Photos courtesy of Paul Tamisin Garcia. They were taken using his LCD-less, viewfinder-less GoPro camera. It's like the lomography concept "Don't think, just shoot." It's serendipity at work - you don't compose and you only get to see the photos once you upload them. We should all totally buy GoPro cameras! (I won't be paid for saying that. I wish I were, but I won't, but I'd still recommend them cameras nonetheless.)
I'm typically excited about upcoming trips. Who isn't, right? (Come to think of it, right now, I can name one person who's not psyched about trips) Weeks or months before, I'd have a montage in my head of what the trip will be like - the things I'll do, the people I'll meet, the places I'll see. 'Thing about me though, is my excitement can be a bit over the top, bordering on obsessive-compulsive. I spend hours doing research to make sure the trip goes as planned.
'Thing about these trips is, they never go as expected. There are trips that are more fun in my imagination than in reality. Then, there are those trips that don't go the way they're supposed to, but pan out better. Case in point, my trip to Baler in Aurora.
I found out that organizing a trip with a group of people from different circles can be a bit nerve-wracking. I wanted everyone to have a say on which bus we'd take, the place we'd stay in, and the things we'do. However, I later realized that it was hard to get everyone to vote on every single detail of the trip (as it was, NOT everyone could say they were going 100%), and I eventually gave up on being democratic and just made the decisions myself. I also quit on insisting that everyone confirm weeks before the trip. At that point, I figured, if they show up, they show up.
I didn't set my expectations too high up for this trip because things had not been going my way from the start:
1. I was keen to take the Genesis JoyBus (executive bus) from Manila to Baler, but that was fully booked on our travel date.
2. All the inns I had eyed were fully booked.
3. We ended up taking the regular AC bus from Cubao to Baler. And even that proved unlucky. The AC system was busted -- it kept shutting down fifteen minutes after the bus driver tried to fix it. This cost us three unnecessary stopovers until the AC was fixed for good.
4. When we reached Baler, we immediately went back to the bus station to buy JoyBus tickets for Manila (we were supposed to leave afternoon the next day) but both trips were fully booked. So we ended up buying tickets for the first trip out Monday morning.
1. It's not the amount of planning or the number of tourist spots you cross off the list that makes the trip perfect, it's the people you're with and the random, amusing circumstances you get into. The place is just there to provide context to make the crazy things you'd do and the banter possible.
2. I suck at card games.