I have written plenty about Batanes on this blog and I’m sure when I go back there, I’ll find more things to write about again. It just shows how I love the place. It’s like being in a foreign land yet with the familiar warmth and hospitality the Filipinos are known for. For the mean time, here’s the chronicles summary from my recent visit to Batanes in conjunction to the Backpack Photography Workshops to cap off this series. I also hope you enjoy the Batanes Islands video I put together.
I previously though that going into this part of the last frontier of the country we all know as Palawan would be really expensive. But I learned that with a bit of haggling, looking around and being with other thrifty companions while in El Nido can really stretch your budget. In the 5 days and 4 nights, with two days of Island hopping, 1 day of inland tours and sampling some of the good food of El Nido, I only spent P6082 (US$132) (excluding transport to El Nido from Manila). Read on for the details.
Singapore is one expensive place to travel. Food is like SG$3-10 a pop and there are only a few choices for backpacking accommodations here and it’s not actually cheap. But I do love the ease of their transportation system here that it’s easy to find your way around the small country island by Bus or Train. And for such a small place there’s a hodgepodge of things to do and places to visit, even if they may be artificially constructed or whatever earthly natural attraction is left of the country.
It was 7 days, 1798 kilometers, 9 Conventions and Visitors Bureau (CVBs), 8 provinces in 4 regions, 26 people on one bus on a trip around Northern Luzon. This is the Lakbay Norte Familiarization tour held January 24-31, 2010. I’ve always wanted to do a horseshoe loop of north Luzon and I was glad I was able to do it with the help of North Philippines Visitors Bureau. It was packed, tiring but also fun and exciting. For those who would like to try the similar route, this would be a great reference on what to expect.
I will really miss 2009. I can consider it as one of the most fruitful years of travel. There was a time a year before that I thought I would never be able to travel that much in 2009. It was in 2008 when the economic condition forced me to go into a freelancing stint. I never knew if I would succeed in 2009 being a freelance photographer and writer. But here we are, looking back, despite the many things that happened in our country like the economic crash, calamities and other uncertainties there are still a lot to be thankful for 2009.
It was 8-days of fun and discovery at Malaysia. I’m grateful to Tourism Malaysia for showing us around and giving us the opportunity to get to know the country more. We were even lucky enough to experience their Merdeka Celebration. While we went to a number of places, I could say we only scratched the surface and aroused our curiosity to explore more. Another reason to trackback on those places in the near future. As my usual practice, here’s the summary for the Malaysia Chronicles from August 28 to September 4 2009.
Often battered and in the front-line of incoming storms, Catanduanes has often been out of the radar of most travelers in the Philippines. But this island province, unbeknown to many, holds a lot of natural wonders and activities that would keep adventure travelers occupied. Staying there for 4 days and 3 nights led us to discover wonderful beaches, nice waterfalls and old churches. Here’s a handy summary of the trip.