Aren’t you bored scrolling through Facebook right now? Tired of the usual stuff you’ve always been seeing on TV? Or perhaps, in the planning stage for your future trips to discover provincial vibes, different cultures and places? (Of course, after the pandemic. Until we can travel again.)
Then travel videos are perfectly fit for you this very moment. Adventure videos are a rattling diversion during a boring day. The amazing thing about uncovering travel vloggers to follow is that you are able to see their escapades in motion.
There’s one local traveler in Aklan that fits the idea who will definitely inspire you to explore and make it easier for you to see what the province be like. And he has ticked off some of the most beautiful places in the province of Aklan.
Feel alive, feel Aklan through the eyes of this Aklanon vlogger.
THE ADVENTURE ENTHUSIAST
Meet Jayvee Manikan. (Hey, Jayvee!) This 22 years old adventure enthusiast who hails from Unat, Ibajay, Aklan.
Speaking about his educational background, Jayvee completed his degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration majoring in Human Resource Development Management at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
Right now, aside from being a Content Creator online, he is working as a Content Specialist and Social Media Brand Associate at an Advertising Company in Binondo, Manila.
“Aside from travels, I love playing badminton. I’m into music din. Nagpi-play ako ng guitar, kumakanta din at may mga songs din akong na-composed dati. Pero ngayon di ko na siya focus. More on travel + work na lang talaga,” says Jayvee.
Jayvee wanted to promote the beautiful places in Aklan, not just Boracay. He believes that Aklan offers a lot of hidden gems worth sharing to the online world.
“Gusto ko talaga as much as possible i-promote yung iba pang mga magagandang places sa Aklan bukod sa Boracay. Kaya whenever I have time na umuwi sa probinsiya, pumupunta talaga ako sa mga lugar na alam kong need ng exposure lalo na yung mga lugar satin na konti pa lang nakakaalam, na alam kong worth the share ito sa madla,” he stresses.
The young travel junkie is popularly known for his Facebook page ‘Aklanong Gala’.
We asked him how did he come up with that name and he excitedly answered, “the ‘Aklanong Gala’ started last year, 2019 to be exact. It happened with the initiative that I should focus in promoting places, traditions and even festivals in Aklan, since that time I was so engrossed into creating travel videos na talaga.”
Jayvee shared that he believes he will find it hard to make a name for himself in the field of ‘travel vlogging’ especially if the scope is the whole Philippines.
“Nandyan yung mga Foreign Travel Vloggers, at frankly sila talaga mas pinapanuod ng tao. So nag-isip ako ng way in where I can somehow be recognized,” he added during the interview. “Aklanon ako, taga Unat, Ibajay gid. Tapos mahilig pa akong gumala. So dyan nabuo yung ‘Aklanong Gala”, Jayvee quips.
“Dati mejo chill lang eh, but noong parang dumadami na yung followers ko sa page, medyo naging serious na siya for me in a way na nagkaroon na ako ng somehow sense of responsibility realizing na hindi na lang sarili kong bangko ang binubuhat ko dito, kundi pati na rin yung pride ng Aklan at mga Aklanon as a whole.”
The Ibajaynon wanderer even encouraged all Aklanons that ‘Aklanong Gala’ is not all about him, alone. It could be a movement.
“Sa mga makakabasa nito, gusto kong sabihin sa inyo na hindi lang ako yung Aklanong Gala. Pwede ring ikaw, pwedeng kita tanan. It’s a movement. The Aklanon Gala movement, kaya join na! (chaar),” said Jayvee who is trying to persuade fellow Aklanons to be active in promoting Aklan too.
“Whenever you post something about Aklan, especially the beautiful places here, please don’t hesitate to add the hashtag #AklanongGalaAko on your posts. Be proud na Aklanon ka! In our own little ways, let us promote our pinalanggang Probinsya. Thank you” he said and added.
TRAVELING IS MY ESCAPE
Jayvee considers traveling as his great escape. He even admits that sadness drained through him before and somehow traveling had a huge part for him to overcome that. Travel is a great relief for him from the stress and unhappiness that come along his way. His adventures had the power to let him not only escape but also heal.
The Aklanon vlogger started his escapade when he was in college. “Niyayaya-yaya lang ako ng tita ko noon. Shout-out tita Margie. Mapa-hiking man yan, beach, or kung saan pwede tumakas ng weekends, go lang lagi. Sobrang naeenjoy ko yung feeling na kapag friday night after school/work, uuwi lang sa bahay saglit tapos mag-aayos na -> babyahe ng madaling araw -> matutulog sa byahe -> at paggising mo nasa ibang lugar ka na. Sobrang na-aamaze ako ‘pag ganon. Parang pag-gising mo at knowing na nasa ibang lugar ka na, feeling mo ibang tao ka na naman. Masarap sa pakiramdam. Nakakarefresh,” he recalls. Traveling also gave Jayvee a chance to meet new people. As Tim Cahill quoted “A journey is best measured in friends, not in miles.”
For him, he has been meeting far more friendly people in the road. “Marami akong nakikilala at nagiging kaibigan ko din talaga eventually, hanggang ngayon.” Jayvee narrates. Another reason why Jayvee loves to travel, is that he wanted to see and experience different masterpieces that God has crafted for us. “Andami niyan dito sa Pilipinas, literal. Sa Akean paeang ngani, kaabo-abo eon,” he said proudly as a Filipino and an Aklanon, in particular.
When asked about naming the memorable places he’d been into, he said that well “Besides Aklan (kasi ‘matic na ‘yon), the most memorable place that I have visited so far is Sagada. Why? This is a shameless plug hahaha but please panoorin niyo na lang dito” (don’t forget to subscribe :P)
BIGGEST TRAVEL INSPIRATION
“It would be my brother, Jasper. He’s special and I really admire him. Everytime na magtatravel ako, sinasama ko siya in my head and in my heart. Siguro if he’s healthy and normal he’ll probably be my travel buddy,” Jayvee explains. He also cited some travel inspirations and vloggers, the Team Payaman like CongTV, Rogerraker, Emman Nimedez. “I’m a huge fan of them, also Casey Neistat,” adding the said vlogger from US on his list. “I’m taking inspiration din sa mga micro-inluencers & content creators na hindi sumusuko sa mga passion nila. Laking saludo ko sa inyo. Tuloy tuloy niyo lang yan,” he added. Jayvee even gave a tip to some beginners in vlogging. “Kung para kumita ng pera ang main goal niyo kung bakit niyo papasukin yung vlogging, wag niyo na ipursue. Di kayo tatagal. Do it because you love it, not because there’s money in it.”
THE GIFT OF TRAVEL: LIFE LESSONS
“Very simple. Do anything you wanna do.”“Kainin mo kinicrave mo, bilhin mo yung bagay na gusto mo, at pumunta ka sa lugar na gusto mong puntahan. Don’t stress yourself. Treasure your life.” Getting in touch with yourself is also a life lesson for Jayvee. Getting away gives you the possibility to think over on your life. To reflect upon life, to be exact. You have now the time to let your mind wander.
“Nakakatulong ang travel para ikaw ay makapag-isip-isip. Magkakaroon ka ng time para makapag muni-muni. Maiisip mo kung anong dapat mong gawin at kung bakit mo patuloy na ginagawa ang bagay na yon. Tsaka magkakaroon ka ng chance na makilala pa lalo yung sarili mo, kung sino ka talaga at kung anong gusto mo sa buhay,” Jayvee says. Traveling is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself.
MOTIVATION IN A CRISIS: “PRAY FOR EVERYONE’S SAFETY“
This pandemic really takes a toll on us, emotionally, mentally and physically.
“Sobrang hirap makipaglaban sa kalaban na di mo nakikita. That time na nag-announce ng lockdown, nagsabi agad ako sa mommy ko na “Mommy kung magdecide ako nga mag-uli hin-aga (from Manila), hinugay ako pagpunggi ha.” Pero eventually naisip ko rin na huwag na lang. Basi sa pag-uli ko, ako pa makapagdaea it virus sa Aklan.“
“Yes, sayod ko nga sobrang hirap ro sitwasyon naton kara pero a little bit of motivation lang siguro sa tanan, nga even may makara nga nagakataeabo sa kalibutan hay kunta i-train naton ro atong sarili to always aim to see the positive side of it; kasi somehow meron naman talaga. Aminin niyo nagkaroon kayo ng chance to be with your family, bond with them.“
Other positive thing worth noting is nagkaroon din ng chance mag-heal yung nature.
Since Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) na sa Aklan, sana sa t’wing lalabas kayo ng bahay eh please observe pa rin sana yung mga safety precautions like wearing a mask, use disinfectants at syempre social distancing gihapon. Hinugay anay it masyadong kampante dahil una gihapon ro virus ag uwa pa it vaccine nga nadedevelop.
Let’s pray for everyone’s safety. Let’s pray for our frontliners, let’s pray na magkaroon na ng vaccine, and let’s pray na rin for the betterment of our government & their decisions. Stay positive but don’t stay positive sa virus, kasimanwa!
But remember, the pandemic isn’t over yet. For now, we must be patient and stand ready. Stay home, stay strong, so we can travel soon.