Mid-year, twenty fourteen.
June and July.
June was one of those months that passed by like a lightning– fast and without a trace. I can't recall anything remarkable apart from my weekend trip to Cebu City and Oslob, which,if you can tell, was not a good indication of how I am spending my life right now– nearing thirty and all. I have been procrastinating for most of the time and when I am not, I spend a part of it escaping by reading a ton of fiction books.
July was even worse. I couldn't recall anything remarkable at all nor did I take my camera out during that month so I have none to share through pictures. As depressing as this might sound, I hope you will not stop scrolling for I have a few stories to share, henceforth.
Third week of June,
Cebu City and Oslob
I, along with my illustrator friends Valerie Chua and Anjo Bolarda held a talk and a workshop in Sprockets Cafe, a lovely cafe in Cebu City owned by one of my friends, Rachel Arandilla. It was a truly wonderful and inspiring experience and I was so happy to be able to share about my life as an artist and I can only hope that I have ignited something in the attendees' hearts.
A little over a few hours, around 4 in the morning after our talk, Jerome (Rachel's friend and now our friend too) willingly, despite the lack of sleep, drove us to Oslob, a small town just over 3 hours from Cebu City. My friends from work came here a few months before and told me it was one for the books. So the minute we decided we're heading for Cebu, I told Valerie and Anjo that we needed to spend a day in Oslob just to experience swimming with the butanding or whale sharks. It took a while to convince them both to join me out to sea but I was so glad I dragged them into this because, really, who would want to miss such an opportunity? Of course, I have no underwater covering for my camera so I was only able to take a shot of a portion of the whale shark's head. Valerie has some underwater pictures on her blog and I have one copied from her on my Instagram.
After the rather short whale shark adventure, we found a spot overlooking the sea and stuffed ourselves with much needed food and some good shakes. We lingered for a while, talking about our everyday lives and our future plans and quarter-life crises because what else is there to talk about when you're with single artists in their late twenties with so many wishes but with less time and money? None, apparently. So there we were in front of the most beautiful, depressing view of the sea, sighing and pondering for what felt like days. Ah, the curse brought about by the poignant beauty of the ocean.
Along with those photos from my friends who went before me, I spotted a forest in the midst and thought I'd ask Rachel where that forest was and what it holds. She mentioned a falls and upon hearing that, I immediately took mental notes and later on asked Jerome to stop by at that place. It took us a while to locate but fortunately this falls was a popular one for tourists visiting Cebu. The rather steep climb that almost killed my lungs wasn't worth it. The place was packed with people –and I hate going to places that are full of trigger-happy folks. We took a few pictures for posterity and headed back after a few minutes.
We headed back and arrived Cebu around 4 in the afternoon and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening eating and visiting cafes and artsy places before heading back to catch our midnight flight back to Manila. It was a short but well-spent weekend down south and I wish I had enough cash to do this every so often but alas, I have none.
Baguio City, Philippines
I went on a roadtrip up in the mountains with my colleagues/friends at work for a team building and a much needed R&R (rest and relaxation). This was perhaps the laziest week I've had this year. A good thing if you ask me. We spent most of the time eating and visiting a few places here and there. I've long missed the scent of the pine trees and the cool, comforting breeze since coming back from Canada, so it was a bit of a treat.
Sammy, my fellow film-loving friend/ co-worker took this lovely picture of me bathed in the afternoon sun in Mines View Park. I'm not entirely sure what I was doing here but either I was taking pictures with my phone or indulging in strawberry taho.
While the rest of my colleagues/ friends were killing themselves in outdoor paintball, Marga and I went for a walk. I played outdoor paintball before in a hill in Guimaras so I opted to just chill this time around and prefer to not join in on the fun. Marga, on the other hand, wasn't equipped with clothes fit for playing so she passed on the game as well. We found this eerily beautiful house just a few yards from the playing site and despite the mid-day light, we took tons of pictures, we the house on the background mostly in our phones, because our rustic-loving selves couldn't help it.
I'd be lying if I say that I didn't love the nights I spent in those days. Some nights we spent playing board games– all 20+ of us, some were spent talking and catching-up in front of a coal-lit fireplace and some were spent lying under the stars using make-shift blankets out of table covers, drinking hot coffee and listening to folk music. It must have been the loveliness of Baguio in the evening or the warmth of friends beside me that made me think, If life's always like this, there will be no room for sadness in this world.