Fanboy Blogger Meets Star Travel Bloggers
My heart skipped a beat when I learned that I got into the shortlist of Filipino bloggers joining Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet and Mica Rodriguez of Senyorita.net on a special journey with international travel bloggers.
As a baby blogger, it is one of my dreams to meet the writers that I follow online. And this invitation from the Tourism Promotions Board made it come true easily!
Yes Pinoy traveloholics, 13 of the world’s most popular travel bloggers were recently in town! Add Anton & Mica on the list & you’ll get a star-studded experience.
Fanboy blogger meets idol international travel bloggers!
A week before it, I already had the rare chance of hanging out with celebrity blogger, Trisha Velarmino of P.S. I’m On My Way who’s home for a short visit after a long world tour. Little did I know that it was already a prelude to another inspiring experience in the days to come.
No amount of rain could dampen my excitement of meeting them for the first time at Hotel Jen in Manila. I have to admit I was starstruck! Instantly, that fanboy moment was fired with my shameless photo-ops.
If on this occasion I was already amazed by just 13 of the world’s best, what more would I be when the rest of the most admired travel bloggers arrive in Manila on October 13-16 for the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) conference?
TBEX is the largest gathering of travel bloggers & journalists, new media content creators, social media influencers & travel industry professionals.
And what better way to inspire the planet’s travel movers to come to the Philippines than by sending in an advance troop of influential travel personalities. Check out twitter hashtags #TBEXPH, #TBEX, #tbpgovph #VisitPhilippinesAgain2016 and Instagram posts stormed by:
- Apeksha Harihar of Thing2gether
- Barbara Szekeres of Jet-settera
- Cacinda Maloney of Points and Travel
- Denis Gagnon of Bon Voyageurs
- Jeanette Cheney of Honeybird Travel
- Lisa Samples of Life with Lisa
- Mary Jo Manzanares of Traveling with MJ
- Melissa Giroux of A Broken Backpack
- Mike Huxley of Bemused Backpacker
- Natalie Deduck of Love and Road
- Nikki Vargas of The Pin the Map Project
- Scott Shetler of Quirky Travel Guy
- Tara Povey of Where is Tara
- Potpot Pinili of Travel Trilogy
- Micaela Rodriguez of Senyorita.net
- Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet
Flying in from different continents and crossing different timezones, all bloggers arrived in Manila last June 5. Despite the jet lag and bloodshot eyes, everyone flew out very early the next day to start the journey.
Everyone was grouped into teams, each experiencing what the Philippines can offer from adrenaline-pumping adventures & nostalgic heritage walks to mouth-watering culinary indulgences and pampering luxury holidays.
After the trip, I rounded up with some of the bloggers to ask about their experiences & these are what they did & shared about the Philippines.
Cultural walk in Ilocos
The team had an overload of centuries-old heritage mansions, limestone churches and unique handicrafts that are beautifully littered all around Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.
Mica Rodriguez who speaks the language very well surely made them giggle with the Ilocanos’ naughty food names. And they all loved pinakbet pizza made famous by Herencia Café in Paoay.
Adventure in Albay
“Ziplining from the foot of an active volcano is insanely fantastic”, muses Tara Povey from Ireland who was totally head over heels in her Mount Mayon experience.
With Anton Diaz on the lead, a household name in food blogs, it was no surprise that the team went on a gastronomic treat of the best Bicolano favorites.
On a silver platter in Palawan
Ushering a team of seasoned jetsetters, I had to make sure that everything comes in as sparkling as it could get.
Well, flying on a chartered plane straight to El Nido, a posh beach villa for each blogger in no less than Pangulasian Island Resort, sunset cruise over wine and sit-down dinners, I am as equally stunned by the super VIP accommodation.
Dr. Cacinda Maloney, a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association expressed that El Nido Resorts’ impeccable detailing are what truly speaks of an indulgent luxury made even more priceless by Filipino service.
Brazilian Natalie Deduck of Love and Road was so awed by the surprises the Philippines brings everytime she comes here. “This is one country I will never grow tired coming back over and over.”
While travel has become a lifestyle for so many people nowadays, the biggest force that drives this phenomenon are the travel bloggers. We traverse the world, we explore places and experience different cultures. And with the Internet and social media as our tools, we reach millions of audiences easily and inspire them to travel.
In the words of Mary Jo Manzanares, the conference director of TBEX, travel bloggers are writing the beautiful changes in the way we travel today.
This thought was my little aha! moment of this trip, affirming my choice of living a life of travel. I can’t wait for October to come when all the stars of travel blogging come down to the Philippines—all in one venue, one paradise!