March 28, 2016
12 Characters of a Good Traveler in Southeast Asia

12 Characters of a Good Traveler: Do You Have What It Takes?

I find it odd to write about this. Who am I to say that these are the characters that make a good traveler? After all, I am a flawed traveler myself, who bend rules once in a while—not wearing shoes when advised to wear one, for example. But with the boom of mass tourism, I feel that there is a need to remind ourselves that indeed there are responsibilities tied in the label “tourist,” “traveler,” “backpacker,” and what-have-you. What separates a responsible traveler from an irresponsible one? There are many factors to consider, but I think the following are the […]
March 4, 2016

Why You Should Stop Calling Us Exotic

He stands out like a sore thumb. He is 6’6″. I am 5’5″ taller than most Filipinas, but I stand like a dwarf beside him. He is white. I’m a dark-skinned Filipina with small eyes. A very odd couple. I know. We were walking around Borobudur (Yogyakarta, Indonesia) last December, without knowing it was a holiday season for locals as well. In almost every corner, a local Indonesian or a group of students would stop us and ask him for a photo. Most of the time, I played the photographer. Moments like this make him extremely uncomfortable. Yes, westerners are […]
February 15, 2016
Poor but Wants to Travel Abroad

Yes! Not Everyone Can Quit Their Jobs to Travel Abroad

Some years ago, I handed half of my salary to my mother. I am single, have the highest-paying job among my working, familied older siblings. And culture dictates, it is my responsibility to help my parents and younger siblings. A year or two had passed; the half became a quarter because places around the Philippines left me more curious and held me captive of their sheer beauty. There were months I did not give anything to Mama except hugs. Because traveling around the Philippines became traveling around ASEAN. I am frowned upon by neighbors and relatives for having this stand. It […]
February 7, 2016

Wanna Make Your Blog Popular? Travel the Philippines and Praise or Bitch It

Here in Cebu, local travel bloggers often meet fellow travel bloggers from Luzon or Mindanao for dinner or beer. We would talk about places, travel plans, and other fellow travel bloggers who succumbed to click-bait articles and listicles such as “Five Reasons I Hate Davao City” or “20 Photos from the Philippines, #7 will shock you.” [READ: 12 Months of Beaches around the Philippines] Most Filipinos fall easy for this kind of writing. One time, while having barbecue dinner at Larsian, the hot topic was this Polish travel blogger who bitched the Filipino street food [read my reply here: I’d Rather Eat and […]