Friday, November 9, 2012

A Surreal Weekend with a Stranger






Their story goes along the line “A boy with a broken soul meets a girl with a broken heart.”  A kitsch and sentimental theme torn straight from the script of a local teleserye.

But it happened for real. To her, to him. In the mystical island of Siquijor.

And here’s their story:

Breaking a nine-year relationship with her ex was far from difficult... it was devastating, and to cope with the occasional bites of sadness, she had to do what she loves doing most -- traveling. As one of her post break-up trips, she planned a weekend trip to Siquijor and Dumaguete City. 

She was prepared to pushing through with the trip alone until she got a message from this person saying that he's impressed with her blog, and that he’s interested tagging along to some of her future trips. Casually, she told him about her upcoming Visayas getaway. And much to her surprise, he did book a round trip ticket to Dumaguete -- with the dates same as hers. 

“Where would he sleep?”, “What are we going to talk about?” were the first two questions that popped the minute she learned about him joining the trip. Yes, she knows him by name, but technically, he’s a stranger.

Then after giving it some thought, she realized that she needed a travel buddy to share financial damages with, and someone to break bread in the breakfast table with.

They had a couple of pre-trip meet-ups to discuss the "itinerary." She learned that he's the kind who likes to stick with outlined itineraries, while she’s the type who enjoys a good dose of spontaneity. 

She learned that he is also going through a difficult Saturn Return akin to hers. The past months were beating down on him, having to face huge endings and limping through small beginnings. And just like her, he is also working his way to recovery one day at a time. 

Despite the odds, they both felt that they needed this getaway. They needed a short break from their spiraling downhill lives. So they looked forward to the trip with so much gusto. 


Day 1 came.  It was a beautiful summer-like morning –the sky was clear, the air was crisp and the sunshine was divine. She met him at the train station en-route to the airport. They were two excited Northface-clad backpackers. 

They left Manila before noon, and arrived at Dumaguete an hour after. From Dumaguete Airport, they headed straight to the seaport where they boarded a small fastcraft going to Siquijor. In no time they were traversing the wild sea that separates the island of Negros from Siquijor. The whole time they were out in the sea, she had to keep a shuteye because the water was extra rowdy that day. She was close to puking, but she felt she needed to save her ass from unnecessary shame.  

They reached their destination an hour after. The first thing that struck her was the white sand beach that lies adjacent to the port. Right there, she fell in love with Siquijor. 

Just a few meters from the port, they found the Siquijor Church. He excitedly blurted out "They have Sr. Pedro here!" It cracked her up when she realized that he was referring to the grilled chicken nook, and not in reference to any saints. Her travelmate was obviously starving already. 

After taking photos of the church and the bell tower, they rented a trike to drive them to San Juan. Since they both wanted to keep their expenses low, they asked the good driver to take them to an affordable, comfortable, and with a great sunset-view resort.

They stopped in front Royal Cliff, a resort about 30 minutes’ drive from the port. She liked the place instantly. It's located in an elevated area with cottages and lanai perched on some charming rock formations. It has the constant whimsical sound of the ocean kissing the rocks and the fresh air gathered from the accumulation of trees around the area.

After settling their stuff, they sat near the shore waiting for dusk. Sunsets are a big part of her travels, and her Siquijor day 1 sunset proved to be just as magnificent as the others. She had to stop herself from taking photos and just enjoy the serenity of the whole scene. But she did cave in to the palpable urge to shout on top of her lungs of some random words she felt she needed to let out. It was liberating, just the kind of breather that she needed at that time.
  
They easily ended Day 1 after  dinner. But in a not-so-quiet fashion. Here are two tired souls, inside a nice cottage, in a far-away island – snoring.

The following day, they woke up to a gorgeous weather. They’ve decided to rent a motorcycle to drive around the island. Just armed with a map and fuelled by their adventurous spirit, they sped off to exploring the whole island.

Then…

Church-hopping.
Beach-bumming.
Waterfalls-chasing.
Mountain-climbing.
Mangrove-visit.
Cam-whoring.
Swimming and driving crash course.
Laughing.

After the long roadtrip, they pensively waited for the sunset near the beach. Again, it was as beautiful as the first day.

They were noticeably silent at the dinner table. It could be that they were both too tired, too sober with all the craziness that happened that day, or too absorbed listening to the music coming from the sea waves playing a few feet below them.

Painful muscles notwithstanding, it was a beautiful day.

On their final day, they spent the morning walking along the shoreline. They’ve covered about a kilometer distance, but she did not feel a tinge of fatigue. It was a surprisingly pleasant walk—made more interesting by meeting some locals who are hunting for sea urchins for their food, and seeing a writhing sea snake making its early morning pass along the beach. 

By noontime they were already aboard the boat, being ferried back to Dumaguete. As the boat sped off from Siquijor, she looked back and felt an overwhelming nostalgia. With the temporary amnesia and the fleeting kilig and aliw she felt in the island, she realized how badly she’s missing it already.

It was all good and, ummmm, surreal. Thanks to the stranger-turned-a-friend who was sitting next to her.


*If you get to read this post, you, you, thank you.  :)

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This post is my entry to Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival for November 2012. With the theme "Hello Stranger," Ron Cruz and Monette Fernandez of FlipTravels.com host this edition  of the blog carnival. 

Visit Estan Cabigas' Langyaw.com to see the archive of Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival! :)

101 comments:

  1. ahum...ahum..... possibilities!!! =DD

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    1. ummm, fic-nonfic story to! anubakayo! hahaha

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    2. hahaha! ok lang kung pang star cinema, at least hindi pang-maalaala! anchi-chi! =))

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    3. HAHA hindi pala pang star cinema, pang precious hearts romances/martha cecilia ang plot! :D

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    4. hahaha! galing mo Cha! i agree! =))

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    5. hahahaha mahilig kasi siya magbasa ng mga pocket books before! hahahaha

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    6. dapat Cha ipa-copyright na natin itong istorya na ito! pang-box office eh! =)))))

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  2. i love this article Che! S-U-P-E-R!!! ==))

    *If you get to read this post, you, you, thank you too! =))

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    1. naku, kinilig ata si Maja Dera! :D

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    2. True Cha! i would love to meet some strangers along the way too! hahaha!!! =DDDD

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    3. sabi ko na nga ba eh.. gusto mo rin ng ganung eksena. haha magpunta ka na lang ulet sa Siquijor, Maj. Baka makahanap ka rin ng 'stranger.' :))

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    4. salamat sa suporta! hahaha! at dahil dyan, i posted it to my fb to share it's kilig factor to everyone!!! =))))

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    5. omg, inunahan ang blogger! LOLers! sino ang excited? sinetch itech?!

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    6. hahaha! see how it hits me?! =DDDD

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  3. I couldn't agree more Cha, Star Cinema, which in all honesty di ko peg (the films). But I'm truly, madly, deeply, happy for you Che. Your insights of the place compensated the kitsch, and got me interested with Siquijor hehe. Welcome back to blogging :)

    PS. Maja dera, please read my DM to you in Twitter, please, please please. I miss you :)

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    1. kilig aside, yun talaga ang aim ng post na to -- to promote Siquijor. hahahaha! thanks kidd! i miss blogging, seryoso. :)

      maja, basahin mo na daw kasi yung DM ni kidd. i think alam ko content nun. hahaha! :D

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    2. Hi Kidd!Feeling teenager si Bek! Hahaha

      Btw, na-intriga ako sa DM ni Kidd kay Maja. [Loser ang di marunong mag-twitter :D]

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    3. tanggalin ang kilig and aliw factor. this post is a serious case of strangers-turned-good-legit-friends traveling together in a faraway island. *may pagpapaliwanag na nagaganap* come on now.

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    4. kiddo, sorry hindi ko na kasi ma-access yung twitter account ko. nakalimutan ko kc yung password! hahaha! (sign of aging!) hamisyutu! =))

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    5. may pagpapaliwanag na nagaganap?! mukhang guilty! =DDDD

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    6. AWW. kidd, iPM mo kay maja! gamitin lahat ng social networking site access! :))

      maja, lol sa paliwanag. baka mahusgahan agad. LOLers.

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    7. Okay lang Maja, sige dito ko na lang ipopost. Sabi ko di ka pa nagsusubscribe dito, http://www.youtube.com/user/the4thram?feature=results_main hehehe. Just use your Gmail/blogger account :)

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    8. Hahaha talagang nag-plug! Go Kidd! Mabuhay ang youtube channel mo! :D

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    9. hahaha!sige kiddo, i'll do that soon. =))

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  4. Don't worry cha, ang loser lang din ng DM ko hahaha

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    1. Hahaha Okay. Ikukwento na lang yan ni Maja some time. :D

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    2. may sariling thread ang DM ni kidd kay Maja. mashowbiz din.LOL :DDD

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    3. haha! pang-PBB teens din ba Che? =DD

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  5. Replies
    1. hahahaha! sorry po hindi. PBB teens ang drama. LOL pero ansaya basahin ng carnival! ang aliw! :)

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    2. Ishare na yang kinky stuff na yan!!! XD

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    3. kidd, wala sa ganung lebel. Di pa keri ang SPG. :D

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  6. love, love, love your blogs che! panalo ka tlg! :) super galing.

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  7. Bitin? or may part two pa ito? hehehe...beautifully-written!

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    1. haha! pwede, pwede ang part 2. :D ibang lugar naman. haha salamat po! :D

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  8. I love how it left the readers to imagine what was left unwritten and untold :)

    A "kilig" romantic story indeed.

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  9. More please ?? 'bitin eh ? @geebet89

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    1. hehehe. mukhang napepressure na ako i-share what happened to them in Dumaguete. :D Thanks for reading! :)

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    2. hum...may pang part 2 nga?! =))

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    3. Maj, may part 3, 4,... pa yan. Weekend joggings in UP and food trips in Maginhawa. Sana sinasama tayo noh?! LOL

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    4. omg becky. we'll have a good long talk for squealing this out. :/

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    5. hahaha!!! mukhang series nga ito! mala-abangan ang susunod na kabanata ba? =))

      don't worry cha, we're invited in one of the "making" of this series. kaya magkakaroon tayo ng cameo appearance in some of the stories ahead. hahaha!!! =)))

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    6. excited ako para jan! sana ma-afford nila ang tf natin! :)))

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    7. Bek, fic/non-fic nga di ba?! chill! :D

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    8. mukhang magandang pag-usapan yan over a cup of coffee. i'm a good listener. =)))


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    9. LOL sa thread na to. sana hindi natin pinag-uusapan to dito, no? kasi naman friend ni "she" si "he" sa iba't ibang social networking sites. for all we know, binabasa niya to ngayon. haha!

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    10. It's more fun to squeal Cha XD

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  10. nabitin che dahil dun sa part na "ummmm" hahah .. pressure is on my dear ...

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    1. sige, sige po. abangan... hehe *nawala bigla ang hiya*

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  11. of all the blogs you've written, ito na yata ang pinaka-blockbuster! =))

    can't wait sa part 2, 3, 4,......... =)))

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    1. Tayo ang nagpa-blockbuster nito. haha
      See my response above re this series. :))

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    2. pero bakit nabawasan?! parang may nabura. =(

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    3. hahaha!!! tama che!!! we're promoting you!!! mabenta!!! =))

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    4. OO sa dami ng thread na nagenerate, including my music box LOL

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  12. Buti naman sumali ka na sa blog carnival! :)
    Btw, sisingilin kita sa write-up mo about VIDES. ;)

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    1. haha! ciel, relate kasi ang story nila sa theme ng carnival. :)

      Yay, utang. hehehe Sige, one of these days, babalikan ko yung VIDES story natin. :)

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    2. haha! lagot ka Che. nandyan na si Madam Ciel! =))

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  13. This is very nice. I love it! :-)

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    1. aha! glad you liked it, kuyaneo! -neneo :D

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    2. I think we are all waiting for the Dumaguete story. :-)

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    3. Okay! We will wait for that. We hope to see it soon. :-)

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    4. Where's the Dumaguete story? :-)

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    5. Hehe. Thanks for reminding me. Will work on it over the weekend. :)

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  14. Traveling really helps to heal what's broken. A story worth reading and sharing. :)

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    1. Can't agree more. Sometimes, it is in travelling that we find what we've once lost. :) Thanks! Safe travels! :)

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    2. Traveling helps us see the missing pieces of the puzzle.

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  15. hi che. i love your blogs. meron na naman akong reason to appreciate the internet. a friend also recommended Booksail to me and I am very interested to participate in this project. thank you for spearheading such a worthwhile cause :D

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    1. Thank you,Ting! Pls join BookSail! Here's how to: http://www.backpackingpilipinas.com/p/booksail.html

      Looking forward to meeting you someday. I'll be glad to discuss the project. :))

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  16. Kilig much.. What happened to them after the trip??Nagdate ba sila? nag kaligawan na? Nagkatuluyan ba sila..?? Weeeeeee..

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  17. Happened to drop by your blog because of our upcoming trip to Dumaguete/Siquijor. I read the entries and comments. I read in awe. :D

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    1. Appreciate you dropping by, Katherine! Happy travels! :)

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  18. Ang sweet naman. Ano na po nangyari sa kanila ngayon?

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    1. They're doing just fine. :) Thanks for reading! :))

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    2. Sana mangyari din po sa akin ang makakilala ng stranger habang nasa travel. I prefer Boracay. LOL! I love reading your blogs. More power!

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    3. Hope you get to meet him/her very soon! Yes, in Boracay! :)

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  19. We love Siquijor!

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  20. Kamusta na po sila ngayon? :-)

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