Travel Confessions: A Gamer Who Fell In Love with a Traveler

posted by Zenith

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I was never a traveler nor a nature lover. I would rather stay home play video games and drown myself in the couch watching my favorite TV series or play with my gadgets. If you have spent more than 10 years of your life doing freelance work over the internet [as myself], you will be aware of the current events and happenings worldwide. Being aware of the real world stains your sense of adventure and injects fear in your mind. The Philippines is not a safe place, that is a fact. Which is one of the biggest reasons why I do not want to be a stranger to a new place even in my own country. However, my sense of safety shifted, when I fell head over heels to a traveler. This is where my life changing journeys begin. 

In more than six years of being together, Mari and I have been to a number of local tourist spots in the Philippines and I am grateful that we have never encountered serious threats to our safety and all our trips have been very rewarding thus far. Mari has a knack in creating itineraries and her passion for travel is an incentive to all our escapades. Listed below are my top five travels based on adrenaline rush, natural beauty and life-changing factor. Lez gow!

Fifth Place - Boracay Island

We have experienced the wild and wet parties in Boracay and enjoyed the sun and water while battling hangovers and tipsy feet. Boracay is the perfect summer destination for beach bums and party animals alike. Aside from the picturesque view of the sunrise and sunset, Boracay is one of the best white beaches in the Philippines with the liveliest nightlife. Banana boat ride, para-sailing, flying fish and scuba diving are some of the popular activities offered in the place. 

Overall, Boracay is a solid holiday destination for holiday goers who want to experience crystal clear water, crazy beach parties and water adventures.

Adrenaline Rush - 6/10
Natural Beauty - 8/10 
Life Changing Factor - 6/10 

Fourth Place - White Water Rafting in Cagayan De Oro 

This is my first adrenaline pumping trip which really had me on the edge. Our first rafting experience was with Rafting Pioneer because of their very affordable package that includes a shuttle service and a sumptuous lunch. We started at around 7am and finished the course around 11am. The exhilarating ride will let you conquer 14 rapids along the Cagayan de Oro River on a raft good for 6 and 15 people. We took the smaller raft which made our experience two times rougher and more exciting because of lesser weight. 

My take? First-timers like me will find this dangerous, but really, this activity is the wildest and most enjoyable ride you will ever had! 

Adrenaline Rush - 10/10 
Natural Beauty - 7/10 
Life Changing Factor - 6/10 

Third Place - Swimming with the Gentle Giants in Oslob, Cebu

Despite its enormous size, the Whale Shark is completely harmless and elegant. Having this attraction in the Philippines is a wonderful privilege for local and foreign tourists to swim, take pictures or capture videos of these amazing creatures. Although I don't agree feeding them as it hinders the ability of whale sharks to feed on their own, the locals did a great job in scheduling the activities as to not over populate the area. 

Going for a dip with whale sharks? Buying an underwater camera or hiring a photographer is really worth the spend. 

Adrenaline Rush - 6/10 
Natural Beauty - 9/10 
Life Changing Factor - 7/10 

Second Place - Sagada, Mountain Province 

Yes, Sagada what can I say? It is the most memorable place we have been to and did I say it is super cold? IT IS! The highlights of our Sagada trip are summarized by the Lumiang and Sumaguing Cave Connection and the sunrise watching at Kiltepan's Peak. Spelunking for four hours is backbreaking but the Connecting Caves in Sagada is such a wonder that you won't notice the time. Inside the cave, you will see a number of fascinating rock formations. You will bend, crawl, rappel and slide. You will plunge and get wet. It's a rough trip inside the cave so be prepared to get cut along the way. You're lucky if you get out of the cave unscathed. 

There is something at Kiltepan that makes every sunrise so majestic which is why sunrise watching at the view deck is highly recommended for travelers. You have to be at the peak before 5am or earlier to secure a spot as it will be already flocked by tourists if you arrive late.

Adrenaline Rush - 6/10 
Natural Beauty - 10/10 
Life Changing Factor - 9/10 

FIRST - Island Tour at El Nido, Palawan

El Nido in Palawan is without a doubt the best place in the country to visit if you are looking for a complete vacation. The highlight of our trip was of course the Island Tours which consist of a two-day motorboat tour in the surrounding islands. Every island around El Nido is a paradise of its own however, not all are easily reachable by boat. There are islands where you have to swim and dive to get inside the entrance. There are also some in particular where you have to dive and glide through a rope to keep yourself on track because of the strong current in order to get inside the secret lagoon! 

Night life in El Nido is all about reggae nights and trippy melodies perfect for a laid-back ambiance along the beach. Booze and Shisha are highly popular at beach side bars in El Nido.

Adrenaline Rush - 9/10 
Natural Beauty - 10/10 
Life Changing Factor - 10/10

Mari and I are steadily dating for more than six years. Within that span, she has already shown me a different angle of the Philippines. Our country is indeed rich in natural beauty and it is only a matter of time before I discover and experience everything my country has to offer!

He's Gay, So What?

posted by Zenith

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Everyday there are people who are being oppressed by the law, by religion and even my their color. And sadly, there are also people around the world who are angered because of their sexuality. Gays and lesbians in particular are being bombarded by their brothers, sisters, parents and friends who have been blinded by stereotyping. They are topics of discrimination, hate and disrespect. These helpless individuals lost their self-worth because of some book that was written 3500 years ago. They have been deprived from equality because of people who plays God with their speech and sermons. I'm a christian and honestly, I too was against same sex relationships. But why do I feel pity to people who didn't choose to be gay or lesbians in the first place? Do you think they just commit themselves to feel affection to people in the same sex? What if no matter how hard they try they can't change the fact that they are like that? That they differ from what you normally conceive? Would you hate? Would you stay ignorant and drop bombs to act cool? 

Don't be so damn insensitive. Hear them out. Listen and open your mind to the disease that eats our society. God loves His people regardless of color, race nor sexuality. It's stupid that even the Church preach hate  and deviate us from equality which is the same reason why wars and conflicts are endless. Here's a video a friend (not gay) shared to me earlier and I was moved so much that it made me wrote my first blog update after almost seven months LOL!

We should try to be open-minded and perceive beyond the limits of our principles, ideas and religion. I consider myself lucky for being straight but I admire those who stand their ground despite their unlabeled sexuality. 

Love is patient, love is kind.

Pity is not Sympathy

posted by Zenith on

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It's not unusual why there are people who trolls all over social networks and post endless rants which involve themselves, their beliefs and their understanding about something not even worth a topic. The internet is free and we can do almost everything anonymously. We can pick fights, flame, play know-it-all and do the most popular one - become a hater. However, these people don't care what others may think since they don't reveal their real identities online. In fact, these people do these things as past times, for fun or no reason at all lol.  But how about in a "real people's" perspective? Why in God's name do they have to post something that could stir up the whole network?  One thing for sure - attention. 

Are you f*cking Eminem? Do you have thousands of subscribers in your account? Sadly, the truth is, these people fish for sympathy. You can ask me why and I'll give you three solid reasons. One - they probably have dozens of pets but no real friends. Two - no girlfriend since birth and in the brink for "forever alone" status. Three - see themselves as the only righteous ones. Sorry to burst your bubble pal but you can't get someone's sympathy over night. Sympathy is earned by years of companionship. Truth be told but even if you have zillions of friends, only a handful of them can show you sympathy. Most of them only shows pity. True friends feel that you're going through a difficult time even without ranting or posting shit on social networks. They don't need words nor clues, coz true friends come uninvited.

Sympathy is the best gift you can probably get from real friends (well of course you can also get it from pets). I'm not throwing darts, just a little something to ponder for everyone. Instead of trying your best to get sympathy, why don't you try your best to be someone's friend first?