“Life breaks everyone and some are stronger in the places that broke” – Hemingway

Disclaimer: All views expressed on this blog are my own based by my experience and do not represent of any entity with which I have been, am now or will be affiliated

My why for this blog: To remind me that the simple things are the most extraordinary. To see obstacles for what they are, the ingenuity to deal them, and to have a will to endure a world beyond my control and comprehension.

April 03, 2021
Batangas, Philippines

After doing my usual meditation in the morning to start my day with intention, I was approached by my brother and asked me if I wanted to join to move to another place again. I didn’t know how to respond, I have moved thrice since moving back to the Philippines, I don’t want to move for the fourth time. I was just so tired of packing and unpacking boxes so I immediately declined the offer. It was a long talk that I had to rethink about the decision for a while and finally decided that I’d come with them. I love Manila, the city life. I have lived there for 11 years. It was filled with great memories of my university days and my hustle in life. But now, it has everything I wanted, but not everything I needed. In this time of crisis, I need my brother and my sister in law more than ever. We need each other to overcome the obstacles this pandemic has given us for a very long time. I decided to become part of their team for a while. And so my journey to the country side begins.

I have lived in Bicol for 17 years – packed with wonderful childhood memories of warmth and laughter, we drove 8 hours until we have reached Manila so we can pursue our dreams, the city dreams ;). And after working in the city, I decided to move to Singapore to be with my brother and help our family- filled with hope and faith I lived there for 5 years. And today, I can now officially say that I am a Batangas girl. I am so much looking forward to the memories and lessons this place has instore for me.

Passing through the streets of Batangas by the end of Feb 2021, I was mesmerized by the huge houses here and thought it must be hard to mop their floors especially if their floors were white. haha As days passed by, I was introduced to their famous barako coffee, belonging to variety of Liberica coffee which I drink every morning now. It is strong, bold and intense in flavor. It feels like describing my boyfriend there haha! Drinking this coffee becomes part of my morning routine. Its aroma always perk my morning up and makes me want to approach my life with a bit of optimism – I can’t believe that coffee has this effect in my life now. I also like their accent – it is so cool. Whenever I listen to how they speak Tagalog here feels like I am listening to a song haha. Their famous egg noodles which is called Lomi is so tasty! It is so filling with portions of meat, kikiam, pork liver, shallot and their soup is thick and hearty in consistency! I love their lomi and coffee! The people here are very friendly. I walk outside our home in the nature for 1 hour to be with my own thoughts, 5km everyday and I always often see them and we greet each other. This place humbles me in a lot of ways. I can’t travel that much but people here are very supportive, they fight to live each day and help each other to push through.

I haven’t explored Batangas that much because of the restrictions of the activities, we still have a lot of Covid cases in the Philippines without proper implementation from the government of how to lessen the spread of the virus. When everything becomes better, I will for sure explore their beaches – they have good scuba diving spots near our place. They have great mountains I wanted to explore as well. I am very much looking forward to getting to know this place a little better. I also want to meet other people and gain new friends too. It would be fun to have more Batangueno friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

In the midst of myriad of uncertainties, traveling to Batangas is one of the best decisions of my life – a ray of hope for me. This blog is not about hazy optimism nor to deny things that suck. I am okay to be bored and be in solitude – not being alone but being one with my own thoughts. I want to become a better person. To overcome life’s obstacles – mental, physical, emotional and perceived. Life is short and I only have so much energy. I don’t want to constantly wait and hope for something better, but I’d rather make the most of what I have right now and be grateful for it. It is in the simple things that are the most extraordinary. It’s simple. Simple but, of course, not easy.

I’d also want to end this blog to thank all the people who inspire me to keep pushing through, to find a way to transform my weakness into strengths and to become a better person. Who taught me that obstacles are actually teaching me to get where I wanted to go – carving me a path. This is for my family, Malen’s family, my boyfriend, my friends, colleagues, networks, my new work, community, the calmness, my health and my loved ones health, the food, the air that I breathe, the sun ascending from above, the nature, the moon and the stars, and to a power that’s greater than myself or anyone else.

This is only the beginning to the the many chapters of my life. It is very transformative, a rather amazing and touching feat. I am glad I made it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Love,

Maria, sometimes Niskie