Why Travel?

On October 15, 2008 – I made my very first blog about why I got hooked with travelling. It was a Taglish write-up. And today, to celebrate the 1st year anniversary of my travel blog here in wordpress, I am sharing several paragraphs of that writing about why I travel. Going over my reasons then, it seems to me that they are still the answers to why I continue to travel. Read along 🙂

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I like to travel because of the following reasons:

Una sa lahat, exciting bumyahe. Some people term it as stepping out of their comfort zone. Iyong iba naman, naniniwala na its a way of pushing boundaries and exploring; but it all boils down to the same thing — to take a trip is EXCITING! EXHILIRATING! ELECTRIFYING! (isipin niyo na lahat ng naguumpisa sa letter E). Hindi ba at nakakaexcite na you get to see new things, experience new sensation, o kaya eh makatikim ng pagkain na bago sa panlasa mo. Isipin mo, kapag naglalakbay ka — every step you take is something you’ve never taken before, especially on places less traveled. Sometimes, you don’t even know what to expect. And that, makes it more exciting…

Ikalawa, travelling (especially kung mag-isa ka) is something ENLIGHTENING. Kung bumibiyahe ka, mag-isa man o may kasama eh paniguradong marami kang malalaman tungkol sa sarili mo (at pati na rin sa mga kasama mo). Ika nga ng isang quote — “The best way to know somebody is to travel with them”. Totoo ito. Naniniwala ako dito. To travel is to learn about your limits, your strengths, your weakness and even discover things you have never imagined that you can actually do. WE LEARN ABOUT WHAT WE CAN BE, BUT HAVEN’T BEEN THUS FAR. We learn about emotional stress one can deal with, what we dare, what we don’t. Ngayon, mas masasabi ko na mas naging flexible ako sa maraming bagay…. Narealize ko na mabubuhay ako kahit walang mga luho… na marami akong kayang gawin na mga bagay-bagay na once I would not dare do or thought I can do.

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Ikatlo, EXPERIENCE. Bukod sa masayang isipin na may bago kang lugar na mapupuntahan o bagong taong makikilala — doing all that new stuff is something extremely educational. Experiential learning sabi nga sa Pschology. The places, the people, the things you do are not those things that one will be forgetting soon. Hindi gaya ng mga inaral mo sa exam na pagkatapos ng pagsusulit, kinakalimutan na. Ung mga naeexperience sa mga ganitong lakad, usually stays forever or would leave a certain mark to you. An experience may change the way we think about things – again from people to culture to places. In some cases, some will even change our own life. It usually brings things into perspective.

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The fourth reason is something very different for all of us who like to travel. It is because, the third reason is considered to be something VERY PERSONAL. May kanya kanya tayong espesyal na dahilan kung bakit gustong gusto nating maglakbay. Yung iba, they love how simple life is on the road, iyong iba naman eh dahil sa gusto nilang matuto ng iba’t ibang bagay tungkol sa isang lugar (ie history, culture)… Others do it to capture their stolen youth, or to make up for some precious time… For some, it is a must because if they don’t travel, they wouldn’t feel satisfied or complete. Yung iba siguro, its a form of escape, a form of searching for something missing…  Well, I share most of these reasons most of the time. But if there is one thing I have come to realize after several years of traveling around my beautiful Philippines eh heto iyon. I like travelling because i wish that others traveled more. Totoo iyan. Proud ako na panay ang hikayat ko sa mga kakilala ko na sumama sa akin… I feel extremely happy everytime I get the chance to share my experiences and stories. It feels good pag may nakoconvince ako to travel and see places — malayo man o malapit.

Lastly, traveling is LIVING. Lahat tayo gusto natin yung pakiramdam na WE ARE FREE, that WE ARE ALIVE. We want to live life to its fullest. My travels made me realize that communities are boundaries. Boundaries, somehow, have invisible walls. I want to break these walls, I want to break these boundaries. Sabi ko nga sa 4th reason ko, I like the idea that everyone gets to travel. Bukod sa masaya ung pakiramdam na may nahikayat ka, it feels even better to see them appreciate also the things that captured your heart. Most importantly, they to are able to break boundaries.  Gusto ko ‘to dahil naniniwala ako na mas magkakaintindihan tayo kung nakita mo rin ant naranasan mo rin ang mga nakita ko at naranasan ko.

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Ikaw, ano mga dahilan mo? Bakit gusto mong naglalakbay? Kung hindi ka mahilig, bakit hindi mo subukan? You will never know, it might unlock something new in you.

I don’t know what the future holds for me. But one thing is certain, I will continue going to places. Kahit saan pa yan. Meron o walang pera. Marami pa akong gustong mapuntahan. Marami pa akong gustong malaman. At sana, sa susunod, kasama ko pa rin kayo… kasama ko na kayo…

Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. take it easy ebriwan.

Yay! Happy 1st anniversary to my travel blog, No Juan is an Island!!!

 

 

Merloquet Falls (Zamboanga City)

I am in love with this world . . . I have climbed its mountains, roamed its forests, sailed its waters, felt the  the oppression of its heat, the drench of its rains, the fury of its winds, and always have beauty and joy waited upon my goings and comings.  John Burroughs

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When we think about Zamboanga City, images of colorful vinta, Yakan-weaved products and historical vista like Fort Pilar usually comes to mind. But for the past years, the city government has been promoting Asia’s only Latin city as an eco-tourism hub.

Being the Philippines’ third largest city in terms of land area, Zamboanga seems to have several well-kept natural wonders that will sooner or later lure us nature-trippers. One natural treasure that is rapidly becoming a favorite attraction from among backpackers and visitors alike, is the magnificent Merloquet Falls.

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My second visit to this Chavacano-speaking city in Mindanao gave me an opportunity to see what Merloquet has to offer. Together with 2 friends from Laguna, a friend from Leyte, and an Ig friend from Zambooanga, we went on to see the white curtain-like water flows of Merloquet Falls in Barangay Sibulao in the east coast of the city.

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We were greeted by a heavy downpour once we rode a habal-habal on the way to the falls. But that did not stop us from wanting to see and experience this natural wonder. The heavens must have heard of our plea since the rain stopped when we arrived at the area. A 334-concrete stairs led us down to the waterfalls that is tucked inside a lush environ. True to the descriptions made by several bloggers, the cascade of Merloquet looked like a curtain.

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Merloquet Falls is a two-tiered beauty. The lower level is about 10 meters in height. This is where most visitors stay and get their body battered gently by the falls heaps. (Caution: The mosses that has grown on the rocks are really slippery so be extra careful). The higher tier requires making your way to the side of the falls’ lower level. A thick rope and some sturdy tree roots will help you as you saunter your way up. The fall’s upper tier is a succession of serrated rock formations with diagonal angle and is about five meters high. Just like the lower tier, it also has a catch basin that isn’t too deep, making it ideal for swimming safely. Again, the area is slippery.

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How to Get to Merloquet Falls:

From the town center, make your way to Sevilla Street where you can find the jeepneys (with a “Putik” signboard) going to Guiwan Terminal. You can also ride a tricycle and just tell the driver to take you to Guiwan Bus terminal. At the terminal, ride a bus bound for Pagadian City. Both air conditioned buses and ordinary buses are available. The travel time is around 1 hours and 30 minutes to 2 hours (including several stop-overs, and yes, that is how lengthy time travel is and you are going somewhere in the city). Inform the bus conductor to drop you off at Barangay Vitali. Once in Vitali, you will see alot of Habal-habal on the street which can take you directly to Merloquet Falls. Haggle with the driver. We gout ours Php130 per person, both ways (including their waiting hours). Some parts of the road is rough and really steep. Upon arrival at the area, an entrance fee! Of Php5 and a parking fee of P10/per motorcycle (P20/for cars and other vehicles) will be collected. And finally, a 15 to 30 minute trek through concrete stairs will lead you to the mesmerizing Merloquet Falls.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…