It takes a formidable spirit to endure 2013. From the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan, earthquake and armed conflict in our country, The Philippines, to my personal adversities, we could either dwell on tragedy and misery or choose to rise, become better, and move on. The results will always depend on our decisions.
Yet in so many ways, I consider 2013 as one of my most blessed years. There are so much reasons to celebrate and be grateful for! I was privileged to set foot in few countries that brought me priceless memories and worthwhile experiences. I was fortunate to be invited to some of the luxurious hotels and restaurants in Malaysia, Singapore and Manila. The year was also kind in providing this blog, recognition, online features and citations.
With this photo-essay, allow me to relive and share once more, where my feet took me in 2013. Everything in 2013 reminded me that every moment counts, every step matters. I’m counting blessings.
JANUARY 2013 : CHIANG MAI, THAILAND
- Padaung / Long Neck Women & Other Hill Tribes in Thailand
- Doi Suthep Buddhist Temple
- Elephant Show, Elephant Ride, Ox-Cart Ride, Bamboo Raft Ride, Orchid Farm
- Chiang Mai Zoo : Pandas, Koalas And More!
- Beyond Boundaries : Penang-Hat Yai-Bangkok-Chiang Mai
- Anusarn Market, Tha Phae Gate Night Market and lots of Thai Food!
FEBRUARY 2013 : LANGKAWI, KEDAH & PENANG, MALAYSIA
LANGKAWI, KEDAH, MALAYSIA : Our Days in Cenang & Tengah Beaches, Langkawi
Also in February 2013, I was able to blog a Mini-Travel-Guide to George Town, Penang…
FEBRUARY 2013 : Mini Guide to George Town, Penang : A UNESCO World Heritage Site
MARCH 2013 : KUALA LUMPUR & PENANG, MALAYSIA
APRIL 2013 : MALACCA, MALAYSIA & SINGAPORE
APRIL 2013 : Random Memories, Happy Thoughts from Melaka
MAY 2013 : SINGAPORE & PENANG, MALAYSIA
MAY 2013 : Singapore River Safari
MAY 2013 : River Safari, Night Safari & Singapore Flyer : Courtesy of iVenture Card, Singapore
MAY 2013 : Chowrasta Road & Market
JUNE 2013 : MALACCA, MALAYSIA & SINGAPORE
AUGUST 2013 : KATHMANDU, BHAKTAPUR, PATAN, NAGARKOT, NEPAL
*Nepal Blog Series includes :
- Our Unforgettable Journey From Malaysia to Nepal
- Incredibly Beautiful Bhaktapur
- Patan : The City of Fine Arts in Nepal
- Beneath Buddha’s Watchful Eyes : Boudhanath Stupa & Swayambhunath Stupa
- Nagarkot : Sleeping in Nepal’s 7000 feet
- Our Last Moments in Nepal : From Nagarkot to Kuala Lumpur International Airport
SEPTEMBER 2013 : MANILA, PHILIPPINES
SEPTEMBER 2013 : Back in Manila
OCTOBER 2013 : PENANG, MALAYSIA
OCTOBER 2013 : How Do You Say Goodbye To Malaysia
NOVEMBER 2013 : SINGAPORE
NOVEMBER 2013 : Gardens By The Bay Revisited Singapore
DECEMBER 2013 : MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES
SPONSORED STAYCATIONS 2013 : PENANG, SINGAPORE, MALACCA, KUALA LUMPUR
I am also thankful to all people who invited me and my family to complimentary hotel accomodation in Malaysia and Singapore this year. I cannot be grateful enough! Many thanks to :
- Eastin Hotel Penang, Malaysia
- Ibis Hotel on Bencoolen, Singapore
- Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang, Malaysia
- Quayside Hotel & Halia Inc. Restaurant, Malacca, Malaysia
- The Elizabeth Hotel, Singapore
- Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore
- Somerset Serviced Residences, Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
OCTOBER 2013 : Elizabeth Hotel, Singapore
COMPLIMENTARY FOOD INDULGENCE : PENANG, SINGAPORE, MANILA
I’m also grateful to the people who sent invitations from restaurants and a few good friends in Penang, Singapore and Manila. Thank you very much to :
- Macalister Mansion, Penang
- Sarkies, Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
- 1885, Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang
- Dinner Treat by Dennis in Hakumai & Omakase, Antoinette, Singapore.
- Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang
- Beringer Wines and Cirkulo Restaurant, Makati City
- Silk Thai Road, BGC, Taguig City
- Burger Company, Quezon City
- Dinner Treats from my Malaysian families in Penang – Mr. Michael & Jasmine, and Mr. Loh & family
- Lunch & Dinner Treat by great friends, Rob & LG
- Harina Artisan Bakery & Cafe, Quezon City
- Sentro 1771, Serendra, BGC, Taguig City
MARCH 2013 : Macalister Mansion : Tobreck Vertical Wine Dinner
MARCH 2013 : Sarkies’ Seafood Buffet Dinner Extravaganza, E&O Hotel Penang
MAY 2013 : 1885 : Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang’s Fine Dining Restaurant
JULY 2013 : Wine & Dine Buffet Dinner at Sarkies, E&O Hotel, Penang
JULY 2013 : Ramadan Buffet at Eastin Hotel Penang
OCTOBER 2013 : Farewell Dinner at Sarkies,E&O Hotel Penang
NOVEMBER 2013 : Two Dinners Hosted by My Malaysian Families
NOVEMBER 2013 : Lunch & Dinner Treats from Great Friends of 20 Years & Counting
NOVEMBER 2013 : Beringer Wines at Cirkulo Restaurant, Makati City
DECEMBER 2013 : Harina Artisan Bakery Cafe, Quezon City
DECEMBER 2013 : Sentro 1771 Serendra, BGC
- Special thanks goes out to Malaysia Airlines for sponsoring our family’s PEN-KUL-KTM roundtrip tickets!
Apart from the Best Expat Blog Award from Ministry of Tourism Malaysia for two consecutive years, 2013 also brought me a few more citations and priceless things that boost my self-esteem. Again, many thanks to those few people who believe in this blog.
- Featured in Expat Interviews : BlogExpat.Com
- Cited as One of Interesting Blogs About Kuala Lumpur/KL-Travel Guide
- Featured in ExpatFocus.Com
- Nomination from Singapore Blog Awards
- Membership in the prestigious Pinoy Travel Bloggers
Looking back, no superlatives will be appropriate to describe the places I’ve been to and the people I’ve met. No volume of photos will ever be enough to express the good and bad memories of the journeys I took. Everything and everyone provided me life lessons generously.
Twenty thirteen has been like no other, yet through it all, one thing remains the same. I opt not to dwell in negative things and be more hopeful for tomorrow. It’s incredibly ecstatic to wonder where my feet will take me in the coming years.
May we all have a Blessed Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!
*This is my entry to Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival
for the month of December 2013 entitled,
hosted by Brenna Bustamante of