2013 has been a year of surprises. Life changing indeed.  Despite the natural calamities that cost a thousand of lives and properties to perish, life has to move on and we have a thousand reasons as well to be grateful of the blessings and opportunities that were given to us.

In my world of travel, 2013 was a year of drastic changes.  Some travel buddies have left the country, destinations like Boracay and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, which I usually visit more than once were never visited, no mountain hikings were made and no travel abroad.  However, additions were made on my list to complete the provinces of the country and witnessed century-old festivals of the country for the first time.

Lakwatserong Tsinelas' rebirth was on the month of March of this year and more than anything else, this is the year where I was given the opportunity to join this awesome community of award-winning and best travel bloggers of the country - The Pinoy Travel Bloggers (PTB) and meet a few members who inspired and gave me a different perspective of traveling.

A discovery of Philippine destinations amidst the trials and tribulations in life is what my tsinelas has conquered.

Heartbreaks and Trials?  Yes I had enough for this year.  And waking up to the warmth of sunrise and its view and catching sunsets from various destinations of the country emanated hope.

Burot Beach

sunrise at Maniwaya Island, Marinduque
The rich culture and heritage of the country was unveiled as I traveled to witness some of the century-old festivals of the country.  It was indeed a humble experience.  Nationalistic as it may sound but I began to take pride of the fact that I am a Filipino.  Truly, talent at its finest and advocacy for heritage and culture was inculcated in my heart and mind.

Kasadyaan Festival of Tacloban City, Leyte

Moriones Festival of Marinduque
Tsinelas Festival of Liliw, Laguna
This year gave me challenges that even tested my resilience and character applied to my personal and career life.  Yes I made decisions in the past that admittedly were done hastily and continuously haunts me. And with this experience, I have learned lessons the hard way.  Travel has been and will continuously be a therapy for me.  This years' travels made me do a lot of firsts including commuting on a bus for more than 14 hours on Manila to Cagayan Valley adventure and had a lot of island hopping adventures traversing both the calmest and the roughest waves of the Philippine waters.

2013 was a year of initial recognition as a travel blogger.  For having been recognized in one of the widely circulated travel magazines of Eastern Visayas, Espejo Magazine, it was indeed an honor to be recognized by my own home province.  Further, one of my dream destinations was marked off on my bucket list, as I visit Coron, Palawan.

A million thanks for the readers that I thought I won't have.  Thus, the passion to share the travel stories because of you.  My top five (5) travel stories and most read for the year 2013:
a. Burot Beach
b. And This Is Our Story...The Yolanda Chronicles 
c.  Palaui Island
d.  Anguib Beach
e.  Liliw Laguna

With a positive disposition that each page of the 365 pages of this new year will be well-written, my tsinelas shall be scheduled to conquer and discover more of what our world has to offer.  The journey of 2013 shall forever be remembered as my tsinelas embarks on a new journey.

This is my entry to this month's Pinoy Travel Bloggers Carnival with the theme Let the Curtains Close on 2013 hosted by Brenna Bustamante of the The Philippine Travelogue.

Other stories to live by - on previous PTB Blog Carnivals at Langyaw's Blog Carnivals compilation

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  1. 2013 is also the year I joined Pinoy Travel Bloggers. Congratulations on your travels! :)

  2. Those are breathtaking sunset shots! And, it's kind of an amusing synchronicity that you went to the Tsinelas Festival. ;)

    More adventures and meetups this 2014! ;)

  3. Ilove it!!!! More gala pa sa 2014!

  4. Liliw's my favorite! Happy travels! Hope we get to travel soon too!

  5. Congratulations! Naka 50,000 views ka na! ;-)