head north.

Random notes…

“we found ourselves settled in the same moon bar that we had started in on the first night. Only this time we were surrounded by the new friends we had made during our stay. bed jumpers, sand artists, mural makers, cave guides…

The bar provided the perfect atmosphere- almost as if pages of an “I Spy” book had been the inspiration for their interior design. Littered with various items people had left- masks, notes, art, gear.

As we all sat around the table we started to writing down questions, throwing them into a hat and answering them as we drew. “what is your spirit animal?” “name a song and a memory associated with it.” The game went on and on and on until the bar turned off the lights, shut the door and turned down the music.

Last questions. “What are you most thankful for today?”

We all looked around…”

Thanks for visiting, Tanner (: love love love.

Why Filipinos are…

the original hipsters.

are hipsters even a thing anymore? I’ve been away for a long time now, I’m not even sure if this is an old fad now. Or wait, hipsters are a fad…they defy the fads?

Whatever the trend…or anti-trend was, Filipinos were the first.


Filipinos practically invented the “trendy-thrift store” fashion look. Introducing the ukay-ukay. The wag-wag. A thrift store junkie’s wet dream. These are rooms, stores, sometimes buildings filled, nay- CRAMMED, with every type of clothing item imaginable. From the depths of these bargain priced racks of clothes are birthed some of the most inexpensive and original outfits imaginable.

A child wearing a shirt that says “Chicks dig me”? Soooo ironic!

A woman wearing crazy acid washed jeans with tie-dye ruffles on the bottom? Urban Outfitters?!

A kuya wearing a crazy print shirt with crazy patterned shorts? Right on, man- soooo unique!

Sorry, hipsters. That’s just ukay-ukay fashion for ya.

Screen shot 2014-04-08 at 4.52.32 PM

Ukay-ukay’s- great for cRaZy PaRtY tH3m3zZ!


Bikes! Bikes! Bikes! Save the environment! Fight the man! Death to oil companies! Trust me, I’m with ya, but your bike riding ain’t got nothing on the Pinoys who don’t just use bikes as a political or dare I say fashion/trend statement (I said it, I said it!).

The typical hipster will ride solo-dolo to and from work. Maybe they’re super original and ride tandem (so cool!). Filipinos don’t just fit one measly person on a bike- sometimes they fit the entire family. I’m not talking about padjaks/rickshaw deal here, I’m talking a two wheeled bike.

And also- that thing about uncanny modes of transportation? “Ironic”. Whatever. Try riding a water buffalo/carabao. Or a wheel chair. Cuz, you know. That’s just getting from point A to point B here.



Oh, you only shop local? You go to the farmer’s market every Sunday? You eat organic?


You eat like the rest of the world.

Almost everything is purchased at the palengke or saod. You grow your own food. If you aren’t a farmer, chances are, you still eat locally. You go to the market for what you don’t have. Datz lYf3, yo, not a food revolution.


It seems that hipsters have been flooding the interwebz with their ingenious and innovative ways to “DIY” and “reduce, reuse and recycle!”.

Deskarte is a way of life for most Filipinos. That politician’s campaign banner will be reused as roofing for a store, an old blow up mattress will be used as a jeepney bench cover. Things you don’t have or can’t afford are made. Things that are broken can easily be repaired.

The fishermen in my town made this out of an old rice cooker, a peanut butter jar, a cellphone charger, and piping. Who needs Pinterest when you’ve got a kuya or ate?


That roof that was destroyed by the tyhpoon? Oh no worries, I’ll just make a new one…outta natural materials. No big.


Being a hipster? Filipinos invented that.



World Hoop Day.

I’ve just been a video vixen these past few posts!

But I’m really not sorry about it. I’m trying to get as much practice as possible with my GoPro before Mizz Kelsey and I take off on our bike tour across SE Asia!

As most of you know, I have moved from Legazpi City to Santo Domingo, a small fishing village, and commute to work via bike. For a majority of the children in my community, toys are a luxury and free time is spent in the street playing with other children. Often times this is with various items found around the barangay (community)- string, tires or wadded up pieces of paper they use to play a game similar to hackey sack.

During my first week in my community the children were amazed by my LED hula hoop- fair enough, it still amazes me. It was unlike anything they had ever seen before. Slowly, their courage grew and they became more comfortable with experimenting with the hoop, taking turns sharing and cheering one another on as we celebrated our hula hooping in the streets.

Over time, more and more kids started meeting in front of my house for a nightly hoop jam. Before I knew it, I had a full on hoop troop. This has been a wonderful opportunity for the kids to explore their creativity, engage in healthy play and just have fun!

A few months ago, I became a Hoop Ambassador for World Hoop Day. With this, came 17 hula hoops for the kids in my barangay. The magic of bringing them the hoops from Manila to Bicol is captured below (:


big. big. big. whale. shark…creatures.

it’s a miracle- praise the heavens- it’s a miracle!

the butanding (whale sharks) have migrated to Legazpi City. This is the first time it has happened, so it has been exciting to say the least. Our boulevard has been literally flooded with Legazpenos coming to try and catch a glimpse of them swimming around.

although they are only babies, these bad boys are massive. these guys are so big that people watching from the pier could spot them. this turned out to be a bonus, as their screams and squeals could serve as an alarm of where we needed to swim to.


there’s nothing like dancing through the night and suddenly finding yourself watching the sunrise with friends.

A majority of festivals here in the Philippines focus on tradition, culture and history. Truly beautiful looks into what the Filipino spirit wishes to preserve and remember.

Masskara on the other hand was an inspiring look at the evolving Filipino art scene and changing culture. Creativity, color, energy, dancing, costumes…a great look at the current fusion of tradition and change.

Oh. and I got to shake hands with former President Ramos thanks to an awesome V.I.P. Photography pass a friend scored for our crew. Sooooo that’s that.