Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - A Year Of Travels and Photos

It was a year of travel-photo journey that took me to amazing places of Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and a couple of countries outside the Islands Philippines. Year 2009 allowed me to go deep into forests and mountains as well as lazed around some of the most scenic beaches I have ever seen. It was also about learning history first-hand and be accompanied by some of the most awesome bloggers of the land. And speaking of Blogging, 2009 will be fondly remembered because this humble blog was a first-time finalist in the Photo-Blog category of the Philippine Blog Awards. To recap, here are my monthly account of the places I have featured here in Lawstude's Journey:

The lush Sierra Madre Mountain Range was a prominent display in these JANUARY posts that covered the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija and Aurora. Posts for this month included the quaint Saint Dominic Church in Bayombong, the foggy Dalton Pass, the beautiful mountainside of Laur, the calming Dupinga River in Gabaldon and the idyllic town of Dingalan.

Adventure in nature best describe posts in FEBRUARY. It was my first time to do White Water Rafting in Cagayan de Oro and also my first time to explore the amazing island paradise of Camiguin. Cagayan de Oro truly exemplified the "Gold" in its name while the volcanic Camiguin Island was indeed a seventh heaven for outdoor lovers.

History and festivities highlighted MARCH. It was my nth time to witness the Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City, and imho, it gets grander and better every year. A visit to Dambana ng Kagitingan located in Mount Samat, Bataan was also posted this month.

APRIL is all about summer and Oh Boy! what an amazing summer that was. Cagbalete Island off the coast of Mauban was just unbelievable with its long and wide shoreline while the beach in Pagbilao has become one of my instant favorites. The scenic Agta Beach and Tinago Falls in Biliran were also featured this month.

The merry month of MAY showed the continuation of the Biliran series visiting the Karaha Falls and the Mainit Hot Springs. A tour around "new" Macau as well as a walk around the "old" Macau were also featured. The month also started the posts on the off-beaten paths of Puerto Galera that included trips to Tamaraw Falls and Sitio Aninuan.

JUNE ushered the start of classroom season but there is no better teacher than the experiences you had while on the road. The beaches of Puerto Galera, the crowded Hong Kong and its harbor and the historic place of Tacloban City in Leyte provided enough experiences for me to learn what no classroom can teach.

I was a kid again in JULY. It was fun, fun, fun in Disneyland without getting my feet wet or my clothes soiled. Ivan Man Dy was also featured this month along with his Malacanang Tour where I got to see the Insides of the Presidential Palace with some of the most awesome Travel Bloggers of the land.

A mix of popular destinations and off-the-beaten tracks were featured in AUGUST. I have revisited the famous Hundred Islands of Alaminos, Pangasinan and have a post each on the three most popular islands (Governor's, Children's and Quezon). Backpacking Bataan was also made starting from Looc Cove in Bagac to Playa de Calete in Morong. A return to Manila's most famous walls of Intramuros capped the month.

Nature at its best is showcased in SEPTEMBER, my favorite month. The rough sea trip to Kabatian Island was all worth when you see the amazing rugged scape of rocks and seas. Imugan and Malico are two captivating spots in Nueva Vizcaya which showcased a wide array of natural high from the falls of the former to the pine forest of the latter. The month also started the series on the idyllic mountain town of Sagada.

OCTOBER featured more of the tranquil mountain town of Sagada. Sagada has been drawing backpackers for decades because of its lovely hikes, yoghurts and lemon pies and the companionship of like-minded travellers. I always wanted to go there and the place truly live up to its hype and more. A return to Blue Lagoon aka Maira-ira was also featured this month. This time around, I was with a different company but equally enjoyable.

Visaya's busiest metro and Ilocos' greatest natural structure were all in NOVEMBER. From the historical Cebu City, waiting until the sun sets in Mandaue City, to the varied scapes of Lapu-lapu City - there is always something new to learn and discover about Metropolitan Cebu. And up north, in Ilocos Norte, is one of the best natural formations I have seen - Kapurpurawan Rocks. Its whiteness and its contrast to the blue sky and sea is just a sight that will linger in your memories forever.

DECEMBER ended with a bang because of Bantayan Island and Taal, Batangas. Prominent in these places were century-old churches and the simple way of living. But the similarity ends there. The relaxed, bucolic little island of Bantayan is famous for its exquisite white sand beaches while the historic, small town of Taal is famous for its old Spanish colonial buildings that seem to take you back in time.

I thank GOD for keeping me safe in my travels and for letting me meet some of the best bloggers in these trips that have become my friends. It was a great 2009 for me but it is difficult not to believe that the next year will be better than the old one. Future is always good, no matter what happens. It will always give us what we need and what we want in secret. It will always bless us with right gifts. Thus in a deeper sense our belief in the New Year cannot deceive us.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!


41 comments:

  1. Fully booked ka this 2009 ah!

    More travels to come in 2010. Health and wealth as well.

    Happy New Year.

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  2. whew, what a year! and thank you for bringing us with you.

    wishing you more adventures in 2010!

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  3. Wow! Looking forward to your 2010 trips! Ü

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  4. astig ang 2009! maraming salamat ulit sa samahan. dami din nating joint trips sa taong ito. here's to more trips next year! cheers!

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  5. i love this post!!! i hope i get to travel the way you and your friends do. :) many more travels in the coming year!

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  6. awesome...i like how the pics were presented..more travel blogs in 2010.
    Happy New Year attorney..

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  7. Awesome year. Hope to see more in 2010. Happy New Year!

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  8. hanep! dami mong biahe!

    more travels pa para sa atin!

    happy new year!

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  9. nice pics. pwedeng gawing calendar!!
    Hopefully, in the new year, I'll get to travel more.

    Happy New Year Lawstude!!!

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  10. Happy new year to you and to your whole family. More blessings for the year of the tiger!

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  11. Great post! Thank you... That was some great shots...

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  12. I love the collage/presentation. Thanks to travel bloggers, it's like travelling with all of you. Happy new year and more travels for 2010!

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  13. I envy your travels Attorney, hope I could do the same in 2010. Thanks for sharing these wonderful trips with us.

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  14. Is this post made to make me envious of your trips? Ayhetchu! Seriously, thanks for the trips and travels because this gives me the inspiration to do more in what I do, and get the groove to travel light in the next coming opportunities! Happy New Year Lawstude!

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  15. happy new year!!! wish you more travels in the next year.

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  16. more travel for the year 2010! happy new year! ^__^

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  17. Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing with us your trips and adventures :-)

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  18. Jampacked every month! :D

    It's great to have finally met and traveled with you as well this year! More travels and adventures in 2010. Happy New Year :D

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  19. LS: You had a wonderful year traveling to so many places. I had so much fun visiting with you. Have a great New Years celebration.

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  20. you did all of that amazing coverage while having a full time job ? Impressive :) Well, I look forward to more of your photo expeditions in 2010 ! Cheers to you :)

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  21. That's a busy itinerary for 2009 - you could fill an entire calendar for 2010 again. Happy travels in 2010 Lawstude!

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  22. Happy New Year. More travels for 2010.

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  23. Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you've always wanted to do but couldn't find the time. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make a promise you don't think you can keep. Walk tall, and smile more. You'll look ten years younger. Don't be afraid to say, 'I love you'. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.

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  24. yun sa cagbalete ang paborito ko sa lahat
    happy 2010, lawstude

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  25. Your travels recorded in splendid photos never disappoint. I look forward to more in 2010.

    Wishing you a fabulous, fun and fulfilling New Year!

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  26. Happy New Year to you. What a lot of work you have put into your blog and it is indeed awesome. Thank you, too, for visiting me and leaving such memoriable and wise words. May God bless you in 2010. Judyx

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  27. Wonderful Adventures through Your Year...!!!!!!
    May the New Year fullfill all your dreams and wishes!!!!
    ciao elvira

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  28. Wow dude! Amazing photos! I'm envious that you have all that time to travel around. I would if I could you see, I'm a travel addict myself. :D More power and more traveling in 2010!

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  29. Have a great 2010!! Keep on shooting and sharing the pics with us.

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  30. Wow so many great adventures! Happy new year and wishing you more travels for 2010!

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  31. I hope I get to visit the places you visited last year.

    Merry New Year!

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  32. How blessed to be able to get away so often. Here's to more adventures in 2010! I enjoyed the journey. Thanks.

    Happy New year!

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  33. Awesome 2009. Have a safe trip in 2010.

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  34. Dear Mrs. Daisy Cline of CDO EXPAT LADIES CHARITIES.

    Rather you want to admit it or not the reality is your your group is defined by its members and the misbehavior of certain trashy members does affect public opinion regarding your charity. This said you should "police" your members by establishing rules of conduct for your members instead of letting their trashy behavior stain the image of your group. In fact most organizations have such rules in place.

    Also, A whorehouse, Spooks, is not a appropriate venue for a charity. If the expats in Cagayan de Oro want to meet in that establishment so be it but certainly it is not a suitable venue for charitable venues. I mean do you honestly realize the the pimp owner, Michael Mountstephen, profits by selling pussy and turning pinays into mere objects? Not to mention what the populace of CDO must think seeing you ladies and your foreign spouses meet in a whorehouse that no respectable lady would step foot in.

    Check out blog below for more info:

    http://sexpatswallofshame.blogspot.com/2009/12/sexpats-whorehousesphilanthropists.html

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  35. Wow! What wonderful memories of your travels! And you sure travelled a lot throughout the year! Thanks for sharing with us all the lovely photos!

    Happy New Year and look forward to more travel stories and photos from you! : )

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  36. Happy New Year to you. Wow you are so lucky to be able to travel every month. :) Hope 2010 will be a better year for all of us.

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  37. Hello Guys,

    This is a interesting topic and I actually ran across a blog , link below, where they are exposing a CDO based foreign bugaw, named Michael Mountstephen, who claims to have political protection in CDO to carry out his vile acts of exploitation. The interesting thing is the blog uses Michael Mountstephens own words to paint a picture of the situation. I highly advise all to view it as its quite enlightening.

    http://sexpatswallofshame.blogspot.com

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  38. Alang Sa Kasayuran Sa Tanan,

    Niabot sa akong panimoot nga kadaghanan sa mga dumodoong sa Cagayan de Oro, nagakinabuhi nga murag sila dili mga dayo. Ingon sa mga dumodoong, ang mga opesyal daw ang naggahin kanila ug tungod para magpuyo nga hapsay sa Cagayan de Oro. Akong ginalauman nga ang mga pulong nga gibuhian sa mga dayo, dili tinood, kay kung mao man, masuko gayud ako sa mga nidaog nga opisyal sa pag-atiman nila niining mga dumodoong. Tinood kaha ang ilang gipanayon? Kung dili man kini tinood, akong ginahangyo sa mga opisyal sa lugar nga pangitaon ug pahawaon kining mga tawhanan sa dakbayan sa Cagayan de Oro. Kung walay kalihokan nga mahitabo sukwahi sa mga dumodoong, kini nagpamatood lang nga ginapaburan sa mga taong naa sa posisyon ang ilang mga kalihukan.

    Ang unang dumodoong nga gikan sa Amerika ginganlan ug Gordon B. Elletson. Si Gordon Elletson nag-angkon nga siya nagapang-abuso ug mga dalaga ug nag-angkon nga siya naay sakit sa paghunahuna. Dilikado kaayo kini nga tao sa mga nagapuyo sa Cagayan de Oro. Niaging tuig, si Gordon Elletson ang niatake sa isa ka batang lalaki nga ginganlan ug Xavier Madlangbayan sa outreach program sa US Embassy didto sa Pryce Plaza Hotel, cagayan de Oro. Tungod niini, gikasuhan si Gordo sa pag-abusar, apan kini wala makapungong sa iyang pag-gawas ug pag-uli, apil pa ang pagpakalat mahitungod sa iyang trabaho kadungan sa pagtawag sa lolo sa bata nga si Dr. Severino Madlangbayan ug unggoy nga gakaon ug saging. Gidimanda sa pamilya ni Madkangbayan ang dayo apan wala sila makapakita ug ebidensiya. Sa akong nahibaloan, nagapangita ang doktor ug paagi para maabrihan pag usab ang kaso. Wala pa nakuntinto si Gordon elletson, iyang gipakalat ang mga hulagway sa mga batang babae nga nakasuot lamang ug bra, uban pa ang mahitungod sa iyang pagkaligo kauban ang mga batang babae ug ginabayaran kini niya matag adlaw. Makalagot kaayo kini nga balita labi pa kay sa ginaingon ni Gordon nga gina-proteksiyonan siya ni Congressman Rufus Rodriguez gikan sa ikaduhang distrito sa Cagayan de Oro.

    Ang ikaduha nga dumodoong gikan sa Bretanya nga ginganlan ug Michael Mountstephen. Iyang gihugawan ang maayong pangalan sa Cagayan de Oro. Ang dumodoong nanag-iya ug isa ka kasa nga ang pangita mao ang pagpamaligya sa mga batang babae sa Cagayan de Oro. Ang dautang dumodoong nabuhi sa iyang pag-abusar sa mga babae ug kini iyang giangkon sa mga pag-tipon tipon sa internet. Gawas sa pag-gamit sa mga batang babae para maka kuwarta, gigamit pud niya ang Department of Tourism sa Pilipinas para mabaligya ang ilang mga serbisyo sa www.spooks.com. Gisulatan namo ang direktor sa DOT 10 pimaagi sa e-mail nga nagkanayon mahitungod sa mao nga kasa nga dili rehistrado sa DOT 10 ug bisan kanus-a dili mahitabo nga marehistro kini. Apan, padayon gihapon sa pagpakalat si Michael Mountdtephen mahitungod sa iyang binuhatan. Ang nakadugang gubot pa niini ang pangsulti ni Michael nga ang mayor sa ciudad ug uban pang naa sa posisyon ang magkauban nga naga suporta kaniya sa Cagayan de Oro City.

    Tinood kaha ang ginakanayon niiining mga dumodoong? Ang gahum ba nga gihatag sa katawhan para mahimutang sa maayo nga posisyon ang ubang pulitiko gigamit lang niya para suportahan ang pagpang-abuso sa mga batan-on, pagsuportan sa mga dautang tao gikan sa gawas sa nasud? Akong ginalaoman nga kini dili tinood ug mao man kini mahimong hamon sa mga naa sa lingkuranan nga mahatagan ug pagtagad. Pinaagi niini, maipakita sa katawhan nga ang mga sama anang butanga dili kinahanglan mahitabo sa ciudad. Kini isa lang ka panawagan ug hinaot nga mahatagan kini ug pagtagad sa labing madali nga panahon para atong makita ang hustisya.

    Para sa dugang pang mga detalye mahitungod niining mga dumodoong, mahimo ninyong makita ang mga ebidensiya nga natigom sa http://sexpatswallofshame.blogspot.com/. Dinhi inyong masaksihan ang kadautan nga among gipangbutyag ug hinaot nga kini mahatagan ug pagtagad.

    Matinud-Anon,

    Steven

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