Live. Love. Survive. In Potipot.

Of the 7, 107 islands in the Philippine archipelago, one would attempt to conquer as much islands as he can. But with all grandeur and magnificence of each of these land masses, one would surely befall into its charms, paving way for yet another cruising and [mis]adventures.

So last April, albeit my jam-packed summer schedule, I went back to the most “chill” place I’ve ever been to, the island of Potipot in Candelaria, Zambales.

It was our second time to go to Potipot, and the nth for one of my friends, so presumably, we could just shrug off the planning for this trip. However, luck’s sort of against our side so we end up installing ourselves on the floor of the bus. For four good hours.

After the long drive, we immediately headed off to the market for some last-minute food buying then proceeded to Ate Minda’s hut. Ate Minda is an all-time fave, should my friends or I decide to have an instant weekend getaway. Last time we hired her services, it was only her boat and ice carrier that we had put to good use. But last April, she already has an all-out sari-sari store – from ice cold soda to cigarettes to blocks and blocks of ice.

Anyway, we rested for some minutes, waiting for her boat to transport us to the island. Ate Minda served us coffee, while we tried to pick mangoes from her tree, and uh yeah, ride the bicycle.

At around eight in the morning, we were all set to once again, marvel at Potipot’s splendor. It will only take 8-10 minutes for one to transfer from the mainland to the shores of Potipot. Enough time for us for some cam-whoring.

The last time we went to Potipot (daytrip), we were so empty-handed. We didn’t know the island has neither commercial establishments nor even a person who sells food or whathaveyous. So this time, on our comeback, we wanted to get even. Mehe. We were prepared like hell with our forthcoming camping life.

For the two days that we stayed in the island, we were able to feast ourselves with sumptuous meals we ourselves haven’t thought of having. With the grillers available in the island and our own cooking set, we satiated ourselves with inihaw na pusit, stuffed bangus, itlog na maalat with kamatis, and some canned goods. Not to mention that we even cooked our own rice!

I’d still like to consider Potipot as a virgin island, so if you’re gonna go there for some recreational and worthwhile fun, you may be disappointed. Honestly, there’s not much to do in Potipot aside from your usual swim and just some chilling. But my friends and I were able to maximize our ‘fun moments’.

(1) We spent most of our time in the water, doing uh, random stuff.

(2) Played toss-catch-fall on the ground-pick it up ultimate.

(3) And uh yeah, a lot of camwhoring.

Potipot. You will always be loved.

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To Be. Or Not To Be. Inked.

There are varying perceptions on tattoos or to people who wear them. Some may regard them as icons of cool-ness and awesome-ness and in an instant, they already have ‘the swag’. Others would immediately raise an eyebrow and assert that body modification is such an evil thing to do and would ask if your life has gone astray. Or some, and I hope most, would gain your approval and nod in agreement of your making your body a canvas.

The latter statement is exactly what I had in mind when I decided to have a tattoo. Yes, the designs were and will not be conspicuous, but I plan to collect have as many tattoos as I can.

It has been a long time ever since I wanted to have this ink permanently marked on me. And when I read Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, I became more furious to get inked. And this is where I was first acquainted with the idea of having my body as a “living art”.

I am in control of my own flesh.

– The Lost Symbol

So. I already have two tattoos. As I have mentioned, the designs and their placing are not that prominent for (to borrow a friend’s words) I just like the feeling of knowing that I have such tattoo on such part of my body and I care not if no one can see them.

The first one, which I got last November 11, 2011, yes, 11/11/11, is a bi-colored tri-lined (?) design planted on my left inner wrist. And yes, it’s a grade-school pad paper.

I have been mum on the reason/meaning behind the said design. But I got this out of mere ‘impulsiveness’. Together with my three friends, we headed off to Maginhawa to strip off our being “tattoo virgins” and to show for the first time, that we are talkshits no more. :))

The ‘story’ behind my second tattoo is far more interesting than when I had the first one.

First reason: I already have the design months before I had it put on me. I’ve slept on it, given it a lot of thought, processed its meaning and ‘importance’ in my life, all that pre-tattoo meditation and preparation one needs to undergo.

Second: I decided to have it on impulse. Yes, I like to do things on impulse, but this one’s wild! I decided to have this tattoo the night before the ‘day’. I took pains in searching for the nearest tattoo shop around the area and setting appointments, and the next thing I know, I’m inked!

Third: I have no one to accompany me. Ok, so this is not a forever-alone moment (as you will know why later), but as compared to my first experience, where I have three friends to go with me, in good times and in bad, this time, I went to the shop, on my own, with no one to call on the phone, chos!

Fourth: I had my tattoo in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines! :))))))) Ok, I was there for work. Actually not in Tacloban. I only had to spend the night there in preparation for my flight to Manila the next day. While in the hotel room, I got nothing to do, so the idea of having my second tat there excitedly popped out.

The first person that I’ve told of about this plan is Ekat. And as expected, she gave her all-out support when I asked for a consult.

I’ll upload soon ‘the final mark’ once all the itchiness and scabbing are gone. And that’s when you’ll see my awesome tat design. :)))