How did you get
My husband and I really have a thing for adventures which started back when we started dating 7 years ago. Back then we didn’t have much in our travel budget so we’d usually go to “unknown” local beaches in Batangas and just chill and dive. Nothing fancy. I love the waters so much and I think that’s the reason why we clicked. We usually looked for secluded beaches, and as much as possible we’d try to avoid crowds. He’s also the one who encouraged me to try climbing and trekking. On our fist date, he took me to Mt. Batulao. I thought that it would be an easy hike, but halfway through I started to feel strained because of the heat. He encouraged me not to stop and joked that there was an ice cream and soft drink vendor at the summit. I didn’t believe him but the thought kept me sane and helped me finish our goal.
Top: Siargao, Philippines
Inset: Islas de Gigantes, Iloilo province, Philippines
Below: Malalison Island, Antique, Philippines
What is your
most memorable experience
one of your travels?
Boracay Island, Philippines
I remember on one spontaneous trip going to an island in Antique, we thought the weather was going to be humid. We didn’t bring much “warm clothes” as we thought it was going to be hot and besides, I knew the island didn’t have any source of electricity. We just brought the basics as we planned to stay for just one night and leave early the next day. When we got there, waves were all over and the wind was howling even though it was sunny. We were informed that it was still the “amihan winds”. So we just stayed til the afternoon and headed to our next destination - Tibiao, Antique. When we got there, it was so quiet, cold but cozy, and really homey. Our inn was at the foot of the mountain, no electricity, yet we really had a goodnight’s sleep all through out the night. All we could hear was the sound of crickets and water flowing through the river. Wish I could go back and experience sleeping in for a few more days :)
What are the best travel tips you've learned throughout your adventures?
I’ve learned how to pack light! Haha! No fancy clothes, just the basics. Bring gadgets but tuck them away neatly and bring re-sealable plastics. Bring enough cash, ATMs just in case, some IDs, and prepare some loose change for commuting - forget the bulky wallet! I was not a light packer myself back then, and I would always bring my kikay kit with me. Now I just bring the necessities. Liquid soap for all over body use, conditioner, some laundry bar soap, my toothbrush and toothpaste, deo, sunblock and I’m good to go! But really the best lesson I’ve ever learned while traveling is to respect the locals and their culture and just be spontaneous. I’ve learned that while traveling locally, you need to humble yourself and experience living life just like the locals. Immerse yourself in different kinds of food and activities and try to socialize and befriend anybody on the way. Who knows, they could show you the right way! :)
Inset: San Antonio, Zambales, Philippines
Below: Magpupungko Rock Pool, Siargao, Philippines
If you could pick
from all the places
you've been to,
which would you recommend
to someone and why?
Definitely I’d pick Antique, my dad’s hometown. It’s really underrated, but some places in Antique really offer exquisite beauty for both local and foreign travelers. The place itself offers a humble Filipino experience, with cheap food, friendly people and so many sights to visit and see. One of the things on my bucket list is to climb Mt. Madja-as (“Mataas” in Tagalog), the highest mountain in Panay Island. My dad once told me that he also planned to climb it when he was younger. Locals say it’s home to many indigenous species of plants and animals, and some say it’ll take 7 days to traverse it.
Below: Tinuy-An Falls, Surigao Del Sur, The Philippines
Right now I don’t have plans of traveling as I am preparing myself to give birth hehehe. But definitely on my list is to continue to visit more of the islands here in our country like Camiguin, Siquijor and Zamboanga. I’m also hoping to have a small humble home away from the city someday, maybe in Siargao :)
Above: Tinapak River
Below: Mt. Daraitan
Both in Tanay, Rizal, Philippines
Above: El Nido, Palawan Philippines
Below: Pilar, Siargao, Philippines
Photos property of Jelly Dela Cruz-Agustin