Updated February 2016
In the latest edition of video game Tomb Raider, Lara Croft can choose to deviate from the main quest and search for relics and GPS caches hidden off the beaten path. In Arkham Asylum, Batman can opt to track down the Riddler’s trophies while trying to foil the Joker’s plot.
Many video games, especially the role-playing/adventure types, usually have sidequests where the goal is to collect certain items. Usually these items are not really essential to finishing the overall game. Most of the time it’s just for bragging rights. Among the memorable collectible items in games I have played are those rare cards from the Triple Triad card mini-game in Final Fantasy VIII, the insanely hard to complete 100 stray beads from the game Okami, and memories and bottles in Alice: The Madness Returns.
The latest game I played, The Last of Us, had me searching for Firefly pendants, training manuals and comic books while trying to fight off the infected and survive in a brutal post-apocalyptic world.
Inspired by the video game concept, I started my own collections and sidequest missions during real life travel. Since I don’t have the space to start a physical collection, I’ve been taking photos of the items instead, which I update in my “Menu screen” (Facebook page). Here’s an update on the missions I’ve been doing so far:
- Mission: Take photos of Philippine banknotes at the landmarks featured on the bill
- Status: 4/6 collected
I’ve been collecting photos of Philippine currency in the landmarks featured on the back of the bill since 2012. I got photos of the P20 bill during a motorcycle ride from Sagada to the Banaue Rice Terraces, the P50 bill at Taal Lake during a duathlon in Balete, Batangas, the P100 bill showing Mayon Volcano from The Oriental Hotel in Albay and the P200 bill while motorcycling around Bohol*. The next goal is to return to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River in Palawan and (hopefully) go diving in Tubbataha Reef! I think it’s highly unlikely I’ll be able to complete this with Tubbataha, since diving there is very expensive. But I can dream, right?
- Mission: Check into 99 different hotels and take photos of room keys
- Current status: COMPLETE (started 2011)
I stay in a lot of hotels and resorts for work and personal travel over the years, but I only thought of taking photos of the room keys in 2011. There’s something about keys that I find really interesting. I think you can tell the character of each room by the keys.
- Mission: Try out 99 different brands of beer from all over the world
- Current status: COMPLETE (currently on bonus round)
I make it a point to try the local brew of other countries when traveling abroad. I also found some foreign beers on sale at the grocery, so I raided all those I hadn’t tried before. Some friends and relatives have also very nicely taken home a couple of cans of beers from their trips abroad to add to the beer collection, which I completed last October 2012. I now have several shelves full of beer bottles, fridge magnets made from bottlecaps, and a mini-beer garden (bottles used as vases for plants) in a small balcony.
- Mission: Take photos & sample (if possible) as many unique types of ‘exotic’ dishes from the country and around the world
I haven’t made a lot of headway on this because my default second player isn’t that adventurous when it comes to food and always prefers to order the “safe” rather than the exotic dishes. Usually exotic dishes in restaurants are on the expensive side and the servings are too big for just one person. Am on the lookout for a travel companion who wouldn’t mind eating bizarre food like barbecued river eel, snails, beetle larva, and fried frogs. Any takers?
- Mission: Collect indigenous handwoven textiles and fabrics from different provinces in the Philippines
Lately, I’ve been collecting native weaves and textiles from the different provinces that I visit. There are many rich weaving traditions in the different parts of the country (particularly in Mindanao) and I find native weaves more interesting souvenir items compared to the usual ref magnets or mugs. Latest additions include colorful Yakan weaving from Basilan and a handwoven mat from a traditional Badjao village in Tawi-Tawi.
To view the updated collections, like Travel Up on Facebook and check out the albums there. Do you have your own travel collection? What other interesting collections can you suggest? 🙂
This is my entry to the July 2013 Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival “Of Things and Memories we Acquire on the Road” hosted by Jun Baris of Galang Pusa. For previous Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival topics, click the logo on the left.