2011: Travel Happy Year

Before the year ends, I would like to officially declare that 2011 was the year I was travel happy. 

January: Cebu - Bohol

With 10,000 pesos as our budget, we managed to roam around Cebu and Bohol. Experienced the preview of Sinulog and saw the beautiful Chocolate hills. This was also our first airplane ride together (All together now: Awww)

March: Mt. Pinatubo

We once again joined Dominic's open trip, trekking with a cause. Isn't that cool? we get to see the Mt. Pinatubo at the same time help the Aetas along the way. Met new set of friends (Tina, Carlo, Majane, Div, Rea, Paul and many to mention, i'm bad with names) and trekked all the way to the crater for 2 hours. People, that's an achievement (Woot! woot!)

April: Cebu - Bohol (Family Edition)

I went back to Cebu - Bohol with Family, organized everything, transfers, hotels, tours. All for the love of family :) I'm proud to say that: 

A. I did the Skywalk in Crowne Regency Hotel
B. roamed the choco hills by ATV 
C. Saw the dolphins in Bohol - Balicasag

May: Calaguas - Bagasbas

I managed to stay sane and alive after that 2 hour boat ride, people, let me remind you, that I was born with a box set of fears (Name it, I fear it) and one of those fear is to be near open water, boat ride and the sea specifically. Don't get me wrong, i'd like to travel but if it's possible to not take the boat, that would be the best route. Thanks to my new found friends for making me feel at ease with this boat ride, you made life easy. 

August: Iligan - Camiguin

One of the most memorable trips. First time, in my entire life that I missed a flight. Believe me, we did our best to make it on time, but time wasn't on our side. We learned our lesson folks, a very expensive lesson, no matter what happens, the early worm gets on the plane! ;) but regardless what happened, I was able to see the beauty of Iligan and Camiguin. I was fortunate enough to see Iligan, before Sendong happened. I hope they get back on track asap.

September: Hong Kong - Macau

My original plan was to go to Legazpi, Albay and spend my birthday with the other relatives, this mindset started last year, September 2010, when I went to Australia to celebrate the big 25! I told myself that starting next year, I'll be spending my birthday outside the country, where the weather would be alright, no typhoons, no floods. To date, I haven't celebrated a sunny birthday, I should book a birthday trip to a sunny place like Africa, Dubai? to get back to the story, I was able to score tickets during the piso fare, for 150 pesos round trip. 

Months before the trip, another seat sale came. This time, it was Hongkong bound. I impulsively booked, thinking, hey, made it to Australia last year why not do it in another country. It was our 2nd time in Hong Kong but we were able to go to places at our own phase.

This trip was also the trip I was grateful with my life, for I was able to spend another year on earth, to see God's creations. The flight from Macau to Manila was so terrible that I was praying the rosary (for the first time) this flight could go into books, 2 hours of turbulence. Upon our arrival in Manila, came the typhoon too. I think this is a test, that I should let go of my fears, stop watching air crash investigation and stop being the worry-wrat. 

October: Pangasinan - Baguio 

Every year it's a compulsory trip to Baguio and to Our Lady of Manaoag, I am so blessed and grateful for all the answered prayers and petitions. As I give back, I dragged along my friends to say their prayers and be grateful too. I'm thinking of organizing a open tour for this one in the future ala Dom's style haha

November: Ifugao, Batad  

Open tours makes life easier :) I'm a frequent travel groupie of Dom's trip (hhhmmm let me count now, Pagbilao, Mt. Pinatubo, Calaguas and Batad ) I was left in awe when I saw the Batad, Banaue and Banggaan rice terraces, part of my travel bucketlist is to see as many UNESCO world heritage sites. Survived trekking uphill / downhill for 2 hours, saw the real deal and walked / trekked the terraces. Amazing right?? :D 

December: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh

Goal for this trip was to eat, eat and eat. I thought that this trip will be more of hotel bumming and eating authentic pho, I was wrong, there's so much to do in Saigon :) I love Vietnam, this country is rich in culture, history and good food

2011 was truly good to me, it brought me to places I never thought i'd go to. I feel truly blessed to see all God's beautiful creations and share it with my loved ones. Thank you 2011 for this fruitful travel year, thank you too for my job for financing my only vice, travelling. 


Vietnam: Day 2 (Mekong Delta)

We booked our Mekong Delta tour thru the hotel (Saigon Mini Hotel) for $17, our pick up time was at 730 am. From our Hotel to the Port, its a two hour drive. According to our tourist guide, they call the stopover the happy hour, you can get off the bus, go to the restroom and eat. We were also surprised to see the place filled with hammocks. So you can stretch and relax after sitting for about an hour inside the bus. 

We went to three different Islands, first stop was to learn how they produce the honey, we had free tea and a taste of royal bees wax, which according to mother doesn't taste good at all, then we had the ride of our lives, the boat ride in the canal with salakot. It was scary at first, the canal was overcrowded and filled with tourists and boats, since it was a Sunday and it was like a bump car ride, the boats keeps on bumping with each other :) so make sure your fingers are inside the boat the whole time haha.

Omelette and Chicken Pho for breakfast


Vietnam: Day 1 (Walking City Tour)

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. - The Alchemist, Paulo Coehlo 

And the Universe truly conspired in helping me, I keep on telling myself that I will go to Vietnam before the year ends. When the opportunity came, I instantly booked the plane tickets and told my mother that she should join me :) by the way, this trip wouldn't be possible if it weren't for the letters C and D, C - Credit Card (Fly now, pay later) and D - Dollar Account (My Mother has one, I don't, so I need to loan money from her)

We were able to score tickets thru Cebu Pacific's Seat Sale, base fare was at 499 (I think, can't remember) but we got the red eye flight, which leaves Manila at 1130PM. There is an hour difference from MNL time to SGN time.

(Killing time in T3, View from plane, obligatory plane photo)


Batad : Good Company, Amazing View

What: Epic Trek
When: November 19 - 20, 2011
Where: Batad, Banaue, Ifugao (Side trip to Banga-an)
Why: Unesco World Heritage Site - Travel Bucket List
How: C/O Dominic "Da Man"

Let me count the ways why this Batad trip was Epic, asides from the 2 hour leg breaking trek - uphill, liters of water, calories shed, lack of sleep, one-liner jokes, crazy off beaten road, amazing view, good travel company, yummy pizza.

I. 2 minutes Topload ride, the first and hopefully not the last.
I was born a worry-wrat, it comes with a box set of fears, name it, I fear it haha!

II. 2 hours Trekking 

I'd like to say, i'm no trekking virgin (pardon, the language) but I've conquered Mt. Pinatubo, but wait there's more! See happy trekkers (for the first 10 mins)

III. Yummy Tuna Egg Pizza
Pizza lover, do I need to say more? :)

IV. Good Food, Good Company
One word: DABEST!

V. Perfect Weather, Breathtaking View 
It was the perfect day to trek, enjoy the view and stare at the terraces haha

VII. Unesco World Heritage
Part of my Travel Bucket List that I can now cross-out. Check!

VIII. Banaue - Batad Rice Terraces 
Walk the talk! 

I am one happy wanderlust wannabe, not only did I get to cross-out a part of my travel bucket list (one down - thousands to go), I gained new friends, saw the real deal - Rice terraces, learned about traditions and the Ifugaos, and the best part is to escape on a weekend.

Everything is possible, weekend warriors, thank you! :)

Chapter 1: Giving Birth


Please beware I am not a travel blogger, again I repeat, I am no travel blogger. I don't have any DIY, links or computations about my travels but you can count on the certified travel hit makers, whose travel post I really envy.

I hate writing, I hate the vocabulary, shift F7 is my best friend and sarcasm is my second language. Early to say, but I am giving birth to this blog, the not so amazing stories of a wanderlust wannabe.

Due to the following reasons:

1. I have a never ending BUCKET LIST, Travel Bucket List. (The root cause of this blog and my next project)
2. I want to capsulize everything that I learned in traveling, while traveling and before traveling
3. To breakaway from my personal blog, rants, emodium and cheesy post in daydreambeliever
4. I feel that the timing is right

The rest is history. I will try to fill in the blanks along the way.

Crazy journey is about to begin :)

Sincerely yours,

Wanderlust Wannabe