Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas 2017

I think most of us, especially Christians, are excited to celebrate Christmas this year. People all over the world have experienced some tragedy in their lives for the past months and Christmas should bring happiness and people together.

I was kind of looking for that Christmas vibe throughout this December (despite the workloads), hoping to celebrate it with some enthusiasm. But this last quarter though, it proved to be challenging emotionally to me personally for some reasons...

One, my brother stopped talking to me and to some of my family members. He shut us out. I felt so frustrated because how can we help him if he is not talking what his problems are. He stopped school as well so he doesn't have an outlet anymore. I hope he sees some sense in his life. I guess it's also my fault because I was mad at him last month for dropping three (3) subjects altogether without telling us. I was expecting him to be more considerate because I told them that I will go to school next year. I will pay my own tuition fees and if they don't graduate on time, my plans wouldn't pushed through (I'm paying for all their expenses). It's just sad that we came to this part. He's depressed. He doesn't talk, doesn't eat that much, and he's just not interacting at all.

The typhoon hit us on a Friday, December 22, 2017. As we were about to go to the office, P and I saw this water slowly increasing. However, since it was not declared that there is a work suspension (it was announced later on), we still went to work. There were just five (5) of us in the office when at 8:02 am, my boss and a colleague texted me that the work is suspended. We are bordering from signal number 2 and 3. Since P works in a private company, their work was not declared suspended. The whole day, Tagum did not rain. The weather looks promising but at 11:00PM (we decorated the office for the holiday season, too late huh?), we couldn't pass through Asuncion. A lot of vehicles stopped and so we decided to just find a place to sleep in the city to rest since it was already 12midnight. At 9:00AM the next day, the other part near the city was the one flooded so we waited for another day for the water to subside. It was almost 7PM when we finally were able to reach our home. Then we learned that the flood claimed a hundred of people or so.

This was the scene as we were about to go to work

Then, as we were roaming the city waiting for the water to be gone, we were informed that one of the major malls in Davao (my second home) was burning. It was heart wrenching because people were trapped inside the mall. It was an establishment every DavaoeƱo know. I also remember fond memories of that place and it breaks my heart to know that my favourite cinema is now gone. More than that though, it brought extreme sadness to all of us who heard and witnessed the news as it unfolds because lives were at stake. Some even jumped from the rooftop just to espace the fire. Others were missing and many presumed they are dead. It is a difficult time as it is but to hear those news just days apart is beyond what people could cope.

Keep strong Mindanaons! 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Six Months After

Months after experiencing the magic of the Land Down Under and I'm back to where I am. I can't even say I'm back because everything has changed. Everything. I did work, my friends, the people I hang out with, even the usual things I do has changed. It was scary at first, having no one at work that you can talk to about it. And then I got used to things.

The process of fitting in after 14 months was really difficult. You find yourself in the midst of a raging sea of work. There's so much work to be done BTW but you can't seem to find that perfect task that you can work with first. Everybody was in awe at first that I get to experience that but some are not that thrilled anymore (considering there were already four batches ahead of us). I didn't really talk that much because I don't want to drown them in my stories. Stories that for them are so far, so unreal, so..out there. I tried sharing my stories to my sister though. She was interested at first. Then she got bored and would say, "Well, you're not there anymore, you're in the Philippines now." So I shut my mouth and keep all the good things to me. Sometimes I told P some stories but there was no urgency to share things anymore. Only some distant story to tell.

One of the practices that grew on me is the use of the day/month/year format for dates. I didn't really thought about it until my boss said, "I don't like that because it is very 'Australian,' were are here in the Philippines so better follow the format that we generally use. For me it was kind of a slap in the face. It was really a surprise because I haven't thought of it as a big deal and here comes some comment that made me question everything. Not really about her and how we interact with each other but really on how relevant those things are. I felt overly sensitive about it I guess because it was just a few weeks after I came home. Everything's fresh, sad and you miss everything about Australia. I feel like no one really understands me and what I have been going through. It was tough.

Then I just learn to let things go. To just be one of the faces in the crowd. I work, day, night, and even on weekends. I slowly became sad and unmotivated to work. I still do my best but I'm not happy anymore. Maybe this will pass but for now, let me be one of the shadows in the background.

No amount of cheering would cheer me up. Not even the future travels that's in store for me. I feel like I'm a living zombie. That kind of feeling that you walk aimlessly just for the heck of walking because that's what zombies do in movies. Then you fade. Just like that.

I ramble stuff no one would understand but hopefully you're still there. Keep strong (note to self)!


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Terrorism in Davao City, Philippines

Okay, I don't really like to call it as such because for the past years, we call it insurgencies but never terrorism. However, since the President has already declared it to be one, might as well use it here to avoid confusion.

I was browsing my Twitter last two days ago when I saw this rather concerning tweet about my former classmate asking what the noise was about. Then I started seeing tweets from the VP of Ateneo that says there's a major explosion that happened along Roxas St. Few seconds later, CNN gave this headline of a blast, an explosion, people were dead, many were injured. The blast was along the open-air night market of the said street where students and people from different levels of society get to eat and catch up with friends and just experience Davao.

I was shocked because Davao is home. I lived in the city for four years and I get heart broken, what more for those who grew up in Davao? Every time I remember the victims, some were students, I can't help but get angry to the perpetrators. And then you can't do anything else really but to feel sick and cry with them. Imagine those poor vendors who just wanted to provide for their families. They went out and put a brave soul, not sleeping early so that they can send their children to school. And then sick people get to decide their fate in that instant.

I am about to go home this week and I intend to tour the city just to unwind before the grueling tasks ahead of me. Then the uni sent me this:

The whole world knows what happened and some of the countries already warned their citizens about it, issuing travel advisory to discourage people from going to the Philippines. A certain group already claimed responsibility for what happened and what is sad about it is that they are born and raised by their Filipino parents. They claim to be Filipinos but they gave up that right to be called as one the moment they killed other Filipinos for money. That's all there is to be honest. They hated the government so much but they are killing everyone, Filipinos and foreigners alike. They have no soul.

It's a tiring week to think that it is just starting. I pray for the victims and their families, that God will bring them comfort amidst all the hurt, that He will bring justice to those who deserve it, and that He will heal us. I just hate that some Manilenyos (not all okay) are blaming and saying stupid things like, "I thought Davao was safe?" Really? SERIOUSLY?

A Trip to Port Stephens

As I've said in one of my previous post, we had a farewell party and it was a blast! I'd like to say that it was because they like what I cooked. They said that it's their favourite. Yeey! But there were lots of alcohol at that time so I can't really be sure. The morning of that day, I went to Nelson Bay and Port Stephens to join the Tour coordinated by the uni.

First, we went to Murrook where we were educated a bit on the Aboriginal (indigenous) culture which includes their art, tools, way of life, and how they use their resources around them. It was really a unique experience. Two Aborigines facilitated this part. What I like the most was their belief of only taking what is enough; not to be greedy, basically.

We were supposed to practice how to use a boomerang properly but because the lawn was wet due to a moderate rainfall beforehand, we proceeded with the Aboriginal-inspired painting. Their paintings used dots heavily and a lot of symbols as well so we had to learn those. I came up with the picture below. Not really pretty but I love it!

Fun fact: Did you know that the dots in their paintings must be dip in the colour every single time to get that even circumference? Imagine having a standard canvas, it'll take you days just to complete it! Also, every painting has its own story as stories are part of their culture.

Then we went to Murray's for a beer tasting. I was really expecting to only have beers but I dunno what happened that we got to taste wines as well. No one's complaining, I mean, who would? I don't really drink beers because for me they taste awful but I like the first one that we tried. I forgot about the names of the beers we had but I kept drinking them because it's part of what I paid. Besides, I want to try new things so I drank them all. We tasted sauvignon blanc, semillon, pinot grigio, moscato (my favourite because it's the only sweet one), and other wines which names I also do not remember.

Too bad it was raining
This brewery
One of the beers that we had

Lunch as also served in this location. They served pizzas (no picture)! I love it. I sat beside and across German students and they ate really fast! I was still halfway through my first pizza and they are on to their second! With 2 pizzas that were served, I only ate 2 slices and a few chips. Then the girl beside me saw that there was another pizza in the other table (part of the group tour) so she took it (hopefully it was clean) and gave it to me. The other German guy was hungry as well but he let me have it. Ow. Nice. So I munched it hungrily then another pizza came. Yes! Turns out, German guy2 asked Murray's to give us another pizza for free because German guy1 said he was hungry. Sweet. For that pizza, I ate one as well. After four slices, I was still hungry! But, it was time for us to go and everything's eaten up already so no point in staying - except for that one slice that was thrown away. Geez. It was a full slice and they put serviettes and other trash on top of it. What a waste.

After lunch, we fed stingrays and sharks with fish, prawns and squids at Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters. It was fun! I get to pat a stingray's back and boy it was very soft that even the slightest touch could feel like you are hurting it.

Eat shark, eat
Not having success with this one

Overall, I'd rate this tour 7 out of 10. Not a perfect score because it was raining that resulted for us to skip the boomerang activity but good enough because of the bonus wines and the pizzas!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

A Night at Nobby's Beach

I feel like I needed to go somewhere just to break the monotony of always chilling at Nobby's Beach. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Nobby's Beach. But I feel like I needed to go somewhere different. Two things I hate about Merewether Beach are the double bus rides and a long walk after it. But we'll see. I want to go to Stockton first. Just have a picnic I guess.

When I went to Nobby's a while back, I was late for the sunset because I got tired from all the walking I did when I bought my groceries. Then, I had some side trips along the way (catching Pokemons). Good thing it didn't rain. So when I finally arrived at my spot, it was beginning to go dark. I didn't really stay long because it was just me and there were no lights. As I was heading towards the starting point of the breakwater, I stopped to catch a Machop. It's not everyday that you get a Machop so I stopped, naturally. Then this woman approached me and said, "Can I have a look? I've been seeing people playing it." She knows I'm playing the game and I said, "Sure!" So I started explaining how to catch a pokemon and the pokeballs, basically just a rundown of the important things and I showed her how to catch a pokemon. Then she said, "That looks like a Teddy Bear isn't it?" Poor Machop. She's a real sweetheart though. I love it when older people are trying to understand the new craze.

There was also this one time I rode a bus going to the uni. I sat beside an old man who has rather cheerful on that day. Out of nowhere he asked me, "Are you lost?" And I said, "No." Then I realised why he asked me that and added, "I'm just playing Pokemon Go." He must've seen the  map-like interface of the app and thought I was trying to figure out my way somewhere. He was a bit interested and asked me how it works. I'm not sure how I explained it because I was surprised by his cheerfulness. :))

So that's how my day went and I will be leaving you with this sole picture I took. Have a great day!

Beaches and Sunsets

Okay, I have a confession. I don't really like beaches and sunsets. That was before. Now, I feel like going to the beach everyday and watch as the sun sets would be one of the highlights in my stay here in Oz. I still don't swim in them but I enjoy watching how things, like the sun, rest at the end of the day. Here's some of the photos I took on several of my visits at Nobby's Beach:

This is was one of the first photos I took

My favourite spot to chill is under this I-dont-know-what-they-call-it

The island (sort of) opposite to the break water is the Stockton suburb

This is one very rusty ladder with some sort of cage
to discourage people from climbing it, I guess

Ted Chan looking relaxed while enjoying the sunset

And this, my friends, is the photo that reminds me how beautiful life is

You might also like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...