I’m passionate about travel, personal growth, and pondering life’s big questions.
Perhaps it was Gabriel García Márquez and his One Hundred Years of Solitude or Isabel Allende’s Eva Luna that drove me to a small town — where they say the mail comes only once a month — in the middle of Central America.
I wanted to learn the language, immerse myself in the culture. I was 19, my first time alone in a foreign country, and I never felt the pangs of homesickness.
I reveled in the sense of adventure.
During that month I was studying Spanish, I visited a small lodge on the Pacific side of the country one weekend, five hours away from my host family’s home in Alajuela. I went alone and took a bus. It was hot. The sky was buzzing with dragonflies. But I wanted to explore.
When I arrived, I found that my ground-level room opened to a short path leading to a beach. It was a little bay so the waves were small and the sand was coarse. The shore was crawling with hermit crabs but I wanted to take off my sandals. The landscape was something surreal, serene, and stunning from all sides.
I was in Costa Rica, surrounded by mountains heavy with life. There is a grandeur and vibrancy that every dripping leaf exudes. Pura vida. In the water, in the air, in the soil. The land is so thick and alive; I feared I’d be swallowed by the trees if I wandered off path. Even in the wind, the falling leaves would blow against the open hands of other trees and it sounded like rain.
Writing and travel are passions I’ve pursued since I was old enough to dream of distance places.
In college, I began my studies in international relations but I later realized that my true love is writing and that I could experience the best of both worlds in journalism. I studied creative writing in secondary school and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.
Today I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and continue to write and seek opportunities to inspire readers with stories and unique experiences from destinations near and far. My hope is to move tourists toward exploring the world in a way that will allow a deeper connection with the environment and community they’re visiting; to not just tour, but to participate in their world.
I have written for a variety of publications including Tango Diva, Everywhere Magazine, Your Life Is A Trip, and the Golden Gate [X]press. I have served as editor of the Filipina Women’s Network’s V-Diaries. And I am a member of the Bay Area Travel Writers Association.
When not writing or traveling, I’m volunteering at a local community organization, reading books and magazines that come my way, urging myself through a few more lunges on the gym floor, sharing food and drinks with good company, and making a mess in my kitchen.
Freelance Writer/Journalist, Various Publications, Various locations, Jan. 2005 – Present
- Contributing writer for Common Ground Magazine, Mabuhay Magazine (Philippine Airlines In-Flight), Tango Diva, Everywhere Magazine, and other publications.
Freelance Copywriter, Various Businesses and Organizations, Various locations, Jun. 2007 – Present
- Conduct research, conceptualize, and write compelling press, informational and marketing materials such as website content, newsletters, press releases, profiles, brochures and flyers for various businesses and organizations.
Communications Director, KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress, San Francisco/D.C., Jan. 2008 – July 2011
- Develop and implement the vision for KAYA communications and manage the communications team to develop and disseminate national and local e-newsletters, write web site content (events, articles, and community updates) and post content to social networks, write and distribute press releases, respond to media inquiries, and manage projects with freelance designers and web developers to create web site design elements and collateral.
Editor, V-Diaries and Anti-Violence Resource Guide, Filipina Women’s Network, Jan. 2008 – Apr. 2008
- Served as a guest editor where I planned, researched and wrote feature stories, managed and assigned stories to contributors, edited articles and worked with the art director to layout the copy and art for the 2008 edition.
Staff Writer, Golden Gate [X]press Magazine, San Francisco State University, Jan. 2005 – May 2005
- Researched and wrote magazine features, reviews and entertainment briefs, coordinated with staff photographers on acquiring photos for assigned articles and assisted section editors with magazine production by copyediting and fact-checking editorial.
Staff Writer and Copyeditor, Golden Gate [X]press, San Francisco State University, Aug. – Dec. 2004
- Researched and wrote profiles, features, and accompanying editorial for print and online photo essays, copyedited articles for the weekly news section and front page and assisted managing editors with composing headlines.
Certificate in Social Media/Integrated Marketing, San Francisco State University
Writing for Nonprofits Coaching Program, NonprofitMarketingGuide.com
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, San Francisco State University
Spanish Immersion Program, Instituto de Cultura y Lengua, Enforex Language School
Advanced Creative Writing Program, Columbia University, New York
American Red Cross, Client Services Associate for Disaster Services, Hurricane Katrina and Rita 2005
Red Cross Youth Services,Adult Leadership, Bay Area American Red Cross
Awards and Honors
Honorable Mention for Short Fiction, Zoetrope All-Story Magazine, Jan. 1999
Certificate for Outstanding Voluntary Service, League of Volunteers, Newark, California, Feb. 1999
E-mail marketing applications (Constant Contact, Mailchimp, Aweber, etc.), Adobe: InDesign, Photoshop Elements, Adobe Pro X, Microsoft Office Suite, Social networking applications (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr),, Zimbra, Google Applications (Google calendars, docs, forms, analytics), Windows and Mac platforms, CMS: WordPress, Drupal, basic HTML.