Traveling Philippines: Camiguin, more than a vacation, and life

Another long overdue post.


I promise to put up more stuff about Korea next time. Let me deal with life first. 😛


Have you ever gone on vacation and wanted to stay IN vacation but at the same time you couldn’t wait to go back to your home country? I know I have and it was the first time for me to feel this way. EVER.


(It truly does.)


I went to the Philippines for 8 days and came back more than a month ago but I wasn’t sure what I should write about regarding the trip. I didn’t do anything that might become a solid travel guide. Rather, I experienced something different from what I usually do.

Instead of packing your schedule as full as your suitcase, try to put more space in it and let the time flow.

Let the situations come as they are.


People tell me to stop going to the Philippines and start visiting other countries. I do, actually. Last year, I visited TWO different countries. But returning to the Philippines gives me the chills of nostalgia and the excitement of a five-year old receiving a new toy every single time even when I have lived there for 16 years and visited 3 times previously after returning to Korea. People don’t get it but I have given up on convincing them because I don’t need to.

How can you explain what you felt when they have never experienced it before?


My trip composed of no planning aside from air flight schedules or reunions or pre-planned lunch or dinner with friends I have not seen for a long time. And okay, maybe some planning. Aside from that, I just sat down in a coffee shop thinking or pondering about life. Yes, life. Or I would be walking around the mall shopping, buying souvenirs from family, friends and co-workers. Though half of my trip composed of staying, talking and spending time with my best friend, I have discovered that the more I travel, the less I plan. And the less I plan, the more comfortable and at peace I feel. And the more peace I feel, of course, the more joy I have.

The more joy I have, the more joy that can spread to those around me.


So my flight schedules were from Incheon, South Korea to Cebu, Philippines where I stayed for a night, just to sleep, then flew to Laguindingan Airport, Cagayan de Oro and went around Lugait, Iligan and Cagayan. Don’t think I had only adventures and everything. Most of the time, I was either with my best friend, watching her work, talking with her or us listening to music in the car as we drove around and just enjoying each other’s company. We also went to Camiguin Island. It was beautiful. I think all of the islands I have been to in the Philippines have all been beautiful. Gorgeous. I stayed with my friend during my stay in Mindanao, so no hotels.

If you are in Camiguin Island, you HAVE TO go to the White Island. It is a crescent-shape long sandbar-ish island a few minutes away by pump boat from the main island. The island is okay, I don’t recommend snorkeling though. It is one of those places where the corals have died already and has been dead for a long time. HOWEVER, the view of Camiguin Island from the White Island is a sexy drop dead gorgeous sight.

We had to go very early in the morning because we didn’t have a lot of time but we do recommend going early in the morning. The fog and mist covering the volcanoes and mountains on the island as well as the clear sky and healthy-still sunshine. It was great! Also, there were lesser people in the morning. Don’t worry about the sun. You can rent an umbrella or you can bring a small one yourself.

One of my dreams in life is to travel around the world that God has created, every inch of it

and show people how marvelous His creations are by my photographs.


I went back to Cebu and stayed at Toyoko Inn, I can’t stay that I loved their breakfast but their rooms are 120% worth the price. It’s very clean, even the bathrooms, nice sheets, great view and even more, great location right at A.S. Fortuna street right beside J Center Mall. Easy to get cabs, all the cab drivers know the location and all the malls are accessible. THOUGH! You gotta worry about the heavy traffic during rush hour because man, it can get unpretty. They even have a free airport shuttle! I recommended Toyoko to even my local friends because they even have a water park (so I heard.) I reserved my stay at Toyoko Inn through Agoda and I have been using Agoda for all my accommodations when I travel actually. (Of course I will get commission if you book an accommodation with the link I have provided, but I also is a frequent user of their services.)


(View from my room.)


Thanks to the room and less hassle transportation, and Grab and my awesome friends, my stay even in Cebu was comfortable.

Apparently, it was so obvious that I felt at peace and relaxed during my vacation that one friend told me to just move back to the Philippines. I wonder how I look like normally in Korea. Did I let society break me that much?

It’s not wrong to allow something to break you when the purpose is to make you anew, a better person.


I took my time to write what I felt day by day in a notebook and discovered that in every walk, in every step and most especially in every conversation, there was a purpose why I was there at that moment. I was either the vessel, the receiver or a witness to those purposes. Each day had a different theme. Surprisingly the day went according to the theme of the day or I found the theme during the progress of the day. I learned or discovered new things, as well as reflected on old lessons.

Every step we take in life is brand new, as well as it is a reminder of the old.


Meeting old friends is a delight every single time and nothing can compare the enjoyment of the conversation. Those little moments when you realize that the topic and style of the conversations you share are not the same as before and has changed. All of you have changed. Though there will be some that stay the same, it makes you realize that you have changed. I have always been a fan of change but as I grow older, I realize that I am not too keen to change as much. I become more private with my life; choosing who to meet and see. What to tell or share to people.

Age does not mean that you gain wisdom automatically, it is the experiences you acquire in life;

those experiences involve change. A lot of it.


Maybe that’s why sometimes a 10-year old can be more mature than a 30-year old.


At the end of the trip, during my flight back. I was excited to see my family and friends. Somehow, I missed them a lot. It was the same feeling of missing my friends back in the Philippines when I am in Korea. The number of friends I had in Korea that I can actually count as friends and meet often is less than 10 people. For the first time in 7 years, there are more than 10 people.

I guess even if you hate the place you are in, it will still grow on you if you have precious people in your life.


And in the city where God has placed me, I will keep walking.


Even now as I am finishing up this post, I am trying to maintain my work life and additional work and life balance together. I have pushed off this blog post long enough. I did not even realize that May was finished until I was reminded yesterday that it was June 12, the Philippines’ Independence Day. Pilipinas kong mahal!

I have to get ready to go to the gym and for a movie.


So even you, no matter how busy you are, no matter where you are dear friend, keep walking.


Photography. Writing. Emotions. Christian. Not the typical Live. Love. Laugh blog but I hope to bring some joy into anyone who reads my words and sees my pictures.

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