The Missing Year: 2015


As we draw the year to a close, I’d like to give a tribute not to 2016, but to 2015. It’s in the events of 2015 that made this year possible and why my 2016 now makes sense.

(Besides, I also wasn’t able to document this special year in my blog. I was also in a social media hiatus that entire year, well, except for Instagram).

Here are the top three reasons why 2015 for me was Game Time:

*Okay, I’m going to be flooding you now with photos*

1. It was a year of preparation for hikes and climbs

In early 2015 I did more outdoor activities in the Philippines like hiking Gulugod Baboy, Anilao, Batangas, Mt. Balingkilat, and Mt. Pinatubo. Little did I know I would be doing more hikes in my new country in 2016. Here’s where I realised that you have to work hard before you get to revel in the beauty of something. It taught me patience, persistence and gratitude, not to give up and that the reward will be always be worth the work it takes 🙂

Gulugod Baboy / Oscar Island / Sombrero Island:



Mt. Balingkilat



Mt. Pinatubo



2. It was another year to appreciate the beauty of the Philippines

Though I’ve traveled to a lot of places in the Philippines (I haven’t been to ALL yet!), now I realise that 2015 was my last chance to explore more places in my own backyard before I move to a new (and quite far) neighbourhood. I don’t know where I’ll come back home again to see its natural beauty and wonder. So happy to be able to see the now not-so-secret paradise, with its hidden beaches and lagoons (called EL NIDO) before I left home.

El Nido, Palawan:


Dumaguete / Apo Island / Oslob, Cebu / Siquijor

Snorkeling in Apo Island:


Food trip and city tour in Dumaguete:


Roro to Cebu / swimming with whale sharks / Tumalog Falls in Oslob, Cebu:


On the way to Tumalog Falls riding a motorbike:


Exploring Siquijor:

Salagdoong Beach:


Cambugahay Falls:


Century-old Balete tree:


Our Siquijor accommodation, Coco Grove Beach Resort:


3. It was a year to learn to be more brave and be grateful with the life I was granted.

I was in India for 3 and a half weeks in 2015. I saw a country that’s ugly and beautiful, smelly and intense, chaotic and calm all at the same time. There I saw poverty, yet it can be so rich in culture, heritage and religion. It was a very tough and testing country for me. Looking back, I guess India was a training ground for me with my settle in NZ: I learned to be more bold and brave. And now know that I could be anywhere and do anything.

Bangalore, India

Bangalore Palace:


Kempegowda tower, made up of Peninsular Gneiss:


Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace:


Shiva Temple:


Sunrise at Nandi Hills:


Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple:


Agra, India:


* * *

Number 4: 2015 was also the pivotal year for me when I made the big move from Manila to Wellington. It’s the year when I have confirmed to myself that I can make it anywhere. 🙂


With 2016 year in review–I’ll get there soon 😉

Thank you, 2015! You were intense. You’ve definitely prepared me for 2016. 🙂


2 Comments Add yours

  1. hellodewww says:

    Wow, not only your shots are beautiful but you as well! Happy new year, my friend 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aliaslibby says:

      Aaaww! Thank you! Happy 2017 to you too!


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