2013: A Wonderful Year for a Newbie Traveler


Two days after Christmas 2012, I insisted to travel solo to Ilocos Sur and Norte and found myself dawn of December 27 on a bus going to Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. I went home two days before New Year with a fresh vision instilled on my mind by the experiences I had with my 4-day travel to Ilocandia.

Selfies: Nagsasa Cove, Mt. Pinatubo, Pugo Adventures, and Kayangan Lake.

Right after this trip, I joined the Pinoy Travel Blogger’s group and was welcomed by a bunch of awesome travelers.

CHAPTER 1:   Great Experiences by Traveling Solo

This year, I had major trips to Albay, Iloilo and Coron, Palawan and all were solo travels. I enjoy traveling solo since I consider it as a great way to reflect. This trips allow me to assess what I already did on my life and also lay plans to work on for the following months and years.

SEAFDEC in Guimaras.

I spent my 22nd birthday in the highlands, spelunking in the caves of Sagada and conquering the trek to Bomod-ok Falls. Aside from that, I embarked my longest trip this year, my 5-day exploration on the provinces of Iloilo, Guimaras and Negros Occidental.

Sumaging Cave in Sagada.

Even though solo, I met new friends along the way. Got acquainted with a group of teachers from Pasay whom I joined in the Sagada tours. I also joined a couple who accommodated me on touring the island-province of Guimaras, and a group of cool ladies and gents on visiting the island destinations of Coron, Palawan.

New found friends in Sagada.

CHAPTER 2:   The Joys of Traveling in Groups

Though I love going solo, I also had group trips in between. Together with some members of PTB, we embarked a 12-hour trip to Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro. Our goal was to have a paradise experience in Apo Reef Natural Park. I also did an 8-hour land trip to Camarines Norte to visit Mahabang Buhangin in Calaguas, and a short trip to Pagsanjan Falls via the Cavinti route in Laguna. I also met some of them on my Byaheng Victory trips to Nagsasa Cove in Zambales and Mt. Pinatubo.

Photo credits to Dong Ho.

For weekend trips, workmates were also my companions in visiting a new resort in Calatagan in Batangas last summer, Magalawa Island in Zambales and in conquering the grueling trek to Batad, Banaue, Ifugao.

Banana boat ride in  Calatagan, Batangas.

CHAPTER 3:   2013, A Year Full of Travels

I never imagined 2013 to turn out like this. I spent almost every weekend of my summer traveling on a new Philippine destination. I enjoyed the crisp heat of the sun and the powdery sands of the beautiful beaches of the country.

Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas in Camarines Norte.

Aside from that, I also attended different festivals around the country where I had witnessed the festive mood and colorful way of locals celebrating harvest and praise. I found myself on the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clark, Corn Festival in Pangasinan, the Aliwan Fiesta in Quirino Grandstand and Giant Lantern Festival of San Fernando City, Pampanga.

Corn Festival of Pangasinan.

I also got invites to spend overnight on some hotels and resorts, thanks to Microtel Wyndham Inns and Suites, Puzzle Mansion in Tagaytay City and Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa.

View at my room at Microtel Mall of Asia.

I enjoyed discovering the history and culture of every destination I have visited by means of checking out museums as well as knowing it directly by talking to the friendly locals who always offer a great smile.

2013 was also a great year for this travel blog. I finally registered and bought my domain and the site was included in the list of emerging influential blogs by the Digital Filipino Club. I also tied up with great brands and did giveaways for the loyal readers of this blog.

Selfie Part 2: Apo Reef Natural Park, Magalawa Island, Bomod-ok trekking, and Batad’s Highest Viewpoint.

It was indeed a year full of travels and experiences that I can share to my friends, family and especially to all the readers who never get tired in visiting the site and to everyone who regularly checks and shares every article being posted here.

ATV Ride to the Mayon Lava Flow, Albay.

2013 will officially end in a couple of days. I was really glad since another year will get in which means another 365 days to be used to plan another adventure of a lifetime. Goodbye and thank you 2013. Welcome 2014! Happy New Year and more travels to us!

– – – T H E   E N D – – –

This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival for December 2013, with the theme “The Pinoy Travel Bloggers Closing the Curtains on 2013: Love, Learn and Living” hosted by Brenna Bustamante of The Philippine Travelogue.



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