Where is your all-time favourite destination?
I’m going to sound all biased because my heritage is Filipino, but really and truly, The Philippines is a beautiful country. Whilst Manila presents a modernised plethora of cultures and nationalities, the Philippine islands are rather breathtaking. And there’s 7,107 of them.
Boasting of gorgeous beaches…
an abundance of mountains, hills, valleys, flora and fauna…
…a rich culture based on traditions and beliefs. The Philippines was originally inhabited by a tribe called Negritos followed by Indos and Malays. The Spanish came and settled for 300 years, then the Japanese took over until the Americans fought them off. There’s been a huge influx of Chinese and Koreans in the country as well. Nowadays, the Philippines is a melting pot of Westernised and modern cultures but most people, particularly in the provinces and indigenous tribes, still have very orthodox religious beliefs from the Span-Jap-Am settlement.
It’s a country where the sun rises like a pearl and blesses patrons with endless sunsets.
Yep, definitely The Philippines. It’s not particularly a target destination compared to other South East Asian countries that are clumped together (i.e. Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam) because getting there takes longer. But those who have been can attest to its gorgeous natural beauty and the warmth of its people. It’s not called Pearl of the Orient for nothing.
Which post are you most proud of?
Pretty much the more personal and creative ones. I really enjoyed writing The Post Break-up Phases and was quite surprised to have people speaking to me about it to this day. Posts about my little sister, and my UK Visa renewal entries remind me of how far I’ve come. My Mixed Tape and 6 Tracks series are dear to me too because I love discovering and sharing music.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party, alive or dead?
Ryan Gosling. Just him and a nice tasting menu, por favor.
But seriously, Ryan Gosling, Leonardo di Caprio, Emma Stone, Brangelina, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Charlize Theron, Jay-Z and Beyonce. And because this is my dream dinner party, food will be cooked by Ferran Adria, Alain Ducasse and Anthony Bourdain, with Adriano Zumbo on desserts.
Do you have a favourite travel app?
I much prefer talking to people about recommendations – and directions – but when it boils down to me and my mobile, I like keeping it simple with good ol’ Google (Maps, Flights, Translate), Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Zomato and Uber (where applicable).
What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about blogging?
Free meals and free event passes aside, I really enjoy meeting the community. Particularly the Londoners – I like how we can all share, confer and debate experiences and opinions about places to visit, things to do, and food to eat in the city.
Is there anything you like to do any time you visit somewhere new?
Checking out natural resources and being fascinated about how truly beautiful this world is…
If it’s not clear from the blog name itself, I am a beach baby because I genuinely think people bare their souls more in bare feet.
And don’t get me started with the gastronomic side of things. This is actually the first thing I plan when I do an itinerary, so most activities happen on the basis of where we eat!
Where is somewhere you’ve been or something you did that you didn’t expect much of, but ended up loving?
I once wrote my affinity for Saint-Tropez. I thought it was going to be slick and sleazy but it’s actually quite a beautiful sleepy town in daylight.
What’s your pet peeve?
REALLY BAD SERVICE. If you’re going to be cranky and snobbish and have sweaty pits or BO, please do not work in hospitality. EVER.
OVERPRICED UNDERWHELMING FOOD. I feel so strongly about this. I once dined at a highly recommended restaurant and was nearly in tears because high expectations were set, only to find out that food was so bad and the place itself was absolutely overrated (we had to wait long in between meals, too). I love my food and it really is frustrating to have bad meals.
HEAVY BREATHING. I really dislike the tube especially at rush hour when it’s cramped and the concept of personal space is all forgotten. Most people are taller than me and when it’s hot and icky in the tube, I can actually smell other people’s breakfast. Mmm, sausages and eggs.
What’s your most treasured possession?
My UK ILR BRP card and some treasured jewellery that remind me of where I came from.