May 17, 2016

Why Working Some More Instead of Traveling Europe Felt Great

Last month, I emptied my cabinet of clothes and realized I had a lot of second-hand dresses I haven’t worn yet. Sorting out the clothes—what must stay and what must be given away—was not as easy as I thought. I let my small garden at the back die. I moved empty pots after empty pots. Layers of dust piled up on the shelves of books. Cobwebs started to form in corners. My little place, which used to be neat and orderly, mirrored my mind: chaotic, confused, confusing. I was in the process of dehoming. Despite traveling constantly, having my own […]
February 19, 2016

Why I Felt Embarrassed Being Called a Travel Blogger

The eyes of the girl sitting beside me had tear marks. Before I entered the immigration office, I saw her through the glass window, answering the questions of the immigration officer. When I sat beside her to fill up the form, I heard her asking the immigration officer if the travel tax would be refunded. READ MORE: About Me, Jona, the Witch It was my first trip abroad. My arrogance got the better of me: I skewered five countries in five weeks. I did not declare my full-time job and just presented myself as a freelance travel writer and photographer. […]
February 16, 2016
Manny Pacquiao and Rainbow

On Punches and Beautiful Rainbows

“Indonesian???” asked a local who looked at me with a confused look in his own face. “No,” I would smile. “Japan?” “No.” “Thailand?” “No.” “Vietnam!” “Try harder!” “Philippine!” And he laughed, as if he won the lottery. This guessing game is one of the few constants on my trips around Southeast Asia. “Kyaw!” he exclaimed. It was my turn to look confused. “Hekyaw!” he tried once again and then punched the air. “Aah, Pacquiao!” “Ya-ya-ya!” Hearing the word Pacquiao is one of the few constants on my trips around Southeast Asia. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao single-handedly held the image of the […]
January 25, 2016
Leave Everything Behind and Travel the World

A Developing Country Citizen’s Perspective: What’s Wrong with “Leave Everything Behind and Travel the World”

 I shared the table with a Dutch traveler for our complimentary breakfast of coffee, two toasts, and few slices of melon—something that the Burmese or us Filipinos do not normally have for breakfast. But I enjoyed it, nonetheless, especially after an hour or so of pedaling on sandy paths, checking temples at the crack of dawn. When travelers meet, conversations often revolved around Where are you from?, Where have you been?, How long have you been traveling?, How long is your trip?. And I feel that one’s traveler-ness is gauged according to one’s answer. The longer your trip is, the better, […]