80 before 30

80 Before 30 completed!
Map credit to Eugene Alvin Villar, creater of Lakbayan


Is it the journey or the destination? This is what I've been mulling over for the past weeks. Back in 2011, I wrote my bucket list for 2012 and included there some of the places I wanted to visit. But as days go by, I felt the incessant and almost sudden urge to visit not only the must-see-and-tourist-packed places but also the roads less traveled. I wanted to go further and see more far-flung provinces, to experience the off-the-beaten track destinations.  

And then the challenge hit me: I want to explore all 80 provinces of the Philippines before I turn 30, as inspired by Sole sisters 30 before 30! This should be Backpacking Pilipinas at its best! :)

So what good will this challenge do me? I don't know yet, really. Probably a possible fulfillment of a passion, to learn new lessons while on the road, to meet interesting people, to promote and contribute to Philippine tourism, to gather some good blog materials, and maybe, to simply run away from all the city madness once in a while. 

Let's just say I barely have a year to complete the list. To date,  I have covered more than half of these 80 provinces. And of the three main islands, I haven't been to most places in Mindanao. I plan to do backpacking Mindanao this year, before I turn 30. :) 

GOOD NEWS!!! Last April 12, 2013, my 80 Before 30 challenge got featured on TV and was aired in GMA7's 24 Oras and Balitanghali. Watch the video below, courtesy of GMA7. :) 




These are the provinces that I've already visited:


Province
Capital
80Before30
1. Abra
Bangued
Done
2. Agusan del Norte
Cabadbaran
Done
3. Agusan del Sur
Prosperidad
Done
4. Aklan
Kalibo
Done
5. Albay
Legazpi City
Done
6. Antique
San Jose
Done
7. Apayao
Kabugao
Done
8. Aurora
Baler
Done
Isabela City
Done
10. Bataan
Balanga City
Done
11. Batanes
Basco
Done
Batangas City
Done
13. Benguet
La Trinidad
Done
14. Biliran
Naval
Done
15. Bohol
Tagbilaran City
Done
Malaybalay City
Done
17. Bulacan
Malolos
Done
18. Cagayan
Tuguegarao City
Done
Daet
Done
Pili
Done
Mambajao
Done
22. Capiz
Roxas City
Done
Virac
Done
24. Cavite
Trece Martires City
Done
25. Cebu
Cebu City
Done
26. Compostela Valley
Nabunturan
Done
27. Cotabato
Kidapawan City
Done
28. Davao del Norte
Tagum City
Done
29. Davao del Sur
Digos City
Done
30. Davao Oriental
Mati
Done
31. Dinagat Islands
San Jose
Done
Borongan
Done
Jordan
Done
34. Ifugao
Lagawe
Done
Laoag City
Done
Vigan City
Done
37. Iloilo
Iloilo City
Done
38. Isabela 
Ilagan
Done
39. Kalinga
Tabuk
Done
San Fernando City
Done
41. Laguna
Santa Cruz
Done
42. Lanao del Norte
Tubod
Done
43. Lanao del Sur
Marawi City
Done
44. Leyte
Tacloban City
Done
45. Maguindanao
Shariff Aguak
Done
Boac
Done
47. Masbate
Masbate City
Done
48. Misamis Occidental
Oroquieta City
Done
49. Misamis Oriental
Cagayan de Oro City
Done
Bontoc
Done
Bacolod City
Done
Dumaguete City
Done
Catarman
Done
54. Nueva Ecija
Palayan City
Done
55. Nueva Vizcaya
Bayombong
Done
Mamburao
Done
57. Oriental Mindoro
Calapan City
Done
58. Palawan
Puerto Princesa City
Done
San Fernando City
Done
60. Pangasinan
Lingayen
Done
61. Quezon
Lucena City
Done
62. Quirino
Cabarroguis
Done
63. Rizal
Antipolo City
Done
64. Romblon
Romblon
Done
65. Samar
Catbalogan
Done
66. Sarangani
Alabel
Done

Siquijor
Done
Sorsogon City
Done
69. South Cotabato
Koronadal City
Done
70. Southern Leyte
Maasin City
Done
71. Sultan Kudarat
Isulan
Done
72. Sulu
Jolo

Surigao City
Done
74. Surigao del Sur
Tandag
Done
75. Tarlac
Tarlac City
Done
76. Tawi-Tawi
Panglima Sugala
Done
Iba
Done
78. Zamboanga del Norte
Dipolog City
Done
79. Zamboanga del Sur
Pagadian City
Done
Ipil
Done
81. Davao Occidental
Malita
Done


If you wish to tag along in some of my trips, just leave your comment here and I'll get right back at you. :)

Happy Backpacking Pilipinas everyone! :) 


_________________________________________________________

UPDATE: I've completed what I consider a big milestone in my life, that of visiting 80 of the 81 provinces of the Philippines before I turn 30 years old. A three-year challenge that I've pursued and finished last November 23, 2013. A month before my 30th birthday (Dec 29 ^_^), I finally made it to my 80th province, the southernmost province of the country, Tawi Tawi. Woooot! 

101 comments:

  1. This means no out of the country trips muna. hehe

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    1. yes bek! because ang goal is PINAS MUNA! :)

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    2. okay, sige, pasalubungan na lang kita. HAHA

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    3. lol sa comment ni cha!
      Dahil di ako maka iba sa Bali tour nyo, let's go to Japan and take carefree photos with the cherry blossom trees after your Pinas tour..:) -kimbo

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    4. ate kim, magiba ka na sa bali.. natakot sinda magpunta duman na daing expert na kaiba.hehe

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    5. ate kim, we've successfully made it through our 1st out of the country trip! :))

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  2. marinduque che this april. ;) - mw

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    Replies
    1. maduman ka mw? nuarin? sabit ako! hehe

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    2. nagduman ako last year che. -mw

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  3. i'm turning 36 this year, but as a late bloomer i say better late than never. please let me know when your scheduled trips are, thanks.

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    1. Hi Zarah! yeah, it's never too late for anyone to travel. so don't postpone your next planned trip, go and have fun! :)

      I have quite a few more local trips this year: zamboanga, dumaguete, siquijor, Mt. Pulag, and some more places in Mindanao. hope you can tag along. :)

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  4. i love your stories ^^ thanks for sharing, parang nakapag-travel na din ako ^^ --daL

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    1. HI Dal! thanks for dropping by and for taking time reading my posts. Happy Backpacking Pilipinas to you! :)

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  5. Nkk-inspire ang mga trips mo.... I used to be a Backpacker... My bestfriend and I did it in Singapore-Malaysia-Thailand... 7 days, 3 countries for 20K...ALL IN!

    Parang ang sarap mag-tag along sayo...

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    1. Hello Sweet Viper! Your Singapore-Malaysia-Thailand trip sounds like an epic adventure! I'd love to do the same! :)

      you can check my Bucket list and let me know if you're interested to tag along. i like meeting fellow travel enthusiasts! cheers! :)

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    2. Bek, we did the same with Sweet Viper sa recent trip ta. Yun nga lang Malaysia-Indonesia-Singapore yung atin. hehe

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  6. WOW! mine is 80 before 40... hehehe!!! go go go Che! See you on the road! :)

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    1. See you on the road, sir! Enjoy your 80 before 40! Malapit ka nang matapos, astig! :)

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  7. pwede man akong makiiba tabi?

    ako maski pirang lugar na lang basta makaduman lang. hehehe

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    1. hehe. iyo tabi pwede man magiba. i still have dumaguete, siquijor and pulag this year. pero su dumaguete/siquijor two weeks from now na. just email me sa cgurrobat@gmail.com if you want to tag along. :)

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    2. nakaduman na ako sa dumaguete/siquijor, mga 10yrs ago na siguro ito. :) magayunon sa siquijor, the beaches there were immaculate. i remember walking at night along the higway on our way to our cottages. daralaganan kami ta may naagihan kaming madiklumon. hehe. also remember we went cave exploring with just flashlights. we entered a small opening and had to crawl on some areas and it was pitch dark inside. thnking abt it now, if our flashlights got busted, we probably might be trapped inside as it was really dark. :)

      dumaguete, the seawall and a lot of motorbikes! also loved their inato and puso! :)

      pulag is on my bucket list as well. need to go easy on the beers though and start exercising for it.

      im planning batanes late in november and using your blogs as reference. really useful!

      hopefully i get to tag along one of these days. :)

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    3. wow salamat! astig nakaexcite na ang siquijor! i heard good stuff about their beaches! comparable to boracay daw. will definitely try spelunking there. can u still remember po yung name ng cave? thanks

      i think dumaguete is really good for foodies. i heard so much about their pasalubongs. will try din their inato and puso. nom nom. salamat.:)

      batanes is definitely an A-destination. taking everything into consideration -- scenes and culture - it still tops my fave list. although heads up bako nice ang mga beaches sa Batan island, nasa Sabtang Island pa yung saro sa white beaches ninda. and i would suggest you book your flight during sunny months. kasi kahit warang bagyo, pagmauran dakula ang possibility na macancel and flight. summer -- march, april, may, is still the best time to explore batanes.

      yees, hope to see you on the road! keep on traveling, and go easy on beers! haha! :)

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  8. cant remember the name of the cave. dont think it is really known cause di talaga sya developed pa that time. the entrance wa really a tiny opening lang. and we had to take habal habal to go there.

    newey, you'll definitely have fun in siquijr even without the cave. :)

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  9. pst! on this note, ano kaya kung sa may blue na lang kita magduman instead na sa white? hehe. pero ika magplano? haha. -anabanana (again) :p

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    1. Anabanana,

      I have a brilliant idea in mind. This has been bugging me for a long time now and I want to propose this to you and nono. Kasi i've been meaning to do a book drive for the children of Palumbanes Island, haloy na. Palumbanes is a tiny island located north of Catandunaes.They have a small elementary school there pero sobrang kulang ang books and mga school supplies. If you would agree sana, maybe we can partner in this book drive, deliver the books there then we'll camp out there na lang. believe me, that place is unbelievably serene. it's one of my best-kept secrets. You can check out my short blog about it and my FB pics of Palumbanes. hehe. With this activity, we'll be able to help out and do a short holiday at the same time. i can also tour you around Catanduanes. tell me your thoughts. :)

      love love,

      Che

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  10. Belated happy birthday Bek! Ma-pressure ka na, meron ka na lang ng 365 days to complete this! :))

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    1. Kaya yan. 6 provinces in 5 days this month. :-)

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    2. Looking forward to our epic Luzon roadtrip! 5 days, 15 provinces! lezdowit!!!! Jack Kerouac's On the Road ang peg. *baliw-baliwan* :)

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    3. Marinduque and Romblon na lang for Luzon. :-)

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    4. Next month blue na ang Luzon. #backpackingpilipinas #80before30 #booksail

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  11. WOW, Che! Congratulations in advance to your blued Philippines! Ako, maga-start palang. Minsan I tell myslef "I should've not studied more!" haha! You've got good stories and captured moments! I wish to gather the same or more! Keep safe! I'm excited to learn what's after your "80 before 30" :)

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    1. Thanks Kinsy! I haven't really made any final plans about what will come after 80 before 30, but definitely I have some places I wish to go back to (Sagada, Palawan, Calaguas, and more!). And the lofty idea of writing a book also comes once in a while.hehe :)) Bahala na! For now, enjoy ko muna ang remaining provinces na kelangan pang puntahan! Medyo madami pa sila. hehe :)

      Good luck on your future travels, Kinsy! Hope to see you on the road! :)

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  12. Replies
    1. weee! malayo pa sa finish line pero keribels! thanks ja! hope to travel with you soon!

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  13. Hi Ms. Che! :) Na-inspire ako sa goal mo! :) Sama naman ako sa mga susunod! :) Hehehehe.

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    1. Hi Paulene! You could the same or even better maybe!:) Join me sometime! :)

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  14. graded A by Lakbayan! #24oras congratz! =D

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  15. OMG! gusto ko din ng ganito :)
    kaso lang wala akong ksama

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  16. hello. are you bicolana?

    14 out of 81/80 pa lang ako.. pwedeng pa-sama sa mga trips? hehe

    ginaya ko goal mo.. haha..

    love reading your posts... god bless!

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    1. Hi Krephel! Thanks!

      Yep, I'm Bicolana! Are you? :) Go push for your goal, good luck, and enjoy the road! :)

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  17. Share ko lang po... Shariff Kabunsuan is not anymore a province po... :)

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  18. Hi Ms.Che! Nakaugma po basabasahon blog mo. Gapuon pa lng ako magtravel. astig 'to. nakainspire..

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    1. Hi Marge! Salamat sa pagbisita uya. I can tell from Catanduanes ka.hehe Good luck and safe travels saimo. :)

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    2. Eu tabi Ms.Che.I'm from Viga. Go for goal! 80 before 30. God bless po.

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  19. You are almost done with your goal. I'm very proud of you. Keep it up! More swim, surf and dive next year. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Anchi! Malapit na, sa wakas. Can't wait for next year! :)

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    2. Next year dapat malakas ka na mag-paddle and kaya mo na mag- free diving sa 30 feet. :-)

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    3. I think I have improved significantly in paddling, but 30ft free dive.... hmmm di pa siguro. :)

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    4. Well, that's good. 20 feet na lang.

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  20. Che, you are completing your 80 before 30 faster than I thought. So happy for you! Ilang provinces na lang ang kulang? :)

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    1. hehehe. Crunch time na kasi, Eph! I think 10 na lang.hehe Thanks a lot! :)

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  21. Wow, this is great! Correct me if I'm wrong, you're from BU right?
    Nice to see posts from fellow Bicolanas, I'm from bicol also and graduated BU last 2006.

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    1. Yep, opo I'm from BU Batch 2005. :) Thanks for reading! :)

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  22. Hi ate che! Your posts are really inspiring especially to a travel enthusiast like me. Thank you for sharing your experiences and tips for traveling. I think we have lots in common, BU CSCLHS and Catanduanes. Haha.I should have read your blogs long time ago para nkaiba ako sa trip mo maski once lng. Anyways congrats po, you are almost on the finish line. Hope to meet you pala ate. Godbless. :D

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    1. Hi Romeo!! Thank you for your kind words! Always a pleasure to meet people from my home province sharing the same interest with me. Have a safe and adventure-filled journey permi! Malay ta, magmeet kita someday kung sain man. :D

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  23. you are such an inspiration.. :) thank you.. :)

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  24. It has been done!!! So proud of u my friend!!!good job!CONGRATZ!!!What's the next challenge??? I'm so excited to know! :-)

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    1. Ja, thank you for being part of my incredible journey around Pinas! Ms. Universe ang peg. :P Im excited na din for the next challenge! :)

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  25. Replies
    1. Let's see next year! A few more SEA countries to visit. :)

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  26. I would like to join one of ur trips if u dont mind.. have always wanted to explore philippines. :)

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    1. Hello Isagani! It would be nice to have many people on my trip, and of course, everyone is welcome. Maybe it's time for me to organize tours.hehe :) Anyway, yes, explore the Philippines! There's much to see and do around here! :)

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  27. I'm already past 30... but can i join in one of your trips???? Maybe around May-June 2014????

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    1. sorry... Richard here

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    2. HI Richard, sorry I didn't get to reply sooner. I'll be somewhere in Visayas by May or June for BookSail. We hope to send books and school materials to the Yolanda affected areas. I'll be posting the details soon. Hope you could join us! :)

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    3. May i join ma'm..? Bernard here.. :)

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  28. congrats... me.. maybe 80before40.. hahaha...

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  29. Congratulations! Better late than never. :-) I'm very happy for you. Continue everything you've started. I will always be your bodyguard. :-)

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  30. congrats.. reading bloggers like you and the others are such an inspiration.. and im starting on my 81 provinves challenge this june... medyo matatagalan ung akin pero i hope i can accomplish your success as well. more power = D

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    1. Thank you so much, Tahara! Sending you good vibes for your 81-Province Challenge! Good luck and safe travels! Kaya yan! :)

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    2. thanks che.. hopefully i can ask tips from you especially sa mga provinces na di ako familiar... thanks : )

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  31. Congratulations.. hoping na makajoin din ako sa mga ioorganize mung adventure trips.. march2013 when i started my own PHL - Challenge and wala ng makakapigil sakin maisakatuparan ito.. :) aja!.. very inspiring ka po..

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    1. Wow, appreciate it Bernard! Thanks and I really hope you get to finish your own challenge. Good luck! Tell me when it's done ha. :)

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  32. Hello Che,

    I just want to let you know how happy I am for your accomplishment. My boyfriend and I are also targeting all 81 provinces before 40. We're still very far from our goal, but we just love traveling around the Philippines (especially the beaches!) so it's worth a try. Also, your advocacy is very inspiring. I hope I'll be able to help somehow, or create my own advocacy. Kudos to you! :)

    Mai

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    1. Hello Mai, pleased to hear from you. Appreciate all the kind words. Good luck on your travels around the Philippines... I'm actually excited for you and your boyfriend! :)) Hope you could join BookSail or if you're starting your own, please let me know. I'd like to help din. Cheers! :)

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  33. Hi Che,
    have you been in Abra? what are the best spots to visit there.?

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    1. Hello, went to Abra last year though I didn't get to go around much. Just explored the town of Bangued. I missed the centuries-old church in Tayum, about 7 kms from Bangued. Maybe you could check it out. :)

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  34. wahaaaaa.... Ingit much. I'm just on 27/81. My goal this year is to cover all Luzon provinces. Batanes seems to be the biggest challenge (money wise). Any tips on how to get there without me selling my kidneys? :D

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    1. Hi Marco! I suggest you wait for seat sales to get a cheaper flights to Basco. The airfare actually gets the biggest share on the budget for Batanes, but the tour and accomm there won't cost you an arm and a leg. :) Good luck on your travels around Luzon! Have fun!

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  35. hi there Che | BackpackingPilipinas! :)
    i love your blog..so fun to read :)
    i also love to travel, however, i don't have a constant companion..
    is it safe to travel alone?
    what can you suggest?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Marshi! Thanks a lot! Traveling alone can be daunting sometimes, but I managed to pull off some of my trips alone. I just had to plan out my itinerary, check out the local tourism website or read a lot of travel blogs. It's safe to travel in many parts of the Philippines, although I do not really encourage solo travels in some parts of Southern Mindanao. Better if you have a local guide just to be on the safe side. :)

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  36. Hi,
    Thank you for coming up with this blog, it is very useful lalo na sa amin na nakatira na sa ibang bansa. Now I know where we can take the kids pag uwi namin para naman ma-experience nila talaga and ganda ng Pilipinas.
    Cheers to you Che of BackpackingPilipinas

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  37. wow! new inspiration! i'll do the 80 provinces too! sana! :) Hopefull Sulu too. congrats! :D

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  38. SUPER INSPIRING! :D

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  39. Hello. I'm a new travelling enthusiast and I have been a fan of your blog since last year. If you will go venture to some wonderful places in the country, I'd really really like to tag along (if it would be a poorpacking experience) Thank youuuu! :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi! I'm a newbie here. can you tag me along also since I really love to travel. I'm actually challenging myself to travel more and just enjoy life while we're young.

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  40. Very inspiring post. I can say before you travel in other country, why not to travel in the Philippines :) Thanks for sharing

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