YEAR OF THE LOSERS!
My longing to get free from the polluted and busy streets of the metro has finally come to an end. I have been planning for months to get myself de-stressed and get connected to the nature once again(may ganun?). Last year has been a rough year for me. A lot of ups and downs(mostly were down moments) and I would say it was the worst year for me so far. I experienced the most painful break up ever(move on, Jay?). I never saw it coming(I would make a different blog for it, so enough details for now). I also transferred to another company which means I need to do some adjustments and adjustment for me means, stress and more stress! As mentioned on my previous blog “I’M A BACKPACKER BUT I’M NO DORA” I had several out-of-town plans but none of them come to past. So, in frustration, I ended up deciding going on a solo trip.
LOOKING AT THE BRIGHT SIDE…
Just recently, my schedule at work changed(drastic change). From a mid shift, 8-hour and weekend offs, it was changed to an evening shift, 11 hours a day and weekdays off. I was on raged when I learned about my new schedule(I’m very rebellious in nature). But after a week of experiencing my new schedule, there was a sudden change of mind. I thought that there’s a lot of advantages on this kind of schedule. I realized that there would be enough time for me to do a lot of things like, going back to my spanish language class or even travel as I’ve been dreaming of.
WHAT TRANSPIRED… WHO INSPIRED…
I work on weekends and weekends are less work load for us. While I’m at work, I tried looking for places where I could go to as I am planning to do a backpacking on my upcoming off that week. I came across this blog of Dra. Jean Alcover and got inspired by her solo adventures. I then challenged myself to do the same. Thinking that if she could do it, I MUST be able to do it as well.
WHY TRAVEL ON TUESDAYS? (Sounds similar to Paul Xymon Garcia’s Why Travel Tuesday)
After making up my mind to take a break from work and isolate myself from the rest of the world, I decided to head down south to Pagbilao, Quezon. I have read good feedbacks about the white sand beach and the cave called Kwebang Lampas. The problem is, there’s no place to stay-in, in Pagbilao. I learned that there’s no resort/inn on that beach but camping on tent is allowed.
IT WAS SULIT, INDEED!
The problem is I do not have a tent. Mr. Google saved my day again. Sulit.com is very helpful. After work, I head back home and pack some things. On that same day, I bought my tent from an ad I saw on sulit.com then took a bus to Pagbilao which left the terminal in Cubao at around 2:40PM. The bus arrived at the Lucena Grand Central around 8PM. I wasn’t able to catch the last trip of minibus going to Unisan so I took the one going to Calauag and got off at Brgy. Isla Pulo-Crossing. From there, I took a tricycle going to the jump off to Kwebang Lampas then took a boat ride to cross the river. I have to camp out at the other side of the beach since I arrive there so late and the entrance to the beach was already closed. I was with the four kids of the boatman who happen to sleep there every night to watch for there bangka. The kids helped me set up my tent since I haven’t done this my entire life. Early next morning, two of the kids (JV & Jekjek)guided me as we trekked going to the beach. It took us about 10 minutes to get there. The gate was still closed when we arrived. There was one group who stayed overnight at the beach.
WHY KWEBANG LAMPAS
I set up my tent upon arriving, paid the entrance fee and ask a few questions with the new care taker(masungit si ate). I had a quicky breakfast. Then found myself soaked in the water. I feel so refreshed. I miss the feeling of staying under the water until the last oxygen left inside my system(I always do this everytime I’m on the beach). The kids stayed with me and they served as my guide. I asked them to accompany me inside the cave.They told me the reason why it’s called “Kwebang Lampas”. They said “Kasi po pagpasok mo sa kweba may labasan pa sa kabilang side.” (Lesson: You can also learn things from the young ones.) I wasn’t able to take pictures inside the cave since I don’t have a waterproof camera. I stayed in the water for almost three hours. Most of the times the sun is out but from time to time cloud would cover Mr. Sun. I had the chance to talk to the group who stayed there the other night. I learned that they’re also from Manila.
THE PROS AND CONS OF BEING ON A SOLO TRIP
You can’t take a good pose. You can’t share your random thoughts to anyone. You can’t laugh out loud when something funny happened. You will be silent for most of the times while you’re on the trip. You look like a loser to other travellers & to the locals. Those are just some of the disadvantages when you travel alone. And I experienced them all in that misadventure to Pagbilao. On the other hand, there’s also a good side of going solo. First, you don’t have to always checked with anyone if they’re fine. Second, you don’t have to consult anyone for their opinion. You can delay the travel time or go early, take any routes and many more reasons.
I planned to stay for another night at the beach since I still have two more days off. But I ran out of food so quickly, plus with the realization (of the cons) that I had about going on a solo trip made me think of going home already. The group (who stayed the other night on the beach) has decided to go home since that was the original plan that they had. Though one of them was thinking of staying but the majority wants him to go home with them. Majority wins! I asked the caretaker to look after my tent since there were still some other groups in the beach. I come along with them as I was planning to get some foods for my overnight stay (to save money for the boat ride). Transportation in that area was really the drawback for the beach goers. Just imagine a boat ride of about 5-10 minutes to get to the other side of the beach would cost Php250.(Another disadvantage for a solo goer). While waiting for a tricycle to take us to the bus terminal, I was having second thoughts of staying. I had a sudden change of mind. I wanna go home. I don’t wanna spend another Php250 for the boat ride and additional Php300 (the fare for the tricycle ride to get to the crossing area where you could ride a bus to Lucena Grand Central). Maybe I just feel home sick. Maybe I just miss my friends company. So I asked them to wait for me. I went back to the beach to pick up my things.
So, I went home with my new friends that I met on the road. It was one of the most unforgetable adventures I had(so far). I felt like I had acomplished a lot since I went back home. I felt so brave since I had enough courage to travel all alone. Many lessons learned. I was able to reflect while on the road, while under the water. I feel so renewed! I feel like I’m never the same person!