Gathered Creative Co. X Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge  Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I think this post requires a little introduction about myself now as a creative of the growing styling company called Gathered Creative Co. It all started when I message Kay, our creative director at Gathered on Instagram, showing my interest of joining her just recently launched creative venture as stylist / photographer. She was very responsive as we discuss our possible arrangements, then later on set an appointment with me for an interview. It was a casual yet honest one. I got the job and made it as an intern. I have met her on-call assistant that time, Badeth at the Gathered HQ when we formally sit down as teammates. And that same day we landed a project in Batanes for Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge.

Knowing myself, being plainly introvert I wouldn't approach someone I haven't met before. Until now, I still can't believe how social media platform, Instagram in particular brings people together. How it gives chance to meet creatives like Kay and Badeth whom in the first place I have never thought I would be working with as teammates.

To be honest, there are a lot of good things to say about this specific trip but right now, I can’t seem to form them into words. So here enjoy the visuals for the meantime and let's see if I am able to process my thoughts before this post ends.

Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge
Fundacion Pacita, the only hotel in Batanes, the quaint stone house that beautifully stand on top of the hill does not try hard to charm my heart. Its advocacy to preserve the colorful culture of this province and to provide scholarships to Ivatan students made all sense why we were there and why it felt perfectly fine to have not get the vibe of Batanes from days 1 to 3 as a destination in a sense because of the load of work lining up in front of us.

Cafe Du Tukon
They say you have to explore the food together with its culture for you to get to know more the place you visit. Café Du Tukon located inside the premises of Fundacion Pacita in Batanes offers a unique Ivatan dishes that apart from organic are locally produced. This in-house café supports local farmers who grow and take care of their garden despite the unpredictable weather of the province. The vibe inside the café was graced by Pacita Abad’s colorful life as an artist. It still amazes me how just by dining in and trying their food, we get to immerse ourselves to someone else’s culture or to someone else’s life.

Batanes being dubbed as every Filipino travelers' dream destination is more than that, it's a food for the soul kind of experience. Most of my favorite photos in this trip are found in in-between moments. I got to break free from monotonous daily grind in the city and took home countless memories as keepsake. With its breathtaking sceneries of vast fields and hills, the Pacific Ocean and its undeniably tranquil glory, it’s going to be hard not to fall in love with Batanes.

*Some of the photos are from my teammate, Badeth Espiritu's camera.

General Nakar + A Montage of the Back to School Outreach   Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I ditched our trip to Palawan for this outreach project and apparently it was the best decision ever! Lesson learned though, to never give the chance to give back a second thought. It will leave you the sense of purpose and a lot of deep thoughts. 

Camp Apo Kabyawan is how Kuya Ryan called this specific beach side of Sitio Masla. He was our contact person or coordinator for this year's back to school program. He told us that he named this camp site after his folklore hero, who was a dumagat siaman that controls the storm and waves way back.  

Behind the bushes is the pathway going to the campsite. On the way you will see a selection of wild flowers among the grasses that color the landscape.

Apart from the beach, locals would go swimming in the river. Some would drink in there also! It was clear and not polluted though. My friends and I went swimming the afternoon after our program.

The Quaint Town of Daet  Tuesday, May 16, 2017

For few days I was a third wheel to my brother and his best friend. I'm a third wheel / picture taker for hire by the way. When I had this styling project in Cafe Plazuela of Avenue Plaza Hotel and my Styling Workshop at Cafe 91, both in Naga City, these two volunteered to be my PAs. They helped me with all my runarounds that include carrying my stuff and setting them up, dealing with all my crazy ideas of doing this and that and coming with me to this spontaneous beach trip in Daet.

Bagasbas Beach is one of my favorite beaches. I have quite a lot of favorite beaches huh. It's near the city yet so quiet and non commercialized compared to La Union. But don't get me wrong, I so love LU and all its commercial establishments. Bagasbas offers a different vibe - laid back, serene and charming. And to me that makes it special.

We agreed to extend another day to go surfing the next morning, so we stayed in this transient along Bagasbas Road that cost us 1000 pesos only for an air-conditioned room good for us 3. It was a room ideal for backpackers. I forgot the name of the place, but it's the one beside Kick Milk Tea & Coffee.

Kick Milk Tea & Coffee is the newest establishment along Bagasbas Road. They offer not just milk tea, but also savory sandwiches, belgian waffle and coffee. The price is also affordable. Their milk tea isn't bad at all, I actually liked it, to be honest, but what I noticed more is the packaging. It's cute and very refreshing to the mind.

We were having our merienda when we realized that it was already sunset. For a few brief moments, the sky is in a deep hue of violet and pink. Watching the sun setting across the world is just as awe-inspiring experience. The light illuminates the entire beach in a gorgeous spectrum of warm hues. It was beautiful.

The following morning, I had to wake up the boys to catch the sunrise. I mentioned this a lot of times but I'm actually a sunrise person and it's mandatory to always get up early especially whenever I am in the beach.

We went walking on the beach while watching the sunrise. Before the sun dominates the horizon, there were grey skies that started to host the light splashes of color. The streaks of pink, orange and yellow paint the sky so beautiful.

Walking through the long brown stretch of Bagasbas Beach, you come to appreciate the quality of beauty, gracefulness and deep yet happy feeling within. It feels  so good to breathe in and out deeply the morning fresh air. 

At the far end of Bagasbas Road was the old airport runway where some paragliding pilots offers paragliding and paramotoring around Bagasbas Beach. The girl they were with told me that it cost 3000 pesos to experience it. We decided to just stay on the side and watch the experts do their stunts. I can totally imagine how amazing it would be flying in the air so I promised myself to try it next time.

The two boys I was with were excited to go surfing so we went back to the beach. From a far, I watched them catch their waves. It wasn't easy that day, series of waves were coming in every split of the second. I can tell they were having so much fun though. I was satisfied sitting and taking picture on the beach for hours. I was content simply being stoked on their stoke.

I mentioned in an instagram post how much I encourage my brother to try surfing. Nowadays, teenagers are very reckless. I don't say it's a bad thing, I was reckless in my younger years too. One of my reasons why I wanted him to try it is because surfing personally taught me one lesson in life that sometimes I ignore, the value of being focus and being patient. To be out on the water, waiting for waves in the middle of the sea, creates a sense of focus and patience. Out in the ocean, your only focus is the moment.
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