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A Brief Glimpse of Team Sweetie’s Marvelous 2018

Happy New Year

For us, 2018 was an incredibly adrenaline-laden year! From mountain peaks that pierce the clouds to coral reefs beneath the blue expanse of the sea, we had such an awesome time! Let’s take you back to the trips, adventures, and accomplishments we had during the Year of the Dog.

We warmed up for 2018 via a sponsored stay at theΒ Danasan Eco Park in the hinterlands of Danao, Cebu. If you want to relax from a hard week’s work and experience exciting adventures altogether, then this is the place to be!

Danasan Eco Adventure Park

Danasan Eco Park has a great number of adventures for people who want an adrenaline rush. A hair-raising drop from more than a hundred feet, a race around a dirt track, an exploration of the park riding an ATV, a relaxing ride on a horse—we found them all here!

The faces of terror and excitement

Wet and wild! We love getting wet, and Danasan Eco Park has the facilities that quenched our thirst for adventure! Rappeling down a waterfall, maneuvering a skimboard along a pond, kayaking around a lagoon—you’ll definitely love it here if you are a water baby.

Amazing adventure

It was great feeling when we encountered beautifully preserved natural areas right in the heart of our bustling province. The Talima Marine Sanctuary, located right at the fringe of a busy shipping lane, is a clear proof that man and nature can coexist harmoniously.

Talima Marine Sanctuary

The Reef World Foundation proclaimed 2018 as the International Year of the Reef. As part of our advocacy in protecting Mother Earth, we joined the eco-warriors of Project BLUE during the Dive Against Debris annual reef cleanup.

Crown of Thorns Infestation

One of the nicest things about living in Mactan, Cebu, Philippines is that we are surrounded by gorgeous coral reefs. We explored Dakit-Dakit, one of the old dive sites in Maribago and witnessed strange biological wonders and learned more about marine biodiversity.

Dakit-dakit Dive Site

Not all of our adventures end up with a smile. Our Cuarto Islas island hopping adventure was one that was worthy of a frown thanks to the unethical tourism practices of Inopacan. We recommend you skip this place during your trip in this area of Leyte.

Cuatro Islas

But at least, what followed a disappointing Cuatro Islas island hopping tour was an amazingly fun overnight stay in Digyo Island.

Digyo Island Sandbar

The Philippines has over 7,000 tropical paradises to choose from. Having a hard time choosing one? We recommend Canigao Island in Matalom, Leyte. It definitely exhibits a stark contrast against Cuatro Islas!

Beach in Canigao Island

One of our fondest wishes is to accomplish a long-distance hike. With the establishment of the Cebu Highlands Trail, we now have a beautiful long-distance trail right in our home island of Cebu, Philippines! We began this endeavor with a four-weekend trek to accomplish the first segment of the CHT.

Cebu Highlands Trail

We joined the Dolpo 2018 Summer Camp, organized by Camp Red and Bluewater Resorts. The camp is for kids and parents who want to learn and enjoy the great outdoors. Primarily, they get a chance to learn bushcraft, an outdoor discipline about surviving and thriving in the natural environment.

Boy scout

As always, we want Alexa to experience regional cultures and explore other parts of the country. We don’t intend to limit her education in the classroom, in books, or in the Net. So we took her to a cultural and culinary adventure in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Northern Luzon.

Benguet Coffee

For all the complications we need in order to live in a contemporary society, it is definitely refreshing to indulge ourselves and bask in Nature’s beauty. The longing to reset ourselves from the complications of life is one of the reasons why we included an early-morning visit Marlboro Country in Sagada, Mountain Province.

Team sweetie

Humble places are where you learn the most important things in life such as simple joys, peace of mind, respect for Mother Nature, and appreciation of tradition. We found all these and more during our adventure in Maligcong, Bontoc.

Sea of clouds over Maligcong

Under the sea are millions of mysterious creatures beyond our wildest imagination, a majority of which are still undiscovered. We saw some of them at Buyong Marine Station. We also introduced some old and new friends to scuba diving, and they were pretty stoked!

Several nudibranches

Have you ever wanted to sail around sunny, sandy tropical paradises on a sleek yacht? Well, we did just that with Seahorse Houseboats! Now, experiencing the yachting lifestyle without breaking the bank is now possible!

Seahorse Houseboats

Our beloved fur-baby Polly left paw prints in our hearts. This blog post is a love-filled tribute to our sweet and funny furball whom we will sorely miss.

Polly

In the outdoors, nothing is as easy. That includes walking on concrete or dirt roads! That was what we had to contend with during our trek on Segment 2 of the Cebu Highlands Trail.

Sunlit morning

Even the most familiar places hold pleasant surprises. And even the most well-laid plans take a different turn. That’s what happened during a weekend practice climb on Manggapares Trail on Tagaytay Ridge.

Mangapares Trail

Our grandest adventure for the year the mighty Bakun Trilogy in Bakun, Benguet in Luzon, Philippines—three difficult day hikes up three massive mountains in three days! Halourd, Sweetie, and I were filled with a mix of trepidation and excitement as we prepared to climb Mt. Lubo—the first of the Bakun trilogy.

Mt. Lubo

At more than 15 hours of walking and climbing, climbing Mt. Tenglawan—the second of the Bakun Trilogy—this is perhaps the longest day trek we’ve ever done.

Mt. Tenglawan

The battle between quitting and persevering was what we fought during our climb up Mt. Kabunian, the third and final mountain in our Bakun Trilogy.

Mt. Kabunian

Through a complimentary Cebu City tour package from Travel Cebu, we learned a lot about our proud Cebuano roots, history, heritage, and culture.

Magellan's Cross

Sweetie and I joined Project Blue during the Scubasurero 2018 reef cleanup. This is our way of showing our love for the ocean and Mother Nature.

Scubasurera

Hiking Segment 3 of the Cebu Highlands Trail is about honoring the men and women in uniform. These are the brave and unselfish law enforcers who are ready to give up their lives to keep us safe.

Beautiful cliff

Traversing Segment 4 of the Cebu Highlands Trial exposed us to a very different side of Cebu. This time, we explored the vast northern part of our home island.

Let's start trekking!

Milestones

In addition to our exciting trips and adventures, we had some awesome achievements that we’re really proud of.

As we mentioned earlier, hiking from one end to another on a long-distance trail has always been one of our dreams. This year, we’ve accomplished have of that. All in all, we hiked 200 kilometers of the Cebu Highlands Trail, which is roughly half of the total distance! That is one noteworthy accomplishment.

Cebu Highlands Trail Project

Being Deuter product ambassadors was a great honor and privilege. It’s not every day that we get to represent a world-renowned brand. Thank you very much Deuter and Chris Sports for trusting your name with us.

Deuter Ambassador

We wholeheartedly support local businesses. As such, we continued representing Se7en Outdoor as brand ambassadors. Thank you Se7en for putting your trust in us.

Se7en Product Partner

We’ve always wanted to be part of something worthwhile and noble, not just “blogging.” Being stewards of the environment, for us, is the right path. Team Sweetie supported Green Fins, an initiative dedicated to preserve and protect the reefs through the implementation of eco-friendly, safe, and sustainable snorkeling and diving protocols.

Green Fins

Our advocacy on saving the ocean didn’t go unnoticed. This year, we became honorary members of Project BLUE! It’s such an honor to wear that blue dry-fit shirt!

Project Blue

It’s official! I’m now a PADI Advanced Open Water diver! Wheeee! More dive adventures to come!

PADI Advanced Open Water Diver

Sweetie’s story “Vertical Camping: A High Adventure” that detailed our Vertical Bivouac adventure in Bukidnon won a spot in Navigator Paper’s “Around the World in 80 Pages” international contest. This is the second time we won a spot in this amazing publication! Wohoo!

Around the World in 80 Pages 3rd Edition

TripAdvisor listed us as one of the top couple blogs in the world to follow! That is such a prestige!

We won several awards such as Promocode’s Travel Blog 2018 and Sparpedia’s Couple Blog Award. Feedspot also named us as one of the top 10 Cebu Travel Blogs.

For the third time since the inception of Adrenaline Romance, we won the Best Travel Blog Category during the 11th Best Cebu Blogs Awards! This award is for you—-followers, readers, fans, sponsors, supporters, and everyone who accompanied us in this awesome journey.

Best Cebu Travel Blog 2018

But we wouldn’t have done everything listed here if not for you! Yes, YOUΒ who are reading this right now!

In this blog’s 6 years of existence, you are the most important person in our story, dear readers, viewers, and followers! As we always say, you are our inspiration. Thank you so much!

  • 1,790,160 blog views
  • 1,656 blog followers
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  • 3,964 Twitter followers
  • 3,178 Instagram followers
  • 269 YouTube Channel Subscribers

Check out our SEO numbers below. Note that these numbers are all based on pure, natural, organic traffic. No paid traffic at all!

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Team sweetie

Are you ready for another set of breathtaking adventures and cool trips? Well, those are what await us in 2019! Indeed, we already have booked tickets, planned itineraries, and bought new equipment in preparation for our sojourns. So let’s go! Come with us for another great ride in 2019!

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About Gian and Sheila

Rock climbers. Mountaineers. Sweethearts on adventure. Adrenaline Romance is a photoblog that belongs to a loving couple who has an eternal lust for adventure. The blog contains experiences, tips, itineraries, and other useful information regarding adventuring in the Philippines and beyond.

25 comments on “A Brief Glimpse of Team Sweetie’s Marvelous 2018

  1. Nice! You’ve certainly been busy. Love your trekking photos, my feet feel very itchy now!!

  2. Cheers to more love and adventures in 2019 for you two.

  3. Happy blogging and more adventure for 2019. πŸ™‚

  4. Danasan Eco Adventure Park is surely a place to have loads of fun. My cousins are planning to go to a place with their kids and I would surely recommend this to them if they want to consider. Thanks for the share.

  5. Beautiful images and amazing experiences with travel. I am so happy to see such environmental awareness in your adventures. Congratulations for all of the accolades and Happy New Year! Excited to see what you have for 2019.

  6. Your year looked incredible! I have such adrenaline junkie envy right now! That waterfall climb at Danasan Eco Park is just actual goals. I hope you have even more incredible adventures in 2019!

  7. Congratulations on getting the award, you deserve it! I love your underwater photographs πŸ˜€ Hello to Cebu!

  8. what a great year of adventures! can’t wait to read about your trips in 2019

  9. All of your photos here are stunning! I like that you call out unethical tourism when you see it. It’s cool that your 2018 had an overarching theme of adventure, and I hope 2019 continues to be filled with just as much fun!

    • Hi Caffeinated Excursions! Oh yes! As bloggers, we feel it is our responsibility to let other people who want to experience adventures know what’s going on in the places they want to visit. It’s just fair to them.

      Also, calling out the organization/entity that is doing unethical practices makes them wake up, possibly using their initiative to mend their ways and policies.

  10. So much adventure packed into this trip! Rapelling down a waterfall in such a gorgeous location sounds so amazing!

  11. Amazing! Looks like you had a fabulous and adventurous year. Are all of these places in Philippines? Love the diving pictures and rapelling down the waterfall. I have been in Cebu and only done whale sharks watching, but it was nothing special at all 😦 Hope to return to Philippines again and do something more!

  12. Such amazing photos πŸ™‚

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