Shy was at Baguio Village Inn

Shy was at Baguio Village Inn
Warm, Quaint and Homey Room for only P350! :)

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Friday, December 26, 2014

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Going Around Baguio for a Solo Female Traveler

My friend ditched me.

So a supposed to be trip with me and my friend had turned out to be a solo trip.  She didn't make it for some reason.  What can a girl like me to do but to just head on to Baguio alone, for my first time trip there.

No friends, and company, and no prior thorough research.

I guess I kind of like it like this.  Spontaneity had become a stranger I am forced to embrace.  And with that, I have come to know what I am willing to miss out and focus on what I just want to experience.  It had become simpler, with less stress and that's just how I prefer to travel these days.

Traveling for me had stopped becoming a rat race, marking out all the tourist spots, with every tourist spot requires a mandatory selfie, and every night is a short time for a much needed rejuvenation.  No.  I've come to see that what's most important really for me is to just get in the culture of the place.  With that being said, there isn't a need for me to go to Buddhist temples or shrines if I'm a Baptist.  I could now skip on parks if there isn't really much to see there and there isn't another tourist spot within the 1km radius.

If it isn't worth it, skip it.

Yes. It takes some getting used to.  I've now seen conversing with the locals about their daily lives as more pleasing than taking selfies and taking a couple of photos on the same landscape than 20 shots in different angles.

If I haven't made thorough research, my resort would be going to DOT (Department of Tourism), get a tourist map and start from there.  I'd plan my strategy over breakfast, or lunch, and head on to it.

All in all, my trip was a success.  Here are the reasons why I think it was so:

1. I've paid the cheapest price I paid for a night's stay.  

A whopping P350/night in Baguio Village Inn, with a room all for myself.  It was meant to be for 2, but since I'm the only one staying, the other bed was bare, no linens no pillows.  The bathroom was shared, which I really don't mind as long as there's a separate toilet or bathrooms for male and female.

2. I was able to go to most of the tourist spots half day on my first day.  

Since DOT would only be open at 9am, I've thought of hanging around Burnham Park. I did try cycling around for an hour (P40).  Not bad for a morning exercise. From DOT(Department of Tourism) I rode a jeepney going  to Mines Park, which was further up, just around it, is a Souvenir shop where I bought a whole lot of sweets and delicacies.  From there I rode a jeepney going down and dropped off at the Horse Farm.  You'll know when you reach it when it starts to smell like horse poo inside the jeepney.  I then explored The Mansion, and Botanical Garden, all by foot.

3. Befriended a couple of backpackers. 

One from Holland another from Israel.  This is an advantage if you're staying in an inn: I get to meet different people from different places and I get to have a chance to share on how awesome of a place Davao is. hehehe

4.  Ate a lot of strawberries.  

I am not ashamed to admit that one of my sole purpose there is to just eat as many strawberries as I can and eat chocolates with it too.  Me finishing the ebook would have to be ideal, but who am I kidding?  That goal was quite unrealistic so I just had to let it slide.

My two cents on Traveling Solo

This is the year that I've traveled solo the most.  And I can't argue that it's a love-hate relationship.  I love that I have much say on where to go, when to leave and how to get from one place to another.  Yes it is empowering, but I can't also deny the fact that loneliness would sometimes creep in at times when I get lost.  Like when I was trying to find the bus station, and I was asking direction from a staff working in SM.  He gave me direction and when I asked if I can make it there by foot and how long will it take for me to do so.  Before he could answer me, he asked if I was alone, and I noticed that he took pity at the fact that I was looking desperate.  Maybe because I really was.  I was cold, lost and tired and it was also getting dark.  I've been walking up and down the session road for almost half an hour trying to find the bus terminal for victory liner.  All I wanted to do then was to find a taxi to get me to the terminal, but since it was peak hours, getting taxi  near session road was quite impossible.

The lows of solo travel will not stop me from experiencing the highs.  If I have company, then great, if none, then so be it.  Once the travel bug bites me, I'll just find myself in front of the laptop searching for another destination that interests me and that's worth my money. And I hope the next time, I'll have company... a good one.

Have you had any experience traveling solo?  I'd love to hear them.  Do share in the comment box below. :)

Here are more stories about my experience in Baguio:
Where I Stayed in Baguio: Less than P500 for a Solo Female Traveler
Hidden Massage in Baguio
5 Awesome Places to Go in Baguio Which you May Not Have Been to Yet
Going Around Baguio in Half a Day
Strawberry Farm, La Trinidad Benguet: Strawberry is my New Kind of Drug

Publisher: Shy - Friday, December 26, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

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I Missed my Flight!

They say that you haven't traveled that much, if you haven't missed out your flight.  

You may ask where I got that, well I made it up myself.  Sure some people haven't experienced missing out their flight despite of traveling to a lot of destinations.  That's well and good.  But I just happened to be among the people who have missed their flight.   

There are a number of reasons why it happens.  One major reason is because of tardiness.  They got to the airport few minutes after the airport personal closes the gate.  Second could be that they are already in the airport but just had slept the whole time until alas the plane left them, or they may be too caught up with eating or chitchatting or just going around the airport that they didn't notice the time and alas, the plane left them.  In my case though, for some reason I have read the time on my boarding pass wrongly.  For some reason, I was seeing 2:15PM there.  For some reason, I was believing that I'll be leaving at 2:15PM.  Now can someone tell me how the hell did I come up with that? Was it some kind of a brain glitch?  That my eyes and brain didn't coordinate well that I was seeing a 2 there instead of a 6?  Now I may be a nurse but I can't seem to come up with a possible scientific diagnosis for this kind of symptom.  But I know the layman's term for this alright... CUTE.

Publisher: Shy - Sunday, December 21, 2014
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Backpacking in Boljoon, Cebu

Less than 30 minutes away from Oslob, Boljoon is one destination every tourist going out to watch the whale shouldn't just pass by on.   Not when it's just near and not when it's as beautiful and enigmatic as Boljoon.

I was attracted to this place as I've personally seen it being featured on tv.  There happened to be some archaeological artifacts discovered there that were dated way back then and some archaeology students were digging and studying it.   So our curiosity to check the place ourselves and see the developments on the study made us to decide to stay there for the night.  After bathing with the whales and in the falls nearby we had our lunch in the resort and took a bus going to Cebu, to be dropped at Boljoon.  We got down fronting the church and walked our way down the street and checked in the first room for rent we saw.  We took it for just P850, all complete with a bathroom, a veranda outside overlooking the sea and free coffee.  A great deal indeed!

Only when we checked out and took a second look at the trampoline did we realize that the room was supposed to be only P599.  But we let it slip since Lola probably haven't had many customers coming in.  Heck we could probably be the first by the looks of the tiled flooring in the toilet.  Nevertheless, lola took care of us while we were there so that had made up for that.

By the time we had our rest and had settled down, we shortly headed straight to the church which was just 2 minutes away!  I was particularly more interested on the archaeological works said to be happening in that place, but since that news was something I've heard years back, we didn't found any.  They've probably wrapped things up years ago.  I've asked some locals about this and had to translate it in bisaya which was a pain.  How can you explain archaeological studies in bisaya?  I gave up on that, and just make the most of what this quaint town has to offer.  So although my judgement fail me, I was glad that this place didn't.  It gave me a feeling reminiscent of Vigan.  The old school vibe, not-so much touched by development.  The air was just raw and rustic, that I can't help myself but to breath it in as much as I can.  I haven't really taken much photos than usual because I wanted to take everything in.  I knew this place is special.

And I can't seem to feel a bit sad as I watched buses after buses just passing by this town.  Not seeing a tourist going down to check it.   There were only 2 tourists I've seen, checking out the church.  I just feel like while the church is grand, there's still a lot in Boljoon to be offered.  And we were lucky to have stayed there for the night to experienced just that.

The morning after we went straight to Church to participate in the early morning mass, and what struck me as I entered the church was there were a number of birds/bats flying to and fro underneath the wooden arched ceiling of the church; The ceiling being old and punched with holes at random places have really great murals.  All of it was just breathtaking for me.  Where in the world can you see a sight like this?  Seated at the beaches near the altar were old women wearing a white linen cloth, which is a practice of women attending church back then.  Looking at them, I wonder how many years have they've been doing this?  Attending church this early and praying with their white linen cloth atop their heads.  Maybe they've been doing this since they were small, and until now the habit of putting on that linen cloth still didn't leave them in this modern age.   It was some practice that I doubt would be pass on to the next generation, so it was truly a feat for the eyes.  I felt transported back in their time.  Their stubbornness of letting go of this practice and continuing on doing it until now, made whoever seeing them transport back to their era.  I got transported back to their time.  And overwhelmed I just kept silent witnessing this age old practice taking place.  I decided to settle at the bench at the back so as not to disturb the mass that was already going on. When the mass ended I silently made my way near the altar so I can be nearer the church women.  Gave a smile as I walk passed some of them.  I also really wanted to be under the swarm of birds or bats that were flying frantically above.  It felt surreal and legit to me.  Now this is what I call a well preserved church .  An old church that had stood tall and strong amidst the forces of time and nature.   I was there and I was happy to be so.

After the mass was over, the priest started to turn off the lights and closed the doors, which signaled for us to move out already.  We walked our way to a big door at the side, but truly if they're not going to close down so early, we would've stayed there all morning.   I guess that's how they are able to preserve it, opening their doors only when there's mass, and closing in when there's none.  The door at the side led us to a small cemetery, which was bordered at the front with a brick wall with an arched entrance that has skeletons carved in, which really made it look spooky so I didn't get to take a picture of that.

So with nothing much to do, I sat down on a cement bench at a park fronting the church and watch buses pass by.  It's a shame that they don't get to see something special like this.  I felt like it has been ignored by many, hopefully it won't stay like this for long.

Publisher: Shy - Sunday, December 21, 2014
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