The year the world is supposed to end is about to end. A year which filled my memory vault almost to a full. Something I will look back in earnest disbelief (and bragging rights) that I've experienced it all in a span of one year. In between the struggles of everyday living, I am proud to sandwich days and nights, in the company of friends and other nameless strangers who've all been a part of my over-all literal and figurative journey. From rushing to pack my backpack, chasing time of departures, hopping from one bus to another, getting starved in the middle of an outstanding scenery, falling in love and then some. 2012 definitely is one for the books.
"January In The Halifax Airport Lounge"
During the month which I was born I romped stomped with tribes whose faces were adorned by a variety of colors. They danced to the beat which reverberates to the furthest corner with entangled veins of the earth, heading to the open sea.
I walked along a scenic boulevard - in a place Jose Rizal passed by enroute to being exiled. I tasted the food and the romantic university feel, eschewed in a chilled down environment, wanting to stay longer amidst the pull of a mystical island nearby, which I gave into the next day.
"Winds of March"
As days gone by like armies in blitz attack. Fast and furious and half awake. I went on a roadtrip towards the southern part off the Queen City. I cheated my way to the highest tip, swam on a roadside sea and feasted on food while getting a glimpse of the controversial Tuki.
"April 29, 1992 (Miami)"
The Holy month brought me to this beach-side town in the last frontier. I met a few gregarious people, equally enchanted with the thrills of the road. I snorkeled and gorged on food and got semi-drunk with alcohol during the night. 7 days of sun, beach and delight. I went home tanned as ever but with loads of travel stories to write, which included this moment of disruption in paradise.
"One Morning in May"
Neck deep in summer season I rolled with the clouds, slept while my toe went almost freezing. Egged on by the hissing sounds of the wind I followed a direction which the tall yellowish grass points me to. I also rolled into my longest ship ride to this underrated province, joining a few friends in exploration, in search of waterfalls, an island and girls in bikinis.
Reaching the middle part of the year had me itching to discover more places. By random I ended up on a beach none like no other I've been to before. I walked over hard pebble rocks, presenting an ironic contrast with the much sought fine granules of sand we always want. I went on a semi cross island roadtrip to be up close and personal with this waterfalls which had me dropping my jaw, trying to frame it all in a single vision. Finally, took a splash at this blue colored river near the mouth of the sea. They call it enchanted, I couldn't disagree more.
Went to a place called "Gubat" for a project with fellow travelers. It involves kids and books and more books. It was an uplifting experience kick-starting something that would benefit many school-children. I was also assigned a confidential mission to hunt down some waterfalls in this underrated island province seething with it. Had a side-trip rendezvousing with General Douglas MacArthur and Carlos P. Romulo at the site of a historic wartime landing.
"August and Everything After"
Together with some film-camera junkies and kindred souls, we set out for a festive experience, food trippin and road tripping to this surfer's haven. Sun-kissed and visually stoked, It was the trip before the one that would bring me closer to a wonderful discovery.
"It Might as Well Rain Until September"
What set out as an ordinary trip with friends became a Lumineers moment, partly ignited by a love of an old couple and mix of knowing and secretly loving her for a long time. From learning deep tagalog words and escaping into the beautiful peninsula of the last frontier, hula-looping and island hopping aboard a fishing boat, brings forth an unforgettable journey.
I still have a few backlogs from this month. But many to look forward to, hand in hand with an epic potato girl, we went to the summer capital and feasted on ribs and other gastronomical delight. I also had my second sponsored trip courtesy of this cozy and top notch affordable hotel, yes! I didn't know me and "sponsored trip" would have good chemistry together, but we did and this nomadic wannabe is looking for more in the future.
"Gone Till November"
An epic 7-day Mindanao trip venturing into media-hyped dangerous places in the Philippines. We came out unscathed and with new found friends. Paid homage to a house of worship of our Muslim brothers and sisters. Visited an island avoided by many visitors. Went on a roadtrip passing some of the most scenic road side views in the country, ending up an a secluded beach fronting the Moro Gulf. Traveled 5 hours in the middle of the night to meet the famous Doctor Wendz and went waterfalls hunting again in a place where marang, lechon and friendly people are aplenty.
"A Long December"
Still unwritten is a couple of other trips from November and a return jaunt to the province of Capiz. Ate a lot of seafoods reminiscent of my first trip there. Celebrated another festival and traveled with old and new friends from the esteemed Pinoy Travel Bloggers community. A long month that saw my girlfriend settled into her new home in Montreal, Quebec in Canada. The last month in a year so wonderfully lived, maybe not to the fullest but the best I could. Here's a glass of beer toasting for an equally OR if not, a more-epic 2013.
My entry to this month's Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival, a fitting end-of-the-year compilation of the most "amazebells" travel experiences: "2012: This Year in Travel" hosted by Gay Mitra-Emami of Pinay Travel Junkie and Regine Camille Garcia of Between Coordinates.