Island Vacations Turns One- My Travel Blog Ups And Downs

Island Vacations Travel Blog turns one year today. In each and every anniversary celebration, it has been customary on my part to reminisce, rejoice, and renew my commitment to any undertaking.

Island Vacations blogging moments

Serious travel blogging moments for the past 1 year.


My involvement in travel blogging has evolved from just a simple try to an undertaking that I am already passionately engaged in. My son, who is on full-time online job, prodded me to write for the net as he was fully aware of my writing capability in school, college and graduate days. And I said okay, I will try. Truly, I enjoyed writing in my personal blog that my son developed for me and I poured all my writing prowess into it in a free style fashion. Afterward, my son convinced me to write for the Ezine as, according to him, landing in the said article directory is tantamount to getting a seal of writing excellence. Again, I said, okay I will try. Modesty aside, I gained the status of Platinum Level Expert Author after submitting 10 articles in a span of one week. Candidly, it was in Ezine that I got hooked to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) especially the use of long-tailed keywords and other article writing norms. Nevertheless, for some reasons, I got burned out and decided to pull out all except 6 of my articles. Likewise, I decided not to renew the domain of my personal blog. Sensing that I was already on a writing break, my son again convinced me: Father why not try travel blogging? Truly, my eyes twinkled with excitement on such proposal and, after a brainstorming session, I decided island vacations as my niche as it was, and is still, closest to my heart. Hence, on December 29, 2010, my first ever travel blog post on the Kapihan View Park in Bucas Grande Island, Philippines was born.

Island Vacations Kapihan View Park

The Kapihan View Park in Bucas Grande Island

My travel blogging journey have had its share of ups and downs. Candidly, my involvement in article writing had resulted to an SEO addiction on my part. Hence, though I knew that some, if not many, were annoyed, if not critical, with my writing style but I could not afford to distance myself from my usual writing format. And, truly, there came a time that such criticisms, coupled with some other factors, had punched a hole on my once impregnable desire to pursue my travel blogging passion and plunged my morale into its lowest ebb that, had it not been for the encouraging words of travel blogger-couple Caz and Craig, my name could have been engraved into the pedestal of travel blogging quitters.

Blessings To Rejoice:

Anniversaries are reserved for counting the blessings received. In my first travel blogging anniversary, I take this as an opportunity to name my blogging blessings one by one:

1. The opportunity to get, though not yet met, new friends. It was from the Philippine Travel Notes Travel Blog that I got my inspiration to pursue my travel blogging passion. I drew my strength from the support of Filipino bloggers Flip Nomad, Tutubi, Gael Hilotin, Gay Emami, Claire Raborar-Blaxland and the rest of the Pinoy Travel Bloggers community. Likewise, the support I got from Canadian blogger-couple Dave and Debb had kept my blogging morale afloat. Moreover, the wisdom I got from foreign bloggers Anil Polat, David Lee, Caz and Craig, Jason and Aracely and Gary Arndt and the bulk of the Travel Blog Success community had made my blogging day.

2. The opportunity to have fun in blogging and traveling. From just a mere venue to vent my writing passion, my travel blogging has evolved into an enslaving cycle of blogging about travel and traveling to blog. As a result, my travels to both  renowned and unknown island vacations, island getaways and best vacation spots gave me more bonding space with my wife who usually served as my travel buddy.

Island Vacations bonding moments

Bonding moments with my wife Vanjie at Sarangani Highlands, General Santos City, Mindanao Island, Philippines

3. The opportunity to get obsessed with photography and videography. Generally speaking, travel blogging is associated with photography. In my desire to share good quality photos in my blog, I acquired a Nikon D 7000 camera, attended Training Course on Basic Photography at Cebu City and gone wild aiming my camera at any subject possible in the hope of getting nearer to the practice makes perfect doctrine. The HD Pro Hero wearable camera I won in the global contest sponsored by Dave and Debb of The Planet D Travel Blog had afforded me the chance to take still photos and video shots of the underwater world.

4. The opportunity to venture into tourism-related business. My blog posts about Bucas Grande Island, the land of my birth and abode, had elicited interests to visit the all-in-one tourist destination and had sparked queries coming from my readers on the availability of travel and tour facilities in the area. Hence, my family decided to operate the Island Vacations Country Inn, a backpackers hostel, as well as the Island Vacations Travel and Tour.

Bucas Grande Island

5. The opportunity to get internet fame. Most individuals, and I qualify the term most as there are others who may not agree, engaged in the net are looking forward to get high Google Page Rank for one reason or another. And I consider my travel blogging presence in the web for the year as blessed as I got the Page Rank of 3/10 within a span of 6 months and then Page Rank 4/10 recently.

6. The opportunity of gaining and sharing travel blogging income. Monetizing my travel blog was not in my dream at the start. In fact, I could not picture out what Paypal account would look like. Nevertheless, there were some advertisers who found my blog comfortable to deal business with. Hence, I grabbed the opportunity to acquire passive travel blogging income. Little did I know that the initial few dollars in my Paypal account could be utilized to support the noble efforts of the Iligan Bloggers Society for victims of Typhoon Sendong.

Quo Vadis Island Vacations? – A Commitment

I have started to dissociate myself from writing on a tight SEO format. The way it was going, I am confident that I can return to normal free style writing by 2012 and beyond and, hence, I commit myself for quality posts in the future. But, am I inclined to stay in the travel blogging world for long? Well, I myself cannot guarantee on that. So far, my travel blogging passion is still gearing up high. In fact, 2012 would be greeted with a big bang due to my 2-week furlough to travel with my wife to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore in the first half of March. The coming Year of the Dragon is indeed another opportunity for me to have more fun, fame and hopefully, fortune through my Island Vacations Travel Blog.


  1. Happy blogoversary! Nice to read your retrospective. You really got into blogging like a true scholar – by earning your spurs in SEO writing and such. I don’t even know SEO, haha!

    Keep up the quality work, sir! And here’s to more travels in the coming year (more places than what you have already enumerated).

    Oh, and you’re lucky to have such a supportive son. He’s a stage son! :))

    • Thanks very much AJ. You’re one of the PTBs that I failed to mention whom I drew my strength with and supported my blog all the way. Yeah, I could not imagine how my travel blogging journey would fare had it not been for my son cum resident website developer.

  2. Congrats on your first year anniversary Sir Ed and more power. Just keep on traveling and sharing 🙂 I hope our paths meet someday soon 🙂 Perhaps in Bucas Grande 🙂

    • Thank you very much Angel. You’re one of my idols before I started travel blogging. Remembered my comments on your post about Sohoton Cove? Candidly, you’re blog is one of the authorities I considered as reference in my blogging undertakings.

  3. congratulations sir ed on everything that you have achieved 🙂 wishing you more blogging years to come 🙂

    • Thanks very much Flip. It was your list of Top Philippine Travel Blogs that provided a spark on my travel blogging passion. The blogs in the list, including yours of course, served as my guiding light when I was still groping in the dark in the early stage of my travel blogging journey.

  4. Happy anniversary Nong Ed! Baha raba daw dira ron sa Surigao? Nonstop rains sa amoa pero wa may baha thank God. Anyway, more years of blogging to come, and safe travels in 2012!

  5. grasya |

    well done sir ^_^… hope i could visit your island while im here in Pinas

    • Thanks for dropping by and for the kind words. It’s truly great if you can visit Bucas Grande Island so you can see for yourself how does it fare with similar attractions in other countries.

  6. Congratulations on a great year and here’s to many more! Thank you for the mention and hopefully we will make it to the Philippines in the near future to meet you in person. Cheers

    • Words are not enough to express my appreciation for your support Sir Dave and Maam Deb to my blog all the way from the start, to the time that I won your HD camera contest and until nowadays. My family and I are looking forward, with great excitement, for your visit here in the Philippines especially in Bucas Grande, my island home.

  7. Wow! Has it already been a year? And OMG, I see you have even branched into the tourism & travel industry! Am sure that would help Bucas Grande a lot! Double congratulations! I’m honored at the mention on item 1. My pleasure indeed!

    Keep on! As they say in the last lines of a song probably familiar to you…
    “Humayo’t itanghal, giting at tapang.Mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan.”

    • Yeah, it’s been a year since the spark of my travel blogging passion was ignited by your blog which I stumbled upon via Flip Nomad’s List of Top Philippine Travel Blogs. Truly, I didn’t expect that my blogging efforts would go that far into travel-related ventures. Am really thankful for the inspiration and support.

      And, there’s more reason for me to celebrate. I don’t know you personally (hope you grant me favor to meet you in Cebu), but at least I now am aware that we both sang in our student days with hearts out Nicanor Abelardo’s piece that popularized Teogenes Velez’ “U.P. Beloved” poem.

      Nice meeting you then fellow “UPian.”

  8. Congrats on your first year! I, myself, have my own ups and downs in travel blogging. But then the passion to write is always there! More blessings on your travel blogging! Cheers to 2012!

  9. “travel blogging has evolved into an enslaving cycle of blogging” – I can totally relate! Thanks for the mention kuya. Happy blogversary! More adventures to come 🙂

  10. Congrats on a successful year. I know how addictive certainly online activities like SEO can be, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Keep doing what makes you happy, and enjoy the ride in 2012!

    • Thanks very much Dave. Needless to say that Travel Blog Success under your tutelage had helped a lot in shaping my travel blogging undertaking. Truly, the bit by bit lessons I have had seriously followed had opened my horizon to the great collage of travel blogging.

  11. wow! congrats Sir esp on your backpacker’s hostel! more blessings to come. I;m excited to visit Bucas Grande! 🙂 thanks for the mention din! 🙂

  12. Wow, talagang serious po kayo sa blogging picture niyo. hehe. Happy Blog anniversary po.. 🙂

    • He he, emote na emote ika nga. Those were the days when I have to pour all my writing prowess to share to my readers the fun and frolic, as well as the misfortunes, while I was on travel. Thanks for dropping by and for the greetings.

  13. Congrats sir Ed for a year of blogging and of course traveling around. You sold me on really wanting to go to Bucas Grande island.

  14. Congratulation pre ! you have made it so far . . . wishing you more success in all your endeavor Happy New Year pare!

  15. congrats! may you have more fruitful years of blogging ahead!

  16. Congrats on your blog anniversary!

  17. Travel blog is so tedious the way I size that up. But for you, it’s interesting, challenging, and enjoyable for you love to travel places of significant, tourism value. Keep it up. Your blog is already a year old. You’ll be more interesting places you;re going to make an account of your travel experiences.

  18. Hapi anniversary sir ed! hapi new yer!!! keep on posting ur’ travels, I am one of ur avid reader

  19. Happy Anniversary and Happy New Year .I enjoyed reading your post.Wishing youall the best in blogging ,traveliing and a fruitful year ahead.

  20. Happy Anniversary po! I super love traveling and I like this post a lot!
    I pray you more success in this venture in adventure!

  21. it was nice to know that you start to blog because of your son and now you are now pro in it, it was my one year too, though I still need to learn more in writing skills

    • Thanks very much Chrisair. Visited your Fit and Fashion Mom Blog and I really admire it. Nice knowing also that our blogs were born in the same year. Search engines can recognize our posts not only based on the texts but also on the images. If you’re not yet doing SEO on your posts, I can give you some tips if you wish. You can PM me at my FB account.

  22. Congrats Sir! You blog is an inspiration. Hope to visit your place one day.

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