What I can say: I am delighted to finally be able to publish Czarina Platino’s reflections on her beloved Alicia Hills in Bohol, Philippines. Her local hiking terrain and, as you will shortly read, so much more.
I met Czarina in July 2018. Bohol was my first island destination in the Philippines, and the day with her contributed to making it perhaps the most memorable. For this petite Boholana generously guided me around some of the main sights of the Candijay area (Bohol) – Can-Umantad falls and the Candapdapan rice fields. But, more important, she reminded me that travel is essentially inward and personal and not necessarily far.
Hey, why not write about it? I asked her later. I mean, your experience as a local hiker and what discovering the Alicia Hills meant to you.
Maybe, she answered. I’m not used to writing. But I’ll try.
And she did, and I’m proudly sharing it in my blog.
It was raining hard when I said bye to her and her folks in Alicia. Knowing that I was in for an almost hour-long motorbike ride back to Anda, she swiftly custom-made a raincoat out of a large transparent plastic bag. The improvised raincoat would only die a week later in El Nido, Palawan.
Happy travels, Czarina!
- Introduction (Please keep reading!)
- The First Hike
- She Called it Greenworld
- Project Happiness
- My Family’s First Climb
- Epilogue: My Mission
My Alicia Hills Journey, by Czarina Platino
I grew up in Alicia, a small and a quiet town. I have a lot of fun memories from my childhood days. I remember that I used to cut classes to go with my classmates in the “bukid” (mountains) or when our teacher told us to collect animal manure and we took that chance to enjoy and play outside.
I was a very curious and energetic kid back then. I climbed trees and play “awok-awok” (tag game) on the top while swinging branches to branches like a monkey. And there’s one time when we went to the mountains and brought with us our cooked snacks: “pritong-saging” (fried bananas) and a ripe jackfruit. It makes me smile every time I think about it.
As I get older I see more people being caught by the world’s fast pace that makes us forget how to take a break and learn to appreciate the things we already have and what is around us. I cannot deny the fact that i was also a prey of worldly demand and often overlook what truly I miss out there.
Working away from my hometown for many long years made me distant and disconnected and later realized that I missed my home a lot, my family, the place where I was rooted. Working in the city, life was routinary and hectic. I found my life incomplete.
In this story, I will share with you my personal and memorable experiences climbing the Alicia Hills. You will also know how it changed me as a person and how I found my old soul again. Showing the photo below is my grateful and proud smile as I enjoyed God’s beautiful nature revealed in front of me.