Today I write about the beginnings of the traveling sneakers. My passion for exploring nature’s wonders began after college. Budget constraints limited my destinations back then, but that did not prevent my imagination from capturing those moments and storing them in the gigabyte of happy memories. Let the traveling sneakers walk down memory lane…
Zamboanga Sibugay, 2005
The Mountains of Sagada and Banaue
There is a humbling feeling that mountains give you once you’ve hiked their peaks. Up there, the air is so clear its like breathing in pure tranquility. The skies become bluer and the sun’s rays dazzle you with optical images as if the Sun god sprinkled tiny daylights on the verdant forests. And the foliage! Here and there you see trees humongous as urban skyscrapers. The forest floor will always have an endless supply of dried leaves that crackle under your feet. Ah, nothing like the sound of dried leaves crunching crisply under my bare feet. But the best feeling one could experience is that inner calmness as if you are communing with the Creator. There’s really that humbling aura up there that makes you look up and say,”Truly this is majestic!” The clouds seem so near you can almost touch the cottony fibers, yet your feet remains anchored on the mountain ground like the deep roots of the sequoia tree, a reminder that despite our lofty achievements, we remain as earth dwellers, stewards of a time that is really not ours. The hike up there may be grueling but the weariness dissipates once you reach the zenith and watch in awe the 360-degree view of this masterpiece called creation.
Valencia, Negros Oriental (2004)
Batad-home of the world-famous Banaue Rice Terraces (2008)
Pearl Farm, Bais and Coron: of Kayaks and Sea Creatures
The 360-degree cinerama turns even better as you go sea-borne. The sea breeze playfully ruffles your hair as the pump boat cuts through the aquamarine waters. And the sand! Never has the sea become more illuminated by the stark-white shoreline.
Imagine this: A salty-soft wind blows while the half-orb sun peeks on the horizon splashing splendid hues on the palette of the skies of dawn. The pump boat glides through and you look down the ramp and see orange-striped fishes, wiggling blue fries and glowing corals stretching from end to end. Splash! you dive and bathe in the cool waters while the sea creatures dance in a beautiful soiree around you. Later on you will be paddling the kayak oars and once again feel the soft wind kissing your skin. Then, two dolphins glide beside your vessel and swiftly jump into the air. Like a choreography for a gala show, they would build your excitement culminating in what could be compared to the acrobatic displays of Poseidon’s fantastic water chariot gliders. Dolphins, they’re wonderful creatures. They bring out the child in you. They excite you. They make you laugh. They thrill you. They remind you of those days when playing was all we do all day, when innocence was such a bliss you could have sworn mammary glands were not erotic (oops, pardon me).
Coron cruising (2006)
Bais sandbar, Negros Oriental (2004)
Gleeful dolphins, Bais (2004)
And the journey goes on…
Put on a smile and revel in the fact that indeed, life has become a beautiful journey. This pair of traveling sneakers has now reached the other side of the world and boy there are stories to tell. In the middle of the journey, it actually found another pair of traveling sneakers and the destinations became more colorful and more wonderful. Today, my wife and I have worn out our traveling sneakers from wearing them to many destinations (and counting more). There is still so much out there to be explored. One thing remains clear to us: We view the world from the top, but we stay grounded. Life gets even better when you see it 360 degrees.
The feet that became traveling sneakers’ co-explorer and partner in life.