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BIR Changing RDO

February 24, 2014 – I processed my employment documents that include Pag-Ibig or HDMF and my tax updates (RDO and Tax Exemp.) I am working for more than five years now and it was my first time to process these documents and it wasn’t a good experience, so I want to share it with you.  Since I previously worked in a BPO located near SM Mega Mall, Mandaluyong City  with RDO: 041, I proceeded to BIR Office in Boni, to have my BIR Form 1905 Stamped. But, upon submitting it to the clerk, he informed me that my record was already with RDO: 43A in Shaw (near SSS and Pag-Ibig.) and I wasn’t informed about it. So I took MRT from Boni to MRT Shaw, then along Shaw boulevard, I took a jeep with “Pasig, Palengke” signage. Get off in front of Pag-Ibig Bldg. (second Stop Light.) Proceeded to the other side of the highway, where BIR is located. Got queue number from the guard and waited for my turn.

When I got my turn, I submitted BIR Form 1905 to the clerk then he put a stamp on it. And he told me that the form 2305 needs to be submitted on the new RDO (43B.) So after processing 1905, to save time and effort, I went to Pag-Ibig (HDMF) and processed my load consolidation. After HDMF, I took a jeep, just in front of their building, with “Pasig Palengke” signage and proceeded to BIR Kapitolyo (43B) for my 2305. Got queue number and waited for my turn. To make it short, I was sitting there for two hours, so it was really not a short one. When I got my turn, I proceeded to the counter for the stamp, but sadly to hear that “I need to go back after 3-4 working days.” So after two hours of waiting and I am just going to hear that from the clerk. The clerk from BIR Shaw should have informed me that it's within that period. Not happy about it!

TO THE BIR:
I do suggest to please place an employee (with data record) that will ONLY focus on regular inquiry, RDO verification and single transaction update. Guards can only accommodate inquiries about forms, and then they will refer you to wait for your turn with the clerk. Remember, majority these individuals who are trying to process their forms also have their own tasks to do for that single day, so instead of waiting for few hours for just an inquiry, they can still do some other things. And also, I noticed that a lot of employers today are lazy processing these forms for their employees (especially Call Centers.) It's a mandatory requirement that new hired employees to have their forms stamped before submitting it to them, like my employer today.

Bakit Ba Ako Namumundok?


Second Mountain ko ang Mt. Manabu sa Brgy. Sulok, Batangas. First time kong mag-overnight at maka-experience ng fog sa taas ng bundok. First time kong maabutan ng hamog habang nasa trail paangat papuntang camp site. Sabi nga nila: “there’s always a first time, diba?” kaya remarkable sakin ang bundok na ito at ang date na June 9, 2012.

Nagkita-kita ang mga participants sa isang maliit na mall sa kalapit na lugar. Habang nag-aantay, nagkaroon kami ng oras maglibot-libot sa mall na iyun. Habang naglilibot at nangungulit sa mga boutique, isang tanong mula sa isang sales lady ang hindi ko makakalimutan. Sabi nya: “Anu ba ang nakukuha nyo sa taas ng bundok? Diba parang pinapagod nyo lang ang sarili nyo?” Sa totoo lang, medyo natahimik at napa-isip ako ng ilang segundo bago makasagot sa kanya. Yung tipong nakaroon ng buffering moment muna bago ako nakapag-react. Oo nga no? “Bakit nga ba ako umaakyat, Anu nga ba ang nakukuha ko sa taas ng bundok?” Nasabi ko nalang sa kanya: “Masaya eh, tapos maganda ang mga views sa taas.” Kaso may rebuttal agad ang tindera, sabi pa n’ya: “Paanong magiging masaya eh, nakakapagod kaya umakyat. Tapos kinabukasan bababa ulit kayo. Tapos gagastos pa kayo.”

Maraming hikers ang na-encounter na ang ganitong tanong at sitwasyon, tama? Pero sa isang katulad ko na wala pang kamuwang-muwang at baguhan sa hiking; honestly, nagkaroon talaga ako ng doubt sa mga sagot na binitawan ko. Hanggang gabi, ang tanong paring iyun ang nasa loob ng aking isipan at pinipilit kong pigain ang utak ko para sa kasagutan sa tanong na iyun ng tindera.

Isa pang bagay, maraming hikers ang makakarelate din dito, yung tipong pag-papunta palang sa jump off masayang-masaya kayong lahat, excited sa mga mangyayari at makikilala sa trail. Pero kapag nagsimula nang mag-trek, at nagsisimula nang tumulo ang mga pawis, maririnig na nating ang mga katagang: “Bakit ko ba ginagawa ito, ansarap kaya ng buhay ko sa bahay, sarap kumain, sarap matulog, sarap manuod ng TV kasama ang pamilya.” Aminin nyo, hindi yan nawawala sa bawat trek, marami sa atin ang ganyan; kahit ako, umaarte ng ganyan at minsan nga nagiging form of joke nalang ang mga katagang yan, walang personalan. Pero yung iba, nagagalit pag nakakarinig ng ganyang mga kataga, tama?

Photo above: at the Summit of Mt. Mantalingajan, Palawan (click the yellow link for our climb info)

April 2014, magkakaroon na ako ng 2nd year anniversary sa hiking. Pero hindi ko parin maisagot ang akma sa katanungang iyun ng tindera. Sa bawat taong nakakasalamuha ko at nagbabato sakin ang tanong na: “Anu ang nakukuha mo sa pamumundok,” Ito parin ang kadalasan kong isinasagot: “Great views and unexplainable happiness; you need to experience it first for you to be able to get and experience the right answer.” Personally, habang nakikita ko ang ganda ng kalikasan, mas lalo akong napapaisip kung gaano ako ka swerte at nabiyayaan ng magagandang mga bagay. Hindi SAPAT ang iba’t-ibang salita o description para sa isang paliwanag na involve ang puso at isipan. “Ikaw, anu ang nakukuha mo sa pamumundok?"

Mt. Marami

Mt. Marami
It's been a long time since we were planning to climb this mountain, but the plan resulted to the other mountains.  The original plan was to do a traverse of Mt. Makiling.  But 4 days before our plotted dates, we just knew that it's not advisable to do an overnight in Makiling due to some reasons, so since our schedules were fine, why not doing an overnight in Mt. Marami.

Mt. Marami is situated in Brgy. Ramirez, Magallanes, Cavite, Philippines.  This mountain is very accessible to every mountaineers coming from Manila.  No need worry about your budget because it's cheaper compared to the other.  Given the fact that this mountain has a simple trail, so very advisable to the newbie.

If you're going to search Mt. Marami using master google, a lot of the bloggers said that this mountain is almost the same with Mt. Pico de Loro, situated almost in the same area.  The is so true, this two mountains actually have the same features, although I was happier  to this mountain because a lot of boulders can be found here, so I was able to create more poses.

I'll start my story from the Brgy. Hall of Brgy. Ramirez.  When we're done and settled everything (guide and fees) while we were waiting for the horse as our porter, we took our lunch break beside the basketball court located in front of the barangay hall.  As usual, while eating our packed lunch we bought at different fast food chains in Baclaran, we took a lot of photos while taking a rest and preparing our ourselves for our journey. Some of us took a porter (a horse) to carry their huge backpacks.  From barangay hall, it was a long walk, taking the road with less trees on the side, so the sun was striking our silky skin, good thing that I was using my arm warmer that time.  The road is not cemented, I think it's 2-3 kilometers walk.  Beside the road are trees and coconuts.  But be careful on the horse poops that scattered anywhere - again be alert!

Mt. Marami
After being dried while walking on the road, we crossed the first river.  I know summer is here, but the river still has a clear water, but I am not sure if it's clean, because again, the horse poops were still there.  We were all hopping to every stones - this is to avoid getting our shoes wet.  Right after the river crossing was a short assault going to a wide and open area that only has grass and coconut trees. 

Next part was a challenge, this is what the other hikers were talking about.  It's better to get guides, the trails were really complicated.  This part at least have trees that cover us from the sun rays.  No need to worry about trail class, because everything was simple.  It was a happy walk until we reached the house of Nanay Mercedez.  She offered 3 buko and the 9 pieces of boiled banana.  We bought the buko for 10 pesos each and then the bananas were for free.  They were so kind to us, they even joking.  After the few minutes rest, we gained our strength again, it's time to push ourselves to the summit.

Mt. Marami
Few meters walk from Nanay Mercedez's house was another river crossing.  In this part, we saw the bridge made up of bamboo and woods.  But since we're tired because of the hot weather, we just captured picture then proceeded walking.  It was more than an hour walk until we reached the part we called the park. 

Mt. Marami
The park is an open area with green grass on the ground with acacia tree on the right side.  Since the area is open, the fresh and cold wind passes through the whole area.  It was a calming afternoon while we were lying on the ground.  We were four that time, relaxing while the other were taking the assault part.  When we're done resting in place, we ascended the assault part.  It was a simple assault, but the sun shine was still striking.

Mt. Marami
After few minutes of walking, we saw our group members, having their rest while drinking fresh coconut juice.  So again, we took our rest, enjoying the fresh air and the green surroundings.  We been there for like more than an hour, because the sun rays really hurts.  When everything was settled, we begun to take the remaining assault part.  In this part, we got a hard time walking on the trail because the ground was really dry, and the sand made the trail slippery.  But it wasn't a huge problem.

Next part, we reached the bukal or the spring.  The spring has water on it, but I am not sure if it's safe because the hole on the ground also have dried leaves, tadpoles were swimming in the water and the horse's poopz can be found anywhere.  We rested, had a break, had a lot of fun while the wind was blowing my long, curly, black and shiny hair. Another thing I noticed was the garbage beside the resting area, just few meters from the spring. There were plastic, bottles and other non-biodegradable materials. I felt sad, because I saw the other hikers and even the guides throwing their waste to this area. They thought, it's a garbage bin.

Mt. Marami
After the bukal was a bit simple assault, with grass on the side of the trail.  That part is the perfect place to capture the horizon.  In this part, the cogon grass were beside on the steep trail then going to the kubo.  We just rested for few minutes then proceeded to the next part.  Twenty meters from the kubo was the barb wire part.  Bending and hopping to every wire was a challenging part to everyone of us because the group of cow, grazing just beside the wire and two of us were wearing red (I don't know if it's true that red is a striking color in the eyes of the cows.) But we hurried crossing the wire, just to make sure.  There were papa, mama and baby cows, happily living ever after.

After that challenging part, was a clean and open trail.  It's like the park with green surroundings and trees on the side.  Here, I saw the gorgeous rock formation of the mountain's summit and the silyang bato gave an exciting feeling for my poses.  The wind was a bit cooler compared to the previous part of the trail, so we stopped, look and listen - in short we took a rest!

Mt. Marami
Next part was an assault trail passing through the middle of the bamboo cluster, so be aware of your backpack and covers.  We already saw the camp site from this area, so we proceeded!  White ribbons with a red heart can be found to some shrubs that serves a trail signage.  Just thirty minutes and we already reached the camp site.

Mt. Marami
photo by Beth
There were two groups who were occupying the best part of the camp site - it was their reward for being the fastest, hehehe.  The camp site was actually wide; but the problem was, the horse and cows poopz were spread everywhere.  So we occupied the side with cogon because it was the cleaner part, well that camp site is better compared to some other mountains.

After we pitched our four tents, we cooked our foods for dinner.  While some were doing their chiors, some of us were dancing and doing the lifting keme.  We were all wearing our jackets, because the wind was really cold that time.  As usual, we were noisy while the other group were so serious talking about something that we didn't knew.

Mt. Marami
photo by Beth - we're preparing our dinner
It was late 8PM when we had our dinner.  And after dinner, we just kept the cooking stuff then begun our socials.  It was a happy socials because of Dick Gordon's commercial "wala butas aking pwet, action Gordon."  I really don't know if what's with that commercial, but it was the topic the whole night.  The wind was really cold and strong, so after socials, time to say good night.

Day 1 (Heading to Naic, Cavite)
Bus - Baclaran Bound for Naic, Cavite (66pesos per head)
ETD 9:30AM
ETA 10:21AM (beside Petron)
Walked few meters going to Magallanes Jeep Station
Took a Public Jeepney going to Brgy. Ramirez (36pesos per head)
ETD 10:35AM
ETA 11:25AM
Took a tricycle bound for Brgy. Ramirez Local Hall (10pesos per head)
ETD 11:30AM
ETA 11:35AM

Early in the morning, the fog was still thick . . we can't see the mountains surrounding the area.  The wind was still cold but we need to have coffee and bread, so cooking time again for our breakfast.  When everything was ready, we took our breakfast while still wearing our jackets.  After breakfast, we fixed our things and put it in our tents because in a few moments, we'll be going to the summit.

Mt. Marami
Silyang Bato
The summit is a walking distance from the camp site.  I am not so sure about the exact time frame to ascend, but I think it was just less than an hour and the trail is not difficult with a lot cogon on the sides.  The summit is composed of rock formation with plants hanging on it.  It is also the place where Silyang Bato can be found.  This part of Mt. Marami is perfect for my Buwis Buhay Pose.

Mt. Marami
We were on the summit for more than an hour, doing our poses.  But since the sun was starting to strike on our skin, so we went back to the camp site.  When we've reached the camp site, we ate the left over food, then started breakcamp but we had some issues,  read here: Problems.

When everyone packed up already, we left the camp site.  We followed the trail which we've used to ascend the mountain so it was a bit easier.  We had our late lunch at Nanay Mercedez house.

The sun was really hot that time, so we decided to move faster until we've reached the halo-halo store near the baranggay hall.  So, that's the first thing we did, order and then eat!  Then when we're complete, we cleaned ourselves at the store beside the baranggay hall and some were at the office's wash room for 20 pesos. Then we chartered a jeepney going to Naic, Cavite for 700 pesos (12 people.) At Naic (beside Petron) we took a bus going to Baclaran. Travel Time: 3 Hours and 30 minutes.

Mountaineer ka, Eh dey Mayaman Ka?

Just December last year, I was in Romblon for a vacation with my family. I had a time meeting my high school batch mates. While we were in a party, there was another group on the other side, just few meters from us, so I heard and understood what they were talking about. A lot of questions were asked, but one question remained in my head: “Mountaineer ka diba, Eh dey mayaman ka?” A girl asked that question to a hiker guy. The guy answered but unfortunately I didn’t hear his answer
 
Ang ordinaryong tao kapag nalamang mountaineer/hiker ka, iniisip agad nila na hindi ka naghihirap sa buhay at naghahanap ka lang ng mapagwawaldasan ng pera at kayamanan. Noong una, ang paniniwala ko ay ganun din, iniisip ko dati: “anu kayang ang mga trabaho ng mga hiker? Sinusweduhan ba sila sa ginagawa nila? Bakit parang andami nilang perang panggastos?” Sabi nga nung isa kong friend, ang mountaineering daw ay para lamang sa mga mayayaman at may kaya, take note: “para lamang sa mayayaman o may kaya” o kayang tustusan ang sarili sa pag-akyat. 

Those are correct! Ang pamumundok ay maraming kaakibat na sakripisyo sa sarili, sa trabaho, at maging sa pamilya. Pero kung nasa puso at isipan mo ang pag-akyat, gagawa at gagawa ka ng paraan para lamang maibalance ang pamumundok at iba pang bagay. Sabi nga ng ibang hikers: “Pamumundok Muna Bago ang Pag-ibig.

Noong nasimulan ko na ang pamumundok, dun ko naramdaman ang ligaya; nasabi ko nga sa sarili kong: “ito ang hinahanap at gusto ko.” Kung dati, hilig ko ang magpapalit-palit nang kung anu-anong mga gadgets gaya ng mobile phones, ipod, camera at kung anu-ano pang touch screen. Ngayon, wala na akong paki-alam sa mga ito, basta may pangTXT at pang-tawag ako, okay na! Ang mahalaga ay ang budget pang-akyat ng bundok o pambili ng bagong gears. Okay lang din magutuman at kumulo ang tyan paminsan-minsan, basta may pang akyat lang. Nagtitiis akong gumising ng maaga para magluto ng kanin na pang-breakfast, lunch (baon sa office,) at pang-dinner – isang saingan lang yan huh para tipid sa kuryente. Ilang beses ko naring ginawa ang paghati-hati ng isang de latang sardinas para sa breakfast, lunch at dinner. Nagjijeep narin ako kesa sumakay ng aircon na bus or fx para mas-makatipid.

Lahat ng mga yun tiniis at tinitiis ko para lang sa pamumundok. Todo tipid, todo ipon, pero pag may nakitang SALE or 75 % OFF sa mga outdoor shops, ayun swipe dito, swipe doon. Ang iba naman, deretsong ATM para magwidraw at makabili ng kung anu-ano, “minsan lang daw kasi ang SALE.” 

Anu nga ba ang mga Pinaghahandaan ko?

Una, kailangang paghandaan ang pansariling budget sa bawat pag-akyat. Sa mga taga Metro Manila, since ang pinaka-malapit na mga kabundukan ay makikita sa probinsya ng Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan, Batangas at marami pang iba; asahan na natin ang budget para sa transportation. Pangalawa, kailangan ding pag-handaan ang mga pansariling kagamitan, kagaya nang backpack, sapatos, tent at marami pang iba. 

Usapang presyo naman tayo, hindi basta-basta ang mga presyo ng mga kagamitang nabanggit ko. Hindi yan ordinaryong mga kasuutan na makikita lang natin sa ordinaryong pamilihan o boutique. Kaakibat ng presyo ang tibay at protection para sa mga hikers. Ang mga brands na nakikita ko sa kapwa namumundok ay pambihira kong makita sa mga boutiques na kadalasan kong pinupuntahan. Maging ang ibang malalaking mga department store nationwide, limited din ang ibang brands. Yung iba naman, halos hindi ko na mabasa dahil ibang lingwahe ang mga nakasulat. Buti nalang may google na pwedeng gamitin para malaman ang iba’t-ibang outdoor brands sa mundo. Swerte mo kung may kakilala ka sa europa, gaganda kasi ng kanilang mga brands for hiking eh.

Hindi masamang magtipid para mabili ang ating gusto. Hindi rin masamang maglaan ng pera para sa pansariling kaligayahan. Hindi masamang bilhin mo ang kung anung bagay na magpapasaya sayo. Lagi lang nating tatandaan: “ang isang minutong ligaya ay ligaya parin, wala itong katumbas na halaga.” Kung anu ang nakakasama? Ito ay kung ginagawa lang natin ang pamumundok para ipamukha sa ibang tao na “we’re above the others.” Ang kaingitan ang mga bagay/gears na meron ang ibang hikers ay magbubunga ng pagkakasala at may posibilidad pang mag-udyok sa ating gumawa ng masama sa kapwa. Usapang ingit, minsan ang phrase na: “Kill Nothing But Time” ay nagbubunga ng pagka-ingit, kaya beware. Tandaan: “lahat ng sobra, nakasasama.” Maging kuntento tayo at pasalamatan natin kung anung meron tayo. Ang totoong kasiyahan ay bunga ng pag-sisikap at determinasyon para maabot ang ating mga pangarap.

We Need Cultural Preservation

The Philippines is composed 7,107 islands and was divided into different territories or provinces. Before the word Filipino was given to each people of the Philippines, people were already characterized and divided by their own tribal groups. Each group have their own community; with their leader, cultures, ways of living, livelihood and other aspects.

During our Mt. Mantalingajan climb in Palawan, I saw and met some indigenous people, they are from the tribes of Taaw’t Batu and Palaw-an. Honestly, I was amazed by them, their language, their appearance and their culture. When I came back, I conducted a research if who these indigenous people are and as well as their culture. As a result, I found out that they are one of the ancestral tribes of the modern Filipinos. They are the old Filipinos, without proper education and still living in the primitive way.

Centuries ago, prior colonization, members of the tribal groups worship the sun, moon, stars, trees, birds and some other things, including certain phenomena; it is part of their culture. But, during the arrival of religion, in some areas, everything was changed. Their old culture disappeared and was replaced with the new teachings, new ideas and new beliefs. There were a lot of improvements done, but the richness of their old culture can only be accessed and can only be read in historical books.
What do they really need?

Education – learning and discovering new things and ideas is constant. As new discoveries are made, new thoughts and ideas will follow. But, discoveries can be helpful and can also bring changes to the communities. Today, a lot of the NGOs are focusing on how to bring education to every tribal group members situated on the mountain ranges in the country, which are not accessible. With the effort of the majority, someday, this entire indigenous people will have access to the right education and modernization.

I am not afraid of learning, what I am afraid of is that: If we are giving every modern idea to them, without teaching them first on the right preservation and protection of their own culture, then we are replacing their old ideas with the new ones we teach. Human beings are smart, so even these tribes are considered as “No Read, No Write,” they can easily adapt these new ideas.

Here’s what we can do:

Before teaching them with the modern ideas; we need to make sure that we are providing them feedback about on how rich they are in terms of their culture and we need to give emphasis on the preservation of it.

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