It's seldom that I get to use my holidays for myself. Usually it's either I fall into a stupor and waste it sleeping, or I work. Thankfully, today wasn't one of those days. I did go to the office, though, but for practice. One of the drawbacks of being a newbie in a company is that you get "persuaded" into joining the Christmas party presentations. Somehow, it's become tradition that the new recruits are showcased in their full awkwardness to the whole company, as entertainment for the party.
I don't mind, though. I'm sure I can bitch my way out of participating, but that would take a lot of energy and negativity, and I don't want that. Besides, it's healthy getting to know some of the officemates in a different setting. Not to mention the benefits of the physical activity not usually afforded at work. That was why for 3 hours, we were sweating it out, trying to learn dance step after dance step of the designated songs. We liked it so much, we booked our choreographer for more sessions tomorrow evening after work.
We started practice late though. Even though the call time was slated at 9.30 am, it wasn't until past 1.30 that we were able to start, thanks to some officemates who didn't come until after lunch. Filipino time can be such joy sometimes. And because the practice started and ended late, I too, ended up late coming to my volleyball game. It has been a month since I last played, and, as if the game from last Saturday wasn't enough, I went ahead and played with my other group. Talk about masochism. Still, five sets in 1.5 hours, four of them consecutively, isn't so bad. And what do you know, today's physical exertion actually helped remove the aches caused by last Saturday's game!
I needed all those moving and sweating. I've been inactive for far too long. And as reward for today's activities, I went ahead and had my first taste of KFC's double down.
Wait, did I say reward? With all those cholesterol and fat, and not to mention the rice I partnered it with, maybe the more apt description would be Punishment. haha!
I got a message from an old friend the other day asking if I want to watch Deathly Hallows.
I mean, come on, would anyone in their right mind refuse an invite to a special screening of Harry Potter, and for free?!
And VIP tickets to boot!
With such perks, no amount of rush hour traffic from Makati to Megamall will be able to stop me from the two things I like: movies and free stuff. The day's schedule did pose a bit of a problem though, with meeting after meeting peppered with rushed reports here and there.
Thankfully, I made it to the venue just a few minutes late. It was good that I had the foresight to instruct my movie bud to get there early and to arrange for the ticket exchange.
I'm not gonna make a review, because I know I'm not capable of any at the moment. Maybe after my nth screening, I would be.
I have long decided not to get affected by it, but it seems I really can't let it go. So now, I'll say it outright: I actually hate Mondays.
It didn't feel this way initially, I seem to vaguely remember a distant time when I looked forward to Mondays, but I can't seem to remember a concrete day of when that was. Thinking as far back as y school days, I know I disliked Mondays as well. I mean, who wouldn't when Mondays meant returning to school? Still I know there was a time when I did like Mondays.
But rather than waste my energies thinking about phantom memories of cherished Mondays, why don't I just waste more energy enumerating why I hate this day? Because surely, I think I can so many bad things about this day, more than any other.
Monday means work. Lots of work. The return to the office not only promises a new deluge of tasks -- it delivers. No wonder more people suffer heart attacks on a Monday compared to other days of the week, just the thought of all that work waiting there to drown you and suffocate you is enough to stop your heart from beating.
Monday ruins schedules. No matter how you set your schedule for the week, expect it to all come flying out the window come Monday. I had a game plan set from last week; a set goal to finish. I was aiming for the stars (well, not really) then Monday rears its head and greets me with other things to do, more concerns that would need your attention. More stressors to disrupt your calm and turn it into calamity.
And don't expect for Monday's effects to be localized on Monday. Its effects will surely cling on to Tuesday, and if you get lucky, can run all the way till Friday. No matter how hard you prevent it, when Monday decides to screw you over, it will and it can. Late last week, I was talking with a colleague and she kept on saying that Tuesday is the sibling of Monday. I couldn't fathom what it was she meant until this afternoon, when during a staff meeting, it was decided that we needed to work on a Tuesday, which has been declared a holiday. Then it dawned on me. Tuesday is Monday's sibling because Monday's woes are Tuesday's concerns.
I can go on and on citing example after example of Monday and its abuses. I can fill page after page of woes and disappointments to allay my case. I was prepared to do so, but then you called me from out of the blue, and suddenly I don't hate Mondays at all...
I resent what you said and it's eating me up. I do get playful at times and I admit I sometimes go overboard, but I don't relate everything to sex and hooking up. I thought you knew me better than that.
I love words; they are my weapons and my allies. And using them through double entendre and innuendos is just me playing. I could use the banter every now and then, you know?
As such, these words are hollow; it's up to the recipient to put weight in it. I know you're intelligent enough not to fall for these traps, but can't you at least amuse me and run circles along the edges? I don't expect anyone, most of all you, of having wild sexual romps whenever there is a party, and my questions are not accusatory. You don't have to be defensive every time we play this game.
The rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends, including me, because I'm interested in seeing what books my friends choose. (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your fifteen picks, and tag people in the note. Do yours before you read anyone else's).
1. 'Salem's Lot (Stephen King) 2. Memnoch the Devil (Anne Rice) 3. The Solitaire Mystery (Jostein Gaarder) 4. His Dark Materials trilogy (Philip Pullman) 5. American Gods (Neil Gaiman) 6. Different Seasons, particularly Apt Pupil (Stephen King) 7. The Hunger Games trilogy (Suzanne Collins) 8. The Dark Tower septology, and novels connected to it (Stephen King) 9. The Witching Hour (Anne Rice) 10. Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman) 11. Dekada '70 (Lualhati Bautista) 12. Eats, Shoots and Leaves (Lynne Truss) 13. By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept (Paolo Coelho) 14. The Looking Glass Wars trilogy (Frank Beddor) 15. The Bachman Books, particularly The Long Walk (Stephen King, writing as Richard Bachman)
I don't want to tag anyone though. Haha!
Upon inspection of my list, it seems I really have too much Stephen King books in my library. It isn't a surprise, though, that most (or almost all) fall within the genre of fantasy and fiction. Well, as they say, to each his own.
Last Tuesday, I played volleyball for the first time in more than two years, maybe almost three. I never had any formal training on the sport; I was a novice back then, I felt even more so that night. Worse, I felt heavy. I couldn't run as fast, couldn't jump as high, couldn't reach as far. Not that my prowess were marvelous then, but that night, I felt more inadequate than the first times I played the sport.
I was sweating profusely. I was grasping for breath. I was straining to keep up. I was drawing on every bit of energy I had. I liked it; I missed it. It has been far too long since I exerted myself physically, and the quickened beat of my heart was a welcome disruption to my lethargic state.
I knew, even while playing, that I was in for a lot of hurt the next day; I embraced it. My friends advised me to take painkillers before going to sleep, as they were sure, as I was, that I will be in a lot of pain the next day. I also know that I must keep my muscles warm and to raise my legs higher that my heart in order to avoid cramps. I accepted those measures to be helpful but promptly threw them out of the window. I was too tired to buy medicine, too lazy to prepare my bed for the raises, too stifled not to use the AC.
I woke up to pain like I have never experienced before, and got reacquainted with muscles I've forgotten I had. My whole body, from my neck to the soles of my feet, was sore. Every muscle was resonating different intensities of hurt; sinews singing discomfort with every move. It was like an orchestra of ailments afflicting my body with every move. I loved it; I never felt so alive and aware of my body.
I tried to assume normalcy even through the pain but my body wont hear of it. I couldn't move without experiencing pins and needles running through by body; my usual stride therefore, was out of the question. I was moving at a third of my usual speeds, and I was furious about it. Coming from someone who sprints from one area of the office to another because it's boring to just walk, being hindered like such was a nightmare. The slow speed, the inability to quicken one's pace - both of which I detest in other people - I am now suffering.
The physical pain, however, did not deter me from going to Shangri-la to watch the Cine Europa offerings. Thanks to Friday being declared as holiday, I was able to spend the whole day watching movies. Never mind that I was painfully aware of each of the sixty nine steps from my room to the ground floor, and almost the same number of steps leading to the Magallanes terminal; I had to reach Shang in time for the movies.
And it was like a trip to Europe as I queued first for Bulgaria, then the Czech Republic, then Denmark. And never mind that in my weakened condition, I was travelling alone. I only got to meet up with fellow travelers as we closed the day with a trip to Finland.
There are 22 films to be enjoyed this season of Cine Europa, and I plan to make the most of it.
But Tuesday is again at hand and I may want to subject myself to more physical torment.
I used to be a hardcore couch potato. Depending on the show playing, I can tell you the day of the week and the time of the day. I can even tell you the ordered listing of shows to at least ten different cable channels at any given day.
But then, one day, our cable got busted and I was left with local channels on bad reception. Each hour, each day, I spent watching the local channels, I felt my brain cells shriveling up and dying one by one due to the inanities forced upon me in the guise of entertainment. I looked like I was having seizures as I couldn't stop my eyes from rolling with each improbable scenario presented as facets of everyday life. It got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore and the only choice left was to go cold turkey and pass on the tv.
Four years after and I'm not regretting my decision. We do have cable again, but the urge to watch had passed. There may be relapses from time to time, when I seat in front of the tv and just channel surf till the wee hours of the morning, but those instances are rare.
And every now and then, I am given reasons to assert my decision to give up on television.
I was at work when the hostage situation was reported by persons I follow on twitter. Powering up my browsers, I reached for the first web article I could find that showcased gist of what was going on. I read the article and left it at that. I went home that night (after a few hours overtime) and didn't even bother catching up on the news. Thus I was spared seeing the series of embarrassing decisions that led to that fatal and tragic aftermath. And I choose not to see how the police and the media are trying to pass on the blame to one another on national TV.
Right now, it is enough that I get to read the least bit of news about that terrible fiasco that I get from my timeline or as headers on my various mail accounts. I feel it a blessing that I do not have to deal with newsbreak after newsbreak of every little detail, some of it only remotely connected to the incident.
I do feel bad about the victims of this needless violence. Had there been people in complete control of the situation at the very start, so much of what happened might have been avoided. But what's done is done, all this talk of should-have-been's will not help our cause, it can only worsen the situation. What we need now is to pick up the pieces, move on, and maybe just this once, learn from our mistakes.
I used to be overly critical about my room. Not two weeks will go by that I will not have the urge to pick up broom and mop and clean my room from walls to floor. I became so obsessed with my room that I would not let anyone else even attempt to clean it; even when it seems disorganized, I know where everything was, and a different pair of hands touching my stuff would mean loosing track of where my things are.
Then my workload suddenly multiplied exponentially and I was left with little time under my domain. It didn't help as well that I kept changing rooms, or rather, Matriarch kept moving me from room to room. There even came a point that I transfered rooms thrice in the same year. I lost track of some of my stuff because of that, and my drive to clean wavered. After all, why should I exert too much effort in cleaning room when I am not even assured of my permanence in that place.
Over time the zealous urge to clean was lost, and my room became a seeming jungle of books and knick-knacks piled to one place or another with no logic or organization. The old twice a week purging was lost until it became a chore to be done only on the bluest of moons.
And today was one of those rare celestial occurrences.
The day started out lazily, but thankfully, I was able to pick up enough steam and start my erstwhile favorite activity. More than just moving dirt around, cleaning my room also involves moving the furnitures around. The purging isn't complete when I am not able to move stuff about. And therein lies the heart of my problem: my stuff are too bulky, or too large to move around. For a long time, I've been trying out in my head different permutations of how to rearrange the furnitures, but I was stuck with the old one I used to have. It did serve its purpose, but it left me with too little floor space to move about that you have no other choice but lie in the bed once inside the room. For month after month, I have been lethargic while within my domain because its arrangement left nothing else to do inside.
Finally, after months of merely thinking about it, I decided to clean, and to move my things about. And there were some...things... that gave me quite a stir. I do love our pets; they even sleep with me on the bed sometimes, but those rascals have turned the space under my bed into their personal cesspool, taking care to do their business on the farthest side, out of reach and out of sight of my previous cursory cleanings. No wonder my room smells like dog! Further cleaning also revealed a bunch of papers remnants from my old job. I confess, it gave me a certain amount of vindictive glee throwing those papers out.
Finally, I have a clean room, or at least clean enough to be comfortable with. I still have some more things to do, which will be done over the next weekends to come, but at least I have made considerable headstart today.
I'm at a seminar and I'm blogging. Hurray for multi-tasking. And thanks also to Lancaster Hotel's unsecured internet to which I am leeching to right now.
I was late for this seminar when it started yesterday due to some other reportorial stuff, and I came to the seminar room all flustered and sweaty. After I have settled, I realized that the resource speaker was familiar. I have attended one of her seminars some three years before.
And like the last time I attended her seminar, she has a thick ring-bound handout, as well as a stapled worksheet. We use the worksheets more than the handouts. And half the time she's talking about issues not included in the topic at hand. But these off-topic insights of hers make her seminars more valuable than it already is.
Her colorful and varied experience in business and the academe make for such enlightening stories, and her enthusiasm in her retelling is quite engaging that you almost wish for her to veer off-topic and talk about her experiences.
Also, she makes me want to teach.
Teaching has always been in the backburners of my mind. It is both a dream and a nightmare in my estimation, but only so because it is unfamiliar territory for me. Public speaking is not my forte. Stories about underpaid teachers also abound; I'm not ready to go hungry for a dream just yet. But the speaker is quite enthusiastic and emphatic that the dream is again resurfacing. It also helps that she's asserting the lucrativeness of the teaching profession, especially when accompanied with consultancy services.
She also makes it look easy to teach by teaching the attendees how to do research. She spends half the time instructing the class how to research using Google, because (almost) everything you need to know about anything can be found on the internet if you know how to search for it, especially powerpoint presentations for your lectures. I felt this way three years ago, but let the urge go unanswered. Then a deluge of work made me forget that notion entirely. Going to this seminar has revived that idea in my head.
My reputation precedes me, and apparently, my reputation isn't as sun-shiny as I would like to think. Shattershards shatter more than just shards, it seems. I'm unfamiliar with the topic at hand, so I will try to modify this rant through words that are familiar to me. I have always maintained that I choose not to engage in the business. It is much too cumbersome and complex, and it isn't a prerequisite to anything after all. Friends, family and officemates alike have at one time or another asked me about my business, or lack thereof. They cannot believe that at my age, I have not once tried to engage in business. I'm a non-entrepreneur since birth. Going into business isn't an easy task. You engage in it, not only for yourself, but for the public. Regulatory boards abound, and they require periodic reporting of the results of operation. The SEC requires that you report annual figures; quarterly figures, if you're publicly listed. As such, everybody would know if you're operations are favorable or unfavorable, and everybody would have an opinion as to your business endeavors. Engaging in business also increases your tax exposure. While the SEC requires quarterly reporting at most, the BIR demands that you report monthly. Whether your business is earning or is at a loss, the BIR computes for the taxes you have to pay. Remit too much and you are bound to encounter cashflow problems, remit too little and you may be accused of under-reporting or even tax evasion. Every business, at its core, is a selling business; it is a marketing engagement. The entrepreneurs attempt to market their goods to potential buyers. You can position yourself at the low end to cater to the mass market, or you can improve on quality and target a selected niche. Either way, the object is to be able to sell your goods. But I choose not to sell. It isn't a question of marketability or low product quality, it's a conscious decision not to play the market. Unfortunately, there are some with considerable capacity to buy and they insist on purchasing that which isn't for sale. They ultimately get disappointed because no transactions are intimated. Why blame the seller when there isn't any seller in the first place; when there aren't any products for sale at the start? Am I to blame for their broken engagements when there wasn't any contract to begin with? Just because there was a display doesn't mean there are items for sale.
I do not wish to hear what the rumors say about me, but my habit of knowing stuff nags at me. Thus I remind myself of this saying: Caveat Emptor.
The company has decided to finally migrate to a new accounting system to ease our financial reporting. The current system in place, though workable, is ill-equipped to handle the volume of work at hand. It is also limited in its capacity that it forces us to render manual computations to be entered into the books. Switching therefore, would be beneficial in the long run.
But migration does not happen instantly, nor does the transition run smoothly. Like all changes, you are bound to experience "birthing pains" during the transition. These are inevitable; you cannot prevent it, only prepare for it. Part of the transitions we will face include the forming of several of the staff to form part of the competence team. These employees will be pulled out of their normal works to study and create the new system that will be put in place. Starting next month, until the system goes online by December, they will eat and breathe the new system. They will build and study the new system to ensure that there are no glitches.
I envy them. Not because they will pulled out from work, but because they will learn a new system. I have always been open to new learning. I always maintain that it is my habit to know stuff, and this stuff is huge! Those competent in SAP are marketable. Very marketable.
Here now lies the dilemma: whenever people are pulled out from their current work, those who remain will have to shoulder the work left behind. I have been informally assigned the work currently done by our assistant manager. Even now, some officemates are starting to call me "manager" or "sir", pertaining to the task that will be assigned to me.
I can jive with officemates, though I'm not too close to them. I fear my new function will cause me to be ostracized from them. Even with my current function, I get to interact with the various department heads more than my peers; the new function may cause more rifts in our interaction.
I went out of the office with this perceived problem in mind. My paranoia has once again caused me to feel troubled.
And when I am troubled like this, I go to the bookstore.
Like most people, I address my problems with some retail therapy. Unlike most people, I don't shop for clothes or gadgets. I shop for books. I get a sense of calm and euphoria by being in the bookstore in the same vein that some people feel elated inside a shoe store. The smell of newly minted books in their crisp bindings provide for me a wonderful sense of contentment. The sound of pages turned excites me with their promise of new adventures to experience. The purchase of the book fills me with fulfillment I rarely feel with other activities. And wrapping it in thick plastic provides me a sense of control. I am a bibliophile and I am not ashamed.
ArchEnemy, the finale to the Looking Glass Wars trilogy, is the final installment to Frank Beddor's re-imagination of the story of Alice in Wonderland. The deck of cards and the Queen of Hearts is still there, only more sinister, and more interesting. I've never really read the original Alice story, and I fear I may not enjoy it after reading Alyss' story, but with the trilogy complete, I just might give it a try.
On a side note, I discovered I can have my book purchases wrapped in plastic at Fully Booked, although their wrapping process pale in comparison to my own. After I finish this book, I will have to redo the wrapping; I had to force myself not to cringe when I saw the attendant use scotch tape. Ugh!
Finally, I'm online again! Thanks to my friend Chance who offered to have my lappy fixed, I can once again enjoy my late night hours browsing site upon site of comic strips, manga, anime and blogs! No more waiting for sleep to come at night, now I can pass out in front of my computer as should be proper.
As I understand it, the problem was caused by one of my anti-virus programs. Apparently, it blocked my internet access in its zeal to protect me from infection. That's why none of the troubleshooting tips I was given seemed to work; It really didn't touch on the problem at hand.
Now I have my lappy back, its hard drive reformatted, my files intact, and a new arsenal of anti-virus and malware detectors to protect me from harm. No need to buy a new lappy, which is good, because I don't yet have the money for that expenditure.
For the past weeks, I've been unable to log on to the web because my lappy wont allow me. I have four web browsers on my lappy, but neither of which could connect to the net. They all tell me that I have no internet connection.
I would have left it as such; the bill may have been forgotten, so the service provider might have cut our line to remind us to pay them. Such has happened before, and, though it caused me enough distress before, I refuse to wallow over it some more.
I might have imputed it to the wi-fi router's malfunction as well. Gremlyn's hubby might have tinkered with the router and may have forgotter to inform the rest of the household of the changes to our access.
I might have accepted that we just didn't have internet access.
Except for that blue icon on my taskbar that tells me that I am connected to the internet. And the fact that I can use Yahoo messenger on my lappy without any hitch. Which leads me to conclude that my lappy, despite my having two antivirus programs installed, has contracted a virus.
Having accepted that possibility, I asked help from friends on what to do to cure lappy with its sickness. A friend came to the rescue in the form of an antivirus software and an additional spyware detecctor which I hastily tried to install on my lappy.
I say tried because my lappy wouldn't let me install it.
These new softwares, they always need to connect online before they let you allow to installl their goods onto your computer. But my problem is just that: I CAN'T connect to the internet. So no matter how good those antivirus programs might have been, i simply just can't use it.
How now do I cure my virulent preciousssss and elevate it from its current state as a glorified paperweight? I can't always steal Matriarch's or Garfield's lappy for my nightly browsing as I feel restricted with my use of it, owing to my paranoia.
I know I haven't been blogging as often as I should have, and this time, it's not for lacking of an internet connection. The internet gods have been kind lately and have afforded me with unlimited internet access whenever I avail of it, which, in my case, means every night. All that access, and I still can't draft a decent enough post! In my defense, I've been...err... busy!
And by busy, I mean I'm obsessing.
I'm not really a comic freak, but when I come accross a series I like, I tend to gorge it in like a panic-buyer before an in-coming disaster. For the past few weeks, I've been reading this comic about life in graduate school. I may not be pursuing higher education at the moment, but that doesn't mean I cannot relate to their antics nor appreciate their humor. And they are humorous!
What I find interesting though is that I'm enjoying this comic this much. The only times I get to obsess this much before was about manga, and not all manga can affect me like this, mind you.
A warning, though, the site may induce an unhealthy attack of unproductivity, so I advise you, especially these who are not well acquainted with the fine art of procrastination, to tread with caution. You might get to enjoy it too much.
After the employee orientation, which lasted half the day, the new hires were one by one introduced to the HR Manager as a formality to signify that we are now under her care. The recuitment officer then turns to me and ushers me in to her Manager's cubicle to introduce me. Leaning in to take my hand, the Manager, smiling her genial smile, utters to me: "Are you sure?"
During the application procedures, it was the HR manager who conducted the interview after the tests. She confided in me that she was finding it hard to place me on any department, further stating to the effect that I don't have the usual "accountant's personality," meaning, she didn't see me as introverted and aloof enough as the typical accountant. What she's basically saying is, she does not think that I have the fortitude and patience enough to last the job.
I don't know... do I really give off an aura that tells people that I will disappear the moment I no longer like my environment? (Don't answer that!)
I remember my interview on my past job. The accounting manager for the position I was applying for told me that she is in the process of deciding between me and another applicant for the job. A couple of weeks after that interview, and with no updates from the company, I decided to follow up on my application and was set for another interview with another accounting manager.
It turns out the first accounting manager chose the other applicant over me, fearing that had she decided to pick me over the other applicant, I might, after a while, leave the company the moment I decide that I do not like the job after all. She feared that I may not have the patience to stick with the job, siting my background and my family's means.
The second accounting manager decided to take me in her group. Eight months after that, the other applicant tendered his resignation and I ended up being laterally transfered to the other department to handle the account he left. After quite a few transfers from one account to the other, I finally decided to leave that job to rest. I lasted four years and eight months. I do believe I have enough patience and fortitude for the job.
Today, I start with my new job, after four whole months of inactivity. It's interesting to note, though, that I started on this new job on Monday, May 24, while I started on my previous job five years ago on Monday, May 23. It probably has more to do with coincidence than portents of whatever things to come.
Suffering from insomnia before an out of town trip can really cause havoc on your system, and that is just what transpired on the day of the trip. It was nearing 4am when the drowsies hit me and before I was even halfway to REM-land, I can hear knocking at my door, telling me to get up and prepare for the trip. I was in a state of half-consciousness for most of the travel to Zambales, and being situated in the middle seat with no hand rests to grasp on wasn't doing me any good. The presence of two pets didn't make matters any easier either, but at least they gave some mild distraction.
Four hours, a flat tire, and several top load repacking later, we finally reached our destination. I was mildly amused that the place we would be staying at was a stone's throw away from where my friends and I stayed while waiting for our boat from the last two times that I've been at the place.
The very same windmill that we use as our landmark now greeted me from the right side of the fence. I laugh inwardly.
Pundaquit is a nice place in itself, but the presence of the fishing village and the myriad boats along the shore does not make for a promising swim. Compared to other seaside settlements though, its waters are relatively clean and does not stink of fish. It also boasts of a good view of the island of Capones and its neighbors.
Come nightfall, there was little much to do but eat and wait for the following morning for our boat ride to Anawangin. Provided that we were thirty in the group and would surely need plenty of food to keep everybody satiated, there was still a ridiculously large quantity of seafood waiting to be consumed. Clearly, someone went overboard with the fish.
That was dinner. A similar quantity of seafood was consumed by the group during the few hours between lunch and dinner, including a yellow fin tuna that met its demise over various bottles of booze. Said booze, by the way, didn't even survive till dinner and no one had the heart to buy additional bottles which the resort was selling at more than twice the normal retail price. Which is good in a way; no one wants to care for inebriated people who can't handle their drink, especially not me.
Come morning, the group stirs to prepare for the boat ride to Anawangin. This will be my third visit to the place in three years, and I was mildly excited at the prospect of returning.
A bigger boat meant a slower ride to the Cove. It also meant better opportunities to take photos along the way.
At last, we finally made it to the cove. But this reunion was more bitter than sweet. You see, the two times that I have been to Anawangin, it was peaceful, tranquil, and every bit the paradise you are seeking away from the hustle and bustle of city living. It is that place where you can really be at peace with yourself and at one with nature, hearing the wave, listening to the wind, and smelling the clean air. With no electricity, no amenities and no cell phone signals, Anawangin provides the ultimate detox from civilization.
This is Anawangin from my memory of a year before:
This was what greeted me that day:
Ugh! Crowds! The horror! I have never been to Puerto Gallera before but this is what I pictured Gallera was: a small beach fair teeming with hoards upon hoards of people. It wasn't right that this secret cove should be this crowded!
From my two previous visits of Anawangin, there were two areas at the left most corner of the beach that was made into a camping ground, and cordoned off to make a sort of compound. Those two areas had an entrance fee, for the use of the water pump and wash rooms; the rest of the cove was free, and the free area away from the crowd is where we usually park our tents. Upon descent of the boat, a person greeted our group and promptly billed us for 50 pesos apiece. Apparently, the whole cove is now private property and they are charging visitors for use of and for the maintenance of the beach.
I don't really have problems with the fees, but had I expected there to be fees, I would have led the group to the left side of the cove, where there are ample trees to provide cover.
The other problem I had with the imposition of the fees is that the attitude of some people change for the worse when they are paying. some people find it justifiable to leave their trash everywhere just because they paid for the service and are expecting other people to clean up after them. Sure enough, all around us are evidence of people's neglect: a circle of cooking fire that was left unattended, tables full of trash, litter everywhere! What's worse is there are ample garbage receptacles scattered all around, but these lazy people do not even have the concern to use them! I even saw a table being bussed by the cove's caretakers after the wake of it's previous users. Imagine, a picnic table being bussed, what is this, a restaurant?!
To be fair, Anawangin Cove is still beautiful, I do have some shots to prove it. But at the rate things are going, two years and it will become another wasted beach, to suffer the same fate as those beaches of old from Cavite. Does anyone even remember Puerto Azul?
If you would look closely at the photo above, you would notice the presence of a backhoe parked idly at the back of the cove. This thing boded ill for me. The presence of that giant hunk of metal signaled the encroaching of civilisation against this nature paradise. What would happen to this place in the next months to come, I fear to know.