afk, because I can’t wait to be alone

I’m going on a solo trip somewhere not too far from Metro Manila, and I’m leaving my dramas and social media behind. Since I went to a silent retreat in Baguio last 2012, I’ve always wanted to make it a yearly thing to go away on my own and reflect, but I only had the guts to finally do it now.

ttyl! :)

The adventurous homebody

Last Saturday, I went on a semi-spontaneous day trip to Taal town in Batangas with my best friends Kai and Mayel. Nearly half of the day was spent in transit since we traveled by public transportation, but except for our ride back home when we couldn’t sit together, not a moment was wasted on silence.

For some reason, stories kept coming as if we haven’t seen each other in ages. My (and probably Mayel’s, too) favorite part of the trip was when we sat for an hour or so in a fancy coffee shop to just talk about life while sipping a good cup of kapeng barako. It’s my favorite because I’m a self-confessed homebody – there’s no doubt about it.

It’s the only explanation why I can marathon an Asian drama series in a day (or less, if it’s really good), or why after more than a year of working in the journalism industry, I still have not used up even one day of vacation leave. I can spend my days off at home and not mind.

But the right people can drag my lazy ass off my bed, away from my laptop, and can bring me to places I’d never go to alone. Taal is one such place. It’s a heritage town off Batangas province – a quiet place that, in paper, fits my personality well…

…except now that I’ve been there, I can say I’d totally be bored if I went there alone. The view from Basilica de San Martin de Tours’s bell tower is breathtaking, no doubt, and the heritage houses bring with them so much history; it is for these very reasons why visiting Taal is 1000x better with friends than on my own.

My day job requires that I use social media a lot (and I mean A LOT), but last Saturday, I decided to fight the urge to update my SM accounts while on the trip for two things: I want a break from technology and fast-paced Metro Manila, and I want to give my full attention to my travel buddies.

As much as I love how technology connects people, I also hate how it has shortened our attention span to the point that looking at our smartphones has now become a staple during dinners, trips, and the likes. I’m all for keeping in touch with people, but when they’re already right in front of me, I’m going to honor the fact that they’re spending their time with me and went all the way to meet me in person when they could’ve just gone somewhere else to talk to someone else.

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In principle, this is also why I like being a homebody a lot. There are days I don’t like people, and days I don’t think I can give people my full attention. On those days, I’d rather be alone because it’s all or nothing for me: either I give you my entire time, or I don’t. It sounds extreme because it is – it won’t be good for people if they only get half of my attention.

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Next week I’m planning to go on a solo trip to Baguio. I have yet to sit down and actually plan the whole thing (and I think I’d need a lot of help from friends), but I’m excited for this because I’m going to celebrate being a homebody while finding my own adventure.

Is that even possible? Wait ’til I write about it!

(While you’re at it, wish me luck as I inform convince my parents this is a trip I need to go to. My fingers are crossed!)

On Mondays, I will write

I’ve said it many times but never followed through – that I’ll be back here with more senseless ramblings because doing so used to keep me sane. But I’m really a bad blogger (no wonder I have no readers haha) because it’s been almost 2 months since I last wrote.

Still, I don’t think it’s time to let go of this space just yet. Not yet. I still have many things to write about and share, and life is really, really great, and not talking (or writing) about it would not be true to who I am.

So on Mondays, I will write. Most people hate Mondays, but not me. I love Mondays because I start my “work week” unwinding and preparing for the battle ahead. I spend a lot of Mondays alone, too, which I really appreciate because I’m such a homebody/loner. What’s a more perfect time to write than when you’re alone, right?

Today is also the first Monday of August. We’re already more than halfway through 2014 and just 4 months away from Christmas. My, how time flies. I still have a lot of things I want to accomplish for 2014, and maybe documenting any semblance of progress – whether in my spiritual walk with the Lord, or my bid to get thinner and fitter – can help me make the most of what’s left of the year.

I hope this plan to write on Mondays works out for me. Instead of counting down (and dreading) the last few hours of my day-off, I’d rather write about the promise of a new week, and the blessing of being in a job I love and truly care about.

For starters, I’m going running later at 3 pm and cooking dinner for my brother when I get back (just putting it out there so I don’t back out). I’m meeting Jom also later tonight for some catching up, since it’s been months since we last saw each other.

I’m really excited about this week/month. I signed up for an online journalism course which I hope will help me a lot in my work. I also FINALLY, FINALLY filed that long-overdue vacation leave, so I’m in the process of planning my week-long sabbatical. I’m thinking Baguio or Tagaytay. Baguio in this weather sounds more tempting, though, if only because Tagaytay is too familiar to me now. I want to go somewhere new and somewhere far.

Now I’m off to watch one more Corner with Love episode before I run. Bye <3

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The great outdoors

I’ve been into school dramas lately, and my latest crack is – suprise, surprise – a Taiwanese drama! The title is In a Good Way and it was a huge leap for me to start watching it, since I’m not familiar with the actors.

I’m now 6 episodes in and I love love love it. I miss the university life. Not the studying part (hehe) but everything in between: first friends, first love, the freedom I never had in high school, and the impromptu adventures. It was a world I would revisit again in a heartbeat, if I could.

Anyway, there’s a point to all these ramblings: I started jogging again, and while going around UP, some thoughts came to me.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love my blockmates, but I wish I mustered enough courage to know more people. I wish I spent more time discovering talents I never knew I had, instead of playing it safe. I wish I fell in love with the whole idea of college. I wish I realized earlier on it’s not going to last forever.

Someone should write about how college is not the place to discover who you should be, but a place to know more of who you really are.

Oh, wait. That’s what In A Good Way is doing. *goes back to watching*

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Ripples

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Finally visited the GK Enchanted Farm yesterday for a feature on community libraries being put up by young Filipino leaders from the Global Shapers Community (story here).

There is still so much good out there, especially in the Philippines, and everyone – at least a lot of young people I know – is trying their best to make a difference.

Sometimes I beat myself up for lazying around and wasting my hours away when I realize there is still so much I can do right here, right now, where the Lord has placed me in this season of my life.

I remember a phrase I wrote years back: You need not know my name. That hasn’t changed ’til now. You still don’t need to know my name, but read the stories, listen to the written voices, and do something. Anything.

Tara.