Single Journey: Dingalan, Aurora

There is an untold answer in the international network on how to pick yourself up when you are feeling down. Climbing up a mountain is one of the true mood setters.

After all the group chat plans, nakulayan din ang maraming drawings at nagkaroon ng kwento.

We gathered in front of the Renaissance Building and take off to the east on a Friday night. It was a very cold night trip with lots of new Tagalog to English translations with our new foreigner friend David and lodi officemates.

We got caught in a downpour as we arrived in a nearby carinderia. We ate goto with egg to keep our tummies warm before the climb.

We arrived at Dingalan Feeder Port and it was pouring harder. Typhoon Salome did not stopped us to conquer through the rough waves. The boatman advised us to wear the life vest for safety until we reached the White Beach.

I managed to discharge off my mind the work load awaiting for me after this long weekend. I imagined myself in awe at the impressive sight of Batanes of the East, enjoying the island hopping and hoping.

Unfortunately, the trail was sloppy after the rain. It was hard to balance my weight as I balance to cross over the next level of mud. But I just go with the flow. It was a mud season, anyway.

One thing I learned from this hike was to avoid the shiny mud, for its water content made it deepest and stickiest. It was my very first time natuto akong umiwas sa mga bagay o pangyayaring maaaring mang-iwan ng marka na mahirap burahin o mawala.

It took us around 45 minutes to reach the famous Dingalan Lighthouse.

We all have that friend. 🙅

A post shared by Mary Elaine Senica Barlolong (@eyeynb) on

We all have that one friend who poses the best for the photos.

We got soaking wet when we decided to make our way back by taking the same trail but stopped half-way to the Mountain View and experienced the most mentioned in Instagram “Dingalan Syndrome” and refreshed our rain bath with the sight of Batanes of the East. I felt the connection between my body and nature. Rain taught me acceptance, it represents those things that are irressitable or beyond our control. We just needed to keep going despite the rain.

Surviving Salome.

A post shared by Mary Elaine Senica Barlolong (@eyeynb) on

It’s with great positivity, patience and perseverance to witness this petmalu view. My expectations finally met its realities.

As I gazed towards the calmness of the water, a soothing feeling was inside of me. It also inspired me that life needs not to be in hurry but to do things with a quite mind. We just have to take it slow.

A great climb is not complete without a group picture, because it’s always better together.

After releasing all the stress and finally pressing the F5 key in our minds, bodies and souls at once, we descended back to the White Beach cottage for our lunch.

Our organizers prepared a superb deep-fat fried matambaka, grilled bangus and liempo and all-time favorite pork sinigang. The best part of our boodle fight kind of lunch was when David learned our very own unique way of eating- nakakamay.

After our much needed afternoon nap, we started touring the rock formations.

I asked David what’s his favorite thing about Philippines. “It’s the people and the sea.”

I dipped my toes in the cold waters and immediately dropped myself into the deep sea. I swam to reach this beautiful disaster. I remembered my Science teacher way back intermediate years about the first life on Earth- the rocks as the results of erosion. Sometimes, we need to be broken for us to be whole again.

It took us another 30 minutes of trekking with the stones and stones and lots of stones before we reached our final destination- Tanawan Falls. We took candid shots while enjoying the cold stream.

So, instead of scrolling up and down your screen, why not pack your trekking shoes and get dirty in the mud party, relish the scattered showers while climbing up, swim as if it is your first time and to put a check to one of your bucket lists?

At the end of the day, it is neither your work performance nor the high remarks for studying hard that makes your inner self full. It will always be the freedom you give to yourself that matters.

So, if you are feeling down, climb as high until you can’t. You have to be positive even others are not. You need to persevere because no one can do that for yourself but you. Enduringly, be as patient as the nature.

This is my single journey with my officemates turned friends and David.

Response article enables VoicePoints readers to respond to the article published by the author by completing the form below. Under ‘Message’ box, please ensure to include the title of the main article you are responding.

About the Author

Mary Elaine Barlolong
Mary Elaine BarlolongBusiness Development Unit Head
Elaine is currently an Internal Auditor of a real estate company. She has been in the audit profession since October 2014. She is an active member of the Institute of Internal Auditors- Philippines and her advocacy is to encourage change, to raise awareness and to educate people to appreciate and understand internal audit better. She is also the Board Secretary of an employees' cooperative, which gave her the opportunity to enjoy again her craft, which is writing. Elaine was assigned to do hosting during special events in their company. She joins running events during weekends and aspires to cross the 42 KM finish line soonest.