Travel Buddy: Riza

RIZA graduated from the Asian Institute of Tourism of the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is one of the people I LOVE to travel with.. because she is like the scabbard for a “rusty” sword like me. Lol. She can magically cope up with my grumpiness and the urgency I feel everytime I am on a different place. And I love her skills of finding “good-deal” hotels.

1) Favourite destination so far:

Ha Noi. A place that holds a curious, fascinating blend of the present and the past, of the old and the new, and well, colors. Lots of colors. And their spring rolls! Love them to the bits.

Riza Ha Noi

Locally I’m especially in love with Sibale Island and Vigan.

2) Most memorable trip so far.

Exploring Bagan. Personally seeing the sun set over the sea of thousand-old monuments felt so, so surreal. What’s more, the trip to the province was not an easy one – bumps here and there (parang pa-Vigan lang, lels) and you definitely have to pack a lot of patience along with your open mind. It was all worth it in the end. So, so worth it.

Step up the experience by walking barefoot all throughout your little jaunt.

Riza Myanmar

3) Fave travel buddy/ies.

I don’t mind joining groups, or going with people I don’t personally know. But I’m the happiest when I’m traveling with my closest friend(s).

Riza Bangkok with friends

Riza Ha Noi 2

4) First thing you do when you are in a new place.

I pray. No joke. My favorite one is The Prayer to Your Guardian Angel—first taught to me in kindergarten. And then for sure I’ll be hungry by then (uh, I eat like a man, they say) so first stop should be a restaurant or some sort. Much better if it’s a diner offering a local cuisine. 🙂

Riza Food

5) Top pick for dream travel.

Can I make it “top picks”? Lol. Internationally? Prague, Maldives’ Vaadhoo Island (the glowing beach!) and Machu Picchu. Included in my bucket list too, are Batanes and Lake Sebu in South Cotabato.

Prague Jurys Inn Photo
Photo from Jurys Inn.
Machu Picchu Superbwallpapers Photo
Photo from Superbwallpapers.

6) What interests you in your travels?

I love colors, so definitely local festivities will be on the top of my list. Actually I’m trying to make it a habit of coinciding my visits with local celebrations, which I believe are great opportunities for travelers to witness authentic culture and to take part with long-standing traditions. Natives do tend to showcase the best of their crafts during these periods, too. You just have to be prepared mingling around with a swarming number of tourists like you.

Riza Fests

7) Where do you plan to go next and what do you want to do on that trip?

I’ve got a few listed down for this year but what I’m really looking forward to is my Batanes trip this August. I would like to go biking around the town and around the green rolling hills, among other things.


8) What can you say about traveling?

Wise men say–it is when you lose yourself that you actually find yourself. Traveling, it takes away the sense of familiarity and forces you to really go out of your comfort zone. And no, I haven’t found what I’m looking for.

Riza PintoRiza Hello Kitty


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