Happy one year of traveling together!

I met Hali last year and since then, we’ve traveled to various provinces in the Philippines, from outreach events to remote communities to backpacking in various provinces, from off-the-beaten islands in Cagayan Province in the north to lesser-known beaches in Palawan in the south of the country.

Hali has been making travel videos of our trips, mainly as personal memorabilia. Ever since we published this blog last December, I made sure to include them at the end of each post.

So, since it’s been a wonderful year, I thought I’d compile my favorite among these. 🙂 Here they are.

1. Calayan Island, Cagayan Province

This is our anniversary getaway: the hitherto unknown Calayan Island in Babuyanes, located in Cagayan Province. Calayan Island has mint beaches, waterfalls and caves entrenched in water. Best of all is a vast pastoral hill that overlooks beach coves, with unique windswept pine trees and wildlife, called Nagudungan Hill. Calayan Island looks surreal, almost as if it’s not set in the Philippines (hey, I know the country has different landscapes, but don’t hate me).

Another thing that’s memorable here is staying awake after midnight to gaze at the Milky Way above.

2. Antique, Iloilo and Guimaras

We spent five days exploring Tibiao in Antiqueisland hopping in Islas de Gigantes in Iloilo and finally stopping to tour the beaches and city spots in the quiet province of Guimaras.

This 3-province trip is memorable in that we traveled during the onslaught of typhoon Nona and it was our first couple backpacking trip. In our previous trips, we were always part of a larger group. I finally knew what it felt like to bear the responsibility of traveling with only one other person, as well as all the wonderful stuff — being PDA and lovey-dovey without worrying about other people feeling awkward.

3. Jomalig Island, Quezon Province

This is where it all began — Jomalig Island in Quezon Province. I joined a group of friends in a wide-effort outreach event for the school kids in one of its barangays. Hali joined the event despite not knowing anybody in our group. He mistakenly accepted our organizer’s friend request in Facebook, thinking he knew her, and was then invited to come along.

Here is where we met each other, as fellow volunteers.

A notable mention

I’m actually tempted to include more to this list of our favorite travel videos but figured this will do for now.

If I will add a notable mention, it would be our year-ender trip to Sagada and Maligcong. It pained me to watch this before because it had rained during our whole trip and we didn’t get a clearing in Maligcong to see the rice terraces. Since it had been raining in our previous trips also, I started to suspect that one of us has a bum birthmark or that God was again testing my patience and gratitude. Honestly, I sulked about it for weeks.

I watched it again recently when I was telling my niece about Kunig the dog guide and was awed by the beauty of Sagada and Mount Kofafey. It’s just one of those memories that are better when remembered.


If you want to see more of Hali’s videos, you can check his Vimeo page here. He’s been creating documentaries of his out-of-town travel and outreach trips even before we met. You can also find some of his solo adventures, including skydiving in Zambales.


Happy one year, Hali.

What do you like among these videos? Do you think Kunig should be in the top 3? Haha. 🙂


  1. Very sweet! My boyfriend and I also travel together. But it’s more of adventure travels such as climbing mountains and scuba diving. He’s busy with work now though, so I make use of my travel writing gigs to do it myself. This makes me want to drag him up to Kalinga this weekend!

  2. Happy anniversary!! You two are indeed those “relationship goals”, my boyfriend and I have those goals too that we strive to achieve while being together. Before traveling to various places in the country, we need to save as well. Haha! But srsly, so jealous of your travels!! Stay strong!!

  3. Hali had the patience and the skills to make videos, and that is an awesome way to document your memories, and share the beauty of our country to the world. Congratulations on your 1st year as a couple

  4. That looks like you had a year of adventure! I had no idea that there were so many different places to go in the Philippines. And it’s great that you have your boyfriend to travel with. The two of you will have a lot of happy memories together.

    1. Hi Stella! Yes, the Philippines is smaller compared to other countries but we have lots to offer in terms of tourism. 🙂 The good thing is that a lot of these places are not yet mainstream so there are chances of going to untouched locations.

  5. Great job with the video. It enhances your memory of the travels you did together and the exprience can be relived by watching and remembering. Here’s hoping for the best and more destination to go to in the coming weeks and months, and years.

  6. You guys make excellent videos. I wish I could make one myself, unfortunately I don’t have the right camera for it and I also don’t have the patience haha…

    It must feel nice to explore beautiful places with the person you love. You are the lucky ones.

  7. i’m having a good good time watching the videos.. that’s really amazing. I haven’t tried backpacking the phlippines for a year only for 30 days straight. I envy with all the videos, it’s amazing!

    1. Hi Ferna! We didn’t backpack nonstop for a year. 🙂 The longest trip that we’ve had is 6 days, I think. Thanks for dropping by.

  8. Wish you all the best for future travelling. Hope, it makes you a better and more peaceful person as this what travel means to most of us. Did you develop any friendships? And, welcome to India.

  9. Your vids are amazing guys! parang music videos hehe. what editor do you use? and I want to visit all those places too especially Calayan and Guimaras! 🙂 great job guys!

    1. Hi Darlene! I think it’s Adobe Premier. Will have to confirm this to Hali. I’ve asked him a couple of times already and I keep on forgetting. 🙂

  10. What a wonderful year you had! And how great to see you found someone who shares your passion (and who can capture so well on video!): I hope to read and see many more of your adventures together and more of these great places through your cameras!

  11. Awesome videos! It’s so amazing and that you’ve found someone who shares your love for travel 😀 Wishing you more and more adventures together!

  12. This is so amazing. How I envy you right now for travelling and visiting such amazing places. Well reading your reviews makes me feel like I was there. Waiting for more such videos in the series.

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