2016 Travel Debugger Year-End Review
2016 was, by far, our best year for travel to date. We’ve been to a lot of places than in the previous years considering I’m a full time employee with limited leaves. I also checked our year-end travel review for 2015 and I am very glad that we’ve exceeded our goals for this year! Yey! Here’s a recap of what we’ve done this year, plus blog updates and what to expect for next year!
Where we’ve been
January – Dumaguete, Apo Island, Siquijor
This was really an amazing trip! First off, Dumaguete is such a beautiful city with wonderful people and great food! Lots of things to do as well! We snorkeled at the nearby Apo Island and saw beautiful corals and swam with the cute sea turtles! My wife isn’t really adventurous and can’t swim well but she was able to conquer her fears and I was very proud after that.
The nearby province of Siquijor is equally stunning and serene. Definitely, one of the best islands in the Philippines in our books. Powdery white sand beaches, amazing sunset, hundred year old churches, picturesque cambugahay falls and best of all, not touristy! It’s an untouched paradise.
Read our guide here.
February – Azumi Boutique Hotel
Ok, this isn’t really travel but a staycation. Still, we wanted to include this and give it a shout-out since our stay there was really amazing! We felt like we are staying in a 5-star hotel minus the cost! The room is fabulous, the bed’s comfy, they have complete amenities and of course the highlight is their rooftop infinity pool! A memorable valentine’s weekend for us.
Read our Azumi experience here.
March – Boracay
Oh Boracay. Believe it or not, it was our first time there. The tourist crowds and commercialization didn’t really appeal that much to us but when we got there, it really isn’t that bad after all. Love or hate Boracay, it’s still the Philippines’ pride.
Read our Boracay guide here.
April – 23 Days SouthEast Asia Backpacking Trip (Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand) and Laiya Batangas after.
This was the trip I was yearning for yet the one that was unexpected. I transferred to a new company last April and had a chance to take a month off work (spent my remaining leaves in the previous company). We immediately booked our flights and went on an amazing 23 days trip around South East Asia! We covered Singapore, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Phnom Penh/Siem Reap (Cambodia) and Bangkok/Chiang Mai (Thailand). It was an unforgettable, hot and humid trip! But all is well. Looking forward to more cross country trips like this!
Read our S.East Asia guide here.
The day after our trip, we went to Laiya, Batangas with wifey’s family for a 2 days beach bumming vacation.
July – Davao
My birthday trip with my family! I was so happy my parents enjoyed this trip so much. In Eden Park, we rode a bike in the sky, zipline and toured the beautiful and enormous park. We were educated on our trip in the Philippine Eagle Center and around Davao city. We sampled their amazing food especially the barbecues! We went to Samal Island, relaxed and took our worries off.
Read here for our Davao trip.
August – Bicol
Another family trip but this time, my brother’s family also joined! We went on a roadtrip (2 cars) from Manila to Legazpi, Albay with stops at Naga, Calauag and Tayabas. What can I say, it was the longest roadtrip I’ve done. And if driving for 10 hours isn’t enough, we went for more driving at the foot of Mt. Mayon with an ATV! If you want more breathtaking views of Mayon, you can go to the top of Lignon Hill to view the cone shaped volcano in all its glory.
Of course, who would go to Bicol without trying their world renowned dishes? You can have amazing food even in small mom and pop stalls everywhere in Bicol. But if you like to dine-in in a restaurant, I suggest Bob Marlin and 1st Colonial Grill. Their Pili shake is a must try!
Read here for our Bicol roadtrip guide.
October – La Union and Tagaytay
Another road trip but this time with my high school friends! We’ve been to La Union numerous times so this trip was just pure reminiscing for us :D. Some of my friends are with their family now but the boys still drank alcohol from dusk till dawn like we were just high schoolers! Some of us still surfed but because there’s no practice, wiped out several times.
Wife and I also went to Tagaytay for a 2 days staycation and went shopping for winter clothes at the Olivarez Ukay Ukay market.
Read here for my La Union reflections.
November – We got our US VISAs!
Yey! 10-year Multiple entry visa to the U.S.A. for us! Just don’t know when we will go. Need pocket money haha!
Read here for our US VISA guide.
December – South Korea
We went back to South Korea to experience Winter! But sadly, we didn’t catch any snow there except for the artificial snow in Bears Town Ski Resort lol. Anyways, we still had so much fun regardless! So expect lots of new posts about our re-visit in this beautiful country.
Read our South Korea 7D 6N Winter guide here.
Where we’re going in 2017
Ha! This is funny, because this year we have no definite plans (for next year)! No flight bookings (local or international), no roadtrip plans yet, nothing whatsoever! So I guess we’ll be a little spontaneous next year and we really hope everything turns out well. So far, these are the places we have in mind but nothing is set in stone yet.
International – Japan, Taiwan, U.S.A.
Local – Siargao, Batanes, Bacolod
Any more suggestions? For international destinations, we really like to go somewhere a little bit cold.
Let’s look back at our goals from 2015 first and check if we succeeded!
Put up a section where I interview ordinary people with extra ordinary travel experiences. Just let me know if you are interested. Check out the interviews here. – CHECK!
A gallery section where I can post pictures of places we’ve been to that won’t get its own blog post or article. – Not really… I just managed to post one gallery blog (Pinatubo) then I eventually removed the Gallery from the menu.
More guest postings and maybe a collaboration. – A small Check here. We did have some but it’s not plenty. Need more time to do this!
Maybe get a new wordpress theme. I just need more time to do it though. – CHECK!
Continue blogging our travels and create inspiring articles. One of my articles titled “10 Tips On Travelling While Building Your Future In Your 30s” posted in Two Monkeys Travel Group was a hit. Check it here! – CHECK!
I am really glad we did well this year and even surpassed our expectations! Below are some of this year’s highlights besides the ones mentioned above:
- We did several writing gigs for TripZilla, Rappler and TourRadar! Check them out here!
- Our Facebook page finally hit the 1000 likes mark! Hoping to get more follows, so please like our page!
- We have new affiliate partners for our blog! We find them useful so we decided to partner with them! These are our partners and we hope you can use their services for your travels too:
Also, it’s worth mentioning again one of our partners, Agoda! We found lots of cheap stays here!
What we aim for next year
- More writing gigs! Hopefully we can get on some international publications as well.
- Grow our Social Media following – Hope our Instagram picks up and we really need to find time to set-up and learn about Twitter lol.
- Spontaneous travels!
- More quality photos.
- Increase our page views more.
- Continue to help fellow travelers 🙂
That’s it! I really hope this coming year will be awesome as well! Though we don’t have anything booked yet, I still think something would push through! So see you in 2017 guys! Happy New year to all!