2008 was a great year for me, and for i gotta go!, even though my travels were cut down by about 50%. still, i enjoyed the places i've been to, and i hope that the travel information i provided got to help you out a little bit.
just a quick recap of the i gotta go! travel adventures for this year:
this is susie's yearly trip, and it was my third time to join him. mariveles, while not a bustling tourist destination, is a quaint little town with quite an amazing scenery. it never fails to recharge me and susie, and it's always a good trip to start any year.
will i get to go again in 2009? i wonder what i'll get to see.
i greeted my 26th year by hiking to mt. pinatubo. it marked a lot of firsts--first time to hike up a volcano, first time to swim in a crater, first time to be buried under volcanic ash.
can't wait for my birthday this year. i have nothing planned yet, but we'll see.
puerto princesa, palawan
this time, it's for susie's birthday. we booked tickets to puerto princesa, and got to enjoy a whirlwind weekend in palawan's capital. i finally saw the subterranean river, and enjoyed feast after feast in the many restaurants of the city.
capones island, pundaquit, san antonio, zambales
i can't seem to get enough of this place, so i invited friends to spend holy week enjoying the beach of san antonio. it was three days of feasting on cheap, but delicious food, soaking up some rays, tossing the ol' disk, and just plain lounging around on the beach.
a declared holiday had susie and me taking a short drive to the beautiful little nook of pila, laguna. it's a little historical pocket of great churches and old heritage houses. always nice to spend a day exploring the nearby towns.
after 17 years, i got to set foot in baguio again. it has greatly changed, and the absence of that distinct pine scent disappointed me a little, but i guess it's alright when you get to shop for great fashion pieces at rock-bottom prices!
in fact, i enjoyed my revisit and re-revisited late in the year, for a balikan trip with my girls. nothing binds us girls better than an ukay-ukay trip to the city of pines! (or the city of ukay)
andanita taj, tagaytay
we got tempted by this new indian-inspired bed and breakfast in tagaytay, so we decided to check it out when we were invited to a wedding held in the city. it's a great deal, since you get a nicely-decorated room, free continental breakfast, and massage treatment for two!
to celebrate our anniversary, susie and i decided to bite the bullet and finally travel out of the country together. we ended up landing in changi airport, with susie burning up with a fever. still, we got to see some parts of the city, and we discovered a nice little place to stay called one florence close.
can't wait to go back to the lion city. but maybe not in 2009.
the national museum tour
that sunday i spent touring the national museum would be the inspiration of the first ever i gotta go! contest. john silva's irreverent yet informative tour was inspiring and refreshing, and i certainly learned a lot in that one sunday afternoon.
i'm hoping the winners of my contest got to enjoy their tour as well.
siem reap, cambodia
i was away from the philippines for nine days in november, as i traveled to siem reap, cambodia and bangkok, thailand. siem reap's wondrous temples were astounding, and to this day, i still find a hard time believing that i was really there, touching stones and walking on paths that have been around for centuries.
the villa siem reap is the best place to stay if you want to visit this historic city.
bangkok was quite an experience. i definitely enjoyed my time there, but there is still something that i can't quite put my finger on. it was a busy city, with people who are "same-same," but not quite.
i have yet to write down my thoughts on the trip, but when i do figure out what it was i wanted to say, you will see it here. bangkok and i will see each other again, of that i am sure.
well, what do you know? i thought i hadn't traveled much this year, but as it turned out, i got to see a lot anyway. there are still more places to see, and i'm hoping to travel to more far-flung places and share the experience with you.
happy new year, everyone!
i gotta go!