at 24 years old, how many countries and places in the Philippines have you traveled to?
I have been to 20 provinces. Aside from the Philippines, I have my fair share of travel here in the USA. But aside from these 2 countries, I visited Dominican Republic during my 24th birthday.
Please name your fave place in the country and why?
La Union. It will always have a special spot in my travel life. It’s where I fell in love with surfing. But more importantly, it’s where I realized that there is more to traveling than just taking snapshots.
I became friends with the locals over there. We’d play cards after surfing. They’ll bring us to the cheapest carinderia and we will all eat together. They’ll make us bonfire at nights and we’ll just hang out there until we fall asleep in the bean bags. It was just awesome to meet people na sobrang bait.
Akala mo ikaw lang masaya but you don’t know that you make them happy as well.
In a year, approximately how many trips do you go to?
It was a different case when I was in college. But with my decent allowance, I was able to tour 8 provinces. When I migrated here to the States, I would at least plan 2 big trips and some out of the state trips to the neighboring states.
Coolest thing about traveling and a bummer about it?
It’s embracing God’s creation and basking in it. Being thankful that you are able to live in that certain moment. You know irony is you get lost in a place, but along with it, you discover something in you.
One place in the Philippines that is worth exploring and going to
Depende kasi sa hilig mo as a traveler eh. As for me, I do a little bit of everything. I’d definitely go back to dive in Malapascua. Surf in Siargao and La Union and hike Mt. Pulag all over again. Once is never enough in some places. Most of the time that I travel, may naiiwan na bahagi ng puso ko sa lugar. And I just want to go back.
Ever dream of coming back and staying for good in the Philippines?
Absolutely. I’m just waiting where my heart will take me.
How do you fund your travels?
I have my travel fund I set aside every paycheck.
What do you think of those people who choose to work and just save up?
There’s nothing wrong with it. Just don’t put it on the side too long. World’s just out there waiting for you to experience it.
And then spending their money on traveling only when they have retired?
Definitely not! You want to travel while you are able to do jump shots you know what I mean.
How has traveling changed you and your views on life?
It pieced my broken soul. I knew then that there’s a different way to get high in life.
Describe the backpacking culture and why it appealed to you.
Backpacking is leaving your comforts and just flowing with the locals. You get to experience more, see and learn more about the place if you don’t hesitate. They show you more than what’s printed.
How did you get hooked into all these sports?
It was traveling that brought me to try these ones. You want to experience the hype of each place you see. But as for pole dancing, I’d like to say it’s the artistic side of me.
If you were to choose one, pole, scuba diving or surfing which one would you choose and why.
I can’t. Because if I let go of one, it’s not the same anymore. More so, it’s like creating different variations of you but it’s still you when you sum it up.
Describe your pole dancing instructor experience and some stories that you will take with you.
Empowering. I have taught women of all sizes and ages. It was a good moment in my life where I was able to inspire women to find that beauty and strength in them.
Life’s motto at 24
Create the happiness you want for yourself.
Any regrets so far?
The happier you are, the prettier you are. You know yourself more than any soul in this world. Chase your crazy to the craziest dreams. Feel the pain and then let go. Be the weirdo -out-of-her-sense, sexy, happy, crazy, beautiful you. You have the power to turn a messy screwed up moment in your life into something magical.
Interview & Text – Dane Raymundo
Photography – M Espeña