Travel+Lifestyle: The Libotero 2011 Year-Ender (The Finale)

2010 saw the birth of Libotero.com which initially featured family trips around Luzon from the previous years. I’ve always had the passion for travel but was limited by my fear of travelling alone. June 2010 marked a breakthrough as I embarked on my first solo trip ever, and to Mindanao at that. From that point up to the end of last year, I was able to visit 5 new provinces in Visayas and Mindanao.

There are various reasons for travelling. As for myself, I’ve always been inspired by these travel shows on television and wanted to personally experience the places away from home, to discover a colorful mix of cultures in different settings, and more.

Travel has shaped me. It made me realize that life can also be about doing things you love, and not just about things you’re supposed to love. This blog is a reflection of how I live the dream and I’d like to grab a few lines from a song, “Believe in the dream, believe in the promise, that you can be all that you wanted to be…”

And so, for the final part of this Year-Ender series, I share to you a round-up of my travels and lifestyle gigs for the festive -ber months!

Read Part 1 here.

Read Part 2 here.

Read Part 3 here.

September

Asian Food Festival Marco Polo Plaza Cebu
September 2 – Asian Food Festival at the Marco Polo Plaza – Cebu City’s finest, Marco Polo Plaza launched its weeklong Asian Food Festival at the Cafe Marco as part of its monthly Culinary Journeys. They welcomed back one of the country’s top celebrity chefs, Chef Gene Gonzales (whom they also commissioned during last year’s Pinoy! Pinoy! Food Festival), along with his son Chef Gino Gonzalez. Their comeback in Cebu featured a collection of treasured recipes highlightingo the flavors of the East. The squid ink maki was flavorfully awesome!

Cebu Pacific Manila
September 26 – A brief hop to Manila – Manila was already placed under Signal Number 1 because of the approaching Typhoon Pedring, but I didn’t allow it to cancel my trip. Thankfully, my noontime flight went on schedule and the flight was smooth all-throughout. As we landed though, heavy rain started to pour and we were inconvenienced because the aircraft just parked at the tarmac, so we had to go down the stairs and take the bus. We reached the terminal building only to find out that the escalator wasn’t functioning! Hassle! NAIA, worst airport! LOL. When I got my luggage, I quickly proceeded to the taxi bay and instructed the driver to bring me to Eurotel Las Pinas where I was staying for the night. This trip was meant purely for shopping and I did that for the whole afternoon. I then learned that Manila was already under Signal Number 2. After dinner, I was already idle and Don and Fitz, who live nearby texted if I was available for coffee. I replied yes ofcourse. A few minutes later, they picked me up at the lobby of the hotel and drove to Starbucks in BF. The weather was deteriorating further! It wasn’t raining that much but the winds, I heard them sing, shout, howl, and we were seated outdoors! Bam! Tarpaulin stands of the adjacent establishment fell just beside where Don was seated. So we decided to move to a vacant table inside. After some chit-chats, we called it a day, but before Don and Fitz brought me back to Eurotel, they gave me a short tour of the Las Piñas side of BF Homes. Thank you so much guys for being so accommodating while I was in your territory. See you again next year! At around 12am, I already fell asleep but it got cut short because of the very disturbing sound of strong winds! For the unholiest hours of 2-4am, I went to the lobby to observe nature’s wrath. With a few trees and street posts falling down, and GI sheets flying around, I was worried that my flight to Cebu on the evening of September 27 would be cancelled. I thank God that it wasn’t. Our flight proceeded on schedule, but I really felt the low winds as we took off from the ground. It was really unstable, you know, that feeling when you’re trying to fly a kite for the first time but at the same time, it was very surreal seeing the night skyline of Metro Manila during a typhoon.

October

Masskara Festival 2011 Bacolod
October 14-17 – Masskara Festival Weekend – This is my third visit to Bacolod, and my second Masskara Festival. When I first visited Bacolod and Negros Occidental August last year, I immediately fell in love because the people were so warm, the food is so good and it is very easy to go around given the very established bus network. This third visit, however, was made more special because I donated an amount to support Barangay 17’s production. Barangay 17 is supported by blogger friend Byahilo Enrico Dee because the choreographer, Sir Bhoyet, is his friend. Seeing how they were very passionate and hands-on with the production, especially with how they sourced the indigenous materials for their masks from all over the country (e.g. from rolls of cloth at Divisoria, to brass bells in Lake Sebu, to banig in Samar, to beads in Cebu, and more!), I was really inspired to help them out in my own little ways. The Masskara Festival 2011 was an overwhelming success and I really got teary-eyed when the group was announced as the 1st runner-up and Best in Choreography as I really saw the burning passion, when I witnessed their final dress rehearsals and ofcourse the grand performance itself. The Masskara Festival is one of my favorite festivals in the country because it is all just pure fun. I like the fact that we were still able to get transportation back to our hotels immediately after the performances at the plaza were over. It was tiring, but not so, and definitely very enjoyable and heart-pumping! I will be back next year!

Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia
October 20 – IBM presents proposal for a smarter Cebu – After 3 weeks in Cebu, six senior IBM leaders from the United States, in cooperation with the Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB), announced the completion of an operational framework project towards an integrated development process, particularly highlighting urban planning and traffic management for Cebu. Present during the event was Governor Gwen Garcia thanked IBM as public-private partnerships like this will help ensure a greener and an integrated Metro Cebu.

Krispy Kreme Cebu
October 21 – Krispy Kreme Press Launch – The confectionery goodness that Krispy Kreme bought when they first arrived in the country in 2006 is on the move. Half a decade and 23 stores after it opened its pioneer store in Bonifacio Global City, the world’s favorite doughnut is now going national as it turns on the Hotlight switch in the Queen City of the South, Cebu. A day before their grand opening of not just one, but two outlets in Cebu, members of the Cebu media got to taste all their doughnuts, Pull-Aparts, Kruffins, coffee and other blended drinks ahead of the general public and ofcourse we got to ask questions to Krispy Kreme executives relevant to their expansion in Cebu.

Think Pink Ayala Center Cebu 2011
October 21 – Think Pink Cocktails at Ayala Center Cebu – Every October, Ayala Center Cebu presents Think Pink, an annual month-long celebration of breast cancer awareness. This practice has already been awarded the top prize in the community relations–marketing category of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Awards. And ending such a colorful month is Think Pink Cocktails, this time featuring MYMP. Shoppers who bought tickets got to enjoy sumptuous food and entertainment. The best thing about it is that the proceeds of the event immediately go to ICanServe Foundation.

Blake Ayala Center Cebu
October 23 – Blake LIVE at The Terraces – In its tradition of providing world-class entertainment, Ayala Center Cebu brought in town the Classical British Award-Winning boy band Blake. The band was in the Philippines for a series of shows at the Ayala Malls. Their mall shows kicked off at the Greenbelt 5, they also performed in Alabang Town Center. Finally, they culminated their mini-concert series in Cebu. Honestly, I’m not really a fan of classical music but Blake made me open my eyes and appreciate the genre.

Coffee Dream Shamcey Supsup
October 24 – Coffee Dream meets The Universe – In a very eventful evening, Coffee Dream founder and president and proud Cebuano Glenn Soco, was joined by two globally-significant personalities, Shamcey Supsup, Miss Universe 2011 third-runner up and Kenneth Cobonpue, world-famous for his renowned furniture creations, to formally open Coffee Dream’s latest branch and launch the 15th anniversary of the brand. Cobonpue mentored industrial design students in upgrading the look and feel of the coffee shop. The new branch in Banawa features new set of furniture, new colors and an expanded menu. For the first time, Coffee Dream will be offering premium wines and beer with additional food items to complement the experience. Soco explained that the concept was to enhance the “third place” definition of Filipinos as part of Coffee Dream’s effort to be adaptive to the needs and wants of the community.

Singapore Cable Car
October 28 – Hello Lion City! – In an unexpected turn of events, dad was relocated from Manila to Singapore due to the operational requirements of the company he is working in. For that, mom and I decided to visit him on the last week of October to see how he’s been adjusting and coping. On the other hand, our visit also served as a “dry run” for our longer visit with the whole family on December! LOL. Singapore gave me a good first impression. It is very clean, organized and well thought-of! Gawd, it’s easy to say, hard to do but I hope the Philippines was as organized as Singapore. Among the places we visited and experienced are the MRT, buses, food, VivoCity, Cable Car, Sentosa Island, Marina Bay Sands Skypark, Boat Quay, Orchard Road and Merlion Park, among others. We also paid a visit to a family friend’s family, that’s already relocated in Singapore. Within our week-long visit, we also transferred from an HDB, where dad originally stayed with his officemates, to his very own condo unit.

November

Tambuli Beach Resort Lapu-Lapu Tourism Night
November 15 – Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Night – As part of the Virgen de la Regla festivities, the Lapu-Lapu City Government held its annual Tourism Night to celebrate the togetherness among the tourism players in the island. In her message, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza expressed her appreciation on the efforts and alliance of private tourism stakeholders and the city government. She admitted that tourism is a very important economic driver of the city.

Cancan Girls French Food Festival Marco Polo Plaza Cebu
November 18 – French Food Festival at the Marco Polo Plaza – A creative showcase of typical and popular French cheeses and breads, seafood and meat entrees such as Supions aux Artichauts (octopus with artichokes and savory walnut cream), Bouillabaisse (rich Provencal fish stew), Traditional Chicken Coq au Vin, Quiche Lorraine (bacon pie), and Ratatouille (Provencal stewed vegetables), topped off with portions of delectable French crepes and desserts like Le Millefeuille and Saint-Honore (cream puffs), Regal Chocolat (bitter chocolate sponge soaked in vanilla syrup), Paris-Brest and Crepes Suzette. We experienced that and more at Marco Polo Plaza’s French Food Festival. Master-Cheesemaker Richard Poirier graced the occasion to explain each type of cheese served. Among the highlights of the annual French Food Festival is the Soiree Beaujolais, Cebu’s grandest wine festival, and this year the event was even made more colorful and exciting as Marco Polo Plaza brought in directly from Paris, the CanCan Girls.

SM Hypermarket Cebu
November 18 – SM Hypermarket Cebu serves most number of bibingka! – The final round of the SM Hypermarket’s Supersized Challenges was held at the SM Hypermarket in Subangdaku, Mandaue. The previous ones were Iloilo’s Batchoy Challenge, which produced 1,862 servings of the beloved noodle dish; Batangas’ Bulalo Challenge which came up with 522 cups of the beefy broth, and Pampanga’s Sisig Challenge, which produced 1,775 plates of the spicy pulutan favorite. Knowing the Cebuanos’ cheerful fighting spirit, the final round bested all the previous cook-offs as there were at least 2,000 plates of bibingka served! At the end of the day, two groups were proclaimed as winners. The Best Tasting Bibingka was awarded to the Alang-Alang Group with a very high average score of 93.33%. Meanwhile, the Most Number of Plates Served was awarded to the Mandauenian’s Group for serving 391 plates of bibingka. Each winning group got P25,000 worth of SM Gift Certificates and a plaque of recognition from SM Hypermarket.

Hanaya Resort Living Mandaue Cebu Aboitiz
November 18 – Resort-Living at Hanaya! – AboitizLand introduced to members of the Cebu Bloggers’ Society and SkyscraperCity Cebu, Hanaya, the first resort-inspired mid-rise residential community in Canduman, Mandaue City. With 70% of its area dedicated to open spaces, well-thought-of wide living areas, first-rate amenities, lush gardens and pools, future residents, or vecinos as how AboitizLand calls them, will definitely enjoy resort-living at its best.

Miss Cebu 2012 Launch Sinulog
November 22 – Miss Cebu 2012 Candidates’ Press Presentation – Twelve lovely ladies were officially introduced to the media as the candidates for what is arguably the most elegant beauty pageant in the country, Miss Cebu 2012! Organized by the Cebu City Government through the Cebu City Tourism Commission and Cebu City Tourism Foundation, Inc., it is the city’s official search for the most fitting representative and spokesperson of Cebu who does not only possess physical beauty but has a heart as well. Miss Cebu 2012 Coronation Night will be held on January 11, 2012 at the Pacific Grand Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

Sumosam Ayala Center Cebu
November 24 – SumoSam Grand Opening with Marvin Agustin – Although it began ‘soft’ operations last October, SumoSam only formally opened with the presence of two of its young founders, Raymund Magdaluyo and actor-turned-entrepreneur Marvin Agustin. Located at the ground floor of Ayala Center Cebu’s The Terraces, SumoSam’s first franchise in the Visayas included the entry of their Cebu partners Glecy Lopez-Go and Shanna Lopez. Their branch at The Terraces is their first in the Visayas and the biggest in the country so far, with a seating capacity of 120. SumoSam is one of the more popular Japanese food chains in the country today and it is positioned to be “not too expensive but still able to provide quality”, claims Magdaluyo. The menu is very extensive with around 140 items and each one actually has a photo with it so when you’re browsing SumoSam’s menu, you’ll feel as if you’re viewing a photo album. This was done for “people not to be scared of Japanese food”. SumoSam, as the name suggests, is a Japanese-American Restaurant truly reflected by its interior design featuring a unique ambiance of stained wooden planks, textured paints, and colorful light boxes. Playful decor of sumo wrestlers captured in various poses are also a visual treat.

Solinea Ayala Land Cebu Alveo
November 24 – Solinea Launching – The country’s top property developer, Ayala Land, Inc., launched Solinea, the first multi-tower development to rise in Cebu Business Park to be undertaken by Alveo Land, together with Cebu Holdings, Inc. Solinea is Alveo’s first multi-tower development in Cebu City, with its theme “city resort living” as its major come-on. The development will be much-like Serendra in Bonifacio Global City. Also on the same night, Ayala Land announced the rebranding of Cebu Business Park and Cebu IT Park (formerly Asiatown IT Park) as a unified Cebu Park District. This marks the company’s efforts to bridge the best of the best in Cebu’s leading growth areas, applying ALI’s best practices in Makati and Bonifacio Global City, here in Cebu!

November 24 – A Tragedy – Carrying a lot of stuff, I felt tired and exhausted after covering two events in a row that I rushed to a taxi going home. When I arrived home, I already felt quite re-energized, and settled the things I brought. I turned on my laptop and started drafting my blog posts about the events. When I completed my draft, I was about to add photos when I realized that I didn’t have my camera with me! I panicked! I called a coffee shop which was my last stop before I went home. They didn’t recover any camera. So I thought, I left it in the taxi! I immediately checked my pockets if I still had the taxi information sheet with me and thank goodness, I didn’t throw it right away. I then texted Ms. Jeanette of Cebu Holdings and Ms. Janra of Ayala Center Cebu at the most untimely hour of midnight to inform them of what happened hoping that they could help in recovering the camera since I rode the taxi at The Terraces of Ayala Center Cebu. They promptly responded that they will be coordinating with the mall’s security team to trace the taxi and hopefully recover the camera. All I could do at that moment was sleep and hope for good news the next day..


November 25 – Life Goes On – With no signs leading to the recovery of my camera, I tried to move on and was already even thinking about buying a new camera. I had two events for the day and it would be so wrong if I’d skip them just because I’m grieving over the loss. In the afternoon, I, together with Fleire, our Membership Committee Head in the Cebu Bloggers Society, spoke before the merchants of Ayala Center Cebu in their annual Merchants’ Meeting. The Ayala Center Cebu management holds this annual event to celebrate their accolades with their tenants and recognize the best performing, and most improved tenants of the year. Before the event, I really did not know what to expect and what I’d be talking about since I’ve never been put into a panel discussion before so I was literally trembling when our names were called to be on stage. Basically, Fleire and I shared our experiences as bloggers and social media practitioners and how they could basically tap the digital platform to further widen their horizons. I’d like to thank Ms. Janra and Ms. Mikmik for this opportunity to speak before the prestigious tenants of Ayala Center Cebu and ofcourse Ms. Joy Polloso, General Manager and Ms. Janice Parreño, Marketing Manager of Ayala Center Cebu. After the event, I approached Ms. Janra to ask if they had any updates regarding my camera and thankfully, the security team of the mall was already tracing the contact details of the taxi operator. The next event was the launching of Marco Polo Plaza’s Festive Season and with me was a good friend, Norman Ymbong of iStorya.net and since I didn’t have my camera with me, I decided to record videos through my iPhone. Cebu City’s finest hotel held its traditional Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony with the presence of veteran broadcaster, Mel Tiangco, chief operating officer of the Kapuso Foundation. The hotel invited benevolent individuals to further give color to the Tree of Hope, a Christmas ball at a time. “Each Christmas ball represents a little donation for the beneficiaries of the Kapuso Foundation…”


November 26 – The Visayas Blogging Summit 2011 – Organized by the Cebu Bloggers Society, the second installment of VBS was held at the SM City Cebu Trade Hall A. The event was an overwhelming success, thanks to the 400+ attendees who ranged from students, professionals, bloggers and media, the speakers and sponsors. Among the highlights of the summit were: #VBS2011 being the 3rd top trending topic in Twitter Philippines for at least three hours; the presence of Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama; the brief visit of four Miss Earth 2011 candidates; and Ms. Gina Lopez’s presentation about syncing online and offline campaigns for social cause. Her talk was definitely the most moving of the day. I really saw how she was so sincere and passionate about what she was fighting for that I shed a few tears after seeing the massive destruction mining has given our forests and our people! YES TO LIFE and NO TO MINING please!


November 27 – Ciudad Project Presentation with the Cebu Bloggers – A very controversial project along the Banilad road, I was glad to have been part of this event so I could be more informed about what the project is really all about and where all the hullabaloo comes from. The Ciudad Cebu is a heritage site, tourist destination and commercial enclave, all-in-one! The main issue here is how it could possibly add up to the heavy traffic along Banilad road, and I guess, political interests, but traffic should not be a reason to block development. The city government should be proactive rather than reactive! Ciudad will definitely create jobs, give tourism a boost, be the first heritage-themed park, add to Cebu City’s hotel rooms, and be another shopping and lifestyle destination so I hope this project really does push through. After all, Mike Rama’s most popular quote is “Together We Make Things Happen” so the traffic problem in Banilad should be addressed immediately so the development along the whole stretch could resume. After the event, we stayed at Y.OU Restobar in One Mango Avenue and to my surprise, my CBSi Family instructed the band to greet me a Happy Birthday by 12 midnight. Awwwe! More power to us CBSi and special thanks to Joanne for the cake!

November 28 – The perfect birthday gift – On this day, I turned 21, and I was very overwhelmed by the greetings offline, and online. The best gift I received on that day would have to be Ms. Janra giving to me the contact numbers of Bernd Taxi for a “surprise”. I was thrilled, so I breathed for a while before I texted the mobile number of the owner. A few minutes after I sent a text message telling my story, my phone rang and the owner of Bernd Taxi was glad to inform me that my camera was with them. We arranged the procedure on how I was going to redeem my camera the next day and was instructed to bring a valid photo ID. Yipee!

November 29 – It is back! – The owner of Bernd Taxi and I agreed to meet at their head office in Talisay for the redemption of my camera. After having lunch in Ayala, I flagged a cab to bring me there. As I arrived, I came across Manong Rico, the driver of the taxi, so I really thanked him for his honesty. He narrated that after I disembarked that night, a set of 4 passengers rode the taxi. He overheard that the passengers saw a camera on the floor and they even planned to bring the camera home! But Manong Rico told them to surrender the camera as the owner might go after him. If he knew that it was my camera, he would have sent it back to home but he was unsure since he said he turned on all the lights before I disembarked so I could check if I left any belongings behind. Admittedly, I was really stressed and distracted last night, so I did not bother to check and quickly got off the taxi. The next day, he already surrendered the camera to their head office. We had to wait for the owner for the proper handling and redemption procedure. As soon as he arrived, we went inside his office and talked about their humble taxi company. Bernd Taxi was established a few years ago starting with only one taxi unit. Now, they have more than 20 units! The owner shared that it isn’t the first time a passenger has left something in their taxi units. When passengers do leave some items behind, most of the time they’re IDs, passports and other documents and they really go to the head office to retrieve this important official documents. Occasionally, cellphones are also left behind but most of the time, the owners do not make an effort to retrieve them anymore. The owner says that passengers might not be expecting for their cellphones to be returned and nowadays, cellphones are “disposable” gadgets. He even went further by saying that he believes 90% of his drivers are honest as there are some occasions wherein a driver will be sporting a new phone or gadget. If his judgment tells him that there is no way the driver can afford such gadget, he will talk to the driver in the most diplomatic way possible. Anyway, the owner made me write my own affidavit stating that I have redeemed my camera in good working condition on November 28, 2011, with my signature above my name. They also asked for my ID to be scanned for documentation. After the process, I handed over an envelope to Manong Rico as a simple thank you. Once again, I’d like to thank Bernd Taxi, Manong Rico, and Ayala Center Cebu because my camera is my most precious gadget. Since I was a child, I have always been passionate about photography, and now, I don’t think I’ll be inspired to write this year-ender series if not for the colorful photos I have taken this year. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Sinjin 21
November 30 – SinjinForever21– Good friends, headed by Ethy and Greg, organized a very out-of-this world 21st birthday party for me. Edd, Achi, Doyzkie, Norman, Angeli, JP, Wilbur, Ron, Raprap, Shakey, Nowi, Nayki, Shimer, Mommy X, Greg, Ethy, Bryan and I (special thanks to Reymond and Yuki for dropping by), had a simple but very satisfying dinner at The Ranch in Banilad. And then, this part which I really did not expect happened. One-by-one, all of them gave me a sash. On these cute pink sashes, they wrote how their impression about me or what they thought about me as a person and a friend. Then, they gave me red roses. It was as if they were crowning me in a pageant, LOL. Thank you guys for this very novel and amusing idea! I hope you’ll all stay the same. Friends forever!

December

Best Cebu Blogs Awards 2011
December 9 – Best Cebu Blogs Awards – I was very honored to have been proclaimed as one of Cebu’s most famous bloggers. This was determined through Facebook likes over a period of two months. Thank you so much to you my readers for always supporting Libotero and ofcourse the judges, and the organizers of the Best Cebu Blogs Awards. Congratulations to a friend and co-CBSi member Mark, one of the co-nominees of Libotero in the travel category for bringing home the Best Travel Blog award! Little recognitions like these is what fuels us bloggers to continue with what our doing and give it our all. Thank you!

VUDU Cebu Iced Out
* photo courtesy of VUDU Cebu
December 10 – Gengs Christmas Party and Iced Out – X, Ethy, Norman, Jean, Dinnah, Melda and I held our simple Christmas Party at The Veranda in Banilad. I swear, the shrimp sauteed in garlic and olive oil is to die for! The night was even made more eventful with the total lunar eclipse! After we exchanged our gifts, we headed to VUDU for Iced Out. Cebu’s nightlife institution was transformed into an ice wonderland, with free-flowing booze!

Hotel Elizabeth Cebu
* photo courtesy of Buboy Tapia
December 12 – Hotel Elizabeth turns 1 – With Ayala Center Cebu just a three-minute walk away, Hotel Elizabeth couldn’t be in a better location. The hotel, designed by socialite Tessa Prieto-Valdez, celebrated its first anniversary. Before the program, bloggers and guests were given a tour of the hotel’s rooms. I noticed that the rooms were really elegant, stylish and homey. To top that, the room rates are very reasonable! During the program, the hotel thanked their partners, suppliers, and guests for being hand-in-hand with them during their first year of operations. The hotel is managed by the Fernando family who owns the Fersal group of Hotels and Inns. Elizabeth is named after the family matriarch who was present along with her daughter for the event. The event was also graced by Governor Gwen Garcia and Mayor Mike Rama, who entertained the crowd with his singing. At the end of the night, dozens of overnight stays were given away! Congratulations and more power, Hotel Elizabeth!

PTB Bagets Cebu
* photo courtesy of Doi
December 14 – PTB Bagets at Casa Verde – Have been invited to several PTB Bagets Cebu Meet-ups in the past but I was unable to dropby since I was always unavailable but I finally had the chance to meet THE PTB Bagets. Some PTB Bagets from Luzon and Mindanao spent a few days to explore the beaches in Cebu, and while I wasn’t able to join them out-of-town, I was able to meet them when they returned from Bantayan. It felt good to be with people of the same “age” who shared the same interest and passion in travelling! Nice meeting Carla, George and Belle, Mr. Lakbay Pilipino, Chin Chan, Brenna, Ivan, Andrew and ofcourse, it was good to see you again, Mica, Robbie, Renz, Dylan, and Doi and Edcel, whom I only get to see when there are regional blogging summits or visiting bloggers from other regions, LOL!

Singapore
December 19-present – Family Holidays in Singapore – This is it! Our third international destination as a family and our first time ever to spend the holidays away from home! While I’ll be posting most of the details in another series, here’s a rundown of what we’ve done so far. On December 19, we arrived in Singapore before midnight aboard Cebu Pacific. December 20, we experienced the Christmas light-up along Orchard Road. December 21, we presented ourselves at the Employment Pass Services Centre to register for a dependant’s pass. We then proceeded to explore Boat Quay, Merlion Park, Marina Bay and ended the night with Marina Bay Sands’ Light and Water Spectacular show. December 23, we did some Christmas shopping while Orchard Road was flooded. December 24, even more Christmas shopping at Mustafa Centre, Bugis Street and Bugis Junction. December 25, attended Christmas Mass, had lunch at The Asian Kitchen in NEX, proceeded to VivoCity for some shopping and explored Sentosa Island’s Siloso Beach. December 26, we paid a visit to Singapore Zoo. December 28, we spent the whole day at Universal Studios Singapore and had more shopping at VivoCity. December 29, we crossed borders and spent an afternoon in Johor Bahru Malaysia. Yesterday, December 30, we explored the Singapore Botanic Gardens and shopped for New Year at Orchard Road (again!).. And tonight, we are going to be part of the biggest Countdown Party in Singapore at the Marina Bay, wooohooo!

At 21, I am still young and the world is waiting for me. The start of the year was quite a blur since I did not know what to do until after graduation. Now, I am sure that I will pursue travelling all around the country and all around Asia until I get tired of it. Hopefully, we could explore even more places and experience more thangs next year!

To my real-life friends, blogger friends, online friends, to the companies/PR agencies who invited me and Cebu Bloggers Society members to your events, to all my blog readers, to my haters (LOL!), to my family and to God Almighty, thank you so much for the YEAR 2011! It was a roller coaster ride of a year which gave me a bucketful of learnings and realizations which have transformed me into who I am, a stronger person that will be facing the New Year 2012 ahead!

LET’S TANGO THIS 2012! HAVE A GREAT YEAR AHEAD EVERYONE!!!

Comments

5 Comment

  1. na teary eyed naman ako at kasama maskara sa yearend post mo! see you in sinulog and Masskara 2012!

  2. what a very interesting year that was but where is the “crowning glory” picture of sinjin forever21?

  3. Oh dear…
    There’s no better way to say it for 2011. Great Post!
    And for 2012 and beyond, yes let’s tango!

    Cheers for Tangerine!
    Yumny 😀

  4. Can you send me bernd taxi phone number. Left something in their taxi.

  5. There are some things only experience can bring.

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