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The Transcendental Tourist

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Reflections on the Road

Something Fishy Too:

February 17th, 2018

Tokyo, Japan January 31, 2017 Two-na, too-na, tuna! I went the way of chilled tuna that had traveled up the Pacific rim from the warm tropical waters of my archipelago to this chilly fish port in Tokyo. My early morning visit to Tsukiji Fish Market was a sequel to my tour of General Santos City... Continue Reading →


Homestay and Hotel @ Yangshuo and Guilin:

January 24th, 2018

Yangshuo County and Guilin, China September 3 – 8, 2017 The next best thing to living abroad was staying at local people’s homes. I never wanted to crash on anyone’s couch, though. I put a premium on comfort and privacy – both mine and my host’s. Houses that doubled as B&Bs and hotels owned by... Continue Reading →


A Trip Down Mommy Memory Lane:

December 7th, 2017

Xingping and Yangshuo County, Guilin, China September 4, 2017 Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Grief got me to Guilin. My trip was a pilgrimage of sorts in the hope of tracing Mom’s footsteps in southern China back in 2002. I could not join her in that trip then. There would... Continue Reading →


Out of Africa into Calauit:

November 17th, 2017

Calauit Island, Busuanga, Palawan, the Philippines May 4, 2017 Bizarre on a Marcosian level. In a tiny island in the Philippines, African wildlife roamed freely. No wall contained them other than the sea. Giraffes, zebras, and several species of antelope had come to call Calauit Island in Palawan their new home. The safari park was... Continue Reading →


Food and Ninja Moves in Yamanashi:

November 15th, 2017

Fujikawaguchiko and Oshino, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan January 31 – February 1, 2017 Ninja called. I came. Seriously, what could top my first snow experience and first ski lesson in Yamanashi? Practically none, but other treats this prefecture near Tokyo could offer were more than charming. That turned out to be food so oishi and some... Continue Reading →


Tour of Luzon:

November 14th, 2017

Tarlac and Ilocos Sur, the Philippines February 25 – 28, 2017 It started out as an out-of-town sleepover, not the epic road trip it ended up to be. Friends and I drove to Tarlac at Perfy’s behest. She had just arrived from the US on her dad’s birthday. The bienvenida-cum-birthday party was to be held at... Continue Reading →


Bluetiful and Greencredible:

November 2nd, 2017

Coron, Busuanga Island, Palawan, the Philippines May 2, 2017 As above, so below. From the plane window, Busuanga Island gleamed like the bejeweled paradise that it truly was. The bluest sapphire wrapped its entirety; the greenest emerald adorned each cove and every inlet. Such was nature: spectacular at any perspective – bird’s eye view or... Continue Reading →


My Japan Home:

October 14th, 2017

Tokyo, Japan January 28 – February 3, 2017 Ah, to be in a small town trapped in a big city. In just a week’s stay, I felt in the zone in Taito-ku, one of Tokyo’s more traditional wards encompassing the quaint districts of Ueno and Asakusa. It had the best of both worlds. I could... Continue Reading →


Illumi-naughty:

October 7th, 2017

Yokohama, Japan February 3, 2017 Like a moth to a flame. That was how I had a night of light with my naughty friend Yuka. She suggested we saw the annual extravagant LED light display, commonly known in Japan as “illumination.” The word effectively lured me to scenic harbor city Yokohama. A walk on the... Continue Reading →


Reunion Tour:

October 5th, 2017

Antipolo City, the Philippines July 10, 2017 Squad goal achieved! Way back when the world was not yet a wide web, I lost touch with grade school friends Ramir and Antonieto, one of my first beshies (best friend in non-millennial speak). It took the invention of Facebook to reconnect us. And a road trip through... Continue Reading →


3W for a Salaryman:

September 30th, 2017

Tokyo, Japan January 30 and February 2, 2017 3W was shorthand for three sales a week. For us put-upon salespeople, though, it meant work, work, work! That was my ancient past as a life planner for a Japanese insurance company in Manila. Our big boss, Sawaki-san, demanded nothing less than Japanese-style work ethic. I had... Continue Reading →


Places of the Heart:

September 24th, 2017

Legazpi City, the Philippines and Yokohama, Japan November 22, 2015 / February 3, 2017 My inner introvert would cringe at the antics of my camwhoring, social media persona. But there was no passing up an “instagrammable” pose on the letter block sign of Legazpi by the sea. Frances, my Bicolana BFF, on the other hand,... Continue Reading →


Tale of Three Towers:

September 17th, 2017

Seoul, South Korea / Tokyo, Japan / Guangzhou, China October 31, 2014 / January 29, 2017 / September 8, 2017 With a little help from my friend, I snagged a photo op with the 236-meter tall Namsan Tower in Seoul. I mounted a ledge for maximum exposure. And raised both arms to be sure. Cindy... Continue Reading →


Bare Back, Full Frontal, Inside Out:

June 17th, 2017

Narusawa, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan January 31, 2017 When in Japan, get nekkid as the Japanese do! It was time to get the hang of letting it all hang out in full view of friends and strangers alike. In the (un)dressing room, I was still bundled up in winter wear, less for warmth than for self-consciousness.... Continue Reading →


While They Were Sleeping:

April 23rd, 2017

Tabaco, Albay, the Philippines and Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan November 22, 2015 and February 1, 2017 No kissing of the ground here as I wouldn’t want to wake these sleeping beauties. It didn’t mean I was less smitten at first sight by iconic Mt. Mayon (2,463 m or 8,081 ft) in the Philippines and Mt. Fuji (3,776.24... Continue Reading →


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