For moreness

For moreness. My best friend coined this on the trip we took on the weekend before I turned 28, the one where I asked them to join me because as much as I enjoyed traveling on my own, I realized that I didn’t really want to spend the last few days of a wonderfully crazy year not surrounded by the people who have seen me through not just in last year but also the year before that. And the year before that. And the year…well, you get my drift.

So off we went to Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte with Travel Factor. For moreness.

From a sleepy bus ride to a choppy 2-hour boat ride that left none of us dry (and taught us an important lesson on waterproofing our things — don’t worry, my phone is still alive and safe from saltwater), the island welcomed us with this:

Long bus ride? Scary, choppy waves? Here, have a beach.

And honestly, it was pretty much uphill from there. Not that we really started from the bottom when the trip started, but that trip was pretty much what I wanted and needed before I officially turned 28. Maybe it was because I didn’t have too many expectations in this trip that made me enjoy it so much, on top of the view and the water and the company and the food, of course.

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After lying down in the sun and trying to find the perfect wave and attempting to take a hike, we were given this:

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And all I could think of was: God, You are so amazing.

That night, I got to lay on the sand under the full moon with my friends. Later, I left them only to get a drink, and then I was pulled into a conversation with the other people who joined the trip. It was nice, and I was totally comfortable sitting with them, sharing stories and drinks and food as we talked about the places we’ve visited and the things to do there. People can be really wonderful, if you give them a chance. :)

It was the first time I slept in a tent after a long time, and I slept last among my friends. The moon shone through the small window in our shared tent, and I listened to the waves crash over and over again at the shore as I murmured my prayers, my fingers moving swiftly through my rosary. It wasn’t a hundred percent comfortable in that tent…but then who cared? At that exact moment, I was completely content and happy. :)

And then the next morning, we woke up to this:

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After breakfast, and a much-needed proper bathroom time (super grateful to other travelers who pointed us that we can actually rent the showers and proper toilets in the nearby resort), we had to make use of the last few moments in that happy beach. And this is what we did (for moreness, of course):

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I really love our shirts. :)

And the customary group picture:

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Then back we went, to the main island. We were determined to sit at the back part of the boat so we won’t get wet. Crazy waves, but yes, we were dry (except for my best friend).

Lunch, and the option to surf which I declined because I was just too tired and all I wanted was a proper shower. So we decided to just shower and go around the city for the remaining time.

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We got back to the bus just in time to ride the bus, but there was one last gift for us before we headed back to Manila. The moon and the waves on Bagasbas Beach wanted to say goodbye. :)

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I fell asleep shortly after the bus left Bagasbas, and then woke up later to check the time. It was a minute past midnight. My friend woke up beside me and whispered happy birthday. I said thanks, and settled back on my seat, looked out the window at the dark road and fields and establishments, illuminated by the bright, full moon.

It was the first time I spent the first few minutes of my birthday in a bus.

Of course I knew that would happen, and that was one of the reasons why I chose to go on the trip. But I think I’ll just use what my best friend said and use that as my reason.

For moreness. :)

Thank you, Travel Factor, for that fun Ultimate Beach Bumming Experience (UBBE) in Calaguas! And thank you, Achieve friends, for being with me (and for letting me use your photos in this post). ♥

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