May A trip to Surigao City started the merry month of May. It has been ages since I’ve been to this northeastern Mindanao province. But it was just a short stop, a break from the hectic travels the previous months and just exploring the city and eating sayongsong.
To complete the Rizal Passport, I traveled to Malolos, Bulacan, San Fernando, Pampanga, Paco Park, Manila and then to the Rizal House in Laguna with a side trip along the lakeshore towns with my best friend and finished the stamps. We were able to witness the Turumba too in Pakil.
Baguio beckoned, with an invitation and, with my best friend, met up our friends there. It was just a short break and went around the mountain city.
Upon the invitation of a former co-worker, I was in Cebu for the Gabii sa Kabilin, Cebu’s version of Germany’s Night of Museums, but better. My write up of the Halad Museum won me the RAFI Heritage Blogging Contest. This month also, I got invited to my first radio interview on being a traveler.
June June was not so eventful. With being an instructor at DLSU, I didn’t have much time to travel around except when I was in Cebu to visit Barili and check its old houses and, later on the last day of the month, I arrived in Zamboanga Sibugay, upon the invitation by the local tourism office to cover their Sibugsay Festival that will open 1 July. This was unexpected. The governor got hold of my Mabuhay article while onboard a PAL plane and read about my piece on his province.
Surprise, surprise! I was a finalist in Globe’s TattAwards for the Visualizer Category!
July July started with Zamboanga Sibugay’s Sibugsay Festival. Just four contingents but really very colorful and interesting costumes. One thing that I also was able to do here was, interview an MILF commander, the head of the Zamboanga Peninsula operation as well as visit the province’s Noah and his ark and took a peek of my Subanen roots. Of course, I had a side trip in Zamboanga City.
It was also this month that I finally completed all 80 Philippine provinces when I got an assignment to photograph and write about the Lazi kumbento in Siquijor for a national architecture magazine. It’s really an interesting place to be and exploring the nooks and crannies of that heritage structure was just too amazing for me.
August Unfortunately, being a travel blogger and one who actually travels extensively for work and leisure has its downside especially if one is in a relationship. All those months that I was away, my mouse was also at play. The start of August found me parked in a deserted road in Cebu’s reclamation area, asking questions. All those months of suspicions and lies came together in that fateful Friday night. Emotionally burdened, what I planned to give a second chance ended in a breakup. I came home broken hearted.
But like in a previous relationship, Baguio was a refuge, where my weeping heart found solace. Is it because of the weather? Or is it the anonymity that one has when one goes up to this hinterland? I can cry, I can feel alone but I can’t care enough because I am a stranger? It was a good thing that I had an assignment there. For the next few weeks, Baguio has been consoling me.
But the downward spiral started.