Sharing all things about pet-friendly travels and full-time work from home setup

How I Spent My Birthday With Good Friends

After many days of planning to visit another province like I always do for the past 5 years, I've finally opted to stay at home. I figured out my body deserves to slow down and take some rest than get out. The least that I ever wanted is to have an overnight staycation around the metro only. A blogger friend told me that Z Hostel, a first class hostel in Makati is looking for a travel blogger for them to get featured in exchange of a write - up. I said I'm game since I personally knew that hostel (I've been there so many times to join travel meetups). The contact has already said yes but last minute, since it is weekend they were fully booked. As much as she wants us to stay there, it may be for another day.

Birthday meme
It was also too late to book for another one. There's a lot of accommodation in Manila but what I'm looking for is a backpacker hostel where I can mingle with others. The one with a shared kitchen, living room, dining table or a decent bar maybe just like my favorites: Mad Monkey Hostel in Cambodia, Circle Hostel in Zambales and the Mayon Backpacker's Hostel in Legazpi City.

Saturday, the day before my birthday 
I think the whole universe is telling me to just stay at home. I've seen a fitness camp called Love Your Body Fair 2016 organized by a fellow blogger Tonette Nicolas for yoga and zumba etc.  I thought it would be worth it to join so I registered only to find out that the venue is in Greenfield District, just 15 minutes away from where I live. See? The whole universe is conspiring to put all things within my reach in my birthday!

In the afternoon, I really felt lazy to check out Sea Ex at SMX MOA but I got 5 free tickets. I don't want to get out anywhere farther than 15 minutes from my home so I posted on Facebook I'm giving these for free. I gave the 2 tickets to a guy who said he's a student and his visit to the expo is a school project. He picked it up from my place and happy he won't have to pay for the entrance fee.

I gave the remaining 3 tickets to Ferdie, a fellow blogger. He always ask any of my leftover tickets because he loves joining events ten times than I do. He also dropped by to get it. When he learned that it's my birthday he offered to give me a gift check for dining worth Php1k at Novotel Cubao. I thank him but I have to refuse. I said when we see each other in another blogging event with other bloggers we know, we can eat out as a group. Honestly, I am not used to accept any gifts or  any complimentary from random people.

Another reason why I didn't want to go at a buffet meal is that I have no appetite to eat for weeks now. When I'm sad, stressed, tired, angry et cetera i lose the will to eat. I'm the type of person who should never get too tired or too lonely, I tend to eat less after. For the past weeks, I have been terribly busy so I think I've accumulated a lot of stress so rest is all I ever need.

In the evening I packed a few dress and decided to visit my brother and spend the night there in his apartment in Cembo. It is located in the borders between Makati and Boni just about 20 minutes away. I will soon be moving in with him in the coming months since he doesn't use this place often. He has a free room in San Juan where he works. He only stays there on weekends. The rental fee is much cheaper to the condo where I live currently so it is also a good thing. I will be putting all my stuff here once it is confirmed that I will be transferring to Boracay. I'm just waiting for my British boss for confirmation.

My younger brother's message

Sunday, my birthday. 
I woke up around 10am. My Facebook wall and messages are overflowing with greetings. I quickly checked one name if ever he remembered the most special day of my life but sadly not.  Though we never personally get in touch for so many years now we'd always greet each other's birthday. I failed to greet him last November. Things change. People change.I have not. I still have his emails sent to me 15 years ago back when he was studying in Madrid and Roma for priesthood,

Somehow I have distanced myself from this person who is now a full - pledged priest except occasional exchange of 'likes' and comments from each others posts. I don't see his feed anymore since I have accumulated Facebook friends of about 3,000+. The last time we chatted many years ago, he was asking me when will I get married in church because he will be the one to officiate it.

My inbox have hundreds of messages from friends, family and people I met from events and trips. I really made sure to reply them one by one to say thanks. I told my brother I didn't want any sort of buying anymore food than what we need to eat that day. I just don't feel eating more at all.

I initially planned to attend a mass in Greenbelt and get a whole - body massage after. Around 3pm, Christian a close friend called me that he is going to Greenbelt and planning to just hangout. I said I will be going there so I can accompany him. He also contacted Evo and Charity, these are my really close friends in the blogging world.

In every event, I meet an average of 3 persons who is either a blogger, a PR marketer, a participant that I add on Facebook. Blogging is all about connections. If you got no network or connection, you may have less opportunity out there. Of the hundreds of people that I have "earned" from blogging, meetups and trips, they are the closest. Christian and Evo are gays but it is because of them that I feel at ease with third genders. Charity is a bad ass writer who was a former coworker so we know each other already.

After we ate, we proceeded to Greenbelt's Cerveseria to grab some drinks. I think I drank about two and a half of light beers that's all my tummy can take because I really want to get knocked out so I can sleep the soonest. 

Evo's gift from Vietnam
Evo came late since he just came from Cambodia and Vietnam. I love his sense of humor really of how he talks about his love for theater plays, celebrity and the challenge he has to face while in Phnom Penh. His friend asked him to buy a Starbucks mug with a label that says Cambodia. Turned out that the only Starbucks store is inside the airport and that he isn't allowed to get in the Departure area because he is not flying out there. I kind of missed Phnom Penh since I only spent 4 days there so I throw him so many questions. I don't know how to retell the story but I knew I laughed so much that night. 

We bid each other goodbye around close to two in the morning and managed to eat again. This is how I spent my birthday, nothing extraordinary. What is more important is that the presence of these good friends who made efforts and shared their time to spend the most important day of my life. I only slept about six hours then proceeded for work by Monday morning.   


  1. happy (belated) bday jolly jet setter!...keep on trailing! :)

  2. hey joseph :) im just a simple kind of backpacker haha. salamat.