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!

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! :)
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