Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year. –
We travel the universe every year whether we are aware of it or not. The Earth just made its annual trip around the sun and we were there for the ride. Three hundred and sixty-five days may not be enough time for most of us to circumnavigate the globe but it is enough time to look back how far we’ve traveled. As the year ends, lets take a look back at Ironwulf En Route 2012 travels.
2012 Not the End of Wandering
Despite the doomsday scenarios widely predicted for the end of the year. I still managed to enjoy traveling in 2012 with a good mix of work and leisure exploration. I am very thankful for the blessing of being able to move around this year.
Monthly Travel Recap
Early week of January finds me traveling to Cotabato City for an assignment Mabuhay Magazine. It was an eye-opener journey for a place much maligned by media and general reputation.
Another assignment for Mabuhay Magazine led me to discover the wonderful province of Antique in February. The country’s cleanest river, Bugang River and Tibao’s Bugtong Bato falls were the highlights of my trip.
March sent me flying to the north-eastern coast of Malaysia to discover the pristine waters of Perhentian Islands in Terengganu State. Probably one of my favorite islands right now in Southeast Asia. AirAsia Philippines also gave us a brief trip to Davao this month.
April was event-filled. We manage to do another Backpack Photography Tour in Batanes covering all three islands. I also got back to Puerto Princesa Palawan as a volunteer for World Vision and was able to meet my sponsored child.
An invitation for Melaka Malaysia came and gave me a chance to revisit this colorful heritage city again. I also had a few days of bingeing in Angeles City for a commissioned story for JetStar Asia magazine. Yep, May was all about food.
For June, I was again fortunate enough to take another group of photographer for a photo tour with Karl Grobl this year for the northern parts of Luzon. It’s always fun to meet photographers from different parts of the globe.
It’s always nice to go back to my favorite places and one such place is Imugan in Nueva Vizcaya last July. Things haven’t changed much which is good. Also, we finally had the chance to explore the coastal Isabela provinces of Maconacon and Divilacan.
August was another assignment month for Mabuhay Magazine and this time we explored North Sulawesi. It was my first trip to Indonesia and a fitting introduction to the country. I spent a few days in a cheap hotel Jakarta had to offer that saved me a lot on my travel budget. Jakarta filled with exciting nightlife and vibrant shopping areas. It is also the center and melting pot of Indonesian culture which might be the thing for everyone to enjoy Jakarta.
I have to treat myself for my birthday month of September and traveled to Indonesia once again. This time I visited Central Java particularly for the UNESCO Heritage site of Borobudur.
October finds me in Dumaguete after 4 years. A lot has changed from this province like the new mall from the same company GoHotels. Another place that I never got tired of returning to is Sagada. Finally I was able to shoot the Panag-apoy again after 7 years.
November was a month of transition. It was a major decision for me to accept a job in El Nido but before that, I accepted a project in Taytay Palawan where I stayed for at least 2 weeks. I stayed in Noa Noa Island for 11-days enjoying its protected reef and well-thought out development on this private island.
Relocating isn’t always easy. The deal with my new work is that I have to take care of my own accommodation. El Nido may be one of my favorite places the Philippines but finding a home to stay here was a challenge especially when I’m competing with foreigners who could certainly pay more than I can. I almost lost hope and just want to drop everything and go home but I stayed patient and found a nice place to stay in. The whole December I am in El Nido Palawan. Except for the Christmas holiday when I was able to go home to Manila for a few days.
New Year New Beginnings
I know my travel life in 2013 won’t be the same especially now that I’m living in this remote place in Palawan. But I think I deserve to settle down for a while and actually live in a destination aside from staying in one for a few days. I would be away from the opportunities offered by PRs and other companies, the travel blogging scene in Manila and other “perks” but I think I can live with that. I’m still not sure how long I’ll be here at this time but I’m willing to explore the opportunities this place has to offer.
I’m expecting that 2013 would present big challenges but I’m ready to face them. Let’s welcome 2013 in a positive light. I’m wishing everyone (especially you dear reader) a blessed and prosperous 2013!
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.