Back after an extremely long hiatus ✌? I have so many stories pending that are waiting to be told, but let’s start with something light and unexpected.
After having just returned from London, we went to a small city in Bicol for work. Camarines Sur is famous for its untouched natural beauty like white sand beaches, and lush mountains and volcanoes with hundreds of hot and cold springs and waterfalls. We didn’t have time for any of those, but wanted to try something different. One of the guys assigned to take us around suggested the “riles,” and without fully knowing what he meant, we all just said, “yeah!” and hopped in the van. When it stopped in the outskirts of town, we realized he meant it literally: he took us to the train tracks.
It was a strange activity to try, but I was excited anyway. I’ve seen this done in Manila as well, where inactive tracks are repurposed as routes for makeshift carts as a form of transportation (it has even inspired an old TV show). I don’t find myself in those areas, so Iriga was the perfect place and opportunity to experience it.
Ever heard of the phrase, “Only in the Philippines?” This might just be another perfect example. With the Filipinos’ ingenuity and resourcefulness, a knack for unique hacks, and a natural inclination for upcycling, it’s no surprise that we came up with something like this. Makes me wonder if other countries have something similar.