The Taming of the Fox: Thoughts About Being Single, Dating and Relationships

Why are you single? Where is your boyfriend? Are you married? These questions I hear often and it is getting worse the older I get. I am not an AFAM hunter and nor am I desperate. I am just a fox that needs taming!

One only understands the things that one tames….Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more.


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Why are you single? Where is your boyfriend? Are you married? These questions I hear often and it is getting worse the older I get. I am certain it will only get much worse by December because my younger sister is getting married! Living in a country where most women are expected to marry by 24, I am far beyond the deadline. At one point in time, I did say I would get married by 26. Well, deadlines are flexible so now I have moved it to 35. While on a casual chat with my German friend Yasha about love life and men, he told me that I was just a fox waiting to be tamed. It then hit me, perhaps he is right.

I thought that it would be fitting to write about my relationship status and dating while we are still in the Love month even it is technically the last day of it. I had my first attempt at a relationship when I was 17 years old and it did not end well, in fact, it gave me a period of post-traumatic stress disorder but I will leave this story in the air as I do not think it can be good for me or the ones reading my blog and I know, now you want to know about it.

Anyhow, I dated a couple of men and for the past five years, I have been more inclined to dating foreign ones. Do not get me wrong, I am not one of those for lack of a better word ”AFAM hunters”. Now back to the fox. What about the fox? Well, anyone who has heard of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which is also one of my favourite books of all time, would know much about the fox. Although the fox was just one of the characters in the story, he played an important role. He reminded the prince about what is essential and about responsibilities in relationships.

When Looks Get In The Way

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This is quite relatable as for me, I have gotten a lot of interests from men based on how I look. I cannot count the times I have been told how my skin colour looks nice, how pretty or cute I am and how nice it is that I am tall. Sure, I am not a hypocrite, I do agree that one of the first things we notice is how good a person looks like but it should not be what they are only about. I find this quite frustrating when meeting men as most of them, in my opinion, are only motivated to get in my pants. Having a past in pageantry and modelling does not make things easier. Often than not, people can easily like someone based on their physical traits. I find this too common with most travellers I meet and of course, I do understand them, the whole idea of a taller tanned Asian girl is something just not to be missed thanks to the whole exoticism concept. This is quite evident when you try out Tinder, Bumble and all the other dating apps. I did a social experiment where I put out my modelling photo as the main profile photo and without a doubt, men are visual creatures but I also found out that I found more interesting people with the Darth Vader photo.

The exact profile photo I had over Tinder before they banned me from pissing off many men.

It is not just with dating that looks get in the way even in work. There are several times I wished that people would take me seriously but because of the whole beauty queen branding they do not take you seriously or worse they do not think you have a brain. Beyond the face, people should seek more what is in the soul. I wished that people saw me as more than just a face or a taller Filipina.

Just A Different Mindset

One only understands the things that one tames…. Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more.


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I do not have preference over foreign men, however, I found that they understand my Western mind far easier than most Filipinos. I did date a couple of Filipinos but I found them stuck in the patriarchal and not so ambitious mindset. Again, perhaps it is just me. I remember dating one who was from an almost traditional Filipino-Chinese family and I did my best to adapt to his lifestyle but in the end. it almost drove me nuts as well and when we were in our third year into the relationship, I decided to move to Manila to pursue my interest in business and startups. I think some men are bothered by the whole independent thinking that I have. I still do try to let them pull the chair, open the door and pay for the bill for me at times but again I prefer not to always.

I do not share the typical ideal most Filipinos are accustomed to, the whole get a good degree, find a good job, get married and have kids. Though do not take it differently I do still want to have kids but I think the whole concept of what most Filipinos think of marriage is too overrated.

I do not need much formality or lavish celebrations to celebrate love and the relationship. Heck, if I got married, I would save the money more for decent flat and more flights to see the world. When it comes to who has more say in the relationship, I am all for equality but in the Philippines or in the world in general, more emphasis has been put on letting men have the final say which is unfair because to me relationships mean both have equal rights. The problem is that some men never bother to understand my mindset and I also may be guilty of the same thing.

Complexity Can Kill Interest


To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you….But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered;…because it is she that I have listened to when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose.” 

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I have dated a couple of men who thought my life was too random and unstructured but for a late bloomer like me, I am just in the phase of getting to know which interests pursue and a part of me believes in multipotentiality. So yeah perhaps I am too complex for some who have their whole lives too planned out. I just think that there is a huge world out there beyond the typical work and desk jobs. It also does not help now that I am a digital nomad, having the freedom to be anywhere requires that I should also date someone with the same flexibility. I could be surfing in Siargao on one day and be in the jungles the next week that it would kill people who thrive with structure and predictability.

Again, I am not opposed to having structure, I do work in the field of project management so I know why it is necessary, however, I do think that in order to grow, you need new experiences and challenges. If you have never tried something and just keep it like that for the rest of your life, perhaps you are missing out on something that you could be great at. It is human nature to seek security and go for things that can be controlled, however, this does not necessarily help you grow as much. It is in unfamiliarity that one learns and discovers. Some people love reading adventures while I prefer to be the one writing about it. No one is wrong in this, just different strokes for different folks.

Again with the taming part, I am open to working with people who are not as crazy as I am with multiple interests but first I just need to know if it is worth giving up certain freedoms. I have done this before, I can adapt to another person but again it has to be equal otherwise, it will just feel like a fox having her tail or a foot cut-off.

So What Now Fox?


You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

I do not worry that no one has tamed me despite my family and friends worry that I will waste good genes and join the crazy cat lady organisation even though cats are cute (I love dogs more.). My aunt tried to set me up with a guy in the US and this was with my mom’s approval. In fact, she even suggested that I should perhaps consider. Just recently the trip in Siargao where I ran into a former colleague who also ended up thinking which guy friend would fit me. Again, I do not have problems meeting people, I organise events, travel places and use dating apps. I am just not focused on the whole romanticism of finding the one. I am currently busy loving life and improving myself or at least that is what I think I am doing but it could also be escapism and having the Peter Pan complex. I do not worry much even if I end up as a single cougar. I already have arranged sperm donations from men I have met along the way who seemed to have good genes so I could have a baby if I still do not meet someone who is worth marrying or getting serious by the time I hit 35. Kidding!

I can always adopt too, there are a lot of forsaken kids that need all the love in the world. Lastly, I am still in the process of loving myself more. Coming from some life-changing relationships, I know the responsibility and time you need to be committed. Maybe I just need to find the right fit or it is just not the right time. Maybe I will be single forever or maybe I will settle down. Either way, I am not closing myself off to possibilities but I am also not in a rush and just enjoying the single life. So just let me be! But I appreciate that my family and friends worry, despite that a part of my plan is to make my marriage a surprise, I will invite you when the time comes and I will post in social media to make it official.



It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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Most Eco-Friendly Whaleshark Interaction in the Philippines: Pintuyan, Southern Leyte

Planning to go to Oslob? Visit Pintuyan instead! The most eco-friendly whale shark interaction in the Philippines.

When it comes to whale shark watching in the Philippines, Oslob comes first in the mind of most Filipinos and foreigners but people should stop supporting this exploitation!

It is really not surprising with all the Instagram and Facebook posts about it getting crazy popular if not viral, it has been the known circus. I one article it has been said that during the tourist season, more than 1,500 sightseers descend each day on Oslob, a town of 30,000 on the island of Cebu. If you want to watch real whale sharks and not puppies being fed, your best option in the Philippines is found in a lesser known site called Pintuyan.
Pintuyan is a fifth class municipality in Southern Leyte province is home to the most eco-friendly whale shark interaction in the country.

Why Choose Pintuyan over Oslob?

The difference between Oslob and Pintuyan is quite huge in several aspects.

  1. Less Crowd. Far from them park feeling you get when in Oslob, Pintuyan is a remote place that is not frequently visited by countless of Korean and Chinese tourists. Compared to hundreds in Oslob, in Pintuyan, you will probably have 20 other people the most.
  2. Longer Interaction for Lesser Cost. In Oslob, you only get to be in the water for 45 minutes and pay more while in Pintuyan, it will be for a three-hour long sea-based adventure. Since they do not feed the whale sharks, you will have to wait it out for a bit and have several chances in interacting with them.
  3. Directly Supporting Local Community. In Pintuyan, when you pay the fees, you are paying a small portion to the local government while directly supporting the local fishermen who are advocates of conservation, for a disadvantaged community this is helping them a lot unlike in Oslob where the government is earning millions per month without full transparency where the money is going.
  4. See Raw Nature and Real Local Life. Oslob has already gotten touristy while Pintuyan has remained simple and raw. You can sit back and watch the sunset from their port and enjoy local priced food and drinks in town.
  5. Taking An Ethical Stand Against Animal Exploitation. As travelers, it is easy to not think of our impacts when we support local destinations and activities. Saying No to Oslob is changes the perspective of tourism to a more sustainable approach and it is empowering communities that are opting to be more eco-friendly in their approach.

Getting to Pintuyan:

Traveling to Pintuyan involves several transfers but the scenery is worth it. Southern Leyte being a less frequented place has a lot to offer. I would suggest leaving Cebu at night and arriving early in the morning in either Hilongos or Maasin.

From Cebu:

To reach Pintuyan, you can either go on a fast craft or overnight boat to Hilongos or Maasin (closer) which can take 3-6 hours. Check out Roble Shipping Lines, Gabisan Shipping Lines or Weesam Express. You can then take a van or bus to Sogod where you can take another ride to Pintuyan. From Hilongos to Pintuyan takes about 3 hours and costs around 180PHP. You can also fly to Tacloban and then take a bus to Southern Leyte, however, this will cost a lot more money.

From Bohol:

You can take a local boat called Leopard Shipping Lines from Ubay to Maasin and from there to take a van or bus to go to Sogod Bus Terminal and then catch a van or bus to Pintuyan.

How Much Will The Whale Shark Interaction Cost?

Before you could swim with the sharks, all tourists must undergo briefing before given trip tickets to engage in whale shark interaction. Then you’ll need spotters and tour guides and KASAKA will provide that.

Charges are collected from persons engaging in Whale Shark Watching and Interaction. Interactions can be done from morning until early afternoon.

Whaleshark Interaction Fees:

Conservation Fee: Php250.00 per person

Boat Rental (Good for 3 people): Php700.00 boat tour within the Municipal Water of Pintuyan Proper.

Php800.00 boat tour within the Municipal Water of San Ricardo.

Tour / Naturalist Guide: Php350.00

Shark Spotter: Php300.00

For more questions:
Mr. Virgilio Plazon Flores
KASAKA Collector and also one of the P.O.’s Tour Guides
Mobile Number: 09359296626

Whale Shark Interaction Guidelines:

Make sure to strictly follow the guidelines before and after entering the interaction area.

guidelines

Also important to remember that you SHOULD NOT WEAR SUNSCREEN as these chemicals can affect the whale sharks.

Accommodations in Pintuyan:

You might want to go a day before the whale shark interaction to have enough time to rest before the interaction as it will be an action filled interaction involving a lot of swimming. Whale sharks seem like they swim slow but trust me they can swim fast! Pintuyan has only three options for you should you choose to stay for the night:

Pintuyan Dive Resort :  

They have twin rooms at around P5,000+ You can use my code to get a 10% discount in Booking.com:

D&D’s Lodge:

Located near the parish church of Pintuyan
Address: Barangay Poblacion Ubos, P.S.L.
Care Taker’s Name: Mrs. Emmylou Banol
Contact Number: 09069372486

La Guerta Lodge I and II:

I would suggest staying at Lodge I as it is closer to the local food places, more spacious and Municipal Hall where you pay the conservation fee. A room there costs P 600, it has aircon and an own toilet but no hot shower. You can share one room with two other people though it is quite a tight space and one has to sleep on the floor with a mattress while the two has to share a double bed.

La Guerta Lodge I
(In front of the Municipal Hall)
Address: Barangay Poblacion Ubos, Pintuyan, Southern Leyte

La Guerta Lodge II
(In front of the Pintuyan District Hospital – P.D.H.)
Address: Barangay Poblacion Ubos, P.S.L.

Care Taker’s Name: Mrs. Lynrie B. Guias (for La Guerta Lodges I and II)
Contact Number: 09261426986

6A’s Resort

6As’s Owner: Amy Tandayag – 09173211024

Staying in the Town:

  1. Palawan Pawnshop
  2. Reymart Bakeshop
  3. Mosqueda-Tandayag Building
  4. Basketball Court
  5. Michael Pharmacy
  6. CM Bakery
  7. Ayen Sari-sari Store
  8. Chapel
  9. Lucky Seven Trading
  10. Miq’s Haus
  11. Eatery
  12. Roselyn’s Sari-sari Store and Lotto Outlet
  13. Venus Sari-sari Store – BBQ, Vegetables and Fruit Stand
  14. Rucat’s Sari-sari Store
  15. Alice Store Sari-sari Store
  16. Water Market
  17. Pinoy ATM
  18. Cade’s Sari-Sari Store – Meat and Vegetables
  19. Richard’s Snackhouse
  20. Cebuana Lhuiller Express
  21. Surigao Sari-sari Grocery
  22. Ramos’ Store – Photocopy/clothes/house supplies
  23. Chapel
  24. Lelot Store – Fruits and Vegetables
  25. San Juan “Ubos” Barangay Hall
  26. Ariane Jee Lechon Manok
  27. Lhuiller Pawnshop
  28. La Guerta Lodging House
  29. Rowena’s Store
  30. Basketball Court Gym
  31. Municipal Hall
  32. Bakery
  33. Pintuyan Central School
  34. D&D Lodge
  35. Pintuyan National Highschool
  36. DJ BA Pharmacy
  37. La Guerta Lodge II
  38. Pintuyan District Hospital
  39. Ginell’s JenielJunJames Gen. Merchandise and Eatery
  40. Karaoke Bar

Another tip is to catch the sunset from the port, grab your beer and just chill. When sunset comes, you will be able to see the local fishermen head out to the sea. It is like seeing the boat version of Bagan’s air balloons. It is quite a sight to see. Also, remember that everything closes early in this place so make sure to buy dinner by 7:00PM as all stores pretty much close after. You can also use the dirty kitchen in La Guerta and cook, you can borrow the pans from the caretakers they are very helpful.

Other Activities You Can Do When in Pintuyan:

Hike Son-ok Peak

Located within the Panaon Point of Barangay Son-ok near Pintuyan Ecotourism Park, you will get a bird’s eye view of the bay.

Explore Pintuyan Ecotourism Park which has an area of 22,729 sq. meters, home to the Philippine long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis philippensis.)

Chase Waterfalls

A series of five waterfalls that stretch along 4.5 kilometers of river flows of Barangay Catbawan seven kms. Northeast of the town proper.

The site boast of its unique features thru different shapes of waterfalls.
The 212 hours of river trekking along the stretch is worth an adventure as one will hurdle each falls using roots and hanging “Bagon” leaving behind memories of hard knock efforts while enjoying what nature can offer. S

Snorkel or Dive

Pintuyan has several Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that boast beautiful coral coverage and an abundance of reef fishes: Dan-an, Manglit, Son-ok, and Balong-Balong. But there are also interesting spots just along the coast like right in front of the Brgy. Sta. Cruz Pier or the sandy area in Brgy. Punod for muck diving.
Before you swim or indulge in any water activities, especially in the MPAs, please contact or visit the Tourism Office first to settle conservation fees, suggestions on where you can rent gear (mask, snorkel, fins) if you do not have any, and instructions on if and where inside these areas is allowed for recreation.

Now that you have a better option than Oslob, please spread the word and help promote Pintuyan, a hidden gem in Southern Leyte.