Thursday, June 19, 2014

One Foot in Front of the Other

I would have loved to say that the reason I haven't been posting regularly is because I've been traveling, but the truth is I've just been preoccupied with a lot of other things. I've been a bad blogger. Still, my year has been dotted with some short trips here and there, proof that I've never really been one to stay put. Finally writing this post has been good for me. It was real. It happened. It feels like a lifetime ago, but it happened.

(Warning: This post is image-heavy)

Singapore (January)
I was on a plane bound for Manila on New Year's Day and I want to think that it set the tone for this year's travel plans. Two days after that, my youngest sister CJ and I headed to Singapore. It was both my graduation present to her (she started college last fall) and a chance for me to visit some dear friends.
No trip is complete without a visit to Clarke Quay. We headed there for a short walk on our first night and then returned a few days after to take the river cruise.

It was my first time at the Botanical Gardens. I would love to bring my mom to this place.

My sister insisted on getting a henna tattoo at Little India. She even brought her own design.

We headed to Chinatown on our last day. I insisted.

Taken at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. I've been there a few times before but this was the first time I found out its name.

Macau (March)
This was a bittersweet journey for me. At first, I was excited for a very brief shake-up-the-weekend trip with my long-time travel buddy Liv (and new friend Mark).
Casinos everywhere. Of course we had to try one.

We stayed only a few blocks from Senado Square so this was a familiar sight. We passed by the Square whenever we went out or came back to the hotel.

Good morning, sunshine.

Liv took this photo in front of the Macau Tower, showcasing different artists' work celebrating the Year of the Horse. This was one of my favorites.

Ruinas de Sao Paulo, gutted but still standing.

One of my best friends--light of my life, heart-sister--was in the hospital before I left for this trip. Macau was one of the places that we had always talked of visiting but we never really got the chance to start any concrete plans. So I took photos and filed notes away, chronicling my trip for her, thinking of all the things I would tell her when I returned. At about four-thirty AM on the day that I was supposed to return, I woke to missed calls and messages and I knew that she had gone on a different journey without me. I still miss her.

La Union (April)
Every year, I only make one New Year's resolution (I believe in focusing). This year's went to seeing more of the Philippines. When my good friend and neighbor Mac invited me to go to La Union for Visita Iglesia, I jumped at the chance. I was still reeling from many things and I thought this was a good opportunity for me to find a little breathing room. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera so my photos ended up being mobile device-grainy.
Little town, it's a quiet village...

At the first church we visited. It had plenty of painted leaves and forests on the walls that it made me feel at peace.

Plenty of these old churches had these steps (or are they buttresses?) built against each side.

I liked the contrast between the dusty-looking brick church and the green that seemed determined to break through. Rally, heart.

Quezon (May)
I checked off something on my bucket list when another old friend (classmate of many years) Camille and I headed to Lucban, Quezon for the Pahiyas Festival. We tease each other about being kaladkarin (literally easy to drag along) and in the past few months we've been hoarding up on cultural experiences. Visiting Lucban was a nice change of pace and I would love to return to Pahiyas (time to befriend a local!) in the coming years.
The Pahiyas is definitely the most colorful festival I've seen.

Like seriously colorful. This is edible decor.

Even our food was colorful.

Pahiyas is a time to be grateful for the bountiful harvest, so it was common to see houses decorated with wheat and vegetables.

I didn't want to leave without taking a photograph of Mt Banahaw. My final opportunity came while we were speeding back to the tour bus on a tricycle. Camille held me while I leaned out to take this shot.

I wonder what sort of adventure the rest of the year has in store for me. Liv and I have another trip planned; Camille and I have been plotting one (it would be the first time we'd fly together) since the beginning of the year. But time is such a curious construct that all these really do feel like they were part of another life, and all the plans that we're making now still seem to be so far away. What I do know is that I wish I can always keep going somewhere, 'one foot in front of the other, through leaves, over bridges.'


Unknown said...

weee Singapore! yung first photo parang Italian villa ang dating!may ganyan pala sa SG? cool! more travels for you!! <3

dementedchris said...


That first photo is at Clarke Quay :D Really cool night spot with lots of bars and restos. But I think the area used to contain a lot of shophouses for merchants and that's the design that they still follow :)