I should admit that when it comes to traveling the Philippines, I know it almost like the back of my hand. I travel every month anywhere, anytime but unfortunately, it has become repetitive for me. Same Filipino faces, same languages: Tagalog, Ilongo, Cebuano, same smell and same taste.
Of course, there are still surprises like eating binamban for the first time, or gazing at the universe at night blanketed with stars while on a banca. But the predictability of traveling in the Philippines, the almost weekly routine at the airports, the bus travel from Laguindingan to Iligan, the docking of the boat in Iloilo, the almost 10 hour long bus ride to Naga City, the taxi to home in Cebu via the SRP…
I badly need to have a change of environment. Where the surroundings are alien. Where I’m alien. Where the sight and smell of the food will rev up my curiosity into overdrive. When I have to resort to speak in English or sign language to communicate and all around me are a babel of tongues and scripts.
I need to go to a place, or places where the color of my skin will stand out from the rest. The color of my hair makes a striking contrast and the usual, typical Filipino faces are absent. And the reason to love travel and exploration in some foreign land becomes a hunger, a drive to satiate that hunger.
I need to reboot. Soon. Or I will lose my sanity.