My Top 20 Travel Moments of 2011 (Part 2)

It’s already February and here I am still counting down the best moments I had while traveling last year. Late, I know. But haaaaaay. When you got too much on your plate, you will learn to munch on them bit by bit so you wouldn’t die of overeating.

Bacuit Bay, El Nido, Palawan in black and white

So let’s continue. Here’s the second half of my list of the most unforgettable times I have had as a nomad in 2011!

10. Overnight Camping at Dampalitan Island, Quezon

Overnight camping trips aren’t my thing. But it was not the trip per se that I loved about my trip to Padre Burgos, Quezon last summer; it was the people I was with.

My friends and I at Dampalitan Island in Quezon

My college friends and I seldom get together so every reunion is very special and this trip was a proof. It was nice to gather around a bonfire and share stories, dreams, frustrations, secrets, and learnings we had had in the years we didn’t see one another. I love my friends and the fire will continue to burn.

9. Annual Bonfire in Sagada, Mountain Province

If you’re an avid reader of this blog for years, you probably have an idea of how much I am in love with Sagada. In fact, the past couple of years, Sagada topped my list of the best destinations I had visited.

Annual Bonfire in Sagada

Last December, I had a chance to set foot on Sagada again. And for the third straight year, I joined their bonfire party. As always, it was a blast. The feeling of the cold wind embracing me as I linger around a big, big flame is something I will never get tired of.

8. Partying at Penthouse, Cebu City

When our bosses announced that our next company outing would be in Cebu, my friend Andre and I instantly planned to try any of Cebu’s clubs. Many of the places I visited last year do not offer a vibrant nightlife so we thought it would be our chance to party hard. We partied hard, alright.

After hours of drinking and dancing, we ended up lying on an empty street in Cebu, almost crawling back to our hotel (figuratively, of course), and Andre even lost his phone. That’s OK, though, coz he was able to get a cute guy’s number. LOL.

7. Over-Da-Bakod inΒ Calatagan, Batangas

I did something awful in Calatagan last November. We really wanted to see the Cape Santiago Lighthouse, one of the oldest functional lighthouses in the country, and take photos of it. Unfortunately, a local film outfit was shooting a horror film at the moment so the whole place was closed.

Cape Santiago Lighthouse in Calatagan, Batangas

Reluctant to turn around without any photos, I ended up crossing over the tall and dangerously spiky gate. Buwis buhay mode. But because I used to climb trees and other things when I was a child, I was able to cross over without getting noticed! The things I do for lighthouses. Seeesh.

6. Riverwalking with my Mother in Singapore

As part of my promise to my mother that I would take her on a trip out of the country every year, we flew to Singapore last July for the Great Singapore Sale. My mom loves shopping coz she never gets to do that very often (and it’s not always that we have money) so she was pretty satisfied.

Singapore Riverwalking Tour

But my favorite part of the trip was when we walked from Raffles Place across to Esplanade along the Singapore River all the way to Clark Quay. We were able to catch the sunset by the river; we were both highly entertained despite our aching feet and knees when it was all over.

5. Blowing My Mind on Battlestar Galactica Rides at Universal Studios Singapore

I am not a big fan of rollercoasters. But I looove Battlestar Galactica. Besides, it would be a shame to visit Universal Studios Singapore without even trying the Cylon and Human ride. I shrugged the fear off and said to myself, “What the frak,” and got it over and done with.

Universal Studios Singapore's scariest ride --- Battlestar Galactica

Three words. I. LOVED. IT.

4. Cruisin’ from Singapore to Malaysia

What’s not to love about this trip? Last August, I was one of the bloggers who got a huge treat from Airphil Express. We were taken on a cruise from Singapore to Port Klang and then Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for FREE. All expense paid. It was my first time to board a cruise ship and it was my first time in Malaysia.

Our cruise ship leaving Singapore for Port Klang, Malaysia

Feeling captain lang. LOL

The best part? Hmmm. Unlimited food and drinks? Free entertainment? Free tour in Malaysia? Free passes to Sentosa rides? I can’t pick one. Haha.

3. Watching the Sagada Sunrise at Kiltepan Viewpoint

No amount of luxurious offers can match the happiness brought about by the sheer beauty of nature. And the sunrise at Kiltepan Viewpoint in Sagada is absolutely one of the best sights to behold on earth.

We had to wake up early to catch this!

The clouds slowly rolling above the terraced mountains, the fog parting as you walk past it, the sun slowly peeking and giving warmth — aah, words are not enough.

2. Snorkeling at Danjugan Island, Negros Occidental

I didn’t even know this island existed until a few days before the trip. We didn’t have much expectations but we were blown away by everything the island has to offer. Danjugan Island is a paradise.

My friends Celine and Ronnie, and I preparing to kayak!

After a day of snorkeling. HAGGARD! LOL

The island is surrounded by coral reefs, very colorful and very alive. Haha. And we didn’t even have to dive to appreciate it. All we needed to do was snorkel and before we knew it, we all wanted to grow gills and fins and live underwater. There were giant blue clams, purple and yellow fishes, restless eels, beautiful turtles, and baby sharks. We will definitely come back.

1. Island Hopping in El Nido, Palawan

I had been to Coron and Puerto Princesa before but I was still immensely excited by our El Nido trip last November. The clear, turquoise waters and white, powdery sand surrounded by tall limestone cliffs were just too much for me. It was so overwhelming that as I looked around, my mouth could not open to say anything. I think El Nido has that power of leaving any tourist who visits speechless and breathless.

Helicopter Island in El Nido, Palawan

This year, I’m planning to stay in El Nido for two weeks as I work on a writing project. I wish it would push through.

So there you have it. Twenty of my favorite travel moments from last year. I opened my new year with a trip to Malacca in Malaysia and here’s hoping there’d be more trips waiting for me in the months to come.

How about you? What are your best travel moments?

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