Ever since I tried going to Panay via 2GO Travel I’ve always thought that the island is easily accessible from Metro Manila for a quick weekend getaway. If you’re working on a day shift, you just have to work undertime on a Friday to catch the vessel in the evening and go half-day on Monday (the vessel may arrive early but there’s still the bus ride from the port and it’s a manic day). It wasn’t long until I did it again to bite a late summer escape in Hinugtan Beach in Aklan.
When I came across a blog post (which I can no longer find) on skydiving in Bantayan Island and saw that Skydive Greater Cebu was already accepting reservations, boy, the following day I found myself at the bank paying for the down payment amounting to ₱3,000. The activity cost ₱18,000 but they had an early bird promo which reduced the amount by ₱3,000. That meant I had ample time to save for the balance and my birthday. Very doable, if you ask me.
And the smile never left my face. That was the only question and answer I wanted to hear when the travel agency called to tell me that my passport was already ready for pickup. After being denied of a Japan visa and even after acquiring one for Taiwan, the fact that you can never really can never can really can tell ever (okay, that was a long one) if you will be granted a visa seems to have traumatized even my hardest bone. In an ambitious plan to give Japan another shot the soonest time possible, I thought of collecting other visas first. And with that, winter in Korea became inevitable.
My trip to Taiwan with three good old folks from college almost a month ago would’ve been my second overseas trip for the year had I also been granted a Japan visa. Getting rejected on my very first visa application turned out traumatizing that I had to read multiple blogs and consolidate all the requirements for the application. My pessimism worsened when my friends started getting Australia, US, and Schengen visas. Ultimately, I was granted a Taiwan visa and below were the requirements I prepared. You can only guess which ones made the cut.
When I first heard of Fortune Island and the pillars on it which resemble those of the Parthenon, I immediately locked it as a target because I know for a fact that in this life I’ll probably never step foot in Greece. So when I read in the comments of a blog post (while looking for beaches to go to) about a trip to Fortune Island organized by #JJTours, I hit up two friends and in no time I was already at the bank paying for our down payment. What did just happen.
For a change, I spent Valentine’s Day on the beach with two of my roommates when I was a college freshman. On the eve of the Dinagyang Festival, we were out drinking, celebrating it our way. That’s when they mentioned their plan of visiting Maniwaya Island in Marinduque. As I can’t just let this life pass by without seeding my seemingly growing love for the beach, I didn’t bother putting up a fight.