The Magical Land with no Magic

Once upon a time, people used portals to travel from lands to lands. Magic beans to see treasures our money could never amount to. Rabbit holes to see wonders our eyes wouldn’t even believe, and sometimes, they just wished upon a star to go to a land where problems go away like dusts. The bad news is, they are just stories we heard on a lullaby and in our bedtime. The good news is – we have our version too. We don’t need to cross worlds, we just have to look around. We just have to explore what’s ours.

I  haven’t traveled the entire world yet, or the entire Philippines, or even the entire Cebu but what I’ve seen so far – I am convinced that there are more to wonders of those stories than we can actually imagine. I’ve just seen few things and I don’t know what to say, what more when I have the chance to see the rest.

Remember that troubled girl who chose to chase after the rabbit and fall down the hole? Maybe she ran away to escape the boredom of her world, or maybe she just wanted to have an adventure of her own. Like her we also need to unwind, go away from our comfort zones so that when we come back, we will appreciate more the things that really make us going.

It was last summer when we had the chance to go to Camotes, an island nearby Cebu, dubbed as The Lost Horizon, and famous for its white sand beaches. It would take almost 2 hours to get there, long enough to prolong the excitement but short enough to understand how to not like to exist in this world.

What excites us may be is the destination, that something paradisiacal awaits us but what really makes it a more remarkable, is when you enjoy your ride to get there, even if  it is not via a magical carpet.

We had so many plans piled up so resting may be the last thing we wanted to do. Our first activity is to get to the beach, not to look for mermaids, but to enjoy the sand kissing our skin, to watch the reflections of our shadows through the calmness of the sea and to witness how we turned into silhouettes as the sun decided to set.

Next day we went to a local cave Timubo. All I saw is a small door then I was reminded of a place where prisoners are held, a dungeon. It really was not that creepy, it was an entrance to a world underground where we are free to shout out loud and listen to our echoes after echoes.

After that, we went to Lake Danao Park where I experienced my first kayaking, paddling left and paddling right, made me think maybe it’s not that hard to be a captain, except when you don’t have a hand but a hook.

I also tried horse back riding, like the knight of the kingdom conquering another kingdom, only that my horse is not that war oriented.

Then came my favorite part, we went to the islet in the lake. It’s very small you would wonder why it didn’t sink down. Well it won’t because it’s not floating in the first place. Size doesn’t matter, what does is it’s somewhere you want to go when you want a complete peace of mind. Think of it as a Neverland on Earth.

We spent 2 days in the island, 2 days away from the world where time runs with deadlines, where the sun barely shines through our glass panels and windows, where traffic noises are much louder than the chirping of birds, or the breezes of the sea, 2 days to make believe that even that 2 days out of 365 days, is enough to escape reality somehow and to experience the wonderful world we are in.

Summer is the perfect season to get away because the sun is at its brightest, the forests are in their greenest, the sky is at its bluest, and every where is at its hottest. So this summer, I, with my friends are planning to have an escapade. Good to know that we don’t need to cast a spell to travel from here to there, we just need to book a flight, and for the more patient, book a ferry, or even transport by land.

I think that every child deserves to have that time in his life when there is no line that separates from fantasy to reality until he realizes that nothing is more magical than the wonders of nature that reflect through our eyes – more than any fairy tale lands there may be, until he decides to bid good bye to fairy god mother’s wand, until he blows his pixie dusts into the air , until he knows when to spill his magic beans, until he’s tired of chasing that white rabbit, and up until he falls asleep wishing upon that same star – because once upon a time and until now, the real magic is when and how your heart believes that everything that matters in life is far more important than anything in this world.

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Pixels of Nature

Googling images of the things I want to see, places I desire to be at, and persons I choose to be with. Life is so much easy when you’re walking around the globe through clicks and drags. Who says Australia is super miles away?

As someone who can’t keep his eyes away from the four corners of the monitor while holding hands with the mouse, I can say I already traveled the globe  –  at most everyday. Who says you can’t be in two places at the same time?

I’m a type of person who enjoys the perks of being alone so traveling is not really in my database, well at least except for one – time traveling ( seriously? ). The idea of fitting your entire closet to a backpack just distracts me and I’ll just miss my pillow ( hihi ). No I’m not an anti-travel ambassador ‘cause when I was in college we had excursion every semester with my fellow working students (though it was actually compulsory), and guess what? the beach that they described as ‘the closest thing Cebu got to a Boracay’ was actually not (‘was not’ is even just an understatement). And honestly, the idea of getting together with my friends got me more excited than the trip itself. While others were busy having facetime with the beach (no puns intended), I was busy building lego house with the sand (of course under the shade of a tree and big rocks). We stayed there for 2 days, that if I didn’t join, I would have finished at least 20 episodes of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ tv series (but I did, and I enjoyed somehow – except for the sunburn part).

So that’s it, and that happened at least 6 times (wow, and I still don’t consider myself as a travel person). So lets just skip the part when we went to an island, an islet within an island, a cave, and the falls (really, this just happens very rarely, hihi).

Last summer, it was different, I with my co-workers, tried island hopping. Away from the annoying tiny little creatures called ‘sands’ (oh and not to mention the wounds you wouldn’t know you had until you’re home). You can’t believe your eyes watching the panorama of the sea meeting the sky, where all shades of blue were painted. A retina display so wide you can see the horizon, and the animation – is hashtag epic. Fastened my life jacket, worn an IMAX 3D glasses (only waterproof) plus the ‘inhaler’ I mean ‘snorkel’ then jumped. It was like WTF (Where’s The Fish), like I was in a National Geographic Channel (minus the logo) and more HD, from CMYK to RGB colors, and many more undiscovered colors you can’t imagine actually existed (slightly exaggerated) you can’t even find in flickr. That awkward moment when you’re so amazed you wanted to scream and shout but you couldn’t because you’re mouth was busy breathing through the snorkel. Clear as liquid crystal display (LCD) and LED, clear as what I saw, it definitely was the best experience in coexisting with the nature yet (very yet, more to come thanks in advance to Cebu Pacific Air ).

They say a picture paints a thousand words but to see the actual, its wordless. If we appreciate the wonderful things we see in the internet, the more when we see it live, because  the ‘before and after ‘ it’s being taken, the thrill, the excitement and the aura – they can never be recorded.

Only if a computer can provide the same experience we feel as the real one, then there’s no need to plan, no need to book flights and join the hassles of falling in long lines for tickets, no need for SPFs, and no need to hand carry our wardrobes (again), but it can’t (or not yet). It can only give us ideas how is nature when captured, but can’t really give us the feeling on how it is witnessed. So while it can’t, lets improvise. Lets go out. Kiss the sun, be kissed by the sun. Lets get wet. Drink a little more of salt water. Exercise your leap of faith, or luck, or just leap of nothing. Go to the top of the world, or be underground. Take advantage of free getaways, or of the promo fares, or even earn the cost. It will forever be just worth it.

I said I’m a type of person who enjoys the perks of being alone, but can’t I also enjoy the perks of being with the crowd? Plus the nature? Of course I can. Of course I wanted too.

Fish Sanctuary.

Even zebras come here. #Awesome

Googling the images of the things I want to see, makes me plan for a most deserved getaway. Who says you can’t start right now?

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