TheLoneRider
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Goodbye Loboc Feb 16-Mar 15, 2018

Goodbye Loboc, Goodbye Philippines

Location: Loboc (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines

Back to Lyn's Backpackers Inn
Not having found a suitable home in Dauis after my 30 days in Loboc, I came back to Loboc at Lyn's Backpackers Inn and extended my stay for another 4 weeks. Even though it was a continuation, it started a new chapter - one of self-healing from my cliff dive injury, preparation for my travel to Malaysia/Nepal and contemplating on settling down if I ever come back to my motherland.

Cliff Dive Aftermath

The Scare
Eight (8) days after my failed cliff dive, when I thought I was beyond the critical phase of my injury, my head starting spinning. If it happened on the first day, I would not have been as alarmed. This got me scared bigtime! I thought about extreme measures like going to a cave to be fully healed or not come out at all. With a CT scan, no head trauma was found. It felt like a new lease on life although the vertigo didn't completely go away. Still, getting my health back was more than what I bargained for. I started celebrating life!

Workout Celebration
I celebrated life by doing things I thought I could no longer do - yoga, mountain biking, calisthenics, cardio, rope skipping, etc. I even enjoined some of the locals to join me and Jeffrey on a yoga session which I offered to conduct free once a week. I worked-out intensely daily, pushing my limits almost, like squeezing the juice out of life!

Goodbye Loboc
offering free yoga/pranayama/meditation class to friends and friends-of-friends

Darting Lights
3 weeks after my cliff dive, after doing a full-on 30-minute non-stop rope skipping, I felt a mild headache. This was followed by seeing darting yellow lights in my peripheral vision. I started seeing floaters in my left eye, where none was there before.

I knew it immediately - my body was telling me that I wasn't fully recovered yet and that I should slow down. When the body talks, I listen. I rested for the coming days and only did yoga when there were guests at Fox requesting for a class.

Peoplescape

jeffrey_huerte juan_huerte leonid_marapao darwin_odal bossing_loboc jesa_loboc winfried_loboc raymond_cal Lalah de Dios Joan Christine frederic_soupart

I continued to meet interesting lives whose path crossed mine. As promising as it got, it was only good while it lasted - for a traveler, it's always a changing landscape and a shifting peoplescape. It's a life of impermanence and forced detachment.

Amilyn, June and TonyThe Three Doctors
I don't think they want to be named, but I'm telling the world these 3 doctors are the greatest! Except for attending my yoga class, I was a complete stranger to them. But when I needed medical help for my failed cliff dive, they were there for me - gratis! Wow. Having them to hand-hold me when I felt alone, vulnerable and helpless, was very reassuring. Thank you Docs! The Christians have their 3 Kings. I have my 3 Doctors from Tagbilaran! ❤❤❤

Sam Sara DrakeSam Sara Drake
After just a few hours meeting her, you had to pry us apart with a crowbar. With our common ground for yoga, our participation in Burning Man and our devotion to Vipassana Meditation, we were cut from the same cloth. I took her to Sapa to meet Mr. Raymond and relish the sikwate drink and later to Villagio Pizza for more talks. I can't count how many times we hugged that day. Missing you as I write this, Sam

Roslyn ArellanoRoslyn Arellano
Another guest at Fox, I met Roslyn casually during one of my visits. We talked and found common ground and interest. Later on, it soon became apparent why we had to meet - one of those things I call karmic process. I had to share my insight about her journey, clearing the cobwebs and illuminating what might look like an obscure path. It's one of those informal life coaching I increasingly find myself extending. I live in a world of black-and-white with hardly any shade of gray. I can quickly discern right from wrong, dos and donts with such clarity that may not be obvious to most. That's my gift and I take solace in sharing it.

Jojo FrenchJojo
We were both guests at Lyn's Backpackers Inn and got into a conversation that went into the wee hours over bahalina and cacao nibs. It was a good sharing between 2 travelers. We found common ground - Blues music, wine, culture, etc. It was like 2 ants coming into each other's way so they stop face-to-face for a brief exchange before moving on.

Sophie and  CaroleSophie and Carole
A chance meeting at Sapa Foods for hot dark chocolate drink (sikwate) got me and 2 French travelers, Sophie and Carole, talking about Vipassana, yoga and travels. They attended my yoga class and later found ourselves at Villagio's Pizza for more meaningful sharing, together with good friends, Jeffrey, Joan and Fred. I had many such episodes at this pizza joint and Fox & Firefly where I found myself in conversation with passing travelers - some good while the moment lasts but for these two kindred souls, it's a promise of good things to come

Gifting Resort Rooms
I still had a few nights credit balance in some resorts which I thought I could use in the event I come upon a love life. Well, it didn't happen so it was best to give it to people who helped me in some shape or form. I do enjoy giving. Since I don't have money to buy thank-you gifts for, I say thank you in my own currency. I see all these exchanges as energy in motion - the good that comes around, goes around.

Jagna for the Blind
I was invited by my German friend, Winfried, to join him and another friend, Rick, to Jagna to talk to the school officers to see how he can help in their efforts to provide education to its blind students who come from all over Bohol. Winfried has been providing assistance to a local blind boy. He wanted to see the bigger picture and how he can help in a bigger way. That's Winfried - he has a big heart. The most pressing need is a braille-embosser (it prints regular books into Braille format) which costs P200,000. Hopefully, Winfried will find a solution in Germany where he just left for.

Settling Down
At some point in time, I would be too old to be backpacking with all the uncertainties of the open road with this heavy bag on my back. I would have to settle down - I can only take this lifestyle so far.

Actually, I don't even have to wait that long. At this point, I am tired of traveling. I would already like to have a place where I can wake up in the morning without having to think about packing/unpacking or being in transit. The thought got concrete when I stumbled into Epicurus.

Utopian Shangrila
Inspired by the Greek philosopher, Epicurus, I posted my thought about settling down in a place I can share with friends. The reaction was more than what I expected. I didn't realize such a concept was compelling and relevant to the times. Without asking for anything, I already received pledges for money, support to raise funds with lots of encouraging words! I'd like to exercise minimal control on this. I'm more curious how this organically grows and in what direction - specially now that I'm leaving the country. I will cover my bases and do my due-diligence as always but leave it to the bigger forces at play to shape things and make it happen.

I don't have the money for it, but my universe has worked in mysterious ways beyond my wild imaginings to manifest my desires for the greater good. All I need to do is put out the intention + do my due-diligence...and all is coming. If it never takes off, then perhaps it was never meant to be. I take faith in that.

A Brief Talk with Loboc's Movers and Shakers
While having pizza with friends close to 9pm already, Jeffrey nudged me aside and whispered that some Loboc VIPs wanted to have a brief talk with me. Really? He took me to City Hall where I met with the mayor, ex-mayor, special adviser and some municipal officers. They were interested to know more about the idea I earlier mentioned to the tourism head and the mayor in our passing talk during the holidays. In about 20 minutes, we covered the following:

  1. mountain bike park - they loved the concept of a family-oriented mountain bike park in Loboc that entails camp grounds and specially designed mountain bike trails along its hilly slopes. It will be the first of its kind in the country. We're not reinventing the wheel. I've seen it go viral in the ski resorts of Canada. I'm a mountain bike hammerhead, I've riden Canada's trail system and I'd be happy to pour out what I know about making this a reality.
  2. land for my Utopian Shangrila - I mentioned to them that I'll be leaving Loboc the following day but contemplating on developing my Utopian Shangrila in the Philippines to share with friends when I settle down upon coming back. I told them I love Loboc and seriously consider this place as one out of two other destinations - Valencia (Negros Oriental) and Coron (Palawan). Without batting an eyelash, they offered me 500m2 of land, free for my use for the remainder of my life - just for me to choose Loboc. Whoa! Did they just manifest my vision for a Utopian haven? I knew my benevolent universe works in strange ways to manifest my desires, but I didn't see this coming!

Ending Thoughts

Being Homeless and Poor
I'd been in Loboc over 4 months now...a little unusual for me given that I've only allowed myself 30 days in a place. But it kept calling-out and it would have been arrogance on my part to have walked away. Let me put it this way - when the universe creates an opportunity for me, I don't question. I just say, "bring it on", always grateful for the opportunity and grateful that I can turn my life on a dime to accept the new challenge.

If I own property or have a home (which I don't), I will be burdened by ownership and that means my hands are tied. If I have money (which I don't but nobody believes me anyway), I can ignore the opportunity saying I have my fuck-you! money in the bank. So altogether, my being homeless and poor pave the way for me to devour the world as my oyster. Not even the richest people I know of, have that as an exercisable option.

Overseas Travel
But with my acceptance into the meditation course in Malaysia this March and a confirmed booking for Nepal in April, my days in Loboc (and in the Philippines for that matter) have come to an end. I now have to resume my overseas travel and see what life has lined-up for me.

In Pursuit of Happiness
As the Greek philosopher Epicurus once said, to which I completely subscribe to, to have a happy life you need 3 things:

  1. an examined life to deepen your evolution
  2. freedom to pursue your excitement
  3. friends to share your wonderful moments with
Let me add a 4th (not necessarily in this order):
  1. someone engaging to hug on a cold day

Who knows? With my recent talk with Loboc's powers-that-be, perhaps I can realize all 4 on the path leading me back to Loboc.

To all the wonderful people who helped shape my meaningful Loboc experience, daghang salamat!

--- TheLoneRider



Facebook Users

Reader Comments:

Carina Guevara GalangCarina Guevara Galang
(Mar 27, 2018) Goodluck Gigit. Have an amazing journey

Jojo BalbuenaJojo Balbuena
(Mar 27, 2018) Have a nice and safe trip insan

Jackie Garcia DizonJackie Garcia Dizon
(Mar 27, 2018) Godspeed, Gigit 🙏

Maricel MansanoMaricel Mansano
(Mar 27, 2018) Do we still have Vipassana here? Do you know any meditation place in Manila?

Kathleen Grace de GraciaKathleen Grace de Gracia
(Mar 27, 2018) All the best Gigit! The universe will always provide.. I've heard this first from you.

Rose AmpoyasRose Ampoyas
(Mar 26, 2018) Wishing you all the best my friend...

Cristina LarkCristina Lark
(Mar 15, 2018) I still need to read the post where you tagged me. It's been intense work in Australia, and internet is... well... rural Kenya has it better

Ixi MapuaIxi
(Mar 15, 2018) Hey Gigit! Wishing you the best! 🙂

Lalah de DiosLalah de Dios
(Mar 15, 2018) Wow! 500sqm!

Claire MadarangClaire
(Mar 15, 2018) Wow, this is so cool, Gigit! Wishing you all the best in your next adventure! Hope to see you another time!

Next journey: The 24-Hr Trip from Loboc (Philippines) to Gambang (Malaysia)


Google Map Loboc, Bohol, Philippines

tourist attractions in Bohol tourist attractions hotels in Bohol hotel
  • 
Fox & The Firefly Cottages Fox & The Firefly Cottages - SUP paddle boarding, luxury riverside native cottages, mountain bike tours, SUP yoga
    Brgy. Valladolid, Loboc, Bohol
restaurant in Loboc restaurant
  • 
Villagio's Pizza Villagio's Pizza - wood burning oven, hand-tossed pizza
    Loboc Town Plaza, Loboc, Bohol

Bohol FYI / Tips

Tagbilaran Port to Panglao

You can charter any tricycle from the port all the way to Panglao (~P300), but if you want to do it on the cheap,
  1. don't take the tricycles lined-up inside the port. Walk past the port gate and immediately outside, you'll see many tricycles. Take one to the bus terminal in Dao (~P15)
  2. in Dao, take the jeep that plies the Panglao route (~P20)

Tagbilaran (Bohol) to Cebu City by boat

** schedules and rates keep changing, call for latest schedule
  1. Weesam Express - departs 6:15 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:00 PM
    one way: Economy (aircon) P500.00, Economy (non-aircon) P400.00, First Class P600.00
    round trip promo (at least 2 days advance booking): Economy (aircon) P600, Economy(non-aircon) P500, First Class P1200
    round trip promo (1 day or on the day booking): Economy (aircon) P800, Economy (non-aircon) P700, First Class P1200
  2. Ocean Jet - departs 6-7:05-8:20-9:20-11:40AM, 1-2-3:30-4:20-5:30-6:30PM, 2 hours, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
    Open Air / Tourist Class P800, Business Class P1000
    +63(32)255 7560 / +63 (32) 255 0115 / 0917 638 0000
  3. SuperCat (2GO) - departs 5:50-11AM, 3:45-5:25-8:15PM, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
    P 500.00
    +63 32 233 7000

Things to do, Places to go in Bohol

  1. Chocolate Hills - this is a clustering of more than 1200 hills within a 50km2 area. They range in height from 30-50 meters. What's unusual is their near-perfect conical shape resembling an individual chocolate chip. No one knows how they were formed. Entrance is P50/pax.
  2. Tarsier Conservation Area - located Upper Bonbon, Loboc. The tarsiers are no longer being played at by tourists as circus props, but instead, visitors now view them in cordoned-off areas in their natural 6ha habitat. As they are territorial and nocturnal, they are predictable on where they can be viewed. P50/pax.
  3. Alona Beach (Panglao) - Alona Beach is the tourist hub of Bohol. It has 1.5 kms of white sand beach lined-up by bars, hotels and restos. Alona is also the jump-off point for Balicasag Island, a world class dive destination.
  4. Danao Adventure Park - located in Barangay Magtangtang, 72 kms (2 hours ride) from Tagbilaran. Adventure activities include river trekking, tyrolean traverse, rappelling, bouldering, rock climbing and ziplining.

Bohol

    Anda
  1. Exploring Combento Cave Pool June 29, 2017
  2. Visiting Cabagnow Cave Pool of Anda Jun 28, 2017
  3. Exploring Anda, Bohol June 25-30, 2017

  4. Candijay
  5. Roadtrip from Candijay to Ubay July 1, 2017
  6. Firefly Tour in Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017
  7. Freediving Canawa Cold Spring of Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017
  8. Splashing at Can-umantad Falls, Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017

  9. Carlos P. Garcia Island
  10. Exploring Carlos P. Garcia (CPG) Island by Bike Dec 1, 2017

  11. Corella
  12. Cycling to the Tarsiers of Corella Oct 26, 2017

  13. Dauis
  14. Cliff Dive at Molave Cove Feb 11, 2018
  15. Freediving at Molave Point, Dauis Nov 6, 2017
  16. The Return to Hinagdanan Cave Nov 5, 2017
  17. Exploring Hinagdanan Cave Oct 24, 2017

  18. Loay
  19. The Ride to Morning Hill Oct 22, 2017
  20. The Ride to the Old Spanish Tower Oct 21, 2017

  21. Loboc
  22. Goodbye Loboc, Goodbye Philippines Mar 15, 2018
  23. The CubbyHole: Envisioning a Utopian Shangrila Mar 10, 2018
  24. Fat Shredder with the Russian Twist Mar 2, 2018
  25. No-Dismount Climb to Cruz Daku Mar 1, 2018
  26. Jeffrey's Cardio Program Feb 26, 2018
  27. SUP Yoga with Lalah de Dios at Fox and the Firefly Feb 25, 2018
  28. Bike Ride with Juan Huerte: Loboc, Sikatuna, Corella and Baclayon Feb 25, 2018
  29. CT Scan Result Feb 23, 2018
  30. The Silent Killer has Arrived Feb 19-22, 2018
  31. 24+ Days at Lyn's Backpackers Inn Jan 23 - Feb 16, 2018
  32. All Day Fun with the Loboc Crew Feb 11, 2018
  33. 20-Minute Rope Skipping w/ Pranayama and Meditation Feb 9, 2018
  34. Calisthenics with Jeffrey Feb 7, 2018
  35. Abs-Core Workout with Jeffrey Feb 5, 2018
  36. High Intensity Cardio Workout Feb 2, 2018
  37. Ride to the Landslide with Jeffrey Jan 31, 2018
  38. Farm Tour with Mr. Raymond Cal Jan 29, 2018
  39. Cacao Drum Roasting Jan 27, 2018
  40. Making Sikwate: from cacao fruit to a hot dark chocolate drink Jan 25, 2018
  41. 5 Weeks at the Fox and Firefly Cottages Dec 13, 2017 - Jan 23, 2018
  42. In-House Yoga Teacher at the Fox and Firefly Cottages Jan 22, 2018
  43. Mountain Bike Rides from Tagbilaran to Loboc Jan 18, 2018
  44. Firefly Tour on a Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) Dec 19, 2017
  45. Playing Mountain Bike Tour Optimizer Dec 18, 2017
  46. Back to Loboc Dec 13, 2017
  47. 37 Days in Loboc - Thank You and Goodbye Oct 8-Nov 14, 2017
  48. Exploring Busay Falls, Loktob Spring and Jimili-an Spring...on Foot Nov 11, 2017
  49. Stand-Up Paddle Yoga with Joan Christine Nov 3, 2017
  50. Loboc River Cruise on a Stand-Up Paddle Oct 29, 2017
  51. Exploring Guimba and Sog-ong Caves of Loboc Oct 22, 2017
  52. Ziplining and Cable Car Ride at Eco-Tourism Adventure Park Oct 22, 2017
  53. Savouring Villagio Pizza Oct 19, 2017
  54. Wet and Wild Bonbon-Alegria Downhill Ride Oct 18, 2017
  55. River Cruise on Loboc River Oct 17, 2017
  56. Back Road Ride from Loboc to Loay Oct 17, 2017
  57. Leisurely Ride to Loktob Spring Oct 14, 2017
  58. Sweet Ride to Busay Falls Oct 13, 2017
  59. Bike Climb to the Virgen de Guadalupe Oct 12, 2017
  60. The Ride to Cruz Daku (Big Cross) Oct 11, 2017
  61. Exploring Loboc, Bohol Oct 8, 2017

  62. Panglao
  63. Coastal Cleanup with Plastic Free Bohol Sept 16, 2017
  64. Exploring Panglao June 12-18, 2017
  65. Yoga with Ging and Rai at Oasis Resort June 18, 2017
  66. Freediving with Ben Meerhaeghe at SeaQuest Dive Center June 16, 2017
  67. Scuba Diving Balicasag Island with SeaQuest Dive Center June 15, 2017
  68. Bohol Revisited June 12, 2017
  69. Exploring Bohol Nov 28-30, 2015

  70. San Miguel
  71. Visiting Bayongan Lake Nov 22, 2017

  72. Sevilla
  73. Killer MTB Ride from Sevilla Oct 30, 2017

  74. Sikatuna
  75. Solo Ride to the Sikatuna Tree Park Nov 2, 2017

  76. Tagbilaran
  77. 30 days in Tagbilaran, Thank You! Oct 8, 2017
  78. Breakfast Talk with Tagbilaran's Finest Oct 8, 2017
  79. Exploring the Cafe Scene of Tagbilaran Oct 7, 2017
  80. Yoga for 60+ Students at the University of Bohol Oct 4, 2017
  81. Chocolate Overload at Dalareich Chocolate House October 2, 2017
  82. Talk on Philosophy and Spirituality to 12-Graders at the University of Bohol Sep 27, 2017
  83. Celebrating the International Day of Peace Sep 23, 2017
  84. Judging a Student Debate at the University of Bohol Sept 15, 2017
  85. Fitness Workout with Chie at Bohol Tropics Resort Sept 13, 2017
  86. Modified Ashtanga Primary Series by Jing Yoga, Tagbilaran Sept 12, 2017
  87. Tagbilaran Revisited Sep 7-12, 2017
  88. Hello Tagbilaran! June 19-25, 2017

  89. Ubay
  90. Goodbye and Thank You, Ubay Nov 14-Dec 13, 2017
  91. Visiting the Ubay Stock Farm Dec 8, 2017
  92. Exploring Cambugsay Healing Hills with Lars Jensen Nov 22, 2017
  93. Visiting Ubay Green Park Nov 18, 2017
  94. The Ride to Sinandigan Boardwalk and the Yamashita Treasure Hunt Nov 18, 2017
  95. Ubay in a Nutshell Nov 17, 2017
  96. In Search of the Next Destination Nov 14, 2017
  97. 2 Days in Ubay July 1-3, 2017
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