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Cruising magazine published my photo essay on my encounter with the phenomenal Whang Od. The essay, just about 700 words, was hard to write especially I already wrote an exhaustive essay on Whang Od and Her Village. To read the whole essay, you can buy Cruising #GoingPlaces at any bookstores nationwide. I included some parts here as a teaser. *** About Jona Branzuela BeringWhen I'm not traveling, I teach, garden, […]

A different kind of silence settled on Paradise Street. Gone were the neighbors’ motherly morning nags; the handsome neighbor’s roosters, however, insisted their cockiness. A carpenter pounded the roof across from my place. On normal days, he would not fail to shout “Hi, Ma’am” while pedaling his trisikad across the oval-shaped neighborhood. A Vietnamese rose ignored the early April heat and bloomed throughout the day. I contemplated why it was […]

Blog Post Type: Planning a Trip to a City Romans do not make light of their coffee, as they must be some of the most true-blooded coffee aficionados out there. When you grow up with nothing but the best coffee culture in the world, your taste buds desire nothing else. Here are five cafes in Rome that capture the ambiance, taste, and preference of a real Roman coffee aficionado. Photo by Prins […]

Bangkok is a city full of contradictions and surprises. A preferred destination in Asia for its affordability, rich traditions, and awesome street food scenes, the city can be shockingly crowded. The well-received floating markets, palaces, and temples are best explored during weekdays to avoid the massive number of tourists that normally pours on weekends. Now, what to do with your weekends? Weekends are best spent with some of Bangkok’s little […]

A city can be a representation of a country; Toronto is Canada’s. This city alone houses about 200 unique ethnic origins, making it one of the most heterogeneous cities in North America. Plus, it is the center of the country’s finances, politics, and culture. It has its own versions of Queen West, Chinatown, Little Italy, and more. It is the home of some of the best festivals: Pride Toronto and […]

Blog Post Type: Summary of a City Guide Catalans know and love their coffee. Wandering around the streets of Barcelona, you would come to notice that only few enter the globally recognized coffee franchises, and you might wonder why the Spanish find it hard to drink coffee when traveling abroad. It’s because their cities (like Catalonian) serve the best coffee. Their local cafés perfectly understand how coffee should be roasted, […]

Blog Post Type: Planning a Trip to a City There is a debate between the city and the country. It is alright to hate cities, some say; but it is blasphemy to hate the countryside. Where does Austinbelong in this argument? This city is the 11th most populous metropolis in the United States, yet it is also the city that has a plenty of state and national parks nearby. So, perhaps […]

A love affair with a city like London stretches your understanding. It is the most populous city in the United Kingdom, and navigating your way through its crowded streets sometimes demands more than what you are willing to give. A love story is always like that; the seeming struggle should be rightfully felt. But a city has always a tender moment or two; in London’s case, there are five historical […]

Blog Post Type: Expert Opinion Piece Cancun is the entrance to the world of the Mayans and a tropical refuge during the hellish wintry months of its neighboring regions to the south. When you’re in this coastal city, it sometimes makes you feel that you live a life of paradox. This is the city where pop meets traditional, elegance rubs elbows with irony — the new with the old. Cancun […]

Miami evokes the images of eternal summer on the beach. It is the place where uniforms are made up of bikinis, shorts, sunglasses and sunblock. But Miami as a beach paradise serves as an appetizer, as this coastal city pulsates with ethnic plurality. You can find little neighborhoods within big neighborhoods. Expect to find little representations of distant cities and countries, like Little Havana and Little Haiti. Because of Miami’s […]

A megacity like Tokyo is like a river: the people do not stop flowing. They are out and about, as one might expect in one of the most populous and expensive cities to live in the world. Tokyo is a prime destination in Asia, and some claim they have seen and experienced what must be seen and experienced. But a megacity like Tokyo keeps on evolving; thus, there are places […]

Dubai is a city known for its epicurean delights and sights. It sets the bar high for fashion, architecture, gastronomy, and more. A metropolis like Dubai is never afraid to venture to the new or to the future. The city’s principles are clearly manifested in its staggering architecture. Here are five hotels in Dubai that should be on your vacation bucket list. Expect your jaw to drop. About Jona Branzuela BeringWhen […]

Paris conjures the images of freshly baked croissants, grand crème, and drinking coffee al fresco. The City of Love and Lights is one of the early pioneers in popularizing the café culture. In the recent years, this very culture has been redefined to equal if not surpass the new wave of coffee drinking in the world. Some of the best baristas and coffee experts converge in the city and open […]

“Porener imong uyab no?” (Is your boyfriend a foreigner?) asked the passenger beside me. We were on the old van to Biliran from Ormoc. I knew this question was coming, but I asked nonetheless why she thought so. I have the looks, she supplied – slender, long-haired, dark. Foreigners go for that “exotic” look. I could let it pass if she stopped there. There is some truth to it except […]

Traveling to Rome translates to bumping into fellow wanderlusts who are as awed as you with the sights, smells, and sounds of this ancient city. Once in a while, you desire to take a break from the crowd and go where the locals go. You desire to explore places some have rarely heard about. Here are four destinations that you can sneak in between famous piazzas, restaurants, and churches. Photo […]

  At this very moment, I am on a slow ship to Iloilo. It is quarter to eleven in the evening, and surprisingly the Internet connection still looks good. The last real entry on this blog was my narrative on “Whang Od and Her Village” that saw print on Sunstar last month. Rappler published my social commentary on “Being a Dark Filipina Traveling the Philippines” earlier this month. A narrative (have to rework […]