November 12, 2011

The Wedding Grinch

It’s the time of year again… a cacophony of the vexing wedding bells starts to fill the air.  And just recently, I’ve been invited to one of my friend’s wedding on, read the date, 11.11.11 (and why not, dates like this don’t come along often).  And so I hesitantly obliged, at least for the sake of our friendship.

The wedding ceremony was actually beautiful, but I felt like a vampire slowly annihilated by the fierce sunlight.

Why do I hate weddings?  Well, it’s an occasion when I feel that the closest thing I get to be “normal” is to attend it as mere spectator.  I could never be a groom (sad)… nor a bride (sadder)!  It depresses me. When I was younger, I was bold enough to embrace being different. In fact, I celebrated it. I felt “astig” to come out there in the open, defining my life in rainbow colors! No holds barred. No apologies.  As long as I don’t hurt anyone, I’m gonna do what my heart yearns.  The delusional exuberance of youth.

Although, I have no regrets, there’s a part of me still clamoring for “normal.” I wanna be as normal as I could. But what is normal, really?

I’ve been to hell and back in those dark, confused stages of my life. The path to emancipation was treacherous, at least, inside my head. I thought I’ve already come into my full terms.  But the ghosts of my distant past started haunting me again.   

As soon as the church door opened and my “blushing bride” friend walked down the aisle, I suddenly had an epiphany.  Could this be the one missing in my life? I wanna have that moment too – when all eyes are set upon me as I walk gloriously in my fabulous haute couture white dress! Oops! Wrong epiphany! This is just a fragment of my delusional imaginings from my other personal issues! (winks) Sorry for the confusion. My personal ghost might have been lost in its haunting! hehe I’ll spare you now from a hideous graphic of my bald, goatee-d self in a bridal gown. 
This recent occasion led me wondering, did I really make good choices in life?  Is my courageous stunt of challenging the “conventional” worth it?   I mean how many “great love affairs” do I need to be in before I get tired of it? (naks, ako na ang kalbong mahaba ang hair!... hehe)  The fountain of youth is slowly drying up and I haven’t settled yet. Or have I missed the boat? Suddenly the voice of that creepy, lithium-laced ice cream addict spinster (from Sex and the City) lurked inside my head, telling me, “You only have two great love affairs in your lifetime.” If that scared the hell out of Carrie for having served her sentence with Big and Aidan, imagine how I took it for having served all the Patricks, Johns, Russels, Joeys, Markeys, Dales and Aces of the world! I turned into a nutcase! "I always thought someone better will come along... never happened!" the creepy spinster continued. (Ahhh! Stop it, will you! I'm really starting to hear her voice! Crazy much? hehe) I’ve reached my quota long before I could think of ever settling down.  Jeez!  Has this “love battlefield” reduced me into just being a bride’s best friend, a god-father of their offspring… an outsider looking in? They're all starting to have a "conventional" family of their own while I'm still... well... here

And why do I sound like a bitter bridesmaid? I’m an effin' guy for chrissake! (winks) 

When do I become such a walking cliché? Tsk. Tsk. This got to stop.

The Wedding Grinch


And since I'm a masochist, I wanna render a song number just to add an insult to the injury! Here goes.

Image credit: Tucia

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November 2, 2011

Palawan’s “Coron-ing” Glory

Once dubbed as the Philippines’ Last Frontier, Palawan has remained an enchanting destination for nature lovers from around the globe.  

This Yellow Boat was our vessel and the lone witness as we traversed into a seemingly insurmountable expedition of the Coron Islands (...our tour guide simply called it - Package Tour A (toinks!) Route - Kayangan Lake> Twin Peaks> Coral Garden> Atwaya Island> YFC Island> Grand Lake).  winks!

Few minutes after getting off the Busuanga Domestic Airport, we were already in a perky mood as we witnessed one glorious Sunday morning in a lush canopy of blue sky, green mountains and vibrant wild flowers which seemed like an effulgent daffodils along the country road. We needed to capture the moment... and so, we... jumped! hehe

Coron Town Proper (with a landmark signage ala Hollywood!)

Package Tour A's first stop: Kayangan Lake. To go to the lake, we need to ascend the hill (then take a short stopover on top to get a snapshot of ourselves, all drenched in sweat,  while still trying to be cute for our photo behind the magnificent backdrop of the Twin Peaks -  clearly a feat in itself!).  Then we descend through the other side of the hill to get into the lake. Whew!
Cooling it off in Kayangan Lake with my cool friends (Abhen, Jess, Kim & Ronan)
Crystal clear water will welcome you in the blue lagoon.  You'll instantly forget that you have just crossed over an ardous trek to get there.

Diving deep into the abyss... of Kayangan Lake!  You gotta be a pro to explore what's beneath it (all 30-meter downward stretch of it). Or you can just fake it. Here's how: immerse in the shallow part of the lake without your life-vest, anchor your hand on a rock and push your body slightly deeper. Ask your photographer to get a good angle without revealing the surface of the water to create an illusion of depth. That usually does the trick... if you're a natural! (winks) In photograph... no one could really tell the difference! Haha 

Second stop: The Atwaya Coral Garden

Snorkling beneath the Twin Peaks. Thanks, Abhen for the cool shots! :)

Local Reggae Band jammin' along the Atwaya Shores

Coral Stone Walls of the Island

We checked-in at Sunz en Coron Resort. It's a newly-built, Korean-owned resort that's slightly off-the-hook of Coron's town proper. A must-try if you want peace and quiet (away from the cacophony of rumbling trykes that dominate the town's main streets).

Lounging @ Macario's Grill and feasting on the banquet of town's famous delicacies. 
Must try:  Ginataan Pagui / Grilled Tanigue & Sugpo

Other recommended resto: The Kawayan Grill Station

View of the Islands on top of Mt. Tapyas. This "poignant" shot was effortlessly rendered by my friend/ supermodel rival, Ronan, who clearly has a flair for the dramatics!

Overjoyed after conquering Mt. Tapyas' summit (and all its 725 steps). And yeah, we really do jump a lot! ;)

As in!
Seriously!  (winks)
Spot the weakest link! Com'on Jess, you can do better than that!

Coron is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. If you want real outdoor adventure, I highly recommend it.  It reminded me so much of the breath-taking sceneries of Leonardo DiCaprio's The Beach movie (or perhaps, even better).  The place is so wonderful, that my journey almost became spiritual. I mean, after seeing these marvelous landscape makes me think... we don't need to see miracles to believe God. We just need to look at things around us more intently to see its real beauty. Because such beauty can't be just accidental...
Me, rendering a tropical version of "I'm the King of the World"

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