TIMEZONED

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Who invented goodbyes? Why is it always the hardest?

This is not easy. Saying goodbye to you is painful because I will miss you. I will miss reading your messages in the morning and our final words at night. I will miss your simple glances and blank stares but the heart knows. I will miss our shared music, meal, cup of coffee; our shared pillow at night. I will miss how we laugh at the most mundane things. I will miss our stupid fights and the making up after. I will miss how you whispered beautiful dreams, it’s you who show the best rainbows in this rain-drenched spirit.

I miss you. When the world is asleep, I miss you. When the noon finds its momentary break, I miss you. And as dawn appears, I still miss you. The truth is: I’ve lost my freedom to choose long time ago. Back in one of those late night walks, I wholly surrendered my heart to you. We had our small, secret world full of stars but when the lights were out, you crashed into me like a lion to a lamb. You set the pace. I was helpless. You held me as a captive. I became your willing victim. I clung to you as my wonder-wall. I lost my ability to discern. Your presence outweighed the red flags. Your countenance overwhelmed the doubts. Your touch cast out second guessings. I was into you, deep inside your world. Soon enough, the green turned red, the smiles dimmed, laughter fainted, hugs and kisses became rare. Words became few. “Yes” became “sorry”.

We’ve lost it along the way.

This is not our time but it doesn’t mean our love is wrong. There will be no more us so as you go, stay strong. Keep focused on the long road ahead of you. Head up. You’re brave and wise. Don’t worry about life. While you’re getting there, remember me, us, and the happy memories we left. I’ll be standing there, always proud of what you have become.

Goodbyes are worst when never said so let me tell you this: at this lonely hour, I miss you. The flashbacks torment my soul. My heart is broken to pieces but I’m grateful we had our time. So this is what goodbye feels like. I thought goodbyes will always be easy, until I have to say it to you.

I miss you and what we almost had.

THE GOODBYE WE KNOW

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You run out the door and never come back. That’s what you do when you feel something real. Just when love appears as a gentle morning drizzle, you feel it as a hurricane crushing your bones. Just as love is as breezy as the clear night sky, you see it as a falling star — a stellar sight brimming with light, only to die a natural death.

You want to keep things casual. Status quo is safer. You are not lovers but more than friends. Yes, you know love has so much to offer but when you think that once it goes away, it will leave you with nothing. It’s pretty tough to start over after all.

You actually believe in the idea of being in love. You even celebrate with others’ happiness when they chose to commit, but when it comes to your own, you begin to internally scream and panic. Deep inside, you may be in love. You may have fallen very hard; but it may not be a good idea to change your relationship status of Facebook, or share your photos together online.

You’re afraid of commitment because it is all-out. It’s yes or no, black or white, love or hate, here or there.

So this is what loneliness feels like, when you love someone who is not brave enough to love you back. There you are – standing in a vague road full of detour. You didn’t heed the warnings. What happened, when you started on the same street but now, you can’t trace his hand anymore. You’re lost in the wilderness and you can’t see the road back home. The path leads to the unknown, the dangerous, the nowhere.

So this is what fear feels like, when you don’t know who you are in someone else’s life. It’s raining hard but you prefer not to use your umbrella. You want a reality check. What’s the feeling of the downpour on my skin? Will I catch a cold the next day? Will someone offer an umbrella?

Some days, I want to convince myself that I don’t actually love you, but only the idea of loving you. Do I just love you because I’m alone? Do I love you because rainy days start to set it and it would be nice to cuddle someone in a rainy afternoon? Is this love because even if you treated me like worst sh*t, I remember our best times? But these don’t matter anymore. All I know is I love you, but the feeling of loving you  – and knowing that you can hardly love me back – is not like the movies. It’s worse. The excruciating pain pierces through.

It’s late at night but I can’t sleep. I go back to every piece of memory, as detailed as it can be, and ask: what’s wrong? Why didn’t you give it a shot? Why did you say you like me but end up short of loving me? You’re like an arrow pierced through my heart, but this time, it’s not romantic. It’s painful. Water wells from the eyes, blurring the vision of what lies ahead.

This is what it feels like to be at the losing end while you’re perfectly fine.

HE’S ORYANG’S TRUE LOVE

Gregoria de Jesus, or Oryang, was imprisoned by her parents in a house in Binondo. They were against her love for Andres Bonifacio because the man couldn’t make a living. But her love was stubborn. She was able sent a note to the gobernadorcillo of Binondo manifesting her love for Andres and requested for wedding documents as well as her immediate release.

Oryang’s love for Andres defied time and space.
tumblr_nivfv82yDw1qh3j7ao1_400Oryang was eighteen when Andres Bonifacio started courting her. The Supremo visited the house many times but said nothing about love. Back then, parents were usually strict and they made difficult for men to court their daughters but Oryang’s parents were extra strict. Unknown to Oryang, Andres had already talked to her parents about his feelings.Few months on, Oryang’s parents told her that they didn’t like Andres Bonifacio but Oryang earnestly fell in love with the young warrior already. Oryang didn’t see anyone else in the future with her but Andres Bonifacio.

Gat_Andres_BonifacioThey decided to get married secretly. The Catholic Church of Binondo recorded their wedding under aliases. Oryang was still under the age of consent for marriage.

In front of the revolutionaries of Katipunan, another ceremony was done because the group didn’t recognize the church.

Andres loved Oryang. She fought for her love. Their love was a struggle, and for the nation’s struggle.

PHILIPPINES’ NEW TOURISM CAMPAIGN IS ABOUT ‘SECOND CHANCES’

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This is not about Popoy or Basha.

Imagine you’re on your plane going back to your hometown and you realized one of your trip photos was blur or shaky?  Maybe there’s second chance to return and take the same photo again – but not anytime soon. That’s sad.

Philippines’ Tourism Department has a brilliant idea – something that shows us the beauty of not just the country but of ‘second chances’. Yes! If you’re a non-Filipino passport holder, share your ‘photo fail’, and you might win a return trip to the Philippines.

Watch this awesome video:

 

Actually, this is not just ‘second chance’, there’s always a chance to return to the Philippines. Everyone’s welcome.

MILLENNIALS DRIVE FUTURE OF REAL ESTATE IN PH

youngtravellerPhilippines’ young population has its advantage, at least for real estate, where millennials significantly shape the future of country’s real estate industry.

A panel moderated by Lamudi Philippines found out that young professionals influence residential real estate due to growing focus on affordable and economic housing. Lars Wittig of Regus Philippines said, millennials demand flexible working spaces closer to home given Metro Manila’s horrendous traffic conditions.

Another emerging trend in hospitality is the growing number of millennial travelers, which at present account for 20 percent of travelers. According to Al Legaspi, chief operating officer of Ayala Land Hotels and Resorts, by 2025, millennial travelers will comprise 50 percent of all travelers. Brands therefore must think of ways to better cater to this growing clientele. Legaspi said that this demographic group are very value conscious, and are after the connectivity rather than the traditional definition of luxury.

The country’s mounting housing backlog (currently estimated at 5 million housing units), according to Ramil Lobos, chief financial officer of DMCI Homes affect realty prices. He added that developers are shifting their focus from pure residential development toward mixed-use developments, and land scarcity in Metro Manila is driving expansion in the provinces.

Even in retail, according to Lourdes Alano, vice-president for leasing at Robinsons Land Corp., key trends include expansion outside Metro Manila due to rising land values within the capital, the rise of community malls, expansion of convenience store chains driven in part by the 24-hour BPO economy, and the increasing competition due to new retail channels such as podium retail-space in mixed-used condo developments and online channels.

Commercial real estate sees a good future too. Michael McCullough of KMC MAG Group said that there is a growing demand from traditional businesses, and this is evidenced by a number of strata-titled office developments launched recently by developers. He added that new commercial hubs are sprouting in Metro Manila, such as the Bay City and C5 corridor.

PHILIPPINE HERITAGE SITES WORTH VISITING

It’s ‘ber’ months already but it’s never late or wrong to visit some of the country’s towns and cities that helped shape our history and heritage.You can make a holiday out of your visit to any of these sites, as many of them are located in distant provinces, although some of them are close enough to Metro Manila for a day tour.

Kawit, Cavite

Kawit Cavite - Aguinaldo Shrine by Antonio V. Oquias
Kawit Cavite – Aguinaldo Shrine by Antonio V. Oquias

Considered as Cavite’s oldest municipality, Kawit was founded in 1587 for the Spanish Crown and referred to by the Spaniards as “Cavite El Viejo.”Its most famous spot is the Aguinaldo Shrine, the ancestral home of General Emilio Aguinaldo and the site where the Philippine independence from Spanish rule was declared. It is also home to St. Mary Magdalene Church, one of the oldest churches in the Philippines; as well as the Battle of Binakayan Monument, which commemorates a struggle between Spanish and Filipino soldiers in 1896.

Malolos, Bulacan

Malolos is recognized as the Premiere Heritage City of Bulacanfor its ancestral houses, Spanish colonial churches and chapels, and historical landmarks. The Barasoain Church, for one, is the site of the First Philippine Congress in 1898. Also worth visiting is the neoclassic Bautista-Uytangcoy Mansion, known as home of Aguinaldo’s interior secretary Don Antonio Bautista, but is more recognizable as the site whereJose Rizal and Marcelo H. Del Pilar spoke with the 21 women of Malolos in 1892.

Pila, Laguna

Pila, specifically the Pila Historic Town Center, was declared a National Historical Landmark for being an early pre-Hispanic center of culture and trade, owing to the discovery of clay potteries during excavations in Pinagbayanan in 1967.Some of the Spanish- and American-era architecture found in the locale are the19th-century Baroque church Diocesan Shrine, and the Parish Church of San Antonio de Padua, founded in 1578 and regarded as the country’s first Antonine parish.

Taal, Batangas

Most famous for its namesake lake and for balisong(fan knife) and barong (local garb) making, Taal has been labeled a National Historical Landmark because of its well-restored ancestral houses.One such propertyis the Agoncillo-Mariño House, considered a national shrine by the National Historical Institute where the national flag was first made byMarcela Mariño de Agoncillo. Other historical landmarks include the Old Taal Church ruins, where the original Church of St. Martin de Tours was built in 1575; and Escuela Pia, built in 1885 and considered the central school during the American regime.

Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Vigan Ilocos Sur - Calle Crisologo

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and recently named as one of the New7Wonders Cities, Vigan is one of the few Hispanic towns in the country where visitors can appreciate intact buildings that display a fusion of Filipino, Oriental, and European aesthetic. Its most famous attraction is CalleCrisologo, a cobblestone street flanked by Spanish-era homes and traversed by horse-drawn carriages or calesas. Other points of interest include the earthquake Baroque-style Vigan Cathedral, the history of which can be traced back to 1574;and the Archbishop’s Residence, which was built in the 16th century.

Silay, Negros Occidental

Silay Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense

Silay is often referred to as the Paris of Negros and considered by the Department of Tourism as Western Visayas’ seat of arts, culture, and ecotourism. The city is known for its artists and numerous cultural shows, but itsmost prized attractions are its well-preserved heritage houses, which were built during the heyday of the Philippine sugar industry.Some of the more famous homes are BalayNegrense, a late-19th-century home that has been transformed into a museum; and Hofileña Ancestral House, which was constructed in 1934 by Manuel Severino Hofileñaand continues to be occupied by one of his heirs.

Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte

Known as the “Shrine City in the Philippines,” Dapitan’s popularity lies in its historical significance as the place of exile of Rizal. In fact, its most famous sites are ones related to Rizal, such as Liwasan ng Dapitan, which the national hero helped designed; Punto delDesembarco de Rizal, where he disembarked from the steamer “Cebu” in 1565; and Rizal Park and Shrine, where he lived from 1893 to 1896.

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Established in July 2010, MyProperty.ph is a leading Philippine real estate online and print brand that brings property buyers and sellers together. The website’s main offerings are listings of pre-selling properties and properties for sale and for rent. Both website and magazine also provide relevant and updated industry news and information for its clients and consumers.

COASTAL CLEANUP, LET’S GO?

With our unthinking ways of throwing trash just about anywhere, much of man’s debris finds its way into the ocean where it threatens many of the most beloved sea creatures on the planet such as majestic whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles.

You may wonder how our waste finds its way into the ocean. A simple plastic bag from a supermarket can blow from a trash can into a storm drain on the sidewalk, travel through pipes and downriver, and into the ocean where a helpless marine animal mistakes it for food, causing it serious digestive problems or even death.

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International Coastal Cleanup (ICC)-Philippines, the local initiative of Ocean Conservancy, a non- profit environmental advocacy group, is calling on Filipinos to join them this 19 September 2015 for a nationwide coastline cleanup.

The ICC is the world’s largest volunteer program dedicated to the ocean’s health. Every third Saturday of September each year, it counts on the humanitarian efforts of thousands from around the globe to participate in clearing trash from coastlines, rivers and lakes.

In a report released early 2014, oceanographers from Massachusetts have estimated that a staggering 8 million metric tons of trash are dumped into ocean waters per year by the world’s coastal countries.

Behind China and Indonesia, the research group has identified the Philippines as the third worst culprit.

It is probably not surprising that the top 10 debris found in the Philippines are: food wrappers (candy, chips, etc), cigarette butts, other plastic bags, plastic grocery bags, straws and stirrers, plastic bottle caps, plastic lids, takeout food plastic containers, plastic beverage bottles, and plastic cups and plates.

To help turn the tide of marine trash, the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) and Ocean Conservancy will spearhead a nationwide drive on September 19, 2015 as part of the world’s largest volunteer effort to safeguard the health and cleanliness of oceans and waterways. In Manila, this will be held at the bay area in Roxas Boulevard.

International Coastal Cleanup can be an event too where you and your friends, neighbors, family, and colleagues will have a remarkable experience of camaraderie of removing trash and marine debris from beaches/shorelines, waterways and underwater sites. In 2014 alone, over 560,000 volunteers in 91 countries removed over 16 million pounds of trash along 13,000 miles of beaches and waterways.

Here’s how you can register. If you want to know more about the clean up, check out the online portals of ICC Philippines.

All these, in our effort to help save our oceans and the marine animals in it. Their fins won’t be of much use to clean up our mess under the sea. So, let’s give our beloved sea creatures a helping hand.

DDB Philippines’ Andre Figuracion contributed in this post