My Top 10 Travel Moments of 2015

I love throwback posts and recaps—they make me remember how blessed I am. Year 2015 was a year of travel for me. A year of great opportunities, a year of bonding, a year of making dreams come true—both my own and other people’s. My life-is-short attitude translated into a lot of airline tickets and bus rides, and as for my blog—it grew into something I didn’t expect it to be and took me to a lot places. Indeed, blessings poured this year and I was happy that I was also able to share them to the people around me.

I thought hard and reflected long—and below, I listed down my top 10 travel moments of 2015. My favorite memories, most of them just short ones, but it’s actually the short ones that we tend to remember forever. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did reminiscing about them. If you are one of the people whom I shared these moments with, please know that I’m thinking about you—and thanking you—as I write this post as well. Cheers to more travel moments in 2016!


10 Celebrating my birthday in Tagaytay – Cavite

We’re a family of traditions. Every Christmas Eve, it would be the same breakfast food we had grown up eating, because it’s something my Lola has been preparing for decades. Every New Year’s Day, relatives would come over and we would exchange gifts. Yearly, during my birthday, it’s usually celebrated at home, with a simple feast and some inuman after. But this year, our family decided to go out—you know, for a change. May was a mercilessly hot month so we went to Tagaytay, ate in a bulalo restaurant, and visited Skyranch. If you think about it, it’s a generic Tagaytay itinerary, but as I say, we’re a family of traditions, and the important thing was that we were together during my special day.

9 | Watching the night sky fire up with LED balloons at the Alviera Brightscape Campfest – Pampanga

We were treated to an amazing summer escapade last May at the Alviera Brightscape Campfest in Porac, Pampanga, where in we enjoyed Sandbox’s attractions for a whole day and participated in camp-style activities from morning until night. While the Brightscape Jam concert was a fantastic way to chill that night, my favorite moments was the brilliant climax: when all of us let go of LED balloons and watched as they lit up the night sky, like a thousand fireflies escaping our hands and heading into the void. It was an amazing, magical sight—a great summer-ender!

Check out my video of the Alviera Brightscape Campfest here.


8 | Surviving the faluwa ride from Batan to Sabtang – Batanes

I’m scared of rides in small boats and big bodies of water—so imagine what it must be like for me while crossing the treacherous Balintang Channel from Batan to Sabtang. The waves here are crazy! The destination island is already visible but what the hell is taking you too long to get there? Well, the boatman, who expertly knows the channel, also knows how to ride the waves so that the boat wouldn’t topple over (did someone say “topple”). Amazingly I didn’t get seasick (there were a lot vomiting sounds from the back end of the boat) and I just let out a huge sigh of relief upon disembarking in Sabtang. Now, for that return ride…


7 Lying down doing nothing at Spider House Resort – Boracay (Aklan)

Perhaps it’s because I have a hectic life in the city, but I really love—and crave—those precious moments when I’m doing nothing. One of my favorite spots to enjoy this kind of luxury is in Spider House Resort in Boracay, a resto-bar overlooking (and directly built upon) the sea. Sitting on one their cushioned bamboo benches while nursing a bottle of ice cold Pale Pilsen was the ultimate luxury for an incredibly busy person like me. Not to mention that one of the most beautiful beaches on earth is just nearby, on plain sight, free of charge!

Seeing my aunt’s huge smile upon arriving in Davao – Davao

My aunt rarely gets to travel, and she did even less when she got cancer last year. I promised her that when she finishes chemotherapy, I would take her somewhere nice. I was sure that she was thinking it was going to a fancy restaurant, but little did she know I booked us a Davao trip! It was a lot of first times for her—including “first plane ride”—and I was just glad that I became an instrument to make some of her dreams come true, to tick off a few items off her bucket list. Her smile was especially sweet when we saw the IMMENSE Banana Beach Resort in Tagum, Davao. The place was just amazing.

Check out my video of Banana Beach Davao here.

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5 Getting immersed in total peace at Valugang Boulder Beach – Batanes

Before going to Batanes, I told myself I’m never getting a group tour so I could take as much time as possible in every spot I like. This was what I did in Valugang Boulder Beach in Basco. The scene was so breathtaking, that I actually told Kat to stay away for a few minutes so I could have some “me” time, haha! I sat on one of the huge rocks, imagining what life in Batanes must be, how creative my written works would be if I had this kind of scenery every day. It was a few minutes of blissful silence and reflection that I would never have gotten elsewhere. And I have Batanes to thank for.

Read also:

4 Admiring the stars while lying down the beach at 4:00AM – Boracay (Aklan)

<moment too awesome and spontaneous to take photos>

In one of my few (hundred) drunken nights in Boracay, I had a sudden urge to jump into the water straight out of a bar-hopping session, so I grabbed my friend and there was nothing to do but join in. It was November and the water at 4:00AM was freezing. The wind was chilly. But we lied there in the shallow waters, watching the small white dots marking the black sky, listening to nothing but the gentle waves. The whitish haze of the waves approaching appeared menacing, but they were incredibly gentle to our toes, bodies and faces. We stayed there for what seemed like hours. I woke up the next day with a flu.

3 Surprising Caleb with a birthday cake at Marfel’s Lodge – Batanes

During our stay at Marfel’s Lodge in Basco, my friend Kat and I met a family of four who travels everytime one of them celebrates his birthday. Caleb, their son, was celebrating his in Batanes, and upon knowing this, Kat and I asked Kuya Dale, our favorite tricycle driver, to take us to a bakery. As expected, the only bakeries in Batanes are those selling 1-peso-each breads, but we did find something bigger in the downtown cafeteria. A chocolate cake more like a giant doughnut than cake, but which could at least hold a candle for Caleb to blow. Caleb’s parents were so touched, and everyone staying at Marfel’s Lodge gathered to eat. Fun!

2 Reaching the top of the Chavayan-Tinyan Viewpoint – Batanes

While Marlboro Country silenced me and made me emotional, the Chavayan-Tinyan Viewpoint in Sabtang Island made me want to—guess what?—take pictures! LOL! The place was so picturesque; you would instantly imagine the number of your selfies you would take with it. Of course, we had Kuya Orlan, so we didn’t need a selfie stick. We took a number of dancesport poses and crazy shots, then explored the place more. No angle was ugly here, everywhere you look, there’s just sheer beauty.

1 | Exploding into tears at the top of Marlboro Country – Batanes

When my friend Alejandro told me that he burst into tears upon seeing Marlboro Country, I laughed out loud, thinking he was exaggerating. Never did I imagine that I would be exploding into tears myself. Batanes has that charm and power—it fully captivates you and even the most willful of us would certainly let go. But Marlboro Country makes you feel like you’re not worthy. Not worthy to see such beauty. That’s why I spent a few minutes bawling like a madman as I took in every inch of its splendor.

PS: Here's what we did at the top of Marlboro Country after my crying:

What are your favorite 2015 moments?

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