“Isangdaan” is a contraction of two Filipino words “isa” (one) and “daan” (way). In English it would mean “one way” but in the Filipino language it has double meaning, “one way” and “one hundred.” A play of words which means one path, one journey in one hundred days.
ISANGDAAN is a journey around the Philippines in 100 days, non-stop, the cheapest way possible. The route is started from Manila (Day 1) and up towards Northern part of the country mainly exploring the Cordillera Region (Days 13-22) then down south of to Quirino, Aurora and Quezon. Continuing to the Bicol Region stopping on the islands of Marinduque (Day 30) and Masbate (Day 40). The jaunt then went to the eastern coast of the Visayas (Days 41-47), Samar passing by the longest bridge in the Philippines to Leyte, then a taking a ferry to Surigao City to explore Dinagat Islands (Day 48) and the Surigao del Sur. I then traversed Central and Northern Mindanao passing by Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao and Cotabato (Day 62) and found my way to Lanao and the Zamboanga Peninsula. I carried on towards by ship the farthest island provinces of Sulu (Day 73) and Tawi-Tawi (Day 76) before flying back to Zamboanga City. I then took a bus all the way up to Dapitan to catch a ferry to Dumaguete City (Day 79). When I arrived at Dumaguete City I immediately went to the mystical province of Siquijor thereby setting foot on all 80 provinces of the Philippines (Day 80). I then island hopped every major Visayas islands until I reached Iloilo City (Day 89). The voyage to Palawan has a short stop-over in a small town of Cuyo (Day 90) before it docks to Puerto Princesa City. I spent the remaining week in Palawan kayaking around the islands of El Nido. On my 100th day, I flew back to Manila and took a bus home. Going back to the familiar town of Los Banos where it all. My backpack a little bit lighter, my skin darker, my life happier and mu childhood dream FULFILLED!
During the journey, I challenged myself to spend the least possible money every single day and to go to places that are off-the-tourist-radar. I wanted to experience Filipino hospitality in its truest sense, observe the distinct cultures in each regions, learn some dialects and befriend locals. The journey took a toll not only financially but also physically not to mention the longing for a home, a family, hence an emotional challenge but I kept on reminding myself, “if not now, when?” and I would always end up saying “it’s now or never.” This journey is a fulfillment of a childhood dream and hopefully become an inspiration to everyone. Not only that it is replete with heart-pumping adventures hence an action-filled book but I took extra effort to make this book sound like I was just having conversation with you over a cup of coffee. So try reading this in the morning when the mind is still calm. I wrote this so that the travelers of today will be inspired and pass this inspiration to the next generation of trailblazers.
I did this challenge from February 1 – May 10, 2012. Summer was about to start so I practically had good weather during the entire trip. It was also a perfect time to have sea trips as the ocean is calm during this season.
Like every other journey, this is not only an odyssey to discover what the Philippines has to offer to the intrepid me. This is also a journey to know myself better and to be in tune with oneself- to find my purpose and my part in this world. It is also a journey to know more of the Creator God who made me, hence a spiritual one, a pilgrimage as what others may call it.
This online book will be a recollection of both simple and unbelievable experiences I had while on the journey called “ISANGDAAN.”
I hope this book inspires the youth to travel and see the world and encourage everyone that money (or lack of it) is never a hindrance to following your dreams.
Join me in “ISANGDAAN Journey.”