2021 is rolling in quite nicely with a ray of hope and excitement. We are seeing more Philippine destinations gradually opening up to travelers but still with restrictions. This is completely understandable as we are still in the middle of controlling the spread of the COVID19 virus.
Like previous years, I usually start this travel blog with a round-up on my travel goals that I have lined up for the year. This year is somewhat a continuation from 2020 as most of my goals were from my cancelled trips. I have added an activity stemming from changes that happened during lockdown.
This province located on the northeastern side of Mindanao was the destination that we missed out after the lockdown was declared last year. We had to cut short our CARAGA trip lest we would have ended up stuck in Mindanao. I am hoping that I would be able to close down the loop and discover the province’s rustic and pristine attraction.
The plan to go backpacking in Sorsogon has long been on my list and started out from
me wanting to swim with the whale sharks. Reading through Sorsogon’s tourism info got me more interested with its beach spots and old churches. Swimming with the gentle giants of the sea had become just one of the many activities that I intend to do. I hope that I can finally do it this year.
Bells of Balangiga, Samar
The return of the Balangiga’s historical bells have sparked more interest in me to visit the town. The rich and bloody history of the place during the American occupation have long given my feet the excitement to visit and explore it hallowed grounds. History is something that I love to delve in when I travel. Hence, Balangiga is an obvious destination that you will find me exploring and, hopefully, I will get to finally do it this year.
Another cancelled trip from last year was a family trip to Mindanao. Exploring this province was part of the plan and it also included the city of Zamboanga. Unfortunately, the pandemic had me pushing the trip to the 2nd quarter of this year. This trip would be the first time that I would be exploring a new destination with the family.
Davao de Oro
Davao de Oro is a new addition to my list. This rustic and rugged destination is an off beat spot in the area where its beauty is known among its locals in, those from its surrounding provinces, and those who have taken the chance to explore it. A staff of mine, who hails from the province, have sealed my deal with Davao de Oro when he shared with me some interesting destinations worth exploring.
Family and friends could vouch how much of an old soul that I am. I find beauty in history and heritage spots that give me a glimpse of our country’s colorful history. The well-preserved heritage houses of Pila has long been caught my interest. I guess I never really gave much thought about it since it is just a bus ride away. But a trip to Calamba and Los Banos last year got me into the groove to finally check out this popular heritage town.
Rizal Bike Ride
With last year’s lockdown, I got myself a bike and it did cross my mind that weekends can be interesting with bike rides around the metro. But I actually haven’t gathered enough guts to do it because of my fears of the city streets. With the streets becoming more bike friendly nowadays, I think I would finally be able to do a weekend ride in and around the metro. The bike destination of Rizal is an interesting location to start off in preparation to a Laguna de Bay loop next year. Kaya kaya?
My travel theme for this year is #2021ders. The hashtag is a play of the words “wanders”, which means to go around and explore, and “wonders”, meaning unexpectedly beautiful. This is what I hope to achieve this year - to be able to go around and explore Pinas and be unexpectedly surprised by another side of its beauty. 2021 is all about getting lost in our country’s beauty.
Philippine destinations have a lot of facets to offer to any kind of traveler. I have a long list of places that I want to explore this 2021, apart from the list I mentioned above - Barasoain, Talon ni Eva, and even Baguio. #PinasMuna will be part of my campaign this year. Again, I will continue to promote local destinations to help spur local tourism economies in the light of this pandemic. This is the time to choose to discover our very own.
Marc del Rosario
I believe in education, entrepreneurship, and caring for the environment.