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Cebu Food Guide: The Introduction

Joed’s Lutong Hapon’s Yaki Udon at P110

I am willing to take risk when it comes to traveling, but I am not as daring when it comes to food. Admittedly, I have this habit of associating restaurants with food,  thus limiting my culinary experience. No, I don’t have a discriminating taste. But I eat what I’m most comfortable with.

A surprising food writing/photography assignment changed this habit. An omnivorous scouted Cebu City for restaurants that offer varied vegetarian or vegetarian-friendly dishes.

The search was easy, the photography somewhat, food writing taxing. I suspended my self-imposed travel writing course (hmm, self-imposed but with  a help from a mentor) and  studied food writing for a month, abusing Google for the best food essay there is. I found Jonathan Gold. I fell in love. I never thought food can be romanticized the way he did. I looked at the words such as “dance,” “dusted,” “sigh” differently after reading him. And I actually borrowed those words from him. 🙂

BWAB has been silent these past weeks for a sole reason that I cannot bear to finish the travel essays I’m working now. They sounded too amateurish, which resulted in a series of rewriting. I take everything as drafts even though they sometimes find their way in print. It is the published one that always mortifies me.

There is an abyss between travel blogging and travel writing. I’m in that abyss.

I’m in a period of extreme discontent. I know I’m forcing the place to tell a story that might not have existed in the first place.  I must revisit those places and stay longer, and perhaps live as—not like—a local.

And since I cannot post them here yet, I decided to blog—yes, not write—about food this November. Because November is feverishly delightful, not “pensive”—an adjective I now associate with writing.

Jona | Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. Find me somewhere else!

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