Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Travel Year 2015 : Taking it Slower

My 2015 travelling life is a very muted one compared to earlier years. For one, I have mainly traveled to nearby provinces. I have also not been able to update my blog for almost half a year, and hasn't shared any travel-related posts to my Facebook page, San Josenyong Gala. My twitter account must be lonely now for even I haven't visited it for a long, long time.

But it doesn't mean that I have a very boring 2015 travel year. I still travel and in addition to many nearby provinces I have visited before and visited again this year, I was also able to visit three new provinces: Catanduanes, Masbate and Bohol!

My visit to Catanduanes and Masbate happened in February/March. It was a 5-day backpacking trip that also includes visit to Albay and Camarines Sur. I had a blast touring the province of Bohol in August for 5 days and was able to visit 32 of its towns. My whole year travels are definitely worth of a look-back and a monthly rundown of what happened that year is a must!

JANUARY. I started the year travelling to Cordillera and Cagayan Valley visiting the following provinces: APAYAO - Kabugao (the main purpose of this January Trip); ISABELA - Cauayan City, Alicia; NUEVA VIZCAYA - Bagabag, Bayombong, Bambang and Dupax del Sur. At the end of this month, I also toured the City of Valenzuela (formerly Polo, Bulacan).

FEBRUARY. My major travel to Bicol provinces, started from the end of this month to the start of the next month. I was able to visit the following: ALBAY - Oas, Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga (2nd), Legazpi (2nd); CAMARINES SUR; and CATANDUANES - Bato, San Andres, Virac.

MARCH. The first day of this month was a continuation of my February trip to Bicol Provinces. This time, I was able to visit MASBATE - Masbate City, San Pascual. At the end of the month, I toured the eastern towns of LAGUNA with April visiting Longos, Paete, Pakil, Panguil, Santa Maria, Siniloan, Mabitac, and Cavinti towns. 

APRIL/MAY/JUNE. These months were spent in touring nearby provinces. First stop is PAMPANGA in the month of April were I, together with a Malolos native friend Christopher, visited the towns of Apalit, Guagua, Lubao, Macabebe, Masantol, Minalin, San Fernando, Sasmuan, Santa Rita, and Sto. Tomas. In May, I and my equally galang girlfriend April, toured RIZAL and was able to visit Angono, Baras, Binangonan, Cainta, Cardona, Morong, Pililla, Taytay, and Teresa towns. In June, April and I joined a tour to Santa Rosa and Binan, both of LAGUNA, organized by the Advocates for Heritage Preservation (AHP) Facebook Group headed by Mr. Tito Encarnacion. In the same month, I also organized an old bridges tour in my Old Bridges of the Philippines Facebook Group to Tayabas, QUEZON  with the help of a Tayabas local historian, Ryan Palad. 

AUGUSTThis month was my best travel month of 2015 as I am able to visit the province that I have always longed to visit before: BOHOL! I spent five days in this historic island and was able to visit 32 of its 47 towns and 1 city. I really did enjoy my time in Bohol though there are some unexpected events like me getting sick and having an unconcerned owner of the lodge I spent the night at. Also during this month, April and I toured the cities of Pateros and Taguig as part of our aim to visit all the cities and municipality of Metro Manila. 

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER. These months were also spent visiting nearby areas. In September, I visited the towns of San Isidro, San Antonio and Cabiao near my place in Gapan, NUEVA ECIJA. In October, April and I toured the cities of Las Pinas, Muntinlupa and Paranaque.

DECEMBER. The last month of the year saw me visiting Baguio, LA UNION (Agoo), and PANGASINAN (Manaoag) with my mother, cousin and nephews and niece. I capped my 2015 travel year with a tour of three BATANGAS towns, Lipa, Tanauan and Santo Tomas, and Calamba, LAGUNA, with April.

The year 2015 has ended and here is the progress of my Tour d' Philippines project, map, courtesy of Eugene Villar:

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

In 2015, I visited 3 more provinces for the first time and at the end of the year, I was able to visit my 64th province.
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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, konti na lang Sir makukulayan mo na ang buong mapa ng Pilipinas. More gala to come. Sana makagala ulit kasama kayo. :)

    1. Oo nga Ma'am MJ eh... Anawangin tayo! Gusto ni April pumunta dun eh... :)

  2. This was 2015 and this is still a great post. I'm looking forward for your 2017 or late 2016 travel post.