Whenever I tell friends who are not from here that I live in Metro Manila, the capital of the Philippines, the first sentence out of their mouths is usually something around the lines of, “How do you survive the traffic?” (Answer: I work from home and try not to go anywhere during rush hour). Their second question usually is, “So what can I do there? I’m headed to [insert one of our many beach paradises here] and will be in Manila for a day or two. Well, why not take a tour of the city and learn about what makes a Filipino, Filipino? It isn’t just all adobo and videoke, you know.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when Jericho and I made our way to Pampanga yesterday morning. I had been reading about the real-life crucifixions as part of the Lenten rites all over the Philippines, Cutud, especially, and had wanted to see one for myself for the solemnity, the drama, the stories behind the penitents for mortifying their flesh as an act of contrition every Good Friday.
It’s amazing to see how this little town has embraced change for the better, making the Mountain Province town the place for adventure tourism in Cordillera. Here are 5 valuable life lessons I learned from the Igorots of the Sagada:
Planning on taking a quick side trip to Banaue before heading up to Sagada? Get out, stretch, and get some feeling back in your behind before getting something to eat and exploring the town. Read more on what to expect for a 4-hour stopover.
“Isn’t Tinder a hook up app?” I asked a friend. I’m not looking for something serious, but I don’t want one of those wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am guys either. “I have never heard anyone say, ‘I found the love of my life on Tinder!'” I exclaimed. She turned a bright shade of pink, and sheepishly admitted that she met her current beau on the app, and what started as an excuse to forget an old flame turned out to be her new one. That got me thinking. “So there really is something more to Tinder then?” I signed up for an account a few minutes later.
Back before the Philippines came to have its official name, the Greek geographer Ptolemy referred to it as Chersonesus Aurea (Golden Peninsula) or The Golden Chersonese in reference to the Malay Peninsula, the Indians who traded with the natives called it Suvarnadvipa, and the Malays already had a name for Manila – Seludong.
“Complain less, travel more.” This is my mantra for 2015. I realized how I had spent a great deal of most of last year planning for trips and not going through with them because of one reason or another – something came up at work, something came up at home, nobody could take care of the dog, etc. and by the end of the year, out of the five amazing trips I had penciled in my organizer for 2014, only one of them actually pushed through!