Life will always be a mess. The goal is not to correct it but to organize that mess.
Ever since I decided to drop out of college my goal has always been to make my life an organized mess. On a certain level, I knew that my whimsical nature is the cause for my determined pursuit of it. But that did not stop me from doggedly pursuing it anyway.
Travelling became the main tool for me to put some semblance of organization into my life, and the group that I was in before not only made it easy but also necessary. Thus, at a relatively young age, I was able to roam more than 80% of the country, from the laid-back vistas of Mindanao in the south and the culture-rich cities of Luzon in the north.
Below is a map of all the places that I’ve been to in the Philippines. This was generated by an awesome app by Eugene Villar over at Codegraphic. The areas with a darker hue are the places where I stayed longest, while the lighter ones are those that I’ve either passed by or been to only once.
I have kept putting off my trip to Ilocos norte before (that’s the northernmost part of the country) due to this silly goal of mine to reserve it for when I’m finally ready to do my own version of a “walkabout”. For those who don’t know, the Ilocos region has plenty of folklore and mystery that would draw anyone in search of the mystical aspects of life. Soon, perhaps, when I can finally find the courage to live like a hermit.
Down south, the only places I haven’t been to are Basilan and Sulu. While I do have hopes of becoming a war photographer, I’m also not that suicidal, and in those areas poke your nose where you shouldn’t and you’ll most likely end up as fish food. Don’t get me wrong though, those areas are generally a good place to visit on a vacation. But for a photographer like me, the air of suspicion and paranoia there might get me into trouble.
Still, more than 80% of the country ain’t bad, and I still have many years left in me to complete it. Byahe na!

My Lakbayan grade is B!
How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!
Created by Eugene Villar.

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