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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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It’s More Fun in the Philippines

TRES MARIAS: Finding Beauty in the Blur

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Admit it or not, fear still creeps in your spine whenever you are faced with uncertainty. It is terrifying inasmuch as it is exciting. It takes your breath away for a second or two; it makes your heart skip a beat faster. Think of the last time you proudly called yourself brave — the day you stood up against your boss, the day you told your parents you’re gay, the day you told yourself ‘enough’ or the day you welcomed love. Whatever it is, you didn’t really know will happen next. But you did it anyway.

As for me, my recent hike with friends was nothing short of uncertainty… and yes, of fear and excitement.

Prelude

After climbing Ormoc’s Alto Peak last May, we talked, with eager and hopeful hearts, about how we’d target climbing Biliran’s Tres Marias next. The thought dragged on but there was no definite plan or word from anyone to carry it out. It was not until a month before the event that we decided to make it happen. With a short time to prepare physically, mentally and financially, the our organizer Shiela looked for heads to join the fun. Of course, the casts and crews of Alto Peak were present, with the exception of some and addition of others. By November 23, fifteen fun-loving folks headed to Pier 3, all geared for another major climb.

None of us knows what awaits in Tres Marias. We’ve read blog posts, seen pictures, and heard stories but uncertainty still sits at the back of our minds. The first jolt came when we are still in Cebu. Unfortunately, for safety purposes, Cebu Port Authority no longer allows carrying of butane canisters. So, we are faced with a dilemma on whether we can find one in the province or we’ll have to go back to the age of campfires to cook our food. The second jolt came a little later. Most hikers would opt to reach Biliran via Ormoc but we decided to take the ship that sails straight to Naval. What we thought an 11-hour travel time became 13 and a half, kissing our fixed itinerary goodbye.

However, in the midst of the uncertainty, dawn breaks with a gorgeous sunrise. With it came a promise of a beautiful day ahead. And so we forgot our little mishaps.

Sunrise ❤

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Sugod sa Sogod

Lately, memes about Titos and Titas of Facebook have been making rounds in social media. In essence, this is a millennial term used to describe “old schools” who have embraced the domestic lifestyle and content themselves with nostalgia and throwback posts. It’s funny though that most of those who claim to be “titos and titas” nowadays are millennials (born between 1980 and 2000). A generation known for its vibrancy and zeal, what happened to us?

The easiest explanation is aging in the digital age. We tend to be drained by too much loud and crowd. In the height of social media, we crave for genuine connection — with a person, with nature, with ourselves. And until we find these, we’d rather stay in the comforts of our homes.

But just because we age doesn’t mean we have to settle into the doldrums of ordinary. As what Anne of Windy Poplars once said, “There is so much in the world for us all if we only have the eyes to see it, the heart to love it, and the hand to gather it to ourselves.”

Starting off with this…

Away from the colors and grandeur of Sinulog, my friends and I (Team Buwad as we fondly call ourselves) went out of town for a weekend escape. Travelling 60 km northward from Cebu City is the municipality of Sogod. It is said that the town gained its name from the Cebuano term “sinugdanan” which means “beginning.” For its geographical and historical reasons, Sogod is where the stretch of white sand and the conversion to Christianity going north began.

As for us, it’s the beginning of a new adventure.

Bagatayam Falls
Getting to Bagatayam Falls is very easy. Just a few hundred meters from Sogod poblacion, we passed by the Bagatayam Bridge in Brgy. Bagatayam. Here’s a sneak-peak of the waterfalls from the bridge.

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(Mis)Adventures: Scaling the Mountains of Naga

February has always been special for me— not because of Valentine’s Day but because it’s my birth month. Rumors say that most of the weird ones are born on February and, though I may not completely agree, I have to say they got some of it right. In fact, one of them was weird enough to make the list below. 😉

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As a part of my #GrantMyWishThisFeb, I asked my all-time katkat buddy, Shiela, for a Naga adventure as a gift. Naga City is blessed with gorgeous hills and mountains, and it’s a shame that I haven’t set foot on its trail yet. Gladly, she was kind enough to give in to my request. Haha.

After my Bohol escapade we had our Naga adventure all planned out. Shiela and I managed to convince our officemate, Spencer, to come. I originally asked to chase only four peaks, Pangilatan Peak, Magdook Peak, Mt. Naupa, and Kabalas, but Shiela wanted to add Mt. Kabuwan to the list. So off we go.

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Thanks to these two for granting my wish. 😉

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Finding Simple Joy: A Visit to AO Farm

January was a month for me-time, poetry, and crafts. In the past weeks, I have gone to places but have missed a lot of pages. Hence, I made a promise to laze around with muse.

But, despite the perks of solitude, some things are hard to resist. After an incessant request by Shiela, whose feet are giddy to get back on the trails, we headed to the mountains with Jovy.

Tres Marias out to be one with nature!
2 of 20 Spartan 😀

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Binabaje Hills: Fleeing To Nature For A Sweet Escape

If you could ask for one thing at a certain point in your life, what would it be?

On the last remaining days of 2017, I asked for an escape. But the thing about escaping is you never really can. What you get, instead, is a temporary break from life’s shackles and you just have to make the most of it.

Truth is I didn’t intend to write about this trip. I haven’t even shared much about it in social media. It was, of course, one of the sweetest escape I’ve ever had but I wanted the feelings and memories to cling close to me as much as possible. My friends, however, think I’m greedy. *eyes roll*

So here goes a little sneak peak.

***

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On normal days, I could just use a long walk or poetry or books or music or coffee. But what happens when your outside world is just as chaotic as the world inside? Where do you go? As for me, I chose to slip away from the busy streets and head into the land of hills that I like to call my second home— Bohol.

I got the idea of this out-of-the-blue escapade from Marc of @theweekdaytraveler, who recently came from a solo trip in Bohol. When he posted the photo of the Binabaje Hills, I knew right then that I had to flee.

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Pa-bukid si Maria

I was feeling sad yesterday when I found that the concert tickets for December Avenue were sold out. Their music has always been my go-to playlist and I have long wanted to see this local band perform upfront. But time is not on my side, it seems. *cries*

Anyway, as I was nursing a broken heart, I received an email announcing that my entry for AkongSugbo’s photo essay contest won the runner up. One word: unbelievable! Despite my hesitations, I joined the contest last November just for the fun of it. I have always been a hopeless romantic and my muse was nudging me to write something at that time. What a surprise!

And because I’m feeling happy (still a little sad about the concert), I am sharing this entry with you. 🙂 P.S. It was written in our local dialect, Bisaya. I translated it to English but I find it weird. Haha. My apologies.

Here goes something…

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Losing Poetry in the Hush

I often have a tendency to look at life from a poetic point of view. From sunrays piercing through canopies to a solitary mug in a coffee shop. I look at things, people, and moments— and poetry just comes easy at times.

Waterfalls, in particular, tend to draw my not-so cheery muse in. Maybe it’s the downpour but, nevertheless, these cascading beauties never fail to sweep me off my feet in the literal and figurative sense.

Working oceans away from home, I always look forward to my planned vacations. This time, I begged (yes, begged) my sister and cousins to take me to Karap-agan Falls. Thankfully, they gave in. Just two municipalities from my hometown, Hilongos, I went on a roadtrip with the gang.

Slowly making its way into the limelight is Matalom’s very own hidden paradise, the Karap-agan Falls. Locally known as Mahayahay Falls is the two-tiered waterfall tucked in the fringes of baranggay Caridad Norte.

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Just gorgeous ❤

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Marching Into the Trails Like a Spartan

When I hear the word “Spartan”, the first thing that comes to mind is the Greek war– a showdown of dominance between ass-kicking, throat-ripping soldiers from thousand of years ago. But, here in the Queen City of the South, there is a different kind of excitement behind this word. Known to many hikers and trekkers is probably one of the most interesting trails in Cebu, the Spartan Trail. And my friends and I were set out to experience it firsthand.

Our adventure commenced at Paseo Arcenas in Banawa, Cebu City with Zan, Shiela, Predu and moi. What we initially thought was a few heads became a horde of nine giddy folks. I have recently mentioned meeting Demi of Ace and Demi Travel Stories and we were glad to finally meet the Ace of her life this time. They came with two lovely ladies, Niña and Raquel, to add the fun. We have also met the elusive Beboi– who came in last.

Now off we go.

Off we go!

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Mt. Mago: A journey to Cebu’s very own Shire… and more

It was not so long ago when Mt. Manunggal and Mt. Mauyog left my friends and I in a destitute (but delightful) state, but here we are again: rushing to the north bus terminal, all set and ready for another day of fun and adventure. Where to now?

We already have hiked to the south for a heart-warming cause. This time, the gang decided to face the north— specifically, to see what the municipality of Carmen has to offer. Travelling with me were the usual faces Shiela, Juju, Marc and Zan. The adventure was led by the one and only idol  wanderer, Reymund. It was also great to meet new travel buddies in Mel, Fons, Justin and Micah. YAY!

Our bus trip took less than two hours before reaching the town of Carmen. We actually arrived earlier than expected which gave us enough time for a quick breakfast and buying essentials. What made this trip extra special is that none of us has set foot in Mt. Mago. The thought of wandering (and getting lost) to the unknown makes our hearts beat with excitement.

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Gorgeous trees on the way to Brgy. Santican. Photo credits: Marc

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