Starting Over Again

My relationship with working out has restarted more times than I have attempted to be in a real relationship.

img_4046I do not remember lasting more than six months in a routine. My working out mostly had a lot to do with an imminent physical activity that I had to participate in. I remember the times we used to join fun runs with co-workers. It was a novelty that ran its natural course. I once signed up for a marathon but midway through, had to give it up. I tried going back a few more times, one of which was because of a crush who was a gym staple, but when the crush faded, I faded out of the fitness room, too.

Last week, as the story of my numerous restarts, I began my slow return to the gym. My only consolation is it didn’t take me long enough to get used to not seeing silver stars after floor workouts. I started slow with walking on the treadmill for 20-25 minutes (thanks heavens for offline Lucifer episodes) then a set each of very basic workout from Nike Training Club. I am biased towards belly and glutes workouts though.

It’s only been a week or so, and I didn’t do it daily, so it might be premature to seriously ask why I haven’t shed more sweat and I have not been as energized. I know it’s because of the very gentle intensity of what I do but I miss the rosy cheeks and the sweaty pits and chest and backsides at the end of each short routine.

I also have The Y as my accountability partner of sorts. He cheers me on from 8,500 miles away, no matter how miniscule the effort I put in. Before we went on vacation in May, he had been egging me to workout. It’s crazy realizing it’s not for a killer body, although if it’s an effect of exercising who am I to complain, but endurance and overall, uhm, elasticity?

I was called short legs and a slowpoke. It’s not a direct connection to loving walking as an activity, now I realized. And with the 10-minute walk from my stop to the office, when I increase my speed, I can really feel the effect of my lack of physical activities. I can say the same when going up the stairs to the office cafeteria a mere one floor up. There is also the comedic element of cramping your calves and thunder thighs when doing sex maneuvers. These incidents are what tells me yup, I really should have done some workout of sorts.

Right now, the plan is to continue doing it, to normalize it, since the facility is less than 100 steps from my desk and it’s free. And oh, of course, to be fit!

My Tabo

With the Muji water dipper ad coming out along with the memes and clapbacks, I remembered the yellow tabo I used in Maui last month.  The first thing I looked for when I inspected the bathroom of the rented condo was a bidet.  There wasn’t one. There were plenty of drinking glasses which were always a default choice but they’re small and the odds were high I’d break one knowing my clumsiness.

I thought of buying a pint of ice cream until I rummaged through the kitchen and found it — there in it’s canary yellow glory: a full-size measuring cup (kinda this but yellow).  No need for ice cream.

I had to explain to The Y what’s it for.  He must have tried it once for he said it felt weird using it.  That it’s easier to just head to the shower should you need to wash yourself.  To native tabo users, that sounded more inconvenient.  We are just used to washing when needed.

I once read somewhere that any Pinoy traveler who says he or she has never used anything that can pass for a tabo when abroad is a liar.  I believe it; wiping doesn’t come as naturally for us.  For all the makeshift tabo efforts, the yellow measuring cup was an amazing provision.  To the condo host, don’t worry, I washed and disinfected it well before I put it back.

My Shopping Time is Your Me Time

You would think I will adjust my shopping habits when on vacation but turns out it’s hard. Not really about spending though; lately I learned the value of putting things on my cart and making an elimination process before falling in line to pay. It’s mostly about the length of time spent when I go shopping. The Y had a taste of it on our second to the last day in Maui and it was a tough lesson learned.

img_3040 I saw one of my favorite shops in the world (hahaha), Ross, on our second day on the island. I asked – more like told – The Y that he should drive me there before the vacation ends for my bargain shopping fix. Sneer all you like but Ross has great finds for great prices, and most of all they have sizes for people like me. And boy, their sizes 10-14 racks are plentiful to say the least.

When we got to Ross in Piilani Village I started trying to send him away because I knew he’d be bored. He insisted to come, so okay, go with me, boo! Five minutes into it, I saw him sitting by the shoes section. About 15 minutes later, I went to him again, and he looked really bored. I haven’t even covered ¼ of the small shop by then. I appreciated the desire to try but good call bringing the first volume of Umbrella Academy so he had something to spend time with. I successfully convinced him to go outside or wherever he wanted to go. I heard him talk about getting a Jamba Juice because it was super warm that day, so I knew he’d be there.

I went ahead with my sloth-like shopping pace. After deliberation and many exchange rate conversions in my head, I was done shopping for the day. I was in line at the cashier when I got a text message. “So…you done?” It had been an hour and 45 minutes. I saw him reading the comic book, and when he saw me he had his I CANNOT BELIEVE IT TOOK YOU THAT LONG face. It was funny and heartwarming and a little guilt-inducing at the same time.

“It’s not even that big!” Yes, it wasn’t. It’s barely a third the size of regular Ross shops. Think of the meme of the Math lady, and that’s how his face looked. I was cackling the whole time. “Be thankful there isn’t a bookstore beside it,” I said. And a Sephora, I forgot to add. That’s basically what happened to me in Honolulu when I was in Ala Moana Center but it worked for me because I was alone. The truth was I was just biting my tongue when I thought of sending him back to the condo to nap or whatever, and just pick me up when I was done. I didn’t want him to feel I didn’t want him tagging along. You can only send people away too many times! Turned out he was thinking of the same exact thing. “Now I know,” he said. It’s true. When I shop, it’s a good time to get your me time.

2018

This year, 2018, has been all kinds of interesting, eventful, hurtful, shocking, and surprising to me. In many aspects of my life, not just in one. Major shakeups and new feelings I didn’t know I can possibly feel. I don’t want to say I cannot wait for the year to be over. I want to claim this year will end on a much better note, full of redemption and new chances and open doors. Whew. Kumakapit pa ako. Andito pa. Check on your strong, funny, noisy friends when you get a chance. Baka kailangan nila ng crutch or kahit estribo lang na pwedeng hawakan in the meantime. 😦

The Big Holiday Catch Up

It’s that time of the year when we find ourselves cramping our schedule with get-togethers. In a way I view it as a blessing having friends from different sets of interests and from different times in my life. The bonds forged is still there and in some groups, new people were added to the mix to nourish the relationship. It is funny that we have 11 months in one year to do this yet we all find the necessity and push to finally do it when December comes. It doesn’t matter that it’s a hectic month to begin with – less workdays therefore more work to squeeze within business days, horrendous holiday traffic jam, gift-shopping – yet we still do it on an annual basis: furiously find common dates and mutually convenient locations to finally hangout even just for a short time. I wonder if friends ever said to each other, “Next year, let us not do it this way! Let us plan way ahead!” and actually went with that plan. Maybe it did happen to others but certainly not in my groups. I still love all of them so I really don’t mind at all. Regardless if my sleep has shortened to less than six hours a night which the mid-thirties in me really struggles with already.

img_9634One other thing I noticed is how delayed Christmas gift shopping for friends and godchildren was, not just with me but with many of my close friends. Is it the schedule? Finances? Both? Much like shopping for back to school supplies, we cannot entirely presume that people do last –minute shopping because they don’t plan well or they like to procrastinate. Sometimes – or in this economy, most times – it could be because the capacity to buy comes around the same time as well. As Miss Universe said, teach yourself the silver lining in this situation; the desire to give is still alive!

However, we really cannot discount the convenience of planning for it months ahead. I know someone who takes advantage of mall sales to buy gifts in toy stores, way before December. A toy or two, and before you know it, you have your godchildren covered, gifts-wise. It may also help to do the same when you travel. Last year we went to Guam for a long weekend and found great items at reasonable prices in Macy’s and GPO mostly for kids aka godchildren and young nieces and nephews. That was November; so by the time December came we only had to buy for a few adult friends. So yeah, planning and timing are key.

When you find yourself minding the same kind of “happy dilemma”, that is good! Sharing your presence and your affection through gifts are sufficient manifestations of generosity. You may not be able to meet everyone or give everyone gifts because you have limitations (and frankly you really do not have to) but when you are in the midst of this December holiday craziness, then perhaps that is good enough. Happy holidays, everyone!

Neurotic

The man I currently like so much just told me I am the most neurotic person he has ever known. It may have been in jest, I don’t know. We were in the middle of what I consider a light and chill conversation so I didn’t think he meant it in a pejorative manner. I should be offended, and I was, but only for a bit. I took it to mean I was overanxious and oversensitive (he also told me this, remember?). If he meant it differently than that, I really don’t care because really, what can I do? Disagree and throw back something equally offensive? Fifteen years ago I may have fired back immediately. But nah.

It is hard enough to encapsulate the feelings I contend with on a daily basis, so I refrain (sometimes, unsuccessfully) from reacting defensively whenever words like that get thrown in my face. Sometimes when I have processed it fully, a part of me questions the level of self-respect I have. Do I really just allow people to trample me like that? I mean not just in the instance above; there were incidents in the past where friends have nudged me to stand up for myself and have the dignity to say something or walk away. To be honest, unless it’s blatantly a gross violation, I can be dense and…meh. I just hope it really isn’t reflective of how much I value myself as a person. I would like to think I value myself highly, sometimes a lot that I have this innate ability to make everything about me (one of my guy bestfriends can attest to this!), but it may be healthy to reevaluate this stance once in a while.

More Honolulu Goodness – Part 3

Halfway through my short trip and I can say I already got the hang of it — I was waking up on island time, my body and the weather already reached an understanding, and I was raring to tick off items in my to-do and to-visit list.

DAY ONE-5

Woke up early on a Monday to go to Diamond Head! The experience is detailed here.

When I returned to Waikiki, I bought lunch at Steak Shack.

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Steak Shack is a small food stand facing the beach at the Fort DeRussy Beach Park. They serve all-day steak plates — as low as $8 for a hefty meal. I bought a 10-oz steak plate to go which came with a generous serving of rice and salad. Didn’t manage to take a photo because I demolished it as soon as I went back to the room. I was so hungry after the trail hike and remembered I barely had anything for breakfast. I liked the steak plate moreso because I excessively put ranch dressing in it. I paid $14 I think for the entire thing. You can view photos contributed by tourists on TripAdvisor if you want to see how they look like.

I rested almost the whole afternoon and booked my tour ticket for Pearl Harbor that I planned to take on my last full day on the island. A little after sunset I took a short bus ride to Ward Village to check it out.

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When I got there I was surprised by how freakishly quiet it was. It was a Monday and I was expecting there would at least be people from work seeing that there were office spaces within the complex. It’s almost empty. But seeing that two shops (!!!) were right by the pedestrian lane across Ala Moana Boulevard, I spent more than hour in both shops, officially breaking my self-imposed rule to not go shopping in discount stores on this trip. #noregrets

I rode the wrong bus going back and I found myself in Ala Moana Center again. Decided to just grab dinner there and walk around a few minutes more before heading back. I had lots of steps per my pedometer and been to a Hawaii tourist spot so it was a good day.

DAY ONE-6

It was the chillest of all my days with practically nothing planned. I went out of the room a little after 9 am to get breakfast. I was in the mood for laksa but since I got there I haven’t seen (or probably I managed to stay away from) any restaurant possibly serving such so I was open to eating anything. On my way to Royal Hawaiian Center to participate in a free outdoor hula class, I found one soup kiosk in its food hall.

I decided not to join the hula class after breakfast. I walked around the center and proceeded to the beachfront of Hilton Hawaiian Village for a mid-morning soak.

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This is a bronze statue of Princess Bernice Pauahi, the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I, Hawaii’s first monarch.
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Not a fan of rubber in general (let’s not start LOL) but hey these stuff…interesting.
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Pinoy sorbetes represent!
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This was an unplanned shot while I was getting a tan and I flipped my huge body with my phone in hand.
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Since I liked Funko Pops, it’s not weird for me to travel with one so I can shoot it instead of myself.

As I am doing this update I realize how lousy my photos were. Totally not representative at all of how amazing each nook and corner of Waikiki are. You know what that tells me? There’s always another time to go back and make up for it. But let us reserve that plan in another blog post.

I was still full from the big bowl of laksa I had so after staying at the beach for almost two hours, I went to Target and Ross in Ala Moana Center to finally buy bilins and pasalubong for the people back home. I scored quite a few freebies that added to my pasalubong list thanks to Fil-Am aunties manning many stores, particularly in Honolulu Cookie Company!

DAY ONE-7

That’s my tweet when I woke up that day! My big to-do then was Pearl Harbor then cocktails at sunset. That’s it. So after a quick breakfast I took a bus from Hobron Lane going to Pearl Harbor.

The entire Pearl Harbor tour including my travel time to and back took me almost five hours. I left the stuff from the tour, freshened up a bit, and rushed to the other end of Waikiki Beach to catch my last sunset on that trip.

I settled in Royal Hawaiian Hotel and ordered their classic mai tai with taro chips and hummus. The price was steep for me but considering the location and #treatyoself nga di ba, it’s worth it. It was only one drink but I was tipsy kaagad so I walked it off back to the apartment.

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Will always carry a torch for Manila’s sunset but this one was pretty amazing, too.
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After last-minute packing, I made sure that my last night in Honolulu, at least for this first time, was fun and crazy interesting. And it was. The next day it was mostly about the straight flight back to Manila.

Overall, ahhh, it will take me a while to get over Hawaii. When you get a chance, please do visit the island. Make memories, make ’em darn good ones. The island is worth it.

Mahalo, Hawaii!!! Until next time!

Related posts:

Shoestring Adventures (A Teaser)

I am off to a different continent with one of my bestfriends in a few days. To say that I have prepared for this well won’t be true. I may write about the trip upon our return, and I’m sure highlights will be in my Instagram stories, but at this point  I’m practically not ready in many aspects. The only thing good to go is myself; as in the body and the willingness to explore.  Maybe for now that would suffice.

I may feel that it’s really happening when I’m almost there. One of the first phrases I need to learn and will probably use particularly when dining is “No onions, please” but in Spanish. I’ll then take it from there.

Days

There are days when all is good and steady, that despite the inconvenience and substitutions, you make do with what you have, and days end better than it started; it does not hurt as much, it does not make you feel you lost a lot of time and opportunities; it’s good.

Then there are days when it just hits you how come you are still here, why is there that lump in your throat from the things you want to say but can’t, want to express and let someone feel but there’s that void, days when you sit down, stare, and stay put, and you just let the tears flow in the dead of the night, knowing fully well the same things will still be the same when the sun rises, if not worse.

Life is a daily battle of choosing which armor to use to get you through the day. Some days it’s the easier choice to flow without effort, and some days it is cathartic to snap. I’ve been most times the latter and before the words of wisdom and advice come, please know that I know all of that. I do. And thank you. No battle is ever the same.

Back in the Day

Of all the drafts I prepared, written and otherwise, I am publishing this one out of an inspiration from my friend Ida’s tweet earlier today.

She was right when she said more people are going back to blogging on a more personal approach nowadays. I remember the times when I wrote anything and everything and the concept of oversharing was the very core of blogging. I did not evolve into becoming a blogger whom lots of people read and followed, but that kind of sharing eventually lost steam with me anyway. I blogged profusely and more coherently a decade ago when the people I wanted to get my thoughts to were actually reading them. I tried to keep it alive but I don’t know, if it was maturity or a change in platform preference, or whatever but it did die.

The good thing about it is it can always be revived.

The practice was indeed therapeutic. I wrote because I wanted to. I think I was the best audience I had. Writing saved me many times. It’s not always online! And oh, the man I recently had feelings for bore the brunt of that inclination to write, and write, and write. “Holy shit, that took a long time to read,” he once said. And to think I was not even on a roll in that slew of Viber messages. Amateur. 😉

And taking off from that, yes, I am nursing a broken heart. When people comment on how much weight I lost and ask me what I did, my default joke of a reply is, “I’m falling apart.” But of course it is belittling genuine breakdowns, including mine if you think about it. So no, it’s not ENTIRELY because of that, but I’ve been watching what I eat because of a recent Biggest Loser contest in the office (where I did not win) and because I’m borderline hypertensive already. The best part about losing a few pounds is having old clothes fit again, and not having to buy new ones or wear the same ones over and over. But on the downside, and this is coming from someone who has been overweight all her life, is that I lost my ass. My chest, too. Which made me think, was it all side and back fats all along? Me no like! The part about the butt pissed me a bit. Maybe that’s a good reason to go back to the gym and do butt-firming workouts. I really detest how flat it looks now. Wow, this paragraph is mostly about my ass.

Right now, aside from firming up my now-flat ass, I try to keep myself busy. Healthy distraction is key. I am not ready (and never will be, I guess) to completely tell once again what happened (as my journal is already witness to my most recent non-love story, pages bleeding from feelings), but suffice to say, making myself occupied will work in my favor. Why? Because idleness leads to reliving moments and could have beens, and frankly, I confessed to one of my bestfriends I am at that stage where I wanted to turn back time so I can do better, in hopes that the outcome would be different. She told me I was stupid, of course.

Anyway, I guess this is enough ‘welcome post for the nth time’ for me. Brace yourselves (or not), the emotional oversharer is at it again.

How have you been?

In the Most Unlikely of Places

I wrote this two weeks ago. The vacation’s over but the sentiments remain.

img_1923I am in the middle of an island vacation as I write this. I made a firm realization that I feel my most confident self when I am at the beach. This is a body image issue which I have struggled with for years; and really, throwback photos have a way of telling you how much you allowed to let yourself go. But instead of feeling ashamed that my arms are thick, my tummy protrudes more prominently than my size 36 breasts, and my belly overflows (as in umaahon, if you may relate to the struggle) from my bikini, I have not felt happier and more secure than when I’m in my swimsuit, sprawled in the sand getting a tan. I figured it must not be entirely the beach; perhaps it is the power emanating from stripping myself and letting my skin show — not in a perverted manner, but the feeling of displaying this is all I have, and this is enough; I am enough.

Beyond the body positive thoughts, I am lucky to be timely reminded that I can be very hard on myself. Last year was a challenging year for me which made me start touching base with my complacency and worth. It has been hard, you know? But where it’s a concern to be attended to and fixed, simple as that, I find myself agonizing over it and why it happened to me and all the self-pity thoughts which do not really help me at all.

People change and are afforded opportunities to do so every single day. I believe I have long earned that opportunity but sometimes I still feel I cannot catch a break. Maybe I have not really fully caught one yet…and it is okay. Someone once told me some people surprisingly have it easier and some are meant to fall in line, sometimes for a longer period that you cannot even see the end of it. It’s a reality of life but it does come with plenty of perks, too. Even while waiting in line.

A few weekends ago a friend messaged me to let me know how she admires how self-assured and confident I am. I can only remember a group conversation days prior where we talked about hopes for this year and what we were thankful for last year. At any rate, I needed that message and it came at the right time. My heart was so full.

I wrote on the first page of my 2018 planner that I am not afraid anymore. I believe it’s fear that really holds me back. Of coming to terms with things I lost and can never get back, of thinking if I move my feet I will be left with nothing and it is not an option as a responsible adult, of not leaving my comfort zone because nothing and no one wanted me anyway. If I let go of that fear, the worst thing than can happen to me is nothing I have not experienced yet. The cycle of fear has long overstayed and it’s time to break out of it already.

Right now I am still on vacation which greatly helps me steady myself and regain my balance. This is going to be short and definitely sweet but when I go back home, I will start looking more seriously at what’s out there. Better things are there outside of my comfort zone, perhaps in the most unlikely places. Until I start looking, I’ll never know.

10:45 p.m.
21 January 2018
Hilton Hawaiian Village

Life is short, go to Hawaii!

I just came back from an amazing Honolulu trip! I was there for seven full days. I planned it six weeks before my departure date which left me with a few expensive options but overall it was worth it. Besides, any travel I make in January will always be worth the damage to the pocket. For this one I even left on the afternoon of my birthday and arrived in Honolulu mid-morning, still on my birthday!

For this post I want to share my travel tips and activities should you wish to visit Honolulu (which you definitely must, it’s so amazing!)

Getting there: Going to Hawaii, sigh, isn’t cheap. If you are for comfort and duration, Philippine Airlines offers the shortest flight to Honolulu and back. It takes less than 10 hours going there and less than 11 hours going back, and more importantly, it’s a straight flight. I left in January which is still the tailend of the peak season so the lowest I got it for was still around $1,200, travel tax included. Ang mahal nya, actually, pero well, birthday trip!

From the airport to your hotel/hostel/Airbnb: Shuttle services, if you do not have a host or you did not avail your hotel’s pickup option, are very much available as soon as you step out of the airport. So far, I noticed there’s SpeediShuttle and Roberts Hawaii Express Shuttle. I took Roberts Hawaii Express Shuttle going to my rented condo unit. These shuttle services accept card payments only so make sure you have your debit or credit cards handy. I paid $16 for the 30-minute trip. I learned from the shuttle driver (a beautiful half-Filipina, half-Hawaiian named Danielle!) that Roberts Hawaii also owns the building I stayed at, so it’s a convenient dropoff.

Going to the airport for my departure, I availed SpeediShuttle’s service. I booked a reservation the night before I left. It costs $15.48 which is also charged to your card. When you choose a pickup time, consider the time of your flight and expect that there will be other pickups other than you which could extend your travel time to the airport. For this trip though, the driver took the backroads and in 20 minutes, I was dropped off at the PAL checkin gate. So kanya-kanyang diskarte din ang mga drivers but it’s always safe to allow more time.

Of course if you are with a group and you can comfortably fit inside a car, you can take a taxi or an Uber. They also have Lyft, too. The bus is also an option.

Accommodations: I booked a lovely studio apartment through Airbnb. It won’t be visible in the listing but you will discover that many of the Waikiki units, whether studio apartments, rooms, or couches, are within the Hawaiian Monarch Hotel. It’s a property that was converted into half-condo units, half-hotel and many condo owners rented theirs out. My host lives in the same unit — we share one main door, and there are two keycard-activated doors after; one is her residence and one is the studio space she rents out.

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Look at this cute and cozy place! The wooden design and fixtures provided a unique and homey touch. It has no kitchen but there’s a microwave, a mini-ref, and lots of dining utensils. The bathroom is also very clean and has clean towels and bathroom products for you to use. The host also has beach bags and beach towels in the closet. Super homey! And don’t get me started on the view. That right there by the window is not a painting!

My favorite part of this unit is the view. I can never get enough of it. It is directly facing Ala Wai Canal and being on the 35th floor, it gets an amazing view of Manoa. I was also treated to plenty of rainbow sightings (which I was told are quite often in the island) because of its location.

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View from the room at daytime. I don’t get scared of heights but this one made me a bit woozy.

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View at nighttime. Very therapeutic.

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The first morning I woke up early enough. That’s not a canvas, that’s a real view!

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The building was at the corner of Niu and Ala Wai so when you go down the street, this is easily what you can snap. Ah, the memories of it just by typing this.

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One more rainbow view after it rained. Love.

Let me know if you want to get this same accommodation and I’ll point you to this listing. 🙂 The host is very easy to talk to and very accommodating.

I walked around a lot while there and checked the location of the hotels and apartments and their distance from the beach. While I really liked Hawaiian Monarch’s location (from there you can walk to the convention center, Ross (ahem), Target (ahem ulit), a bit far but still doable – Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx (yaaay) and the huge Ala Moana Center!), it is at the far end of the beach kung walking ang pag-uusapan. I spent 15-20 minutes walking just to go back. I could have taken the bus, sure, but overall, malayo siya if you speak of the beach. I enjoyed walking a lot though.

If your priority is to be near the beach front, consider the ones along the shore — from the Kahanamoku beachfront of Hilton Hawaiian Village to the end of the Waikiki Wall (a long beachfront stretch which would take you 30 minutes by foot; I tried it!). The parallel streets adjacent to Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues are great locations and perhaps a bit less expensive than the 5-star ones. What’s better is it’s also near the main strip where they have all the shops and food places.

Going aroundTheBus! It is their main commuter transport service which is efficient, if I may say. You can buy passes for unlimited rides for different durations or just pay $2.75 per way — the bus does not give change so always bring an exact amount. This is where I disposed of all my coins!

Before you start your day, think of your activities and check if they will require bus rides. If you need more than 2 bus rides, whether short or long ones, consider buying a day pass para sulit, kesa $2.75 ng $2.75. I did that when I when I went to Diamond Head and to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center; both entailed two rather long round trips and still left me with a pass to ride a bus to and from my errands for the day.

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There also bikes for rent but I didn’t bother checking it out. They are operated by Biki so if you are into biking, you can check out their rates, locations, and covered routes.img_1162

I also took an Uber twice and it’s efficient. Mahal lang rate nila, or maybe because I’m thinking in Philippine pesos; my ride ranged from $7 to $9 for two very short distances. But then again, birthday trip!

I spent majority of my time walking. Google Maps proved to be a very helpful friend. I downloaded an offline map of Honolulu so it was easier for me to navigate. Even with the bus routes, it’s very informative; of course if you access its offline version it will not give you the real-time schedule of the buses arriving, but you’ll still be fine.

Other notes: I did not stay long enough but the place was pretty safe for me. The sidewalks are wide and pedestrian-friendly. Their pedestrian crossings are plenty and accessible. Depending on the time of the year, it can get chilly at night so if you are sensitive to the breeze (aka lamigin like me), better to bring anything to cover you up when you walk. I brought tank tops and sleeveless sundresses which were suitable during the day but when nighttime came, I felt chilly. It probably contributed to my feeling ill on my 3rd day of vacation.

Hawaii is 18 hours behind the Philippines. Expect your body clock to act up after a few days, unless you’re the kind who adjust easily (lucky you!).

Unless you have mapped food places to get your meals from, it helps to go to Target or Food Pantry to buy groceries to save. Stock up and just refill your water, buy fruits, bread and spreads, juices, and other daily nourishment essentials.

I stayed mostly in Waikiki so people from different countries and persuasions abound. It’s very exciting to see. Connect and talk to them when you can! The residents there are very friendly, too. At least the ones I encountered; I was lucky there’s no untoward incident at all. And hey, it’s Hawaii, so expect a lot of Pinoys!

I’ll be sharing my experiences about the spots I went to in the next posts. For now in case it’s not getting across as I intended, I fell in love with Hawaii! I am definitely going back. You should, too. I promise, it’s worth it.

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Brake to Break

I came from one full week of vacation leave from work and it was a good one. Someone even commented at work earlier that I look rested. Partida pa yan, I look like a strawberry 🍓 after my skin tags electrocautery. LOL!

I forgot about this week-long leave if not for our amazing admin who reminded me that there was an approved form signed back in September. Sure, I had errands planned and my dad’s death anniversary fell on the same period, but I even thought of going back to the office for a day or two because “I had no plans”. Well, turns out, “no plan” is a good plan. I had time to simply rest, stare at the ceiling, and think about anything. I didn’t even sleep longer; if anything, I was confident staying up so late, but I guess it’s the overall feeling of not going to your routine when the sun rises that made the difference.

I once opened up to my supervisor about what I feel sometimes, and it didn’t take long for us to reconcile that it’s a classic sign of burnout. In order not to go to that dark place, or have your energies completely sucked out of you, it’s always best to step back and rest. Sure, one week of break with daily errands won’t be enough, but pulling back is a good way to recharge.

I am back to my regular work routine and will be amongst the taong-bahay this month. I think I’m all set. I cannot wait for this year to be over. To me it has been a mash up of worst and best events in my life but I’ll save the histrionics and lengthy introspection for my yearend post.<<
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Still Distracted

I was home earlier than usual and a tiny part of me was hopeful I could finally publish a post or two in my drafts folder. The coherent ones, you know? But after business-related communications (naks, see, my little online bookshop is making traction plus some Cooperative training opportunities), my fingers found themselves typing Netflix.

My watch list has a lot of unfinished episodes because my attention span has always been really short when presented with plenty of options. I finished the 4th episode of Broadchurch though. It’s been on my list for a time and only managed to start it when the Jodie Whitaker news hit. Right now as I type the half of my screen is playing the pilot episode of The 100. Heard a lot of great stuff about it beyond the book. My motivation to finally start? Been seeing The 100 Funko pops! Hahaha!

I need to be in bed in 45 minutes so let’s see what other “crazy” shenanigans I go into. Grabe, this life. Pero happy naman ako. Hahaha! How are you today?

Steady

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It’s been a long time since I felt this kind of steady, this kind of calm. I cannot fully say I’m over whatever demons I got because that’s an entire encyclopedia of conversation to dabble in, so I’m enjoying each day as it comes.

The desire to go is still there and I think it’s never gonna go away. Maybe it was sidetracked a bit because of people. My kind of introversion sometimes finds solace from being pulled in by people. And finding someone to potentially victimize, errrr, fall in love with must have contributed. Whatever it is, I’m not daring to poke the fragile balloon. Not when I’m kinda enjoying life again.

Picasso Once More

My mother requested for a city staycation because we lost our power supply last Thursday night and we were told it won’t be fixed soon. As soon as we left for the hotel, my uncle messaged us that the electricity was restored. Ang galing di ba? This kind of sudden gastusan makes me wanna pull my hair out of my head, but I realized, nanay ko naman ito, that I will also be enjoying it, and hello, I  can shell out more for toys and collectibles (my new crack — but that’s for another entry), so why not just enjoy this stay?

My go-to booking app for hotels has been Agoda since 2015. So far, I got good rates and no hidden charges upon checkout. For this weekend, I chose to stay in Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences. First stayed there in 2011 and went back again late last year. It’s the cheapest option considering the location — smack dab in Salcedo Village, a few steps away from Salcedo Market if you opt to stay on a weekend, and walking distance to great restaurants and convenience stores.

FullSizeRender 2 I also like their gym! It occupies two floors, loft-style. They have the basic gym equipment, almost identical than the ones we have in the office gym. I went twice and I was almost alone both times so it worked well (pa-unsocial kunyari) for me. Iba din pala ang feeling when you have a not-so high view of the Makati BCD landscape. A breather from trees and waves of the Manila Bay breakwater, hehe.

We got the very same room we stayed at last time so it feels familiar. Hehehe. The first two stays I was with R, this time with my mom, and with the comfort this hotel gave me, pwede bang next time, jowa naman? Hahaha!

If I don’t let my kuripot side guilt-trip me over small luxuries like this, I can get used to this. It’s like getting a massage or a good mani-pedi We did not go far but seeing that we’re in something different can do good to the body and soul (whaaaat). I will do this again soon.

Two-Prong

Some say in order to know someone’s or something’s real worth you have to detach yourself from it. Whether by choice or you were made to, doesn’t matter, so long as you take that certain amount of time away from what you’re used to.

After the break, you will realize how burnt out you were. That purging something out of your system was an awesome idea. From there you can start fresh. See familiar things in a clearer, more rejuvenated lens. You will also find yourself thinking, “Oh my, I missed this.”

Or…you will feel how much you’ve wanted to be out of it all along. That the break you took was the catalyst, your push, that without it you’d probably still be there until you — unconsciously — continue to self-sabotage by doing things out of character (does not make it neither negligible nor justified) because maybe, deep down you really just want to be out of there. That your occasional social media statuses of discontent for years were signs that if culled can provide a clearer picture than an actual long-ass declaration.

Perhaps you’ve just reached the threshold. There’s nothing wrong with it. Other people felt it way earlier. As an adult though, there are considerations and concessions. And this is where common sense and passion must gel extremely well before taking any crucial step.

At this juncture, it is more agonizing because you already have figured out what you do not want, and there’s no way to deny it, you can only delay what you want to do about it. As compared to when you haven’t really mulled it over, you can simply chuck it to needing a break or forgetting it exists when little changes come or a reward is reaped. Now it’s no longer an elephant in the room. It’s an actual looming feeling day after day. Fear of the economic unknown creeps in, too, just to spice it up. 
What a stressful but very interesting time to be in.

Maybe Next Time, Marathon.

In a few hours the class of 2017 of The Bull Runner University will officially run their first (or second) marathon and a small part of me (yes, there is a small part of me) is sad that I won’t be a part of it.

I signed up for the TBR Dream Marathon back in August. The motivation was laughable and shallow, although I don’t include it in my reasons why I’m not joining the event. I was wait-listed and then got in in a space of two days, paid the fee the next day, and the week after that, I started going to the office gym. It was a very good start.

The next weeks saw me in my regular running routine. Pikit-mata, I invested in a Garmin and in more decent workout clothes — before that, my “workout” clothes were the free singlets from the races I joined in years ago. I read on techniques and training schedules. Like many first-timers, I worked on my stability and endurance and planned on my speed next. I did not get to the focusing on my speed this time! part because, well, my routine started crumbling down.

Before it did, I managed to run one 16km and one 22km. Slow but nonetheless successful. My biggest achievement there was not feeling overly exhausted — hey, I was sllooooowww) and was able to go to work the next day as if nothing happened.

On the first week of December, I got acute gastroenteritis (that SM Aura restaurant and their lousy handling of greens was my culprit, haha) and was unable to train for a week. After that, the holiday season was in full swing and it was also a busier time at work, so I didn’t go back to training. In hindsight, they were all excuses. Then January came. I could have gone full blast in training to make up for it, hey I even found a shortened training calendar leading up to February 19, but the momentum came crashing down. It was disheartening but it was a battle I was sure I already lost.

I paid for runs to cover long distance training for January and February, but had to sell them. Good thing I was able to! Sayang din yun pera, ha.

Then just when I thought I was just extremely undertrained, and perhaps, I can still go and run on marathon day (the cutoff was 9 hours after all!), I was faced with a more serious medical emergency that totally put my marathon plans off the table. I was even scheduled sana to join a mountain hike so as not to feel bad for missing the marathon but even that was prohibited. My take is I am really not meant to do any physical activities during this period.

Anyway, I know it’s not going to be the only opportunity to run 42km. If the chance presents itself, I know I’m not going to be a total noob anymore. I did not regret the time and money I spent in the past months, even with a whisper in some hidden space in my heart that I won’t be able to do it anyway. In fact, one of  the things I miss is the great feeling after working out. I thought that sluggishness was endemic in my system but apparently it’s not! Hahaha! If only for that as a basic motivation, it might be great to poke the territory again.

For now I can only wish that all the marathon dreamers finish strong and safe. I was witness to the amount of hardwork and dedication they had. The friendship they formed is also something to be proud of. Perhaps someday, I’ll meet them, and it would be nice if it’s at a marathon route. Let’s see!