Ever since I went to El Nido before my 18th birthday, I promised myself I’d go out of Cebu every January as a way of celebrating the conclusion of another year lived. Before I turned 19, I found myself alone in Kuala Lumpur for almost a week in an attempt to prove to myself that I could travel without company, and I could do it well. That trip was the turning point of my life, and it knocked down walls that kept me from exploring the full potential of being a traveler. 

This year, I thought I would have to skip my newly-formed tradition, but as fate would have it, the data my thesis partner and I collected in the city yielded disappointing results, so we decided to try again in her hometown – Ormoc. My stay wasn’t really for vacation, but I had a wonderful time just the same.

What a time to be 20!

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The sea licking Bantigue’s shores
The sun rising over “Totoy-totoy Mountain”

“What is that place called?” I asked Maly – my thesis partner and the vegan friend I mentioned in my past posts. “Totoy-totoy mountain,” she answered. I thought she was pulling my leg, but she pointed at the peak of the hill and motioned at the two tips. “It kind of looks like a nipple,” was her explanation.

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My favourite part of their house. Undeniably modern with a native touch.
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Maly always said she loved the mountains, but I never quite understood what she meant until I went there myself.
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Maly had a lot of lambs, lot of lambs, lot of lambs. Maly had a lot of lambs whose fleece were white as snow. And everywhere that Maly went, Maly went, Maly went. Everywhere that Maly went, her lambs were sure to go.
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Up close and personal with the carabaos

Thank you very much to the Yap-Larrazabal family for their hospitality 🙂


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