Being born and raised in the Philippines, a tropical country which boasts of great beaches and good scenery, it would be a shame if I would not explore my own native country. In fact, my family has always loved to go to other places whenever there’s an opportunity for us to have a vacation. Be it a short drive to our provinces, Batangas and Laguna for a resort or beach trip, or long drives to Baguio or Ilocos with family friends and other relatives.
I was also lucky to have found friends in high school (whom I would regularly refer as “Physio”) who also love to travel. As proof, since we have graduated from high school, we should always have a “Summer Outing” every year. We started by going to nearby beaches and resorts in Cavite, Batangas and Laguna, which are all accessible by land transportation. Then when we graduated from college, we have leveled-up by going to Puerto Galera, Bohol, Boracay, Cam Sur, etc., which are all accessible by ferry or airplane. A big factor to this level-up was the introduction of Cebu Pacific Air and its seat sales. Don’t expect us to travel unless we can get cheap airfares through seat sales. Me and my high school barkada also made a pact after HS graduation that we should travel together as often as possible. Then we came up with our 5-year plan and our 10-year plan. Our 5-year plan was to conquer the Philippines. We should be able to go to as much islands as we can in 5 years. And as for our 10-year plan, we should travel together and conquer Asia and eventually, the rest of the world. Honestly, at first I thought it was not feasible but I was really excited to try if it will work. Well, to my surprise, I have almost lost count of all the places in the Philippines that I have been to, and I have been to a few South East Asian countries since we made that pact. So I guess I considered it as a challenge, and now I’m enjoying all the places I have been to and the experiences that I had while travelling.
I have also found other travel buddies in my college classmates, my workmates, and of course my family. There’s so much to see and experience in our country and the rest of the world. As the popular Philippine tourism campaign slogan says, “Huwag maging dayuhan sa iyong sariling bayan. (Do not be a foreigner in your own country),” we must first see and appreciate the beauty of our own country before exploring the rest of the world. I, for sure, really appreciated the beautiful beaches, mountains, waterfalls, rivers, and other natural works of wonders here in our country. After I’ve seen the beauty of our own country, then it’s time to experience the rest of the world.