I Fed My Own Demon With My Embarrassing Judgment.

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Everything on that day didn’t fall in place. I thought I couldn’t do anything right. I was embarrassed to the point of annoyance. I was annoyed of myself that I wanted to break down. I could hear my subconscious mocking me.

She was mocking me the whole time while I was riding a bus going to Naga City. I closed my eyes hoping I could take a nap and ignore her. She was too loud. I could see her bulging eyes. I could feel her finger pushing my forehead. I was taken aback when she shouted my name. Her caustic voice awakened me from my reverie.

“Are we there yet?”, I asked my friend, Niña.

“Uh, almost there,” she replied. “Have you texted them?”

I grabbed my bag where I put my phone. It took me an ounce of courage to finally open my phone.

“We already left,” Tatay Raul’s message went.

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My inner-self started to panic again. I was uneasy on my seat. I kept looking at the windows to see if we have arrived. At one point, I wanted to suggest to my friend to hop off the bus and go back to Cebu City. Yes, it was a dastard idea.

But before I could tell her, the bus halted. We had arrived. I reckoned it’s too late to retreat. I looked at Niña who looked relaxed, unaware of the war inside me at that moment. She looked excited. The look on her face made me feel even more guilty. I felt really sorry.

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My phone rang. It was Beboy. He told us we might be unable to catch up with them because they were already far. He suggested we ride a motorcycle to Magdooc and wait for them there.

I let a sigh of relief before I hopped on the motorcycle. While my ride climbed its way through the steep barangay road of Naalad, my mind brought me back to the scene earlier that day.

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This emotional ruckus started with the wrong alarm time. Hubby mistakenly set the alarm at 4 pm instead of 4 am. When I opened my eyes that morning, the sun was already up. I quickly got up and checked the time hoping it’s not 8 o’clock yet. My clock said it was five. With the meet-up time set at 6:30am in Naga, I knew I was doomed. I knew it was impossible to arrive on time. Thinking we’d be ONLY 30 minutes late, I pursued it. I did everything like lightning, as fast as I could. I met up with Niña who had been waiting for me for a while. We hurried ourselves to get to South Bus Terminal.

I texted Tatay Raul to please wait for us, but I was too ashamed to tell him we weren’t on the bus yet. I kept my phone inside my bag, not wanting to check it again because I was worried Tatay would ask where we were. (Sorry Tay Raul.) Peace! 44440846_342898453130268_6043908722307104768_n

The smell of the mountain breeze interrupted the flashback play on my mind. Somehow, I felt my heart at ease and not anxious anymore. The green surrounding had calmed me and made me forget my worries.

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We got off at Magdooc and waited for them. Beboy said Sir Aldrich and Tatay Raul were off to meet us there. But an hour almost passed, no one came. When I called Beboy again, he said they were in the highest peak of the area, near a tower. We couldn’t find any higher elevation with a tower except the one we’re facing, so Niña and I climbed it. The funny thing was when we reached the top, we found out, there was a higher hill on the other side. There was a tower, yes, it was a smaller tower though.

We bet on our perhaps and agreed to go there. We had to trail back and ask the locals if there was another higher mountain other than that. They confirmed that it was the highest one. We took a short breather before we started to climb it. Halfway through the climb, we heard voices coming from the street below.

It was Sir Aldrich and Beboy!!! Oh, what a relief!

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We exchanged our hi’s and hello’s and I apologized for causing delay. I was prepared to be blamed or scolded, surprisingly, I did not get any of that. I neither saw that disappointment directed towards me on their faces. They carried on the hike just like nothing happened.

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Personal thought:

Guess, I fed my own anxious demon with worry that it almost ate me.

I thought Tatay Raul would scold me for not replying his texts and not answering his calls. I thought Sir Aldrich would blame me for causing trouble and delay. I thought Beboy would tell me not to do it again. I thought Dian would give me a scornful look. I thought my new friends would look at me with disappointment.

I realized that I have created a fearful image of these people because I judged them out of guilt. While writing this, I realized, my judgment was more embarrassing than my tardiness.

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Peace, everyone!

Over to you, have you misjudged someone? Let me hear it from you!

 

’til next time!

Keep safe!

Love, Demi

 

Celebrating Love Over The Panoramic Ridge Of Alicia| Binabaje Hills

Bohol — a neighboring island of the Queen City of The South has become the talk of the town lately. With all the trekking and mountaineering hype nowadays, the province opens its own playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

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Behold! The panoramic ridge of Alicia. Also known as the Binabaje Hills or Alicia Rolling Hills, this wonderful sight is tucked in Cambaol, Alicia, Bohol.

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Since it started making noise around the social media, Ace and I had been lusting to visit it. We were supposed to spend our anniversary there. But we were too excited so we agreed to do it advance instead.

So last Friday, as soon as I got off from work, Ace and I went to the port to book a 1:30 am ferry trip to Bohol. There are several entry points from Cebu to Bohol but we chose the Cebu-Tubigon route because it was the earliest trip. (See other ways on how to get to Bohol below.) We came at the Fast Cat ticketing office on a long queue of chance passengers and that would include us. We waited for 30 minutes before they resumed their booking line.

As soon as we had our tickets, we immediately headed to the port and paid the terminal fees. We did not wait too long at the terminal though. At exactly 1:30 am we were already on board. Ace and I were hoping to catch some z’s but the waves were not too friendly. We ended awake throughout the trip. I still felt groggy when we got off.

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To cut the story short, we took a van bound for Carmen. From there, we transferred to a bus going to Alicia. As much as I wanted to doze off, I was so busy watching the greens along the way. Ace said our trip was literally a breath of fresh air. IMG20180609074931[1]

 

We dropped off at the public market of Alicia where we met our guide – Bernard. We agreed to have our breakfast first while Bernard looked for the other motorcycle driver who will take us to the jump-off area.

The ride to the jump-off was really bumpy. You certainly need an experienced driver especially on rainy days as the road could get slippery. Good thing, the weather was on our side on that day.

An important note: they now imposed a 30-peso environmental fee.

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As soon as we arrived at the jump-off area, we promptly started our trek. The first leg welcomed us with its long ascend. For Ace and I who had not hiked for a month, it was pretty exhausting. My pace was slow as I didn’t want to surprise my legs. I used every chance of rest to enjoy the beautiful panorama around.

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Bernard was considerate enough to wait for us while we took a lot of stops to rest and admire the beauty that the hills offered.

I really wanted to say this. I commend our guide for being both informative and patient. On that same day was the Game 4 of the NBA Finals with the exciting 3-0 standing of the GS-Warriors against the C-Cavaliers. It was past 7:30 am when we started our trek and the NBA game was starting soon. I knew so well, how much he wanted to watch the game because Ace was, too. Yet, he never hurried us nor made us feel that we had to. My two thumbs are up for you, Bernard!

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Despite several stops and slow pace, we arrived at the summit in an hour. On very hot days, the trek to the top would be more challenging as it was a steppe trail. There were no trees to shelter from the scorching heat of the sun. Gladly, we had cloudy weather that day. The only challenges we had were the steep ascent and loose soil.

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While sitting and soaking up the wonderful vista in front of us, Ace and I realized that it had been a while since we trekked together. His schedule was very elusive. We’re glad we were finally able to do it again.

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We sat there for few minutes while we shared the jellies we brought. We talked about going back next time and bring Elliot with us. The trail isn’t hard. We’re pretty sure Elliot can manage to the top.

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Soon after we regained our energies we decided to descend since we still have other places to go. We took a different trail to exit the hills. Contrary to the ascending trail earlier, the exit trail was mostly descending. I can’t say it was easier. For someone who hates downhill path, a steep descent is more challenging than an ascent. I felt like my legs and thighs were about to burst.

Nonetheless, I made it back to the base in one piece. And as a bonus, the Warriors-Cavaliers game wasn’t over. 😀 We got to watch it in a house near the jump-off area.

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We separated with Bernard at the municipal hall of Alicia. We were heading to Candijay to visit the nearby tourist attractions which I’ll be writing on a later post. 🙂

Meanwhile, here are some tips on how to get to Alicia Hills.

How to get to Bohol from Cebu:

  • Via Tubigon — *Ride a ferry from Cebu to Tubigon (Php 275 – Fast Cat). *Ride a V-hire from Tubigon to Carmen (Php 80). *Ride a bus to Alicia (Php 40 Ceres).
  • Via Tagbilaran — *Ride a ferry from Cebu to Tagbilaran. *Ride a motorcycle to Dao terminal. *Ride a bus or van to Alicia.
  • Via Ubay — *Ride a ferry from Cebu to Ubay. *Ride a bus bound for Alicia.
  • Via Getafe — *Ride a boat from Cebu to Getafe. *Ride a motorcycle to the jeepney area. *Ride a jeepney to Talibon. *Ride a jeepney to Ubay. *Ride a bus to Alicia.

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Tips: 

  • Ask the driver to drop you off at the municipal hall of Alicia.
  • Prior to your visit, get in touch with Alicia’s Tourism Officer, Maam Godelia Lumogdang at 09338655650. She will provide you with a registered guide and arrange your transport.
  • It’s best to climb the hills before sunrise. They said the sunrise there is spectacular.

 Possible Expenses to Alicia:

  • Cebu to Tubigon – Php 310.00 (Premium Class because they ran out of Economy) 
  • Van to Carmen – Php 80
  • Bus to Alicia — Php 60
  • Motorcycle Ride to the Jump Off (back & forth) – Php 200.00
  • Guide Fee/5pax – Php 300.00 (Php 500 for overnight)

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Happy 2nd Anniversary to us!

We hope you find this post useful. Enjoy your trip to Alicia, guys!

‘Til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

Came for Casino But Found a Shy Lugsangan Peak | Mountain Diary

Standing at a modest 1,013 meters above sea level, Osmeña Peak is known to be Cebu’s highest point. Everybody is familiar with it because of the wonderful view of Mantalongon mountain range from the top and its easy accessibility to the public.

But last year, another peak that offers a stunning vista of the other side of Mantalongon highland range made a fuss on the web igniting the curiosity of every adventure junky. The mountains around this peak resemble that of the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol with their perfect muffin-like hills. But the fuss was not only because of that beautiful view but the name of the peak itself. I’m talking about Casino Peak now called Lugsangan Peak.

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When the said peak started making a break, it went by the name Casino. Everybody became curious about it. What’s with the name? Is gambling going on there? Outdoor enthusiasts flak the place not only for the view but to discover the story behind that infamous name.

Ace and I were not exempted with that curiosity. We were also excited and we even made several plans to check it out. Unfortunately, we were not able to realize any of those together. His schedule didn’t meet with mine so he was unable to come with me when I visited the place with the Team Bang.

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The Team Bang’s plan to trek Osmeña Peak and traverse to Kawasan Falls made my plan to visit Casino Peak possible. Few hours before the trip, I experienced a personal problem and I had to pull off my plan. I felt frustrated as I counted the remaining hours of our supposed departure. I was arguing with my subconscious whether to pursue the plan or stay home instead.

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And yes! My will to taste an adventure won over. An hour before the agreed meet-up time, I found myself riding a cab heading to the terminal with my friend Abby. My friends Louise, Daisy, and Charlotte also tagged along. Oh, I forgot to mention, on that same day the other year (2016) we visited O’peak, so it was sort of an anniversary climb for us.

We arrived at the terminal earlier than expected. It was my friends’ first time to meet the Team Bang. Louise was especially excited to meet the man behind The Bisaya Traveler blog as she’s an avid reader. When everybody was all gathered, we hopped on a bus to Dalaguete. (See a guide to Osmeña Peak here.)

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While we were riding a motorcycle going to Osmeña Peak, the rain started to pour. The road was covered with thick fog and the ride was freezing cold. When we arrived at the registration area, we did not waste any more time and started our hike after paying the necessary fees.

We already expected a foggy sight at the peak because of the weather. We didn’t stay long there because it was starting to get crowded. We had a short prayer at the top led by the Idol Wanderer and started our trek to Casino Peak.

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We took a shortcut from the foot of O’Peak and passed by a cabbage field. Later on, we followed a concrete road that led us to the registration area of Casino Peak.

To my surprise, the sign said it’s Lugsangan Peak and not Casino. The man who was assigned at the registration enlightened us about the change of name. The owner of the land going to the peak is named Ka Seno thus the name Casino, however, the name sounded indecent and gave a bad impression. So they changed the name to Lugsangan Peak. Lugsangan is the barangay where the peak is located.

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That sounds pretty interesting though.

The climb to the peak was not that hard. But the muddy trail made it dangerous and slippery. We also had to be cautious with the sharp rocks on the way.

The view from the top was breathtaking. It was windy and cold and we were standing only on slippery rocks with high cliffs on each side. I was amazed at the same time my legs trembled as I tried walking on a narrow rock. (I’m sure, Ace wouldn’t let me do that if he was there.)

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The fog was thick because of the unfriendly weather. We were all seemed teased with the beautiful scenery as the wind blew and clearing the fog. But the murkiness just wouldn’t go away.

The mounds surrounding the peak was like a shy little girl having second thought whether to show up or not, a little girl wanting to play peekaboo.

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As I sat in one of the sharp rocks, the situation made me ponder some things.

My life is full of failed expectations of myself, my family, and people around me. And sometimes, with me trying so hard not to fail, I forget to live in the moment. I sometimes forget to admire the journey. I have high hopes and all I see are those. I get too excited to see the silver lining that I failed to appreciate the things that made it glitter.

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And I was there. Sitting, hoping and waiting for the sky to clear up. And I realized, I wasn’t there because of the view. I was there because of the journey. I was there because I want some adventure. I was there because I want to make new friends.

In the end, I realized, I was actually there to learn.

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Over to you, what life experiences made you ponder things? What experiences taught you BIG lessons?

 

‘Til our next diary!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi