The Joy and Lessons of Traveling Home

Posted: August 3, 2011 in Boracay Chronicles
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I am now back in the overcrowded island paradise of Boracay after a full week of wondering around the City blocks of Cebu and an extravagant return to my hometown in Leyte. My vacation as expected came too short and too expensive on my part. But at least I was able to come home to see my family and old friends – the things that really matters.

 God knows I needed that break so badly. If staying in the line is a road trip I’d describe myself before on the edge not of glory but at the edge of breaking down. Island blues with a healthy concoction of boredom, insecurity, political maneuvers, and wanderlust could get deep in to everyone’s bones like a chilling menace. Because I don’t want to make the same mistakes I did on my previous employment so I pressed the “F5” refresh button after only 3 months of working  72 hours a week. Everybody has limits, even to a visionary young man who will stop at nothing to get to the state of eureka.

 I need a break even if it’s for only 5 days to regroup, to make second and third thoughts and analysis on the situation, which I really did!

 I chose to travel on road and by sea not because I can’t afford the tickets (the way I saw it, it’s really economical and convenient to fly) but because I want to see the life beyond this island paradise. I want to see the town halls, the city lamps, the girls in college uniforms, and the whole countryside life of the provinces of Ilo-ilo, Capiz, Antique, Aklan, Negros and Cebu. Traveling by bus has given me a greater perspective towards life.  Had I decided to travel by plane there was no way of seeing such life’s grandeur. Plane travel is fast, and sometimes cold – literally and figuratively. No air-con Ceres bus that I rode with could match the cozy coldness inside an airbus. But perhaps I just felt I’m alone whenever I travel in the sky. Up there I cannot relate with the people I cannot even see deep down below it only creates a feeling of separation from nature and humanity.

 My job, my achievements, and extracurricular triumphs, I realized, have given me that ugly lump on my ego that sometimes keep my feet from the ground. I have to remind myself I was, am, and always will be a small town boy from Southern Leyte. Coming home once in a while is one very effective cure for such unbecoming of myself. No amount of success and popularity can ever erase the fact that I am a “probinsyano”. I take great pride of my origins.

  From Caticlan to Ilo-ilo City I took a bus, then Bacolod all the way to Cebu City – always in the front row seat. I saw a great deal of people and provincial life in the farms, the mountains, the hills, the seaside and the slow movement of towns towards growth and urbanization.

The winds of destiny so far have taken my free spirit to get to places around the country and the way things are going, travelling around the globe is imminent (I did apply for a passport in Cebu, no reasons, it just hit me). I love to travel and I am now certain of that.

I arrived in my hometown of Bontoc, Southern Leyte at the very day of its town anniversary. Indeed, nothing beats the warm feeling of seeing my siblings and parents. There’s nothing in the world when we have our dinner that lasts for hours sharing stories, insight humors, and foolishness like our immortal childish teasing between siblings. I obliged myself to treat the whole family  a dinner in Mang Inasal which I’ve never done before. The following afternoon it was the Fantasitc Four siblings’ (1 ate, 3 little brothers) turn to experience one death defying zipline ride that allowed us to almost literally fly above the the Agas-agas Bridge (the country’s tallest bridge at 300meters above the ground). All that and more bought from my hard-earned Boracay wages, and I don’t mind spending as long as I see my family having fun.

Siblings and Ziplines

As a finale I leave these ten advices for myself and to whomever you are reading this. I hope in some ways these lessons I’ve learned from my travel will help you in one way.

  1.  Save some love money. “Mag.ipon para may mawaldas pag-uwi” Not recommended for everyone. But honestly going means a lot of spending from bus tickets to cinema treats.
  2. For convenience sake take the airplane next time. Ok honestly I’ve had enough of land-sea travel hassles. If by unlucky decision I went back a day earlier I am sure I would have been on-board the Trans-Asia’s  M/V Malaysia that sunk in the shore’s of Ilo-ilo.
  3. Some Ilo-ilo City porters, taxi and padyaks drivers are indeed grassroots bastards preying on travelers by charging ridiculous amounts for their service.
  4. Next time you go home make sure to visibly lose some weight. I can’t imagine my siblings telling me I got thinner when all my Cebu-based officemates are having the time of their lives calling me fat-ass. “LesterYahee bil-bil-bil!”
  5. I realized I’ve been a hard headed guy in the Boracay office. That’s one of the negative side effects of working 12hours 6days a week – in a cubicle. So keeping the head cooled down a bit is a necessity.
  6. When the going gets toughs (I mean really tough) I’ll be the first one going home. hahaha
  7. Always maintain a fresh spirit against the battle of tardiness and boredom. My parents are very good with words of advice.
  8. Do what you want in life! Run in as many mornings as possible, draw a lot before, during, and after office hours (please don’t tell my manager).
  9. When a better employment opportunity comes, inside or out of the island, grab it before it gets away.
  10. For God’s sake fall in love. Go out, explore the island, experience adventure, make lots of friends, and please find a date. And be sure to make her happy. With her my friend, by God’s grace, maybe you’ll find some happiness to come.

Night out party-party with my Cebu-based officemates.

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