Jomalig Island!
The year 2018 has been one of my most exciting years as a travel and food blogger. I made several out-of-town trips, had my first solo travel in April, wrote several food reviews and finally did video logging or vlogging. I have also created a video channel for this site in Youtube and in my instagram account.
I also got a nerve to explore another interest, which for so long had not crossed in my mind to be pursued - landscape photography. I like capturing moments in the environment and having developed this interest into a skill felt like a breakthrough in my blogging passion.
It has been my great interest to write stories about the environment, the nature, the new places I have been into, and snapping outdoor moments through photography is always priceless. So I always make it a point to take photos of the surroundings when I am on the road.
My only failed travel goal this year is a supposed trip to South Korea in September. It was not materialized due to some issues in schedule with my friends, we could not agree with the exact date of the travel and other stuff.
I am yet to do a road trip adventure. It has been in my bucket list for my travel blog for so long but still got no chance to do it. A road trip to a countryside, or near the lake or to the mountains, is a perfect idea of an outdoor adventure. And a unique material for my travel blog. But I could not make it alone. I need someone to go with me. I still have no courage to explore the risky trail and landscape alone. 😔😏
I made new friends this year, people who shared my passion in food and travel. But more than anything else, I cherished the moments I spent in the adventures. Those were special. Felt like I have just started living an amazing life.
My food trips were mostly in the oriental restaurants, particularly Japanese, and had reviewed several food establishments. Most of it appeared in Zomato, the largest restaurant search platform in the world.
Among the restaurants I have visited, Tim Ho Wan is one of my most favorites. It is the only Michelin Star-rated restaurant I have been to this year. My tastebud is always oriental and prefer my meal to be in a moderate serving. Tim Ho Wan exactly fits this category of my preference. Food has been so great, tasty, flavorful, and in moderate serving. Not too heavy, nor too light. Just in a precise amount and taste.
This preference in food sounds like a great contrast to the title of this blog. Gourmand in French means a person who has a large appetite, who likes to eat big or loves fine dishes. But I love food, yes. Only that I prefer a small serving.
Another favorite food destination is Hello Kitty Cafe in Uptown Mall, BGC. Though a little pricey, but the food selections are luscious, decadent and super scrumptious which offer the best value of money. Plus the cute interior. Hello Kitty retains its authentic Sanrio design, however, serves French-inspired dishes.
I made quite a number of travel adventures this year, mostly beach, exploring three destinations for the first time. In February, I joined five of my female friends to Balai Sa San Juan, a private beach resort in San Juan, Batangas.
In July, I was with my sister and her two friends at Stilts Beach, dubbed as a Maldives-inspired resort in Calatagan, Batangas due to its floating villas. It was only a day trip but a well-deserved weekend getaway.
Towards the end of September, I joined three colleagues, embarking into a two-day island adventure to Jomalig, Quezon province, so far, the farthest beach destination I have traveled in Luzon and the riskier.
Initially, we were 10 taking the plan, but towards September, the weather became harsher and there was even a forecast of a typhoon. Our friends had cancelled the plan but the four of us decided to just proceed with it.
Jomalig is part of Polillo group of islands and the sea travel took five hours under a rough sea. But it was an incredible island, still unspoiled and unexplored, the experience made the difficult travel worthy every bit.
Jomalig is one beach destination that should be in every traveler's bucket list. Aside from its very peaceful tropical surroundings, beaches are gorgeous with irresistible clear blue water and white sand. Food is fresh and accommodation is cheapest. Well, this is a secluded island afterall.
But what really made this year a very memorable one in my travel pursuit was the solo trip I made in April. It was the most exciting because it was my first solo travel out of town. It was my birthday and I wanted to do something different in traveling for the first time. I haven't gone solo in traveling yet, though I have always wanted to do it. But I don't have a nerve to push through with it.
I am always scared to travel alone. Scared to encounter trouble in the road, scared to meet bad guys. But on my birthday this year, I wanted to accomplish something. So I mustered enough courage to go solo traveling. Because it would be my first time to do it, I chose the safest and nearest destination - Tagaytay.
It was one of the most exciting things I ever did in life. As though I was learning a new skill, or discovering a new hobby. I left Manila at 8:00 in the morning and returned at 5:00 in the afternoon. I was able to visit Twin Lakes and the most beautiful Starbucks in the Philippines.
In October, I joined my two friends visiting Upside Down Museum in Pasay. It was my first time to visit a unique museum where displays are not related to history and culture but inverted objects that made you look upside down.
My life as a gourmand traveler and blogger is an exciting one. It allows myself to hit three special interests at the same time - writing, traveling and photography. I have a passion that allows myself to see the beauty of the world in traveling, discover how far my courage could go in adventure, record moments in the environment through taking pictures. And write stories on the road. It gives me enough time to relax, recharge, chill, loosen up, and wander. There's nothing more interesting in life than to be a travel blogger.
May the year 2019 will be finally my breakthrough year chasing my travel and photography passion. And hopefully, my courage will take me a little farther. Another solo travel perhaps. And out-of-the-country trip. So help me God. Happy New Year!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎈🎈🎈