• Musings,  Taiwan

    Spending my birthday in Taipei

    The day started out pretty bleh. I woke up having gotten just a few hours of troubled sleep. The cold weather had gotten to me while drawing outdoors the previous day, and I woke up on the day of my birthday with a clogged nose, a sore throat, a slight fever, and feeling as if all my mucus was in my throat (too much info?). I felt terrible and contemplated staying in my hotel the entire day to rest off what I felt was going to turn into the flu. Never mind that it was my birthday. I’ve never made a big deal out of my birthdays anyway and prefer to treat it as…

  • Taiwan,  Travel

    Quirky, illustrated Taiwan

    Hello from Taiwan! 🙂 I felt like getting away for my birthday and booked my flight to Taipei a little more than a month before my departure. Why Taiwan? I actually was considering going to Japan or Korea (both of which I’ve been to before) for my birthday trip but thought Taiwan would be cheaper (and it is), haha! Also, I’ve never been to Taipei beyond passing through its airport for layovers. I thought Taiwan would make for a good Asian trip for its proximity to Manila, availability of inexpensive airfare, and its street food. But my biggest deciding factor? TAIWANESE STATIONERY. I’m a sucker for stationery– stickers, notepads, pens, notebooks,…

  • Philippines,  Travel

    Two weeks in Bohol

    Last May I went to Bohol for some R&R (they call it self-care these days, I guess). It was a much-needed two-week break from being “over-peopled” and it was also a chance to get some art/work done in a new environment. It wasn’t my first time in Bohol. I was there last year for my friend’s wedding and I found Panglao island just beautiful: I decided to go back to Bohol when I was choosing where to go for vacation. I chose Bohol because it had the right combination of elements I was looking for in a working vacation: it should be a place I’ve been to before so I can…

  • Philippines,  Travel

    Calaguas, an unspoiled beach destination for the Boracay-weary

    I’m a contributing writer for lifestyle and travel website When In Manila and I wrote this piece on a remote, undeveloped beach in a province in the Philippines. Sharing this with my readers (all three of them)— despite the “third-worldliness” of this country, I love living in the Philippines and places like Calaguas being within reach is just one of the reasons why. * * * When in Manila, ask any urban-dweller about the best beach in the country and you are guaranteed a popular answer: Boracay. And why not? Boracay’s blindingly white powder-fine sand and its clear, azure waters have spoilt us Filipinos. The Philippines’ top tourist destination has…

  • Arts & Crafts,  Singapore,  Travel

    Singapore’s Bras Basah Complex and Art Friend, the Asian equivalent of Michaels Arts and Crafts

    (Read the first part of this two-part series here) On our last full day in Singapore, my family and I decided to go our separate ways one afternoon since we all wanted to do different things. My parents went to Bugis, a street/flea market (they later complained that it was just like Manila’s Divisoria), my brother did touristy stuff like the Gardens by the Bay since he didn’t know what else to do (haha), and I took this chance to go to Bras Basah Complex. Photo: Wikipedia

  • Arts & Crafts,  Singapore,  Travel

    Singapore stationery loot: kikki.K and The Little Happyshop

    As you may have noticed (or not) from my last Wordless Wednesday, I was in Singapore recently. I was there together with my brother and parents for my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. I don’t have a travel journal for Singapore and probably won’t be making one (at least not for this trip). Singapore is nice. REALLY nice. But that’s all it was to me– nice. Singapore is a destination a lot of Filipinos have been to due to its proximity to our country (3 1/2 hours by air), the abundance of cheap airfare from Manila, and the lack of need for a tourist visa. A lot of people, tourists and…

  • Japan,  Travel,  Travel journal

    Illustrated travel journal: Kansai region, Japan

    It’s been a year since my Japan trip, and I still have not finished my Japan travel journal. Seeing its been a year and there have been other trips since, I am giving up on ever getting it done and just posting what I have so far. Hihi. Osaka Castle park My first autumn! The onigiri as illustrated in the journal. Assorted sushi and maki from the supermarket My washi tape loot. See related entry about washi tape here. Kiyomizudera temple all lit up. Read my other Japan entries here, or view my other illustrated travel journals.

  • Philippines,  Travel,  Travel journal

    Bacolod travel journal

    Two trips in three weeks! Eagle-eyed readers (all two of them) might’ve seen my previous Wordless Wednesday entry and assumed I was traveling. Indeed, I was! I was in Seoul, South Korea last week but before I can get to that, I have yet to post a blog entry of a trip that came a couple of weeks before– Bacolod city, in the Visayan province of Negros Occidental, Philippines. People go to Bacolod primarily for the annual MassKara festival (mass = many, cara (Spanish) = face, maskara (Tagalog) = mask), a street festival filled with colorful smiling masks and costumed street dancers. There are dozens of similar festivals in the…

  • Sketches and doodles,  Travel,  USA

    Illustration Friday: Lost

    San Francisco, May 2012. It was my first time to really be alone while traveling. I was in San Francisco the month before, but only for a couple of days and with friends. Now I was back for some unfinished business and I didn’t bother contacting my friends in the city since it was a short and quick weekday visit. Sometimes I draw myself as a cat. Meow. Now I don’t mind traveling alone and in some ways, I prefer being alone so I can do anything I want without having to consider the other person’s needs/wants (ha, I’m selfish). Fun! What’s NOT fun, though, is getting lost alone. But…

  • Travel,  Travel journal,  USA

    Illustrated travel journal: waiting for the train at LAX Union Station

    As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been traveling these days. I’ve been in California since the first week of April for a little working vacation to visit family and friends and go on little trips on the side. From Manila, I flew two hours to Taiwan where I spent some time during my four-hour layover looking for the Hello Kitty airport lounge (more on that in another entry). Then from Taipei, I took a 12-hour flight to Los Angeles. I was hoping to catch an in-flight movie but the man sitting in front of me on the plane had inconsiderately reclined his seat all the way back and…