Postcards from Baler- Getting Lost and Finding Myself Back

It was an impromptu decision on my part to join my officemates to a trip to Baler, Aurora. In fact, it was a quick one that I hardly had time to change my mind. I am not an impulsive person, especially on cases like this. I was trained to assess first prior to making any decisions. However, there is something about the idea of going off somewhere that was un-planned that made me say yes that instant. Maybe I just needed a break.

We left Manila slightly after midnight. I was slightly uncomfortable on my seat knowing that I’ll be travelling to unknown place, albeit I know the people I was travelling with. Luckily, I got few hours of sleep but that bumpy ride on the dead of the night left so much misgivings that I had to wake up several times. Before dawn, we arrived at our destination and the view of the rising sun greeted our still sleepy selves together with the century-old banyan tree.

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Our itinerary was full that day and it did not gave us time to rest. We took the city tour that morning and we visited several interesting places within the town proper. Baler prides itself on its simplicity that it showed in all aspects of the little town’s life. That simplicity of life had a certain innate beauty incomparable to others.

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We left the town by mid-morning to take on the more adventurous side of Baler. We are hyped for adventure that day that we did not care about how hard or how long would the trek be before we reached our destination. And finding ourselves entering the scenic and breathtaking views of what nature could offer us there was worth all the bodyache that we went through. I completely lost myself and I let my mind and spirit immersed into the grandeur and natural beauty of the places. Strange enough, I found a certain peace and solace to these places that I could not care less of who I am. I slept soundly that night.

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Baler was known for its high waves, and long stretch of beaches that make it one of the sought after surfing spots in the country. And the next day, even if our body still ached from the previous day’s adventure, we were determined to try out “riding the waves”. We rented surf boards and with the help of local instructors, we tried very hard to get up into our surf boards. For the whole hour, I rode, paddled, and crashed down on my rented board. As the waves slammed into my surf board, A self-realization had dawned into me that made me change on how I see myself as a person.

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For the last few years, I have been too busy making a career of my own, of proving my self-worth and to look for a brighter future. Little did I knew that I completely lost myself in the process. As the rushing waves came into me and slammed my body down to the water, I realized that I had too much burden within me that affected my being. Too many heartaches, unmet expectations and frustrations and rejections made me tough but then it also eroded some essence of my humanity. Every time I fell down on the board and let myself be carried underwater made me experience the turbulence that I long shunned and acknowledged. I realized that despite the success, I am somehow unhappy, discontented and depressed. The dark instinct is lurking behind me again that if left unchecked, I may not be able to know myself again. So I just let myself be carried by the waters, slammed my body by the waves, fell into the sea and scorched by the sun just so I could let go of all the burdens that I was carrying.

I would have loved to stay a little while but we need to go home after our surfing fun. But I can say that Baler did my spirit and whole being good. It changed my perspectives and I went home with contentment in my heart. I left the place I came back home a better person.

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