Archive for May, 2009

25 May 2009

Wired to be Workaholic

by misslampa

When I was in high school, I thought it was because I needed excellent marks to get myself into UP. When I finally made it to the Diliman campus, I thought it was because anyone who ever amounted to anything in UP had to work one’s butt off at some point during one’s university life. While I was in Xavier, I thought it was because my students and co-teachers deserved nothing less than all of me.

But now that I work in a less stressful environment and should get a taste of how it is to have my mornings and weekends off, I’m still every bit the workaholic I’ve always been. I’ve traveled all the way to Greenhills, Malate and QC for some weekday morning and weekend all-day tutorials, I’ve been up and about interviewing people for my occasional business and lifestyle articles, and I’ve been forcing myself [albeit not so successfully] to finish this 6-month online TESOL course in 3 so I can troop to Instituto Cervantes and start learning Spanish by July.

When it gets really, really toxic, I break free by spending all-nighters at fellow workaholic Juay’s place and together, we proofread biographies for the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation while sipping gourmet coffee to keep ourselves from falling asleep. And yes, some nerdy part of me finds this very therapeutic. [Don’t shoot me just yet, though. Juay says it has the same effect on her.]

The only difference this time around, it seems, is that there’s no scapegoat in sight. I’m left with no other option but to admit that I work work work willingly and joyfully because that’s what I am inclined to do. It’s been bothering me somewhat, that I find it hard to find fulfillment in doing nothing and in just being – even if I’m sure that allowing myself that much every now and then will be good for me. So much so that even when it’s a licensed doctor telling me that I need to rest, something in me flinches in protest. I had had throbbing headache the week after we went trekking [like my brain was palpitating or something], and although I just ignored it at first, one week’s too long for headache so I went to the hospital to have myself checked.

“You have vascular headache…you have to rest for two to three days. No strenuous activities, and stay away from the computer.”

“But I need that for work po.”

“Mag-absent ka.”

Of course I get that, dimwit. I just can’t seem to get my mind around what you just said, duh.

So what I did was miss one day of work instead of three. I washed dishes, went to the bank and the supermarket, read around a hundred pages of Wicked, and made three small tubs of homemade truffle ice cream with M&Ms and toasted almond slivers – all of which had me following the doctor’s advice, in my humble opinion.

I came to work the next day and was warmly welcomed by friends and colleagues who were yakking at me for being there, and my learner who’s an HR manager said that if she were my manager, she’d be forced by French labor policies to send me home to actually follow the doctor’s advice. Hmm, there must really be something wrong with me.

And for a while there, I considered the need to unlearn some things so they can make way for habits which would fall under appropriate human behavior. But not for a while longer. There’s something twisted about everyone else anyway; what I need to learn, I guess, is to just live with mine.

24 May 09, 11:59 p.m.


Postscript: Fast forward to two years after and I think I’m finally getting good at being less of a workaholic.Ü And oh, I now have 100 hours of Spanish under my belt…but don’t ask me to converse in that language just yet!

20 May 2009

And Off We Went to Do Some Trekking

by misslampa

The planned Anawangin summit trek and island hopping in Zambales had to be called off because of the storm, but we all deserved to get away from the city – even if it’s just for the weekend. So Eric, Marchie and I ended up climbing Mt. Romelo, going down a cliff to stand in awe of the magnificent Buruwisan Falls [both in Famy, Laguna], and lazing around and trying our hand at kayaking in Laiya, Batangas.

It’s my first time to trek, camp, help set up a tent, kayak, rock climb, and yes, even eat in an Andok’s dine-in resto. It’s also been a long time since I got this blistered and bruised, but oh well, all part of the adventure, I guess. They’re too measly to be battle scars, but now I can proudly say I’ve gone a-trekking and a-camping and totally enjoyed it!

And just in case you don’t want to take my word for it, here are some pictures:

I tried trekking to get a taste of that certain solitude that one can’t find in the city.


We set up camp and spent the night beside this über-cold yet refreshing batis (stream), which is also where we took a bath the next day. :-)


These were taken while we were setting up camp, but what I really want to show you are my soiled pants. Sadly, I slipped and fell on my butt on our way to the summit. I had bruises for about two weeks on the upper part of my butt cheeks, ouch!


We had to be on all fours the entire time because man, that was a steep climb!


But the sight of The Buruwisan Falls – and the refreshing dip we took – made the climb worth it. :))


We also managed to squeeze in some kayaking, and as you can see, we weren’t so successful at first. Heehee.


Here’s the three of us – posing with our bags at the foot of Mt. Romelo, taking a breather at the peak, and chilling out at one of Laiya’s beaches.


Good times! :-)