Frequently Asked Questions by You
These are my answers to many things many of you often ask. And OMG its getting longer!

Are you a writer?
No and Maybe Yes.

"No" because it is not my profession and I have no formal training about writing for publications, announcements or displays. I remember my HS English teacher told me that he always had a hard time reading my "theme writing" because I kept jumping in and out of topic. My college English 5 prof also once lambasted me for describing every step of the way in "How They Cook Crabs At Home" that I submitted two bluebooks, all pages used.

"Maybe Yes" because I am now writing these travel experiences, on the web at least. My view is: anything or anyone that writes is a "writer". You just add adjectives of all kinds before or after that word!

Is Travel Part Of Your Work / Profession?
No and Yes!

"No" because I started my weekend travels while I was happily employed - not the sales department nor anything like it that required trips. I was deep down the middle and back offices pencil-pushing with a bunch of mostly grumpy men and women who think the crankier they are the better a boss/subordinate they become. And I was getting into the bandwagon hahaha! So to get away from them all, I would hie away on weekends to see the country.

"Yes" as of now, because as an independent consultant, many of my clients are scattered all over the islands so I gladly hop on to them wherever they are! Mind you, many of these clients I just met online and along the way as I keep traveling!

Why do you write / blog?
Peer pressure started it all. When I would tell my family and friends about my sojourns, many of them would tell me to write them (e.g., via email) so they could go back to those and remember the stories. Otherwise, they said they'd bug me with all those same questions over and over again. That, terrified me, so I started writing to them via emails, the lesser of two evils hehe! As I went along though, sending emails became such a hassle that sometimes I would be prompted by my email service that I was sending spam! Like HELLO?! And someone suggested blogging. So I painstakingly groped how to do a blog and here I was.

Many things happened in our lives (yes, that's yours and mine), many learnings came, and many more folks started to throw interest in my stories. So I thought I had more reason to write... if only for many more folks (especially Filipinos) to realize that this is such a vast archipelago, fun to visit and a good place to live in! Notwithstanding the many "angals" I have at this and that!

Are these your personal stories?
All are 'about' my personal experiences, so you can also call this a personal blog. That's the reason why every story is my point of view. Yep, from me, myself and I  - unless otherwise stated! But, there are stories I tell that are not mine - I mean those I have seen, heard, felt, 'smelled' during my travels!

Are those your pictures and videos?
Yes, about 99.99% of them - and those not mine are duly acknowledged in each story where they appear. IF you find something that is not, then it must be a miracle. Tell me so, and I'll see what can be done :)

Do you consider your blog as a Travel Guide?
No and Yes.

No - because I read a lot of travel guides online and from the bookshelves - and, I beleive my stories are not like them. Good travel guides have "templates" like they have to answer "where is it", "how to go there", "how much", and so on - even how the writer or their readers think about a destination. Example, I myself always have the latest issue of the Lonely Planet. I use it as my primary guide. Me? I just tell my story according to what I felt about something on the trip. Not that I don't care about those 'other', 'usual' details. But you'll have to ask me for more info if you're making an itinerary.

Yes - because many of you told me that my stories served as "guide" in your itineraries. To that, I can only say... "my pleasure, indeed".

What is your objective in life?
Wheh?! Tumigil ka Alejandro Martin. This is not the place to ask that question! Then again, isn't it? So, as far as travel is concerned, my objective in life is to get more Filipinos to travel their own country - at the same time encouraging foreigners to do the same. Why? Because there are just so many beautiful, curious, interesting things around, so you'll have at least a new story to tell St. Peter when you enter his gates. Ah well, Lucifer will probably also appreciate them, if you're going that way!

Where else do you write/publish?
Uhmmm, as me, myself and I? Just in this blog. :) Promise! Well, uh, okay, from time to time, I do write for some busy folks - and that is what they call 'ghost writing'. Nothing wrong there, especially when they pay me heftily hehe hehe!

Was that you I saw at ******?

Was that you who wrote the ******** article?
No if it did not bear Philippine Travel Notes or Pinoy Traveler :) I do watch out for plagiarists (esp of my works). So, tell me if you suspect anything published by another person or entity, that may seem to have been my work!

Do you really love the Philippines?
Yes I do and in my own terms. With that, what I mean is, I love the places, the old culture, the new technologies and so on. What I do not love ARE those assholes who ruin these places or ruin the reputation of this country. Yes, marami yan - which you probably read on my rants and criticisms, reason probably why you asked me that question, if I do love this country. Again, yes indeed, I do!

Have you travelled to other countries? You know, for a different perspective...?
Ah yes, more often than many do. Really, I do - for work or recreation. Then again, I cannot and will not write about them here, other than for comparison. If you were hoping for me to write here about my travels to other countries, I also am interested to do so. Then again, let's look back up to the title of this blog!

Have you been to all places in the Philippines?
No. That's 7,100++ islands 'no?! To each of all the provinces, yes, I have been to. But not to each and every town or city yet. Well, I have started. Won't you!

Do you blog to earn?
No. But the blog does earn, I just discovered that along the way hehe! Aliw!

How much do you earn from blogging?
Ah, its not the same everytime. I do not even know yet about how that thing works. Not really something you can call a livelihood hehe. Then again, maybe I just don't know how to maximize it.

Can we go with you?
Where? On my travels? Of course! But how do we get that in place?! Tell me ahead so I can plan with you, since most of my trips are "spur of the moment"!

========== Anything below this line, I still need to answer. Soon, I hope! ==========

Where is your next destination?
What is the best place in the Philippines for foreigners?
What is the best place to visit?
What is your favorite destination?
Are you an employee of the Tourism Department?
If you love this country, why are you saying bad things?
Who the hell are you?
What gave you the authority to write bad things about our town?
What is the best school in your country?
Where is the best place to party?
Why don't you like caves?
Who told you about **********?
Have you seen sex tourism? Where is it rampant?
How do you avoid the terrorists?
Who are the best Filipinos?
Do people really speak English everywhere in your country?
You did not respond to our RSVP, yet you blogged about the event. Were you really here?
What is the poorest place you have seen?
What is the best place for a wedding?
Who was the best president of your country?
Do you always have a driver?
Do you carry a gun or any weapon?
What is the most reliable airline?
Is it true that you always have to make "lagay" sa *******?

I will try my very best to answer all your emailed questions. But if you post them as comments to any of the articles, I will likely see them first and reply a bit promptly!

I hope!