They sent me to Binghamton

I've always wanted to be on the east coast, and the universe responded…by sending me to Binghamton, NY. Oh you've never heard of it? Neither had I, but I do so love adventures and that's how I choose to view this. Let the adventures begin!

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The Misadventures of Palawan, Philippines

At the end of last year my boss had informed me that my company was pulling me out of my assignment in Binghamton, NY and sending me back to work in my normal office in Irvine, CA. Now this shouldn’t have surprised me given that my assignment was originally set for 6 months only and I ended up staying in Binghamton for about a year. Actually, everything about last year was such a shock, including the opportunity to work over on the east coast to begin with. Looking back, it is so amazing to me how so much changed in just one year and how it seemed to go by so quickly! I will never forget this turning point in my life.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. A friend of mine was getting married in the Motherland (Philippines) over the winter holiday so I decided to combine going to her wedding with going back home to visit family and friends. At the same time, I was going through a bit of a first world crisis, not knowing if I should stay in CA or pursue another job in NY. The timing of this trip was perfect! I was hoping to get away from everything so I can find some clarity on what I really wanted. The soothing, relaxing white sand beach of Palawan seemed to be just the cure for my dilemma!


We started by going Island Hopping with our first stop being Starfish Island. Typically, Starfish island has little to no current and the water is so clear you only have to go about knee deep before you can start feeding the fish and seeing the beautiful reef and corals. While it was indeed beautiful, the current was pretty strong. This meant that we had to go in a little deeper because of visibility and at times the current would slam us against the reef…


Ocean – 1, Me – 0

Needless to say, I stayed on the shore after I realized what a bleeding mess I was. It was still beautiful though, especially seeing the starfish just hanging out.


Around the back of the island were these cool Mangrove trees.



The next island we hopped to was a bit of a wash, so I don’t remember much about it other than the fact that when we got in the water, we couldn’t really see anything because of the current. The “island” is basically a man made floating island over a really cool looking reef that you can see when the water visibility is good, which unfortunately it wasn’t. Oh well, it was a nice break, I suppose, and the weather was still beautiful. After a brief stop at that island, we went to our final destination, Cowrie Island, where we ate delicious food and finally got to relax.




I’m a CrossFitter so of course I had to do the obligatory handstand pose

The next day the plan was to go to the Puerto Princesa Underground River via a boat ride that my dad excitedly referred to as the MacArthur landing. My dad tells the story much better than I ever could but the reason this was significant is because during World War 2 the Americans wanted to reclaim the Philippines from the Japanese and so trying to go to Palawan was very dangerous at that time. According to my dad, or at least based on my terrible memory, General MacArthur had already left the Philippines for safety reasons but had promised to come back to the Philippines despite the danger. He was advised against this but he had made a promise (to whom, I don’t know) and so to enter Palawan, he went via boat in this sneaky route that we were supposed to follow to get to the Underground River.

Because of all this hype my friend and I were so excited to experience this MacArthur landing as my dad described it! Alas, it was not meant to be because the current was so high no boats were allowed. But not to worry, there was an alternate route to the Underground River which was to hike the 3.3 km trail. Now that didn’t seem so bad at the time but given our unpreparedness (we were in flip flops), the storm, and the canceled boats, the trail was muddy and crowded. What ended up supposedly being the most chill part of the trip turned out to be the most adventurous! We were all troopers though, my mom especially, who repeatedly got called grandma so she sought to prove everyone wrong! Until it started getting dark and we had to get rescued…:D Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the cave (nor do I remember since I started nodding off while in the boat), but here we all are at the entrance:


Just look at those tired, smiling faces!

We also saw some monkeys and a Palawan Monitor Lizard!


The next day we went to the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center where there was a defined trail and no more muddy adventures! We saw some pretty big alligators (or were they crocodiles?) and some baby ones as well.



These babies jump and one of them even managed to go over the wall while we were there!



We meandered around and just enjoyed nature surrounding us.




Now that we sufficiently recovered from the unexpected adventure of the non-MacArthur landing, we were ready for what was supposed to be the most adventurous part of the trip – Ugong Rock! Now here we were going to go through a mountain that had vibrating rocks (when you hit them, you can hear them vibrating), climb using ropes, go through thin crevices, then go ziplining.




It was not at all strenuous, especially in comparison to our unplanned hike to the Underground River! 😀

On our last night, we went on a firefly kayak tour where we went down a river and got to see a lot of fireflies in the trees. It was a full moon that night so we couldn’t see the fireflies as easily but it was still just so beautiful! As a bonus, we got a little lesson in astronomy as well while we gazed at the night sky.


This was by far my favorite part of the trip. It was at this moment I stopped churning about CA vs. NY and asked myself the following question:

Taking away your friends, your family, and CrossFit, what do you see yourself doing and do you feel happy thinking about those things?

The reason I took away those things from the equation is because regardless of where I find myself, I will always have those things. Yes, certain friends and family will be far away, but they’ll always be there for me regardless of where I find myself. So I took the time and envisioned what my life would be like if I stayed in CA and what it would be like if I moved to NY for good this time. From then on, I had my answer and now it was just a matter of following through and making plans. I will always go for what makes me happy. 🙂



A Sunday Kind of Love

A friend of mine sent me this article on the difference between soulmates and life partners and it totally resonated with me. Every relationship, situationship, whatever-it-was-tionship since my ex had been like fireworks. Brilliant, beautiful, extremely intense and all encompassing, then inevitably fizzing out. I saw this pattern in myself and after the last one I knew that no matter how good it felt at the time, how amazing the connection seemed to be, it just wasn’t sustainable and more importantly, at the end of the day, it’s not what I want to come home to. So I knew this, and in fact I’ve known this for some time now, but I hadn’t realized that although my mind understood this, some part of me still couldn’t let go.

Underneath the logic of my mind my heart was apparently still defining love as that all encompassing, passionate, you-know-my-soul kind of connection, I-just-met-you-but-I-feel-like-I’ve-known-you-forever type of feeling. The kind you see in movies and read in books but don’t think is actually possible…until you feel it and it’s like, oh shit, it’s totally possible, but now you’re crazy.


What I thought I wanted, I actually had with The Man Who (Once) Made Me Crazy and even the one before him. I acknowledged they were a major part of my growth and got over them. But although I never really wanted to be with The Man Who (Once) Made Me Crazy after it didn’t work out, for some reason, he kept on resurfacing on my mind over, and overand overand over again. So then I would do a little stalking investigating and find that when I would see his pictures or read his posts I would feel…nothing. So WHY then, WHY was I so obsessed??


It has been driving me nuts! But then I found out he got engaged and it forced me to really face it. So face it I did and as I was brushing my teeth and talking to myself about it, I had an epiphany! It actually had nothing to do with him, as a person, at all! I had been over him romantically the day I cried my eyes out from the airport. What it actually was, was my inability to let go of my idea of love. Every time I thought about him, what we had, or what could have been, I was really thinking about love and coming to terms with realizing it’s not what I actually want – well, at least not how I was defining it. And the real reason I was upset over his engagement wasn’t because I wanted to be the one engaged to him or even due to some petty wish that I would have gotten engaged first. As it turns out, the real reason I was upset was because with his now being unavailable, I was forced to let go of my idea of love. It wasn’t him I couldn’t get over; it was the love he represented in my mind.

Can I just say, the moment I realized this I suddenly felt so free! Like, seriously, it was as if I was carrying a burden this whole time and I finally realized I was carrying something I didn’t have to.


Given that, I decided to contact him to say congratulations and to thank him for helping me grow as a person. I didn’t expect a reply but as it turns out he was really glad to hear from me and told me that I had also made a great impact in his life. That warmed my heart. When people tell me I’ve done or said something inspirational it means the world to me.

I am now at peace and just so, SO happy with my life. I have not yet found my Sunday kind of love (nor am I really looking), but for now, alone time Sunday is the love of my life. Have I mentioned how much I love upstate New York? 🙂

This past Sunday I went to Taughannock Falls and as usual, the greenery blew me away. Can’t wait to go back in the fall!






And that, for now at least, is my Sunday kind of love. 😉