2015: A Look Back

I should really write things down.  I have so many ideas in mind for this little web space that I get overwhelmed.  So if it seems all over the place, it’s because my mind is generally all over the place.  So why don’t I just start from last year.  Let’s look back to 2015 and how it was such an awesome year for local travel among other fabulous events.

vigan
Vigan with the motley crew (January 2015)

In my 44 years of existence, it was only last year that I got to visit more than 2 provinces in a span of 6 months.  I’m not really into exploring our country because I had this notion that I can always explore the Philippines at some later time.  There was no sense of urgency.  Why?  Because I have lived here all my life and would probably die here, too.  So local travel was always put off for international travels.  But last year was different.

the ruins in bacolod
The Ruins Bacolod with sister and friends (July 2015)
pilar bataan
Pilar, Bataan (February 2015)

My budget was not able to afford me more trips abroad.  I’ve exhausted my budget on a cruise early last year.  I don’t regret it at all.  I enjoyed every bit of our time on board a ship.  I think everyone should get on a cruise even at least once in their lifetime.  It’s an experience.  Plus all that food.  It was super sulit!  I want to do it again and perhaps, next time it would be a world cruise.

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On board Star Cruises Libra (January 2016)

Second, I got involved in water sports.  In particular, SUP or Stand Up Paddle.  Since there are no lakes or rivers near or within the metro and if there was one, it would probably be not worth paddling on (enter Pasig River), the need to find a place to paddle took me to Lake Caliraya and Soloviento, El Nido to kayak on the Big Lagoon and The Conservatory at Charlie’s in Baler to camp as well. I also did an SUP session in the less popular side (Tanauan) of Taal Lake with Tono Legarda.  And I saw the beauty and potential of the countryside.  Maganda pala ang Pilipinas!  So individual posts on my local travels soon.

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SUP Soloviento (March 2015)
taal lake SUP
Taal Lake (February 2015)
the conservatory at charlie's
The Conservatory at Charlie’s (December 2015)

2015 was also my first time to climb a mountain.  Just one morning I woke up and decided I wanted to try mountain climbing.  I called up my nephew and he was game.  So the very next day, I picked him up and off we went to Batangas to conquer Mt. Maculot.  It was difficult.  I felt like I would die with a heart attack up there.  But I did it!  It was truly a one of a kind experience. One that I would do again in the future.  Perhaps, I could do one mountain a year and eventually progress to 1 mountain every quarter.  I don’t know and I haven’t decided yet.  More on this in future posts.

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Mt. Maculot (May 2015)

 

2015 was also the year I drank way too many cups of coffee.  That’s why part of this blog is dedicated to my past coffee crawls.  Because I love coffee, it has brought me to places I would have otherwise ignored for more tourist-friendly sites and options.  Tiong Bahru and Lebuh Chulia were just two of the coffee-inspired destinations I’ve been to this last year.  Plus it’s the only thing that keeps me sane when all things fail.  Totoo yan! And I will travel to places near and far for coffee.  Read my cafe round up HERE.

lof10hk
Lof10 Hong Kong (November 2015)

Last year, there were a lot of bonding opportunities with friends as two of my balikbayan friends went on vacation here in the Philippines.  I took my friends and their family to La Union, convinced them to try surfing and brought them to my fave coffee shop.  We also went to Bohol.  It was so much fun.  Lots of booze and lots of kwento (stories).  There was never a boring moment.  It was so much fun that we’re doing another trip this October to Australia.  Let’s see how that one goes.

la union with friends
San Juan, La Union with friends (February 2015)
chocolate hills
Chocolate Hills with friends and their family (August 2015)
bohol
Bohol Bee Farm (August 2015)

It was also last year that I decided I wanted to do a marathon on my 44th birthday.  So I took up running second half of 2015.  And I’m still training.  The marathon (The Bull Runner 2016) is barely a month away and I’m super nervous.  I’ve been training with injury that won’t go away.  Shin splints, ITBS, and muscle cramps…I’ve experienced it all.  Di ko alam baket.  While people my age get to run comfortably, I run with pain.  Ang swerte nila.  I’m not even aiming to run fast.  Just to run without pain is good enough for me.  I may have the heart for running but I don’t have the legs and feet for the sport.  So whatever happens on the day of the marathon, whether I finish or not, I know deep in my heart that I’ve given it all.  And I’d still run after the marathon.  Pero mga short distances na lang and perhaps, do another full mary but in a different country.  Osaka, Singapore or Hong Kong,  it doesn’t matter.  I wish to run with unfamiliar faces, unfamiliar grounds and unpredictable weather.

running
Running in Nuvali (June 2015)
brown race marathon
Brown Race 16km Finisher Medal (December 2015)

Lastly just this December, I felt the need to chronicle my travels.  And what better way to do that than a blog.  So here it is.  Binabasa nyo na.  I plan to write as prolifically as possible.  Maybe write at least one post a day while I still have this free time before my next trip comes up.  I just hope I can stay as true and accurate as possible to the circumstances surrounding each travel.  Because some of them happened way back 2012.  I used to have a travel blog and because I was so busy with a business, I forgot to renew it.  Worse?  I don’t have a back up of everything.  Galing, noh?!  So this time I’d do everything differently.  No domain name yet and no hosting.  I just want to see where this goes.

So how do I characterize a year like 2015?  A lot of firsts, that’s for sure.  Could I have had any more fun last year?  I don’t think so.  But I hope 2016 would ring in more firsts and a number of adventures. I feel incredibly lucky that I had an awesome year and I am in such a good place right now.  So 2016, bring it!

 

 

 

 

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