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 […]
December 13, 2016

TEDxUSanCarlos Talk | How Traveling Shapes Me as a Woman and a Writer

It was TEDxUPCebu that invited me first to debunk the popular dictum [quit your job and travel the world] after some of the students read my open letter Dear Isa, It Is All Right Not to Travel here on BWAB. But I’m leaving Cebu to pursue a year-long trip abroad while fending […]
March 16, 2016
We are not invincible a travelogue

We Are Not Invincible: A Travelogue

Much has been written about what it’s like to be young, wild, and free (there’s even a song about it). Like so many, I was infatuated with the idea that I was invincible. I used to believe that in this life, you had 2 choices: either you live life so […]
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 19, 2016

Why I Felt Embarrassed Being Called a Travel Blogger

The eyes of the girl sitting beside me had tear marks. Before I entered the immigration office, I saw her through the glass window, answering the questions of the immigration officer. When I sat beside her to fill up the form, I heard her asking the immigration officer if the […]
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, […]
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 […]
May 1, 2012

Of Reading Fiction and Damaged Camera: Sad, Promising, Consoling Stories

Daku Island, Siargao Group of Islands, Surigao del Norte, Philippines  One of my camera’s last winks . . . A Sad Story “I have to admit, when you found out your camera was broken, you just laughed about it. I guess, others would cry,” Brian declared, whom I met during my […]