badian: part 1 (the emo version)

as famous as badian and its waterfalls is, i’ve only been there once. and i was probably about 5 or 6 years old so i don’t know if that counts, considering that the only clear memory i have of that trip was that i threw up during the drive. everything else is blurry. although i do remember how visitors used to submerge cases of coke in the water to make them ice-cold. apart from that, nothing.

for whatever lack of memory i have of that place, jeff more than makes up for it.

he grew up there.

so yeah, i am writing this post on his behalf.


badian is about 2-3 hours’ drive away from the city, depending on how hard you hit the gas pedal. like the southeast coast of cebu, it also comes with its own beautiful scenery worthy of suddenly pushing down the brakes for those impromptu roadside photo shoots — be it against a backdrop of mountains or beaches or cliffs. whatever moves you.

jeff basically slept during the whole entire drive. (poor guy just flew in the day before.)

now, when i think of badian, i immediately think of the waterfalls. i think of it as a tourist spot. you drive down there, enjoy the place, leave. a mere visitor whose emotional attachment only goes as deep as the pictures you took on your phone.

badian, cebubadian, cebu

but for jeff, it’s different. i can imagine what it must be like for him, as i try to put myself in his shoes. badian isn’t just some getaway place.

it’s his home. probably as much as australia is.

going there every time he gets the chance must be like some form of a homecoming for him. by default, the memories automatically come flooding in.

badian, cebu

it’s nice when he tells me what his childhood was like there. i feel privileged to be given such personal information. jeff’s version of heart-to-heart talks. i take whatever he willingly gives. listening to him share bits and pieces of his life one jigsaw puzzle at a time. i love jigsaw puzzles.

flying his quadcopter on the basketball court on that particularly hot summer day, he mentioned about how he once danced a traditional filipino dance for a school activity right there on the court, awkwardly demonstrating some of the dance moves which got me laughing simply because he looked so silly it was almost cute.

badian, cebu

once in a while, he’d get quiet. and i’d respect his silence because i know he’s traveled back in time. back to his much younger self.

badian, cebu

a sacred place only he himself has access to. reminiscing about the past for all the happiness and sadness it gave him. summed up into the person he is now.

badian, cebu

pointing beyond the bridge into a horizon i can’t really see, he said,” look boo, that’s where the river meets the sea.”

so no, he doesn’t think waterfalls when he hears the name badian.

he thinks of childhood spent running up and down those mountains. fetching water early in the morning before going to school. dreaming about a better life.

lola marcosa

most of all, he thinks of his grandma.

i know. because every time he talks about badian, his lola marcosa is always in the picture.

cebu, through his eyes

i’m currently editing some pictures for a new post when i stumbled upon jeff’s photos. photos that he took of cebu. just random shit that might have caught his fancy at the time.

random shit that’s making me look at cebu in a totally different light now. looking at my own city as if for the first time.

it makes me feel… i don’t know. i’m still in the process of, um, processing my emotions. this might take a while.

i mean, don’t get me wrong. i love cebu. i’m a true-blue cebuano to the core. i grew up here. she practically raised me and i’m proud of that. i think cebu’s got all these really great attractions going on which is something i’ve been trying to promote on this blog too.

but, you know, on the other side of the spectrum, there’s this:


and i’m like, “why haven’t i seen these before?”

i mean, actually see them. is it because i’m so used to it that everything just slipped from my notice?

or worse, have i simply, numbly stopped caring?

frankston beach

frankston beach

like i said before, frankston beach is about 20 minutes’ drive from where we live so it’s usually one of our go-to places when we feel like hitting the beach. guessing from the number of people who take comfort in its sandy shore and just the mere pleasure of watching the waves roll in; or the cool breeze on those insufferably warm summer days, i say it’s one of the local favorites.

frankston beachfrankston beach

and who can blame them? the pier makes for a romantic stroll whatever the season — even when the temperature cools down to just about freezing.

the very first time jeff took me there, we saw this old couple kissing on one of the benches on the pier like they were on a date. it was the sweetest thing ever! (or “evuh!” as jeff says it in his endearing aussie accent while i struggle with my die-hard bisaya accent. lol.)

seriously, it was sooo touching that jeff cried. okay, teary-eyed. because he doesn’t want me spreading “rumors” around about how sukilala he can get. but off the record, and i’m saying this in a whisper: he also cried when that lady who happened to be the wife of the owner of broadway pizza at doveton sang opera in australia’s got talent. sshh… (lol. hi, jeff!)

but in all fairness, it was indeed the kind of moment that tugs at your heartstrings. if you have one. i mean, that was the real deal right there. they were like nicholas sparks’ characters in the flesh! looking at them, it made me wish to have something, and someone, like that when i’m old and gray. because at the end of the day, who doesn’t want the kind of love that has been filtered pure through the years? i know i do. (jeez. what is this, “the notebook?!” far out.)

snapping out of the emo-ness right now. back to regular programming:

frankston beachfrankston beachfrankston beach

there are a lot of things you can do at frankston beach. whatever suits your fancy that is, of course, within the boundaries of law. this little girl looked so cute, sitting there patiently waiting for her catch. her mermaid hair glinting against the last rays of the setting sun.

frankston beach

i, personally, like frankston beach for its trees. because they’re perfect for hanging the hammock i gave jeff on christmas. gives me time to read or just chill under the shade while he’s out there flying his quad.

oh, and speaking of sunsets…

frankston beach

hook, line, and sinker

the road trips were my favorite. always has been. for some reason, they calmed me.

he calmed me. with juicy stories about his past or just about any random shit that came to his mind while maneuvering through melbourne traffic.

i remember sitting on the passenger seat held hostage by the seat belt and his words. he had a way with words. still does. his animated way of talking fascinated the stoic in me while i quietly sat there digesting his energy. politely asking questions if i felt the need to.

i rarely talked about myself.

he thought i was very strict. i told him it was part of my mystique. that cracked him up.

frankston beachfrankston beachfrankston beach

whatever strategy he did to get me to come out of my shell, it worked.

it could’ve been the playful verbal sparring sent back and forth through cryptic text messages which kept me on my toes, sharpening my wit and my vocabulary while almost giving me carpal tunnel syndrome.

it could have been the interesting conversations we had during dinners.

or perhaps, considering my 6-week ham and cheese sandwich diet, it could’ve been just those dinners alone. like that really delicious one we had at frankston where he voluntarily broke his strict vegetarian diet and ate fish with me. for me. silently gagging the whole time. lol. poor thing. (i’m talking about the fish. haha.)

frankston beach

but one of the reasons that drew me to him? he can get really crazy sometimes. like, spontaneously crazy. and the best part is, he doesn’t care.

like when he suddenly took off his shirt and blinded me with his, um, belt buckle. that was crazy.

although thinking about it now, that must have been the strategy that hooked me right in. bad jeffy! lol.

frankston beach


national gallery of victoria

national gallery of victoria

first off, a bit of an introduction from wikipedia because, once again, i can’t be bothered summarizing every little detail about this place:

the national gallery of victoria, popularly known as the NGV, is an art museum in melbourne, australia. founded in 1861, it is the oldest public art museum in australia.

having said that, one can automatically assume that this is where all the artists and art enthusiasts go. jeff and i basically stumbled our way in.

something awesome came out of that experience, though: we can now rightfully add the words worldly and sophisticated to our resume, on account of us chillin’ at art museums hungry. because, you know, that’s just how we roll.

that’s not to say that i didn’t enjoy that little trip. and by “little,” i mean two hours, because the place is huge! plus, they had several exhibits going on that you kind of lose track of time before you start wondering, “will this ever end?”

national gallery of victoria

even before we walked in, art was everywhere outside — from the piano jeff played convincingly even though he doesn’t know how… to that really cool water installation i would love to get for our home, at the risk of damaging jeff’s beloved bamboo floors, or short-circuiting his precious electrical outlets.

national gallery of victoria

inside was something else. looking up, i was amazed by the beauty of the colored splinters of the great hall, one of the largest glass ceilings in the world created by australian painter leonard french from 1965 to 1970. apparently, the dude wasn’t really into glass art so he had to learn the ropes in the process of undertaking such huge project, cutting himself so often he was quoted to have said, “it was a lot of bloody hard work.”

truth be told, i only knew about all that today. but it’s so interesting you might as well read the whole article yourself.

the rest of the exhibits were like…

national gallery of victorianational gallery of victorianational gallery of victorianational gallery of victorianational gallery of victorianational gallery of victorianational gallery of victoria

if you’re a hardcore art fan deadly curious about the meaning of the melbourne now exhibition we visited, head over to this site. it’ll give you a blow-by-blow account of all the intellectual and creative stuff that went down in there.

because, like i said, we just stumbled our way in.

shooting 101


it wasn’t the first time. my dad had already taken my sister and me to a shooting range before. the first time, i sucked at it. the second time, yesterday, wasn’t exactly any better.

although i did kind of improve during the last few rounds. kind of.


first of all, not only were my hands a little bit too small to hold a .45 without losing control of the steadiness of my grip that the bullets tended to swerve to the left side of the target, but my posture wasn’t exactly the ideal one either. the way i stood, i was always in danger of toppling over backwards — either from recoil, or simply from a small gust of wind. lol. apparently, keeping your back straight doesn’t exactly work in your favor when it comes to shooting. when the instructor reminded me to stoop down a bit, it always felt awkward. uncomfortable, even.

i know, i know. excuses.


but if there’s one thing i give myself credit for, though, is that i was relentless at really nailing those alpha shots. even if it meant arm fatigue after doing one round after another after another. which i did. eventually.

i mean, not to brag but i was able to hit bull’s eye with the water bottle cap taped on the target board. a water bottle cap! alpha shots all around it. okay, wiping the smirk off my face now. lucky shots or not, it was kind of rewarding to see some progress considering my effort.

but my most favorite part about shooting?

it’s those seconds that seem to stop right between aiming and pulling the trigger. that silence in your head where you’re concentrating really hard you’re not thinking anymore. just that silence. weird. or maybe it’s just because i think way too much that not having to think is a novelty to me. a reprieve.

but enough about that. i’m starting to sound morbid. even to myself.


my dad, on the other hand, was all about form. he wanted to look good in the pictures like them action stars so he can send the photos to my mom. lol. he’s really funny like that. i have such a cool dad.

el2 and her boyfriend did really well too. kyle did exceptionally well, in fact. but i don’t have pictures of them here so…

kind of like pandora’s box. but in a good way.


i have yet to introduce my other niece, adi, who my dad reckons looks exactly like me when i was a kid. the upgraded version of me. i can’t really say we look alike so i dug up ancient pictures of me for reference.

i still don’t see any similarities.

the problem with digging through old stuff is that you come across, well, old stuff that makes you go “awww…”


like that picture of me and my humongous eyes during my baptism and unrecalled birthdays with cakes bigger than my head, as well as the random photos taken by my parents for posterity.

and then there was that time my mom dressed me up in this red costume to represent finland for a school activity. to be honest, i looked more like little red riding hood than one of those finnish girls. (don’t tell my mom i said that. i believe she designed that dress. and to some extent, sewed it too. she did an amazing job. i looked just about ready to run away from the big bad wolf. lol. i love my mom so much, though, so it’s cool.)


i found several photos of may-ann too. my older sister. in some pictures, she kind of looks like aeva. she used to have curly hair but then it straightened out when she grew up, for some reason.

she’s a wonderful sister. takes really good care of us. (*cough* urban decay naked palette. lol. HI, AN!) i love her so much. i don’t know if she knows but i look up to her in so many ways. when i become a mom someday, i wanna be like her. or at least try. because she’s one of those moms that i truly admire. =)


among the three of us, el-el’s the most adventurous. she makes me do things i normally wouldn’t do. she makes me wanna risk chipping my nail polish. i know i’ve mentioned this a million times already, but she also made me go cliff-climbing. that was, by far, the most adventurous thing i ever did in my life that bordered on suicide. until now, it still surprises me how i managed to survive that ordeal in one piece. (my favorite converse shoes didn’t.)

i love my big little sister so much too. so much that i agreed to proofread her thesis which she will be submitting this week. i already started editing it this afternoon. it gave me a headache. i’m not even halfway through her paper yet. i still have 35 pages to go. one nasty migraine coming right up!