Travel Angels – Have You Been Saved by One, Too?

It was my first official day of traveling solo in my 7-week backpacking adventure.  Feeling excited and just a little scared, I bade goodbye to my friends bound for Manila while I headed to the port in Ubay, Bohol, with boat trips to Hilongos, Leyte. From Hilongos I would be taking a van to Tacloban City, where my host waited for me.

At Ubay port in Bohol, pumped up for my first day of solo adventure

On my way to the port entrance, I met and chatted with two friendly Hilongos locals. As I planned to wander for a bit while waiting for the boat, I said goodbye after some minutes and said we might see each other at the boat later.

When the boat arrived, though, I could not find my two new friends. The boat was filling up fast, so I decided to settle beside a quiet young woman who looked no older than college-age. She is a local from Tacloban and headed there, too, I learned as much. I tried to hold a longer conversation, but she was the silent type – polite, but not speaking too much. I was not even able to get her name. I gave up and just enjoyed the view of hills, clouds, and islands rolling by.

I happily took in the view from Bohol to Leyte, with no idea that an angel will be coming to my rescue later in a situation I did not yet know.

On the middle of the trip I finally spotted the two Hilongos locals farther up front, with a vacant seat beside them. I thought of transferring there, but for some reason, I felt that I should stay where I was, beside this quiet lady.

I did, and as the boat docked in Leyte, she told me that I could go with her to the van terminal. I followed her and she led me to a van which gave us free transit to the van terminal. I wouldn’t have known about that van had I not gone with her!

When we arrived at the terminal, though, the van operators said they were on their last trip and that they would not be able to accommodate all of us. There were no more bus trips to Tacloban, either. Some of the Tacloban-bound passengers complained, frustrated that the van operators could not wait for the last batch of passengers from Bohol.

I realized that I might not be able to make it to Tacloban that day, but somehow, I did not feel afraid. I told my quiet acquaintance that we might luckily be able to ride a bus – who knows?

We waited for around 15 minutes until a barker announced that there was one more seat for one more passenger in the last van bound for Tacloban. My acquaintance turned to me and said, “Take it,” with a surprising forcefulness and intensity so uncharacteristic of her earlier silence. I protested, but she was firm. I headed to the van, and amazingly, no other person was going there to claim that last seat. While I know my feeling had no logic whatsoever, I felt that that seat was meant for me.

The quiet woman kept her eyes on me as the van doors closed and the moment we rode away. I vigorously waved to her in gratitude.

Thanks to this woman whose name I was not even able to get, I was able to have the last seat on the last trip to Tacloban that day.

There were other angels, other strangers whose kindness surprised me during my seven-week Visayas adventure, but I will never forget that first encounter. It set the tone and my belief during my solo travel that indeed, while I always have to keep my wits about me, I am always protected, and there are always people out there who can help me.

Angels, messengers, kind strangers, or whatever name we call them, are always there to come to our aid.

Someone is always there to help, if we open up to it. (Photo from Microsoft Office)

It could be that person who arrived just in time to save you from an accident – that classic situation angels come to help.

It could be those friendly locals who go out of their way to ensure that you arrive safely to the place you want to go to or ensure you have somewhere safe to sleep at night. In Samar, I could not reach my supposed host and guide. I had hardly researched about Samar and was clueless. A stranger-turned-friend I met on the way helped me find an affordable place to stay.

Or it could be someone who just says one seemingly innocent thing that takes away your weariness from a long day and makes you feel warm inside.

No matter how simple or monumental the situation, I believe angels are always there to help.

How about you? Have you also been saved by an angel?

30 thoughts on “Travel Angels – Have You Been Saved by One, Too?

    • Great! I think we all have angels with us (others might call them Holy Spirit, electromagnetic energy or another term – to me, they’re all the same). Isn’t it good to know you have an angel with you whenever you go off on a daredevil adventure (especially mountain climbing on a rainy day)? 🙂 And I remember your story when you got lost in a mountain but eventually found your way back.

  1. my angel’s name is “Solathiel” and he is always there when I need help even in little things like, I am having a hard time taking a ride home.

      • The person who told me the name of my Angel is among the many I have interviewed in the past and she has a gift of tongue. From then on I call on my Solathiel in times of need. 🙂

  2. I figured in a vehicular accident that involved four—me, two taxi cabs, and a van—some years back. The instant the taxi cab on my right hit my hood, I felt like I was in a bubble, instantaneously, that seemed like a protection from whatever might hit me and a deep silence that made me not hear what a collision might sound like. My angels must have been at work.

    All of us in that mishap left the scene unscathed, except for the van that skidded to its side and the other vehicles that were either dented, scraped, or had lost a hood.

    So, wherever we go, Claire, there they go too, I believe.

    • Wow! That’s a powerful experience, Deedee! It’s like the angel/s wrapped you up in that protective bubble.

      Yes, angels are always with us. =)

      • a person who told me the name of my Angel is among the many I have interviewed in the past and she has a gift of tongue. From then on I call on my Solathiel in times of need. 🙂

  3. This is very inspiring! I tried solo traveling once (last April – Clark, Baguio and Pangasinan) and I failed. Originally, it was a 5-day trip but I went home earlier. HAHA fail. This post is really inspiring. I’m considering of trying it again, but not soon. Maybe someday when I’m ready. 😀

    • Go as soon as you can. I believe everyone should experience solo travel at least once in their lives. It is so worth it. =)

    • I went there twice, Panoy – once in a previous visit and once again during my Visayas backpacking trip. Wouldn’t miss it. =) Will be writing about it too. Got a lot of backlog posts on my Visayas adventure!

      • Hahahahaha, I stand corrected Claire. I apologize if I hadn’t completely read your previous posts on your Visayas trip. 😀

        I would like to ask if how were you able to save or lessen expenses with regards to accommodations? Did you Couchsurf? 😀

      • I haven’t blogged about Iloilo yet. That’s part of my backlog. =)

        Couch surf? In a way, yes, though I am not yet a Couchsurfing member. What I simply did was ask friends if they could host me, or if they have family or friends who can host me. I just had the guts (aka kapal ng mukha hahahaha!) to ask. Most of my hosts are people I haven’t met prior to my trip, but I’m happy to say that many of them are now my friends. =)

      • Hahahahahaha, OK ah. Maybe I’ll try that “kapal ng mukha” attitude. Nothing would happen if we wouldn’t ask anyway. 😀

      • Well, sometimes something still happens even when you don’t ask (my experience). But asking definitely ups the chances of things happening! =)

    • “Well, sometimes something still happens even when you don’t ask (my experience).” => Can you cite and example? If that’s not too much ask 😀

      • For example, one time, a new friend invited me to stay at his farm for free. Another time a stranger (later turned friend) invited me to join a forest tour – again, for free. 🙂

      • But it’s you who initiated the conversation in the first place? Which then led to these opportunities? 😀

      • Hmmm…I don’t remember. But the new friend was a fellow volunteer for a marine camp, so we had opportunities to talk. The other one was introduced by a friend I also just met. These things can happen. Just be open when you travel. =) But don’t forget to make asks. I got that volunteer opportunity I mentioned because I asked.

      • Hahahhaha thank you for those tips! Solo travel just feels different, in our own pace and our own time. 😀 Congratulations again and I’ll be following your blog.

        I have yet to start mine. 😀 I liked your Facebook page and quite impressed with the shared posts!

        Happy and safe travels Claire! 😀

      • Solo travel indeed feels different, but it’s such a worthwhile experience! I strongly believe that people should do it at least once in their lives.

        Happy and exciting adventures to you! 🙂

    • Wow! Thanks, Sony! Yes, solo travel is really a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s both an outer and inner journey. I believe people should experience it at least once in their lives. =)

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