2012 Year in Travel: Of New Destinations and Familiar Places

In just a few days we’ll be saying goodbye to 2012, so here’s a roundup of my year in travel plus snippets of my un-blogged trips; four trips with two destinations each (you gotta maximize the travel tax and/or terminal fee, you know) with different travel buddies.  

The year started with a trip to the Philippines’ last frontier: Palawan. Together with my college BFF, we explored ‘hidden’ and ‘secret’ beaches (don’t ask what’s the difference), and visited the newly-proclaimed New 7 Wonders of Nature: Puerto Princesa Underground River

Aside from a missed van trip back to Puerto Princesa and some boo-boos along the way, I’d like to believe that the whole trip went well. :p El Nido remains at the top of the most beautiful places I’ve been to.


Second quarter of this year, another close friend and I explored Malaysia for a week. We started our journey in Kuala Lumpur, went north to the island of Penang, then headed south to Melaka before crossing the border to Singapore.

Our goal? To eat, pray, and shop our way through Malaysia (and Singapore) and boy did we do some damage. lol We sampled Penang’s dishes, visited temples/places of worship, and shopped ’til our bodies ache. No stall was spared in Berjaya Times Square as well as Jonker Street in Melaka. I swear, my bags were multiplying like gremlins. Mind you, I was able to sneak everything as ‘hand carry’ *evil laugh*

But if there’s one thing that will be forever etched on my mind about this trip, it’s got to be when we got bumped off the bus twice: from KL to Penang then from Penang to Melaka! Good thing the border crossing was uneventful.

Iloilo – Boracay 

Together with my cousin, three of my colleagues, and a fellow Girl Talker and her hubby, we went to Islas de Gigantes in Iloilo two days after my birthday.

We visited different islands, a sand bar, a saltwater lagoon — which could pass as a doppelganger of one of Palawan’s several lagoons/lakes — and did some climbing. And even though we had a traumatic caving experience, I know everyone still had a lot of fun.

But what I find amusing with this trip was that we took different flights (heck, my cousin and I weren’t even seated together on the plane), just met at the port the following day for island hopping, then went to different destinations on the third day. lol Two of my colleagues went to their respective homes in Iloilo, and my other colleague and the couple went to Bacolod. 

Me and my cousin? Well, we were actually torn whether we should stay and explore Iloilo, do a day trip to Guimaras, go to Bacolod for Masskara Festival, or just beach bum in Boracay. We eventually decided we’d go with the latter because our bodies were still aching from hiking and spelunking that we just wanted to lay on the beach and do nothing. Well, it took us three van rides (Iloilo to Roxas; Roxas to Kalibo; and Kalibo to Caticlan), a boat ride, and a tricycle ride (a total of 6 hours) to get there. So much for relaxation, huh?  

Singapore with LEGOLAND side trip 

And just this month, my mom and I, and — wait for it — our neighbors went to Singapore. Blame it on seat sales. So yes, within a span of four months, I was back in Singapore — and unexpectedly — in Malaysia too since we went on a side trip to LEGOLAND (which by the way was not part of the original plan).

Even though I wasn’t able to make as many trips as I wanted this year, I’m still thankful I got the chance to visit new destinations and familiar places. Always go for quality over quantity, right? 

So here’s hoping I’d be able to tick off more destinations on my (ever-growing) bucket list for 2013. Oh yes Laos and Myanmar, I have my eyes on you!


This is my contribution to Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival’s yearender:

2012 Year in Travel  

Blog compilations will be co-hosted by:

Complete compilation of previous Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival here.

0 thoughts on “2012 Year in Travel: Of New Destinations and Familiar Places

  1. quality over quantity indeed! looks like you managed to explore these spots as one would feel like living there. i missed visiting islas de gigantes this year. from your photos, i know ill have to visit that soon.

    nice to finally meet you. cheers to more fun trips in 2013!

  2. Nice to meet you too!

    I tried to explore the places as much as I can. This year, I hope I can try long term traveling naman. 🙂

    Islas de Gigantes is such a gem! I know you'll be able to visit it one of these days.

    Cheers to more travels!

  3. Nice to meet you too!

    I tried to explore the places as much as I can. This year, I hope I can try long term traveling naman. 🙂

    Islas de Gigantes is such a gem! I know you'll be able to visit it one of these days.

    Cheers to more travels!

  4. el nido and puerto princesa wow! great way to start the year, beach galore kayo I'm sure. Never been to Malaysia, reading your story is really fun, adik din ako magshopping kaya relate na relate lang talaga ako, okay lang gumastos happiness naman diba hihi. Eat pray and shop… nice! Singapore too is love, sobrang safe kasi ng lugar tapos ganda pa magpicture, tourist place sobrang linis! Hope to see more of your adventures for 2013! Cheers! Hope to see you in the future 🙂

  5. Dapat kasi Indonesia yung side trip namin from Malaysia kaso so-so lang ang reviews nung resort sa Bintan so we scratched the plan. Yung Legoland naman, nung nasa Singapore na kami lang naisipan ng mga kasama naming pumunta. Biglaan hehe

    Cheers to more travels. Hope to see you on the road one of these days. 🙂

  6. Hi C.A., Palawan really has that wow factor. I'm hoping to explore other parts of Palawan this year like Port Barton and San Vicente. Sana matuloy. 😀

    I'm not really a big shopper when overseas pero sa sobrang mura at ganda ng items sa Malaysia, di ko napigilan haha

    Hope to see you too kung magkaron ng PTB meetup. 🙂

  7. pareho pala tayo gusto ko rin mag myanmar,naudlot nga lang last year.aabangan ko na lang posts mo about myanmar in case mauna ka.

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