IF ONE happens to visit Lanao on a particularly rainy day, he could see a dense fog blanketing the lake. He could feel a connection to the lake, one deeper than the countless stories told about its majesty and mysteries.
Travelers will be fascinated with the intricate patterns on the shells of the baby turtles being nursed in the Pawikan Sanctuary in Maitum, Sarangani Province. One can't help but imagine how the town's fisherfolk had probably held these gentle creatures in their hands when they decided to protect them instead of cooking their eggs for food.
One will also enjoy dipping his hand in the waters of the Celebes Sea while aboard a motorized boat heading to one of the islands of Sarangani, Davao Occidental, a municipality just a few miles away from the maritime border between the Philippines and Indonesia. He will feel the water get a little colder as its blueness deepens from light to greenish to dark.
Travelers often navigate the world by touching other humans-tapping a shoulder to ask for directions, shaking hands with new acquaintances or linking arms with travel companions as they explore a place. For those who like touching creations made by hand, they can try examining the thickness and softness of the colorful textiles sold at Canelar Barter Trade Center in Zamboanga City.
As shared by some of the merchants, woven and dyed into these fabrics are the stories that span the waters of the Malay archipelago, as most of the items had sailed across the waters of Indonesia and Malaysia before reaching the Philippines. One might even end up bringing home a malong with a floral batik pattern.
One can also visit the Grand Mosque of Cotabato City, the largest in the Philippines, and scrutinize by hand the unique curvatures and carved designs that make up its grand architectural plan. A local would tell you how the Grand Mosque connects them to the people of Brunei Darussalam as the latter's sultan helped fund its construction, hence, it is officially called by the sultan's name.
The mosque is also a symbol of openness, as although it's a Muslim structure, people from all walks of life are welcome to enter-an apt description of how the diverse makeup of their city works. The estuary near the mosque is where the saline water of the sea and the fresh water of the river meet.
While most people have not traveled since the pandemic began, they can, in the meantime, gather the mementos they've collected during their past travels and look forward to a time when they can freely travel again.
For travel updates on open destinations and their safety protocols, one can visit www.philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app from the Google Play Store or the iOS App Store. (Sponsored Content)