Blog Count: (7) Meet Pinay Traveller
I guess travelers do find fellow travelers. Our feature blogger, Pinay Traveller, found Pinay.com’s Blog Count series “informative and inspiring” and has reached out to us about what she does. Of course, we found her travel blog fascinating.
Pauline, a media practitioner based in Manila, has been chronicling her travels in the Philippines and abroad for the past six years. Along with her travel stories are tips and guides about visiting a place or country. Her blog’s popularity is a blessing. For instance she wrote about how people can help typhoon survivors. Ensuing queries have made her decide to use PinayTraveller as a channel for disseminating information and fundraising.
Below is our conversation with Pinay Traveller. We chatted about what she does, her travels and her most read series and “Getting Inked by Whang-Od.” (Check out the stories or our other Pinay members and writers who travel.)
Congratulations on your sixth year of blogging! What made you decide to blog?
My blog started out as a personal project to document my travels. Whenever I posted something on my blog, it felt like I was just talking to myself. But eventually, people began noticing. Today, I blog not just for myself. I’m glad that I’m able to help people, and not just Filipinos but those from other countries as well. Being influential in travel is both an honor and a big responsibility. That’s why I make sure that I answer all the questions left on my blog, no matter how trivial or mundane.
Tell me about Pauline and the PinayTraveller.
I am a media practioner by profession. I’ve been in the industry for more than 20 years, working for Probe Productions, ABS-CBN Foundation and other major networks. I also worked in Malaysia as a TV Director. Today, I serve as the creative director of JesCom, the media arm of the Jesuits in the Philippines. I’m also the head writer of “Biyahe ni Drew” on GMA News TV. I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. That’s really my passion. But I also dabble in photography and notebook-making.
What are the memorable places you have visited?
I’ve been to most countries in South East Asia, even worked for a while in Malaysia and Hong Kong. I’ve also travelled to Europe, Central Asia, and United Arab Emirates. So far, my favorite is Spain, only because I’ve travelled there the most number of times and in different circumstances. I particularly love Barcelona because of the energetic vibe and the art. You can see the great Antonio Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece “La Sagrada Familia” just around the corner of a metro station. The Picasso Museum, which features the artist’s early works, is just a walking distance from the main tourist hub. Gaudi’s Parc Guelle is a bus ride a way from the city center. All these great works of art are just within your reach. It’s fantastic!
And the Holy Land?
Going to the Holy Land to cover a pilgrimage was also very memorable, especially since the chaplain was the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Chito Tagle. I’ve had the privilege to work with the Cardinal even when he was still a Bishop. His humility is very inspiring. So walking with a sandals-wearing Cardinal in the place where Christ walked was really something else. Another unforgettable trip I’ve had so far is my Al Andalus luxury trip. You can read about the series here.
Tell me about the Camino.
The Camino de Santiago is one of the three oldest and most visited pilgrimage sites in the world (after Rome and the Holy Land). It is actually a pilgrimage route, with the longest being 800 kilometers. People walk the Camino from 5 days to 31 days or even longer. Some take years to complete it. It’s something of a journey that people do for spiritual or personal reasons. It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to walk the Camino. But I guess God has other plans for me. Instead of making me walk the Camino, he made me ride a luxury train!
What’s with Getting Inked by Whang-Od?
My husband and I love body art. Between the two of us, we have a total of 14 tattoos. Last year, to celebrate our anniversary, we went to Buscalan in Kalinga to have our tattoos done by Whang-Od. Whang-Od is said to be the last living traditional tattoo artist of Kalinga. It was quite an adventure going there since we didn’t have a guide. But getting tattooed by a legend was a very rewarding experience.
Blog Count is a series of conversations with Pinays all over the world. We think these Pinays sparkle and shine. If you are a member of Pinay.com, we can feature you too. Can you inspire us? Do you have something to share? Email Tish Leizens, chief editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s start a conversation.
Tish Leizens is a great believer in asking lots of questions. That was how she was trained as a business journalist for newspapers and magazines. That was how she survived trying moments in her personal life and how she navigated a successful career and business in media. In 1997, she asked, “Why not?” And so, she moved from Manila to New York City. It was and continues to be a great adventure. After stints as a reporter for Manila Chronicle and Manila Times; correspondent for The Straits Times and Gulf News; Tish worked as editor for Conde Nast, and later edited and published her own regional magazines, OurHouse and Excursions. OurHouse, sold in bookstores chains in the East Coast, was nationally recognized for its innovative approach to magazine publishing. Tish has lectured at the New York Public Library on how to launch a magazine and other topics related to publishing. She was featured in CNN Money in 2010.