As a single Filipina traveling alone on the islands I was invariably asked the same questions. Why was I traveling alone? To which I replied that no one could get the same length of vacation leave as I did. But what I was really asked more often than not was one question. Why wasn’t I traveling with my boyfriend? I am an anomaly it seems in my country for traveling solo and shouldn’t be allowed to be alone, especially if I had a boyfriend. This wasn’t the first time I traveled solo. I had some friends I met on this trip too, like in Dumaguete, Cebu and Boracay, but most of the time I was traveling alone. Thus I was usually wary, like any city girl. At the start I covered my tracks, except with my own family. Depending on the situation, I never really said exactly where I was going or when. Or I would mention that someone was waiting for me. On the internet, I never wrote about a place, until I’d quit it. But the longer my trip took, I’d begun to be more open about being alone, because I liked to assert my independence. I think more Filipinas should go out on their own too, if nobody can make the trip with them. It certainly would be a boon to the travel industry. You pay the price of a room good for two people, but consume half as much water or other utilities.
When I started my trip, I only had a backpack and a couple of bags with me. I ended up with more than I started with: my dive log notebook, a dive book, a Time magazine (because of the cover story), souvenirs from Paris; and in the latter part of my trip, a fuchsia beach bag and a Boracay t-shirt that I only used once. Surprisingly for me, my 2 souvenirs from Bacolod I gave away: my earrings, because of persistence; my necklace, because of love. I didn’t really expect anything when I started my trip. I just wanted to get away. I’m still not sure what I have gained from my adventure. Before I start work again in July, I’d be thinking over my trip and hoping that I had at least learned something, since a journey is always personal and usually benefit the traveler the most.