Year Ender

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

2013 marks the second year of pinoyontheroad and as the year ends, here is a rundown of some of the places I have been in the past 12 months – past 12 awesome months on the road!

JANUARY

The Warrior – on my birthday, I went to Tingalayan, Kalinga Province to get an authentic tattoo from Kalinga’s last remaining ethnic tattoo artist, 96 year-old Fang Od.  Honestly, I don’t like tattoos and I don’t find people with tattoos respectable. But that changed when I met Fang-Od.  And yes, I’ll bring to my grave “the warrior” that made my birthday special.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

My trip to Kalinga Province had many firsts apart from the tattoo.  It was my:

first time to commute in 2013,

first time to top-load in a fully-packed jeepney (from Bontoc to Tinglayan),

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

first time to stay in a lodging house where pigs, chicken, dogs and cats freely room around the house,

first time to engage in a drinking session with foreigners – a German truck driver, a French retired teacher and a Czech salesman – lahat sila tumitira ng marijuana, 

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

first time to see a marijuana bar (they have a term for it that I forgot) and they offered me to buy 1 for 25,000.00!

first time see marijuana plantation.

I also dropped by Lubuagan, literally a City in the Sky, and it was certainly one of the best towns I have seen.  My last stop was Tabuk, a city not so strange to me.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

The Yellow Sands – my first international trip this year is Vietnam and I visited the famous sand dunes of Mui Ne.  The yellow dunes and the white dunes of Mui Ne defined my standard of desert love.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

And of course, I can never forget how cheap food is in Mui Ne.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

FEBRUARY

Anawangin Love – my second time in Anawangin and it never fails to impress me. Anawangin Cove, Nagsasa Cove and Camara Islet are the small wonders that make a visit in Pundaquit worth while.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Singapore Mugness – the first Starbucks mug I ever bought.  Yes, that started it all 😉

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Lego’ Johore Bahru – my second time here and loving it! Legoland is my favorite of the 3 theme parks I have been to, should I mention I like better Legoland than Disneyland and Universal Studios? lol

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Ga-Galera – an unexpected visit to Puerto Galera this year.  Puerto Galera still has charming white sand beach, the rest, not worthy to mention.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

MARCH

Siquijor Sojourn – out of fire, out of love.  Siquijor is a beauty to behold from first sight to last sight! My visit to Siquijor is one of the few travels I really planned and bucket-listed.  Truly, Siquijor’s spell is magical!

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Siquijor | Siquijor: The Magical Island of Fire | Siquijor Sunset | Photo Essay

Sweet Dumaguete – a charming and laid-back city full of wonderful people and natural wonders.  Dumaguete is one of the cheapest places I have been to.  Really a good place for a wonderful experience without hurting your pocket.

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Pampanga Holy Week – Pampanga is not the usual place I go to for holy week but this year, I decided to spend it here to witness some local rituals.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

APRIL

Bike Nuvali – for the first time (and remains the only one until now) I joined a cycling  event.  I had a good time doing the off road and thank goodness, walang semplang!

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

MAY

Melaka Malaca – the UNESCO World Heritage City of Melaka is blessed with century old edifices of Christianity as well as good food. Like the other Heritage cities in Southeast Asia that I have seen (Vigan and Penang) Melaka is best experienced by foot.  Its historical and cultural treasures are best seen one step at a time.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Nepal-lallo – Nepal is a heaven on earth.  Need I say more?

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Come Come Come Cameron – Cameron Highlands is Malaysia’s very own city in the sky full of picturesque tea plantations! Cameron Highlands is a perfect get away from the hassle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Cagayan My Valley Home – I am a Cagayano and visiting my province is a sweet escape.  Cagayan offers never ending adventures that interest anyone.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Shortly, Isabela – a quick stop over in Isabela visiting the Spanish-era San Pablo Church and Bell Tower.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Ilocos Norte (Paoay) Kumakaway – a visit to the Ilocandia’s world famous tourist spots! Who haven’t been here? Looks like everyone wants to be here in Ilocos!

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Ilocos Sur Olden Charm – Vigan is the most famous of Ilocos Sur’s destinations but another church here is inscribed as UNESCO Heritage Site. Ilocos offers as much old churches as its Norte counter part.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

JUNE

Thailand Escape, Phuket Love – I had a quick stop-over in Bangkok to get some rest before flying to Phuket to attend the 2013 Phuket Laguna International Marathon.  This is my first time in Phuket and the rest is history.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Baguio Get-away –  I had a short visit to Baguio to experience its ‘chilling charm’ once more.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

JULY

Bacolod Wonders – my main purpose for this visit is to see the only Cart Wheel Church in the world and the only Sea Shell Church in the world. And yes, I saw them in their glory!

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

AUGUST

Becha Bai Bali Wow – the touristy island of Bali offers an unassuming charm that gives a sense of happiness and contentment.  Despite the crowd and the crazy atmosphere, Bali is a place to be.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

So I did.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

SEPTEMBER

Go Jogya, Go Jogya – from Bali I took a flight to Yogyakarta to see 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Boracay Mugness – mmm

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Singapore Again – or should I say, mugness?

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Kuala Bear – mmmmm

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

Phuket Na Naman! – why not.  Phuket is so charming that I cant resist visiting again and again.

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

OCTOBER

Phuket, Hooray!  – looks like monthly i am here in Phuket 😉

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

NOVEMBER

Oh Phuket! – my 6th time in Phuket this year and for a change, I am bring my family with me! Certainly, you know a place is beautiful if you bring your family there!

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

DECEMBER

See You, See Me, See Dubai Forever – to end the great year that was, I visited Dubai. So far, Dubai is my favorite city.  It is modern, clean, livable and offers a unique experience of its own. I look forward to visiting Dubai again!

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

From the Highlands of Kalinga to the Towers of The Emirates: A 2013 Year-Ender Love

There. 12 months have past from the highlands of Kalinga in January to the towering skyscrapers of Dubai in December.  A great year has just ended and a New Year is about to start – –

Cheers and bring it on, 2014!

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