My Name Is Iara

Hi! Adjusting myself on the front row seat of van 3, looking over the unfamiliar faces behind me.

Hi! Echoed everyone in the van.

My name is Iara. Enunciating my name ever so clearly (a-ya-ra)

But you can call me Ya! for short.

Hi Ya! Just like in a mutual aid fellowship, we greeted each other in harmony showing support, half expecting my answer to the question would break the ice even more.

My favorite body part is………

Suddenly, our once cold stares became warm smiles over shared intimacy.


This Is Where It All Started

That is where it all started before I get to the part how I ended up on this trip, before I fell for someone during our #ExperiencePhilippinesLunaSea4TheReunion #MajorSepanx1Weeksary, and before I volunteered to write this, there we were inside of Van #3 drinking ourselves into oblivion to pass the time. 

The party began inside the van.


And I Packed Up and Left Home..And I Was Lost

I was very excited to end 2017, I promised myself a successful year ahead. As a goal-oriented person, I even asked my boyfriend then to buy me a workbook for self-discovery, exploration, and fulfillment. I have already prepared for half of the year. (Ganun ako ka-excited mamsh kung alam mo lang.) But come January 2018, my boyfriend then and I broke up, I got into a fight with my mother, and the inevitable happened I packed my things and left home.

Every plan I made wallowed in that workbook, stashed somewhere in the room where I felt so trapped. Every bottled-up emotions boiled over and I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to be away. Where I went, nobody knows… (Cheret! Alam naman ng family ko saan ako lumipat.)

God, I was lost. Sabi ko sa sarili ko ano na bes February na… March na…

The first quarter of 2018 went by fast, my plans nowhere near actualized. Come April 2018, I resigned to the situation that I will be celebrating my birthday away from my family, might as well travel and experience diba. But where? how? why is Gamora? CHERET!

Lucky me, I have a very close friend who loves to travel. Since I am not accustomed to traveling alone, let alone organize a DIY trip, she recommended Experience Philippines. I immediately visited their website and made a quick scroll of the activities they offer. Mind you it was overwhelming, intimidating even. I remember asking myself Can I really do this? Can I travel alone? (in Tagalog nga lang syempre).

Without asking my very close friend, she volunteered to go with me to my 1st ever experience: Skin Dive in partnership with SkinDivePH. Skin dive experience can’t be explained, it must be experienced kaya guys book na kayo. They have the best and most accommodating skin dive instructors.


I Settled For Luna Sea 4

Days after skin dive, I was still in post-vacation high and I wanted to keep it that way as long as I can. And so, during breaks I eyed random trips I think I can afford with as much the same enthusiasm I have at online shopping websites. Taking into consideration my circumstance, I settled for Luna Sea 4 and what better way to experience this full moon party than with my brothers and closest friends. Let’s just say, we did not just experience the Philippines, Experience Philippines experienced us. Best people I could ever hope for to be stranded in the open sea and in a beautiful remote island of Burias, Masbate.


You Will Find Friends To Last You For A Lifetime

Vacation hangover is legit! I swear I was not able to do any real work for a week. Word of advice, ngayon palang juskolord aralin niyo na how to combat vacation hangover. I spent office hours fully absorbed in the Luna Sea 4 group chat, which I swear was burning thru a lot of topics at may pa cringe-worthy visuals pa, determined to uncover the juicy, scandalous and exciting happenings that night. There was way too much enthusiasm in that group chat that we had to schedule our reunion in only less than a week from our last trip together.

That was when I fell for someone, like literally po on my knees. I could barely make out the faces and hands that were helping me to get up because I was laughing so hard. That fall corresponded to what I was experiencing.

I’ve realized that in this crazy road of life, we are always going to fall down that’s why it is important to have friends to get us back up on our feet. Fortunately, in Experience Philippines you’ll find enough friends to last you a lifetime of downfalls.


After Reading This Promise Yourself

I volunteered to submit a write-up to Experience Philippines because I wanted to reach out to those who are experiencing a life crisis, going through a heartbreak, fed up with their daily routines and to those who are afraid to travel. After reading this piece, promise yourself this:

“Today I will accept that life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful, today I will love myself unconditionally first before I learn to love others again, today I will give up on who I’ve been for who I will become, today I am travelling for that part of me that was once afraid to travel.” – Anonymous

June 26, 2018 at 2:14 pm
I find your work inspiring because in a sense, I can almost relate to it. I love it, actually!

I got into an accident and almost got killed. while recovering in the hospital, I found out that my girlfriend of so and so years was seeing someone behind my back. I was so down that I almost wanted to take my life then. it’s a good thing the sea saved me as well. I learned how to dive

it’s the peace, the serenity in it. the beauty. and knowing that if you do it wrong, it most certainly will take your life in an instant. you learn to respect it and itch to push yourself a little more each and every time.

anyway, keep yourself inspired and just do what you do. I’m sure people look up to you so keep smiling. it’s contagious. 🙂


2 Responses

June 26, 2018 at 2:36 pm
Hi GVV, have you ever seen the movie “Jack” starring Robin William? It is a move where a mother gives birth to a baby boy whose body ages much faster than the normal rate. With her husband, she raises their son, Jack, who appears to be a 40-year-old man when he is only 10. Though Jack ages rapidly physically, he is mentally and emotionally still a young boy, which causes him considerable difficulty. Near the end of the movie, Jack gives this speech, “You know, as we come to the end of this phase of our life, we find ourselves trying to remember the good times and trying to forget the bad times, and we find ourselves thinking about the future. We start to worry, thinking, ‘What am I gonna do? Where am I gonna be in ten years?’ But I say to you, ‘Hey, look at me!’ Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day… make a wish and think of me. Make your life spectacular. I know I did.” Similar to what you said, keep smiling, keep inspiring and continue writing your own story with a one spectacular happy ending. 🙂