The Road to Happiness!

3:00 AM

The second day of DFAT 2012 was more of a weekend getaway from the perpetually gluttonous food cravings in the city than what the event ought to be. At the same time, it was also a road trip that seasons a certain longing for peace while the road extends up to the highlands of Kapatagan.



There's the blissful me when the day started as well as that human part where you couldn't help but worry for what the day may have in store for you. This is actually the ultimate reason why I cannot travel. Yes, there's the merriment coz the sun is up there shining so bright - promising you a wonderful day. But there's also the fear that a nimbus cloud might gloom up your journey. Unfortunately, my mind travels faster than our van that I actually thought things out until I went through all possibilities in all dimensions and I came up with a hypothesis (or a semi-conclusion in less than half a minute) - that is, chances of having a bad day are slim, nevertheless hard to predict. But to go through the philosophical and the statistical conceptions of predictability is something my mind cannot go through without research. I was in a van FYI! So, from a moment full of worries I just snapped out of it and thought maybe it's best to think about nothing.



Since summer started I never really had much time to think about nothing. While it may sound a little odd to think about nothing or not think at all; I believe it's essential to most people especially those who are stressed out by urban living. Most of my summer were spent at school and online, and these two divergent sections requires well-timed firing of neurons so that my brain would serve me well. It's been like a hundred years of a lot of thinking that I've gone all weary. There's stress, I carry out some burdens at home, still got a hangover from my recently concluded summer class, got some website problems (the goddamn google penguin update to be specific) and I have to make sure (or hope) things would be alright. That's why I feel like I need to think about nothing. Be at peace (Although not "Rest in Peace".LOL.). But just as how?



For a moment during our travel, nature enveloped me again with its amazing wonders. I loosen my grip to absorb what nature was about to hit me. It was a 150 degree visual pleasure of the verdant surrounding in a fashionable moving way. It was full of details that the Miyazaki-fan within me was screaming like someone who won the lottery. Such details, such splendor all around me. I got so overwhelmed that I fell asleep. hehe

A LITTLE WHILE LATER. . . or MAYBE AN HOUR or SO. . .

Our van stopped. It was raining outside. I was hungry and wished I brought some of those sweet and spicy chicken wings we had for lunch at Fiesta Sorpresa. Ohh...how I wish I really did! If only I had anticipated that I'll starve halfway our journey I would have eaten a lot back at Fiesta Sorpresa.





My anti-byahilo med started to wear off. Luckily, we arrived to Mt. Apo Highland Resort just in time before my stomach starts to erupt. We were greeted by the guard, who I'd like to think was just doing his job than spiting the "Impatient-to-get-off-the-van" ME by letting us stay in the van to log in to their guestbook. But after that I was free and it felt as though I'm fluttering on a breeze of joy. Me ganon?


The rain stopped. I wandered around the place until the atmosphere swept away my emotional tone. 

Just look at how beautiful Lake Mirror is!


We were walking around until we spotted a boat. So, Robbie, Renz, Doc Charles and I went boating! :-D





Despite my phobia on boats, I got up the nerve to try boating (again) because there'se 4 of us and if ever the boat sinks, damay damay na diba!? Haha.

The boating experience was fun. It reminded me of my first boating experience. It's been about 10 years since I last rode on a boat and luckily the boat didn't sink this time. 

Obligatory "TADAAA!" Pose.


After a while, we visited the Mt. Apo Civet Coffee Farm at Hillside to see the civet cats. But they were too shy for Photo Shoot so Renz, Robbie, Mica and I decided to "photo-shoot" ourselves instead.

Such Camwhores! Adorable camwhores. :D
- Some photos stolen from Renz. XD

COFFEE BREAK @ Starbucks Kapatagan. Char lang!
We also had the chance to try the civet cat coffee. Brewed from the finest coffee beans that has just been harvested from the fresh poops of civet cats. Juzzz kiddin..

After the coffee break courtesy of the coffee-pooping civet cats (technically), accommodating people of The Hillside we went straight to Agong House. Agong House is a quirky place! If you need artistic inspirations you will surely get overwhelmed by the artworks of the great Kublai Millan. It only took us a few minutes to get to Agong House from The Hillside. Since the entrance or pathway up to the park is narrow and steep, we needed to walk up to the park.

Well everyone did . . uhmm..exept for me, that's because I rode a horse without anyone noticing. While everyone was busy taking pictures and wandering around a group of tourists went to the park riding horses. When they all hopped out of the horse I asked the owner if I could take a photo while riding the horse.

It was my first time riding a horse and it was quite an unnerving experience. I didn't feel comfortable with the thought that I'm riding on something that's bobbing between my legs.

Just like a boss, a ninja, Captain America. :-p

And there came moments of solitude. Yes, I went back to EMO MODE. Who wouldn't? The place sets that kind of mood. While quirky sculptures creates a bizarrely emotional atmosphere, nature throws flashback of happy thoughts and a bit of anxiety over a relaxing musical score.

It was there. There are at Agong House where I found peace. Earlier, I've been thinking about thinking nothing and wanting not to think. But while there's still life that's impossible. The key to a peace of mind is to preoccupy your head with happy thoughts and surround yourself with happy things and happy people. And only then you will find. .

Sum the three and you'll get PURE HAPPINESS! <3



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27 comments

  1. Looks like you had a lot of fun. Seems DAvao is becoming the place to go to.

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    1. It has always been "a place to go". There are just these misconceptions about Davao (actually, Mindanao) that needs to be be put to rest.

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  2. This quite an adventure. I like how you combined photos and animated images. It livens up your blog.

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  3. Ang kyut ng last photo. Naku pano ba makasama sa DFAT haha =)

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    1. Wait until we roll out the page/form where you can sign up for DFAT 2013. :-)

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  4. Replies
    1. Yeah, na miss ko rin ang Agong House! Gusto kong mag photoshoot dun ala Mad Hatter. So Wonderland!

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  5. great to know you had fun!! I hate the traveling part too specially if it's too hot and the drive is how many hours! urgh! but every tired muscle will relax once you're at your destination right? and if it's more than what you have expected. ;)

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  6. Wow, you're such a worrywart! If I'd think about the negative possibilities of any trip, I'd be a mongha, hehe. But I'm glad you went ahead despite your phobias and worries. See how fun it is? It could not be otherwise with the Dyosa. ;)

    Btw, that coffee is really from civet cat poop! No kidding! So how did poop taste? :))

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    1. Ohhh....no! Not really but civet cats eat the coffee beans and process it through their stomach and the product is a somehow fermented coffee bean. These beans are harvested from the poop. O__O Okay, I can't really explain well so perhaps I could just answer your last question . . . and the poop tasted good. lol

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  7. Ugh kalagot ka! I also wanted to have that horseback riding photo rin! Di ko pa na try mag ride ng horse sweaaaaar

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    1. I'm not sure if you're going to love the experience. But we probably should head back to Kapatagan and try the things we weren't able to do since our last Kapatagan Adventure.

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  8. Nice post Mark.. Oh, when was the last time I visited Kapatagan? I think that was 2004. Hahahaha... Not yet developed and only the cable car and the ziplines were there. I think I need to go back there sometime kay medyo dugay na gyud.

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    1. What?? 2004? That's so 8 years ago. You're talking about Camp Sabros right? There are lots of places in Kapatagan now. Seriously, you've gotta go back. Isama mo kami! lelz

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  9. Need not worry when you travel
    Let the road take you! :)

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  10. gorgeous photos!! the foods looks really yummy!! the lake is a mirror like! xx

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  11. I usually go to Davao peru sa city lang kasi work related young trip. How I will wish I can go back there para magbakasyon

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  12. I was entertained by the photos and animations hahaha!!


    Challenges of Losing Weight

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  13. very refreshing. You got a nice lake mirror, verry cool!!
    and I wanna try to drink that poop too. lol

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  14. Love your photos, love the drawings too ♥
    This is the first time I've heard of such place :)

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  15. My mom has been there and she told me the place is really good. I hope my family could visit Davao sometime soon. ^_^

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  16. Wow, looks like you had so much fun! And kasama pa PTB! I hope to visit this place when I come to Davao. :)

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    1. I'm hoping tho, to be part of PTB soon! :-p
      Punta ka dito for Kadayawan!

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  17. Pag ganyan ang mapupuntahan mo talagang magiging masaya ka. hehe

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  18. Great shots of the lake. It's gorgeous.

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  19. I thought real people yung kahawak kamay mo lol..

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