The Wall Climbing Definition of Terms

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
ac·ro·pho·bia
\ˌa-krə-ˈfō-bē-ə\
noun
: abnormal dread of being in a high place
: fear of heights

According to my mind that was struggling to think of what to do next while my hands and feet were hanging on small protruding rocks on the wall:

stu·pid
\ˈstü-pəd, ˈstyü-\
you

: someone (like you) who is clearly afraid of heights but still does something like wall climbing
: someone (like you) who does crazy things and calls them adventure

According to my heart that continued to pound in my chest unsure if it was fear or exhilaration or both:

ad·ven·ture
\əd-ˈven-chər\
life
: what this life is or should be all about
: something that should not be missed just because of irrational fears

Life Lessons in a Role Playing Game

As more and more people are becoming interested in going out and exploring new things, a lot of fun, exciting, and unique activities are sprouting throughout Metro Manila. And just last Thursday, I got to experience Mystery Manila! As mentioned in its website, Mystery Manila is “the first live role playing game in the Philippines.” It has 3 branches so far and has different “mysteries” for anyone willing to try out their wits and challenge themselves. What you have to do is form a group of 2 to 6 members and choose a challenge. You’ll be given 60 minutes to solve the mystery. If you feel stuck, you could always ask for clues from the gamekeeper. However, every clue means an additional 5 minutes to the time you finished the challenge. There is a leaderboard outside that displays the fastest times each challenge was solved. Special prizes also await you depending on the amount of time you finish. But even without the prize, just being able to solve the mystery automatically gives you bragging rights.

We chose the Reversed Reality challenge in Libis, Quezon City and here’s a few things I learned while doing the challenge:

1. It’s okay to feel lost.
You won’t know where to start. You try to figure things out as much as you can with time pressuring you to do it faster. It’s okay to feel lost and confused. Things won’t always make sense especially if you’re in a new environment.

2. You can always ask for help.
There will be times when no matter what you do, you just remain stuck. Intead of being disappointed at the fact that you can’t figure things out, accept that you need help and ask for it. You’ll be able to move much more purposefully after that.

3. You will look and seem foolish. And it’s perfectly okay.
You are not expected to know everything. Ask questions. Yes, even those that sound stupid in your head. With so many things to consider, there is always something you are bound to miss.

4. Do your part.
When you’re in a group with so many brilliant people,it is easy to lay low and let them do all the work. However, you are forgetting that you have your own unique set of skills. You may even be considered the best in the group in some aspects of the challenge. Never be afraid to step up.

5. Have fun!
People’s expectations of you could sometimes have a crippling effect. “You’re supposed to be intelligent, right? This should be a piece of cake!” This kind of thinking puts too much pressure on you and gets in the way of having fun. Those expectations don’t matter. There are so many dimensions of your abilities that people will never understand. You’re in a game! And games are supposed to be fun.

Given that I have thought about all of these while solving the mystery with my friends, you may been able to conclude as well that my Mystery Manila experience has been a mix of extreme exhilaration and deep introspection.

And if you’re wondering if we solved the mystery:

image

Do Something That Scares You

Sandbox-Pampanga-aerial-walk-2.JPG

What have I gotten myself into?!?

There I was, a few feet up in the air, balancing myself on a long metal cable tied between two wooden posts while supporting myself using ropes hanging from above. My heart was pounding. My knees were trembling. And my mind was tired from all the questions on constant repeat in my head.

What was I thinking? Why did I ever decide to go on an obstacle course high up in the air when I was clearly afraid of heights?

Why did I ever feel the need to conquer my fears? Why does anyone?

I had to silence my thoughts if I were to survive successfully finish the course. I tried to keep calm and keep moving. Luckily, the last parts of the course were ziplines down. They were as scary but at least I didn’t have to do anything after the initial jump. After finishing the course, all the color returning to my face, and the blood returning to my brain, I was relieved. And I was ecstatic. That was a lot of fun! Scary but a lot of fun.

My mind finally went back to rational thinking. Our fears are there for a reason. They keep us from doing something dangerous. But too much of anything is bad. And more often than not, most fears are acquired from the people and experiences around us even if they have no merit to be in our own lives. That was how it was for me. I had a lot of fears that did not come from any significant past event. So, why do I try to conquer my fears? To be able to distinguish those that I really should be scared of and those that I shouldn’t.

If you are anything like me, just plain fearful of a lot of things, you should give Sandbox in Porac, Pampanga (or any similar adventure) a try. If you really commit to push through them, your fears would be able to help it and take a step back.

The Aerial Walk, Giant Swing, and the Zipline are great adventures to try. And while you are there, it would be fun to try the outdoor archery as well.

Places You Shouldn’t Miss When in Hong Kong

For the past three years, I have been seeking for an extraordinary celebration for each of my birthdays. Two years ago, my officemates and I went to the streets of Baguio City and took part in the grand Panagbenga Festival. Last year, I had fun and a lot of games in my very own McDonald’s kiddie party. I even had a mascot as a special guest. For the last one, I took off with my sister and my college friends to Hong Kong. It was a 6-day trip that added a lot to the list of amazing places that I am grateful to have visited. Here are some of them:

Victoria Harbour

A walk along Victoria Harbour is a sure treat. You’ll get to see breathtaking views, cool art, and a beautiful display of dancing lights and upbeat sounds. Make sure to visit this place both in the morning and at night.

 

Nan Lian Garden

In the midst of a busy and fast-paced city life, Nan Lian Garden provides a refreshing escape. Take your sweet time in exploring the innocence of the place, enjoying the calm and relaxed aura, and taking everything in.

 

Hong Kong Disneyland

When they say it is going to be magical, they really mean MAGICAL! I spent almost the entire day of my birthday here and it was awesome! It was so magical that it deserved a separate post.

 

Ocean Park Hong Kong

We almost let go of going to Ocean Park since we have already been to Disneyland but I am really glad we didn’t. It provides an entirely different but equally awesome experience. The rides were more thrilling and were more fit for adults. However, the kids and the kids-at-heart would find themselves amazed at all the cool (and sometimes weird) animals.

 

Macau

Technically, Macau is an entirely separate place but it is worth the ferry ride. It boasts of an extremely rich culture that would be felt a few steps in. It has so many hidden gems to be discovered. And did I mention there are plenty of casinos here? It would be best to schedule at least one whole day to fully explore this incredible place.

A Trip Worth Taking

There is much grandeur associated in being able to travel to another country. You research, plan and ensure that you visit all the beautiful places that fit your interests. Whether those places truly are worth visiting or there is some added hype in being in a faraway place, travelers must admit that there are still places left back home that are comparable or are even more incredible than tourist spots abroad.

As a proud inhabjitant of the Philippines, I make sure to include in my travel list some places in my home country. One such place brimming with stunning views is Antipolo City. Being just more than an hour away from Metro Manila, it is often taken for granted. One Saturday afternoon, I took off with some friends to visit a few places in the nearby city. And was I surprised to discover much beauty and innocence in the place.

First stop was the famed Hinulugang Taktak. It has been a well-known tourist spot and my friends and I found ourselves a bit ashamed that we haven’t visited sooner. The entrance was free and we enjoyed the peaceful scenery.

 

The next stop was the Pinto Art Museum. This place has a 180 PhP entrance fee per person but one step inside immediately told me that it was worth every cent. I am even at a loss for words that could describe how I felt about the place. It was an escape, a wonder, an inspiration, and a form of the most free expression all at the same time.

 

We also would not leave Antipolo without visiting Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. We have this belief that one could make a wish when one visits a church for the first time. And I take that opportunity everytime.

Last stop was dinner, of course. We ate at Café Lupe Grill and Restaurant along Sumulong Highway with a stunning view of Manila. The food was good. The price was reasonable. The waiter was funny. The view of the sunset allowed us to witness a magnificent end to a magnificent day.

 

With four places checked in our list for a halfday trip, it has been a trip definitely worth taking. Although, we still have to come back as we have barely scratched the surface when it comes to the wonderful places to experience in that lovely city.

10 Reasons to Celebrate Your Birthday in Disneyland

Age has always just been a number to represent the number of years I have existed. It has never been something that dictated the way I should act or the level of maturity I should have. In my heart, I am and will always be a kid. I play. I run around. I am in constant awe of the beauty in the world. I chase after every adventure as if it were a butterfly in a wide field of tall grass.

So, I opted to celebrate my 29th birthday in Hong Kong Disneyland. And it was the most magical birthday ever. Here are 10 reasons why:

1. The magic starts even before you arrive. The train ride to Disneyland ensures that you know exactly where you are going with the Mickey Mouse windows and handles.

 

2. By the time you arrive, you would have felt your heart bursting in your chest with the excitement of it all. The aura right after you have arrived is just filled with pure exhilaration and bliss. You feel it and you know the people around you feel it.

 

3. Every area you step into is surreal. You would not be able to believe what you see. You might even need to slap yourself to make sure you are not dreaming.

 

4. The food are too cute to eat. Mickey Mouse and Disney-themed food and snacks are everywhere! It would be too difficult not to play with your food.

 

5. The mere sight of all the merchandise and souvenirs would bring you to cloud 9. Walking inside a store makes you feel like you’re in Disney heaven.

 

6. Each ride would give you a different magical experience. You would not be able to pick your favorite from being in a dream with Pooh and friends and hunny, being in a jungle river cruise with the weirdest animals, enjoying a showcase of cultures of people around the world, and a lot more cool attractions.

 

7. The day parade would make your jaw drop. Out-of-this-world floats. Bees in bungee cords. Tigers in stilts. Disney princesses. You would wish this parade never ends.

 

8. The night parade would make your jaw drop even more. Add bright colorful lights to mix. As if the awesomeness of the day parade was not enough.

 

9. They give an all-out show. You would find yourself astonished at people’s ingenuity showcased in The Festival of the Lion King. This show is the definition of “all-out” with a medley of songs sung live and beautifully, crazy and mind-blowing acrobats, spectacular fire dancers, stunning costumes, and the most unbelievable stage.

Hong-Kong-Disneyland-Festival-of-the-Lion-King

 

10. They end the night with a bang. What better way is there to cap the night off  than a display of fireworks combined with the sound of classic Disney songs?

Hong-Kong-Disneyland-fireworks

 

*Photos with me in them were taken by either my sister, KC, or my friend, Ice Ajon.:)