Some destinations are wonderful stopovers. In your meandering, it can be where you get stuck and find inspiration.
Even if I have scoped parts of mainland Luzon for the past four years more than most of my relatives had, there are still a lot of cities and towns that I haven't had the pleasure of enjoying a full day in. Most of them were simply a break in the journey.
Maktang, one of the settlements of the Dumagat Tribe that's roughly forty minutes of boat ride from the border of Aurora.
|Patient locals on their way for morning errands after Typhoon Lawin|
|After Typhoon Lawin, kids had a hoot to play outdoors again.|
|My first river-crossing in Dingalan|
|A cliff-side dirt road in Barangay Butas Na Bato|
Dingalan happens to sit where a portion of the vast Sierra Madre is, making its beaches dramatic at best. Stunning cliffs and rock formations buffer its shoreline and the weather can sometimes be far from balmy. Most of the time, it's unpredictable.
My trip happened to be just after when Typhoon Lawin hit the Philippines, so I was not surprised to see the windswept trees and the sorry state of the town's bridges. Some of the shallow rivers we tried to wade through to get across from one village to another looked like they were widened by strong currents of flash floods days prior. It turned out that a lot of old makeshift bridges were destroyed.
What was surprising was the presence of patient locals who were trying their best to cross the rivers like it was an ordinary day and nothing was unremarkable about it. It appeared that they're used to it -- the destruction and the many ways they have to cope. They were just glad that the typhoon was over and they could resume with their daily errands. As concrete as that observation is the lack of decent bridges where there should be.
|Stunning Sierra Madre|
|An elderly woman being helped by male locals cross the river|
In another river-crossing, I chanced upon a group of male locals engaged in an afternoon snack in the middle of all the action. These guys who were supposed to be the ones to help the ladies and the elderly cross had to take a break in the thick of everything. Imagine that!
|A view of the beach in Barangay Butas Na Bato|
Check out my visit of Baler, Aurora here.