Going Local in 2011. What's for 2012?

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November 26th 2011
Published: November 26th 2011
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Cruising Without Breaking The BankCruising Without Breaking The BankCruising Without Breaking The Bank

This 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 and Malacca , 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, SorsogonTwilight in Donsol, SorsogonTwilight 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.

Road Trips

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 Ilocos and the day trips from Manila such as to the lovely towns of Balayan , Tanauan , Taal and
Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas!Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas!Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas!

This is my family. Christmas greetings from our home in Manila to yours.
Talisay in Batangas . 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 and Intramuros , 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!



27th November 2011

whatta fun-filled wrap up. bagay sa December blog carnival :)
27th November 2011

Merry Christmas
I know it's a little early, but your entry comes at the same time as the setting of the Christmas tree at home. Hope to see you in a few days. I'm in Saigon on 7th and 8th of December, but we have all the time on 9th, 10th and 11th. We are having dinner with Shane tomorrow night. See you soon! Peter
27th November 2011

woohoo. merry christmas tita lili. I'm looking forward to your trips in South America. andami mo na tlgang napuntahan.. sana mapuntahan ko din sila..
27th November 2011

Hi ivan
Been following your blogs and noted with delight how your style has evolved. Merry Christmas to the bagets!
27th November 2011

Happy Holidays
Merry Christmas Tita Lili ^^ More happy travels for 2012 most probably?! I'm actually wondering where the days went :) 2011 went in a flash!
27th November 2011

Hi tins
Happy holidays to us all. Having done my Christmas shopping, you won't be seeing me caught with the season's crowd! Leaving in a few. Maybe we should meet up for coffee early next year!
27th November 2011

happy x'mas!
nakuh, xmas na... hindi pa ako prepared. LOL. i love ur donsol pic... i haven't been there :( baka pwedeng maihabol before the year ends. LOL
27th November 2011

Butanding in Donsol
My B.I.O. Randy says the whale sharks are back. Go!
5th December 2011

Hi Lily, Happy Holidays! Your advance Christmas greeting set joyful mood for the most wonderful season. All your pics are lovely esp. the sudsod farmer--twilight in Donsol. Wish to have pleasure of a trip with you someday. Meantime, let\'s do first the Intramuros educational trip with my balikbayans, ha. So looking forward to it. Always happy to read your travel blogs particularly so because I know it comes from a beautiful soul always wanting to make friends and people joyful and inspired in life. Mabuhay ka kaibigan!

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