May 22, 2016

Do I Have the “Yellow Fever” Fetish?

The author of this article does not want to be named. This is his response to my article “On Being a Dark-Skinned Filipina Traveling around the Philippines.” Far from being an issue specific to the Philippines, this is a problem everywhere, mostly in places that money is an issue, I think.  When I say “you” below, I don’t mean YOU, the blogger.  Just the general you, as in everyone. I live in New York City, and it’s basically a way of life here that we all complain and think about.  People date based on wealth, apartment location, career advancement…basically any cynical […]
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 my main source of income that allows us, you and I, to travel abroad. Passport, T set a challenge for me: to limit my FB visit to an hour a day. I came up with the most articulate answer I could think of, which you have heard more than once—my […]
May 29, 2016
t 35 Eco Mountain Resort

West 35 Eco Mountain Resort | A Dream Realized

This post first appeared on my column Down South on Interaksyon.com | November 1, 2014. Add 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 single-layered 9 O’clock bud reminds me of Louise Gluck’s “I speak because I am shattered” a line from her “Red Poppy,” a flower I have never set an eye on yet. This particular rose, just like the rest of the lives in my garden, brings me back to the place where I […]
May 31, 2016

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 about it twice already: one for BWAB and another one for my travel column Down South on TV5’s interaksyon.com. These two articles are long, about 1500-2000 in words. But can they be considered a travel essay? Hell, no. They are informative, with several, and I would say lousy, attempts on […]