This blog just turned five and this is also the fifth time that I will be doing a top 10 travel list. Unlike the past two years where I had harder time choosing and ranking the places I have gone to, the list this year is much easier because I haven't really traveled much in 2010 compared to the previous two. But nevertheless, the travels of 2010 feature some of my most memorable travels to date - from the most beautiful beach I have ever seen to the most perfect-shaped volcano the Philippines has to offer. From the adventures of surfing and water-rafting to the craziest habal-habal ride ever. All that and more on my top ten travels of 2010.
Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte tops my list for 2010. The superb stretch of white sand in Mahabang Buhangin Beach is probably the best beach I have ever been. The lack of accommodation and basic necessities add to the appeal of this island paradise and all your worries will go away just by enjoying yourself at the beautiful beach scape that the place offers. This beach is a 10 in my books.
I have visited Baler twice in 2010 and truly enjoyed its rural appeal. The sunset at Sabang beach is just fascinating and the rough pounding of the waves against the rocks at the shore is truly a sight to behold. As you may already know, I lost a lot of things in Baler when my boat capsized but then again, that will not take away the wonderful memories I have of the place.
The largest city in the Philippines undoubtedly offers some of the largest adventures for those who seek it. On my second time to Davao City, I braved the rapids of its river by doing white-water rafting. This is the second time I have done this adventure (the first was in Cagayan de Oro) and it truly is twice the fun.
The centerpiece of this province is Mount Mayon but I have also visited some of oldest and picturesque churches in Tiwi, Daraga, Legaspi and Tabaco. The place also offered some of the best spicy foods around like Bicol Express and Pangat. They say that if you have a good heart, the Mayon will let you see its full glory and as evidenced by my photos atop Lignon Hill, the famous Volcano showed me her perfect cone.
A small island with a long moniker. The Island Garden City of Samal truly lives up to its name and more. The Hagimit Falls is a refreshing treat to the eyes with its series of cascades. The Maxima Aqua Fun featuring a long slide to the sea is such an adrenaline-pumping activity. But amidst those, one of the best thing to do in the island is just to relax by the beach front and watch the sun fade into the night and let the stars and the lights of the nearby Davao City thrill the night.
My only out-of-the-country travel in 2010 was in the Land of Merlion. This is my second time to this country and this time, I have visited Sentosa Island and did the Cheng Ho River Cruise. Of course, walking around the city and just marvel at this clean, urban place was among my itinerary.
The crepuscular rays of the sun as it hides behind the darkening clouds greet us in the beaches of Gumasa. Its fine, white sand is comparable to some of the best beaches of the country. My trip to Gumasa was one of the fastest and shortest visit I ever had and the habal-habal ride going to Glan was definitely one of the scariest.
The Penafrancia churches of Naga and the Wake Boarding Facilities of Pili make Camarines Sur an interesting travel destination. Although I have not tried wake boarding because of a sore elbow, I did the next best thing in CamSur Watersports Complex - that is eat their Bicol Express Pizza and spend sometime in their infinity pool. Of course, visiting their famed churches will let you feel how the Bicolanos love their Ina - the Lady of Penafrancia.
I have visited General Santos City in time for the Kalilangan Festival. The street parade with dancing and colorful costumes make for an interesting event. This was also my second time in this place famous for its tuna and of course, Manny Pacquiao.
I am torn between these two places so I decided to include them both to cap-off my list. Both are road trips with my best travel buddies. The Tagaytay trip with Ironwulf, Lagalog and Erick was filled with food trip and relaxation while the Laguna trip with Lantaw, Dong Ho and Erick included visits to Paete, Caliraya Lake and Cavinti Japanese Garden.
These are the places that made-up my top 10 travels of 2010. Some I have gone for the first time while others I have been to before but experienced them in a different way. Glory and praises to the Divine guidance that always keep me safe.
As always, have a safe journey everyone!!!