Thursday, November 20, 2014

Notes On: Being a 20-Something

It’s the wee hour. The clock hits 2:45 in the morning, and I’m still on my laptop. Stumbling upon a blog about being in your 20s lead me to browse back on my own dilemma-loaded Quarterlife post written last year. A thousand and one thoughts hit me with a surge. I get into a reflective mood again, after a long while.

Brooding over my old post, I have seen how so unclear, unsure and confusing being at such a position made me feel. There were questions I couldn’t answer, feelings I couldn’t explain and situations I couldn’t contain. But right at this moment when my heart and mind are one with each other, I can be sure to tell myself that a ton has changed since.

And in a good way.

Being in my 20s has left me feeling like I am in that teenage transition period yet again with so much adjustment I need to do. Only that, now I have to go from being mature age-wise to being really mature as someone imbibing maturity in its real essence because fooling around could impact the life I’ll be having in the future negatively. It’s time to take life seriously, and I’m all for it.

I guess I’m starting to get the hang of it.

There’s so much pressure all around from people who intentionally and unintentionally puts it in the air. There’s a “standard” that 20-somethings must meet and/or surpass when it comes to the things they should be doing and where they should be headed either in career, love or family life. Yes, these things are critical at this stage, but how does boxing ourselves inside these expectations help us? I’ve come to realize that pressure not only makes me hard on myself but also makes me hate those who put it on me. And so, I’ve learned to free myself from such hate. More to the point, I don’t worry about the “standard” much anymore. I will live my life the way I want to, and people don’t get to dictate me on the matter, period.

I’m glad there’s still so much out there that I don’t know. I have this uncanny interest in exploring life more today than when I was younger. Back then, the answers were spoon-fed to me; today, I have the capability of working out answers to questions on my own and experiencing the fulfillment in utilizing self-crafted means to understand and connect the dots that make up this colorful world. People turn to older folks for wise words because they’ve already gone through most of life. I can’t wait to get to that point where one look is all it takes. But whilst it’s still miles ahead, I can enjoy the little discoveries and knowledge here and there.

I’ve always had the fear of missing out whenever there are gatherings, and all my mates would be there but me. But then, I’m discovering that I am slowly but surely starting to outgrow this nonsense. Yes, it’s nonsense because what is there to fear really? I won’t be with them nor will they be with me at all times; circumstances will get in the way, and that’s fine. What we have is not merely measured by the physical presence; ours means so much more. With all we’ve been through together, I’m assured now more than ever that no matter how often or less often we get to be together, our rock-solid friendship will not be tarnished, not one bit. And that even if it has already been days, weeks, months, and years since, when I see them again, it wouldn’t be awkward. It wouldn’t feel like it’s been awhile.

I would always subconsciously beat myself up every time I still couldn’t let go of my old teenager-y ways because it would remind me of how immature I still am. My mentality was that these old habits were what’s holding me back from utter maturity. After some deep thinking (and some self-abhorrence) though, I realized there’s no need to detach myself from such lifestyle. It’s all about moderation. I can keep on enjoying my old ways, but I just have to master the “when” and the “how much” without sacrificing my growth. Besides, as Susanna Kaysen likes to put it, sometimes the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy. There it is, best of both worlds.

Maturity per se used to be a scary venture for me. And still is, a bit. It used to feel like a death trap with all the baggage it brings. Now I see it as an opportunity. There’s nothing to lose. If I fail along the way, there’ll surely be lessons learned; if things go smoothly then I’m just one lucky son of a bitch.

It’s all about how we see things. Maybe it’s all everyone needs, shifting outlooks a little or changing it completely. It’s surprising how much easier everything could feel.

The bottom line is I’m happy that I’m already in this stage where I’m learning to accept all the changes in my life. I’m happy with all my realizations. I’m embracing everything because, why fight something when it actually leads to even greater things?

Life today makes more sense, and indeed, there is a plan set for everyone. I am seeing mine unfold in front of me, and it’s so beautiful. I’m not saying I understand and get everything now, only that I know everything’s in good faith, and what’s to come is going to be great.


I have a newfound happiness in the realization, acceptance and embracing of all these things. This is my rite of passage to maturity.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Burot Beach 2014: Whilst Still A Virgin

With sand polvoron-like in features,

tides low,

seaweeds sometimes ticklish and sometimes piercing to the feet,

sea urchins ever present,

and water as clear as can be,

it’s always the beach we go back to for escape.


Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas is my newfound gem.

How lucky was I to chance upon another beautiful beach – and this one still unexploited.

Burot’s waters vary in color – some parts are white, others blue green and the rest a beautiful blue. The water is most of the time steady with the calmness being an open invitation for the people to just sit there and float around in the middle of it all since there are no waves to intimidate them. The calmness only justifies the essence of why people are there in the first place – to escape the noise that is their real life, and it’s just perfect.
With feet always on the loose, we roamed around the rest of the beach stretch. It was a good thing we didn’t just stay in one place because the parts we explored were even better than where we camped out. There were rocky mini-cliffs, fine sands and colorful sea creatures. Schools of fishes appeared from time to time. Island hopping here didn’t really mean hopping from island to island as much as it meant boating around Burot and going down to the white, shallow portions of the water for playtime and in the deeper fractions of the beach for swimming.

It was the closest I’ve gotten to the real island life. There was no decent resort around to take us in. Power was nonexistent. Apart from worn-out toilets, all there was was a sari-sari store that rents tents aside from the few basic store products to guests who don’t bring their own. Everything else we needed while there was upon us. The flashlights and a bonfire tricked the darkness of the night away. Uno cards served as entertainment in a rather quiet set. The breeze was all we had to cool ourselves while asleep. Waking up to bright skies strewn across the vast blue sea after a much needed rest was priceless.
My mates and I were fortunate enough to experience Burot while it is still in its full raw beauty. With the knowledge that development of this paradise is already in the works, I’m scared that in a way something will be lost in the process. The virginity perhaps – the virginity and everything that comes with it. I can only hope that with all the aesthetic renovations, at least a part of its simplicity will remain, as it is what makes up the charm of the beach itself.
Something else left a mark and mystery in my mind as we ventured into this place. Twice or thrice during our stay, a small group of locals would gather around a huge rock situated in the water in the middle of the day. I think it was some sort of a ritual. I had no clue what it was for, but it felt so strange and so local. Too bad I wasn’t able find out.
Burot Beach was such a fleeting moment, but I’m content knowing that I am lucky enough to even have the moment.

(Late post)


*Thanks to Antoniette, Maricris and Jerome for the photos!

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