Our 12 favorite travel snapshots for 2012

2012 has been a generous year for us and as much as we’d like to pour our hearts out, we’re already pressed for time (time check: 7:41 AM December 31) and we haven’t even written about everything we’ve been to. So we’ve simply chosen six shots each that we would remember 2012 fondly by.

It had been an amazing second year of traveling together, and we cannot wait for 2013 to come so we can get started with our plans! Thank you too to our readers—hope you stick with us next year! Here’s to an awesome 2013 for all of us!


Nikka’s favorite snapshots

two2travel | palawan | coron

I took this photo at the outskirts of downtown Coron. Owen and I rented a scooter to retrace the road we passed by earlier going to the airport, seeing as everyone was on two wheels as well. It was an easy-breezy first day which didn’t prepare us for another motorcycle misadventure on our third day. It was, to me, our best trip yet.

two2travel | snapshots | nikka

This photo was taken while snorkeling (i.e., fidgeting in a neon orange floatation device) at Bunaken Marine Park in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, an official trip for AsianTraveler magazine. Taking photos underwater is one of my frustrations and I always welcome opportunities to do it. It was impossible to preview the photos while still in the water though, so I just clicked away until I found out after getting back that I had over 500 from this 40-minute session alone. Out of that, I got only about five usable shots, but I was very happy to have as much.

two2travel | snapshots | nikka

This is another photo I took from the same spot in Indonesia. This kid was one of our guides (he’s 10 years old but I already forgot his name) but the chance to take his photo didn’t come until I was heading back to our boat. Since I’m such a lame duck, I was taking twice the time to get there, which was all good in the end because that’s when he took off and did a free dive. It was a relatively shallow area at about 10 feet, which gave me better lighting than the other areas, so it was easier to take photos. Plus he obliged when I asked him to dive several times more so I can take more photos. ;)

TWO2TRAVEL | Calaguas

This photo was taken around high noon in Calaguas in April. I was all too glad to have reached our destination after God-knows-how-many-hours on the road (I came all the way from Baguio, folks. I traversed most of Luzon in a day to get here). It was one of my favorite trips though.

two2travel | snapshots | nikka

Another shot from Calaguas! The lady was selling these (one is a grouper; I don’t know the other one) for P400, but one of my friends was able to haggle to half the price. This is a welcome diversion to all that canned food. :P

two2travel | snapshots | nikka

Okay, so half of my picks are from Calaguas. And this one is actually my favorite of all the six. I can’t even explain why, but this photo just looks so happy. Hehe.

Owen’s favorite snapshots

two2travel | snapshots | owen

This photo was from Nagsasa Cove in Zambales. We were being shooed by the caretaker of a store nearby after seeing us taking photos, because according to him, we had to pay first before we can shoot. At that time, two kids were crossing this makeshift bridge and we had to wait for them to get to this exact spot so I could take a shot. We bought beer at the store afterward, and the power-tripping caretaker didn’t only NOT ask us to pay the supposed fee; he also overdid his math and we ended up having one or two free beers in the end (we didn’t count our change; we only found out after we got to our tent, which was 500 meters away).

two2travel | snapshots | owen

This was taken in January in Bantayan Island in Cebu. Nikka and I came from Sinulog and took this as a sidetrip. We rented a motorbike and had spent most of the morning looking for a particular part of the beach we saw online, but we weren’t so lucky so we ended up returning to the spot where we earlier took photos of the sunrise. I chanced upon this fisherman who was just getting out of his boat carrying this huge king mackerel, and he was kind enough to have his photo taken.

DSC_8848 watermarked

This photo was taken from a trip to Boracay earlier this year. I never really saw Boracay this way, without the coconut trees and the establishments behind them, and definitely not without the blue paraws and the sunset. It was a simpler version of the Philippines’ party beach. Most of Boracay probably looked like this decades ago.

two2travel | snapshots | owen

Nikka and I went back to Ilocos after three years, and this was one of the places I didn’t want to miss. It’s one of the most photographed places in Ilocos, so we were hoping to find a somewhat different angle. We didn’t have to look far though because these local kids playing Chinese garter provided the perfect foreground.

two2travel | snapshots | owen

This is Mang Luni, our boatman who allowed to ferry us from Panglao to Balicasag and back for P200 each when normal island hopping trips would go by the thousands. We stopped by Virgin Island on the way to Panglao from Balicasag, which we didn’t expect but were glad to be on anyway.


Commuting in Manila is like going through hell and back and back again. The last time Nikka and I were together in Quiapo was several years ago to buy a camera, and we didn’t brave the streets then to take photos. It turns out we were missing a lot. The moment we got off our station, all these really good subjects started popping out of corners that it was difficult to keep up. I was taking a photo of a man tending his horse at the other side of the street when a jeepney stopped right in front of me, with this kid looking straight at the camera while his father/grandfather—the jeepney driver—looked on. It was one of those moments that would never really come together again.

Top lessons learned when taking photos: wait, anticipate, and interact.

Happy New Year guys!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07502682518977385528 KULAPITOT

    fantastic nman! grabe tulaley me sa mga photos! happy new year po!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00779572056259030202 Two2Travel

      Happy New Year to you too and thanks for dropping by! :-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15357941060885301587 Yza

    just discovered your blog and i’m now a fan. beautiful photos. :) now i’m itching to go somewhere new.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00779572056259030202 Two2Travel

      Hello Yza, thanks! :) If you like festivals, Dinagyang in Iloilo is happening next weekend. Sinulog & Ati-atihan this weekend in Cebu & Kalibo, respectively. :) More travels for you this year! :) ~nikka

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15835564370587770945 Tanya Coloma

    You have such stunning photos! Can I ask what program do you use to edit your photos?

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00779572056259030202 Two2Travel

      Hi Tanya, we use Photoshop for global touchups. Thanks! :)