With a Tagaytay resthouse located amidst a hilly and pineapple-studded area that requires precise instructions to locate, it doesn’t take long for any guest to feel at home at Angelito Pangilinan’s little hideaway. A quirky hot bath tub sourced from Antique in one corner of the property, and is an authentic Ifugao dwelling is tucked away among the greenery in another part of the lot, it’s difficult to say “no” when you’ve been invited to dine for lunch or even stay overnight.
An enthusiastic traveler who got his start going door-to-door or town-to-town gathering data for marketers as an interviewer/researcher, Pangilinan has been to more places in the country than the average Pinoy. What area did he enjoy visiting on the job?“I enjoyed the Bondoc Peninsula towns of Unisan and Macalelon. I remember we were accommodated in the riverside resthouse of the then mayor of Unisan, and rode a boat on the river after the day’s work. I also discovered that saging na saba (plantains) can be grilled, and enjoyed this merienda (afternoon snack) immensely. In Macalelon, we even experienced doing a harana (serenade).”
BoyP Pangilinan hasn’t tamed his wandering ways. In fact, he’s channeled it into a blog: boyplakwatsa.com. He humorously recalls one road trip that went (literally) south: “One morning in Tagaytay, I decided to travel and phoned my wife that I’d be going to Baguio. Along Sta. Rosa Road, I thought maybe I should go to Baler instead, and asked a friend to make hotel arrangements. When I entered SLEX, I changed my mind and decided to do a longer trip, went southbound instead. Guess what, that impulse took me to the island province of Catanduanes. Along the way, I went on a 4X4 ride on then practically non-existent roads to Caramoan, intrigued by the fact that the Survivor TV series was filmed there many, many times.“
Reflecting on the manner he travels locally, BoyP muses: “When I travel, it is really not the destination. I really just enjoy traveling and the discoveries along the way. Sometimes that discovery can actually be just a nice little carinderia by the roadside.”
Asked to name his top three Philippine destinations, Pangilinan enumerates: “The only spot I haven’t been to is the province of Quirino. When I was in the region once, I had wanted to go inwards and explore this province, but did not have enough time. I was told that practically the whole province sits on a series of caves. Who knows, but one day I might just visit Quirino, and never see the town but just go spelunking.“
“The other place on my bucket list is actually going to be a return visit since I actually went there when I was way younger – like 34 years ago. I refer to Jolo which I have not visited recently because of the stories on terrorism and kidnappings. But I do want to go because I remember it to be a uniquely beautiful place and I want to be able to take photos and blog about it. I am actually making arrangements with a friend.”
“My next trip is a return to Masbate with a group of photographer friends. Instead of flying, we are doing a road trip and be able to shoot along the way. Masbate is so beautiful and so under-rated (that is also the title of my blog on this province) that I feel like I can help boost their tourism initiatives so that more travelers will discover and enjoy its beauty.”
As an adventurer with a penchant for the unusual, is there a mode of transport he hasn’t tried yet? “I am obsessed with being able to try any mode of transport. Other than planes, boats, and buses, I have been on a hot air balloon in Sydney, in a submarine in Guam, in a helicopter in Niagara. I have taken habal-habal (motorcycle) rides to mountainous resorts otherwise inaccessible on four wheels. Probably the most exciting was being on top of a heap of logs on a truck in Dingalan negotiating a zigzag where, if I don’t hold on, I could fall from the truck to the ravine. But then again, almost as exciting is the boat ride from Basco, Batanes to the island of Sabtang on a falowa, a small boat without outriggers, navigating the treacherous waters where the Pacific meets the West Philippine Sea, with huge waves as high as 9 feet ahead of us, without life vests, in the early 80s.”
For someone with a defined taste for travel, we can only wish an interesting trip whenever BoyP Lakwatsa steps out of his front door.