Pinoy Boy Journals 2009 Trips

12:01:00 AM Pinoy Boy Journals 0 Comments

After saying goodbye to 2009, i will try to remember the trips I've had last year - the wonderful memories of my backpacking trips, heck, even when i just want to get away from it all. For all the blessings i have received last year, i was able to travel far and wide in my country, and around Asia. A friend of mine once told me, i should be thankful for i have been around the world. And it proves even more, i want to top 2009 by traveling more around my country, the Philippines and maybe outside Asia, this time in 2010

For now, recall with me, as i visit back my most memorable trips in 2009. If you have yours, please let me know i would be glad to recall them with you.

Manila, Philippines
February 2009 is the month of love. A few weeks before the 14th, i already knew what i was going to do on this special day. I went to bay walk in Manila Bay. This is one popular place where lovers usually go to sit back, watch the bay, and maybe say sweet nothings. I am currently single. Call me a masochist, but I was dead set in visiting Manila Bay alone.

I think this is the most beautiful photo i took that afternoon. I saw this couple and i was just admiring the passion and intensity the two have for each other. I think the photo i took captured the real essence of Manila Valentine's Day - No fancy hotel reservations, no elegant diamond rings, just arms holding each other, sweet kisses and the Manila Bay sunset. Priceless.

The photo above is a group of teenagers all wearing red symbolizing the color of love and valentine while the first and banner photo is the one that will eventually be the inspiration of my unpublished screenplay. FYI, this man is an American after listening to him talking to bystanders. He still has that twang and accent. I was really curious about the story of this man.

Still fresh after a few months since my last backpacking trip to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, i kinda missed my hometown, Manila. I went out of the way everyday for one week to visit the sights and sounds of this fabulous city. 

I've been around Manila - from Malate, to Binondo to Santa Cruz to Quiapo to Recto. Name it, i was all over manila. I just wanted to breathe and feel the vibe of Manila again. I've missed this place so much.

The world famous Manila Bay sunset
Kilometer 1, everything starts here.
Quiapo teenagers show off their moves
Young and old, Filipino or foreigner cross this street everyday 

Sta. Cruz, Zambales, Philippines
I was tagged along with friends to a private beach resort in the lovely municipality of Sta. Cruz, Zambales. Quite far from the usual hot spots in the province, this quiet place serves as an ideal place to chill out with people you love and watch the lovely waters of South China Sea. Jet skis, Jim beams, San Miguels and house music after - just the perfect getaway from the city life.

Unspoiled and serene
San Antonio, Zambales, Philippines
Labor day was a holiday, so me and my university mates decided it's about time we go out there, far and away. You know, live in a camp for a bit and just hang out. We never knew this place we're going is actually P.A.R.A.D.I.S.E.

Hail to one of the most beautiful islands I've been to, Nagsasa Cove in the beautiful municipality of Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales. Tucked inside the municipality is a charming and serene place, where pine trees abound, mountains turn into color brown and green depending on the sun, where the waters are immensely clean, where life was at its simplest form for us. This is one place i can never forget. I hope next year, i will embark on another trip somewhere as remote as this.

Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines
It was during this time that there where so many exciting things were happening in my life. My awesome friends came over to Manila to rock the city. Brian, Anieka and Baz came to Manila and stayed with me at  my house, in my room called Casa De Jerik. 

First stop? The lovely white sand beach of Boracay Island. Here, every night, was party time. We loaded up on San Miguel, listened to house music, and maybe did just whatever. We were all caught up and just enjoyed the good times. We're on a roll - cool, comfortable conversations and we just let our guards down as we enjoy our youth.

Manila Contemporary Arts Fair, Philippines
Then, I guess it's about time the world takes notice of Philippine Arts. With so many thriving and exciting artists in the country, this trip at the Manila Contemporary Art's fair was quite enjoyable.

Us posing behind the work of my personal favorite, Kiko Escora

James Zabiela Live in Manila, Philippines
When Zabiela was in town, we partied really hard. Live at the A.Venue was techno DJ James Zabiela. I couldn't even describe how much fun we had at this awesome gig. Scratches, looping, G's, and VIP.. I can't top this night out, for sure.

Intramuros, Manila, Philippines
For day tours, i decided to take my friends walking around off the beaten places in Manila. It's enough that we see the beauty of Manila. It's about time we go ghetto and explore the beautiful doodling and spray paints along the Intramuros Complex.

Bangkok, Thailand
I went on my first out of the country trip for the year. Where else? But in the good time city of Bangkok, Thailand. I've really missed this city since i last came here. With so many unfinished business plus memories that will last a lifetime, it's about time i go back.

Thai high school girls after school flock to the city center mall. 'Nuff said.
Enjoying Bangkok's number 1 sport -shopping
Respect the King and Queen of this magical city 

Saigon "Ho Chi Minh", Vietnam
The most exciting month of the year for me finally arrived, as i head for yet another backpacking expedition down the Mekong Country starting off in Saigon. Good morning, Vietnam!  With relatively no sleep at all, i braved the streets of Saigon to feel the energy and vibe it has to offer.

Amazing French inspired architecture at this palace

After a hearty breakfast of beef brisket noodles and bread, i walked around the streets on my first morning, to discover at daytime the real Saigon. Daily life becomes simpler here. Men and women work really hard. Fruits are sold cheap. I happen to shake hands with everyone, i have no idea why. But i was beginning to blend in with everyone.

As soon i landed in Saigon, this is the first thing i wanna do. PARTY time here at Go2bar! Rockin' house music, and Saigon beer in my hand. What more can you ask for?

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Then, i was off to the lovely kingdom of Cambodia to see the spectacular Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. I also squeezed in some beach time at Sihanoukville and try to live in Phnom Penh for close to two weeks. I'm forever thankful to my Canadian friend for letting me crash at his place. Thanks, Adam!

I took this photo and later on as i view it in my computer, I realized that there's a story here. A local Khmer man tries to move his head afar from the obviously loud tourists at the background. Maybe this is what the people of Cambodia really feel about flock of tourists coming in.

Mandatory happy jump shot

Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines
Still missing my backpacking trip last July, a few months have passed and i saw myself packing my bags to go on a road trip with friends to the lovely province of Batangas, in the town of Nasugbu.

Obviously, Batangas hasn't lost its charm yet. Great beaches, fantastic sunset, superior accommodations are the names of the game. It's still the most ideal holiday hot spot nearest to Manila.

How about you, how's your 2009? I'd like to know. Remember it's not about where you go it's how you feel for the moment. Share your stories with me.

Dear Lord,

I am excited. To see the world. To see my beautiful country. Please make me your instrument in spreading peace, love and happiness with the people i will meet. It is in this great opportunity that i will be able to put into action your words of wisdom.


Happy New Year from Pinoy Boy Journals!