To help yourself, you have to be yourself. The sad thing is, that is one of the things you lose after heartbreak.
To find yourself again, to be able to move on, they say, it takes time. But before all that, I say, you need acceptance, that things will no longer be the same as they were before, that no matter how much it hurts, you are on your own now. You need to realize that if you try to pick up the broken pieces, the more you will just hurt yourself.
We do have different means in coping up with the pain, and if you find yourself ready to commit to the idea of moving on, you may want to pack your bags and head on to these destinations.
Day 0: It takes time. Approximately 36 hours of travel. 5 days. 1 lost soul.
ETD Kamias Station: 1900, 680 php bus fare
ETA St. William’s Cathedral, Tabuk: 0700
Ditch the idea of a short trip. Ready yourself for butt-numbing bus rides and transfers. Take a bus bound to Tabuk at Kamias Bus Terminal. Travel takes around 12 hours, and you have that same number of hours to contemplate on what went wrong. For there is no magic word like Abracadabra that will make you forget everything in an instant, the least, lessen the pain. You have to go through it whether you like it or not. For some, moving on takes weeks, others, takes months.
With the help of a 5-day travel to the Northern Philippines, know, that you are at least, making ways of helping yourself.
Day 1: Embrace solitude. Embrace solitude, for you to be able to love freedom.
ETA Tinglayan 1100, 150 php jeepney fare
Check in at: Sleeping Beauty Inn or Luplupa Riverside Inn, 1000 php room good for four
Wait for jeepneys bound to Tinglayan just across St. William’s Cathedral in Tabuk and topload on your way to the village. The ride will give you the escape that you need as you pass by winding roads and deep ravines. Upon arrival, you can explore this quaint little town on your own. Ride a habal-habal going to Palan-ah Falls and Hotsprings. Spend a night in a hostel. Dine alone and learn to love the company of yourself. Remember, it is healthy to have real moments of solitude for you to reflect on how much of yourself have you given.
Go alone and you will be surprised of the things that you can do.
Day 2: Divert the pain or feel the pain. Yes, pain demands to be felt.
ETD Tinglayan 0700, 30 php jeepney fare
ETA Bugnay 0800, 50 php habal-habal fare
ETA Buscalan 0845, 300 php accommodation (dinner and breakfast included)
Guide: Kuya August (09981888697), 1000 php guide fee
Take a monster jeepney bound to Bontoc and ask the driver to drop you at Bugnay. First trip leaves at 7AM and the last one leaves at 11AM. Travel to Bugnay takes around 45 minutes passing through winding roads. Upon arrival, you may opt to take a habal-habal to the jump off point or you may walk your way through it instead. I suggest you take the habal-habal, for at times, we need someone to help us. To be there for us even at times we feel as if we want to be alone.
I know it still hurts. But remember that it is when you are in your weakest and your most vulnerable that is when you will find your strongest parts. Get a tattoo to divert the pain. After all, you deserve this battle scar. To remind yourself, that no heartaches can break you. To make you realize that it is necessary to get wounded for you to be healed. That scars, no matter how imperfect they are, can be beautiful.
If you are hesitant, you may just want to experience the culture and tradition of the people of Buscalan. Let the morning air chill you as it seep to your bones. Have conversation with the locals and see a different perspective when it comes to life. Meet Fang-Od, the oldest mambabatok in Kalinga and draw inspiration from her. If it would help, Fang-Od, like you, had her heart broken. It was on her early twenties when she fell in love and had the man of her dreams taken away from her. Since then she remained single.
Tattoo price depends on the size.
Day 3: Make the decision to let it go. Where do broken hearts go?
ETD Buscalan 0700
ETA Bugnay 0730, 100 php jeepney fare to Bontoc
ETA Bontoc 0830, 40 php jeepney fare to Sagada
ETA Sagada 0920, Sagada Homestay 300-350 php per person per night
Leave your homestay in Buscalan at 7 in the morning and take a jeepney bound to Bontoc at Bugnay. Upon arriving in Bontoc, head to the terminal of jeepneys bound to Sagada. For yes, it won’t be complete without having to visit the “Town for the Broken Hearts.”
If there is still that small flickering hope of you getting back together, I want you to think if it will all be worth it. If you still want to give love a try even after what you have been through, go. But if you feel like you are emotionally done and mentally drained already; if it is already unhealthy, let it go.
Wake up the next morning and head on to Kiltepan Viewpoint. Watch the sun rise and let it remind you of your new self. From someone who has fallen, has been bruised and broken to someone who has chose to rise, promised to heal and not be shaken.
Day 4: Start over again. It is time to open up your heart.
ETD Sagada 0730, 40 php jeepney fare to Bontoc
ETA Bontoc 0830, 150 php bus fare to Banaue
ETA Banaue 1100, 150 php jeepney fare to Batad
Check in at any homestays and price ranges at 200-300 per head per night
From Sagada Municipal Hall, take a jeepney bound to Bontoc. First trip starts at 0630 and the last one at 1300. From Bontoc, take a local bus to Banaue or rent a van (good for 6-8person and costs 200php per head).
Bus schedule: 7AM and 9AM.
You have picked yourself up. You have dusted yourself off. Now is the time to start over, to start over with something better.
Given this chance, you can now re-build your life around things that you love. You can now straighten your priorities and work on that dream that you have forgotten. While doing all of this, I want you to open your heart to possibilities. I wish for you to not be afraid to see the beauty of life in people. To trust again and hopefully, to love again.
Trek on terraces that were built for more than 2,000 years ago. Visit Battad and swim on the cold waters of Tappiya Falls. Make friends with locals and foreigners alike and hopefully, you will be able to see yourself smiling again.
Day 5: Time for new begginings.
ETD Batad 0900, 150 php jeepney fare
ETA Banaue 1100
ETD Banaue 1830, 450 php bus fare to Manila
ETA Manila 0500
More than the forgetting part, I know that this journey will make you realize one of the most important things. That if you strip yourself down to your tiniest part and learn how to accept all your flaws and imperfections. That the moment you get to learn how to love yourself…
…you will be able to attract the right kind of love.