10 June 2017

My 2016 Travels: #BlessedStill

My 2016 travels has still been a bit busy, for my standards that is, and I have been blessed to have been given the opportunity to step foot in the lands that I have been to for this year.

This post is 6 months late because I have been very busy with work (no joke!) and though I have resigned from that work already, I am now establishing a new phase of my life with me as an, ahem, entrepreneur. Yes, I have finally decided to give this a go and will see where this new role will take me. Hopefully, to more travels for 2017 even if it's the middle of the year now.

Without further ado, here is my 2016 wanderlust series:



My favorite place to unwind and immerse in some historical past. Every year, I go to Intramuros several times and it never fails to amaze me. What transpired in the past and how it is being valued in today's times is sure is fascinating stuff for me.
At the Baluarte de San Diego. Finally was able to come here! It was surreal. I tried imagining what actually transpired here during the days of the World War II.



Our annual panata, or pilgrimage, that I fondly call Visita Iglesia de Paa. Why this name? Because we take the laborious route from Quezon City to Baclaran, stopping by 13 churches, on foot. Well, we have shoes, of course, but we do it old school. This is my dad's panata which I have joined him for the past 10 years and counting. The heat and the whole trip is exhausting and draining but once you reach the end, it's all worth it.

Quaipo Church, or otherwise known also as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene.
The largest Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch in the world, located at the world's oldest Chinatown, Manila Cinatown.
The unusually uncluttered Pasig River. Quiet day it was.



Hello, Tanay! We travelled far and we were rewarded with this welcoming signage.
San Ildefonso de Toledo Parish Church, commonly known as the Tanay Church. Old structures, especially churches, never fails to amaze me. So many history embedded in these walls. If only they can talk. But if they can, that would be spooky. Haha!
The Regina Rosarii Institure for Contemplation in Asia, or simply known as Regina RICA. A 71ft statue of the Queen of the Holy Rosary is housed here and you can climb up inside the statue. 

This was our main target. MASUNGI GEORESERVE. A conservation area surrounded by towering limestones with ancient sinkholes that you cannot avoid to see but better be aware of them. It has a myriad of trails and challenges that will make you face your fears as well as, for me, physical challenges. It was really tiring, a shame that I was not able to finish it because I got dehydrated. I was not fully informed that their ration of 500ml of water was not enough to quench the thirst. My bad. Charge to experience. But it was fun, exhilarating and panoramically beautiful.
Things I do for experience. Next step, trek an actual mountain and call myself a mountaineer for a day.



The Tierra de Maria was a revelation for me. I did not know that this existed. Thanks to the internet you get to know places like this.

It was a serene place except when tourists want to have a lot of photo ops then that distracts you of that much-needed peace.



A dream come true! Truth be told, I really want to go to Middle Eastern countries. Why? Culturally rich and at the same time, visa here is not easy to get a hold on. So I was happy to have had the chance to go here in Doha, Qatar even for just a few days. After the business side of the trip was done, that is.
The Doha Corniche as viewed from the balcony of my room from the Doha Grand Sheraton Hotel. Fancy view!
The sight that greeted me upon our arrival. Surreal!
I thought I was in Europe. Nah! This was at the Souq Waqif. 
At the Katara Cultural Village.
And the famous giant teddy bear at the Hamad International Airport. We were twinning!



Arresting view. Taken around 12mn, after our hearty dinner at the nearby Makansutra Gluttons Bay.
Great graffiti work found at the Hajji Lane. The Muslim cultural side of Singapore. 


The Petronas Towers are majestic especially at night. The well-lighted structures are very picturesque.
Outside Kuala Lumpur you can find the Batu Caves. The climb up the 272 steps is quite the workout but it's good for a one-time experience. There's not much to see up there but it sure is beautiful from below.



Wright Park on a very beautiful day.
The haunted Laperal House. Spooky vibes it was but I gathered enough gumption to have my photo taken but at the facade only.
The Bencab Museum view from their balcony. 
Food trips are epic in Baguio. It's diverse and choices are aplenty. Good for whatever budget that you have. What I liked in this specific photo is Tsokolateria. The champorado was sinfully and chocolatey good! A must-try!


The land of Kpop and Kdrama! Finally, a dream come true again. Unfortunately, did not see any famous oppa but the whole experience made it so worth it. Up until now, I still have the hangover from this place.

Tried their traditional Hanbok and posed at the Gyeongbukgong Palace.
Futuristic feels at the Dongdaemon Design Plaza. So cold, that night! Freezing!
Welcome to Nami Island! 3-hrs commute away from the city. 
At the Bukchon Hanok Village. Go here while it's still very early to avoid throngs of people.



As hard to believe, it IS indeed my first time here to see the aquariums and other attractions. It was great! Next time, I have to stay at their H2O Hotel.

Awesome 2016! Claiming more to come for the rest of my 2017. =)


Check out the other years of my travel life:

2015 Travels

2014 Travels

2013 Travels

2012 Travels

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