It’s been a super long day of traveling & jet lag is already sinking in. After countless hours of packing (more like days) & very very little sleep our day of travel finally started. Still can’t believe Toronto was so rainy for a January day. Are you crying for us Toronto? Afterall, I saw more snow flying over north central USA! I couldn’t help but constantly watch the earth change colours & shapes throughout the flight. We still have a lot of beautiful barren land down there.

Most annoying comment of the day? Dragging our luggage through the airport someone decided to recommend we don’t pack more than we can carry; Our response? This isn’t a week vacation! We’re going away for a year! Only packing ONE suitcase each is something we’re definitely proud of.

Got a few days visiting LA now & then it’s off to the other side of the world.

-Cory U

PS It’s actually 1.5 suitcases each. We could fit everything in one but we shared an extra bag because overweight fees suck!


It's day 2 of 2012 and I already had marked out 4.5 lines from my list. I guess life is going good this time.

Last night, I came across this cute girl who smiles all the time at Starbucks and I think she’s the girlfriend of one of the barista. Her smile is really contagious which led us to staying there for hours because of her. Hehe.

Anyway, my list have not filled the page yet. Mind adding some suggestions for me?

Lovers’ Locks

Once long ago, in the time when Spain ruled Guam, there was a proud family living in Hagatna, the capital city.  The father was a wealthy Spanish aristocrat and the mother was the daughter of a great Chamorro chief.   The family owned land and were highly esteemed by all, Chamorro and Spanish alike.

Their daughter was a beautiful girl, admired by all for her honesty, modesty, and perfectly natural charm.  Her beauty bestowed the greatest pride and dignity unto her family.

One day, the girl’s father arranged for her to take a powerful Spanish captain as her husband.  When the girl discovered this, she was so distraught that she ran from Hagatna all the way to the north of Guam until she found a secluded and peaceful shore.

There, on the moonlit shore, she met and fell in love with a young warrior from a very modest Chamorro family.  He was gentle, with a strong build, and had eyes that search for meaning in the stars. 

When the girl’s father learned of the two lovers, he grew angry and demanded that she marry the Spanish captain at once.  That day at sundown, she stole away to the same high point along the shore, and once again met her Chamorro lover.

Her father, the captain, and all the Spanish soldiers pursued the lovers up to the high cliff above Tumon Bay.  The lovers found themselves trapped between the edge of the cliff and the approaching soldiers.  All the young warrior could do was warn them to stay back, and the father ordered the soldiers to halt.

The lovers tied their long black hair into a single knot.  And acting as if they were entirely alone, they looked deeply into each other’s eyes and kissed for the final time.  Then they leaped over the long, deep cliff into the roaring waters below.

Her father and all who remained rushed to the edge to stare in great anguish.

Since that day, Chamorros have looked to the jutting peak above Tumon Bay with reverence.  The two lovers remain a symbol of true love–a love in which two souls are entwined forever in life and in death.  Forever after, the high point on the cliff was known as Two Lovers Point. (The Legend of Puntan Dos Amantes) 

People from all over the world head to Puntan Dos Amantes or Two Lovers Point to leave their own locks to this day, representing their own relationships, in the hope that theirs too will result in a love eternal. 

Puntan Dos Amantes, Guam || October 30, 2012

17/366: Driving without license.

While I was at my way to school during the later part of the afternoon, Nik saw me at the jeepney and shouted for my name! I was surprised then I sent her a message: “Let’s go?”

Then all of a sudden, my friends gathered up and we went to Tita Beth’s place to eat. Mehehe. Banana Rhum, El Diablo and Siomai! Actually that’s the only plan but we went to Pau’s place to rest for a while and eat cakes!

I saw their golf cart parked in front and I asked Pau if we can take a stroll. I pledged to have the cart tanked up and boom! Instant road trip.

I actually insisted to drive and hahahahaha! Guess who’s marking out another line from his 2012 Adventure? Yes, I consider this as “Drive a car” since it seems to be like a car. Actually, I don’t have a license but daymmmmmm. It was easy to drive!

We went around the city area + dropped by at Moonleaf.

The shop is open from I think 700AM to 1200MN. :)

I guess we’ve jumped to five baranggays in the city: Salapungan, Ninoy Aquino, Lourdes, Pulung Bulu and Virgen Delos Remedios. Dayyym. I can’t believe I was able to drive these places!!! Hahaha! There were also kids who hitched a ride with us and they were so happy for a ten-seconds ride!

Then we picked Judy at their house and she added another fill for the tank.

Say hi to Nik! One of my closest highschool friends. :)

This day, unexpectedly became another of the best days of 2012. Imagine, it’s just the 17th day of the year and I found so much reasons to be happy. You know, you shouldn’t be locking yourself up inside a room and start being anti-social. Get a life because life is nice and fun!!

From the Window: A Photo Diary (no filter)

A 5-hour road trip from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, a Canon 1100D, and a gorgeous countryside. As I was about to watch the stocked up movies in my laptop, I suddenly noticed the view through our shuttle window. Camera in tow, I quickly grabbed the opportunity to snap these awesome photos. How did I do it? I simply switched up the shutter-speed while the glass’s red filter did all the magic. 

I didn’t really snap all of these in one sitting, but I took all of these photographs through our van window. We stopped by a few beaches on the way, of which I absolutely took advantage upon taking photos of. 

I loveeey love palm trees! The Philippines has numbers of them! They’re my unconditioned response to peacefulness and serenity. (Lol, psyching up. *nerdo mode*)

This dry land will soon be an airport–an international one if I’m not mistaken. The place looks gorgeous, though. I wish them nasty capitalists would keep nature as is. Oh well, hooray for tourism! 

Look at the view of this plantation. So country and so breathtaking! 

As a maximalist in life (or so I call myself), I tend to enjoy capturing life’s precious moments and simple offerings. In my experience, the most wonderful times are the spontaneous ones; thus, in this case, I’m grateful that I brought my camera. 

Snap happy!

Another Experience

Actually, wala naman talaga akong Adventure 2012 Mark Out List. They just happen… out of the blue.

Last forty minutes of school hours, may nagsasabi ulit sa aking mag-file na ako ng candidacy for office. E, deadline na ng filing of candidacies today, we only have forty minutes left to DECIDE. Yes-NO-Yes-NO-Yes-NO… all signs led to NO, NO, and NO. Pero may part sa aming ‘YES’. Pero wala, hinayaan ko na lang mangibabaw yung NO. Siguro it’s meant to be na hindi talaga. Nagdasal muna ako sa loob ng forty minutes no and maybe I did the right thing.

After school, since shortened period lang, around 2PM we were already dismissed. May mga nagyayayang pumunta sa Noblesse International School, which is one-tricycle-away from our campus. So we went there, for fun, for experience… to explore. Lima lang kami pero go lang, why not. Wala lang, trip lang, kahit hindi naman talaga kami sigurado kung papapasukin kami. Pero bago pa kami pumunta dun, pinag-usapan na namin na if ever magtatanong yung mga guards kung bakit kami pumunta dun, sasabihin naming magi-inquire lang kami. REASONS. Parang ewan, pero sige, go lang. Edi yun, dinala kami sa lobby. Dalawa lang kaming pumasok at nakipag-usap dun sa front desk or whatever you call that, tapos yung tatlo nag-ikot-ikot lang sa fields. Pilipino naman yung mga nagwo-work sa offices so madaling maka-interact. Yun, kung ano-ano lang yung sinasabi namin para maniwala silang nagi-inquire talaga kami. Tapos ayun, tinour na kami sa mga facilities and classrooms, hallways, etc. Kunwari interested kaming mag-enroll. Ang cute ng mga bata! Foreigners lahat, even teachers. Nung natapos na kaming mag-tour, sabi nila, gusto daw kaming makausap ng Headmaster, Mr. John Black. Headmaster, yun yung principal nila. Nung una, natatakot pa kami kasi SPOKENING siya. Pinaupo niya kami, nakipag-usap. Natatawa ako, medyo awkward kaya! Pero in fairness, medyo… basta, dun na lang ako sa ilong niyang matangos! Had a little chit-chat, nose bleed ang katapat. Ang desperate lang ng school nila for new students. Sabagay, a school population of not more than a hundred students… and they’re just starting. But duuuuuuude, a tuition fee around 500-700 thousand pesos for a school year? Ha-ha. But I guess, it’s worth it. Yun nga lang, walang social life… you’re all enclosed in a campus where a luxurious learning experience is. Medyo naco-convince nga akong mag-transfer dun, e, kasi nago-offer din si Mr. Black ng scholarships, that’s how desperate they are! Pero syempre, joke-joke ko lang yun no! Hindi naman sa pagiging loyal pero kahit papaano diba, may emotional foundation na rin ako sa school ko. Tsaka 4th year na lang, hindi ko pa ba tatapusin? Gago lang. :> Nung umalis na kami dun, bumalik kami sa school. Nagbibiruan kami na, “Ay, ano yan? School pala yan?!” Kasi kung facilities lang din naman ang ikukumpara, e, natural na walang binatbat ang school namin. Pero wala, ganun talaga.

Pumunta din kami sa old site, grade school campus ng school. Wala lang, trip lang din. Pumunta at umakyat kami sa mga buildings, naglibot. Medyo umiiwas pa nga kami pag may nakikita kaming mga teachers, baka sitahin kami or what. Tinatakpan ko nga yung badge ko para hindi masyadong halatang HS kami. Pero seriously, at first, I was like… “UGH. Oh SHT. So this is CHILDHOOD?” Grabe, all I can see are gradeschoolers playing around! Cute, little children… sht, sht, sht. Running here and there. Kakainggit. Gusto kong maging bata ulit. That one thing I miss! That one thing I want to be, AGAIN. A child. Walang ibang iniisip kung hindi ang kung paano hahanapin ang mga kalaro mo sa hide and seek. That’s how life goes… BACK THEN. Ugh. Pinagtitinginan nga nila kami. Nasa isip siguro nila, gusto na nilang tumanda, gusto na nilang maging tulad namin… PERO KUNG ALAM LANG NILA KUNG GAANO KO KAGUSTONG BUMALIK SA PAGKABATA. Ugh. Anyway, nung andun kami, ang aliwalas sa pakiramdam kasi it’s like a worry-free place… kahit mainit, it’s like paradise kasi masaya lang lahat ng bata. Omy, hundreds of children around you, hindi ka ba matutuwa? Yung iba, ang sarap pang kurutin ng mga cheeks sa sobrang cute! May isa pa nga kaming nakausap, grade 5 siya at ang cute lang niya at ang manly na ng boses. :> Sayang, bata, e. Pero gaaaah. Kakatuwa. EXPERIENCE. :)

On Love and Loss: A Letter to my Future Self

As a final requirement for our philosophy class, our professor, Dr. Manny Dy, asked that we synthesize everything we’ve learned in the past two semesters in a single paper. We were allowed to use any medium we wanted, and I contemplated about creating a photo essay. However, I thought long and hard about what I had really gotten from the class and figured I wanted something that really spoke about my junior year.

Philosophy of the Human Person came at a time in my life when it seemed like the world turned upside down. I spent one semester secure, planning out where I would go next, who I would spend it with, and how I would get there with them. I spent (or am spending, rather) the next semester figuring out what to do after I had lost all these things. It was unexpected, it was painful, and it was hard. But after having lost direction and a couple of other things, I came to realize I finally found one very important thing- myself.

If there is anything I have come to learn about the self, and myself, it is that through the establishment of what you are, how this is and will be subject to change, and most importantly, how and whom you love, everything is different. Only after figuring these things out can you begin to consider the other, and see that your life is empty without it. It all begins with love, yes. But there is first a love of self needed, to properly love the other.

I decided then and there, to write a letter. Two years ago, a naive me wrote a letter to the man I would someday love, enumerating all the things I wished he would be, and we would be together. Never once did I begin to consider what I would need to do and be, and how this would affect the way I deal with everyone else around me. This letter is therefore that: To my future self, and everything I wish you would be.

Dear Future Self,

I hope you remember that 2012, the year you were 21, was the one you called the year of adventure.

Keep reading

010512: Page 5 of 366

Play this song before reading this.

It has been five days, since I decided to kinda limit this feeling for you. It’s hard for me not to speak about it now since I can’t sleep for nights thinking of you, how you’ve been and how are you.

I was always at the point of sending you messages to check you up but I always end up going back to bed and just ponder on what could happen the next day and alter my thoughts to other things.

This is my fifth day of trying and I guess I’m having a hard time getting rid of this. Yet somehow, I have partly accepted what we are and what we should be. Maybe it would take time but I guess it’ll be worth it as soon as I’m able to cope up.

Yes, I appreciate the fact that you see me as a good guy who deserves a girl that would take care of me. Sometimes I think, I’ve always been to good that I end up being left because of this but still life goes on. Maybe we’re not really for each other.

As you’ve said we’re both hurt with the decisions we’ve made from the past and I think we should part ways for now and grow. Maybe someday we’ll meet again and who knows? I’ve been holding for this too long. Despite of the happy things I’m experiencing right now, I stop and think how much I miss you… but I have to.

Five days seem to be so long and still it’s breaking my heart.

“One day,” you said to me, “I saw the sunset forty-four times!" 
And a little later you added: 
"You know–one loves the sunset, when one is so sad …" 
"Were you so sad, then?” I asked, “on the day of the forty-four sunsets?" 
But the little prince made no reply.

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Forever Embrace 

As my mom after watching them for 3 minutes so aptly put it: Di na siguro sila magkikita ulit, no? (They’re probably never going to see each again, right?) I wonder what it’s like to hold someone like it was the end of the world. 

Soho, Hong Kong || February 7, 2012

Nomad Day.

Pwede tagalog muna ngayon?

Pumunta ako kina @themalditaspeaks kanina para makikain! Hindi ko naman pinaghinayangan yung pamasahe ko at yung layo ng biyahe kasi sobrang sarap at sobrang busog ko pagkatapos “lumamon”. Tapos, namangha pa ko sa polaroid camera ng pinsan ko. Haha.

Pagkatapos nun, pumunta ako sa nagsusukat ng barong dahil pinapa-ready ko na yung susuotin ko kung sakaling… alam niyo na. De biro lang. Pero yun nga. Tapos, pumunta ako ng school at yun. Same old routine.

Sumakay ako ng Round Up at nagbasag ng plato sa Taksyapo Wall. Nakakahilo pero dun sa pagbabasag ko ng plato medyo nawala yung pagod ko saka sakit ng loob. Tapos, medyo naglakad lakad muna ko at iniwan yung mga kasama ko dun.

Ayun, nakita ko sina Ms. Tin sa Kamulatan Garden para sa Tumblr Meet Up. Kala ko wala na sila. Pero andun pa! May mga nakilala akong tumblr people dito sa area at medyo hindi ko pa kabisado kung sino-sino sila pero by face siguro maalala ko. Hindi ako magaling sa name re-calling. Haha.

Tapos kumain kami sa Mcdonald’s. Thank you Ms. Tin sa Coke floaaaat! Medyo may nakausap naman ako sa kanila though hindi nga lang lahat. Haha. I’m so shy. Yun sana may part two pa? Para kung sakaling hindi na ko ganun ka-mahiyain. Haha.

Pagkatapos nun ay bumalik kami sa school at same routine na naman. Iba-iba mga kasama ko. Nakasama ko ulit si little Chinese girl pati mga pinsan niya. Hahaha. Minsan masarap yung nag-iisa ka tapos makiki-hitch ka sa mga groups ng tao na makikita mo okaya makakasalubong mo.

Siguro ngayong araw, may 100+ na tao ang mga nakasama ko. 30% to 40% dun, ngayon ko lang nakilala. Kumbaga fresh faces! Ganito pala pag-college. Maraming makakakilala. Hehe. Pero masaya ako na di tulad nung highschool, hindi ko pa kayang makipagshake-hands pero ngayon… boom! Haha.

Minsan pakiramdam ko isa akong “socially-awkward person” na nagiging sagabal sa pakikipag halubilo ko sa ibang tao pero sa ngayon medyo nakakaya ko nang hindi maging ganon. Minsan kailagan mo rin tanggapin na may mga taong mag-rereject sayo at meron din makaka-appreciate sayo.

So salamat sa mga taong nakaka-appreciate ng bagay na ginagawa ko at sa mga nag-rereject sa akin, pinapalakas niyo ako. Blessing to at dapat pangalagaan. :)

Photos from Jym and HAU-USC


011012V.1 - CLICK HERE

Second half of my day today went well. While I was walking at the boulevard two ladies approached me, took my name, phone number and also had a picture taken. Well that was weird. They were looking for models for their advert(?) class, I think and I guess it’s not bad to help, right?

As soon as I arrived my classroom I received a text message.

Sad to say, hindi na natin tutuloy yung shoot… because of some issues. Sorry. But thank you padin. Film fest sa Hong Kong kasali kayo. Babawi kami. Thank you… :)

I was sad because we pulled off but maybe the Hong Kong thing will be better than that. When something goes, another comes and it’s bigger. Hah! Maybe I will still be needing practice because I have no experience doing things in front of the camera.

Anyway, all is well today and oh, I realized that I haven’t changed my desktop background.

In interesting street finds: in Jakarta, you can rent a bike and it comes complete with a matching floppy hat, usually in the same color as the bike. I’ve heard of helmets coming with bikes, but seeing this strengthened my resolve to finally learn how to ride one of these things! 

Kota, Jakarta, Indonesia || November 2, 2012