Finding productivity in Busay’s scenic hills

Finding productivity in Busay’s scenic hills

THE mornings of June have brought a surprising chill, a refreshing whisper of cold that no one is complaining about. It’s the kind of weather that fuels productivity, where you can work without the oppressive heat causing sweat to trickle down your brow. These are the days we once wished for.

As responsibilities pile up like a never-ending buffet, the instinct to escape grows stronger. I’m no exception, but this time, I’ve found a peculiar yet healthy way to cope. I ran away with my work. It may sound contradictory, almost absurd, but there’s somehow a point to it. The crisp June air has a way of rousing me from bed at the break of dawn, compelling me to set out on a spontaneous climb up the hills of Busay, iPad in hand.

Pulling through

The city’s noise has been a constant distraction lately, but the hills of Busay turned out to be the escape I didn’t know I needed. If these tips help you out, here’s how I got over my writing slump.

First, grab whatever you have to get up the mountain — a motorcycle, a car, anything. For me, it was my partner’s 125 cubic centimetres motorcycle. It doesn’t need to be a big bike to get you to a mountain café; just hop on and get rolling.

That being said, a work breakfast in the mountains isn’t without its challenges. Escaping the city noise and enjoying cleaner air with peace as my backdrop means taking deep breaths as we go through sharp turns and blind curves.

As you make your way up this time of year, a gentle blanket of fog caresses the air, not too thick to obscure your view but enough to create a serene ambiance. It’s all part of nature’s remedy, a subtle healer of the soul. The cool breeze brushes against my face, and strangely, it feels comforting. It may sound corny, but nature just has its way of healing the spirit.

Along the way, we encountered scenes of local life unfolding in simplicity: vendors arranging their flowers for sale and a multicab blaring its speakers, rousing locals to purchase fresh produce. It’s a quaint sight, especially during our almost 30-minute ride. Yet, the highlight was undoubtedly the sight of cows dotting the hillsides. Observing them brought such simple joy, especially for a city girl who doesn’t often get to see cows. To stay awake and engaged during the ride, I’d initiate random conversations. “Look at that adorable cow. Do you think they play like dogs in the field?” I’d inquire. “Perhaps,” came the reply. “How?” I prodded further. “Like playing luksong-baka,” he responded, and a moment of silence followed, punctuated only by the gentle hum of the engine.

After spotting 15 cows along the way, I had my heart set on a pit stop at a cafe called the 21 Kilometers Coffee, our go-to spot on the road to Transcentral Highway (TCH). I might raise a few eyebrows among coffee enthusiasts by boldly claiming their cappuccino as the finest but I don’t mind because it really is. Still, we drove past it for the sake of trying a new spot. And lo and behold, like a secret treasure, we stumbled upon a restaurant perched like a treehouse.

The Nomad’s Refuge greeted us with a staircase of medium length leading to the entrance. Arriving, we found ourselves the only patrons at that moment. I guess I should really be thanking the cows because each cow we pass by, I make a wish, and one of them is to find a workspace that would fuel my productivity.

We found our spot at a table, bathed in the cool embrace of the mountain breeze, bamboo seats cradling us in rustic comfort, with just a hint of the distant houses peeking through the haze. The city was finally away and muted this time. I gazed out for a few minutes before fully realizing that this right here, is how you break free from the shackles of a productivity slump. It was definitely a digital nomad’s refuge!

As we waited for our order, I took the opportunity to wrap up an article I’d started the day before. Once our meal arrived, I savored every bite of their famous Spinach pizza — it was hands down the best I’ve ever had. And let’s not forget the coffee: a caramel macchiato and a cappuccino, both equally delicious. Despite there only being three staff members on duty, they were incredibly friendly and welcoming.

It just proves that sometimes, breaking the monotony is the key to sparking productivity. Trying out new places and experiences can do wonders. Since then, I’ve made a point to inject a bit more spontaneity into my routine.


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