A Gratitude For 2016 Adventures

Before the year 2016 ends, I would like to honor it by looking back on the journeys it has brought me, and on to the wonderful places my feet dragged me into.

This year has been a hustle of struggles and stresses, but on the contrary, it has also showered me with blessings. Blessings that came in the form of friends and adventures. Friends who became so dear to me. Friends who have been there for me to support and ride on with the randomness of my thoughts and who have been my partners in my life’s crazy adventures. Adventures that brings not only memories but also experiences that made a huge impact on my whole being. Adventures that measured and tested my capacities and limits. Adventures that made me grow and become a better version of my self.

As I look back on all the adventures I had this year, I can say that this has been a “hell’a crazy and fully packed” year. Sit back, read, and enjoy as we revisit the places I’ve been this 2016.

Rancho Cancio – Adlaon, Cebu City

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It was early January when we had an extension of our 2015 Yearly Christmas Celebration with my barkada. We booked the whole place for a day. Days spent anywhere with friends will never be dull. As they say, friends will always be your family when blood is not a factor. We played games, talked, laughed, enjoyed each other’s company and of course, a night full of booze.

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Rancho Cancio is one of the most booked place for team buildings and family gatherings. You can book their place by contacting them through social media and from the information provided by people over the internet.

Kalanggaman Island – Palompon, Leyte

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February, the start of summer itch when we had a quick weekend break at one of the famous white sand islands in Leyte. It was actually an impromptu trip. Planned by dawn and executed hours after. This is one of the crazy things I’ve done this year, but everything was all worth it! There were only four of us who went through since the rest of my barkada had other prioritized appointments.

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Kalanggaman island has been known for its long stretch of sand bar and pristine water. Reaching the island is a bit of a thrill due to the strong waves as if guarding the island from the incoming visitors, but once arrived, all you’ll have is the feeling of awe. Kapit lang bes, makakarating din tayo.

Siargao Island – Surigao del Norte

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March, the official kick-off of summer season. We were supposed to visit Sohoton Cove to experience swimming with the jelly fishes, but again, made a last-minute change and rerouted to Siargao island. Our plane tickets were not set for Siargao, but nothing can stop an adventure junkie from reaching his destination, so we set forth and redesigned our itinerary and got the necessary rides to reach Siargao.

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Siargao island is not only known for its internationally recognized surfing spots, but also for its equally praise worthy islets and beaches. If you think you can only do few things in Siargao, think again.

Mt. Babag and Chalet Hills – Cebu City

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It was last June when NCR Trekkers Club joined the Nation Mountain Clean-up day. It was a climb with a purpose. A give-back to mother nature. My friend from the club invited me, for the clean-up operation was open to all who are interested, thus I also extended the invitation to my barkada. It was not my first time climbing Mt. Babag, but every instance is another set of experiences.

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Mt. Babag is one challenging mountain to conquer. The mountain is located in Cebu City with the usual jump-off point in Brgy. Guadalupe. It is not the height (752+ MASL) of the mountain that drains you. It is the harsh environment and the long 3-hour trail trek especially when the sun is at its glorious peak.

Mt. Lanaya – Alegria, Cebu

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This has been one of the most challenging trail I have been for this year. Once again, I was invited by my friends from NCR Trekkers Club to join their freedom climb, last June, to commemorate the Philippine Independence day. This climb brought my backpack to resign. Luckily, I was able to make it home before it totally gave up. Mt. Lanaya just stands 720+ MASL, but the difficulty came not with the height, it’s about the trail. Luckily, with us were some of the experienced climbers equipped with essential gears that helped us in conquering the mountain.

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You can surely underestimate Mt. Lanaya because of its height. But do not be deceived, for the difficulty comes with its ever steep trail which brings a challenge upon going up and even more challenging on the descent.

Mt. Mauyog and Mt. Manunggal – Balamban, Cebu

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As part of the pre-climb for our “supposedly” upcoming Mt. Amuyao trek, we decided to hit different mountains every weekend for the whole month of June. Mt. Mauyog (1,027+ MASL) and Mt. Manunggal (1,003+ MASL) happened to be one of the mountains on our list. We planned it to be just a day trek since we also have first time climbers on our group. It was one funny climb since my friend Diane pushed through even though she’s drunk and gotten no sleep yet. She did quit less than half way of the trail though. Still, the rest of us continued and made it though Mt. Mauyog and Manunggal’s peak .

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Mt. Mauyog and Mt. Manunggal are just neighboring peaks located in Balamban. Mt. Mauyog has gathered several visitors for its peculiar stone patterns at the peak. Mt. Manunggal on the other hand is known for its historical background where the late President Magsaysay met his demise due to plane crash. On the site is a statue to commemorate the late president and the others who died during the crash.

Round Panay Island – Guimaras Island – Bacolod

It was July where me and my friends embarked on a nine-day long journey around Panay island. It totally was a body reset experience for me. Being away from the city for nine days is surely a therapy.

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This was our first destination of the trip. The weather was not cooperative on our first day. The sands of the islands where not as white as expected. If the sun had showed up, it could have been a better experience. Nevertheless, we savored the moment.

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Another island hopping where we got drunk with the ever so cheap scallops. This was the destination where we really got roasted by the sun. #nognog

  • People’s Park – Roxas, Capiz

Seafood binge eating at one of the food restaurants found near the park.

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After we got roasted by the sun, we headed to one of the coldest and cleanest springs in the Philippines.

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Hailed as one of the cleanest rivers in the Philippines. This river is connected with the Malumpati Spring and guides the waters out into the sea.

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I can’t say anything else but… I LOVE THIS PLACE AND I WANT TO GO BACK!

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The waterfall was solely ours on that day. There were no other visitors except for local kids casually enjoying the waters.

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The relaxation, the province feels, the fresh air, the fresh foods, and the natural ambiance. It was a total soul reset and therapy. I am officially charmed by the beauty and the simplicity of the life in Antique.

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The mangoes and the historical background of the province.

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The story and the history behind the demise of the old mansion now called The Ruins. The adventure packed Mambukal Spring Resort. The food and the famous cansi house and Calea pâtisserie.

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Food. Food. And more Food. Who could miss the great tasting foods in Iloilo?

Surigao del Sur

Who does not seize their birth month? Of course, I cannot let my birth month pass without quenching my thirst for adventure. Last August I embarked once again for another adventure.

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A Niagara-like waterfall in the Philippines, but waaaayyy better! *excuseMeForBeingBias*

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The river was indeed enchanting. A place fit for water fellas like me.

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I would love to get back to this spring on a day where there is lesser crowd.

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We did not bother to dip on the waters since the cave is located just right at the side of the road and no changing rooms available around.

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I fell in love with the waterfall right on the very first time I visited it. The water is so clean and so cold and the place was solely ours when we visited it.

Cordillera Province

September this year, we again embarked on a journey to the mountainous provinces of the Philippines. This trip has surely made a great impact in my life.

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I’ve been on this city for several times already, but each visit has its own unique story.

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This mountain has a great impact in my life. I had so many life realizations during our trek on this mountain. Realizations and decisions that became a major turning point of my life. I will never forget this mountain and will always stay imprinted in my memories.

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Thought that we would not see the glorious rising of the sun due to no available clearing. Indeed, good things come to those who wait.

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This was my first time trying out pottery. It was really good and fun.

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The village defines peace and quite. Simple living and strong sense of neighborhood. I also did not miss the chance to meet Apo Whang Od and lay my skin as a canvass for her art, which is the tribal way of tattooing.

Mt. Takliad – Argao, Cebu

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Happened last October, surely a memorable mountain for me, personally. This mountain made me invest in some essential camping gears like a tent and rain poncho. We got lost in the middle of the trail. Lastly, what made this more memorable are the friends that I made. Special mention: madz, oink, kang and gors. You know who you are.

Osmeña Peak – Dalaguete-Badian, Cebu

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The impromptu decision to go straight from Mt. Takliad to Osmeña Peak. Another monumental trip. This trip made me know more about the people I just met from Mt. Takliad never knowing that they would become one of my great friends.

Kawasan Falls – Badian, Cebu

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Straight from Osmeña Peak, we traversed to Kawasan Falls in Badian to wash out the sweats and stink from our bodies. They say that it is not the destination but the journey. The memorable talks, laughs and other randomness.

Mt. Naupa – Naga City, Cebu

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Once again, I became a joiner with the NCR Trekker’s Club event. This trek was supposed to be a year ender trek of the club held on the month of November. Ironically, there were more guests than the actual club members present.

Bocaue Peak – Cebu City, Cebu

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Another impromptu plan. Quickly planned by night and executed early morning of the following day. Three adventure seekers embarking on a mountain day trek. Aside from Christmas season, this trip is one of the highlights of my December for this year.

Each year has always been a year of discovery and adventures. Every destination comes with another learning. Through the years, I have learned and gained new lessons as I grow into the man I hope to be and I will be. This year, I cannot count all the things that I learned and realized as I opened my eyes everyday for 365 days.

As the year advances, I could have sworn that time really flows so fast. It was just like yesterday when I stepped on to the floors of Rancho Cancio. Counting the places that I have been this year, I can’t think of anything else but to be thankful. It never crossed into my mind that I have already visited plenty of places this year. I thought that it wasn’t still enough. I am still craving for more. Nevertheless, I am still grateful for all the blessings that came to me this year.

On this last day of 2016, for all the great things that has happened to me, I cannot find any means to completely express my sincere thanks and gratitude to all the people that made a great impact in my life this year. For the love and support. For the company and friendship. For the lessons and advices. For everything! Of course, I must not forget, to God for allowing me to experience all of these and for the continuous blessings. Ikaw na gyud Lord!

It really was a great year!

Kudos 2016!

Cheers to more travels this 2017!

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow tot! A year full of adventures! Thank you also for all jaunts especially the impromptu ones. Never thought we’ll cross our journeys and became friends. (Friends ba? Hahahah) cheers for more laag on 2017!

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  2. Looking back to the year 2016 is always something that we can reflect on and a preparation for another year to arrive. You owned an awesome adventure this year and I wish you more adventure for the coming year. Happy New Year!

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  3. Great post! I’m starting to make the most of my wanders as well. By the way, I nominated you for a Mystery Blogger Award! This is in no way obligatory. But I hope you participate. “Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion. Okoto Enigma

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