To Forgive and To Forget: How Sagada Changed My Heart

"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." The last few lines of Desiderata reminds me to allow only positive thoughts in my head. Though there were discouragements and frustrations, they strengthen my soul instead of breaking my spirit. One travel adventure that summarized my journey to forgiving and forgetting was my journey to Sagada. 

Admittedly enough, I travel solo. There is something about solo traveling that I couldn't get away with. The sense of fulfilment, the freedom to choose your destination, and the independence. These are the few things that fuel my being of traveling alone. 

It was when I told my mom that I'd be journeying up north of Luzon. She was used to it. But what she didn't expect was my solo journey boarding up a 24-hour sea trip. Her face turned ashen gray when she learned about my decision. She didn't hold me back but told me these lines, "Whenever you are out venturing in a different place, doing different and extreme adventures, I am worried sick. But because those things make you happy, what I can only do is to pray that you'll always be safe."

Those words were penetrating as well as deep. My heart was actually heavy. My journey to Sagada was more of a catharsis than introspection. Why? I was guilty of a 3-year failed relationship. Love was never enough to continue and because of that, we broke up. It was painful. It was devastating. 

But Sagada had a way to heal me. It changed how I looked at life and importantly, how I forgave myself. 

Sumaguing Cave and the Camaraderie
After a 5-hour journey from Manila to Baguio and another 3-hour journey to Sagada, the Mt. Province welcomed me with a downpour. I hurriedly checked-in my room when the kind hostess told me that there were a bunch of Bisayas who would be going for spelunking. Luckily, one of them heard our conversation that she, herself, invited me. 

There weren't formal introduction. I only heard myself affirming of the said activity and automatically, I placed my backpack in my room, grabbed my body bag and my water bottle, some cash and I was good to go. 

Sumaguing Cave developed my imagination because of its magnificent stalactites and stalagmites. The huge crevices
 allows one to discover the beautiful world beneath the surface. There was magic when I was down the cave. With that, I learned to love the unknown, the dark and the cold. It fortified my spirit and strengthened my independence. 

Mt. Kiltepan and the Morning Clouds
As magical as the underground, Mt. Kiltepan exposed me of a haven filled with clouds. The high peak inspired me that my failures would be temporary and they are but steps for me to be successful. Literally, Mt. Kiltepan healed my soul. The sunrise surprised me like a curtain opening up for a performance. Superb! 
"Sunrise at 5:35"

With these views, I learned to forgive myself and to forget the pain. It made me love myself more. 

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About Marie Angelique Villamor

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