Hi there, I’m Jona!

Ha Noi, Viet Nam

This blog is problematically named. What you see and read is not a lifestyle. It is a life well-lived and well-loved

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.




June 10, 2019
Hanoi Travel Guide Things to do in Hanoi.jpg

Hanoi Travel Guide 2019 | 51 Things to Do in Hanoi, the Touristy, Local, and Expatish

UPDATED HANOI TRAVEL GUIDE 2019 | In a tail-end of a long-term trip and long relationship, I arrived in Hanoi in cool October 2017 with a heavy heart and wheeled backpack, ballooning body and credit card bill, and a very light savings barely enough to cover rent and essentials for the coming two months. I told myself I would only stay for six months. When the 6thmonth arrived, I proclaimed I would stay for six more months. It has been almost two years now that I now claimed Hanoi as my Point A, as my home sans my cats and […]
June 1, 2019
Siargao Travel Guide 2019

SIARGAO TRAVEL GUIDE 2019 | 38 Things to Do on Siargao Island

Last Updated June 2019: Here is your most updated Siargao travel guide! Listed down 34 things to do in Siargao for nonsurfers like me! Siargao, as a tourist destination, has rebranded itself. Some years ago, Siargao Island had this laidback and chill feel. Most of its shores were covered with towering coconut trees. Now, fancy hotels eat up a good amount of space. Restaurants, from gourmet French to Mexican, are everywhere too! I got fascinated with the changes, tainted with a bit of sadness. One night, we had a dinner schedule with a fellow traveler, and I told her to meet […]
May 4, 2019

DOWN SOUTH | I’d Rather Eat and Try to Understand

This was written five years ago. There was Agness. Now there is Erik Matti. There were angry Filipinos. Now there are angry Cebuanos. 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 […]
April 29, 2019
I Dress Best When I'm with You

I Dress Best When I’m with You

You know me, I can get up from bed with my bird’s nest of a hair, prepare coffee in my underwear, don’t even bother to brush my teeth, and slump myself in front of the computer and check on the day’s tasks.   But I always look forward to seeing you.  So by noontime, I condition my hair with homemade coconut-aloe vera moisturizer, take a good shower, brush my teeth (finally), moisturize the on-the-way-to-cougarhood face, and check the outfit of the day.  I love dressing up for you. It makes me feel excited to greet yet another day with you in […]







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


Digging this unapologetic human?

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



%d bloggers like this: