Traveling has always been my passion. I believe it was because even at a young age, I was exposed to it.
My family was very much into adventures. My siblings and I eagerly rode the back of a covered pick up which my dad spruced up with bean bags and food to keep us busy as we drove off to different places like Quezon, Pangasinan, Laguna and Batangas, to name a few. When I was 7, my parents took us on our first out of the country trip; of course it had to be Hongkong, the nearest most popular destination for kids. Even then, I tirelessly walked despite my mom’s full day tour-packed schedule. Yes, I got that from her J She plans our trips with a full itinerary so that we can do and see everything.
Our all time favorite destination then was our family hometown, Bacolod, where our relatives would take us to hot springs, rivers, farms, waterfalls and wwhatnot At 12, my parents allowed me to fly alone to spend a whole summer there. I learned how to bike, and my main mode of transportation around the village was a pair of roller blades. I enjoyed riding the back of my uncle’s motorcycle while we traveled to some secret beach or pool.
In that same year, because of an Ice Skating and Ice Hockey competition (Yes, I was a figure skater), my younger brother and I got to travel to the United States. After the events, we had a chance to see more of both the West and the East Coast.
In high school, thanks in part to airline mileage from my Mom’s business trips, and a time-sharing club membership, we were able to travel 2 weeks each year as a family. First Malaysia, then Singapore, then Thailand. When I graduated from college, I was allowed for the first time to go on a trip with purely friends. Airline “price wars” started to make tickets more affordable, and that fueled my eagerness to travel. I became a promo rat and made sure to keep watch for good deals.
To my advantage as I started to work as a pre-school teacher was that when the kids were on vacation, I would also be. I used up most semestral breaks, long weekends, holidays, and summers to visit new places, both in the country and abroad. In the summer of 2012, I went around Europe for two months, one with family, and the other either with a few friends or alone. That trip opened more avenues for my travels. I became more confident as it likewise showed my typical Filipino overprotective Dad that I could travel alone, and still get back home in one piece. I had met a lot of people of different nationalities when I was on my own (staying in hostels, not hotels, is the key), whom I was able to keep in touch with through Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Viber, and what have you. Some of these new-found friends joined me during my two-month adventure around Australia in 2013, and some even became my hosts as I traveled around South Africa in 2014.
I have always been an extrovert and cheerful, which makes it easy for me to meet and connect with people. Because of my personal knowledge about the different destinations in the Philippines, my friends call me the Philippine Ambassador for Tourism. In my travels, I always try to convince foreigners I meet to go beyond the usual Asian destinations and see the Philippines. A good number of those I have invited have actually visited, and were impressed with the beauty of our country.
Entertaining guests and touring them has become part of my portfolio. With my extensive researches on where to go, where to stay, how to get there, what to do, I feel like a tourism help desk. A lot of people ask me where it’s best to go for special occasions, how many days you need for a particular location, how to get a visa and its costs—the list of questions I’m asked seems endless. Planning trips for and with friends has actually opened up a window of opportunity for me; I have been introduced to people for whom I have arranged itineraries depending on their travel style, comfort, budget, and interests. I have also been referred to clientele abroad by people who have returned happy from the trips that I had put together for them.
Many times in the past, I had thought of documenting my travels and adventures, but though I have accumulated tons of photos, I have never been able to focus on writing about my wonderful experiences. I would like to give that a try now. I do not claim to be a prolific writer; nor do I claim to be a professional photographer. I just would want to share the fun and adventure with everyone, as I live my life to the fullest. Join me and watch me as I constantly jump cliffs, dive, surf, climb up whatever can be climbed, and more. Expect my blogs to be full of energy and high adrenaline. They don’t call me the energizer bunny for nothing.