Sorry for being a little MIA. With limited connectivity here, it’s very difficult to post anything. On the other hand, I’m using Instagram, aka Facebook for the lazy person, quite a lot to upload photos of what I’ve been up to.
Check it out here. Meanwhile I’m just going to let the photos do all the talking.
And yes, I do actually do work although the photos sort of make it look like I don’t. But I do live on a beautiful, tropical island so what can you expect?!
Magandang hapon (‘good afternoon’) as they say in the Philippines or ‘Maayo nga hapon’ which is the Romblomanon version. Apparently Romblomanons shorten all their words compared to Tagalog (aka ‘Filipino’) but to me, they’re both as equally hard to remember!
It’s been about a month since I’ve been in this country, The Pines. That’s four weeks of non-stop sweating, cold showers, sugary food, pork, and island hopping. I’ve seen about 10 different beaches, met close to a hundred different people whose names I can’t remember and have hardly done any work. Yes, life is tough here.
My first week in Manila is sort of a distant memory now. I remember feeling so completely exhausted in the 2 hour car ride it took to transport us over 30km from the airport to our hotel. Yes, the traffic in Manila is as bad as what everyone says! That part of the adventure was, in a nutshell, a good introduction to the Filipino culture and lifestyle. It was also great meeting all the other volunteers as well as getting mentally psyched up for our placements. Some things I took away were:
- You never go hungry here. Why? Because Filipinos love to eat. Not just the usual 3 meals a day. Merienda (snacks aka meals without rice) is taken at 10.30am and 3.30pm.
- If you are a vegetarian, forget eating out. There’s very little offered in terms of vegetarian food. Everything here has meat – even the salads and everything is cooked with some sort of meat stock. Be prepared to live off tropical fruits! On the other hand, if you’re a meat eater (like me) – HORRAY!!! You’ve hit the jackpot.
- Filipinos are PBR (powered by rice). Rice is basically accompanied with every meal and is the main component.
- Don’t stress out too much if the taxi you’re in starts to cross over into the opposite lane. Road lines/boundaries here are just a suggestion – that’s just how they do it over here! A number of times we were in the right line and several approaching cars were using the same lane because of all the traffic. However, surprising that there is no/minimal road rage here!
- Get used to not knowing until the last minute. Things aren’t really planned more than 3 days in advance here. You have to be prepared to up and go at any moment because plans can change including where my placement was supposed to be. I was told when I got in Manila that I would be based on Tablas Island, rather than Romblon capital. Then two days after that, I was told 2 weeks on Romblon and the remaining in Odiongan. Then 1 month. Kind of stressful, but now I’ve just learned to be more flexible (not that I have a choice!).
- Lastly, get used to not having fast/access to Internet. Seriously. It’s a miracle that I’ve even been able to post this!!
Well, that’s all for now. I would post pictures of a weekend trip to Sibuyan but I don’t want to wait 1 hour for things to upload.
Sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of a break, especially with good company. You’d think that my first day of my temporary unemployment would mean that I get to sleep in till 12 in the afternoon but no. Today I woke up (reluctantly) at 7.30am to the sound of my door buzzing. Someone told me that the guys who would be installing the floorboards would be coming at 8.30am so I embarrassingly greeted them at the door in my uncoordinated PJs (and probably bad breath !). Besides not sleeping in, I get to work out my biceps moving furniture. Yippee!
Just to let my viewership/Nicole know, I will be using this space again not necessarily for my 50 goals in 501 days but to keep track of my travels in the Philippines (hopefully by then I will be spelling it properly).
Meanwhile, here’s some cute photos I took in Tasmania last year !
See you soon and thanks for reading !
I imagine most working people are asleep by now but I am not. I took today off because I have a terrible case of laryngitis, thank you sickly office environment. I also tried to sleep early, like 2 hours ago early (11 pm.. that’s generally the earliest I can do) but I woke up in cold sweats. So here I am blogging because there’s no point in tossing and turning and my sheets.
An update on the 51/501 — I sold something online = yay ! Really indadvertedly though because we totally forgot that we had stuff for sale on Etsy.. whoops — and it’s shipping to an international customer so we pretty much lose out on any profit. I must say, juggling a business, my full time job and studying was a pretty difficult feat and I’ve learned a hell of a lot about running a business in general.
Here are some key points to keep in mind:
1) Don’t rush through writing up your business plan
2) Have a marketing strategy
3) Be really, really, over the moon, crazy person passionate about what you’re selling
4) Set aside time for the business, it should be seen as a priority
5) Don’t run a business if the fung shui master tells you not to
I feel like I should have six points but my brain is not functioning properly right now.
Anyway, here are some photos from a better time:
And the outtakes..
Thom in his element.
Welcome to the Louvre!
No sunnies? Problem solved with my makeshift sunglasses.
Taking a selfie with a macro lens = FAIL!!!
Okay, going to try to sleep again. Wish me luck !
Hi blog world, remember me ? Chances are no one reads this blog anymore (except stalkers and Nicole) . In a way it’s a good thing as it’s like starting from scratch with no expectations to meet.
I admit, for a long time I didn’t feel compelled to post anything. I’m not exactly sure of the root cause. I don’t think it was because I was busy (although I often use this as an excuse but if something is important enough, you can prioritise) or because another 1001 days had lapsed. Maybe I felt too old for it.. especially now that I am in my “mid twenties” *insert mini panic attack*.
I do want to make more of an effort to blog now, even if it’s not around my goals. As someone addicted to lists, I will always have my goals although they may not be in the form of a 101/1001. I also like having a pretty little space in the internet world to vent and be somewhat creative.
Anyway, to commemorate another year that has passed, I wanted this post to highlight some of the awesome things that happened in 2013. Gotta stop focusing on the negative and make this year awesome !
#1. SMASHED tough mudder
I just had to put it out there. Never again will I attempt this.. well shouldn’t anyway ! Not sure quite if 3 months of hardcore training (in the form of waking up at 5.45am every morning for circuit training 5 days a week) paid off..
#2. Visited my lovely francophone parents in Angouleme & discovered my dream holiday home
Spent about 4 weeks in Europe, mainly road tripping through France with the objective of going to a friend’s wedding (although it was just a good excuse for a holiday !). Although have been to Europe before, this was the first time traveling during their summer. The country side was absolutely beautiful but the heat totally killed me ! Give me snow and temperatures below zero any day !
#3. Escaped the 40+ degree heat in Melbourne via Tasmania
Below is a rare view of the peak of Cradle Mountain !