top 12 travel moments of 2012

11:30 PM

Another year is coming to a close and like most people, I'd like to take a look back at what happened in the course of the year. I must admit that 2011 was a banner year for my own personal travels and I was a bit skeptical of 2012. But me of little faith have, once again, been proven wrong because 2012 was one great year.


1. GOT TO BACKPACK WITH FIRST-TIMERS ABE AND IDA. 
Don't get me wrong, Abe and Ida are two of the most well-traveled people I know BUT they always do so in style. Some of the Tampeeps and I were just too happy to introduce them to our way of life. Hehehe.

Abe and Ida on the streets of Kota Kinabalu. 
2. ENJOYED THE BEACH WITH MUSLIM WOMEN. 
I've seen barely-there-bikinis and not-even-there bikinis. But to be covered with a scuba-like-suit was such a novel sight.

Muslim women still covered from head to toe even when swimming. WOW. 
3. SET FOOT ON THE FOOT OF MT. KINABALU. 
We might only have wandered around its foot but to be in the presence of the highest peak in southeast Asia gave me such a high!

Ready to explore the forest in the rain!
4. CONQUERED MT. PINATUBO
I have skinned my hands and toes while climbing my way to the top but the sight and the swim at the top was worth every drop of blood. That's an item ticked off my bucket list!

Cam and I, with both our walking sticks, pose for the requisite photo in front of the crater lake. 
5. AND GOT OUT MT. PINATUBO ALIVE.
We headed down too late, late enough for us to start losing daylight. The rain poured and turned the valley into a raging river of lahar. If not for a sandbar which provided us a few minutes to catch our breath and plot our way to higher ground, we would've sunk and died right there in the middle of nowhere.

6. SURVIVED THE THREE-HOUR RIDE ON YANGON'S CIRCLE LINE. 
I literally had to fight my instinct to flee and stayed on board despite the assault to my senses.

I had to hang my head out of the window just to survive the three-hour ride. 
7. WITNESSED THE SUNSET IN AMARAPURA. 
I fell in love with this teak bridge and was enchanted by one of the best sunsets in the world.

They say its great to watch the sunset from the bridge. I think its greater to witness it on the water, with a view of the bridge. 
8. SET EYES ON A SEA OF TERRACOTTA TEMPLES IN BAGAN. 
It was the Myanmar of my dreams.

(From the back) Simrit, Raffy, Cathy, and I savoring the sunset on top of Buledi. Photo by Ice
9. WENT PARASAILING IN PENANG. 
I got to fly!

Here we goooo! Photo by Jenie Gabriel
10. SAT OUT THE 12-HOUR CRAWL FROM PENANG TO KUALA LUMPUR. 
The motorways to KL were clogged with holidaymakers heading back to the city and we were caught right in the middle. The jam was so horrible that we arrived in KL at 01:30 am which resulted to Rafael missing his flight.

11. REACHED THE FARTHEST POINT P170 HAVE GOTTEN ME - FROM ROBINSONS GALLERIA TO INFANTA, QUEZON. 
If we are talking about 'bang for one's buck', this one certainly takes the cake. It wasn't the most comfortable of rides, not by a long shot, but it sure was a long interesting one.

Standing Room Only (SRO) on this trip. 
12. MET THE FORMER MS. MARANAN AND HER HUSBAND IN INFANTA.
The tale of our high school math teacher getting married has reached the status of "the great inspirational story" for singletons. During breakfast at Ionas, I was able to get the story out of her. This old maid retired to her hometown of Infanta and bumped into her high school sweetheart. The rest, as they say, is history. (It's a shame she refused to take a photo with us.)

So that was 2012 in a nutshell.
And I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be better!

Oh, and to new friends from around the globe - thank you and hope to see you soon!


Cheers to a blessed new year!

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