Surviving the Biggest Joke of Twenty Twelve

The dragon influence was fierce in 2012. The excesses were unprecedented. Here’s BlauEarth in 2012 recapped.


Laoag La Paz Sand Dunes

Beyond BlauEarth, wrote my first story for Rappler, the fastest growing social news network inspiring community engagement and digitally fuelled actions for social change.

Excerpts from “Sandboarding, Laoag, and a bashing adventure”

“I was about 10 years old when I first climbed Bantay Bimmaboy in sleepy Barangay La Paz. Those were the days when World War II US Army jeeps aka Willy’s M38s were the only vehicles that could take you to the foot of the great sand dunes of Laoag… That day of my childhood years mirrors in my mind every chance we get to visit the dunes for an energizing dune bashing adventure… Being a stakeholder in tourism, my group was asked for our specific goals and role. I told them that we just wanted to help promote our beautiful hometown, help empower the locals and influence them to take care of our natural inheritance. The trickle-down benefit of tourism is also part of why we created something unique like the sand adventure activities, which we Ilocanos are getting to appreciate more. Sometimes, we wake up and be cognizant of certain things only when we hear others rave about what we have that they don’t have.”

La Paz Sunset


The month in the leap year was prolific and crazy. Met/worked with TV hosts Drew Arellano and Tonipet Gaba, Direk Japoy, comedian Doorah, pro surfers Paolo Soler, Rozie Delgado and Beth Redondo for AHA and Pop Talk. Pop Talk guests gave sandboarding a perfect score, woo-hoo!

DSC_5670GMA Kapuso AHA's Direk Jepoy Mejia.DSC_5352Pop Talk set

Got awarded Most Outstanding Alumna in the field of Environment by my beloved alma mater, the Northwestern University, expressly “for the passionate advocacy in the protection, preservation and conservation of our environment and natural heritage; and significant contribution in the promotion of responsible and sustainable eco-adventure and for deepening awareness of the need of individual effort in preventing the continuous Degradation of Mother Earth.”

Chris Stowers

Missed the chance to meet London-based Panos Pictures photographer Chris Stowers  by a mere shower! He was in town to document sand adventure in La Paz, Laoag.

IMG_1292New Culture

Worked my ass out, yet totally enjoyed partly conceptualizing the introduction of a new sport in the Philippines with the first ever sandboarding competition at the Laoag La Paz SandDunes for the Pamulinawen Festival 2012.

My fashion sense and sensibility were challenged in Red Dot’s 7-Day Scarf Challenge. It jolted me literally. WTF, I ditched my big yawn outfits for good.

aqua 2head wrap


Another astonishing, crazy busy month. Unearthed Ilocos Norte’s best kept secret on The story of Palpalokada made the number 10 story in The wRap, March 7, 2012 Edition. Three weeks later, the Kapuso Mo, Jessica Sojo production crew came over to Ilocos to shoot the outback experience in Burgos.

I've been to paradise!Burgos OutbackIlocos Horseback Adventure in Palpalokada

hat 5

Miss Korina Sanchez featured Ilocos sandboarding in Rated K‘s It’s More Fun In the Philippines Special. And then a photo of LEAD Movement’s Marc Nicolas makes the front page of Manila Bulletin.

Went on a spelunking adventure with TV Patrol Ilocos. April Chang Rafales’ brief interview with yours truly made the rounds on national TV via ABS-CBN  and ANC News. I flinched:)

Caving (Paspasurot)April Rafales

Explored the nooks and crannies of Mamaruk and Palpalokada with family and friends.


GMA Kapuso Network’s Tropang Potchi picks up the Batibols story from the blog. Voilà! They traveled to the extreme north to shoot the kids and their not-so-old downhill master.

Batibols Bikers "principal" Jackie de la Cruz:)


Thank God it’s summer! A month of escapades. We revisited Baguio and made a sidetrip to Dagupeña where we savored their legendary boneless bangus, binagoongang pata and Fisherman’s Soup.

Strawberries by the basket

Dagupeña's legendary boneless bangus, binagoongang pata and Fisherman's Soup with malunggay, clams and crabs.

Revisited Kaangrian Falls in Burgos with friends. On a hammock overlooking a balete tree we melted in the pure beauty and quietness of nature.

Kaangrian FallsAround the Balete Tree

Woke up to the most amazing sunrise at Casa Consuelo, an Ilocano casa by the beach in Balaoi, Pagudpud.

Waking Up to Bliss (sunrise at Casa Consuelo)

Rediscovered the joys of my childhood years… hahah, pawpaw in the summertime!

Picture 064

Meditated in my heaven on earth — Adams — on Good Friday.

Woman and her rice

I heart Adams cacao


Mayo was bonding time with Alexa.

And another jump...Alexandra

Out of the streets

We”ve got new housemates:)

A glimpse into Cagayan's past

In the last days of summer, we traveled to the Cagayan Valley. Visited the Cagayan Museum and Historical Research Center.

Picture 004

LEAD Movement’s sandboarding made the hot, hot list in  Philippine Star’s Young Star  Is it just us or is summer getting hotter? The 37 Reasons by Raymond Ang, Karen Bolilia, Ralph Mendoza, Raine Mateo Calucag, Kit Singson. A little less hot than Hunger Games and Jessica Sanchez and a tad hotter than Coachella at number 35? Hahah, amazing!

With Ericke, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Undersecretary Manuel Luis "Manolo" Quezon III and Boysie Siazon.

Usec. Manuel L. Quezon of the Presidential Communications Group met the Ilocos Norte bloggers.

Kamote Bread with Kesong Puti (White Cheese) and Basil

Grabbed the chance to enjoy Baguio’s great eats on a chaperoning trip with Brandon and Alex. Café by the Ruins just gets better with age.


One word. Phenomenal.

John Lapus gears up while Kris Aquino and Bimby watchKris Aquino and Bimby

Who would have guessed Kris Aquino’s presence at the Laoag La Paz Sand Dunes? Her researchers did a wonderful job of finding the people behind sandboarding, the new adventure in Ilocos. Such an honor for LEAD Movement to be included in the KrisTV anniversary special.

Bloggers 2

I got invited to my first national press launch by DOT and Globe Telecom for “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” and the Pinoy Homecoming campaign. It was fun meeting media practitioners and bloggers from all over the country for the first time. Talking about bloggers, hey, Senator  Sotto, ang yabang mo! 

Plaza de Binondo aka Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz


The one-fourth Chinese in me says it all…

Joss StickShare Tea Challenge

I’ve had almost everything on the Share Tea menu. FYI, Senator Sotto, I’m a decent blogger and I’m proud to say I spend my own money on the things I blog. I do my homework veraciously. I’m so pissed off by your arrogance and the way you look at the world of blogging.


The rains kept coming the entire month. Blessings… the hubby gave me a  birthday party with close friends and relatives. And the tears… the well-loved Dept. of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo finishes his mission with flying colors.

One day,  the skies were clear.

The Bench (One)


Got invited to be a discussant at a sociology forum, Beyond the Banderitas: Festivals in Focus, organized by the Mariano Marcos State University College of Arts and Sciences Social Sciences Dept. Sociology Guild  for the Sociology Week. In between a hectic schedule, I found time to smell the flowers.

Mariano Marcos State University College of Arts and Sciences Social Sciences Dept. Sociology Week 2012 Forum (Theme: Beyond the Banderitas: Festivals in Focus)Cruisin'UntitledCosmos GardenCabanaHizon's, Ermita

Channeled Dolphy at his favorite, Hizon’s. The QdB ensaimada is to die for!

Cafe Sabel

Celebrated alone time with the hubby in Baguio.

Baguio Country Club Food AdventureBench


The bummer: Senator Vicente Sotto. Awaiting the verdict for the temporary restraining order on the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, I made him a non-libelous shake.

Dragonfruit shake

Went back to Mariano Marcos State University to judge the first CBEA “Integrated Marketing Communication: Reinventing Marketing” Competitions

Integrated Marketing Communication Awarding Ceremony


Visited and featured Museo de Bacarra before its formal launch.

Caught a rainbow in Adams. Toured my friends around my home away from home.

A Rainbow in AdamsFollow the leadHead upLaoag

Went nostalgic in Vintar Dam and the St. William Cathedral compound.


Featured cool exclusive stories like MODi’s interestingly chic abel stuff, the Mexico-meets-Ilocos home of Robbie and Grace Andres, Bobon Beach’s pointbreaks, a conversation with make-up maven Mara Manuel; and was invited by Red Dot’s Me-Ann Macaraeg to lunch with fashion designer Rhett Eala. And Samsung for the first Ilocos store opening at the Puregold Laoag. Not geared appropriately, I went on a random adventure in Palaui Island with my eating buddies.

WavesLunch TableLagoonPalaui Island, Cagayan, Philippines


Capped the year with beachy moments. Donned a bikini at Kapuluan Vista Resort in Pagudpud (photo by photojournalist Ivon Domingo), and together with my friend Leehua, we “sprinkled” the first cabana of The Cabanas homestay.

A photo by photojournalist Ivon Domingo

The other exclusive feature stories on BlauEarth — I had the honor to photograph and share the gorgeous Umali-Fariñas home. We entered the backdoor of Bocarot, Adams, via Calanasan, Apayao. To boot, documented the 1st Sinnalugan@Sapat Downhill MTB Challenge, the badass mountainbike race with a bunch of badass downhillers in the country.

Oriental Touches
Gold TownBrandon Tan, the 4x4 champion

The exclamation point to the spawning 2012 — in the middle of a love affair with downhill mountain biking, Brandon goes back to his first love and  scores a double victory in the 9th Siwawer Off-Road Challenge.

My only wish for 2013 — not another Sosottosotto!

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

4 thoughts on “Surviving the Biggest Joke of Twenty Twelve

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