My 40th Birthday Solo Trip in Mindanao

Camiguin Solo Trip Blog

It wasn’t a planned trip. I was thinking about doing nothing special for my big 4-0. I don’t usually celebrate birthdays with parties but for this milestone, I thought of doing something special—not a grand birthday bash or buying myself an expensive gift—I thought of having a solo trip somewhere, anywhere.

I grew up not having any party for my birthdays—usually, it’s just a simple dinner with my family with a cake. The introvert in me was thankful though, as I never wanted any focus or attention on me on any given day. Even our simple orchard wedding in Zambales was so for introverts that we didn’t have a special table in front of all the guests during the reception dinner—or rather, we didn’t have any table at all as we wanted to show up when we wanted to and hide somewhere if we needed to (skipping all the typical goings-on in a traditional wedding). I digress.

Okay, so the point is, I wanted to do something for me, myself. Not in a selfish way, but as a person who hasn’t experienced living alone—which I do not regret ‘coz I got to be with my mom and dad until I lost them both just years ago. I wanted to tend for myself, and no one but myself—even for a short time. Hence, I decided to have a solo trip, for the third time—my first after getting married and having a child.

Bukidnon Solo Trip Blog

Christian, my husband, was very supportive—I’ve been very blessed to have a life partner who allows me to actively pursue self-discovery and self-love. Our son, Akira, was excited as well.

So, all was set for my birthday trip but I still didn’t have any Philippine destination in mind. I thought of going to Kalinga, Apayao, and Abra but the bus fares were too steep for just a short trip. I also considered going to the island province of Siquijor ‘coz it’s my favorite island in the Philippines, but I want my two boys to be with me when I go back there. I then looked for options using the roundtrip vouchers that I got from Cebu Pacific’s CEB Super Pass that we availed some months back through their promo sale.

I then remembered this Instagram post about a mountain ridge in Bukidnon, it really made me want to go there. And with that, I redeemed my vouchers for a Manila - Cagayan de Oro roundtrip flight so I could explore Bukidnon. And then, a few days after, I saw an email from Cebu Pacific Air about my departure flight being rescheduled. It left me with three options; rebook it to another time, reroute to Camiguin, or refund and put it in a travel fund. I chose the second one ‘coz it meant I would get a free flight to Camiguin, which wasn’t actually in the plan but seemed a good addition to my adventure.

Camiguin Solo Trip Blog

And so, I set out on my actual day of birth and went to Camiguin, Cagayan de Oro City, and Bukidnon—my first time in Northern Mindanao. And what are the odds that I get to share the same birthday as the owner of my inn in Camiguin, so we got the whole barangay partying that night? Truly amazing!

I will share in my next posts how I spent my four-day short stint in three provinces and how I had the best birthday bash I could ever have. Christian organized a pre-birthday get-together with family and friends on the day before my actual birthday, it was such a sweet gesture since I specifically told him that a party for me wasn’t necessary.

Here’s to starting my 40s with a grateful heart, healthier choices, and growing old with my favorite people.

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