Farewell, Horse: My Year in Review

I stopped writing for leisure for the most part of 2014. It’s for a multitude of different reasons:

1. Writing is addictive. But not writing? More so.
2. I did a lot of binge-watching on YouTube. The problem with this, or being online in general, is you start reading or watching something, then another interesting link catches your eye and you read or watch that too, and before you know it you’re looking up whether or not bad breath can keep you from heading to space. (no, don’t Google it, stay here – halitosis can keep you from becoming an astronaut in China)
3. It’s difficult to prioritize among Facebook, Clash of Clans, and Blogspot, ya know? I have a kid who needs a lot of attention.
4. When I failed to post for three months, I felt that it would be kinda weird for me to just start updating my blog again.
5. We discovered Louis C.K. through the Emmy Awards. His show received a lot of nominations in the comedy category, so we were like, “Who the heck is this guy?” We watched his interviews on Conan, and later on his standup specials, and decided that he’s one funny intelligent douche. Like George-Carlin-funny-intelligent-douche. So, partly, I didn’t blog because we watched Louie seasons 1-4 (we’re almost caught up, yey!). And also because Louis C.K. said something that resonated with me:

“Just live your life. Don’t keep telling people what you’re doing …”

So every time, I had the urge to share or write about something I did, I’d hear Louis C.K. at the back of my head. Mostly that was just Jeff quoting Louis C.K., really. Not that that stopped me from using social media altogether. It just successfully prevented me from doing anything on social media that takes too much effort.

I read somewhere sometime ago that if someone doesn’t update his/her blog for a long time, he/she should not start a post by explaining his or her absence because chances are, the audience will not even have noticed. Well, to that blogging guru and Louis C.K., and Jeff, I say “go fly a kite” because I’ve just explained the hiatus, plus I’ll share what I managed to squeeze in between all those aimless online surfing:

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur was my first taste of how a trip abroad can go crazy.

I under planned. To say the least. In reality, it was more like getting sent on a trip to the moon, and just bringing Listerine. (if you just started reading here, well … )

I’m not going into details now, but our misadventures in Kuala Lumpur deserve a separate post. For starters, we spent 5 hours trying to locate our hotel. I’ll leave it at that.

Simone, Jeff, and Lois at Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur.


Selfie at the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

We were only in Yogyakarta for a couple of days, which, I realized after booking our flights, was too short. I initially had the impression that there’s only the Borobudur Temple to see in the area. But I was wrong. We could easily have spent an entire day just looking around Malioboro, the shopping district (oh wait, that’s exactly what we did on our first day in town).

Editor’s note:  It felt more like a week looking at freaking cloth, but whatever.

The trip was memorable because of the sunrise in Borobudur and because we ran out of cash. It was a good thing we were travelling with friends, so that kink was easier to iron out. Regardless, I got so distracted that we failed to watch a cultural presentation that we had been excited about before the trip (sorry, Istine).

Simone with her godmothers – Istine, Lois, and Juani- at the Taman Sari Water Castle.


Simone and Lois chillin’ at Candi Prambanan


Abra De Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

I really can’t say much about Abra De Ilog except that it looks very promising. We only spent a weekend in town for my nephew’s christening.

The highlight of the trip was riding a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ship from Batangas to Abra De Ilog, as that was Simone’s first time to get on one. Unlike her mom who grew up in an era of pricey flights and had to, consequently,  travel from Samar to Manila, and vice-versa, by land a lot, and is therefore a master RORO rider, Simone won’t have a lot of opportunities to practice her RORO-riding skills.

On a midnight Batangas-Abra De Ilog RORO ride.


Abra De Ilog port


Catbalogan, Samar- Tacloban, Leyte

‘Went home after three years and four months for the younger sister’s graduation from the university in Tacloban. Theirs was a couple of months later than other universities’ because classes were interrupted for a while due to supertyphoon Haiyan.

This was also my first time to go home after Haiyan struck the region in November 2013, so it was a bit of an emotional trip for me. Let’s just say that it felt like seeing the place with a fresh pair of eyes.
I had grand plans for this trip that included seeing the Biri Rocks in Northern Samar, but I had more pressing things to attend to such as checking if the bed was soft enough, which I accomplished by spending as much time as I could in bed.

June 27, 2014- University of the Philippines Visayas- Tacloban Commencement Exercises. ‘Spent the afternoon trying to stealthily take photos of my sister, lest I be approached by the guards or ushers and be told again that I wasn’t supposed to be at good spots for taking photos “because we have an official photographer.”


Simone with Nanay and Tatay at Tita Phoebe’s graduation.

Coron, Palawan

Jeff was initially against the idea of going to Coron. (To be fair, he’s against the idea of going anywhere.)

Editor’s note: He’s against going anywhere lame. Lame (adj): places where people photograph the latest in cement drying, or spend a day looking at cloth. See: bricks and leaves.

However, after seeing the islands, he now reckons we can go on a vacation IF AND ONLY IF we’re going to Coron. That’s how beautiful this place is.

Jeff and Simone at Bulog Beach.


Malcapuya Island. One of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve seen. ‘Will definitely be back to stay overnight here.

We were there for about six days, but only two of those were spent on tours. We would have loved to see more of the islands, but we gravitated towards a more powerful force called … cable television.
Seriously, though, we didn’t go on more tours because that would have meant spending a fortune since it was just Jeff, Simone, and me. And we felt that joining a group would be ill-advised  because we’re loungers and move at a pace similar to grass growth. (That’s mainly Jeff’s Simone’s fault.)

And I’m glad we made that choice because Jeff spent an hour eating crabs.

That’s another thing I took away from 2014- the memory of Jeff spending his sweet time downing crabs, Simone trying to get into the water every five seconds, and me pondering on timeless questions such as, “How it is possible for anyone to eat so many crabs?”

So that’s it, my year of the horse in a nutshell. Here’s to sheep, everyone.

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