YEAR ENDER | Twenty Seventeen, a Year of Traveling with the Gang

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Okay, I beat my previous year’s Lakad Pilipinas year-ender by almost a week! It’s now the 18th of January, and it’s actually the first time I’ve tried writing a real article since the New Year commenced. The days after the holidays always set my writing in limbo, hopefully this kickstarts it for the new year.

2017 saw me traveling outside the Philippines more than around our own island. Don’t scold me just yet, I didn’t particularly planned it that way, it just happened. Heck, I didn’t even set foot in Baguio this year, which is kinda sad since I make it a point to visit my favorite city at least once a year. I promise I’ll make it up this 2018.

And as with the previous years, C was my constant companion on almost all of these trips, with our best travel buddies, Team RH, tagging on some of them. Why travel alone when you can share the road with your friends, yeah?


January started off with Taiwan. Booking a cheap flight with my mom and two cousins, we retraced the steps I took with friends in Taipei, Yehliu, and Jiufen just a month prior to this trip and added a new one to the list as we explored Shifen. A week or so later, Lakbay Norte 6 happened. It was my second time to join this massive famtour around north Luzon, having previously joined Lakbay Norte 3. This tour was less hectic than the previous one though, with only the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Cagayan Valley on the list. The highlight was our rough ride to Palaui Island.


Today's playground. #LakadPilipinas x #Davao

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February found me in Bolinao. I can’t believe it’s only my second time there, oh wait. It’s actually my third visit, lol! We actually went to review the pioneer resort in the area, Treasures of Bolinao. It’s a staycation of sorts where we did nothing but swim and consume beer by the liters. Davao came from a promo fare right after. We didn’t find the city interesting but Samal was. We swam our way around the island, coming back on the last day just to booze until our flight time. A quick staycation at the Henry Hotel Manila ended the month in style.


Shine #LakadPilipinas x #Boracay

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March was family time once more as I booked the entire clan to Boracay. We were twelve in total and it was the grandest getaway we’ve had in a while. It was just too bad that the Boracay White Beach was overgrown with algae at the time, but still, everyone had a good time! A visit to Tagaytay closed the month for a staycation at Tagaytay Crosswinds with the Team RH gang.


April and May was the annual summer tour which this time we dubbed as the Same Same Summer Trip since, well, we already went to all these countries before! The difference is that this time, we brought our mom along with us in Malaysia, before continuing on to Cambodia, Thailand, and finally Vietnam.



We maxed out our free stay in Vietnam, exploring the places in between Saigon and Hanoi for three whole weeks. It was still one heck of a trip, which left us craving for a bucket of Jollibee Chickenjoy as we arrived back in the Philippines.


Sublime Zambales #LakadPilipinas #Zambales #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines

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We went to Zambales in June, a few days after our summer trip for our annual videoke booze night with the gang. It’s now a sort of tradition that we travel to C’s province after our summer trip for a get together with the Team RH crew.


What I came to Divisoria for. #LakadPilipinas #LegoPilipinas #LegoBootleg

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July was a month for resting. I traveled to a total of zero places. But if you count traveling from Malabon to QC and Divisoria to be such, then I still traveled. Lol.


August found me in Boracay once again—my second for the year. This time, I went with C and a few guys from the usual suspects. We visited the usual beaches and found a gem at Romblon’s nearby Carabao Island.


September opened with, guess where, Boracay. It was a spur of the moment booking—we initially planned on going to Puerto Galera just for the heck of it but ended up in Boracay one drunken morning. The week after, it was the same gang and the same drunk impulse booking, but this time, to the Queen City of the South, Cebu. And to compensate for all the parties and drunken debauchery, we went for a Tagaytay Taal Vista and Seda Vertis North staycation to soothe our nerves down.


October was a busy month as we headed north to Baler for a day of beach clean up and two nights of hard partying with Millennials. Then it was another staycation to Herald Suites Polaris which ended up on a videoke binge on the streets of Makati’s Poblacion. We then flew to rainy Japan after, my second time to visit Tokyo and Hakone, and my first in Nikko.


November was a surprise trip we planned for J, one of the Team RH guys. We booked a trip without him knowing where, lol. We did an overnight in Singapore, meeting up with a few of our friends there, before taking off to Kerala in India. It was my first time in the subcontinent and I loved every moment of it. Indian cuisine is the bomb, I now have a new favorite!


Float #LakadPilipinas #PalawanPlanB #NorthernHopeTours

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December was planned for the southernmost town of Palawan, Balabac, but choppy waters, crocodiles, and dour weather prevented us from even attempting the trip down south. Coming up with a quick plan b, we went north instead to El Nido and Linapacan—dubbed as to having one of the clearest waters in the world.


I lost count how many days I spent on the road this year, but I was able to visit eight countries outside the Philippines and twelve provinces within. Hmmm, I thought I had more out of the country trips, but it turns out I didn’t! Lol.

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