April 1, 2019

An Open Letter to My Fellow Travel Bloggers

Dear Fellow Travel Bloggers, In my list of daily chores to do, one task remained unfinished for the past four months: it says, “Japan, at least 1000 words, for god’s sake, Jona.” I am referring to my sponsored week-long trip to Onomichi City, Hiroshima, Japan last November. I have written […]
May 27, 2016
Letter to My Passport

LETTERS | Dear Passport, We Will Go Far and Wide

Dear Passport, After my two-hour session with the fifteen-year-old, I transferred to the café’s al fresco area for my other personas to work—the content writer and social media manager, the other selves that must stay connected with the virtual and often fake world. Please remind me that these personas are […]
March 4, 2016

Why You Should Stop Calling Us Exotic

He stands out like a sore thumb. He is 6’6″. I am 5’5″ taller than most Filipinas, but I stand like a dwarf beside him. He is white. I’m a dark-skinned Filipina with small eyes. A very odd couple. I know. We were walking around Borobudur (Yogyakarta, Indonesia) last December, […]
February 15, 2016
Poor but Wants to Travel Abroad

Yes! Not Everyone Can Quit Their Jobs to Travel Abroad

Some years ago, I handed half of my salary to my mother. I am single, have the highest-paying job among my working, familied older siblings. And culture dictates, it is my responsibility to help my parents and younger siblings. A year or two had passed; the half became a quarter […]
February 7, 2016

Wanna Make Your Blog Popular? Travel the Philippines and Praise or Bitch It

Here in Cebu, local travel bloggers often meet fellow travel bloggers from Luzon or Mindanao for dinner or beer. We would talk about places, travel plans, and other fellow travel bloggers who succumbed to click-bait articles and listicles such as “Five Reasons I Hate Davao City” or “20 Photos from the Philippines, […]
October 25, 2015

OUR SKIN DIARY | I Have a Husband Much Older Than Me

This post by KIM E is a comment on my Rappler article: On Being a Dark-Skinned Filipina Traveling Around the Philippines You don’t have to look like couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to be called a lovely couple. I’m a young Filipina and I’m proud to tell that I […]
October 22, 2015

OUR SKIN DIARY | Becoming Invisible

It happened many times. The moment you and your partner checked in a hotel, and the attending receptionist only looked at the white man beside you, as if he was alone, as if you did not exist. I thought I was just overreading and overanalyzing the situation, knowing my mind goes crazy […]