POSTCARD # 8: Bomb Epicenter Peace Memorial Park, Nagasaki, Japan 2019

We were in Nagasaki last November, a trip we took off from our Fukuoka trip, and it’s kind of important for me to go there because of war geekery (and I know that it is not something to “have fun” of, or be a geek of, but I am deeply interested in it.) The whole town is lively – plenty of colonial architecture, cafes. Museums are eerie though as it shows how the war changed everything for this port town. I am especially amazed how they bounced back but deeply saddened by the scars the Fat Man left.

The museum closed on us eventually, and we only had a day, and we walked around Nagasaki some more. I ended up taking this picture, which is eerie and peaceful all at the same time. It kind of reminds me of Evangelion.

POSTCARD #7: On the way to Fuji-san, Shinjuku station, Tokyo, Japan 2015


I’m having dreams of Tokyo lately. I’ve been once and I don’t think I have swooned in a city more than I could other from two cities that I have seen myself living (and maybe also, just maybe, finding love) in the future. You already know what’s the other one – my first postcard is from there!

Oh Tokyo, why do you have to be so beautiful?

There is such a familiar feeling to these cities, for me, despite visiting them for the first time. It feels like I lived there for quite some time already and I’m simply being welcomed home.


Somehow, all those times spent watching anime and listening to Jpop and hunting for the best Japanese food and basically trying to learn about their entire culture all led me to just feeling home at last. Weird, no? But that’s how I felt even if I can barely make a decent sentence from my phrasal Nihonggo knowledge. All I could say are domo arigatou, ohayou, konbanwa, gomen, onegai, and sumimasen. Oh, and what’s on the menu, haha! Can’t and won’t go hungry there. Not even call it expensive as well because good food is always around, if you know where to look. Or smell! I know more and more people in Tokyo speak English now but trying to speak Japanese just feels legit.

But even my anime-taught broken Nihonggo cannot spoil the joy of just being in this city. It would be nice to have a straight conversation in Japanese with someone though. Talk about anime, Fuji-san, the shinkansen, Makoto Shinkai, Haruki Murakami, or L’ Arc En Ciel. Anything about Japan, actually. Its dark history, its pacifist reality now, or its bright future.

It will always feel like my spiritual home.

Frankly, after Tokyo, it became a little harder to plan for other trips. I just kept wanting to go back. Maybe next time I’m back, I can speak in decent, complete sentences. And hey maybe start a conversation. Until then, (what’s see you soon in Japanese??)


Be Carbon-Neutral!

So I’ve been traveling a lot for personal and work reasons (like I’ve never spent any week in one place for two months; and haven’t been in one place in any given month this year!) and it got me thinking that I’ve been adding so much to my carbon footprint!!! Literally panicking because duh I’m like the first one to die if the globe goes fever pitch.

I’ve read about being carbon-neutral then – and also because our company Mindshare‘s latest global huddle partnered with Veridium who works with companies to neutralize their carbon footprint; and it really got me how I could neutralize my own carbon footprint – starting with my flights!

So how it works is that your carbon footprint has a dollar (or in this case pound) equivalent. Companies like ClimateCare works with certified projects that help the environment reduce effects of global warming and help people who are most vulnerable to its effects.

This calculator is from ClimateCare and it helps you figure out how much your flight costs in carbon footprint and in pounds. And it also includes other form of travel. There are other carbon-neutrality calculators out there that also factor in your electric consumption, food consumption, and other things – but I think starting small is also key to getting into the habit.

You’ll start to see this calculator in my sidebar – as this is something I want to constantly want to remind people about – especially those who travel a lot!

P.S. Let’s travel responsibly, guys!
P.P.S. I’m on a bit of hiatus since I moved to Singapore – but will try to post more postcards!

POSTCARD #6: Say Yes Mural at Fitzroy, Melbourne 2017

It’s three in the morning and I can’t sleep. I haven’t been writing, and I can’t really share anything ~current~ for now. But this postcard will do. I thought I’d write you one.

I was in Australia when people were asked to vote for marriage equality. It wasn’t even a vote to make it law but the energy throughout the city can be felt. I knew immediately they would say yes. Or at least 57.8% of them.

I would see the rainbow flag anywhere – in posters, in lights, in the fricking city hall. In murals, especially. I love how the city bloomed with art in this occasion – like there’s no other way to do it.

And in December, it was made law. Gay people can marry in Australia. And it was beautiful. So, so beautiful.

Traveling can indeed open your eyes but also leave oneself with frustration; and ask – why do I stay where I do?

Can’t wait to travel again.

POSTCARD #5: Lazy Panda at Ocean Park, Hong Kong 2014

Everytime I’m in Hong Kong, I remember how lazy this panda is! Nica and I went here for one and only one reason only – to see a living and breathing and preferably moving panda. Can’t blame us; after all once a panda, always a panda (hello Jen and Gale, and Joseph and PatMan and PatRem if y’all reading this.)

Also, this was the only time (before the States) that Nica and I traveled together. We were living together, too! And now we’re god-knows-how-many-miles apart. I miss her everytime, and especially when I’m in Hong Kong

// It is absurd how all my travels this year are on rainy days. It’s raining now in Hong Kong. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain and the gloom and how the urban transforms into something else when it’s drizzling BUUUUUUT I hate wet feet. 

POSTCARD #4: Longshan area, Taipei 2017

Last week, I was just at Taipei with a couple of friends – and if you read my postcard a couple weeks back, the last time I was here it was a hell of an adventure (at least for me, that is.) 

I got a chance to see Taipei with new eyes this time. The rain, errr… storm, gave the city a cloak of depth to a point of gloom, but also a comfort that is familiar. Too bad, we couldn’t just stay in as we were just there for the weekend. It would be lovely to stay in the hostel and try to get to know fellow travelers. And keep toasty. Rain is best experienced indoors with a hot cuppa, I reckon. 

The brief was simple: get in, eat, and get back. Instead, we had so much more. It’s been a while since I took a trip this short. We did eat a lot. Unexpectedly shopped. And saw a lot of art. 

The city is brimming with art: either handmade by humans in a museum, or city life sprawling on the streets. Taipei has indeed gone up to being one of my favorite Asian cities. 

POSTCARD #3: Huashin 1914 Creative Park, Taipei 2015

My trip to Taipei last 2015 was two things – amazing and, in some ways, horrifying. I learned a whole lot about myself in this trip, and that I hope the next time some sort of thing happens to me next time, I’m hella prepared. 

You see, when I travel I plan and do everything on my phone. My itinerary, my flight, my budgets, good graciousness my Grindr. I had it all prepared – in classic Jonver fashion – an itinerary in the form of spreadsheet, complete with specific date and time and addresses and directions, was saved on my phone; the boarding passes on the respective airline app; a train app downloaded; budgets on notes; it was like clockwork. What happened next almost made me regret this trip. 

My phone, its screen blood red, died on me. On my first day in Taipei. I know what you might be thinking – it’s just a phone; your trip means so much more than that. Not when your whole life (in the form of plans and details for this particular matter) revolved on the existence and functioning of a phone. Taipei wasn’t known for their good English, but God bless them nice people who tried to help me. And no thank you Apple, for a non-functional international warranty? You apparently need me to go to my telco provider to give me my warranty. 

Needless to say, I gave up on it; also strapped for cash to buy a new phone to keep connected. The next logical thing to do is to grab a paper map in Taipei Main Station to help me get on with my trip, and try hard to see a silver lining. I found a couple of silver linings. 

When I was looking for a cheap phone around Guanghua Digital Plaza, I saw an instant film camera. It felt so familiar and not all at the same time; and instead of leaving what seems a hotpot of electronics in all of Taipei with a phone that could abate my internet withdrawal, I left with an analog camera and a couple expired rolls of film. It’s been a while since I loaded a roll on a camera and it felt so amazing. People stared at me when I snap a photo and they hear the tiny gears that move the film from one frame to another. 

I haven’t uploaded the whole two rolls I had developed. I guess I’m trying to be that nostalgic person who shows albums of old photos in house parties and reunions. 

Aaaaaaand I’m also on my way to Taiwan for a quick weekend jaunt! I hope this time my phone does not quit on me. 

POSTCARD #2: Foliage, Baguio 2016

I have a rather infamous travel bummer – I don’t do well with nature. People from my side of the world love the sun, sand, and sea; I don’t. People spend weekends hiking; I’d rather stay in, thank you very much. Me and nature, and my asthma more than occasionaly, would very much like to be left apart. 

Though last year saw my endless pursuit of le concrete jungle, one trip stuck out of them all… well, at least half. 

I’ll always love Baguio. I think the city is romantic; not too nature-y, not too concrete-y (if that makes sense.) It’s the one place nearest home I actually want to go to every weekend, if my hooman energy permits. Wait til it drizzles a bit and let the atmosphere completely change and hold you in love with the city by the mountains some more. 

Among my favorite spots is the Ben Cab museum – with human art in the front, and nature’s art in the back; with the comfort food of Cafe Isabel in between. This foliage is from Ben’s personal garden, I believe – which is a side of a mountain let me tell you. Plus points, when the fog covers the entire property – absolutely stunning to see. 

There’s less than two weeks before summer finally concludes its hellish heat. Maybe I should head back to Baguio, even for a weekend. 

POSTCARD #1: Fortune Cookie, NYC 2016

I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog. The last time I posted here, I was training in Singapore and that opportunity kicked off a lot of other opportunities for me. I also said, I was busy participating – which for the most part, is true. Lately, I’m just tired and too busy looking for Netflix shows to binge. I’m also too busy looking at my photos while traveling. It reminds me of my favorite times. So here’s my first postcard to you. 

Back in NYC last Christmas season, I found myself in a Chinese joint around Kips Bay. The weather too cold, my four layers not providing enough heat, and myself direly in need of a comforting meal after a humpy bus ride upstate. They were about to close in half an hour, but they took me in. I bet the Chinese momma manning the store took a pity at this scrawny obvious first-timer to the New York cold and told herself – jeez he needs soup. I happily finished my bowl of comfort. Chinese food really never fails you wherever you go. When I took my check, like clockwork, she handed me a fortune cookie. It said the one thing I’ve been thinking when I landed to New York for the holidays. 

Live for the moment, because there is only one result in life. 

Hello from Singapore!

Hey there, how’s it going? I think this is the nth time I’m telling you that I’m back – but not really because I got sent to Singapore for work for three weeks (!!!!!!). I’ve been meaning to update you but I’m busy participating.

I’ve been here since last week – and the city has nothing been short of amazing. I’ve already met a lot of people – both in and out of work. My liver is being tested with all of this participation but of course, it’s a hustle too because I’m still doing work that’s in Manila while training here. But I’m super psyched to learn about new stuff – while in a city, albeit I’ve been to three times already, that I’m still acquainting myself with.

Today is the start of Week 2. My friend and officemate who was with me last week flew back to Manila already – so I’m practically by myself now. Not that I haven’t traveled by my own before, but #sepanx. I guess it’s time to make new friends here.

I’m happy that I got to sneak in a lil time to update. Photos to follow – or follow me on Instagram for my finds!


Mindshare fam

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...