First Hike Trip of 2015 : Aduan Falls

Your days are your life in miniature. So as you live your day, you live your life. – Robin Sharma


One of the intentions I set for myself this year is to spend more time with nature. I was surrounded by it in my previous job. I wake up to the howls of the monkeys. I am greeted by the chirping of the birds. I am gently caressed by the mild, cold wind blowing through my window. I am enveloped by the stillness and beauty of the hills.

When I decided to move back to the Philippines and take on a new direction (aka adventure), the setting changed. I am now surrounded by concrete, paved roads and endless honking of cars and all. I miss my life in the hills. But I was so busy last year settling in and making sense of my new surroundings that I forego seeking what I have been yearning.

This year, I told myself to have no excuse. So last Friday, I broached the idea of hiking with some colleagues at work and I got positive responses.

After asking people where the best place to go for this preliminary excursion is, plans were laid and we were ready to go.

February 7, 2015. Saturday.

I almost backed out. The pull of gravity of my bed was so strong that if my colleagues did not sleep over in my place, I would have declared a pass.

7 AM and we were off. Aduan Falls, that is the destination.

It was not that difficult to find the place. After asking several security guards and locals, we found the location. And off we hiked.


We have only taken a few steps when we all began reeling that what we are doing is such a great idea. It was a beautiful day. The sky is almost cloudless and the horizon is very clear. It was the perfect day to go to the falls.


The hike took about 1 and a half hours. The guides said it could be less. But since we were not in a hurry, we took our time to enjoy the landscape, appreciate the flowers and of course adjust to the sudden change of activity of our legs. I am used to wearing heels for the last 15 months of my life and putting on a rubber shoes and walking again on sand, rocks and water needs some getting used to.

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The gentle heat from the sun, the soothing coldness from the water and the finale of seeing Aduan falls made the trip all worth it.

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Will I do this again? Definitely.

We’re now coming up with a list of all the hike trails we have in Clark and excited to cross them off one by one before the year ends.

This year is turning out great. I love it.


Image Source : All photos are taken by the author except for the last 3 which were courtesy of JM Lorenzo.


What Did I Do Last Weekend?


“Over the course of our lives, we only get a few thousand weekends. The most successful people know better than to squander them by laying around or scrubbing the floors.” – Carolyn Cutrone in How Successful People Make The Most Of Their Weekends (link here)

After reading the book of Laura Vanderkram on “What Successful People Do On Weekends”, I was forced to evaluate how I have been spending mine and I have to say many of my Saturdays and Sundays were used mindlessly which leads me to the all time question come Sunday, “Where did my weekend go?!”

As I was in Indonesia when I encountered that book, I don’t have much liberty to plan mine as almost all weekends (and weekdays!) were spent on working. Now that I have the luxury of time, I am more than excited to implement this newfound knowledge on spending my weekends wisely.

This 2014, we have a total of 52 weekends. That is 104 Saturdays and Sundays combined discounting some bonuses from long holidays. That’s 104 days of doing something we have been planning to do if we only have the time but never get to go around. That’s 104 days of spending it just the way we want them. Bliss.

This year, I will try to post as much mindful things I did on weekends. I plan to make my days off matter and do something worthwhile. I know there will be days when I will just be a total bum and laze around but I hope they would be significantly lesser than before.

My weekends will not be full of trips, getaways or expensive entertainment. But instead I hope my weekend will be full of meaningful experiences which will give justice to these precious days.

Let’s make our Saturdays and Sundays matter.

I hope you’ll join me in this experiment of sucking the best out of life. Let’s see how much we can extract the best out of our Saturdays and Sundays.

For starters, I hope you had a great weekend.

Source: image

Salcedo Market with Alan

It was an early Saturday morning and Alan and I found ourselves in Salcedo Market. Actually, I forced Alan to come with me. Ahahahahahahaha. Thanks Babe.

credits to Alan for the photo

I have always wanted to visit this market. Friends and acquaintances say it is nice. Lots of finds like cooked food from different parts of the world, some special items made by the sellers themselves, interesting mix of people, and just the idea of a market in the Central Business District of Manila.

So there, 8:30 in the morning and we were making our rounds. It was smaller than I expected but the variety of products sold were interesting. And since we were both famished, off to the food stalls we went.

Holy cow.

It took us quite a while to decide what to eat. I think we did around 3 rounds before finally deciding which to get. Tables are set up in the middle of the rows of stalls so no hassle when it comes to feeling comfy while eating.

Reminded me of Driss and his Moroccan flag.
Tatlim, your Mom’s sweets were still way way way better than this.

The place seems to be frequented by young, old, locals and expats alike. Some probably go for breakfast, some to pick up their ingredients for their meal, or some just to see what the place can offer.

Will I go back there again? Yes, for breakfast.

Will I buy ingredients for my meal there? No way. It is too expensive.

But the experience was nice. It was a Saturday well spent.

Some more photos from that Saturday:

Me and my Turkish delights. 

credits to Alan for the photo
Yay! One happy camper. I mean two happy campers.

Salcedo Market is open every Saturday from 7 AM to 2 PM or so their website says. 🙂

Check this link: