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Byahe Na! with the SOCCSKSARGEN Bloggers
Part 6 of a series.
After the grueling habal-habal experience just to get to Isla Jardin del Mar Resort, Eric and I had no choice but to still take the habal-habal or else we’ll be stranded. But then, this time, we decided to have Manong Driver to just drop us off at the Glan town proper some 10 kilometers away from the resort as vans to General Santos City are already available there!
Upon arrival at the terminal, I was finally able to breath a sign of REAL relief. LOL! The fare to General Santos City is P80 per person, not bad! Throughout the entire duration of the trip back to Gensan, I was asleep! Zzzzzz…. The van dropped us off at KCC Mall and from there, we took a tricycle back to Hotel Dolores.
At the hotel, we grabbed the opportunity to rest for a few minutes and quickly freshened up since we were to talk that night but before that, we ate pizza at Greenwich KCC Mall since our tummies were already grumbling!
This would be my FIRST SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT EVER and as the event drew nearer and nearer, I became nervous. As we arrived at the venue, Little Dubai Kebab Grills, I was very shocked of the overwhelming attendance! That made me even more nervous as I only expected the affair to be an informal round table discussion but then to my surprise, the whole venue was made exclusive for the affair and there were video cameras for a local cable magazine/lifestyle show, Hangin’ Around SOCCSKSARGEN. Woah! Anyway, even before the event, Eric and I agreed that he’d do most of the talking while I’ll focus on what I’ve been doing for the past years which is travelling with the family. For that, he talked first.
Eric opened with the statement, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” and his point was that when you’re in a new place, you should at least try to be like the locals and experience their culture. For example: you should try Cebu’s hanging rice, or eat Pancit Lucban like the locals. He then proceeded to share how he plans his trips. He bases his travel plans on two things: he’d either follow the schedules of a place’s festival/big event or he’d wait for airline promo fares and go to places where cheap fares are being offered. To be able to do that, Eric regularly checks the websites of the different airlines (Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Air Phil Express, SEAIR, Zest Air) for the latest updates and he’s also subscribed to their promo alerts via email. Next, he discussed about what to bring, what to wear and travelling light. During his travels, Eric usually just wears board shorts. He explains that he does that to make his baggage light but when he needs to attend an event where he needs to wear long pants, he usually wears it during his flights so as not to add to his baggage load. If you’re travelling just within the country, Eric suggests you wear comfortable clothes suitable to our tropical climate. For your toiletries, it’s better to just buy them upon arrival at your destination. As to how many articles of clothing you’ll be bringing, that would depend on your itinerary. You can read my blogpost about my travel preparations as they’re quite similar to Eric’s. Eric then proceeded to share about how he prepares his travel itineraries. He says he does a research about his target destination and checks the weather online. He suggests that you make alternative plans in case of uncooperative weather conditions. In creating his itineraries, Eric researches about the place way ahead of the travel schedule. He checks out forums like VirtualTourist.com, CouchSurfing.org and other forums like PinoyExchange and SkyscraperCity as there are actually a lot of travellers who share their travel experiences and itineraries there. If you have a friend or if you know someone in your target destination, you can ask him/her to help you out in making your itinerary. For accommodations, you should book them ahead of time especially if you’re travelling during the peak season. You should also research about where to eat in your destination. It is a must to try local food/food that is unique to the place when in a new destination. Meanwhile, when airfare is too expensive, Eric suggests some alternatives. For example, if flights to the Kalilangan Festival in General Santos are too expensive or fully booked, he’d try to take a flight to Davao and from there, he’d take a bus to General Santos. When travelling, you should always bring a valid identification card and inform your loved ones where you’re going. And finally, and the most essential: ENJOY!
Even if I’ve been travelling for the past eight years, I still learned a lot from Eric’s sharing. On the other hand, for my part, I just shared my travel experiences with the family, my first out-of-town travel experience alone and my very fresh misfortune which happened just before we delivered the talk, and it was there that I realized that while I’m learning a lot from Eric, I’m completely the total opposite of him. I’ve been used to travelling with all the comforts you could imagine and now, I’m starting a new chapter of my life as I try to conquer my fears and get out of my comfort zones. For that, I’m trying to follow Eric’s footsteps as I feel that I’ll be travelling for the rest of my life. Travel is addictive. Travel is not just about exploring new destinations, I actually think that TRAVEL is LIFE as every travel experience shapes the way I am. CHEESY )
I was so glad as the talk was a TOTAL SUCCESS and I’d like to thank Kuya Orman and Kuya Avel for organizing the event and the SOCCSKSARGEN Bloggers for sparing some of their precious time to meet with us and listen to our humble talk. Your hospitality made me ease up from my being nervous and made our talk an enjoyable one! ‘Til we meet again!
After the talk, Ms. Dimples made us try Little Dubai’s KEBABs! Gawsh, they’re HEAVENLY, a must-try when in General Santos. And mind you, my description of heaven is not an exaggeration as we were too busy eating that we forgot to take photos of the food!
(…to be continued)