Friday, April 29, 2016


I exhaled a huge amount of air as I rolled and packed my clothes inside my luggage bag.
"I'll surely miss Cebu," I said to myself.
Zipping the bag, I sighed once again.
I went up from my room to breathe some fresh air and check the sunlight. The ambiance and atmosphere is a far, far cry from Manila.
I went down again to check what I might have missed. Nothing, I guess.
My Tito finally came a few hours later to pick up my stuff.
"There's no turning back for you, Paolo."
It was my conscience making me bite reality.
"Yes, yes I know that," I replied.
It was sad saying goodbye to such a beautiful city. It was also my first time being completely independent. It was a wonderful feeling: you get to know yourself more, you get to do what you want to do more, and you get to be responsible for your actions more.
*A few days later
As I climbed onto the plane heading back to Manila I remembered the time I was going to Cebu.
I was worried and excited at the same time! Away from family and friends, heck, I don't even have any relatives there nor do I speak Bisaya and eat lechon. But it was a gamble I was willing to risk...
"Three months. Three fucking, stressful, toxic, educating, adapting, worrying, convoluting, happy months."
I looked at the sun again one last time before the plane ascended.
"But everything's gonna be okay," I told myself. "Everything will be okay."
As the plane finally lifted off I smiled down and looked beyond the place I shortly called home.

"But these are crazy times. I sometimes believe these must be the craziest times ever." - Maggie, Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hanggang Saan?

Tumingala, minasdan ang mga ulap.
Sana'y maabot sila, munting pangarap.
Tinignan ka, sinambit kaya mong mahawak.

Tumingala, sinubukang abutin.
Hindi, hindi talaga kayang kunin.
Tinignan kang muli, wala, ulap ka pala din.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

30,000 Feet Above Ground

Processed soy with caramelized brown sugar
So last 26th of March marked my two months here.

Can you imagine?

I've been living and residing here for 60 days already.

But it's time for me to say goodbye to this beautiful place.

The places are beautiful. The people are beautiful. Everything is beautiful here.

But anxiety got the best of me - with adjustment taking longer than expected and workload eating pretty much my time.

Yeah I'm a quitter. No saving grace here.

So I'm going back to ridiculously congested and clogged Manila with the hopes of doing something better - a work with a purpose or perhaps finally open a vegan shop.

This is far from the end of my journey here. I will always cherish the memories I have gained here as well as the people I have encountered and bonded here.

This place will always be special.

For a Manila boy, that is.

Part 3

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Pakitanong sa araw anong nasusulyapan mo,
Pakinig sa hangin anong binubulong mo,
Pakiusap kay buwan anong sinasabi mo,
Nang malaman ko kung may magagawa pa ba ako.

Friday, February 26, 2016

33,000 Feet Above Ground

Today marks my one month away from home, away from family, away from everything Manila used to offer me.

During the first two days of my relocation...I cried. I cried so hard that I just want to go to work and then home and sleep my worries away.

But during the course of my stay, I was actually liking it here. First, I'm away from my ex. That's a good thing. Believe me. Second, the traffic is minimal! Commuting time is reduced to one-third of my previous time there in Manila. Third, the people here are way nicer. They don't have that Manila angst and impatience. They're more patient and they're more friendly.

So I think I have adjusted pretty well for someone who had been so dependent on my family for doing stuff for me. I am really liking it here. True, I still miss home especially my pets but I figured I could really stay here for a while.

Although what I noticed was that it's really hard to be vegan here. People here are more meat-eaters than the people in Manila. The tofu here is limited to the groceries (which by the way are very expensive).

Soymilk in the groceries too are more expensive here. The brand that I'm purchasing costs only 65pesos but here it's 71pesos. Can you imagine a 6-peso markup?! That's 24pesos for every 4 cartons that I purchase. And I consume about 3-4 a week.

Another of my staple is peanut butter and the brand that I am buying here costs about 190pesos. The peanut butter that my sister buys from Pampanga only costs 110pesos. And sometimes I even get the peanut butter for free.

So yeah, there really are ups and downs with relocating and living independently.

But you know what?

I don't regret it one bit. Not one bit at all.

Because there's truth when people say you discover yourself more when living independently.

And I totally agree.

Part 2