Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009: Travel

If there was anything I could say about 2009, it would be that it was the year that I fulfilled my dream of traveling, of getting out of cramped and congested Manila, of venturing out into the rest of the country. I can seriously say that I enjoyed every single minute of it.

Coron Pier

And every scene, every landscape, every road I stepped on, every boat I got into, I tried to preserve in images. Really, the next thing I would say about this year is that it was the year that I finally held a camera, my own camera (at least for the most part).

Coron, Palawan

Sights at Kayangan Lake

I have said it again and again. Coron is one of the most beautiful places in the world, not just the Philippines. Some well-traveled non-Pinoys will agree with me on this. Its serenity is incomparable. I of course plan to go back, before it becomes the tacky-touristy place it may unfortunately soon be.

Anawangin, Zambales

anawangin cove
Photo by Angelica Cruz

Anawangin is an unusual one. First, it's isolated being that it's a cove. Second, its beach wasn't made of sand from a coral reef, but rather from volcanic ash. Three, it had pine trees. Pine trees. The place is magical, though. We woke up early morning to the warm light of moon. Yes, the moon. It was so bright, eerie and well, magical.

Cebu (Cebu City and Bantayan Island)

Bantayan Island, Cebu

I enjoyed this Cebu trip due to the small amount of money we had to spend to get to these places. It wasn't just Cebu City we went to. We got out of the provincial capital, went north, specifically, to a small island north of Cebu. We spent no more than 6K pesos, all in. Yes, including plane fare. We backpacked. We really did. We did not even get on a taxi to get to the airport. Unforgettable.

Los Baños, Laguna

UP Los Baños

Los Baños, and along with it, UP LB, Pook Bathala and the Philippine High School for the Arts, will always mean something to me. It's the weekend retreat that's not Tagaytay. It's the UP that's closer to nature. And even with my misfortunes and inopportunes, it will always be happy and peaceful.

Dumaguete and Siquijor

Salagdoong Beach

When the goal is to get away from the tourists, a place where 99 percent of the time, the people you'll see are locals, make sure to consider Dumaguete and Siquijor. Dumaguete is a city where I really felt like I was in a small town and Siquijor, I could just pity those who would pass up going fearing its folklore.

Baguio City

Baguio: Oh My Gulay

Baguio is a place I'd revisit many times over, if only for the weather. It's one of the few places in this tropical country where keeping warm is a task. It offers more, though, I discovered. Views of mountains upon mountains are something else. And who would've thought that a city, a modern city, could exist smack bang on top of the Cordilleras? I have yet to publish photos from Baguio. So stay tuned. ;)

What Next?

So what's next this 2010, this new year. I am hoping that even with a tighter schedule, I could travel more. I have to, don't I? I've got two trips already planned. One is onto an island I haven't set foot in. An island south of the country. The other is bigger. Quite bigger. It will be the first time I will get to use my passport. Think temples, or should I say wat.

Let's hope they'll all push through. Heck, they must push through, even those trips I haven't booked yet. I'll make them push through. So here's to 2010. May it be as full of adventures as the year before it.

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