November 7, 2016
Being a Brown Filipina

How I Saved Up Php180000 [$3700] for My Year-long Trip?

EDIT: As of June 2017,  my partner (boyfriend of two years) and I have campervanned  East Coast, Australia for a month, traveled to Papua New Guinea for two weeks, dived in Tioman Island Malaysia, revisited some places in the Philippines, exhaustively traveled around southern and northern Vietnam, had a quick trip to Cambodia. That’s six countries in six months. First, let me tell you a little story. My older sister, a single mom who is raising her two sons alone, bought a piece of land some months ago. She works at home by teaching English to Koreans and the Japanese. […]
December 1, 2016

Brokenhearted? Nine Remote Islands in the Philippines to Find and Grow Some Love for Yourself Again

To live in an archipelagic nation like the Philippines translates to leaving the island you call home and find yourself on a different island whose people speak the same (or an entirely different) language yet with a certain sing-song melody that is different from yours. That is how I live here. Here is Cebu—a bacon-shaped island in the center of the Visayas. When I feel the urge to leave, this is what I do: google the map of the neighboring islands and check the names of the little islands surrounding them, pick one, and find my way there no matter […]
December 5, 2016

Hale Manna | Where Good Energy Is Nature-Sent

This first appeared on my column Down South on Interaksyon.com.  Moalboal Hale Manna Resort and Coastal Garden MOALBOAL, CEBU, PHILIPPINES—These past days, work—both self- and client-assigned—became overwhelming that I already entertained magic spells on how to grow another head, feet, and hands to finish everything on schedule.  Books to read, MA classes to attend, a wedding to shoot, places to visit, plants to water, writing deadlines to meet. Writing and photography assignments consumed the time intended for reading and diary writing. Guilt gnawed my gut. But such self-imposed busyness is treatable. Its perfect antidote is a place of good energy: […]
December 13, 2016

TEDxUSanCarlos Talk | How Traveling Shapes Me as a Woman and a Writer

It was TEDxUPCebu that invited me first to debunk the popular dictum [quit your job and travel the world] after some of the students read my open letter Dear Isa, It Is All Right Not to Travel here on BWAB. But I’m leaving Cebu to pursue a year-long trip abroad while fending for myself through jobs online, so I declined their offer. Another opportunity knocked on my door, this time  around from the University of San Carlos. Here is the piece I shared to a very attentive crowd. “Wa ka mahadlok maglaag-laag nga ikaw rang usa? (Are you not scared traveling alone?)” I […]