By Mae Valdez
Marky Go, an alumnus of UST’s Mountaineering Club, is the fervent author of NomadicExperiences.com, now in its fifth year online. He has contributed to three local travel magazines under the name Marky “Ramone” Go in respect to one of his best loved bands. Salimbay’s Mae Valdez makes a tête-à-tête with Marky, eight questions into the life of the travel blogger.
AIT Salimbay (AS): When and how did you start blogging?
Marky Go (MG): I started sometime around 2007, but I’ve been blogging since 2003. I decided to write my travel experiences on a blog separate from my personal blog, this became Nomadic Experiences. Back then it was just for writing purposes and to update my cousins in the States about places I visit here.
Soon, travel opportunities became more often, and by 2009 I started taking it seriously. After a while, I got to meet other people who shared the same passion of traveling and writing. Thencame random messages coming from my social networking site from strangers telling me how they were inspired by my travel blog to pack their backpacks and head out on the road to discover more about our country.
AS: What places have you visited?
MG: I’m still far away from visiting all 80 provinces in the Philippines. I’m still in mid-40s but among my favorites were Palawan (Coron and El Nido), Sagada, Calaguas, the countryside of Sorsogon, and Southern Cebu. I love the food in Dumaguete and old churches in Isabela and Cagayan. The lakes in San Pablo Laguna, and the list goes on and on. Very rarely that I travel to a place and not like it instantly.
AS: Why do you travel?
MG: At the onset of my travel addiction, I looked at it as sort of running away from my boring life in the city. Later on I realized that to travel is to live and amass more wisdom and experiences and not to run away from something.
Now, I travel to gain more knowledge and understanding not only about myself but the world in general, of different cultures and religions, living conditions, lifestyle, traditions et all and to return to where I came from with much to share to others.
AS: Why is it more fun in the Philippines?
MG: It’s fun because we are blessed with a unique geographical formation. We are surrounded with seas and islands one could hop from one to another and three main lands with superb landscapes consisting of mountains, hills, endless fields with lakes, rivers and waterfalls in between.
There’s also charm in every town, brought upon by our many heritage places, the Spanish colonial Churches are always a thing of beauty, the architecture and all. The diversity that composes an over-all travel experience such as people, food, places, heritage, tradition and culture makes the Philippines truly a fun destination.
AS: Have you ever been involved in “Stealth Marketing”?
MG: It wasn’t really a marketing ploy to advertise a specific product, rather a special kind of tour that was sponsored so I and a number of bloggers could promote tourism destinations in the Soccskargen area (South Cotabato, Sarangganni, General Santos). I didn’t end up as biased with my travel narratives because I really enjoyed that trip. I met other travelers from Mindanao and afforded me a chance to change my perception of Cotabato—far from the war-weary image I had in mind into this scenic, quaint province filled with promise.
AS: What can you say about the article “Date a girl who travels”?
MG: Finding a girl is always a challenge and it requires more than a top 10 lists of different quality traits. That said, as a traveler I would also like to date a girl who loves to travel. The most important thing for me is for her to be adventurous not only in traveling but with other aspects in life. A risk-taker who won’t embrace material things but would rather invest in enriching our experiences together, whether through traveling or some other way.
AS: Your tips for aspiring travel bloggers
MG: Just enjoy what you are doing. Being a traveler should be the number one priority and blogging only as a secondary. Travel because you enjoy doing it, not because you need to publish a new post. Be generous in sharing your experiences to others, be mindful that some of your readers might not have any chance to explore different places before, so pour your heart in your writing so as to drive them to want that kind of experience for themselves also.
AS: Describe your writing style
MG: My writing style is based in simple narratives with some pop culture reference and quirky humor. I try to present my experience as fun as I’ve experienced it. Not everything in travel is a walk in the park, there are moments that will attack all your senses and as I try to approach it with positive vibe, I recount those experiences in a manner that will make the reader think, “Wow this is fun”. Sometimes I veer towards a profound way of writing because I, myself was drawn to that kind of writing style by the likes of Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson, in a way I’d like the readers to be inspired the same way.