2013 was my Road Trip Year as most of my travels involved discovering and rediscovering destinations with me behind the wheels. I must say that I enjoyed my on-the-day short discoveries in 2013. Last year was also a time that I discovered and re-discovered destinations with my family. It was a year that I enjoyed both long and short trips.
I was glad that I was able to bring my family and see the beauty of Bohol's history just right before the devastating earthquake that damaged a number of its old churches. It pained me to see on the news the damages that the calamity wrought on these national treasures but I also felt relieved that we were able to see it in their splendor just months back.
How can I forget the beach bumming days in Honda Bay and Boracay? Talk about trying something new like watching Boracay's coastline from up above the air or holding on to your dear life as you get to whipped around Boracay's blue waters. It was such as adrenaline rush! Fish feeding was given a new meaning when we tried the activity during our visit in Pandan Island in Palawan. It was a great learning experience for my little girl.
What really stood out for me last year were the road trips. I cannot miss out on our family roadtrip that brought us to discovering Hundred Islands in Pangasinan. The trip gave meaning to the phrase "a trip is not about the destination, it is about the journey to the destination". We managed to discover 7 historical churches during the roadtrip. And then we arrived at the destination...talk about joining a flock of people on a small white sand beach strip! I learned my lesson on long weekends and family vacations.
Last year was also my year where afternoon roadtrips were evident. Discovering Pasig City, which I still need to blog about, was a time that I realized that an afternoon stroll around your neighborhood can yield interesting facts about your neighborhood. And my fascination about history was quenched after an afternoon drive brought me to Angono to see the Petroglyphs or my search for Boso Boso Church brought me to the outskirts of Antipolo City. It is funny how google map helped me out in searching for these treasures.
I guess the best part of 2013 was being able to connect with my fellow travelers through a medium where we are able to share our visual experience - Instagram. We, together with an IG friend, founded Viajerong Pinoy - an IG hub that features Philippine destinations. It was great to see the warm reception from our fellow Viajeros and the opportunity to share our travel stories. We are looking forward to a great 2014 for the hub with exciting activities in place.
Looking back to 2013, I initially felt that I did not travel enough probably because I have always associated my travels by taking a plane. But then in recollection, I think I discovered more in 2013 than previous years. My impulse for an afternoon drive brought me to off beat tracks that led me to find new treasures. This made me want to hit the road more this 2014!
I could feel that 2014 will be an exciting year for me. I am looking forward to discovering new destinations this year. I could sense that my trips for 2014 will be a deviation from the usual trips that I usually do. In fact, going through my list this year spells out a year of backpacking adventures:
1. Calaguas - I have seen its beauty from pictures over at @viajerongpinoy and the pictures have piqued my interest. Getting to the place is an adventure in itself and staying over is another. But that should not stop me from heading off to this gem.
2. Sagada - I guess it is about time that I strike this off my list as every year it is always included in my bucket list. This is the year that I am striking it off. I guess it is high time to taste what it has to offer.
3. Taal, Batangas - The old soul in me is craving for that spot to check out the old houses of this town. The history it has is enough to get me to include it in my list this year.
4. Busuanga / Coron - I have heard great stories about this place and I just need to see it for myself.
5. El Nido, Palawan - They say that there is a cheaper way to experience El Nido so I want to pack my bags and try it out.
6. Bantayan Island - Cebu is worth revisiting as I love Cebu. It is also about time that I start discovering the neighboring towns and its famed beaches.
7. Tanay, Rizal - It is an adventure that is about an hour away from Manila. It is near Manila and they say it has a lot to offer. Talk about the experience of taking a shower under the waterfalls.
8. The Seven Lakes of San Pablo – I have always been fascinated with San Pablo City. I love the place probably because my great grandfather is from the city. I feel that a part of my identity can be found there. Interestingly, the seven lakes of the city have also piqued my curiosity. It is about time to test my fitness level again.
9. Sto. Tomas, Baguio City – I wondered, when I was a kid, what the view is from the two radars atop Sto. Tomas. It is a lot easier to get to Santo Tomas nowadays as access roads were already constructed
(As of this posting, I have already gone to Sto. Tomas twice. I will be blogging about the experience soon).
Another exciting opportunity that we planned out for this year is the InstaViaje that will be the flagship program of our travel hub in Instagram - @viajerongpinoy. The program was designed to bring together IG and travel enthusiasts to discover or rediscover some of the country’s tourist destination.
(As of this posting, we have successfully mounted our first InstaViaje in Baguio City. I will be posting about the experience soon.)
2014 is going to be an exciting year. I am excited to discover new destinations and the opportunity to meet fellow travelers along the way. I am looking forward to looking back at the year and I will be able to say that I am glad I did that.
Marc del Rosario
I believe in education, entrepreneurship, and caring for the environment.