An open letter to anyone who goes to a newly discovered paradise: Calaguas Island

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Dear wanderer,

I may not know you and you may not know me but we have one thing in common. We wanted, we planned and we went to Calaguas Island. We both endured a 14 hour travel from Manila with a strong desire to unwind, to escape our own reality, to get lost in the sound of the waves and the heat of the sun even just for a few days. Some of us even came here to find themselves and to find where their old souls truly belong.

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Some did, some of us realized that we already found ourselves when we found the people who would love us unconditionally. Some of us even brought those people with us and spent the night holding their hands while looking at the stars in the sky. But even with the a sky full of stars, some of us found solace in our loneliness.

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We may all have different reasons for staying in this paradise but one thing is for sure.. We were grateful. We were grateful for the calm clear waters at night, we were thankful of the fine white sand, we were thankful to see the majestic scenery at the top of the hill. We were thankful our beloved friends brought us there and we were also thankful because our own God seemed to be thinking about us when He created this place.

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To be honest, we need more people like you. We need more thankful people. I strongly believe that a person who thinks everything in life is a gift rather than a right they deserve are the most pleasant and efficient person you’ll ever meet. They will never take anything for granted. Let’s not take for granted what nature gave us.

That’s why it broke my heart to see trashes on the beach the last time I went there. Let’s not leave bottles and trash on the beach. Let’s share this gift to the next generations for them to appreciate what nature has given us.

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“What you don’t know, you don’t care. What you don’t care, you don’t love. What you don’t love, you don’t protect.

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A journey to the heart of the mountains: Mt. Daraitan

When I was a kid, I often throw a tantrum whenever my Dad decides that we want to go to Daraitan. Roasting myself under the sun while enjoying the river is not exactly my idea of fun when I was a kid and for me that place is the only place that I never wanted to visit again. There was no bathroom, there’s not enough shade to cover us and we’ll come back home looking like chocolates. I often mutter to myself, “I’ll never come back here again, ever!” Ironic because at the arch in their exit, you’ll see a sign that says, “Babalik ka rin (You will surely come back).” And true enough, after 6 years, I came back and was really surprised that the place that I hated so much is the place that will capture my heart. Read more.