Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Maturing Journeyman: Musings on a Journey Towards Becoming a More Responsible Traveler

Respect for culture is as important as admiration for the physical landscape
Maturity.  Yes, it comes with growing older.  Though one can be young and yet have a more mature outlook of the world, 'no?  It is a word I've come to know and internalize more and more as a traveler and as an explorer; yes, because I'm getting advanced in years, and also because as a journeyman, I can't be still and locked in the place where I started.

Granted, I haven't been traveling often the past couple of years, saddled by efforts to make a living.  But hey, that's life.  After nearly 15 years of traveling and travel blogging, I can't be the same person who started off trying to go to as many places as possible, to find a cure of itchy feet.  Admittedly, I've got to also face the fact that that I do not like the direction that travel and blogging is taking these days -- celebrity over place, form over substance, predictability over adventure. I admit it was fun playing one upmanship in the early days with "I've been to this place and you haven't" games but it gets old fast.   I've come to know so-called, self-pronounced "blogger-adventurers" who keep count of so many provinces, so many places reached with little attention paid to immersing in these places nor knowing the locals on a more personal level.  Anyway, that's just me.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Weather Weather in Maligcong: A Rain-filled Week to Play and Meet My Adoptive Dogs

Kunig, the original hiking dog of Maligcong
Six days out of the 6 1/2 I've spent in Maligcong, it was raining.  When the sun decided to shine, I was set to go back to Manila.  Well well, I've outgrown my compulsion to be obsessive with hiking and bringing home potential keepers and times like these, would rather stay at the homestay, drink icha (the local mountain tea), brewed coffee, read, and play with the dogs.   My original plan of starting my documentation work on the village elders, something I've been meaning to do for about two years now, will have to wait -- there's grieving in Favarey for a local who passed on due to food poisoning.  Certainly not a good time to go from house to house and chitchat with the locals.  Besides, I need to recharge myself away from the city, breathe the mountain air, and relish the change of scenery.

For the times that I'm not sleeping, I mostly go birding (the homestay's garden alone is host to a lot of birds, if you care to crane your neck and listen to these creatures as they go about finding food in between rainy spells) and playing with my adoptive dogs.  Suzette has four of her own, plus Tiny, in the neighbor's house by the bend.  If you've watched AKYAT, Atom Araullo's TV special episode on climbing Kupapey and Hamiguitan two months ago, you may have a passing acquaintance with these friendly canines.  I'm lifting my Facebook captions for this post as they are candid descriptions of my relationship with these dogs, some of whom I've known since they were puppies (Maku).

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