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Of kindness and new Facebook friends along the road

I know! I know it's been almost a week since I have not posted a new one.  I have been very busy *as always*. Just a week after I went on a surfing trip to Zambales I have to pack my bag again to the islands of Caramoan in Bicol. This is actually the third free trip from a travel partner for two so I tagged along my sister Mitch.

On the way back to Manila, I  had a glimpse of the Mount Mayon which almost made me decide to head home instead to see my family whom I last visited August of 2013 but my emails are already "knee - deep" so I have to take care of those first. Plus I feel like Manila is my home and where my heart is... for now.

There is a story of kindness and a few awesome girls I met in the beach resort slash hostel at Zambales I want to share to everyone.   Let me start the story of kindness. Travelling alone sounds fantastic. But for a lady like me in a remote area on a late night, sounds absolutely not good!  The bus that took me from Manila is until Olongapo only. It was already 10PM when we arrived. Meaning I need to take another bus ride to Zambales for 1 - 2 hours including the tricycle ride that will bring me to the place where I booked in.  
The woman who was sitting beside me offered me to stay in her house for a night because she said it is too unsafe for me. I had hesitations to accept this offer from a stranger whom I only got to chat with for a few hours inside a bus. But my instinct   says yes go ahead. She seemed nice. On the way to there house she paid for our bus fair and she gave me their best room with an AC turned on. I said it is ok I can sleep without it but she said, "You are tired, you need to have a good sleep." The next morning I found myself dancing Zumba via Youtube with her.  I bid goodbye to her and she said "If you find that hostel boring, just come back you can stay here for a few more days".

The view of Mount Mayon from Caramoan Feeder Port
The hostel I chose to stay for the rest of the weekend barely had no doors and walls. This is actually the kind of place I perfectly wanted because I don't want to spend the rest of my vacation talking to the walls or staying behind doors. I got to meet new friends! It did not took long until my mission is accomplished. The common area where the complimentary breakfast is served for all the guests and where all conversations start was the way. I met Sarah, she is only 21 who will be travelling with her twin sister Sam for a month or so around  in SE Asia. They have booked a flight to Singapore on October as their country of origin then they plan to visit as much as neighboring countries that are visa free to Filipinos. Their budget is P50k each. 

Too bad she had to leave the next day but still thankful I met another girl who traveled to the beach alone like me. Her name is Carlota, she is only 25 also a Filipina but lived in Europe.  She can speak French, Spanish and Italian. She recently went back to the country because of the scarcity of jobs in Italy where she used to live with her family. For the rest of our days, she was my companion and I think I had enough of stories of how life goes on in Europe! We even went back to Manila together. Now I have added 3 more Facebook friends to keep each other updated of our travels and whereabouts!

My trip to Caramoan reminds me of another trip last year in El Nido, Palawan. The major attraction of both of these places are their island - hopping adventure.  The beauty of their beach, fine sand, cliffs and islets are almost close to each other except that Caramoan does not have those majestic rock formations in El Nido like the one in Halong Bay, Vietnam. 

 When it comes to geographical nearness, hopping from island to island in Caramoan does not have to take more than an hour like in El Nido. But if there's one thing that I really appreciated in El Nido, is the hard work and skills of these boatmen slash tour guide. Unlike in Caramoan that we have to bring our packed lunch, they cooked our lunch in the island itself. They bring already cleaned and freshly cut a variety of seafood and fruits to be served at noon. They even know how to do some dish plating so that the food is served visually appealing.

So where's my next trip? I just  booked a flight to Ho Chi Minh from Sept 30 - Oct 4th. I don't know what to do yet there. I am looking forward to join a food tour by a digital nomad who describes herself as a soup expert and see the Ha Long Bay perhaps. I am going there alone but would love to meet up anyone if it becomes a small world for us.

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