How Much We Miss the Outdoors: Let Us Count the Ways

The covid-19 lockdown is almost a month old, with a half month more to go. Adapting to the home quarantine is no problem for wanderers, as they are used to changing surroundings and shifting realities. Let’s see how our fellow travelers are dealing with the prolonged deprivation of outdoors. Tag us in Instagram so we can add your photos.

1. Staring Out the Window

Yes, that’s staring out the window in the city or in the middle of dry land, yet seeing the beach and the sea up close. Sometimes, when we miss something or someone so much, we imagine them even if we’re looking at something else. Some call this “daydreaming,” a useful tool to fight boredom, or “mind wandering,” a tool to increase creative thinking and productivity.

View of the Onuk Beach, Balabac, Palawan.
View of the Onuk Beach, Balabac, Palawan. Photo courtesy of Irene Key Ylanan (check her Instagram account, @ikeydy, for more photos).

The lovely Irene Key Ylanan obviously loves the the beaches of Onuk Island in Balabac, Palawan, which “tops [her] Philippines’ best off-beaten beaches.” We’ve heard about Onuk beach but we haven’t been there. She’s been there not once, but twice. “Second time here and still inlove,” she says. Good for you, kabayan. Enjoy the gorgeous view.

2. Cheers to the Outdoors

“Beach, beer and blue skies after this quarantine,’ goes the MJ’s caption of this photo:

Beach, beer and blue skies.
Beach, beer and blue skies. Photo courtesy of MJ (check his Instagram account,, for more photos).

We couldn’t say it any better. Beach, beer and blue skies. That sums it all up. We can’t be on the beach right now, obviously, but we have blue skies and we certainly can have beer. Problem is, beer tastes much better with the salty, warm sea breeze (and infinitely much better if not flavored beer, sorry MJ).

3. Running in Place

We love the sound of F1 racing cars. The power in the engine, you can hear in the angry revving. Yet, until the clutch is engaged, the car stays in place; it’s all power noise, no movement. Pretty much like the pent-up energy of travelers, stuck in place during the home quarantine. It’s like playing Super Mario with the forward/back button disabled.

Mountains of Bukidnon
Run to the mountains of Bukidnon. Photo courtesy of Carlo MC (Check his Instagram account, @carlomcfoto, for more photos).

Raring to burn that rubber on the road. Sooner, we hope. In the meantime, we sit still. At home. In the words of Carlo: “Too much on bad news? Pls don’t miss your chance to spread love and positivity. Keep Safe. Stay at Home. So we can go back to the mountains soon.” Yessir.

4. In our Ivory Tower

The phrase “ivory tower” has a negative connotation — “a state of privileged seclusion or separation from the facts and practicalities of the real world.” In this covid-19 pandemic, however, the seclusion is a unifying, common reality among all the peoples of the world. There is no separation from reality. The seclusion IS the reality. 

Mt. Kalawitan, Mountain Province
Looking down at the clouds at Mt. Kalawitan, Mountain Province. Photo courtesy of Amazing Pilipinas (check their Instagram account, @amazing_pilipinas, for more amazing photos of the Philippines).

It is a bit unreal if the “ivory tower” is not our respective homes, but a pine branch overlooking the clouds at Mt. Kalawitan in Mountain Province. This heavenly view is beyond reach during normal times, except for the brave few; certainly out of reach for everyone in this time of the veerus. But soon we’ll be free from our isolation and decide whether to take the long trek. Or not. If undecided, perhaps the words of Amazing Pilipinas can be of help: “Heading to the outdoors makes a man better than who he was. It is when you make the decision to trade what is easy and comfortable to paths that will confront your fears that you start to overcome them.” And women, too.

[Photos reproduced with permission (thanks). Tag your Philippine travel photos with #visitpinas so we can track it down. Photos will be featured in this blog’s photo of the day and in instagram/VisitPinas, facebook/VisitPinas, twitter/VisitPinas.]

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