Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘experience’

​Breathing Adventure: Crashing Into the Waves at Dingalan, Aurora

Having a dose of vitamin sea is never too late when taken on a fair but moody October day. It can be maddening as it can become a concoction for excitement and anxiety. You will never know when the weather might throw some tantrums at you. But it did not matter. All I wanted was to see the clear, blue waters and feel the summer jive of Dingalan, Aurora.

Known as the Batanes of the East, Dingalan is a paradise of tropical beaches, sleeping caves and emerald green landscapes. It’s your preferred breakaway from the toxic city life. Travelling there from Manila would be four hours at most. It is recommended you take along a big van and a battalion of friends to get there.

Travel cost was around P1300. That includes van, boat transfers, lunch, and tour guide. It would be best if you leave at around 1 or 2 am, especially if you’re planning a day tour for this one.

From Dingalan Feeder Port, we were transferred to Dingalan island. We left our bags there before heading off to the Lamao Cave.

On the boat with our tour guide, Kuya Bong Reyes (in grey shirt)

While the others were freaking, I could not help but raise my arms in anticipation at the humongous waves cradling our boat. All I could hear in my head was Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries while we were flowing with the giant tide. The cave was not too far but even so, we had to swim at the mouth of the cave because the boat couldn’t dock near it.

These rocks look pretty but they are actually painful when stepped on…ouch!

Rock climbing (and picture taking) is a must at the Lamao Rock Formation. Just take caution because some parts of the rocks are edgy and sharp.

We decided to leave the island when wild winds were already blowing. Five of us were on the boat when the weather had thrown a nasty fit. She made the boat spin a bit wildly until one of its outriggers was broken when it crashed unto the rocks.

I was calm all along because I trusted in God’s saving grace. The other girls wanted to jump off in panic but I waited for the right timing to jump off the boat. Leaping at the wrong time could lead to something even more fatal. Fortunately, another boat had rescued us back to the island. All that time, I could not help but think of His promise that He’s keeping us sheltered under His wings.

 

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The nasty wound I got from the rocks…I was literally bleeding when we were already on the boat…ouch!

We were all a bit shaken but I could not help but be amused by the thought, “This is more thrilling than Survivor.” A little food can ease the panic off. Maybe a boodle fight of the best seafood and the freshest fruits can do the trick.

But nothing could be worse than a shipwreck than wrong expectations. I was too foolish to expect this was all sand and sea (because I overlooked some details of the itinerary). The highlight of this tour was the Mountain View Deck and it could only be seen if you take a little trek going there.

It would have been an easy thirty-minute trek if it were not for the mud caused by that morning’s rain. As expected, I was already grumpy, mostly when I had to take my slippers off (wrong footwear, folks. Just. Wrong.) Still, just like every other climax, that view of the Pacific can take all despair and breath away.

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And not to mention the lighthouse on the other peak.

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Muddy and tired, we had the tour capped at around 4 pm. If I could take home something, that would be some nasty wounds, sand on your flip-flops, and a good story to share.

I will never expect my adventures to be the same again. They’re not textbooks outlined with the same pattern because each has a different impact in our lives. I was amazed I was calm in the midst of danger and I kept myself levelheaded during a crisis. An adventure would never be an adventure without some thrill in it. We need that to break our mundane life. We need a little bit of test to improve our resilience in life.

But next time, I hope my next trip would be a bit more peaceful.

My regards to Khaye Satur for organizing this trip, as well as to our tour guide Kuya Bong Reyes for being such a caring guide for such a mountain slowpoke like me. Also, our trip could not be even spicier without the Hugot Van Manila of Kuya Gherz.

 

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A glimpse of that awesome hugot van…you will find more lovestruck hugot when you jump into the ride. 🙂

Watch out for their next trip through Khaye’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/khayesatours/) and Gherz’s page (https://www.facebook.com/gherz.brizo).

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Freedom Off the Walls

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Let it go, let it go…

My life is a bit like my struggle with skating. The fun and breathless freedom every skater catches when he glides through the ice can never come if I remained on the wall. I did not realize this until I got into the skating rink. Imagine how my excitement was washed away when I began to struggle against the ice.

Insecurity and fear pushed away my excitement when I came into the rink. Insecurity because I was not good in balancing. Fear because I was scared to fall down and crack a bone. In the first thirty minutes, I looked like an old, frail, ninety-year old granny without a cane. I felt lonesome as my friends were drifting (even while struggling) into the middle of the rink. It’s miserable, as if I was imprisoned on the walls.

I tried to request for an instructor. I waited for a few minutes hoping it would be my turn. But I decided to go on my own.

Let it go, let it go…

And there I was again, struggling like a little toddler on the glass wall. I tried to fend off the embarrassment of falling on my knees. With a little nudge and encouragement from my friends, I had to let go of those walls.

One of my good friends, Lans, who helped me glide along the ice :)

One of my good friends, Lans, who helped me glide along the ice 🙂

Blag! I tried to cower in embarrassment but my friends just laughed it off and helped me up. I had to fall to realize that I can’t stand and even learn on my own. It wouldn’t be fun skating without a friend.

First fall...ouch!

First fall…ouch!

And so, little by little. I was able to glide a bit on my own. Soon, I was skating in the middle of the rink! Yey! I could never have felt that freedom if I had not let go of the walls I had dearly held on.

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the earth and sky

Literally, I was singing that while gliding through the middle. The fear I had felt at first was like when I was swimming through the middle of the pool. That short moment in the ice gave a glimpse that I had been holding a lot of baggages in life…

My pride…to keep me from embarrassment when I make a mistake

My false humility…so I would not be criticized

My insecurity…so I would not be called a fool by the greater authority

The past…to bask in the old glories

 

Shoes of courage

Shoes of courage

Like those cold, lifeless glass walls, I had to let them go. I don’t have to waste my life clinging to them or I will spend the rest of my life being boring and pointless.

Would you wait for me again, little skating rink? I hope I would be able to skate a bigger rink, not here, but maybe where Queen Elsa lives.. 🙂


Let it go, let it go
I am one with the earth and sky…!

Like a little baby

Fun all the way…!

 

 

Touchdown Ireland!

Landing at Dublin Airport. Can't believe I had breathe in fresh Irish air ;)

Landing at Dublin Airport. Can’t believe I had breathe in fresh Irish air 😉

Six months ago it was an invitation I never planned on going but dreamed to be into. Three months after, it became a compelling choice for me. Two weeks ago, it became a reality.

Ireland — a land I only thought of just hearing about. I never thought the soles of my feet would touch this very ground.

When a friend invited me to come for the annual 24/7 International Prayer Gathering, I thought it would be grand. Europe’s one of my dream destinations. But I’m more particular with United Kingdom, thanks to the influence of Victorian British literature. On the other hand, I wanted to see how this prayer movement goes in this part of the world where Christianity had once its strong roots, as well as where the shadows of Celtic history still emanates within its walls.

I had no plans though, since travelling was too expensive. But friends supported for my money. Yet, I was still undecided and I thought it was a crazy dream.

Not until the Lord spoke deep into my heart one night: whatever I’ll encounter there in Ireland will have an impact in eternity.

Ok. That’s it. It’s my choice to be a part of whatever impact there is for eternity. But what is it? It’s for me to find out.

And so two weeks ago, I am for it. I got my Irish visa, had hassles in my first booking (which the travel agency had weird reasons for cancelling it in less than 24 hours before my flight), booked again while still traumatized, and enjoyed my first lone travel outside the country.

Failte go Baile Atha Cliath!

A strip of Ireland, as viewed from my plane :) Failte go Baile Atha Cliath! :D

A strip of Ireland, as viewed from my plane 🙂 Failte go Baile Atha Cliath! 😀

Or “Welcome to Dublin”.

I love the smell and sight of the city. I love the warm people, and my new friends, mostly those from Asia. I enjoyed the gathering along with the city tours. But despite all these, I kept on asking the Lord what was really in store for me there.

He gave me only two words: “nations” and “connections”.

Uh, wait. I came all the way from Asia for that “eternal impact”. Now, I tried to comprehend what’s the connection of these two words.

Until I got home, I did not understand. What I had is a small but important piece of the big puzzle God is putting together for eternity. I had thoughts that might be this or another. But God’s thoughts are higher than mine. I will see soon…and I will come to understand what He really meant.

But at this moment, I’ll cherish the good memories I brought along from the land of shamrocks and amazing writers, as well as its biting cold and various potato dishes. Nyaha! 🙂 I’m so glad to

Gifts from my new friends. I just regret that did not bring anything from the Philippines. Lesson learned!

Gifts from my new friends. I just regret that did not bring anything from the Philippines. Lesson learned!

mingle with new friends despite of our differences in culture and thinking. I will not forget how different nationalities joined together to pray for nations. The intercession meetings and the worship at the boiler room are memoorable. Aren’t we one global community? 😉

What I have discovered was that my prayer that I wrote at the beginning of 2013 was granted. I prayed that I will go to three new nations this year. And these are my connecting flights at Taiwan, Amsterdam, Malaysia, and Ireland!

So, what would be it’s impact in the future? I don’t know. But I had this deep feeling that I will never regret going to Ireland one day. 🙂

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