Love Yourself

           Hindi ako fan ni Justin Bieber. Nagkataon lang na napanood ko ang cover ni Kristel. Simula nun na-LSS na ako sa kanta. At sinubukang sabayan ang instrumental mula sa YouTube:

All the times that you rained on my parade
And all the clubs you get in using my name
You think you broke my heart
Ohhh girl for goodness sake
You think I'm crying
Oh my ohhh, well I ain't!

Well I didn't wanna write a song
'Cause I didn't want anyone thinking I still care, I don't
But, you still hit my phone up
And baby I be moving on
And I think you should be somethin' I don't wanna hold back
Maybe you should know that

My mama don't like you and she like's everyone
And I never like to admit that I was wrong
And I've been so caught up in my job
Didn't see what's going on
But now I know
I'm better sleeping on my own

'Cause if you like the way you look that much
Ohhhh baby you should go and love yourself
And if you think that I'm still holdin' on to somethin'
You should go and love yourself.

8 Things That I Always Look Forward To When Returning Home

         Being a seafarer means being away from home for months. And that being said, seafarers always look forward to returning home for vacation. They might get excited to see their families and friends. They might be looking forward to their ongoing projects or things they allot their hard-earned money to. Or, maybe they might just be hoping to spend their vacation at home or someplace that will relieve their mind and body of any stress from those long contracts at sea.

          As for me, there are few things that I always look forward to in our small town prior to my vacation. Though it is situated on the southernmost tip of Sorsogon (with the nearby town of Matnog), our town, Sta. Magdalena has a lot to offer and is worthy of being called a hidden paradise.

1. The Simple Way of Life. If not for the numerous training and processing of documents during vacation, I would rather choose to stay at home, take a nap under the mango tree and listen to the sounds of nature. Still, even though I have to spend some time in the city, I always see to it that I have time to be at our small hut by the rice fields. 

2. The Local Delicacies. Being on vacation enables you to taste your childhood favorite foods again and again. Since foods that are being cooked on board is only limited to the available provisions and the skill of the cook, I always tell my mother to prepare some local snacks like hinagom, muron, binot-ong, and putong kamoteng-kahoy when I am at home. In addition to that, I enjoy honing my cooking skills again by preparing local dishes like laing or pinangat, kinagang and linunti na pili.

3. The Beaches. Yes. Beaches. You may ask why look forward to beaches when you spend a lot of time at sea? Of course, because beaches offer both leisure and relaxation, something that you cannot attained by jumping off a pool of seawater on a ship. 

4. Chilies! I like spicy foods and labuyo (local red pepper) never fails to satiate my longing for spiciness. Even if food on board offers a variety of spicy foods, nothing can still compare to foods at home seasoned with labuyo.

5. Waterfalls. Our small town is blessed with waterfalls concealed within the forest canopy. During my childhood years, I would venture deep into the forest, tracing the rivers and finding hidden waterfalls. When I grew older, my urge to do waterfall hunting still drives me do some trekking, with my barkadas at home this time.

6. Gamefowls. No, don't get me wrong. I do not get myself involve in raising fowls for cockfight purposes when on vacation. Though we have few  roosters at home, I only look forward to them doing the Tiktilaok! wake-up call.

7.  Books. I may not be endowed with riches but I considered them my prized possessions. With today's digital age, paper books seemed to be outdated but for me, the feeling of touching and scanning through pages of a paper book is definitely irreplaceable. I have two medium size boxes full of books and I always check on them every time I get home for vacation.

8. Last but not the least, Quality Time With The Family. Being a seafarer also means being unable to be with your family on important events and occasions. Hence, during the short period of time that I will be spending my vacation with my family, I make sure that we have a quality time together, be it out of the town or just a small salu-salo at home. Most of the time, when I am on board, I would think of the places where our family can enjoy and have meaningful bonding moments together when I return home.

         Now you see, those things I mentioned above are the ones that make me look forward to returning to our small town. There really is, no place like home. How about you? What are the things that you look forward to when returning home?

Stack of books photo: Google Images

Looking Back and Moving Forward

I summon all the forces of the Universe! Be great 2016!
(Nung minsang gumala ako sa Kublai Art Garden.)

Travel. Work. Land. Sea.

Four words to sum up my 2015. Last year may not be as exciting as the previous years for me but it was, unique in its own way. I was able to travel as far as Mindanao, worked with the best people I have met so far, strengthened bonds with friends both online and offline, and spent quality time with my family despite the limited number of vacation days on land. However, my life last year was not always at the zenith.

I spent most of my time at sea, where I experienced the lowest point in my life so far.

I reflected on life and attempted to make a sudden change.

I procrastinated time and time again and regretted the outcomes afterward.

I still went to the alternate universe I had created and sinned.

2015, I guess, made me realize that I have to take a closer look to my actions. It made me rethink about what I want to do with my life. That I need to change my way of doing things, start looking at the world in a new perspective and live life to the fullest. That I need to learn as much as I can and make good use of knowledge to make sound decisions.

Last year may already be in the past but it paved way for improvements in 2016. More than long list of resolutions, it made me think of things to look forward to this year:

Continue reading non-fictions.

Collect books on religion, history, maritime and language.

Strengthen my relationship with God.

Meaningful travels with people who matter.

Live, Love and Laugh.