Saturday, March 31, 2012

Maybe Why I Travel

i long for dust swirling in the wake of the slow moving bus
and tangling and settling in my hair
along with the wind.

i long for houses and farms whooshing past
and sometimes, rivers and lakes in a blur
glimpse of child strangers playing games
i may have played before.

i long for the gentle crashing of the waves
and that nostalgic smell of the sea.
i long for blinding blue
and that somber orange hue at the end of the day.

i long for grasses that feels cool to my back
as a lie with my eyes on the sky
i long for that fleeting taste of flying
as i watch a bird soar up high.

i long for a patch of trees that keep a secret
and flowers too shy to bloom all at once.

i long for friendly smiles and small talks without motives
and eyes which hold no more than curiosity

i long for a place where nobody knows me--
and where, for a moment, i know me.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pagudpud Northbound Tour (+ a bit of Laoag)

Kabigan Falls
It was a looooong trike ride away from our last southbound destination (Burgos lighthouse). We all fell asleep along the way, even when the trike ride was a little bumpy. :)) Finally, we reached the jump off to Kabigan Falls, where we paid Php130 (already for the whole group so around Php45 each) for the entrance and guide fees.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pagudpud Southbound Tour

After the almost 12 hours road trip which was the subject of my epiphany here, we arrived at Pagudpud. The Florida bus conductor handed us a call card of a trike-driver-slash-tourist-guide whom I promptly called and made arrangements with. Trike tours in Pagudpud are fairly standard: Php600 for south bound tours and Php 600 for northbound tours so there wasn't much negotiations made. Actually, there weren't any. We haven't made any arrangements with regards to our accommodation for the night, but I was confident that we'd find an affordable one.

Before starting with the tour, we ate brunch at the cafeteria at Florida's bus station. It was almost 11 am when we finished eating and met our tour guide, kuya Marlou. He took us first to John Ronald Resort (a suggestion of his) where we decided to stay. Saud beach was just a few steps away and the room was standard: airconditioned, with CR, a tv, tables and a bed for Php 1500/night (Php500/each), and free breakfast. After resting for a bit, we proceeded with the tour.

Here are the places we visited:

Pagudpud town marker

Bangui Windmills
Our first stop was the famous windmills. When we arrived, the wind wasn't strong enough to make the mills move, but after some time, they began turning one by one.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
The trike ride from the highway to the rock formation jump-off was rough and loooong. We went there around noon, so the heat was in full blast. Good thing they had umbrellas there, and you just had to leave any amount as a donation if you use one.

From the store where Kuya Marlou parked his trike, we walked through a rugged landscape, which was alive with interesting, bonsai-ish plants and mini ponds. It looks slippery in some part, but it wasn't. They don't allow people to climb the rocks anymore to prevent damage to the rocks. The side shown in this picture is the front part. The rear part of the formation is also interesting.
Kapurpurawan rock formation | The root word "puraw" means white, right Cere? 

Cape Bojeador
We decided to have lunch after Kapupurawan, and Kuya Marlou took us to an eatery located across the scenic Cape Bojeador. We had our first bagnet there (dried, salted pork, and usually crispy-- the one we ate here wasn't that crispy though, but it was okay). Aside from that, we also ordered a seaweed dish (I forgot the local name) and sinigang na isda ([sour] fish stew-- according to google translate). We were also served a huge plateful of rice. It must be the sea-air, or the fact that we've been on our feet for far too long, that made us eat so heartily. I nibbled on some seaweeds, and I don't think Dar touched it. Haha. It was Cere and Kuya Marlou who had to finish the dish.
After the satisfying (and quite cheap, if I remember correctly we paid Php270 for everything [the heaping serving of rice, the 3 dishes, and a liter of softdrinks]) lunch, we headed to the last part of the southbound tour.
View of Cape Bojeador from the eatery

Burgos (Cape Bojeador) Lighthouse
Like in the windmills viewpoint, you can also buy souvenirs here, although I think, they are more expensive than the ones in the viewpoint. For example, a windmill replica is sold at Php 25 there, while here, it is sold for 3 for Php100 or Php35 each.
We didn't buy any souvenirs, although Cere bought some karamay. It's a kind of fruit soaked in vinegar. I only ate one (Dar, too, just had one), and left the rest to poor Cere to finish it up, no matter how much she insisted that we eat some more. :))
Karamay with salt

Three little girls at the entrance. Haha

This lighthouse looks a lot like the one in Capones (the first lighthouse I've seen up close). I've read somewhere it's the highest lighthouse in the Philippines, and still being used up to now.

Up Next: Pagudpud Northbound tour

Important expenses:
Fare to Pagudpud (Florida bus with CR) : Php 750
Accommodation (aircon, overnight, with breakfast) : Php 1500/3 = Php 500
Trike Tour (Southbound) : Php 600/3 = Php 200
Trike Tour (Northbound) : Php 600/3 = Php 200
Entrance fee (Kabigan Falls) Php 10 each + Php 100/3 (guidefee) = Php 44
Entrance fee to Blue Lagoon: Php 0 (supposedly Php20, I think)
Fare to Laoag (ordinary bus) : Php 70
Entrance fee (Museum) : Php 50
Fare to Manila (Florida bus with CR): Php 630 (not sure)
A meal usually costs up to Php 150 (food trip level. Haha)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Confessions of a Road Trip Junkie

I'm a huge fan of road trips. Really. While others balk at 12 or more hours of being stuck inside a bus, I exult over the thought. Secretly, of course, since others expect me to be, at the very least, discouraged at the idea.

But really, I looove road trips. I love every part of the ride, not just when the bus is on the roll. I love the traffic (although, not so much). I love the stop-overs. I love the countryside whizzing past. I love the bridges crossed, I love the water under the bridges. I love the clouds when it's day time and I love the stars I strain to see when it's night time. I love the way cars line up in the tollgates. When I'm on a road trip, I love every music that plays in my mp3 player. Really, I love road trips.

And you ask: WHY?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Eyes on the Sky

I often walk with eyes drawn towards the sky. Even with the threat of bodily harm, I find looking at the sky irresistible. It's a beautiful earthly feature, an art show above my head. It's an exhibit that is ever-changing, and always lovely. On really lucky days, the sky rewards me, as an avid audience, of a special treat. It could be a really awesome cloud formation. Or a sunrise that I witness because I'm up early. Or an ephemeral double rainbow. Or a wonderful, just-the-right-shade of blue that I really, really like, moments before dusk.
Do you see it? 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Saved as Draft

Today, I wrote a letter again.
I wrote what I couldn't say.
I wrote what I almost couldn't write.
I wrote about the things I remember
about us, and how I wish I could go back.
I wrote about how I have to accept
that they will never be back;
that I have to be content
with the memories I got.

I wrote how I ache for the chance
that I lost when I drifted away...

I wrote to you a letter I could not send, today.