November 1, 2016

DESTINATION WEDDING | #KenyaMeetsPinas in El Nido, Palawan

EL NIDO, PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES—I do not personally know them. I met them once in a Pinoy Travel Blogger-Cebu meetup for some barbecue, amarula, and karaoke. But I admire Reiza a lot; she is one of those rare self-actualized women I see on my Facebook feed, fighting for human rights. She works in the war-torn Sudan. I did not know anything about John at all until the very day of their Kenyan wedding. Coincidence had it, we met at Mactan-Cebu Internation Airport; they were bound for Puerto Princesa and El Nido for their two wedding ceremonies. Mine was the usual solo […]
October 7, 2016

CORRUPTION IN LAOS | How to Have a Nasty Encounter with Policemen in Laos

DISCLAIMER: This first appeared on my column Down South on TV5’s Interaksyon.com. Included a lot of photos here! This is a personal experience. Corruption in Laos is real. Corruption in my own county is effing real.  A glass wall divided us. That must be sufficient as a border for the immigration officer to pocket the 5000 kip in plain sight. He asked for it without any explanation or receipt in return. On the other window, Tobias had to negotiate with another IO on the conversion of $25. 450 000 Kip was too much payment for his visa on arrival. We […]
September 7, 2016

MT. BROMO | Finding Beauty in Ashes: A Photo Essay

EASTERN JAVA, INDONESIA. As we faced heavenward to admire the constellations that reminded me a lot of a city’s nightscape, we felt the soft arrival of the ashes in our face. This is how we arrived. This is how Mt. Bromo welcomed us. Outside our bare room, the railings were all covered in ashes. Even the terrace’s tiled floor was no exception. We curled and bundled up inside. *** A dog played with a dead pigeon on an ashen field of leeks. It rained ashes once again. The nase goreng by Mt. Bromo’s viewing deck tasted good. We brought our […]
May 20, 2016

Jubilant | Creatures That Can Make You Squeal

I remember it well: I was busy writing a travel assignment on my phone. Nassefh—a handsome poet from Mindanao and my guardian during my drunk nights in the 54th Silliman University National Writers Workshop, the most sought-after writer workshop in the Philippines—approached me and said that I was not enjoying the moment at all. Indeed, he was right. We were aboard a big boat on our way to Manjuyod Sandbar as our midweek escape from the slaughtering called writing workshop. And there I was glued on my phone, finishing a deadline! Writing a 1000-word travel article on my phone was […]