Posted in Breaks and Jaunts, Philippines

Of Friendships and Island Hopping – Our Hundred Islands Experience

Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything. – Muhammad Ali

Sometimes, the best things for us are the toughest to decide on.

Seven months ago, I made the difficult decision of leaving my job as an internal auditor. I did not have definite plans at that time but I was sure that I was needing some personal and professional growth that I was not going to find in my current job at that time. I am not saying that there was no growth where I used to work; I was just looking for something else that I could not find in there.

IMG_5774The toughest to leave were the friends I have made in the form of my teammates. For more than two years, we were together through thick and thin, promotions, daily overtime that we didn’t charge anymore (sometimes including Saturdays), and a whole lot of changes in our ways of working. Most of them were my team leaders until I became a team leader myself. These were the people who led me to discover my hidden wanderlust.

During my first few months with them, I did not like joining their outings and trips to the beaches. I was a picture-of-nature lover only at that time and did not like going on adventures to the mountains or the seas. That was something they changed and I found myself hopping on ziplines and ATV, and dipping myself in huge seas with fishes and turtles and God-knows-what.

A memorable experience with them was our trip to Alaminos, Pangasinan to see the Hundred Islands back in October 2016. It was a spontaneous activity since we were assigned to audit units in Tarlac (where I was assigned) and in Pangasinan at that time. Despite the season being rainy during that time, we pushed through with the activity, hoping to have an awesome experience no matter what.

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Indeed, we had a great time! We stopped by Governor’s, Marcos, Lopez and Romulo islands throughout the day. I admit that it would have been lovelier had the sun was shining brightly but my friends were great at making any time an awesome time.

We climbed quite a number of steps to get a nice view of some of the islands in the middle of the sea.

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We had lunch inside a cave and prayed so hard that no paranormal or supernatural entity will take one of us, and that no snake will devour us.

One of us took care of preparing our delicious food and we set some aside to serve as offering so we will not offend any cave dweller that may not happen to be able to see.

We had a great time eating, using large oxo-biodegradable garbage bags to serve as mats. We made it a point to bring our trash back with us because we did not want to ruin the cleanliness of the island.

They also had a great time snorkeling (I was not feeling too well so I did not join and did not bring swimming clothes with me) and floating around.

And of course, entering gigantic caves.

It was on this trip that I experienced riding a motorcycle in habal-habal style (riding a motorcycle with someone else driving for you).

I hope to go back one Sunny day with the same friends who I have come to love as family.

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