The year 2016 was eventful for me in terms of trips. By my last count, I’ve managed to go to nine different places last year, each one endearing its own way.
My friend and I went to Cebu to participate in the Sinulog Festival. Not the best idea, because I hate large crowds, and we almost got run over in a stampede. We were able to visit other historical spots though, and spent a day in a beach resort in Mactan, so it’s not a total bust.
This trip is proof that last-minute planning works for some groups. We visited many places during this trip, including BenCab’s museum, Burnham Park, and other popular spots in Baguio. My favorite, though, is when we exited Baguio and drove up to Kabayan to see the Timbak Mummy Caves. Free from the city’s pollution, the view was heavenly, the air was fresh, and the exercise (we had to descend a long and winding staircase) wasn’t so bad.
Tagaytay (June, October, November)
I visited Tagaytay thrice last year because a friend owns a house there (free food and lodging. Woot!). I ate bulalo, went to see the famous Taal Volcano, and, well, ate some more bulalo. But I also explored other places, one of which is the Tagaytay’s public library, where I found a Stegosaurus pulling a kalesa, of all things.
Like most family vacations, my mom, sisters, and I (plus two friends) flew to Iloilo without a set itinerary in mind. But that’s all right, because we were able to eat delicious batchoy, tour an ancestral bahay-na-bato that serves the best tsokolate eh in the world, and discover other tasty treats in the city.
Guimaras is best explored by boat, which is what we did. Island hopping is made more fun when the water is crystal clear and the sky is peppered with clouds. Visiting the SEAFDEC Marine Base was educational, too.
I rarely go to Manila, but last year, a friend and I ventured to Rizal Park and spent the day checking out museums and Asian gardens. Exploring the city under the sun is no walk in the park (bad pun, sorry), but seeing the paintings and artifacts in the National Museum made the trip worth it.
August is for visiting the granddad in Laguna, and last year, we celebrated the occasion by participating in a boodle fight. We don’t really visit any historic landmark or tourist spot in Laguna, but we spend time with the family, and that’s important, too.
You could say my friend and I ate our way through Bacolod. Chicken inasal, cakes, batchoy, napoleones—you name it, we probably ate it. But we also visited the famous Ruins, and traveled two hours to bathe in the hot springs in Mambungkal, so they balanced each other out.
Capping off my 2016 is an impromptu visit to the Cultural Center of the Philippines, which doesn’t really sound all that exciting, except that I got a backstage tour of the place, literally. Perks of knowing someone who works there, I guess. Highlight of the tour: Setting foot on the stage of the Main Theater. As a thespian, it was a dream come true. Never mind that I didn’t actually perform, though I may have hopped around in excitement while I was there.
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So there you have it. My 2016 in trips. Have any favorite trips to share? Feel free to drop a line in the comments’ section. I would love to hear from you!