Life Stories is exploring creativity and creating explorations in writing. Join us for an adventure through the plains of Zambales to unearth the culture and stories of an indigenous tribe, engage our senses in new settings, and get fresh perspectives on our own stories. Guided by inspired professionals in travel and writing such as Camille Pilar of Clean Beach and Romano Santos & Ruth Juico of MAD Travel, this is a journey for storytellers looking for meaning and purpose through their words. Download the complete event primer here.
Camille Pilar @camillepilar | @cleanbeachco
Camille was a tertiary English and Communication teacher at an international school in Manila. These days, she has become the student and the ocean and its waves are her teachers. She rides words through writing. She reads waves when she surfs. You can share stories over coffee with her at Clean Beach in San Juan, La Union. Just remember to bring your own tumbler— they don’t have to-go cups!
Romano Santos @romanohimself | @seednationph
Romano is MAD Travel’s resident writer (and the Co-Founder of Seed Nation, but that’s not relevant right now). Provided you can read past his acerbic tone and millennial references, he makes some pretty good points on sustainability, travel, and culture. Aside from his Instagram account, his words have also appeared on The Business Mirror, Locale, and art+, and have been turned into art by rising digital artist Issa Barte.
Ruth Juico @mruthiee | @madtravel_ph
Ruth is an eco-conscious yogi who enjoys travelling to learn cultures, meet people, and listen to stories. After practicing yoga for 3 years, she decided to journey to the Yoga Capital of the World – Rishikesh, India – to do a month-long training with the local gurus, where she became a Certified Yoga Teacher. On most days, she works for MAD Travel as tour guide and helps with community development and environment preservation. On others, she teaches yoga. Sometimes, she does both!
At Life Stories, rigid content gives way to candid conversations and fixed theories give way to unfolding stories. Each Life Stories event is a gathering of like-minded and passionate individuals in beautiful settings to talk about the next steps in their personal journeys. In this interactive discussion with MAD Travel’s resident writer, Romano Santos, and Chief Experience Officer, Ruth Juico, we set the foundations for sharing experiences, creating ideas, and putting our passions to work.
How can traveling make you a better writer? That’s the question at the heart of this four-part exploration of writing and storytelling with Camille Pilar, travel writer and owner of Clean Beach. Like characters in a great novel, we’ll venture into different settings and meet other characters with hopes of emerging with new perspectives to view the world and stories to share with it.
The landscapes of San Felipe, Zambales, with its plains, small towns, and beaches, will serve as the backdrop of our weekend journey. A trek through volcanic ash will take us to the nursery and village of an Aeta tribe. There we will hear their stories, learn their culture, and help rebuild their rainforest. We’ll catch sunrises and sunsets on the beach, share meals and drinks, and refresh our senses with nature.
Friday – June 28
Meet-up at Victory Liner, Cubao Station – 6:30am
Depart from Cubao for San Felipe – 7:00am
Check-in at Kwentong Dagat
Intro To Life Stories
Workshop Part 1: How Mindful Traveling Can Make You A Better Writer
Saturday – June 29
Breakfast at Kwentong Dagat
Tour briefing at Circle Hostel
Hike to Yangil Nursery
Environment briefing / Tree-planting
Lunch at Yangil
Workshop Part 2: Senses and Setting
Yangil village tour
Workshop Part 3: Searching for a story
Storytelling with the tribe
Archery, traditional music & dances, herbal medicine
Workshop Part 4: Writing and sunset
Dinner at Chief Iking’s
Sunday – June 30
Breakfast at Kwentong Dagat
Free time (beach, surf, chill)
Lunch & Pack-up
Take the Victory Liner bus from San Felipe to Cubao – 2:00PM
ETA in Victory Liner, Cubao Station – 8:00PM
The Aeta tribe of Yangil is an indigenous Filipino tribe. There are around 38 families in their village nested in the mountain ranges of San Felipe, Zambales. The tribe relies on heavily on its environment for livelihood and culture. They speak Filipino, their local dialect Sambal, and a little bit of English.
The tour aims to help the Aeta tribe rebuild their farms, forest, and livelihoods. Tourism brought in by MAD Travel, with the help of the San Felipe LGU and the Circle Hostel, has provided funds for the community to build a tree nursery, construct village infrastructures, and procure carabaos.