Thursday, January 01, 2009

My Top 10 Travels of 2008

Today is the first day of 2009 so, before anything else, I wanna greet everyone a Happy New Year. Although this is the best time to look ahead and see what the future may bring, this is also the best time to look back and reminisce at how good 2008 was. So, let me share now the favorite places I have been to, thus, My Top 10 Travels of 2008:

A beach lovers paradise which is ranked as one of the best in the world. The place has everything for everybody whether you long for action and activities in the White Beach or just take a leisurely stroll in the Puka Beach. My planned 4-day stay in this island paradise was extended for a week and for those seven days, no single day is the same. I love this place.

I instantly fell in love with this place the first time I set foot on it. The landscape here is lush and varied - from the remnants of a volcanic eruption to the serenity of its white sand beaches. The white island is a must-place to visit. This place is eco-tourism at its best.

From the Spanish-era mansions of Vigan, to the stunning churches of Paoay and Laoag. From the eerie lighthouse of Burgos and surreal windmills of Bangui Bay to the white beaches of Pagudpud. The Ilocos Region (Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur)is definitely a worthy-place to spend long weekends. There is so much things to see here whether you crave history, religion or just plainly wanna have a good time.

Home to the world-famous Rice Terraces, the province of Ifugao is a must-place to visit at least once in your lifetime. The Rice Terraces of Banaue, Batad, Hapao, Mayoyao and Kiangan are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. I was able to trek the first three and was rewarded with the amazing view of Tappia Waterfalls and Ducligan Hot Springs.

Known as the City of Golden Friendship, the best thing to do in this place is to Whitewater Raft. I have braved the rapids of Cagayan De Oro River for more than two hours and I consider that as one of the best activities I had in 2008. On a lighter side, one could spend the night hunting for bargains or enjoy grilled barbecues in the center's Night Cafe held every Friday and Saturday nights.

This trip is a memorable one because this is the first time I joined Dong Ho and the Lingkod-Alabang Brothers. Also, this is one of the roughest boat rides I ever endured which was cause by an approaching typhoon. But casting that aside, Capones Island offers verdant greens of its hills and valleys as well as fine white-sand beaches. A perfect place to stay and backpack overnight.

Carabao Island, also called San Jose and Hambil is more of a day trip from Boracay than a destination in its own right. A perfect place to escape the crowded beach of Bora, the beaches of Carabao Island, particularly Inobahan Beach, offers solace and tranquility. In fact, some says this place reminds them of Bora of the eighties. I particularly enjoyed my trek here to Tagaytay Combot where I had an amazing view of seascape and the surrounding islands.

This is one of my favorite places this year. And thanks to SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) this place is just a couple of hours away from my place. Think virgin beaches with no electricity where you need to go back to basics. A backpackers's beach paradise. Also, there is an emerging heritage city in Bagac where ancient homes and old structures are being rebuilt.

One of the best road-trips I had this year was with Dong Ho and Orlan where we toured from Nueva Ecija to Nueva Vizcaya on the first day and then do Nueva Ecija to Aurora on the second day. On that particular trip, I enjoyes the Gabaldon-Dingalan phase the most where we have witnessed the amazing landscapes of mountain while we're travelin' on the road. Plus, the Rapids of Dupinga River and beach and views of Dingalan were real treat.

The Hundred Islands, Lingayen Gulf and Bolinao Lighthouse and Beaches were among the places I have visited in this coastal province. And because of the proximity of the place to where I live, I frequent this place if I long for great sunsets and rolling breakers or if ever I want to fix my island-hopping urges.

In addition, I have not included this on my Top 10 because the list above were all local trips. But I was also fortunate to be given a chance to go out of the country last year and experience the exotic beauty of Bangkok and Ayutthaya in Thailand:

And lastly, it was also last year where I got to share some facts and interesting places of my hometown that I deemed it proper to include it in this post. And if ever you wish to visit my province, just mack me and I am very much willing to give you assistance.

As I have said, Year 2008 was a great year for travel and I really do hope that I can share more travels with you in 2009. HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone and TRAVEL SAFE!!!


  1. ayos! talagang patok na patok ang boracay laging nasa top three. kay pusang gala number two din.

    sa listahan mo ang gusto kong puntahan ay ang camiguin. pero wala pa sa itinerary ko ngayon.

    wishing you more travel this year oman! more. more.

  2. What a great reflection in photos of your travel in 2008. May you have many more photos and stories to share in 2009.

  3. Happy New Year to you!


  4. Very fine post of your travels, with beautiful images.
    Happy 2009!

  5. Happy New Year, my friend! Thanks for sharing such great pics from your travels. You've helped enrich our knowledge in a lot of ways and I thank you for that.

    Take care always and I wish you all the best! :)

  6. ofcourse my place cagayan de oro and camiguin is at the top 5 list hehe im proud of it. thnx oman your great.

    - junroe

  7. Have a nice year ahead. I just returned from a short holiday from a resort

  8. Did i see it right? You are shirtless in Bataan? Aba, nagpapasexy na yata si Attorney lol. Kidding aside, enjoy ako sa mga travels mo last year and hope to see more of your travels next year. Happy New Year!

  9. Hello!
    salamat sa biglaang pagbisita sa aking kubo.

    Happy New Year din sayo!

  10. Happy new year. Wow.. u and Dong Ho sure know how to enjoy yrselves :)

  11. Happy New Year, Law. Thanks for sharing your travel experiences and photos. We learn a lot of the places through your blog. Hope to see more in 2009. :)

  12. Happy new year. Here's a wonderful 2009!!

  13. happy new year lawstude! nice "postcards" you have there! hahay made me realize that my wow philippines plans are yet to be realized...thanks for those pics at least i get to "reach" these places in the confines of my room.hehe btw, white water rafting at cdo - the best!hehe

  14. i just passed by. yey! i've been to 7 of those places too. nothing beats Philippine destinations. happy new year!

  15. wow! gusto ko sa BORA but unfortunately, never been there! huhuhu! hmm.. how about this year? thanks for visiting my blog! have added you to my blogroll! add mine to yours too! thanks!

  16. oman, happy new year idol! i'm just starting to get the hang of blogging, thanks to your blog nakakainspire. here's to a new year of more travelling. hope i can meet you guys some time and maybe join in some of your trips so i can learn many tips to bring my blogging to a better level man lang. hahaha keep up the good work!

  17. I'm so jealous of many of the places you have visited. I suffer from motion sickness so it's almost impossible for me to visit a place if there is no airport nearby and land travel takes more than an hour.

    You have taken such wonderful photos and you have helped tremendously to boost Pinoy tourism. Keep it up.

    Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo. Happy 2009!

    A Pinay In England
    Your Love Coach
    I, Woman

  18. Hapi New Year attorney!

    e-donate mo kaya sa DOT yang mga posters mo?

  19. How you find time to study law and travel so much, I have no idea. Wow.

    Thanks for the visit and the well wishes. I know of you because of Dong's blog, actually :)

    Happy new year too! Wishing you peace, prosperity, health, happiness and love — and lots more travels! — in 2009.

  20. nakakainggit ang hobby mo--- mag travel. uhm... ang ganda ng Pilipinas! kaya nawiwili akong dumalaw dito sa blog mo eh. dami mong adventures :)

  21. On this cold night, thank you for this trip to your part of the world. How very beautiful and wonderful. God bless, friend.

  22. I wish you a Happy 2009 New Year and may health & wealth be with you through out 2009 year.

  23. Because of this post I'm eagerly anticipating your posts about Camiguin. That's also exactly what I felt... Na-inlove rin ako sa province na yun instantly.

    I'll be back to Camiguin for the 3rd time next week pero my excitement is like it would be my first time again. I love everything about it, the sights, the varied activities and of course the genuine hospitality of the people.

    Parang pang postcards ang mga pictures mo :) can't agree more about your choices. Definitely worth it silang lahat to visit at least once in our lifetime.

    I wish you more exciting travels for the next 364 days to come!!!

  24. kapag nakakabasa ako ng mga travel blogs na ganito, naiinggit ako...

    feeling ko, napakaloser ko, at hindi ako makahanap ng panahon para lumabas ng Maynila at enjoyin ang mga lalawigan.

    Hay. Happy New Year!!!

  25. You did well travel-wise the past year. I hope you will have a lot more this year and continue to share them with us. Have a great travel year!

  26. wow ang gala mo talaga! kumusta si sis mo? miss ko na pic nya a... hehehe!

    thanks sa isang taong pag shashare mo ng magagandang tanawin ng pinas kahit wala kameng pera pumunta dun nakikita namin kung anong meron dun...

    happy new year!

  27. Looks like great destinations. Hope you have a great top ten travel places for the coming year.

    Happy New Year!

  28. Hey! Thanks for dropping at my blog and reading it. Happy New Year to you too..

    Wow! You travel and some of the places you've been to I like to see. Lucky for you, you can travel. I wish I can travel too. Cool your a lawyer. I might ask you about it sometime. I also have a friend who is taking up law, his name is JM. He's a blogger too. Do you know him?

  29. Hi! Thanks for dropping by @ my blog! Happy New Year! :)

  30. Proud to have my places Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin to be in your list.
    I wish you more places to travel in these years to come.
    A Prosperous New Year to you, Lawstude! ;)

  31. Good Evening Everyone. This blog officially turned 3 today as my first post (a legal topic) was made January 2, 2006. How time really flies.

    @ the dong - salamat best bud and happy 1st birthday sa blog mo kahapon. more travels to come in 2009.

    @ vinzent - thanks. i really hope too that work does not get in the way.

    @ kyels - happy new year too!

    @ pietro - thanks, hope i could share more this year.

    @ panaderos - thank you and you are very much welcome. i promise to try my best to show more travels and info this year.

  32. happy 2009, lawstude!
    delayed ng 1 day greeting ko
    galing tagaytay, eh

    paborito ko sa mga trips mo ay yun sa capones island
    tagal ko na kasi gusto magpunta don, eh

  33. @ junroe - thanks and nice meeting you. i really enjoyed my stay there.

    @ borneo falcon - thanks. how is it? i'll check your entries about that trip.

    @ vanessa - lol. beach kasi yun kaya ok lang na nakahubad. salamat din sa pagsama thru my blog sa mga biyahe.

    @ merce h - walang anuman. salamat din.

    @ bengbeng - Thanks. Dong Ho is my best travel buddy and he really knows how to have a good time.

  34. @ ash - thanks and hoping for a wonderful 2009.

    @ angelmd-no-more - i agree. i had the best time of my life water rafting in cdo and can't wait to get back there.

    @ reena - seven out of ten is not bad. sarap magbiyahe no?

    @ cyndirellaz - definitely one of the best place that pinas can offer. i simply love the place.

    @ alain - thanks and you are very much welcome to join us. just keep in touch.

  35. @ joy - thank you and i really enjoyed your photography too. there is definitely a good subject wherever we are and there is no need to travel from afar if you have motion sickness.

    @ kris jasper - thanks. sige ba. DOT you can have these posters for free.

    @ hilda - just a case of good time management. but before when i was still studying, the travels have to take the back seat.

    @ aajao - maraming salamat father-to-be and goodluck sa 2009.

    @ sandycarlson - thanks and GOD bless too.

  36. @ unclewang - health and wealth to you too. happy new year.

    @ kegler747 - thanks carlo. kahit overnight lang ako sa camiguin ay nag-enjoy naman talaga ko not only with the scenery but with the hospitality of people there.

    @ gillboard - marami pa naman time maglibot eh. lalo na pag long weekend. stress-buster kasi eh.

    @ bertn - thanks and i am really hoping that 2009 could offer good travels as well.

    @ mangbadoy - maraming salamat din sa pagbisita this year kahit madalas mo ko kulitin sa sis ko hehehe.

  37. @ simon n josh - i hope so too. thanks.

    @ justkyut - you are very much welcome. it is nice to know and interact with new bloggers here. i will definitely keep in touch.

    @ vic - happy new year too.

    @ dodong flores - i enjoyed my trip there and would not hesitate to go back for more.

    @ raft3r - thanks buddy. try to visit capones and anawangin this year. you won't regret it.

  38. Amazing yung mga posters mo! pang postcard ang dating. Mas maganda pa sa mga postcards na binibili ko sa store for postcrossing!

    Marami talaga akong aabangan sa mga upcoming posts dito. una dyan ang camiguin. yung cdo, ang bataan hindi mo pa na-ipost dito no? yung DINGALAN, excited na ako masilayn kayong dalawa ni Dong Ho. I noticed something, you are getting sexier. joke. Happy new year Lawstude! More places to conquer!

  39. Pards, you are really blessed to have travelled this many and we are fortunate because you keep on sharing your travels with us. Thank You and more travels for 2009.

  40. isa lang napuntahan ko sa list mu. waaaahhh! kakainggit.

  41. ang ganda naman ang pagkagawa ng posters mo. Sobra po talaga. Sayang noong elementary ng mga anak ko kung saan saan stores ako namimili ng posters para sa project nila tapos hindi pa maganda
    Maganda pa ito detalyado at completo. Thanks for sharing.

  42. happy new year attorney! here's to more travels for you this 2009! cheers! =)

  43. I hope I can go to Ilocos too, Vigan and Sagada are ones I would love to explore!

  44. Wow--collection ah? what about dito sa Toronto--this year?

    Happy New Year!

  45. Birthday din pala ng blog mo tulad kay Dong. Happy birthday!

    Safe travels in 2009 ;)

  46. yeah, it's nice to travel, but for some reason my pictures never looked as good as yours? =) happy new year! btw, i added you to my links. Sorry, i didn't asked permission anymore. Thanks!

  47. wow... ang gaganda ng places na napuntahan mo... sana marami ka pang mapuntahan... yngat po... and have a safe trip lagi! Happy 2009! =)

  48. Hi Norman! See you survived the food and the champagne, and entered 2009 in great shape! ;))
    Happy New Year!
    Thanks for remembering your fabulous journeys; great pictures and posts!

    Blogtrotter will be posting on Delhi the next weeks; lots to see… Hope you like it and wish you a great weekend!

  49. Happy New Year Lawstude! :)

    Those collages are just beautiful! It's great to see our beautiful country and you're lucky to be able to see a lot of it in 2008. More traveling and blogging in 2009!

  50. hi! happy new year.
    sama mo naman ako sa gala mo this 2009! hehe.

    thanks for being there in my year 2008. ;)

    miss talkign with you here in blogsphere. =)

  51. Happy New Year to you man! I've really had a great time reading your post although I might not have time to give my feedback. But I really enjoy your pictures and tales. Thanks to for always dropping by at my site once in a while. Have a rockin' 2009!!!

  52. very impressive travel logs bro ! That was one prolific year you had :)

  53. Hmm, wala man lang ni- isa na aking napuntahan. :(
    Anyway, congrats for the achivements mo. May you have more travels for the year 2009.
    Pero ingat lang talaga. :)

  54. Hmm, wala man lang ni- isa na aking napuntahan. :(
    Anyway, congrats for the achivements mo. May you have more travels for the year 2009.
    Pero ingat lang talaga. :)

  55. Great job! Congratulations and all the best for 2009!

  56. Happy New Year and more Happy Travels for you this 2009! Travel safe. :-)

  57. Great year of travels din Oman! Glad to hear you liked Camiguin as well. Really enjoyed the island. Hope to visit Romblon din sometime soon.

    Happy New Year Oman. more blessings and great travels to come in 2009

  58. have a blast this 2009! looking forward to your next trips...

  59. wow, these are wonderful places that you've visited pre! have a wonderful new year ahead :)

  60. wow naman! ang narating ko eh yung nos. 1 and 10! ako rin numero uno ang boracay sa mga napuntahan ko this year :-)

    more great and safe travels for 2009

  61. kuya excited na ko sa mga tour mo this year! sana ako rin makapagtravel after med! hehe

    happy new year ulit kuya!

  62. truly impressive! i'm looking forward to your travel photos in 2009.

    have fun!

  63. Happy New Year to you as well! You've definitely visited what has to be the most beautiful places on God's earth. I'm glad I found your blog and look foward to seeing more of your breathtaking photos in the new year.

  64. Excelentes trabajos compañero.
    Un fuerte abrazo y feliz año nuevo.

  65. ls, thanks for taking me with you to your travels through your blog! more this year, right? :)

  66. A nice review of the year. So many beautiful places. I can only imagine how much more amazing they are in person. Perhaps someday I will make it to your part of the world and will be able to enjoy them in person myself. :)

  67. @ kmf - thanks and happy new year.

    @ redlan - thanks bro. nakakapressure naman pero sana magustuhan mo mga upcoming posts ko sa camuguin, cdo, bataan at dingalan with dong ho. sexier??? lol. i dare myself to show some skin this year, yaxxx lol.

    @ uno - thanks bro and i really thank the Lord above for alwayd guiding me and keeping me safe in my journeys.

    @ allen yuarata - marami pa time bro, puntahan mo na yung iba.

    @ nanaybelen - salamat nay sa laging pagbisita. happy new year.

  68. @ carlotta - thanks and happy new year too.

    @ sheng - i really hope i can go to Sagada this year. happy new year.

    @ myslykemeeh - toronto? why not? as long as it is all expense paid lol.

    @ kegler747 - yeah. three years na blog ko last jan 2. thanks.

    @ reena - it takes a lot of practice lang and just enjoy the moment shooting. happy new year.

  69. @ lalaine - salamat and it was nice to have met u here in blog and hope to see you and doc rio personally this year.

    @ gmg - yeah but i do gain a few pounds afterwards lol. cheers to a great travelin' 2009 ahead.

    @ toe - happy new year too panyero. hope to see more of your posts this year.

    @ vanny - hey, how are you now sweet girl, hope 2009 will be a better year for you. miss talking to you here too.

    @ stanley - have a rockin' 2009 too and cheers for more returns in 2009.

  70. @ hi im grace - thanks. it is really awesome to travel so hopefully you can travel even in near places first this year.

    @ phivos nicolaides - thanks and more returns in 2009.

    @ dyosa - happy new year too and thanks for the wishes.

    @ ferdz - it was a great year indeed bro and thanks to you, oggie, allan, estan and other travel bloggers here for the inspiration.

    @ twin - thanks. i still have some unposted travels that will cover me 'til Feb this year.

  71. @ estan - thanks a lot idol. hope for more returns this year.

    @ juleste - hope marating mo # 2 to # 9 in the coming years. tara na byahe tayo.

    @ my-so-called-quest - i bet marami ka rin mararating na places after medschool doc. happy new year.

    @ luna miranda - thanks, medyo nakakapressure yata ah, but hope you will like my future posts.

    @ 2sweetnsaxy - thanks. i am just so blessed and lucky to have traveled well last year. happy new year.

  72. @ atticus - happy new year too bro.

    @ george - gracias senor and happy new year to you.

    @ acey - yup. i have few more unposted travels and plan to start again in summer. happy new year.

    @ alan - i really wish that you could see these places in person. nothing like feeling the place for yourself really. happy new year.

  73. Happy New Year bro! More travels for 2009!

  74. -I look up to you and DOm---Idol ko kayo and I am very glad ne napuntahan ko mga napuntahan nu---kahit sa di sinasadyang pagkakataon....thx

  75. I wish i could visit one of those 10 places....

  76. Great post! Thank you... That was some great shots...

  77. hapi new year kuya oman! it's nice to know that I became a part of your traveling experiences in 2008. looking forward to seeing more of your adventures this year!

  78. Happy New Year Kuya Norman...

    Nice Trip.....

    For sure this 2009, mas marami pa...

    Goodluck and God Bless.....

  79. that was a jampacked year. will 2009 be any different?

  80. Pahabol ng comment ha. Kababalik ko lang kasi..

    Happy new year sayo! sana mag-travel ka pa this year sa mas maraming lugar where you'll be able to share to us the wonderful pictures of those places. ;)

  81. Great site, Oman. Will definitely think of visiting some of the places you've mentioned. Thanks for the list and thanks for the greetings.

  82. @ allan barredo - same to you bro. more travels for 2009.

    @ pusang-gala - wow. salamat naman bro. di yata kami worthy dun lol. basta enjoy what you are doing at lalabas na maganda rin mga pics natin.

    @ cipu - i will also wish that for you. there is nothing like the experience that travels bring. thanks for the visit.

    @ leon basin - thank you and welcome to my blog.

    @ beero - happy new year too and thank you for the friendship in 2008. hope to see you around in 2009 and in coming years.

  83. @ lionheart - happy new year din sayo richard and i am also hoping for more travels in 2009.

    @ photo cache - thanks. i am thinking of somethings to make 2009 just a "little" different.

    @ mel - thanks and happy new year too.

    @ fred - thanks. enjoy your travels and be safe.

  84. great places, great travel. that is how i described your top ten travels. wonderful and magnificent. tsk tsk dami ko pang di napupuntahan sa top 10 mo. hehe

  85. hi! im here again after a very looong time. ^-^ ang saya saya naman super dami mo napuntahan...

    good luck sayo this 2009 may you have more enjoyable journeys ^-^

  86. Looks like you had accomplished so much on your 2008 travels. It is just great to go to these beautiful spots in the Philippines and do some photography.

  87. Traveling is one of my hobbies as well. It is one of my ways to unwind after a week or month of stressful work in the office. Taking pictures is also a good way to capture every special moments. I am planning to visit Thailand before this year ends, and I think it would be a perfect place to take some great looking images using the DSLR camera I bought at the camera shop in Australia last month.