Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 in Snapshots


I was fortunate to have traveled to the island paradise of Boracay twice this year. A lot has changed since the last time I've been there, but I still love the place.    


I finally discovered the mystery of Antique, a place where the mountains meet the sea.  Its beauty captivated and enchanted me.  I shall go back to further explore its secrets. 


Coming back to Mt. Samat brought me back to the day I first visited the shrine with my father.  I was then a young, wide-eyed girl eager to learn about the valor of our nation's heroes.  I remember looking up at the cross and praying for the souls of those who perished for the cause of freedom.      

The Dambana ng Kagitingan
Colorful canopy
Entrance of colors

I have been to the province of Batangas countless of times, but it was my first time to visit Punta Fuego.  I am grateful for being able to enjoy a short getaway at the exclusive resort.  


My maternal grandparents hail from Bulacan, but believe it or not, I only got to visit the historic Barasoain Church this year.  
Barasoain Church
Inside the historic church
Church of Immaculate Conception
Notice the intricate details adorning the posts of the old house


I already lost count of the number of times I have been to Corregidor Island.  Nevertheless, visiting the place still excites me.  Walking through the war torn buildings still never fails to give me goosebumps.  


I am glad to have been given the opportunity to go to Kiangan in time for the celebration of the 67th year of the Victory in Kiangan.  September 2, 1945 marks the date that the Japanese Imperial Army General Tomoyuki Yamashita, known as the Tiger of Malaya, was forced to surrender due to the unrelenting forces of the native Ifugaos who were members of the USAFFE and the guerilla movement.  
Kiangan National Shrine

Cordillera Mountains

Students showcasing the traditional dance

Ilocos Norte

I traveled solo to Ilocandia on my birthday. It was a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of daily life in the metro.
Paoay Church

                                 Sarrat Church                                                         Sarrat Bell Tower

Ilocos Sur

I certainly fell in love with Vigan.  It's a place I know I'd be visiting very often.  I just love walking on the cobblestone street of Calle Crisologo, talking to the locals, and letting time pass by without a care in the world. 
Calle Crisologo
Vigan Cathedral


The province was part of my three-day, three provinces backpacking trip with my mom. I wanted her to see the intricately designed facade of the Miag-ao church.   I also had to come back to give my thanks for the answered prayers. 
Miag-ao Church


We chased waterfalls in Siniloan. It was a day trip that turned into an overnighter because we underestimated the difficulty of the trek to Mt. Romelo. We went home humbled, yet grateful to have survived the knee-deep mud and slippery slopes of the mountain. 

                 Batya Batya Falls                                                 Buruwisan Falls


Just like General Douglas McArthur, I vowed to return to Leyte.  The mere thought of moron (a sticky rice delicacy) always makes me want to hop on a plane enroute to the province.  But what made this trip particularly special was getting the chance to cross the famous San Juanico Bridge.
The Leyte Gulf Landing Monument
A wonderful vista from the San Juanico Bridge

Mindoro Occidental

Love, pure love, is all I have for Mindoro Occidental, particularly Apo Reef and its teeming marine life.  My visit to this province would always be memorable because it is where I first tried scuba diving.  I discovered the wonderful underwater world where I saw a shark, manta rays, sea turtles, and a whole lot of wonderful, colorful sea creatures. 
Putol na Parola

Presing Park

                                  Scuba diving time                                             Underwater wonder
Relaxing view of the sea
Apo Reef Lighthouse

Mindoro Oriental

An outreach activity for the Mangyan tribes brought me back to Mindoro Oriental. I carried home with me the gratitude and happiness of the children with whom we spent an entire day with.

Photo credit: Che Gurrobat
Calapan Sunrise

Howdy Mr. Carabao?

Northern Samar

I cannot understand why Samar, which is gifted with so much natural beauty and resources, can be one of the poorest provinces in the country.  It has so much potential, but I also fear that development and commercialization will ultimately spoil the place.  I can only hope that the local government would work towards ensuring the sustainable development of the province.

Magasang and Magsapad rock formations


I'd always welcome the opportunity to be amongst our nation's living heroes and pay homage to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Western Samar

The province deserves a second visit. I'm excited to see what it has to offer.


My second time in Indonesia would always be memorable because I finally saw with my own eyes the majestic temples of Borobudur and Prambanan. I also embarked on my first long train ride alone. Most importantly, I met fabulous, new friends through CouchSurfing.
Tangkuban Peharu

Prambanan Temple
Tangkuban Perahu



May 2013 bring more adventures and fond memories.

Sending you happy thoughts...


  1. beautiful images ciel! andami mong napuntahan! more fun-filled adventures and safe travels this year! :)

    1. Che, 2008, 2009, and 2010 are the years to beat in terms of traveling. Pero I vow to make 2013 to be more epic! I'll join you in your Mindanao trip should my schedule permit. :)

  2. beautiful photos, sis! I think we need to schedule an adventure with Ching, soon. Pwede na ako, haha! by the way, I am passing on the Liebster award to you. More details in my site, hehe -

    1. Yes, we should go on an adventure! Excited na ako! Btw, I'm going to Laos come March.

      Thanks for the Liebster Award! :)


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