(Alone Journey by the Beach, July 6, 2012)
(Alone Journey by the Beach, July 5-6, 2012)

Free your spirit! Travel more!

As a fresh graduate, I worked in a development institution as an enterprise development officer. My objective was to train and empower women from different walks of life by providing them with training to enhance their livelihood skills. During my early months in the institution, I traveled mostly in CALABARZON area where our head office was located. However, after 3 months, I was given my first assignment outside our region which was in Mogpog, Marinduque.

Mogpog is an agricultural and coastal area which is situated in the northeastern portion of the island province of Marinduque. The municipality  is easily accessible since it is where the seaport is located. Every May, the people of Mogpog pays tribute to their patron saint, San Isidro de Labrador through their annual “Kangga” Festival. “Kangga” is the sled used by the farmers in various agricultural activities. According to the local people, many colorful kanggas are displayed during the festival and it was very undortunate that it was not during the festival that I visited the area.

Since it was my first time travelling alone, I thought I would be nervous , but fortunately I was not. I was actually excited to travel and try things I was not able to try before. Travelling to Marinduque was not as easy as I thought it would be. Since I was not familiar with the location of the port, I went to Lucena Grand Terminal, without knowing that there was a bus that could bring me directly to Dalahican port. There was only one jeepney that would travel to the port and it would not leave unless it was full. My other option was to ride a tricycle. The advantage with this was I can leave the terminal immediately, but the downside was it would cost me Php 150! Since I had to travel immediately to the port, I took the tricycle.

It was good riding a ship alone for the first time. It was one great adventure after all. The ride was smooth, no problem at all. As I arrived to the port, I faced another problem. I did’t know where Mogpog (the poblacion) was. Lucky for me, there were jeepneys just outside the port area with signages. The jeepney ride was not long. It just took me around an hour. While travelling, I was fascinated with the beautiful beach of the province. It was crystal clear.

Since I needed to go to our office in Mogpog, I didn’t hesitate to ask people who were with me in the jeepney. Fortunately, a person talked to me and helped me to find our office. He was a very kind person indeed. It was one of the good traits of Filipinos to help others in need. My arrival in our lodge ended my first day in Mogpog.

Since I really wanted to see the beach of Mogpog, I woke up very early and walked all the way to the beach. It was not as famous as other beaches in the country, but it definitely has a beauty if its own.

On my way back to our lodge, I saw children just walking to their school. After that, I just realized how lucky I am not to go through that kind of experience just to go to school. I just hope that these children would be able to finish all the way to college and that the local government would find some way to lighten the load of these children.

Then again, I was not there for leisure so I prepared immediately for the training. I went directly to the venue of our training to wait for the participants as well as for our resource person. Our resource persons were professors from the Marinduque State University (MSU). They were such cowgirls, a term  which they wanted to be called with. They traveled all the way from their university to the venue of our training riding a motorcycle, along with all their training materials.

After I introduced them to our participants, they immediately started our training. They were very good in their field. They were able to laymanize most of the terms so that our participants could understand all the technical terms that they were giving them.

The training ran smoothly. We were able to finish on time. Since there was a 4pm (or 5pm, I am not really sure) trip going to Dalahican port, I had to travel back immediately to the port in Marinduque, otherwise, I had to take the earliest trip the next day. Although, I enjoyed my stay in Mogpog, I still had training schedules so I had to leave as soon as I can. The cowgirls I met as resource persons pushed me to go ahead even though we were still cleaning the area. I thanked them so many times then I left the place and traveled back to Laguna.

 When I left, I took nothing but pictures, left nothing but memories.

Travel Guide
Olivarez Plaza** to San Pablo City Jeep 1 hour
San Pablo City to Lucena Grand Terminal Bus 2 hours
Lucena Grand Terminal to Dalahican Port Tricycle 1 hour
Dalahican Port to Balanacan Port Ferry 5 hours
Balanacan Port to Mogpog Poblacion Jeep 1 hour
*based on actual events
**Los Banos, Laguna (College)