What’s happened so far…

PRIOR to resurrecting my blog I thought I’d just give a quick rundown of what has transpired in that one year since I stopped posting new entries.  My last entry was on the two volcanoes I visited.  After that, I went to…

THE PAHIYAS FESTIVAL

a typical housefront during Pahiyas

This is a popular festival held in the town of Lucban in Quezon Province held every year in mid-May in honor of the town’s patron saint, San Isidro.  I joined TF with this trip and left Manila at around 5am.  Due to the traffic, we got to arrive at Lucban at just about past lunch time.  It’s a good thing we still got to see the entirety of the parade.  As expected, tourists trooped to this town in vast legions.  I’d love to visit the town again when it’s free of the crowds.

A week later, I again joined TF in…

MT. PULAG

surrounding hils and mountains in Mt. Pulag National Park

Located in Benguet Province, Mt. Pulag is reputedly the second highest mountain in the Philippines, but it’s actually only the third highest.  I signed up for this climb with absolutely no acclimatization and almost no exercise regimen that would have prepared me for the exhaustion and the assault of the elements.  The result was altitude sickness literally just seconds after the trek began.  I mostly huffed, puffed and cursed all the way up to the camp due to sheer fatigue and physical strain, but making it to the camp and then subsequently to the summit was well worth it.  Made new friends too.

Sometime in June, the company I work for belatedly held its annual summer outing in…

LAKE CALIRAYA RESORT

main building of the Lake Caliraya resort

I wasn’t too impressed with this lakeside resort, given that the lake itself is just man-made.  It’s basically just a well-maintained multi-purpose resort where families can stay and forget about the big city, or for rowdy Manila-based corporate employees to hold team-building activities.  I mostly just spent the day walking around the surroundings and taking pictures.  Oh, and I won some gift certs in a raffle and spent some time drinking with a few office mates who were taking advantage of the free beer.

It would take a few months before I’d embark on my next trip which is…

CORON, PALAWAN

Islands everywhere in Coron

I got to say, Coron certainly helped me get over my fear/dislike of the sea.  Prior to this trip, I’ve always preferred the mountains over the seas and I’d avoid swimming in the sea as much as possible (which is kinda ironic since I’m a rather good swimmer).  It does help that Coron has very clean waters and has a spectacularly high degree of marine biodiversity.  It was a visual spectacle that I wouldn’t mind experiencing again ang again and again.  For this trip, I once again joined TF.  The cost set me back a bit more financially than I would have been comfortable with, but overall, I guess it was worth it since the trip went along smoothly.

BORACAY

Parasailing. It doesn't show here but it made us airsick.

Forgive my senior moment.  For some reason, I somehow forgot that I actually visited Boracay last year.  And so I’m editing this entry to include it.  So I won free round-trip tickets for two from Cebu Pacific.  I decided to go to Boracay just to see what it’s all about.  Brought best friend Iper with me and had an unexpectedly good time (despite the fact that parasailing destroyed our digestive systems.)  Couldn’t believe how fine the sand is.  It’s definitely worth a return trip.  There’s a little side story about how Cebu Pacific screwed things up, but I’d rather not go into that for now.

Finally, for my last trip of 2010, I went on a solo trip to…

DUMAGUETE and SIQUIJOR

A Rizal statue in a place called Quezon Park. Right.

This was sort of a spur-of-the-moment decision.  I meant to go to Vietnam and Cambodia as a year-ender but due to the very flawed system of granting vacation leave requests in the company I work for, I could not take advantage of good airfare rates as i didn’t know when my VL requests would be granted until only a few days before.  As a result, I basically just did some Internet research on which destinations are relatively easy to go to once I was informed on when I could go in VL.

An asphalt road in Siquijor

I ended up booking a flight to Dumaguete and checked out “nearby” Siquijor on a day trip.  In the following days, I also managed to go to the towns of Valencia to see the Casaroro Falls and the town of Sibuyan to see the Twin Lakes.

Lake Balinsasayao

So there, I hope that suffices as a brief rundown.  The next entry will hopefully be the first entry of a restarted regular journal.

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