Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking back at 2011

After completing my goal of setting foot on all eighty provinces of the Philippines last year, I decided to start visiting more countries and territories around the world. This year, I saw twenty five countries and territories, plus three more in transit.

The year began with a trip to Taipei, Taiwan hosted by China Airlines in March. This was followed by a trip to Hong Kong sponsored by Hong Kong Disneyland. To cap the month of March was the Pinoy Mountaineer Mount Kinabalu Expedition in Malaysia. I finally made it up Low's Peak at 4,095 MASL.

For the summer months of April and May, I was in North America with my niece to visit my sister. I got to visit Washington, DC; Baltimore, Maryland; Charlottesville and Mount Vernon, Virginia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Miami, Key Biscayne and Orlando, Florida.

I made my first trip to Latin America together with my tokayo Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks. We visited Mexico City, Teotihuacan, Taxco, Puebla, Xochimilco, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Queretaro, Morelia, Oaxaca (and Monte Alban), Palenque, San Cristobal de las Casas, Campeche, Merida, Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Cuernavaca, Xochicalco and Tepoztlan in Mexico; Flores, Tikal, Antigua and Guatemala City in Guatemala; and Copan, Honduras.

A few days after I got back, I flew to Guam for a trip hosted by the Guam Visitors Bureau.

For June, I visited Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Hue and My Son in Vietnam. Check out this post on Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City. I celebrated my birthday in Japan in July where I attended a UNITAR workshop on preparing nominations for UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I visited Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji, Nikko, Takayama, Shirakawa-go and Osaka.

In September, I was back in Thailand with my family. We visited Bangkok and Ayutthaya. I then flew to Phuket and took a bus to Sukhothai from Bangkok. In October, I led a trip of UP AIT students to Hong Kong and Macau.

I spent four weeks in Europe in November and early December. It was my first time to drive in Europe since I rented a car together with a fraternity brod. We visited Zurich, Sargans and Bern, Switzerland; Vaduz, Liechtenstein; Florence, Pisa, Rome, Venice and Trieste, Italy; Vatican City; San Marino; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Graz and Vienna, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia and Prague, Czech Republic driving close to 6,000 kilometers.

I then visited Lourdes and Nice, France; Andorra la Vella, Andorra and Monte Carlo, Monaco by train. My last week was spent in Paris, France to attend the 17th ICOMOS General Assembly at UNESCO Headquarters. I got to visit Versailles and Chantilly while I was there.

Local trips were memorable as well. I made two trips to Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon this year. I hope that CDO will be able to recover soon. Too sad that they had to temporarily halt the whitewater rafting tours which was a significant source of tourism income for the city. I also visited Bohol, Zamboanga del Norte, and did a food trip in Pampanga with UP AIT students. We partied in Binondo on Chinese New Year, saw the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta and Giant Lantern Festival, and attended the Independence Day Celeberations in Cavite and Rizal Sesquicentennial Ceremonies in Laguna.

I got invited by Rare to attend the launch of their Rare Pride Marine Conservation Campaign in Inabanga, Bohol. And just this week, I went food tripping in Silay, Negros Occidental. Definitely not a bad year don't you think?

Welcome 2012 and Happy New Year to all! Here is my Travel Year 2011 album.
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