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I can’t believe today marks one week since I arrived in the Philippines. It’s a full third of my trip — which is clearly not anywhere near long enough.

The highlight so far has undoubtedly been the rice terraces of Batad. There are not enough adjectives available to describe how awed, inspired, and humbled I was before this eighth wonder of the world. I hiked for two days to get in and out of the village, was rescued from a near-death tumble off a terrace wall, and had only an icy cold shower to greet me on my return to Banaue — but it was worth every step. I can’t contain my excitement — I’m throwing a few extra photos in this week!

Photo A
Horse Drawn Carriage Wheel, Manila, Philippines Horse drawn carriage wheel in Manila

Photo B
Pineapple, Tagaytay, PhilippinesPineapple plantation in Tagaytay

Photo C
Local Portrait, Banaue, PhilippinesTraditional dress in Banaue

Photo D
Batad Rice Terraces, PhilippinesThe Eden-like rice terraces of Batad

Photo E
Batad Rice Terraces, PhilippinesWalking the walls in Batad

Photo F
Batad Rice Terraces, PhilippinesA cross in Batad — the Philippines are more than 92% Christian!

Photo G
Batad Rice Terraces, PhilippinesA self portrait, in rice

Photo H
Batad Rice Terraces, PhilippinesThe unofficial national mascot of the Philippines

Clearly I couldn’t decide! Which is your favorite photo?

I also want to take a moment to thank all of you that left me such encouraging words and sweet condolences in the wake of my doses of bad news last week. It means so much — really. The loss of my grandmother will sting for some time, but in terms of my career stumble, I’m already I’m making plans for the future.

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40 Comments...
  • Margy
    March 16 2013

    Easy choice-G!!!

    • Alex
      March 17 2013

      That’s one of my favorites as well — I did a similar version on my iPhone for Instagram 🙂

  • Jenna
    March 16 2013

    Great photos, love them all, but my favorite is C! The Philippines look so beautiful!
    Jenna recently posted..Little Car in Belgium

    • Alex
      March 17 2013

      Argh, I love that photo but when I look at it all I see is uneven lighting! Ha.

  • cosmoHalllitan
    March 16 2013

    These photos are amazing and I can’t wait to read more about your adventures! The Philippines seems to be an underrated destination. I hope you are able to find some peace there to help you through your troubles.

    PS – my parents live in Myrtle Beach. Maybe we can meet up there some day!
    cosmoHalllitan recently posted..A Weekend in Luang Prabang, Laos

    • Alex
      March 17 2013

      I’ve been going to Myrtle Beach for years! Such a guilty pleasure 🙂 One of my best friends has a condo there.

  • Alouise
    March 16 2013

    All of these photos are great, but I love C, it’s a great portrait, and the perspective of photo A is neat.
    Alouise recently posted..Road Trip Memories 20 – Crossing The Confederation Bridge

    • Alex
      March 17 2013

      Thanks Alouise! Photo A is one I would really like to frame 🙂

  • Sarah Somewhere
    March 16 2013

    It’s a toss up for me, I love the man in traditional dress (c), the view of the terraces (d) and your self portrait, in rice 🙂 I’m so sorry for your loss, Alex, I missed the post and just read it. Really beautiful. You have nothing to feel guilty for, life is messy and feelings are complicated when we face sad news about someone whilst on the other side of the world.
    Sarah Somewhere recently posted..Girl’s Day at Xpu Ha Beach

    • Alex
      March 17 2013

      Thank you so much Sarah. Appreciate your kindness… being around all this beauty in the world has helped 🙂

  • sameer
    March 16 2013

    ALL are Fantastic. My choice is Photo
    ” H”.
    Good luck Alix.

    • Alex
      March 17 2013

      Thanks Sameer! I was so proud to capture that shot 🙂

  • Stephen Jones
    March 17 2013

    A wonderful selection of photos, Alex! This has been one of my dream destinations for a while!
    Stephen Jones recently posted..Go big, or go home!

    • Alex
      March 17 2013

      It has been one of mine too! Awesome to finally see it realized.

  • wes
    March 17 2013

    PHOTO A – easily – so amazing!! I had no idea horses could draw.

  • Chet Opalka
    March 17 2013

    I like G the best. It’s different. I like the novelty of it.

    • Alex
      March 17 2013

      Thanks Chet! I love my self portraits!

  • Stephen S.
    March 17 2013

    photo C is such a good capture Alex! Dude looks so happy 🙂
    Stephen S. recently posted..Keeping Your Focus…..ooohhhh look something shiny!

    • Alex
      March 18 2013

      He sure is! Gets to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth 🙂

  • Dad
    March 17 2013

    Toss up between B and G. B is great because it give you a sense of the beauty and majesty of the landscape. G fits in to your collection of signature reflection photos….so or me G is Photo of the week. Love Dad

    • Alex
      March 18 2013

      Always love getting your comments Dad. Love you!

  • Jen
    March 17 2013

    I have to go with G, your self-portrait. That is one I would print and hang on my wall to remember my travels.

    And I vote for you to go on a cruise! I am dying to go on another one, and I’d love to read about your adventure!

    When are you heading to Martha’s Vineyard?
    Jen recently posted..#scintilla13: 7/1/13 – The day Reader died

    • Alex
      March 18 2013

      I’m not sure my schedule yet but I’ll get to the Vineyard sometime June-August. And yes, totally ready for another cruise! I need a real vacation… this travel stuff is hard work 🙂

  • Steve McKee
    March 17 2013

    Photo A is easily the best of them, but if I didn’t know I wouldn’t know that you took it in the Philippines, and it appears that’s part of what you’re trying to convey here in your photos. So I’m going with F.

  • Jade
    March 18 2013

    100% C!

    • Alex
      March 18 2013

      We definitely have a winner! 🙂

  • Hannah
    March 18 2013

    These are all incredible photos Alex, but I’m going for G. As I didn’t get to see you in Bangkok, this lovely image will have to do until the next time our travels allow us to cross paths 🙂
    Hannah recently posted..An abundance of choice

    • Alex
      March 18 2013

      Come to Bali! Come to Bali! 🙂

  • The Guy
    March 18 2013

    Amazing pictures Alex. You definitely have a talent for photography.
    The Guy recently posted..Getting A Handle On Mandal – The Town Of White Houses

    • Alex
      March 18 2013

      Thank you! That’s a really lovely compliment. I try!

  • Karina
    March 19 2013

    D! This picture really seems to be from paradise…

    • Alex
      March 19 2013

      Thanks for voting Karina! I was so happy to capture that photo!

  • T
    March 20 2013

    Photo C is just amazing. Love it

    • Alex
      March 21 2013

      Thanks T! Appreciate your vote 🙂

  • Erica
    March 28 2013

    My favorite is photo D of the rice terraces in Batad. I see why it was worth the hike! Ever since I discovered your blog I’ve really enjoyed these regular photo features. Inspiring!
    Erica recently posted..How to Make Your Trip Blissful: Giving Back & Ethical Travel (Part 4)

    • Alex
      March 29 2013

      Thanks so much Erica! Feedback like this keeps me posting in the dark times 🙂

  • plue
    May 8 2013

    Fantastic photos! I’m from the Philippines and I was smiling the entire time I was reading this entry.

    Not sure if it’s too late to vote but I’d go with photo G 🙂

    • Alex
      May 9 2013

      Never too late to vote! Thanks for chiming in Plue, glad I could make you smile 🙂

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