Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ivan About Town is ten years old!

I still remember the scene vividly. Ten years ago in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, I sat down in front of a rented computer at Trekkers Lodge (a hostel which no longer exists), and typed my first blog entry. It was a spur of the moment thought to actually start a blog.

The blog title, something I simply came up with off the top of my head, in the few minutes I had on the rented computer, was inspired by the thought of being a man about town for travel. And so Ivan About Town became the silly title of my blog.

It was 2005. And I was among the first Filipinos to take advantage of the entry of low cost carriers in the Philippines. Seat sales and piso fares were unheard of before these airlines entered the Philippine market. I booked a "free seat" plane ticket to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia and what happened next is history. 

Ten years later, I have so many things to be thankful for. 

Indeed, this blog has brought me places, literally and figuratively.

In 2007, Ivan About Town was named Best Travel Blog at the 1st Philippine Blog Awards.

I set foot on all provinces of the Philippines in 2010. In 2012, a new province was created and I visited that as well. My lucky stars have brought me to 72 countries and territories so far. I'm crossing my fingers for more trips!

The blog has also been an effective communication tool for our heritage conservation and cultural tourism advocacy. No doubt, it is a big part of the advocacy and one of the reasons I was named one of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in 2012.

This month is also the 30th anniversary of my first international trip and travel journal, which I wrote when I was six. I have so many wonderful memories traveling as a kid.

Sometimes, I can't believe I was able to last this long given that the blog is something I work on during my spare time. The past few months have been extra busy, with quite a number of new responsibilities on top of the old ones, which meant a scarcity of posts as you all may have noticed. But we're still here and celebrating this milestone!

I have so many things to be thankful for. And to all of you who have been part of my journey, thank you!

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