Stop, Look, Listen: First Travel Post for 2017

Work usually ate up a lot of my time, especially when I started coming to the office at eight in the evening. My body wasn’t ready for the transition. Even though it had been two months since I first started that routine, I was still a morning person. I did come home at five in the morning and simply ended up with my sleep mask on, wishing that I could snooze up to the late afternoon. I was tired, but I always woke up after three hours. Then, I tried to go back to sleep for more than a couple of times.

Now, finally, I got a chance to relax. No more work for the coming weeks (though I still have master’s classes to complete). I realized that there were still so much that I wished to learn, explore, and experience. If only money wasn’t a matter, I would’ve been ready to travel and see tons of new local destinations. For now, there was this interesting and relaxing vacation/despedida with my officemates in Tingloy, Batangas.officemates in Tingloy, Batangas.

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The beach was a breathtaking sight (even though there were a lot of people around the area). The crystal clear water served as a refreshing source of delightful moments to remember. I couldn’t swim but I sure enjoyed my time off the sand and just hopped my way in the water.

Aside from the stunning beachside view, we stayed in one of the locals’ house and saw the other side of Tingloy’s famous island. We walked along the small trails where we saw the rice fields on the sides. We met children who were walking or playing happily. But, more than a beautiful haven, the place is also where we got closer to some of the toughest, yet much-needed tasks that many Filipinos face daily. There, we saw the activities less known in the city like the fetching of water from the well, taking care of water buffalos (carabao), goats, roosters, horses, and many others. We even slept with no electricity around the area (our house had a small generator because of the guests) and even no water supply from the late afternoon up to the lunchtime the next day. Maybe, if I wasn’t with friends who are ready to face these “challenges,” this weekend getaway would have been a tiring series of rants and endless demands. However, these events are only a part of the locals’  typical. How I hope that the area will have enough electricity and water supply in the future. But, during that time, I wish that the people won’t forget about the rich natural treasure in their community.

Also, there is a need for travelers/tourists (both local and foreign) to look after the environment. Trash was piling up along the shore, people didn’t listen to the guides who reminded them that setting bonfires or even cooking along the beach were prohibited, and the never-ending selfie culture that seemingly given the rights for people to carve their names in the age-old stones and walls along the island. 😦

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J. M. Salgado

This is for the unraveling thoughts of a Filipina trying to understand the creatively altered life of herself and the environment that she lives in. Learning to live the life through writing.

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