I Know What I Did This Summer—Travel Non-stop

This has got to be the busies summer ever. Travel has been truly non-stop.  I haven’t even finished blogging about my trip to Laos last December-January and my backlog of blogs about my trips are growing and growing and growing. In fact, since coming home from my Laos trip, I have not bothered to store my traveling bags.

Perhaps, watching the alms ceremony every morning during my entire week’s stay at Luang Prabang in early January bestowed on me some sort of travel blessing 🙂

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After three weeks in traipsing around Laos from Houx Xai to Vientianne, I parked my feet and my bags for a couple of months.  Gotta work to fund more travel.

Coron jump-started my series of summer trips.

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Not only was it my first time in Palawan.  It was also my first time to go snorkeling.  It was just so beautiful down below that I forgot all my fear.

Ahem.  That’s me and not a dugong.

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4 days in magical  Coron then flew back to Manila in the morning in time to catch my noon time flight to Cagayan de Oro and head to Bukidnon to visit the Talaandig in Lantapan.  Whew!

Fortunately, I had traveling companions in Coron so I had them bring home some of my bags.  Stayed a night in CDO then took the bus to Bukidnon and made contact with Waway Linsahay, THE musician and one of the datu of the community.

In Lantapan, I was finally able to meet Waway  and got the permission to do fieldwork in the community.

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I didn’t really do much in Malaybalay as I just did a day trip to Lantapan and didn’s stay the rest of my days there as I (and the community) wasn’t prepared to do any fieldwork.  Spent 2 lazy days in the Bukidnon capital.  Actually, I felt I was gonna go crazy.

From the sea to the mountains and to more mountains.  April arrived and with it came the Bontok Lang-ay Festival.   This was a WOW experience!  For an ethnomusicologist like me, it was an easy way to document some traditional music and dancing.

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I returned to Manila, submitted my grades and the school year ended.  Stayed put for a doing the things I gotta do to allow me to travel–that is working on my regular job.

The flowers of May brought a trip to Taiwan.  I got a really good deal here with a seat sale from Air Asia.  Unfortunately, on my second day, I got sick.  I did manage to go to Beitou and see it hot springs, though.

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It was bad time to get sick as Taiwan is known for its delicious street food.  I had a throat infection and couldn’t eat some of the yummy street eats! Aaaaargggh. It was like being in hell—- you see all that good food and you can’t have it.  I did try the Taiwanese sausages that was grilling at every night market in Taipei.

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I didn’t even know there was trouble between the Philippines and Taiwan until I got there when I met a Filipino-Chinese who is a Taipei resident and told me all about it.   Well, I didn’t any experience any hostility or anything remotely different while I was there.  In fact, I found the Taiwanese to be very friendly and accommodating.

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Arrived safely back home minus the  fever that managed to let-up on my last day in Taipei holed-up at the Inn Cube, which by the way, is a really nice budget place to stay in.  I would stay there again when I go back to Taipei (yeah, I’ve already got my Air Asia booking for my December trip).

With the fever gone and a night’s rest on my own bed, Puerto Galera was next.  It had been more than a decade since I last set foot on this beach and I was ready to lay claim to it again. Fever or no fever, I had organized this trip with some co-workers from my regular job and I was really going!

Got my tan and some fresh sea breeze then it was on to the sand dunes and the wild beach of Laoag. Unfortunately, I dropped my Blackberry phone on the bus and it was never seen again.

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Loaded with Marcia’s royal bibingka (better than the more famous Tongson’s) and a kilo each of Laoag longganisa and bagnet I arrived back home sweet home in Quezon City past 10 pm on Sunday, May 26.   The trip back was tiring and uninspring especially since it was sooo traffic in Pangasinan. We didn’t even do a stopover at Sison for some yummy pork bbq.   I think, I’m gonna take the 50-minute flight next time I decide to go back to Laoag or even Vigan.

This afternoon, I just arrived from Kota Kinabalu.  Two days after arriving from Laoag,  I was on a flight to Kota Kinabalu on board a Zest Air flight (booked via Air Asia).

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This was a really last-minute trip.  After 3 days of checking-out the Air Asia promo with Zest Air, it’s new partner, i finally decided to click the “Book Now” button.  I was quite unhappy with my Taiwan trip as I felt I didn’t really go on vacation as I spent about 3 days feeling sick.  I missed wandering down the streets, taking local transport, and generally just going with the flow of the local crowd.  Big boss was on a cruise ship on the Alaskan sea so I thought I might as well give at a last shot before summer really ends.  Bonus was it being the Pesta Ka’amatan, the Kadazandusun end of harvest festival.  That mademe click the “Book Now” button even faster.

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I really was happy I booked the KK trip.  It more than made-up for my lackluster holiday in Taiwan.  Tomorrow, school starts and together with my regular job, June is gonna be really busy.

But wait, I got a trip to GenSan for a short fieldwork in Lake Sebu mi-June.  Gotta unpack my bags and pack them again,

“Till the net trip.

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