“I’m Phil and you are?”

Bokod – Ambuclao

I finally made it to the city of Lisbon after 2 weeks in a row without days off. Friends, this job is starting to get me down. I don’t even know how I get through with it while having multiple jobs. I’m not complaining, I’m just venting! I wish I could just sit back, relax, drinking fruit shakes and read a book, or do something else enjoyable. I wish I knew what an actual day off feels right now. I just hate it when I always make plans to do something on my day off but couldn’t follow through. Now, I was stuck here in the law firm waiting for the lawyer to arrive. When I arrived earlier, the first person I spoke to was the secretary in the front desk, who brusquely gave me a huge pile of papers and forms to fill out and return the next day, ‘Don’t Lose them’, he admonished. Seriously? I’ve been here for a couple of hours then wants me to come back tomorrow. Before I could ask any questions he was already speaking to the next client. So I have to stay outside to wait for the lawyer. It’s quarter past seven and the lawyer hasn’t arrive yet. So I decided to just go home. I wish I could come back tomorrow. I went out of the building and I took a wrong turn several times and couldn’t find the metro station. I tried to figure out where I was and realized that I’ve lost my way. The sun has set and soon it will be dark. Thankfully, It’s finally Spring so the sky is still bright at this time. And though temperatures haven’t risen too far out of the 30s yet, hope — and hotter days — are well on their way. I took my phone out from my pocket and decided to get an Uber Taxi. After few minutes of waiting, here comes the white car. Then I jumped in and the driver greeted me and asked a few questions politely. He’s fully clothed. Suit, tie, hat and a polished shoes. He’s handsome, with olive skin and eyes that looks as dark as the ocean. He is, by far, one of the most handsome men I’d ever lay my eyes on. Oh my goodness! Just looking at this man makes me feel like I am cheating with my fiancé. Nunca! I caught his eyes looking at me in the mirror and he smiled.

‘I’m Phil and you are?’ He said.
‘Jona’, and gave him a fake smile.
He started talking and I tried replying to him but ended up desperately staring at my phone, trying to give him a clear hint that I wanted to be alone with my thoughts. I needn’t have bothered; he just seemed to like the sound of his own voice, and it didn’t seem to matter whether I responded or not.

‘You know what Jona I have a good idea. Would you like to come with me? I can be your travel buddy. I can take you to a Safari Park that can be found in a 3700 hectare island. I can take you to a beach and you’d feel like prolicking in the Bahamas or a luxurious and private get-away in Maldives. Or if you want to visit China I can take you to the World’s Oldest chinatown. I can take you to Spain as well. We can take a walk on the street early in the morning like 6 or 7 so we could have a selfie with no distractions or photobombers. Or we could just go for a pint in a bar during the night. Or if you want to go to Greece I can take you to Santorini. I know a nice resort there or if you want to take a selfie in the Acropolis in Athens we can go there as well. I can also take you to New Zealand if you want hilly and mountanious landscape. Oh Madre Mía! Just the thought of it makes me feel hungry right now. If you are a food lover, I can offer you different kinds of foods that you’ll surely love and…’
‘Phil, sorry to interrupt you but just drop me off here thanks’, I said because I don’t want to listen to his litany and obviously, I don’t want him to see my place.
‘Oh, Would you like to have a cup of coffee first and chat about my offer? It is still early though’, He says trying to persuade me. ‘I still have a lot to say and need to explain it better. Trust me, everything will be alright’, he added.
‘Sorry but I am not interested. Is that enough?’ I say it with more peevish tone this time. He laughs warmly and he stopped the car in the gasoline station close to my place. Perfect! I need’nt to walk too far to get there. I get out of the car hurriedly and shut the door. Fortunately, the fare is automatically charged to my credit card so no more hassle on paying with cash.
‘Oh! and by the way. The place I am talking about is Philippines’, he said as he smiled and drove away. I too smiled as I watched him turn the corner. I left there standing with tears welling up in my eyes. It begins to blur my vision. My heart was full of tears too. As I walk, I realized that Philippines has a lot to offer. But I was so focused on my dreams that I forgot about my own country. I started to cry out loud. After some time, I came back to my senses. I woke up suddenly when the alarm clock went off. I realized that it was only a dream.

Yes Indeed! Philippines has a lot to offer. It has been my dream to travel to the best beautiful tourist destinations all over the world. But when I met foreigners and whenever they find out that I am from the Philippines, the never ending praises goes on about how beautiful my country is. The ugly truth is, I am a tourist in my own country. I think it’s time for me to travel and see the beauty of Philippines. So the next time I meet another traveler who has seen the Philippines, I would no longer be ignorant on my own country. Whether in a dream or in real life.

You might be surprised to know that there are places in the Philippines that closely resemble some international destinations and who knows maybe you’ll find them to be as amazing as the original.
Here’s a link if you want to explore some of the impressive local alternatives: https://www.buzzfeed.com/isabellelaureta/san-ka-pa?utm_term=.pwYV2n94z

xoxo jona4463

If I can do it, Anyone can

IMG_3624Finally! I’ve got my own blog. Busy schedule is never an excuse not to pursue with my passion. I’ve been a contributor and guest blogger lately so why not make my own blog. It has always been my desire to write a book. I remember before when I was in Grade School. I’ve been a Feature Writer of our School paper. I’ve been sent to other schools to compete for the Press Conference, Until I reached the Regional Competition. It was so devastating that time because I was supposed to be the representative for the Feature writing category but my coach said the day of the contest that I will be representing the Editorial category which was not the area of my expertise. Eventhough I didn’t want to but had to accept it because they were counting on me. When the moment that I saw the Editorial Cartoon, I knew that I’m gonna lose. I haven’t started yet but I’ve given up. Well, as I expected, I didn’t made it to the national competition. The trophy was made of wood, then I said to myself, ” I can just ask my dad to make one for me”. Just the thought of it made me laugh right now.

When I was in High School, I’ve been a contributor without even asking to be one. Our teacher before required us to submit an article featuring our Reach Out Program in one of the rural areas in our place. So, I’ve made a short but meaningful story about how I felt when I saw the smiles of the beneficiaries. Then here comes our School paper. I was shocked that my name was there listed as a feature writer. Whoah! Effortless super! One of the best feelings ever is being acknowledged unexpectedly.

Then I entered University and have been a Library  Working Scholar. I seized the opportunity to have an easy, trouble-free access to the best selling authors of the fiction books. One day, I was holding this book called “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. It was all about true stories and advices from people of different walks of life. Then a friend came to me who was my co-librarian as well and asked about the book because she always see me reading it. Because of that, we called each other “chicken” instead of our first name until now. I don’t know what people thinks whenever she calls me “chicken” in facebook 😂. No one asks me about it though. Then everyday, eventhough it wasn’t my duty. I always visit the Library to read the “Young blood” section in the Inquirer newspaper. Oh! and I’d wish that I was the contributor if it was a nice article and a little related to me. I didn’t even try to submit one because I wasn’t mentally ready at that time. Then I dropped out of the University and my dream of becoming a writer was gone. It was really extremely upsetting moment in which I was stuck in a situation where I didn’t know what to do, where to go and how to start all over again. But still, I kept on dreaming. Dreaming is free anyway. When you dream, there are no rules.

Then after a long time I’ve made my first book. A tagalog novel book. Hey! You thought that I’ve given up? that is not in my vocabulary friends! I am not a quitter. The publishing company paid me but it wasn’t under my name. So, let us say that it was my story but they published it under their in-house writer. It was worth 5000php, Not bad!. A friend of mine inspired me to write it. It was based from his story. I wrote it when I was in Denmark. Despite of my job as an Au pair before, I still managed to chase my dream. Now, I can say that I am living my dreams. To inspire other people to dream more. To make a difference in someone’s life. Right at this moment, while writing this, I feel so exhausted from yesterday’s work but it didn’t stop me from doing what I want. I do believe that if you have the determination, you can be as great as you want to be. Just have faith and you have to absolutely believe in yourself because if you don’t, No one will.

xoxo Jona4463