I’m a long time fan of the TV game show Wipeout. It’s one of those shows that simply makes you laugh when contestants get wiped out off the obstacle course. The harsher the better. I’ve always imagined what’s its like to run that course. When I’ve heard of the Inflatable Island in Subic, I thought this would be a cool playground. It’s not Wipeout levels but there are obstacle course that would be a fun challenge for key attractions on the largest floating playground in Asia.
It was 7 days, 1798 kilometers, 9 Conventions and Visitors Bureau (CVBs), 8 provinces in 4 regions, 26 people on one bus on a trip around Northern Luzon. This is the Lakbay Norte Familiarization tour held January 24-31, 2010. I’ve always wanted to do a horseshoe loop of north Luzon and I was glad I was able to do it with the help of North Philippines Visitors Bureau. It was packed, tiring but also fun and exciting. For those who would like to try the similar route, this would be a great reference on what to expect.
5:00am I came down at White Rock’s lobby and joined a table that turned into some sort of internet café. I think I only had at two and a half hours of sleep and opening my laptop seems like a heavy task. Its day 6 of Lakbay Norte tour and I still wish I could have tried those other rides at Treetop yesterday. But I already got used to having only portions and a taste here and there. Besides this is a familiarization tour. The point is to get “familiar”.
“10 minutes! 10 Minutes Everyone!” I heard Ivan yell in the bus as we sped through the bus exit to head to our rooms at Islandia Hotel in Alaminos. They said to no longer wash up but I can’t stand the salty grime and sticky hair after swimming on ocean waters at the 100 islands. A quick shower and throwing in clothes, gears into my medium sized duffel bag and I’m on the go. I’m sure it’s more than 10 minutes but hey it’s a long road going south to Subic so I better get comfortable in the bus as much as I can.
Pardon the lack of updates for the past few days as I was too busy to do advance post. I just got home from sweep tour of 4 regions, 8 key province stops and 1798Km road trip up North Luzon Philippines with 26 travel-hungry people aboard a Victory Liner Bus. It was packed, tiring but also fun. It was the Lakbay Norte NPVB (North Luzon Visitors Bureau) Media Tour with the aim to rediscover the north. I’ve always wanted to do this up-north horseshoe route and now here it is. Here’s a quick look of our 7-day sojourn up-north from January 24-31, 2010.
11th Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
It’s the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta once again and this annual event is now on its 11th year. I really had plans on going back here once again since I enjoyed last year’s spectacle. At first I wasn’t sure if I could make this trip since a friend of mine who originally invited me to come suddenly backed out due to an unforeseen gig scheduled at that time. Fortunately, another friend texted, asking me for some info about the event. It turns out she’ll be going with her friends and I asked if I could join in. Everything was last minute though, as we had to leave that Friday night since we were going to stay at a villa in Mimosa. No one from the group wanted to wake up and drive early morning. So from the office, I hurried home, pulled out a small bag, grabbed a few clothes, took my camera equipments, dashed through my dinner and hurried to the place where they’ll pick me up.