January 29, 2017

DOWN SOUTH | I Travel, I Eat, I Got Diarrhea

Last week, I was on a boat of mixed races: Filipino, Chinese, Korean, French, Belgian, and perhaps other races that I overlooked or forgot to ask. It was a happy, odd mix, I would say—a boat of strangers that sometimes ended up as Facebook friends or more often than not, started and ended as strangers. Our boat crew was admirable: they took our pictures, provided a rough course on swimming for those who could not swim, complimented us when needed, taught us Coron’s history, and fed us. Adobo at Malapascua Island, Cebu, Philippines Aside from maneuvering the boat, our captain […]
January 13, 2017
Sinulog Festival 2014

RAPPLER | Sinulog: To Flow with the Current

This narrative and photo essay was first published on Rappler.com on January 19, 2015.  CEBU, PHILIPPINES—“Every year, my Niño comes back,” shared a middle-aged man holding a small replica of Sto. Niño. His must have lost its cross before, now replaced with a rolled-up chocolate wrapper. He was one of the passengers I saw holding a Sto. Niño on our flight back to Cebu from General Santos last Friday. Our flight was packed, and so was Mactan airport. I thought Cebu would not be as crowded as it used to be, with Pope Francis’ visit and Typhoon Amang hovering over […]
November 25, 2016

RAPPLER | The Ceiling, the Cross We Look Up to

This essay on Magellan’s Cross, and by extension on faith, first appeared on Rappler. Blue is for travel and career. Yellow for health. Red for love. Pink for happiness. Green for success. Nanay Claudia—who stood somewhere between 4’6″to 4’9″—explained the meaning behind the colors of the candles she was holding on her right hand. A green plastic bag filled with candles dangled on her left arm, a black bag belt wrapped around her waist. She talked to me in English (quite good, I would say), thinking I was a foreigner, a dark Korean or Japanese perhaps, whose travel itinerary to […]
June 12, 2016
Wat Chiang Man

DOWN SOUTH | Creating Our Own Chiang Mai

This first appeared on my travel column DOWN SOUTH on interaksyon.com. I added a lot of photos here. Enjoy reading through! This is our love story.  Hahaha! Thank you! I’m going to wrap up our Thailand trip pretty soon with accommodation, itinerary, and budget in it. After writing about Chiang Rai. Our Chiang Mai story started with a petty fight: we did not know where to stay. T was used to have things planned; I was not. If I were traveling solo, I would have just winged it. After stretching our limbs weakened by a ten-hour bus ride from Bangkok, […]