“This time it was going to be different,” I thought to myself. However, when we arrived at Pagudpud beach in Saud Ilocos Norte, I instantly got the feeling, from the looks of it, that this is just another beach; maybe this is what you got when you’ve been to a number of beaches around the Philippines, or maybe I’m just tired. I’ve been to the overrated Boracay, pristine Tingloy, Bolinao, Panglao and Bantayan Island – and I can safely conclude that, basically Pagudpud is your typical bummer-swim-and-go beach. It is exciting when you first see it but becomes boring on the second day.
Because travelling are essentially dependent upon particular types of experience, does traveling a lot make our happiness level a little higher and sophisticated? Making us more critical and comparative, thus reducing fun?
Boracay of the North
With no sign of remorse whatsoever, I go out and explore what the Pagudpud beach can offer. To enjoy the place, I prefer to be more into the present and become more “there” and available. Setting aside my bias, I then saw that Pagudpud is quite unique with its outstanding views and the absence of noisy tourists.
The warm tropical sunshine and deep blue sky of Ilocos Norte make the Pagudpud waters turquoise blue and sparkling against the white sands. Above the deep blue waters are rows of bursting white waves, marching onto the Saud shores like the proud and loud Greek warriors sure of their victory. However, Saud faces the open sea and the strong current is quite treacherous so we just play with the waves.
Is Pagudpud beach the Boracay of the North? People who keep on comparing Pagudpud to Boracay are insane because if you compare these two beaches, with Boracay as more superior, you are mocking the beauty of Pagudpud.
Levels of happiness is a myth
The unique beauty of Pagudpud beach, its playful waves and Saud’s verdant mountains are the things I remembered and I later realized that to enjoy each travel experience, we should not compare. Each place has stories with which we build pictures of our travel experiences. A collage, which we are lucky to have experienced and pieced together. Attached to each piece are simple luxuries as that walking in the beach, conversation with friends, amazing sunsets, rhum-coke or vodka.
Is there any ways of detecting your average summer happiness level? For me, there’s none. That question is just a metaphor, a fantasy, a hallucination perhaps, because of course there aren't any levels at all and the experiences that travel gave us, all is equal.
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