December 21 came and went... Yet the Mayan apocalypse didn't. A simple misinterpretation of an ancient calendar, sensationalized by a Hollywood flick. Perceived as bollocks, but a darn good reason for a marathon of year-end shindigs across the globe.
A handful of people actually called NASA to consult if it's wise to commit suicide soon (Since when did it become a help line?) while others merely shrugged off the news, muttering a slew of words: rubbish... susmaryosep... Isn't maya a bird?
This bedlam brought about fascinating varieties of human beings, didn't it?
While the rest of civilization who took it slightly seriously contemplated on repenting sins and spending precious time with loved ones, Pinoy Travel Bloggers crammed their 100 things to do before I turn 100 in one year. Okay, maybe they weren't successful in accomplishing that, however they definitely traveled like it's the end of the world.
Now let's say alarmaggedon did set off sometime in 2012, where could have these travel bloggers witnessed doomsday?
Mich Borlagdan of Chasing Philippines
"... I hope everyone would always celebrate life like it's their last day on earth."
Not only did Mich chase the Philippines, she even stepped beyond its borders this year. On her 2012 Travels: Chasing Places Like It's the End of the World post though, she focused on the local destinations she visited. She watched Igorot hunks dance, romanced with a book in Calaruega, hunted for ghosts in Baguio's Diplomat Hotel, and fulfilled her ultimate dream of living with the Ifugao people for a week. She also trekked up Mt. Pinatubo's crater to see if the lake's water is hotter than her. True story. Had the volcano erupted, signaling the end of the world, I wonder if she'd still consider this little experiment of hers as worthwhile.
Reiza Dejito of Wander If Your Must
"If 2012 were my lover, he would be the bad-boy, dare-devilish type who would whisk me away on adventurous weekends in a Harley."
This year, Reiza had a year-long love affair with danger (But she and boyf are still very much together, sorry ladies.). She exchanged tales with a tribal warrior in the newest country in the world, touched a rainbow in Uganda, and spent a night in a Burmese monastery. She braved crocs, hippos, malarial mozzies, tsetse flies, and a bunch of other African creatures. Reiza also met an adorable camel named Jamal. Judging by his look of horror, was he just informed that he didn't make it to the modern day Noah's Ark?
Mark Rodel Uy of Kurtzky.com
"I used to pursue the road alone but I went a little off the track this year and learned to socialize with fellow wanderers I met on the road, most of whom have become my good friends."
Yes, apocalypse is approaching and Mark had a timely happiness-only-real-when-shared Chris McCandless moment. He marked a handful of travel milestones this year. He visited some of the Philippines' tourism frontrunners Sagada, Albay's Mt. Mayon, and El Nido. Mark also traveled for the first time overseas in 2012, and celebrated his birthday in Hongkong. Newsflash: He saw a panda. When I saw a panda for the first time I thought to myself, the world could end now, in between sobs. I wonder if he felt the same.
Glen Santillan of Escape Manila
"I've been to new places and met new friends along the way..."
Glen knows his escape route to paradise. His 12 Escapes in 2012 include barhopping in Boracay, spelunking in Sagada's Sumaging Cave, and ziplining above Lake Sebu. The highlight of the year for this man is being able to try surfing for the first time in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur. We've heard he wasn't able to stand on the board, could it be because he was surfing a tsunami?
Daene Luna of Filipina in Flip Flops
"We only have one life to live, and I want to spend mine on the move, exploring strange places, meeting strange people, eating the strangest food, then coming home, only to do it all over again."
2012's the year when Daene traveled with a YOLO state of mind. A You Only Live Once state of mind. She put her weekends to good use by juggling surf sessions, road trips and staycations in Luzon. Daene also set off to a couple of grander, overseas trips. One in Laos where she shared a bed with an old Lao lady aboard a sleeper bus. The other, in South Korea where she and her friends shot a fun, cutesy music video. Watch it. And when the world ends, I assure you, that song will be our earworm.
Sarah Grace Callanga of Wandering Potpot
"Your heart is beating faster than usual. You're not sure what's going to happen next and that feeling of uncertainty makes you feel sick, but in a good way. Excitement flows through your veins and there's this certain glow in your eyes. Do you remember the last time you've done something for the first time?"
A year of firsts. That's what 2012 is for Sarah. For the first time she ate a croc (Cringe!) in Davao, climbed Pico De Loro, and spelunked in Samar. It was also her first time to experience scuba diving in Malapascua. Wait, or is she already swimming in waterworld on that photo?!
Kat Torres of Excursionista
"Even though I wasn't able to make as many trips as I wanted this year, I'm still thankful I got the chance to visit new destinations and familiar places. Always go for quality over quantity, right?"
It's a mix of new destinations and familiar places for Kat this year. In the Philippines she visited Palawan, Iloilo, and Boracay. Overseas, she traveled twice to Malaysia and Singapore. Speaking of Singapore, she and her mom went there with their neighbors. Their neighbors! Far-out.
Josiah Sicad of Lakas Ng Trip
"I started my 2012 with an irrational sense of optimism, I ended the year with a rational one."
Beginning of this year, Josiah launched his 12 for 2012 Project. The project aims to document 12 places in the Philippines to serve as guide for his fellow travelers. At the time he wrote his year-ender 2012: A Year Of Planning, Moving, Slowing Down, and Change Of Plans, the project's still ongoing. Whether he finishes it before the year/world ends or not, we reckon it doesn't really matter. Because he found the light at the end of the Tabon Cave Complex in Palawan. And because he finally pursues organic farming. The logic of these statements, I don't really know.
Eileen Campos of Possibly Pinay
"... This is the cream of the crop. These are the memories that will undoubtedly be affiliated with the year that the world was supposed to end."
Her royal hotness, Eileen, reminisced about her Top 5 Travel Moments of 2012 on her year-ender post. She went through an excruciating 15-hour commute (which is totally not her cuppa) to get to mystical Siquijor, did some much needed catching up with her best friend in Bohol, toured her cousin in Boracay, and flew luxuriously business class with PAL to I-dunno-where (Did I miss that on her post?). And yo, I saved the best for last... She flew to Kota Kinabalu with her Happy Meal Tonie and ze yaya. Y'all heard me right. If Kat traveled with her neighbors overseas, Eileen did so with the nanny. I wonder if Eileen made her nanny undergo training to learn Zombie apocalypse survival skills.
Cris Reyes Galang of Pinay Thrill Seeker
"I've had my share of various travel experiences this year - from the historical to the newest attractions, yet all share one common denominator: ADVENTURE. Adventure seems to seek me, really."
Her blog title says it all. And even if she ain't seeking thrill, thrill seems to be seeking her. This year's brimming with extreme travel adventures for Cris. But thrill wasn't the only one who followed her around, misfortune too. She's kept a record of a bunch of past disappointments that include: No sea of clouds in Pulag, no sunrise in Kiltepan, and no sunset in Lake Danum. In Albay, she and her travel mates waited for hours to see Mt. Mayon's peak sans the clouds. And they did, for five minutes. She thought to herself, the bad luck curse has been broken. Or did the clouds part because of an impending eruption?
Mai Flores of Budget Biyahera
"2012 would have to be one of the best years for me, as Rubel and I celebrated his 30th year in two of the most gorgeous places in the Philippines --- Bohol and Coron. We welcomed this brand new year by the beach, while watching the sun rise and set everyday."
Aboard a bumpy flight from Iloilo to Manila, Mai kept saying to herself, "I don't want to die alone!". She most likely won't, for her knight in shining armor Rubel's always by her side (Okay, except on that flight). Even on the date of the supposed apocalypse, when they staycationed in one of Manila's hotels. Mai reckons 2012 has given her the most trips in a 12-month span. She indeed traveled like it's the end of the world.
Missy Penaverde of Sole Pendulum
Missy calls herself a true lionheart. And I got reason to believe that when doomsday comes, she'll stare at it in the face and won't budge. On her post Wuthering 2012 - Compilation of the Most Audacious Escape, she shared her drenched Mt. Apo and Mt. Pulag climbs. Missy also confessed not paying after sleeping at some resort in Ilocos Norte. And as if that ain't badass enough, she danced with inmates in Puerto Princesa.
Marky Go of Nomadic Experiences
"... A year which filled my memory vault almost to a full. Something I will look back in earnest disbelief (and bragging rights) that' I've experienced it all in a span of one year."
2012 saw Marky finally smiling on photos (If that's not a clear sign of apocalypse, then I don't know what is!). And it's not because of those monthly trips he did, nor the bikini contest he judged in Romblon... It's because he finally found a "cutieee" hand to hold. End of paragraph. End of the world.
Christine Fernandez of Jovial Wanderer
"This year was all about focusing on three things that I'm passionate about, eating, hiking and writing which is why it was easy to pick out these three adventures that made my year..."
Christine went to purgatory and back. Unscathed. Take that, apocalypse! Okay, she actually just climbed Mt. Purgatory but... Doesn't that sound cool? Now if doomsday does happen, expect her to be armed with food. Anyhoo, on her year-ender Top 3 Unforgettable Adventures for 2012 she reminisces about hiking 6 peaks in 2 days, volunteering for the Booksharing Project, and staycationing in Baguio with fellow travel bloggers.
Roj Braga of AdventuRoj
"Looking back at 2012 is a little strange, actually. Strange, because it was such an amazing year, where so many of my dreams came true—so many, in fact, that it still doesn’t feel quite real."
If apocalypse happens, Roj will exit this world rich. Because for her, "travel is the only thing you'll have that makes you richer". Her wealth grew after visiting many Philippines destinations such as Bukidnon, Subic, Zamboanga. She also traveled to Hongkong (Where she was able to watch Jason Mraz perform live!). Roj summed up her year in a blog post and video, 2012 Adventuroj Year-Ender Video Special.
Dong Ho of Escape Islands
"It is a year of returning to old trails to regain memories and exploring new places that I've been longing to visit for years. The funny thing is that each time a place is explored another spot pops out out to be explored..."
When told about the end of the world, Dong probably dismissed the news . The man's awfully busy, he wouldn't have spare time to worry about it. Just browse through his 20 most memorable trips in 2012 and you'll know what I mean. If you stalk him like I do, you probably noticed how frequently quiet his blog is... Now you know why.
Ivan Cultura of Batang Lakwatsero
"My 2012 is a mishmash of surreal, memorable, life changing, awe-inspiring, delicious, and death-defying experiences. I met new friends, acquired new stuff, and gained a little more priceless knowledge. This outgoing year is by far my most traveled year, oh yeah!"
Man, this guy's born to be wild. In 2012 he scaled 31 mountains, chased 8 waterfalls, sauntered on 2 island beaches and explored 2 caves. Just reading about all his adventures being squeezed in one year caused me muscle pain! He was also involved in an accident which landed him in a hospital room, and all he thought about while on a wheelchair was, "When will I be able to climb again?". Yes folks, the chains of Amistad couldn't hold him down. I bet apocalypse won't terrify him too.
Aleah Taboclaon of Solitary Wanderer
"It's not everyday that dreams come true. I had always wanted to backpack in Europe, but with my financial challenges and the difficulty in getting a visa, I thought that it would remain just a dream forever. That is, until early this year."
Amidst heartbreak warfare, Aleah fulfilled one of her longtime dreams in 2012... Backpacking Europe. For 70 days she lived (mostly solo) a picturesque life that featured Belgium, Greece, Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and Italy. If the world ends soon, Aleah may leave the face of the planet as a solitary wanderer but at least she's the singer of the best Enter The Sandman cover in the world.
Grasya Bangoy of Grasya.com
"I’ve considered this my hiatus year. My year of personal retreat. My year of mellowing down to refocus, rejuvenate myself from too much mis-adventures these past few years."
Grasya claims she mellowed down this year, but we still saw quite a lot of adventures on her post One Year On The Road Less Traveled. And oh, when she mentions "road less traveled" she totally means it. In 2012, she ventured unfamiliar places like Aninangalan, La Manok Island and the territory of Palawan's Batak tribe. Where the heck, right? Looks like she survived these places unharmed. I wonder though if she survived the invasion of giant Philippine Eagles (Could that be a sign of the apocalypse?). I've heard there was one salivating for her.
Marcos Caratao of Ambot-Ah
"... The simple reason was that I still loved to experience the world outside my window, even if it meant putting up with everything that goes with it. All experiences, good or ‘not so good’ are part of the journey that make our travel unique and our own."
Hang on... I need a minute to recompose myself... Marcos' Into the Light: Year-End Travel Photo Series 2012 blew my mind. His Nat Geo mag/website-worthy snapshots from nine Southeast Asia countries are oozing with awesomesauce. Head over to his year-ender post to see what I'm talking about (Might go back myself for the
Brenna Bustamante of The Philippine Travelogue
"Last year, I was eager to see everything. If I had 5 days, I wouldn’t spend an hour of it sleeping unless I had to. This year, I learned that in order to experience a place and culture, it was okay to take it slow. And that’s what I’m going to do in 2013."
Apocalypse certainly has the power to stop Brenna from traveling but asthma doesn't. Even with such medical history, she hiked Mt. Pinatubo and fashionably climbed Mt. Pulag. You can read more about these adventures on her post The Year That Sucked 2-0-1-2. This year she also traveled to Malaysia-Singapore-Indonesia for the first time, launched Project Dora, encountered heaps of hunky travelers, and co-organized Travel Massive Manila.
Ryan Mach of Pinoy Wandering Boy
"... The burning passion to be always on the road, the insatiable craving to go someplace, the irrepressible yearning to take off - they've gone very persistent this year. I had no choice but to cave in."
On Ryan's Travel Round-Up: 12 Travel Highlights for 2012, he shares his many travel firsts. First time to travel solo, first time to climb a mountain, first time to go back to the same destination and first time to celebrate without his family and close friends. Check out his video slide... And name that tune.
Ron Cruz and Monette Fernandez of Flip Travels
"In the past years, we dreamed it in bright colors. So when 2012 came, we contained the explosion of eagerness and tantric excitement. The journeys commenced and we kicked the ground with immense clout. When we finally reached the destinations, we unleashed the restrained wanderlust."
Spare 12 minutes and 10 seconds of your life to watch their year-ender video where they highlight their 5 most memorable trips of 2012. Ingeniously titled 5 most memorable trips of 2012 (With Ron broadcasting from Singapore, and Monette from a cave.). It's a hodgepodge of blabber, profanity, and hotel lounge piano tunes. If there's one important thing that Monette learned in the year the world's supposed to end, it is... To never get drunk the night before you travel. As for Ron, he found out that he's actually Nepalese.
Earl Bolivar of Suroy Pilipinas
"Indeed, 'life is better when you run together'..."
Earl and his wife not only ran together in 2012, they also traveled together to a bunch of local destinations: Albay for Mt. Mayon, Zambales for Anawangin Cove and Camiguin for Mantigue Island. This year, Earl also had the chance to explore his home province Bukidnon more with two of the country's celebrity travel bloggers!
Nik Rielo of Pinoy On The Road
"I have enjoyed so much my 6 months on the road trying to explore my country. As always, it never failed to impress me. I hope more and more people will get the same opportunity to see the Philippines."
Doomsday comes... And here's our supermannn! Nik puts a spin on his year-ender presentation The Best of #awesome #philippines80: 2012 Year End Rundown with a Twist. Readers are encouraged to guess the places he visited this year. Shirts and overnight hotel accommodation are at stake!
Chyng Reyes of No Spam, No Virus, No Kiddin'!
"As compared to my 2011, my To-Do-List for 2012 has fewer items. I was just surprised to when I realized I've also accomplished a lot of things which I really didn't plan to do this year."
Chyng's year-ender post My Hyperactive Year of 2012 certainly shows you her hyperactive travels. Do not underestimate her for her title "Urban Nomad" (From the reality web series PHL360.), for she certainly can wisely work her way out of town. Her 2012 trips didn't just involve basking in luxurious hotel rooms, but also getting into outdoor stuff like surfing. This year she visited a first world country for the first time as well. If apocalypse happens by way of the polar ice caps melting, we hope she's somewhere more elevated than Bontod Reef. Because man, that will permanently sink sooner than Maldives.
Kara Santos of Traveling Up
"The year 2012 has been pretty good in terms of travel. I wasn’t able to go on some of the international trips I had planned this year, but in return I got a lot of local trips, some of which were totally unexpected."
Pinoy Travel Bloggers' resident badass biker chick, Kara, unlocked a looong list of achievements this year. From spelunking 5 caves to learning how to drive a semi-automatic motorcycle to landing on a magazine cover to speaking Parseltongue. She also gulped more than 99 different bottles of beer. We spotted her being chased by zombies during a fun run. Ahh, so will it be a zombie apocalypse in the end?
Chito Flores of Liquid Druid
"I won’t say 2012 turned out to be better than 2011. In fact, in many ways, it was not. But it has its own charm and I’d remember this year kindly, at least travel-wise. It doesn’t look like I’m about to get tired of traveling yet so there’s still a lot to look forward to in 2013."
Chito's 2012 is a year of unexpected trips that mostly involved mountain hikes. The most unexpected trip for him is not a climb though but an all-expense paid trip to Taiwan for a week-long Buddhist event.
Jherson Jaya of Lonely Travelogue
"My appetite for traveling is increasing whenever I go and carry my backpack. My wanderlust habit is mounting higher than infinity. I see places through my eyes but my heart is shouting with joy and enthusiasm as I feel the different vibrancy of people, place and culture."
Jherson's Not so Lonely 2012: Reminiscing the Year features 12 destinations he visited, local and overseas. A mix of unplanned wanderings and business trips. I love how he put a spotlight on the teeny extras that make a huge difference in one's travel experience. He labeled them, Unforgettable Anything.
Estan Cabigas of Langyaw
Brace yourself for a three-part year-ender series from Estan! First part is now live on 2012 Travels & achievements, Part 1 of 3. His random ramblings and assignments this year are just wayyy too many to enumerate. But there's one that we reckon is really worth mentioning: His ultralight ride at the break of dawn in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. Why? Not only because he won his battle with acrophobia, but also because we suspect that he has found his getaway vehicle when apocalypse happens. But... Where will he go?
Lloyd of The Lost Boy
"Incredibly, I had five trips to Malaysia in 2012—that’s even more than the number of times I've been to any country my entire life. It feels great to be blessed with so many opportunities, so I made sure that with each trip, I explored a lot about our neighbor."
This year, Lloyd visited eight out of thirteen states and two out of three territories of Malaysia. Uhm... Whoa! Had the world ended on its supposed date, the last words we would have heard from Lloyd are, "Terima Kasih universe!".
Edmar Guquib of Edmaration
"It's the end of the year but this post is all about firsts and beginnings. Like the Mayan calendar, it ends, but after the ending is the birth of new era. So I will be highlighting the 12 beginnings for the end of 2012."
Edmar also put the limelight on his many firsts in 2012 on his first ever year-ender post. This year for the first time he did a river cruise, traveled solo on a motorbike outside his province, saw a lighthouse, and met one of his blog readers. Some of his photos also got published on a book for the first (and hopefully not the last) time.
Lauren Gaile of Epic Potato
"Like a delicious 5 star hotel breakfast buffet, i gobbled up the year and filled it with memories of plane rides, grueling hikes, weird cuisine, amorous trysts, heartbreaks and romance, mosquito bites, cuts, bruises and a lot of mornings in a stupor all because i wanted to savor all the things that my country can offer..."
Yes, she's Pinay and she's an insane backpacker and she has seen her country The Philippines. Hilarious accounts from that Jackson Pollock drunken mess that she called year 2012 now live on her blog. Comes with free flashback of past cutie 2012 historical events.
Regine Camille Garcia of Between Coordinates
"It has been a year full of introspection, a year of figuring out my purpose, a year of laying out a plan for the future, a year of experimenting life, a year of new experiences, a year of responsibilities and decision-making, a year of creating, and a year of young adulthood freedom…"
On Regine's 8 Awesome Travel Highlights in 2012, she shows us how she values the travel experience more than just the number of the destinations she has been to. This year she ate what locals ate, traveled with fellow bloggers, collected battle scars, and crossed a 30ft-high canopy walk. I last spotted her reading a million blog entries for Pinoy Travel Bloggers' year-ender blog carnival. And people, the world's about to end yet all Regine could think about is having a bikini bod.
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