The City That Never Sleeps
My name is John Mark Francia. I am, a Filipino. I find it hard to name things I hate (because i barely hate anything). I'm 18 and I don't mind being shy.I try my best at everything and never fear failure because I believe that there is a reason for everything

posted : Monday, June 18, 2012
title : Journey with my Bestfriends :D


the sea has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.  

 “The weather may not be on our side, and the availability of each of us may not jive but they didn’t stop our planned escapade to Pangasinan.”

I remember, it was noontime of October 16 when I was busy wandering around Cubao, Quezon City finding the terminal of Victory Liner. The time was 1pm when i departed bound to Baguio City. My friend Verna was supposed to go with me, but unfortunately she was so busy for their examination and other school-related matters.

Despite being a loner, I really enjoyed my trip because there are too many sceneries to look out for. It was my 2nd time travelling the other side of Maharlika Highway so I get so excited to see the other side of Luzon. We had a stop-over in Tarlac City and in Sison, Pangasinan before we traversed the climbing zig-zag road of Marcos Highway. It was 7PM when Lhea fetched me in the Victory Liner terminal and we went together at KFC-SM City Baguio to eat dinner.

It was raining in Baguio City on the time of my arrival, and I feel my body is gradually adjusting to the temperature. I am not used to cold places so it was really a new feeling. When we woke up at 6AM, my other friends April and Carl had arrived from Isabela. We were already complete and we were ready for some adventure!

Covelandia Welcome Arc

At 3PM, we ride a van bound to Dagupan before reaching the beach resort. We checked-in around 7PM at Covelandia Beach Resort in Labrador, Pangasinan. Our room which is Family Chalet was fairly good. It has two beds (good for 4), a television, an aircon and comfort room with temperature-regulated shower. They also served us blankets, towels and soap. After eating, we immediately changed into swimming clothes, yes! We are about to go swimming at 8PM while the rain is still pouring down. We roam around the Resort while the fuming sound of the sea served as our background music. It was really scary!

October 18, 2011. Thank God! The sun was already visible in the sky. We woke up with smile in our faces because we already realized, we are again in each other’s company. I really love my High School best friends. We went to the Resort’s restaurant to eat breakfast. The food is so simple, but it was shockingly expensive! We had a beautiful view of the West Philippine Sea as we eat in the restaurant’s veranda. We are being attracted by the calmness of it so we decided to go for a dip.

We reached around 50 meters off the shore, and the feeling was spine-chilling. I know my imagination is wide, so I can imagine some sinkhole beneath the sea that would suck us or a sea snake that might bite us. HAHA.
We had our shower inside their not-so-beautiful comfort rooms before we went swimming in the pool. Glad we have an underwater camera so we can capture ourselves while swimming.The resort has a Jacuzzi, dragon slides, and 2 big pools. You can also rent a KayakJet Ski and Banana Boat to further enjoy the sea experience.

We left the Beach Resort at 11:30AM and I can say that our 2,000 Pesos is worth it.

                                                 HUNDRED ISLANDS

The sun blazes in supremacy as we wait for a bus bound to Alaminos City. I think we waited for almost an hour before a bus came over. We passed by the municipality of Sual before reaching Alaminos City. We ate lunch at Jollibee before having a tricycle ride to Hundred Islands! This is it.

At first, we can’t decide what package to avail, but we decided to just avail the total tour! We had our own boat and a tourist guide who will accompany us all day long. DSLR’s ready, foods are ready, and lifevests’ on, we were ready for some adventure on the Islands. I thought the islands are just near the mainland but it took us half hour before reaching the first island. I can imagine how deep the ocean is at that point, so terrifying. Hehe. Most of us, I suppose, are a little nervous of the sea.  No matter what its smiles may be, we doubt its friendship.

Our first stop-over was the GOVERNOR’s ISLAND. We went up a very long stairs to have a view of the whole place. Soon I realized, the promotional pictures, stamps, and leaflets I’ve seen everywhere were all taken at the top of this island. The Philippines has really a lot to offer, and this is one of the most beautiful sceneries I’ve seen. We went down on the other stairs to reach the Grotto and the Pinoy Big Brother House that was used by Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson during their date in this island.

When we went back at the boat, our tour guide told us to change into swimming clothes because we are about to get wet na. The next island is MARCOS’ ISLAND where we experienced the white sand beaches. It’s hard for me to put into words why I like the beach so much. Everything about it is renewing for me, almost like therapy. We went to a part of the island where there is a big hole leading to the sea. There we experienced to jump off a high cliff which is really frightening, but I shall say it was exciting! I tasted the salty water of the sea as I reached almost the seabed. Panic attacked but I realized I have my lifevest on me. HAHA. After jumping, we swam going to the shore and it’s not a joke! Our feet kept on hitting large rocks resulting to some abrasions.

Right after, we went to a portion of the sea where the deepness is about 20 meters. That time, I was still ambivalent if I am going to jump and swim that deep. But as I see different kinds of fishes swimming, I finally jumped off the boat and enjoyed a new experience. We had our snorkeling and seeing the life beyond the sea worth our thousand pesos. The snorkel offered us a clearer and zoomed view of the sea, and seeing those fishes, rocks and other creatures was amazing. Our tour guide borrowed our underwater camera and he captured photos of corals. He is really a good diver.

We ignored the heat, and we just enjoyed every moment. Being in the center of the sea made us realize that we are just small pieces in this huge Earth. And if we are conscious of what our skin color might turn to after this, then we are not enjoying life.

We went to QUEZON ISLAND right after our snorkeling experience. There was a signage there informing us that it was the location site of a movie, DYESEBEL way back May 1953. There we collected some corals that we were to bring home and a view of the giant clams.  Our last stop was the CUENCO CAVE where we had a view of the beautiful sunset. It was already dark when we went home and the lightnings petrified me. We are in the middle of an ocean, with the most terrifying waves and I can’t see anything but lightnings and dark clouds. For me, that was a 30-minute view of hell.

We reached the mainland at around 6:30 PM, and we took bath in a Public Restroom. We reached Baguio City at around midnight. We already felt so tired at that moment so there was no choice but to grab some jacket and blankets and have some rest.

October 19, 2012. It was already late when we woke up, and soon after we had our breakfast. April, Carl and Lhea had some things to do in school. I left Baguio City at around 1PM and arrived home at 9PM.

Those kind of moments will always be remembered. Even in the years to come, I will still consider our Hundred Islands Escapade as one of the best adventure I ever had, or will ever have. The beach is a place of healing and joy. The salt cleanses us and the sun embraces us in its warmth. The ocean heals the heart, mind, and soul.  After our adventure, I realized, truly the sea has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.


April, Lhea and I
COVELANDIA Dragon Slides


Trying the Underwater Camera!!


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