December 19, 2012

12 Noteworthy Travels and Ministry of 2012

2012 has been a fruitful and outstanding year for me. Just recently, I celebrated the first year anniversary of this blog and the celebration calls for more quality travel posts which will have a far-reaching influence to all travelers and to the society as well.

2012 was packed with travels and ministry at home and abroad. And yes, 12 are worth remembering!

1. A Walk Around Cebu City
I've spent the first five months of the year in Cebu City. I was there working as a nurse, and day offs are spent delving into the historic parts of the city. Worth mentioning is the heritage walk I've discovered that will take you around the city's must-see sites from the Capitol to Fuente Osmeña to Colon St. to Museo Sugbo.

National Museum in Museo Sugbo.

Read the posts here:
Great Exhibits at the North Wing
Logos Hope: A Unique Experience
The Historic Magellan's Cross
Fuerza de San Pedro
Historic Sites in Cebu City: 1-Day Itinerary

2. Cebu South Adventures
Inspired by my recent affiliation to the awesome group of Pinoy Travel Bloggers, I embarked on a 2-day Cebu South adventure trip. The trip took me to the seas and falls in Oslob, to the heritage town of Boljoon, to the highest point of Cebu in Dalaguete, and to the network of falls and a beach in Badian. Exhilirating, indeed!

Just a few meters more to the top of Cebu.

Read the posts here:
Save the "Gentle Giants" in Oslob, Cebu
Discover the Beauty of Tumalog Falls in Cebu
The Heritage of Boljoon, Cebu
Scaled: Osmeña Peak in Cebu
Why I Love Kawasan Falls in Cebu
Beat the Heat at Matutinao Beach Resort in Cebu

3. Southern Cebu Trip with Journeying James
One of the unforgettable trips this year is the rare chance of traveling with Journeying James on his Day 85 and 86 of his 100 Days of Backpacking the Philippines- The Cheapest Way Possible. The Southern Cebu trip kicked off in Santander going up to Oslob and Boljoon, where we spent the night in the tourism office. From Boljoon, the trip led us to Dalaguete, then to Argao and finally to Cebu City. I also witnessed the yearly celebration of the Battle of Mactan in Lapu-lapu City as James was on his way to Toledo.

Diving boards and Travelers-- Boljoon, Cebu.

Read the posts here:
Santander: Cebu's Southernmost Tip
Tumalog Falls (The Second Time)
Oslob's Magnificent "Cuartel" and "Baluarte"
12 Reasons Why You Should Explore Boljoon, Cebu
Snapshots of Dalaguete, Cebu
Snapshots of Argao, Cebu
Lapu-Lapu and the Battle of Mactan

4. The Trip with Laagan na Cebuana
Kareen of Laagan na Cebuana celebrated her birthday on the road and I accompanied her to Barili and Carcar in Southern Cebu.

At Mantayupan Falls in Barili, Cebu.

Read the posts here:
A Meaningful Trip with Laagan na Cebuana
Travel Guide: Mantayupan Falls, Cebu

5. The Trip with Pondering Paodaolei
Paula of Pondering Paodaolei visited my place and I toured her around the beautiful, less-sojourned islands of Biliran (Almeria, Naval, Caibiran) and Leyte (Palo, Tacloban, and Ormoc).

At Tinago Falls in Caibiran, Biliran.

Read a post here:
Travel Photo: Leyte Landing Memorial

6. Discovering Southern Leyte
Southern Leyte, a place less traveled in the Eastern Visayas area, speaks of nature at its best. White beaches, lush mountains, great snorkeling and diving sites, history and heritage-- all of these and more can be discovered in this place. This trip led me to Maasin, Padre Burgos, and Limasawa Island, plus a quickie to Surigao City.

A beach in Limasawa Island.

Read the posts here:
Travel Photo: Coral Reef Restoration Project
Travel Photo: Pink Pump-boats

7. Klement Backpacking and Ministry in Bangkok, Thailand
The best part this year is the Klement Backpacking and Ministry 2012. In Bangkok, Thailand, we ministered to the spiritual needs of the patients in Bangkok Adventist Hospital by offering songs and messages to them. We also distributed tracts and The Great Hope books to the people in the streets. We also explored Bangkok's well-known spots-- Victory Monument, Khao San Road, Grand Palace, Siam Paragon, Central World, Pratunam, Pantip Plaza, Siam Park City, Koh Kred Pottery Village, and Chao Phraya River.

Top: Singing band in Bangkok Adventist Hospital.
Bottom: Street vendors reading The Great Hope books.

Read a post here:
Klement Backpacking & Ministry 2012 Itinerary

8. Klement Backpacking and Ministry in Siem Reap, Cambodia
After exploring the temples of Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the team proceeded to Wat Preah Yesu Orphanage for a week-end of ministry. We led the Sabbath Services at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Siem Reap and we gave food and slippers to the children in the orphanage. The smiles and happiness of the little children inspired us to serve more! And the experience also warmed our hearts! 

Top: The team at Siem Reap town church.
Bottom: Ministering to the kids in the orphanage.

Read the posts here:
Special Feature: We Are Called For His Service
Special Feature: Why Klement '09?

9. Culture and Nature Trip in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Traveling to the northern part of Thailand was special. After 10 hours on the road, I began to see hills and mountains, a sign that we were nearing our destination: Chiang Mai. In there, we explored the city's exquisitely designed temples and we spent a day nature trippin'.

The chedi at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai.
Photo Credit: Regin Reyno

10. Travel Quickie in Vientiane, Laos
A quick travel to Vientiane, Laos was added to complete my 3 countries in 3 weeks adventure! A visit to the Patuxai Park, Phra That Luang, People's Security Museum, and the sunset by the Mekong River-- were AWESOME!

Jump shot-- Patuxai Park.

Read the posts here:
Travel Photo: The Patuxai
Travel Photo: Two Destinations

11. First Time in Luzon
Do you agree with me that first times are sweet times? Yeah! My dream of setting foot in Luzon was fulfilled. In Luzon, I wandered in the provinces of Pampanga, Laguna, and Cavite, plus Metro Manila.

MOA Eye on the background.

Read a post here: 
On The Road for Almost 4 Weeks

12. Travel and Ministry in Leyte
The remaining months of the year were spent here in Leyte, my home province, where I had several opportunities for travel, adventure, ministry, and service. Worth recounting are the trek to Lake Kasudsuran and the Community Outreach Program in Ormoc, the spiritual retreat in Matag-ob, the baptism in Merida, and a week-end in Isabel.

Top: Boating at Lake Kasudsuran. Sunset at Isabel, Leyte.
Bottom: Feeding Program in Ormoc. The Baptism in Merida.

Read the posts here:
The Calm and Serene Lake Kasudsuran
Photo Essay: Adventures at Lake Kasudsuran
Travel Photo: Mission in Action

What are your noteworthy travels of 2012? You can share them here!

This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival for December 2012
with the theme "2012: This Year In Travel" hosted by Gay Mitra-Emami of Pinay Travel Junkie 
and Regine Camille Garcia of Between Coordinates.

 For previous Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival topics, click here.


  1. I hope to travel with you sir... oh.. i wanna visit leyte =)

    1. Bai Jherson, thanks! Sure, inform me if you will explore Leyte! Ako ang bahala dito sa Ormoc. :)

  2. Wow done na. :) I have yet to do my entry, may mga additional gala pa kasi before Christmas pahabol sa wrap-up. :D

    1. Cris, salamat! Yep, tinapos ko na para magawa pa nang ibang posts before 2012 ends.hehe. Good for you, may mga gala ka pa! Looking forward to reading your entry too! :)

  3. Great year indeed! More power to your wandering soul Mr. Ephraim cheers to 2012 and more to come in 2013!

  4. Thanks for your grateful informations, am working in Tourism Website ,
    so it will be a better information’s for me. Try to post best informations like this always

  5. Well written piece. Nakakainggit yung SEA bits <3 (you have the sa journalistic and methodical style of Marcos of Ambot-ah travels. - travel celebrity in the making, yay!

    1. Hello Rain! So happy to see your comment here. Yeah, my travel to some countries in SEA was one of my best experiences in 2012. Yay, really? I'm so flattered, hehe. Thank you so much!! :)

  6. Amazing ASEAN trips with a purpose. Hats off to you Ephraim.

  7. Taga-leyte ka pala? Sayang pala di ka namin nacontact nung pumunta kami dyan. Nagpatour din sana kami. Hehehe

    Seems like you had a lot of fun this year. Hope you had a great 2013 as well. Cheers!

    1. Hello Joan! Thanks for dropping by here! Yep, I am from Ormoc, Leyte. Sayang, if you have contacted me, I should have toured you around Ormoc or Leyte. Next time na lang, hehe. Have a great 2013 too! :)

  8. I love your silhouette photo of Boljoon!

    And your travel and ministry this year must have been fulfilling. :) I hope to do more voluntourism this 2013, too.

    Happy New Year and happy new travels!

    1. Thanks Claire! Yep, my travel and ministry experiences were priceless! I hope you too can make it in 2013! Cheers for 2013! Happy new year too!

  9. you sure had an exciting year in travel and ministry along it. that karate pose got my attention from Gay/Regine's post. hahaha...

    cheers to an even more exciting travel this year!

    1. Sir, thank you for dropping by! Yes, I had a great year of travel plus ministry. I really admire the compilation created by Gay and Regine. Cheers for 2013!

  10. I think your site looks so clean!!! :D I love the photos and the golden mosque, pwede ba magscrape ng konti? Haha :P

    1. Hi Epic Potato! Thank you for spending some time here and thank you for the compliments! Hahaha, di nga pwede lumapit sa golden stupa eh.. :)

  11. i have to agree you really got a fruitful year! love the silhouette shot and I have to see the beautiful falls you've been to. cheers for more travel! happy 2013!

    1. Thanks C.A.! All the best for 2013! Happy travels to you too! :)