May 22, 2013

Sun.Star Yearbook | Vegetable Gardens at Joed’s Lutong Hapon

It is the colors, schemes, and textures that make Japanese food deliciously beautiful. Its hues picture happiness: the greenness of spinach, the whiteness of daikon, the orangeness of sliced carrots and pepper, the pinkness of salmon, the yellowness of potatoes, and the redness of cherry tomatoes. Take Joed’s Lutong Hapon’s spicy tofu teppanyaki as an example. The cubed golden brown tofu contrasts the slanting parsley, red chili, and sliced green onions. And the blend of sweet, briny, spicy taste overrides tofu’s blandness. If all tofu tastes like this, I can devour a plate.
May 11, 2013

Sun.Star Cebu | To Siargao’s Tres Marias

Cloud 9, Siargao, Surigao del Norte, Philippines EVERYTHING starts with strangeness and being estranged: unfamiliar faces in the resort’s restaurant, unfamiliar laughter on the beach, a familiar sleeping position on an unfamiliar figure in the airport lobby, familiar driving on an unfamiliar road with unfamiliar hands behind the wheel. Everything starts with strangeness and being estranged. It took a confident “Hi, where are you from?” at the resort’s restaurant to make strangeness and being estranged less intimidating. A simple hi, when permitted, can superficially lead to adding yet another friend on Facebook or can favorably lead to a serious conversation.
April 8, 2013

Sun.Star Weekend | Traveling on a Shoestring (2 of 3)

Summer taunts. As much as we want to ignore it, the city heat and sweat trailing our scalp and back are intolerable. Our body begs for another shower at night, our skin—especially the face—an extra layer of SPF30. Summer, just like rainy months, is the season for colorful umbrellas. Summer asks for a trip to the beach, river, or somewhere refreshing or unfamiliar. But what is stopping us is not the heat—after all, the scorching sun is one of the necessities to get stoked—rather, we are confronted with the nagging concern of the wanderlust in us: funds. 
March 25, 2013

Sun.Star Weekend | Tips for Women Travelers

Shoestring travelers are the most seasoned and storied among wanderers. They see the place without the touristy pampering and superfluity. With their frugality, they tolerate–if not accept–too boxy a room, strike a conversation with the locals, eat street food, can smell an extortionist meters away, adapt to the place’s mood swings, and are excited–not panicky–when they get lost. Shoestring travelers are hungry for experience unique to every place he or she winds up in. Shoestring traveling is presumably harder for women. Traveling—which is historically patriarchal—is already a challenge for her. There are every woman’s woes to deal with: dysmenorrhea, “weak” […]