Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Travels: Looking Back. Looking Forward.

Around the time when people all over the world were getting ready for the 'end of the world', Rubel and I celebrated the 21st of December in one of Manila's prestigious hotels. He happened to book a Bayview Room for our late anniversary getaway, which made me feel mixed emotions --- like what if the world really ended that day? It would be a quick one for us since we were by the bay. A Tsunami could easily wash us over! But thankfully, our staycation in the metro went on smoothly. When we woke up the next day, Manila greeted us with a warm and sunny 'hello'. It was a new beginning. It was a new day that we were so grateful to have.


Looking back, I realized that this year has been very challenging yet fruitful in a sense. 2012 must have given me the most trips in a 12-month span. 

Heaven on Earth

2012 would have to be one of the best years for me, as Rubel and I celebrated his 30th year in two of the most gorgeous places in the Philippines --- Bohol and Coron. We welcomed this brand new year by the beach, while watching the sun rise and set everyday.


Holding on for dear life

This year left me to experience one of the scariest boat rides in my life, while island hopping with my family in Laiya, Batangas. Waves as high as 2-3 feet carried our banca constantly. No one told us that it wasn't safe to leave the shore since a storm was about to brew. Thankfully, we survived the 30-minute ordeal considering that we had small kids and an infant in-tow.


Flying from Iloilo to Manila was also a terrifying ordeal, as I experienced my first major turbulent ride. I was traveling alone at that time. And the only thing that I kept saying to myself during the bumpy flight was "I don't want to die alone!". Thankfully, I'm still here... writing this entry for you to read. :)


The Social Network

This year has helped expand my social network. As I was recognized as a Travel Blogger at one of Meet Manila's first events. Other than that, I was also awarded as one of the Top 10 Travel Bloggers of Filipino Bloggers Worldwide later this year. This would have to be one of the most exciting ones since I was able to meet fellow PTB members in person: Franc Ramon and Jeffrey Rilles.


And of course, who doesn't want to get featured in a Travel Mag every now and then, right? Being published on TRAVEL Magazine on their September issue would have to be one of my 2012 highlights!


New Bonds

This year, I met one of the most humblest people in the Philippines --- Edmar Guquib #TownExplorer. Meeting him in person during my Vigan trip would have to be ecstatic on my end. My passion for traveling ignited even more when we started exchanging stories of our individual journeys --- individual yet on very common grounds. I gained a really good friend out of that PTB meet-up.


A Gastronomic Experience

I probably gained a lot of weight during my recent trip to Ho Chi Minh City. Rubel and I probably spent most of our days going around the city, and scouting for the best Vietnamese food in town. Given that, Vietnam would have to be the first on my list when it comes to superbly cooked and seasoned Asian food --- oh, and cheap beer too! Saigon beer (the red one) would have to be the best-tasting yet!


There's no place like Manila!

I haven't felt nostalgic in years. Not since I visited the National Museum last October. I never thought I could take a photo with the the famous Spolarium Painting of Juan Luna as my background. Let alone explore the whole of the museum without spending a single penny! Yes, admission was free back then since the historical establishment was celebrating its Museums & Galleries Month. Nothing beats being in Manila for that!


How about you? How was your 2012? Hope it brought out some of the best surprises and learnings, just like it did with me. :)

Explore & Be Free!
Mai

PTB2This post is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival for December 2012 with the theme "2012: This Year In Travel".  Gay Mitra - Emami and Regine Camille Garcia hosts this edition of the blog carnival. 

You can visit Estan Cabigas' Langyaw to see the archive of Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival! :)

57 comments:

  1. Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.comDecember 29, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Seems like a full year indeed for you! Too bad I didn't get to meet you. Hopefully next year :)

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  2. But not as packed as yours, Aleah!!! I've been dreaming of visiting EU.. pero South America na lang muna.. hehe! Loved your year-ender post by the way. :)

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  3. Thanks Mai, Great 2012!

    I don't know if I can make mine. I'm so lazy to write now. Hehe.

    Well, kasama ka rin sa year-end post ko actually kung maihahabul ko pa. Lolz. Happy new year my friend. Regards to Rubel! :)

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  4. looks like you really had that big year! being on the top 10 list and articles published! yihaa! congratulations! cheers to more fun trips and new achievements this year!

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  5. Thanks for the tag Mai:) en nice meeting u also :) Happy New Year! More Travels, More Happiness!

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  6. I agree that traveling is also about connecting and making bonds. :) Cheers to a more amazing 2013!

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  7. Maria Gemma Defeo-HilotinJanuary 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Great year!!! .. and may God bless you with so much more this year! Happy New Year!!

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  8. Congrats, you deserve to be awarded. Your hard work and perseverance took your forward. Keep it up!

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  9. Indeed, the Philippines holds a lot of wonders. We just need to devote our time to discover them! Happy New Year!

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  10. What a year!!! I'm glad I was a part of it. It was nice to meet you in person. 2013 would be a better your for both of us. Happy New Year!

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  11. lots of achievements last 2012 dear! congratulations!! love to see those photos of yours xx

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  12. Nagutom ako sa pagkain Mai! hope to meet you this year :) Cheers to more adventures in the year of the water snake :)

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  13. Good luck for this year! Hope you had a prosperous one!

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  14. Nice travel adventure. More travel for you this 2013! Happy new year.!

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  15. wow. Good travel and nice friends to meet. Hope you'll be having more travel the year 2013. One more thing, the food really looks great. Love to try em all. :)

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  16. I promise to continue with the travel adventures that are being given to me thanks to friends and acquaintances that led me to these opportunities. I have very few travels to look back at but hoping it will a lot more in 2013 and beyond. Happy to visit first the Philippines before exploring other countries. We need all the tourism push we can get so that our country can become progressive and competitive.

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  17. wow! you've had a great 2012 indeed. i so envy the places the you've been through... -nice urdaneta

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  18. Congrats for all the travels and achievements Ate Mai! :) Always keep safe. The turbulent ride you had is indeed scary. :)

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  19. Kim Francis CorrosJanuary 2, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Wew. You did have a good time their buddy. And I was impressed to see that your blog was featured on a magazine. I'm sure you'll never forget that :D

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  20. Adventure-filled year you had! More travels, more memories and more good time! :D

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  21. 2012 was a great year for Mai, hats off ako sa accomplishments mo. Lucky me to see you in person. Hope 2013 brings more travel opportunities for you. Syempre, kasama tsibug doon. And I pray that God will always there to give you protections from harm.

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  22. Seems like you had a blast last year. At take note may feature pa sa magazine! Nice!!! Hope 2013 will be an even better year for you. :)

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  23. Lucky you to meet Edmar. I am one of his fan too. Anyway, congrats on all your achievements and happy and contented love life.

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  24. Congratz for such a wonderful travel experience in 2012. You're so blessed to enjoy such wholesome activity. And you're more blessed that the end of the world had not come, or else you're out of town and you're away from your family. Anyway, the best thing for everyone to do is to prepare spiritually. Anyway that's life. Happy new year!

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  25. I am fortunate to meet you and the rest of the FBW admins during the GEB. Well 2012 was indeed a great year for all of us. Looking forward to your budgeted travels this 2013. ^_^

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  26. Congratulations Mai! Aim higher this year because you have the ability to do so:)

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  27. Maria Estrella LedesmaJanuary 3, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    you're right, but in my case, nothing beats Bacolod :))) when I read travel adventure stories like yours, it makes me wish that I could have been as adventurous in travel when I was younger. Stay safe and travel happy! A blessed 2013!

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  28. you've got awesome adventure compiled here! Namangha ako sa Spolarium, nakikita ko na sya sa ptb pero parang gusto ko puntahan dahil sa pic mo :) Hope to meet you in the future! Happy 2013! More travel and adventure pa! :)

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  29. I have a similar photo with the Spoliarium during one of John Silva's walking tour at the National Museum. I must say I started appreciating museum trips after that. I love Bohol and Batangas as they are diving havens but I've never been to Coron. My family went to Iloilo for the first time this year and hopefully Davao next year.

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  30. There's still no place like our hometown right? but gee, I want to become a traveler like you.. going on those beautiful places and eating foods of the natives there.. that's like a dream to me.
    I enjoyed reading your post and congratulations! you're one of the top travel bloggers now. wow, just wow..
    The only place I've been to are the places that are near here in Bataan, like Corregidor, Mt. Samat, Mt. Tarak. Anyway, have you been here in Bataan? It's also a great place to visit and I recommend visiting us here. You can find the Fav Hotel a great place for accommodation too. You can make a quick visit at their site if your interested for reservations just in case.

    Well, thanks again for a great post there!

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  31. Hi Kenneth! I haven't been to Bataan. But I would to explore the place someday. :) Thank you for dropping-by my site. :) Here's to more travels for us! :)

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  32. Thank you Dong! I'm thrilled that you took the time to visit my blog.. nakakatuwa na a celebrity travel blogger like you still makes the effort of reading blogs such as mine! :) Thank you. :) I hope to meet and travel with you soon! :)

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  33. Here's to traveling with you someday, Jeffrey! :)

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  34. Cheers to our 2013, Claire! Hope to meet and travel with you soon! :)

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  35. More blessings your way too, Ms. Gemma! :) Happy New Year indeed. :)

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  36. Thank you Jo-Ann! ;0)

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  37. Yep, you're right! Happy New Year too!

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  38. I'm sure it will be! 2012 was a lot of fun because I finally met the person behind francramon.com! Ang cheesy lang noh? hehehe!

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  39. yeah!!! Kita tayo sa Davao when I visit for the Kadayawan.. sana makahanap na ako ng cheap ticket at lodging! :)

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  40. Thank you, Ron! Happy New Year too! :)

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  41. You should Gracia! Super sarap ng pagkain sa Vietnam! :)

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  42. I couldn't agree more. Here's to more travels this year, Ross!

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  43. Hehehe.. traumatic actually. Wish I could just snap my fingers and be transported to my next destination. But until then, plane it is! Lol! :)

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  44. Of course, I won't! I even got copies..lol!

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  45. Same to you, Demi! :)

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  46. Thank you po! Here's to a more prosperous and safer year for all of us! :)

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  47. I'm claiming it Joan! Hope to travel with you soon. :)

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  48. Thank you po Mommy Tess! I really hope to see Edmar again. :)

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  49. Indeed! I will take note of that. Thank you po Sir Gil! :)

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  50. Same here, Mark! It was nice meeting you in person.. see you soon! :)

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  51. Awww... thank you Sir Orly! I appreciate that coming from you. :)

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  52. Same to you, Ms. Maritel! Hope to meet you when I visit Bacolod. :)

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  53. Same here!! Hope to travel with you soon. And yes.. punta kana sa National Museum, nang mamangha kana sa Spolarium.. Promise, breathtaking! :)

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  54. i have plans of going to Davao for Kadayawan.. baka magkita pa tayo dun Teacher Ia! hehe.. here's to a brighter 2013! :)

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