June 1, 2019
Siargao Travel Guide 2019

SIARGAO TRAVEL GUIDE 2019 | 38 Things to Do in Siargao

JUMP TO No Time to Read It Now? Pin it!Siargao Island at a Glance Languages Spoken Basic Surigaonon Sentences You Must Master to Impress Locals Currency and Mode of PaymentAre there any ATMs available in Siargao Island?What’s the budget for a five-day trip? How’s Internet in Siargao Island?What’s the Power […]
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 […]
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.  […]
April 16, 2019
Being a brown Filipina

On Being a Brown Filipina: Righting What Is Not Wrong

Bet nila yong skin mo. Ganahan ang mga puti sa imong panit. They like your skin.I’ve been told countless times by many fellow Filipinas, both young and old.  Nila, They refers to white men, both young and old, who salivate over exotic creatures like me. And each time annoys the hell […]
April 6, 2019

At Almost 33, Letting Go Becomes Easier, But It Still Stings

TRANG AN, NINH BINH—I missed someone. I don’t know who exactly. It can be T whom I shared my first visit here with. It can be D, whom I cut communications for the past weeks. Or it can be anyone, someone I’m connected to. I missed the feeling of having […]
April 1, 2019

An Open Letter to My Fellow Travel Bloggers

Dear Fellow Travel Bloggers, In my list of daily chores to do, one task remained unfinished for the past four months: it says, “Japan, at least 1000 words, for god’s sake, Jona.” I am referring to my sponsored week-long trip to Onomichi City, Hiroshima, Japan last November. I have written […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
September 1, 2018
Taipei Travel Guide Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall 1

TAIPEI TRAVEL GUIDE 2019 | The Top 35 Things to Do in Taipei

Taiwan is a rising destination for many of us who are curious of how is life in a developed country that doesn’t struggle against the chaotic and problematic public transport, uncollected heaps of trash along the streets, unlit alleyways, snatchers at gunpoint [I personally witnessed this], and all the daily […]
August 26, 2018
Backpacking with a Book

Celebrating the Old in Santa Cruz

Once people stop celebrating the old — be it buildings, history, or culture — they cease to exist. Many places are guilty of this disappearing act. But Santa Cruz is different. The city’s vibrant culture is centered on its past. Santa Cruz is liberated, liberating, accommodating, and hip. And true […]
August 26, 2018

Going Mellow in Montebello

While Montebello directly translates to beautiful mountain, not everyone has the stamina and the time to spend a full day exploring trails. Sometimes, it’s all right to be mellow. Enjoy quiet moments. Lounge in your hotel terrace with your favorite drink in hand. Stroll the neighborhood park. Montebello, California, is a […]