8 Awesome Travel Highlights in 2012

Dreaming. Searching. Adapting. Adjusting. Learning. Loving. Realizing. Contemplating. Living. It has been a year full of introspection, a year of figuring out my purpose, a year of laying out a plan for the future, a year of experimenting life, a year of new experiences, a year of responsibilities and decision-making, a year of creating, and a year of young adulthood freedom… It has been a year around the calendar with marked days of great memories as a traveling web designer.

One Whole Year with 8 Awesome Travel Highlights!

Highlights that give more emphasis on the lessons picked up in my small collection of whereabouts around the country rather than just the whereabouts itself. 🙂

Highlight #1: A year of curiosity and research

cau1 The chemical bond of Sodium and Chlorine sparked my interest in knowing how it is being processed and formed into what we normally know as “table salt.” That curiosity paved the way of discovering a process known as “bud-bud” (from the fishermen and coastal area locals) which makes use of sea water to make salt. 🙄 Focusing on the process of salt-making brought me to places like Miag-ao (believed to be the first in bud-bud), Sipalay in Negros Occidental, and Guimaras. Up to this day, my research is still at its early stage of development.

Highlight #2: A year of eating what the locals ate

ae16 Be it “Tayom” or Sea Urchins in Bohol, Sea Cucumbers in Negros, “Taklong” or Forest Snails and “Puyoy” or Grilled Eels in Capiz, “Balot” or Raw, Nearly-developed Duck Embryo in any part of the Philippines, as long as people are eating it with delectable pleasure, (what the heck) go try some! This year I had several “firsts” in my palate history all because every time there’s new local cuisines being offered, I grabbed those opportunities and shoved it up my mouth to try. Gross in some way but it never kills to try… (unless otherwise you’re allergic) 😀

Highlight #3: A year of ignited dreams

group Being blessed to travel with several amateur and professional enthusiasts is one phenomenal chapter in my travel-work lifestyle. From different parts of the country, either in Luzon, Visayas, or Mindanao, or in other countries aside from our own, these people pack incredible stories and lessons that serve as a guide for young travelers like me. Their never-ending tales of adventure, misadventures, love-affairs, horror, and unforgettable memories fascinate me.

Highlight #4: A year of getting lost and epic adventures

lahab cave 13 Whether you’re maneuvering over the busy streets of Metro Manila – staring at the jumbled snake-like architecture of the roads, or heading further up in the mountain away from the sound of the riverbank’s streaming water in Capiz, or circling around the same tree several times in a trek in Cebu, or getting confused where the north or south is in a simple street map of Davao, it’s still part of getting lost. 😉 Of all the things this year had offered, getting lost was by far the most amazing and “thrilling” experience ever.

Highlight #5: A year of scars and bruises

negros c It is inevitable not to have some small or large “travel marks” etched along any particular part of your body. Take for example my 2-inch (in diameter) depression on my right thigh from a jeepney bump in Iloilo City, or the burnt skin on my left hand from cooking when I volunteered in the Young Life organization in Compostela, Cebu, or the tiny scratches on my legs from the recent trip in Bacolod, or the scab I have now that took 3 weeks to heal from a trip in Capiz, or the scar on my left foot from the rafting in Cagayan de Oro. Each with its own story. Each with a memory that’s very easy to recall.

Highlight #6: A year of confusing temperatures

bukidnon It’s more like a uniform for me rather than just a “casual” wear. Long-sleeved polo dress shirts are my thing – paired with shorts, bangles, shoes, sling bag, and top it with a hat. You get that signature look of the person behind Between Coordinates. 😛 Well, living in the lowlands where it’s all warm and cozy – this uniform of mine works best. But sometimes my good brain tends to forget the temperature of the next destination: giving me this chance to feel really, really, cold… and stupid. Take that time in Tagaytay where I did not bring any extra jeans, or in Bukidnon where I just fought the cold by rubbing my palms, relying on friction. Lol!

Highlight #7: A year of savoring every darn experience

Adventure - White Water Rafting “… live while we’re young” lyrics of One Direction’s song explains the whole essence of being alive. This song was being played over and over (and over) again when me and my college friends endured the Advanced Level White Water Rafting – 21 Rapids of Cagayan de Oro, or when we glided across Asia’s Longest Dual Zipline in Bukidnon, or me crossing over a 30ft-high canopy walk in Samal, or sliding for my life in Maxima’s giant tarpaulin slide. I guess I give more credit to things that “I thought I’d never do” but have done anyway. 😀 Cheers for being young and alive!

Highlight #8: A year of endings and beginnings

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The last month of this year posed a new challenge for me in 2013. A few days before Christmas, I received one of the best “useful” gifts given to me (and it’s not even under a tree). I got a travel guidebook of the Philippines by a notable author who fell deeply in love with our beautiful country. This highlights that in every ending, there’s always that new, and unbelievably awesome beginning! 😉 No doubt that I value experiences more than just the number of destinations I have been to. No doubt that I treasure friends met along the journey rather than just photographs of different scenic spots. No doubt that I value life lessons more than just the objective facts being provided by guides… cau5 2012  is  was the start of my “not so impossible” dream of traveling the world…

This is my first ever entry for the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival December 2012 with the theme “2012: This Year In Travel” Proudly hosted by: Gay Mitra-Emami of Pinay Travel Junkie and Regine Camille Garcia of Between Coordinates For previous Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival topics, click the logo on the left.


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  1. Sea urchins and eel! I’ve yet to try the former and love the latter.

    I got myself some travel scars this year as well – a massive
    jellyfish sting around my right arm and a sprain on my left foot, both
    from surfing. No worries though, it just taught me what not to do next
    time. 🙂

    Happy new year and new travels!

    daene | filipinainflipflops.com

  2. Ouch. That must have hurt… But good point in knowing what to avoid next. I guess it’s part of learning… Phew, I have yet to experience surfing lol and a lot of awesome things you have done so far 🙂

    Happy Travels too and a Prosperous New Year to you and your family, Daene. 😉

  3. I like #3 – LOL! 🙂 And yep, I’ve tasted sea urchin too – best kinilaw, I think. Here’s to more awesome travels in 2013!

  4. Quote and quote, I read “I received one of the best “useful” gifts given to me (and it’s not even under a tree). I got a travel guidebook of the Philippines by a notable author who fell deeply in love with our beautiful country. ”

    I wonder, what Travel Guide you got? hehe… *curious..

    But hey, I love your year ending, pareha pala tayong virgin sa ptb blog carnival. LOL. Happy New Year Reg! More travels to come! ^^,

  5. It’s Philippines Travel Guide roj! 🙂 See you here this January!!! 🙂

  6. You’ve had a wonderful year of travel, new experiences and personal growth. Congratulations on achieving things you thought you’d never do. I’m not sure I can be as brave as you in eating all the local delicacies but my husband would. I need to do some catching up on your Negros Occidental posts. I was born and lived in Negros until we moved to Guam when I was 10. So glad to find another Illonga on the web! Wishing you the very best in travel and adventures next year. -Manang Mary 🙂

  7. Hi Nang Mary! 🙂 Wow that’s a great tidbit you mentioned there. I’ll be revisitng negros again and again this year so hopefully I could provide you with a lot of updates. So glad you’re an Ilongga. I look up to you 😀 Best of luck in you travels!

  8. Travel is not really about how many places one got to explore but the memories he made during those travels that are important. As you said nga it’s not about the quantity but the quality.

    Like you I’ve garnered my own travel scar last year as well. An accidental bike fall in Bantayan left a swollen ankle that healed 3 weeks after but still hurts every now and then especially during cool days. Travel scars are painful but great souvenirs because everytime you look at them, you will be reminded of the fond memories you made along the way. Yun nga lang medyo panira ng flawless skin. Hehehe

  9. fantastic highlights girl! fave highlights ko ang no. 2, 3 & 7. Nakatikim na din kasi ko ng sea urchin, also i love the rapids adventure kahit nakakatakot it was fun. Of course the 3rd one, laging memorable if you get along with every travel blogger you meet. Masayang kwentuhan lang, super quality time. Cheers and more travel this year hope to meet you soon! 🙂

  10. Hello Joan 😀 Quality is of course placed first before quantity and I do believe some may disagree – but in all fairness, everything is relative depending on the person.

    I love your thought about “souvenirs” hahaha If panira siya sa flawless skin, that is one thing people may be curious of. Kaya it’s also a good starting point for any interesting conversation 😀 Hihihi

  11. Hi CA! 🙂 Thank you for sharing! Cheers to your fantastic travels as well! Hope to “meet” and travel with you soon 🙂

  12. Parang familiar yung unang pic! 🙂 Miss you my Little Rubber Sister! 🙂

  13. Really really familiar 🙂 It always reminds me of you. 🙂 See you soon Rubber Sister! 😀

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