Okay, first of all, I really don’t know where to start. This is so awkward — writing here after more than a two-year hiatus. Gosh! This is so awkward. Ermm, I know I have so much to say, but I couldn’t find the right words.
MY HEART IS SO FULL! I am just so overwhelmed by the love and support you guys have given to this little corner. I am lost for words. I didn’t expect to still get attention considering, I’ve been away for a really long time. But you guys! You never left. And it makes me so happy I know I had to click the pen and write despite my scrambled thoughts right now. Today is the first day I opened my stats after a really long time. And I am amazed to see the lines as it goes up and down, but consistently there every day. I mean, it wouldn’t surprise me if only I was present and interactive, right? But two years! I went ghost for two years, and yet here you are — relentlessly supporting my corner silently. And for that, THANK YOU! Thank you for always dropping by. Thank you for visiting every now and then. I really appreciate it.
So, what happened? Over 2 years ago, I changed my career path. That’s when I started spending less and less time on my blog. At first, I thought I was only adjusting, so I figured I’d give blogging a break until I’d get used to my new schedule. Five months passed, I was already procrastinating. I wanted to say it was mere writer’s block as an excuse. But the truth is, laziness found me. I digressed! Until I stopped visiting my own corner, stopped checking my stats, heck, I even stopped replying to comments. I moved on. Or so I thought. Whenever Facebook throws back old photos and shared posts from my blog, I always want to read it and relive the moment. “Wow, it was fun and nostalgic,” I would say. Then I’ll move on. Again. And the cycle continues.
It’s not that I don’t want to write anymore, but I just couldn’t find the same fire. Every time I decide to draft a post, I seem to find an excuse not to finish or even start it. Yes, I still have many stories to tell — you just don’t know how many stored photos I have, hoping one day I get to tell you about them.
Oh, this is gonna be a whole lot of stories. For teasers, I’m throwing few snaps from travels I have missed sharing with you. I can’t wait to tell the stories behind them. Are we ready? We’ll see when I hit Publish on this first-ever long draft.
Guess I’ll see you soon? Yes, let’s see each other in the next post. (And yes, my words are running out again. Yes, I’m just trying to stretch it a bit right now. Okay, that’s enough.)
Married when the year is new, he’ll be loving, kind and true. When February birds do mate, you wed not dread your fate. If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you’ll know. Marry in April when you can, joy for Maiden and for Man. Marry in the month of May, and you’ll surely rue the day. Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you’ll go. Those who in July do wed, must labor for their daily bread. Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see. Marry in September’s shrine, your living will be rich and fine. If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry. If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember. When December snows fall fast, marry and true love will last. –Anonymous
If you stumbled on this post because you are already planning to tie the knot with your special someone, congratulations in advance!
So, you’ve found the one and you are planning to wed soon. What do you need to prepare first?
Here are the requirements when planning a civil wedding:
AGE requirement. First things first, both parties should be at least 18 years old, free from any legal impediments.
Marriage license. Accomplish these forms below and proceed to your Local Civil Registrar. You have to wait for 10 days from the submission of the following papers to get the Marriage License.
a. True copy of Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) birth certificate, formerly NSO.
b. CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage) from PSA.
c. Barangay Certificate of Residency.
d. CEDULA (Community Tax Certificate)
e. Personal appearance of both parties.
f. For ages 18-21 years old, the parental consent of the parents or guardian is needed. For ages 22-25 years old, parental advice is needed. (The forms for the consent and/or advice are available at the local civil registrar.)
g. Certificate of Marriage Counselling and Family Planning.
h. Valid ID.
I. Marriage License application form.
Once you have the license, you can use it to get married anywhere in the country within 120 days (4 months) from the date of issue.
Other information: (Additional requirements if you are…)
*For non-Filipino citizens:
Passport (as your ID)
Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage
Death Certificate of deceased spouse
A strong marriage requires two people who choose to love each other even on those days when they struggle to like each other.
Yay! Few days before throwing away our 2018 calendars!
It has been 365 fantastic heydays for us. We have lesser trips together this year due to Ace’s work demands, but it wasn’t less of an adventure. It has been a whirlwind of both fun and pain.
We’d like to take this chance to THANK YOU for your never-ending support, for the clicks and views that are never ceasing, and for not getting tired of reading our stories. May you continue to visit this little corner next year, and we’ll try to bring you more adventures and misadventures.
For that, here’s a lookback to some of our unforgettable trips this year.
*Bacalla Woods Campsite (January)
We started 2018 with a getaway to Bacalla Woods Campsite where we were able to disconnect from the mundane life in the city, and reconnect with ourselves. The place was idyllic and indeed a perfect area to find the disconnection that we longed for. As an added bonus, we were joined by some friends from different Asian countries which made our sojourn fun and memorable.
*Bantayan Island (May)
Another highlight of the year was our summer trip to Bantayan Island. It was one of those spontaneous escapes that turned out to be an unforgettable experience. We only didn’t get to tour the beautiful tourist spots on the island, but we also went on an island hopping on our second day where we visited Virgin Island.
Truth be told, I didn’t fall in love with Bantayan Island like what I’ve mentioned at the end of my post here. But my curiosity as to why people rave about how beautiful the place is and how I didn’t see it, made me want to go back. And that’s something we have to look forward to next year.
Last but definitely not the least was our wedding anniversary trip to Bohol. Instead of the usual countryside tour in the province, we opted for an adventuresome DIY excursion. Our first stop was the jaw-dropping ridges of Binabaje Hills in Alicia, Bohol. Climbing the steep hills while wallowing in the panoramic surrounding was a wonderful adventure.
We also got the chance to visit some of the tourist attractions in Candijay. We were mesmerized by the cold water of Canawa Spring and its cryptic stories. We were also able to see Can-umantad Falls up close. And who wouldn’t notice the amazing rice terraces in the area?
Our junket ended with a night in Anda where we woke up to the sight of the sunrise while sitting in the powdery sand.
All of our adventures are always enjoyable and memorable when we are together. Because we believe in the cliche that it’s not the destination that makes your journey worthwhile but the person you are journeying with. But above are the highlights of our travel stories this year.
2018 might be fleeting for some of you, or it might be dragging for others, but we hoped you’ll end this year with no regrets and grudges. Let’s embrace the new year with a new heart to love and care, and a new mind to think wise and twice.
Despite the steady decline of people who no longer believe in marriage, there are still more who have faith in it. There are still more people who wanted to get married, who are excited to be married, and who love the idea of getting married.
To these people, here’s for you.
We commit to marriage for lots of reasons. If it is LOVE, that’s wonderful! However, for some, it is not always because of love. In the olden times, they were married because of cultural or family tradition like arranged-marriage, while some are married to pay debts. I’m not sure if it still does exist nowadays.
Marriage is a big commitment. If you are free to make your own decision about this matter, I hope you take time to think about it and ask yourself why.
Regardless of your reasons, don”t get married because of the following.
* Don’t get married because you feel alone and lonely.
First, there’s a big difference between being alone and being lonely. You can be alone but not lonely because you are contented and happy with your life without a romantic relationship. On the other hand, you can be with someone but feel lonely and unhappy. Don’t think that having someone will guarantee you happiness. Don’t settle just because you feel lonely or you are afraid to be alone. Marriage is not the answer to your loneliness. You should be happy being alone with yourself first before you decide to marry someone. Don’t put your happiness in someone else’s hand, especially not your partner’s. Be happy with yourself first.
* Don’t get married because you felt pressured.
Isn’t it annoying when people around you keep asking when are you going to get married? But no, don’t compel yourself to marry because your mom wants you to, or because all of your friends have already married. After all, they are not the ones committing that ’til-death-do-us-part’ vow.
Don’t get married because you felt pressured of your age and the length of your relationship. Never marry when you are not ready.
* Don’t get married because your Ex is moving on with someone new.
The emotional mayhem brought by your ex’s engagement with someone new is not enough reason for you to rush into marriage. Don’t get married to prove to your ex that you are the one who got away. Common, you know better than that! If you are stirred up upon hearing the news that he is getting married, let it go. Yes, it is irrational when you’re confident that you have moved on, but that is normal. After all, you had once imagined walking down the aisle with this person. That sting of emotion that is bothering you is okay, but don’t let it push you into marrying your partner now because you want to get even.
Marriage is not a race. It is neither the measurement of happiness nor success. Before you say I do, ask yourself if you really do. Get married because you want to and you feel that is right for you.
So a few days ago, a friend asked me how did I know Ace was the one. It’s funny how I was unable to grasp an answer to that familiar question.
Ace and I have been asked the same question a lot of times. But until now, we still couldn’t find the exact answer. It’s hard to tell especially if you have once committed to someone but ended up disappointed. I guess, there isn’t really a ‘right’ answer at all!
We’ve been there. We were once the one asking the same question to ourselves. Ace and I had our fair share of i-thought-i-found-the-one experience before we found each other. In fact, who would thought the relationship which started on an online dating site would work than that nurtured for several years?
There are no right signs to know you’ve found the right one. But here are some things you might want to consider:
1. He’s always there to support and cheer you up.
He doesn’t laugh at your eeriest dreams. He supports your stupid ideas. And when things don’t go your way, he is there to cheer you up. He doesn’t blame you for your failure instead he encourages you to try again. He believes in you, and he is your biggest fan.
2. You don’t feel insecure.
He doesn’t make you feel jealous with his accomplishments. You feel proud of him when he achieves something. He doesn’t make you feel inferior in any way — neither intellectually, financially, nor professionally.
3. You want to stay together even when you argue.
Love quarrel sure is inevitable. If the both of you choose to patch things up instead of threatening to break up, only means your love is strong. When you don’t keep a score between who is right or wrong and opt to forgive each other, you guys are a match made in heaven.
4. You are yourself around him.
He doesn’t make you feel like you have to be anything you’re not. You can wake up with messy hair around your face, make-up off and he still finds you beautiful. You can laugh out loud, even snort and fart and he wouldn’t mind.
5. You trust each other.
You know he is the one when you trust each other. He does not spy on you nor question your privacy. He respects your personal space. He is not paranoid to monitor your phone calls and demands to know the passwords of your social media accounts.
One day, someone will come into your life and make you see why it never worked out with anyone else.
Don’t cling to that idea of love portrayed in the movies, it will only disappoint you. Love is hard to define. Every love story is unique. There is no perfect relationship, just harmonious ones. But it takes a lot of effort and sacrifice. It takes both of you to make it work.
While you are trying to find the right one for you, I want you to remember that LOVE is not just all about you. It’s about two people working together. You may have found him but don’t forget to ask yourself if you have what it takes to be the one for him, too.
Let me leave you with these words from Creig Crippen.
As you awaken,you will come to understand that the journey to love isn’t about finding “the one”, the journey is about becoming “the one”.
Over to you! How do you know you’ve found the one for you? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave us some words. 🙂
I used to live in a far-flung barangay when I was a younger. I spent my primary years in a school 20-minute away from our house. I had to walk back and forth every day with my friends and classmates. I never mind the distance. I loved going to school. I could still remember my excitement at the start of every school year. Probably, why I love the month of June. (The school year starts on June back then.)
On the first two days of school, our teacher would let us write a long list of requirements. I would write it in an old notebook that my mom recycled from the previous year.
“Use this old notebook for the meantime. We will buy your school supplies when you have the list,” my mom would say.
I was then excited to go home and show mom the list. 8 notebooks, 2 pencils, crayon… my list went.
“Wow! That’s a lot! We don’t have enough money to buy everything on this list,” she would say again. “Let’s buy five notebooks and a pencil. You can borrow crayons from your classmates…blah, blah..”
We had this same scenario every school year. I couldn’t remember a year which I had the complete school supplies.
I know very well how it feels like to be the last one to submit your art project because you had to borrow crayons from a classmate. Therefore, you had to wait for him to finish. I know how it feels to recycle your old notebooks because you didn’t have enough. I know how it feels to wear a hand-me-down school uniform. I know how it feels to hide in the corner on lunchtime because your buwad (dried fish) stinks. Believe me, I’ve been through that!
Our family’s income back then was enough to keep our heads above the water. I would felt sad but I never complained to my parents. I knew they were doing their best to provide our needs.
Fast forward to the present:
This is the reason why I always love to participate in outreach programs or similar causes that benefits school children, especially in rural areas. For someone who didn’t have enough before, the idea of giving joy to the students is very gratifying. I’m grateful that nowadays, there are a lot of non-government groups that organizes events to provide school supplies to remote schools. (Something, we never had before.)
Ace and I have tried organizing such events. But mostly, we just support or join other groups. We give support in our small ways, sometimes pecuniary, often we do it by volunteering.
Last weekend was one of those successful causes. We got invited by the OMG (Open-minded Group) hikers to join their Hike for a Cause. It was specifically hosted by Sir Aldrich, Beboi, and Dian, the same group I was with when we scaled Mt Licos. The beneficiaries are the 150 Grade I students of Toong Integrated School.
When we arrived at Toong Integrated School, we were greeted by a crowd of parents and excited kids. I knew it was going to be exhilarating and fun. The school doesn’t have a wide ground. So we all squeezed in a small area in front of the principal’s office.
Because of the number of kids, there was a confusion at first. We grouped them by section, but most of them didn’t know which class they belong. I reckoned they were not acquainted with their section’s name. Good thing the teachers were there to assist us.
We had a few games before we distributed our present to them. Each student received a bag which contained some notebooks, pencils, and art materials. Afterward, we gave the kids some snacks to share with their parents.
The smile that I saw on their faces and the thank yous from the parents sent joy to my heart. It once again reminded me that I am beyond blessed. The happiness that I felt as I watch them comparing what’s inside their bags, and as they shared the hamburgers with their moms, was immeasurable. I received more than what I gave. It’s heartwarming!
After the program, the hikers headed to AO Farm for lunch. We shared each other’s food while talking about anything under the sun. But as usual, Tatay Raul was the favorite subject. We teased him about his love for food, sweeping food for that matter.
After replenishing our tummies, we hiked to the highest point of the farm where we cracked a birthday surprise for Tatay and Jonah. We stayed there for a few minutes, just enjoying the green vista of the neighboring mountains.
From there, we were to proceed to San Carlos Heights and make our way to Tulong Krus. However, AO Farm fenced the back exit of the farm where we were supposed to take the shortcut way. So, we went back our way and followed a different trail.
I went home that day feeling happy and content. It’s very nice to know that we can do a lot more than just hike or climb a mountain.
Over to you, have you participated in any causes? We’d love to hear from you!
Oh, girl, it’s that pesky time of the month again. It feels taboo but it is something beyond our control. So, yes! We have to talk about it because it happens.
You’re excited about an outdoor adventure next week only to realize you are also expecting your period on the same dates. Should you cancel or push it through? If you’re having this perplexity then read on.
When I was just starting to love outdoor activities like trekking and climbing, I used to make sure my “red days” don’t meet my trek dates. I thought it was impossible and uncomfortable to climb mountains while you have ‘something’ going on inside you. But there came a time when my thirst for adventure was stronger than my doubts. That’s when I learned to figure out how not to let my red days impede my plans.
Here are important DON’Ts to remember:
DON’T compromise your hygiene.
Hygiene is very important. Girls are very prone to urinary tract infections, especially on our periods. Whatever the situation is, don’t ever compromise your hygiene. It is a must that you have a hygiene kit with you.
What’s in the kit?
Enough supply of your trusted sanitary pads or tampons. Some women also prefer to use menstrual cups. They said cups and tampons are perfect if you’re going to soak in the water.
Wet wipes and/or tissue. You don’t always have a water supply on the trail so it is best to bring wet wipes with you. I suggest the unscented ones.
Hand sanitizers. Of course, before and after changing pads make sure your hands are clean.
Extra clothes for emergency.
DON’T forget your dates.
Let us be mindful of our dates. I understand that some of us don’t have regular periods so just be prepared for emergencies. It’s better safe than sorry.
DON’T go when you have terrible and unbearable cramps.
When you have painful red days, or maybe you always experience cramps on your period, then you have to think about it carefully. While strenuous exercises like hiking or trekking relieve the cramps for some women, it worsens for others. Sure, there are pain relievers available but if they don’t work for you, I suggest you don’t go. Because you are not only going to make yourself uncomfortable, but you might inconvenience your colleagues, too.
DON’T be ashamed about it.
Men don’t go through it but they are aware that girls do. It might be a bit awkward but it’s completely okay. With the rising numbers of women hikers nowadays, trek leaders and guides already know how to handle this kind of situation. So, let them know.
DON’T leave your pads or tampons in the ‘wild’.
Dearies, please remember our sanitary pads don’t biodegrade. Don’t leave them in the mountains. You don’t want to see this kind of wastes when you climb a mountain, do you? Be responsible for disposing of them properly. I strongly suggest you bring a trash bag intended for this waste. Personally, I always bring a separate zip lock pouch only intended for this kind of trash. There is also a technique on how to wrap your sanitary pads properly in order for it not to leave stain and foul odor, you may look it up online.
DON’T let your period keep you off the trail.
Our period can be uncomfortable but if we learn how to handle them, it will never keep us off the trail anymore. So, choose your products wisely and always be prepared for emergencies.
Over to you, have you trekked on your period before? Or do you know anyone who handles it well? Or do you have other tips? We’d love to hear from you.
Squad traveling is all over the web nowadays, so is solo traveling. I have few friends who choose to travel alone while some prefer to travel in a group. Solo traveling can be a great way to explore the world at the same time, discover more about oneself. Personally, it’s not my cup of tea. But I hugely respect people who can do it and choose to do it in spite of the daunting cons. I really admire their courage and determination.
Some travelers, especially women pride themselves on doing things on their own. But I don’t like the impression of putting solo travel on a pedestal above all other travels. Common, there is nothing wrong with traveling with someone or in a group. Solo travel may work for some but not for other people like me. After all, we have different choices.
While traveling solo is great and challenging, I don’t like jaunting on my own.
I’m not totally against solo trips. I am fully aware of the many pros of traveling alone. I’ve had few solo trips before I got married. They were mostly just for proving something to myself that somehow I can survive on my own. They were fun and self-fulfilling but at the end of the day, I wished someone was there to talk about how fun the day was, I wished someone was there to enjoy that beautiful sunset with me. So, when Ace came into my life, I was very glad to find a lifetime travel buddy.
Here are some reasons why I don’t like traveling alone.
I get lonely.
I get lonely when traveling for long hours on a bus, how much more traveling for a day on a ferry. I hate eating in a restaurant alone, especially while waiting for my food. Imagine people looking at me with pity because I am alone while I pretend to be busy with my phone. That is awkward, you know. Watching the sunset and sunrise alone brings so many realizations and thoughts, at the same time, it makes me feel empty and well, “alone”, especially when surrounded with couples romantically enjoying the moment.
It’s hard to make friends.
Don’t get me started on “you can always make friends”. I know, but it’s easier said than done. Sometimes, it can be pretty exhausting. Although some circumstances could lead me to make friends – which is great, however, it does not go like that most of the time. Plus it’s hard to make friends especially if you have trust issues. 😀
I am reckless.
I tend to easily forget things. Like one time, I was about to have lunch from a tour and realized I left my wallet in the hotel, so I had to ask my guide to pay for me, please. That’s embarrassing.
I’m poor with directions.
This may sound funny and stupid. I can’t read a map. It’ll probably take me 30 minutes to an hour before I figure it out. Taking a wrong turn alone is so not fun. But getting lost with someone or with your gang is an adventure.
One thing I’m concerned about when traveling solo is safety, both myself and my things. When you travel alone, most especially if you are a woman, you are a potential victim of dangerous misfortunes. (I’m not belittling the girl-power, I’m just being true to myself.) It’s not impossible for me to be murdered without anyone else knowing. Solo travel also means dragging all of my bags into the toilet with me when I’m in a public place like airport or terminals.
A memory card of “selfie”.
Who does not love a decent picture of yourself with the beautiful background? I mean, yeah, I can take photos of the place as a remembrance, but I also would love to see myself on it. So either I take awkward selfies or keep asking complete strangers to take a photo of me.
I don’t deny the good things my solo travels have done to me. I’m actually enjoying its benefits until now. I’m glad I was able to do it before. It made me grow, made me become independent and made me discover myself more. If I would have to do it again, I will do it the same way.
It’s just that, things have changed now. After traveling with my friends or with Ace, I realized that I have more fun in their company than with myself alone.
Would I travel solo again?
Yes, probably. I can’t tell. Perhaps, time will ask me to find myself again. Maybe, I will miss my own company in the future. I don’t know. For now, I don’t long for that yet. Not yet.
How about you? Do you prefer to travel alone or to travel with someone? Let me hear from you. 🙂
Almost two years of marriage but Ace and I are still dating.
Others might ask why would you still date your husband or wife? I say why not?
We know dating is what two people who are interested in each other do. That’s what they do when they want to learn more about each other. That’s where they start to become comfortable until the spark starts. In short, the beginning of a relationship. (Well, for most.)
But for Ace and I, our dating days did not end there. We didn’t stop dating after we got married. We think it’s important that’s why we keep doing it.
Here are 3 reasons why we don’t stop going on a date:
It reminds us why we love each other.
Dating reminds us why we dated each other in the first place. It reminds us of the things that brought us together. It reminds us the chills and butterflies.
It adds spice and excitement.
Who said the butterflies are gone? When Ace and I go on a date, I still feel the excitement of choosing which dress or clothes to wear. I also see him having a hard time choosing his. (Call us crazy and weird, but really.) Not only that, it also breaks the monotony of our life at home.
It keeps the romance alive.
For new couples, romance is not a question. But if you and your husband see each other every day, you’ll get used to each other and eventually find every day a normal day for both of you. Dating lets us talk about us. It makes us fall in love over and over again. Most of all, it improves our intimacy.
Dating doesn’t have to be expensive.
Don’t think Ace and I are lucky because we have the means to go on a date. Because the reality is that we don’t have. We’re just like any average couple who are also trying to make ends meet. Just like the old adage said, ‘If there’s a will, there’s a way.” Dates don’t have to be expensive. You can go on a date without spending too much or not spending at all.
Let us share with you some inexpensive dating ideas. 🙂
If you’re an outdoorsy type like us, there’s no other best date than spending it with nature. For Ace and I, spending time with nature is more than just wandering and satisfying our itchy feet. It’s more like an adventure-filled date. Hiking, camping, climbing mountains, trekking rivers, chasing waterfalls, and going to ecological farms are what we usually do. Spending time with nature together plays a big role in strengthening our relationship as a couple.
Durano Eco Farm
Another cheaper option is to do or watch sports together. Ace and I share the love for sports and for us, playing badminton in our backyard is the cheapest date.
Sporty dates may include cycling, rock climbing, or just watching the NBA finals together. It could also be as simple as going to the gym or doing yoga together.
Dinner, Coffee or Food Hunting Dates
The most common are dinner dates. This kind of dates doesn’t have to be expensive. Ace and I both love coffee and we are always on a lookout for new coffee shops in town. On their opening days, they give huge discounts and promos. We make use of gift certificates, coupons anvd other promotions. On some days, we head to the streets and hunt for street foods.
Catch the Sunrise or Chase the Sunset
Nothing is more romantic than watching the sunrise or the sunset with your partner. And this is always our favorite date. I think you shouldn’t miss it, too.
Stay at Home Dates
Who said you can’t date without leaving the house? Probably the coziest date is staying at home. This is also ideal for those who already have kids. Make it an extra special day for you and your partner without breaking the banks.
You can cook his/her favorite meal and set-up a candle-lit dinner. Why not? You can also watch movies at home.
For Ace and I, going on a date is already part of our lifestyle even now that we are already together in marriage. I guess that’s something we will never get tired of doing as time passes by.
How about you? Do you go dating? What dating tips or ideas can you add here? Leave us some words.
Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. ~John Muir
I can start this post with a cliche about how time goes by so swiftly but that’s probably going to ruin everyone’s interest in reading this. Hence let me just ask, how did you spend your first two weeks of the year?
For Ace and I, the first two weeks had been fairly challenging and fun. We started the year with big risks, with him quitting his job to start a business venture soon and me starting a part-time job in the morning in an offline academy (which both the offline and morning part I haven’t done for four years). So, the past few days was a whirlwind of the adjustment process.
Perhaps that’s enough excuse to spend a weekend away from everything.
There’s this campsite that has been the talk of the town this week. Actually, Ace and I had been eyeing it since last year but never had the chance to visit it. I’m talking about Bacalla Woods Campsite. Fortunately, last weekend our plan finally came to life. Elliot’s celebrating his 8th months and we took him with us.
What made our adventure special and unique were our companions who came from four different countries. First was my offline student Hailey from Korea, joining with us were her friends, Airi from Japan and Yir from Taiwan. Later on the campsite, we were joined by Ian from Malaysia.
Our escape started in Mandaue where we agreed to meet up. After we bought some provisions, we immediately headed to the South Bus terminal to take a bus to San Fernando, Cebu. Not too long, we found ourselves inside a mini-bus. The view from outside the bus while we passed by the South Road Properties signaled a fine day ahead contrary to the rainy day forecast the other night.
The campsite is tucked in Libo, San Fernando, Cebu. As soon as we got off on the bus, we took a motorcycle to the place.
For those who are going on a private ride, looking for the campsite might be a little tricky since there aren’t any signs or directions along the way. But you can always ask the locals. Motorcycle drivers are also very familiar with the place.
Arriving at the place felt like home. As I stare at the log cabin, memories from my childhood when we used to visit my grandparent’s place in the countryside came flashing in. The campsite has no hint of lavishness nor a touch of modernity except the rice cooker. Everything is pretty basic.
I thought of it as a perfect opportunity for my foreign friends to get to know more about the Filipino culture.
We were welcomed by the friendly host of the campsite. We instantly felt like a family. I talked to the lady owner who kindly asks about our reservation. I like her! She did not flash a big smile on her face to make me or us comfortable. It’s just that, she didn’t need that, the place IS already comfortable. I was like casually talking to my aunt or my grandmother about something.
(Funny fact: I actually found it amusing because I am always cognizant about people welcoming guests with big smiles and colorful words to the point that they become “overly accommodating” and well “scripted” if you know what I mean. Personally, I don’t like people who keep asking if I’m okay or if I’m comfortable or anything like that. It really annoys me.)
So, Hailey, Airi, and Yir chose to stay in a hammock on the second floor of the cabin overlooking the mountains. While Ace, Elliot and I stayed on the tent that we brought with us. We were free to pitch the tent anywhere, and we decided to just put it near the entrance so we can easily look after our things.
Let’s go back to what made the fuss on the web recently.
Bacalla Woods Campsite is touted as the “Bali of Cebu” because of its infinity swing fronting the verdant mountains of the town. Its ropes are tied on a branch of the tree and it is suspended in the abyss.
Another thing that I love about the place was the fact that they are animal-friendly. Gosh, they have a lot of pets. Elliot had a great time running around and socializing with other dogs. He even chased chickens in the woods.
As the evening came close, the campsite already ran out of tents and hammocks for rent still more and more campers arrived. Some persistent ones agreed to find their own way to get through the night.
While Ace was busy preparing our dinner, we, on the other hand, were busy talking. It’s not every day you get to be in a circle of people with different nationalities, you know. So, yeah, we had a lot of talks — from cultures to languages. The talk just got louder and funnier when Ian who’s from Malaysia joined the group.
As soon as dinner was ready, we happily shared our food together. After eating, Yir and Airi volunteered to do the dishes.
Everybody enjoyed the rest of the night just listening to each other’s stories. It rained that night. Most campers especially those who stayed in hammocks gathered in the cabin for shelter. Hailey, Airi, Yir, and Ian had fun talking and having a drink with a group of call center agents. The night was filled with loud laughter going along the beat of the raindrops.
Almost everybody woke up early the next day hoping to catch the sunrise. Unfortunately, the sky was covered with thick clouds making it impossible to see the sun. Nonetheless, we were still excited because after breakfast we went trekking to Bugho falls.
We trekked on paved road and muddy trail for two hours. I am so proud of Elliot for surviving the hike, although, we had to carry him sometimes. When we arrived on the river, Elliot was at first afraid, but when he saw the flow of the water making bubbles as it hit a rock, he tried catching it. Eventually, he was enjoying. Ace and I did not swim because we had so much fun watching Elliot playing on the water.
We came back to the campsite in time for lunch. We changed clothes, packed our things and prepared to go home. We agreed to have our lunch at the town center so they can try Filipino dish.
Staying at the campsite was a wonderful experience for Ace, Elliot, and me. The disconnection made us reconnect with ourselves and with each other. Our foreign friends who joined us also made our stay worthwhile.
How to get there?
Ride a bus from the South Bus Terminal and drop off at the Hidden Paradise Mountain Resort corner in Pitalo, San Fernando. (1-2hrs)
Hail a habal-habal or motorcycle to the campsite. (20-30mins) Fare: 45/person
You may bring your own food or cook at the campsite. You can also order from their menu but make sure to call them for reservation.
There is NO SIGNAL in the area.
If you’re not bringing your own hammock or tents, you may reserve in advance to avoid inconvenience.
Php200 — Overnight entrance fee with breakfast
Php100 — Day use entrance fee
Php50 — Trekking to Bugho Falls
Php150 — Hammock rental
Php300 — Tent rental
Don’t forget your insect repellents.
UPDATE: Bacalla Woods Campsite WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT WALK-INS. Advance booking or reservation is needed until further notice.
And lastly, ENJOY a life unplugged!
Over to you, when was the last time you have unplugged your life from modernity? We’d love to hear from you.