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Published: November 26th 2011
Cruising Without Breaking The BankThis is not a travel blog. More like a Christmas e-blog sent out to friends, many I haven't seen in years. Much has happened (will still happen) this 2011 and here's a chronicle of what has kept us busy. Just a month more and the year 2011 ends. Merry Christmas, everyone!
Having started the year with a family cruise
calling on the ports of Singapore
, I managed quite a number of trips around the country. Certainly tons cheaper than traveling out of the country, but not one bit less enjoyable or lacking in excitement. Besides, I was able to do more local destinations and roadtrips with family and friends. No tight itinerary. Just lazy driving. And no regimented schedules. Just food trip galore
My Most Awesome Animal Experience
There is always a first time. And it is lovelier the second time around.
End of February was when I tried my first whale shark interaction in Donsol, Sorsogon
. It was so awesome I simply had to go back with my family. Now my grandchildren have their minds set about a 3rd time next summer to meet their butandings
Twilight in Donsol, Sorsogon
or whale sharks once more.
There were also new discoveries such as the shrimp fishermen of Donsol. The sudsod fishermen
whose only gadget is a triangular net they unfold and use to "sweep" the seafloor to catch their shrimps. To this day, I still treasure the twilight shot I took of the place where the shrimp fishermen practice their craft.
Driving 10 hours from Manila towards the southern tip of Luzon (1 of 3 major island groups) is not easy. More so when you have 2 kids with you. But the roadtrips
made us "better travelers" and bonded us as family even more. There was no room for arguments. Just laughter, adventures and pigging out all throughout the journey.
There were trips with friends. And there were solo trips. Fiestas all over the country. The Pahiyas Festival
in Lucban, Quezon, the sidetrips to Sariaya andTiaong, Quezon
, the summer escapade to cooler Baguio City
, the relaxing weekend in Los Banos
and Calamba, Laguna
, the unplanned visits to old churches in Majayjay and Nagcarlan
, the short flights to Negros
and the day trips from Manila such as to the lovely towns of Balayan , Tanauan , Taal and
Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas!Talisay
This is my family. Christmas greetings from our home in Manila to yours.
. Stuck within the city, I also managed to discover how best to "waste" hours in Manila
and its suburbs. Visits to the old parts of town like Quiapo
, museum visits
, food tripping in Manila's Chinatown
and heretofore unknown haunts in the suburbs like Antipolo
and Angono, Rizal
just under an hour's drive from the city center.
And now, the Christmas Season is in the air!
The air is cooler. And the crowds grow thicker as Christmas Day approaches. I am nearly done with my Christmas shopping. I always manage to beat the crowd. Just a couple of visits to a Christmas Bazaar and a short trip to Vietnam
(ahem....) and I'm done.
Before long, I will be striking one off my bucket list with next week's trip to Bhutan
. So excited. I'd be living my dream soon enough. (Check out my more recent blogs on Bhutan
Then what? The year 2012 beckons and there's still that plan to either head back to Europe or to visit South America for the first time. Let me think about that post-Bhutan. For now, I have bags with Christmas gifts ready for delivery while I'm away. In the next 2 days, I should be done packing for winter holiday in Bhutan. Merry Christmas, Everyone! I know I am a month early. But you see.............I'd be busy in the coming weeks! http://marilil.wordpress.com/
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