The World (TRAVEL)

Travel One “Footstep” at a Time

TRAVEL. It’s both a noun and a verb, depending on how you use it. But one thing’s for sure, people love it. Thanks to the birth of those promo fares and whatnot, traveling is more common now than before. Be it domestic or international, as long as you take the time to explore a place, that’s traveling! I, myself, am one of those people who love to travel, whether it’s a few minutes away from home or several thousand miles away from my country of origin! 🙂 I first traveled to Hong Kong with my family when I was five years old but of course back then, I couldn’t care less! Hahaha! A few more family trips, both local and abroad, happened after that but it was only in 2006 when I was truly bitten by the travel bug. Yaazzz, for almost a decade now, I’ve been traveling AT LEAST once a year. I make sure I ride a plane or experience something new AT LEAST once a year.

traveled, TRAVELS, will travel ♥

traveled, TRAVELS, will travel ♥

To give you (and myself) a recap:

2006 – I spent one week (my short term break, no thanks to my school’s trimestral system! haha!) in Sydney, Australia with my sisters. This was also the trip when I finally conquered my fear of flying, thanks to our eight-hour direct flights to and fro. Before this, I was always “emotional” before every flight! Haha! Mabuhay!!!

2007 – It was my first time to travel with only my college friends, and we spent nine whole days in Hong Kong to attend the International Model United Nations, at the same time visit Disneyland for the first time!

2008 – After my college graduation, I traveled to Davao, Boracay, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — all for the first time!!!

2009 – My sisters and I went on an Asian cruise, where we had stops in Singapore and Phuket, Thailand. We also went back to Boracay this year, after my sister’s wedding.

2010 – I fell in love with El Nido, Palawan and its then three resorts (they’re now four) — Miniloc, Lagen, and Apulit. (The fourth is Pangulasian, which is on my travel bucket list! #ElNidoResorts)

2011 – Back to Singapore, El Nido, and Hong Kong respectively. But this time, my then one-year-old niece tagged along! Yay!

2012 – Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei / Bohol / Cebu / Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam / Siem Reap, Cambodia / Hong Kong — just some of the places I’ve been to before and after I quit my very first full-time job! Wahahahaha! My first so-called “travel year.”

my 2012 "travel year"

my 2012 “travel year”

2013 – Back to Boracay and re-“discovered its shores” (*hint, hint*), as well as went back to Hong Kong. Yes, the next time I go to HK, that will be my 6th or 7th time! I hope there’s something new in Disneyland every time…

2014 – Cebu with my family (finally with my two nieces!) during the summer, then Bangkok, Thailand for one weekend in November!!!

2015 – Haler BALER, baybeh!!!

2016 – I’m already booked for Bacolod and the three “lands” — England, Scotland, and Ireland. My boyfriend and I are also planning some hiking trips together. But I’m hoping I can also squeeze in some solo travel (or not) by the beach. Guam, perhaps? Thanks to Cebu Pacific’s promo fares, I can easily say taraaa! (Probably my second “travel year.” So I guess it happens every leap year? Hahaha! But this time, I have to juggle it with my full-time work. Thank God for annual leaves!!!)

So again, YAAZZZ. I love traveling. I may not be a “hardcore” traveler (at least not yet), but I have enough love for it. But you know another thing I love? WRITING! ❤

Combine traveling and writing together, and you get…

Well, in 2012, I actually started a blog project that focuses on featuring travelers here on the blog. It’s still on-going, although I’ve limited it to one feature per year. Yikes! I already have my next featured traveler, but I’m hoping to get mooore! So if you want to be featured, just send me a message! In the meantime, you can check out my FEATURED TRAVELERS by clicking HERE.

AND if you’ve got more travel stories to share, you can do so through FOOTSTEPS MAGAZINE!!!



Footsteps mag is the brainchild of my friend and former colleague, Kevin Tuazon. The one on the cover of the maiden issue is Ann Luna, another friend and former colleague of mine (but from a different company! #smallworld indeed!). Kevin considers this a personal passion project and while reading it, I was so proud to know a friend like him. It’s actually at par with all the travel magazines out there, and yet this one is for FREE!!! Well, at least for now. Like I said, it’s such a great read that I have high hopes for Footsteps. Like it’s tagline, I can truly see it “going places” and “telling stories” in the long run, one issue at a time!

According to Kevin, the maiden issue’s theme is discovering the passion for travel — whether in the Philippines or other countries. If that piques your curiosity and/or interest, I say go to this link — — and “travel” in the comforts of your own home or wherever you are right now. You can also download the Issuu app (on Android or iOS) for offline reading, just in case.

with Ann and Kevin :)

with Ann and Kevin 🙂

We hope you enjoy reading, and happy traveling!

Here’s to going places and telling (travel) stories this year! Ciao!!!

Marked on the Calendar

I Am Not a “Writer,” But I Will Keep Writing Anyway :)

“Good writing focuses on the need of the audience to understand,
 rather than on the desire of the writer to impress.
-a quote I got from one of my writing-related trainings online

Earlier today, I received a message on my Facebook Messenger from a random stranger. Turns out, this stranger is an architect in the making, and she’s asking about a blog entry I wrote more than five years ago, which she plans to use as a reference for her school requirement (thank you!). This wasn’t the first time someone, more so a stranger, asked me about that blog entry to be used for their research. After all, this blog entry I’m referring to talks about The Philippine Fashion Legend, Mr. Jose “Pitoy” R. Moreno. Read all about it HERE.

I wrote that piece about Pitoy because it was one of the requirements for me to pass my Creative Nonfiction elective, as part of my Master’s Degree program then. I decided to post it publicly on this blog because I knew that the world needs to know more about Mr. Moreno and his role in promoting the Philippines all over the world through his fashion masterpieces. I almost became emotional when I reread that blog entry and realized that it. has. been. awhile. since the last time I produced a material like that.

Reading that piece again was like a slap to my face. Or maybe a wake-up call. Either way, it saddened me to know that I haven’t been practicing the craft anymore. I just stopped a long time ago and chose to let social media addiction fry my brain cells and encourage my laziness more. Heck, I don’t even know how to write this very blog entry anymore. 😦

Then it dawned on me: deep inside, I know that I still love WRITING. I’ve always been better at the written word than the spoken word, and that’s fine with me. But it’s true that even if something is your passion but you don’t hone/practice it, you’ll get rusty at it, or worse, eventually lose it. Yikes!

I don’t want that to happen to me. I know that God has given me this gift to share to the world and not waste it. Even if I have to start from scratch again, let it be. This blog of mine was, is, and will always be a testament to that.

I started this blog in December 2009 and when I opened it today (after not checking it for monthsss), WordPress reminded me that this very day is actually my 6th blog anniversary! What good timing! For six years, I believe I’ve maximized my blogging skills for only a year or two. The rest, I’ve had an on-and-off relationship with this blog. Haha.

This may be my nth time in resurrecting my blog, but like I said, I’ll start from scratch if I have to. Looking back at all my blog entries is like looking at a desk filled with clutter: it’s all messy without a single focus or theme. But hey, this is a personal blog after all. Sure, I try to focus on my favorite things (books, food, and travel) as much as possible, but at the end of the day, this blog will always be as “complicated” as its owner — me, MIKHAELA GEORGETTE. Hence, the new domain name: 😀

Yes! After years of semi-blogging, I finally own my domain name! The blog’s title will still be “The Lady is In…” (that’s something I’m not giving up! haha), but this time, I’m hoping I can be a more diligent and responsible blogger who can produce more quality content more often, too. I’m paying for my domain name with the plan of putting it to good use! Ahem!

So yes, writing is my passion. Yes, my articles have been published before in magazines several times (see my portfolio). Yes, I’m actually in the process of writing my first novella (which I started in February of this year but has been in hiatus a month after that ever since!). Yes, I’ve attended writing workshops. Yes, I’ve tried article writing, novel/story writing, and even technical writing. Yes, I have my own “simple” writing style. Yes, I write with the goal to inspire. Yes, I have THIS blog. But do all these make me a “writer”? Hmmm. No, not necessarily.

As Ernest Hemingway once said about writing, “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one becomes a master.” No, I may never be awarded the “best writer” title ever, but I’ll keep writing anyway. Besides, I know in my heart that whenever I write, I always give it my best and it always makes me happy. Now that — that’s something no title can ever top off!

There's more to "writing" than this emoji, you know? Wahahahahaha!

There’s more to “writing” than this emoji, you know? Wahahahahaha!

Cheers to writing and to all those who are in love with it! ❤

Mika of (heehee!)

Books, Creative Writing?, Down Memory Lane, Marked on the Calendar

Writing My Way to Success: #buqoYA x Mina V. Esguerra

Let me start by telling you that I’ve always dreamed of writing my own book. #Hihihi

Sure, WRITING will always be my passion, which is why I never stop honing it. From magazine writing (print and online) to blog writing, even technical writing, I’ve tried ’em all. Now, it’s about time to venture into another form of my chosen craft: story writing. See first sentence. 😛

Since I consider myself as someone who “has experience but not enough theory” when it comes to my passion (my course is not related to writing, but that’s another story for me to tell! *wink* *wink*),  I make sure that I attend writing classes/workshops whenever my budget and schedule permit. To cut the long story short, during one of my writing class/workshop hunting sessions, I stumbled upon local author Mina V. Esguerra‘s blog post about her online creative writing class called #buqoYA, which was hosted by Buqo — the Philippines’ #1 digital bookstore.

And from the moment I signed up, I knew it’d be perfect for me!

Why? Everything just fell into place. 🙂

First, I’ve been a reader of Mina‘s books even before I found out about her class, so I was thrilled to be learning from one of the country’s finest authors (aside from being published the traditional way, she’s also a self-publisher!). And yes, I’ve had the privilege of having my copies of her books signed! Thanks, Mina!!! 😀

Second, I love reading Young Adult (YA) stories — especially if there’s a love story involved! And guess what? The #buqoYA class required us to produce a story that is under YA (the category) and romance (the genre). I even got assigned to the trope I wanted: #FTMTF. Woohoo! (But that’s for you to find out once you read my story! Hehehe!)

Next, I, myself, am a Buqo user! I first discovered it during last year’s Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) and since then, I’ve been a convert — of e-book/digital reading that is! Haha! But seriously, what I love about Buqo is that it’s “a digital bookstore, newsstand, and reader” all rolled into one! It mostly offers local publications (so many great local book and magazine titles to choose from!), so think of it as the local version of Amazon‘s Kindle app. I’m actually currently subscribed to the digital version of Cosmopolitan Philippines, and I also get to buy other local books and magazines without the hassle of leaving my house and looking for a place to store them — all thanks to Buqo! 😉 So to start your Buqo reading adventure, download the app on your Android or iOS device, or simply visit their site HERE. (If you want to read my story, Buqo is where you’ll first find it… SOON!)

Last but definitely not the least, the #buqoYA writing class by the Mina V. Esguerra was perfect for me because of the most obvious reason: I finally got the chance of being closer to my dream of writing a book and actually publishing it! To give you an idea, I’m writing a novella. 🙂

Trivia: A story is considered a novel if it has at least 40,000 words (at least!). A novella if it has around 15,000 to 39,999 words. A short story if it has 14,999 words or less. Or something like that.

Also, I’m going the indie route since I’m the publisher of my book (not to be confused with my would-be first e-book distributor, Buqo). But hey, of course I’m not closing doors to the traditional way (hello, publishing companies!) but for now, I’d like to have overall control of it.

So much control that I’m not even done with the story yet! Toink! =))

Kidding aside, yes, I’m still in the process of finishing my story, but I promise that it’ll see the light of day THIS YEAR! It’ll be available in e-book format first, then in paperback… Yeah! THIS. IS. REALLY. IT!

But since mine is still in the works, I’d like to ask you to please also support my classmates who are already done with their stories. Theirs will be available by April (I think), but I’ll be sure to spread the word here or through my other social media accounts. I’m counting on yah, guys!!! 🙂

#buqoYA class of 2015 :)) (photo courtesy of Buqo's Facebook page)

#buqoYA class of 2015 :)) (photo courtesy of Buqo’s Facebook page)

All in all, I can say that my #buqoYA writing experience is a success! 🙂 Sure, I may not be done with the actual novella yet (for personal reasons I’m not comfortable disclosing to the public for now), but it definitely has taught me A LOT OF THINGS! From learning the different romance tropes to self-publishing, meeting people who have the same passion, to brushing elbows with those who already have success stories to tell when it comes to creative entrepreneurship, I owe all those to this class!

But most of all, this experience taught me this: that I. CAN. DO. IT! And you know, just having the guts to finally start one of my lifelong dreams is already success for me! Besides, I believe for a fact that for wordsmiths like me who live, breathe, and bleed THE WRITTEN WORD, there’s nothing more affirming than knowing that we’re all writing our way to our own success stories!

Oh yeah!!! ❤

If you’re one of my #buqoYA classmates,
what’s your takeaway from this entire experience?

And if you’re one of my blog readers,
I want to ask you now how many copies of my future novella will you order?
Hahaha! Kidding… not. =))