Friday, January 24, 2014

Going 5

This is a very late post and it supposed to be posted and "celebrated" last October. I've been really busy and at times I also became stubborn to update this travel blog. But anyway, as I've said in my 2013 year-ender review, I will have a separate post about this - my 5th year of travel blogging! Going Places turns 5 in 2013! Hurray!!!

This is a milestone to be celebrated. 5 years is 5 years of sharing travel stories, adventures and full of spirit of "Travel is an experience of a lifetime"! Cheers to that! So to celebrate my 5th year of travel writing and Going Places birthday, I will share to you my top 5 most memorable moments of my 2013 travels. Let's begin with...
#5:  Discovering and experiencing dessert haven in Vietnam.
It was my first time to experience dessert and it is in Southeast Asia - to Vietnam! Mui Ne is a coastal town of Phan Thiet City in Binh Thuan Province of Vietnam. It's main attractions are its sand dunes - White Sand Dunes and Red Sand Dunes. It was in Mui Ne, I get to experience dessert haven just like being in the middle of Sahara Dessert or Arabian Dessert. Froclicking in the sand is one of the best activities to do here. Trying to do sand slide is another must-try activity to do. But the best thing I did is waiting for the sunrise to shine in the middle of the desert. It was an unforgetable moment in my Vietnam trip!
Discovering dessert haven in Vietnam.
It was an awesome experience when you know that you're just near home (Vietnam is just two hours away from Philippines). I've been to Vietnam already and experiencing dessert is something new to me in travel.
#4: Witnessing the last sunset of Summer 2013.
It was exactly May 31, 2013 - the last day of Summer 2013 when I visited and discover Sampaguita Beach, a hidden charm of Bauan, Batangas for an overnight trip where I got to witness the last sunset of summer season. It was stunning, breathtaking and beautiful! It was so gorgeous that I even took a selfie shot of the last sunset of summer! It was alsoa  momentous moment of travel for me because the Summer season ends that day - the most ideal season to travel around the country and I was on the last summer trip of Summer 2013. As in "pahabol byahe sa huling araw ng tag-araw"!
Goodbye, Summer 2013...
But one of the best thing I did on that very last day and sunset of Summer 2013 is to savor the beautiful moment. I watched the sunset as it fades down while on the beach. I even wave goodbye to it! It a nothing but pure marvelous moment of travel. For me, it was a great way and a great sight to see to end my Summer 2013! 
#3: Return to Anilao, a year after.
Last 2012, my trip to Anilao, Mabini, Batangas is one of the best travels of my life and one of the highlights of my 2012 travels. It was just a simple trip with friends and colleagues at work but it turn out to be the best day-off ever of my life! It wasn't just about the place and friend bonding that we had but with the place, our "samahan" grew stronger alongside creating the best memories that we won't forget. So to return to Anilao, a year after is something sentimental to me. 
Last 2012, it was Anilao Sunset, this time, it's Anilao Sunrise... Amazing and thankful.
Fast forward, 2013. It was the last month of the year and exactly 2 weeks to go before 2013 ends. I unexpectedly had a chance to return to Anilao again. But this time with a different set of people and in a different place of Anilao.  Even though, this time my trip here is the opposite of last 2012, I'm still happy and felt thankful to return to this place where I had great travel memories. Because returning to Anilao now brings me so much memories!

This return to Anilao trip as the last trip of my 2013 is an unexpected return that's why even though I'm just look back at the memories of the past I'm still feel thankful to those great memories.
#2: Accident on travel: Injured feet in Baler, Aurora.
I've just been to the comfort room and roamed around under a bad rainy weather on the outside grounds of Museo de Baler when I passed by its tiled grounds, then I suddenly slip. My slip would be a split position bound, so I force to stop it becuase I knew it would me more painful by sacrificing my right instep and knee which landed on the slippery floor. It was all sudden and I get the attention of all the caretakers of the museum because it happened just few steps away from the museum's entrance. I did not think of humiliation at that time. I stand-up eagerly because my buddies are waiting for me. And when I stand-up, I got my most memorable souvenir from Baler - big scratches and bloody wounds!
My most memorable souvenir from Baler!
I won't narrate anymore the details of how bloody it was (actually, it didn't stop bleeding at that time, which caused me to worry, hehe...) or how painful it was. What good thing to tell is I was still strong from pain and was able to help myself gone through a store to bought band-aids for immediate remedy while still soaking wet and under the rainy weather. My friends were surprised but I said, I'm still strong and I can still go on with the tour of Aurora. With worriness, we still toured around despite a bad weather and my condition. I won't let this accident spoil my first time trip to Aurora - that was what conditioned in my mind that day. 

When I got home at our accomodation, my friend treated it and proved the saying that - A friend in need is a friend indeed. Psst, I had a misunderstanding with him earlier that day but we're already fine. This wasn't just the first time I had accident on travel or had an injured feet while on trip but this is surely my most memorable souvenir from Baler, Aurora.

#1: Celebrating my birthday twice last March on two different destinations.
Not everyone has a chance to celebrate their birthday twice. Especially when you're thinking of money matter on birthdays to be celebrated on a travel trip - magastos! I always planned my birthday celebrations and it is always on travel, thus it is celebrated on a different place, year after year since 2011. But last 2013, I did not to expect it as grand and epic celebration having double birthday trip celebration! I still thankful I still had savings after this birthday trips!

My first birthday trip falls on the day of my birth date so it is more plan than my second birthday trip. I went to Puerto Princesa, Palawan with my family and relatives. It was my first time to see the world famous Underground River of Palawan and to see fireflies on a river cruise! I enjoyed my birthday trip. And on the exact day of my special day, I rode an airplane back home. It's a milestone for me, because I am riding my most favorite mode of transportation in travel and doing my passion in life on my birthday, which is travel!
Double birthday trip celebration. Left: Palawan with family and relatives. Right: Zambales with friends.
My second birthday trip falls a few days after my exact birthday.  This is really unplanned but suddenly had an urge to initially have a birthday celebration again but this time with friends. I did not expect it to be a travel trip or a second birthday trip but I think it is because of the call of summer -  the ideal season to travel in which my birth month falls. So I immediately, invite my friends to do an immediate planning for a summer trip/second birthday trip. It was just planned shortly and very rushed that some of the friends I wish to join the trip didn't make it due to schedule conflicts and sudden planning. But despite of it, we still push through with the trip. I had a summer camp trip in the coves of San Antonio, Zambales for my second birthday trip. It was my first time to do camping, cooking on our own and we had a birthday dinner for me by the bonfire at night. I had a wonderful birthday celebration this time with my best friends!

What a milestone and memorable 2013 birthday trip for me when it was my first time on those places! But what really makes it memorable is not just the beautiful place, picturesque sights or good food in totality but also because of the great people I am with on these travels.
Nothing beats the experience of doing your one great passion in life on your special day.
It's been 5 years and Going Places still didn't lost the theme of discovery, places, experience and travel. It even went on to go and share the travel motto - Travel is an experience of a lifetime. Which is a true experience in travel and I think the real essense of travel, going places and gaining experiences from it. I hope every readers here has got the sense of this spirit of Going Places.

Thank you everyone for reading and contineous visiting this travel blog. May this year, I travel more and share more adventures in travel that not only enriches me as a person but also to enrich everyone who reads my travel stories. I'm happy to reach 5 and I hope to share more travel stories. Cheers and let's go together towards going 6!


  1. 5 Exciting Years. Congratulations Ian and cheers for more years of blogging. :)

  2. Wow congratulations po.. tagal na din 5 years.. teka parang same ng blog namin but didnt celebrate it.. hehe.

    Anyway ingat po sa next trip... ouch

  3. wow at naka 5 years ka na pala! nice nice! more to come!

  4. Sana Ian Ma feature kita sa blog ko , sana mainterview kita minsan, video blog po sana

    1. Thank you, ok lang pero hindi naman ako ganun ka-sikat na travel blogger. Pero ok lang kung jojoin ako sa travel trips...

  5. congrats!!! keep on going places! :) aw na injured ka pala sa baler i hope you're ok na :)

    1. Yup, na-injured ako sa Museo de Baler... pero ngayon ok na naman na kahit naaalala ko yung sakit. Problema ko nalang is pano mawala ang peklat =)

  6. Wow five fruitful years. I congratulate you for doing great job. Looking forward to see you in the near future. :D

    1. Thank you and looking forward to travel with you in the future! Salamat!


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