Hi there, I’m Jona!

Ha Noi, Viet Nam

This blog is problematically named. I travel with books.

BWAB is my attempt to document and write down my ways of living this one precious life.

For real-time stories, puns, self-deprecating awkwardness, find me somewhere else.









Some years ago, I had an altar of “when you’re broken” reading list. They comprise of Michael Ondaatje’s "The English Patient," Alice Munro’s "The Progress of Love," and Andre Aciman’s "Call Me By Your Name." And the staple Mary Oliver’s “In Blackwater Woods,” Jack Gilbert’s “Failing and Flying,” Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love,” and the pseudo-poem of Jorge Luis Borges’ “After A While You Learn.” I read them. Again. And again. Cried. And cried. Soothed myself. Healed myself through their words again. Cried again. Read them again. This predictable yet painful cycle of breaking and mending. Each pain is different. Each healing is different.

Jona of Backpacking with a Book


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This is a sincere, honest online platform for an ever-curious mind. Yes, it is a travel and lifestyle blog. If you feel like reading this biatch, who is uncompromisingly raw and honest on money, relationships, self-love, travel, and anything that bugs this chaotic mind, do leave your email below. I promise, I'm such an absentee newsletter sender.

Jona of Backpacking with a Book



February 21, 2019
Top 15 Filipino Restaurants in Cebu Hukad Restaurant

The Top 15 Restaurants in Cebu to Experience Filipino Dishes

It’s totally not unheard-of that Cebu is one of the leading tourist destinations in the Philippines. Centrally located in the Philippine archipelago, Cebu, dubbed as the “Queen City of the South” (which is geopolitically incorrect) is truly a wonder to behold sans its horrendous road congestion problems. Known for its prime attractions—pristine (I know, too cliche an adjective) white-sand beaches, crystal clear water (as long as it is not rained and flooded), majestic falls (undoubtedly), city sights, rich culture and history (hello, colonizers), and not to mention one of the biggest and most colorful festival in the Philippines, Sinulog festival, […]
January 7, 2019
DearSelf Backpackingwithabook 2

Dear D, Don’t Blame Yourself for Dreaming Big

Dear D, It’s okay. You can open your eyes now. It’s all over. You can open your eyes again. Breathe. Come out from your covers now. It’s all over. You’re not alone. It’s not over for you yet. Come out of your covers now. It’s a new day, you’re back home, and everything is going to be fine. It happens. Shit happens. It has to happen. Don’t blame yourself for dreaming big. Dont blame yourself for being risque. Don’t beat yourself up for quitting your 5-year corporate job to chase your dream somewhere far. Your family was there for you. […]
September 22, 2018
exploring mai chau on my own being 32 and single

Being 32 and Single

I fell in love. I was five years old. I named him Bona, after Tatay Boni who raised his mom. Bona is a cat. We got a ginger cat and named him Kitty.I was seven years old when my paternal uncle told me you love cats so much you would get old alone. Grumpy and alone. Fat, grumpy, and alone. I am 32. Single. Chubby, laughter-loving, unapologetically bitchy, and alone but far from being lonely. And yes, with four cats named Fuente, Hiphip, Laag, and Angkla. They all live with my parents in Cebu. I have to send money for […]
September 8, 2018
Backpacking with a Book

The Best Places to Witness Sunsets in La Mesa

A town in Southern California, La Mesa — some 9 miles from central San Diego — is known as the Jewel of the Hills. What used to be a small southwestern city is now a popular destination for its quaint character and lively downtown. One thing you absolutely must experience while there are the marvelous sunsets. Here are five places to indulge in nature’s artwork on the horizon in La Mesa. Mt. Helix: Where Solitude Reigns Image via Flickr by brianjbaxter No two sunsets are the same. And the one you’ll see from atop Mt. Helix is a testament to […]
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