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Thank You 2013!

“Dear old world', she murmured, 'you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.”  ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Much as I wished that this would be the year that I get to finally shout gleefully to the heavens for striking a romantic connection with a man who gushes at the sound of my name, this year turned out to be a time for slowing down and pursuing other adventures for which I am extremely thankful. 
I focused my energy on pursuing goals that I’ve set aside, tried new things and traveled to places I wondered about. It’s also been a truly wonderful year pursuing writing and working with brands that I respect. 
Here’s a list of my favourite adventures this year. Please click on the title links to read my post about it. :)  1. Inside Baguio's Laperal White House

2. Reunion hike with friends – Mt. Tangisan, Bungkol Baka and Mt. Kawayan

3. First trip in Boracay - Ariel's Point + Top Fave Places to Dine in Boracay (link leads to my food blog)

4. Hiked M…

Berghaus Adventure Challenge in Mt. Batulao

November 28, 2013 - I excitedly joined a friend, Ed Escueta of Team Certified Positive, fellow bloggers, mountaineers, runners and members of traditional media for nice hike up Mt. Batulao, a mountain in Batangas known for its picturesque jagged peaks. 
This hiking adventure  was organized by Toby's Sports as part of the official launch of Berghaus, a trusted outdoor brand from the UK established in 1966 and distributed in the Philippines by the Quorum Group, which owns Toby's Sports, Runnr and several other retail stores.  
To maximize the experience, we traversed using the new trail up and got down via the old trail taking us approximately 5 hours to complete the hike. 
I tested the Women's Vapour Claw which is designed for trail running and despite wearing it for the first time that day, it felt extremely comfortable on the feet.  The  internal part of the shoes made me feel  like my feet was wrapped in cotton.  :) (More about its features here). Sun was in full force so tr…

A Glimpse of Mt. Kanlaon

While I jumped up and down to battle the cold, I had to remind myself for the nth time why I travel to remote places and put up with the discomfort just to hike a mountain. Dark heavy clouds lingered over the sky, wind came in fierce batches along with a light drizzle.  In the first few minutes we arrived, my friend and I had already covered ourselves head to toe. 

The view however was calming, a huge contrast to the weather that welcomed us in Sitio Mapot. We were surrounded by vast greenery where a very small community resides. Wild flowers are everywhere, its colors popping from the bushes.  It was 7:00 AM and though the sun remained hidden behind the clouds, the colors of plants and trees remained vibrant.  

I felt restored and once again, excited to begin our revelry with nature. 
By 7:47 AM, we started our wet hike to Mt. Kanlaon's, the Philippines' 3rd most active volcano which offers unbelievably beautiful views, the main reason which drove me and a friend to leave the co…

Guest Post : My 2014 Holiday Wish List

I haven't written much lately and while I'm finishing some projects, I'm sharing with you a fellow traveler's Holiday Wish List. This gets me thinking about my own year-end adventure, (which I am yet to decide on :P). How about you,  what's yours? :)


I keep a diary. But it’s not for my personal musings and deep dark secrets. It’s where I write down my holiday wish list. Every time I come across a place that sounds truly incredible, I scribble it down at the bottom of an ever-growing list of must-see destinations.
My travel bucket list for 2014 is already two pages long. Whilst I won’t be able to visit them all, I have managed to narrow it down to three of my favourites.
Havana, Cuba The warm, colourful streets of Havana have been playing on my mind for a while now. As a big Hemingway fan, I feel like I’ve experienced his love for the city vicariously through his books. The thought of having a drink in the Floridita Bar, Papa’s favourite pub in Havana, makes me want to …

Going Solo in the City of Gentle People, Dumaguete

After a short hike up Mt. Kanlaon, my hiking bud Arisse and I went on separate adventures. From Canlaon City, Arisse traveled back to Bacolod for a quick food trip before catching an evening flight to Manila, while I rode a 4-hour van down Dumaguete City where I spent 3 days.  Known as a slow, quiet city where people are uber friendly, I knew it was the perfect place to hibernate as I was craving for time to just stop. 
As we had spent several days in Canlaon which is up in the mountains and twice more quaint that Dumaguete, I was slightly overwhelmed as I walked around the city center on the first day. There were vehicles zipping everywhere, several ATM machines and lots of huge building.  I soon got into the slightly quicker groove of things and in no time, I was wandering around on foot comfortably. 
I stayed at Harold's Mansion, a backpacker's lodge near Siliman University, established in 1901 and is the first American university in Asia. It's not just an educational inst…

Gift Ideas for Traveling Loved Ones

September's here and in the Philippines, the first "Ber" month marks the start of this much-awaited holiday. Stores and television shows start playing Christmas songs while some families start putting up their Christmas trees. 
As I'm one of those who get overly excited over this holiday season, I've started hunting for gifts to loved ones and for myself :P (thinking about Kris Kringles/exchange gifts now). 
Here's a list of gift suggestions for your loved ones. I've excluded the items from an old post of mine, Gift Ideas for the Outdoor Hotties and if you want to get started with a hassle-free early Christmas shopping, visit Zalora's Christmas Rush Bazaar. It's arranged according to brands and category for easier browsing. ;)
1. Foldable Flip Flops/Shoes - for lady loved ones who are eternally running out of storage space in their bags or for those sisters who simply love packing it light. These foldable slippers and shoes are generally lightweight …

Guest Post : Take to the Seas this Summer

If you fancy a holiday that's a little bit different, why not try a cruise holiday this summer? Rather than sticking to one hotel and staying in the same resort for the duration of your holiday, a cruise offers a fantastic opportunity to explore many different  destinations without lifting a finger to get there.
For instance, you could set sail from Southampton and embark on a tour of some of the Med's most beautiful locations, such as the beautiful Balearic Islands and the sunny coast of Spain. Take a flying visit of Gibraltar, explore Portugal's historic city of Lisbon and take in the sights and sounds of friendly Malta.
If you've been there and done that, don't worry. Cruise holidays certainly don't start and finish with the Mediterranean - far from it! Why not discover other parts of Europe by river, and sail along the Danube from Budapest or discover the wine regions 
of Bordeaux? You could experience the magnificent Northern Lights by touring the Norwegian F…

Of Falls & True Friends

Strapped helplessly on a harness being lowered with a pulley in  a 20 feet steel cage, I let out bouts of panicky high-pitched screams. I didn't care that I'm 31 and with muscles  on the wrong places that makes me look that I wouldn't bat an eyelash if a knife was pointed at my throat,  I felt extremely afraid. My heart revolted against my chest and in seconds, my shirt was drenched with sweat. I was about to cry but the supposedly mature side of my head took over and I found myself, releasing several more piercing screams instead. 
A few meters above me, I hear the sound of sheer enjoyment that came from friends who were fully aware that I suffer from acrophobia. 

My dear old,  "trust them with my life" kind of hiker friends who told me we were just going on a relaxing road trip and a visit to Pagsanjan Falls, which in my mind, (since I've never gone there), involved lazing on a boat and taking tons of landscape shots and group pictures. 

I managed to calm down…