Surviving Your Mind


Summary: Girl whines. Recounts sad stories over the years. Tells all suicidal thoughts that have come across her mind. Reflects on them. Pretends to have a positive outlook on life. Thanks people who’ve temporarily erased all suicidal thoughts from mind at the moment.


Hi. How you’ve been? Just wanted to get this off my chest for now, I got triggered by some TEF posts haha. Here is my own list of suicidal thoughts dating back to my high school days. Bear with me, as I try to articulate my feelings in a way I hope you, dear reader, would understand. This is not much, but somehow, I hope I can help by sharing my experience and my thoughts. I’ve thought a while about writing something like this, but I was always held back by what I thought people might think. Because believe me, a voice inside my head is always screaming, “No, just change your fucking perspective and put some work into it”. I live with that voice every day, but I also live with other voices in my head. So, here we go. This is me.

Every suicidal thought I’ve had:

2nd-3rd year high school;

hanging myself off the ceiling of the third floor of the dorm using the wires and makeshift benches from construction

slitting my wrist using broken shards of glass after an accidental cut fascinated me

4th year high school;

jumping in front of a bus, or a jeep
jumping into the pier

1st year college;

drinking zonrox(colorsafe)
jumping in front of a vehicle
jumping off never ending bridge(but then thought I wouldn’t really die, maybe a broken spine or limbs, prolonging agony and depression)
sneaking into the carillon tower, then fall to my death (more probability that I’d die. I imagined climbing to the second landing to get to the stairs)
hiding under the grass hoping the grass cutters don’t notice me til I break their machines with my severed body parts

2nd year college;

overdose on paracetamol and other OTC medication
alcohol intoxication, coupled with overdose of OTC medication

slipping down the stairs and breaking my head

3rd year college;

choking self with belt
overdose on paracetamol and other OTC medication
alcohol intoxication, coupled with overdose of OTC medication
jumping in front of a vehicle
electrocuting self

4th year college:

lock self in room and start a fire, choke on smoke (but thought that I live in an apartment so I don’t want that)
lock self in room, knife my throat
cut self with rusted blade

5th year college:

jump in front of train
use college money to leave island and go someplace where no one will recognize me, dye my hair, cut it short, wear contacts tie myself to a bag of rocks and jump into the sea
find a pack of rabid dogs and agitate them prompt them to devour me
alcohol intoxication + overdose

lock self in bathroom, drink zonrox, cut self and bleed into the water pail

Here’s to note, that the overdose includes all OTC drugs I can find and drink a liter of them. As of writing, I’ve realized that I won’t probably die from all those plans. But, if I had attempted at least one of them, I’d get better until I see a result. So what made me think that? Me, who’s privileged enough to go to private school, eat three times a day, parents who never quarrel in front of me and my brother. What made me think of ending my life?

I’ve had suicidal thoughts since sophomore high school. It was the middle of the school year, my grades aren’t what I’ve expected. I was a transferee. I wanted to make friends immediately, to belong.  I disappointed myself. I felt like I’ve disappointed my parents. I felt like I didn’t deserve my slot as a scholar. But somehow I survived, I made friends. Come junior year though, things got a little bit tougher. I was still in my shell, but I did try my best in reaching out, to socialize more, to escape the despair in my mind. Because it’s scary, my mind. I’ll talk about it later. The dorm where I was staying then was under construction. My room was up on the third floor and I think the hall windows weren’t finished yet, there were wires near the staircase and wooden makeshift benches. Most afternoons as I prepare myself for dinner I think about how easy it would be to grab those wires, climb the window, and hang myself from the ceiling. Luckily I never had the guts to do such a thing. I also thought of slitting my wrists with broken shards of glass when an accidental cut at the back of my hand fascinated me. The window in our classroom broke because of a storm I think. I thank April for snapping me out of it, for listening to me and giving me company. I looked for distractions. I watched TV series, movies. I saw 3 Idiots.

I struggled but was becoming disinterested. My teachers tried to help me, they gave me every opportunity to stay. I got kicked out anyway. I was either too lazy or too uninterested in what was going on. But damn did I regret it at the time. I was going to enter senior high without any friends. I was already picturing myself among batchmates during graduation, everyone hugging each other, wishing each other well for college, reminiscing all four years of high school. Well, that happened eventually, but let’s not skip too fast. I delayed telling my parents about failing my second attempt to remove that subject. I wanted to be alone and find a sharp debris behind the building. Thankfully Jamil hugged me tight enough to keep myself together. They who know who they are promised to keep in touch, and until now they still do, just recently I visited them and we had a great time, though not everyone was present. I’ll forever cherish those 6; for keeping me sane for a few months, introducing me to Tumblr, and for staying.

I missed my friends that summer. I could have contacted my elementary friends to catch up with them, but I was ashamed and disconnected. I lost touch with my freshman year friends. I got into a fight with my dad and basically, I was aloof and lost for a whole summer. Mostly April and Ben entertained me with their time, for that I thank them.

Senior year.  I was this silent, weird, awkward girl still. My classmates thought I was a snobby know-it-all pretender, maybe I still am. I felt held back, I got bored, because I already knew what they were teaching. I got lazy. I never studied any of my exams there, but I passed because I knew them already. My new classmates either got jealous of me or wanted to know how I’m “so smart”. I struggled to make friends with them because I felt like I could never belong anywhere. Kristel, Abby, Zara, Mikey, Lyka, Chan, Joebert, Jason, Edmarc, thank you for listening. Mir, Gwin, Sarah, Kenny, your craziness saved me from myself.  The graduation scenario happened still. I felt alone, an outsider looking in. I watched as my friends hugged each other; some were crying, some were glad they could finally have dinner after that 6-hour ceremony, and most were taking pictures together.

I never thought about what my goals were. I just wanted to be happy, to matter. But I had no idea how. So I botched my college application forms. I had my hopes up but didn’t really expect much. I thought I was making progress, I passed every college admission test in the city and got a slot in UPLB. That was nice.

First year, first sem. I enrolled in a degree program that had an available slot. It was interesting and I could really see how it would help the country. But it just didn’t feel ‘me’. I failed math11(college algebra) for the first time because I was late to the final exam, I had my zoology 1 lab exam prior. My friend raced to the exam venue, but I lost hope and gave up, not having the confidence to take it because I didn’t study enough. I sat around Fpark at noon watching the wind sway the leaves on the tree. Trying not to cry. Telling myself it’s okay and that I was stupid for not trying, but it’s okay. I got lumped in the dorm with two girls who I’ll never get tired of hearing from. One is the bubbly loud Joscel and the other is the metamorphosed Genesel. These two strong women are a gift.

First year, second sem.  I still felt like I didn’t belong in UP, and during an initiation process, I was convinced because they said so. They told me so loud enough that I still hear the echo of their voices when I get stuck with a problem. They told me that I wasn’t using my brain, that I was stupid. I felt numb, I felt validated. Yes, I am stupid, thank you for telling me, though I knew that was not your intention, you made me feel that way. It still makes me feel that way. No, you didn’t break me to make me strong, you shattered me. It hindered my already slow progress. The splinters ached inside for months. You made me believe I didn’t have what it takes to survive in UP, and right now I’m trying my best not to blame you for all the times I failed because I didn’t believe in myself. I wanted to change my degree program, but I saw all the potential in my current one. I stayed. And am still currently enduring.

Second year, first sem. I was pushed into joining a contest where I had to face an audience. I believe I was making progress. I was hanging out with my friends. I was still failing math and I still didn’t know what to do, how to give meaning to life. I was slowly getting out of my shell though, starting to love my skin a bit. Still cried, still thought of jumping in front of a high-speed car or drinking something toxic, but I lived. Because of 3 Idiots I thought of those who loved me and felt guilty, and how I would disappoint them. So I lived. I went on dates with friends. I started to sort through people. I believe to have fallen in love with a guy who’s independent, caring, always late, but always strives to better himself. He loves adventure, is a great cook, and loved hip hop and reggae songs. He wasn’t my ideal guy in the external aspects, but he had qualities that really count. He made me feel safe and that I can count on him to hold my hand whenever I feel reeling into my void. I still failed math. I still wanted to shift.

Second year,second sem. Third year. I had so much fun in my GE courses, especially those under AH. I tried doing art but I lost my passion for literature and photography somewhere down the road. Adrian forced me to see my worth. He pushed me to try and get myself better. I finally freaking passed math11. I decided to stay, finish this degree, then take up a second degree after. It was around this period that me and my elementary classmates would have reunions during Christmas break. I got drunk twice maybe thrice now with them, but they were great. They gave me different perspectives and they gave me comfort. Even though they are now in their first years of their respective careers, they don’t make me feel as though I am lagging behind. Thank you; DCS Batch ’12. I am also grateful to my housemates during my third to fifth years in college; Nice, Faith, Jay Ann, Abby, Richellen, Jelen and Genesel. Thank you for the movie marathons and series binges and being each other’s alarm clock system. You girls have seen me bitch and whine and cry and breakdown and you didn’t kick me out of the apartment. Thank you. And thank you so much for listening.

Fourth year I panicked. My batchmates were graduating. I calmed down a bit when I reminded myself I can still meet maximum residency if I don’t fail anything and I keep full load for three extra semesters. Ha. I had hoped. Fifth year I went to volunteer, a tiring but fulfilling experience. I had fun, I felt relaxed. I practiced faux calligraphy. But I dreaded the interview for major applications. Here I was, already four years in the university, and it’s my first time to file for a major. I feared not being able to live up to expectations set by my professors. I panicked all the more, my friends and batchmates were getting jobs, passing respective licensure examinations. I was beginning to start taking major courses. At times I hated it. I hated how I didn’t—still don’t—have the spine to accept where I’m good at, what I’m willing to be good at. Still dragging my feet to the finish line. I started to look for distractions again— water coloring, faux calligraphy, watching TV series.

I’m in my sixth year now. Haha. I still feel worthless whenever I think of the money my parents spend on me, of those people who are far more worse off in life. I feel guilty about receiving education and not being able to finish on time not because we have trouble financially, but because I’ve always felt like the weakest crap. Like, there are people with more debilitating disabilities. Valid ones. And all I need is a change of mindset. Believe me, it’s not difficult because I have a myriad of scenarios going on in my brain for every given present. But I seem to be more focused on what could go wrong instead of everything that could go right. I am fixated on the negative because it’s easier to accept failure that way. All my pre-teen and teenage life I’ve felt like a failure.

Remember those voices in my head? I first noticed their existence back when elderly people compared their children to each other. “Oh, she’s such a good girl. Whenever she gets home she studies and does her homework” or “Oh he’s so disciplined, he keeps his room tidy” and everything ending with, “Why can’t you be more like that?” Since then I never stopped comparing myself to others. It shouldn’t be totally a bad thing, right? Because it says that I set standards for myself. But what’s wrong is that I beat myself up continually if I don’t meet those standards. And so ever since then, there have been conflicting voices in my head. Some would bring out all the negative, how useless I am, how insignificant I am and what I do. Some would tell me not to listen to those voices, that I will soldier through whatever obstacle I am facing right now and that I can take it. The instances I fear the most are when two or more speak up and I am left to curl up in my bed and cry because I want them all to be silenced, hence leading to all my suicidal thoughts. It’s true when they say the worst enemy you can have is yourself, but it’s also true that you’re the only one who can help yourself. And it’s a nightmare when those two things happen at the same time, and all you can do is freeze, and take a breath and wait for them to eventually dull into silence before you shakily get back on your feet and resume your life.

My problems aren’t that great, I know. I’m lucky. But please don’t invalidate my feelings. I know there are people worse off than me, but maybe I can help shed a little perspective to people who have similar experiences, insecurities, pain? Battling and belittling yourself is well, it batters you down. I survived though. I survived because I surrounded myself with people willing to listen to me, no matter how much I drain them. Each and everyday I wake up and tell myself that I will get better, that I will be strong enough to silence the enemies in my mind. So if you’re like me, or you’ve actually attempted to harm yourself in any way because of whatever reason, please struggle. Struggle and strive to get yourself out of the mud. Because darling, you are surrounded by angels, even when the world looks so full of evil, even if your mind has demons. Keep an eye out for those people who are sincere in wanting to alleviate you from your problems. Keep your head up. Keep struggling until, believe me, you find your happiness and contentment. The hurt in your chest, no matter how deep or how long it hurts, is only temporary until you’ve worked hard enough in healing it; but ending a thrilling chapter with a period and closing the book will make readers go mad with “what happens next” and fills them with never ending “what if” theories, but they’ll never get it, because you’ve already ended your story there.

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You Were My Band-Aid

I didn’t know how I got it. It simply caught my attention when I felt it sting, but by then the infection was creeping in deep.

It probably started as a simple cut, the cells of skin torn apart but never separated. And then, going by unnoticed, never healing, it festered and grew.

An open wound, small, dermal. Like all minor cuts, I probably let it be. Let my body’s natural defense mechanisms work to heal it. But it wasn’t enough.

Days, weeks go by. The wound is still a wound. Someone gave me a band-aid. It covered up the wound.

Days, weeks later the band-aid slipped off a little and I found that my wound still had not healed. The infection was already in my blood, and I probably need to get transfusions.

We’ll see. I’ll go see a doctor soon. I hope I’ll get better.

But thank you for being my band-aid. Even when I was hurting, you saw me through my good days and bad. You held me comfortably, but it’s time to face the fact that you cannot heal me. I need to flush the toxins out before I can truly be happy.

Translation:

I have been a constant overthinker since I was 12. I’ve had recurring suicidal thoughts when I was 15. When I was 18 I got a boyfriend, Lord knows how. The thoughts of suicide diminished until they were a faded memory. By 23, after a semester of constant worry, the suicidal thoughts came with a vengeance as I found myself in the kitchen in the middle of the night holding a knife to my wrist. The cool blade against my pale skin was mesmerizing until our dogs ran into the kitchen chasing a lizard or a rat. I’ve probably always been teetering on the edge. It’s time I go see someone before I fall off.

Love and What It Brings

Ah, a couple more days before February and yet stores are already filled with red, hearts and flowers. Oh, Valentine’s.

I found out that the cartoon heart is shaped like it is because when you put two heart organs together they form that shape. It’s cute actually.

What’s not cute is getting your heart broken.

See, I love someone who made my heart pour out of my chest and filled it with so much adoration and happiness that I felt like floating in clouds. But he broke my heart and maybe in doing so will help me become a better person by letting me go. I still love him, but I’m trying to move on, trying to maximize the opportunity he gave me. He’s a wonderful person, he’s learned a lot from his past and he has a direction. He’s curious and adventurous. He’s always on the go, except for the times when a YouTube video interests him so much that he goes into a spiral of videos. He’s also caring and sweet in the cutest ways. He’s one of my best cheerleaders. When he wants something in his future, he works his ass off for it. Which is why my heart broke when he chose to let me go when I wanted him to grab my hand and tell me we’ll be okay, that we’ll work harder for us. He wanted what was best for us, that meant him keeping his scholarship and finishing his graduate studies, and for me to be happy. Because I wasn’t happy in the relationship anymore. I didn’t feel safe. For months I tried to assure myself that we’ll make it through this tiny bump in the road. I tried keeping things normal, like he didn’t move 2 hours away and was loaded with journals to read and problems to think about. But I guess it wasn’t really enough. And he couldn’t meet me halfway.

As I said before, he’s awesome. Sure he has a knack of being perpetually late, among other things, but I think I can let those go. So why did I agree to the split? He’s awesome and becoming awesomer day by day, while I don’t think I’ve reached my full awesomeness that I should have by this time. I’m not that independent enough, I’m not assertive enough. I haven’t been on my own enough; I haven’t seen places, or made new and different friends, or mastered a hobby. I’m floating in a sea of dreams without a boat, and I’m afraid I’ll sink. So I have this time for myself. I have this time to get what I need and explore what I want. I have this time for me to reinvent myself, become more of who I want to be, and who I need to be.

We’re both young. We’re both smart and talented. He needs to be more sensitive and I need to be more optimistic and realistic. To quote Carrie Underwood: Someday you’ll see the reason why there’s good in goodbye. Maybe we’ll both meet again in the future and we’ll make it work, maybe when we meet, like in LA LA Land we’ll have achieved our dreams. But right now I just have to trust the universe, and in myself, that we’ll be okay with our decision.

So I guess, he did two things by choosing to let me go: He made it clear to me that I won’t be a priority until he gets his stuff sorted out, and he gave me the space to discover my wings and fly. For that, I thank him.

Love is a terribly beautiful thing. It brings you hope and joy, but if it doesn’t last like it should, it leaves a trail of destruction. But the funny thing is, this world never runs out of love. One day another love will come by, and slowly and surely, it will put the pieces back together, and it will surprise you how much better you are. The loves you have will give you many different perspectives and with that comes growth and maturity until you find the love that will last. That love that will brave the storms with you. Love will always be fluid, it will change with time. You need to be brave to accept it when it comes barging into your life, and braver still to keep it with you.

A Traveler’s Tale

The roads to success were never easy. You chose yours, I chose mine.
 
Life asked us where we wanted to go. Like children hungry for adventure we said, “to the Peak of the Mountain of Success where everyone is talking about going.”  Life smiled and told us that the journey will be rough and yet sweet. We would meet dangers and welcome lovers. Life also told us that we must choose a path to the mountain, and choose carefully, because we’re starting out on our own. The path is not a simple one too, Life warned. There will be days when it will split into other directions, and you must choose again. We were so young and so eager for our adventure that we hurried Life. Life sighed and showed us the roads.
There were paths bitter and cruel as a stormy winter night, but up ahead you could see summer green fields. There were easy roads that lead to dark forests. There’s a route where you need to cross an ocean. And so many more. But naive as we were we  wanted to be off. Life sighed. Sleep on it first, I’ll give you a week to decide. Now go to the library and find what you want, what you need and what you can.
So we went. The librarians were helpful enough. Some we’d invite to dinner over just to listen to more of what they say, others, well, they’re kinda boring, we thought. A week passed. You’ve made your decision, I’ve made mine.
Life peaked at what we were bringing with us. She was kind enough to equip us with more. You were given great shoes for your walk up that mountain. Life has given you some supplies too; a backpack with clothes, a journal, a tent and food and freshwater, she gave you the gift of knowledge or artistry or speech or dance or sport but you wanted something else. Naive as we were, we didn’t realize it yet. Life also told you to leave something behind, because you have no use for it, or yet. It will or won’t trouble you as you go along. Again, we knew nothing of it. But perhaps we did, our little consciousness gagged by innocence. Life gave you a once over, and declared you were ready to go.
Life didn’t take anything from me, but she didn’t give me as much as she did you. She gave me knowledge, yes. A fraction of empathy, plain clothes and food. She gave me thoughts that would run wild, sometimes out of my control; an imagination that would harm me if I didn’t learn to tame it.
Before we reached the gates that would separate us, we saw others who didn’t even speak to Life, they just dashed through one of the gates. There were also stubborn ones who Life had to drag just so they could reach the gates.
We braved the gates to our paths and landed on our fates. You were confident in your strides, I saw. I stood rooted to the ground, unsure if I’m ready to take on this journey. But you must, a voice in my head cried. Else, if not today, when? With one timid step after the other I soon crossed the gates, and not long after I was beginning to get comfortable with the pace I set.
Some time later down the road our paths crossed and as like all friends reunited, we traded stories.
You told me how Life has prepared you for this journey, but not that quite. You had to keep your tent from flying away one night during a storm, learn how to make fire to keep yourself warm. You told me of snakes and cheats and bullies you encountered. You told me about your rendezvous with secret lovers. About majestic infrastructures and new friends.
You painted a pretty picture, with all the hues.
So far my journey hasn’t been as exciting as yours, I said. There were bumps here and there. But I finally discovered why I feared taking my path.
You said yours was growing difficult by the day with twists and turns, but you manage. You have friends and acquaintances travelling along with you sometimes. I do too. The difference between you and me is that you have strong legs to carry you, while I’m a cripple on this seemingly clear path.
Every day you became more determined, and every day I grew unsure of myself. Is this really what I want? I kept talking to no one but myself. You could sense my dread. You shook your head gently, looked me in the eye and smiled.
“Take a look around you. Breathe. Now, look behind you. See that spot with the blue rivers? Good, now remember how wide those were? And can you see the square lot, the one with the many gates? You can’t, can you? I know it’s still a long way up, and that you’re tired. And going back down to the stream to refresh seems harder than climbing back up here, even though the stream is just a few steps down. But see how far you’ve come? Take pride in that.”
We sat in silence with each other’s company. We made camp for the night. You told me I might not see you when I wake up because you had to leave early if you were to catch the wind.
When morning rose, I breathed in the clean scent of tress and dewdrops. The breeze was gentle and cold. I can sense a storm ahead. But after yesterday, I gained a new perspective, and I’m not so scared anymore.

Moving Forwards and Onwards

May is here and senior college students are starting to feel the heat(literally because we’re in the tropics). Tales of thesis experiments, thesis papers, manuscripts, post-grad school applications and a whole lot of deadlines can be heard from every corner of the campus, and I feel bummed.

If I hadn’t failed my college algebra course 3 times, if I haven’t failed my genetics and my organic chemistry, I would also be feeling a bit hyper now that there’s less than two months before the graduation date. I would be panicking at looming defense dates. I would be fretting over the many pimples on my face and how it’s all going to look on my graduation picture. I would dread at having to look for a job, all those interviews.

If I hadn’t failed, if I hadn’t done the things I did, I would never have gotten to know myself. I wouldn’t be prepared to slave through days of work, or how to handle conflict like a boss because honestly, I shy away from conflict and confrontation as much as I can. It amazes me how little every day choices  can leave big life impacts. I’ve started to select the videos I watch, half of them to entertain me, the other to educate and inspire me. I’ve also started to weed out the negativity in my life and so far so good.

One thing I got from listening to a TED talk speaker on YouTube was this: life doesn’t give you the skills to maneuver it smoothly; it presents you a series of obstacles and situations in order for you to develop that skill. Successful people have two things in their arsenal: a lot of dedicated hard work, and a gold pot of good luck.

Perspective is a wonderful word that gives different meanings to every word there is out there. It is experience-based. So, if I were to put perspective on success, it would be to try and try and try and try again to achieve what I want. And believe me, you’re gonna savor success all the more when you’ve failed at it a couple of times.

If I hadn’t had those major bumps in the road, I would still be lost. Actually, I still am. But I’d like to believe I’m getting somewhere. I know what I want to do, inspire people to change. The how I’m going to do it is still a big mystery. But I’ll get there. I just hope the world doesn’t end first.

Helpful

Fred Tougas1. Everything is temporary. I know this is so cliche, right? Like, what total bullshit LOL. Because when painful stuff goes down, it doesn’t feel temporary. It feels like forever. Emotions are often intense, and when you’re looking in all directions, but still see them EVERYWHERE, it’s hard to imagine them ever fading. We…

via 9 Important Things To Remember When Your Life Feels Like A Complete Shitshow — Thought Catalog

Mt. Batulao

Standing at  811 MASL, the pictures you find on the internet don’t do this beauty justice as they conceal the challenge this mountain poses to newbie hikers. Mt. Batulao, a grassy mountain ridge with its jump-off point located at Nasugbu, Batangas, is not suitable for those with weak knees as the slopes can be very steep and slippery.

Let’s start with how we got there. But if you’re impatient enough to read through my experience, please scroll down to the very bottom to find our itinerary if you’re based anywhere near Los Banos or Calamba. March 25, 2016 we left our place near UPLB around 4:15am and reached SM Calamba by 4:45am. We waited for a few minutes for the van to Tagaytay to be full before we hit the road. It was 5:55am when I woke up to see Taal Volcano as we sped by past it. We got off at a Ministop and crossed the road to ride a jeep to Nasugbu. We told the driver to drop us off at Evercrest, but when we got there it was named Hillcrest, but then as we went further up I saw the back gates having Evercrest  engraved on the steel bars. Anyway, you can either walk up all the way to the jump-off or ride a tricycle. We were advised by the tricycle drivers to just hire them because if not we’d still pay a double entrance fee and will have a longer warm up before traversing the actual trail.

So we hired a trike, and were glad that we did because it was a bit of a long and dusty way before reaching the jump-off point. We passed by the Health Center where we were supposed to be collected a fee of 30php per person. When we reached the jump-off point we logged in and were greeted by kids selling walking sticks for 10php. And then off we went.

The first few meters already found us ascending a steep hill

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Our way up to the first kubo.

and then descending like so. It served as a glimpse of what we were actually going to traverse that day. Because one of our companions had worn out running shoes, she had difficulty going up and down the slippery slopes, but more on that later. After about five to fifteen minutes, I guess, we reached the first stop of refreshments and I immediately asked if they had a loo. It was my first time to relieve myself behind tall grass with the risk of strangers seeing my naked butt from above. The little huts had coconut juice and halo-halo but we decided to have refreshments later on.

The view was amazing even at the foot of the trail. The mountain was covered with grass and it was an open area, so by 9am we were starting to feel the heat. Thankfully, a cloud or two would cover us for a moment and a breeze is not always absent. We were delighted when we reached Peak 1, but when we met other mountaineers on their way down, they told us that we still had a long way to go before we reached the summit.

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our happy faces as we reached peak1

After a while we reached what was called the Peak of Deceit and admired the view from there. We then went down to the camping site and were collected a fee of 30php each because it was private property. We had a water break there and then proceeded with our trek. When we reached the peak of another slope my boyfriend’s sister wanted to give up and stay put. She told us that she’d just wait for us there. So we decided to take a break to let her catch a breath and really think about her decision to stay atop a slope under the scorching sun for who knows how long. When she insisted to stay, her brother ignored her and took pictures of the [view]. Little did she know that we were just a few meters from Peak 8, the last of the easy trail. We would soon discover that the trail between Peaks 8 to 12 would be the more…exciting ones. Also, we would have fewer pictures here because we had to cling to the rocks.

Basically the trail is still the same, up and down what I would like to call a dragon’s back. There were two points I think that your wall climbing skills need to kick in as you have no place to set your feet on. This is where people with weak knees should proceed with extreme caution or call it a day. It’s an adventure one has to experience as I have yet to improve my writing skills. We used the new trail going up and the old trail going down. I would highly advise that you do the opposite. Going up is one thing, going down is another. Going down is the tricky part for the two mountains I’ve climbed (Mt. Makiling was the first). The old trail has steeper slopes and even if you got proper mountain shoes the soil is too loose(close to sand actually) that if your balance was off you could find yourself tumbling down the side of the mountain, nobody would want that to happen.

Over all, it was a fun day. And it’s another life achievement. You’ll find out when I edit this post later(when I go premium).

 

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Our Itinerary(costs are per head):

  • 04:15 -04:45    UPLB to SM Calamba (jeep)                 –    20php
  • 05:00-06:00   SM Calamba to Tagaytay (van)            –    70php
  • 06:30-07:00    Olivarez Tagaytay to Nasugbu(jeep) –    25php
  • 07:00-07:15     hike up to Evercrest
  • 07:15-07:30      ride trike to reach jump-off point    –    30php
  • 07:30-07:35      register names at jump-off point
  • then I basically lost track of time since none of us wore any watches
  • when you reach the private property area there is a registration fee of 30php per head. I hope they use that for maintenance though.
  • refreshments are sold in the kubos that you may pass by, like halo-halo, coconut juice, bottled water, softdrinks. Prices range from 25-40. It should be noted that the supplies are limited, so best to bring your own water. At least 2 liters per person should be enough.

 

Thoughts of a Financial Illiterate

Disclaimer: Okay, I have attended two seminars on financial literacy and fundamentals of stock investing, but I am still an illiterate because I haven’t extended my knowledge and applied the little that I know.

Also, I won’t be explaining anything. I would only be conveying my experiences with handling finance.

I seem to remember that the total of my very first Princess Belle coinbank amounted to about 500pesos. I was in elementary back then, so I was pretty proud of myself. But then I got to college and that 500pesos won’t last me a week. So, I started to save. When my freshman year ended I got to buy a pair of Ipanema slippers, and then my savings were gone. The summer between my sophomore and junior year I worked as a typist for my mom’s office, and I earned roughly 6k, most of which I gave to my mother, the rest I spent on a sling bag and a flash drive(which I then lost at a computer shop).

Sometime around my junior year my boyfriend got really interested in stocks, so, before the midyear term started he dragged me along with him to the Philippine Stock Exchange Center for a seminar. And that’s when I started to think.

Now, I always wanted a big wedding, ever since I was a little girl who invented crazy plots for my stuffed toys. Now, I want a simply elegant wedding, with a honeymoon adventure abroad(I’m talking like 2 weeks here). I wanna split the bill in half with my future husband of course, and I don’t want any of our parents’ help. So how do I do that? Save and invest.

But things don’t always go according to plan. Something happened and I have to save some big cash to replace my stolen DSLR with dual kit lens. Yes, frigging bastard got both kit lenses. The camera body and kit lens have been replaced by the person who borrowed my cam. But, see, it was my dad’s gift. He worked abroad, and the first time he visited me in college he gave me that camera. And I am so dead if he finds out it’s gone. Well, not literally dead, he loves me, I’m his princess. But I feel so bad, I can’t fathom the thought of telling him. So, I need to save money from the measly weekly allowance my mother sends me. Unfortunately, every now and then I get food cravings, or impulsive appliance shopping for our apartment and the money saved is now money spent. I’m putting a three month deadline to save up to 7,800pesos so I could buy a decent enough zoom lens to take photos of my boyfriend as he receives his ‘diploma’ this June. sigh.

Saving money is so damn hard once you’re used to a certain lifestyle. My grocery list isn’t as long as it was, with all my wants stroked out. Even my beauty routine has to be put on hold.

But, if anything, this experience  has taught me well. It taught me that sacrifices have to be made in order to achieve long-term goals( as if studying hasn’t). Budgeting time and money is also a must if I want to have both my needs and wants.

I shall now file this article under “Useless Stuff I Write When I Start with A Great Idea and Get Distracted”

 

Living with Responsibilities

Today I went into full Asian-mom mode— moping the floor, washing the dishes, throwing trash—all for the sake of delaying all the work I need to do for my subjects.

At 20 years old, I find that being a college student living in an apartment with other college students can be a bit of a work. There’s the personality clash, the busy schedules, different specializations. It can be pretty tough keeping a living space tidy, even though we’re all of the same gender. Now, I lived in university dorms, and I always liked to keep my area clean. My roommates now had also lived in the dorms, but I think the overflowing pile of trash, dirty dishes, food wrappers, shoes all over the floor(we have shoe racks for crying out loud!), and not to mention the daily accumulation of hair strands(I swear, I’ve never lived with girls without noticing clumps of hair on the floor everyday) don’t seem to bother them at all.

So I got into thinking, am I a neat freak? No. I also have moments when my laundry is all over my bed and my definition of a clean study area is all the things I don’t need shoved up on a corner on the table. I confess there are times when we don’t even feel like cleaning up after ourselves, because let’s face it, who has the time? With the papers and reports and exams, not to mention the responsibilities we have in our respective organizations, I understand why at some point of the week our apartment looks like a hurricane came over to have coffee.

But I really can’t concentrate studying when I feel like there is so much clutter! (Did I mention we have 12 toothbrushes on the sink? There are only five of us here. And I’m the only one who has a boyfriend, who lives in the next building so why would he even bother bring a toothbrush over.) So I have come to the conclusion that by spending time cleaning our place, I am actually more productive than when I just stare at my notes thinking about how this is not the stuff I really want to learn. And sometimes, in those rare moments of me contemplating life, I actually had to text my mom to thank her. For all those years she had to clean up after me and my brother.

There are times when life hits me and I pause for a moment, detach myself from all my thoughts of self-importance, and tell myself, “wow, you’re growing up.”

I’m realizing responsibilities. I see that there will be decisions that I’m going to make that’s going to really affect my life, and some decisions will be harder than others.

I see that I can either waste my time scrolling through Facebook and not get good marks, or I could waste my time in WordPress and Tumblr to improve my writing skills, and still not get good marks. But hey, I’d be happy if my writing improves. I realize that I need to grow up while keeping the child in me happy.

I’m realizing that time doesn’t stop for anyone unless, well, you die. And time still won’t stop because the people you leave behind would still have to move on with their lives.