Sunday, February 12, 2012

Reminiscing my Extraordinary Romantic Getaways

Not everybody likes traveling but I bet everybody loves romance. It surely tickles even the innermost human nerves and then suddenly, it feels like you're floating in mid-air. :)

I've been in love for the past several years of my life. Friends always ask me what's the secret to keeping a long time relationship. To be honest, I don't really know, I'm not an expert in this department. I don't even think I'm pouring so much effort in this relationship but maybe it helps when there's a shared passion. I love traveling and he loves adventure, not much of a similarity but both come hand in hand. :) Not that I'm saying it's the magic but true enough, traveling and discovering new things together rekindle the flair every now and then. With that, let me share you two of the trips I consider most romantic  in our past years together (well, not really romantic since I spell romance with a-d-v-e-n-t-u-r-e). To set your expectation, you might not find it romantic at all, but never boring for sure.

Witnessing Sunrise at the top of Mt. Pulag

It was March 2005 when we reached the peak of Mt. Pulag, the highest peak in Luzon and the third in the Philippines. We joined common friends in their second attempt of witnessing themagnificent sunrise of this mountain.  Choosing to traverse the steep and mostly ascending Akiki Trail in our ascent, it wasn't a walk in the park, it was a truly tiring 2 days of walking and climbing experience. What made it awesome though is the changing views around. The mountain offered stunning views of lush pine forests gracefully standing along the cliffs, the mossy forest that doesn't allow sunlight to shine through the woods, the rolling grassy slopes and the dwarf bamboo trees. It was also super fun trekking with friends, who have contagious light spirits. To tell you the truth, I stayed most of the time inside the tent once we reached the campsite near the peak on the second night. It was so chilly that my thin body had a hard time coping with the frigid climate, nevertheless, it was a very enriching experience with Nikko and our friends. We woke up at 5am the following morning to climb from our campsite to the peak. There, we patiently waited for the sun to shine.  Nikko and I settled beside each other, then... the moment we've been waiting for was unfolding. It was the sun greeting us gloriously. I felt like I'm in heaven seeing the sun starting to illuminate  the sea of clouds resting all around us with it's gold rays. It was a magical moment.  It felt like the time stopped ticking and we we're just there for the soul purpose of realizing how wonderful God's creation is, and we're beside each other to witness it.

We quietly  stood next to each other, holding hands. He then kissed me on my forehead before saying he loves me. That even made it more beautiful for me. Witnessing the sunrise of Mt. Pulag with him is one thing that will always be special to me. We then have picture taking with our friends. :) Needless to say, Mt. Pulag's sunrise is what I consider the most romantic experience. :)

Treading the Unfamiliar Highway of Puerto Galera in the Dark

It was February of 2011 when we had our Puerto Galera trip. We stayed in the more quiet and intimate Tamaraw Beach Resort in  Aninuan Beach. Late afternoon on our first day in the resort, we decided to have a leisurely walk on the shore passing by a gorgeous view of a brook surrounded by lush greens with a background of the nearby mountains then the wide expanse of sandy shore in front of the Ayala-Zobel's property.

We crossed a boulder and before we knew it, we we're already walking the shores of Talipanan Beach, located at the far end of the beach stretch. There, we found Luca's, an Italian Restaurant built out of bamboo and nipa with the stunning view of the bluish sea and rocky cliffs. We had a filling dinner of pizza and pasta. We may have lost consciousness of the time and it turned dark without us noticing it. That's when we realized we didn't have flashlights with us to illuminate our path back to the resort.

We decided it wasn't safe to retrace our footsteps in the shore back to the resort. Earlier that afternoon, we crossed a narrow stream where the sea water flows directly into the brook. It wasn't too deep with the water just high above my knees but tides may change and there's always a possibility it might get deeper. It's unwise to go on specially with the darkness that set in. Our best option is the highway, hoping there are tricycles or any mode of transportation passing by the area. We asked direction from Luca's on how we'd reach the highway and they pointed us to a narrow path that turned ascending in a few minutes. With my camera almost emptly, I couldn't turn the LED lights on, instead we relied in the faint lights of our cellphones. Not very reliable but that's the best we've got. The highway is elevated, carved from the foot of the mountain, so in our right is the mountain and on the left is the cliff. Since it was dark, I didn't have a chance to see what I'm guessing is supposed to be a magnificent view. What I saw is a white figure of something slowly crossing the road, right in front of us, from the mountain side to the cliffs, then suddenly disappearing. I'm not joking, I had shivers at that moment but I didn't tell it to Nikko right away, he seemed not to see it. We continued walking and realized the highway is devoid of any lamp posts. It's totally pitch black, the moon might be resting that night. That was the first and only time in our relationship that I heard a bit of panick in Nikko's voice. Although he was trying to sound natural, he somewhat sounded really concerned. It was so creepy that the only thing we could see is  a small portion of the asphalted road where we were stepping. We continued. What made me at ease is his hand tightly holding mine. Although anxious, I'm pretty sure that we would arrive in Tamaraw Resort safely. After 20 minutes of walking in the dark, we started to see light posts, few but is a comfort to see.  We started to laugh at each other, sounds crazy I know but maybe we we're just so happy to finally surpass the dark.

After 5 minutes of lamp posts and houses though, the road started to be dark again but we were no longer afraid. We started sharing stories while walking and politely said no to a tricycle who stopped and offered us a ride. Then we reached a residential area of the highway again. In just a few minutes, we saw Tamaraw Beach Resort's convention Center and we were so thankful to finally make it, after 35 minutes of walking. We bought a beer and coke in Tamaraw's restaurant, sat in the chairs near the shore, played Bob Marley from Nikko's phone and ate the left ver pizza from Lucas. (Nakakagutom ang matakot, lol!) We started to relax and cuddle, can't get enough of sharing how each felt earlier. Our experience is more frightening than romantic but that experience led me closer to him and he to me. :)

There's a lot more to tell but these two are my definite favorites. I know romance would involve flowers, fancy dinners and surprises but on my experiences, these far exceeds my romance thermometer. It kept both our adrenaline pumping, our heart racing and it just drew us nearer each other, the natural way. :) Afterall, when you find someone who's happiness is as simple as yours and who finds it joyful holding your hands in silence while the sun is rising, or in this matter walking a deserted and dark highway (lol!) what's there to look for?

 Happy Valentines Day everyone! What's your story to share?


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