Baler: Surfing and So Much More for a Quick Weekend Trip

I caught some last minute heat as the dry season (there’s no summer in the Philippines, we only have two seasons 😉 ) finally said goodbye this year. I filled last weekend with a fair share of nature’s quiet beauty and the surprising waves of the open ocean in the stunning little wonder down south – Baler.

I have always been curious about this particular town as I usually hear about it whenever people search for nearby surfing destinations in Luzon. Being a non-confident swimmer (I still can’t do water treading), doing such activity isn’t really at the top of my list. But, surprisingly, I enjoyed surfing the most during my quick trip to Baler. Before I share that experience, here are some additional events that happened and the special moments that I also truly appreciated.

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A Weekend of Love

I haven’t been able to write much on this blog because I have been busy finishing my final paper for my literary criticism/theory class. 😦 But, luckily, I was able to have a wonderful weekend. What started as a sort of simple yayaan with my MA classmates, became an eye-opening experience on my part.

Last May 20 and 21, I attended the first writing workshop of Reb Fiction (Rebel Fiction) under the Precious Pages Corporation. They are one of the imprints of this famous publishing house. So, I am not really familiar with their titles, but it caught my attention because they are a brand that focuses on Young Adult fiction. This is interesting because there are a lot of different stories and printed books out on the market that are catering to the “young” readers, but the genres of stories aren’t really that wide with Filipino prints. Reb Fic, on the other hand, is trying to offer more varieties of novels or novelettes for the young readers to enjoy. This is a plus point on my part because I hope to see “riskier” or even a bit of “experimental” texts that are still going to be relatable to the YA field.

There are a lot of popular novels under the YA genre, but those are mostly foreign prints like Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and others (I grew up with less known ones like those written by Margaret Haddix, the Nick and Norah book, and even that of The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night Time). This is a good chance for Filipino writers to work on YA stories and further add that certain touch of “Filipino” sentiments and values.During the workshop, I also learned more about the YA genre (and market) as well as the process of building a “hero/heroine.” I was even able to present one story already. Now, I hope to work on that manuscript as soon as possible, so that the ideas are still fresh in my head. But… I think I need to go back to my final paper first and (face my fears 😂) finish the semester well before this. Still, (crossing my fingers) I hope to submit it to Reb Fic before the end of this month. 😀 ❤

Memories of a High Schooler

In a couple of weeks, 2016 is almost over. Today seemed like a great time to look back into some of the memories of my younger years.

Nerdy yet Fun High School

There weren’t much to do when I was in my teens. I was the typical girl who went to school, studied her lessons, followed the rules, and stayed at home. I was only an active, playful, young girl in my elementary days. So, I tried to find some interesting activities when I was in high school. This was the period when I met a lot of friends who gave color to my usually predictable days.

For four years, I was with a group of friends who were all brilliant, funny, clever, and unique in their own ways. We shared a lot of time reading books, sharing stories, finishing group assignments, answering exams, and presenting skits/reports in front of the class. Those memories helped build lasting relationships and opened opportunities to learn about our own personalities.  Even though everyone looked nerdy and grade conscious (being in the top section), we still knew how to enjoy a break. Some of the activities in the years we stayed in the school (2005-2009) were simple yet fun and interesting *but, I think many would not be able to relate with this now* 😛

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Random Reflection of a Busy Panda Bear

Love and Everything in Between– A possibly eye-catching title for a blog post. More clicks, more chances of having new readers, but those don’t matter. This is a random bit of my thoughts to kill the time while waiting for my next class. So, if anyone is interested in reading through this, better have a lot of patience to bring along.

For a couple of weeks, I have been bombarded with too many love posts, heartbreak stories, hugot lines, sudden phone calls from a friend crying over a guy, and many other love-related incidents. This year sure has a lot of the thump-thump of a beating lovebird heart spectacle more than over the last two decades of my life. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been too familiar with the topic when I was younger or that my social circle has simply been exposed to too many sweets, sugary words, and an illusion of romantic circus of a media-centered community.

Love

What is love?

There are seven billion people around the world, including you and me. Put the numbers aside, find a common multiple and bring those together. You’ll get over 3.5 billion pairs regardless of age, gender, race, and many other social standards or classifications.

Many of those pairs live and die without knowing each other. That means whoever you got paired with (in that imaginary computation I did) may never see you or even hear a word about your existence. So, how does this define love? It doesn’t, sort of. I simply want to waste some words and spaces to let me move to the next topic. Please bear with me.

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Startled

With the lack of time, my mind can’t seem to function.
Will the heart to write be enough to make things right?
Stupidity is my ever failure and friend
But is it enough to give myself the identity I dread?

Writing lines is not enough
Especially when you do not have the time
Wish I could have the chance
To witness the strength I never had


Another old poem I saved in my google drive

Being YOUNG

I am young but too old for games.

I am young but my habits are too old for my friends.

I am young but my eyes are blinded by experiences.

I am young but my thoughts are cluttered.

I am young but I am too sad.

I am young but I am alone.

I am young but for me my friends act like children.

I am young but I am not free.

I am young but I am not too innocent anymore.

Cynthia

Alas-kuwatro ng umaga, gigising na naman

Pipiliting ibuka ang kanyang mga mata,

Ngunit sumabay na lamang ang pagbuhos ng luha.

Pinunasan. Bumangon na sa kama.

May bahid ng pagkatulala at namamanhid ang mga paa,

Dumiretso sa banyo upang maghilamos ng mukha.

Sa salamin nakita niya ang kanyang ginawa,

Tatlong araw na nagmukmok at lumuha.

Lubog na tuloy ang kanyang mapupungay na mata,

At ngayon nangingilid ang itim na mga marka.

Puno ng parusa, ngumiti pa rin siya.

Bukas ay mawala na sana ang lahat ng nakita.

Siya si Cynthia, may mapupungay na mga mata.

Maaliwalas ang kanyang mukha noong siya’y bata,

Pero ngayon siya’y nagmistulang buhay na kaluluwa,

Naglalakbay sa mundong hindi niya kilala.

Help

Alex walks down the street
Slowly but her heart beats fast
Almost out of breath in her lungs
She stops and holds her mouth

One.
Inhale.

One. Two.
Exhale.

One.
Inhale.

One. Two.
Exhale.

Her hands drop to grab her neck
She’s scratching something out
Gasping for more, more air
She runs towards nowhere

The streets are empty and damp
Her shoes are covered with mud
She stumbled to the ground
Tries to pull herself up. Up!

Her body feels cold
She faces the stars

While inhaling and exhaling…

Empty breaths

A tear falls down her eye

Her ears turn red
She hears steps
She holds her arms up
Wishing she could shout HELP

Alex thinks she’s saved
She looks up the faces looking at her
It is too late,
They have red swollen eyes

Looking down on her
Her mom closes the cover

Pavement

Stones and pebbles covered the floor
A few green grass growing in between
There’s a faint smell flowing
Smoky, muddy, sweet, but hard

“Walk!” a low voice shouts behind
Someone bumps a small girl on the right
My feet shake and lose balance
Hit my knee to one rough rock

More heavy steps marching forward
No one gave a second to help
My knee is oozing with red
The sting from the smooth cut across

I hate blood, and its rusty taste
But every now and then shades entices me
Light, pinkish, crimson red all over
In the midst of the full moon bloom

Only the gray and icy ground sees
The wind and the leaves listen
With the dark orange glare from the sun
Our stories are recorded on the pavement

Books for an Old Soul

Personally, there is a different feeling whenever I flip through pages of books. The new and the old ones, I tend to be more attracted to the latter. The smell of old, thrift shop books are intoxicating, and yes it’s strange but I sniff through some of the pages. It’s just me 😉

Every reader has his/her own style to pick. I think the uniqueness of the writers (and their stories) is also searching for the right, equally distinct reader. It’s like whenever you try to find that perfect spot to spend your night, that’s how you choose your book. Something to comfort or to accompany you through sleepless nights or sweet daydreams.

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