Sunday, January 2, 2011

nineteen of my most memorable trips in 2010

the year 2010 was another great year in travel with a mix of a visit to nearby countries of Singapore, Vietnam and Japan while not missing out some of my best experience of our country. the experience of great culture and exploring islands along with travel buddies always makes it memorable. here to share nineteen of my most memorable trips and experience in 2010. cheers to another great year ahead!

[19] Charm of Caracol Festival (Makati City, Metro Manila)
though this festival is nestled in an urban setting and does not often lead the audience to participate and take part like the other festivals in the country, the costumes are colorful enough to attract photo enthusiasts to test their gears for festival shots. beyond that, i personally am attracted to Caracol because of the smile that comes out naturally from the participants.
Caracol Festival 2010

[18] Chinese New Year in Binondo (Manila, Metro Manila)might not even be too close to what one can experience the Chinese New Year in Beijing yet it's that special time when one gets to enjoy food trip and celebration of dragons and lion dance in one place. this year, i had with me some bloggers who were as excited to experience both.
Everything Red, Gold and a Lumpia to Crave
Chinese New Year
Te Ya Kong Temple
Seng Guan Temple
Dong Bei Dumplings
Binondo Food Trip

[17] Day Trippin Laguna (Paete, Laguna)
one of those few just-go day trips along with travel buddies Lawstude, Roadworthy and Lantaw can sometimes be too memorable. it led us to dropping by the towns of Paete, where wood carvings are at its best, and Caliraya, where a view of the lake and a walk around a Japanese garden can be so relaxing.
Three Stop - Laguna

[16] Visiting Tumaini Church (Tumaini, Isabela Province)
i've been longing to see this church for quite some time and on that day when Pacquiao was putting down Margarito, i was right infront of this church while the people were cheering inside the big gym which was right infront the church. the church remains to be one of the most interesting churches as its bricks were placed in intricately in sequence and an unusual white painted bell tower.
[not yet posted]

[15] Remembering the Churches North of Cebu (Danao City, Cebu)
the churches North of Cebu are rarely visited by tourists as it is often overlapped by the famous Basilica de Sto Nino. the towns of Danao and Liloan has churches built on lime stones. the next time you go to the beautiful islands of Bantayan, Malapascua and Camotes, drop by these towns and explore the churches.
[not yet posted]

[14] Pagbilao Beach Escape (Pagbilao, Quezon)
if my love for the beach triggers, Pagbilao's beach remains to be my favorite. a day trip to this hidden beach has always been memorable. this year i brought along friends who were among the funniest group that i've been with to celebrate with me my 2010 year-ender beach trip. it started and ended perfectly experiencing both the hot sun and the cool rain.
Escape Pagbilao

[13] Return to Capones Island (San Antonio, Zambales)
a return to one of my favorite islands in the country brings back the memory of the near-death experience that we've had when we were crossing to this island. this time, we simply enjoyed the beach and the crowd did not lessen the beauty of the island. almost picturesque from any perspective of this rocky island.
A Return To Capones Island
Camara Island

[12] Southernmost Gumasa Beach (Glan, Sarangani)
on that very short time that we were on the beach, we knew that it's one of the most beautiful beach in the country. sand was white and extra fine which can definitely be compared to that of Boracay and Bantayan. commuting to Gumasa includes a van from General Santos City and an exciting and rough habal-habal or a motor-ride that can be unforgettable.
Gumasa Beach

[11] Celebrating Kalilangan Festival (General Santos, South Cotabato)
a side trip to the Tuna capital of the Philippines on an unintended timing to its annual Kalilangan Festival. though participants were few compared to the other festivals that i've been to, the sequence of participants roaming around the wide Pioneer avenue did not make it any less than the other festivals. the Gen San bloggers who hosted us made us feel that this is a city in Mindanao one shouldn't miss out.
Kalilangan Festival
Around General Santos
Piyesta's Kurat Sticks

[10] Parasailing in Boracay (Boracay, Aklan)

Boracay did not escape from my list of places visited in 2010 as it seems like there's always something new to experience every time one would return to the island. whether it's a new resort or a new activity that you haven't done last time you visited this party island. this year we were hosted by Alta Vista de Boracay which included one of the best water activity there which is parasailing. this, i highly recommend those who visit the island at least once in your life.
Parasailing Boracay
Atis of Boracay
Morning in Puka
Alta Vista de Boracay
Night Buffet at Waling Waling

[9] Singapore by Night (Singapore)
Marina Bay Sands and Unviersal Studios were not yet open when i went there. so i visited the usual spots and a taste of the street ice cream sandwiched with wafer or bread and a taste of Singapore sling at Long Bar was my favorite. the cruise along its river was also good and definitely better than the Singapore Flyer.
A Monument, An Island and a Sling
Singapore River Cruise
Esplanade by Night
Central Singapore and the Merlion
Multi-culture Singapore
Singapore Changi Airport

[8] Road Tripping Ifugao and Mountain Province (Ifugao/Mountain Province)right after a storm hit the Cordillera region, most roads were closed due to the damage done by the landslide. but that didn't stop us from exploring the often missed out town of Poitan which has a charm of a small community isolated from the usual touristy spot in Banaue. our trip to Bontoc led us to the awesome display of art over vegetable paddies on the town of Bayo.
[not yet posted]

[7] Magnificent Palaui Island (Sta Ana, Cagayan)
one of the final trips that i had schedule for 2010 was also one of my most memorable with a visit to Palaui island. the big waves coming from the Pacific on the last minutes of the one hour boat trip almost led us not to proceed. the view from the lighthouse, the rock formations similar to that of Batanes and the green plains is stunning. now this island was added to my list of most beautiful islands in the country.
[not yet posted]

[6] Island Paradise of Puerto Princesa (Puerto Princesa, Palawan)
whether its the creatures of the sky, the land or the underwater, the island paradise of Palawan is awesome. it holds numerous towering karsts and unspoilt beaches as well. this year, we were hosted by Microtel Palawan which also brought us to the underground river and Honda Bay along with other travel bloggers. a sighting of a rare blue peacock which is one of Palawan's symbol made it more memorable.
Puerto Princesa - A Guide
Honda Bay - Island Hopping
Puerto Princesa Underground River
Puerto Princesa's Towering Karst
Three Stop 1 - Puerto Princesa
Three Stop 2 - Puerto Princesa
Microtel Palawan
Microtel Palawan Sunrise

[5] Exploring Alibijaban Island (San Andres, Quezon)
exploring an almost forgotten or not so known island is one of this year's highlight. i found Alibijaban when i was searching for an island with a nice beach through Google Earth's satellite views. later did i knew that it is a sanctuary of many mangroves and sea creatures and beyond this the notable friendliness of the locals in the island. it felt like i was in my home island.
Alibijaban Island
What You Need To Know About Alibijaban
The Quezon Less Seen

[4] Pho Pho and Beyond (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam)
i can't remember the many times i've said Xin Chao when i went to Ho Chi Minh with friends Melissa and Nadz. the Pho tastes really good from almost anywhere along the streets of Saigon. the experience of crossing the streets among the flow of motorbikes was crazy and a ride with this motorbikes is fun while exploring the many pagodas of the city. the trip there won't be complete without visiting the site of the famous Cu Chi Tunnels which we were really impressed.
Twelve Things I'll Never Forget About Vietnam Cu Chi Tunnel Vhin Ngiem Pagoda
Vietnam Pagodas
Bike City
De Tham Backpacker's District Notre Dame Church
Vietnam Night Market
War Remnants Museum
Reunification Palace
Hu Yen Si Church
Three Stop Ho Chi Minh
Good Morning Vietnam
Entering Ho Chi Minh

[3] Adventure Davao (Davao, Davao del Sur)
Davao is a region of adventure. we were not mistaken when we chose Davao to be a summer-opener for the year 2010. the white water rafting experience was the highlight on this trip. other adventure activities one can consider includes zipline, snorkeling, scuba diving, trekking to waterfalls and even wakeboarding. with the help of Davao bloggers, we had our chance to try out Maxima Aqua Fun which was exciting. the next time i'll visit Davao, i want to trek to the country's highest peak Mt. Apo.
All Set and Ready
White Water Rafting
River One Adventure Team
Maxima Aqua Fun Samal Island
Paradise Resort Samal Island
Hagimit Falls

[2] The Great Calaguas Group of Islands (Vinzons, Camarines Norte)
its clear and crystal clear waters, fine white sand and isolation makes this group of islands to be on top of all the islands that i've been to around the country when it comes to the beach. visiting it twice this year explains it. when you visit Calaguas, take note that it's not just the coast of a great beach shore, it's a group of islands that you need to explore. trek its hills and drop by its other islands which i did and you'll definitely be in awe of what the island holds. you can check out the guide that i made on how you can maximize your Calaguas experience.
Ten Reasons Why I Love Calaguas
Calaguas Islands - A Guide
Mahabang Buhangin Central Beach Area
Mahabang Buhangin Rocky Side
Islands of Calaguas
Maculabo Island
Pinagcastillohan Island
Calaguas Uphill
Trekking Tinago Hills
Mangkawayan Village Calaguas
Ending A Day In Calaguas
Paracale - Gateway to Calaguas
To The Island

[1] Yokoso Japan (Japan)

my trip to the Japan was definitely my most memorable trip for 2010. a lot of surprises came out while i was there exceeding my expectations of a country so beautiful. my chance to visit the capital city of Tokyo, the booming city of Osaka, the busy streets of Nagoya and its Northermost island of Hokkaido was a way to understand the Japanese culture. a mix of modern and old traditions gives this country a great character. as one would see the high tech Shinkansen trains, you'll also notice that the people still loves to bike and walk. it is truly amazing to have seen a country like Japan.
Senso-ji Temple Asakusa Tokyo
Hozomon Gate Asakusa Tokyo
Tokyo Tower
Nakamise Asakusa Tokyo
Kaminarimon Gate Asakusa Tokyo
Tokyo Subway
It Ain't All In Japanese After All
[Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido - not yet posted]


Asiong32 said...

wow! ang galing, ang dami mong napuntahan! pwede bako sumama sa susunod na trip? hehehe...happy new year!

Chyng said...

Awesome! Ü

I envy your festival trips. I realized yan dapat ko maexperience this year. (and of course our tanden trip, fingers crossed - sana matuloy na!)

rob said...

.. 19 trips in a year?! kainggit naman! more trips for you this coming year, dong! happy new year!

Beth said...

nagsscroll pa lang ako, alam ko na un #1 e. Sabi ko na Japan! :)

Pero I like the Sarangani shot and also the Calaguas shots! ang ganda!

Have a happy and blessed New Year, Dong!

Traveling Hawk said...

This is amazing, Dong Ho! Beautiful photos which enabled us to travel with you. I like especially the writings about Japan, a country which stay high on my list of travel wishes.

Happy New Year and a lot of travels for this year too!

Pietro Brosio said...

Thanks for sharing these beautiul pictures of your most memorable trips in 2010. Happy New Year to you, Dong, and many nice trips in the 2011!

princess_dyanie said...

I knew it! Japan is your #1! :) Whoa, parang ako ang napagod dun ah. Teka bakit parang di mo naman nabanggit sa plurk yung Cagayan? Kala ko nga Batanes eh!

Good job Dom! :) More travels for you this 2011. PS. nagtext yung heart mo, buksan mo na daw yan! Ahihihi! :D

sheng said...

I want you to enjoy more travels this 2011 dong, ad find one true love that you can bring with you wherever you go!

Pordoy Palaboy said...

i suggest you make your own travelogue...bonga yon!

Happy New Year Dong..More travel this year

Oman said...

this has gotta be one of your best and busiest year of travel. i am glad to be part of some of your memorable trips. until the next trip buddy. happy new year.

upto6only said...

Sarap naman. wish i could have done that too. More travels for you this 2011 :)

alicesg said...

Hope 2011 will see more travels for you. I have a reply for your question in my blog.

Skippyheart said...

really awesome! How I wish I could travel just like you!

CHEERS to more breathtaking trips, adventures, places to explore, and beautiful captured moments for your 2011! Next? maybe Europe or the Americas. :)

SandyCarlson said...

To choose the best from among your trips can't be easy. They are all marvelous, and I am grateful to witness your many journeys.

Avel Manansala said...

Thanks for featuring both Gumasa Beach and the Kalilangan Festival Dong!

Blog posts like this are a big help to us, your South Central Mindanao blogger-friends ( in our advocacy to present to the world the beauty and grandeur of our region.

Daghang Salamat Dong!

Magandang GenSan!

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

Thanks Dom for never failing to share us your travel ohotos & stories. :) Same w/ Chyng,gusto ko din maka-attend ng madameng festivals this year.

And how can I ever forget Palaui? I envy you,you're able to reach the lighthouse. hehe oh well, nxt time. Yung Isabela church gusto ko tlga yan marating. :)

More travels this year Dom! And I love the idea that you spent tlga the New Year with you're family sa Cordilleras. I should do that too, boring na ang New year sa Manila, I just hope my family would agree.

Ibyang said...

wow! that was a great 2010. your travels are amazing! :)

wishing you a 2011 filled with more travels and great photographs.

happy new year!

Unknown said...

what a year that was! 2010 was really a strange year for me.:p

your photos here are captivating, i'd like to visit 'em all! Calaguas--my friends are i are planning a trip there. i'm keeping my fingers crossed.:p

Photo Cache said...

what a fantastic year you had. your 2010 was full of adventure.

pusangkalye said...

wala akaong masami--blockbuster kung blogbuster. ang gaganda nung mga churches? at talaga namang ang mga pics---walang tulak kabigin---you are a manifestation of a true travel blogger-somebody I admire and wish to ----I am sure nahirapan ka sa # 1 and 2.hahahha. so Japan na rin talaga. you can't deny it. Japan is japan ---and Tokyo for that matter is no doubt beautiful---that doesn't eman we love the Philippines less. more travels for 2011. sana nga magkasama na tayo sa tour.hehehe


Wow! Parang bigla kong gustong pumunta sa Paete Laguna. Ang ganda. Pati sa Isabela.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Wish you more travel this year.

ferdz said...

very memorable 2010! Daming gala! And can I say your photography has improved a lot din :D

More travels this 2011!!

eastcoastlife said...

Happy New Year! Glad that Singapore made it to your list of memorable trips in 2010!

Eds said...

that was a great 2010 for you dongho. congrats!

happy new year!

BlogusVox said...

Summary nang trip ni donG in 2010. All your pictures looks great but I like #8 the most. Happy new year, donG!

Reena said...

nag capones ka nanaman pala. parang nice ung sa cagayan, in fairness. :)

carlotta1924 said...

grabe idol! ang galing! here's to more trips for you this 2011 man! cheers! :)

GingGoy said...

too many trips for 2010...envious and happy for new you and happy new year too...keep it up

pinaytraveljunkie said...

dong, your photos left me breathless! i need to compose myself... naloka ako :) more to come this year!

journeyingjames said...

gusto ko na talaga makapunta sa calaguas at sa quezon- alibijaban island. astig ng travels!

Micamyx said...

I'm happy because i'm a part of number 6 teehee :D Sana makasama na rin ako sa Batad :D

lakwatsera de primera said...

Galing ng year 2010 mo Dong, kumpletos rekados - meron churches, festivals, beaches, exotic islands, adrenaline pumping adventure and out of the country trips, may you have more trips and adventures this year!

docgelo said...

hooray for your top choice of your most memorable travels last year!
ganda sa japan, ano?! but i cannot deny that the places you've been to in our country are truly worth the trip.

here's to more amazing journeys and adventures to you dom!

your photos should land in pages of a magazine or book.

greg urbano said...

wow ! from the shots you catured along the way what a terrific year you've had!

Bengbeng said...

ref to the Chinese New Year pic, the girl n the mask... it has been localized n so different from ours over here

Unknown said...

You have done very well in your travels. Good to be able to enjoy new experiences.
Happy New Year!

gillboard said...

cheers to more travels on 2011 dong.

Happy New Year!!!

Raft3r said...

dahil sa blog mo
i want to explore pinas more

paborito sa mga travels mo ay yun sa quezon at sa japan!

Archie said...

daming byahe! at mukhang matatagalan pa ang entry ng banaue natin ah... hehehe

it seemed 2010 was such a great, busy year. happy to be part on one of it. more travels this year!

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

You did have a busy 2010. For this year, I hope you'd go back to Davao and climb Mt. Apo na! It'd be interesting to see your perspective on the country's highest peak.

alicesg said...

Your blog is fantastic. Hope to see more travels in 2011 for you.

Sendo said...

JAPAN T_T laway mode hehe/...ang galing sir dong...habang nagbabasa ako eh nagtetake note na rin ako sa mga lugar na yun ...kasi free mammal na ako eh..kaya kung makakapulot ako ng pera sa daan pupuntahan ko ynug pupuntahan mo kasi me travel tips na hehe...^^ awesome nga..

Helena Brie said...

Real Heavens on Earth! To get there is similar to win in casino a million of $

lifeisacelebration said...

This is truly stunning photography! I have seen some really good ones from among the bloggers, but this set is really good. Not just from a technical point of view (as with many others). You've put your heart into every photo, and that makes them different from the others. Bravo!


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