While I’m all done with my yearender phlog, I have yet to draw up my 2013 Travel Calendar. Got to say…… This time around, all planning went out the window. Zilch. No plans. But I do have a bucket list.

 

 

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MACCHU PICCHU. Photo sourced from the Net.

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IGUASSU FALLS. Photo sourced from the Net.

 

 

South America in my mind. Has been for a lonnnnnng while. I missed the trip to Macchu Picchu with my friends last April 2012 as I was still based in Madrid then. Not sure if I can finally realize this dream before I turn “senior” later this year. My major concern here is the timing. April seems like a good month to go. But who’s coming with me? The trip requires quite a bit of planning and funding, as well as a high energy level. I reckon this is something I’ve got to do while my legs are still good. (Does that now explain my hike up Bhutan’s Tiger Nest Monastery and the recent “conquest” of Sagada’s SUMAGUING Cave?)

 

 

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In my book, the best beach. Ever.

 

 

But I started early with my local destinations this 2013. Finally, I struck El Nido off my bucket list! Did Tours A and B covering some 10 islands, though 5 of those would have been enough to keep me smiling for some time. As a bonus, I even managed to see the twin beaches of Nacpan and Calitang. Now, these beaches are truly must-sees but at the same time, I have concerns it may turn into another “Boracay”. Hopefully not. I brought my entire family to Boracay years before tourists came but subsequent visits ended in disappointments over how local authorities irresponsibly tramped up the place. But I digress….. Back to my travel plans đŸ˜‰

 

 

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BATANES ISLAND. Photo sourced from the Net.

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MOUNT PINATUBO. Photo sourced from the Net.

 

 

I’m booked to go to Batanes this March. Wish me luck. Stories about that treacherous boat ride to Sabtang Island give me nightmares. And a second visit to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan. I blogged about my first visit and that blog seems to be a magnet for controversy. Different folks, different strokes. I’ve said my piece on this. Just check out my post as I don’t wish to repeat it here. Again, I digress. My apologies đŸ˜¦

 

 

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My most controversial blog is about Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, a collection of heirloom structures from all over the country and reassembled here in Bagac, Bataan.

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Stingless Jelly Fish in Bucas Grande Island in Siargao? Photo sourced from the Net.

 

 

Before then, I hope to be able to trek to the Mount Pinatubo Crater. Maybe this February. And then there’s a couple more local destinations I want to do with family and friends. Topping the list is Siargao. Not to surf, but to check out the non-stinging jellyfish off Bucas Grande Island near Siargao Island. Remind me to research on what’s the best time to visit. đŸ™‚

 

 

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There is so much more, here and abroad. At home, I have missed Kapurpurawan Cave when my family spent a long weekend in Ilocos up north. We also missed Caramoan Island when we did the road trip to Bicol. That, along with the Tulapos Marine Sanctuary in Sorsogon. I skipped a visit to Guimaras Island in my Iloilo trips. Likewise with Camiguin Island in my several trips to Cagayan de Oro City.

With 7,107 Philippine Islands, I am drawn to the tiniest in the Visayas Region — the mystical Siquijor Island. Also heard much about the Biri Rock Formation in Northern Samar while I am still grappling with my anxieties in even considering Tawi-Tawi Island. I have read the wonderful blogs of my young friends from the Net and feel pangs of jealousy over their adrenaline-pumping adventures and boundless energy and enthusiasm. Before we even notice, another year would be over. I should find myself back in Madrid to spend autumn and winter. Christmas and New Year 2014 in the land of cochinillo, jamon y quezos.   Not the best time to do my long-planned Camino de Santiago. Winter is my worst enemy. Think body aches and atrophied knees. Well, let’s see how this year 2013 goes. Vale!