Siargao itinerary and expenses
March Poem Series: Adrienne Rich’s Women
March 8, 2013
Townhopping 2013: The Unkept Inambakan Falls (and Few Lessons on Cebuano)
March 15, 2013
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March Poem Series: Ho Xuan Huong


Ho Xuan Huong | The Jackfruit

I am like a jackfruit on the tree.
To taste you must plug me quick, while fresh:
the skin rough, the pulp thick, yes,
but oh, I warn you against touching—
the rich juice will gush and stain your hands


Ho Xuan Huong | On Sharing a Husband


Screw the fate that makes you share a man.
One cuddles under cotton blankets; the other’s cold.

Every now and then, well, maybe or maybe not.
Once or twice a month, oh, it’s like nothing. 

You try to stick to it like a fly on rice
but the rice is rotten. You slave like the maid,

but without pay. If I had known how it would go
I think I would have lived alone.


This themed poetry posts acquaint me with works and poets I’m not aware of.  Ho Xuang Huong is one of them. Her poetry is quite candid and sensual—much to my pleasure—for the era she came from. And because of her, I chanced upon John Balaban‘s online abode. From the look of it, he is worth reading as well. If there are Asian countries that I aim to visit someday, Vietnam tops the list. But my trip to this place I’m often mistaken as a citizen will surely start with a book. Oh, it just started with two poems.

March Poem Series: Woman

Ho Xuan Huong | The Jackfruit and On Sharing a Husband

Adrianne Rich | Women

Jona of 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 Find me somewhere else!

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  1. David Carroll says:

    Hey Jona,
    I’m finally back in Siargao after a month in Siagon. Wow, what a contrast. Complete polar opposites. Tranquilty vs. Chaos. I like both. But love neither. Let me know when you go to Vietnam, I’ll hook you up with a local Filipina chef, who’s a member of PI expat club. Apparently there’s over 6000 Filipinos there, legal and non! GO!

  2. David Carroll says:

    Was in Cebu for only a short time. Didn’t want to bother you! Maybe next time, or maybe I’ll see you in Vietnam. Wow, a year? I’ll be there long term too. Maybe you can attend my wedding! Ha! The Pinoys I mentioned want to go to! I’ll get the contact info when home. Gotta figure out who’s # belongs to who!

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