After Mt. Natib, feverish and weighed down by muscle spasms, I was so drained out.
Thankfully, the Monday after that climb, we looked forward to a 5 day vacation. A vacation where one can relish the beach without thinking of cell phones, Facebook pages or other techy stuff as there was no signal, no internet and no PC in sight.
We were off to our province of Dingalan, Aurora.
Getting to Dingalan via the usual route will take you to the sides of the Caraballo group of mountains.
Although I had passed this way a hundred times, the splash of dazzling array of brown coloured mountains touching the clouds and giving way to rivers with endless streams never failed to awe me.
After the enticing views of the Caraballos, you will be taken directly to the very heart of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges.
The road literally goes up the mountains zigzagging its way through until you reach a point where the mountain stops and the beach begins.
Looking at the waves, judging if it was low tide or high tide was sort of relaxing.
Finally it was the start of a long vacation that my body had been requesting for such a long time.
Since last year’s holy week, I climbed mountain summits 20 times and I think my battered body needs a well-deserved rest.
We stopped by the ‘aplaya’ to buy fish, squids and prawns. My mom never forgets to buy my favorite prawns and shrimp but this time, I was more than lucky.
Big, sumptuous, 1 foot long crayfishes lay on the table waiting for me to pick them one by one. My mom called this ‘ulang’, but for me I prefer Bear Grylls’ way of calling it and as a true fan of his, I say, “I love… CRAYFISH”.
The moment we arrived at the beach, I went straight to the hammock by the beach side. At last, I heard the relaxing sound of the Pacific Ocean waves gently caressing the sands. It was so romantic that I think I fell asleep as I looked on.
Pondering on our vacation, I told my mom stories of my travels. I told her of the clearest beaches I’ve been to, the best places I visited, the most beautiful mountains I scaled. But as always, she reminded me that the best place I’ve been was our own beach home at Dingalan.
In jest she told me, “Because it’s free! No charge whatsoever”, but as I listened to the joke, I felt her words and realized that after being on hundreds of different places here in our country, this is the place I can truly stay relaxed, stay rested and just chill.
And for that I can say that our beach home is the only place I can think of after a strenuous 12 months of climbing, hiking, trekking, swimming, etc… etc... etc…