Making New Friends at Anawangin

Zambales has always been a favorite go-to place of Manileños looking for a quick, albeit unplanned getaway.

The untimely suspension of work in preparation for the 31st ASEAN Summit had us reaching for our phones, vigorously searching for any destination that could take us away from the city. But there was no time to book local flights, no time to invite our friends, and no time to make a solid itinerary. So what did we do? We just winged it. We joined other groups headed for Anawangin Cove and it was the best decision we ever made.

I have never booked a tour in my life and it was a fun experience bonding with strangers. We tagged along with four other groups, pitched a tent alongside each other, and ate meals together during our stay at the cove.

I admit I am not a fan of crowded beaches, but I quickly learned to appreciate the sight of people having fun, the sound of laughter and singing, and the smell of food being cooked nearby. If you want seclusion, head for the neighbouring Nagsasa Cove, but if you want the legit camp experience go for Anawangin.

There are loads of activities in store for you at the cove such as swimming, playing volleyball, kayaking, trekking the hilltop, and bathing at the nearby falls.

Nights are particularly magical at Anawangin. Try opening the flap of your tent so you can gaze at the skies peppered with stars and hear the soft whispers of the wind rustling the agoho trees.

We left Manila with virtual strangers, we came back with new friends in tow. I guess talking to strangers is not always bad.

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Designated Survivor

Last month, my uncle recommended that I watch this Netflix original – Designated Survivor. I kept the recommendation filed at the back of my head and never got around to watching it until today. Despite the fact that I was supposed to do some work today, I got a little sidetracked the moment I opened Netflix.

I admit I seldom follow political dramas, but this one had me hooked…fast. The story of one low-ranking cabinet member being thrust into an unfamiliar arena is relatable to many people including me. I kept rooting on this little guy to rise up and face his enemies.

Watching President Kirkman trying to maintain a moral high ground while being pushed and not to mention shoved into playing dirty politics, got me thinking of all the circumstances in which your patience and endurance will be tested during your lifetime. More often than not we find ourselves doing things we are not prepared for and we react to these situations differently. Some throw in the towel and move on to a more manageable atmosphere. Some stay for the love of a challenge and the bragging rights that come along with it. Some simply endure for survival. None of the options are particularly bad for me, individual needs call for different actions and every action is motivated by different reasons.

Not that I am looking into becoming a president in the future, but I like to think that when I come face to face with my worst nightmares, I would suck it up, take lead and push forward. In the meantime, I will now play Episode 13.


Hot springs to beat the monsoon rains

The Philippines is a tropical country, meaning you get just two seasons – wet and dry. For normal people, summer is the perfect time to go swimming in the beach or a pool. I guess my friends are not what you call normal, and sane for that matter. Apparently now, the rainy season is the best time to put your swim gear on and soak up the sun, well in this case get soaked by the monsoon rains.  As a ritual of sorts, we decided to celebrate the end of summer and welcome the rainy season by visiting the country’s Resort Capital – Calamba.

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This outing was not an easy one to plan because not many people loved the prospect of getting a cold from swimming at such weather. Still we persisted, and in the end we prevailed. Last weekend, we finally went to visit one of the famous hot spring resorts in Calamba – the Dona Jovita Garden Resort. For those like us who do not own a car, you could get there via van or bus at the Alabang South Station in Muntinlupa City. Just tell the driver or the conductor to drop you off at Dona Jovita, all of them know the resort well. The drive from South Station to the resort took about an hour, give or take 10 minutes. We checked in at the resort at exactly 2:00 pm. The staff gave us one of the best rooms in the resort – the Montilla Room. The room, located at the Mediterranean Escape section of the resort, was really spacious with two queen-sized beds, one bathroom, and a kitchenette. The room was designed to accommodate a maximum of four people, but adding more beds is not an issue. The room was that big. Since we were more than four in the group, we decided to join the two beds together and requested for two extra single beds. Viola! A room fit for seven people!

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If you ever decide to book a room at the resort, I highly recommend selecting one of the Mediterranean rooms. It is more secluded and exclusive compared with the Garden Getaway rooms. However, if you have kids in the group, they might enjoy the Garden Getaway section of the resort because of all the whimsical statues, tree houses, water slides, and wishing wells. The Mediterranean Escape section of the resort only has one huge pool. It was apparent this section is meant to be exclusive and is reserved for people whose idea of a vacation is getting some peace and quiet. Well we are not exactly peaceful and quiet, so we soon found ourselves enjoying the attractions at the Garden Getaway. As the name suggest, this section is abundant with plants and flowers. We visited the Stations of the Cross leading to the grotto at the side of the mountain. The resort also features a miniature zip line and obstacle courses perfect for team building. As you stroll the resort, you might notice a variety of animals roaming freely. It is obvious that the resort owner is an animal lover. Cats, dogs, horses, and peacocks can be seen all over the resort grounds.

After traipsing around the resort, we came back to our area and proceeded to prepare our dinner. We borrowed one of the grills offered by the resort to cook our barbecue. It took five of us to get the deed done. You could tell we are not exactly stellar in the kitchen. Right after dinner, we immediately put on our swimwear and enjoyed the solitude of the Mediterranean pool. We also crossed the other section to take a dip into their pools as well as try the slides. All pools are filled with water coming from the hot springs of Mount Makiling. The naturally-heated pools kept us warm despite the chilly weather. All of us were reluctant to leave the warm water because the cold air could make your teeth chatter in no time. I actually tried a couple of times to get out of the pool, only to jump right back in because of the cold outside air. I practically ran up to our room to get a hot shower. My friends stayed at the pool well past midnight. By the way, all swimming pools in the resort are open 24 hours with a lifeguard within shouting distance.

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We all woke up to the sound of the pouring rain. The rain pelted the roof and the windows of our room. Just when we thought the rest of our day will be spent cooped up inside our room, the rain stopped and the sun immediately made its presence known. We took our free breakfast meals at the dining hall near the reception area and ate them at our room. The meals were simple and tasty, but could use an extra serving or two. After having our breakfast, we packed our things and left our room. We checked out at exactly 12 noon.

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Although Laguna is best known for its buko pies, we decided to throw tradition aside and NOT buy a pie. We decided to buy a cake instead. I have heard of this not-so-ordinary bakeshop that can only found in Laguna. Like a diamond in the rough, this bakeshop is so elusive, so very special. Mer-Nel’s Bakeshop only has three stores across the Philippines – two in Los Banos and one in Calamba. Fortunately, we were near SM Calamba where the third store is located. I used to believe Purple Oven’s Grandmother’s Chocolate Cake is the best I have ever tasted, but lo and behold Mer-Nel’s chocolate cake with yema filling. Their cakes are not only delicious, but actually very affordable at prices ranging from 170-500 pesos. Mer-Nel’s chocolate cake is the perfect substitute for buko pies. You simply have to try their cakes when you pass by Calamba or Los Banos.

After a quick snack at SM Calamba, we all parted ways at the terminal. The commute from Calamba to Manila was very easy. Buses bound for Lawton or Alabang pass by the main road all the time. We hopped in a bus bound for Alabang South Station and it took us less than an hour to reach our destination. The outing might have been concocted from a really bad idea, but as always when you have the right set of companions any bad idea can easily be converted into a really good time.


Weekend adventure at Caliraya

What to do on a lazy summer weekend? How about going to the mall to chill? Watch a movie? Read a book while listening to your favorite playlists. I would have loved to do all, but I chose to spend my weekend flying, sliding in the mud, and cycling on the sky. Yes I did all these and more at Caliraya Resort Club in Barangay Lewin in Lumban, Laguna.

Over the years, the resort has earned quite a reputation for being the best location for teambuilding activities. Rightly so with all the outdoor and recreational activities they offer to fit your teambuilding needs. The resort is not only for companies looking to enforce teamwork among their employees, it is also for families and barkadas looking to have fun and explore their adventurous side.

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We rented a van to Caliraya. Our driver decided to take the Tanay, Rizal route just to show us the Pililla Wind Farm. This side trip was a nice surprise. We can tell our driver is as much as a travel enthusiast as we are. He also wanted us to visit a famous lugawan along the way, but sadly we needed to be at the resort at noon. He dropped us off at the port. You have to ride a boat to get to the resort. For those who get seasick easily, the boat ride would take just 3 minutes tops.

We checked-in before noon. With some time to kill before lunch, we roamed around a bit and visited the first attraction we saw – the Hanging Bridge. After taking some pictures, we continued our tour and settled down at one of the cottages near the lake. We had our lunch at the picnic area. The lunch buffet was simple but good. After lunch, we immediately went to our duplex and changed our clothes. In less than 10 minutes we were ready to start our adventure trip. We first tried the Pinoy Zipline and after a couple of rounds we decided to go for the bigger zipline. Fortunately the line was not too long, unlike the line for the Sky Bicycle. Word of advice, always try the dry activities first because you would not be allowed to try the ziplines once you are wet. Due to the long line for the Sky Bicycle, we decided to try that another day and proceeded with the Super Slide and Mudslide.

The Super Slide was huge. It was encompassed almost half the hill. Everyone should try this slide. One of the exhilarating water rides I have ever tried. After trying the clean water slide, we decided to get down and dirty. Literally. It was time to try the famous Mudslide. Another tip for this attraction, if you want to be on the safe side choose the middle of the line when you go mud sliding. The front and the back are the bumpiest positions. Unfortunately for me I had to be seated at the back. Not to alarm you, but I got injured on the way down when the person in front of me jerked her head and hit my chin. I immediately tasted blood, but luckily I just had a small wound inside my mouth. Despite that, I tried the mud slide twice before the day ended.

All attractions are open until 5pm, so you really need to hustle if you want to try all of them. We ended our first day with swim at the Wave Pool. I was not able to use the pool because I was too dirty from the Mud Slide. My companions tried and succeeded in clearing the muck from their clothes, but I immediately gave up when I saw how deeply embedded the dirt was on my clothes. We returned to our Duplex to wash up and prepare for dinner. It was a modest dinner meal. After which, we visited the Snack Bar to load up with snacks and candies. We hanged out at one of the cottages near the lake most of the night. If you decide to do this as well, bring a jacket because it is really cold out there during the night. We traded stories and shared a couple of laughs before we came back to the house and sleep.

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The following morning we were determined to try the Sky Bicycle and Superman Zipline before leaving at noon. But before that, we first went to the mess hall to eat our breakfast. After the meal, we immediately proceeded to the Sky Bicycle ride. We were actually the first ones to ride that day. The Sky Bicycle is intimidating I admit, but once you get past the first couple of minutes of cycling, it really is fun. It was the most interesting and fun ride I had at the resort. It is a simply a must to try this ride.

The Superman Zipline came next. This ride is not new to me because I have tried this at Treetop Adventure in Subic. However, I had to try this again. It was as much fun as I remembered it to be. A few of us tried the Free Fall, while the others went back to the Duplex to pack their things. We left the resort at noon.

On the way home, we decided to eat our lunch at Isdaan in Calauan, Laguna. This is a really entertaining place. You can actually ride a small boat to roam the restaurant. There were magicians, acrobats and other performers making their rounds to keep the customers entertained. Everywhere you look is a perfect Kodak moment. For people with anger management issues, you could try Tacsiyapo at the restaurant. You get to smash plates, mugs, even a television set on a hug wall painted with names of your would-be victims. We made a detour to D’Originals to buy their famous buko pie, but unfortunately the pies will not be ready for another hour. We decided to buy our ‘pasalubong’ on the nearby stores. That was the last stop of our adventure trip. Make your weekends interesting. Who knows you could discover something about yourself that you never knew before.

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Long walks, fresh flowers during Holy Week

After years of working for a BPO company, I have forgotten what it was like to spend the holidays like normal Filipinos do. I have been so accustomed to working during the Philippine holidays that the idea of doing activities other than work on those days became completely foreign to me. Despite the unfamiliarity, I decided to make the best of all the free time I have been given now that I no longer work for foreign employers. I made a mental note of all the activities I have missed over the years and vowed to do each one of them this year. Participating in my family’s annual religious procession during the Holy Week was first in my agenda.

Feeling like a fish out of water, I humbly sought guidance from my relatives, most of which were younger than me but were more experienced in organizing religious processions. My first duty was to design this year’s official t-shirt. Although I was given a tight deadline, I managed to create a decent t-shirt design. After winning that challenge, I offered to join to buy the flowers for our float at Dangwa, Manila’s flower district. To say I was excited about this duty was an understatement. The sight of rows after rows of flowers in different shapes and colors was very overwhelming. Never have I seen that many flowers in my life. Although we had to sacrifice some hours of sleep in order to get them, it was definitely worth it.

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Our family’s life-size statue of the Virgin Mary was set to join the procession for three days beginning Maundy Thursday. We used to design our float when we were kids, but nowadays we leave it up to professional floral arrangers. Once the float was fully decorated, we loaded up the candles and bottles of water underneath the float, and braced ourselves for a really long walk around the city. If you’re planning to join these types of parades, please wear comfortable shoes and bring lots of water.

For me, the Easter Sunday procession was the most challenging one only because it was close to impossible to get much sleep. Preparing the float began and ended around 2am, merely an hour before the program started, so you can only imagine the struggle we had just to keep our eyes open. I admit I nearly dozed off during the morning mass. One of the things that pushed us to continue walking was the feast prepared by my family at home. We usually celebrate Easter Sunday this way with loads of home-cooked meals just beckoning for us walk a little farther and complete the rest of the procession.

By the end of the Holy Week, fatigue immediately set in. Despite the hardships we had keeping this family tradition alive; I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I can’t believe how much of these family moments I have missed all these years. Take it from me, family time is irreplaceable. No amount of money can even come close to substitute quality time with family. As Mother Theresa once said, “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

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My ‘never’ became a reality

The thing about climbing a mountain is that by the time you decide you can no longer continue, it is already too late. You are already way up there and backtracking is simply too exhausting to even think about. When it comes to mountain climbing, I think turning back is more mentally and physically draining compared to pushing forward. For this reason alone, I made a vow years ago NEVER to climb another mountain again. In my head, climbing three mountains in less than a decade was enough to prove I have tried something that terrified me. Surprisingly, NEVER came last week in the form of a day hike to Mt. Batolusong in Tanay, Rizal.

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For experienced mountaineers, Mt. Batolusong is a minor climb. It probably is, but for an unfit, desk jockey like me this is a challenging one. The assaults seemed unforgiving and relentless for someone not accustomed to doing moderate-to-intense leg work. As we ascended, all I could think about was reaching the next pit stop. It seemed to me that the higher you get, the farther apart these little pockets of heaven were. As I said earlier, the moment you think your lungs, your feet, and your heart are about to give up, the starting point is way too far for you to even think about the idea of climbing down. All you can really do is suck it up for a little while and pray that the trail down is easier.

We reached Mapatag Plateau around 10am, which means we missed the Sea of Clouds. Despite that, we enjoyed an amazing view of the mountains, rock formations, and grasslands. The air at Mapatag Plateau actually invigorated us. I suddenly remembered the reasons why I wanted to climb mountains in the first place. The scenic view. The fresh air. And of course, the surprising items sold at the top of the mountain. The last mountain I climbed, residents sold us halo-halo. This time, a kindly gentleman sold us ice cream. How he managed to climb ahead of us and still have frozen goodies on his bag is beyond my comprehension. What I do know is it is one of the best ice creams I ate. When you’re hungry, sleep-deprived, and thirsty, I guess any food is top-notch.

After having our fill and taking some pictures, we resumed our climb to the summit. If your balance isn’t stellar, brace yourself to lots of bamboo gripping and ground clawing. Despite my best efforts to overcome the challenges, I was not able to reach the summit due to circumstances I cannot control. I stayed behind with my cousin on tow and waited for our trail buddies at the foot of the summit.

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While waiting, my cousin and one of my friends decided to doze for awhile. So yeah I was the only one left conscious. I kept myself busy by acting as the one-woman welcoming committee for hikers who managed to reach the summit. After what seemed like forever, our companions finally lumbered down the side of the mountain. Since it was already midday and none of us were particularly eager to climb down just yet, we made a unanimous decision to have our lunch at the foot of the summit. We prepared a simple meal, but it was a huge feast in the eyes of the tired and the hungry.

After eating our lunch, we started our descent. We initially planned swimming at the Kay Ibon Falls, but the place was jam-packed. So we decided to visit the Sangab Underground River and Cave instead. The water was freezing, but it was really refreshing after hours of walking under the scorching sun. As much as we wanted to stay, we needed to pack up and leave before nightfall. On the way home, I came to the realization that some NEVERS are worth revisiting. Whether you are thrill-seekers or sedentary individuals, it is important to remember that adventures are not always the same for everyone, but each one is worth trying.

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A Little R&R at Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort

This is a long overdue post, but the dark clouds wading in the sky made me miss the bright sunshine so I decided to reminisce about our company outing last May. This was one of the few outings organized by my former employer that actually fit our schedule so it was no surprise that our team immediately signed up to join the fun. Coincidentally, the resort they chose was the same resort we eyed a year earlier so participating in this company outing worked really well with us because it gave us a chance to carry on with our plans minus the admission fee and transportation cost. Stilts Beach Resort in Calatagan, Batangas, is about 2 to 3 hours away from Manila, depending on the traffic. Although we left the office really early, by the time we arrived at the resort the sun was working quite the heat wave. The white tents did little in shielding us from the heat so you really had to pack on the sunscreen.

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As company outings normally proceed, employees are encouraged to join an assortment of games that promote teamwork and camaraderie. We were randomly handed out envelopes with a colored handkerchief inside and were then instructed to group together according to the color of the handkerchief we got. In one of the games, we were instructed to create the longest line using any article of clothing or accessory we had on our bodies. Slippers were the first to go, followed by the handkerchiefs, belts, shirts for the men (and some courageous women), and caps. The heat had turned the sand into one big hot bed of coal. We were all shifting our feet so as not to burn them to a crisp. Unfortunately we lost that game, but overall we did a good job since we placed second in the team standings. Go Orange team!

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I was already getting quite a tan by the time the organizers ceased the games and announced it was time for lunch. I guess they thought we already earned our stripes and food seemed the appropriate reward for running around the beach with the sun beating down on us. The food was good enough, but to be honest I was more interested in drinking any cold beverage I got my hands on. At this point, I was one step away from dehydration. When everyone had their fill, we were set free to explore the place.

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Stilts Beach Resort is best known for their cottages on stilts. These floating cottages range from about P8,000 to P18,000 per night depending on the size. Is it worth it? I wouldn’t know since my friends and I already made plans to stay at a friend’s house close to the area. However, as we were exploring these cottages, I cannot help but admire the beauty right in front of me. The sunset was gorgeous. The inspirational quotes lining the garden paths leading to the beach really set the mood for an “Awww Moment.” If you plan for a day tour, I suggest you wait until sunset before you leave. I guarantee the sight will leave you spellbound.

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After taking some pictures, we left the resort to proceed to our friend’s family home, which was about a 10-minute drive away from Stilts. After exploring their beautiful home, her Mom prepared something special for our dinner. Boodle fight! The grilled pork and rice were laid on top of the banana leaves, along with some tomatoes and salted egg. Embarrassingly, this was my first time to eat in this fashion and I loved it! I have eaten with my bare hands before, but boodle fight is way more fun. After dinner, we enjoyed a haphazardly-made cocktail drink while trading stories about anything under the sun, including work, love and juicy gossips. When we consumed every ounce of alcohol we brought for the trip, we went to our room to play cards before hitting the sack.

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The following morning, we ate a hearty breakfast of rice treats, hot coffee or chocolate, and pancit canton. We chatted for awhile with my friend’s family before we started packing up our things. My friend made a stop at Punta de Santiago or Cape Santiago Lighthouse before driving us to the bus terminal. The lighthouse is the oldest structure in Calatagan, constructed as a navigational aid in the 1890s. Admission is free here, but donations are encouraged for the restoration of the structure. We took a couple of pictures before leaving for the terminal. The bus ride took longer than we expected because of the many stops we had to take to get more passengers. On a whim, we decided to eat dinner at Tagaytay before heading for Manila. We started our day playing games in the beach in Batangas and we capped the weekend off with dinner in Tagaytay. Not bad for a company outing, not bad at all.

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Lesson from a 3-year-old

Kids and their sweets, taking one from the other usually end in screaming matches between parent and child. A small study published in PLOS One showed that young children’s taste preference tend to lean more on sweet, possibly due to a child’s growth development. I guess this finding gives us a clue why children love their chocolates and candies. Of course knowing this doesn’t mean parents should hand out sweets whenever their child demands it and throws a tantrum worthy of an Academy Award. My brother and his wife restrict their daughter’s sugar intake as much as possible, as parents should. While I admire their parenting skills, I had to admit I hold greater admiration for my 3-year-old niece. For someone so young, she has somehow perfected in her own way the art of visualization.

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Experts say visualization is an important tool in achieving personal or career goals. One remarkable success story highlighting the advantages of visualizing your goals is that of comedian Jim Carrey who wrote himself a check for $10 million for “acting services rendered” for 1994 at the start of his career and kept this piece of paper in his wallet. In 1994, he has amassed more than $10 million and has become one of Hollywood’s A-list stars. Carrey’s visualization technique IMG20151014103928mirrors my young niece’s tactic in getting her sweet fix. When politely asking her parents for chocolates doesn’t work, she would result to bargaining. She would follow her parents’ order, but would ask if she could hold the desired goodies. Just hold, no consumption of any kind. Judging from my niece’s intense fixation on the sweets in her hands, I can tell she is thinking that someday, somehow she can have them. She won’t nag her parents or throw tantrums all day, but you can expect that she will hold onto them until she earned enough ‘good girl points’ to redeem the prize. My niece is one smart cookie.

Taking a page on my niece’s visualization module, I started creating mental images of what I want to achieve. These achievements may be as small as being able to finish reading a book by next week or as big as landing my dream job. Visualizing these achievements helped me map out what I needed to do in order to get them. If things go as I envision them, my niece will get most of the credit. She knows this and has no qualms reminding me of my promise of giving her jelly beans and a whole chocolate cake when the time comes.

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Wisdom from the Old

Nowadays, I spend my mornings jogging around an industrial park with my Mom and her friends. It would be more accurate to describe this early ritual as walking rather than jogging. I think these morning jaunts are my Mom and her friends’ version of the popular fun run, but with zero running and 70% walking and 30% talking. I admit I am not overly fond of running at all, but this is actually not the pace I’d normally go for if I am looking to do some exercising. However, I need to follow the pace Joggingof my walking buddies, after all my Mom is pushing 60, while the rest of our crew have pushed beyond the retirement age. It was a little unsettling at first being indirectly forced to slow down when you know you can go a little faster. I think I am overexposed to a fast-paced environment that I have forgotten the rudiments of taking your own sweet time. You might think these long walks are boring especially when you are accompanied by individuals who are at least 30 years your senior, but you couldn’t be more wrong. These walks are worth waking up around 4am each day. I was initially worried that the age difference might make the conversations strained, but that concern went out the window starting Day 1. They treated me as though I am their long lost daughter or granddaughter. They regaled me with stories of their adventures as a child or when they were my age. These stories often, if not always, make me laugh. They even tell their saddest stories in a way that would have you convinced that those were the best moments of their lives.

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Although I am not into gadgets as much as most youngsters are these days, my new friends are more averse to them. Actually I find their lack of interest in the latest trends like the smartphones and social media really endearing. I’ve read a study before that said older people may be slow in taking in new information compared to their younger counterparts, but jogging3their experience and knowledge more than make up for this impediment, particularly in making decisions. Experience really is the best teacher and the lessons I learned from my ‘seasoned’ companions beat any Ivy League school. Romans had it right when they placed their faith in the wisdom of the old. As Cicero once said, For there is assuredly nothing dearer to a man than wisdom, and though age takes away all else, it undoubtedly brings us that.”  So for young people out there, I strongly recommend putting down you headphones and listen, really listen to your elders. Learn to bridge the age gap, you might be surprised how narrow your differences are.

 


Book Lovers Meet Again

Here in the Philippines September often marks the beginning of the Christmas season, but for certain individuals this month is highly anticipated for a different reason altogether. These individuals would probably just give Santa’s Naughty or Nice list a passing glance because they would be busy making a list of their own – a book list to be specific. Bookworms all over the country, including me, are on high alert during this time of the year. Yes all of us are prepping up for this year’s installment of the Manila International Book Fair at the SMX Convention Center, Manila.

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As usual the organizers of the 5-day event did not disappoint with its vast selection of activities, including book signings, writing workshops, competitions, and even a meditation session. With over a hundred exhibitors participating in the event, book lovers certainly had more than enough books to choose from. Buying just one book was close to impossible. If you managed to do this, I applaud your restraint. I really do. I gave up religiously making a list of books to buy two years ago because I often ended up buying so many books, much of which were not in my list.

MIBF inside

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This year’s MIBF also invited many local and international authors including Colleen Hoover, Eros Atalia, and Camille Depano. Although the event’s official website mentioned a few book signings, it seemed that each booth had an author poised to sign as many of books as possible every hour. We were fortunate enough to have some of our books signed. Even my 3-year-old niece secured signed copies of her favorite children’s books.

MIBF book signing

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Running for over three decades, the book fair is certainly achieving its goal in promoting reading to Filipinos one book at a time. Whether you are young or old, a hard-core bookworm or simply curious, the annual event is certainly one for the books.

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