Whew! We never had the slightest expectation, but 2013 turned out to be a superb adventure-filled year! No, Team Sweetie is not exaggerating. The fact that virtually every weekend, we were somewhere out there, away from the warmth and comfort of our own home, is a testament to our hunger for exploration, discovery, adventure, and a healthy dose of adrenaline. And in undertaking each heart-stopping adventure, in planning and visiting each unique destination, in witnessing a magical sunrise, in partaking of a unique cultural heritage, we grow stronger…not just as a fun-loving couple, but also as steadfast advocates in appreciating, respecting, and protecting the Philippines’ indescribably beautiful treasures.
We climbed our very own Cebu Island’s magnificent peaks. They may not be the highest mountains in the country, but that doesn’t mean their beauty is wanting. Cebu’s mountains are definitely gorgeous.
We climbed new mountains that gave us a whole different view of our beloved Cebu. It made us proud to be Cebuano adventurers.
Not only did we climb closer to heaven by going up mountains, but we also explored the strange world under the bowels of the earth by crawling inside dark caves.
We discovered fun-filled, affordable venues that are jam-packed with exciting adventures for people of all ages at Papa Kits Fishing Lagoon and Marina.
Sampling our mouthwatering culinary masterpieces is an adventure on its own, an adventure that brings you closer to our proud history and culture. And Liloan’s Food Market is the epitome of great-tasting local cuisine at a price that’s friendly on the pocket.
Cruising the tranquil and picturesque Bojo River in Aloguinsan, Cebu was not only fun, but it was also educational. Our fishermen guides taught us the biology of our rivers, highlighting the importance of protecting our waterways. And by availing of such cruises, we were able to help promote sustainable eco-tourism.
We discovered charming, sunny, sandy beaches that rival the world’s best carefully tucked in Cebu’s municipalities.
Our first anniversary was nothing short of grand. We celebrated our special event by visiting one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, the Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan, the Philippines’ last frontier. And as the adrenaline junkies that we are, we explored a cave, zip lined across farms, came face-to-face with crocodiles, visited historical sights, snorkeled on top of a reef, and cruised to sunny sandbars.
We cruised around the sandy islands beyond Mactan, which are truly small pockets of tropical paradises.
We screamed at the top of our lungs, flew over churning waters, paddled hard, and hanged on for our dear lives as we rode a fast raft over the magnificent Cagayan de Oro River. It was an unforgettable wet, wild, and fun whitewater rafting adventure.
We set foot on Camiguin, the Island Born of Fire, and were mesmerized by its stunning natural wonders.
Instead of going to the beach last summer, we had multiple adventures in the verdant mountain resort of Mambukal in Negros.
We have always been nature lovers. But our advocacy to protect Mother Nature became even stronger when we visited our very own Buhisan Watershed and saw first-hand how fragile it is.
Sweetie’s birthday was special. We had our first snorkeling experience in the secluded Hermit’s Cove in Aloguinsan. The experience introduced us to the alien world under the sea. It also made us realize the immense value that healthy coral reefs provide to our environment.
Adventuring doesn’t always mean that we had to be away with society. In fact, we made new friends, listened to a concert, and had a party up Mt. Manunggal, Cebu’s most historic mountain.
Our second grand trip in 2013 was a long 835-kilometer road trip along the Caraga Region in Mindanao, traversing four provinces, making it our farthest backpacking trip so far. We visited enchanting, magnificent, and rare natural treasures that could easily land the country in the international tourism spotlight.
Supertyphoon Yolanda struck our country with unrivaled ferocity. Everyone, from young children to international organizations, did their part in helping the victims of the storm. We did ours by helping out through Red Cross, donating and distributing relief goods, and feeding the victims in evacuation centers.
Being able to help others stand up on their feet amidst suffering is the best reward one can ever have. We took part of a massive relief and medical operation, organized by fellow Cebuano outdoorsmen, in the devastated Malapascua Island, Northern Cebu.
We met, climbed together, and enjoyed company with rock climbing enthusiasts from all over the Philippines during the annual Lust for Lime event.
Three valuable life lessons we learned in rock climbing: 1) you can reach your goal if you make up your mind, 2) you won’t get to your goal unless you take the first step, get off the ground, and forget your doubts, and 3) failure, falling, and stumbling are just words; they’re just misaligned but necessary steps towards success.
We lived life on the edge! We had a blast (and Sweetie got the scare of a lifetime) during our first multipitch climb in Cantabaco.
From the high mountain peaks, we went under tropical waters to experience what it is like to be a fish in the unexplored alien world under the sea. Jonjie, our dive instructor, introduced us to our first scuba diving experience and showed us the lovely coral reefs that form the perimeter of Mactan Island.
We sampled many of our country’s exotic meals, foods that helped define our culture and made us what we are.
In our trips, we also witnessed man’s cruelty to Mother Nature. We saw the magnitude of his carelessness and destructive power.
But we also saw the best of man. He can be the forefront of the race to preserve, save, and enhance the gifts of Mother Nature.
We became extremely proud and happy of our citizens’ ingenuity and creativity despite our country’s drawbacks.
One of the best parts of adventuring is that we get to meet a lot of new friends with the same passion and spirit as us. We will treasure them for the rest of our lives.
We would like to say thank you to the amazing guides who wholeheartedly and gladly assisted us in our adventures. They have a special place in our hearts, and we know that without them, many of our adventures would have remained a dream.
A huge thanks to our loved ones and friends who supported us, one way or another, in our passion to bring you the exciting adventures, magnificent wonders, one-of-a-kind places, and rich cultural heritages that makes the Philippines the best country in the world.
Finally, we would like to thank the most important people of all, you dear readers and followers, who contributed to the success of this blog. As of this posting, with 88 total posts, Adrenaline Romance has acquired the following statistics, thanks to you:
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Happy New Year, friends! We hope you will have an exciting, peaceful, pleasant, and adventure-filled 2014! Stay safe, rock on, and let the new adventures begin!