September! The BERmonths have now started. Actually, it started 6 days ago. And so, Christmas season in the Philippines has also started. I already heard Christmas songs on the first day of the month.
And this month is the last month I claimed for a refund for my again, canceled flight. This is the 4th time I requested for a refund or a travel fund because of a canceled flight. All credits go to Coronavirus pandemic.
But as we always say, better safe than sorry. 😉
So even if 2020 has been a year full of canceled flights and plans, we should still be grateful coz we are safe at home.
And yet, I can’t stop thinking what should have happened if my flights were not canceled. So am gonna share it with you then. 😁
TAIPEI: March 12-15, 2020
First canceled flight was a trip to Taipei supposedly with my sister. Our flight was before we had the work from home setup but cases around the world has been rising. Flights to and from Taipei were canceled because basically it’s part of China though it’s an independent and separate country. And I guess cases that time was pretty high too. We received communication at work to stop leisure travel to China including Taiwan. Fortunately, the airline Cebu Pacific Air already offered refund or travel fund, so we grabbed this chance.
But what could have happen if we push through?
We were thinking of going to Chung Cheng University or popularly know as Ying De University. It’s located in Chiayi and about 2-3 hours travel. You can opt to do it on your own or book a tour.
Another places in my list are the Motorbike Waterfall at Minquan West Road in Taipei’s Datong District. Taipei is known for motorcycle. Maybe almost everyone there has their own motorcycle. That’s why it is a great scene to witness during the peak hours a parade of motorcycle that looks like a waterfall. Then, Taipei Shende Temple to see not just the beautiful temple. But also, the beautiful temple with a flying airplane at the back. Isn’t it sounds cool? 😁
And since I’ve been to Taipei already before and went to most of the tourist destinations, my sister will be having a day alone by herself to check those places. Then, maybe we can meet later in one of the famous night markets. And see cherry blossoms the next day.
Basically, our trip was just over the weekend but it will surely be filled with fun memories. And if we were able to go there before the lockdown, we might either went home & be quarantined for 14 days or we can’t go home yet & stayed in Taipei til the situation gets better. If the latter happened, then we’ll be in a country who succeed their fight against the pandemic even without the help from others.
Taiwan had a low rate of cases and I guess the numbers even out now. And yet, the people live their lives normally. Isn’t it amazing? 😍
SEOUL: APRIL 3-5
Next trip was supposedly in Seoul, South Korea. Again this was an over the weekend trip leaving Cebu on April 3 early morning and leaving Incheon on August 5 late at night. This was an impulsive trip because I just bought an airline ticket when I received my approved single entry visa last January. At that same time, there was a seat sale promo in Jeju Air.
Jeju Air was the airline we took last September 2019 and I was amazed with the trip and experience. So I bought the ticket just for myself at a very low cost.
And again, Coronavirus hit the world and the flight was canceled. Then, the next thing I did was claimed for a refund.
What could have happened if I went?
I would spend a day in Incheon right after I arrived and visit Wolmido Island. Then, after roaming around the island, trying the local food and see different new things; I would head to Myeongdong where I will stay.
The next day, I would spend it in a place where there’s cherry blossoms. And if I’m lucky, I would witness a festival that would happen only during the cherry blossom season.
Then on my last day, since it’s a Sunday, I would attend a mass at Myeongdong Cathedral. I was able to visit here before with my sister and our friend and I was amazed of how beautiful this church is. It’s like a castle.
Then after that, I will visit Bukchon Hanok Village and maybe had a meal or coffee in one of those Hanok. Then, head to Hongdae and roam around. And end my tour at the Cheongun Literature Village.
DAVAO: APRIL 24-26
Davao is my another home. I started calling this city my another home when I had my trip maybe 2017 or 2018, then when I went back to Cebu I felt a heavy heart. I then started missing the people I left in the city – my Davao family.
And after that, I went to the city I guess every year. Most of it was for work with a little bit for leisure (side trip). And every single trip was a time well spent with my Davao family. We shared a good chat and laughter over food or drinks.
I had the best unlimited crabs there. I tried eating the world’s worst chicken where the half chicken worth 2 whole chicken. I ate the charcoal icecream which I was really worried if it’s bad for me but turned out that it’s good for our body. I had the best meal in Agdao and Bangkerohan. And the yummy pizza in their suki, Jickongs. I had a good meal here before I was operated for Gallbladder removal days after. 😅
And Davao has been an outlet to some of my memorable trips. A solo travel to GenSan to visit my friend before he left for Australia. Another solo travel to Mati which I had experience camping again after about 6-hour bus ride. Visited the always Sleeping Dinosaur and experienced my first ever surfing. And my another solo bus ride to Cagayan de Oro which took about 7 or 8 hours passing the beautiful Bukidnon-Davao road, which they call BuDa road. I was both excited and nervous at the same time. Especially seeing the long zigzag road and passing a dark road when the night came. And oh! Who would forget that trip from Cotabato City after my 30-minute orientation. Thanks God, I wasn’t on solo and on a bus. Thanks to our client who gave me a safe ride. 😊
For the shortest distance, through Davao, I had a hearty & full brunch at the beautiful Samal Island. I had a delicious lunch at Kambingan in Tagum City and tried eating Hito or Catfish in Tagum City. I didn’t know it was that delicious. And I was able to visit the Largest Rosary Garden in the same city too.
There are many memories in Davao and I was very much excited to go back last April with Maira. Not just to try the food I missed including the Mango float at Food Basket but to once again get reunited with my family. And share laughter & new story. Meet the very pretty Agape and had fun on her 1st Birthday. Maybe, another breakfast at Samal Island and this time, we will go for a swimming. And if time permits, we would go for a quick trip to Mati. And of course, who would miss the unlimited crabs. But again, COVID-19 happened.
Well, hopefully next year, our paths will cross again in Davao. 😍
LA UNION: SEPTEMBER 24-26
For the third time, my trip to La Union was canceled. I had 2 trips supposedly last year. October was a solo trip and December with Tropang Laagan. But both I canceled because I had to prioritize more important things. Though my best friends, Tropang Laagan, were able to push through last December. But me and my bestfriend, April were not able to go.
That’s why me & April planned our trip this September. It was supposedly our anniversary trip after Busan last year and maybe we can do this every year on September.
But the flight was canceled. I received the notification from the airline late August and I managed the cancelation and chose for a refund & travel fund just this week.
Another La Union trip was canceled. 😒
But what would we have done?
For sure, we would try surfing in La Union. Have a tour around Elyu. Visit Ma-Cho Temple, the Pebble Beach, the Grapes Farm, Luna Church & Baluarte. Then, we would try different food, coffee, and experience the night in Elyu. We might be staying either in a dorm-type room or a private room like in Busan.
We could also drop by Pampanga to hike to Mt. Pinatubo before we fly back home.
I don’t know what’s with me and La Union. But one thing is for sure, I’m gonna visit this place one day. Maybe not too soon. But for sure, one of the days to come. Alone or with someone. 😉
It’s quite disappointing at first that all the plans I had were canceled. I even prepared an itinerary already, Not even one had push through. But looking back at it, it’s the best thing to do. For my safety and health.
In this way too, I’ve got to divert things instead of thinking about traveling. And the effect? I’m not sure if it’s positive or negative but I’m no longer as excited as I am before with seat sale. I don’t even know which place to visit. Coz maybe because I’ve been yearning more to go home in the island.
I have always have an itchy feet. But now, I love to choose to stay at home. For me, going out seems a pretty hassle. But maybe one day, the excitement will be back. My will will be alive. And I will be seeing the other parts of the world again.
And oh! Tourism industry has been affected a lot because of this pandemic. And being someone who benefited and enjoyed a lot with it before the pandemic, I should help it in my own little way. We should help it stand up again. Maybe visiting places in our home, our city or town, our province, our country or anywhere in the world. In this way, we can help the bus, ship, airline, hotel, inns, parks, etc. go back to where they used to be.
However, there will be a big difference this time. During the pandemic, the Earth has rested. Mother Earth or the nature in particular. The animals, the trees, the mountains, the oceans. They were able to rest since there’s no disturbance from humans. And so, once we’re back with our exploration, let us consider and give big care to Mother Earth.
Let us let her still feel rested while we do our thing. Let us keep her clean and safe. Let us protect jer as much as we can. One little way will have a big effect. We can do it. 💪
By the way, the funny thing though was that I met and made friends from these places during the pandemic. I met Rita from Taiwan, Narae from Busan, South Korean, Brian from Seoul, South Korea, and Hanie from La Union. Thanks to Slowly and I’ve got friends by sending out letters. 😅