September 13, 2016

KITCHEN TALE | The Sand on the Shrimp and Fish

VARKALA, KERALA, INDIA—“If we are going to live together, our kitchen should not look like that,” said Tobi. The kitchen downstairs repelled him. What could we expect from a kitchen we borrowed for some hours from two hippie men? They played the guitar, one taught yoga upstairs, while the other […]
September 12, 2016

An Interview on Travel Writing

Ma’am Hope asked me if there is a travel narrative I could include in a book on creative nonfiction she is working on. I had “Tales from the Lake” (a narrative on Lake Sebu) or “We Are Called Langitnon” (a narrative on Dinagat Group of Islands). I labored a lot […]
September 1, 2016

What’s New? On Plans and Routes

A week ago, I sent a version of this to the subscribers of Backpacking with a Book. Dear, I found it awkward to write a newsletter. A romantic, I found it more charming to write a letter instead. The word newsletter sounds so formal and business-like and personally I am […]
August 31, 2016

Capitarise-Cebu| Reseeing Lapu-Lapu City

CEBU, PHILIPPINES—I cannot write without facing a window, vain it may sound. If not a window, then by open spaces—facing the sea’s vastness for example. The air thick with salinity. The wind teasing the ears. Perhaps it is my way to conquer the wall that scares any writer’s wit: the […]
August 29, 2016

Twenty-four Words from the Philippines that Show How Beautiful Our Languages Are

I drew a map of the Philippines on the board (it was a terrible drawing!) and asked my weekday humans where the center was. It was our first meeting in our Philippine literature class; and I found it befitting to start the lecture with a lesson on geography. How do […]
August 15, 2016

DOWN SOUTH | Of Trails and Traces in Chiang Mai

This post first appeared on my travel column Down South on interaksyon.com on June 12, 2016. Included more photos here. 😉 I grew up climbing trees, hunting wild guavas, assigning names to animals to pass them off as friends, and wishing there was a living river nearby. Life would have […]
June 22, 2016
Bantigue Beach, Malapascua Island, Cebu

How to Find the Best Flight Deals for Your Next Trip! Personally Tested Tips!

When I’m traveling abroad, finding the cheapest flight deals can be an ordeal. Flights take the biggest cut in overall travel expenses. And for a budget traveler like me, I sometimes cringe for the money I spend on flights. Here are some personally tested flight deal hacks! Best Flight Deals […]
June 12, 2016

Dear Kai, It Is All Right to Be a Tourist

Dear Kai, Some weeks ago, you asked me about your Southeast Asian trip. Is a three-day trip too short for three countries: Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh) – Cambodia (Pomp Penh) – Thailand (Bangkok)? I said that you’re such an addict—an expression I used when I did not know exactly what […]
June 10, 2016
How to do your own laundry on your trips

Backpacking Makes You Wear Undies Two Days Straight! Wh-wh-what?!

Otherwise Known as Personally Tested Tips on Doing Your Own Laundry while Traveling One lesson you would learn from backpacking, according to an article I have read online (written by a western female backpacker, if that matters), is that undies could go for two days straight. The reason? Because of the […]
May 29, 2016
t 35 Eco Mountain Resort

West 35 Eco Mountain Resort Blog Review | A Dream Realized

This West 35 Eco Mountain Resort blog review first appeared on my column Down South on Interaksyon.com. Added some more photos here. CEBU, PHILIPPINES—This morning, it bloomed. Nothing could be happier for a gardener than to see a mere cutting from somewhere else flourish in her own garden. This fuchsia […]
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 […]
May 20, 2016

Jubilant | Creatures That Can Make You Squeal

I remember it well: I was busy writing a travel assignment on my phone. Nassefh—a handsome poet from Mindanao and my guardian during my drunk nights in the 54th Silliman University National Writers Workshop, the most sought-after writer workshop in the Philippines—approached me and said that I was not enjoying […]