Letter to a Nomad's Girlfriend




Dear Kai,

I’m sorry for the times when we seldom see each other because I preferred to be on the road or at some peak of rugged mountains. I find “pleasure in the pathless woods and rapture in the lonely shore”, as Lord Byron said. But that doesn't mean I feel comfortable in a distance from you. I have always wished that in the middle of the chilly night inside my tent I am wrapped in your arms, not inside my lifeless sleeping bag. 

When I bore you with stories of my adventures, just bear with me. With you I can be as poetic as Neruda and as perceptive as Pico Iyer when I talk about freedom and beauty and travels. Imagine the sea of cottony clouds beneath your feet standing on the summit of Mt. Apo, how grandiose a structure is the Angkor Wat, how surreal the feeling was when I first set step at the Kingdom of Thailand on my first foreign trip, and how speechless I was when I reached for the first time the peak of Mt. Melibingoy. The completions of my journeys are when I have shared it with you. I wanted to entice you, too, so you can join me in my next trips. 

If my tales are too much to listen to, give me hugs so I would know that you miss me and that a kiss is what you want from my lips, not my stories. 

I know it worries you when I don’t plan my journeys. You see, aimlessness has gifted me with a better sense of the world. When I went to Cambodia alone with just a small notebook with list of the terminals it did not worry me a bit. I was exploring like a child excited to see a nation of architectural and historic wonders. When I biked around Siem Reap I wished I was racing the alleys and photographing monks with you. See, I made it and took home lots of stories again to tell you. I saw more of the world and it brought me to greater wonders when I saw what I did not expect. It’s an awakening I want to share and experience with you soon.  
Did you keep all the goodies I brought home for you from my journeys? That authentic shawl from silk worm hand-woven by Thai Song Dam women from Bang Krut Province; the shawl woven by Tboli women from Lake Sebu, the flip flops I collected from my trips to Manila, Davao and Baguio; the beach shorts I bought cheap in Boracay; the anklets and bracelets I haggled the price for from fellow mountaineers in Mt. Apo; and the Puerto Galera shirt I got from a roadside stall in Mindoro Oriental. You may not see it but I am gearing you up for trips in the future. 

Here's a story you will hate to know: I missed the sunrise in Angkor Wat because I overslept in my hostel. My bad. Maybe someday when I have somebody to sleep beside me and wake me up sleeping in an ethnic-inspired antique bed like what I saw in Lombija, Guimaras my sleeping pattern would change. 

Sorry if I kept you worrying when I headed to Mt. Apo for my first solo climb. I was hesitant to traverse the unfamiliar trail alone with a guide, a stranger. I just didn’t let you know my fears. The late Chris McCandless was right in his learning “how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong." My climb was a mental battle. See, I survived. Only you would understand if I tell you I broke down in tears when I reached the summit just as the orange sun was setting. It was one of the greatest moments in my outdoor tramping. More importantly, that’s when I started to ponder in total silence about an important decision I must make which I will tell you by the end of this piece. 

I know it worried you more when despite time-challenged I traversed Mt Kitanglad and Mt.Dulang-dulang in Bukidnon Province on my own again. The bone-chilling cold reminded me of your caring eyes. I prayed for the warmth of your arms when I went down on my knees tired and cold. 

I hope you see how humble I have become as a person with my adventures. These experiences, as Iyer puts into words “(tell) us that our highest moments come when we're not stationary, and that epiphany can follow movement as much as it precipitates it.” It’s a different feeling to feel that natural high when alone in the roads or in the woods. They call me a nomad as I keep myself always moving. You see, my spirit is always alive. I never get tired. But this time please accept my invitation to join me in my highest moments in the future. I want to feel your lips in the moments of outdoor epiphany. 

By the way, here’s a ring I've been keeping for a month now that I got from a jewelry store in a night market in Cambodia. It's not studded with diamonds. Expensive rocks on your rings won’t take us flying to a land with dream-like landscapes together. If you will accept my proposal, you will become my travel and mountain buddy in the next part of your lifetime. 

More than nine years is how long I’ve waited to finally ask you this. In the darkness of the night flooded with stars at freezing three degrees Celsius at the peak of Philippine’s grand mountain while I was alone, this is the question I pondered if I am worth asking you:

Will you join me in my most daring adventure? Will you marry me? 

By the way, here's a ticket for two to Hanoi, Vietnam I bought using part of my savings. There’s a UNESCO world heritage site three hours away from the city we can stay for our honeymoon.


                                                                                                  Truly yours,
                                                                                           
                                                                                                  Louie

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The above piece was written by this blogger, a former skeptic to the concept of marriage, as part of his marriage proposal to his girlfriend for more than nine years. He read this piece in front of her in a highland resort overlooking Sarangani Bay in General Santos City. 
Fortunately, she said YES! 
They recently did their engagement pictorials in Baguio City and above the sea of clouds toned by the sunrise on the summit of Mt. Pulag in Kabayan, Benguet Province in Cordillera. 
They are currently debating and working hands-on  for the details of their wedding. 

Update: They got married six months after his proposal was accepted. Here's a photostory of their wedding: My adventure themed wedding: a photo story

31 comments:

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  2. moving gid kaayo, true love gid, so sweet of you Mr. Louie, ahhh! Best wishes tasting buddies and of course adventurous kiddos in the future, tani maging playmates ko sila, :))

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    1. salamat Miminess. Mahimo kami sa sunod sang magiging future playmate kag travel mate mo ah. hehe. cheers!

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  3. WOW this is so sweet and sincere! With moving words like these you could damn well hope for an affirmative answer :)

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    1. Thanks, Maam. Luckily, I got the answer i prayed for. hehe. cheers!

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  4. aw! goosebumps here! may your tribe increase, louie! i hope to meet you both someday...congratulations!

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    1. thanks, ms.pinaytunay. i am excited. thanks for dropping by. see u around. :D cheers!

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  6. Great! speechless ako Sir! galing!

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  7. congrats sir! kung ako baye, nag yes nako siguro after the first paragraph. :)

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    1. haha! sobra ka na man uy. thanks sir. cheers!

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  8. Congrats brod, may your travels strengthen the bond and keeps the yours and hopefully become her passion alive till years to come :)

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  9. wow...so so nice...stay like this always Louie and you'll be blessed with a happy and fruitful life. Congratulations to both of you.

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  10. wow...so so nice...stay like this always Louie and you will be blessed with a happy and fruitful life. Congratulations to both of you.

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  11. amazing .love at its grandest.

    congrats louie

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  12. This is so so tearjerkingly sweet.

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