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Soul Surfers in Baler: Warming Up

They say people get emotional when their birthdays are coming near. Last year, it was proven to me. I was depressed. My goals were blurry. My people were busy. And I can’t seem to feel my worth. I hid it. Because I am supposed to be Mr. Optimistic and I should chase silver linings. Maybe it was about work. Maybe it was about relationship. Whatever it was, I needed to breathe.

It was November and my travel squad was planning to go on another adventure. No matter how busy my schedule was, and no matter how broke I was, I said go. That was exactly what I needed.

It was Mark who usually organize such trips. He contacted several travel agencies and looked for the best bidder. And it was 8 Wonders Travel which was picked. I left the negotiation to them since I am never good with bargaining. At least, what ever happens to us, it will be Mark’s burden. Haha.

Fast forward to the trip proper, we were picked up by a private service at Eastwood Libis since most of the travel buddies were working there. The road trip started at exactly 1:00 AM. Most of us just slept through the trip since we were all from office work.

It was 7:00 AM when we reached our first stop: the giant Balete Tree at Brgy. Quirino. My friends who have been here before told me that I should try going inside the tree. Unfortunately, it was raining when we arrived so the tree was wet and the land was muddy. So our first stop somehow just became a restroom break / merienda break.

1 Balete Tree
It was unfortunate that I wasn’t able to experience becoming Bran or the Three-Eyed Raven.

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Bowling in the Deep


People close to me must already know that I am not the athletic type of person. Physical Education (PE) was torture for me. I’d rather sit in a classroom and listen to an hour-long lecture than get all sweaty and tired in jogging pants. But of course, everyone was required.

One of the PE subjects I have taken was Duckpin Bowling. I think it was five years ago, in the now burnt bowling alleys of Fonacier Hall or the Alumni Center. My scores back then were just average, I think around 70-80. And if I remember it right, I once scored 110. Beat that! Well, somebody really beat that. Fame whore. Haha.

In the coming month, a sports fest will be held for the employees of the Valenzuela City Hall. Each department will compete with one another in the games of basketball, volleyball and… duckpin bowling. I have heard that our department will be conducting a tryout. Usually, I will just be passive regarding such matters. I’m not athletic nor competitive you know. I don’t know whose spirit possessed me that time. I joined the elimination round for duckpin bowling.

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