Skip to content

10 EVENTS IN MY 10 YEARS OF BLOGGING

I always smile and cringe whenever I think of my first blog post. It was a very short narrative about my trip to Roxas City in Capiz (one of the southern provinces in my country, the Philippines). If you must know, I wrote about how sweet the mangoes I tasted from Guimaras; I briefly discussed how my flight from Manila went, and how fresh the grilled seafood dishes in Roxas City were. But I still believe until this date, that I did not do justice to travel blogging about Capiz; I mean, I think I could’ve done better.

That first blog post was published on this site on 8th of May, 2007.  And thankfully, 10 years after, this blog has evolved into what it has become. I only wished I established this blog earlier, like long before I started traveling. Yes, folks! I confess that my first love was traveling, and blogging comes only as second best on my list. Seriously, I have been traveling long before I started to blog. And I somehow regret to have nothing documented properly about my first trip to Hong Kong; the same is true when my family and I went to USA, Brunei, and New Zealand. Nevertheless, there’s a long list of things to be grateful for, as I’ve been keeping this blog alive for a decade now!

Please allow me to stroll down memory lane, and enumerate the 10 significant events that happened within 10 years that were all recorded on this blog. These are the events that are worth celebrating for!

  • 1. MEETING PEOPLE & CONNECTING WITH THEM.

DSCF9567
My Filipino blogging family in UAE.

With blogging, I met countless people from all over the globe and from all walks of life, both online and up close and personal. This site has enabled me to reach out and connect with readers and followers, fellow bloggers and those so-called, social media influencers, to PR managers and Marketing directors.

It feels awesome whenever I receive queries regarding my posts; it means there’s a living soul who’s interested with what I wrote; and it’s even more amazing whenever I read sensible comments and sound advice regarding my posts. And then, the most rewarding part is putting a face to the username, whenever I get to meet my virtual friends. More often than not, previous strangers have become friends because of blogging.

A single superlative would not be enough to describe the feeling of meeting people with the same interest and passion! Thankful to meet fellow travel bloggers, instagrammers and social media users for the past 10 years and counting!

Also, I’m thankful to those who invited me to review their hotels, restaurants, airline services, theme parks and events. A few Marketing and Public Relations people have become my good friends too!

  • 2. LIVING IN MALAYSIA

georgetown, penang, malaysia 32
My son, Gabby in George Town, Penang, Malaysia.

This blog has been repository of my years and travels in Malaysia.  From the day I left my country in 2010, to become an expat and to join the league of Overseas Filipino Workers; when I worked as one of the medical lecturers in a medical university-college in Penang, I’m grateful that I had immense opportunities to travel within Malaysia and neighbouring Asian countries. And most of the adventures and trips were blogged on this site.

It was 3 remarkable years of learning about Malaysian people, culture, tradition, heritage and food!

  • 3. TRAVEL TO ASIA

2
A charming quarter outside Bhaktapur Durbar Square, a UNESCO heritage site in Nepal.

With Malaysia as my home-base for 3 years, I’m thankful I was able to take trips to some Malaysian states and neighbouring countries like Singapore, Thailand, Nepal and Hong Kong in both sponsored trips and personal ones.

I was exposed to the fact that traveling makes one appreciate the vast world in a smaller scale.

  • 4. WON 2 INTERNATIONAL BLOG AWARDS, EARNING CITATION, FEATURES, INTERVIEWS AND RECEIVING INVITATIONS.

2013 best expat blog awards docgelo
Best Expat Blog Awardee for  2 years – in 2012 & 2013, from Ministry of Tourism Malaysia.
best expat blog 2012 ministry of tourism malaysia
Honored & thankful to received 2 of these awards!
Ringed Beauty, published on July/August 2012 Lonely Planet Magazine Asia
My portrait of a young Burmese refugee, published in 4 glossy pages of Lonely Planet.
July 2012 Lonely Planet
My “Floating Duo” from Hat Yai, was also published in Lonely Planet Asia Magazine.

    • 2 of my travel photos taken in Chiang Mai and Hat Yai, Thailand were published in 2 separate issues of Lonely Planet Asia Magazine.
    • 2 International Awards from Ministry of Tourism Malaysia for being Best Expat Blog Awardee for 2012 and 2013 respectively.
    • A string of online travel and expat magazine citations and interviews.
    • Invitations from airline companies, theme parks, premier hotels and upscale restaurants in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
    • I couldn’t be grateful enough!

I started my blog to document my journey and my son’s growing up years, until it became focused on travel. I’ve never started to blog to become famous, to win awards, much more to get noticed. I’m blogging because it provides platform for my creativity. I’m blogging because blogging makes me happy!

  • 5. BECAME AN EXPAT IN DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES.

DSCF2568
Stunning, always inspiring Dubai became my third home after I left Malaysia.

Following my 3 years in Malaysia, I transferred to Dubai, UAE with a new work, new life and a fresh start. Dubai has opened a lot of opportunities for me to gradually grow personally and professionally. Along with my new found-independence, this blog has evolved and has been better! More stories, more travels, more adventures, more events, more reasons to be thankful!

I may have struggles and sacrifices living alone in the UAE, however, at the end of the day, I remain thankful for everything – for both difficulties and pleasant times! 

  • 6. TRAVELED TO MIDDLE EAST, CENTRAL ASIA AND EURASIAN COUNTRIES.

14290401271_86b94f8507_o
The Treasury in Petra, Jordan.
DSCF8739
Taj Mahal in Agra, India!
DSCF3336
Nasir ol Molk Mosque, Shiraz, Iran.
TURKEY
Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey.

I had a chance to initially visit the emirates comprising the UAE, then I also traveled to neighbouring countries via short haul flights like Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Georgia, Armenia & India. Remarkably, I’ve taken a camel ride in Petra, Joran, experienced my first snowfall in Istanbul, Turkey, broke stereotypes and wrong perceptions about Iran, learned importance of traveling with utmost care and vigilance in India and had a chance to distinguished similarities and draw lines on differences between Georgia and Armenia!

One of the greatest advantages of living the Middle East is being in the center of everything, particularly those destinations inscribed in my own bucket list! 

  • 7.  AUTHORED 2 PUBLISHED TRAVEL PHOTO BOOKS

books
My 2 babies : #TravelMemories & People.Places.Memories.
20150102_134558_Richtone(HDR)-1
Thank you for the feature, The Filipino Times!

My travel stories documented on humble photographs are also immortalised on pages of 2 travel photobooks. Yes, I turned myself into a book author too! #TravelMemories and People.Places.Memories are both available on print on demand via Amazon and Barnes and Noble (click the photos of my books on this blog’s sidebar for the link where you can purchase them online).

And I still dream of publishing a much improved 3rd travel photobook! Thank you to those who purchased a copy of both books! 

  • 8. TRAVELED TO AFRICA.

DSCF8558
Morning glimpse : Baby giraffes in the backyard of Maasai Mara warrior tribe.
13
I indulged in sensory feast in Fes, Rabat and Chefchaouen, Morocco!

I lost count of how many cups of hot mint tea I sipped and enjoyed in Morocco. I ate various kinds of tajines, from chicken, vegetable and camel! I’ve also spent an entire week in Kenya, where I was reminded by wild animals living without borders and fences how essential self-reliance and freedom are!

Blogging keeps the hopeful child inside me alive! I hope and dream to set foot in more African countries in the near future!  I want to experience more conversations with African people, instead of being happy with safari only.

  • 9. TRAVELED TO SOUTH AMERICA.

DSCF2407
Took a chopper flight over Cristo Redentor atop Corcovado Mountain, Rio de Janeiro!
DSCF7528
Marveled at the world’s largest salt flat. Salar de Uyuni in Uyuni, Bolivia!
DSCF6356
And felt surreal in the ancient Incan citadel, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru!

I’m thankful for the chance to travel to South America! Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Iguazu in Brasil. La Paz and Uyuni in Bolovia. Cusco and Lima in Peru!

You made me crave for more of you, South America!

  • 10. TRAVELED TO EUROPE.

DSCF6613
In Venezia, Italia. The most beautiful traffic congestion on the face of the Earth!
DSCF9280
Drove 50km on ice via a bad-ass snowmobile in Rovaniemi, Finland!
DSCF3197
And fulfilled a childhood dream of traveling to Paris, France!
What seemed to be so impossible and considered to be luxurious was appreciated without spending a fortune. I re-learned the art of backpacking and living in hostels with random strangers. I learned to trust myself more and became more self-reliant. I was reminded that even the tiniest positive thing is a blessing! Thankful to all people that I met who became my friends in Napoli and Milano; I’m equally grateful for the chance to visit the Vatican City for a personal pilgrimage, and to visit the various cathedrals in Rome, Florence and in southern Italy. I fell in love with otherworldly European places like Venice, Firenze, Cinque Terre, Sorrento, Positano, Procida, Paris, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, Valletta, Tallinn, Riga, Helsinki, Rovaniemi!

Traveling across few cities in Europe reminded me to look beyond the superficial, and to value more the depth and meaning of everything!

I cannot wait to explore more countries in Europe again!

20150102_135018_Richtone(HDR)-1-1
I still stand with my words published on The Filipino Times here in UAE.

  • So for the past 10 years, it’s 34 countries, 5 continents, countless flights, bus and train rides.
  • 2 International Blog Awards, several features, citations, and published photographs in international travel and in-flight magazines.
  • Invitations from premier hotels, upscale restaurants, must-visit-theme parks, and most importantly, meeting people who became friends throughout the years!
  • Authored 2 published travel photobooks and still dreaming to create a much better 3rd edition!
  • Took 2 chopper flights in Brasil. Ate camel tajine in Morocco. Rode a bad-ass snowmobile and a reindeer sleigh in Finland. Walked on salt flat in Bolivia. Soaked my feet on sand dunes of UAE. Explored the islands of Malta and Venezia. Arrived in Estonia via huge ferry from Helsinki. Took a night train in Russia and Austria. Accidentally sprained my right ankle in Vienna. Lost all my pocket money when I was mugged by 4 men in India. Accidentally dropped my camera in Istanbul, Rome and Cusco. Got lost so many times in bus and train platforms.
  • Throughout the past 10 years of my journey, blogging keeps my memories vivid and alive!
  • Funny how simple I can sum up that 10 long years of blogging into 2 significant words : THANK YOU!

 Maraming salamat po!

(That’s thank you very much in my native tongue, Tagalog or Filipino).

21 Comments

  1. Congratulations Doc Gelo 😁

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thank you very much!

  2. Wonderful to read how your blog evolved through the years. You’ve been to wonderful places and met exceptional people and culture. Will be reading more!

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thank you so much!

  3. Cheers! We have been enriched by your travels. I enjoyed all the posts and I’m so happy for you and your success.

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thank you! It’s rarity nowadays to find a breed of people who are happy for others. 😊

  4. Dr Sawera Mansoor Dr Sawera Mansoor

    Its always a pleasure to go through your honest and from-the-heart perspectives of travel. The beautiful pictures provide a visual treat! Keep it up:)
    Dr Sawera from Pakistan.

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thanks, Doc!

  5. Ula Ula

    Congratultions on your 10 years! I’ve been a silent follower and loved your tip #2 the best and #4 the next 🙂 You’re so lucky to have been able to travel practically the world 🙂 keep sharing 🙂

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thank you so much for taking time to comment and of course, for following my blog. Really appreciate it! God bless!

  6. Jasper Jasper

    More power DOc!

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thank you!

  7. Ed Ed

    Congrats Dokie on your 10th blogversary! This blog really inspired and continue to inspire a lot of people including me and Lady. Cheers to more years to come!

    • docgelo docgelo

      Naks! Maraming salamat!

  8. Jojo Jojo

    Wow! Congrats doc on your 10th year wonderful journey as a blogger. Thanks for sharing some of your trips and tips on traveling. Keep moving doc and God bless more on your next/future escapes! I’m a fan here and your no. 1 follower. Yes! 😉 Thanks for inspiring! Hope one day sana mameet ka namin personally. Yes! Grats again docgelo! 👍😊More power! 👏✋️☝️

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thank you so much, Jojo!

      Uwi ako April next year. See you!

      • Jojo Jojo

        Oh! Sure cge doc. Sagot ko na ang kainan…aw! Hehe favor doc dala kana rin ng book mo, bili ako tas signatyuran mo na rin. Ayos! Salamat doc in advance. Looking forward here! 👍👏☝️😊😉

        • docgelo docgelo

          Wow, ok! Thank you!!!

          Sige, see you next April! I’ll make it a point to go home for 2 weeks there!

  9. Jojo Jojo

    Alright doc. See you! 😊✋️

  10. Lala Lala

    Congratulations! Whenever I want to visit a country I always Google up Dolgellau. Com blog! I’m a fan here in Uae 🙂 keep it up we truly enjoy your write ups!

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thank you so much!

Comments are closed.