Travels, Couch Surfing, Philippines

Since I was a little girl, I had always enjoyed going  on trips. Getting inside our car meant arriving at a new destination or an old favorite to visit family and friends. Growing up, the  thrill of travel never left me. However, none of the people I knew had that same passion for travels. *sigh*

Couch Surfing

One early weekend morning, as I was browsing the dailies, I came upon a travel article in the lifestyle section. It talked about this (worldwide) travel organization that lets you travel cheaply mostly by having a free place to stay at and make new friends while you’re at it since members offer either their couch or their time. It was my first encounter with Couch Surfing and I was amazed!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of the org! It was a year or two later that I encountered it by chance online and immediately signed up. CS has allowed me to go to different places within (and out) of the country because if, say, I’d be intimidated to travel on my own to a certain place, I would only have to start a thread about where I want to go to on the forum and other willing travelers would respond. Also, I can just arrange to meet up with the locals of certain areas over a cup of tea or over a meal which is more often the case. With this set up, I found the courage to travel on my own. :D

Boarding planes mean new adventures! :D

Traveling in the Philippines

Traveling out of the country’s always an adventure but I find myself addicted to traveling within our own. The Philippines with its more than 7,000 islands made sure I’d keep wanting more and more! ;) However, aside from our breath taking landscapes (from rice terraces to caves to karst mountains♥), wonderful water/seascapes (Boracay, Palawan and Bohol to name a few)  and fauna (from whalesharks, to stingless jellyfish, to tarsiers), the people I meet in my travels definitely played a part for me to have that positive experience. :)

Beautiful Coron!

Butanding, Donsol's gentle giants

The People I Met

Case in point, for my trip to Davao, we went out partying til the wee  hours and so I wasn’t in the best shape the next day. Sore throat. Hoarse voice. By the end of that day my feet were injured too from too much friction with the sands and my sandals. I was feeling bad and unhappy. Still, we went to a dinner hosted by a dive instructor with his partner whom we both met the other night. They served us delicious foods and Marilou (our host), upon seeing (and hearing my voice) the state I was in set about to try her best to fix me up. Not yet finished with her own meal, she got up and busied herself with  grating some ginger. A few minutes later, she gave me her home-made concoction of honey-ginger tea for my throat. I was in love! It tasted so good and felt soooo nice! I thought she was making something for her partner turns out it was all for me. Thank you so very much, dearest! My companion seeing it, wanted some too so she made one more. hehe When the others went out to smoke some shisha and eat some durian, she stayed with me and bade me to lie on their couch so I could rest/ nap for a while. Knowing I had injured my feet, she got some antibiotics and band aid that I can put on my wounds. I was a very happy and contented person by the end of the night! :D

Marilou (2nd from left) with other CSers I met in Davao :)

On another trip, this time to Cagayan de Oro, a local (Ann) met up with us so that she can show us around her city. She brought us to her favorite hang out place, met her friends and got toured by them too!

With our host, Ann, seeing us off at CdO's airport :)

I’ve gone on trips wherein the main purpose was to volunteer. I’ve traveled with people who are advocates of different causes and vocal supporters of tourism of their (and/or adopted) localities.

Manual labor... for a cause :)

Getting hosted in Batad, along with a dozen more!

Why Travel?

Aside from the locals, both the people that I traveled with and those that I have met on the road who travel just for the love of it truly amaze me! They have this passion and thirst for life; there is this need to experience new culture; and they are open to everything. Their lives are being changed by the people they meet and they in turn are touching the lives of the locals they’ve encountered along their journey.

Happiness! :D

Having an island to yourself is awesome!

I’ve had many similar experience from all over and it’s one of the main reasons why I think every person is (innately) good, kind and generous. Experiences like these bring out the best in everyone and hopefully make this a better place for all. :)

 

This is an entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival themed “Unforgettable Human Encounters on the Road”. Hosted by Marky of Nomadic Experience for the month of September 2011.

To read more previous Blog Carnival entries, check out this site.

  1. waaaah, I miss Coron, our adventures and misadventures! :))

    • ikr?! too bad i’ll miss out on Korea coz i’m headed to Taiwan then. next time! :D

  2. I just received my CS card and verified my membership. Hope I can hang out with fellow CSers soonest. I’ll be in Davao this coming September 27, any suggestion whom to meet and how to do about it?

  3. …….”that every person is innately good, kind and generous. ”

    I always think that, no matter the circumstances. It’s a good way to “invite” angels to stay with us. There is an ‘angel’ in all of us. Think good, invite good vibes, and claim all that goodness! I do not mean to sound preachy nor spiritual, but it really works for me.

    Thanks for sharing all that goodness!

    • kayo rin po? nice! i have to agree that positive attracts positive too. hehe ganun na ata talaga philosophy ko in life ;)

  4. CS rocks noh?! nice to finally meet you cath.
    travel tayo sometime!

  5. Wow! Nice post, gusto ko din mtry CS!

    Nice meeting you Cath! :)

  6. See you soon. Hope our path will cross someday. Pano yan sa Europe ka na in the next couple of weeks. Magkita nalang tayo dun hihihihi…

  7. aww. missing you! :) paki-padala nalang ako ng mapapanga-asawa. Char.
    awesome photos! nakakainlove yung sa batad!

    • charlon y. rimorin
    • August 8th, 2012

    how to join?

    • Gracey
    • April 29th, 2014

    Hi Cath! I have just joined CS recently because of friends who has been encouraging me to join the group. I will be doing my first solo travel in 2 wks around Palawan (Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Coron) and I was wondering how do you go about finding a host? This will also be my first time to try Couchsurfing, and just like any first-timers, I am kinda overwhelmed at the thought of talking to and staying at a stranger’s home. Does CS work through referrals because it seems like nobody’s replying to my CS requests? Also, do you have CS friends from those 3 places? Thx in advance for your help. :)

    • Hi Gracey!
      Welcome to the world of CouchSurfing! Just use the search for a host option there. Uhmm… It kinda helps to take time to notice as to when those people you message last logged in. Some, or maybe many even, have idle accounts lately – probably met many people already within their travels to keep in touch with, to visit and to host for their future travels <<that is the case with me. Since I got to Europe, I kinda ended up being hosted by Europeans I met while they were travelling in Asia. :) Amongst the places you've mentioned, it's Puerto Princesa with many CSers – I'm not entirely sure if they're currently hosting but try to meet up with them. If you're scared to stay at other people's place, a good idea is to just meet up with them over food/ drinks/ whatever activity you have in mind or travel with them even just for a day to warm you up to the idea of CSing.
      Hope this helped!
      Cheers,
      Cat

    • Joseph
    • June 19th, 2014

    Wow! Hello Cath “DoraTheExplorer” of LPDH. Just signed up the CS. Your my inspiration. Dati mo pa sinasabi sa akin ang CS pero binabaliwala ko lang. But now am reading your blogs and I learned a lot.

    • Joseph7788
    • December 19th, 2014

    Hello CS’rs, just joined CS and influenced by my German friend. It’s all good here being CS family. Thanks to Lutz my friend.

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