I am not really into making year-end posts because a post of this kind is not evergreen. It is time-dependent. By time, the value goes down. Time can consume it fast. But I realized it is just once a year right?  

And for the fact that I have a lot of [wonderful] things to mention, I was compelled to make mine too. And it is my first time to make a year-ender post. I have several blogs but never have I made one.

For this post, I want to highlight not the place but the experiences that push me to blog. I said that because I love talking. I love talking about my experiences, my insights, my opinion and everything my emotion feels. That's me, It's not the place per se. I am particular about my feelings. I talk a lot about my feelings and experiences I encounter on my travels.

It's the end of the year but this post is all about firsts and beginnings. Like the Mayan calendar, it ends, but after the ending is the birth of new era. So I will be highlighting the 12 beginnings for the end of 2012. This 2012 wrap-up post will be about my first time experiences (in my whole life) that happened in 2012.
I know this is not something great or uncommon but for a low-profile traveler like me exploring low-profile towns, it means a lot because it is my first time and it marks.

That is the Vigan Heritage River Cruise. Cruising the Mestizo River allowed me to meet low-profile people and I can relate with their lives a lot. I want to help them not because "I have something" but because I know how it feels to have nothing. 

First Time to Meet a Travel Writer

With Edgar (eazytraveler.com) photo by Journeying Pinay

It was EAZY Traveler, Edgar Alan Zeta Yap whom I met. He is a travel blogger too but I want to tag him as a travel writer. I find it more appropriate to call him that way. His blog is a free travel magazine accessed by a single movement of your index finger. I would mean that his posts are all magazine-worthy.

Yes, first time to see a travel writer whose works are seen on travel magazines. During our first meet-up, we traveled on a motorbike that sustained flat tires until we were almost stranded at the middle of nowhere. I had no idea what to do that time until a trike driver came and oh, sigh, I was relieved that finally someone from nowhere came to save us. That's the reason why it's so memorable. Anyway the photo posted above was during our second meet-up.

First time to meet a female travel blogger

2012 is the year when I first met a female travel blogger. She is Heiz of Journeying Pinay. Yuff, she is the authentic Pinay islander who loves journeying everywhere. She travels at night alone, she goes everywhere and also travels to "give."

That is Journeying Pinay, the very first female travel blogger I met. That first meet-up was memorable because oh well, I was just surprised that she hugged me that instant. Well, it's not a big deal but just because we never met before and she doesn't really know me personally, the friendly hug seemed like we were already long-time friends that's why I was surprised.

Then I told her about that and finally, I understood. Yeah, that is, she really is the Journeying Pinay -- warm, sweet, sweet, cool, sweet, friendly and sweet. During our second meet-up, we walked and talked along that street she tagged as "romantic" until midnight.

P.S. She is also the first ever blogger to make a biography about me :p I feel so special :) That's why I am eating sugar eveytime I read her posts. She loves dealing with people especially the tribal people. She GIVEs to these people too and even got a tattoo.

First Time to Dine (in group) with Bloggers

If Edgar was the first travel writer whom I met (right) and Heiz is the first female travel blogger I also met, who would expect that these 3 souls will meet altogether! That moment was my very first time to dine with travel bloggers -- that time when our souls clashed in one accord.

First Time to Travel Solo with a Motorbike Outside my Province

They say it is a suicide when I traveled solo for a total of 200 kilometers using a motorbike. Yes, they are true but I just can't resist the impulse that compels me. But let's don't establish a standard because everything can be dangerous if we are not cautious. That's why experience is the best teacher. With this experience, I survived the impending danger.

The experience taught me that I can do it. There is danger everywhere, it should not be directed to motorbike riders only. Even if you are sleeping at the comfort of your own house, there is always an accident. Therefore, motorbike riding is safe if you are cautious. It is also the same with "Driving a helicopter is safe if you are cautious" or "Driving a calesa is safe if you are cautious." I hope you are getting what I want to bring out. I mean, why think "accident" if we talk about motorbike riding? There are more motorbike owners than car owners so it is natural that there are more motorbike accidents. I hope you got what I mean.

Anyway, this is my first ever solo motorbike travel outside my province.

First Time to See (and Climb) a Lighthouse

2012 is not really the end of the world and of my world because there are a lot of beginnings that happened this year in my life and one of them is my very first experience to see a lighthouse. Uh, even in my dreams, I have never seen one and 2012 was just a great year for me that it allowed me to finally see a lighthouse. Opportunity-grab, I also climbed the dangerous steel vertical stair, rusty and never mind.

That is the Farola Lighthouse. It is actually historical and it was created by Belgian people who landed on Farola Beach in Tagudin town some 100 years ago.

First Time to Meet a Self-confessed Blog Reader

I met a self-confessed blog reader in person for the first time and the place was at the town of Licuan-Baay in Abra. She is from the United States, A balikbayan and currently living in her hometown in Lagangilang.

I specified a "self-confessed reader" because I don't know if I have already met unknowingly a blog reader of mine before. So in this case, Ma'am Cynthia (her name) introduced herself to me that she reads my blog and oh, it was like a town-shattering happiness. I never expected that! She even requested a picture-taking with me and ohhh, fluttered! She said, "Post me!" Now I am posting! Ma'am Cynthia, if ever you are reading this, and I know you are and you will, I would want to thank you! Happy New Year! Regards to your ministry anf family!

First time to cross (and sail on) a river while inside a car

Prior to my first floating car sailing experience

How I wish I could also experience to topload on a jeep while the jeep is being transported by a motorized balsa but I was just very lucky that I received a VIP treatment from my host in Abra on which I was given a chance to reach the farthest town in Abra at the south.

It was my first time to cross the river while I was inside a car. It is Abra's improvised Ro-Ro system. If the Ro-Ro system connects the islands of the Philippines by sailing to the seas, this balsa crossing in Abra connects the towns of Abra by sailing through the great rivers of the province.

First time to travel with a DSLR

Never in my life have I tried traveling with a DSLR and the wish to travel with a DSLR came true in 2012. Nope, the camera I have always wished to own was not mine. It was owned by a person who wanted me to capture the beauty of her homeland. I don't know who she was and I am not sure if she too, knows me.

But never mind about that because she entrusted me her beautiful camera and take note, I don't know her really. She just let me use her's. Of course, we became friends during and after I used her camera. I also traveled with her. I just don't want to mention their names to protect their privacy. And it was my first time to learn how to set the camera into manual and automatic modes, uh. That was exciting! I am so left behind about those gadgets. I have captured hundreds of photos in her province. Thanks! You know who you are. And to your sister, you know who you are. Sorry, I just want not to mention names for now because of personal reasons, but I might make another thank you section in my blog when the right time comes. You are a blessing to me guys! I am hoping to meet you again soon!

First Time to Ride on a Habal-Habal

It was not the hardcore habal-habal that can carry hyperbolically a one whole village, but the fact that I am about to ride a habal-habal, big or not, hardcore or softcore, is another first time record to be considered.

First Time to See Rice Terraces

My first rice terraces encounter happened in 2012. The place is called Kawayan Rice Terraces. Unheard much right? It is because I am more excited to see the less seen than the more popular ones. I am hoping I will be able to see the more popular rice terraces in Batad and Sagada next year. But for now, I am more than contented seeing the less popular ones.

First Time to Get Published on a Book

I am not a professional photographer, but my photos occupied 4 pages in a coffee table book published by the Philippine Carabao Center. I believe, chance comes by chance, so you don't need to exert much effort for something because if it is for you, then it is for you.

Bonus: Other Memorable Pinoy Travel Bloggers Meet-Ups

Well, it is my first time to meet a Mindanao-based blogger (that time) and he is Dennis Dolojan, of Love Mindanao! We had a quick tour in town via motorbike. 

I have been talking a lot here about my first time experiences but this time, I met Mai Flores of Budget Biyahera and it was the other way around. It was her first time to meet a fellow travel blogger and I was the first one whom she met.

Mai and Rubel were two cool, kind and generous peepz. Imagine, they treated me until my stomach was too full! I even received a box of red ribbon from them! Thanks Mai and Rubel for making my 2012 meaningful! The photo was grabbed from Mai's blog by the way :)

For the second time around, Roj Braga of Adventuroj also met a fellow Pinoy Travel Blogger for the first time and that was me, hehe!

This traveler is also a nurse! Whew! We both are. It is weird but I left them in the house to sleep there because I have to go to my hospital duty. I know, Roj understands how a nurse deal with the time of work because she's a nurse too! When I went home after the duty, they were gone and I was too late, lols. Anyway, the short bonding we had can last a lifetime in my memories! Nice meeting you Rojae!

And to wrap-up things, I also met Mica of Senyorita.net. It was my first time to meet a blogger who can speak Ilocano, because I am an Ilocano. Guess what, we chatted at the middle of Calle Crisologo from night until dawn! Whew! We had a heart to heart talk, hehe.

P.S. (Updated) I forgot to include the first blog I followed before I became a travel blogger myself.! That blog is the langyaw.com by Estan Cabigas! Yey! My experience of traveling with him for the first time is posted in detail here. Sorry I can not post a photo of us together because we were both naked that time, Hahahaha! (I'm not allowed to post that, LOLS!). I also met a blogger for the first time who comes from another niche (HR). He is Eric Cabalda! Just read the link I provided and see where we go @_@.

To sum up, I am looking forward to many more first times next year! Watch out #townfolks!

This is Edmaration #TownExplorer's official entry for the December 2012 Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival hosted by Gay of Pinay Travel Junkie and Regine of Between Coordinates.

To see the previous compilations, click the logo at left.

Related posts filed under the category "BLOG CARNIVAL"

Blog Carnival: Where do Broken Hearts Go? (A Traveler's Perspective)Philippine Summer: A Season for Town ExplorationCervantes, Ilocos Sur | Motorcycle Ride to the Great Wall (of Ilocos)Traveling 4 provinces in PhP3,500 (for 3days and 2 nights)When a Nurse Travels | The Life-Changing MomentsEdmaration.com | The Travel Blog that Started with a Motobike JoyrideThe Birth of 29 Travel Blogs | The Journey that Made Us a Travel BloggerTop 12 in 2012 | A Year-End Post About 12 Beginnings



Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano-Cordilleran. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For collaboration or partnership, email your business proposal at admin@edmaration.com.

Post A Comment:


  1. Haha.. Ikaw na Edmar! Huli ma't magaling, naihahabol rin. Thanks again for letting us stay at ur place.. Next time I'll make sure off duty mo, para naman mas makapag bonding tayo. LOL. Happiest New Year! More travels for 2013! :D

  2. Congrats sa lahat ng first times. Mukhang ang saya talaga ng taon mo and I am glad you decided to highlight the experiences. Happy New Year, Edmar! More adventures for you in 2013 :)

  3. These are firsts to treasure. =) A post on firsts is evergreen for me. =)Here's to a more awesome 2013!

  4. Awwww... kaya pala kailangan ng photo! Hehehe! Thank you for the hospitality while we were in Vigan.. really wished our time together was longer. Di bale, kung may plans kana sa Sagada.. isama mo naman kami.. pangarap din namin ni Rubel makapunta don! Hehe.. Anyhoo... Happy New Year Friend! Super happy to have met you last year.. I know that we'll hang again real soon. Cheers to 2013! More travels!!! :)

  5. oh wow. this is sweet. :D see you around town explorer!hugs.& kisses.

  6. Pag sinabing Vigan at Calle Crisologo si Edmaration yun :) Happy Happy New Year Bro! Keep it up

  7. is sure is worth doing a year-end post Edmar as many started to follow and love your blog. i consider myself a fan of those hidden spots that youve featured. i have yet to explore some of those.

    cheers to more cool road trips North this year!

  8. Rojae B | Hoy nurse! Haha. Oo nga. Ang KJ kc ng sked ko. Hindi bale, I will meet you in Davao hopefully this year :)

  9. Drew | Many thanks Drew! Yuff, 2012 was a great year! Happy New Year din sa`yo :)

  10. Claire | Traveling Light | Thank you Claire for the nice words, hehe. Happy 2013 and cheers to more travels!

  11. Mai Flores | Thanks Mai for adding color to my 2012. Hope to see you again soon!

  12. Journeying Pinay | Hmmm... Got those hugs and kisses you sent... Feels sweet ;-)

  13. Traveling Morion | Yun oh! Hehe. Salamat bro. Happy New Year. :-)

  14. Bonzeti | Con Tour Blog | Kuya Bonz Happy New Year din po sa `yo kai-VIGAN! Hehe.

  15. Dong Ho | Naks kuya Dom, na-touch naman ako dun, hehe. Salamat po. Cheers!

  16. I miss you Edmar! Hehe bitin yung heart to heart talk natin sa Calle Crisologo hehe next time mag-leave ka sa work kapag dadalaw ako ng Ilocos. Char. Kayat ko agsubli dit. Mayat met nga sika ti mapan dyay Pangasinan! :P

  17. Wow ibang lebel talaga yung may self-confessed reader, pati yung published in a book. :) At ang daming PTB meet-up ha. Hehe. Happy new year! More to come in 2013! :)

  18. Micamyx|Senyorita | I misshoo too! Wenla, kayat ko mapan Alaminos ken Bolinao! Welcome ka anytime sa Vigan! Mag-li-leave ako for my Pangasinan trip to see you, Oh Ha! :D

  19. Cris | Pinay Thrillseeker | Cris, feel ko mag-mi-meet na rin tayo finally this year :) Hehe.

  20. Happy new year!
    Cheers to more first times this 2013!

  21. Honored to have been part of making yout 2012 memorable! Hey I might be heading back to Ilocos very soon to write a story!

  22. Ron | Thanks Ron! Happy New Year, cheers! :)

  23. EAZY | heyah Ed! Nice! See you again soon! Happy New Year!

  24. it was an honored to be part of your 2012 adventures... til next fiesta? hahaha. wishing you a prosperous year and good life.

  25. lovemindanao | Thanks Dennis! Pwede, fiesta lang ng fiesta! Haha.

  26. Congratulations on a year well enjoyed! Travelling is indeed an experience worth cherishing... :)

  27. San Josenyong Gala | Thanks! Yes, traveling is really an experience-factory! :-)

  28. Congrats for a travel-filled 2012. I'm sure 2013 will be an better year for you! Cheers!

  29. virgin na virgin puro first time! Pero honestly masaya talaga kapag first time sa mga adventure, travel, foodtrip etc. Mas yan talaga ang tumatatak sa memory. I'm looking forward for more of your travel adventures and hope to meet you soon in the future! Cheers Happy 2013! :)

  30. joan | the backpack chronicles | Thanks Joan! Cheers!

  31. adventurousfeet | Thanks adventurous feet!!! True, actually, almost every travel eh may first time na nararanasan at tumatatak talaga sa memory! See you soon!

  32. I like! Like you, 2012 was a year of many firsts for me too. Who knows, we might meet on the road.

    Happy 2013!

  33. Paulo O | Hey Pau! Tnx! Looking forward to that day that we'll meet!


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