Highlights: Squad Goals with Manila Brothers

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Well, for those who don’t know, I frequently go to Manila. How frequent? I can’t really answer that. But I can surely let you know that I am loving my every visit to Manila. Most of my visits in the Capital City, I spend it with my Manila brothers. Yeah, we’re in a long-distance relationship, but you see, I made a saying that is very perfect for us: Distance means nothing to friends who are worth keeping.

As what they all say, “A picture paints a thousand words.” So, here are the highlights of my trips in Manila together with my homies:

May 2013 – This was the first time that I got to meet my Manila batchmates. We trained together, them being the main class and us in Cebu as the remote class. This was also the first time I met Romeo and Laurence. From there, our friendship grew strong, and that’s where the bond started to get strong.

This was the first time that I got to meet my Manila batchmates. We trained together, them being the main class and us in Cebu as the remote class. This was also the first time I met Romeo (leftmost) and Laurence (next to Romeo). From there, our friendship grew strong, and that's where the bond started to get strong.

From Left: Romeo, Laurence, me, Yvonne (pink), Shermaine, Charles

April 2014 – Originally, it was a solo trip to Bangkok, Thailand for the Songkran Festival, but things went off the plan, so I was forced to ditch my supposed to be first international solo flight. So I decided to hang out with them instead. To my surprise, I made a wise decision because these boys right here made it more fun! The same trip, I got to meet new friends with Laurence’s projectmates: Ian and Jun.

April 2014 - Originally, it was a solo trip to Thailand, but things went off the plan, so I was forced to ditch my supposed to be first international solo flight. So I decided to hang out with them instead. To my surprise, I made a wise decision because these boys right here made it more fun! (From left: Adrian, Me, Laurence, Romeo)

From left: Adrian, Me, Laurence, Romeo

July 2014 – I came back because it was an awesome day for one of us: It’s Romeo’s birthday! It was also the first time we met Romeo’s best friend, Albert. Unlike us, Albert did not work in an IT Company, but despite that, we managed to click. He is now one of the regulars in every trips we plan.

July 2014 - I came back because it was an awesome day for one of us: It's Romeo's birthday! It was also the first time we met Romeo's bestfriend, Albert. Unlike us, Albert did not work in an IT Company, but despite that, we managed to clicked. He is now one of the regulars in every trips we plan. (From left: Laurence, Ian, me, Albert. Sitting: Romeo)

From left: Laurence, Ian, me, Albert. Sitting: Romeo

January 2015 – Ditched the Sinulog Festival just to hang out with them. We decided to test our mental skills and our analytical abilities via Breakout. Right after Breakout, we toured around Yexel’s Toy Museum. Yeah, a museum for toys!

January 2015 - Ditched the Sinulog Festival just to hang out with them. We decided to test our mental skills and our analytical abilities via Breakout. And yeah, just by looking at the picture, we failed. But it was fun!

Yeah, just by looking at the picture, we failed. But it was fun! Photo by Breakout Philippines

Right after Breakout, we toured around Yexel's Toy Museum. Yeah, a museum for toys! Behind us is a life-sized Optimus Prime, but only a half of it.

Behind us is a life-sized Optimus Prime, but only a half of it.

April 2015 – We planned a trip to Baguio. It was a Do-It-Yourself trip, courtesy of Adrian’s effort. Laurence’s projectmates, Ian, Jun and Richie (who decided to go along with us) joined us in our vacation. The trip was jam-packed but we enjoyed so much.

Lion's Head in Kennon Road. Photo by Albert

Lion’s Head in Kennon Road. Photo by Albert.

Philippine Military Academy. Photo by Albert

Philippine Military Academy. (From left: Adrian, Jun, Ian, Romeo, me, Laurence, Richie) Photo by Albert.

Got to be Igorots for a few minutes in Mines View Park

Got to be Igorots for a few minutes in Mines View Park.

August 2015 – Made an on-the-spot trip to hang out with them again! First time to try the ramen in Ramen Nagi and planned a Star City invasion.

Ramen Nagi self-we!

Ramen Nagi self-we!

Star City Invasion Successfully Completed! Photo by Romeo.

Star City Invasion Successfully Completed! Photo by Romeo.

November 2015 – The squad decided to visit Baler, Aurora. We searched for a cheap tour package and everything was set for us. From buffet meals to surfing to spot visits to #BalerMorghulis, everything was on point! And oh, the theme song for the trip is Taylor Swift’s Love Story. Yeah, very manly haha! New to the gang is Kevin, also from Laurence’s project.

#BalerMorghulis. Photo by Albert.

#BalerMorghulis. Photo by Albert.

Surfing in Baler is a must-try. Your visit in Baler is not complete if you failed to try this! Photo by Albert.

Surfing in Baler is a must-try. Your visit in Baler is not complete if you failed to try this! Photo by Albert.

baler3

From Left: me, Ian, Jun, Romeo, Laurence, Kevin, Albert. Photo by Albert.

April 2016 – Civil War Squad Goals! Being Marvel fan ourselves, me, Romeo, Albert, Laurence did an ultimate squad goal on the day when we watched Captain America: Civil War. Wearing the shirts inspired by the costumes of our favorite Marvel superheroes, we conquered SM North Edsa the Avengers way!

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Hawkeye, Antman, Captain America and Ironman

June 2016 – Decided to spend my birthday with my homies. We went to Anawangin Cove in Zambales to have some technology rehab (since there is no electricity and network signal in there). It was also the first time Abe Jeff joined us despite x times we invited him to our trips.

To Anawangin we go! Photo by Laurence.

To Anawangin we go! (From left: Laurence, Abe Jeff, me, Albert, Romeo, Kevin) Photo by Laurence.

We're thrilled as fck! Photo by Albert

We’re thrilled as fck! Photo by Albert.

Welcomed by this scenery. Photo by Albert.

Welcomed by this scenery. Photo by Albert.

The tales of Anna Wangin. Photo by Albert.

The tales of Anna Wangin. Photo by Albert.

People who knew that I am a frequent visitor in Manila always asked me questions. The common one is “Why do you keep on coming back to Manila?” Sometimes, I got bored answering the same questions all over again, but it’s ok though hehe.

So to answer the question:

It’s definitely not the worse traffic that will burn your time and patience. It’s not about the pollution that will poison you (of course I am just exaggerating). Not even the dangerous streets full of pickpocketers, burglars and what not (By the way, I almost lost my phones from a pickpocketers when I was on my way to NAIA going home when I first visited Manila on my own) or the rip off and dishonest taxi drivers circulating around the Metro. the main reason is a 7-letter word: FRIENDS

These are the people behind my joy in every visit I made in Manila. Today, they are not my friends anymore, but they become my brothers now. Brothers whom I considered my family in Manila, whom I trust and love the most. And oh, everytime the ask me my flight schedule going to Manila, they always use this exact question “When are you going home to Manila?” The same people is the reason why I never get tired of visiting Manila, despite the harsh reality within the city.

Well, the squad is yet to plan its next trip. I am also looking forward for something that will benefit the entire squad, but I cannot disclose it yet.

To my brothers, grab a beer and cheers for the awesome memories and to many more squad goals to come! 😉

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