Couple goals indeed!
A couple from Rizal left their rented home and bought a second-hand van to travel around the Philippines!
“We live full-time in a van, traveling the Philippines to document wildlife and landscapes. Ito ‘yung kind ng travel na gusto namin kasi at our own pace siya,” Celine Murillo told The Philippine STAR during an interview.
“Dumating ‘tong photography sa buhay namin tapos nagustuhan din namin then nung pandemic, naisipan namin na bakit hindi namin i-incorporate ‘yung dalawa,” Dennis echoed.
Celine and Dennis said that they love to go hiking but later realized that they could enjoy it much longer if they have a place to stay after a long day of adventure.
“Kaya namin naisipan kumuha ng van tapos dun tumira kasi pagbaba ng bundok, pagod tapos ang nangyayari kasi pagkababa ng bundok, travel pa papauwi, napapanood lang [din] namin sa ibang bansa. Bakit ‘di natin gawin ‘tong camper van na atleast pagbaba ng bundok, nandun na agad tayo pwede na agad tayo magstay,” Dennis explained.
They spent around P300,000 for the second-hand vehicle, which included several repairs to align their needs for their mobile home.
“We’ve been married for five years, we’ve been together as a couple for 15 years tapos before embarking on these adventures, si Dennis ay isang electrical engineer tas ako nagreremote work na talaga ako,” Celine said.
The couple started their adventure after leaving their home in Rizal as well as their regular jobs in the middle of the pandemic.
“We are jobless pero we’re living off our savings tapos to sustain our work, we apply for grants, for projects we do consultancy jobs. We started in Rizal papuntang Bicol region tapos parang four months or three months sa Bicol region, paikot-ikot lang,” the couple said.
Luckily, Celine received a grant of 1,500 euros from ASEAN which helped them sustain their needs throughout their dream project.
The couple was able to reach Mindanao and explore Bukidnon with the money they received from the international association.
“‘Yung van life is not the end, this is just the means for us to document and mainstream Philippines biodiversity and promote ‘yung conservation niya so this year, we’ve applied to a couple of grants tapos ‘yung mga grants na ‘yun would allow us to create content,” Celine stressed.
“While being grateful, naiisip namin na everyone should have a right to access nature so isa ‘yun sa advocacies namin na everyone should have access to green spaces, to urban green spaces. We don’t do adventure for the sake of adventure. We try to be mindful of our impact, kailangan respectful sa landscapes, sa environment and also people sa locals,” she noted.
Celine and Dennis expressed their gratitude to public spaces and locals for allowing them to create content in different places around the country.
“We can’t take credit for this lifestyle kasi we stand on the shoulders of people who are willing to help us. ‘Yung nagpapapark samin na ‘Sige, okay lang kayo dyan, kaming bahala sa inyo.’ Nagpa-CR samin, nagpapaligo samin,” she said.