Tuesday, July 9, 2013

After a year and a month: I'm halfway 'round the Philippines!

Yes, it's true. More than half the number of the Philippine provinces has already been covered by my personal project. And I am so happy to announce that in just a span of a year and a month, I managed to visit my 42nd province just as June 2013 is coming on its end.

I started the year 2013 with my "Ultimate January Tour". It was a 5-day backpacking which covered the provinces of Bataan, Zambales, Pangasinan, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Quirino, and Nueva Vizcaya. I also got to visit the cities of Balanga, Olongapo, Alaminos, Dagupan, Urdaneta, San Carlos as well as the famous resort town of Sagada and Bontoc.

In February, I've got to visit the beautiful City of Tabuk in Kalinga Province and the town of Pudtol in Apayao Province. I've also got to experience sojourning in the Southern part of Cebu and Caraga Region during the other half of the month. I was able to visit all the southeastern towns and cities of Cebu from Oslob up to the City of Cebu with the exception of Talisay City. And then I was also able to tour the different provinces of Caraga Region: Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Surigao del Norte. The cities of Butuan, Tandag, Bislig, Surigao, Cabadbaran and Bayugan has also been reached by my wandering feet.

The month of March has been a travel hiatus for me because I was focusing on my papers then. It was the end of the semester and my professors seemed to have united against me and made me too busy by fulfilling their requirements.

In the month of April, no major travel has happened though I was in Zambales twice for summer outing: first is in Anawangin with a co-forumer and his college mates and another in San Felipe with the family. At the end of the month, I had a good time touring Glenn of Escape Manila in the province of Bulacan. He was the very first travel blogger I met personally.

The month of May has also been a travel hiatus for me because I was busy with another community project I was spearheading in our town, San Jose del Monte.

My travel marathon started again in the month of June. As a conditioning for my 4-day Palawan Adventure, I town-hopped Abra and Ilocos Sur during the 2nd weekend of the month. And at the end of the month, I finally have the opportunity to visit one of my dream provinces: Palawan! I enjoyed frolicking in the beaches of El Nido, and braved snorkeling in one of the islands we visited. I also finally been able to visit the famous Puerto Princesa Underground River, one of the world's 7 Wonders of Nature.

The map below, courtesy again of Eugene Villar, shows the status of my project (I have shaded the map based on the provinces I have visited and not on the specific places indicated by the creator) :

By looking at the map, it is apparent that I have yet to visit most of the Philippine's central part. And that is already scheduled... :)

More updates will be posted before year 2013 ends. Just keep on visiting and join me in my race against time, that is being able to visit all the Philippine provinces and cities before I turn 30 next year... See you!

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About the Author

I am ROMEL RAFOR JAIME, the man behind San Josenyong Gala. My travel blogger name came about because I am a proud resident of the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. In real life, I am a licensed librarian who works in a college in Gapan, Nueva Ecija as a librarian and teaches general education subjects from time to time. My goal is to visit all the 81 provinces of the Philippines before visiting other countries. As of 2017, I have already visited 73... :)


  1. Wow! that's a lot of provinces in just 13 months. Good luck on your journey and have a nice trip!


    1. Not so much maam... my usual budget ranges from 1,000 to 1,500 within Central Luzon and CALABARZON, 2000-3500 in Northern Luzon and 5000-7000 outside Luzon... :)

  3. wow! i'm suddenly thinking of listing the local provinces that i've visited. pero wish ko lang i have the time to travel. hirap pag may day job e.

  4. ASTIG!!! as in nakakahanga po kayo! yung mga lugar na gusto kong puntahan like palawan and sagad, napuntahan mo na !!! xD nakaka inggit po... ipon ipon na din ako pag may time para makapag GALA na din xD proud to be SAN JOSEƑO :) - Rolando Ong