en route to Beijing, China from Xian City, China

Dear Readers,

It has been a year since I updated this travel journal of mine.  For indecisive decisions made and other activities indulged at, it has become nearly impossible for me to be able to return back to this so-called blogosphere. Nevertheless, like a long lost love finding its way to where it is destined to be, I am back to share all my travel experiences.

Since time immemorial, travel and adventure has been an inevitable part of my system.  Starting at the age of 6, my childhood days were spent with both voluntary and involuntary travels with my mother while doing seminars on the various cities and municipalities of Leyte and Samar and as far as Cebu and Manila during that time.

Uncertainty.  This has been the direction of my life sans the educational and professional achievements I have made.  To date, I vow to be a part time CPA-Lawyer and a full time traveler.  Countless, infinite and timeless reasons can be cited why we all travel.  With the notion that one who travels has all the money and luxury that life offers, I would like to prove otherwise. These type of judgment to me is irrational and baseless.  As the famous adage goes, "when there's a will there's a way".  Despite the mandatory work obligations and financial restraints, a traveler will always find its way wandering on whatever means he is accustomed to.

As a recap, for my travel and adventure through the years, here are some of the unforgettable moments that I hope would entice each one of you and unleash either the travel junkie or the posh traveler in you.

Witnessing the various shades of silhouettes under the rising and setting of the sun in some of the historical and famous landmarks:

sunrise at the Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
sunset at Beijing, People's Republic of China

sunset at Willy's Rock, Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines
sunset at Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines

Visited and admired the architectural grandeur of some of the notable landmarks:

carvings on one of the Angkor Wat Temples (Siem Reap, Cambodia)
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - (tallest building in Asia)

Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Bangkok, Thailand

Ruins of Saint Paul, Macau, Special Administrative Region of China
Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

Visited some of the best sun, sea and sand total package also known as paradise in the Philippines:

Willy's Rock, Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines
Kalanggaman Islet, Palompon, Leyte, Philippines

Malapascua Island, Northern Cebu, Philippines

The perks of traveling include meeting new friends along the way.  With my travels abroad, I have gained friends who as of this writing remain as such and despite the distance, communication is never an issue.

Chinese and Vietnamese friends at the Great Wall of China

drinking spree with Vietnamese friends at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

at the Banaue View Point, Benguet, Philippines
Totally lost in a non-English speaking country and literally ran to catch the next train for our next destination. 

My unforgettable experience on this great city of Xian has already been covered by a separate blog.  But I reiterate, this is one adventure, I shall never regret.  Thanks to my travel buddy, Ms. F, for the great company.

Camping, hiking, caving, trekking on the various natural wonders of the Philippine terrestrial domain.

at Mount Pulag, Benguet, Philippines
a view of Mt. Pulag, Benguet, Philippines

trail at Batad Rice Terraces, Benguet, Philippines
Sumaguing Cave, Mountain Province, Philippines

Mt. Pinatubo crater lake, Zambales, Philippines

Experienced different modes of transportation to the various destinations, both in the Philippines and abroad, ranging from the comfortable to the not so.  

The experiences include crossing the ocean, bays and lakes under a perfect and disturbed condition, in whatever kind of outrigger canoe built, be it motorized or not in both rough and calm waters.

Jeepneys in the Philippines en route to Mt. Pulag, Benguet
railway station to Xian City, China
soft sleeper train to Beijing from Xian City, China

hard sleeper train to Xian City, China
motorized pump boat (outrigger canoe) on our way to Bucas Grande Islands, Socorro, Surigao, Philippines
my friends negotiating for the amount of fare on a Tuk tuk (three-wheeled motorized vehicle) in Bangkok, Thailand

cycle rickshaw parked at the National Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Cambodia (travel for almost 13 hours)

Tuk tuk (three-wheeled motorized vehicle) first trip to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

en route to my hometown, Tacloban City, Leyte (New Year 2013)

"rough" rider bus to Malapascua Island, Cebu, Philippines

our savior in the Anawangin, Zambales, Philippines trip at the height of a typhoon

Experienced lodging and accommodations on apartelles, hostels and dormitories and even luxurious hotels whether built on plain, mountainous terrains and stilted native nipa huts above internal waters, both impromptu and advanced bookings.  The experience also include pitching tents on the mountains and beaches, as well as converting the airports into sleeping quarters.

Banaue Ethnic Village and Pine Resort, Benguet, Philippines

Club Tara, Bucas Grande Islands, Surigao, Philippines
Dream Travel Hostel, Beijing, China

tents at Mt. Pulag, Benguet, Philippines

Sheraton Hotel, Beijing China

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam International Airport

Being a traveler also exposed me to our culture and allowed me to pay homage to some of the historical landmarks of the Philippines, which was only being studied as part of the mandatory Asian and Philippine history subjects during high school.  

Blood Compact Monument and Marker, Bohol, Philippines

The Leyte Landing Memorial, Red Beach, Palo, Leyte, Philippines

Aside from the usual educational trips and enhancement of cultural awareness, traveling also made me achieve one of my dreams, that is, to witness the Formula 1 racing experience at the Marina Bay Circuit, Singapore, being the only night race in the world and its proximity to the Philippines.  I personally witnessed the race on the day of my birthday, along with my good friends, with a bonus concert of Maroon5. 

For movie buffs and lovers, traveling also means a mandatory visit to the locations where the equally vital and cinematogaphic scenes were takenBelow are some on my list.

Movie:  Entrapment (1999)-  
The Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where the final heist took place

Movie:  Lara Croft: The Tomb Raider (2000)
Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Movie:  The Hangover 2 (2011)
Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, Thailand

Movie:  The Mistress (2012)
Callao Caves, Penablanca, Cagayan, Philippines

Philippine climate is divided only into two main seasons, that is, the rainy and dry.  But with traveling, this made me experience the winter and spring seasons as well.

winter in Xian City, China

And the list goes on.  With the countless reasons to travel and explore the world, it shall be my commitment to continue on the journey.

For the travel buddies I had and will be having with in my journey, I declare with much gratitude your countless support on this endeavor, a quest to complete the 80 provinces of the Philippines, revisit the places worthy of such cause and to complete the Southeast and East Asian countries in my lifetime, even if it entails traveling alone.

They say, it is the journey and not the destination that matters. Life is short, thus, I live to travel.

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