Gameplan: The trail's end

KALINGA, Philippines – They say every road comes to an end, but in travelling, this only means that you've finished another chapter of experiences that you can share with other people.

Gameplan hosts Ton, Amanda and Julian went on a trip to Kalinga, a mountainous province in the Cordillera Administrative Region, where they witnessed a great feast, met the legendary tattoo artist Whang-Od, and stood in awe at the sprawling rice terraces.

"Being here in Kalinga really makes me want to explore more of the Philippines and see what else is out there. It's a completely different pace, cuisine and dialects," said Amanda. 

They stayed in the villages of Tinglayan and Buscalan to spend time with the locals and to get to know their culture. "I think an unforgettable experience for me, would be just sitting down and talking with the people from here. Everyone had their own stories," shared Julian.

Even if they only spent a few days in Kalinga, the people's kindness, simplicity and high spirits have rubbed off on them. "Back home, we worry about all the little things. Where my charger? Where's my power bank? Oh no, do I have everything that I need? We can learn a lot from them because they make do with what they have and they're so happy," said Ton. 

As they near the end of their trip, Julian expressed bittersweet sentiments.  "We're on our way home and I'm pretty sad. But I know it's part of the visiting. You cannot tell a story if you don't have an end to it. So every little visit that you have is a little story that you always add, that you can tell all your friends, and hopefully in some way, inspire them too," he said. –