I checked out the gasoline meter of the motorbike and it was close to draining. Oh no! There is no gasoline station along the road (I mean, near the road we are currently taking) and it would take us to travel for about 20-30 minutes more under an average speed to reach the closest gasoline station. Time check, it was 3:30 PM. My brother said, "let's go home because it is getting late."
But I said, "No, let's proceed, parang hindi ka na nasanay (seems like you are not yet used to it)." And to tell you, everytime I do a motorcycle journey with my younger brother, we usually go home at night because I really intend to maximize the things we can do in the presence of light then we'll just go home at night, immediately after sunset. I believe my brother already knew the technique, but he was hesitant to continue the journey deep to the towns of Abra until dark.
Maybe he is just afraid? I don't know. But I think he was not a coward. Until I convinced him, we set to travel more, farther, deeper, and oh yeah, feels good!
|It's the dead end, but this was just the start of a real off-road adventure, literally, we have to be on the waters, not on the road, unplanned and spontaneous.|
With a meager gasoline, we tried to find a local resident to ask how far should we take more to reach the San Quintin town hall. Someone said it is about 15-20 minutes more. I calculated it and I have to stick with my instinct that we can still do it.
The thing here is that, the road going to the town hall was not along the main highway. It was off the main road. But still, I know we can make it even though we have no idea where we are going.
Sometimes I have to wonder and ask myself, "What the heck I am doing this? Risking our lives? Meeting strangers? Exploring places in my own expense without great benefits in return, and why?"
But then again my adventurous shadow has to appear and remind me that this is already programmed in my genes and there's no way I can resist the impulse of discovering and exploring. For that, I always agree because I know there's no reason to disagree for that matter.
I saw someone wearing a shirt with the Philippine flag marked on it and I approached him. I asked him if I can talk to the tourism officer of the town. He asked me why. I introduced myself that I want to know what are the tourist spots or interesting places to see in San Quintin until he told me that there is no tourism officer in the town.
But the man was so excited and he asked more about me until I have to come to the point of telling that I want to explore San Quintin and I "may" feature it on my travel blog for the people to learn about the interesting places in the town. He excitedly accompanied me inside the town hall and showed me photos of their interesting spots with potential to become a tourist destination. He showed me a framed old photo of the Tangadan Tunnel with a big smile on his face which I have already visited and the legendary Tugot ni Angalo (Footprint of Angalo) who is a mythical giant who once stepped in Abra leaving big footprint in their town.
He let me see another person, I can't remember exactly if he was the municipal _______. I was just disappointed that the second man whom I met inside the town hall was not accommodating. He asked me who am I and what is my purpose and I have to introduce myself as a travel blogger to at least give him an idea why I am here. Because if I will tell him that I just love to travel, it might build a suspiscion as to my purpose. You know Abra, they don't want you to intrude to their "territories." So people under suspiscion of spying or destabilizing "their rule" has no room in their territory (OMG, I am thinking beyond Cloud 9 but this really happens).
I said, sir, I want to visit the potential tourist spots in your town. But he replied as if I am worthless saying, "Why go there? Just see the blog of GMA 7 (a TV Network), it is there. Just see that. That's it!"
I replied that I want to visit the place personally and take my own photos. He again replied saying I will just copy the photos of GMA 7. But I insisted that I want my own photos because his suggestion could mean a violation of copyright laws. The irony is that, he doesn't even know the blog URL where I can see that! I asked him how can I reach the place but he deliberately told me that I should not go there because I can hardly go there and that I have to cross the river and it is still far!
Well, I was just asking how to go there and not on how hard is to go there. I am not asking him to guide or assist me there like what they did to GMA 7 staff because I can DIY things. It was not a helpful conversation. Seems like he does not want to promote his town. Well, let's just leave that to him. As for me, I will blog about the beauty of Abra, and of the beauty of my country! That's it!
|View of Abra River from the San Quintin town hall|
But the man whom I first talked with silently guided me out and he was encouraging me still to go there giving me directions and instructions. I don't know but when we were in front of that second man, he can not talk (maybe because that man has a high position and can not be questioned) but when we were not with the 2nd man, the 1st man was continually telling me about those places, and I can say he was very proud.
I decided to go out the town hall (courteously) even though I was disappointed. But I have to say the first man I have talked with was very friendly and accommodating and thanks for his instructions although I was almost driven away by the second one.
But what I saw was a very beautiful river! Yes! It was very enlightening. My disappointment was instantly replenished with joy and excitement!
That great river was just there! It flows between great mountains, verdant mountains, giving me an awesome raw view of nature.
But I saw trucks at the banks of that great river quarrying. I don't know how should I react with this because these are natural resources given by God. But I believe everything that is too much can lead to disaster.
|Approaching the end of the road. Spot the man crossing the waters.|
But we were unstopped. We went near the river and dip to its waters until unexpected encounters happened.
|Our motorbike | A mechanical mixer | Their motorbike (Dead end scene)|
I was thinking should we end up this journey here? I believe there's more to discover in this undiscovered place.
I don't know how can I describe it. Maybe raw? Romantic? Rare? Uh. At an angle close to the river, the waters stayed so calm and the verdant mountains around seemed like waving cheerfully, enticing us to enjoy the nature! I have found a paradise! With this, it is the start of real off-road adventure. Literally, there will be no road, but there will be an adventure. To be continued...