Home Itineraries Where the Travel Bug Took Me in 2013

Where the Travel Bug Took Me in 2013

Glad was I on the day the travel bug bit me. I welcomed the itch and succumb to all the side effects such as compulsive itinerary creation, regular emailing of hotels and tour guides just to see their rates, and abnormal delight upon receiving travel-related gifts. I go through severe withdrawal symptoms when three months have passed and I’ve not lugged around my backpack to somewhere. The only reprieve is to view over and over all my travel pictures. Thankfully, 2013 was an excellent year for my wanderlust!

January 2013

Camped out at Camp Marina, Cebu

Got invited by my colleagues at work to join the Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) held at Camp Marina on January 26-27. Activities included a lecture about survival skills in the mountains (packing, cooking, reading trail signs). Then we went through a short but challenging trail in the jungle and read all the trail signs the organizers prepared for us. In the evening, we camped out at Camp Marina’s grounds and enjoyed each other’s stories and company.

BMC camping out
camping out with office mates at Camp Marina for the Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC)

February 2013

Partied at Warren’s Beach in San Remigio, Cebu

Went to Warren’s Beach in San Remigio for our company’s 1st Quarter outing. The resort didn’t have much of a beach, but there was plenty of sea life in the area, even at the shallows. While there, was able to enjoy a gorgeous sunset.

Warren's Beach sunset
viewing the sunset from Warren’s Beach in San Remigio

March 2013

El Nido, Palawan & Puerto Princesa Underground River

One of my most satisfying trips ever! Finally, I was able to reach El Nido, Palawan – a place that once was just a dream. And it was indeed like a dream visiting those virgin islands, strolling along those white sand beaches, snorkeling in the ocean fearing for my life only to be greeted by a kaleidoscope of tropical fishes, and going through narrow and submerged rock openings to venture into beautiful tucked-away coves and lagoons. After El Nido, we went to the Underground River and once again I was struck by the marvels of nature because, despite that it’s now very crowded, the UR is awesome!

El, Nido Palawan
just some of the many wonderful things you can see and experience in El Nido and Puerto Princesa, Palawan
El Nido view
the sun rising over El Nido – I wish I could wake up to a view like this every day!
wonderful El Nido beach
Just one of the amazingly pristine beaches you’ll set foot on when island hopping in El Nido, Palawan

April 2013

Bojo River Cruise & Hidden Beach in Aloguinsan, Cebu

Past workmates (yes we still stay connected) invited me to experience Aloguinsan’s ever becoming popular attraction – the Bojo River Cruise. In the afternoon, we headed to nearby Hidden Beach and just chilled.

Bojo River Cruise in Aloguinsan
the river in Aloguinsan that you should cruise at least once. although it’s gonna be a short cruise, you’ll learn lots of stuff about mangroves and river mouths.

1st half of May 2013

Strengthening Friendship at Bantayan Island

My really close friends at work and I decided to go to Bantayan for this month because it’s been a while since we’ve really gone on an adventure together. It turned out to be a great idea!

Bantayan Island
Bantayan Island – our favorite island near Cebu

2nd half of May 2013

Mystical Isla del Fuego – Siquijor

Once again with workmates, I finally experienced firsthand mystical Siquijor (I just realized how awesome it is to have so many adventurous workmates!). Since we stayed at one of my colleagues’ house, this was one of the cheapest trip I ever took in 2013. For me, Cambugahay Falls was the second highlight during this trip while the number one highlight would  be sitting at some random beach during low tide while gazing at the immense full moon. I tell you, it wasn’t too hard to get caught up in all the mysticism surrounding the island when you have that scene in front of you.

Cambugahay Falls, Siquijor
together with my workmates, enjoying Cambugahay Falls in Siquijor

1st half of June 2013

Solo in Siargao

This holiday is very special to me since it is my first ever solo adventure off the island of Cebu. Learned so many things about myself during this trip, particularly the fact that I love, love solo travel! Enjoyed island hopping, talking to strangers, and watching surfer dudes and dudettes.

first solo trip outside Cebu; Siargao is amazing with all its beautiful beaches and surfing scene

2nd half of June, 2013

Family Trip to Dumaguete

Feet was feeling itchy once again at this point and really wanted to go somewhere. Asked my family on a whim what they think about going to Dumaguete with me. Surprisingly, my father, mother and sister all said yes in a heartbeat. With just cursory research, off we went to Dumaguete on a Saturday morning and returned to the city Sunday afternoon. Fun, fun, fun!

Balinsasayao Twin Lakes, Dumaguete
Balinsasayao Twin Lakes, Dumaguete – it’s hard to get there since you need to habal habal up a mountain to see the 2 lakes but it was all worth it!
Forest Camp, Dumaguete
Forest Camp Dumaguete – perfect for a more relaxed communion with nature

September, 2013

Company Outing at Cebu Marine Resort in Lapu-Lapu

Had lots of fun with my office mates as it was a good day to unwind and just enjoy each other’s company while absorbing all the luau-themed surprises of the program prepared for us. Cebu Marine has a well kept lawn, a small pool and a nice enough but very short strip of beach. I wasn’t able to view their rooms since we held our program outdoors.

at the beach
at Cebu Marine Resort, Lapu-Lapu

1st half of October, 2013

Touring Seldom-Seen Relatives around Cebu – Visited Taoist Temple and Mt. View

We did this a few days after the Bohol earthquake and there were still several noticeable aftershocks throughout the day. However, it is not often that these relatives of ours from Mindanao visit us here in Cebu, so my family decided to brave the ground shakings to show them around Cebu even just for a few hours. Little has changed in Taoist Temple; the rooftop dragons are still there and the place has maintained a bit of its solemnity despite becoming a known tourist attraction. As for Mt. View, many improvements were made since I last visited years ago. I believe it is now more family-friendly (kids love it there) and it still provides stunning overlooking views of Cebu City.

Taoist Temple, Cebu
showing Taoist Temple to our relatives from Mindanao
Busay Cebu Mountain View
Mt. View Nature’s Park in Busay, Cebu – views of the city from up there is great!


2nd half of October, 2013

Indonesia! First Out-of-Country Trip Ever

This is the crowning moment of my 2013 travels! It has always been a dream of mine to travel outside the country, but due to all sorts of circumstances in life, I never had the chance to save enough money. But in 2013 all that changed; I exercised rigorous self control and was finally able to save up. Plus, we were able to avail of Cebu Pacific’s promo fare to Indonesia. Finally, one of my dreams came true and I was super, super happy. Indonesia is a beautiful country – very tolerant of religions, filled with history that we only got to hear about from our high school teachers before, and is home to so many beautiful temples and places. And the people there were so friendly. Everyone we came in contact with in Jakarta and Yogyakarta treated us so well despite the language barrier!

The only thing I regret is lowering my camera settings thinking I might run out of battery early. Pictures turned out less crisp. BIG MISTAKE!

Indonesia holiday
getting to visit another country is a dream come true and I am super glad that Indonesia was my destination! 
Yogyakarta's Prambanan Temple
one of the myriad highlights of this trip – Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta
Borobudur Temple in Yogyakarta
Yet another amazing temple that I only got to read about in history books before – Borobudur Temple (A mixed Hindu and Buddhist temple in Yogyakarta, Indonesia)
with Indonesia school girls
thank you Indonesia and your people for being very good to me and my friends. will definitely visit you again!

All in all, 2013 was an amazing year for me and I’m hoping to see more of the world this 2014. May the universe ever conspire in my favor!


  1. Wow. You’ve been to very nice places. More travels for you this 2014. By the way, I LOVE CEBU! I’ll come back there to visit those places I haven’t visited and those places you have mentioned here will definitely be part of my itinerary


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