Skip to main content

A Sendoff for 2013

I remember writing in 2012 that I welcome 2013 with anticipation for all the things that it might bring.

And it did bring things in little waves.

For one, I seem to have abandoned this space, with posts less than half the number of entries last year. I could blame it on writer's block, but the truth is, I simply did not find the time to spew something out.

I spent the first 3 months of 2013 holed up in Brunei, and though it did me good for my personal goals, it did not motivate me to write as much as I thought it would. I did spend a weekend away with friends in Singapore and wandered solo in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia for CNY. But even with those, I only managed to come up with one for each.

Clockwise from top left: Brunei's Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque; Singapore's Henderson Waves Bridge; Chinese Temple preps in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia; CNY celebrations

By summertime, I was busy reconnecting with friends back home. When you have been away for a few months, would you rather capture the time when you meet your friends and folks again or would you just want to stay in the moment? See. I thought so too. There goes Baguio, Samar, Batangas, Tagaytay, and Cebu.

Clockwise from top left: with my family in Sky Ranch, Tagaytay; a deserted beach near my Lolo's place in Daanbantayan, Cebu; brocolli-picking with friends in Baguio; La Luz in Laiya, Batangas; Baguio roadtrip; Liliputan Rock Beach in Eastern Samar

Towards the end of the year, Bali seemed to pull me out of the writing rut I was in, but with only one post after spending a week in The Island of A Thousand Gods, who was I kidding? The only thing that moved me to write was the moment of bliss by the beach. From September until December, I made 3 trips to Malaysia and as of posting time, I still have nothing to publish about Penang and Malacca. Never mind that Penang has been in my To-Go List for a couple of years now.

Clockwise from top left: Kuta Beach in Bali, Indonesia; by the river in Malacca, Malaysia; the lovely buildings in Penang, Malaysia; Uluwatu Temple in Bali; Christ Church in Malacca
I might sound bitter in 2013 when it comes to writing but that Bali post proved one thing: I now find it harder to write about subjects that really does not interest me or things that I find disenchanting. This space has turned from being helpful and informative to a deeply personal, almost reflective, travel blog. I even wrote a piece about homesickness and another one about surviving out there. At that time, I probably thought I was an expert.

Another thing is that my personal life has traversed a different road too. This year I have started cooking and I am on my way to eating healthy. Exercise has finally found its way back into my life through muay thai (which I love BTW). Priorities have changed and clarity seems within grasp.

2013 is the year when storytelling took a backseat, but looking back, it is possible that creativity just took on a new route. 2013 mellowed me out and tamed my ways a little but I am not complaining. In order to progress, one must evolve.  The new year can only mean new possibilities and the thought of the unknown excites me. 

I am ready, as always.

Wishing everyone a happy and sparkling new year filled with love and travels!


Popular posts from this blog

Tinglayan, Kalinga: Sleeping Beauty, Tattoos, and Babkals

To meet the last tattoo artist Fang-od in the village of Buscalan, one has to board a bus to Tabuk for 12 hours, and take a 3-hr ride from Tabuk to Tinglayan.

There are regular trips from Tabuk to Tinglayan at 7 and 8 in the morning, but since misadventures seem to love us, we missed both trips. At 10AM, we stood at the jeepney stop waiting for any form of transportation. I asked around if there were jeeps stopping by anytime soon but I was just advised to sit and wait. And so we did.

Luckily, thirty minutes later, a jeep stopped in front of us, the driver asked the people where they were headed, and finally, he nodded and decided to go to Tinglayan. On the way to Tinglayan we were greeted with sweeping views of the mountains with the endless flow of the Chico River at its feet. The jeep went further upstream for 3 hours.

It was late in the afternoon when the jeepney pulled to a stop and told us that we were finally at Sleeping Beauty Inn. Francis Pa-in, our guide, came out to meet us an…

2016: On Things Other Than Traveling

Photos from 2016 show fantastic things that happened to me this year (throwbacks included), but the real best things weren't caught on camera. Traveling was still a huge part of my year but more than these experiences, 2016 was a year of self-discovery. I'll call it the year I came to terms with my own titahood.

The Best of 2016 The gift of VipassanaThe best thing I gave myself this year was a 10-day Vipassana Meditation course. Years ago, I was looking for a meditation class knowing that I had to go deep in my mind as a form of cleansing.  I knew what I wanted: non-sectarian, in-depth, and stay-in. This year, I finally got myself a slot at the Vipassana Meditation Center Philippines
Ten days later, I felt like a different person. Vipassana is life-changing. The practice taught me to embrace impermanence and to make mindful choices. Vipassana was the catalyst that helped me to finally act on my beliefs. Mastering your mind (or at least the attempt to do so) is liberating. Waki…

Weekend trip: Málaga

It's a gloomy February on this side of the world.

If you identify as "solar powered" AKA a person from the tropics, you should know that it's a struggle to be a functioning human in northern Europe at this time of the year. Endless gray days, zero sunlight, and if you live in Amsterdam, you'll get a bonus serving of wind and rain.

While there are ways to trick your body into getting that much needed vitamin D and serotonin, sometimes the only solution is to get it from the real thing. Luckily, cities in the southern part of Europe offer a quick escape from the gloom.
Why choose Málaga?
Málaga was not on the top of my list for a weekend getaway until someone who knows me all too well presented the idea. It became the escape of choice because: It's affordable and easily accessible from most main European cities.It's less crowded than most Spanish cities.It's a coastal city, swimming is optional (it's still way too cold for that).It's Picasso'…