August 17, 2017

ONOMICHI TRAVEL GUIDE | Things to Do in Onomichi 2017

ONOMICHI, JAPAN | ONOMICHI TRAVEL GUIDE | While Pim stood by the baywalk’s railing, an old woman, all smiling, passed by and said something in Japanese and gestured towards the camera. With my poor Japanese vocabulary bank: suka, honto ni, wakaranai, kawaii—words I learned from years-long of reading manga, watching anime, and interacting with the Japanese on Skype, I reckoned she was asking if we wanted her to take our photo. I smiled and uttered thank you; and she went on, all smiling. I did not expect her friendliness. Crumbs of details on places from my previous conversations with the Japanese stuck in […]
May 31, 2016

An Open Letter to My Fellow Travel Bloggers

Dear Fellow Travel Bloggers, In my list of daily chores to do, one task remained unfinished for the past four months: it says, “Japan, at least 1000 words, for god’s sake, Jona.” I am referring to my sponsored week-long trip to Onomichi City, Hiroshima, Japan last November. I have written about it twice already: one for BWAB and another one for my travel column Down South on TV5’s interaksyon.com. These two articles are long, about 1500-2000 in words. But can they be considered a travel essay? Hell, no. They are informative, with several, and I would say lousy, attempts on […]
May 27, 2016
Letter to My Passport

LETTERS | Dear Passport, We Will Go Far and Wide

Dear Passport, After my two-hour session with the fifteen-year-old, I transferred to the café’s al fresco area for my other personas to work—the content writer and social media manager, the other selves that must stay connected with the virtual and often fake world. Please remind me that these personas are my main source of income that allows us, you and I, to travel abroad. Passport, T set a challenge for me: to limit my FB visit to an hour a day. I came up with the most articulate answer I could think of, which you have heard more than once—my […]
May 22, 2016

Do I Have the “Yellow Fever” Fetish?

The author of this article does not want to be named. This is his response to my article “On Being a Dark-Skinned Filipina Traveling around the Philippines.” Far from being an issue specific to the Philippines, this is a problem everywhere, mostly in places that money is an issue, I think.  When I say “you” below, I don’t mean YOU, the blogger.  Just the general you, as in everyone. I live in New York City, and it’s basically a way of life here that we all complain and think about.  People date based on wealth, apartment location, career advancement…basically any cynical […]