Thank you, all the people I met along the way. A million thanks to everyone who helped me and my travel buddy.
Thanks to the tricycle driver who brought us to our first transient house in Pangasinan. Thank you, staff of Hundred Isles Transient House for providing us with shelter in Alaminos. The lady in our first Lucap wharf food stall, thanks for the lovely bangus lunch. Thanks to the boatmen who took us to a tour of the Hundred Islands.
The elderly desk employee at Victory Liner’s Bolinao terminal, thank you for helping us deal with the city. We were all but lost, and you helped us find shelter for the night, as well as a trike driver to take us around, and it is all thanks to you that we didn’t get scammed in a big way. A gruff, rather tough, but kind elderly man, you reminded me of my lolo and because of you, I was able to feel that Bolinao wasn’t just a city full of people picking on tourists. Thank you, Kuya trike driver, for keeping to your word and picking us up from the remote white beach of Patar and taking us back to our transient house. Thanks, Dos Flores Resort for housing us that night.
Thank you, Kate Dulnuan, for being our guide in Baguio. The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your seminar house is lovely, thank you for letting us stay there. Thanks to the workers of the La Trinidad strawberry fields for our strawberry picking experience, and special thanks to the Kuya who wrapped my feet in plastic bags so my white sneakers wouldn’t get so muddy. Thank you, Bencab Museum, for the unusual, educational, and relaxing museum experience. 50’s Diner, it’s always a pleasure to dine there, thank you for the comfort food, which we needed after the harrowing ride from Pangasinan to Baguio. Thank you, Jim and Shanti of Bliss Café. Your place is aptly named, and gave us our best Baguio dinner experience. Your food is vegetarian food as it should be—delicious and doesn’t give meat-eaters any feeling of deprivation. And you are such warm and welcoming hosts as well. Thank you, to the kind waiter at Café by the Ruins; you were only doing us a favor offering to transfer our can of condensed milk to a portable container for our travel, and you had to replace it when one of your colleagues spilled it.
The instructors at San Juan Surf Resort in La Union, thank you for teaching us how to surf. The food bar at the same resort—what a lovely surprise, the food was reasonably priced and extremely good as well. Thank you for our post-surfing feast.
Thank you, lolo from Amiannance bibingka shop, for welcoming us in the city. Your goods are such fine pasalubong. Thank you, the lolo from the Bantay bell tower, for being such a funny guide that just put us at ease. The actors and actresses and production crew of “Babae ng Digmaan,” what a wonderful zarzuela, thank you for the show. Grandpa’s Inn in Vigan, your place is really a home away from home. Thank you, helpful staffers, for making our visit comfortable and you take care of us from the minute we stepped out of our trike upon arriving to putting us on our way to the bus stop. Thank you, the bell boy who picked up longganisa from a different place when your pasalubong shop ran out. Vigan City, thank you, I love your vibe and I will come back soon.
Thanks to my parents for letting me go on this trip. To my Mama, I know you worry a lot, but thank you for letting me go anyway. To my Dad, who simply said “Be a traveler, not a tourist. Make it an adventure.” And who lent me a waterproof, shock-proof, very tough camera. Thanks Dad.
Thanks to my teammates, who wished me a happy trip and covered for me while I was away for an entire work week. Thanks to Mae for being my travel buddy.
Philippines, World, that was a great nine days. Thank you.