How Traveling Around the Philippines Heals a Broken Heart

“Take your broken heart, make it into art.”, this quote recently sparked a lot of conversations on social media. Meryl Streep, the recipient of Cecil B. DeMille Award in the most recent Golden Globes, mentioned this in her acceptance speech in honor of her late friend Carrie Fisher. I believe that art truly comes from some intense emotion may that be pain, joy, and even anger. When you feel like you’re stuck and can’t seem to find inspiration in anything, maybe what you need is a little change of location.

The Philippines is a traveller-friendly place for both locals and international guests. Pristine beaches are within reach in a two-hour drive and exotic places are few steps away from you – the perfect escape for the heartbroken. 

I have been to different places in the Philippines and each travel is always a unique experience.  My first plane ride was a trip to the beautiful islands of Palawan, I was both excited and scared. Being stuck in a metal tube for an hour or so isn’t much of a calming idea. Although I didn’t develop fear of flying. I’m actually looking forward to the next ones. Even though it was still in the Philippines, being surrounded by different people with different cultures was refreshing. Although I was a stranger in a new place, the care and hospitality of the Filipino people to tourists will always make you feel like you’re part of their family. 

Calle Crisologo, Vigan

My long drives to the Northern part of Luzon was unforgettable, too. Even though your butt would hurt travelling by land to Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte, it was all worth it because of the quick faux-immersion to the Spanish colonization – like you’re transported back in time.

Pagudpud

I also traveled to the northern tip of the mainland Philippines which is Palaui Island in Cagayan. Have you ever experienced having no signal and being in a totally remote island? It’s like you have a different life all of a sudden. You will also avoid the temptation of checking in on your ex because you won’t have access to social media.

Palaui Island

In the movie I recently watched, Sakaling Hindi Makarating, I saw the character of Cielo (played by Alessandra de Rossi) use this sadness and pain of breaking up from a relationship and harness all the emotions and turn it into art. As she travel the Philippines from South to North, Cielo used art to portray her experiences through self-painted post cards. What sparked this life journey is the post cards she’s been receiving from a mysterious sender named “M”. So she tried looking for this sender and along the way, she taken to the different places in the Philippines.

In its subtlety, it promoted our own wonders. It showed me the majestic places I’ve never known existed and the places I’ve been to but with a new perspective. And let me tell you, these are not your typical tourist destinations (I’m not going to mention them so see it for yourself). Even though I’ve been to a few places on my own, it made me want to explore more and book a flight/ride a car right away after seeing the film. I felt the follow-where-your-feet-may-take-you feeling. And I think that in itself can be a proof that the film was effective in one of its goals.

There were a lot of takeaways in the film but the most striking thing it showed me is the beauty of travelling in the Philippines. It’s such a surprise that a lot of Filipinos prefer to explore other countries. It’s an unwritten rule that it’s more brag-worthy when you’ve landed in foreign land. Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine to explore other countries and continents but, why do you have to be there when what you’re looking for is here?

Similar to Travels With A Hobo’s #PhilippinesFirst advocacy, the film promoted travelling in our own land and at the same time, appreciate its beauty that we’ve been taking advantage of. It’s almost a guarantee that whatever other countries have, we have our very own here. It’s definitely a much cheaper travel expense and a more fun experience.

And much like Cielo, you always discover a different side of yourself when you travel. A new feeling and a fresh leaf gets turned. Your sad memories brought by a broken heart will be replaced by exciting and happy ones. Especially with Cielo’s situation when you’re trying to mend a broken heart and finding the person who sends you these heartfelt postcards.

My recent trip in Iba, Zambales made me realize a lot of things and let go of the negative thoughts I’ve been lingering in.

zambales

So at the end of the day, choose yourself and choose Philippines first. Start by listing down the travel spots around area and set a weekend to go there. Solo or with a group, it’s definitely up to you. Just like Cielo, choose to be the person that goes after what makes their heart alive and I’m pretty sure you don’t have to go that far.

Sakaling Hindi Makarating is directed by Ice Idanan and was shown nationwide starting last February 1, 2017. If you don’t have the budget and time now, I’m sure the film will take you to places and will make you feel like you’ve been there yourself.

Christian eats pop culture for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (midnight snack, too). In his spare time, he tags along with his family and travels to his hometown, Pangasinan, and to a few other Philippine towns, too. He works as a content marketing specialist by day and stans for Beyoncé by night. He dreams of visiting the big apple someday and experience the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps.