Achievements Unlocked in 2012

Ah, yes the year-ender post. Where do I begin, when I haven’t written about half of the trips I took this year? Let’s see, bullet points would be the easiest way. The year 2012 has been pretty good in terms of travel. I wasn’t able to go on some of the international trips I had planned this year, but in return I got a lot of local trips, some of which were totally unexpected. Here are the major blog/trip highlights and “achievements unlocked” this year:

  • Domain Upgrade: Upgraded WordPress blog to a self-hosted
  • Blog facelift: Got an awesome new blog banner designed by the pure genius known as The Creative Dork/The Travelling Dork aka Robx Bautista
  • Fan Likes: Gained more than 900 followers on Facebook (up from 300 the first year)
  • Page views: Exceeded 200,000 page views
  • Page Rank upgrade: Achieved a Google Page Rank of 3 since switching to a domain
  • Traveled by air more than 5x in the same year
  • Traveled by land, sea, and air in the same year
  • Traveled locally at least once a month
  • Traveled abroad at least once during the year
  • Pinoy Explorer: Traveled to Luzon, Visayas & Mindanao in the same year
  • Pilgrimage: Visited 20 different churches in the same year
  • Chasing Waterfalls: Visited 10 different waterfalls in the same year
  • Cave Explorer: Went spelunking in 5 different caves in the same year
  • Beach-bum: Visited 20 different beaches in the same year
  • Parseltongue: Communed with reptilian wildlife

  • Sport-tripper: Tried out various sports for the first time (Paddleboarding, Target Shooting, Yoga, Samba & Kickboxing)
  • Fun Run: Joined Nat Geo Earth Day Run & Discovery Nature’s Trail Run in Tanay
  • Zombie Apocalypse Survivor: Joined and survived 2 out of 3 Zombie Fun Runs (Outbreak Manila)
  • Drunken Master: Completed the 99 Beers Sidequest (consumed more than 99 different bottles of beer; currently at 105 and counting)
  • Key Master: Acquired (photos of) 52 hotel room keys from places stayed in
  • Festival-Hopper: Covered 5 different fiestas in the same year (Magayon Festival in Albay, Kadagatan Festival in Camarines Norte, Alimango Festival in Samar, La Hermosa Festival in Zamboanga, Sinadya sa Halaran in Capiz)

  • Whirlwind Tour: Visited 11 provinces in 8 days (for Lakbay Norte 3Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Cagayan, Kalinga, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Baguio, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Subic, Pampanga)
  • TV Crew: Joined a trip as a scriptwriter for Living Asia Channel’s shoot in Isabela province
  • Dream Destinations: Finally set foot in Calaguas and Caramoan after failed attempts last year
  • Hogwarts Express: Got to visit the Harry Potter Exhibition in Singapore
  • Solo Backpacking: Traveled solo around Iloilo & Guimaras; Tacloban & Samar, Surigao del Norte, Siargao, Socorro, Surigao del Sur & Butuan. CARAGA trip made possible by Eileen of Possibly Pinay (Thank you Eileen!) 🙂
  • Ultimate Vacation: Spent an awesome five days in Sagada, motorcycling, mountain biking and rock climbing
  • Huling Hirit: Ended the year with another unexpected trip to Capiz, thanks to Claire of Traveling Light, Nina of Just Wandering and Aleah of Solitary Wanderer
  • One off the bucket list: Stayed overnight in Basilan, as a side trip while visiting Zamboanga City


Aside from the publications I already write for regularly, this year I’m glad to have started contributing articles and photos to, SPACE Magazine, Manila Bulletin’s Style Weekend, Leisure + Adventure TRAVEL Magazine, La Isla Air Phil’s Inflight Magazine, and Philippine Tourist Destinations (PTD) Magazine, where I have a motorcycling column of sorts. You may also be seeing my work soon in Motorcycle World, the first Tagalog-English Motoring magazine in the country.

This year, my blog Travel Up was also featured in some magazines and broadsheets including a full spread in Motorcycle Magazine Vol 5. Issue under the Enthusiast’s Section and a mention in a list of “The geekiest places on the web” in The Philippine Star 26th Anniversary Issue.

I still get messages from friends and relatives asking if that was me they saw on TV “eating an Ilocos Empanada” and “gumigiling sa videoke” for the Living Asia Channel episode on Lakbay Norte 3. By some weird twist of fate, I also found myself on the cover of a magazine earlier this year. It was really surreal to see that particular issue of Cruising magazine in bookstands. I did notice that their next issue had a dinosaur skeleton from Mind Museum on the cover, so at least I know I’m in good company.

Last but not least, I also got to meet a whole bunch of really cool travelers on the road. I hope 2013 will be filled with even more surprises and trips. Thanks to all of those who have been reading my blog since I started it in March 2011. See you on the road and cheers to the year ahead! 🙂


This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival December 2012 with the theme ”2012: This Year In Travel” [PART 1] hosted by Gay Mitra-Emami of Pinay Travel Junkie and [PART 2] hosted by Regine Camille Garcia of Between Coordinates. For previous Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival topics, click the logo on the left.

33 thoughts on “Achievements Unlocked in 2012

  1. “Achievements unlocked” – gamer na gamer talaga hehehe. Glad to have traveled with you, Kara. =) Here’s to more awesome adventures – and achievements unlocked, yes – for 2013!

    P.S. Love that magazine cover. =)

    • Thanks Atty. Mhe-anne. Swinerte lang na walang ibang nag-AATV nung time na yun, so pina-pose ako ng photographer ng magazine. Didn’t know it would end up on the cover. Moral of the story: always befriend the photographers 🙂

    • Thanks Ed! Really glad to have traveled with you and the rest of the PTB Lakbay Norte 3 crew earlier this year. Dami kong natutunan about SEO and blogging in general. Keep those headstands coming and happy new year to you too! 🙂

  2. hands down to your sports and travel features! amazing how you would hit the round anytime. congratulations to that long list of achievements and 2013 will be as exciting! cheers to that!

  3. Pingback: Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ 2012 Year-End Blog Carnival: The Year We Traveled Like It’s The End Of The World | Confessions of a Pinay Travel Junkie

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