I hope by now you have read the First part, Second part, and Third part. If you haven’t I hope you would take the time to go back and read them to see what started my romance with traveling, my escape from the mediocre life I had before I discovered life beyond my sheltered bounderies.
Road Trip and Back to Home
When I said I was being naïve I meant about not taking the threat seriously in spite of being threatened in the past.
I was refused participation of one medical mission in the province where they threatened to kidnap women, religious, foreigners especially Chinese. I thought I was just being discriminated by my organization but actually the threat was real and it was all plastered in the news.
That incident happened a year before I went on my self-imposed sabbatical, but I never learned. The same year “before” I damaged my knee and the irony of irony it was not from climbing or doing anything adventurous but from shopping … picking up a shirt in the lowest cupboard and my knee snapped and it was the beginning of the end 😦 sad times for me. I just wanted to be useful.
Anyway, back to my adventure …
By then, I’ve been traveling for over 2 months and I’ve seen enough small towns and met a lot of people to claim some cred in having traveled Mindanao but that was just two provinces 🙂 who am I to brag. To finish off my Mindanao adventure, I went on road trips to other provinces. Taking bus after bus and finding cheap lodging along the way. I went via Buda to go to the North of Mindanao — to Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City and search for the Tinago Falls, the Ma. Cristina Falls and other natures wonder I learned from school.
After 5 months of traveling, tired, missing my bed and being low in cash I decided to go back and rejoin the city and start looking for work again. I decided to fly via Davao airport. My love of the idea of being in a cruise was done, I am eager to go home quicker.
When I told friends I am back, I was able to find work easily. I did not return to my hospital but joined another hospital, but I was not happy. I guess the trip changed me — who wouldn’t but nobody was interested in my adventure in my new workplace including my boyfriend then. I was itching to leave when I am able for several reasons. And the offer to teach in Cambodia came and the rest shall I say was history I will recount here.
As much as I want to put my own photos in this post I can’t. It’s all printed (it was pre-digital camera and I also cannot afford it then if it’s available in my country) and I had no time to look for them in my trunk (of memories) and scan them. Instead I borrowed photos online. It may not show exactly what I saw but still it can help you picture the places I’ve been.
As for traveling in the late 1990’s in Mindanao … it was not easy. Unlike today you can do your own research and book in advance transport and hotels or can easily navigate the tourist route without danger of being in a crossfire. I appreciate traveling then, I appreciate it more now because mobile phone, internet and apps are very helpful — makes traveling less stressful.
Means of travel — bus, boat and planes are more modern, cheaper and you have plenty of choices now. Lucky you!
In spite of the limitations then, I still can’t get enough of Mindanao, I am nostalgic of the place all the time. Since then I’ve gone back several times and made some fruitful investments. I am going back again and maybe decide to retire there someday.
There’s no cure for this virus. Only you just have to keep on going and going and going because it spreads without you knowing.
More Happy Travels.
Travel Info (Present Time)
Cagayan De Oro