January 15, 2014

DOWN SOUTH | Who Did You Spend 2013’s Last Sunset with?

Inside the tunnel-like tent, it was hot. So Nanay in her 70s chased the shade running scarce in the treeless lot at Cebu South Road Properties. She sat on a kid’s stool in the tent’s shade with her sunglasses on. The younger ones huddled at the big tent in the center of the city of temporariness and karaoked. A man announced there would be a mass later on. The altar, to my personal amusement, would be the very place where the TV and speakers were. A foreign visitor sang “Find light in the beautiful sea, I choose to be happy,” […]
January 25, 2016
Leave Everything Behind and Travel the World

A Developing Country Citizen’s Perspective: What’s Wrong with “Leave Everything Behind and Travel the World”

 I shared the table with a Dutch traveler for our complimentary breakfast of coffee, two toasts, and few slices of melon—something that the Burmese or us Filipinos do not normally have for breakfast. But I enjoyed it, nonetheless, especially after an hour or so of pedaling on sandy paths, checking temples at the crack of dawn. When travelers meet, conversations often revolved around Where are you from?, Where have you been?, How long have you been traveling?, How long is your trip?. And I feel that one’s traveler-ness is gauged according to one’s answer. The longer your trip is, the better, […]
May 18, 2016

Dear Isa: It Is All Right to Not Travel

My name is Isa, I’m  also from the Philippines. I discovered your blog through your recent travel essay on leaving everything behind to travel the world. Consider me a new follower of your blog; while I envy that you have seen as much of the world as you possibly can (a goal that I’m setting for myself); I’m also thankful for the piece you wrote which echoes my own thoughts on the constant in-between-ness of indulging one’s wanderlust and the constraints that real life presents. I used to share the same mentality of filling one’s passport with adventure and what-not, […]
August 15, 2016

DOWN SOUTH | Of Trails and Traces in Chiang Mai

This post first appeared on my travel column Down South on interaksyon.com on June 12, 2016. Included more photos here. 😉 I grew up climbing trees, hunting wild guavas, assigning names to animals to pass them off as friends, and wishing there was a living river nearby. Life would have been a lot easier for me and my siblings. Life would have been graced with laughter—the kind unique to constant frolicking in the water. T grew up biking the hills and climbing snow-capped mountains and swimming in a massive lake—so massive they called it “der see,” which literally means “sea.” […]