Put Yourself In The Way Of Beauty

“There’s a sunset and a sunrise every day. You can choose to be there for it, you can choose to put yourself in the way of beauty.”

Last month I finished reading the book “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. My introduction to this book came via seeing the preview for the film adaptation which stars Reese Witherspoon. A few seconds in, I knew I had to see the film. After seeing it, I immediately knew that I had to read the book. And so I did, twice over.

Wild is probably my favorite book that I’ve read in a long time. I haven’t hiked the Pacific Crest Trail or anything even remotely close to it in scale or scope but I do understand what Cheryl Strayed communicates all throughout each chapter.


The book awakened something in me, and it’s why I’ve started taking a stroll every day at sunset when my schedule permits. Every day, for a little under an hour, I allow myself to become exposed to the trees, skies, greenery… or at least the semblance of it that my surroundings offer. I’ll take what I can get. This is the curse of a city dweller.

The New York Times recently posted an article on how walking in nature has the power to change the brain.


“Most of us today live in cities and spend far less time outside in green, natural spaces than people did several generations ago. City dwellers also have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living outside urban centers, studies show.”

To summarize the article, the study basically showed that individuals that spend time in nature on a regular basis were shown to have lower stress levels and their brains changed as well as they were more positive, less anxious, and less focused on factors in their life that they felt dragged them down (full article here).

I personally can attest to this as my mood completely lifts after my strolls. Bad things suddenly don’t seem so bad. And I’m reminded of how beautiful my surroundings are and how fortunate I am to have the things that I do in life. And I’m not talking about material things…

I write this to encourage you, my dear reader, to get out there more. Make this a part of your day. Squeeze it in no matter how busy you are. I know there aren’t that many options in Manila but they are out there. Ayala Triangle Gardens, La Mesa Eco Park, Capitol Commons Park… It can only do you good. Tried and tested na yan. 🙂

Anyhooooooo…. the primary purpose of this entry is to talk about my Mt. Daraitan experience. I definitely have to send a shout-out to my boy Marvin Bernardino as well as to Instagram as I never would’ve chanced upon it if it hadn’t been for them! It was absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to be back. There was a cave where you can go swimming by just the glow of a flashlight and you can take a dip in the Tipinpak River as well which is right by the mountain whenever it gets too warm… this is a serene, insanely breathtaking place that I hope is never defiled or lost to tourism. Feel free to ask me anything about it. And if you go, please, LEAVE NO TRACE BEHIND. Stuff any trash in your bag and take only memories with you. Here are the photos, as promised. Cred to my talented BFF Paowee.

pauline daraitan 2

pauline daraitan

daraitan dock

pauline tinipak river

Remember: “There’s a sunset and a sunrise every day. You can choose to be there for it, you can choose to put yourself in the way of beauty…”


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