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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sydney Sidetrips 2012

I'm on a roll. I have just finished three blog posts about Ilocos and now I'm excited to start another new post. I'm again writing about my trip to Australia. This is my fourth time to be in the land down under.

My trips last May to Sydney was mostly for work but on the weekend I was able to visit again the Opera House, see the Harbour Bridge, walk along Circular Quay, shopping at Paddy's Market and lots more. Weather is a bit cold as winter is about to start. Everything still seems the same and it was great to be back and see my other friends and colleagues.

After the work week, I was also glad to have been able to drop by and spend some time Brisbane to visit my ninang and her family.

I arrived in Sydney on a Saturday night via Philippine Airlines. Hmm, PAL didn't have a personal video on board so I mostly spent the flight sleeping. Boo! Anyhow, the fight was okay and I didn't feel dizzy at all, maybe because I made sure have taken Bonamine. :-)

The flight took 8 hours.

Happy eating. Airline food c/o PAL.This is steamed fish with rice. Some salad, bread and gelatin for dessert.

I flew with my colleague. The person beside me who is a Filipino living in Australia offered to take our photo.

We arrived in Chatswood and haven't had dinner so here's a nice place near the mall.

Our first meal in Sydney. Ham and mushroom in white sause penne and chips. The chips where nicely cooked and crispy. I also liked the penne, very tasty! Yum!

It was lovely late dinner. It was such a chilly night and since most shops have already closed, we already decided to head back to our apartment and rest. The following day we plan to go around the city.

Ilocandia Series: Marcos Museum and Vigan

On our third day in Ilocos we went to have lunch in Fort Ilocandia again and off to Marcos Museum. It is my second time to be in the museum.

As usual, memorabilia of the late President are on display. One of the attractions is the museleum where the preserved body of the president lies.

Heading back to Manila on our last day we also went to Vigan. It was a beautiful site. Loved the feel of the old Spanish houses.

That was it for the Ilocandia series. I don't think I'll be able to make a write up of the costs as this is a family trip and I haven't taken down the expenses at all. :) Anyway, I hope to go back if given the chance so hopefully by that time I'll be able to jot down the details.

Ilocos is such a lovely historical place. It can even look romantic too, especially Vigan. So if you haven't gone there, make sure you find your way soon!

Ilocandia Series: Sand Dunes, Paoay Church and others sights

After our lunch at Fort Ilocandia, we decided to take the trip further to the Sand Dunes. There is a beach when you drive a bit further. We should have brought our swimming gears!

I actually wanted to experience sand boarding in the sand dunes, but it was such a hot day so we only took some photos and went on to our next stop.

I never imagined the Paoay Church to be that huge! It's very lovely in the pictures.

Taking the famous jump shot!

On my background are the massive buttresses of the church.

Picture perfect. I really liked the facade of this church.

We had more time to kill and decided to check out Pangil beach in Currimao with lots of coral formations.

We didn't stop there, on our way back, we also dropped by the Mariano Marcos University. Lovely sunflowers lined infront of us.

As the day ended, we took some time to have merienda at Robinsons. It is located in Valdez Center.

It was a fruitful day we went to so many places. Yay!

Ilocandia Series: Marcos' Birthplace and Fort Ilocandia

On our second day of the Ilocandia family trip, we head to Marcos' Birthplace and Fort Ilocandia.

It was a quick stop that we made at Marcos' Birthplace. It's a 2-floor house filled with memorabilia of the late President Marcos and family.

We also passed by the Ilocos Norte Capitol building on our way to Fort Ilocandia.

Fort Ilocandia's lobby, here shown with a lovely chandelier. A number of prominent politicians and visitors have been to Fort Ilocandia.

Since it's lunch time, we went to have our lunch at the Chinese Restaurant on second floor. We were supposed to go for a swim, but we are no longer allowed since they have many guests that day. Boo!

We were not allowed to go inside anymore. Anyway, we can come back next time!

We also passed by the Malacanang of the North. I didn't have the chance to get a better picture.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Looking Back and How This All Started

Sometimes, I'd ask myself where did all start. This thing that got me into blogging about my travels.

Way before the blog 'Tips 'n Travels' came about, not many probably knew, that I already have a personal site/blog from Friendster and Multiply. It started as a personal site for my everyday rants and raves about life and everything under the sun.

Until one day, I've been given one of the most wonderful opportunities of my life.

19th of September of 2005. My first time to travel overseas. Went more than 6,000 KM from home and arrived in a chilly weather of Sydney, Australia. During that time, I have started some sort of photo blogging thru Friendster as a way to update my family and friends. 

Sydney Harbour Bridge on the background - Sydney, 2012
On my second trip to Sydney in 2007, I gained more passion to divert the photo blogging skills to a more user friendly platform on Multiply. When I upload photos and give story to describe my experience, it was such a great feeling to get comments from my family and friends. I didn't even have such a decent camera then but I still pursue to give them my regular updates.

That unexplained feeling made me realise that I really love to travel and get lost (HAHA!). In my quest for knowing more about places, researching for certain tips and stuff, I bumped into two of the most influential blogs in the Philippines. I got into reading Pinay Travel Junkie of Gay and JustWandering of Nina. As time goes by, as I read more of their blogs and experiences, I developed this love for improving on my writing and blogging and sharing my travel experiences at the same time. And since a lot of people I know already asks me for tips and stuff, it dawned on me to finally get into travel blogging.

And then there was 'Tips 'n Travels'. The name is no-brainer. I'd be honest. I just wanted a quick and memorable name. That's all. And I'm not even sure if it's memorable. Haha!

Darling Harbour - Sydney, 2012
So from Multiply, I began to move some travel related stuff into Blogger thru the import facility. My next destination that time is Thailand. So I gave a shot on that trip to take note of my expenses, how I managed and planned my budget, how I chose the accommodations and stuff. They were all written down on my early posts. 

The boom of Facebook also got me into creating an FB page for my blog. It's a great way to expand my network of readers. And eventually also decided to join the PTB group. 

But ultimately, the fun part of having a travel blog is being able to read my old post and re-live the memories in no time. 

Every trip I had in mind are noted in my blog. It was challenging at first, well it's still challenging though, having to find time to write as I had to perform my full time work as well. But it didn't stop me. Every time I get the free time given I'm not too lazy or not experiencing the writer's block, I try to get into posting for my blog. And you know what, having seen my stats go up and comments from readers inspired me to go on even if, yeah, I have nothing left to write. :-)

Today, I still carry the writer's block, sometimes. I usually write only weekends so maybe I won't be able to cope up with other well written blogs.

But I've promised myself I will keep this blog even if nobody reads it. For me, my travels and the memories that came with it will stay here in my heart, in my mind and in my humble blog!

This is my entry to this month's PTB Blog Carnival. July's theme 'The Journey that made us a travel blogger' is run by fellow PTB Edmar of Edmaration. Catch the rest of the entries Here! . 

Previous PTB Themes are also available when you click the PTB Logo on the left. Enjoy and happy reading!