2014 was not been entirely good to me, but it was with my travels. When I started the year, no travel plans have been made, and no travel destinations was hunting me in my dreams. But I know myself better than leaving it to just that. So there was this one thing I promised to myself, it was lesser travels, more of home life, and a bit of reintroducing myself to fitness, and the kitchen. I know that it was a recipe for disaster, but I am glad that it was a year that did not disappoint.
|Bucas Grande, Surigao Del Norte
The weekend after, I got to go back that part of the country again. Bucas Grande at Sohoton is as beautiful, and colourful as the people in it. And I met, and made good friends with the people I went with. The beauty of travel and social media, and how it connects people amazes, and surprises me. It teaches you to be grateful of how short, but well-spent each moments you have with another.
|Limunsudan Falls, Iligan City
Then came a month of stress, and of fighting of stress. It was a month realizing that passion came in with interest, loyalty, and selflessness. And that just because everyone is passionate about one thing, doing something about it is another story not everyone is willing to take part of. We finally got to visit the mysterious Limunsudan Falls, and I felt my age in my tired, and sore body after that rough, and long transit going there. There’s a reason why this waterfall is not that visited, and well documented like the rest of them beautiful ones. And I would like to think that there’s this secret shared only between Limunsudan Falls, and I.
|Waterfalling Adventure Tour 3.0 + some Mis. Oriental waterfall sidetrip
And when others stepped back with the fear of failing, a few trudged on with the fear of not trying. The annual adventure tour hosted by the blogging society I’m with went on this crazy, and ambitious adventure that covered Ma. Cristina, Mimbalot, Dodiongan, Tinago, and Limunsudan Falls in less than a week. And people, and events gives you a spin, and when all that spinning stops – something surprises you.
|Cotabato City + Asik-Asik FallsMay
This was also the month I got to tell another soul that I’ve outgrown a family that helped me grew. Not because I’m too good for it, or that I do not need the company of the people in it anymore, but because others need to step up, and take on bigger roles for themselves too. With finality, and some tears came a deadline I’ve set to myself that can only be stretched with a few months consideration. And a heavy cloud just flew somewhere else than rest in my heart. So I allowed myself to be cornered to joining blogger friends I’ve already traveled with to an extended waterfall hunt landlocked in the heart of Mindanao. There where the Golden Mosque is definitely postcard, print, and frame-worthy, and the same, I can say, to Asik-Asik Falls.
|Iligan + Bukidnon + Davao
late May – early June
When I thought summer had ended, it decided to stay a bit longer, and stretched it out for me. Like it knew I needed more sunshine, even when the grey clouds were setting in for the rainy season. On the way home, I got a message that a friend, J, was on his way to Iligan for a few weeks. He was nice enough to let me off the hook, and decided we can skip waterfall visits. Tiny bits of Bukidnon, and Davao borderline for a subdued, and laid back kinda trip was done instead.
|Mui Ne + Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
|Siem Reap, Cambodia
Finally the major trip of the year came. It came a few months after an invite, and came in an already planned itinerary by a friend. It was a trip that was as interesting as the places we visited, and opposites, and mature as those who traveled. It ruined what traveling, and traveling with friends in an alien world is for me because now I wanted more like it, and can not stop but plan for the next trip.
I got to sleep in for a day only to take another long bus ride when I got back to Manila. How can one get on from one travel to the next with only 24H to recharge, and after nearly getting lost in empty, and dark streets at 2-3AM before that? You spend time with an old friend, and make a new one, both sweet enough to let you laze around and make the most of your visit. Baler was the perfect place to do it.
Hometowns are a let down for people who have not discovered it’s nooks, and crannies in the streets, or mountains may it be. J decided that his next visit, and stay would be longer that the previous one to resdicover his hometown this time around. We got to tag along his excursions, and it was nice to get to do it with longer rest periods than trying to squeeze everything tightly in a short time. And when I thought travels for the year would end so quickly, I got to revisit, and rediscover Iligan before it did.
2014 may not have been entirely good to me, but it was with my travels and home life. There are heavier responsibility load; some changes in employment roles; loss in the family, and some challenging times in between — but we are passed that. And we will remember in memory of those who left us, make time for those who are important to us, and be grateful for kind of life we left, and made for a better one.
To 2015! May the fierce be with with you!