Iriga and Caramoan Photo Diary

There are 46 pictures in this post, I hope that you can wait for all of them to load since there is a thoughtful random logic to their order / selection. 🙂
The photos you will like are probably taken by Ranie, and I say this not with bitterness but gratitude (and probably a tinge of competitive distress)
Iriga and Caramon, tailend of March 2013
Last year was my first time in Ranie’s hometown and I’m glad that henceforth it can become a sort-of ritual for us. Being in his house is wonderfully idyllic and his mom makes me eat three meals a day and with no work or school (I intentionally left everything behind in Manila), I was able to sleep a full 10 hours – a feat for me. This year we took it up a notch and spent a fortnight in Caramoan, a group of islands about an hour and a half away from Naga. And accessible exclusively by boat. Naive me thought that it was purely a virgin island; I was pleasantly surprised to pass by villages, resorts, and even a community college being built along the green, bumpy, serene way. And then suddenly, water. Lots of it. And sand. The finest I’ve ever seen in my puny life. Then you feel the salty wind, the bright hot sun, and our day’s adventure was on (PS –  my favorite picture – that rainbow – is the real deal. Ranie took it using a vivid setting and I only used a Portra filter on these shots using Lightroom).
We spent an afternoon hopping through islands, climbing rocky feasible cliffs (and finding hidden lakes), meeting starfish, taking underwater shots, taking in more of that sand, and eating stick-o and jelly snacks. I slept in a tent for the first time, and it was seriously more comfortable than I expected. It was definitely the most relaxed I have been in months (overseas travel is stressful for me at some point), and I think it was the fact that it was probably the longest I’ve been legitimately outdoors and just sunbathing in like, a year. And at first it was annoying that Globe had no signal for miles around, but then it became OK, and quite a blessing. My favorite way to sum things up is to call it getting my 3Rs: Rest, Reflection (nothing like viewing God’s creations up close to make you fall to your mental knees in prayer and praise), and Roast (am legitimately back to my post-Ilocos 1999 hue). And ok, a 4th R for Ranie, whose existence is what pulled me into this beautiful region in the first place. Thank you, then and also, hello to my new wonderful friends, your old ones. Do I sound too zen? This vacation really worked. Really puts things into perspective re: what I gun for in this life. So there. Great way to open the summer, here’s to hoping it will be this amazing throughout (I’m looking at you, May scriptwriting workshop).

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