And here goes my year summarized in photos taken from all over the Philippines. I have thus proven that once bitten by the travel bug, one can never go back. Thanks to all the friends I met online at first, on the road eventually. I hope 2012 has a lot more in store for me and my itchy feet. 🙂 Cheers!
First stop, Camara Island. Little is known about this island, the smallest of the 4 Pundaquit islands included in our hopping. But for me, this one’s the perfect spot for swimming plus it provides the best vantage point to see the whale-shaped island (the name of which, I do not know) complete with the tail fin. Fine white sand tickling your toes – best feeling in the world. 🙂 We trekked towards the highest point in the island (to our knowing) and savored the beauty of Pundaquit.
From our gracious host’s residence in San Miguel, we rode a tricycle to San Antonio Town Proper (for 20pesos) with the hopes of catching a Victory Liner bus bound for Cubao. But with a dozen other backpackers lounging by the shed, I knew the chances were slim. So we hailed the first ordinary Olongapo-bound bus that passed by. The fare was 40pesos and the ride lasted for an hour. We sat at the back since all other seats were taken and we imagined this to be a class fieldtrip and that we were the class bullies. Ha!
In Olongapo, we took refuge in a Dunkin Donuts branch and had coffee before the 3hr journey ahead of us. It was already 5:30 pm. All pumped up, we headed for the Victory Liner Terminal and the situation was in every bit similar to the subject enlistment process at university. THE LINES WERE TOO LONG! I think I saw a loop already in the works. It was hopeless.
We were already at the Victory Liner Terminal in Cubao around 5:30 in the morning. Seeing the throng of vacationers lining up to get tickets had my hopes hit bottom, but to my relief the queue was for Baguio. Why of course, Baguio afterall is the summer capital of the Philippines.
As there was still no posted trip for Iba, Zambales, I was thinking of getting on the Olongapo Bus and just hopping on another Iba-bound bus from there. Fortunately, an employee announced the 6:30 am trip for Iba so I booked for 4 people, 270pesos each.
We decided to get a quick caffeine fix via countrystyle coffee and doughnuts situated just outside the terminal. While we were sipping coffee and battling sleep deprivation, we ranted about not being able to buy booze from the convenience stores due to a city ordinance banning the purchase of liquor from 10pm to 8am. Tequila was on the menu; we already stocked up on lime and salt so it was really frustrating. And we also doubted the availability of tequila in San Antonio, our drop-off point in Zambales.