January 28, 2017

We’ve Been Warned about a Misogynyst and Poor India, But We Found a Different Country

Before traveling to India, I braced myself for the possible unpleasant encounters with misogyny and utter poverty I often heard from news. Some said, expect people to poo by the road. Yeah, we saw that. Even stepped onto one in Old Delhi. Expect to be tailed. Yes, we experienced that. Expect to be groped. Hmm, that I did not experience, but I experienced my boob being elbowed, my butt touched. Intentionally? I would not know. We expected and prepared for the worst. But surprise, surprise! There are actually many places in India that are women-friendly, places that make you feel comfortable […]
October 6, 2016

Nine Places in the Philippines that I Want to Visit Again! Why?

DISCLAIMER: This first appeared on my travel column Down South on TV5’s interaksyon.com last January 2015. I recently saw it again, and surprisingly this list remains a plan. This is a personal reminder. All photos are mine. How about you, are there places that you want to visit again? For what reasons? I typed the first word here at the Laguindingan International Airport—Cagayan de Oro’s relatively new port. On my right, the bench was empty like most benches around me. Understandably, it was barely seven in the morning and people just started arriving. That bench, just outside Kenny Rogers restaurant, […]
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 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 […]