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The Transcendental Tourist

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Reflections on the Road

Gallivanting High and Low:

June 14th, 2018

Sibonga / Dalaguete / Oslob, Cebu, the Philippines March 24 – 25, 2018 The Cebu leg of our epic Central Visayas trip was just a layover. I wanted to breeze through it as I was focused on the main event that was Siquijor. But it exceeded the expectations I didn’t even bother to set. Cebu-phile... Continue Reading →


Here’s Looking at You @ Hollywood Road:

May 18th, 2018

Hong Kong, China February 4, 2018 I gotta hand it to the annual street art festival HKWalls for propagating art in public spaces in Hong Kong. The success of this annual event was not more evident than in Hollywood Road, the oldest street in the city. Otherwise merely a dense and aging concrete jungle, the... Continue Reading →


The Missing Pièce de Résistance in Bacolod:

May 6th, 2018

Silay and Bacolod, the Philippines October 30, 2011 / October 31, 2015 /November 5, 2016 / December 2, 2017 When people asked what my hometown had to offer, I could only think of one thing: FOOD! Bacolod, though not lacking in other cultural attractions, would always be known, foremost, as a foodie city. Much of... Continue Reading →


Hiking in Hong Kong:

April 26th, 2018

Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China February 3, 2018 Streets crowded with tourists? Yass. Skyscrapers crowned with clouds? Double yass! Wilderness islands? Duh. Deserted beaches? Double duh! Farthest from my mind in Hong Kong. But as it turned out, not far from reality. Who knew that I would reach what seemed like the remotest part of... Continue Reading →


Mr. Total Package Tour:

April 14th, 2018

Guangzhou / Xingping and Yangshuo County, Guilin, China September 3 – 8, 2017 Quinn was my (reluctant) star student. He was engaged and engaging, inspired and inspiring – qualities that earned him the title Mr. Total Package in class. No matter how equally embarrassing and annoying to him, the nick stuck. He held up a... Continue Reading →


Sub-Zero in the Sub-Tropics:

February 27th, 2018

Shanghai and Hong Kong, China February 19 – 20, 2012 / January 31 – February 4, 2018 I went to bed fully clothed: padded jacket, sweater, scarf, shirt, jeans, thermal undies, socks, gloves, beanie. The works. Only my shoes were off. The wintry chill crept in through the tightly-shuttered windows and into several layers of... Continue Reading →


Boost and Bust in Busuanga:

February 24th, 2018

Coron and Busuanga, Palawan, the Philippines May 1 and 3, 2017 BAM! That DC Comics-style thought bubble exploded in my head as we all bounced off our seats. The bumpiest landing ever was more a slam dunk than a touchdown. Perhaps it was that way for small planes with propellers. Or not. The landing gears... Continue Reading →


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 →


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