I'M a changed person.I say this because in the last seven months, my life has had an unexpected turn. Putting it into perspective, there are things that I have lost, but there are also things that I have gained.
To speak bluntly, I have now said goodbye--almost--to all the privileges of the lifestyle press. Meaning no more first dibs on movie premieres, perks from retail brands, shopping sprees without spending a dime, tickets to much-awaited productions and concerts, no more lunch or dinner at fancy restaurants, and no more familiarization trips to newly opened hotels and resorts.
Of course, I do miss those things but there's one I will really long for. It's the chance to meet interesting and inspiring people in the industry, whether fellow mediamen like myself, or those whose stories are worth writing and sharing.
This has been my life in the past six years but being able to leave the scene has opened up new horizons for me. Ones that I have only dreamed of in the past.
It is finally being able to embrace the outdoor, and explore volunteerism. All thanks to my wonderful group of outdoor enthusiasts, environmental activists, and outreach volunteers, Random Act of Kindness (RAK).
|We climb as one, and help others as one.|
Yet have you ever wondered how I got into this sweet disposition?
Let me begin by saying that I have desired long ago to join a group with a cause/advocacy but have never found the time and outlet to do so.
And then, there is my friend Tupe who has been "selling" RAK to me and all its good deeds for the mountains and its indigenous dwellers. In my mind, it may just be the one I am looking for. Unfortunately, my tight schedule as a lifestyle reporter never really opened up for any of RAK's "climb for a cause" from 2015 until latter half of 2016.
Finally, I was able to join my first climb with the group in August of 2016, a month after I moved from print to online media. It was at Mt. Manabu in Batangas, which we were not able to summit due to an emergency. And then in December of last year, I was able to climb with them again at Mt. Daraitan in Rizal. It was my first serious hike and I thought all my bones would break.
From there on, I told myself, the next time I'd climb, I'd be strong.
|Our March climbs.|
Because I am in the company of people whose love for the mountains and the indigenous peoples, our fellow Filipinos, is so real you want to emulate it too. Nakakahawa.
There is Sir Rick, na kahit lagi kong kaasaran, is, really, like a mentor to me. Of course, Tupe, walang hanggang pasasalamat sa iyo sa pagdala sa akin sa RAK. Our trio creates whatever you see in our "fun page." Do like and follow us in Facebook.
There is Alex, the ultimate bully, who is also the group's main source of laughter. Jan, the apprentice bully, who is just as annoyingly funny.
And then the women of RAK, my idols and role models. Ate Weng and Ate Elms who are mothers and social workers. Their energy and passion are unbelievable. I want to grow older just like them.
My ates, Daiana and Kikay who always take care of me. My little sister Coleen, our Millennial na malayo sa maraming Millennial na umaakyat ng bundok. (You know what I mean.)
Our members from the Cordillera Autonomous Region, Kits, Billy, Briget and Levis. And everyone who I meet along the way and become friends with!
Thank you RAK for giving me a new home and family.