Bagnen Oriente

Ascent to Mt. Polis

My whole body was trembling as I gently sat down on a sturdy cliff, overlooking three major towns in Mountain Province. The thick white clouds hovering over the majestic Mt. Pulag from afar, the curving road leading to Sagada slowly fading away as the fog engulfs it, the rice terraces below me that changes hue every time the sun penetrates the stratosphere. That heart-stopping view at the summit of Mt. Polis, dangling my feet at 1837 meters above sea level, struck me wordless. (more…)

WithLocals

Authentic Cultural Immersion

It was an early morning walk along the small and somehow confusing pathways of the local community in Bauko, Mountain Province when I marveled upon the silhouette of three men carrying their gimata1 atop a hill. The sun was slowly rising that moment, casting a dark shadow outlining the masculine form of these men against the indigo sky. (more…)

Nostalgic Syndrome of Travel

Nostalgic Syndrome of Travel

She is kneeling down on the edge of the pew, bowing her head and clasping her hands tightly as the bells resonate inside the holy temple. Her white veil dangles on the side of her face, concealing her eyes, allowing a ray of sunlight to touch her cheeks. Slowly, she strokes her deformed left arm, looking forlorn. She gradually lifts her chin, makes the sign of the cross, and gently, she pulls herself back to the wooden bench seat. (more…)

Finding Yourself at Manjuyod White Sandbar

Finding Yourself at the Manjuyod White Sandbar Stretch

Sitting quietly at the back of the boat, I laid a little with my arms crossed behind my head. My eyes were fixed on the blue waters of Tañon Strait, awaiting for more dolphins to greet me on that day. It was around 8 o’clock and I guess they’re all done with their morning show. I closed my eyes for a brief moment – listening intently to the growling sound of boat’s motor, the whistling wind, and the muffled conversations from my friends on the other end. (more…)