YEARENDER | Twenty Eleven

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thirty one thousand seven hundred and four photographs, one blue and three black cameras, two unlined journals filled with spidery writings, a couple of retired walking sandals, fifty eight days of traveling on twenty four locations outside the metro, a week outside the country and a pair of very sore feet through a blur of churches, restaurants, hotels, streets, people, resorts, beaches, underwater escapades, tacky shirts, ref magnets, Starbucks mugs, sunrises and sunsets; allow me to recount a year's worth of walking through the Philippines.

This is actually the first time that I'd be doing an annual summary, begging off doing one last year since I was still working on two months worth of travel backlog and wanted to finish everything off before proceeding with it. As with photography, I realized too late that backlogs are part and parcel of travel writing .

So with half a year worth of backlogs, allow me to finally do a summary before the year ends in a few hours time.

01 - January     J A N U A R Y
The City of Pines was the first destination of the year, Baguio is an annual thing for us and we’ve always made it a point to visit it at its coldest months. The middle of January found me accompanying an old friend from Ireland through the rushing waters of Wawa Dam in Rizal and the final days of the month was spent on a misadventure searching for migratory birds in Pampanga's Candaba Swamp.

02 - February

     F E B R U A R Y
Red dancing dragons, firecrackers and Chinese dimsums greeted me in February as I made my way through the alleys of Binondo. Missing Baguio, a weekend getaway with office friends to Tagaytay was worked out in the middle of the month. Massive fireworks at the Mall of Asia closed February with a bang as I somehow managed to sneak a media ID for the year's Philippine International Pyromusical Competition.

03 - March

     M A R C H
March was pretty slow after the first two months of the year. I rediscovered farm life after being invited by a friend from Bulacan, which was the only out of town trip for the month. Only notable happenings were Earth Hour, which we always participate in, and a discovery of a awesomely tunneled Starbucks branch in Intramuros.

04 - April

     A P R I L
The humdrum of the previous month was broken with a daytrip to Batangas followed by a nine-day journey south of Luzon. I set foot on the mountainous island of Romblon, got stuck in Marinduque just in time for the Moriones Festival, splashed through the islands of Caramoan, stepped on the foot of the majestic Mayon and visited the churches of Naga. To round off the busy month, I organized a tour of the old world town of Taal in Batangas with friends.

05 - May     M A Y
May found me back in Tagaytay for a relaxing weekend. The peace and quiet was temporary though and I was soon on a bus to the north visiting massive old churches through Ilocos Norte and Sur*. The northern tour was capped with a two-day solo walking jaunt at Vigan*. Braving typhoon Chedeng, another trip with office friends found us at the rough coasts of Baler.

     J U N E
The sixth month of the year turned up a blank. I can't believe I did not leave Manila for a month

06 - July     J U L Y
The second half of the year starts the airplane months. After booking months in advance, we had our stomachs filled with sweets from the university city of Dumaguete* and hopped to the mysterious island of Siquijor* for some fun under the sun.

08 - August

     A U G U S T
After years of dreaming, I finally caught up with Batanes!* The airfare was slashed in half but still took hurt our not so deep pockets.  The rolling hills, towering lighthouses, friendly people and awesome awesome landscapes were all worth every peso we spent.

09 - September

     S E P T E M B E R
Tarsiers greeted me on my birthmonth. Two touring days in Bohol and another two spent on the beach of Panglao* convinced us that we should return to this paradise in the near future. This was also where I found that I was chosen as a finalist for a European photo assignment which brought me to Intramuros* for a two-day photo shootout a few days later with five of the best travel photographers in the country.

10 - October

     O C T O B E R
The tenth month of the year should have found me in Cebu but had to opt out for a chance to tour the Netherlands after winning the DPP-KLM sponsored On Assignment to Europe. It was my first time to go out of the country and words are not enough to describe the week-long adventure I had over Holland. I also had a chance to revisit Puerto Princesa* after two years, the original plan was to check out El Nido, but was scrapped due to financial constraints.

11 - November

     N O V E M B E R
A revisit to Iloilo and Guimaras* was another trip that was almost scratched off my calendar after schedule conflicts at work but was fortunately salvaged back to life. This was a no-tour four-day as-lazy-as-we-can-be laid back trip spent on the shores of Guimaras’ Villa Igang.

12 - December

     D E C E M B E R
With no scheduled trips, I took the time to explore some of the metro spots, looking particularly for colorful Christmas themed locales. The highlight of the month was a Simbang Gabi shoot at Quiapo Church which had been eluding my camera for years already.

LakadPilipinas20112011 has been such a blessed year and I'm really thankful to God for all the graces that had been showered upon me and my family and friends for the unyielding support they’ve always given.

The year started with a nod from Living Asia Channel's Snapshot Asia photo contest. Then a landslide was set off after bagging the first prize for the DPP-KLM On Assignment: Europe that sent me on a seven-day journey across The Netherlands. A consolation win at the 2011 Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk followed with another one from the Annual Canon Photomarathon quickly after. I received six nominations from the Philippine Blog Awards in December and won the Luzon Travel and Photoblog categories.  That same month found my photos from Holland showcased along the halls of RCBC plaza via KLM’s Capturing Dreams photo exhibit and my Intramuros images in Digital Photography Philippines and Lonely Planet magazines.  The year was capped with a chance to travel across Northern Luzon for nine days as I was unexpectedly picked to join the third Lakbay Norte on January of the coming year.

2011 was one heck of a year, I had never travelled as far and as long and I am unsure if I can top it off in the coming year. But really, I’m not the kind that wants to overdo ones self for the sake of saying I outdid myself. I’m happy and content to just be able to travel and share my stories and images with my readers; to be appreciated for my efforts is a more than enough bonus. So with that, let’s all pack our bags and I’ll see you guys next year! :)

* Unpublished Backlogs  :P

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  1. Impressive were, the year's travel experiences, narratives and of course the photographs. Keep it up (and I know you will) in 2012.

  2. awesome awesome awesome! ayos na ayos! excited to meet you next year Christian! alam kong mas marami ka pang achievements na makukuha, continue doing what you're doing and continue to inspire us with your words and photos! happy new year!

  3. SO IMPRESSIVE! I love your photos and I'm actually happy for all the blessings you got this year! May 2012 shower you with more opportunities and travels. :)

  4. wow! as in wow sa laht ng accomplishments pre at sa mga stunning photos.
    cheers to 2012

  5. wow very detailed ha. what a year no?

    here's to more travels, more achievements! *cheers*

    happy new year!

  6. Ang damiiiiiii!!!! 30k photos!
    I'm still awaiting your Batanes series! It's probably everyone's dream trip!

    I'm still so happy I stumbled upon your blog! It's very inspiring and I really hope you encourage more people to travel! =)

  7. Wow! You had so many adventures for the year.. :) Anyway, I hope I can also travel more this 2012. Happy new year sir and hope you'll have more opportunities and action-packed adventures next year.. :)

  8. priceless fantastic photos! this has and will inspire more and more travelers not just bloggers to make the best of sharing their travels.

    cheers to more years in travel and great photos Christian!

  9. you had an awesome 2011! congrats sa lahat ng achievements! well deserved!

    Cheers for more travels this 2012! :)

  10. now i can imagine kung gano kadami ang backlogs mo. hehe
    this year was a blast for you! congratulations. more projects and assignments (and earnings) for you this 2012. cheers! hanapin ko bahay mo sa malabon. tugatog ka right?

  11. more travels and photos sa 2012 :)

  12. what an amazing year for you. here's to more wonderful trips and photos! cheers.

  13. what an eventful 2011! hope 2012 brings you more adventures and unforgettable trips! happy new year sir! cheers! :)

  14. Very impressive and inspiring. Congrats, Christian!

  15. what a great year for you bro! i expect more this 2012, hehehe... keen on bringing us to your journeys! tuloy tuloy lang ang lakad Pilipinas! :)

  16. Great accomplishments in 2011. Goodluck in 2012. Happy New Year !

  17. Impressive is an understatement to this! Wishing you more trips and more awesome photos for the 2012, oh can I be an apprentice, after checking your pictures, I guess I can say my photography sucks and I badly need help!

  18. You already! haha... How I wish I had the same monthly travel. I had a blast of your superb photography for 2011! For 2012... I predict, the streak will continue! Happy 2012!

  19. Beautiful photos and great travels as always! Hope the new year will bring you as much interesting adventures and travels as well! =)

    P.S. Since the little one is still well, uhmm small and we can't travel as much as we used to (for now...hehehe!), I've been vicariously living through your travels. Hehehe! Love this blog! =)

  20. out of all the bloggers i follow, you have to be the one i most covet. you go to places i could only afford to dream about. it's one of the reasons why i love your blog, through your pictures and stories, i get to feel like i'd been to those places too. i am looking forward to getting to more places, through lakad pilipinas, in 2012. happy new year!

  21. Im glad to have known Lakad Pilipinas :)

  22. Markyramone, Astrid, Journeyingjames, Sumi Go, Dong Ho, Bon, Pinoy Adventurista, Estan, Francesbean, MarLiesTravels, Pinoy Wandering Boy, Michi, Romz, Juanderfulpinoy
    Thank you for believing and never tiring of my adventures! Happy new year! :)

    Looking forward to meeting you guys too sir Ed! Happy new year!

    Syempre hehe, Happy new year!

    Oo nga eh, andami! Todo backlog hehe

    Hehe kalahating taong backlog, mukhang di na ko makaka recover :P
    Uy wag mo ko hanapin, mahiyain ako sa personal eh haha

    Joy Calipes-Felizardo
    Thanks! Ikaw naman, aral aral lang sa net ang katapat nyan :)

    Sayang nga nabakante ako ng July and December hehe

    Salamat Tin! Means much to me :)

    Haha nakakataba naman ng puso, salamat po :)

    Thanks pre, angtagal na mo nang walang post ah, post na ulit!

  23. Wagas ang mga travel mo kuya! Congratulations to all the awards you've got! Hayaan mo na ung June, rest mo na yun sa sarili mo. hehe.. C'mon kaya mo pa mga backlogs mo..hehe. Pinagod daw ba! So, ang tanung, which month is your most favorite and why?

  24. Wonderful pictures! ^_^ I think the first picture summed up your 2011, a year full of travels. The passion to explore despite some challenges. :)

    Happy New Year! More travels to come and contests na din, hehe :D

  25. You have some of the beeeest travel shots I've eeeever seeeen! Hindi ako OA-ing. Hahaha. Sana marami ka pang mapuntahan this year! :)

  26. wow... what a year for you! :)

    Cheers to more travels and backlogs to us!!! :)

  27. amazing photos and i love the way you collaged them. cheers for more travels this 2012!

  28. I can see you had a great year! Happy New Year! I'm hoping to see more photos from you.

    Coffee With Kim

  29. Ang saya-saya naman ng 2011 mo at bongga rin ang backlogs hehe hoping to meet you soon most probably mag-hi ako sa inyo sa Dagupan leg ng Lakbay Norte 3 :D

  30. amazing photos! what a year...ang galing galing talaga. just happy to meet you personally! good luck on your future travel plans!!!

  31. Wow! Speechless! Gondo Gondo talaga ng photos mo!

  32. Mitch
    Fave ko yung 9 days southern luzon ko nung april hehe, close second yung 7 days sa holland :P

    Sabi ng tita ko ano ba naman daw yun at pinost ko yung paa ko sa blog ko haha

    Haha salamat Dani! Long time no hear ah :)

    Thanks! Cheers Tina!

    With the help of Picasa for the collages hehe

    Thanks Kim!

    Apir tayo sa Dagupan :)

    Thanks man!


    Haha solomot po :P