When 2013 entered, I created a post and highlighted some plans to work on for the rest of the year. One of the things listed is to visit at least 20 provinces of the Philippines. Slowly but surely, I tried to book seat sales, considered the routes of my trips and tagged friends to join me on my tours. Before 2013 ends, I want to give you an update on this item listed on my to-do-list.
Before January ended, I joined the Byaheng Victory tour to Nagsasa Cove in the province of Zambales where I enjoyed camping under the stars as well as capturing a magnificent sunset on the cove.
First weekend of the love month was spent riding on a 4×4 jeep and trekking to the crater of Mount Pinatubo via the Capas, Tarlac jump off point. I was drenched under the rain ‘coz I forgot to bring rain protection.
The following weekend, I traveled solo to Albay and Sorsogon for 4 days. Highlight of this trip was my ATV ride to the lava wall of Mayon Volcano. I also visited the most photographed view in Albay, the ruins of Cagsawa. I also found myself lost in the province of Sorsogon.
Last Saturday of February was spent enjoying everything that flies on the 18th Hot Air Balloon Festival in OMNI Aviation in Clark, Pampanga. I was able to watch a spectacular show of the Breitling Jet Team, some aerobatic demonstrations and the flight of hot air balloons.
Summer starts during the month of March so I decided to go to Baguio City, Benguet during the first weekend of the month. I dropped by Pugo Adventures in Pugo, La Union to try their adventure activities.
My first festival experience this year happened in my hometown, Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan’s Corn Festival where street dancing and cook fest were held.
For the first time, I joined the annual Aliwan Fiesta tagged as the festival of festivals with contingents coming from known festivals in the Philippines to participate in the Grand Street and float parade. The next morning, we went to a newly opened resort in Calatagan, Batangas to experience the first wave of summer.
The following weekend, I was invited to visit the Puzzle Museum of Gina Gil Lacuna in Tagaytay City, Cavite who made to the Guinness World Records and also let us stay on her Puzzle Mansion Bed and Breakfast.
Highlight of the month was my long trip to Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro with a paradise experience in Apo Reef Natural Park, the second largest atoll reef in the world.
Intense heat of the sun was felt during this month so together with some members of PTB, we decided to visit Mahabang Buhangin of Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte. But before that, we spent an overnight weekend in the island of Magalawa in Palauig, Zambales.
I welcomed my birthday month with a solo trip to Sagada, Mountain Province where I tried spelunking in Sumaging Cave, trekking to Bomod-ok falls and tasted the local Sagada food being offered in the locale.
To cap the month was a food trip in the streets of Binondo checking out some authentic Chinese cuisines available.
All weekends of July were raining but we found ourselves on a relaxing and pampering stay at the Luljetta’s Hanging Garden and Spa in Antipolo City, Rizal.
The following week was spent on a tour around the city of Cabanatuan and nearby towns of Nueva Ecija. We were accommodated by Microtel Wyndham Cabanatuan with a sumptuous dinner at Hapag Vicenticos.
I reserved some leaves and travel funds for my trip for the month, my 5-day travel to the provinces of Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental. An unforgettable boat ride happened during our Guimaras island hopping activity. I was able to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Miag-ao Church and The Ruins of Talisay City, Negros Occidental.
Instead of going out on a weekend trip, I invited some of my workmates to do a food trip in Quezon City. We started at Mang Larry’s Isawan to some of the restaurants in Maginhawa Street. I also stayed in Microtel Tarlac for a weekend.
Meanwhile, the craziest plane ride happened during a cloudy morning trip from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Busuanga, Palawan. I was reunited with nature with my island hopping experience. Before the month ends, together with PTB’s, we also tried the Cavinti route going to the famous Pagsanjan Falls of Laguna.
Batad is always a part of every traveler’s list and I ticked another UNESCO World Heritage site with my grueling trek to the amphitheater-like rice terraces in the province of Ifugao. I was able to see the magnificent beauty of Tappiya Falls.
I promised not to travel so much for this month since I needed to save some for Christmas. But travel bug didn’t allow me when I found myself having goosebumps on my first Giant Lantern Festival experience in San Fernando City, Pampanga.
For 2013, I visited 22 Provinces: Zambales, Tarlac, Albay, Sorsogon, Pampanga, La Union, Benguet, Pangasinan, Batangas, Cavite, Occidental Mindoro, Camarines Norte, Mt. Province, Metro Manila, Rizal, Nueva Ecija, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Palawan, Laguna, and Ifugao. Other statistics can be found below: