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From Mountains to Mountains and Back Home - a Travel Story to be Told

 We walk. We climb. We run. We drive. We paddle. We fly. We travel.

In some occasion, we stretch out our feet and arms to the limits just to reach places that we'd love to be in. Our adventure-seeker mindset brings us to places, and we feel the excitement going there. There is something in that journey that makes us fulfilled, be it travelling in foreign lands or just in the nearby towns and cities where we live.

What about that experience? Could there be something deeper behind it?

Well, let me tour you to the places I've been into over the past couple of months and let me share something about the experience of being there.


Pagbilao, Quezon Province

It's a hell of a ride! Driving through the mountains of Pagbilao town in the province of Quezon is truly a scary but exciting one. We start the journey from my home town in Taysan, Batangas. Then we cross the boundary of Quezon and Batangas right in the towns of Sariaya and San Juan.

In about an hour, we are at Lucena City, Quezon. If you've been into some of the great places in Bicol region, then Lucena City is where the adventure begins. The chain of forests and mountains will surely amaze you while traversing the Pan-Philippine highway.

 Another hour from Lucena City and we reached the town of Pagbilao. What holds our breath is the way up to the mountain barrio of Hinguiwin.

What's in this place? Have a look.

The road up is rocky, shaky and there are cliffs to test your adrenaline-response level. Lots of coconut trees here and there. Zigzag roads, uphill, downhill - yes, it's a hell of a circus ride. But when we reached the top, it feels like heaven.


The agenda of the trip to Pagbilao is to visit the auntie of my father, whom is my lola. I'm grateful for one time in my life I've been to her homeplace, in the mountains that is full of freedom and hope. The short visit if full memories most especially to my father, mainly because he grew up there some time back. It's a recollection of the past for him. Lots of good stories were exchanged.

And to complete the tour, we brought home some delicacies of Pagbilao. Tasty and nice.



What a day at Pagbilao, Quezon!

How about you, what is your agenda behind your travels? This one may inspire you.

The thrill of mountaineering ignites in me right after that tour of Pagbilao. After a few months, we then decided to visit another relative of ours in the mountainous places in Rosario, Batangas.


Calantas, Rosario, Batangas

Well, welcome to Calantas!

I was about eleven or twelve years old when I first came to this place. Back then, I can't even remember how I've got here, in our Kakang Julian's house. The road to Calantas back in the old days is truly a path-to-curse. The shock absorbers are no match to the rocky road, muddy in rainy months, and landslide-prone during typhoon season. Today, it's a bit different.

Goodness! Since our car cannot pass thru the narrow road, our walk is a long and winding one. But we reached the house of my uncle just in time. And from there, it was all good memories.

We tour the eleven-hectare land of our clan. And at the summit point of Calantas is where I realize how beautiful nature is from above. I've seen the wonder that my uncles and aunties have seen and experienced themselves when they were just young. This is their birth place, their grass roots. The story of this land is something worth telling. This is where success and failure exchanges their desire for our ancestors.



After our short stay in my uncle's house, we drive more to the nearby sitios of Calantas. We visited our relatives and it was memorable. I've seen a lot of rare plants like the ones you will see here. I was able to connect my passion for plants and nature to this productive trip to the mountains.

The experience was short but complete - for I met the objective of understanding and seeing for myself the story of our land, the lives of my ancestors, the old house of our grand parents, all from my Kakang Julian's word-of-mouth.




Back Home in Taysan

And there is no place like home. I mean, it's so true. From the place where I've been into, then that hope of always getting back home safe, that's the deeper reason why we travel.

Because in our travels is where we gather good memories that we can bring back home. More especially nowadays that we have the smartphone to instantly capture those perfect moments, what a great experience therefore to collect images that captures our imagination and then later share them with families and friends. The beauty of Pagbilao and Calantas is of no excuse, surely.


Isn't that meaningful?

Like what I'm looking after, always find the deeper meaning behind your travels, your tours, your getaways. This is not far from understanding the traditions in the city or town we visit. Or that crave for food that boost our appetites of getting there, that could be the sweetest reason.

When we speak with the locals, ask them questions and we get answers to, that's something that makes our travel fruitful. Even the little stories about the place, that travel is the validation. If we aim to discover the connections, the purpose, that makes sense.

What about your travel experience? What is your purpose?


About this Blog

Project Pilipinas is about the Philippines and the Filipinos. This is about our beautiful country, our lovely people. This blog aims to introduce to you what this place has to offer. Explore more our blog posts and you will certainly learn, discover and be amazed with our story. For questions, comments or suggestions about this blog, you may reach out to the author at norielpanganiban@gmail.com.


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