The Day The Music Died

Disclaimer: This poem is not about my married life but somehow, I can relate to this poem as I experienced being ghosted in my younger years.

The most thrilling stage of courtship is when somebody tries to save a woman from a problematic relationship. Like, I became the center of his universe, his oxygen and life support all at the same time while lovebombing me. The attention that he gave me was just over the top. Before I knew it, I was already drowning in his sea of love madness. The comparison between the prospect and the present relationship soon became lightyears in difference. This comparison resulted to seeing a possible future with the prospect and leaving the old wounded past behind. Months after accepting the new relationship, I saw familiar patterns in the tug of love game. His excitement started to decrease. I was just one of his conquers and I fell for the trap. Confused, I asked him what was wrong and if there was anything that we could do to bring back the warmth in our relationship. Of course, it was like bargaining my happiness every now and then instead of just walking away with pride. When the ghosting happened, I managed to ask him later on why he did what he did when we started so in love. He could not answer and left me wondering if it was my fault or not. (Cut me some slack, I was young at that time)

Now that I am older and wiser, I realize that we should let people go if they want to go and never ask them to stay. So yes, this poem is probably an old version of me.

From NLEX to Pico De Loro

Weeks before our Pico De Loro trip, I was googling how to get there from Nlex but I didn’t find anything detailed. Anyway, we took our chance and got help from some friends’ advice and Waze.

Take note that the entry in Skyway Nlex is next to Smart Connect but just in case you miss it, go straight to A. Bonifacio Avenue and enter the ramp in the right lane.

Skyway uses the Autosweep RFID. If your vehicle does not have it yet, there are available installation booths in the left lane. The maximum driving speed is 60 kph.

You can enjoy the scenic view of the city with the high-rise buildings while driving. Don’t get too amused because before you knew it, you need to take the NAIAX exit to get to Cavitex. (Please take note that you would need to take the NAIAX entrance when going back to Nlex.) Cavitex uses the Easytrip RFID.

You will pass by the Cavite towns of Imus, Kawit, General Trias, Tanza, Naic and Maragondon on your way to Nasugbu, Batangas. The Kaybiang Tunnel is a famous selfie spot in Maragondon and to avoid accidents in the area, they decided to put some barricades at the entrance and exit points.

After the Kaybiang Tunnel, you will see a Y-shaped road. Turn left and go straight ahead. When you see the Puerto Azul resort on the right corner of the road, you’re on the right road. You can use Puerto Azul as a point of reference on Waze as well.

Make sure that your car is well-conditioned and that you are skillful enough to drive on a zigzag road. The road is not as steep as in Benguet so if you’re used to driving on roads like that, this should be easy peasy for you.

There are some view decks along the way where you can see the seas. There are affordable small resorts near the view deck that offers accommodation, too.

If you are not in a hurry, you can go straight to the flea market in Looc to buy something to cook in case you’re staying in a condo unit. The flea market is located on the left side of the road. The nearest landmark is the Papaya Beach Resort before the flea market.

In Pico De Loro, you need to go to the registration area. Prepare your IDs, vaccination card, and payment. They will issue a badge that you need to wear while you’re inside the Pico De Loro.

Check-in time for condo air BNB is 2:00 PM and check-out time is noon the following day. You can also check-in to the Pico Sands Hotel in case you want a hotel vibe.

We stayed in Jacaba B and I liked it there because the set-up felt like home. The disadvantage is the units there are not soundproof so there’s a chance that you’ll hear the noise in the corridor.

The covered parking is reserved for the members only. You can either use the open parking across the road or the parking space within the front yard of the condo.

There is a shuttle service that arrives per pick-up and drop-off point every 5 minutes. But if you prefer a leisure walk, you can walk and take advantage of the fresh air.

The Pico Restaurant only accepts an order for lunch at noon. We wanted to secure our spot so we ordered pizza while waiting for 12:00 PM. Expect that the food, drinks, and dessert are pricey. We had our lunch there for the experience and cooked our succeeding meals later on. One thing that we noticed is the quality of seafood that they sell in the flea market, they’re fresh and tasty!

I read that bringing food to the beach area is prohibited and that must be the reason why there was no litter around. The following day, I was disappointed to see a lot of thrash from beer-in-can to junk food wrappers. Good thing, they assigned somebody to clean the area. But as responsible tourists or travelers, it is our responsibility to keep the area clean and treat the place as our second home.

The beach was clear when we went there on our first day of stay when fewer guests were swimming. On our second day, the water looked murky so we decided to swim in the Country Club instead.

A staff is assigned to get rid of anything floating on the water like leaves. He does it in the morning before anybody uses the swimming pools. They are strict on the proper swimming attire so if you are not wearing one, you can go to the beach instead.

There’s a big lagoon that is home to schools of fish in the middle of the establishments. Swimming in the lagoon is strictly prohibited.

Generally, we enjoyed our short stay in Pico De Loro. We needed some time out from our daily hustles and quality time as a family. We did not expect too much from the resort and we focused on the beautiful experience instead of the hassles.

Changes

I am currently browsing through my old blog entries. I realize that so much has changed in me through the years. I used to be an emotional person. The years of challenges managed to harden me. Of course, I still have my vulnerabilities. Bad jokes no longer affect me in the same way that I stopped cracking demeaning jokes on someone. I no longer feel the pressure of proving myself to anyone. I let go of toxic people who have nothing good to offer to me or anyone. But I became more loyal to friends and family. I have passed the stage of trying to be cool and relevant. Because being cool and relevant do not require any effort. I stopped thinking about what other people would say. I started thinking about what do I think of these people? I no longer tolerate bullshits and the like— if you see me playing around, take it as a clue that I know your intentions toward me. I now take a compliment as it is and no longer deny myself of it. Nevertheless, it’s no big deal as it was twenty years ago. I have learned to accept criticisms both constructive and not.

People grow in different places and paces. Life is a never-ending learning process. So yes, I’m not gonna delete my old cringe-worthy posts. I am learning from my own mistakes each day.

My HSBC Credit Card Was Compromised

I received my HSBC card replacement yesterday. I did not expect that they would send the replacement card in a span of three days as the normal turnaround would have been 10-19 banking days.

I realized that my card was compromised when I saw the text message about the OTP that I needed to provide to push through with the transaction. It was early morning when I read it so I called the customer service right away. He verified that there was an attempted transaction that failed because of the need to provide the OTP but unfortunately, an earlier transaction was successful.

He provided me the merchant’s name, it was an organization that’s based abroad. In the end, he suggested blocking the card and advised me to file a dispute.

The only physical store where I use my card is this mall where I buy groceries. In terms of online payment, I use my card to pay for our electric bill. I requested for a CCTV viewing access to the mall to check if there’s anything suspicious at the time when I was doing my payment. Unfortunately, the mall stopped replying to my messages when I insisted for a CCTV viewing access. I’m not saying that the cashier had something to do with it; I just want to be objective and know the answer. Because if it’s not them, then maybe it’s the online payment.

It’s good that I receive text notifications for purchases that are PhP3000 and above. Otherwise, I would risk being robbed of larger amounts without me knowing until my next billing statement. Looking back, I realize that I made the correct decision when I asked HSBC to decrease my credit limit from 6-digit to a manageable 5-digit. Credit card dispute and fraud investigation takes time, I don’t want to stress myself into that.

The lessons that I learned are these: cover the CVV for physical transaction and clear the cache for the online transaction. My friend suggested adding an online credit card account but I have yet to explore it with my credit card company if that’s possible.

730 Days Without You

It has been 730 days without you.
But I still feel as if you were around us.
There are days when I’m waiting for your messages or calls.
I think about you asking me about how my day goes.

We had a lot of misunderstandings when I was younger.
But things got better as we both grew older.
In fact, I dreamed of taking care of you in your old age.
A duplicate of the dream that I had for my mother.

The onset of the pandemic was emotionally draining.
As usual, I preferred to keep my thoughts and everything.
Had I known that that week would be our last conversation.
I would have stayed all night with you until the point of exhaustion.

Your life was something that a few would understand.
The idiosyncrasies, the beliefs, the failures, and success.
Perhaps that was the reason why you had foes and friends.
And you found an ally in me as you knew I’d be on your side.

Oh, how I wish you were here, Papa, to know that I’m better now.
‘Cause the last time that we talked, it was about uncertainties and fear.
Your messages are still here, I read them when I’m missing you.
You are gone but not forgotten I know that you know that, too.