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When I was younger, I wrote stories about young, shy protagonists stumbling into secret nooks in nature. A hidden mountain plain here, a waterfall cave there. The more concealed a place, the more magic happened in it.

Photo: Nagsasa Cove, Apple Nocom
This year’s first destination was no such secret, and getting there was no accident.

Photo: Nagsasa Cove, Apple Nocom
The ride from San Antonio to Nagsasa Cove was sleepy and cold, water splashing onto the boat every now and then, like water sprites teasing. It could have lasted an hour or two, it’s hard to remember.

Photo: Nagsasa Cove, Apple Nocom
We spent the nights in tents, the days in a breezy open kubo meters away from the sea.

Photo: Nagsasa Cove, Apple Nocom
Photo: Nagsasa Cove, Apple Nocom
On the second night, we lay out our blanket and watched the stars put on a show on the earth’s dome.

Photo: Nagsasa Cove, Apple Nocom
There is absolutely no mobile or Internet signal there, which means our brain ran out of distractions to feed on and our bodies relaxed a bit earlier into the day. We were asleep by 9 or 10 p.m. and we were–well, I was–awake by 6 a.m. before the noon sun chased away the overcast morning.

Golden hour was my favorite; the sun set right over the horizon we were facing.

Photo: Nagsasa Cove, Apple Nocom
Photo: Nagsasa Cove, Apple Nocom
Time moves slowly in Nagsasa and all around. Mountainsides and cliff faces grew invisibly wiser every second and the royal blue waves tossed and birthed each other for miles and miles. When it’s just you and Nature–Nature, who knows no seconds or hours–it’s easy to forget that the world spins itself from days into years.

Photo: Nagsasa Cove, Apple NocomPhoto: Nagsasa Cove, Apple Nocom Photo: Nagsasa Cove, Apple Nocom Photo: Nagsasa Cove, Apple Nocom

Apple Nocom

Apple is a witch, a writer, and a mental health advocate from the Philippines. She keeps a blog as a creative outlet and a self-care diary, so she writes about depression, self-improvement, art projects, spiritual practices and other things that help her cope.

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