25 November 2014

Urban Railroads & Grand Returns

This is a trip that tells stories of grand returns. A return to that first country I ever traveled to, a return of a dear old friend, a return to that state of being beautifully lost in a foreign land, and a return to feeling right at home, in the presence of like-minded strangers.

I should have seen the signs. For two months I had been feeling ridiculously sentimental and nostalgic about Hong Kong. I saw reminders of it everywhere. I read about it. I heard about it. I made friends with travelers from there. I even had the urge to suddenly write about it. And then one day, cleaning my room, I found an old wallet. The one I used on my trip there, and inside found 60 Hong Kong dollars. I was ecstatic. A few days after, I received a message from my old friend in Canada. She’s visiting Manila in two weeks and wanted to take a quick side trip to Hong Kong. She needed someone to go with her.

The next thing I know, I was landing in Lantau Island with a big, stupid grin on my face. And my favorite song was playing overhead.

20 October 2014

The Island of Living Lights

There was a time in my life when I only existed in darkness. Follow the light, people would tell me. And for some time, I spent my days chasing the sun. I even crossed oceans for it.

My pursuit of sunny days one day brought me to a gorgeous little island of Calaguas nestled at the edge of the Pacific. I knew I had come to the right place when after almost a half a day of voyage on both land and sea, the boat I was on finally hit the shore. The crystal waters and fine white sand that welcomed our fleet left me almost speechless.

14 September 2014

Chance Encounters

It happened just how all good things in life usually do—unexpectedly. A month ago, in the most unlikely of places, I crossed paths with a beautiful nomadic soul. Someone whose adventures and inspiring work I have long been a fan of. I wasn’t supposed to be there. Surely, I didn’t plan it. But that weekend I wandered away trying to find peace and healing, and instead I found her, and she found me. And that is how I know that everything in life is meant to be.

03 August 2014

Recollections: Hong Kong & Otherworldly Beginnings

It has been two years since I was in Hong Kong, but in this post, allow me to reminisce. Just recently, cleaning up my files, I unearthed this photo album of what was a very special trip. And well, I guess you all know what happens when you look at old photos. Nostalgia kicks in.

29 June 2014

El Nido, The Happy Little Town of Limestone Reveries

Everyone else was leaving, but I wanted a few more minutes by myself to take everything in. I pushed my head back and floated, there, in the middle of the lagoon. The view towering over the waters was a surreal beauty you'd usually only see in films. The limestone cliffs of the small lagoon circled above me, clusters of green sprouted here and there through the rocks, the cloudy sky fixed at the center. Sunlight peeked every now and then into my face. “This is the life,” I said to myself. But I must have said it out loud because just as I did, a kayak passed by. A white guy was sitting on it, and he looked down at me with a smile and said: “Yes. It is.”

I laughed at my surprise and gave him a smile before I laid my head back on the waters again; back to my ruminations. I was right—even he knew that. Only a fool wouldn't realize this one palpable truth: this is the life.