An agriculturist by heart and profession. A frugal wanderer. Lover of life and people. Adventure seeker. A typical human being who tries to live a healthy life and is occasionally interested in makeup and clothes.
Time flies so fast! Christmas is approaching and 2018 is about to say goodbye. I have been contemplating on what journal/diary I want to use this coming 2019. Recently, two of my friends claimed the 2019 Starbucks Travel Organizer and Mercury Drug Joyful Daybook.
First, to get the Starbucks travel organizer you need to collect 18 stickers. When you buy a drink, you will get 1 sticker. You can either choose their planner or travel organizer with two different colors (planner – white or dark brown; travel organizer – teal or orange-brown). TBH, I am not really a fan of SB because number 1) it is expensive (lol) and 2) I can live without flavored drinks. But, if I am going to choose, I will also get the travel organizer. Included in the travel organizer is a Starbucks card where you load your money and in every purchase you gain a point/star and with 12 points/stars you will get a free drink.
I just love the minimalist design of the organizer. It has the classic logo embossed in front. The zipper color has an old-age vibe and matches the color of the leather. The organizer is designed to hold cards, phone or passport and a small notebook (included in the set), it also comes with a strap. It is handy and light you can bring it during travels or everyday activities. Your basic travel essentials will fit perfectly (passport, boarding pass, cards, cash, small notebook, pen, headset).
Overall, I like it. If you always buy drinks at Starbucks or you like to hold your essentials in an organized way, you should get one. But if you are on a budget or not a SB person, getting this is not practical (18drinks * ~170 = PhP3060). There are other choices in the market which you can get for as low as PhP500 (imagine the 2500 savings!!).
Moving on, the planner game of Mercury Drug has leveled up. Last year, I got their planner – the peach one. The design and paper quality impressed me. This year, they released their Joyful Daybook and you get one with 35 suki card points (PhP200=1 suki point). The planner comes in 4 different colors (blue – peace and happiness; violet – courage and clarity of thought; red – love and passion; yellow – strength and intellect).
The quality is the same as in their 2018 planner. The notebook is enclosed in a white thin paper casing. The notebook itself has rubber-like but stiff cover with embossed design. It has a garter string on the upper right corner (last year’s had it in the middle) that holds the notebook together.
Inside the planner are mood and health trackers, blank leaves, motivational quotes and words of wisdom with pretty amazing designs. I highly recommend this! I mean, you get this for free with your 35 suki points (or you can ask your friend or relative to help you with this.LOL). But do not spend PhP 7000 to get the points you need – check out their products with extra suki points.
If you are a nature lover and into trekking then this post is for you.
My starting point was at Los Banos, Laguna so if you’re coming from Cubao area, add 2 hours of travel time. From Cubao you need to ride a bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna (Worthy Transport/HM or DLTB). I have no idea on bus fare from Cubao going straight to Sta. Cruz but Cubao to Los Banos is PhP 99.00 then Los Banos to Sta. Cruz is PhP 39.00 (with this I am assuming that bus fare from Cubao to Sta. Cruz will be less than PhP 150.00). Your drop off point is Pagsawitan. Most bus operators will shout that you are at Pagsawitan or you can tell them to drop you there. If you happen to rode the DLTB bus, you can drop off to their terminal. From the DLTB terminal, you need to cross the road and wait for a jeepney with ‘Majayjay’ signage (usually, these jeepneys are already full when they get to DLTB terminal so you can opt to go to the jeep terminal – to go there, do not cross the road yet from the terminal and wait for a jeep with ‘Sta.Cruz’ signage and tell the driver to drop you off to Majayjay jeep terminal, fare is PhP 10.00). Going to Majayjay will cost you PhP 32.00 and you need to tell the driver to drop you off to the tricycle terminal going to Bukal falls. Ride a tricycle that will bring you to the Barangay hall (Tricycle fare is PhP 15.00). Someone in the Barangay will orient you to the things you need to prepare on your trek – environmental fee of PhP 20.00 and tour fee of PhP 300.00 should be settled before you proceed. Get ready for your 30-45 minutes walk going to Bukal falls because it will be a pretty rough and steep trail. There are no restrooms at the falls so better do your things in the restrooms provided by the Barangay.
The tour guides are friendly, nice and funny and the one assigned to us was Kuya Ariel. We rented a life vest since we do not know how to swim and the well is 16-ft deep (Life vest rental: PhP 50.00). Kuya Ariel was kind enough to bring our life vests during the climb.
The trek started with cemented road and eventually became steep. There are usually handrail to help you survive the walk. You can rest any time you like just tell your guide. We had one stop over after 10-min walk where you can buy food, drinks and fresh buko. Along the way, there will be witty reminders. LOL.
It was raining during our trip and the water was amazingly not murky (at least the way I expected), it was green but magically clear. According to our tour guide Kuya Ariel, during summer or when the sky is clear the water is turqoise in color. You can enjoy swimming all day. It is best to go there during hot summer days because of the cold water. We swam for an hour and decided to go back. You will walk back going to the Barangay hall through the same trail which is pretty challenging because of the steep slopes. You can also camp at Bukal falls but you will be accompanied by your tour guide. We finished our Bukal falls adventure at 12:00noon. Kuya Ariel is kind enough to fetch a tricycle we rented for PhP 300.00 going to Majayjay/Taytay falls (but if you are on a budget, you can ride a jeepney going to Majayjay (PhP 40.00) and then tricycle heading Taytay-Majayjay multipurpose hall (PhP 20.00). It took us 20 minutes to reach the location. If you are going for a day tour you only have to pay an entrance fee of PhP 20.00 but if you decided to go camping, you need to give PhP 30.00. You can either bring a tent or rent one. There are also rooms for rent near the vicinity. You need to have a 5-minute walk through an easy trail going to the falls. The water was freezing cold during our trip (colder than water in Bukal falls) which I think will be best during summer. The place is quiet (except the noise of some tourists) and the water is bluish and clear. You can swim without a life vest because there is a large shallow swimming area. There are comfort rooms and change area. Expect good mobile phone signal but not power supply.
At 3pm, we prepared ourselves going home. We rode a tricycle going to the main road (PhP 20.00) then a jeepney bound to Majayjay (PhP 12.00) and dropped off at the terminal where we rode a jeep going to Sta. Cruz bus terminal(PhP 38.00). You can either drop off at DLTB or Worthy transport since both of them offer trip bound to Alabang or Cubao.
expect additional waiting hours when riding jeepneys in the terminal as they wait for other passengers or until it is full
you can try riding a horse for P100 but for a short distance since the trail is steep and rough
there are few jeepneys passing by on the main road so expect an almost fully-booked ride
last trip of buses bound to Cubao/Alabang is 10-11pm and first trip is 3am
Trek and other activities
bring enough food and water along the way
do not carry heavy items if not necessary
rest if you get tired
if you don’t know how to swim rent a vest
water is freezing cold
Near the falls
there is no convenient/sari-sari store
mobile phone signal is there but not electric current
comfort rooms in Taytay falls is not so comfy to use; in Bukal falls, rest room is in Barangay hall
Schedule and fare
5:30 – 8:00 – Cubao to Sta.Cruz (bus) ~ P150
7:00 – 8:00 – Los Banos to Sta. Cruz (bus) P39
8:01 – 8:15 – Sta. Cruz bus terminal to Sta. Cruz town proper Majayjay terminal (jeep) P9
Agriculture is not the usual degree program you might consider, and it is not even on google’s top 10 paying jobs in the Philippines. But then you woke up one day having the passion to push through the course. Do you eagerly want to become an agriculturist someday? Here are some of the things you need to anticipate:
1. It is not all about plant cultivation under the sun
When some people hear ‘agriculture’, they will immediately say ‘ah, magsasaka’ (ah, farmer) and what they really mean is planting crops all day and going home with little money (Note: There’s nothing wrong about being a farmer because they bring food to our table. We should be thankful). Plant cultivation is just one component in agriculture. Expect laboratory works, higher math and science subjects, eye-to-eye encounter with chicken and pig, and more!
2. Coursework might be challenging
Prepare your dose of caffeine to stay awake during hell weeks because your coursework is not as easy as you imagined. Your class schedule might run from 7am to 7pm with no breaks because some laboratory class will consume 1 to 6 hours of your time per day. You will become pro at time management. LOL.(forgive my handwriting skillz. :D)
Being fussy is not encouraged
One of the things you will do under agriculture is field work and under this you might encounter doing the following: stepping on the mud and feeling your feet going down until you reach the hard pan during rice planting, slaughtering livestock animals, exploring grassy fields to complete your weed and insect collections, getting filthy hands when feeling the texture of your soil sample, sweating a lot while conducting your survey in the community, or walking onan undeveloped road in a remote area while tracing the market channels. You got no time to be fussy!
There are a lot of opportunities
Do you know that you can get agriculture as pre-med or even pre-law course? Do you want to travel for free? – field works will allow you to go to different places. Do you want to drive your own car after graduation? – work on sales – they usually provide car incentives which you can acquire later on. Are you dreaming of becoming a scientist? – do research, publish and be awarded as academician or national scientist. Other opportunities under agriculture will be discussed on a separate blog.
(Sunset in Caramoan, Camarines Sur)
Learning is diverse and continuous
If you enjoy studying, then you are on the right track. Agriculture branchesto different disciplines. You will have fun having shallow to deep lessons coming from crops, weeds, insects, animals, molecular biology, economics and marketing. Discovering the wonders of producing food won’t stop in the classroom because agriculture is progressive – there will be new technologies and innovations to improve food production from time to time which makes learning an endless process.
Meeting people from different walks of life.
One of the greatest opportunities in agriculture is to meet people from different types of jobs and different levels of society. You can encounter farmers, researchers, traders, travelers, government officials (from local to national level), doctors, lawyers, vendors, drivers, CEOs and even random strangers, and all of them have a story to share which will lead us to number 7.
(meeting some farmers)
Have you ever heard generalizations about people (e.g. Ilocanos are kuripot)? You will meet Ilocanos spending more than you can imagine or investing on practical things – after all, inflation rate is so high that you need to spend your money wisely even if you are not an Ilocano! At this point, you might perceive Muslims as dangerous people because terrorist attacks are often linked to them but having a close encounter (as classmate/friend, interviewee) with them will tell you that they are generally good people. Eventually, you will be a better learner of life and people.
It will strengthen your personality
The challenges and opportunities of agriculture will give you a tough mind, body and soul towards becoming a better version of yourself.
Agriculture is not as easy as 1-2-3 but I assure you it will surprise you with exciting activities. Do you have questions about other things to expect when you choose agriculture as your course in college? Let me know in the comment section.