I will find the right words and they will be simple

The last time I dropped by here, I was very inspired and positive about my writing to resume again, update this site since I have pile of stories to tell. Unfortunately, I still find it hard to kick things for a good start that all I could do are broken and lame opening lines, eventually left hanging, gravely ending in trash.

I will find the right words and they will be simple.

Of Travels, Troubles, and True Balls

I have been going on around a few destinations for the past year. And while thinking of what has been, what could have been, and what will be, a few things are crossing my mind as I’m hopelessly stuck right now (and for the next few months), dead broke. Again. For some reason, I won’t be having my salary at hand right on time, which means me and the apartment will be a solid team. That being said, I think I’ll be having more time to finally write about all those things that happened during the summer. But before telling those tales on trails, I found it timely to look back and review some quick notes, kind of preview in itself – of what I’m expecting myself to write about on my recent previous travels.

Life isn’t about making more money than we know how to spend. It’s not always about the money. I remember a certain instance in Sagada when we were haggling for a deal, asking for a discount, arguing we were just some poor travellers who happen to find ourselves thirsty for Sagada ― with a tour guide who blatantly spanked me that such thing as poor traveller does not exist (to which I hugely disagree). I strongly believe that it should never cost us the world to see the world. I am poor but I manage to travel every now and then because I simply choose not to deny myself the simple pleasure of travelling while I still have the time, just enough money, and much energy to travel. Of course, it goes without saying that travelling could really be costly; and budgets, figures, and numbers are usually an issue. But it shouldn’t always be. Take my case: what I have is a job with no promise of security, continuity, and conformity, thus all I earn is just a bit more than enough for basic needs. Thus, I usually  plan for trips to afford it, and thankfully I always find a way with it. There is internet out there and most of the time I go for diy trips, follow the backpacker path, for huge cut on costs. With careful research and a mouthful of adventurous frame of mind, everything was insofar turning out just fine.

Nothing is as far away as a minute ago. Time and time again. Aside from resources, time is yet another essential element when travelling. Working for five days a week, time is a huge consideration, aside from the usual problem on tight budget. Indeed, holidays and long weekends never fail to give chills, as these are rare and must-not-miss opportunities to travel. Though I’m a huge fan of crash trips, I always deem time as a travel issue. It may not be obvious but travelling is cheaper with more time. Let alone the case of booking for plane rides. Having more time means more opportunities to compare ticket prices and study those surcharges, taxes, and terminal fees offered by different airlines. Further looking at time from another perspective, life is a race but there are certain humps and loops that require us to slow down for a smoother ride. Life doesn’t have to always be fast-paced, revolving entirely on our careers. Travelling every now and then while the time permits isn’t that bad, we can always make money, but time and memories not.

You always have to make the plan that things never go as planned when travelling. There’s almost always a little tendency that something would not go as planned for every trip. That frustrating feeling when interventions happen such as getting lost, missing the last trip, badass weather, etc. Extensive research usually helps but there are just some things which are way beyond our control. I myself experienced getting lost in the middle of trails while climbing mountains, getting caught in storm while hiking, among other unexpected troubles. But at the end of them all it just left me wiser. And definitely stronger.

A journey is best measured in friends, not in miles. Unfortunately, there is this long list of travel buddies we just don’t want to travel with. Fortunately, I am blessed with good mix of bad and ones that I rather end up thinking if I’m the travel buddy they, at any time of the day, would want to trade with, if they have the chance. lol. Seriously, there are those inevitable instances when people turn out to be some people other than what we expect them to be. But the bigger picture presents that a deeper understanding and acceptance of each other’s imperfections is the key to a harmonious travel. After all, travelling isn’t all just for relaxation but also an opportunity to understand people both old and new, and eventually learn about and from them and learn from and about you through them. Been to good solo trips before, but still, the best ones were those I did with friends.

You’ll never find your limits until you’ve gone too far. The moment we step out of our own comfort zones where risks and dangers present themselves, that crystalline moment shatters, the unknown and the scary thing becomes a normal part of ourselves, and endless possibilities unfold after the other. This is by far one of the best magics travelling has done to me. A year ago I was a dead meat when it comes to heights and yet I climbed mountains, I was generally shy but I eventually learned to reach out asking for directions from locals, and greet and even trust strangers. It turned out travelling wasn’t only a physical challenge, but a mental one. It was a test of character which paved the way to a handful of self-discoveries by giving me countless chances to experience things, to reflect with an open mind, find out what I really like, deal with various mood swings, and eventually grow some balls and properly play them.


Linkin Park | Final Masquerade

Arguably the best Hunting Party track, ‘Final Masquerade’ is ironically not of a tinge of Meteora and Hybrid Theory, two of the most dangerously glorious albums of Linkin Park, in which I must say, should not be an issue at all as people keep on arguing and comparing these Linkin Park’s present and past shits, all and more. I mean there’s no real point in finding those ‘In The End’ feels out of today’s hunt OR not, who cares. Both ends are good dibs anyways. Linkin Park might have evolved into something of some sort OR back to their original sound, which is an inevitable part of musical growth that which I bet some people must’ve forgot to live up to. The bottom line is, eat ‘Final Masquerade’ and the Hunting party as they are. Linkin Park has the most complicated fans out there, so this riot is crystal clearly seen as its coming. Going back, while the track is elegantly aggressive in a lot of beautiful ways as its flowery appeal, the lyrics are quite shady. No need to further explain.

John Martin | Love Louder

John Martin, one of the best vocalists I know today and the voice behind smash hits such as Swedish House Mafia’s ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ and Tinie Tempah’s ‘Children in the Sun’ is finally set to re-release the progressive, ‘Love Louder’, previously recorded with David Guetta as ‘[ID] Love a Little Louder’ a little over a year ago. The first few notes (of the David Guetta version) are reminiscent of ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ with a subtle twist of the signature David Guetta groove, and as soon as John Martin starts with “chasing summer..” you instantly feel something good’s coming up. Overall, it’s a truly sophisticated track – upbeat, tasteful, catchy, totally a no-nonsense shit, shrewdly refreshing. A lot of music that crosses our ears are so dressed up that once you strip them down, gives a pile of gravy-less mashed potatoes, or a fried chicken that’s 90 per cent dressing, in some cases; a skewed example of the whole being less than the sum of its parts. Such track, is not one of them.

Moving on to the anticipated John Martin solo version, all the hype is currently freaking me out. It’s one of the hardest tracks out there to describe. It’s not every fucking day that we’re showered with such intricate tracks compelled to give mixed vibes, that could possibly send someone spiralling out into a vast universe inside his own head. It's a love song to begin with, but with traces of unrequitedness in it. Thus, it’s not purely uplifting with its twisted, pretentiously, hopeful, and hopeless lyrics ― and likewise ― the effect is surprisingly contrasting too. At one side it’s inspirational, while on the other, it’s imaginarily delusional, creating a controlled madness or something like that in empty spaces. Its beauty is solely in the ears of the listener.

Klangkarussell | Netzwerk (Falls Like Rain)

While the Starks will have to be bothered yet again for another year before 'Winter is Coming’ comes back on screen, the sun here in Ph shows no winter is coming (as if), as the summer season keeps on extending. Thus, comes a good summer anthem; recall massive ‘Sonnentanz’ a few years ago. Klangkarussell’s newest track called ‘Netzwerk’, deliciously synthpop in its core, is different from any song around at the moment. This re-proves the duo's capability of making tasty music, that even at a point in time when I don’t really demand myself the need to listen to it, I crave.

But perhaps, the more amazing thing about it is its vid featuring Mustang Wanted,  totally injuring my psyche after watching the whole clip, that I found it indispensable to write about it. I mean what’s wrong with this man dangling himself on those skyscrapers, cranes, and whatever those tall structures are, for a wrecking roof party.. It’s totally eye-gluing, heart-fainting, mind-blowing, and not to mention, it's terribly earth shattering perfect. That which reminds me back to a lesson from the distant Game of Thrones’ pilot episode pointing on Brandon Stark – be careful boy, winter is still coming.

O-Town | Skydive

I just finished watching this certain Kara David docu about skydiving a while ago which reminded me of this track I happen to come across a few days ago but failed to write something about. It's an O-town track, actually their first one in 11 years, a dramatic piano ballad called ‘Skydive’. In all fairness, it’s catchy, except that it’s quite overdone with all four of them  belting, lungs out. And though it follows the typical boyband track formula as 10 years ago, the lyrics' maturity is very evident this time, woven into straightforward and simplistic approach, which I think is enoughly fine. I think that’s all.

There’s a girl with a yellow umbrella for everyone

I’m quite unsure how will long will I ever stop watching that certain HIMYM clip of The Mother drowning over the sentimental La Vie En Rose in ukulele while Ted Mosby on the other side of the wall lethargically nosing round. That every single fucking time I don’t know what to do, I always end up having my eyes, ears and all of me, hopelessly glued over it, hoping it would sort of serve as deus ex machina but instead finding myself ending up complicating my thoughts even more, like.. right now. 

Journey to the Center of the Philippines

One of the best things about Marinduque is that it offers a bit of everything ‒ from its pristine islets, the raw and unspoiled beaches, the green-fanged outcrop of mountains, roaring falls like skeins of white lawns, and even yet-to-be-discovered caves. And not to mention, it’s geographically positioned at the heart of the archipelago from where the official center marker is located, the Luzon Datum of 1911 (further details here). True enough, we had this awesome chance of setting foot at the center of the Philippines, which pretty well served as the highlight of our weekend Marinduque sojourn.

The journey itself was an ultimate test to begin with. Taking aside the climb proper, the ride to the jump-off was something that should not at all be underestimated. From from where we stayed at Bangcuangan Sta. Cruz, we drove to Mogpog town proper with a free lift courtesy of our hospitable hosts, luckily saving us from the initial hassle of commuting. However, things started to go against our side since then; the stars were not friends of ours for the next instances. Soon enough after dropping ourselves off the public market, we walked and searched for the sole jeepney-on-trip to Hinanggayon, the barangay where the mountain’s jump-off point is located. Little did we know that it was their fiesta that day causing the lone jeepney chartered to travel directly to the jump-off unfortunately unavailable.

We've got no other choice but to find for a second plan. Upon few interrogations with the locals for alternate means, we learned that another ride was actually possible, another jeepney with a route that would pass by the jump-off point. In no time, we grabbed the opportunity fingers-crossed for a positive outcome. And to further intensify the trip and enjoy it the best way possible, we opted to ride on topload instead of having cushion-filled and safe seats inside the jeepney. And we did not fail to get the crazy ride we hoped for. Usually, those built-in railings at the topload are intended for carrying extra baggages, goods, and even people for transport to remote areas to maximize the efficiency of the trip. But more to that, it also showcases the natural inventiveness and creativity of the locals, which is worthy to be recognized as a means of tourist attraction, especially for travelers who seek for spiced-up adventures.

However, the supposed short jeepney ride was extended for  a great deal of time as there were lots of stopovers throughout the trip to give way for picking up goods and commodities such as sacks of rice, lumbers, food items, among others, usually from locals who opts not to drain themselves from the tiring ride by just ordering and making arrangements with the driver to save time and energy. Unfortunately, this move is inversely proportional to our comfort and advantage as the amount of space for us over the topload area went cramped even more. A couple of more steps eventually left us with a very tiny room for ourselves to ride., not to mention it’s butt-numbing, causing us to suffer from every onslaught of bumps and humps, given that it was a rough ride during majority of the ride.

Within minutes, we were hitting the road again. Right on top. The adventure furthered as we had to alertly watch our way and shun from the tree branches that were randomly leaning along the way. But it was all worth it as we crossed those roads winding back and forth on itself seeing those full view of the authentic sceneries passing by range of far-off forests, hedges, and the faint patches of the seas and mountainsides. Top-loading is a must-do I believe; otherwise, you’d be missing half of the fun. The risk is always there, but things are more thrilling outside the comfort zone.

It was almost noontime when we reached the jump-off point and the sun was already at its cruelest state. This mere thought was as deadly as it sounds. With a little over a litre of water, a heavy backpack, and a thirsty soul, we started the trek smoothly, and then the real walk unfolds before eventually taking the death defying march to the peak. All those immeasurable grains of sweats, blurry eyes, gasping breaths, aching knees and more, happened under the scorching sun.

And just in time we found we walking that 267-step stair, that before we realized we were there, I had my feet step at that recognized center of the Ph marker. It took me minutes to regain my senses in awe of the unhindered view up there. I found myself celebrating with the grandiose beauty up there, trying to capture its essence with the aid of lenses. The whole voyage was draining but the mere thought of me standing there, exactly at the deemed center of the Philippines, was no less than a priceless tick. 


Ed Sheeran | Sing

X(multiply)’s carrier single video premieres tonight, I mean around 30 minutes ago. And the ginger is back on again with this power-pop track which is for some reason departs from the soft acoustic taste, and at the same time is somehow reminiscent of Justin Timberlake, which is Not A Bad Thing. The best parts though go to the falsetto and the rap parts, no doubt about that. Going back to the vid (which I just finished watching), I bet the puppet industry will at least boost a bit out of this. 

Ellie Goulding | Goodness Gracious

I was supposed to write about ‘Beating Heart’, a track off Divergent I was listening to for a couple of days now, but found this other more interesting Ellie Goulding track on the subway. It’s a pleasant and wonderful dense tale of keeping people who are no good in your life, of life being unfair, and of terrible ironies and clichés. And it all boils doen to the fact that deep down, we are creatures of habit, and sometimes we are programmed to like things we are not supposed to like, to yearn for things we’re not supposed to get. We tend to be like some dogs on the streets fancying over a class A human restaurant. We are forced to believe on some falsities our hearts desire that aren’t even close enough to what we really deserve. Apparently, we’re just some assholes immersing ourselves to various forms of shits (name it), then later hate ourselves for being knee-deep on that shit we throw ourselves into, and sadly, we’ll never know why. 

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