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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!