December 14, 2016

ASTORIA PALAWAN BLOG | What Makes It the Ultimate Staycation in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

This Astoria Palawan blog review first appeared on my column Down South on Interaksyon.com. I included more photos here to give justice to the beauty of this place. PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES—An egret ambled around my deck, peering through the glass wall of my own sanctuary. It must be looking for food. […]
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 […]
November 1, 2016

DESTINATION WEDDING | #KenyaMeetsPinas in El Nido, Palawan

EL NIDO, PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES—I do not personally know them. I met them once in a Pinoy Travel Blogger-Cebu meetup for some barbecue, amarula, and karaoke. But I admire Reiza a lot; she is one of those rare self-actualized women I see on my Facebook feed, fighting for human rights. She […]
October 6, 2016

Nine Places in the Philippines that I Want to Visit Again! Why?

DISCLAIMER: This first appeared on my travel column Down South on TV5’s interaksyon.com last January 2015. I recently saw it again, and surprisingly this list remains a plan. This is a personal reminder. All photos are mine. How about you, are there places that you want to visit again? For […]
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 […]
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 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 […]
May 14, 2016

QUEST HOTEL | A Room with a View

To stay in the city on a weekend is rather rare. Most of the time, I would be on a bus or aboard a ship to pursue some places I have never been to. Or revisit some old hangouts like Moalboal. And my recent trip to Siquijor makes me want […]
March 12, 2016
Six Reasons Why Kawasan Canyoneering Rocks

Kawasan Canyoneering Travel Guide: Six Reasons Why Kawasan Canyoneering Rocks!

NOTE: Kawasan Canyoneering here refers to the tour company whose flagship tour is the canyoneering activity in Kanlaob River-Kawasan River system. We are please to inform you that effective September 1, 2016, the official rate for canyoneering + kawasan falls is now Php1,500 per person (regardless of nationality). This is […]
February 11, 2016

Ten Philippine Destinations Where Your $100 Can Go Far

Said the overly quoted Pico Iyer, “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, […]
January 22, 2016
Mt. Ulap, Itogon, Benguet

Places in the Philippines to Avoid This Summer

A note: Hi there! I would constantly update this list. If you have been to overcrowded destinations in the Philippines that you want to include in the list, email us at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com—Jona In April and May, some Filipinos take three showers a day while others suffer from the absence of water […]
December 8, 2015
Bantigue Beach, Malapascua Island, Cebu

Where Have I Been This Year?: Beaches in the Philippines 2015

It is too early to be nostalgic. But it is December already, and there is a certain demand to retrace the places we have been to before forgetfulness erases them for good. It has been a fruitful year, and I should pat my own back because I owe it to […]