Why I Blog | Lakad Pilipinas

Lakad Pilipinas

Old Spanish-era stone houses surrounded me as my steps echoed along the cobbled street. I was too early, but at the same time, I realized I was just on time. I savored the crisp morning air, the light just beginning to creep beyond the ornate eaves of the east-side houses. I held up my camera, composed the scene through the viewfinder, focused the lens and lightly pressed the shutter. I thought to myself, I have the photos but I can also write about this.

I worked on a cube farm and was treated like a machine. Everything was so robotic; we weren’t even allowed to personalize our workstations with photographs and mementos that remind us that we, after all, are still humans.

And then I heard about it. A guy from another team stamped his foot down and signed a resignation paper. Well, this is really not extraordinary; resignations are a normalcy in our industry. But what differentiates this one from the rest was that he wasn’t just about to transfer to another robot job with a higher pay, he was going to travel the country, photograph the places he visits, write about the colors of its festivals, and get paid to do it too. All this without a boss hanging around his every move.

Lakad PilipinasAnd so I got intrigued. If he can do it, surely, I can too? And after years of maybe I should, maybe I shouldn’t, I finally followed suit. I started gathering my thoughts into words and my pictures into essays. I started Lakad Pilipinas.

It somehow miraculously grew. From ten viewers, eight of which are my office friends—the ninth my mom—it eventually reached figures I never knew it can attain. I was still working at the cube then, but I always managed to sneak in some minutes to write and post on my new project. The goal ultimately is financial gain—I wanted it to earn, so that maybe somehow someday, I can also turn in that resignation paper.

My pet project was almost two years old, gaining momentum on readership and a bit of respect from peers. It was, however, not earning me anything. It was surely disappointing on that aspect, but on the other hand, after more than seven hundred days of photographs and writings, things had changed. Sure, I was still hoping that the blog would produce some dough, but the priority shifted.
Lakad Pilipinas by Restituto Macapagal Jr.I was resigned that Lakad Pilipinas wouldn’t be the cash-cow that I thought it would be and the focus eventually went to the blog itself. Somehow, it morphed into a life of its own. I was unable to just let it be; it had be the best it can be, content and design-wise, money or not. I have grown to love it, as a struggling artist would love his paintings. From a money-making-scheme, it turned personal somehow.

And I never realized how personal until a fellow travel blogger suggested I shift to a different blog platform as advertisers are more likely to publish there than at my current one. I said, okay, yeah, why not.

But then it got my thinking. What would happen to my site should, knock on wood, something untoward happens to me a few days or even a few years later? Due to the nature of that other platform, Lakad Pilipinas would immediately get flushed down the Internet drain after a year or so without someone renewing its hosting.

Do I really want that? I’m gone anyways so who cares, right? No one’s gonna be earning off the site anymore anyways. But I feel that my travel blog can be so much more. It’s definitely not the best of its kind out there, but it is special to me.

And so I took back my yes and replaced it with a no. I won’t be changing platform for better online earnings. I’d rather stick it out here at my current one, which has free hosting and is relatively stable, where I knew my photos and writings would still be viewable years after my time; earnings be damned.
Lakad Pilipinas by Michael SangoyoHave you ever seen an old photograph of Manila? The crumbly and frayed black and white ones? They’re wonderful aren’t they? Makes you nostalgic for that lost era. Makes you imagine what the city was like back then, how grand and elegant it must be, how simple life was (or maybe it was also already complicated back in those days). Your mind wanders and gets lost imagining the city that was, but there never were enough photographs.

I want Lakad Pilipinas to work that magic for future generations, even if only for a small few, like my future kids and grandchildren. I wanted them to view it and see wonder in their eyes. Let them have a peek as to how the Philippines looked like in the days before the culture of boxed malls and skyscrapers totally take over; the lush green fields, the pristine beaches, the small idyll towns, the windy plazas, the old stone architecture. I wanted their minds to wander through the words and photos I took decades back.

It is a lofty ambition, I know; and not a few would probably even raise eyebrows over it. But it is what it is. You thought you were doing it for money, but before you know it, it becomes larger than you. Now you are doing it because you need to do it, you feel compelled to finish its never ending cycle; for yourself, your kids, their kids, the generations after everyone else’s and the inevitable passing memory and history of our beloved country.
Lakad PilipinasAnd so the morning finally burst. Hoofs clattered on the cobbled street, century-old doors opened, tourist wearing I-love-name-of-place shirts started posing in the middle of the street as the sun steadily slanted through the red tiles of the east roof. And not unlike the streaming light of the sun, after four long years, my story, at last, has also broken through.


Christian S. | Lakad Pilipinas
October 13, 2012 | 10:31 PM


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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Saturday, October 20, 2012
73 comments
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73 comments:

  1. I really like your travel writing and is also a fan of your photography sir. :)

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  2. Ayun! You finally decided! =D Ahahahahaha.. Naalala ko yung lines na sinabi mo why you got into blogging.. That said, and this written are of two different toned lines.. The one said was waaaaay too entertaining, but this written is equally honest rin.. Good for you Christian! To more travels, penning them down, and happy shutterbugging --- just because. =)

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  3. You hit me there, now I say, thanks for your photos. You deserve the respect in this competitive community where standing out is hard to realize, but you have just established your mark kuya. God Bless!

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  4. Now your giving me an option and it makes me crazy to decide..Haha. Okay for now lemme handle two things at a time. Work and newest travel blog. For you Sir Christian 'tis is a fruit of labor. EXcellente. I am a big fan of yours.

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  5. Back in flickr days, I am already a fan of your work. When I read this blog, I thought there is so much more to this guy! And yun na--you are now one of the celebrity travel bloggers! Way to go audioScience!

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  6. I cant give up the cube farm like you did. I sure to find my momentum. B-)

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  7. Since I started blogging, I'm truly a fan of your work. But wisdom from this made me respect you more. :)

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  8. wiping tears on my eyes... hehehe... panalo talaga ang mga words mo bro!

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  9. Epistaxis words! Oh my so many words that popped into my head but I can't let it out. This one thing for sure your blog will surely be succesful because of your skills. <3

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  10. i still think you should someday put all your blogs together into a book, and self-publish it on one of the self-publishing sites, such as lulu. you will also have a hard copy of your work that you can show around, whether for marketing purposes, at interviews, or on your own coffee table for your guests at home.

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  11. Yes, I have seen photographs of old Manila and in a sense, it was also what made me love photography. The feeling of stepping back in time to a cleaner and safer city than the one I grew up in, will always hold me in awe. =)

    I guess people go into blogging for a lot of reasons. But, in my opinion, the best blogs are those that are created out of passion and not for monetary gain. I highly doubt my Nuffnang earning will reach the minimum amount for me to cash in on it, but, what the heck! Blogging serves a higher purpose for me -- it saves my sanity. Plus my work, even though stressful, is one that I am quite happy in and love doing.

    You're doing great! =)

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  12. if only those pageviews worth (monetary) something... but then it really is worth (value) something... saludo sir christian! :)

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  13. We are not worthy (2x). You are definitely turning into the alpha omega of travel blogging, ser. Kung si Flip ang God, ikaw siguro si Buddha haha! Seriously, yours is a blog truly worth reading and staring at. Wag na wag ka sanang tatamarin katulad ng marami sa amin :D

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  14. Words with heart are hard to come by and these are some of the most beautiful cyberwords I've read. I'm ashamed to say I'm a newbie follower to your blog but I'd likely be a 'tambay' from hereon. :)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on travelling and blogging. Some may not understand how hard it can be but you've put it all in one post, and more. Here's to more travels and sharing about them! :)

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  15. Its an honor na nakilala kita nung ako nag handle ng training ninyo before. at naging bahagi ako ng kwentong ito :)

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  16. Earlier I'd been forced to think why I blog to answer a fellow blogger's question. Nagmukhang amateur naman yung sagot ako after I read this hahaha.. Kidding aside, this post is lovely and I like your honesty. I think at some point in time, we bloggers like to believe that we can earn from doing this. Some of us do eventually and lucky them. For us though that who don't, well at least we still get to pursue our passions and to me, it's already enough a reason to continue blogging.

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  17. why i blog??? well, after several trips abroad... i can definitely say that I'm proud of our country and I'm proud of the "potential" that our country can be... this is my way of promoting our Philippines, of sharing our pride, of showing our own beauty... happy blogging!

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  18. From photography to writing... who knows, next might be an article to prestigious travel magazines like Mabuhay, Travel Life or Travel Time.

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  19. Values comes first. Money comes next. Since you value what you felt you become happy. I am sure, money comes next......and that's what we called earnings not only in terms of "financial aspect", but you earn respect in the blogging world, bro. I salute your skills bro. And I am always following your blog bro. learn from your style.....

    All I can say as older than you, just keep on "walking", and I will leave message to you bro that I just composed when I read this blog,

    "Just look and walk around, see the beauty and vastness of our very own Pilipinas, utilize our skills without destroying its spontaneity and above all, enjoy life while we still can" - Con Tour Blog

    Good Luck bro. Rest assured of our prayers for your success.

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  20. love the passion here!
    *tap on the back* christian!

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  21. teary eyes to sir ah!
    nag-try din ako out of curiosity mg-blog (I don't call it blog nga but a photo-album online para sa mga anak ko, para malaman nila personality ko if ever bigla tayo mawala, hehe)

    I don't know you personally pero isang magandang pangyayari ang madiskubre ko ang blog mo, lagi ka pa nag-eencourage sakin to continue composing. YOU ARE A GREAT PERSON sir Christian

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  22. Thumbs up sir! an article of truth and passion :)

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  23. Hat's off to you Bro... Clap Clap Clap!

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  24. Grasya
    Thanks Grasya! Oy birthday mo pala ngayon! :)

    Hapipaks
    Thank you, I'm glad you do :)

    Lisa Marie
    Haha it's more fun with alcohol shempre :D

    Edmaration
    Salamat bro :)

    Arnie Monacillo
    Thanks! And you don't have to quit work :)

    Ding Fuellos
    Celebrity blogger? Haha di naman!

    Francis Balgos
    You don't need to give up your job Francis :)

    Elal Jane Lasola
    Naks wisdom talaga? :)

    Romz
    Haha adik ka Romz!

    LalalaPatricia
    Epistaxis? Okay wait, googling :)

    Fifileigh
    I guess a book would be best right? :)

    Tin
    Ouch haha I made mine for money! :D

    Blissfulguro
    Haha oo nga ma'am! :)

    Drew
    I'm glad na di ka na tinatamad ulit ngayon Drew. Buddha dahil malaki tsan? :D

    Mel
    Do tambay more please :)

    Eric
    The queen of Festivals! :D

    Marjorie Gavan
    I agree Marj, swerte lang talaga yung iba at they earn a lot from blogging :)

    Mountains-and-beyond
    I agree, our country is really beautiful :)

    Ian
    I hope so Ian :)

    Bonzenti
    Thanks Kuya Bonz!

    Journeyingjames
    Apir!

    Tatatyjoni
    Sir Joni, salamat po :)

    Fra Jamir
    Thanks bro! :)

    Glenn B Mendoza
    Salamat pre! Sana matuloy na rin ang matagal na nating binabalak na lakad haha

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  25. Love this. There's magic in doing what you love. =) Keep writing and taking photos!

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    1. Thank you Claire! It was nice meeting and traveling with you!

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  26. Ang galeng. You are an inspiration to me.

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  27. nung flickr days pa lang kaw na talaga ung photographer na hinahangaan ko. isa kang inspirasyon. hehe very humble pa :)

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    1. Di naman masyado, mayabang din minsan haha.. Salamat Jay :)

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  28. nice! thanks for the inspiration. Now I'm decided to put my travel stories into blogging.. cheers for more adventures!

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    1. Thanks Alvin, glad my blog inspired you to write about your travels too :)

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  29. Hi Christian. It isn't earning from blogging that matters. We gain wealth and respect from sharing our experiences. Congratulations for moving out of the cube farm. :-)

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    1. It's an honor to see you read and visit my site ma'am Jojie! Maraming salamat po :)

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  30. Two hands down sir!!
    I am really inspired by your stories. As a new blogger, I saw our same intentions! Give up our corporate world and be the boss of our self. I blog to share my experiences and thoughts and to record everything(my travels and adventures). And I am not denying that someday soon my blogsite would help me financially.

    Way to go sir! It will be a great pleasure to meet you personally! Indeed Im a fan and I admire your sincerity and honesty!

    - Billy Palatino of http://galaero-escapetravels.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you Billy, we'll cross paths eventually, I'm sure of that :)

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  31. "Now you are doing it because you need to do it, you feel compelled to finish its never ending cycle; for yourself, your kids, their kids, the generations after everyone else’s and the inevitable passing memory and history of our beloved country"

    This statement makes me feel movin' I feel the spirit in every letters, punctuations and spaces of this essay.

    Keep it up sir ;)

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    1. Thank you Jherson, I'm glad my words inspired you even in a small way :)

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  32. Oh I love your blog... I hope someday you can attain your goals... wish you the best!

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  33. Hi christian, i got here from an article of poor traveler. This is the first travel blog that made me linger more and actually read the write ups. Congrats. Probably because the articles are concise and generally enjoyable read. May i ask why a blog as developed as this survives on free hosting? Also the pics are awesome. May i also ask what cam and lenses you use?

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    1. Hi Delzky, thank you so much! My blog is actually hosted on Google's Blogger platform, I only pay for the the .com name. I mainly use a Nikon D80 paired with a Tokina 11-16mm lens. For the food, I use the 50mm f/1.8 from Nikkor. :)

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  34. It's amazing what you can do with limited gear when you put your mind on what you can do rather than on what you don't have, isn't it? You certainly proved it here. I sold the only modern lens i had when i got broke once. It's the cheapy canon nifty fifty. Now i have to do with antique manual lenses i bought from ebay for peanuts. But your story inspires me to pen my thoughts and travels too. Maybe one day i could blog too, and hop on a jet plane. Thanks for the reply and God bless!

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    1. Definitely true Delzky, make you with what you have as they say :)

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  35. Wow. very well-said.

    There are times when a blogger sometimes thinks more of earning money than the love of work itself.

    You are the kind of blogger that we need. Someone who not only post pics and do some haphazard write-ups, but your writing is full of emotions that it resonates to a lot of people (including me). Keep inspiring!

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    1. Thank you Jon for the kind words, it makes me even strive even harder to make quality posts :)

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  36. Thank you for sharing your awesome trips. This is a great achievement not only for you but to our country as well that we can share to the world how beautiful this country is. You have been such a great influence. I'm looking forward to follow your footsteps. Perhaps one day I will publish my own journeys too and grab a loads of inspiration from your creative thoughts. Keep it up and all the best :D

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    1. Salamat Patrick, always glad to inspire someone to take that step and travel our country :)

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  37. I love your writing and your photos. You are inspiring and your love of what you are doing shows in this blog. Am tied in a corporate job and will be retiring to do what you are doing and also because I haven't seen much of my old country although I could never write as eloquently as you do and take photos that speaks a thousand words like yours. Keep going!

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    1. Thank you so much Lou! Practice makes perfect, I say, just write and take photos. You can do it! :)

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  38. Saludo ako sayo sir! I am always drawn to people, bloggers who believed in a higher purpose for their writings, beyond the money, it's more of the meaning in life and value that you give to the world.

    In the internet where most bloggers are more concerned on popularity and money, you are very rare sir. You are connected to your soul, belief and purpose. Respect for you sir, and thank you for the inspiration.

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    1. Thank you Jon! What else can you hold on to diba? Although syempre andyan lang talaga yang mga yan, maganda talaga yung nakatungtong ka lang talaga sa lupa at wag padala sa mga bagay bagay. Teka ano daw? Haha

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  39. Why is your blog so amaziiiiing. Can I be like you when I grow up?

    Haha seriously though. You're one role model. :) Your passion for good stories and photographs shines all throughout your damn-good blog. :)

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    1. Haha Kristiana, of course you can be anyone you like when you grow up haha. But wag na lang ako, wala akong pera eh hahaha. Thank you for your kind words! :)

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  40. I never before had the courage to write here before, but here I am. What can I say? I'm a fan. No- not because you have gone to so many places one could ever imagine and take beautiful pictures, but the very depth of everything- your work. You have the gift to see things other people do not, or often take for granted- and this translates into beautiful photographs and heartfelt words. After reading this post, that finally made me write here, I just wanted to say that I truly admire your courage for leaving your previous job and for taking that risk, of plunging into the unkown. I'm glad you did. Otherwise I wouldn't be reading your blog. You're truly an artist, Mr. Sangoyo- through your breathtaking photographs and words. I hope I could one day join you in one of your adventures. Hats off to you. :)

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    1. Hi Rej, thank you so much for taking the time to write. I appreciate how you appreciate and understand what I do. Don't be shy to comment often :)

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  41. Of all the blogs I've read and subscribed, yours is my favorite! You inspire me; you take great photographs and write beautifully.

    "It is a lofty ambition, I know; and not a few would probably even raise eyebrows over it. But it is what it is. You thought you were doing it for money, but before you know it, it becomes larger than you. Now you are doing it because you need to do it, you feel compelled to finish its never ending cycle; for yourself, your kids, their kids, the generations after everyone else’s and the inevitable passing memory and history of our beloved country." This has got to be my favorite part. Your passion is overwhelming - struck me right to the core!

    Cheers to more travel adventures! Keep on writing, keep on inspiring us. It would be an honor to meet you someday :) God speed!

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    1. Hi Mary! I'm glad my words resonate not only to me, but to you guys as well. I hope it also inspires others to do what they really love to do, whatever that passion might be. :)

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  42. Great photos + well-written articles = GREAT COMBINATION!
    Awesome blog you have here!

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    1. Thank you LoveEatWonder, glad you appreciate my work :)

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  43. Profound musing! Surreal photography!
    You're set-apart. It's good to have virtually met a kindred spirit!
    I hope to bump into you one day...during a stroll somewhere... :)

    Carpe Diem!

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    1. Hi Lailanie, thank you so much. Just holler if you see me walking around :)

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  44. Man I saved this site as a bookmark rightaway! Superb photos sir, yun talaga na-notice ko agad. Anong camera/lens gamit mo currently sir?

    Janine N.

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    1. Salamat Janine! I main use a Nikon D80 and a D7000 with an 11-16mm and 16-85mm lenses :)

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  45. I agree with you on this "Have you ever seen an old photograph of Manila? The crumbly and frayed black and white ones? They’re wonderful aren’t they? Makes you nostalgic for that lost era. Makes you imagine what life was like back then, how beautiful and grand the city must be, how simple life was then or maybe it was also already complicated back in those days. You mind wanders and gets lost imagining the city that was, but there never were enough photos."

    I envy the people from the past from seeing the world differently (cleaner version of it). Unfortunately, they didn't have cameras to capture those views. You are very inspiring. Patuloy mo lang sir! :)

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  46. Your lofty ambition made you an exceptional travel blogger and photographer:) Thank you Sir Christian for inspiring and sharing your experiences and passion . I not a writer and photographer but there's something in me that I want to pursue . I love reading your blog Sir Christian hope God continue to bless your journey. thanks a lot

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    1. Hi Znerbiah, thanks for dropping by! I say, pursue writing and photography, both of these can be learned in due time. :)

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  47. What an honor it is for me to find your website. At first I thought it was a travel agency website of sorts. But it is something more special! Good luck and much Blessings for your intentions and efforts! Our homeland should be uplifted like what you are doing! I applaud you!

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