For this week’s travel blogger interview we have Tin Zablan-Centeno, the lady behind the blog – StrayPusiket.com. I came to meet Tin through a mutual friend. After hearing about their (with her husband) amazing travel, I decided to get in touch with her for this interview.
She was very friendly and was kind enough to give her time for this week’s travel blogger spotlight interview. Without further a-do, let’s get to know Stray Pusiket a little more…
- What Makes You Love To Travel?
- What Made You (re)Start Blogging?
- What’s Your Favorite Post?
- What’s Your Memorable Trip?
- Have You Learn New Language?
- What’s The Funniest Incident in Your Travel?
- Favorite Local Food in Your Trips?
- Blog Monetization?
- What has travel taught you?
- Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travel bloggers?
What Makes You Love To Travel?
Can you tell us something about yourself? What makes you love to travel and wander?
I used to work in an IT firm (which helped me fund my travels) before I became a stay-at-home wife/cake decorator.
My husband and I took a break from major (aka every other month) traveling to focus our finances on our wedding but we are starting to get back on the road again.
Being a lakwatsera, as my family would tag me, I am not contented to just learn about other places in books or see them via the internet.
It is still best to experience them in person. Plus, I just enjoy living like the locals — eating their food, riding their public transportation, etc. even for just a short period of time.
What Made You (re)Start Blogging?
There’s a 3 year gap between 2007 and 2010 when you started to blog again. What was the reason for the hiatus and what made you start blogging again (about travel)?
Back in 2007, I wasn’t so familiar with “blogging”. Multiply was then the “in” thing. Almost all my photos of were posted there. I just made an account on blogger out of curiosity but never got to publish anything.
By 2008, I stumbled upon PinoyExchange while doing my research in preparation for our Hong Kong trip.
That was my first DIY travel so the tips I got from the members of that forum were really helpful.
And so after that successful trip, I became more active in those forums, particularly in the Hong Kong thread, and started sharing my experiences and tips to would be travelers.
I also started preparing travel itineraries for friends and relatives who were planning to visit Hong Kong and other countries I’ve been to.
In the years following that, I’ve visited more places and felt the need to take blogging seriously. I also realized I’ve collected enough stories to share with others.
Blogging was also a way for me to remember (and laughed at) the things that happened during my trips.
What’s Your Favorite Post?
What’s your favorite post you’ve published so far? What’s the one with most interaction/visits?
I do not have a favorite post because my experiences are different on every place I visit. And each trip was special to me.
The post which had a lot of interactions was our Magalawa Island Trip. It was my first beach camping trip and I was surprised that many people were interested to do that too.
What’s Your Memorable Trip?
What’s your most memorable travel? What makes it the best or why is it the best?
Most memorable would be our trip to Penang, Malaysia (2014). This is where my husband proposed to me.
Are you an active member of any travel blogger community (fb group, forums etc)?
Just PinoyExchange. I visit the site from time to time but I’m not as active now as I’m used to 7 years ago.
Have You Learn New Language?
From all those travels, were you able to learn new language/dialects?
Luckily, we survived every country we visited just by speaking in English and using hand signals. I only learn a few words whenever I visit a foreign country.
I tend to forget them anyway a few months after our trip.
A favorite among my friends was “Tandas” (Bahasa for restroom) which we normally see during our trip to Malaysia. So we use it in our tagalong conversations. “Tatandas lang ako”. “Punta lang ako sa Tandas.”
What’s The Funniest Incident in Your Travel?
What is the funniest incident you’ve had while traveling?
When we passed through a private property in Bagan, Myanmar and got caught by the owner (a Westerner).
She was fuming mad that she was pointing her fingers straight to my face while I was trying to apologize.
Upon realizing that we were tourists (we showed her our passports) and not Burmese locals from Yangon as she thought us to be, she suddenly became nice to us.
Scariest moment? What was the moment that happens that almost stopped you from traveling again?
None so far that stopped me from traveling.
Favorite Local Food in Your Trips?
Were you able to taste their local food? Any strange thing you ate that’s memorable? Which one did you like?
Yes. That’s what gets me excited the most when traveling. The strangest I’ve eaten so far was the pig blood’s cake in Taiwan. I love eating dinuguan and betamax (grilled pork blood) but the one I ate in Taiwan was just weird.
Probably because of the rice cake and crushed peanut on it. It was “UMAY” to the highest level.
Some of my favorites were the stinky tofu in Taiwan, hotpot from a street-side stall in Macau, roast pork and duck rice in Hongkong (at Café de Coral, yum) and of course Pad Thai!
Is there any particular place you’ve visited that you feel so at home that you were open in moving to that place?
I once thought of moving to Singapore, Hong Kong or Bangkok. These are the places that I’ve visited many times already and will visit over and over again.
What place is still on the top of your bucket list? Why would you want to go there?
Can it be a continent? I want to explore Europe. I want to experience traveling from one country to another by road.
Have you tried monetizing your blog? If yes, how? Advertising? Adsense? Affiliate?
I’ve tried Adsense before but I think making money from my blog is really not my priority.
Do you keep a list of the Philippine beaches that you’ve visited? What’s your favorite? If it’s not Boracay or Bohol or some other famous beach, can you share how to get there? (for our readers who wants to go there as well).
Boracay still tops my list of favorite beaches. I also love Banol Beach in Coron, Palawan and Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas.
What has travel taught you?
Everything doesn’t turn out according to your plan. I have had a lot of disappointments during my trips – when we were not able to see Borubudur in Yogyakarta because a volcano erupted on our second day, when we missed the sunset at U-Bein Bridge because there was a heavy traffic in Mandalay, Myanmar; when we went up the Peak Tower in Hong Kong and didn’t see the view because of the thick fog.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travel bloggers?
Take photos of the place, not your face. Haha.