The past is remembered. Live in the present. The future is in you.
-Mike Caceres, who is a blogger, hiker, and traveler
I decided to write a short rap song. (Yuh, mix it up.)
During my recent Philippines trip, I was more comfortable to rap than sing on karaoke nights.
Video shown below of me rapping for the first time. My written lyrics are shown below as well.
Free rap beat courtesy from Free Music Archive. (It has a bit of a low beat in background. Oh, well.)
“Senorita” by Audiobinger.
I am me.
Let it be.
First to rap.
Might be crap.
Call me a mess.
Ain’t here to impress.
I’m from Vallejo.
You already know.
I am here
It keeps mind fresh.
You read. I write. Right?
That’s a mesh. (Yuh.)
Time is ticking,
Good and bad
You know how it go.
I go on.
We go on.
Life goes on and on.
Identity reminds me of Lewis Howes’ book, “The Mask of Masculinity.”
One identity, one image forever. Bad identity, bad image forever. We stay away from them.
Stories written below are about my family and friends.
My uncle tragically killed my sister. Everybody ignored him. (Identity is killer.) Possibly, his life was taken over from loneliness. Unconditional love is powerful. (No support, no life.)
A drug addict has taken meth his whole life. His family have left him, except his loving son. (Identity is drug addict.) Most importantly, he has been clean from drugs, since 2016.
He was getting straight A's all his life, and he was rewarded valedictorian. During his college years, he dropped out, due to money struggles. He had intentions of killing himself. (Identity is valedictorian.) He recently graduated from college.
Parents have left their son. His parents parted ways, and each of them started a new family. (Identity is orphan.) Thankfully, his uncle adopted him.
She was raped at 18 years old in the military. Her best friend tricked her into sex trafficking. Luckily, she found a way to escape. She was pregnant from a rapist. She had a miscarriage, due to her high levels of stress. (Identity is slut.) She graduated from college in engineering.
Give people time to change, evolve, grow, and adapt. Life is an up and down journey.
Nobody is perfect.
2 years ago, I was lonely. Social media took over me. It was close to Christmas. I saw happy social media posts with their loved ones. I am a single, lonely guy. I was depressed. (Last time was when my sister passed away on May 17, 2003.)
I realized that social media is usually the highlight reel of people's lives.
I was lonely. Well, this is nothing compared to the story about loneliness. Go on, and read.
I will tell you a true story about loneliness.
I heard it during my recent Philippines trip from my cousin.
Remember, my uncle who killed my sister. A few years later, he wrote an apology letter to me and my parents. We were mourning. Our minds were not functioning. We hated him. We never replied to him.
My cousin from the Philippines told me, "Uncle was writing letters to us as well." (I have a huge family in the Philippines.)
I was in complete pause.
Then, I told my cousin, "Uncle hated to write and read. I am surprised. Now, I have realized. He was finding any means of communication to ask for forgiveness from any loved one. He was seeking any kind of support. I fucked up. We fucked up. He suffered loneliness. Most importantly, he was looking for unconditional love. We completely shut him down. Thank you, cousin, for sharing this to me. I really appreciate it."
Uncle never received any forgiveness letters from us. Loneliness took over his life in 2008.
You already know. I have forgiven you. I am so sorry. I love you, Uncle.
Video shown below. It was my first time to visit my Uncle's gravestone, and Grandma's as well. (I have never met Grandma. She passed away from leukemia at only 41 years old.)
I hear many stories from people.
Call myself a good listener.
One time, I heard somebody’s side of the story. He vented to me about a family situation.
All I told him, “You are going with what you want, while the other side is going with what they want. Everybody is on a different page. This will be ongoing, then.”
He knows I am not choosing sides. (I get along with him and the other side.) I honestly told him, “I will see them (the other side) tomorrow morning.”
He asked me about how is the other side’s family doing. After we parted ways, I gave him a hug. I am a hugger. I am at peace.
On the the next day, I realized most people are curious about their enemy, not only him. The only source to know about your enemy is talking to somebody who remains in contact with them.
I used to be curious about my enemies. I always wanted to know how my enemies were doing. I always wanted to be better than them. That is what kept me going in life. This was unhealthy.
If you do not like somebody, you go on giving them criticism. I admit that. I used to have many enemies. I would hold grudges as well. That was my older-self.
I am not here trying to point fingers at people. I used to do that all the time. Now, I like telling stories about others, and especially myself based on experience.
I used to judge others because it made me feel better. Now, I observe others to learn better.
For instance, I met a nice, old British lady in Shanghai. She held a grudge to her dad. 2 years later, he died. She went to his bedroom, and found an apology letter from him to her. She was in tears.
Most people do not want to talk about death. It is arbitrary. Honestly, we are going to die eventually.
Go on grudging with your enemies or not. Go with what you want. It’s your choice. It’s your life. Most importantly, death brings everybody together. You start to realize it once somebody dies.
It is a cycle of togetherness. You born, you live, and you die. A baby is born. We are brought together with happiness. When somebody dies, we are brought together with sadness.
This only reminds us to be together when somebody is only born and dead.
Live in the moment. I continue on being humble and compassionate to others, like Jesus.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” -from Bible passage on Mark 12:31
I am not really successful in going for the first kiss on my first date with lady. I struggle at it.
Then again, it is in my head.
One of my good friends recently told me something like, “Connect is great, but there has to be a balance. Connect emotionally, and especially, physically.”
I agree with what he said.
Currently, I have no problem in connecting with a lady emotionally.
I have asked many people, “Should I always go for the first kiss on first date?”
Their answers varied.
Here is the list:
-Always go for the first kiss. First kiss determines if she likes you or not. It saves your time.
-Take it slow. No rush for the first kiss. Build the relationship, and the kiss will eventually happen.
-It really depends. You will just know.
-Go with your strengths. If you are good at talking, tell her, “I really like to kiss you.” If you see her okay with it, go for the kiss.
-Whenever the lady tells you that she is enjoying her date with you, go for the kiss.
-If you never ever go for the first kiss, you might end up as her friend.
-One of my good friends told me, “You have balls and guts to approach any pretty lady. You should be able to go for first kiss on any first date.”
I am always curious for listening to everybody’s feedback.
Mathematics always has an answer to a problem. In life, there is really no answer to your problem. Follow your instincts.
Good luck on my next date.
During my 43-day span in China, I visited Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Shanghai was my home.
April 3-8: Beijing
April 8 - May 9: Shanghai
May 9-15: Hong Kong
May 15-16: Beijing
May 16: Fly back home
-Hiked Great Wall's section of Mutianyu. (It snowed heavily the day before. It rarely snows over there. Last time was 22 years ago. I witnessed more history.)
-Visited Olympic Park, where the Summer Olympics was held in 2008.
-Witnessed Stephon Marbury’s basketball legacy at his museum.
-Ate exotic food, such as scorpion, seahorse, starfish, and snake, in Wangfujing Street. I was terrified to eat tarantula.
-Explored Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace.
-Walked the Bund.
-Saw the Oriental Pearl Tower.
-Rode on ferry, then visited the Observatory Tower, which is the 2nd tallest building in world.
-Visited Yu Garden, and Jing'an Temple.
-Observed people at Jing'an Park.
-Stopped over Fairmont Peace Hotel, where famous and known people have visited and stayed.
-Tried a fish pedicure for the first time.
-Enjoyed playing basketball at Rucker Park. (People respected my game.)
-Stayed at different hostels. I met many locals, travelers, and foreigners.
-Always went for Yang’s Dumplings. Their dumplings are crunchy, tasty, and juicy. (Just right. This spot is the McDonald’s of Shanghai. You see it everywhere.)
-Also, stayed 2 nights at a Couchsurfing host.
-Met a nice lady from England, who I see as my auntie, at a hostel. (She is my mother's age.) She asked me, "What are you doing in China?" I answered, "I have already went to the main tourist spots in Beijing and Shanghai. Now, I want to play basketball." She laughed.
-At another hostel, I met a scientist from the Netherlands, and a school teacher from France. We respected our space. Each of us wandered off and explored alone during the day. Every night, we met up together for dinner and drinks. (Yuh, cheers.)
-Met another traveler at a hostel from Belgium, who I see as my big brother. (Thank you, hostel.) He wanted to visit the French concession many times.
-Met a girl that I really like at French Concession. We went on a few dates together. (Thank you, big bro.)
-Encountered a strange man at hostel. He asked for my credit card information so he can book an Airbnb spot. Also, he wanted me to lend his phone at Observatory Tower. I answered him, "Sorry, I cannot do it."
-My big brother introduced me to a solo kid traveler at 22 years old. He learned a lot from us.
Hong Kong (Flew from Shanghai to here with big bro. He already has been in HK many times. My big brother accompanied with me in my Hong Kong adventures, except Repulse Bay. He was my great tour guide.):
-Must buy an octopus card. It gets you everywhere in public transit use. (Imagine a real octopus with 8 legs. The name makes sense.)
-Relaxed at Repulse Bay
-Wandered off Soho, where it is a district of various restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
-Walked into antique store. Then, we were kindly invited to their free exhibition museum, where dresses from Xing and Ming dynasty were displayed.
-Ate delicious beef curry at Café de Coral. (This spot is the McDonald’s of Hong Kong. You see it everywhere.)
-Stayed at a hostel, Mojo Nomad Aberdeen. It was more of a co-living spot. People do their own thing over there. Not much of a typical hostel, where people meet each other. (I was able to recover from my rest. No distractions.)
-Discovered a zoo.
-Ate the best dim sum in Hong Kong at Maxim’s Palace, which is located in its city hall.
-Enjoyed eating at Aberdeen Promenade.
More moments and memories to talk about, but it would be forever to read.
Honestly, it does get tiring and exhausting to meet new people every day, while I tell them my same story over and over.
A good friend told me something like, "It is fine. Continue on telling the same story every day. Make it better. You are a stand-up comedian."
The hardest part in traveling is the goodbyes. (I will write about this in my upcoming blog entry. Stay tuned.)
See you later.
As a traveler, I meet different people around the world. I enjoy this.
I hear interesting, amazing stories from different people. (Ignore technology. Appreciate talking face-to-face.)
We become together as one. (Different skin color, ethnicity, race, and culture does not change anything. We are together as one.)
This is powerful and meaningful.
When I bonded and connected with travelers and locals, I did not want to head back home just yet.
The toughest part is saying goodbye to the people I had a special bond with. I am human.
I am slowly processing many thoughts and memories in my head.
Welcome to the solo travel life.
During my China trip, I met an interesting traveler at hostel. We became great friends.
(Again, relationships come unexpectedly.)
My great friend discovered that I usually prefer physical attraction first in a women.
From writer, Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, he introduced me to her quote,
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
Most importantly, everybody has their own type of beauty.
I told him, "I approach a very pretty lady. Then, I will see if we are able to importantly connect with each other. If it does not work out, respect the lady."
Then again, you might say my type is not your type.
It goes back with the quote.
Go with your type of beauty as long as you are able to connect with each other.
It is your choice. It is your life.
I see beauty.
(I am single. No rush. Time will tell who is the one for me. We shall see.)
I used to care about receiving "likes" on my Facebook and Instagram. (Perhaps, I have written a previous blog post similar to this. Oh, well. Social media is almost everywhere. I gotta talk about it.)
The more I care about "likes," the more I am confident about myself. (That was me before.) I had the super hunger to post something online.
Now, I try to be my true-self.
Currently, I am in China. I have taken many pictures over here. I am documenting my travel life on my Instagram. I am showing off to you my travel life. I admit it.
I do not mainly focus about gaining followers or receiving likes anymore. I focus on you showing my life (almost like this blog).
Yuh, I still check on the number of likes. My notification is on. I see it. It is tempting. (That is normal. I cannot completely wipe it off my mind.)
Yuh, I filter my photos to make it look crispy (unless my good friend is around, I use her wonderful iPhone X camera). (No need to filter photo using an iPhone X.) I like my photos to look good, before I post them on social media. (Picture shown above.) I admit it.
Yuh, I enjoy posting pictures of myself with the views in the background. (Picture shown above.) I rather post a picture with me in it than only the views. I admit it.
Whenever I receive a few or no likes, I do not get upset on myself anymore.
First and and foremost, I am trying to not only show you the highlight reels of my life. I have my “downs” in life. (For instance, I have posted my meaningful blogs about my sister on my Instagram profile.) It is an up-and-down journey.
Welcome to my “new” insight in social media.
First 10 days, I will be with my friends.
After that, I am on my own traveling and backpacking for 33 days. I have never done this before.
I am scared and excited.
April 3-8: Beijing
April 8-22: Shanghai
(Take a 22-hour slow train ride from Shanghai to Beijing.)
April 23 - May 16: Beijing
The schedule might change. I travel with ease.
Lodging priority in order: Couchsurfing (free stay, and a local host might show you around), Hosteling ($10-15 a night in China), AirBNBing (Cheapest at about $40/night), and Hoteling (Ranges from $50 or more per night).
Most importantly, the food in China is cheap.
I have written many places to visit in Beijing and Shanghai.
Honestly, I am not going to tackle every spot. I do not have a fear of missing out places anymore. It gets exhausting.
Again, I travel with ease.
My new adventure starts now...
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