If I counted my days right, April 9th would be the 100th day of 2008. My, has it been one hundred days already? Summer is already in full swing, and soon, the rains will come and it’d be Christmas again. The year has been pretty good so far. I didn’t get to travel as much as I hoped, mainly due to schedule and budget constraints, but I do know that I had fun the past 99 days.
Unlike last year, I ushered in the new year in Manila. I made it my goal to see more of the Philippines this year, and I like to think that I have made some progress. I’ve also made plans to see a couple more places in the coming months.
Something I never thought I would ever do in 2008: go clubbing. And get drunk.
2008 Travel Goals
I listed six places in my travel goals for 2008: Donsol, Legaspi; Tagaytay; Bauan, Batangas; Corregidor, Bataan; Camarines Sur, and; Palawan, Dumaguete or Davao. I pushed through with my Donsol butanding watching trip last February despite the heavy rains, flash floods and landslides that scared off my other travel companions. It was a good thing I still went because I was able to swim with the whale shark.
I was also able to finally go to Tagaytay last February, though I never got around to blogging about it yet. We went to the Tagaytay Picnic Grove, then did the touristy thing and went to the Taal volcano. We finished off with an awesome bowl of bulalo at Leslie’s overlooking the Taal Lake.
With Tanja and Owen at the Amor Farm Beach Resort restaurant in Donsol
I’ve yet to go to Bauan, Batangas, but thanks to Columbia Sportswear, I ended up going up Mt. Daguldol in San Juan, Batangas. I’ve been wanting to go to Laiya beach, since I keep on reading about it over at the Girltalk forums. Well, I’ve been there, and I doubt if I’ll go back to that beach.
Four months into 2008 and I am feeling a bit tired about traveling. I don’t know why but I seem to be lacking the passion I felt when I was researching about the trips I made in 2006. I still get excited about the prospect of a new adventure, but I am sort of missing the fervor I had studying each information I can get about the places I plan on visiting. I guess I’m more relaxed about traveling now? Maybe, maybe.
Dimsum lunch with CouchSurfing Manila members Florian, Zara, Rebi and CS Manila Ambassador Ronnie at Chinatown
Highlights of 2008 so far
The definite highlights of 2008 are the people I met. I am really quite anti-social, and I’m surprised that I am making an effort to connect with people. If 2006 was about traveling solo, this year it’s about traveling with a group. I went with my family to Tagaytay. Owen organized the Donsol trip where I made friends with Tanja from Germany, Patrick from France, Barry and Luisa from the Netherlands. Then there was the Angono tour courtesy of Havila, where I was able to spend the day with Eric, Arpee and Noreen, Markku, Ivan, and the Our Awesome Planet family, Anton, Rache and Aidan. Then there’s my most recent trip with AJ, Ferdz, Phoebe, Jayvee and Dino.
Kalye Pinky members having too much fun with a Polaroid
Though not a trip out of town, one of the memorable interactions I had this year was that lunch at Market! Market! with Eric, Fritz, Jeff, Benj, Karlo and Juned, where Fritz, Eric and I wallowed in shared misery and indignation over our very bitter defeat. There’s also that Chinatown food trip, my first CouchSurfing Manila meet up with Ronnie, Zara, Rebi and Florian. Not to forget my fabulous doll friends: Rotch, Khursten, Yue, Kaoko, Cla, Chris and Joey. Then there’s that very salty party at Ming’s place when Paul came to visit on Chinese New Year with Mela, Anna D, Amanda, Argee, Peter, Ryan, Max and Jason. And all those Puri Kura moments…
Puri Kura is love
What’s to come
So what’s to look forward to in JustWandering? I might do one more post on the hiking trip, then move on to the Angono series, which I skipped. I would also be writing about our Taal Volcano experience. Then a couple of guest posts, which will take us out of Asia and into Africa.
As for my life offline, I’m going to keep on exploring Metro Manila. Maybe I should do what AJ did and ride around without any definite destination. Hmmmmmm… I’m also making sure I get to visit at least ONE place I listed in my poll. Boracay, Palawan or Basilan? Maybe all three? We’ll see