Bookworming in Baguio… Again.

There are some places that you can’t help but return to, and not just once. For me, Baguio City is one of those constant destinations.

Baguio reminds me of long road trips with family and siblings’ friends in the ’90s, way back when an eight-hour travel time from Manila was normal, and the long way through Dau was the “shortest” route. Baguio is where we all go to escape the unbearable heat in the city. Baguio’s where you stop if you’re headed further north, e.g. Sagada, Ilocos, or San Juan.

More recently, Baguio is the first place that comes to mind whenever I want to get away from everyone else, but still be just one bus ride away in case there’s an emergency at home. I now also think of Baguio whenever I want to score some great books.

I was back in Baguio yet again last month. This time around, I was a writing fellow for creative nonfiction (CNF) at this year’s UST National Writers’ Workshop. (So yeah, I got in.) While the workshop kept all of us busy for a week – and those damn storms Gorio and Huaning kept us mostly indoors – we had two days to roam around the city and do whatever we wanted.

Of course, my itinerary included book shopping. Continue reading “Bookworming in Baguio… Again.”

Bookworming In Thailand, Myanmar And Vietnam!

I said in my previous blog entry that I was on holiday for three weeks. I spent the second week of October up to the first few days of November backpacking through Bangkok, Thailand; Yangon, Ngapali Beach, and Mandalay, Myanmar; and Saigon, Vietnam. I’ve been planning this trip since 2009 (after I returned from my first solo trip through Hong Kong, Siem Reap and Kuala Lumpur), and there were a lot of changes in plans, budgets and itineraries for the next three years − and even until a few hours before my departure!

Some things haven’t changed, though. As with every trip (like this one), I just had to hit up a few bookstores during my 21-day journey. A few places in my itinerary are also related to books, literature and history; and one of the places I stayed in had a lot of reading material available for its guests. Continue reading “Bookworming In Thailand, Myanmar And Vietnam!”

Bookworming In Taipei!

Most people form certain traditions through the years, especially when they travel. For me, it’s bookworming while traveling! Since 2009, I’ve made it a point to visit bookstores, drool all over the merchandise (not literally, of course), and purchase a couple of titles. I remember hoarding paperbacks in Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur and worrying if the new books will fit in my small wheeled luggage, or meet the check-in quota. Sadly, some of them remain untouched on my shelf, but that’ll change eventually − of course, these titles will make an appearance here on The Reading Spree.

I arrived in Manila early yesterday morning from a three-day holiday in Taipei, Taiwan, with two longtime friends. On our last day in the city (Monday), and in keeping with my short list of “non-negotiables”, Tintin and I visited two beautiful bookstores that have been featured in print and online magazines, and are well-known among Taiwanese bibliophiles and in-the-know travelers: the quirky and unique VVG Something, and the behemoth known as Eslite. Tradition sustained; books bought; wallet drained. 😉 Continue reading “Bookworming In Taipei!”