I traveled solo for 8 days in Coron and Culion in July 2015, some six months ago and though it was originally a get-him-back movement of mine, I ended up broken-hearted and alone in an island so far away from my friends and family. So much for a first-timer.
As much as it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, it made me realize what I am capable of when it comes to love and to myself.
And since I was broken-hearted and alone, people couldn’t help but ask or drop hugots about it like the ones below.
“Ma’am, wala po si Sir Chuvachuchu (insert name)?”
I actually bought a couple’s roundtrip tickets (MNL-USU-MNL) from a reseller in Facebook. I even went to Recto to have a fake ID made with the girl’s name.
Six months later, noong medyo nahimasmasan na ako sa katangahan ko, I realized how dangerous it was for me. What if the plane crashed? And I was in it with somebody’s name other than mine? Paano malalaman ng Mama ko na wala na ako? Wala siyang insurance na makiclaim both from Sunlife or that specific airline. My mom will go crazy! Maglalaho ako na parang bula.
Other than that, it also felt like stealing. Yes, sue me! Hay, the things we do for love folks. The things we do for love..
Whenever I checked in both from Manila and Busuanga, the staff would always ask me if the guy was present, and I would always make sure to look them in the eye while answering, “Wala. Break na kami.”
“Ma’am, naniniwala po ba kayo sa forever?”
Since I was alone, I got close to the tour guides/boatmen and they would assist me while swimming or present themselves to take photos for me.
One time, noong nag-momoment moment ako bago pumasok sa Barracuda Lake, Kuya asked me this out of the blue. I was taken aback that I didn’t know what to answer.
Pero dahil bitter pa ako nun, eto naging sagot ko, “Naku Kuya ha. Tigilan mo ako sa forever-forever na iyan!”
We laughed and nag-apiran. And then they explained that baka daw pag puti (Americans/Europeans) ang magtanong sakin I would definitely answer yes, pero pag sila daw baka no kaagad.
Truth to be told, I have never believed in forever sa pag-ibig. Masyadong malaki ang concept ng forever. I do believe in forever pagdating sa spiritual aspect.. like in God’s love. It’s forever.
Pero sa tao? Not really. I’m a friggin’ realist. One way or another, you’ll fall out of love and you will have to choose everyday of your life to still love the person or be with the person kasi may commitment. You can’t have a forever if yung pagsasama ibabase mo lang in something that comes and goes away.
“Wag na po kayong mag-effort, nakaalis na ang bangka.”
I was running from the hotel I stayed in Culion to the port when someone told me this. Napatigil ako at napatingin sa kanya, tama nga naman si Kuya. Bakit ka pa mag-eeffort, eh wala na nga?
Alam mo yung moment na natawa ka na gusto mo ring maiyak? Yung moment na narealize mo na isang simpleng sentence lang tinamaan ka na kaagad, na hindi naman sinasadya ni Kuya sabihin?
I went back to the hotel and told them that the boat left me so I needed to stay one more night. Instead of freaking out, I asked them to get me a tour guide and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Naenjoy ko talaga ang tour and I understood the way of life in that little island. Sabi nga nila, the wrong choices lead us to the right places.
Minsan, kailangan nating mag-pause at magreflect kung tama bang mageffort sa bagay o taong ito. Kasi minsan malay mo, sobrang nag-effort ka yun pala sa kanya wala na. Chill chill nalang siya and darating nalang ang araw na pagod na pagod ka na kasi wala ka nang naitirang effort para sa sarili mo. Kapag nakita mong nagawa mo na ang lahat, pero wala parin, stop na. Tama na iyan. You did your best so there should be no regrets.
“Bakit kaya ganun, pag broken-hearted nagtatravel-travel or umaakyat ng kabundukan?”
I overheard this from the ladies sitting across me when I got on the tour boat and the tour guide announced that I was alone. They actually thought I was Korean and didn’t speak or understand English or Filipino.
Hello! Hindi ako brokenhearted nung napag-isipan kong pumunta dito. Gusto ko lang talaga magbakasyon, at magbakasakali na magkakabalikan kami. Pero dahil di nangyari yun, go parin sa bakasyon!
I would say totoo nga na it would start out as distractions – yung mga pag-akyat akyat sa bundok, pagpunta sa beach, kumain sa labas, mag-enroll sa gym, magbook ng tickets sa kung saang lupalop ng mundo. But then habang tumatagal, marerealize mo na gusto mo yung ginagawa mo. Malalaman mo kung bakit umaakyat ang mga tao sa bundok; kung bakit nagpapakaitim sa beach; kung bakit nagpapapawis sa gym.. hindi lang dahil brokenhearted sila kungdi dahil somehow may sense of fulfillment dun.
Nakita mo na ba ang sunset at sunrise habang nasa tuktok ng bundok? O ang mga naggagandahang corals at isda sa dagat? Naramdaman mo na ba ang surge of endorphin kapag napagpapawisan ka sa gym? Or ang pagkakaiba ng korte ng iyong katawan pagkatapos ng ilang buwang pagbaboxing o pagtithread mill?
Kung hindi pa, magpaka broken-hearted ka.
Eto pa yung last, yung pasabog.
“Ma’am, minsan kailangan mong tumalon kahit hindi mo alam kung may sasalo sa iyo o wala. Talon lang!”
Wow Kuya ha! He told me this when they were daring me to jump off from the boat – without any life vest on – and swim below the water surface to see different kinds of fishes. Alam mo yung tagos masyado? Yung tipong eto talaga ang total hugot! Haha nakakainis na nakakatuwa. Ang ending di parin ako tumalon kasi nadulas ako sa bangka. Yung pagdulas ko yung prelude sa pagtalon ko. Masakit na nga madulas, tumalon pa kaya nang walang naka-abang na sasalo sa iyo?
Pero kung iisipin mo naman, hindi naman pwedeng lagi ka nalang takot na masaktan. Minsan kahit hindi mo alam kung ano ang mangyayari pagtalon mo, kailangan mong manalig na something good will come out of it. If masasaktan ka man, I’m sure makakaya mo parin iyon. As long as you’re living, as long as you’re still breathing, there’s hope.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, kaya gora lang!
When I think about the reasons why I ventured off alone, I couldn’t help but laugh a little. It was pathetic, but at the same time, it turned out as a big girl move for me. It was a bad time to travel solo, but I got through it. I feel like I can do anything now.
It was also through that experience that I felt the Lord was really with me. He guarded me under His wings and He allowed me to meet wonderful people and learn from their life stories too. I realized I wasn’t alone.
Kung kaya nila, kaya ko rin.
Basta ako nagawa ko na ang lahat at alam ko na ngayon ang limits ko. Alam ko na kung ano meaning ng “Enough is enough!” Chos lang, pero di nga, nagawa ko nga ito sa wrong person, pano pa kaya sa right one? Haha!
Minsan nakakatuwa din ang magpakatanga. Wag laging utak-utak lang. May ikukwento na ako sa mga apo ko balang-araw.
Cheers to more solo travel and hugot moments ahead!