Onto the Road Less Traveled. Sorta.

Every year, I usually take time off work to go on a trip to another country by myself. I’d find myself bumming at a friend’s place or finding the cheapest hotel there is and spending the weekend just exploring the city on my own. Other years, I’d go on a huge trip and would spend two weeks away and it would usually be with family. This year was a little different since I had resigned from my 4-year job. I was jobless and broke and so I couldn’t really afford to go anywhere but I knew that I wanted to go somewhere for my birthday. Hong Kong was tempting as one of my good friends and my personal hair stylist had moved back there from NZ and she already had a ticket to come and see me until she was stopped by her parents.

Coincidentally, I was also thinking about getting another tattoo that represented the Philippines. It was something that I was trying to put off because I hadn’t accepted the fact that I was living and working here and I still longed to be back in NZ. While chatting with a friend I had met in the last month, she gave me an idea to go up to the mountains to get a traditional tattoo by the oldest traditional tattoo artist, Whang-Od. Whang-Od is a 95-year old woman who until this day works almost all day giving tattoos.

So tomorrow night will be the first time for me to go up the mountains to visit this sacred woman. And would be the first time for me to go hiking since I was back in Papua New Guinea and hiked half the Kokoda Trail with the Australian Army. So enough with the chit chat, here are the items that I am packing for the 3-day trip to Buscalan, Kalinga.


Bags: 45L + 10L Deuter and Deuter Travel Belt

(Order of numbers in no particular preference)

  1. GoPro MonoPod
  2. Quick dry towel
  3. 4 shirts: 1 long-sleeved, 2 t-shirts and 1 singlet
  4. Sports bra and Underwear
  5. Raincoat
  6. Sleeping bag
  7. Dry bag
  8. Neck pillow
  9. GoPro headstrap
  10. GoPro
  11. Candies and Matches for villagers in Buscalan
  12. Snacks
  13. Foldable Travel Bag
  14. Airism Hydro Jacket
  15. Flashlight and Headlight
  16. Instax Camera
  17. Sunglasses and Eyeglasses
  18. Spare battery iPhone case
  19. Powerbanks and cords
  20. Phone holder with attached flashlight and coin purse
  21. First Aid kit
  22. Scarf, bandanas and hand towels
  23. Beanie
  24. Bluetooth Speaker
  25. Alcohol and Foot Spray
  26. Sandals
  27. Quick Dry trekking shoes
  28. Extra cargo shorts
  29. Leg compressors and arm sleeves
  30. Water bottles

I’m a noob packer, I know. But this is a start. I’ll definitely learn from this experience in time for my second hike up on my birthday.

Until then, adios Manila!


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