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2012 Travels & achievements, Part 1 of 3

Ati-Ati dancers during Ibajay's (Aklan) festival
Ati-Ati dancers during Ibajay’s (Aklan) festival

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3

January It was just the 2nd of January when I flew in to Boracay for a client shoot. I booked a hotel in Boracay for two nights and just enjoyed the beach, food and scene, after every shoot. Not that hectic, really. But January is also festival month. By the fourth week, I was back in Boracay to watch the Boracay Funboard cup with sidetrips to Kalibo, where I had my first tamilok at the Bakhawan Ecopark and just roaming around the province of Aklan to see what it can offer.

After Kalibo, I hopped on a bus and went all the way to Antique for some old heritage structures like church ruins, cemetery chapels and churches. I then visited Iloilo and stayed for a few days to shoot. This was also my exit.

But travel in January didn’t end there. Before the month closed, I was, first in Malabon City where me and some friends visited some of the heritage houses there. This was then followed with a trip in Bataan, Pampanga and then Tarlac in the span of 30 hours plus to cover a 160KM ultramarathon on the last day of the month.

The northern tip of Capul Island facing the Embocadera de San Bernardino, the historical straight between Samar and the tip of Luzon where heavy fighting occured during World War II
The northern tip of Capul Island facing the Embocadera de San Bernardino, the historical straight between Samar and the tip of Luzon where heavy fighting occured during World War II

February When February set in, I was still in Tarlac covering the last few kilometers of the Bataan Death March 160KM Ultramarathon that finished at the Capas National Shrine. A few days later, I was with my best friend for a pre-birthday trip in both Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur where we visited the usual tourist places.

The month was also the time where I joined the Intramuros Bloggers Challenge and won! Birthday was spent around Metro Manila, from Makati to Quezon City to Manila, doing a photo walk and a visit to Quiapo Church. By the middle of the month, I flew to Catarman in Northern Samar where I explored the northern part of the province from Capul Island to Laoang and took a photo of Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon while on the plane back to Manila.

At the break of morning, my first ultralight ride in Bukidnon
At the break of morning, my first ultralight ride in Bukidnon

March March was quite hectic. The Kaamulan Festival was on and I flew in to Cagayan de Oro. In Bukdinon, I rode my first ultralight aircraft, covered the street dancing and rodeo. I also visited the grave of a friend in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental and just reminisced the past.

I didn’t rest there. As I was also completing my Rizal Passport, I then proceeded to Ozamiz City in Misamis Occidental where I stayed for the night before proceeding to Dapitan and Dipolog in Zamboanga del Norte. I havent visited yet the town of Zamboanga Sibugay that I made a side trip to that province. That was just the first 10 days of March.

By 18th March, I was in Zamboanga City, where I spend a few nights. Ten days later, I was being filmed in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur and then at Taggat Lagoon in Claveria, Cagayan province for a feature on Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, which was to air on the eve of Holy Week.

The church ruins of Mataguisi, Pudtol, Apayao
The church ruins of Mataguisi, Pudtol, Apayao

April Holy Week opened the month and me and my best friend decided to spend it in Northern Luzon, spending the entire week from Ilocos Norte all the way to Cagayan province where we went to the Callao Caves, ate pansit batil patung, Claveria and Gonzaga, including a side trip to Apayao province which we both haven’t visited yet.

 I again found myself in the shores of Boracay for an assignment and during this time, I had the opportunity visit Puka Beach. So beautiful, so pristine and so unpeopled! I then visited Bicol, especially visiting the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur.

This post is part of the 2012 yearend Pinoy Travel Bloggers’s Blog Carnival hosted by Gay Mitra Emami of and Regine Camille Garcia of

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3

11 thoughts on “2012 Travels & achievements, Part 1 of 3”

  1. etc

    Gingoog City is part of Misamis Oriental, not Misamis Occidental

  2. Kathleen

    beautiful shots po

  3. estancabigas

    thanx! 🙂

  4. There’s a Part 1 to 3 – that’s a lot of travels. 😀 Cheers to a more awesome 2013, Estan!

    P.S. Now you really got me convinced to try the ultralight ride. 🙂

  5. estancabigas

    thanx Claire 🙂

  6. Adelle

    excellent first quarter! may this new year bring more travels for you and more stories for us to read. cheers!

  7. estancabigas

    you should read parts 2 and the upcoming part 3 🙂

  8. As always great shots sir Estan! Is your ulttalight pilot Carl Frias? I once watched KrisTV and saw him flying his toy in Bohol, so I thought dun na sya. Glad to see him flying pa rin in Bukidnon. Cheers for more travel adventures and great photos!

  9. estancabigas

    baka lumipat na siya. he mentioned before about going to Bohol 🙂

  10. estancabigas

    I think they’ve transferred na to Bohol 🙂

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