Monthly Archives: October 2011

Beach-Bumming Essentials Checklist

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Following my cancelled trip to Bangkok, Thailand and Siem Reap, Cambodia, we just rerouted our plane ticket to a domestic destination. We’ll just visit Bangkok and Cambodia when it’s meant for us already. At the end of the day, it’s always great to come home to the Philippines and marvel at the most beautiful islands of the Philippines, Coron in Palawan.

I happened to stumble upon this feature on a magazine, and for girls like me, this checklist will especially be helpful in preparing for an upcoming beach escapade.

Packing Cheat Sheet I got from a magazine article

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Row, Row Your Boat, Are We Sinking?

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3 months and 3 cancelled tickets (2 domestic flights, 1 international flight) due to bad weather. The last one being the flight to Bangkok this coming November 2.

DFA warns Filipinos to reconsider visiting Thailand

Being the optimistic person that I am, I was still keeping it positive that I can still push through with the trip despite the massive flooding in Bangkok. I thought it was not that bad, and that maybe it shall subside by the next week. I was praying so hard to God that if it is His will to grant me this trip, that it would happen.  I asked for signs to guide me with my decision-making. And upon getting home and turning on my computer, I was given a multitude of signs.

Travel advisories kept on warning the general public to avoid all essential travel to Bangkok. Cebu Pacific also gave a travel advisory about the options for cancelling flights to Bangkok. And that’s when my hard-headed self decided to surrender to the fact that I cannot have this trip anymore and to just let go and let God.

And I was beginning to question if travelling was still for me. All my travel plans for the past three months were cancelled due to inclement weather. I was down in the dumps for a day or two when it sunk in that I will not be anymore be going to Bangkok and Cambodia for November due to the massive flooding in the city. The stubborn side of me said, be adventurous and go on with the trip despite the floods. The practical side of me said, cancel the flight lest I become on of the flood victims in the evacuation center on meager food sustenance and without water due to food and water shortage.  But the practical side of me won as I decided that it was too risky to continue with the trip and I cancelled with my airline and rerouted with a domestic destination.

God sent me so many signs that maybe commencing with my trip to Bangkok and Cambodia would not be a good idea. Just like how fate was adjusted in the movie Adjustment Bureau, perhaps this situation was also God’s way of redirecting me towards better things. And I just have to trust in His plans and keep on believing. My plans will not always be His plans for me.

In 7 years…

Last year, I read an article about the 7 cities that are about to sink. It included Bangkok ‘the Venice of the East’ in its list and it became one of my foremost motivations to visit Bangkok just before it sinks. I promised myself after reading that article that I will book a ticket to Bangkok soon, and marvel in its cultural splendor. I read that article October 2010, and I booked a flight to Bangkok August 2011 for travel on November 2011. But I guess the sinking came faster that it should, as Bangkok is being challenged by their biggest deluge since 1942. Just like a terminal disease, it has been given an ultimatum of 7 years, before it disappears from the World Map.

“Bangkok is the 68th largest province in Thailand and the Chao Phraya River basin surrounding it gives Bangkok’s main geographical feature while the nearby provinces comprise a series of plains and river deltas that lead into the Bay of Bangkok about 30 km (19 mi) south of the city center.

Because of these features Bangkok is also known as the “Venice of the East” due to the number of canals and passages that divide the area into separate patches of land; these large bodies of water are also responsible with the rapid sinking of the city. The fragile foundation of the city is not the necessary to blame, especially since the Chao Phraya River basin makes this colossal settlement likely to drown in the near future.

Some experts stated that this interesting city may be under water in as little as seven years and according to Thai scientist Dr. Ajong Chumsai na Ayudhya, the fate of Bangkok can best be explained by global warming.” -metrolic.com

Global Warming

And global warming is indeed one of the foremost culprits as to why different countries are already experiencing massive temperature and climate changes. And the very reason why several countries will sink and eventually disappear from the map– a challenge that would perturb the whole world.

Sea level could rise between 7 and 23 inches (18 to 59 centimeters) by century’s end, the IPCC’s February 2007 report projects. Rises of just 4 inches (10 centimeters) could flood many South Seas islands and swamp large parts of Southeast Asia. –National Geographic

“…swamp large parts of Southeast Asia” and the Philippines is very much a great part of that. And if we do not do anything, we may also be deluged and eventually disappear from the map as well.

I know my concern about having my trip to Bangkok and Cambodia is very trivial and cannot be merited as a global issue. Compared to the people who have lost their lives, their families, their homes, and their country, losing plane tickets is very trivial. My heart goes to all those who have been immensely affected by this disaster. The concern deserves to be a global issue is the issue of global warming, and the role of human beings in contributing to this kind of disaster.

Moral of the story

Like how our grade school teachers reiterate to us, Let’s take care of Mother Earth while we still can because what goes around will come around. The world needs to be cared for. The world needs trees.  The world does not need skyscrapers and smoke. Globalization, industrialization, and deforestation will take its toll on us very very soon if we do not act upon it. ” Industrialization, deforestation, and pollution have greatly increased atmospheric concentrations of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, all greenhouse gases that help trap heat near Earth’s surface. ”

The following is a video that clearly explains what is happening in Thailand:

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What I learned:

  • Just like all living things, the Earth has a saturation point. If we don’t do anything about it, the Earth will come to its end, and all of us will go with it.
  • Let us all learn from Bangkok and teach ourselves that we are nothing but mere subjects to a bigger universe that contains us.
  • Three of my cancelled flights were all because of heavy rain showers. This may be attributed to shift in the poles, change in the length of wet season, increase in earth temperatures that lead to higher levels of condensation that in turn produce immense rain showers.
  • Global warming is happening and much more disasters are imminent if we do not act upon it.
  • Let’s all save and love Mother Earth. What especially irks me is when I see people littering like crazy when they all know that their area is very much flood-prone. But it still holds true, what goes around comes around. What you throw will just come right back at you a thousand-fold.

Manos Greek Taverna, Tagaytay

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I have always dreamed of going to Santorini in Greece, I have always wanted to explore it and get lost in the traditional villages of the island built on tall cliffs, and just leave my jaw hanging on the view over the submerged volcano. That is why I was so happy when we discovered by coincidence a little piece of Greece humbly tucked in Tagaytay. Manos Greek Taverna is similar to Santorini in a way, and a little imagination was very much helpful to make our recent discovery  very much worthwhile.

Special thanks to our boredom one Saturday morning, we decided to take on a spontaneous road trip to Tagaytay. We discovered Manos Greek Taverna and found ourselves in one of Tagaytay’s best kept secrets. We were just taking a stroll along Tagaytay and noticed a quaint Greek bed and breakfast at the side of the road. We willingly indulged to its humble invitation, and lo and behold, we discovered a great place to lounge around and relax.

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Imagine a World Without Filipinos

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I would always be a proud of my roots as a Filipino, no matter how other nations deem us. Filipinos are always hardworking and persevering, and would do whatever it takes for the sake of the family. For those who sacrificed their family life to provide a better future for their own respective families, one day you shall reap the fruits of your labor and shall be reunited with your families once again.

Filipinos are more than just laborers, we just put our heart in everything that we do.

“The Philippines, which you barely see on the map, is a very effective country thanks to its people. It has the ability to influence the entire world economy.” 

An article from Arab News Newspaper (Disclaimer: I do not own this photo)

I left my heart in CALAGUAS

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…And I have to come right back to come and get it, and intentionally leave it there again.

Calaguas captivated me. It was beyond breathtaking. It left me in a trance, in a dream.

Driven with immense spontaneity, with only our backpacks, our camping tent and our thirst for adventure, Pao and I did a Do-It-Yourself beach camping trip to Calaguas Island and we found ourselves in discovery of another slice of paradise here in the Philippines. Although different Calaguas group tours are sprouting out nowadays, we chose to take on the thrill and adventure of doing a Do-It-Yourself camping trip. And it was so worth it and very much fulfilling!

I personally think that Calaguas has just surpassed Boracay (or Boracay may just have to personally surrender). It is that untouched and it is that pure and I support that it should remain that way no matter what. Boracay may have been like that 20 years ago. Calaguas Island literally left our jaws hanging throughout the entire trip and yes, we were definitely left in awe and amazement.

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