Boat Ride

It was a cloudy day, not much different with several others. Although, the sun is there, it is hidden by patches of gray clouds on the vast blue sky. Giant ocean waves are crashing violently against the beach leaving in its wake a thunderous spray. But in spite our heavy bags filled with camping gears, cooking set, noodles and canned foods, to our simple phones-turned-music player and digicams, we are all set to bravely conquer reaching the cove amidst the sea’s state.

Sitting in front of the boat rolling against the waves is like a bumpy roller coaster ride. With a wide view of the ocean, I feel as if I’m the only one chartering an unknown destination. With the cold sea breeze enveloping me, I close my eyes, grip the sides of the boat and wish that the destination is worth all the troubles anyway.

By the time the boat reaches the calm portion of the ocean, I thought a smooth ride would finally start. But then the engine stops. The boatmen started speaking an incomprehensible dialect and attempted to restart the engine several times. I felt so scared but your reminder to relax gave me an assurance that the situation is under control.

After few adjustments of the engine, it finally restarted. My fear dissipated and I went back to closing my eyes and tightly gripping the side of the boat. A few minutes later, I glanced at you. I saw you sitting comfortably. Your eyes were widely open and your hands were loosely positioned at the sides.

I tried to do what you do; I opened my eyes and loose my grip. Then I saw the beautiful clear line that divides the muddy brown and oceanic bluish color. I started seeing other boats of different sizes manned by brave fishermen. I saw the fisherman who caught a big fish, the numerous waterfalls that grace the sides of the mountain we are passing by and the crashing of waves against the breakwater.

From time to time, I close my eyes to prevent the salt water to get to my eyes. Sometimes, I put back my tight grip when the waves are crashing so hard on our boat. Sometimes, I glanced at you and soundlessly whisper my thoughts. And most of the time, I just dream that a beautiful destination awaits you and me after the ride.

After an hour of rolling with the waves, we were finally closing in on the cove. The boatmen gave us instruction to hold on. The boatmen waited for the best time to ride a certain giant wave and as daring as it sound, we rode the wave in order to get near the island. After few moments, I saw two men along the shore with their dogs that seem to be eagerly waiting for our arrival.

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Mt. Pulag Conquered!!!

This is a quick post. I didn’t took so may pictures because 1. my bag is so heavy, 2. it’s very cold, 3. my buddies have cool cameras, so I’ll just grab my pics from them. 🙂

But this is my certificate of conquest. It gives me a cool and bragging pleasure that I was able to reached and hiked the highest peak of Luzon with no porter, no enough sleep, and no exercise.

Kowon!!!

Saigon, Vietnam: 062110

June 27, 2010
2:11 pm

Hello folks,

Ten hours ago, I just arrived in the Philippines from Vietnam, my first ever out of the country trip! I may skip details so I would be writing now while the memories are still fresh! With my entire passport and DOST dilemma, I should be excited, right? Plus, all my arrangements process at work!

blurry me jumping at the airport. excited by the fact that i would be in a place with a different timezone.

On our first day, we went walking around the city under the heat of the sun– Notre Dame Cathedral (catholic church), Municipal Post Office (old style post office), Independence Palace (palace of the king before the war), and War Remnants Museum.

Notre Dame Cathedral (Catholic Church)

Notre Dame Cathedral is a Catholic church located at the downtown of HCMC. It looks like a French-twin bell. 🙂

Municipal Post Office

I am so tired when we arrived at The Municipal Post Office of HCMC because I’ve been walking since that morning. Municipal office has lots of telephone booth, has a large map, souvenir stalls, and etc.

Office of the President, Independence Palace

The Independece Palace is like a Malacanang Palace of Vietnam. We don’t have a tour guide so we just randomly visit rooms and we read its description to know its purpose. I particularly like the room of the office of the president because it gives me that distinct feeling that I am in the place of the highest official of the country.

War Remnants Museum

This place gives you heartbreak and hatred. Torture. Prison cells. Bombs. War. This is all about wars and its damage to Vietnamese people. Did you hear about the agent orange? Agent orange is the codename used by the US Military as part of their herbicidal warfare program. During the war, they spread this to places affecting large number of people (including the innocent people). The infected people had deformed faces and body parts. Sad to say, its effect is up to the 3rd or 4th generation.

At the end of the day, I guess the things I learned about the history and culture of Vietnam is worth the pain in my feet from a long-day tiring walk.