about me

Hello! My name is Aika and I’m an alcoholic. No, more like a blogaholic. This is one (yet again) of the many many blogs I’ve set up since I learned how to use a computer. I hope this one sticks.

I was born in Surigao del Sur, a province in Mindanao, southern Philippines. I came to Manila in 2003 to attend university and I haven’t left since. These days I work as an online research and data entry specialist. In my free time, I do my hobbies.

In my twenties I told myself I wanted a job that would allow me to do things that I love doing. I didn’t know exactly what this specific dream job was or these other beloved things I wanted to do. All I knew was that I never wanted to be poor again. I wanted to experience the finer things in life, mostly coming from a place of deprivation. I wanted to read books at my leisure, to travel with earnest curiosity because I haven’t been anywhere, really. I did not get this specific, mythical dream job. No. But strangely, I actually got what I wanted in a way—work and freedom. It’s not exactly the dream but, all things considered, it’s eerily close. You know the famous saying about this, right? You get what you wish for deserve? Or something along those lines.

I love books, sweets and carbohydrates, stand-up comedy, longform essays, Raffy Tulfo, and photography. I mean I watch the damn show almost every day (with shame yes, though these days I’m sick of it already. Thank God). I enjoy spending time with like-minded people, having longwinded conversations and laughing like I’m paid to do it. My idea of a perfect day is a free day, no agenda and lots of free time to putter around. Or maybe a day at the beach, or any kind of travel with lots of eating and talking, preferably with a loved one or a friend. (I never understood the pleasure of solo travel. I need to talk to someone about the beautiful mountain, okay!)

This blog was initially called Hello Ot, a tribute to this idea of a community of friends. Well, that didn’t pan out. No one really got the “ot” reference. It turned out to be too personal, too colloquial. “Ot” means “maot” or “ugly” in Cebuano, my native language. It’s a term of endearment that my friends and I use to fondly call each other. So, so much for Hello Ot. I’m changing it to simply my name.

So now this site is a dedicated journal, mostly food, cookbooks, photography, and personal stories (or rants, really). So why read this blog? I don’t know. I really don’t. Someday I just want to look back and say to myself that I took stock of things, maybe in thought, in writing, in photos, in stories. Something. Anything.

Welcome to this very personal website! I love you already.