Wednesday, December 30, 2009

From Bagan to Batad, for InFlight and Mabuhay, Lagalog says thanks for 2009

The year 2009 brought changes as well as blessings to Lagalog. It's a privilege to be a regular contributing photographer and feature writer for Seair InFlight Magazine. On two occasions, my photos have also been featured in Philippine Airlines' Mabuhay Magazine. I'm equally blessed to go places.

Ecotouring Puerto Princesa. It's my first time to visit the capital of Palawan and it was exciting to cover new ecotours for readers of InFlight Magazine. From the firefly-filled nights at Iwahig River to exploring Ugong Rock and from paddling down Bacungan River in the early morning to eating crabs at Cafe Arturo, it was a swell assignment alright.

Going solo in Myanmar. I wasn't able to travel as often this year but being able to solo backpack again after many years, this time to Myanmar, is a great blessing. Venturing to Mount Popa by mistake, seeing Shwedagon Paya during sunset, going on an overnight bus to Mandalay, and being nearly stranded by the street rallies in Bangkok were all very memorable to me.

Visiting Malacañang. Ivan Man Dy was very gracious in including me in his tour of the San Miguel District and the Malacañang Museum. It's not everyday that you can visit this tightly-guarded place, bring a camera and get away with it. Not to mention, being able to meet the president. Add to that, being able to eat what is probably the best paella in town at Cocina de Tita Moning.

Idyll Imugan. Travel plans had to wait until after I resigned from my job of eight years to go freelancing. And Imugan in Nueva Vizcaya is a beautiful place to rest my weary mind and spirit. It's revitalizing to be the only tourists in this tranquil farming town that calls to mind Baguio in a more pristine state, from the towering pine trees to the chilly clime, aside from the beautiful falls.

Surfing Puraran. Going to Catanduanes while Metro Manila was under typhoon signal number three was a gamble but seeing the surfing town of Puraran during the off-season was a wonderful experience. Ditto visiting the churches and falls around Virac. While we didn't get to try our hand in surfing, seeing the surf and some surfers in action beat surfing the net anytime.

Fish talk. Revisiting Manila Ocean Park was both a disappointment and delight. The tunnel was no longer that impressive but the Jellies display plus the food at Makansutra, not to forget the Manila Bay sunset were definitely delightful.

Revisiting Taal Town. The last time I was here was about five years ago, when I didn't even had a compact point and shoot camera. This time, I didn't even want to miss a detail as we explored the magnificent San Martin de Tours basilica and the charming Our Lady of Caysasay.

Hiking Banaue and Batad. In between assignments, I got the chance to visit the highlands. I must admit I'm out of shape to hike lengthily but there's something about breathing the fresh air, feeling the chill in your bones, and seeing the mountains and terraces that give tired feet and bursting lungs fresh impetus to go on.

Starry-eyed in Pampanga. I've always been wanting to shoot the giant parol festival of Pampanga and this year, I was able to do so, sans media/VIP passes. Needless to say, I was impressed and left San Fernando with stars, literally, in my eyes.

Thank you to all my travel companions; thanks for friendships made and kept on the road; thanks for experiences to treasure and learn from; and to God for making these journeys possible. With God's Divine Providence, Lagalog looks forward to a more blessings- and travel-filled 2010. And I wish you, dear readers, the same. God bless!


Related Posts with Thumbnails