Currently here in Bangkok, Thailand and I am two nights away from leaving for Malaysia. Bangkok is a kind of city that grows on you. It’s busy, everything is far apart but I definitely love their transportation.
The ferry is the fastest way to go around, and the cheapest way as long as you ride the right express boat that only cost 15 Bahts.
The trains are great and very convenient as they are intertwined and it’s very easy to change trains to get to your point of destination. A lot of tuktuks are scammers so I don’t recommend them. They will agree to a fare worth 10-20 Bahts. You think you got it cheap but then the tuktuk will take you to certain souvenir shops with low quality products and will force you to buy so the tuktuk drivers will get their commission. So tuktuks are actually a no-no. The taxis are expensive especially during traffics. So the past four days, I did a lot of walking and ferry rides and train rides.
This city makes me miss Cambodia. Siem Reap has the cheapest way of life and I love how I can have a draught beer for $0.50 only. Everything here is pretty much a notch up from my home away from home. A 640ml Chang Beer cost 90 Bahts averaging $3 per beer. Frustrating, I could have 6 beers back home in Siem Reap already. (I’m sorry for ranting about prices, work with me. I am homesick.)
Meals here starts at 170 Bahts for a main cuisine on the regular Thai restaurant. You can get cheap meals starting at 40 Bahts for street foods. I found my haven in the “Rotee” Banana Nutella flavor. The cook and his wife make such good team and they are spic and span as well. Photo op for the cooked scorpions, beetles, and other insects cost 10 Baht. I was thinking about trying the scorpion but I’m a coward. Anyway, they also have sweet corn that I love so much but the stall that sells it is not along the Khaosan Road but at the Susie Walking Street which is parallel to Khaosan.
I must say, Khao San Road is not as lively as my Pub Street. Way of living here is very expensive, and I know it gets more expensive as I go on to my final destination.
I started the year by getting my dream job. I was stagnant for a month. Truth be told, the search was frustrating but it lead me to an opportunity that is very promising but different from the job I want.
Come February, I became a working girl. I work regular shifts, dress in corporate attire and deal with irate clients. Payday came and I was ready to cash out my paycheck when the ATM machine decided to restart and it ended up debiting my whole paycheck. I recovered my money after a week. All in all, work is work.
While I was gone here, I reconnected with a past lover, Brewed Coffee. My heart palpitated after 5 cups and since then, I swore not to drink or even think about it ever again.
So that’s me and what I was doing with my life these past few months. My contract for the company I’m working is due to terminate at the end of the month.
Pardon my absence, but I’m here to bring good news.
As you all know, I graduated from college last May. Well, what’s keeping me busy these past few months was my licensure board exam. I was preparing for one of the biggest battle of my life. I buried myself in books. I sacrificed blogging so I could dedicate every waking time I have to study, to reviewing my material.
Just shortly after the board exams, the result came and I was in cloud nine. I passed the board exam.
The Mayans predicted that the world would end on the 21st of December. I was keeping my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t come true because the 23rd of December was the Oath-taking Ceremony. Well, the day passed and everything was too good to be true. The ceremony felt so good and overwhelming. I had no idea that it could bring such completeness in my life. I shared the moment with people close to my heart and who have contributed in my success.
It is a great year for me. So much accomplishment in so little time. As today is the last day of my best year so far, I am definitely looking forward to you, 2013. May it bring more happiness and success to my already fulfilled life.
Growing up, I’ve never really had that “Father Figure” because my Dad works abroad. 30 days out of the 365 days, a month per year do I get the chance to have a complete family. There was a time he decided to give it a try here. Only then I get the chance to see my parents together. It was hard for them, struggling to make ends meet so they can send both me and my brother to school. They had a few disagreements. My Mom is very outspoken, and there I would see my Dad, just quietly listening. I’ve never heard them yell at each other.
A few years later, my world expanded. I’ve seen how people can be mean and inhumane.
I’ve seen my close gal friend get beat up by her boyfriend at school. The look on that guy’s face was very scary, like he can kill anybody in that moment. I was afraid, but I have to protect my friend. I must up every ounce of courage left in me and shielded her from her attacker.
“Don’t you dare take a step closer or I will call the police and have you arrested. Don’t try me.”
A bunch of school officials came in and intervened. It turns out the boyfriend was some kind of stockholder in our school so there wasn’t any written reports about the incident. They were able to convince everyone that it was a domestic dispute and we don’t have the right to intervene. That guy still freely walks the halls of our school, even after I graduate. Nobody’s safe, especially for people like me and my friend.
I have a cousin who got beat up by a drunk and abusive brother-in-law because of a simple misunderstanding. Please take not that my cousin just gave birth via C-Section and she got kicked right where she has her stitches. She is black and blue all over. She called our family, crying for help. She did what she could. She reported the incident to the Baranggay Hall. She went to the Police but the sad part is the Women’s Desk wasn’t available so the Police don’t have her formal complaint filed up. She is currently in Sogod, Southern Leyte and we are over here in Manila. She badly wants to get out of that town and come back here to us but the papers (Medico-legal, etc.) she needs isn’t available until this coming Monday. She’s seeking Justice but to be able to process everything legally and by the book, she needs to stay there for two more days. The person who assaulted her already threatened to kill her, and he is still free and not behind bars. I wonder why the system is the way it is right now. We tried contacting organizations that could help us out but offices won’t be open until Monday. Abused women are helpless here. This is the devastating truth.
Now, all I can do is pray that she gets through until Monday. Until she gets home here safe and sound.
The past year, I’ve done nothing but cry over lost friendships. I have spend an ample of time contemplating over things I could have done or I might have done wrong. Honestly, I have been miserable.
My birthday came, I reached out to a friend whom I have not seen in a year. I was expecting to see her that day. Well, like any other expectation, it did disappoint, she never came. We never met. Yesterday, I tried to reconnect with another dear friend whom I haven’t talked with in two years. I made the first move. After hours of waiting, I wasn’t even good enough to be acknowledge by my name. I let that one go. I tried again, this time through a private message. Maybe something would change if nobody knows we are talking.
Me: I miss you. What happened to us?
Old Friend: I don’t know…
Me:Was it me? Did I do something wrong?
Old Friend: I’m not sure. I don’t remember anymore.
If you could only see my heart, it was shattered into pieces. Just like the song by The Script – “I wanted words but all I heard was nothing.” I told my Love about it, and the response I got was:
The people who matters most are those with you and in your life right now.
Those words hit me hard. I can’t believe I have been sulking over people who are not in my life anymore. I have been missing people whom I will never know if they ever miss me back. As much as I want them in my life, friendship is a two-way process. I cannot force them to be in my life as much as I cannot force myself to be in theirs. Sad to say, people do really come and go. I was hoping I would be able to look back in my life and see something constant in it, an old friend perhaps. I know, I’m such a dreamer. I look back and all I see were the heartaches I have gone through trying to save something that couldn’t be saved. I have to stop. I needed to stop. I bid my so-called best friend obsession my last farewell. Life goes on.
In 8 days, I’m turning a year older and hopefully, a better version of me. Being 21 marked the start of my adult years.
Moving out of the house, finishing my internship and graduating from College – these are events that highlight my 21.
Updates? Sad to say, the dream vacation remained a distant dream. Reasons? Lack of funds and precious free time. My review for the licensure exam starts on the 15th of next month. Instead of traveling, I need to save money for the enrollment fee and the application fee for the exam.
Siem Reap, I will try see you next year.
Cambodia. Courtesy of Ms. Tricia Gosingtian.
You too, Ho Chi Minh.
Saigon at night, by Ms. Tricia Gosingtian
For now, I just have to save enough passion for traveling. Hopefully when I start working, I can reward myself with trips every now and then. *Cross Fingers* Life please be good.
A van stopped and parked in front of me. Next thing I knew, the foreigners started unloading the van. Opportunity? Well, it doesn’t hurt to ask so I approached the man driving the van. I told him how we missed the last bus to Baguio and how much we need to go right that moment. He said he knows a terminal station at Banaue with the last bus leaving for Baguio at around 6pm. He’s going back that way and he’d be glad to take us there. He added that Banaue is having a festival and he’d know a place where we could stay for the night if we ever change our minds. Have I told you I dream of seeing the Banaue Rice Terraces since I saw it on a postcard when I was young?
Cloudy road due to heavy rains.
Part of our Journey to the beautiful Banaue Rice Terraces was the long van ride, and a couple of landslides which further lengthen our adventure.
We waited for the road to be cleared up by the DPWH due to a landslide.
When we got to our destination, the sight was simply breathtaking. Yes, it didn’t look like it used to before but it was worth it.
Life is simple around Banaue. The people are very accomodating. Though we didn’t stay for the festival, at least we were able to shop for woodworks. We had it for a good deal, because when we got to Baguio and saw the exact products, the prices were tripled. Also I was privileged to see the Ifugaos with their wooden bikes.
The Ifugaos’ wooden bikes don’t have the usual gears and chains. They start at the highest point of the road and let the bike take them to the bottom. In order for them to use it again, they have to push the wooden bike up the hill again. They seem to enjoy the ride. I wanted to try it to but the bikes are way too heavy for me.
Our driver who turned out to be our tour guide at Banaue was kind enough to show us around and drop us at the terminal station. We were just in time for the last trip back to Baguio. By that time, I was wondering how we would be able to go to Pagudpod. Since this trip was spontaneous, I let circumstances lead us to where we should be.