Just a week ago, I went to the Mountain Province together with 3 of my college barkadas. We went around Banaue, Bontoc, and Sagada. We spent around a total of 4 days there, not including travel time. Due to cold weather, rawness of the place, and beauty of the surrounding, I was able to reflect about some things in life and here are 10 of the simple fruits of my reflection.
1. Water hydrates you.
After a lot of hiking, I came to realize that I should drink more water than what I am normally doing back home.
2. You can do things you’ve never imagined doing.
I have never imagined myself traversing 2 connecting caves for more or less 3 hours. And it wasn’t just a simple spelunking because when I asked our guide as to the level of difficulty of the trail we are taking, he simply said, “high.”
3. Abstaining from social media gives you a more authentic experience of the place you’re visiting.
It wasn’t the first time I have tried deactivating my Facebook account. However, it was the first time that I deactivated it for this reason. I really just wanted to try to keep the experience to myself first rather than making sure my Facebook friends be updated of my whereabouts. It was a simple act but actually made a lot of difference. I was able to focus on experiencing the beauty of the place rather than think of what my next caption would be.
4. There are moments in life where you have to choose to put down your camera and just simply cherish the moment.
It may sound cliche but, this is something that comes to me once in a blue moon. As a person who loves video editing, I would love everything to be on tape as much as possible. But the Mountain Province didn’t allow me do to that. There were a lot of moments during this trip where I decided to put my camera down and bask in the beauty of God’s creation.
5. Long drive to the Mountain Province is captivating rather than tiring.
This is something I can relate to #4. After the trip, I tried adding up all the bus and jeepney rides we took just to get to the Mountain Province. I ended up calculating a total of 17 hours. But while I was at that moment, I’ve never thought of that. I was in awe of the scenery especially the one from Bontoc to Sagada where we rode on top of the jeepney.
6. A little plan wouldn’t hurt.
First time. This is actually the first time I’ve tried drafting an itinerary for a trip. Personally, I am a random person. I do not find glory in arranging things most especially on trips. I normally do not allow myself to be driven by schedules. Anyways, we still ended up not following the itinerary entirely but I realized that doing a little research about the place you are about to visit isn’t that bad after all. Little details like the last bus trip going in and out of town actually became a big help.
7. The view of the sun rising is beautiful. Sunsets are sensual.
During our first sunrise in Sagada, we went to Kiltepan Viewpoint. We were there at around 4:30AM waiting for the sun to show up. The view of the sun rising for me is beautiful but there is something about the sunset in Danum Lake that made me decide I like sunsets more that sunrise.
8. It’s never bad to ask around.
The perks of being in a foreign place or town is that you get to ask stupid questions without the fear of being humiliated. I realized that it’s really good to ask locals around most especially when it comes to directions.
9. You find yourself within, not in the Mountain Province.
Months before the actual trip to Sagada, something not-so-good happened. It gave me the thought that I am in the perfect state to visit Sagada because of it’s reputation of finding your self there. However, I came to realize that in order for you to find yourself, one must search within and not anywhere else.
10. God has master plan.
It admit it. It wasn’t a perfect trip. There were a lot of things that could have been done in a better way. But what I realized when we were already halfway our journey, those imperfections, those mistakes we made in the itinerary made the trip more exciting. So I was once again reminded that God’s plan is always better than any of the plans we’ve prepared. That there is a reason behind missing the bus to Sagada, getting an irritated right eye on the way to Baguio, and the driver for Marlboro Country not showing up on the day of the tour. God is indeed a perfect planner. He is a great designer of things. He let us experience the bad so we can better appreciate the good.