En Route: Pico de Loro

November 8, 2015 Filed Under: Abbey, En Route, Local Lovin', Personal 0 Comments

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November 7, 2015 | Saturday

3:33PM | Tagaytay City, en route to Manila

When surprises unfold right in front of you, it’s just impossible to seemingly let it pass without taking at least a first step – or a big leap, for that matter.

This year’s been all about surprises. One day, a new project makes its way to my system (and it will take long for me to take it all in); another day, an unlikely idea seems to pop out and maneuver things to exactly the right direction. Either way, I like both accuracy and spontaneity – and whichever way you put it, the fact that they exist excites me more than anything else.

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Maine’s always been pushing for an out of town trip – this one, we can’t spontaneously decide on (for obvious reasons). But of course, I couldn’t say yes without making sure work was out of the way. Fortunately, this time around – I finished work (for the year, YAS) and laid off administrative duties for two days, and survived.

I’ve known Maine for a rough five years – the year she started Stache was the year I started blogging on Tumblr (2010). We’ve both grown to support each other and if I had a cyber friend loyalty award, she’d be the first awardee. I met AJ accidentally via Sunday Paper – her baby, wherein I first invited her to be part of my workshop last 2014. A few months later, the three of us collaborated + worked together + met up on a monthly basis to talk about work + life + our baby project (which we’ll announce this coming week!).

x x x

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(Special thanks to Tropicana Frutz for cooling me down by the beach side!)

I forgot how it feels like to sit quietly by the beach + listen to good tunes + unwind from my busy life. I also forgot to put on sunblock (lol) and be aware that I might get a bit tan after spending hours under the sun. But either way, what I didn’t forget was allowing myself to loosen up and remember that these moments are rare – the sound of the sea, the colors of dusk, and the company of these girls amongst the empty (!) beachfront.

“Help – I can’t seem to not think about work…I’m still checking my inbox!”, I said yesterday while waiting for dinner. AJ confiscated my phone and for two straight hours, I had nothing but a dose of good vibes and reality talk shot down my system (well, all of our systems, for that matter), together with a remarkably good glass of wine. Oddly enough, after a few discussions + watching The Darjeeling Limited, we all found ourselves asleep in bed right before 10PM. Talk about tita / lola!

Photo 07-11-2015, 7 24 15 AMHere’s the thing – I love my job more than anything else. It’s been relatively hard to be a workaholic (I have no choice – partly cause it’s a genetic thing), and I feel that in the work/life balance scale, I tend to lean towards work more than life.

Art is part of who I am and what I do – it puts me in the highest and lowest points of my life, but it constantly drives my system to function. There are days like today where surprisingly, I have time to kill and hours to waste away doing absolutely nothing – and I can’t help but feel restless about it.

But if I keep on doing this, if I keep hustling – I don’t think I’ll still be this sane in the next couple of years. I need to pause the hustle first while I can. And pause, I did.I found myself browsing through Maine’s copy of LOST earlier this morning. LOST is a bilingual periodical produced in Shanghai, China. It chronicles stories of adventures from different travelers – and what made me appreciate it more was the Chinese translation beside each article. Being born into a Chinese family, I always take pride in understanding the language on a deeper level – more than just characters typed out or written on paper.Photo 07-11-2015, 11 11 57 AMTakeaways from LOST

Calligraphy spread from my Moleskine, featuring favorites from some of the stories I’ve read. I never mentioned this, but I used to ace Chinese calligraphy class in high school (+ win awards for it). I hope to bring back Chinese calligraphy – or even integrate it – to my work, hopefully next year. :)We spent the last hours of the early morning lounging around with this view. After packing, Maine drove us to Breakfast at Antonio’s for our last hurrah before heading back to crazy Manila.First impressions on Breakfast at Antonio’s: it’s either the ultimate tita place or date place (obviously, we’re the former), blue is on point, food is superb, ambiance is amazing.It reached our expectations – and I’d like to think this was the best way to cap off the 2-day getaway.Tita shopping done right at Antonio’sNotable things from this trip:  HAIM / The Lumineers / Bon Iver on loop + a 2000s playlist shift (I’ll never forget our feels while singing Behind These Hazel Eyes, kind of like someone broke our hearts way way back!), stopping every so often for a nice photo of the road, seeing a Frankie magazine at the gas station grocery (how even?!), and spur-of-the-moment discussions on reincarnation, the definition and measures of success and future dream projects.

As we draw closer to Manila (and as I anticipate my next event today), I find myself feeling more than refreshed and enlightened to start anew, and to live a little more. It takes a lot of me to appreciate my life more than my work, and I think, I just might have slowly shifted to that mindset after this trip.Thanks, AJ & Maine! Powerbank baes / titas for lyf.

x x x

PS: An idea popped out from Maine last January. “Why don’t we all collaborate on something?” and as surprising as it sounds, whatever we envisioned for the project turned out to be that notebook you see below.MM + ABC + SP bring you #WriteNow – the perfect travel companion and memory keeper. More about it soon + pre-orders open this week! :)

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