The sky was a picture of a hesitation when we boarded the bus from Legaspi to Sorsogon. It looks like it was caught in between raining and sheltering the Earth below from the blistering sun, which was keen on making an appearance that day. The weather was shaping out fine and the absence of rain made it more ideal, but there are still a few patches of dark clouds that are hovering above. The same set that made our earlier attempt to see Mayon Volcano up close a futile one. As the bus revved up its engine and gathers speed on the highway and wind brushing against my face increases its tenacity, I looked out the window and was greeted by a particular view of a majestic countryside.
Even with a set of eyes lacking in sleep, I was well awake for the duration of the trip. I wouldn't wanna miss these scenic hills, green fields, roadside lawns and century-old trees with branches extending to the opposite side, in exchange of the darkness that sleeping brings. We took the ordinary bus from Legaspi to Sorsogon for the another 2.5 hour trip, which was the second leg of our long weekend trip. My friend Tin would fall her head to my shoulder once in a while, as she battles the occurrence of sleep. I would nudge her here and there whenever we would pass by something peculiar and interesting. Which happened a lot of times as we passed by a motocross race by the roadside, with the obstacles located a few meters by the highway and towns folks lined up as spectators. Small lakes and sleepy towns in between with faces of people beaming with friendly smiles greeted us as we rolled at a speed of about 45-50 kph.
There was nothing boring with the trip. It was a perfect quiet moment to think a lot about certain things. The simple settings of the surroundings gives an idea that not everything should be made of grandeur. The towns we passed by en route to Sorsogon presented me with those images. Folks walking the side of the road carrying sacks of the day's harvest and kids playing in front of tiny homes. It looks like a hard life from the perspective of someone who has gotten used to the enormous dictates and norms of the big city, but from their own eyes it is the most ideal and respectable way of living. Sucking it up everyday and contributing to their own community in their own little ways. There is always a sense of "Bayanihan" still alive in these places we passed by.
The vast land and green fields that separates houses and little towns and a seemingly endless paved highway creates an infinite vision of the largeness of the world. You wonder how cities becomes overpopulated while places such as this are thriving with life, space and a green and cleaner environment suitable for sustainable simple living. If there's any consolation to having a hard life in the country, it would be in the fact that they wander in a place far better and superior in terms of aesthetic than the false comforts of a modern day big city provides.
We finally arrived in Sorsogon City, Sorsogon after 2 and a half hours and we are bound for another 2 hour trip to the town of Matnog, Sorsogon which is located in the Southern tip of Luzon and the gateway to Samar Island. A little bit battered from the almost two days of traveling and with our butt nearing numbness, Tin and I still savored the opportunity to travel, see and cover more grounds. Kudos to my new travel buddy Tin who never even for a single minute became grumpy with all the traveling we took in an almost hardcore yet "Amazing Race" like pace.
Our trip started Friday morning in Cubao then reached our first leg in Naga City at around 5pm, took another bus to Legaspi City, Albay. We arrived there at around 7PM, found a cheap inn after going on a tricycle ride on a pitch black street (coz of an area brownout), had dinner at "Small Talk" cafe, went to Embarcadero for a night cap before calling it a day. The next day we visited Daraga Church, then off to the Cagsawa Ruins but lo and behold the Mayon Volcano hid under a blanket of clouds so we hiked up Lignon Hill and enjoyed some fresh air. Went back and had lunch then proceeded to Sorsogon by Saturday afternoon. It was a fun trip filled with hustling and busting our ass to move and the only thing missing was Phil Keoghan telling us "Congratulations, you're the 1st team to arrive".
From Sorsogon we took another Jeepney ride to Matnog for another 63 kilometer trip (equals to a little bit more than 2 hours). We arrived at Matnog, Sorsogon at around 5PM and went to the local tourism office to ask for places to rent for the night. We were pointed to a nearby beach resort that offers a 500 a night nipa hut as accommodation. The trike driver who took us there, Kuya Charlie was friendly enough to recommend his friend's boat for our island hopping the next day, which we planned on taking to visit the Juag fishing sanctuary, Subic beach and Tikling island.
I will write about that separate trip on my upcoming blog entries about Sorsogon since this was all about the scenic countryside of Sorsogon. Our road trip never ended after our boat trip to the nearby islands in Matnog. After lunch time of Sunday, we took another trip this time to Abucay so we can catch another jeepney going to Gubat, Sorsogon from there we took another jeepney ride to Barcelona town, which was where the historic St. Joseph's Church was located.
Traveling together is a perfect way to know a person. I've come to know Tin as easy like we've known each other for years, even though we just met a week earlier, planned this trip after a coffee meeting over casual conversation of past travels. In our long ride together we further talked about our desire to travel more and in the ensuing conversation I've learn to look at her in a fond way, someone who'd be there with me and other kindred souls in future road trips somewhere.
Everything went well during the trip that totally outnumbered the displeasure of what a very long traveling brings. I was able to see through the great experience and suck up the few obstacles of being on the road and was rewarded in the process with a new travel friend who is as willing as myself to savor every second of traveling.
After visiting the Barcelona church and the nearby Spanish era ruins, we waited for yet another Jeepney bound for Sorsogon, Sorsogon so we could have our early dinner and catch the bus going back to Manila. It was a rapid pace like movement of seeing a new place. The scenic countryside of Sorsogon added up to the wonderful experience - something to look back and try to accomplish again in the near future whether in this place again or some cheap holidays gran canaria.