From Perspectives

Traveler vs Tourist: Traveling Without Labels

The traveler-vs-tourist debate has been around for ages. To some, a tourist is somebody who is more interested in the destination and not the journey, who usually avails of pre-arranged tours and sticks with the guidebooks, who books accommodations beforehand, and who only admires the place and not make attempts to connect with the locals…

The World According to Google Search Suggestions

“Filipinos are annoying. Malaysians are ugly. Indonesians are lazy. Singaporeans are rude. Americans are dumb.” That’s what Google suggested when I typed the nationality (+ are) into the search box the other night. I was doing an online research about Malaysia for my travel blog when I spotted a search suggestion that I thought was a…

Abandoned Dreams and New Found Being

A bittersweet smile cut across my face earlier as I browsed photos of my friends from the Foreign Service on Facebook. Four years ago, I was with them preparing for the series of the toughest exams, providing moral support to one another, sharing stories of excitement, fears, and dreams. While I am happy for them…

Media These Days and Christina Aguilera

Media these days. I don’t understand the hate and shade that have been thrown by the entertainment press towards Christina Aguilera. I know that media thrives in controversies but I can’t believe they will go this far or this low to spin stories or create something out of nothing. It is absolutely disgusting. Take a…

The Boracay Charm

The island club had closed for the night and I hit the beach with reckless abandon. As I lay on the beach, I did not care one bit about the sand that had completely covered the back of my shirt and my arms. There I was, dragging my drunken butt as my new friends watched…

The Poser Phase

Y Tu Mama Tambien. Everyone nodded in approval. I heard a couple of Wows and someone quipped “Great choice.��? I was at a college organization’s Orientation of Applicants. I was an applicant, scared shitless. Y Tu Mama Tambien was what I blurted out when I realized it was my turn to share what my favorite…

Tales from Behind the Wheel: Quick Lessons

I don’t own a car. To get from one point to another, I use public transportation, usually MRT and tricycle. Sometimes, I take a cab and when I do, I take the passenger seat. It has been a habit to engage the driver in a conversation for two reasons — so I won’t get sleepy…

The Paradox of the Freedom Islands

A month ago, if a foreign traveler asked me where the nearest mangrove forest lies, I’d probably tell him to take the bus to Quezon or fly to Palawan. If one asked me to take him to a place where he could go bird-watching aside from UP Diliman, I’d probably drive him out of the…