The eyes of the girl sitting beside me had tear marks. Before I entered the immigration office, I saw her through the glass window, answering the questions of the immigration officer. When I sat beside her to fill up the form, I heard her asking the immigration officer if the travel tax would be refunded. READ MORE: About Me, Jona, the Witch It was my first trip abroad. My arrogance got the better of me: I skewered five countries in five weeks. I did not declare my full-time job and just presented myself as a freelance travel writer and photographer. […]
“Indonesian???” asked a local who looked at me with a confused look in his own face. “No,” I would smile. “Japan?” “No.” “Thailand?” “No.” “Vietnam!” “Try harder!” “Philippine!” And he laughed, as if he won the lottery. This guessing game is one of the few constants on my trips around Southeast Asia. “Kyaw!” he exclaimed. It was my turn to look confused. “Hekyaw!” he tried once again and then punched the air. “Aah, Pacquiao!” “Ya-ya-ya!” Hearing the word Pacquiao is one of the few constants on my trips around Southeast Asia. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao single-handedly held the image of the […]
Some years ago, I handed half of my salary to my mother. I am single, have the highest-paying job among my working, familied older siblings. And culture dictates, it is my responsibility to help my parents and younger siblings. A year or two had passed; the half became a quarter because places around the Philippines left me more curious and held me captive of their sheer beauty. There were months I did not give anything to Mama except hugs. Because traveling around the Philippines became traveling around ASEAN. I am frowned upon by neighbors and relatives for having this stand. It […]
A prison to visit? A gate to admire? Trails to choose from? Swells to ride on? History lessons on the go? Yes to everything! California has it all. Adventure seekers love exploring Yosemite National Park, and Golden Gate Bridge must be one of the most iconic bridges in the world. These are just some of the hundreds of destinations you can enjoy in California. Check out these affordable hotels as you realize your dream vacation.