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  Blog Type Post – Best of List Acclaimed for its elegant architecture, manicured urban landscapes, and sumptuous dishes, Singapore attracts both oriental and western travelers. But some hesitate to venturing here; rumors have it that Singapore is only meant for posh travelers and can leave a big hole in your pocket. Such is a myth. To prove, here are some Singapore hotels to choose from that are shockingly affordable.  […]

Blog Post Type: Planning a Trip to a CityIf Paris is a movie, undoubtedly it is a love story. You may deny it, but it sometimes crosses your mind that you play the leading role, and Paris is your beautiful partner in everything you long to do.Such romance can be expensive, but do not worry. For once you have chosen one of the cheap hotels in Paris. Plus, the city […]

A small city like Singapore risks being judged as dull and predictable. Sure, its sleek high rises like Marina Bay Sands can awe people for its architectural delight, especially at night. But what else can a tiny, highly urbanized city offer visitors? Contrary to popular opinion, small cities have charms that big ones lack. Singapore’s deceptive smallness makes it even more worthy to explore. Beyond the usual city tours that everyone may […]

She sighed. She was crouching on the floor, sifting some leaves with her frail-looking, wrinkled hands. She then slit the middle of one elongated leaf, which looked like pandan, and inserted the base of another. She repeated the process until she made a beautiful mandala of leaves. She pushed the heart of the foliage into the soot-bottomed casserole and then poured rice grains in it. “It is her own way […]

You have been warned: Singapore City, unlike its neighboring Asian cities, can cause fatal damage to your travel fund, especially if you are set to travel long-term. It is expected that a city as neat, organized, and safe as Singapore, a complete opposite of its neighbors, comes with a price. After all, a good night’s sleep and a relaxing trip require more than a comfortable bed. But fear not—there are […]

January, despite its awesomeness, was kinda pain in the ass, gear-wise. Now, my year-old netbook would not function unless plugged, my two-year-old Android phone, Cherry Mobile Omega HD’s screen froze. Well, I dropped it at least ten times in December alone. I used it as a hotspot and placed it by the kitchen hanging cabinet. Now, I am not really techie. I just need a phone that is receptive to […]

“We love you too, yaya. Asa lagi ka karon? (Where are you now?),” replied Mama after receiving my New Year’s greeting. I just finished witnessing the city burst into orgasmic colors at the view deck somewhere Transcentral Highway. I was supposed to leave Cebu to pursue something entirely new, but Seniang delayed my plans for two days. It was good in a way. In the past eleven years of residing in the city, […]

“We are all whitewashed,” Shane admitted. Godo dismembered the bihag we bought from the cockpit. He poured water into the basin, rinsed the meat, and poured the water into the sandy ground. The boys stared at the meat in all its grandeur. Or gruesomeness: bones, flesh, blood. While for them—Tupe, Freyal, Godo—it was just the usual bihag they had every Sunday. It was nothing short of ordinary.   Poultry, on […]

“Dagko ang bawd? Naa bayay bagyo. Nabalaka bayas Mama,” (Are the waves big? A typhoon is approaching. Mama is worried) texted Inday Janeth, my older sister. Already aboard the ship, I texted Mama that I would be traveling to Leyte. Alone. For the first time. They were used to hearing me climbing mountains with a group or traveling with a friend. But I reached the point where solo traveling became […]

It was bright and happy. Painted yellow and orange, the Port of Tubigon building looked fresh and new. Half of the road is finished, while three quarters of the other side are rubble. The island in the middle showcased the beauties of Bohol: a river, a manmade forest, and churches. A tractor was idle next to a poster of the wide-eyed tarsier. Does a real one ever blink? About Jona […]

It is hard, admittedly, to finish a creative nonfiction book. Perhaps because they are driven by emotions—often dominantly singular, negatively singular: hatred, loss, anger. These emotions wittingly, consciously creep into the reader and weigh her down with heaviness and sighs, rendering her helpless and boneless to the point that taking a break from the book is necessary. That is how I feel mostly with narratives detailing collective pain: diaspora, slavery, racial […]

“Lagas” was the only word I understood.  I was walking with three girls fresh from high school to the lighthouse and we met a boy on a motorbike. I assumed he was thei            r classmate. He asked a question to the girls, which they answered but all I could catch was the word “lagas.” They must be talking about me. Lagas, back at home, is the corn mature enough for […]

Nobody warned a foreign friend about the gay hookers at Mango Avenue who targeted and chased foreign tourists. “I would never go back there. Just plain ewww,” he could not stress that enough.  I wonder which one chased him viciously. Working by Mango for more than five years now, these resident gay prostitutes in their short shorts and 5-inch wedges and I sometimes exchanged his and hellos. Some would pretend […]

It was a Tuesday. A poetry reading at a dear poet friend’s garden got canceled. I got a Tuesday, a weekday, at my disposal.  I packed and left the city at ten in the morning to visit down south. Trips as random as this—that has been my life for the past five years. To book as many, as random flights as possible. To squeeze a trip to a neighboring island midweek. To not care about work schedule. To […]