Since it’s been a while since I posted photo 26 on my instagram account, it took me some time to re-figure out that this photo was taken while staying at Long Beach Resort Hotel in Bauang, La Union. As one of the many coastlines of northwestern Philippines, Bauang is known for its spectacular sunsets. This photo, however, was taken at sunrise and it has taken me by surprise! And yes, I woke up super early coz that was the only way I’d get some R&R time as this trip was actually official! 🙂 I didn’t realize it could be a really nice view as well, with the super calm waters and the fiery hue of the sky! And no, I didn’t use any digital imaging with this photo since, at the time it was taken in mid-2009, hashtags aren’t even born yet and #nofilter more so! So this is just plain ‘ol Bauang sunrise and natural goodness for y’all!
I know it’s already five months overdue but still, I would like to write a personal post about my 26th year, highlighting the travels I’ve had and the people I met along the way.
Contrary to my 25th year’s travels which were mainly as a solo backpacker or with a travel buddy, 2013-2014 was more of a group travel kind for me. It’s also during this span of time that I’ve met several important people in my life — from CouchSurfing acquaintances to really great friends, and from total strangers to favorite companions and partners in crime. And yes, ’twas also late last year that I met someone whom I’m looking forward to have more travels and adventures with.
I wasn’t born yet during the Marcos regime but stories have of course reached me through history lessons and personal discussions among family, friends and colleagues. What I didn’t know, however, is that there existed a Malacañang of the North, located in Marcos’ Ilocandia (Ilocos) stronghold, apart from the President’s Mansion in Baguio. And that, behind the imposing facade of the Malacañang of the North awaits in peace and serenity the Paoay Lake. It’s probably one of the biggest man-made lakes…ever. The Paoay Lake was really a beautiful sight and it was really calming and relaxing, just staring blankly at it. I recently watched a video on the Paoay Lake Regatta happening in June — maybe something for you and me to see! It was in 2011 since I last set foot in Ilocos Norte. Perhaps it’s time to return!>
Before the Wider Role of Volunteers training ended, each of the participants were given several VSO- and Philippine-related stuff. One of which, is a Philippine map packaged as a tourist information brochure. The first page of that brochure showcased the famed cobbled-stone path of Calle Crisologo in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
I even heard one of my co-volunteers-to-be exclaim that Vigan, as portrayed in the photograph, seemed like such a beautiful place. True enough, Vigan really did look amazing in that picture. It presented an old world charm that no matter how similar, still looked different from Intramuros’ streets and Iloilo’s old houses. There’s just something about Vigan, especially Calle Crisologo, that commands people’s attention and captivates hearts. I know so because I too, despite thinking that it may be an overrated form of admiration, felt transported back in time as I walked through the cobbled-stone street. Continue reading Walking through Vigan’s Calle Crisologo