The lucky number 9: My 2009 year end post

The number 9 has always been my lucky/unlucky number. Maybe I’m just thinking too much into it, but I’ve noticed that through the years, things happen on the 9th. Doesn’t help that I’m the 9th kid in the family either. Travel-wise things have been really great for me this year. I’ve been to a lot of places and traveled more than I ever had in the past years. When this year started, I said I do not have major plans for travel, except for a couple of trips. Much to my surprise, I ended up taking trips I never really planned for (a month’s headstart is considered not planned for!).

Singapore Pullip Meet 14
My doll Tina getting really friendly with the locals in Singapore

While going through some past entries, I came upon a list I made back in 2007: 10 Places I want to visit in the next two years. I have totally forgotten writing this year and reading it again, I was so proud of myself for taking out 7 out of 10 places. Six of those places were also visited just this year. My year-end post for 2009 will be a recap of that list from two years ago.

Palawan. Our trip to Coron was one of the highlights of 2008. That was my first and (so far) only visit to Palawan. I was supposed to go to Puerto Princessa in November 2008, but I had to back out because my ears were still hurting from our trip to Batanes earlier that same week.

Kaamulan Festival Photos 06
Kaamulan Festival contingent in Bukidnon

Mindanao. I made my first trip to the Philippines’ second biggest island group last August 2008 for the Kadayawan festival in Davao. This year, I went to Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon for the Kaamulan festival. There are still plenty of places to explore in Mindanao, and I’m definitely going back in 2010.

RELATED:   The year that was 2008

Boracay. No matter how commercialize Boracay has become, I will always go back. My first visit to this gorgeous beach was 2005 with my closest friends and memories of that two-week holiday in the island still linger. I went to Boracay twice this year: first in January after going to the Ati-atihan festival, and second in September to see what the off-peak season is like in Boracay (very very windy).

Boracay beach
Boracay during the habagat season

Camarines Sur. Eight hours away by bus and I still wasn’t able to go. Camarines sur was far from my mind this year, but I’m already making plans for next year!

Tagaytay. Ever since I found out how to go to Tagaytay by car and by public transport, I’ve been going back with friends every chance I got. The most recent visit was just last Sunday for PlurkLakbayan 2009 (basically, bloggers and plurkers who organized to get together out of town to eat, eat and eat. And take pictures.)

Sydney. I haven’t been back to Australia since I got home in 2007, and I’ve no plans to go back anytime soon. Maybe 2011. Australia Open, yes?

With Dr. Victor Wee, Chairman of Tourism Malaysia
Ferdz, me and Ivan with Dr. Victor Wee, Chairman of Tourism Malaysia

Malaysia. I finally made it back to Malaysia after 9 years. Never in a million years did I imagine that I would go to Malaysia four times in one year. And all those visits were during the second half of the year too. I wasn’t able to go to Langkawi, nor Kuching, but I did make it to two of Malaysia’s UNESCO World Heritage Cities: Penang and Malacca. I was also able to go to Pulau Perhentian Besar on the eastern coast last June. The biggest surprise of all was getting an invitation from the Manila office of Tourism Malaysia for a Mega Familiarization Tour of Kuala Lumpur during Merdeka. And it seems I can’t get enough of Malaysia: I’m going back again next year. Not once, but twice!

RELATED:   Around the world with 40 Lonely Planet Bloggers

Hong Kong. Finally made it to Hong Kong! It was one of those impulsive decisions, and I was glad I bought those tickets. It was also my first time to CouchSurf, and ended up hiking up Hong Kong’s hills instead of shopping. Who’d have thought?

Angkor Wat, Cambodia 05
Vishnu in Cambodia

Cambodia. Ah, Cambodia. When I started planning for my trip back in 2006, I always come across Cambodia, specifically the Angkor Wat in the travel forums and travel blogs that I read. It got me interested about traveling there, but for the wrong reason: everybody’s going there. It’s like since everybody’s going, I might as well go because I wouldn’t feel like I’ve traveled in Southeast Asia if I haven’t seen the Angkor Wat. I was all set to be underwhelmed as the tuktuk entered the gates of the Angkor Heritage Park, but there was something about the Angkor Wat that blew me away. I can still remember that indescribable feeling as I walk across the bridge, not minding my wet feet. I’m looking forward to feeling that again when I go back to Siem Reap next year.

Germany. This is one big fail, specially since my main reason for wanting to go there was to visit Cat. She and her family have already moved back to the United States, so I guess Germany will still be in my list in the next two years.

RELATED:   What’s in my bag?

As I said, 2009 have been a great year for travel. On the other had though, this year also brought about so much tragedy in the Philippines (and an impending one, when the Mayon Volcano erupts). Hopefully, 2010 would be much better. With even more traveling, perhaps? πŸ˜‰

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 27 Comments
  1. jayvee f. says:

    yay! thanks for being part of my 2009 in events, etc as well! πŸ˜€

  2. dong ho says:

    one of the best travel blogger. kahanga hanga yung ginawa mong southeast asia series! happy new year Nina!

  3. erick says:

    wow! daming travels!

    have a prosperous new year! cheers!

  4. davidd aka puuikibeach says:

    Outstanding travel year! Knocking off seven out of ten “must visit” places in two years, six of ’em in 2009? Wow!

    And at this rate, you’re going to have to apply for a Malaysian passport, seeing as how you practically live there!

    Am I correct in concluding that many of your travel opportunities have come about due to your travel blogging? You, dear NiΓ±a, exemplify the title of a career/lifestyle book that was popular several years ago: “Do What You Love: The Money Will Follow.”

    I hope more travel… and more money… follow you throughout 2010!

    Thanks for letting us tag along for the ride!

  5. davidd aka puuikibeach says:

    Errrr…. unless I am mistaken, NONE of the dollies in the photo with the “LifeOnPinkyStreet” watermark are actually, you know, PINKY STREET DOLLS!

    ;-p

  6. nina says:

    Jayvee: Lalo na yung queso event sa Pampanga no? πŸ˜›

    Dongho: Wow, thanks naman! It’s such a big compliment coming from you πŸ˜€

    Erick: Kulang pa! Dami pang di napupuntahan! Yup, definitely hoping for more travel for all of us in 2010!

    Davidd: The irony isn’t lost on me XD I’ve converted my lifeonpinkystreet.com to a general toy blog. Re: Blogging and travel That Mega Fam Tour in Kuala Lumpur was the biggest sponsored trip I’ve had this year. Seair gave me free tickets to Boracay for both trips. Some of my expenses in Cebu was covered by the Philippine Blog Awards (mostly the food), and this breakfast in Pampanga (which I haven’t blogged yet) was an event (just a couple of hours thing). So yeah, SOME of those trips were made possible by travel blogging πŸ˜‰ Some of the costs for my personal trips were paid for by my blog earnings πŸ˜€

  7. sunshine says:

    proud of you nins! you definitely inspired me to refresh my travel dreams and plans to visit other places and just plain explore. wish i could have your dream lifestyle but heck who knows someday maybe i could! for now, am already happy to tag along with you next year, definitely happy to tag along πŸ˜€

    happy new year!

  8. nina says:

    Shine: Next year would be awesome! I’m sure you’d love the Angkor Wat πŸ˜€

  9. dementedchris says:

    Happy New Year, Nina! It sounds like you had a fantastic year.

    I never knew you visited Kalibo! πŸ™‚ I consider it my hometown (I’m actually here writing this entry). I haven’t been to Ati-Atihan in two years but I definitely remember all the dancing and activity that goes on for one entire week. Dati, taon-taon ako umuuwi. I still consider Ati-Atihan more like a close-knit barangay festival than a full-blown show; hindi kabonggahan ang mga numbers ng ‘tribes’ dito. Walang mega dance numbers hehehe. Very simple kahit na malaki ang crowds. The next time you’re in Kalibo, I hope I can show you around and help you enjoy Ati-Atihan (and our humble town) more πŸ˜€

  10. dyanie says:

    Hi Nina! Happy New Year!!! More more more travels in 2010! Cheers! πŸ™‚

  11. i’m so happy for you nina for all the success you’ve had πŸ˜€ i hope we both have another productive year this 2010 πŸ˜€

  12. Hi Nina…

    wishing you more adventures this coming decade…
    hope to see you soon… cheers!

    =)

  13. Cla says:

    Australian Open 2011! Mag-ipon na tayo! At bulabugin ulit natin ang Bangkok, hehehe! Happy new year, Nina πŸ™‚

  14. flip says:

    happy new year nina!

    wishing you more travels to come this 2010!

    πŸ™‚

    -flip

  15. Anna D. says:

    A mighty big kudos to you on the M’sia invite! πŸ˜‰

    Been wanting to visit CamSur, too, maybe next year? =D

    Here’s to making 2010 an even bigger year for travel! Cheers!

  16. Ferdz says:

    Haha! I agree with Dom! One of the best travel blogger sa Pinas and it shows sa 2009. More travels in 2010. Happy New Year! πŸ˜€

  17. nina says:

    Dementedchris: I-tour mo ko ng hacienda? πŸ˜‰ I’m definitely taking you up on that offer!

    Dyanie:Korek, more travels please!

    magnetic_rose: More raket para more tennis, more shopping and more travel in 2010!

    ron & monette: You too! Hope to finally meet you guys in 2010 πŸ˜€

    Cla: Bangkok and Australia wouldn’t know what hit them XD

    flip: More travel for all of us!

    Anna D: I’m going in Feb, wanna join? πŸ˜‰

    Ferdz: Wow, sobrang flattered naman ako dun! Thanks so much, and it was great to have traveled with you in 2009! πŸ˜€

  18. Cheers on your travel accomplishments – great read on your backpacking trip around Southeast Asia. May your star lead you to more trips in 2010 and beyond. Happy new year!

  19. annalim says:

    Happy, happy, happy New Year, Nina dear!
    Hope I can join you on one of your travels in 2010. Maybe Tagaytay. πŸ˜‰

  20. jesy says:

    grabe nina, hands down talaga ko sa dami ng travels mo esp. this year. Yes, more travels pa this 2010 (para more tips to us readers LOL) πŸ™‚ And thanks for being part of my 2010–helping me out on that crazy ticket stuff.

    Happy new year!

  21. estan says:

    wow! that’s a lot! i’m sure mas marami this year. new year’s greetings nina πŸ™‚

  22. lagalog says:

    I wish you more travels for 2010, Nina πŸ˜€ Looking forward to more of your travel accounts on the road.

  23. Cat says:

    LOL…Nina—keep Europe on your list. We need to plan a trip to Germany in the not-so-distant-future! (With a side trip to Paris or London or Prague…*snicker*)

    I love following your travels and I’d have to say one of my favorites of yours was your trip to Malaysia. It just seemed so adventurous and colorful (esp. the architecture). Oh, and let’s not forget all the food pics you’ve been making me hungry with.

    I expect to see more in 2010, right? πŸ˜‰

  24. Sinta says:

    Wow, that’s a long list! Reminds me that travelling doesn’t have to be to other countries. I’ve not yet been to Edinburgh! I really should recitify it. Great recap, beautiful photos πŸ™‚ I really should make a point to visit the different places in the Philippines more and not just home turf. I really want to climb Mt Banahaw this year!

    Happy New year hun!

  25. chyng says:

    Happy 2010 Nina. Glad you achieved 6/10 trips. And Im sure you now have a longer list of your dream destinations. Good luck!

    Btw, Calaguas.. Im thinking sa Holy week para 1week.. Honestly wala pa ko kasama. Manghihila palang. Tara? Ü

  26. freeze says:

    a toast to more fun and adventure this year, happy new year nina! cheers!

  27. mark says:

    Very cute lady dolls in the pictures. Nice to get information about Kaamulan Festival contingent in Bukidnon

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