Sunday, January 12, 2014

Travel Year 2013 : Blessed. Bold. Awesome!

Thank God for the year that was!

Year 2013 has been a very good travel year for me. Compared to 2012, when I just started my travels halfway through the year, 2013 is a whole year round travel adventure for me. I met many new friends, most of them travel bloggers. I've got to taste many food I am not familiar with before. I've got to visit many places I was worried to visit alone. I've got to experience many adventures for the first time, some I would like to try again, some I would rather be happy I have tried just once. :)

The first half (January to June) of my 2013 travel year has brought me to my 42nd province (as related through this post) while the second half (July to December), as adventurous but actually more jam packed than the first, led me to my 54th province! It leaves me now with only 27 provinces to visit and I would try my best to visit them all this 2014.

The second half of my travel year started in the second week of July with my solo tour around the province of Rizal, a province I have been to many times before but were not able to explore. I have visited the city proper of Antipolo as well as its century old church located in a more secluded place in the old town of Boso-boso. I also town hopped Tanay, Pililla, Jala-jala, Baras and Morong. During the last week of the same month, I am fortunate to have townhopped Leyte and Biliran Islands before it was devastated by Yolanda in November. I've got to see Tacloban, Palo, and Ormoc City in Leyte; Maasin City in Southern Leyte; and Biliran and Naval in Biliran.

The month of August is also a travel-filled month because I was able to bring my mom to Iloilo and Guimaras as my and my brother's birthday gift to her during the 2nd week; travel for the second time to Aurora with April ; and set foot in Panay Island again at the end of the month visiting Iloilo again plus Antique and Aklan.

September saw me meeting travel bloggers other than Glen of Escape Manila, the only travel blogger I have met personally until the end of August 2013. During Carlos Celdran's Viva Manila tour (coupled with Jherson Jaya's Binondo Food Tour), I met cool travel bloggers Jherson, Mai, Gelai and Nil, Reinante (aka Mina aka Thrasher aka Manong Unyol), and RJ. I also met new travel blogger friends Billy and Jun during Singkaban Festival 2013. At the end of the month, I toured the whole province of Negros Occidental starting from Bacolod to the 12 other cities and some towns.

September is a very special month for me also because this was the month when my blog was commended as one of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blog 2013! It was also the month when I was also featured in GMA News TV's Good News, not because of me being a travel blogger but because of an 8 year old project I started and continuously spearheading in our city.

October brought me to Quezon's Bondoc Peninsula for the first time. I enjoyed Borawan beach with even more new friends and acquaintances. I met travel bloggers Kenneth, Hancel and Jun Baris. I also met Bing, Lana, Eugene, Danyel, Marina.   

Come November. I have cancelled my trip to Dumaguete during the 2nd week of this month because of an impending storm. Never did I imagine that that storm would be so devastating that many lives were lost and many places severely affected. Through the help of personal and online friends, I managed to collect some amount which then I personally brought to Roxas City to at least help some affected people there, with the assistance of another blogger and friend, Francis. 

During the end of November until the first days of December, I visited Basilan, Tawi-tawi, and Zamboanga City with Glen and Nathalie. I also toured Ozamiz City, Tangub City and Pagadian City solo.

The Christmas month also saw me witnessing Pampanga's Giant Lantern Festival with my college bestfriends Badette, Chatty and Noel with our moms. I am also able to meet other travel bloggers such as Dennis, Paola, Ephraim, Claire and Julius in a Christmas dinner with other friends. In one blogger meet-up, I also met ChinoI finished my travel year with an Ilocos Sur and Norte Christmas trip with my mother (my Christmas gift to her) and a niece for 5 days. During that trip, I also met one of my idol blogger, Edmar.

Yes, that was really an awesome year! And my progress in my Tour Pinas project can best be described visually through the map, courtesy of Eugene Villar, below :



*I have shaded the map based on the provinces I have visited and not on the specific places indicated by the creator, Eugene Villar.

Before starting my 2014 travel year, I would want to thank all those who I met during my travels. They certainly made my travel year more meaningful - I just can't describe how yet... :) 

Now, on to 2014! 

22 comments :

  1. What a year bro! Hope to travel with you again soon!!!!

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    1. Yup brod... Nahirapan nga ako i-review eh, andami pala... Hehehe... meron pang mga lakad na hindi nailagay jan, pero puro minor lang naman... Kita kitz soon brod!

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  2. A pleasure that I've met you brod! ONe of the warmest and awsomest peeps I came to know on the year past, 2013! Kudos! Lets travel again together!

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    1. Same here brod... Di bale, magkakatagpo din ang time natin... Cheers to more Gala! at salamat din! :)

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  3. 27 provinces na lang - mga 70% na rin pala na-cover mo. Ayos.

    Para sa marami pang mga gala ngayong taon. ;)

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    1. Yes, Claire... 27 provinces na lang... :) Kita kitz sa iba pang mga gala nxt time... :)

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  4. Gala paaaahhhh!!
    Goodluck to your travel year 2014..
    Travel tayo ulit!!!!

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    1. Ok ako jan! Basta ba lagi kang me leave... Hehehe...

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    2. Lagi tayong may time para gumala...ahahahhaha

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  5. congrats sir malapit mo na mapuntahan lahat.... salamat at nakasama ako sa inyong adventures at salamat din nakilala kita astig ka sir :)

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    1. Salamat tol, marami pa tayong galang pagsasamahan... :)

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  6. Gala pa po please!. :)

    Nice meeting you din sir., di mo pa napupuntahan ang bohol?. tara bohol na!.

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  7. Hanep sa gala sa Pilipinas! Malapit lapit na din mapuntahan lahat. :) And I'm honored to have met you as well, Romel. :) Until sa next gala.. hopefully, di lang sa Binondo :P

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    1. Yup, sana magkasama tayo nina Son, Mina, Pao at iba pa sa isang engrandeng gala bago tayo makatapos lahat sa "Gala Phase" ng ating mga buhay... :)

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    2. di matatapos gala phase natin noh! hehehe

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  8. Kunting kunti na lng sir, kumpleto na 81 provinces mo. How I wish I have that luxury to tour Philippines. Sana makumpleto mo this year yan!

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    1. Yup, konti na lang po... Sana nga, makumpleto na this year... Pakonti-konti... :) Salamat sir!

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  9. Maraming salamat din! San sunod na gala natin? :)

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    1. Batanes (ako)! Tayo? san ba maganda? Hehehe...

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  10. Replies
    1. Oo nga brod eh... Sabay na tayo sa iba... :)

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