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
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!
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!
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.
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.
The 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 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 ❤
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
- an examined life to deepen your evolution
- freedom to pursue your excitement
- friends to share your wonderful moments with
- 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!
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
Reader Comments:Carina Guevara Galang
(Mar 27, 2018) Goodluck Gigit. Have an amazing journey
(Mar 27, 2018) Have a nice and safe trip insan
Jackie Garcia Dizon
(Mar 27, 2018) Godspeed, Gigit 🙏
(Mar 27, 2018) Do we still have Vipassana here? Do you know any meditation place in Manila?
Kathleen Grace de Gracia
(Mar 27, 2018) All the best Gigit! The universe will always provide.. I've heard this first from you.
(Mar 26, 2018) Wishing you all the best my friend...
(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
(Mar 15, 2018) Hey Gigit! Wishing you the best! ❤ 🙂
Lalah de Dios
(Mar 15, 2018) Wow! 500sqm!
(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)
Loboc, Bohol, Philippines
Bohol FYI / Tips
- the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located within the Alona Beach area
- the tourist attractions in Bohol are far apart and spread-out. It would be difficult to visit them all using public mass transit. Better hire a van (P3500/day) if in a big group, or rent a motorcycle (P400/day + gas)
- Bohol relies on its tourism for revenue. As expected, everything they can capitalize on from tourism is extensively used and developed
Tagbilaran Port to PanglaoYou can charter any tricycle from the port all the way to Panglao (~P300), but if you want to do it on the cheap,
- 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)
- 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
- 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
- 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
- SuperCat (2GO) - departs 5:50-11AM, 3:45-5:25-8:15PM, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
+63 32 233 7000
Things to do, Places to go in Bohol
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Carlos P. Garcia Island
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