This is the first of a series of posts about Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte, provinces in the Philippines I visited about a decade ago. Since we (my dad, sister and I) covered a lot of ground in the 3, maybe 4 days we were there, I thought it would be best to split the stories up into bite-sized portions. 🙂
Sometime in 2005, the Philippine Department of Tourism produced several music videos which encouraged Filipinos to travel within the country. The video below (it’s in Filipino, but I’ll translate the words in a separate post) was the first of several, and I admit that it did make me want to travel.
Last year, during that brief lull between Christmas and New Year, I spent 2 1/2 blissful days in the lovely islands of Tonga. As mentioned in a previous post, we (meaning myself and my lovely hosts and good friends) had to visit a whole lot of places in a span of 2 days – and one of those places is the Blowholes at Houma.
It’s embarrassing to admit but, even though I’ve lived in the Philippines for most of my life, I’ve never actually seen the country’s most majestic peak, the Mayon Volcano. Visiting Legaspi, Albay has always been on my to-do list but somehow, I never quite managed to get there. Finally, after years of procrastinating and missed chances, I had the opportunity to see this magnificent mountain.
A few weeks ago, a photographer friend and I went on a 2-week photo-tour in the Philippines (yes, my country of birth). We spent a week in Cebu, a day in Bohol, a weekend in Albay, a day in Corregidor, and the rest of the time was spent in Manila. It’s quite exciting because, to be totally honest, even though I spent the first 31 years of my life there, I really haven’t been to Cebu, nor Bohol, nor Albay (to see the Mayon Volcano) nor Corregidor (which is about a 2-hour ferry ride from Manila Bay).
It’s the first day of 2015 and what better way to celebrate the new year than to post pictures of my recent trip to Tonga. What’s the relevance of the New Year and Tonga, you may ask. Well, according to timeanddate.com and worldtimezone.com, Tonga is one of the countries that greets the New Year before the rest of the world. The first ones to usher in 2015 are Samoa and Kiribati (Christmas Island), followed by Chatham Islands and parts of New Zealand. Tonga falls in the third group, together with more parts of New Zealand (Wellington) and Fiji. I guess that’s why The Kingdom of Tonga is also known as “The Land Where Time Begins“.