Missing Warmer Waters
Even during its coolest months, the Philippines would stay ablaze with beaches that beckoned with warm waters. One of the easiest to get to from Manila was Batangas, a destination that called for just a three-hour drive. Despite being met with overcast skies, Carlo and I headed to La Luz Beach Resort, armed with no other agenda than to roll around by the shore for the day.
While the sand wasn’t as fine as the ones found in Cebu or Davao, the place offered little luxuries that would raise your overall experience there. Although they were fully booked, you still had a lot of lounging area choices, the staff would constantly check on you without being intrusive, and the steady flow of well prepared Filipino dishes and drinks would just keep on coming.
And the waters—even if the winds chilled me to the bone, jumping into the water would heat me right up.
This was one of the things that I missed about being home the most.
- Naic Road, San Juan, Philippines
Brave the waves,
A Backpacker’s Photo Diary: Yosemite National Park
Because we spent our first day at the cabin by going around the property and using its amenities, we were extra amped to go hiking when we drove to Yosemite National Park the next day. Everybody who had been to the park before had advised our group that an entire day wasn’t enough to see all of Yosemite, so we chose to pour our efforts on one route: the Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall Trail. Reaching an elevation of more than 5,000 feet, the hike was classified as strenuous, and took us around 7 hours total to complete (inclusive of the stops for photos, and snacks).
The direction was mostly upward, some sections were so steep that my knees buckled, and there were times when I felt like my lungs were about to burst…but we were surrounded by such striking landscapes that it was all rewarding. I loved the team spirit that everyone displayed too. Some of our friends were fitness machines (hi, guys), but they adjusted to our pace. We all fell into a buddy system, and if somebody needed help, each one was quick to lend a hand. And man, all of these panoramic views became more breathtaking because I shared the experience of seeing it with friends.
I was so used to the Philippines’ tropical scenery that when I faced the vastness that Yosemite had—the mountain range, the cliffs, and dinosaur sized boulders, I felt like I was in another world.
My handmade, all around backpack crafted by Bags by Rubbertree
After having my heart race for what felt like a bazillion hours, we then jumped into the freezing creek in Happy Isles, and dialled down the tempo. I was still dripping as we headed back to our cabin, but the thought of having another homemade dinner, round of drinks, and the gathering around the fire pit warmed me up throughout the ride.
- Yosemite Village, CA 95389
Brave the waves,