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 […]
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 […]
June 12, 2016

Dear Kai, It Is All Right to Be a Tourist

Dear Kai, Some weeks ago, you asked me about your Southeast Asian trip. Is a three-day trip too short for three countries: Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh) – Cambodia (Pomp Penh) – Thailand (Bangkok)? I said that you’re such an addict—an expression I used when I did not know exactly what […]
April 19, 2016
Leave Everything Behind and Travel the World

Hoi An, Vietnam | Work. Save. Travel. Repeat.

The past two weeks or so have been like an exciting jigsaw of days and ideas and trial and error plans that have often turned out to be the worst decisions, but at other times have pleasantly surprised us. It’s been a detailed board game of buses and hostels and […]
March 28, 2016
12 Characters of a Good Traveler in Southeast Asia

12 Characters of a Good Traveler: Do You Have What It Takes?

I find it odd to write about this. Who am I to say that these are the characters that make a good traveler? After all, I am a flawed traveler myself, who bend rules once in a while—not wearing shoes when advised to wear one, for example. But with the […]
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 11, 2016

Ten Philippine Destinations Where Your $100 Can Go Far

Said the overly quoted Pico Iyer, “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, […]
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 31, 2016

Taiping Travel Guide | Things I Loved in Taiping, Perak, Malaysia

It was my first trip abroad, and going somewhere that was rarely traveled to appeal to the rebellious and the reckless in me. A week in Malaysia would mean a selfie with the Petronas Tower at the least, a walk around Penang, a glimpse of Melacca culture, and a trek […]
August 11, 2014

Photo Diary | Reaching Isla De Higantes

I was at the port by 11:30 a.m., quite unusual for me who had made others wait for more than two hours. According to an online guide I read, the boat would leave by noon or 1 p.m. There is only one passenger boat every day, and I could not […]
September 9, 2013

The Everyday at Cateel Davao Oriental

If I were having a gourmet dinner, Cateel was the main course of my recent Davao Oriental trip. Sachi was such a great host. She rarely comes home. So she was sincerely excited to explore her hometown, visit relatives, and talk Mandaya—their own dialect that has a trace of Bisaya […]