Formerly a PR and corporate marketing slave, Maritess Garcia-Reyes, or Matet, resigned from her job years ago to chase after her one dream in life: writing about travel, food and lifestyle. Her persistence paid off, and today she writes for several titles under Philippine Tatler including Best Restaurants Guide, Homes, and Traveller. Her pieces had also appeared on the prestigious CNN iReport and Choose Philippines, among many other renowned Asian and Philippine publications.

Peek into Dicasalarin Cove. Photo by Matet Reyes.
How exactly does she juggle between tending to daughter Akisha and her lust for globetrotting eco-consciously? Matet tells us in detail in this first installment of Travel Blogger Mom on Spotlight.
No cellphones. No journals to confide knee-jerk thoughts to. No NU107 to lull me to sleep. No phone-a-boyfriend or other lifelines. No stress-relieving cigarettes. No pocket money save for a hundred pesos. Nothing but the bare essentials. Just one classmate-slash-housemate in a house of rural indigents  in Real, Quezon that we shall now call our “foster family"for a week. 

Real, Quezon. Photo by Ador Prades 

For a semi-millenial baby like me, this abrupt unplugging from the comforts I've become accustomed to, that 360-degree shift, wasn’t just a nightmare. It’s the nightmare of all Freddie Krugger nightmares.

Tracing Back Steps To Hope

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

There are two kinds of days for those who have lost important people in their lives: the easier days and the hard days. Easier, because death always stays with you no matter how long it's been. It gets easier but not easy. 

On hard days, I find myself lost, lonely and aching behind smiles, bearing an urgency to trace back roads to places my stepfather held close in his life - for comfort, above all.

And one Sunday, I just did. 

Going Blind: Residence Inn Tagaytay's Dinner In The Dark

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Friday, October 24, 2014

About a decade ago, I was asked this question during an interview for a call center post:
"I'm blind. How would you describe the color blue to me?"

I was stumped. How do you describe a color shade to a person who doesn't even know what a color looks like to begin with?

You don't know what you don't know, Rico Blanco sings. If you aren't blind, you really wouldn't have an idea how visually impaired people perceive things, how they go through everyday living  - unless you experience blindness itself. 

The folks at Residence Inn had a solid idea on how we, 20-20 vision-blessed beings, can take in that experience. They asked us to dine in the dark.

13 Pinay Travel Blogging Moms Who Are Rockin' It On The Road

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Note: All photos belong to the bloggers themselves. No copyright infringement intended.

Temper tantrums. Riotous in-car/ in-flight fights. Food flying mid-air. Extra bags to pack and haul. Sickness and hospitalization in foreign lands.  

Being a mom is surely no easy task, but traveling with kids takes mothering challenges to new heights. There's always the extra head(s) to worry about and new rules to abide by. If by family trips you imagine mothers in tankinis holding pinacoladas on the beach, I can tell you, you're waaay off base. 

Can moms ever have their cake and eat it too? These serial traveling mom bloggers surely are a testament that yes, we can.

1. Gay Mitra Emami of Pinay Travel Junkie 

Weight of Words

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Much of my recent life, I have walked two paths: that as a word weaver, and that as a mother. In both paths, words are invaluable. They lay the foundation for everything that glues my life together: mortgage and bills, household must-have's, broadband service, Sundates with my daughter, my soul. 

Words are my bread and butter. Each comes with a certain weight, so I curate them carefully, ensuring that nothing unnecessary slips out of sight. Unfortunately, that rule suddenly disappears when I switch on to mom mode.