Tuesday, June 14, 2005

From Camiguin to Sagada in two weeks : A solo journey

I'm back! Hard to believe I got to cover as much ground as I have in just 15 days, thanks a lot to the Seair flight sked and itinerary mix-up. riding the Superferry to Cagayan de Oro and back to Manila allowed me to meet more people, make stopovers at Dumaguete and Bacolod city as well as pay a visit to my surrogate mom in Balingasag in Misamis Oriental (I can't believe I can still find my way there after 13 years). Yep, things really happen for a reason. and the Superferry ride (1 day and 2 nights, one way) is an adventure in itself. Then after just 2 days in Manila, was off to visit Sagada for the second time. Despite the impending storm, I decided to travel solo. It was a blessing to find the weather fine and dandy in Sagada after passing through the heavy rains in Pampanga, Tarlac and Baguio. It was also extra nice because the people there know me already from my first visit.

Solo tripping can be very rewarding. You meet a lot of new friends and acquaintances along the way. 

In Camiguin, there's the very friendly ardent staff led by my Mt. Hibok-hibok guide, Mang Totoy (who at 52 has got stronger knees than I do) and my all-around guide, Alvin.

On the Superferry, met the very interesting trio from Comelec Manila, Emil, Lilian and Nestor. And boy, when you're on the boat for 2 days, it's nice to make new friends indeed. 

In Sagada, got to know 72-year Jin, his daughter Marianne and grandson Kin from California. He's making another visit to the Philippines (he was born here but had to go back to the states after WWII). Also Joshua, a Chicagoan who's an engineer by profession but nomad/PADI instructor by avocation.  It's pretty embarassing that I took instructions from him of how to best trek Banaue to Bangaan via Cambulo and also passing thru Batad to get the best view of the rice terraces now that it's harvest time (the fields are golden, so he says). What he said was life-affirming because at times I felt it was kinda strange to travel alone. but meeting someone thinking on the same wavelength and who's fearlessly traveled across the globe as well as the Philippines made me think it's not so strange after all. While I want to be with friends on the same journey, it's not always possible. Circumstances like different schedules, other commitments and priorities, varying interests can make going on trips together difficult.

Yep, I look forward to more trips (solo or otherwise) in the near future. Maybe a trip to Palanan in Isabela. Spelunking in Callao caves in Tuguegarao. Trekking for 3 days from San Rafael to Sabang in Central Palawan. Doing the canopy walk and visiting the Makahambus Cave in Cagayan de Oro. And Seair, you still owe me two free trips.

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