Siargao, Siquijor, Dumaguete, Philippines (September 2018)

As my time spent in these provinces have been primarily for work, I didn’t think to heavily document our trip with my camera, nor to document the few I took artistically. I’ll primarily share with you my thoughts about the places we’d been, however, which could still hopefully color your mind. 🙂

Siargao

Disenchanted, I lost excitement for the trip after seeing so much of it on Instagram. What’ll be special if my vision had been conditioned? Is there anything more to see and appreciate? Turns out there was. I was alone with my thoughts by nature’s orchestra of swishing waves and blissful breezes. I had the best Italian meal since my trip to Europe. I rode through the largest mangrove forest in the country. I enjoyed 5AM instant-coffee-&-chat by the port. I lived in a semi-retreat-house by the ocean—where the bees were the size of my thumb. I made friends with municipal officers. I skipped the island’s biggest party of the year to sleep, and I went after electric sockets for dinner. Best of all, I improved my wave-riding ability by roughly 20%.

Yes, the place is overrated on many counts, but only I can fashion an experience distinctly mine. If a certain place appears too overwhelming to appreciate, try to look deeper. There is always something to value beneath the surface.

Below are photographs taken during sunset on the first night, accidentally waking up at 5AM and heading back to bed before a morning surf, and leaving before dawn to travel to the port.

Siquijor

Pre-sunset at Coco Grove Beach Resort

After a long day visiting site after site on a three-wheeler, we were rewarded with the unobstructed, therapeutic view of the pre-sunset sky: whisked whites on baby blue.

Sunset ride home

Dumaguete

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The sunrise and breakfast by the bay. The sylvanas that outsell the sans rival in Sans Rival Bistro. The chocolate bud-bud from the public market. The motorcycles that outnumber cars three to one. The American seniors out early for breakfast in Why Not or McDonald’s. The Saturday-night crowd of all shapes, colors, and sizes in Cafe Racer. The street food vendors that all sell squid balls and kikiam along the boulevard. The peaceful walks along Silliman’s campus. The fact that everything is less than ten minutes away from everything. All of the above and more make this town a distinct wonder, as is every other city in this country.

 

This trip reinvigorated my desire to explore the rest of the beautiful Philippines as there is so much to love and appreciate about life in the provinces. Wonder awaits me and I look forward to heeding its call again soon.

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