“You can’t connect the dots looking forwards.” A sentence from Steve Jobs I’ve always appreciated. I often see life, or reflect on life, as a series of dots. As these dots vary in size, they can take on the names of blocks, chapters, eras and much more. A block might a period of time as long as a week, and a chapter might be as long as five years. No matter the duration, each dot plays a pivotal part in the steps moving forward. Sometimes, it’s clear how we construct certain blocks and chapters, and other times not so much. I’ll conclude my geometry spill, but I’m going to classify this week as a block. A real solid and purposeful chunk of time.
Leaving Coron, we had a week free before commencing our nine-day sailing tour with VOPO earth. Jackson and I are both taking on large projects in the upcoming month. Any project comes with a degree of organisation and needed preparedness, alas, this is what Manila was going to be useful for. We booked ourselves into an Airbnb for the week and used this as our home base.


My main objectives of the week:
  • Run 90km
  • Daily gym workout, focused around glut strength and core.
  • Up to date on all things blog related.
  • Make sure all the cogs are turning for The Siargao Session, my retreat to be held in 3 weeks.
    – Training plans, accommodation/room allocations, tours, meal preferences, and workshop structure.
  • Edit and send off photo packages.
  • Make time for more journalling, reflection and creative time.

I really enjoy the routine of the Philippines. Routine probably isn’t the right word, considering each week is vastly different from the one before it. However, with the early sunsets, I find it very easy to go to bed early and wake up early. Devouring some peanut butter toast and a couple of bananas each morning, this was our chosen food selection to get the day firing. Leaving the delicious peanut butter behind, next on the agenda was to hit the crazy city streets.

Beating the sun up not only makes you feel great and sets your day up for success, but also helped us avoid horrid air pollution. The air quality index (AQI) reached 170 by 10 am most days, and you could feel it too. It may be slightly detrimental running in these conditions, yet it’s only for a week block. Once the run was finished, we’d go and have our second breakfast for the day. And then sit down at our laptops till sunset. Knowing that we had a nine sailing trip awaiting us, I didn’t mind that I wasn’t out exploring. Running through the streets of Manila is an adventure in itself, I’d often run out 6-8km away from the Airbnb purposely trying to get lost and then work my way back from there. Once sunset hit, we’d do a 90min gym workout and then head out for dinner. Any time left after dinner, we’d finish up what we were working on and call it a day.

Each day followed this formula with small variations here and there. This week was necessary to catch up on life’s little tasks that are easily forgotten about. Like running, you often need to go slow, to go fast. It wasn’t by any means an exciting week, but I know when I look back to connect the dots I’ll be happy for ‘The Manila Block’.  Above all, the key theme which needs to be highlighted is balance. Balance is almost a cliche buzz word these days because more importantly, it really comes down to time management. Taking it one step further, time management is actually self-management. We need to be able to manage ourselves accordingly through each block and chapter of our life. In the end, we should review these periods of time, edit and adjust accordingly. Without self-management in fitness, work, relationships and all other areas of life, it’s a sure way to blow up or burn out.




Highlights from this week included:
  • Joining in with a 61-year-old man ‘Nep’ on Friday and the university basketball team on Tuesday.
  • Whipping up homemade granola bowls, in frypans and saucepans. (2020 cafe idea, you’re welcome.)
  • Dinner with Jackson, Ave, and Martin. Reunited friends from past travels.
  • Sunset time-lapse competition with Jackson.
  • Watching a huge city fire from the rooftop. (Memorable, but not a highlight)
  • Being told off from the security every day for not wearing a t-shirt.
  • Demolishing jars of peanut butter.

I can’t wait to see how the next week unravels out on the ocean as we join VOPO for a sailing tour.
Always be consistent with your actions and intentions.
Big Love,
“To slow down may be the best move you could make. To value the quality of your time and make more of it, rather than be busy for the sake of being busy.” – Joshua Lynott

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