From Tinglayan to Whang Od’s village
What a beautiful path! I keep on walking and walking, still perplexed by the beauty that unfolds before me, feeling at the right place at the right time. It’s very hot and the first stretch of the road has been hard but nothing that excitement and the adventure appetite can’t fight.
The green quiet mountains observe me pass by. They wonder what a girl from Madrid is doing so far from her place. Why is she coming from a distant place to find herself?, they whisper at my back.
And I ask myself the same question the answer of which I’ve never known. That’s why I keep on travelling and exposing myself to different situations and experiences that make me see the world from another perspective, more simple in its complexity maybe. Any place is perfect to get lost but not every place is the suitable one to find oneself.
There’s something I love about being alone in a country where nobody knows me where I’m somehow unique and invisible. It’s the adventure, not caring about what path to follow because is yours and none else’s. You are the one to choose every step, every conversation, every smile. I come across a group of students that is getting out of the school.
What a place to live! Surrounded by a wise and pure nature. They say hi to me, in between curious and shy, as usual. Where are you going? the bravest ones dare to ask me. To Buscalan, I answer and I keep on my way. A few metres ahead four girls approach me and ask me to go with me. I, used to being asked for money everywhere in Asia for anything, tell them I don’t have any. They answer puzzled that they only want to walk with me because they live there.
Sometimes I feel absurd and ashamed of thinking that way but in these six months I’ve seen a lot of things and I know for a fact that a lot of people try to take advantage of tourists and that’s not right. However, there are also a lot of people willing to help you anyhow and that’s what I take with me.
“You do this path every day?”
“Yes.” “Oh my! I answer suffocated and surprised.”
And once again I get amazed by the landscape and its people…
The way is getting narrower. The girls walk very naturally while I put all my attention on not falling.
It seems like Buscalan can be seen already. Is it there up where we are heading?
We make a ‘technical’ stop, we have to refuel before starting to go up, for real. A 15 minute way of stairs awaits us.
I share some nuts I have in my pocket with them. We finish the bag and one of them takes it and throws it away.
“I don’t think this beautiful mountain deserves to have a plastic on the ground. Do you know how long it takes to decompose?”
“You are right, I’m sorry.”
Unfortunately in the Philippines to find trash in nature is very common. I guess for them is just another place more, they are very used to see gorgeous mountains, rivers… and don’t appreciate it enough.
Once a Filipino friend told me half joking, “we throw trash on the ground because is what we saw Spaniards did, we learnt from you.” The conquerors threw trash because they knew servants would pick it up. Theory that in part is logical but it’s not an excuse to me, especially if you are asked to pay an environmental fee in every green place in the Philippines to keep it clean. After walking for almost two hours (stops included) I arrive at my destination.
Everyone in the town is very friendly. They receive me with coffee and, what a coffee!
I start thinking about the reason that brought me here. Am I really ready for this? I’m starting to have some doubts… I go for a walk in order to clear my head.
Some kids come to me. Take pictures of us!
I keep on walking around, taking pictures and thinking should I do it or not?
I come back to the place.
Yes, I’m going to do it. Wasn’t it the reason I came here? I spent more than 20 hours on the road for this…