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Moving On: Day #1

There was this particular conversation that I could never forget. When my long-time ex and I met for the last time, I poured my heart out and begged him to stay in my life…to love me again. He was my first in everything. Almost nine years after, I think, “why did I do that?” everytime I remember. I swallowed my pride and almost got on my knees in front of so many people just to convince one person to love me.

Things were never easy moving on. Everyday felt like hell on earth that I could not get up in the morning to fix myself and it’s torture to sleep at night. My work suffered and I was crying everywhere. What I felt was a combination of guilt, self-pity, loss, lack of self-worth, stupidity, and God knows what else. You will find me mostly at the church, just sitting there and hoping a miracle would happen. That time, I wanted to wake up realizing all the feelings were gone.

He was my first, remember. I thought he was the best there is and I did not want another. Just him. He is a wonderful person but it turns out he’s not that great after all.

Such horrible feeling led me to decide it was not gonna happen again. I will keep myself from falling for the wrong person and carefully choose the one that would give myself to. But, it did about three years later. I fell in love with a man who turned out to be gay. That was perhaps the reason why he knew exactly what to say everytime. Maybe I was an experiment. But we were inseparable buddies back in the office. When I realized I was falling already, I started to distance myself. He asked why and came even closer until we were kind of dating (in my mind at least). We would stroll amusement parks holding hands, and stuff that bf/gfs do…hang out I mean. We didn’t go beyond holding hands and eating out together and feeding each other in public. I was like: “What the heck! I don’t want to regret it.”

Of course it did not last for long. I gave him hints that I liked him and started to move away. I always seem to find love at work, so I decided to quit work to protect my feelings. I know it is a very immature way of dealing with things but I couldn’t think of any other way than run and hide. That was less painful and I recovered faster. It did not take me five years to finally forget…maybe just a few months. I enrolled in a caregiving class and it made things better. There’s a new plan inside my head.

My relatives in Canada told me they were gonna help me process my papers for faster entry. A new environment was waiting. I did my part only to find out they haven’t been doing theirs so I had no choice but to stay home and work instead. I did attempted to work on it on my own but the laws keep changing. I don’t want to go back to the office.

So I lived my life contented, free to do what I wanted to do, free to work, and just save for my future just in case I grow old alone. I was kind of in the process of accepting I was put on Earth to provide and just love people. I believed that home is the safest place I can be.

And then something happened. It was beautiful during the first few months. I met someone online and our professional relationship progressed to flirting. I didn’t see it coming. My first line: “God, what is this?” No answer of course. I planned to just enjoy it and never go so deep. But things went out of control. Now I just got off Skype to say farewell after almost one and a half years of semi-non-stop chatting.

It hurts now. I wanted to stay and see it through the end but the other party is clearly not intent on taking it to the next level. It’s all about the body and not the soul. I wanted to cover all elements and I have fallen in love. I know it’s not just with an idea but the whole thing. I talked to a wonderful person everyday during the first few months, he gave me a peek into his world, I gave him a peek into mine. Things were good but we had to face reality I guess and consider it’s just not meant to be. His fire has stopped burning while I keep my torch well-fueled with hopes and prayers.

I am in love. Of course I was hoping he would feel the same way. Maybe not now but in the future when we finally meet. I didn’t get to explore that possibility because we put an end to it. It’s the fear. I hate to blindside him as well. He migh feel kind of betrayed if I gave hime the impression that casual relationship is ok with me when it is really not.

Would you do what I did or take a chance and see how it works out? I am stupid, I know. But if this guy really likes me, he would have asked me to wait until we meet. Just that tiny inkling of hope would have convinced me to revoke my resignation; that willingness to see how everything works out. But he is decided to stay just for a few weeks, maybe two, and leave again without even considering. Pure flirting. Do I really want that?

Well, honestly, I am a very sensual person who would not reject two weeks of great sex? I just want to do it with someone I am hoping to be with for the rest of my life. With the way things are going, with his kind of mentality, I am not sure he would want the same. This is me protecting myself.

I expected too much and it’s all on me. He led me on in a way but perhaps that was normal where he comes from. I don’t know. Right now, I just want to be happy. So happy that I would forget that I had been so lonely once; so happy that I would forget about all the pain. I just want to forget…

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2015 in Life, Matters Of The Heart

 

When In Davao

Solo backpacking is in my bucket list and I’m excited to be crossing this one out. It’s not the last though. Just because it is done does not mean it’s over. This is just the beginning.

Honestly,Β  I am happy I fulfilled this in Davao City, the 4th largest city and one of the safest places to live on the face of the Earth. True enough, I could walk at midnight alone looking for a snack, passing by clubs and public markets. In Manila, you would have probably gotten pulled to a corner and raped or your bag has already been snatched. You could think of all the possible dangers awaiting when you are in this notorious side of the NCR. Read: Manila, not Valenzuela, which is just part of the Metro, but an independent city. This is where I live and I love my city because 1) Our mayor is awesome, not corrupt 2) its is way more peaceful and 3) the local government is developing it into a sophisticated cluster of districts.

While Valenzuela is slowly climbing up to the top of the most pleasant cities in PH, Davao is more established. Mind you, they have 911 there, free of charge. I repeat: FREE of charge! Because, why would I pay someone to help me in times of need? Then they do not deserve my thank you.

But thank you Davao for giving me a taste of freedom. All alone in an unknown city touring from downtown to the islands on foot (well, mostly), life is indeed here! Wanna know the things I did? Because there was no nobody to stop or push me where to go, I did as my heart pleased.

DAY 1

I arrived at the Davao City Airport at 8:45 AM. By the way, it was also my first time to fly so I still had a hang-over from the great view from the top. For me, it was surreal, even the heavy pressure I felt in my ears. I realized how beautiful Philippines is even if I didn’t know exactly where the plane was hovering. The dramatic takeoff for me seemed like just an ordinary bus ride to the rest. So, I struggled to hide my excitement and anxiety. There were times when I dozed off but I tried to wake up many times. I did not want to miss the details.

There were taxis already waiting in front of the departure area. Expecting one of them would charge me way higher for the luggage, I forgot I was no longer in Manila.

Taxi drivers here are just, fare-wise and polite that they keep calling me Ma’am. I never really liked being called ‘Ma’am’ everΒ  since even in the office before but I forgive these guys. Lucky enough, the previous occupants in the room my friend booked have checked out so I was able to unpack and take a short nap. Yes, I didn’t sleep the night before my flight. I badly needed a short snooze.

My sister’s call woke me at 2 PM to get an update, then I texted my mom, and then prepared for my journey. Prior to that, I have researched on all the places to visit and most of them are in walking distance. So I spent the day hopping from church, to museums, to parks, and then figuring out where the fucking hotel was.

San Pedro Cathedral

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My first stop was San Pedro Cathedral. It’s a medium sized church with fascinating architecture. I am not a regular church-goer but I make it a point to visit the churches in all the places I go. I did spend a few minutes at the small chapel beside the Cathedral to offer a prayer. I am grateful for everything: the ticket, the safe flight, the experience, the freedom. It was like orgasm.

I took a few pictures and then headed to Museo Dabawenyo, which was two blocks away.

Museo Dabawenyo

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The tour was just starting when I arrived. There is no entrance fee and taking pictures is prohibited except at the gallery.

The place is rich in Davao’s history and I really loved the miniature native houses of various ethnic groups. Security was tight and I would probably go to jail if I pocketed one of them.

The most amazing stuff are upstairs, where a gallery of beautiful paintings were on display. I had a photo opp with the painter, Elenita Dumlao. She had a humble appearance and a face that did not intimidate; ready to answer questions anyone may have.


I have read about her on the Internet and have seen her work. To my surprise, she was there at the museum as gallery host! Coincidence? We do not cross paths with certain people for no reason. I am sure someday I will find out why we met in the first place. But let me just enjoy the brief encounter. This woman knows color. I love colors! Too bad I could not afford her pretty expensive works of art. The least that I can do was capture the moment so I just requested someone to take a picture of us together.

“Are you not with them?” Mrs Dumlao asked me as I put my arms across her shoulders. “No ma’am, I came here alone,” and then we smiled at each other. It was a compliment, of course, that made me giggle and draw a huge smile.

Next, D’ Bone Collector Museum. I asked the guy at the entrance how to get there. However, despite all the hand gestures, I didn’t quite follow. Finally, he handed me a map of the city to make things easier, which he should have done firsthand to spare me from the headache of figuring out what he was talking about, LOL!

D’ Bone Collector Museum

D’ Bone Collector Museum may not look that special but once inside, you get to learn so much about marine life and how humans are doing a good job at killing the aquatic animals. Its owners are an American Couple living in Davao for several years now. They have made it their mission to preserve not only remains of these precious creatures but also to enlighten humans about the implications of our carelessness. “We do not do it for the money alone. Our goal is to educate people about the importance of respecting nature.”

Funny story, the Am guy asked which dialect I prefered: “So Bisaya-tagalog or Tagalog?” I laughed and said nicely, “Tagalog please.” He hesitated: “Well, I don’t know Tagalog so let’s just stick to English.” And then he explained to me the rules and regulations. “Don’t feed the animals.” To my surprise, I asked “Oh, you have animals here?!” Then wife said laughing, “Yes, they’re all dead!”


It was a joke. I was too tired to see the humor. He turned me over to a local tour guide, who I later appointed as my photographer. LOL!


My heart sank with every story he told of how the whales and dolphins ended up in that museum. Once in my odd life, I dreamed of becoming a marine biologist because of my penchant for the underwater. I don’t know why I took up journalism to be honest. πŸ˜€

People’s Park: Last stop

The People’s Park was close by. We have a People’s Park in Valenzuela, too but I wanted to compare the qualities.

Duterte vs Gatchalian.

After a few monutes of walking around the park, no doubt, Duterte won. Davao City’s People’s Park is way more spacious and breezy compared with our own People’s Park.

Valenzuela’s People’s Park got a fountain, two monkeys, an ampitheater, and skaters.

Davao’s got a mini waterfall, a dome, statues, playground, trees, and fitness buffs running and doing sit-ups everywhere.


My attire that day could pass for a runner’s but I didn’t plan to go along. I had been walking for four hours by that time and still a few kilometers away from Las Casitas Inn. Walking and thinking could really drain your energy big time.

Now I had to figure out my way back to the hotel.Β  At 6 PM, I stopped by a diner for dinner, which included one piece chicken, rice, and soup for P25. Not bad! Not bad!

At almost 9PM, I was finally back at the hotel, dropped my backpack and devoured the remaining sandwich I made back home to avoid spoilage. This is a budget trip so I need to maximize my resources, too. πŸ˜€ More than food, I badly needed lots of water. My indulgence was a late-night coffee at the restaurant downstairs. I sat quitely in one corner overlooking the serene road to enjoy my accomplishments that day before I retired to bed.

Expenses

P80.00 – entrance fee to D Bone Collector
P30.00 – coffee
P25.00 – dinner

DAY 2

I needed some view of the sunset or a sunrise but the ferry boat to Talicud Island normally leaves late. At 8:30 AM, I have already secured my seat in Isla Reta ferry boat, which sets sail at 9 AM. Travel time was approximately an hour. Having chosen the window seat, I didn’t mind even if it took three hours.Β  The last time I had been to the sea was many moons ago. Plus, it’s a joy to ride a boat. I thought if I’d be lucky, I might see some dolphins jumping and playing in the ocean, but to no avail.

Fine. No dolphins. Just the view of Samal Island. Worth it. Minutes passed by so fast and I found myself treading the powdery white sand of Isla Reta. It felt like quicksand — so soft I wanted to take off my rubber shoes and run around. Maybe next time. The view from the wharf was breathtaking that I started taking pictures of the thick trees and bushes soon after I got off the boat. The sun that reflected on the white sand was blinding. It was paradise.

Isla Reta Touchdown

I walked towards the beauty and found a spot on the less populous side of the resort. There I set up my blanket, took off my shirt, shades on and looked on. It was so quiet; the kind of quietness that encourages you to just sit there and think about life. love. happiness. sadness. freedom. abundance. nature. gift. loved ones. people you cherish here and there. I wish my mom could see what I was seeing (although she sucks as traveling). But remembering her made me a little sad. This is what I want my mom to experience. Peace. She deserved it more than I do.


If only she had a friend that’s working at a ticketing company LOL! Maybe someday, I will take her to different places too. No, soon.

Looking at the sea is one thing. Listening to it is another. That was music. The real thing always sounds better than mp3, so I laid down, closed my eyes and aimed for a nap, something that’s hard to do when you have a racing mind.

A few hours more and I decided to explore the island. I checked the guard post and realized there’s a town outside. Ah, that’s what they’re talking about. I asked the habl-habal driver to take me to Babusanta Resort. I just heard the place is pretty as well. They initially charged me 300 for the roundtrip. But I was born to haggle. Remember: budget trip. “Oh please, fare is only 50!” I insisted. I was then informed that each habal-habal accommodates two. A single passenger should cover two seats. “Okay. So that’s 200.”


And then off we went. The road to Babusanta was long, steep, and winding. There are thickets surrounding the area, which reminded me of the backwoodsy gore movies I have watched. I was in an Island close to Mindanao, sitting behind a motorist that looked like a Tutsi in dreadlocks. And then it hit me. “What the fuck am I thinking?!” I could get raped or beheaded and thrown into the woods or get kidnapped for ransom! My family won’t be able to find me and my flesh would rot and be forgotten. I am not ready!

“It doesn’t look like there’s a resort here.” I said. No answer. As the tension rose, I blurted out smiling: “Hey man! What have I gotten myself into?!” He said, “Adventure…” in monotone. “Are you alone?” He went on to ask. “Oh yes!” If he was a killer or a kidnapper, that’s mistake #1. “Where are you from?” he asked again. “Oh, I’m from Manila just having a free vacation!” Mistake number-fucking 2. Call me paranoid, but I guess I should be. And call me stupid because I was.

My thinking process was kinda slow I know and I was being judgmental. But hey, I trusted him after all and tried to remain calm and friendly despite my fears! Let me tell you though that alongside the fear, my gut told me everything was fine; that it’s safe.

In my head, I was praying: “Please Lord, get me back safely to the hotel. If this is my time, please…with dignity.” But I reached Babusanta in one piece.

Business as usual, he offered: “If you like, we can go around the island. We take the long road. Just add 50.” I replied: “Nah! it’s fine. I can handle the bumps.”

No answer. But, considering he has no other job but the habal-habal, he could definitely use the additional Php 50. I asked him prior to that how many passengers hire him everyday. None. “We rarely have passengers.” That means, he only made money that day because of me. So I said, “OK! Let’s do the long trip.”

It was indeed a long trip. Excuse my lumbago…lol! I don’t have it but my lower back ached trying to distance my crotch from his butt. I guess I was careful not to arouse him. πŸ˜€ I know it’s a weird thing to say. I was just trying to redeem myself.

And at last! we were back at the island. The guy or kid proved to be harmless. You are probably thinking I am an arrogant beach who judge people by their appearances. Forgive me but let me clarify that even if he looked like Derek Ramsay, I would feel the same (but I can’t promise I would keep my hands off his triceps, lol!) Kidding aside, I was alone and I should be paranoid enough not to fully trust anyone in a strange territory. And besides, I made the trip after all!

I registered for the 3 PM trip right away at the guard post and returned to my spot, downing a whole bottle of water to disperse the heat. My stomach screamed Kinilaw na Tuna Belly but it cost 380 pesos. The rest were somewhere between 180 and 200 at the canteen. No thanks! Water was all I needed.

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Another one-hour ferry boat ride to Sta Ana Wharf, a taxi ride to the hotel, and another thank you prayer while lying in my bed. Just a few minutes after, I received a text from a friend of mine who is a local. We planned on meeting the other day but she was unavailable so I invited her for dinner that night. The meeting place: Jack’s Ridge.

Jack’s Ridge

I got there ahead of call time, 7 PM, and took some pictures while waiting. There’s a terrace downstairs overlooking the entire Davao City at night. I could compare Jack’s Ridge’s concept with Metrowalk or Libis but this one’s prettier, of course. It was a beautiful mildly cold night. The moon looked like a wounded eye bleeding for my lack of fashion sense and gullibility. Almost 20 minutes have passed and she was nowhere to be found so I enjoyed the night sky in the meantime.

“Look at the moon, isn’t it pretty?” I heard someone said.
“Yes, it’s pretty.” I smiled. And then, a text message from my friend came in saying she’s at the front gate. I could really give her a bad timing award! LOL! I excused myself in dismay. “Wow, the poorest timing ever!” LOL!

Food was of course a little pricey but there’s no McDonald’s or KFC to save us. The food smelled tempting though and we’re hungry. Note that it was our first face-to-face meeting. We only chatted on Skype sometimes for update on life and work. She’s a really nice and pretty girl.

The night was getting old and we still had Sunday Service to attend to the next day so we said our goodbyes after a few hours of non-stop talking. Another busy busy day…

Expenses:

P160 – back and forth ferry boat fare (P80 one-way)

DAY 3

We used to call events like the Sunday Service a charismatic. Almost any affair where people raise their hands with closed eyes and say “praise the Lord” is a charismatic. I don’t think I have ever been to one except that Sunday.

I woke up early, wore my casual ensemble and headed to the school where the event was taking place. At 10 AM, Tina was already there waiting for me. People I didn’t know greeted me with warm handshakes and big smiles.

They were singing christian songs that made me behave like a tame deer. The catchy tunes made me wanna sing along, only I didn’t know the lyrics. The only thing I could do was stand there, listen and sway a little. It would be a tasteless show of appreciation if I did nothing. My stupid moves were funnier in your imagination! πŸ˜€

The things that followed involved lots of prayers, a pastor’s sermon, and a short ceremony for first-time attendees. Next, a pray over. Tina prayed over for me along with some of her church mates.

The ambience was quite overwhelming and my morbid jokes didn’t make it to my system. Out of respect, I quietly watched how happy these people looked. They looked so happy like they’ve already seen paradise. I thought: I want that kind of happiness, seriously. Those happy, peaceful faces made me envious. I wish that someday, I would look like that. Happy. Actually, joyous. And that happy face would be a fine work of art by God’s hands. As of now, I am aware that I still need to cleanse myself of bad behaviors. But I am working on it, slowly…

My friend could not accompany me to my tour, not this time, so I went ahead to Crocodile Park. On a lazy Sunday afternoon. Alone. Fuck me. That’s not the worst part. The worst part is that the huge crocodile wouldn’t come out of the water. The monster was the reason why I went there and I paid P200 for small crocodiles, birds, and a few disgusting snakes. The ticket, however, was good for entrance to the Crocodile Park, Tribu Kamindanawan, and Butterfly House. It was 2PM. The guard said I can come back at 4 PM for the show happening at the Park and Tribu simultaneously. With a one-way 150-taxi fare, nah!


I just went back to the hotel, grabbed a late lunch, and tried to do some work. By 9PM, I was getting hungry again. The only option I had was a cup noodle or a cup of coffee. Remember: budget trip. Why choose? The two would cost only a little over P20. So I went outside and bought me a cup noodle and a sachet of Kopiko. In between sips of coffee at the hotel diner were conversations with the security guard about Manila, politics, and family.

His enthusiasm was contagious that I had to willingly answer questions like: “What do you think of Miriam Santiago? What about Binay? Joseph Estrada? FPJ? Pinoy? Who did you vote for president?” Our discussion was humorous but he was disappointed to know I haven’t been voting in years. I did comfort Manong guard though with a promise that if Duterte, Gatchalian, or Bongbong Marcos would run for president, that would be the time I would exercise my right to vote. And he was happy. πŸ˜€

End of story.

Expenses

P200 – Crocodile Park
P135 – fare
P120 – fare
P120 – fucking fare πŸ˜€
P8Β Β Β  – coffee

DAY 4

Oh God. Last day. I wanted to extend but reschedule of flight would cost money. It’s sad to wake up realizing my freedom will soon be revoked. But this is my life. I am grateful for the temporary emancipation and will never forget those four days.

Tina offered to accompany me to the Philippine Eagle Center and Aldevinco to buy some homecoming presents. But first, let me tell you that the Eagle Center is one place in Davao you shouldn’t miss. The eagles are the highlight but you would also appreciate the entire sanctuary. Well-maintained, preserved, lots of huge trees, beautiful garden. It would be a nice setting for a wedding ceremony with an LOTR or Game of Thrones theme! I have always imagined my wedding to be in the woods near a waterfall or something and I would dress like a Greek goddess or Arwen. My groom would be in an Aragorn-ish suit and the children guests would dress up like dwarves, hee-hee. It’s awesome!


Anyways. there’s a guy selling pearl earrings and necklaces near the entrance. I bought four for P200, a price that took the vendor almost an hour to decide on. I had to haggle because he was charging each pair of earrings 100 earlier. Four pairs would cost me 400, which was unacceptable. But because I love pearls and I promised my friend in Manila I would buy her one, I really had to try and pull the price down.


There were also several stalls selling batik items. If haggling was a crime, I would probably serve life in prison. Well, you know the business and they can’t make me buy stuff over 200. I scored a few bags, wallets, and key chains. The malong made of batik cost P700 so no go. Aldevinco might have better offers.

Off we went to Aldevinco but I was only able to find T-shirts for my family. That afternoon, Tina and I met another ‘colleague’ and spent a few hours at the food court talking about lots of stuff. Tina went ahead and my other colleague was kind enough to accompany me back to my hotel at around 6 PM. There I spent the remaining hours packing and dissing the ugly Inn that I transferred to to save on room rental.

I would end my Davao stories here. Everything is still fresh in my mind. Every footstrike. Every trail I passed by. Every person I met. Every misfortune I encountered. Even the number of times I heard my stomach growled. It made me long for freedom more. It made rethink my life and imagine who or what I could have been if I were given the opportunity to be independent when I was younger. I am sure everything would be very very different, but in a good way.

But perhaps I won’t be able to appreciate those moments much if I had everything I ever wanted. Humility is very cheap but only few can afford it.

In my next solo travel, I am eyeing Cebu. I have always wanted to go there but there would be no free tickets this time so I am preparing for it. I do not want to be too tight and pressured so I can push myself to the maximum. So, till next!

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2015 in Life

 

Exploring Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte: Day 1

Ilocos Sur

The long trip to Ilocos is my first this year. I had a blast. Driving past lovely beaches, quaint houses, and quiet thickets, I thought: “Why go out of the country when Philippines alone is already lush with amazing sceneries?” Well, I still want to go to places besides these islands but I would love to see more of the awesome sites in my own territory first. Everything was breathtaking to me. That’s coming from someone who see buildings and hear honking cars all the time in the city. These noises and nuisances have become pretty painful to look at, let alone the four walls of my room. Don’t get me wrong. I love my home but it would be nice to have occasional trips to the woods and beaches. I still have a hang-over from the trip. I miss the vast landscapes, the cold weather, and the food! Let me share these happy memories with you in 2D.

First Stop: Baluarte ni Singson and Bell Tower

baluarte ni singson

My photo-junkie cousin and my niece

This huge 80-hectare park/zoo/ranch/fortress welcomes visitors with a few pairs of parrots at the entrance gate. Admission is free but you have 20 Php for the short (I mean really short) ass ride. Okay, pony, as my niece called them. I believe the trip used to be free as well but they started collecting a small amount for maintenance. After all, it’s just Php 20. πŸ˜€ My cousin and I thought the ride would tour us around the entire place though, but it only ran around the ranch. That was only less than five minutes.

Balaurte ni Singson

My sister, niece, cousin, and m… where’d I go? πŸ˜€

Cordillera mountain serves as Baluarte’s head-turning backdrop. No wonder Mr Chavit Singson and some of his amigos loved staying there for a vacation. I would. If only I were rich, I would buy a property near that place and turn it into my personal sanctuary. Not bad. I was a little disappointed but not bad enough for us to walk for two hours checking out the animals and taking pictures. I guess it disappointed me that we couldn’t take pictures with the tigers. πŸ˜€ That would have been the day’s highlight.

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I had to zoom in my camera to take a close shot

I had to zoom in my camera to take a close shot

My brother-in-law had been driving for eight hours at that time so he bailed and decided to take a nap while we enjoyed sight-seeing. At 2 pm, we were on our way to the Bell Tower in Bantay, just a few minutes away from Baluarte and Heritage Village.

Bell Tower

bantay bell tower

Just seeing the tip of the tower made us giggle. It’s amazing how the people were able to preserve them. We were walking toward history. The trek the very ground that friars and heroes walked on. Well, there were no goosebumps, lol! But it was simple captivating. The sun was shining so bright but the wind was blowing cold. It’s a fine weather if only the seat was cool enough for us to sit on. Our butts were burning while taking pictures! Finally, we went up to the Bell Tower and enjoyed the breathtaking view from the top.

Nice, isn’t it? It’s beautiful by day but it felt like a beheaded ghost of a Spanish priest would appear at night. The structure was ancient but sturdy enough to survive eons. Although intact, we always watched our step due to the very old wooden floor. If you are coming to visit the place, there’s nothing to worry about. I suggest not to come with a paranoid cousin with a machine gun mouth. πŸ˜€

A view from the top

A view from the top

Another ancient ruin lies near the Bell Tower. It was once a portion of a church that people turned into a mini garden or shrine. We checked it out and took some pictures, of course. While my cousin wanted to capture her moments, I wanted to capture the magnificence of the 14th century remains. Thank God I got my own camera!

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We passed by these awesome walls towards the Sagrada Familia garden. I actually forgot the exact name of the spot but this is situated behind St. Agustine Parish. I checked out the Church’s interior but there’s nothing really special to see. The Chapel of the Souls on the left side near the entrance was not really interesting. No wonder my companions drifted to the art gallery and left me! πŸ˜€

From Bantay, we still had 1.5-hour drive to the hotel. The hot sun and seemingly endless walk consumed much of our energy. The lunch we ate in one of the diners near Heritage Village (Ilocos’ special Sinaglao and rice) had served its purpose. We all felt hungry on the way.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Life

 
 
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