DISCONNECT TO CONNECT
The days get blurry when work requires you to be present during weekends and even holidays. Aaaaaaah, the life of a business owner. All for the love of our baby, OTT. We’ve been wanting to introduce a new service under our creative agency which will go hand in hand with our Get Lost shenanigans and we finally took the first step in our research process by taking this last minute trip to a quiet little place called Liwliwa in San Felipe, Zambales.
A Tagalog name for girls which means "inspiration."
She was sleepy during our visit with sluggish waves, quiet surroundings, and uncrowded spaces. And she was just what our bodies and souls were craving after non-stop work for OTT. We needed to clear our minds, inhale some fresh air, and be one with nature. Liwa, as her friends call her, forced us to slow down and unplug as signal in the area was close to non-existent. And true to her name, inspiration was all over the place. Tip: go on a Sunday so that you get the place almost to yourself. Arrive when tourists are leaving. We arrived on a Sunday afternoon and stayed until Wednesday night and aside from the locals, we had the place all to ourselves.
But Liwa can be feisty as well, especially after a typhoon. Go surfing with her rough and wild swells during the rainy season and try skim boarding when the waves are gone as sunset comes close. I'm sure she'll take you on an exhilarating adventure.
Never Not Working
Yes, it’s a workation. To be honest, though, it was so difficult thinking of work during this trip. Just look at that view! So as not to miss our regular Mancom meeting, we had it on the beach, with a beer in hand, while watching the sunset. What a great way to get our creative juices flowing.
It’s still work but it’s also a break from the daily grind. It’s still us picking up our cameras taking photos and videos but in an environment that we love. And since it’s for our brand, we get to flex our muscles and execute it creatively the way we want to.
We tried to practice the digital nomad lifestyle, if only the internet gods cooperated. With intermittent signal in the area, the best that we could do was brainstorm amongst ourselves without any third party interruption. I guess that it’s also a win-win situation because we got to bond as a group without getting notifications from clients every few minutes or so (except for this little doggo who followed us everywhere and refused to budge as soon as he planted himself in one area beside us).
We try to take our kids with us as often as possible even if it’s for work. We get to spend more time with them and we love that they’re exposed to what we do and learn from the experts surrounding them. 12 y/o Talia is already a great photographer and editor and for her “summer job” we asked her to teach 6 y/o Erin as well. So yes, I do find them on their gadgets often, but at least it’s for productive work. In fact, Talia already writes and edits some videos for Get Lost!
Back to Basics
The ladies and the kids stayed at an air-conditioned hut in Sunny Side Up while the boys stayed in an al fresco hut in Home Along the Liwa. Both areas provided simple and rustic accommodations and it was a hoot showing our kids how to go back to basics. Erin even commented, “I can’t believe we survived in a bahay kubo!” And she stayed in an air-conditioned one, mind you. It’s a refreshing change from the usual resorts that we visit and I love that adults and kids alike absolutely enjoyed the place.
There are limited options for food in the area and we were able to try out the meals at Sunny Side Up and Mommy Phoebe’s, but the best part for us was eating the meals cooked by our friend and colleague, Nikko. He went to the market, bought a bunch of raw ingredients, and cooked three meals enough for 10-15 pax for approximately Php 2,800 (approximately USD 56). Do the math, that comes out at about Php 62 (approximately USD 1.24) per meal per person and we were stuffed!
Get lost with us
We’ve been getting messages from different folks and we come across questions like, “How do you find these places?” or statements like “I never knew doing something like that could be so much fun!” This made us consider taking some of you with us during our (mis)adventures. Interested to get lost with us? Email us at email@example.com and let's explore the possibilities.
We plan the itinerary, at least one photographer and videographer from our team will always be with you to document the trip, if Nikko likes you he may even cook for you, and if the Opus Macchina boys are game to join the trip, then you may even get to ride in one of the vehicles featured in their articles. Don't be surprised if our whole team is part of it as we're always looking forward to leaving the city.
live simple. dream big.
Contrary to what Belle (of Beauty and the Beast) says, we really want more of this provincial life. What's stopping us? Work for OTT requires us to be in the city more often than we'd like for meetings and shoots. And it's difficult scaling a business from a remote town with spotty signal but we'll make it happen sooner than later! In the meantime, we hope Liwa looks forward to our visits the same way we're always excited to see her.