2017 is almost over. Some heartaches. Sad moments too. But also plenty to rejoice about. And a good deal of memorable travels as well. Here’s a visual rundown of our travel adventures this 2017:
The start of the year led to a return trip to Potipot Island in Zambales. We’ve visited this island before in 2012 but our second visit was a much better experience.
A long trip including a drive over a stretch of rough road and spartan accommodations couldn’t prevent us from enjoying peaceful Cabongaoan Beach in Burgos, Pangasinan, another of the beautiful beaches along the province’s western coast.
On our bucket list for the longest time, Tinalisayan Island was finally scratched off last March. This island with its beautiful sandbar, turquoise waters and rust-colored rock mass is just one of the beautiful islands located off the town of San Pascual in Burias Island, Masbate.
Interesting Animasola Island is another of the islands off the coast of San Pascual. Within the island are several rocks of interesting shapes and massive sizes. But probably the most interesting feature of Animasola is its natural pool.
For a few years now we’ve decided to stay at home during Holy Week rather than join the masses of tourists on vacation. This time we decided to visit Manila Bay to observe its famous sunset.
We’ve visited Patar Beach in Bolinao, Pangasinan twice before, in 2003 and 2011. Our third visit last April brought us to a few attractions beyond Patar Beach but when we tried to re-visit the latter we backed out upon seeing a huge throng of visitors. The place had become popular over the years.
Romblon has long been famous for its excellent marble. What few people know, however, are its incredible beaches. Tiamban Beach in the capital town of Romblon in the island of the same name, is one of them.
Probably the most beautiful beach in Romblon Island is Bonbon Beach with its long, curving sandbar. Bonbon, Tiamban and Talipasak Beaches in Romblon town are all within easy access from the town center.
Besides its mainland beaches, Romblon Island also feature three smaller islands off its western coast. Cobrador, Alad and Logbon Islands also feature white sand beaches, sandbars, rich marine life and laid-back island life. All 3 islands can be easily reached via boat rides from Romblon town’s port.
Malilison Island in Culasi, Antique was our last summer destination. Located just a few minutes boat ride from the Panay mainland, Malalison has a white sand beach and another long, snaking sandbar.
Called Mararison Island by the locals, Malalison’s other attraction is its beautiful rolling hills on the western part of the island. Trekking these hills offered a unique experience among most island adventures that we’ve done.
Needing a quick getaway on a rainy August we drove over to Cavinti, Laguna to visit the Bumbungan River Eco Park and to visit a lake that we’ve frequented in the past.
Although just less than 3 hours away from Metro Manila, Bataan was usually bypassed as a destination by nature lovers. In the past year or so, however, the province’s coastal destinations have become popular almost overnight. We were initially aiming for the Five Fingers Cove and Laki Beach in Mariveles in September but ended up at Playa la Caleta in Morong instead.
We had also wanted to visit the sea turtles at their sanctuary in Morong but found out that the turtles only go there to lay their eggs in November. The Sugong Cave in Bagac, however, was a wonderful find with its sparkling emerald green waters.
We’ve been frequenting Tiaong, Quezon for the past two years but only got to re-visit celebrated pottery artist Augusto “Ugu” Bigyan’s home and pottery garden last October.
It was back to Real, Quezon in October to savor its fresh seafood and visit an old friend: the Balagbag Falls.
With the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit clogging many of the roads heading north from Metro Manila we decided to go south with a group of friends – to Cagbalete Island in Mauban, Quezon. It was to be our third visit in less than 5 years to Cagbalete but there were new things to discover about the place.
To give our travels a historical feel, we headed to Taal, Batangas for a tour of the Heritage Town. It’s not a UNESCO World Heritage site like Vigan in Ilocos Sur but the charming town boasts several Revolutionary War heroes and their abodes, many of which have been turned into museums.
Our last major travel for the year took us to Bantayan Island in Cebu, a place that we visited way back in the 1990’s and even before we set foot at Boracay, Puerto Galera and Palawan. Still, it was our first time to see gorgeous Kota Beach and Paradise Beach, both in Santa Fe town.
Two smaller but no less stunning islands off Bantayan’s eastern coast – Virgin (Silion) Island and Hilantagaan Island – helped bring a colorful year of travel to a fitting end.