Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thank You 2015

Grateful for...
  • my travel financer (disguised as a job)
  • waking up every day so I could earn my travel fund (salary)
  • my manager for approving my leaves and for not kicking me out for taking too much time off
  • getting sick when I was close to my own stinky bed. I don't like getting sick, but at least when I did get sick, it wasn't when I was out gallivanting away from home.
  • getting invited to eat, eat, eat at Ramen SoraFamily Mart, Marissa's KitchenTatang's Boneless Lechon, and Salinas (and to other events that I had to turn down because of work. So, you know, I could fund my travels.)
  • my friends from the piggery: Justinne of Babe for Food and Brennan of Baktin Corporation. Pigging out is not something I am ashamed to do with you!
  • travel companions who researched, made itineraries, negotiated rates, booked accommodations/van transfers/tour packages when I was too lazy to
  • travel apps
  • cool heads of tired and lost travel buddies
  • perfect timing: reaching the bus/train station five minutes before the bus/train is scheduled to leave or reaching the jeepney/bus stop as the jeepney/bus approaches (especially in areas where jeepneys/buses don't come by often)
  • the boat captains who took us on the roughest boat rides of our lives
  • my friend for treating me to some Treat Street treats
  • a nice sunny day during our impromptu uphill hike along transcentral highway and then getting rescued by a jeepney an hour into the impromptu hike
  • JJ Express for responding so quickly to my request for bus ticket reservations
  • Mr Phone for his kindness and hospitality: for welcoming us into his home, letting us have a nap in his living room, feeding us lunch, and letting us take a shower in his house
  • my friend for feeling sleepy so early that he volunteered to go ahead to Dalaguete town proper (while we frolicked in the beach) to find our group a place to stay in for that night
  • the owner of St Therese Beach House in Dalaguete for the discount
  • the chance to revisit Moalboal, Gilutungan Fish Sanctuary, Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Kawasan Falls, Mantayupan Falls, and OsmeƱa Peak
  • first time visits to Balabac, Guimaras, Camiguin, Carnaza Island, North Sandbar, Tumalog Falls, Obong SpringDalaguete Beach Park, and Mt Manunggal
  • seeing more bird species than was expected during our off–season birdwatching session in Olango
  • El Ideal Bakery for turning itself into a baggage storage while we strolled around Silay
  • my cousin and his wife for driving us around Iloilo
  • the lady in Nelly's Garden for accommodating our request for a tour on a Sunday (her rest day!)
  • honest tricycle/habalhabal drivers and boatmen for not overcharging
  • a friend's birthday boating treat in Moalboal
  • the pod of dolphins that showed up when we weren't looking for them
  • meeting the awesome sea turtles and sardines of Moalboal
  • strong swimmer–guides for towing us lazy snorkelers
  • the very helpful boatman in Moalboal who volunteered to take underwater photos and videos because I wouldn't sink thanks to the built–in flotation device round my middle (in truth I am a very bad swimmer)
  • the cold, cloudy, windy day we hiked Mt Manunggal
  • hitching a ride on an open–bed truck from Manunggal to Balamban town proper
  • China and Japan for granting me entry
  • my close friend from highschool for the free ride to and from Mutianyu
  • crowds missing from the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China
  • never give up attitude: this is how we found DaDong Roast Duck in Beijing
  • my legs for not surrendering when it had to walk 15x more than its lazy daily average
  • free use of pocket WiFi from our Tokyo and Osaka Airbnb accommodations
  • the brains to understand the subway system in Tokyo and Osaka
  • deciding to splurge on a farmhouse stay in turned out to be the best part of our trip
  • Yamamoto-san for the half English (me) half Japanese (him) chat while on the shinkansen to Himeji
  • Ryo, a Japanese I met in a bus in Cambodia in 2012, for traveling two hours from Kobe to Kyoto to meet me, for treating me to some street eats, and for the omiyage
  • the people who sent me emails to ask questions, to ask for recommendations (making me feel like a fake expert), and to send words of appreciation. Your emails made my day.
  • the readers of this blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you. All the hours and sweat (it is warm in the corner of the room where I have my PC... uh, yeah, I don't have a laptop.) I have spent on this blog weren't for naught because of you guys!


  1. Thanks for my word of the day: gallivanting. :)

    Happy New Year, Mustachio!

  2. What an awesome year my friend! Curious about that homestay in Ainokura (probably the same one I saw on the net which was the cheapest so far), can you let me know the details pls since I don't think your Japan posts are up already :) Cheers and happy new year!

    1. Happy New Year, Mariane! You got mail! Sent you an one re Ainokura. I have been neglecting this blog the past few months and my backlogs have piled up. Hehehe.

  3. That is an amazing 2015! Happy new year, Mustachio!

    1. Happy New Year, Team Sweetie! Thank you for dropping by every now and then. I appreciate it!

      To more adventures! Cheers!

  4. Oh you're everywhere Mustachio :) Here's to more travels/food trips in 2016!

    1. Food trips lang siguro this year...kay gamay ra weekday holidays ron haha :D Happy new year, Brennan!

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you Larissa. I will keep those four words in mind to motivate me to keep this blog going because, as you can see, I have been very slow in publishing new material these past few months :(