Roadtrip: New England

Adobe Spark (5)

Before I tell the lengthy account of my week-long vacation, please enjoy the songs I loved from playing my song library during the trip!

I went on a roadtrip with my boyfriend. It was a good mix of nature and city. We went from Toronto to upstate New York to Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and, finally, New York City.

When it comes to lengthy roadtrips like this, it’s always advisable to get a second driver. You can cover more area and save energy for more activities if you can distribute the driving to more than 1 person.

If you know someone working at a hotel, ask whether you can get discounts as their relative or friend. Big hotel chains may have those kinds of benefits for their employees. Take advantage of it, especially when you’re going to a place like New York City. It’s a good place to pig out, and your hotel savings can open your wallet up to more food cravings, and gifts!

We didn’t really plan every little thing in this trip. We just decided to go away for a certain number of days and decided which spots to check out. We booked our hotel stays usually a night or two before we arrived at our destination. It usually freaks me out when there are no plans laid out. My boyfriend enjoys going with the flow. I now realize the value of his spontaneity. Vacations cannot be too regimented. There’s no specific time to enjoy yourself. You just have to enjoy now, wherever you are. Of course, this comes with the risk of spending more. But, this is why we save for vacations. Vacations are not the time to be uber-stingy. You can be thrifty but live a little.

There were times that really tried me during the trip. I have very high standards when it comes to toilets. One of the inns we stayed in at one of the small towns we visited gave me nightmares. I may be exaggerating but I clean my own washroom – a less than immaculate washroom irks me! That’s why I’m writing a paragraph about it. It offends me that I’m given a service as if I didn’t pay for it. We found a cheaper inn where the people were nicer and the place spotless, the following night. Thank the lawdddddd!

We wanted to set aside the biggest chunk of our budget in New York City. So, we ate a lot of turkey sandwiches from upstate NY to Rhode Island. We were amazed at how cheap ready-made food were. We were more amazed that fruit was very expensive. For a country that has plenty of arable land, this didn’t make sense. But, damn, I learnt to love turkey sandwiches. I’ve become an expert at making them. The recipe is easy: sourdough bread, hummus (preferably with tomato and basil), pepper jack cheese slices and turkey slices. The entire thing costs less than $10 and makes 4-6 sandwiches. Bring a water canteen with you. Buying bottled water can really become expensive. If you like your water cold, hotels have ice machines on each floor.

I’ll write about the New York City leg of our trip in the next post because NYC is an experience of its own.

We needed a vacation and we got what we needed. Traveling always gives one some perspective into the goings on in their life. There was a point in this trip where I started to miss Toronto. It’s not perfect here but I am proud to live in this city.

Coincidentally, this trip is the first trip I made as a Canadian. I am proud to bring that identity with me everywhere I go now. And I make sure that people think of us as good tourists. We signal before we turn or change lanes. We don’t litter nor spit. We don’t talk loudly because we don’t own the space. We treat locals kindly because it’s their home and we’re guests. We don’t trample on vegetation because ecosystems are fragile. I’m not writing these to brag. I’m writing these to remind fellow tourists that the places we visit are the places some people call home. Please respect their home.

Shoutout to the people of Vermont. Your towns are clean and you have good driving habits. Drivers in Vermont actually give way to emergency vehicles, and drive on the slow lane when they’re slow, fast lane when they’re fast. Plus, we like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Bernie Sanders. We also liked the double cheeseburger at Al’s French Frys in South Burlington.

And while you’re on the interstate roads, check for an IHOP nearby. The mozzarella sticks are worth the stop. Also, I’d like to mention the abundance of Dunkin Donuts branches during the trip. The last time I ate at a Dunkin, I was probably 16 or younger. It was such a 90’s thing to get doughnuts from Dunkin. Before we left the US, I had to get the munchkins. I know we have Timbits in Canada but my childhood can only identify with Dunkin Donuts munchkins. I’m usually an emotional mess when it comes to these things but I held myself together while eating a piece of little nostalgia.

We’ve done California before and it was a paradise. We have New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut (briefly) on our list now. The US is an exciting place, I must say. The terrain is varied across states and there’s all sorts of interesting things and people within those states worth discovering. I actually wanna experience the music scenes in Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans and Chicago next time. I’m always game for another roadtrip!


Zero Vol 2

Adobe Spark (3)Y’all know how I like dreaming up scenes for my playlists. This is an update to the Zero playlist. There’s no context for this. So, enjoy as you please.

xx Bessy

01. Call Me Up – HOMESHAKE
02. Pick Up – Bastien Keb
03. Sunrise – Cool Company
04. My Little Dream – James Kakande
05. And If We Could, We’d Say – Ephemerals
06. Johnny It’s The Last Time – Raveena
07. Too Good – Jo&Me
08. Lonely – Mac Ayres
09. Diddy Bop – Noname, Cam O’bi & Raury
10. We Ain’t Feeling Time – FKJ

Awesome Blogger Award!

Warning: This post will be heavily peppered with Tagalog.

Jolina girl, thanks for the nomination. Mabangis na kung mabangis ang taste sa indie music. Kaka-flatter, ‘kala ko ako lang may trip sa sarili kong playlists. HAHA.

1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
3. Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
4. Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.
5. Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.
6. Let your nominees know they’ve been nominated.

1. Excluding social media and blogging platforms, is there any other website that you constantly visit?
Yes, very rarely though. Almost everything I do online is connected to social media. But, if there’s one website that I really took a liking to all these years, it’s Project Gutenberg. It’s a collection of books for which copyrights have expired, meaning old but very much FREE books. Back in uni, I read a copy of Japanese Fairy Tales from here.

2. Let’s say I want to start a twee pop band. Raw guitar sound, anti-folkish vibe, and tamad-tamaran school of singing a la Zooey Deschanel – care to suggest a band name?
LOL at ‘tamad-tamaran school of singing.’ Twee pop like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart pero antifolk din like The Moldy Peaches. Then Zooey’s She&Him.


My Maudlin Career, after a song by Camera Obscura.

3. If I were to visit your city, would you meet up with me so we could make chika chika in person?
Yes, girl! DE-FI-NITE-LY. Let’s have mango lassi and make lakad through the trail or the rich people houses at Rosedale Valley. Or Distillery District to chibog-chibog while making lakad on cobblestone alleys.

4. Do you identify as a feminist? Why or why not?
I identify as one because I believe in the equality of opportunity and outcome for all sexes. I seriously think we can become a better society if these were available to everyone, cases in point: Scandinavian and Nordic countries.

5. Would you ever consider going vegetarian?
I have and I tried it for a week. I felt less bloated and I ate more often without feeling disgusted about myself afterwards. I should be vegetarian but BACON, salami, prosciutto, oysters and bangus.

6. What do you think about President Duterte’s term so far?
Biased ako girl ’cause I was raised in Davao City and I’m a proud Mindanaoan. I lived what he did for my city and I’m forever thankful. He’s more productive than other presidents, I’d say. Because of his ‘antics,’ we’re no longer an afterthought in international politics. Dati nahihiya ako every time previous administrations kissed US’s ass. Akala ko apathetic na tayong lahat pero, when he started campaigning, nakita ko na interesado pala talaga sa pagbabago ang mga Pilipino. Whether people agree with his politics or not, no one can deny that he initiated a lot of conversations around Filipino history and what that means for us now.

7. Favorite book?
I read nonfiction and poetry, mostly. I enjoyed reading The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind The Myth of The Scandinavian Utopia.

8. What’s the last song that got stuck in your head?
Rule My World by Kings of Convenience.

9. Do you ever get hit by a sudden feeling of loneliness? How do you deal with it?
Yes. I tell myself: ‘At the end of the day, we’re all alone. Start getting comfortable with it.’ It sounds depressing, I know, but it’s the truth. The best thing you can do with that truth is make peace with it.

10. Anything you want to achieve before the year ends?
Be a good, if not better, student. Ang expensive maging student tapos ‘di gagalingan. Sayang ang time and money, ‘di ba?

I can’t nominate anyone yet because I’m quite new here. Siguro pag matagal-tagal na ‘ko dito, I will.

Salamat sa nomination, Jolens.


Adobe Spark (1)I was a child in the 90’s. And apart from my love for Eurodance (or Eurotrash, depends on who you ask) and alternative, I loved the R&B of the day. It’s been 20 years – the 90’s is making a comeback. The songs in this playlist remind me of the slow jams of that era. It’s not baby-making territory but it’s fucking smooth.

Enjoy xx Bessy

01. Cure – Moonchild
02. Collect – Matthew Young
03. No Other Lover – The Flavr Blue
04. Dream Girl – Ivy Sole
05. Turn Me Down – Jess Connelly and LUSTBASS
06. Sober – Mahalia
07. The Ballad – Otis Junior and Dr Dundiff
08. Kendrick (Too Hot Outside Edit) – Anushka
09. Soon – Gelka and Ella May
10. Casual Encounters – James Tillman


Adobe Spark

The rapidly growing song library is making me anxious, so I have to make sense of it fast! I get annoyed when I listen to the radio and it’s very clear that the DJ didn’t do his job and just left all the playing to the shuffle button.

I’m curious about how you guys arrange or choose songs for your playlist.

For me, I associate it to a certain scene in my mind. It could just be me walking in a mall or my neighbourhood. Or it could be an imagined moment between two people. Sometimes, I associate it with the temperature outside or the weather itself. Is that weird?

For this playlist, I was thinking of a story of two young people running away. If it was romanticised, this is the sound I would probably associate with the part where they both realise that it was a bad idea.

I really don’t know. I’m just making this shit up along the way.

Enjoy xx Bessy

01. It Is What It Is – Blood Orange
02. Bedroom – Litany
03. Had To Let Me Go – Nite Jewel
04. China – Furns
05. Stupid Boy/Girl – Blond Ambition
06. Runaway – Julietta
07. Playing With Fire – Nick Leng
08. casanova. – Denitia and Sene
09. Further – TOPS
10. Different – Turbotito and Baby Alpaca

The Afterhours Vol 2

Adobe SparkIt’s been a while since I posted a playlist here. Life happened, A LOT.

This is an update to The Afterhours playlist. It’s perfect for going home after a night out or easing a heartache.

Enjoy xx Bessy

01. In Your Eyes – BadBadNotGood and Charlotte Day Wilson
02. Remember The Rain – Kadhja Bonet
03. Call Me – Joon Moon
04. Skyline – Izo FitzRoy
05. Heart of Grass – Silk Rhodes
06. September Rose – Cailin Russo
07. Bet She Looks Like You – Nick Hakim
08. Beautiful Little Fools – Jorja Smith
09. Dark Minnie – Sarah Chernoff
10. Don’t Run Into The Dark So Quick – Jon Bap