Instead of burning some calories in Koret today, I opted to sit down near the fireplace at school today to fix everything I have virtually–and that includes this blog. That way, everything will finally be in its proper place. I’m downing a tall cup of Chai Latte and cookies from the baon Wawa gave and although I’m going to pay for this on the elliptical tomorrow, I feel like sitting down to regroup and process everything that’s happened so far is a much-needed thing for me to accomplish at the moment.

This photo was taken 2 days before I left. I was so tired--physically, emotionally and mentally--and even in crazy photos like this, it showed through my face.

I came to San Francisco with hopes of finding what it is that I’ve been missing from 2011. I began the year rough, went through a crazy mid-way mark, but finished off with an abundant blessing of loved ones, support, and a new-found inspiration to get me going farther. The first two months of living here and attending university was a tough thing, really. I was unsure of myself and I doubted my capacity to adapt. I was never the shy-type and I didn’t sacrifice my “recitation” during classes but every time I spoke, I felt like a part of my usual Ateneo-setting attitude lacked its presence. There was a ‘holding back’ and I didn’t know what to do about it.

However, as time is the cure for everything (and I mean everything, as you will notice as you read on), I have slowly emerged from being a fat caterpillar to creating my cocoon. The metaphor is lame, I know, but I like the thought of coming back to Manila as a butterfly. I may be a 155 pound butterfly, but I am one nonetheless. With this cocoon being my comfort zone, I believe that I have found myself here in the city. I’ve learned so much about myself and what I can do and acquired this sense of indestructibility that tells me that nothing can ever hurt me anymore. It’s amazing what this feeling does to me and I would have never thought I’d come this far.

A contrast between old and new--the skyline versus the famous Victorian houses in Alamo.
Walking down Pierce and Hayes. Oh look, a happy face! 😉

Living here also taught me my limitations. It’s a humbling experience to be taken out of your normal routine and grapple your way through each day without knowing what lies ahead. It’s liberating to establish a new life–even if I’m going to be living it for just half a year–to explore new places, to create new relationships and to discover things that I once didn’t believe in. I harnessed the power of self and for once in a very long time, I have felt the peace that I’ve been looking for.  Continue reading “Metamorphosis”

Without a camera, I’d be blah

I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from the past few weeks. I’ve been here since December and I’ve noticed that I haven’t been posting anything on WordPress so I hope this makes up for the stories I’ve missed to tell! (Forgive the awful quality for some of my photos, though. I take them mostly from my phone.)

San Francisco Cityline

Continue reading “Without a camera, I’d be blah”

Inside the Walled City

Franco looking tired from all the walking we've done
Meet my mom, bright and bubbly as ever

Today, I was able to take Joe out on a semi-legit photo walk around Intramuros. My mom and Franco came with me to tour the walled city as a requirement for my History class under Dr. Ambeth Ocampo. It’s amazing how much culture is hidden deep within the heart of Manila.

I absolutely enjoyed this day, despite the traffic and heavy rain. It’s the perfect going away gift for me and my camera! Enjoy the rest of the photos here:  Continue reading “Inside the Walled City”

The Busy Karrot

I know that my title makes no sense at all. But since I am not a ‘bee’ that would fit in the title quite perfectly, I decided to make use of ‘Karrot’ — a name Kevin, a good friend of mine, started calling me these past few days.

I’m in the middle of editing an article for BL’s June release but decided to give myself a break because of the amass of political terms I’m not used to working with. Admittedly, being transferred to this section is a challenge considering my two-year Features background, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it (or at least that’s what I’m convincing myself to believe in).

My summer hasn’t really been a ‘chill’ summer like what most people want their summers to become. I have always been on the go and constantly working my ass off school and org work. In between, though, are the little trips I make with my family so there really isn’t time to bum around the South. I like it actually, being out of touch with my comfort zone. Yes, I’ve somehow lacked time for the people I’ve been used to being with, but establishing new (and lasting!) relationships this summer has been the highlight of it all.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that these two months have been very kind to me in so many ways. It has shown me proof that change isn’t as bad as we think it is. Change is good — especially when it involves a change of heart, mind, and soul.

The Pink Movement

Photo by Kara Santiago
24 July 2010 @ Republiq, Newport City

Last week, my barkada and I went to Trish’s dad’s event in Resorts World. We had a blast and the night was a much-needed time to catch up on a lot of things, especially now when college always gets in the way.

I love you, girls!

Thanks for taking most of our photos, Erika. Click ‘Keep Reading’ for the entire photo gallery. Continue reading “The Pink Movement”