An overnight bus ride to the upper fringes of Luzon. Then, a grueling, five-hour lampitaw ride further north, to the haziest verges of the Philippine territory, all the while battling the tumultuous waves of the Babuyan Channel. This is how Calayan, the Arcadia of the North, tests its curious visitors. It makes sure that only the bravest, starry-eyed wanderers, those with the true heart of an adventurer, will ever tread its verdant pastures and wade in its turquoise waters.
Each one of us came from different walks of life, outfitted with an interesting backstory of our own, but we were all gathered in a midnight bus, on a sun-parched boat ride, to fulfill the same mission: to see the far-flung corners of the world with fresh eyes. While the idea of warm, fuzzy beds in hotel rooms surely sounds enticing, we prefer to crash into some local’s humble home any time of the day—not caring so much if we’re offered the snug, cushioned couch, or the cold, concrete floor. After all, we are, in every sense of the word, “happy campers.”
Here’s a video I made from our GoPro clips. Gahd, I miss this place so much. Enjoy!