Association and Travel

Honestly, I don’t have a steady past time. During your kid days, your parents would normally ask you to either play the piano – or an instrument, do some painting, engage in a sport – like a sports clinic or anything that will hone your abilities (be it mental, physical, spatial whatsoever). But it was the other way around on my end. They tried, but didn’t succeed. I’m not really sure why but having an introspective flashback of my situation.. I was the ultimate introvert kid. The typical shy, stay at the corner kid who can’t even make friends with.

As far as I can remember, the first time I did these learning enhancement skills was when I started drawing. Drawing and skething the basic stuff of living things up to cartoon characters. It didn’t last long enough and I wasn’t able to sustain it. 

My mother encouraged me to do swimming lessons, he asked my cousins to teach me how to swim – the basics such as breathing and floating. There was a time I nearly drowned – take note, not just one instance. After that, I was so scared to hit the pool or be in the middle of the beach. I have to say, even until today.. I don’t know how to swim. I’m so hesistant to be in the airline industry – cabin crew/flight crew coz what I know, you need to learn how to swim.

When I was in lower grades of schooling, I tried joining “boy scouts”. The normal routine of cab scouts as they imply to young boys joining the team made me even more shy and reserved as I see a lot of boys of my age and teens among the group. I cannot mingle around them and unable to connect with what they want. A week after, I quit.

Several years later, I went crazy to modern technology when Family Computer was released. My mom didn’t spoilt me enough, it was the childhood experience when I go to the neighboor every weekend night nd whole day of Sundays just to play Mario, Mappy, Ice Climber and those old school stuff. I had a chance to own one when my father bought a unit for my birthday. Soon, he bought another Sega Mega Drive. It was kinda sad to play since I don’t have any siblings to play with. Mom doesn’t want my friends to be in the house. The only choice left was to play alone.

My parents then realized this computer stuff will not do me any good so they bought some sports supplies. I have BMX bike, a football, a volleyball, a basketball and a roller skate all in one big box as a birthday present. The BMX bike was an instant friend, I got to learn balancing and riding the bike within a few weeks. It was so intense that I even did somersault along the streets until the bicycle fork broke and was never repaired. I then turned my interest to roller skates, touch luck – those four wheelers were hard to learn so I just kept them. I never had the chance to do basketball, I don’t know but there’s no spark between us. I think I was really born to be gay coz I don’t like basketball and did like volleyball. I had a Spalding volleyball and that time – 1990’s, a Spalding ball was expensive as hell. I got the chance to play volleyball with neighboors, day and night – non stop until it was severely punctured beyond repair. 

All the my sports stuff were gone except my gadgets which I reconciled and played with them again. As I grew up, I become naive of such activities. Even at school, I wasn’t even active at extra-curricular subject. Entered the school volleyball team but wasn’t sustained as well. I was a loser. Teenage years was a bit more “athletic” as I met some new friends when we got a new home. Athletic in such was I do outdoor games. Not a big deal though.

Up until now, I haven’t found a thing that I can associate myself with. Now, I’m trying photography and travel. Both wasn’t sustained much and slowly deteriorating. I think I just wasted some hundred thousand bucks for buying photography equipment. As for traveling, no regrets though. Traveling is the best thing to do while you’re still capable. The experience it leaves is most treasured other than anything else.

*topic deviation ahead 

The past couple of years, I have been into traveling and I really like it. It gives me the chance to explore beyond the common standards. I started traveling with friends and now planning to do it by myself. Solo traveler as they say. I plan to visit majority of the Philippine Island and some neighboring countries as well. Recent;y, I have been reading local travel blogs, been a fan of booking online flights and searching for itineraries of my next domestic travel destination. 

The sad part of this is when you there’s no one to invite for you to join an out of town trip. You are then forced to do it alone. Which is kinda frustrating. But after trying to be alone one time – during my Baguio trip, where I met some new friends then it became more exciting. Yes it’s exciting but when the time comes that I need to book a flight on my end, I can’t seems to put the excitement into action. 

I even seen this site where it will grade you based upon how many provinces of the Philippines you traveled. Quite baffled as I got a C mark. I need to extend my network and be on the move.

My Lakbayan grade is C!How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

I admire these people who create their travel blogs and at the same time I’m jealous. Why they can travel alone and here am I being to hesistant. In any case I’m able to push through with it, maybe I’ll make my own travel blog. Or perhaps post some of them here – of course, I won’t go into much details for security and identity purposes.

This year I will be committing myself to at least have a travel activity to 1 or 2 places every quarter. Possibly, this can be associated with The Chemistry Guy. Soon.

**Summer and Holy Week is coming so I expect to be out of town. Hopefully not being closed inside my room and playing video games or online Tetris.


Last year, I promised myself to redeem traveling. I started the crave for traveling after few of my friends invited me to be with them on certain occasions and my photography skills were enhanced because of this.

2012 was not really a good year for me, I was heavily armed with depression and insecurities and as a getaway from this, I traveled alone the onset of 2013. My out-of-town destination was very common though, I just went to Baguio City to try if I can manage myself being alone. I proved myself right, maybe because I know the place so much and been there X number of times. Well, this time was different, I am on my own.. with no friends nor someone to be with.

The day before my planned trip, I was so anxious and hesitant of not going.. the experience that I’m going to partake is somewhat new. It was like “go or not to go?”. I still packed my things and went on my normal office routine. I just had one backpack handy as I don’t want the burden of my luggage – I’m a light packer.

When my work shift ended, it was like — “fuck this shit, come what may”. I withdrawn enough money a 3D/2N-stay. Took a cab and went to the nearest bus terminal. Upon stepping out the cab and bought my ticket from the counter, I felt the excitement. This is it. It may be a lame and “touristy” destination.. but I’m on my own – a totally different thing. As a solo traveler must-do, I sent an SMS to a friend with all possible information of my trip, just for emergency purposes only.

Morning rush hour trip is a pain the in the ass, with all the traffic and hustle.. the metro travel was still exciting. Just looking outside the window and watched the people fight the rush hour. I was entertained as well, the bus had Titanic as on-board movie feature. Well, a pretty mushy 2-hr trip.

When the wheels hit the rural areas, I never felt the sleepiness. Took my Efavirenz and bough some Mentos Air to combat its side effects. (It might work for you too, eating uber menthol candies when you need to keep awake after taking Efavirenz). I wasn’t able to sleep due to the rumble of the road, so I just took out my eye mask and went on a micro-sleep.

4 to 5 hours have passed, I can now see the zigzag roads and the treacherous mountains of Benguet. January is now the best time to go up hill since it’s more cooler than the rest of the year. Benguet and Mountain Province are my favorite spot north of Manila. Been here the most than the southern part.

Seeing the clouds hovering the window bus makes me wanna go down and feel them, less than 30 minutes and I will arriving the Baguio City terminal. Still feeling the grogginess of Efavirenz, I munched all Mentos. We then finally arrived and as I stepped out the bus, it was a reality feeling that I made it this far. Now the problem relies on where to find a nice and cheap hotel – as much as possible, I want this trip to be worth the penny. I can afford some but still not practical. I hired a local cab and as we looped the roads of Session Rd., I finally found the hotel I have been eyeing for when I searched for cheap hotels on Google. The hotel facility is good and perfect for the budget. Went to my room and took a couple of hours to rest. I planned my itinerary and where to eat, Baguio is known to for fresh produce. Decided on my what to buys and where to go’s.

Went to some of my old time favorite resto’s and places within the city and enjoyed the night. Dining alone on a foreign place is not much a big deal and not as awkward when you dine alone in the urban areas. It will be the start of your adventure – traveling alone, when you meet locals or co-tourist. I met 3 guys during my stay, thanks to mobile apps. No hanky pankies though.

I met three individual guys – a local and 2 separate tourist from/visitors from Manila. The “local guy” even asked me to join his friends for some booze session. I never do this with strangers but I tried, it was worth it, I met his friends and had some quick booze session. At least they were friendly enough and you can really feel the sense of belonging – no “out of place” thing. (this one was the most unforgettable experience I can imagine)

The “second guy” was also a visitor, he was staying at a hotel on the other side of the road. We met and talked, conversation did well and our minds met. That night, we decided to hang out and find some place to chill on. He was nice and there were no awkward feelings. Until now, we still communicate – which is a good thing. We even plan to go out of town again. (I know this won’t go further, we’re just friends – he’s nice, if you know what I mean).

The “third guy” was also from Manila, on a business trip. We met the next night, had some dinner and coffee together. He was as good as “second guy” when conversing. He has a boyfriend which calls his mobile phone every 20 minutes just to know what’s happening. The night was quick since we are enjoying some good talks.

The second and third day of my trip was for me alone. Went on different scenes and places, just to reminisce. Had some good food and great walks. Just me.

When I was about to buy bus tickets going to Manila, there was a bit of a problem.. tickets were sold out and will have to wait for around 6 hours for new buses to arrive. (it was a Sunday and many tourist were booked and will be returning to Manila), it was 430pm and the ticket I bought was for 1030pm. Good thing, I saw “third guy” along the line and we bumped into each other. He got the same ticket as mine and luckily we are just a seat apart. Ok, at least I have someone with me returning to Manila. The problem is, where to stay for 6 hours? A split second, I thought of “second guy” (he’s about to return to Manila the next day). I texted him and he immediately us his room for the next 6 hours. Everything went fine and if I haven’t met these guys the night prior to that day – I’m totally fucked up.

The quick vacation was a good experience. Not really the place itself but feeling of freedom, independency and meeting good people. The euphoria of returning to urban area with great memories to keep is just awesome. Now, I’m planning to do it again.. in random places.

**took a couple of shots using my smartphone for this post.