Flashback Friday: One Fine Day in Biri Island, Northern Samar

 

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It was a spur of the moment decision but I’d say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.

Sunday morning around 4 years ago, me and my colleague Rachel woke up to a storm over Catarman and it was raining quite heavily. We’ve been eyeing this island for days but looking how bad the weather is, we abandoned the idea and reverted back to our comfy beds. But out of desperation to go out and just see this place, we decided to go.

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5 Major Travel Setbacks for FILIPINO Wannabe Globetrotters and How to Handle Them

“I want to see the world…free to do anything I want!”.

That line from an old Tagalog movie keeps popping up in my head whenever I see scenic views online or even just a picture of a flower on a glossy wall calendar. I wanted the same and it would have been easy if I was a princess just like the lead character of that movie. But I’m not. I’m just an ordinary girl living in a third world country imprisoned by the four corners of my workdesk..a very typical Filipina life set-up. Do I want to live like this forever? Definitely no. Figure out why I’ve been writing about my life lately. It’s because I know something has to change and I want to share it with everyone.

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Flashback Friday: Mindanao Memories

I remember that time of my life when I was always on a hurry catching flights, cautious about bus and boat schedules, never had the chance to unpack my luggage and just go on travel after travel. Nope, it wasn’t a leisure travel but a business trip. But being young and crazy as we were then, side trips always came first. #Sorrynotsorry ;p

Me and my three colleagues/travel buddies were given an assignment in southern part of Mindanao. Well most people from Luzon and Visayas find it scary to even just spend a day in it caused by all the terrifying stories of terrorism heard on the news. The news were true but crimes do happen everywhere and not just in Mindanao. One must be reminded that there are still communities there who were living harmoniously just like the rest of the country. People out there, as heavily diversed as they are, still want peace as much as we do. During our month long stay, we get to see the beauty of the south, experience the warmth and charm of the people and collect memories that we will always take with us for the rest of our lives.

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Becoming a Travel Advocate

I’ve already travelled to many different provinces in the country, whether solo or with a group, work-related or not. I can consider myself  well-travelled locally. And after all those travels I figured out two things that keep getting in the way. Money and Time. I once worked as an Internal Auditor which required me to almost constantly travel. Pretty much favourable for me at first. I got no problems going to places when the Company I was working for paid my flight tickets, hotel rooms, food, transportation, and everything else in exchange of working on an audit report day and night. It was good until I can finally feel my body collapsing because of the stress and realizing I just go places, not actually exploring it. Well we got free days and we get to explore a bit but it wasn’t worth all the stress. Now, I’m two and a half years in a new company, with routinely office work. Now this is exactly what I wanted; work for 8 hours or so, go home and plan travels..my own personal travels. How cool is that? No. Okay, well at least I’m in control of my time now. Still no? I have to agree as I still have scheduled work. So what am I going to do with these two?

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Why Travel? (..when I don’t have the means to do it!)

At this point, in my head I can almost hear my aunts’ voices screaming. “What the hell are you doing with your life?” ”Your mother is sick, why waste money on stupid nonsense?” “We got high expectations from you, what a waste!” And I know I’m not the only person in this world going through the same thing so I’m not complaining at all. I know my aunts just want me and my family to have the best in life. Only problem is we all have different definitions of ‘best in life’. Getting rich is not MY ‘best in life’ nor a white picket-fenced house, no, not for now.

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The Background: Who am I?

I go by with so many different names depending on the kind of relationship I have with a certain person. I’m 29 and I’ve never been out of the country. Some might think I’m too pathetic and selfish to even think about travelling when people around me are starving, wallowing in poverty and don’t have proper shelter. I currently live in a squatter-like area of the city though people out here own the lot where they built their houses, still it is below average community. I’m not rich obviously. I grew up from a middle-class family in Mindanao. My parents provided me and my brother well. We don’t have those fancy stuffs, wear branded shoes and clothes, not that our parents won’t give it to us but simply we don’t care about these things. What I cared about as a kid and teenage student was getting high grades, Westlife, Britney Spears, Emma Watson, be a good friend, daughter(I tried hard!) and sister ( I tried harder!). In the midst of it all, I really didn’t have a clue what to do with my life. All I know is to get an education because as what Papa & Mama always told us, it’s the only treasure they could leave to us. Well I always believe them. I graduated with high honors of some sort, and eventually people got sky-high expectations pinned on my collar.

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The Unexpected Ilocos Trip

Months ago, my colleagues invited me to a trip to Ilocos. I declined because of my solo trip on September and I got to save up for it. Lucky them they were able to avail a flight promo that only cost them PHP300+ round trip Cebu-Manila-Cebu. I was really hesitant at that time, I just said no. Then came a week before the scheduled trip, they approached me again and told me someone from the travel team backed out, asked if have I changed my mind.

Have I changed my mind?! Now it’s very apparent to me that God has His own ways to cheer me up. I was really having a difficult week at that time and I just need to go somewhere else for the long weekend. My regret was eating me up when I remember my colleagues/travel friends are taking this trip while I’m alone and no place to go. So when I was asked again, it was a loud and firm yes from me without batting an eyelash. I haven’t been to Ilocos so was I excited? Superrr excited!!!

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