Filler Post

I just felt compelled to type a blog entry because it’s been too long since the last time! It’s already the second month of 2019 and I still have not had any posts. I planned on sharing a lot of things before the year ended last year but I had a mild anxiety attack in the middle of December and all the way through the first two weeks of January. I am fine for now but I avoid being alone for long periods and I exercise as much as I can. Like I really make time to go to the gym, not just the short 15-minute exercises though they are really good too. I try to get long, regular sleep, and meditate on the words of God when I wake up and before I sleep. Last year’s emotional turmoil still has some effect on me as I still get easily rattled by unexpected changes but I guess that is my new normal now. I think God is teaching me to not be a control freak anymore because life would always have its twists and turns. The control freak in me just wants to know what would happen next each time and when I don’t, I get so anxious.

I’ve read through the books of Samuel and now I am in the books of Kings. I read them a chapter each time and it’s amazing how stories from the old testament, the books that are usually boring, would give me the exact message I would need for the day. I’m really grateful that my devotional life has finally improved and is now intentional and not obligatory. It’s amazing how it happened right before the anxiety attacks came. It kind of prepared me and gave me something to hold on to on days that are harder to get through.

Anyway, for now, I would also like to say that friends have helped me so much and finding a family on the island is such a huge blessing. Everytime my anxiety would come, I just try to think that I am in a growing phase and that I could only grow outside of my comfort zone. I just have to endure and this will not go on forever. I would eventually get to a place of comfort once I’ve grown as a person and then when I need to grow again, I would inevitably go through this again. It’s fine. As long as I know I God is with me, I know that I got all I need not just to survive but to thrive.


Better Pokmaru Than Pusong Bato

A friend posted a meme on Facebook about not assuming anything about a boy-girl friendship. I mean, it’s true that to avoid getting hurt, one must not assume that there is more to the nice deeds than plainly being nice. But it got me thinking, should we always guard our hearts to avoid being hurt? What would that give you? A heart that has never been hurt? A heart that cannot be hurt anymore? What’s the use of that? Should we only develop feelings for the person  who likes us back? Is that the rule?

I ask these because I’ve liked a lot of guys; for some, the feelings were mutual; for some, the timing was off; but not all of them liked me back the way I wanted them to (hashtag friendzone). I never regret liking any of them, even the unrequited ones. They are all still my friends, by the way. I always look back and smile whenever I remember how giddy I felt receiving a text from someone even though he made it clear that we are just friends or how girly I felt when a crush jokingly gave me a rose he picked up somewhere. I remember the sting I felt when a crush told me about his crush (cue Taylor Swift song…🎶she wears high heels, I wear sneakers 🎶). I mean, those things get fewer and farther in between as you get older. So if I get a teeny tiny bit of a crush right now, I relish those moments. I enjoy daydreaming of the possibilities and then laugh it off a few months after when I remember those daydreams because adulting means if something doesn’t get acted on, I would eventually forget it because adulting.

So, to conclude this not so relevant topic, it’s better to be pokmaru. Think like everything is possible, be a little less careless with your heart, allow it to be hurt. Then heal. Rinse and repeat.

Diving & Climbing

Going to Nepal last year has definitely changed me. I used to like the oceans more than the mountains. Now, I’m torn. Scuba diving is less physically tolling than mountain climbing, that’s for sure. I think it’s the beauty of it, the struggle of the climb. Also, I have lived my whole life in the tropics so last year was the first time I have ever seen glaciers or even just snow…and boy, are they beautiful!

I still love the oceans, don’t get me wrong. It’s a different kind of adventure. Breathing or holding your breath underwater, equalizing, seeing creatures up close, creatures you only see in books. It’s like a birthday surprise. You don’t know what to expect and once you see it, it’s amazing!

They are both spiritual experiences for me. In diving, you don’t get to talk to anyone. In a way, it is a form of meditation. For about 30 minutes, you are just a spectator of nature’s display. You have to be one with the ocean. Especially when you are diving in Palau where the waters are abundant with sharks, you would not want to look foreign.

In climbing mountains, the climb is also a meditation because I haven’t met anyone, no matter how strong, who keeps talking while walking all the way to the top. That would take serious effort to do! But once you get to your destination, you could mingle, you could socialize, you could talk about the things that matter or just have fun.

I saw an IGS post about a bachelorette hike. Smart women who are also strong having fun and having intelligent conversation. Wow! I wish I could have all those too.

Thoughts On Matthew Perry

I have a confession to make. I have not watched FRIENDS until last week. Ok, maybe I was able to watch 3 episodes when they were still airing and that’s it. I was not going to get hooked because the whole thing seemed to revolve around Rachel and Ross’ romance or the lack of it and Ross is not my favorite character because he’s too weak.

But then, Chandler and Monica! I am such a sucker for friends-to-lovers love stories. Plus, a strong, domineering woman and a funny, witty guy who does not have a problem with it? Come on, that is totally #goals. So, it was their fault that I got hooked; although my favorite character for laughter was Phoebe.

Honestly, after the episode where they did not get married but there was a dedication for Courteney and David who did get married, I googled who David was. I know, I am not much into Hollywood, okay? After a couple of days did I find out that they were already divorced. I still don’t own a TV as of today, mind you so don’t be too surprised.

However, I was having a FRIENDS withdrawal syndrome after I finished binge watching so I searched for some of their interviews in YouTube. I found out the Matthew never got married. I feel so sad for him. I was of course flirting with the idea that he and Courteney should be together in real life but I know it’s not going to happen (and just between you and me, I’m still hoping).

I’m pretty sure that he is fine with his life now, working on things that matter to him but still, I am hoping that he would find someone even if they get divorced later on. I mean, he is such a cool guy, he is so smart and funny! He might be a perfectionist and very idealistic that’s why it’s hard for him to maintain a relationship but he is such a good catch, I think. Okay, I am probably projecting on him but I’m right, right?

Anyway, Matthew, I hope you find someone. *flips hair, bats eyelashes*


I miss the pre-social media times. Those times when texting was enough to keep in touch. Sure, communication is cheaper now but that’s really how it’s gotten…cheap.

I remember before when I would feel giddy whenever I would receive a call or a text message that was not “sent to all.” I think I haven’t moved on from that era; which is why almost all of my friends say that I am a low maintenance friend. I rarely communicate with them unless something’s up.

I’m feeling like I’m having a sensory overload lately. I feel like unfollowing a lot of people on my Instagram but then again, this is the age of social media. When you unfollow someone, they would think you don’t like them or that you are not really friends. Yes, that’s how shallow a lot of friendships have become.

Oh well, this is just my introverted side speaking. My dominant but not at all obvious trait. Rant over. Excuse me while I google “how to filter trending posts on my IG.”

Indecision is a Decision

There are so many unknowns in the future. If you choose one, what would be the cost of foregoing the other option? If you do not choose anything at all, would you have missed the opportunity? Or if you decide on one thing, what if a better opportunity comes up?

So many unknowns, so much risks.

However, whether you like it or not, to be able to prosper, to move forward, to grow, you have to make decisions and own up to it. Make a wrong decision, make a right decision, either way, grow and learn. Make adjustments along the way. Change course in the future if necessary or if it is possible.

No matter how significant an information is, if it is no longer timely, it loses its significance.

Failing to decide is already a decision. You are deciding that you do not want what is being offered to you, you are deciding to give another person to be offered the same opportunity, you are deciding to allow the person or persons who are currently giving you an opportunity to look elsewhere. Failing to decide is deciding to thwart your progress. It means you are not willing to take the responsibility of the consequences of your decisions. It means that you would rather let another person or circumstances take control of your life.

The door of opportunity is not always open. When it closes, no matter how hard you knock on it, it might not open again. The key is taking calculated risks. Understand that you can’t win it all at once. Sometimes, you win them little by little. If you fail in one, rise, and make another decision to make things better.

I have never met a successful person who does not know how to decide.

So go ahead, decide, grow.



via Daily Prompt: Thwart

Word Vomit

So many things have been going through my mind the last couple of days. I wanted to share them because I think they’re valuable but I am a born multi-tasker. Once I sit down and think only of that specific thing, the idea just leaves and then would come back whenever I’m doing the dishes or cooking or practicing playing the piano. It is very frustrating.

I could also be writing down something and then it would just have a life of its own and the point I was originally thinking goes down the drain, never to be found again. This post is an example. I was originally thinking about decision making and men and setting goals and another thing I could not ever remember anymore. I guess I should keep my day job.

Lessons from the Himalayas

It was a random day in January 2017 when I realised that I was bored, that I need more adventures. I googled, “best place to trek” and the top result was the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. All of a sudden, I know that I needed to go there. I checked the best times to go, how much the ticket would cost, what equipments to buy.

It was not just the thrill and adventure that I was looking for. I wanted to have an adventure with God. I needed to get out of my comfort zone because our need for God becomes very tangible when we are in discomfort. I have always believed that you could only grow outside of your comfort zone. I wanted to have an intimate, unique time with God. I wanted to be closer to Him, literally…5416m closer or 17,769 ft to be exact.

I know that when one is in the midst of nature, it is easier to talk to God, to meditate. I was looking forward to that. I was expecting God to talk to me very clearly, almost like how He did with Moses in the burning bush. Spoiler alert: No burning bush. I did not get what I expected but the lessons I learned on that trip was almost like Moses’ burning bush experience. Ok, I don’t know that but maybe, at least that was how it felt like.

Altitude Sickness

One of the very common signs  or posters all around Nepal is about the AMS or Acute/Altitude Mountain Sickness, there are different kinds but the symptoms are similar. The higher you go in altitude, the thinner the oxygen. Symptoms would be dizziness, headache, nausea, in extreme cases, vomiting.

Some could go to the Everest base camp at 5700m feeling fine but would have AMS when going through the Thorong La Pass in the Annapurna Circuit. There is no specific height wherein you could get Altitude sickness.

Have you tried going up a very high place? A tall building, for example. How do the objects look like when you are up there? Do you see people? Do you hear what they are talking about? When you are at a very high altitude, you feel like you are above everything, and rightly so.

There is a person in the Bible who experienced an Altitude Sickness, *Thin Air-ogance.  He is at the peak of his success. Everything he did was successful. But one time, he is where he is not supposed to be (2Sam. 11: 1). We all know the story. He saw Bathsheba. Bathsheba was a woman, a wife, a person. David was so high up there, all he saw was something he wants to own. Uriah, the husband, the warrior, David’s faithful servant. David only saw an obstacle to his plan. He had him killed, just like that, to get his conquest, to remove the obstacle.

We may not be in the same height that David reached but we might be having the same sickness already. Do you feel like sometimes you are above other people? Do you not see the needs of others? Do you see people as tools to use for your convenience, for your own pleasure? Are you forgetting that they are humans too, they have their own needs and they can get hurt by your actions?

There is no cure for altitude sickness except going down to a comfortable level and acclimatising before going back up again. Are we showing symptoms? We might need to go back down from our mountains of power, mountains of pride, mountains of prejudice, mountains of ego.

On your pace

I did not have enough preparation climbing that level. Palau is at sea level so my body had a very difficult time adjusting to the height. My speed was average when I started the trek. When I got to Upper Pisang, I experienced symptoms of AMS so I had to stay put and acclimatise. That was already my second rest due to health condition. I realised that even if I can, I should not go fast. My body could not handle it.

Going to the Tilicho Lake, one of the world’s highest lakes, the trail was dangerous and hard. I was taking my time because I get tired too fast. While I was resting, a guy came up to me and stopped. Looked at me and asked, “Remember me?” It was my roommate in Kathmandu! He said he will catch up to me on the trail. And, wow, he actually did. I tried to keep up with his pace but it was really too fast for me, I feel like I am draining my energy faster than necessary so I told him to just go ahead because I’m really slow. I found him in the last hotel in the base camp, there are only 3 hotels there. Unfortunately, he would not be able to complete the trek because when he got to the base camp, he was already sick, most probably from exhaustion. I learned an important lesson that day. Go your own pace. Don’t mind other people. You may get to a point faster but might not be able to complete your purpose when you rush.

Everything happens for a reason. 

I had symptoms of altitude sickness in Upper Pisang, right? There are two options, going to Manang, my next stop, through the Lower Pisang or Upper Pisang. In upper Pisang, you would go to a higher route with a more magnificent view of the peaks of the Annapurna mountain. (It is what I came for).

The night that I had to rest, it snowed. It meant a possible slippery trail and the clouds would cover the peaks. The owner of the hostel where I stayed advised me to take the lower route instead. He said it would be faster and I would not be able to see the view anyway. I followed his advise.

While I was walking, I was complaining to God. Why did He make it snow? He knows that I probably would not be coming back to that place ever again and that is my only chance to see that view. I would never know now how that place looked like. I kept walking and after a while, wow, snow! I was able see real, actual snow for the first time in my life. After that, I felt better. However, the shorter distance was not so short after all. I reached a village and I thought it was my final stop. It wasn’t. I still had several kilometers to walk. When I reached the entrance of the real village I was going to, I decided to sit and take a rest. I saw a guy and a lady walking and the guy was looking at me like he recognized me. “Weren’t you the one in the restaurant the other day?” I remembered him. He was the guy who stopped by to drink and we had a little chat while I was just resting in the lodging house.

With him was a Japanese-Canadian lady who would save my life on the harder parts of the trek and who would push me to finish my trek on schedule despite my two days of delay. She taught me that I had to drink Diamox to prevent altitude sickness, when I told her that my ears hurt she told me that I have to cover my ears. She’s a real trekker so she walks a lot faster than I do so she was able to save me a room. If she was not with me, I would have to bargain to sleep in the dining area. God knows best. (Romans 8:28)

The Narrow Trail

The trail was very difficult. I was struggling. I was on my period, it was very windy, I was slow, I was tired. I was crying while I was walking. I prayed to God to make at least the wind to stop. He said no. I had to walk in a very dangerous trail while the wind was so strong. At first, I was ready to go back but I know that I would regret it if I do. I kept telling myself, “Ojhea, before this day ends, if you keep moving, you will be at the base camp.” “Of course there would be struggles, you won’t get to 4800m without a struggle. Do not expect a walk in the park.” “You chose to do this because you were dying of boredom and routine. Routine was easy, this is not a routine. This is something not everyone gets to do, not even those who go through this circuit.”

Also, the lady I was telling you about earlier was already far ahead. If I did not proceed, she would worry and wonder what happened to me. Pretty much like our Christian walk. It is not easy but the rewards are more than worth it. It is easy to go back to our old ways, easy to fall if you don’t hold fast to the truth. The wind could sweep you off your feet. The journey is long and tiring but God would not leave you without hope nor help. And someone is waiting for us at the end of the journey. (Matt. 7:13-14)

On my way back from the lake trip, I was the last on the trail. This time, there was not much wind. It was already past 3pm, and it was starting to get cold because the sun is already at the other side of the mountain. I was once again exhausted. I walk several meters and then rest. Just then, two locals were behind me. One was a guide, another a porter. A lot of people passed me already so I did not want to delay them. However, whenever I rest, they would pass me and then they would rest also. They would wait until I pass them before they start moving again. After about 30 mins of the same thing happening, I was thinking maybe they are just really tired. The guide is a bit advanced in age. Then I stopped walking, took another deep breath. The guide came close to me, probably seeing the exhaustion on my face. He just said, “Look! Bambi.” He pointed to a fawn on the mountains. They were playing, they were cute. I realized he was distracting me from my tiredness. I asked how far do we still have to go. He just kept saying, we’re close. I felt embarrassed because I was so slow. He kept assuring me that it was natural. Not everybody can cope easily with the altitude. Right then and there, I know that he was heaven sent. God may not have made the trail easier for me but he provided me with just enough that I would need. When I was last on the trail, he sent the guide to talk to me, to keep me company, to make me feel safe. Our treks, our adventures here on earth are not easy but God wants to push us higher, higher than the highest human thoughts could reach. He pushes us outside of our comfort zones because that is where the growth is. He puts us in situations that we don’t understand. We go through trails that are too narrow but even if it is so, we would be able to arrive to our destinations safely. He would give us just enough to keep us going. And He will be there, waiting for us and we would be glad that we took that journey with Him.


*from Max Lucado’s book, Facing Your Giants

Movie Insight: Joseph The Dreamer

It’s my first time to watch the movie. Thank God for Netflix! If you would read my really old posts from years ago, you would know that Joseph is my Bible inspiration because of an experience I had years ago.

I have already loved the song “You Know Better Than I” since I first heard it and watching Joseph sing it in the movie brought me back to that time when I did not understand what was going on around me, why I had to go through it. Feeling that I deserved better or at least I did not deserve how I was being treated. Nothing makes sense and the future seemed so bleak. The life I had known and built crumpled like a house of cards and I could not do anything about it.

Then I was brought somewhere else. I thought everything would go on smoothly from there. It was only for a time. Then troubles started brewing and I was almost sent home. Once again, I did not know what my future would be. I was not able to eat for a couple of days. Another redemption came.

My life now is better than it was before and everything I went through made sense. All the lessons I learned made me a better person and I even like myself better now.

Indeed, God knows better than I!

Annapurna Circuit Trekking Itinerary

Hello, everyone! I am back from Nepal since November 28. I stopped updating my blog because it has gotten so cold, I think even my brain froze when I was on the mountains. I got requests and inquiries about my trip so I’ll try my best to give as much information as I could.


Map itinerary recommendation


I drafted this entry a month ago and finally, I intend to finish it now. I guess I’ll just post the sequence of my trip so you could make your own itinerary should you decide to go. For the costs that I would be mentioning here, RP100=USD1.

I arrived in Kathmandu November 6, around 8 pm. The next day, I went around Thamel to buy some trekking gears like a daypack backpack, trekking poles, etc. Also just to go around Thamel and see what everything is like. The following day, we (me and my roommates) went to the TIMS office to get our trekking permits. It took us about an hour then we went our separate ways. I went to the Kathmandu Durbar Square, a place where temples for different gods are built. I also explored Swayambunath Temple, one of the places where the movie, Dr. Strange was shot. It has lots of monkeys and lots of stairs. I considered it my pre-climb warm up. I went back to Thamel and back to the hostel after that.

The next day, I went to the local bus station to start my trekking journey. The trip from Kathmandu to Bhulbule via local bus was RP650. The trip was almost 10 hours. I slept in Bhulbule, in the Everest Lodging house. Cost of accommodation is RP100 plus the food and water. After that, I basically followed the map recommendation. Except for the Day 8 because I went to Upper Pisang after Chame. Best.Decision.Ever.

The view at Upper Pisang

It snowed the night before I left Upper Pisang and I was advised by the lodge owner to go to Manang via the Lower Pisang route. It is the shorter and easier route. I had an altitude sickness the day before so I decided not to risk it and follow his advise. If you are healthy enough though, the views are better on the higher route, go to Gangapurna and Ngawal.

Acclimatization Trek in Manang

From Manang, we (I did not hike alone from here) did a side trip to the Tilicho Lake. I swear, it is the highlight of the whole Annapurna Circuit! You have to do it. If you can walk fast enough, you would only add a day to your itinerary. Without the sidetrip, the usual would be Manang to Ledar then Ledar to Thorong Phedi the next day. With the sidetrip, you could do Manang to Tilicho Basecamp. The next, Tilicho Basecamp to Tilicho Lake in the morning. Stay on Tilicho Lake for viewpoint for about an hour to acclimatize. Then Tilicho Lake to Shree Karkha in the afternoon and then Shree Karkha to Thorong Phedi the next day. So worth it, I swear!


From Thorong Phedi, you would have to cross the Thorong La Pass (5416m), the highest point in the circuit. When you are about halfway, look back to the camp. Look around you. That would be the best view you will ever see that day.

The Thorong Phedi-Thorong La-Muktinath walk took me about 11 hours to complete. That’s the reason why guides would insist to their clients that they start around 4 am or even as early as 3 am. You would not want to be walking in the dark. Getting to the pass, a thousand-meter ascent from the camp, is just literally half the journey. Going down to Muktinath is just as long and strenuous.

Trail going to Muktinath

I did not do the full circuit as I did not have enough time. I slept in Muktinath then I rode the jeep to Jomsom. There were seven of us in the jeep and we split the RP5000 cost between us.

The beautiful river in Jomsom

From Jomsom, there’s a bus to Beni. If there were more people and if it was earlier, some buses would have gone straight to Pokhara. It was already late though so we had to ride a taxi from Beni to Pokhara.

The costs would be around RP1000-1500 per day until Chame. It goes up to around RP2000-RP3000 per day after that and a little bit more in the Thorong Phedi because there are only two lodging houses there and another one at the High Camp, another hour walk with probably 200m more elevation. After the Thorong La Pass, the costs would start going down again.

I was told that I am not the best story teller so this is so much effort for me. I hope you guys appreciate it. Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow ’til you find your dream. So original.