I was born and raised in a small town south of Manila with an abundance of mountains, a beautiful lake, and forest areas. I remember my adventurous spirit spans back as early as my primary school and high school days where I would go on a random excursion with friends and classmates where we climb hills, explore waterfalls, and go through some wilderness and not knowing what to see.
Gone are the days. When I moved to Manila at 16, I ‘ve been a city girl ever since, and there’s no going back.
Nah, you had a lot of attempts to move out.
The ‘Crazy’ Metro Manila and My Attempts to Move Out
Manila is the densest city on earth, and sharing a 600-ish square kilometer with almost 20 million people can be craaaaazy! The hustle and bustle is real, and it’s literally full of so many visual clutter and noise. If you can handle the craziness of Manila, it’s not really a terrible place to live.
But yes, I had several attempts to move out. I tried looking for a job in Cebu. I had plans to move to Brunei. I tried going back to Batangas after college. I’m recently contemplating about looking for a job in Baguio. Sometimes I just want to escape Manila.
We do not have so much green spaces in Manila. The closest thing I have to nature are my indoor plants and a beautiful view of the sunset at Manila Bay (which, btw, you had to kind of break your neck to see because it’s located in another direction from my unit’s window). Those parks and gardens in Makati are 4-ish kilometers from where I live, and the UP Diliman campus is way up north.
So yeah, this pandemic, I’m doomed.
Thankfully, I can comfortably go back and forth to Batangas to visit my family almost every weekend (it’s not advisable because I could possibly bring the virus from Manila to Batangas, but I swear, guys, I’m being extra careful) where I can have a taste of nature whenever I want.
My Planned ‘Habit’ for 2021: Romanticize Nature and Exercise
I suck at exercising. I have all the clothes and the equipment and the space, but I never had the proper motivation to do it. I’ve been intermittently exercising, but counting all the days I worked out vis-a-vis my zero workout days, all the efforts may not make sense at all.
I realized, I’m not really even into nature/outdoors-y activities whenever I travel. Sure, I was able to hike mountains, but those were super minimal. Next time, I vow to see more natural wonders.
Since posting my 2021 Reading List yesterday, I started reading the book The Finnish Way, and I was able to appreciate how tasting more of nature can not only contribute to your motivation to exercise, but it also calms your mind and eases you of some symptoms related to depression and anxiety. The book has motivated me enough to see more of nature, hike more, and exercise more outdoors.
That’s it. I will develop a habit of exercising and exploring more green spaces. Muchas gracias, Katja Pantzar! Oh, the book also made me more interested about the super ideal lifestyle of the Finnish people and the rest of Nordic countries. I also look up to them in terms of minimalism and functionalism. Yay!
Today’s Journey in Nature: The ‘Miranda Trail’ and Taal Lakeside
So, I was able to drag my sister with me to go hiking at what I call the ‘Miranda Trail’ (because it leads to Barangay Miranda) and then chilling at the Taal Lakeside to cool down. I am proudly presenting you our stats and some photos!