Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I wish I know you more than your face and your name.

I wish you know me, too.

I wish you know that I know.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bakit Nakakasenti ang Ulan*

Sabi ko dati, may mga bagay na masayang gawin, pero korni na ulitin.

Senti akong tao. (also, walang konsepto ng transition at coherence. Pero tiyaga lang, someday, somehow, everything will be brought together at magkakasense din ang mga bagay-bagay. Isa pa, friend kita. Di ba? Di ba? Sanay ka na dapat sa kin. Hihi)

San na nga ba ako? Ah, eto, naliligaw sa pag-aalala ng nakaraan. Ah, onga pala, sabi ko senti ako. Kahit ang mga sobrang liit na mga bagay, nadidikitan ko ng ala-ala.

Tanungin mo ko kung anong nostalgic sa 'kin. Eto isang example: alam mo yung tuna spread ng century na nakalagay sa maliit na easy-to-open can? Ay, pramis! Pag nakakakita ako nun, I feel nostalgic. Yung may something kang nararamdaman sa puso na parang napupuno ito ng something light and fluffy at nageexpand hanggang sa feeling mo mabigat na magaan na sia (yung puso mo)? Kasi naman, yang tuna na yan yung mag-isa kong kinakain sa labas ng tinutulugan ko nun sa Hinatuan. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a sad memory. On the contrary, that was quite a happy one: I've just been to an enchanted river and an impressive falls, met good friends, had a thrilling habal-habal ride and now eating something that took me some time to find (pramis, parang di uso tuna sa lugar na yun. Haha). Lahat ng good vibes ng araw na yun nacompress sa maliit na latang yun-- at swerte ko, kahit sang 711 ata meron nun.

Yun yung okay pag sa isang bagay nakadikit yung memory: kahit kelan, kahit saan, kahit papano, madaling irecapture yung feelings. Ibang usapan, siempre, pag sa tao na. Gusto mo maulit yung magulo-masaya-lakas-trip na pagpipicture taking sa gitna ng daanan ng mga truck habang pauwi mula sa late-night lamyerda? Ay gudlak. Minsang lalabas ang picture, babaha ang "ulitin natin!" comments, maraming maglalike, pero asa kung may papatol. Magkikita kayong nasa larawan ulit, baka may dinner, pero mas malamang na ang ending ay sa kapihan at hindi sa madilim na kahabaan ng CPGar. Kasi, hindi na kayo yung parehong tao na nahuling nakanganga sa camera. Kasi alam nio, kahit maulit, it would just be an echo of that magical time na sabay-sabay niong naisip na masaya pala magpictorial pag may chance na mahagip ng truck. Pero don't get me wrong. Di ako anti-move on, 'no. I accept the fact that people would never stay the same and I celebrate the knowledge na because we change, we could go on making more memories that are way happier and riotious than the one na nagpapasenti sa inyo ngayon. Kaya nga, kapag may pagkakataong tumawa ng malakas kasama kahit sino (pero siempre, lalo na kayo), kahit hassle, kahit malayo, kahit late na, ginugusto ko. Kasi alam ko, bukas, nostalgia na lang lahat ng 'yun, or worse, korni. Tsaka mas okay ng malungkot-masaya kapag maulan dahil sa nostalgia, kesa naman totally walang ala-ala, di ba?

*ay ewan, pero Purefoods, peram neto ah.

P.S. Tanungin mo ko kung anong favorite memory ko with you, sasagutin ko. Pag wala ako maalala, mag-iimbento ako. Haha!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chronicles of Summer: I Got a Tattoo, But This is NOT Just What It's All About

Tinglayan, Kalinga | March 2013

The fascination started with an fb message: You want to go with us to Kalinga and see the last (traditional) tattoo artist? Maybe get one?*

Even before curiosity sets in, I said yes. That's one thing about me: I rarely say no to far-away and exotic trips. Another thing: give me a chance to touch a distant past in any way and I'd dive right in-- even when it involves getting a tattoo in a way more painful than the usual.

But reasons why you shouldn't call me brave:
1.) I had no idea it would hurt sooo much; and,
2.) Even if I've seen bloody pictures of the process, I still had no idea it would hurt so much.
3.) Also, even if I watch people getting the tatt and wincing or grimacing in pain; or read an account of the process in flowing and graphic prose, I still wouldn't get an idea of how much it will hurt. Not until I try it myself.

In conclusion, it was lack of information, and not absence of fear, that made me so 'brave' in getting the tattoo.

But (spoiler alert), boy did it hurt.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chronicles of Summer: La La La La Union!

A/N: Damiiiii backlog! Eto na, magbabawas na. Hihi :)) Anyways, I know di pa summer ng January, but in Au's vocab, beach outing = summer, no matter what the season. So there. And I've already forgotten the important details: price, place, contacts, etc. So sorry na lang. Haha :P

Early morning in San Juan beach, Urbiztondo, La Union

I was supposed to have my birthday trip in Tacloban, kaya lang, I got swamped with work the week leading to it. I just shrugged off the sayang thoughts and proceeded to enjoy my month in any way I can. So lunch outs, dinners, frisbee, and this: a weekend trip to one of the surfing spots in the country.

Hello (again) La Union!

For Php2000/person, the organizer threw in transpo, surfing lessons, a trip to a waterfall (waterfalls? Ano ba? Ngayon lang ako nagduda. Hahaha.) and whatever detail I may have already forgotten. Nope, kkb sa accomodation.

We rented a room in one of the new places in the area. The owner was a friend of my companion, and she was really nice. I'd probably stay again in her place if I get the chance to revisit the place.
The place was really colorful. :)

So, what stuck to me out of the entire trip was these: the dinners and lunches at carinderias (swerte, masarap lahat, pramis!), the scary stories during one of our nighttime roadtrip, my 2nd time trying to learn how surf (soshal ng surfschool, may uniform. haha), the Guinabang falls (mejo 'false'. Haha pero patawarin. Di naman maulan eh :)))), and revisiting the places I've been to during my last year's solo trip. Also, getting to spend so much time with the crazy-coolest companions. Haha :D
Off-limits beach We got in coz we were VIP like that. :)) (Srsly, thanks kuya Allan! ^^)

Finding wonderland.

Me, and the very cute Keshi. Pang TL!


So I made new friends, bonded with the old ones, stood on a surf board, trekked to the waterfalls, scared myself silly with horror stories, and got sun-kissed. What a beautiful prelude to (legit) summertime. <3 p="">
Sunset. The best way to end any day. <3 td="">

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

High Season

Re-posting a poem I wrote for unFold (2 years ago!):

Up here, it’s an upside down world.
At my feet, a sea of clouds.
And below –
eagles and crows
about. © 2011, Aubrey Graze Pareja

Yep, it's my high season all right. Finally got to climb Pico de Loro (been eyeing that Monolith for a looooooong time!). It was an easy climb,somewhere between Mt Maculot and Mt. Batulao in difficulty (like: Mt Maculot < Mt Pico de Loro < Mt Batulao-- but don't take my word for it. I'm no expert. Head onto Pinoy Mountaineer's site for more technical info). That ascent to the Monolith's top was nerve-wracking though-- but only when I think hard about it. During my climb, I didn't. I did have had nightmares of having let go of that rope on the way up a few nights after the climb-- totally such a small price to pay for that epic feeling of a dream realized.

9: Pico de Loro | Down the Monolith: this looks waaaay easier than it really is! (Feb2013)
Two weeks later, I found myself back at the Rockies, this time with old friends (the first one was with almost-strangers-turned-friends). I really can't tell if the trail was the same one I climbed the last time, but it felt the same-- heart busting! Still, we managed to reach the campsite in less than hour (I think). This time, I got to see more of the rockies, and even reached some of its knee-buckling lower parts.
10: Mt. Maculot Rockies-- same place,different view | Photo by Arman Gonzales(Feb2013)
 I'm not taking mountaineering accidents lightly, mind you, but isn't it funny  how being thisclose to falling off a cliff can make someone feel so alive (or it's just me?). 

Off to more exhilarating climbs in the future (this weekend, actually)! Yep, high season, it is.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hello, 25!

Pinakamahabang birthday celebration ko na ata 'to. Since Jan 12, I've been meeting friends, sharing stories over food and coffee and having a great time. :)


Connections ang tema ng 25th year ko. The past 24 years have brought all sorts of people in my life, and it is in that area that I feel I'm most blessed.


Parang ang tanda pakinggan ng 25 years old. :)) Lagpas na ko sa 18-24 na age bracket. Tsktsk. :) Pero ok lang. Kasabay ng pag-angat ng bilang ng taon ang pagdami din ng bilang ng lugar, bundok, kaibigan, leksyon at karanasan. Di ako lugi.


I really am happy. It's a wondrous feeling to say that aloud and know that it's real. Thank you Lord for my life. So much things to look forward to!

Birthday Challenge: How Far Can I Remember?

24: Second job, 7th&8th mountains
23: First solo backpacking trip.
22: College graduation; first corporate job
21: MyMathVentures (thesis)
20: UP Green League. Also, my spiritual birth-year (aka the proverbs day)
19: Bumagsak ako sa isang subject, for the first time in my life. :))
18: Natuto rin ako mag-code ng tama, sa wakas! :)) Also, hello Java!
17: Highschool grad, became HAI's panganay and... hello UP! <3 p="p">16: National popquiz @ Dipolog*
15: Secrets of the Machine (waaah di ko na sigurado kung 2nd year yun o 3rd year hs, pero me alam pa kong konting lines :)))
14: Yung pamumulot ng plastic cups with Ann, Kankan and Joie dahil kala namin required. :))))
13: Yung sakit ng di pagkakasama sa top 10 :))))
12: Elem grad, hello Pasay West.
11: Hotohori vs Tamahome fan war with my best friend (haha Ann, remember? :)))
10: My Christian homeroom teacher. She's the first Christian I've gotten to know, only I was too young then to appreciate the significance.
9: Field day. Yung sayaw na may involved na dumbbells. Haha
8: Grade 2. Transferred from Hilongos, Leyte to P.Zamora in Pasay. Me and my bisayan accent. Meeting my best friend.
7. Hello Hilongos South Central School! Jackstones and scrubbing floors and me fainting during the first flag ceremony. The php2 baon and English-only-policy. Yung teacher na nang-iinjection daw ng makukulit na bata (pero panakot na tsismis lang naman ata un. :)))
6-0: Playing in the beach. My first ship ride and seeing kids diving for coins. Drying batteries by the sea wall. Panakaw na pagkain ng chocolates. Buildings built out of encyclopedia. Memorizing the planets of the solar system. Barbies na pitpit ang mga kamay.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's a Different High: of Mountains and Climbing and Why I Do It Even When I Don't Want To

My love affair with mountains is definitely not a whirlwind romance. Unlike backpacking--solo or otherwise, it took me a long time to convince myself that I do like the mountains, and even a longer time to realize that I am also irrevocably in love with it.

Believe it or not, I even swore it off once. No, several times. I've actually told myself a lot of times before: I'm never climbing mountains again ever. Ever.
1.) Taal: my first-sort-of-climb/youth camp with LYFE. This is where I got "heat stroked"  | Photo from LYFE
I climbed Taal (2008) and nearly fainted 50 meters into the trail. I climbed Mt. Daguldol(2010) and almost passed out halfway to the summit. I climbed Mt. Pulag (2011) and I was asking to be left behind when we were trekking up the summit at the unholy, freezing hour of 3am. I was slightly better at my succeeding climbs (2011: Mt. Sembrano | Mt Manabu, 2012: Mt Manalmon, 2013: Mt Batulao | Mt. Maculot Rockies),  but only slightly: I was almost always dizzy, tired and ready to give up halfway. But I didn't. I can't.
2.) Daguldol:  Jumpshot galore. Where did those excess energy come from? | Photo by Pinay Bundoc

Because you see, there's this some sort of magic that mountains hold over me.
3.) Pulag: Well-wrapped and still not warm
 | My story here: Mt. Pulag: Walang Drama Version
I huff 
and puff
and run out of breath
and curse myself for getting out of bed
and pray so hard that the dizziness won't set
and then actually get hit
by that disorienting feeling of the world spinning faster than it should
every single time I climb (I am actually getting dizzy now thinking about it).
Almost always I stop and sit and wish I could just stay put and wait for the others to come back from the summit. But I didn't. I can't.
4.)Sembrano: The sky is so close you can almost touch it. 
Because you see, there's this some sort of magic that mountains hold over me.
5.) Manabu: Helllooo from the top! 
It's the promise of wonderful sights of what?
Other cloud-hugged mountains, maybe.
Or perhaps a vista of distant towns or surrounding lakes.
Maybe rugged landforms and shifting waters.
Flying solitary hawks or other homebound bird-kind in V position.
Gradually changing hues of the sky or diamond-laden sky.
Sometimes you don't even see a thing worth noting 'cause it's so foggy
and yep that's awesome, too.
        It's different every time, and it's always breathtaking.
6.) Manalmon: Waiting for the sunrise

It's the promise of rejuvenation. No matter how dead tired I was before the summit, no matter how much my legs ache and my head pound while crawling up, I get recharged the moment I step into the summit. And it wasn't just a gradual returning of the energy I lost: it's an instant zap! and wham! I'm alive!  Wooohooo! *JUMPSHOT YEAH!* Yep, seriously. Five seconds ago I can't barely walk, now I'm jumping up and down in an effort to snap a picture of myself midair.
7.) Batulao: New year, new high!
It's that sort of magic that pulls me up everytime I want to sink down. It's that sort of magic that can make me endure an unbearably heavy backpack-- not in a way that I feel the backpack's any lighter but in a way that makes me think to myself: 'Hey, I can actually carry anything.' Figuratively, of course. It's that sort of magic that makes knee-buckling scrambling among rocks actually exciting and not scary-- even when it should be.
8.) Maculot Rockies: Living life on edge... and loving it. :)

When I climb, I feel empowered, confident, brave, happy and magical. That's why even when I feel I should, I can't give up any summit. That's why even when I know I can, I don't.

Hey, see you at the top? :)