoken grace
For in them I will find my rest

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