"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Saturday, November 04, 2006

caution: a very long post

"On behalf of every Filipino, we invite you to come and see
the cultures, attractions, and sights
that make up our 7, 107 islands."

-- the Biyahe Tayo! travel advocacy campaign

you've been warned! this is one very long post (with 12 photos). to make up for the hiatus? you bet. hahaha...

first, let's have a run-through of what i've been up to. i packed my things, bade my room and roommate goodbye, left diliman, went home to my family and my iligan, traveled to davao, attended a scientific conference, met bisaya bloggers, had a memorable eat-all-you-can experience, hied off to samal island, went home to my iligan, traveled with my family to tangub city, and... well, you get the picture: from one experience to another, from one circle to another, from one place to another!

got backpack, will travel

i packed my things...
i knew that the moment i'm done with "thesis my quest" i wasn't going to stay any longer in metro manila, so i assumed the mindset of "i'm leaving, i'm finally leaving".

things weren't easy.

one week before my scheduled departure, i wasn't prepared to go. i was out in corregidor and enjoying my trip around that very historic rocky island. all thoughts of finally going home to iligan and leaving metro manila were temporarily set aside. i had not yet bought my flight ticket. i had not yet made any flight reservations. i had not yet packed my things.

i was stalling.

nonchalance | whatever you call it...
during the days leading to my departure, concerned individuals noticed my nonchalance about the entire matter and were curious to know if i've already packed my things and done this and that. i... i had no ticket, i had no box to pack my gazillion things in, i still had to sort all my stuff, i... i knew i was really going and yet i did not have the heart to really prepare for my trip home. i went on living day after day as if i wasn't moving out so soon.

as early as september, my family and close friends knew that i was going home on the 22nd of october (sunday)... yet i only moved to have my flight booked on the 20th of october (friday) and i only set out to purchase the flight ticket the next day (saturday). more than that, i only started packing less than 24 hours before my flight. talk about only doing things at the last minute!

after buying a balikbayan box and packaging tape, i went to sleep when i should have started packing right away. when i woke up, i tinkered with my computer, logged on, and put off sorting my things to a later time. i was really stalliiiinnnng. i eventually dealt with the box. i secured its bottom and the edges with layers of packaging tape... as slowwwwwlllly as i could. as i was doing that, i was stupidly singing "leaving on a jet plane", and my roommate couldn't help but be amused. when i saw my box already sturdy and ready to be filled, i decided to stall some more. i went back to facing the computer, absent-mindedly blog-hopped, and then... i listened to my rational side. "okay, okay, i can't put things off anymore. i'm packing."

packing frenzy...
pack, i did! i turned off my computer, dealt with my computer/printer cables, cleared my desk, pulled my books from the shelves, and got my clothes and stuff from the cabinet. close to ten hours and several trash bags after, i still wasn't ready to go. i realized i had too many things and i couldn't bring all of them with me in one go. my books alone took all the space in my oh-so-big maleta. the rubber on one of the maleta's wheels broke off due to too much weight! hahaha. with the balikbayan box already so filled with my clothes and with no extra big box to pack the rest of my things in, i had no choice but to temporarily leave a lot of my things behind -- under my roommate's bed.

i got so busy packing and arranging things inside my balikbayan box and maleta (and stuffing trash into garbage bags, too) that i did not get to sleep during the night anymore. at 9am, i still was far from ready to leave for the airport -- i've already taken a bath but i was not yet done packing.

my flight's estimated time of departure was 11:45am. i was only able to leave diliman at close to 10am. ah, talk about me courting flight misadventures!

good thing, all the universe conspired for me that day. i had a helpful roommate who saw me off at our dorm's entrance walk. i got a taxi with a genuinely nice driver. a good dispatcher helped me with my things in the airport and even got me a porter who patiently dealt with my 77 kilos of baggage. i was able to catch my flight. i got reunited with my family in cagayan de oro city on schedule. all of us, including my oh-so-heavy baggage, safely got home to our iligan. for all those, i am very, very grateful.

oooops! sorry...
bad thing, i forgot to pay my porter. in my excitement over the fact that i was given clearance to board the plane despite arriving at the airport way after the second call for securing boarding passes, i forgot about my porter! waaaaaaaa... i'm ashamed. i swear, i'll seek him out when i get back to manila and pay him several-fold to make up for my lapse.

i traveled to davao...
i got home on the 22nd of october (sunday). on tuesday night, 24th of october, i left home and made my way to davao city... alone. i took the 11pm bus going to cagayan de oro (CDO) city. the bus was the non-aircon type and, well, i could best describe that bus ride as biyaheng langit! hahaha... fast and furious speed. the bus arrived in CDO in no time and i was able to catch the 12mn non-aircon bus going to davao. la la laaa...

from iligan to cagayan de oro to bukidnon to davao for me!

bukidnon-davao (BuDa) land trip
the trip to davao reminded me of the beatles' "the long and winding road...". the road to davao was really looooong and wwwwiinding. it took long enough for me to go through that cycle of falling asleep and then waking up several times. hehehe.

i got to appreciate a lot about that trip though: i liked the cool air. i witnessed a beautiful sunrise. i saw the fog that enveloped the mountains. i loved the fact that even if i was traveling alone, i did not get bored nor scared. i did not know the streets of davao but i did not worry. i was bold enough to take on a que sera sera, what will be will be attitude.

davao city | 7am, wednesday, 25th of october
i got off the bus that took me there from CDO. i got on a taxi and told the driver to head for marfori heights. i got to marfori heights alright and was able to locate the house of my labmate in no time. yes, once again, all the universe conspired for me! hay, what a lucky child i am!

why was i in davao? for some nerdy and geeky major reason: a three-day scientific conference. i went to listen, participate, give a talk, and enjoy the company of my labmates and scientist friends. no kidding. i have proof!

10.25-27.06. some conference pictures...
disclaimer: no, that "atomic" item, that's not my slide

i had another major reason, too: another october travel adventure. ooh la la. traveling is really one of my passions!

while in davao, i took the opportunity to meet up with the bisaya bloggers there. i skipped one conference dinner and spent time with the davao-based bisaya bloggers.

evening, thursday, 26th of october
kars and i agreed to meet in ateneo de davao. when i got to ateneo (which, by the way, is the only place i was familiar with in davao aside from my host's house), kars was not yet there. it was raining hard that night and she was having difficulty getting a taxi. the one i saw standing on the steps of the main entrance was shawty. it was our first meeting ever! when kars eventually arrived, the three of us made our way to the venue and had dinner at suka't sili. let's see... my labmates and i had dinner at luz kinilaw on wednesday night and we bisaya bloggers had dinner at suka't sili that thursday night.

we ordered liempo, stuffed squid, inihaw na tuna belly, and iced tea. shawty ordered a bottle of red horse, too. while waiting for our food to come, we talked and talked about our bisdak existence and i took pictures of kars and shawty. when our food arrived, i took more pictures. hehehe. it can no longer be denied that i'm so shutter-happy.

from the venue, we decided to move to matina town square (MTS). as we were making our way out of the compound, it rained sooooooo hard! cats and dogs, man, cats and dogs... and na-testingan jud ang among pagkalaagan! instead of being deterred by the rain, we became more determined to get to MTS. while waiting for a taxi to come around to the already seemingly flooded loading/unloading area of the compound, i played with the camera and took more pictures. come high or low water, i couldn't be deterred from my attempts of documenting my get-together with the astig bisdak bloggers of davao!

we were eventually able to get to MTS. there, shawty ordered blugre's durian-flavored coffee for me. she said that i should taste it so i did -- it was oh-so-good! and that's coming from me who happens to be not a big fan of coffee -- i rarely (as in very, very, very rarely) drink coffee. while in blugre, another bisaya blogger whom i have not met before came to join our party. jerry came with his lalabs, ava, whom i've already met more than four years ago as my indoor group rapporteur in tagaytay. wow, small world!

10.26.06. bisaya bloggers in davao

it was a sober but fun night for the five of us: shawty, moi, kars, jerry and ava. i told shawty i was willing to glug alcohol as a courtesy shot for her but even that courtesy shot, i wasn't able to have. the time for me to find my way back to my labmate's house came too soon.

friday, 27th of october
my third day in davao started right. it's amazing how just one simple text message from that one person could make my day, hehe. i felt i must have done something right... or maybe it's just all the universe conspiring for me once again. cool noh?

in the afternoon, after the last series of conference talks, my labmates and i went to see the crocodile show in davao's crocodile park.

10.27.06. davao crocodile park

what did we see? exotic animals. colorful birds. playful monkeys. hyper-active ostrich. iguanas. an owl with cute eyes. rabbits. eagle. snakes. local chicken. leopard cat. turtles. monitor lizards. crocodiles. big and small crocodiles. cute baby crocodiles. far-from-cute adult crocodiles. moving crocodiles. open-mouthed crocodiles. hungry crocodiles. ferocious-looking crocodiles... and a very able tightrope walker who dared to play on the rope several times, seemingly oblivious to the danger of falling into that mossy pool filled with, you guess it, crocodiles!

after our trip to the crocodile park, we trooped to nanay bebeng's in marfori for an eat-all-you-can dinner. sulit! actually, it was our thank you treat to our generous host family.

10.27.06. eat-all-you-can dinner at nanay bebeng's

saturday, 28th of october
my labmates and i started the day early. we trooped to the apo view to meet up with another group. then, together, all of us got into this public utility vehicle that took us to the sta. ana wharf. our destination from there? the island garden city of samal!

10.28.06. yey, samal for a saturday destination!

island garden city of samal
fancy name for a place? sounds like paradise? ...but i guess the island lives up to its island garden city stature.

we got to samal island by swimming the entire distance from davao city. nah, just kidding! we took a ferry ride...

10.28.06. on our way to samal

isla reta moments
our group got off the ferry at sta. cruz, talicud, island garden city of samal. the beach that awaited us there looked majestic from afar... and it really was! white sand. clear seawater. nice beach. all ours. the sun beating down on us as we had fun on that part of the island gave us that complete tropical island feel!

10.28.06. island getaway pics

10.28.06. at the beach resort

10.28.06. at the beach resort, too
tropical food, glorious food, wonderful food

our samal island getaway moments? sight-seeing. talisay-tree climbing. swimming. starfish-ing. picture-taking. eating: durian and marang. more sight-seeing. more swimming. more starfish-ing. more picture-taking. more eating: chocolates, chips, inihaw na isda, inihaw na manok. more swimming (worth mentioning at least twice! hehe)... and snorkeling!!! we found nemo there!

10.28.06. end of our group adventure in samal

from samal, we hired a pump boat to bring us back to davao city. we were kinda hoping we would still be able to go all the way from magsaysay to malagos for us to visit the philippine eagle sanctuary. we really tried to beat time... but our best efforts were in vain. we were able to leave samal too late. when we got to malagos, the eagle facility was already closed. huhu. just as well, at least, we were given a good reason to look forward to our next davao visit (whenever that will be)!

i went to tangub city...
i got home to my iligan from davao on the 29th of october (sunday). on the 31st day of october, i traveled again! this time, i was with my family.

from iligan to mukas, lanao del norte to ozamiz to tangub city for us!

10.31.06. another travel
the family that travels together, stays together :P

my papang, mamang, two younger sisters and i (too bad, my kuyang is currently away) traveled to tangub city. what i liked most about this recent trip's the fact that it was the first time after a long, long time that we went to tangub without the family vehicle. the experience of us having to transfer from one ride to another and having to carry our respective bags (instead of just dumping them together in the car) seemed so novel to me, although i've already had that kind of family experience too many times more than 10 years ago.

you don't have to say it. i know my skin color stands out! in the pictures, i look like lasaw na champorado put beside whitish lugaw -- fine with me because i like my color. hehe.

why tangub city? it's my papang's hometown.

it's now the 4th of november. our family just got back from our trip.

oh, on a side trip to our relatives' place in bonifacio, misamis occidental, my sisters and i had some rafting fun...

bamboo rafting, sister bonding

(1) another "dear diary, i traveled, i hope this does not bore the reader" article has been brought to you by me. hahaha.

(2) if you don't find this boring, then you'll gonna wonder where my next destination will be... pray i'll tell. maybe you should just keep being posted.

(3) for another independent account of my night with the bisaya bloggers of davao, click here.


  1. Seems you had fun in Davao. Great. Didn't you try the durian-flavored ice cream? Yummy! Be back there this Christmas. Let's meet up and paint the town red. Hehe.

  2. Oist! Sorry la tika nasugat sa Davao terminal. Medyo gi-bilar ko ug laag sa akong mga friends in Davao.. ending dugay ko kamata. Pag txt nimo kay naligo pa ko. Hehehe. Sayanga sa akong P3,500.00, I only stayed for 1 day in Ateneo. Daghan food sa Welcome dinner? Hehehe.

  3. how much did you pay for your 77 kilos excess luggage? hahaha.

    Similar to your case, I was asked by the porter, "Galing kang abroad ma'am?"


  4. ay grabe kalaagan. as in wala jud ko ma say. unta dili kapuyon imong lawas. nway bad bad bad! you didnt pay the porter? luoya oi! how on earth man ka makabawi kaha? konyotic kaayo. sori :p

  5. planning to teach in IIT soon?

  6. valynnnn!!!!!! laina nimo uy... ikaw ra man ang galaag-laag... suya ko ba... hali na mo diri... looy tawon ko sa new york kay walay bisaya blogger..

    migo mo ni brennan mercado??? hi eul!!!!! hahahaha!!!! musta imo ate??

  7. I saw your Davao pics and there's Bess in them. She was my schoolmate way back in high school. Do you happen to know what her blog is?

    By the way, your pics make me want to go home....

  8. i'm also planning to go back to davao. mingaw na hinuon ko daw. and good for you naka adto na kag crocodile farm ako nga taga didto wala pa jud.hehehe.

    samal indeed is a paraiso! =)

    blog hop from bisay blogger's site.

  9. Abaniko, yup, i had fun! wala nako na-try ang durian-flavored ice cream sa davao. this christmas? will i have the funds? hehehe...

    miggs, ok ra oi. at least, naa koy bragging rights nga i managed to get around davao on my own.

    kars, 57 kilos lang akong excess baggage since free ang 20 kilos. do the math: 57 kilos x 30 per kilo.

    thanks for taking the time to meet up with me and the rest!

    gEEEmail, remember: if there's a will, there's a way. *winks*

    brennan, nope.

    jory, miski asa agion, mas laagan japun ka kaysa sa akoa... bitter ko na wala nadayon atong "batanes trip before we turn 24". hehehe. enjoy new york jud, jors, bahalag wala mi dinha! we'll cheer you on.

    deeken8-), we (labmates) stayed with their family during our stay in davao. i think she does not blog.

    pysche, thanks for droppin' by.

  10. mas barato na siya karon. dati 38 plus per kilo akong nabayad… ;-)

  11. pursuing PhD then somewhere else?

    hoist. naa ka iligan sa Christmas? meet up ta with my sis. we'll be having our family reunion in iligan. Tatay's ta dinner then after that, mag bum around sa Centennial Park (if the lights are already on).


  12. keep guessing... :D

    meet up this december, why not? i think i'll be in iligan... i never missed being home during christmas.

    gEEEmail, are you coming? meet up daw with baktin and his sis.

  13. uy did i read meet up with bisaya bloggers in cagayan? let me know ahead of timepara makaplano sad ko kay kay naa lang man ko sa davao that time.

    inggit ako sa davao pics hehehe

  14. haha sori took me forever to answer. kung sa iligan ra sure why not. hehe kitakits! :)

  15. Good site! kabababrubarta

  16. Travel Tip: wag kau pahalata na dayuhan kayo, kasi malaki ang singil sa inyo. nyahahaha. base on experience

  17. Saya ng pic mo sa 7th floor ng ateneo. naka reflect ka dun noh?

    anyway, an IT company in davao is looking for people who want to build a solid career in IT. If interested you may visit this website. http://bhipro.com/careers.html


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