My mother taught me best what home means — teaching me Tagalog growing up in Manila.

I’ve been on a journey of being a global nomad for almost 4 years now. I have experienced changes in myself that were predictable and expected. Then, there were these changes that happened unexpectedly.

My mother tongue is Tagalog — the official language of my birth country, the Philippines. When I moved to the U.S. at the age of 13, that all changed. English replaced Tagalog as my primary language of use — even in my thoughts which once were spoken in Tagalog were now happening in my head in English. This is the assimilation process for an immigrant. …


I want to thank my parents for the sacrifices they made coming to the U.S. as immigrants from the Philippines. I was lucky to be young enough at the age of 13 when I came to America — which allowed me to assimilate and adopt the U.S. ways and culture more easily for my own self preservation as an immigrant and a brown woman in a country that has been historically hostile towards Asians. I also wish to thank my brothers who sacrificed their dreams and aspirations so they can help contribute financially so our family could survive. …


I woke up this morning to another horrific news to add to the pile of incidents that have been happening in the U.S. involving the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. On the evening of March 16, 2021, eight people were killed at three massage parlors in Atlanta, Georgia — six of whom were of Asian descent. This is just one of the many violent incidents that have occurred in the past year targeting the AAPI community. A strong hatred towards the AAPI communities nationwide has been spreading since the start of the pandemic a year ago. This hatred emanated…


Freedom is a collective state of being in Mongolia.

I have often grappled with the notion of loyalty especially in the current situation in the U.S. where one’s identity has become the crux of the country’s identity in a collective sense. My identity as an American as perceived by outsiders has always been at odds with how I truly see myself. Defined by my passport as a U.S. citizen, my sense of self contradicts that by living and feeling more like a global citizen.

I think in this day and age, we owe it to ourselves to push the boundaries of how we view ourselves in contrast to the…


I have to warn you that the next few statements I will be making will not in anyway make you feel elated or romantic about traveling. In fact, my next few statements may cause you to feel uncomfortable on top of the ongoing anxiety that you may feel about not being able to travel internationally for a year now due to the pandemic. But eventually, I hope you feel the fire and drive to be an instrument of change.

It is never my intent to bring an alternate view on tourism for the sake of an argument or to merely…


When money is the bottom line in the trekking tourism industry, the creation of equitable working conditions will rely mainly on the tourists who hire and pay tour operators. As such, it is vital for tourists to act on their roles as advocates to demand fair and equitable treatment of porters in the three biggest trekking tourism industries in the world: Peru, Nepal and Tanzania. Porters continue to face poor working conditions that at times constitute abuse and exploitation on the mountain trails. Whether you are trekking on the Inca trail, Everest Base Camp or Kilimanjaro, it is up to…


Writer’s Note: This article was first published in 2018 via www.browngaltrekker.com

First, let me give you the disclaimer:

I’m in no way an expert on human behavior and psychology when it comes to the ideal manner of being an ally on the issue of diversity, equity and inclusion. The following comments are suggested approaches towards becoming an effective and authentic ally to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the outdoor industry based on my twenty plus years of dealing with DEI in another industry (legal) that has been historically devoid of diversity, equity and inclusion. …


In Mongolia’s Altai Region

Writer’s note: This article was first published in 2018 via my media site, Brown Gal Trekker.

When I first arrived in the U.S. at the age of 13, I walked into the classroom at the one and only American high school that I attended in Auburn, Washington as a new student. It didn’t take long for the white students to make fun of my accent or the fact that I came over to America from the Philippines. As an immigrant, it was traumatic enough to uproot myself from my home country. So, when these white kids persisted in criticizing the…


In Peru’s Andes Mountains.

My parents never encouraged me to dream. My dream of becoming a school teacher took shape in the form of role playing secretly inside my bedroom on uneventful days in our home in Manila. They never entertained the possibility of following my creative pursuits in the name of aligning with my truest desires. Hence, I kept my dream of partaking in the field of arts as merely a form of a hobby, singing at music competitions and occasional karaoke sessions with friends.

As an immigrant child, I was expected to take advantage of the new life we had in America…


I have experienced the darkest of skies with you.

Your infliction of pain drawn from your own suffering to which I was never privy to.

No matter my place or identity in this world, you were my worse critic.

And in the toughest moments of my life, I never once uttered a word of my hurt to you…

Because you were the enemy I never wanted.

The enemy born from within.

The world saw us as mother and daughter.

But I saw you as the demon inside of me.

When I look in the mirror, I see nothing but a…

Brown Gal Trekker

Human rights & JEDI advocate, social entrepreneur, writer & a global mountain nomad. www.browngaltrekker.com & www.theportervoicecollective.org

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