Kate was here. The fishing port at Sitio Macambong. Calamba Pretel has hourly ferries that can take you to Talim Island for about P40 a ride. There are no inns or homestays in the island, so unless you’re doing just the Mt. Tagapo hike, it’s best to have a friend who’s a resident of the island.

Have Lipstick, Will Travel

It’s been four years since I launched this travel and lifestyle blog. I must admit Kate Was Here wasn’t always on top of my to-do list because of my career as writer and editor. My training in traditional print journalism also made it difficult for me to embrace and transition to the blogging industry.

But as I slowly immersed myself in digital publishing, I learned how my fellow journalists found a balance between keen editorial standards and the fast-paced, selfie-centered world of blogging.

Welcome back to Kate Was Here—still my personal travel and lifestyle blog, but you’ll see changes and improvements as the remaining months of 2015 roll out:

1. Goodbye, kitsch. Hello, quirks! I renamed my monthly section, “Kitsch of the Month,” to “Quirk of the Month.” Like designer Betsey Johnson, I like using the word kitsch to mean whimsical and fun. But because its official mainstream definition is tacky, I found it nearly impossible to get my point across. Renaming this section to “quirks” made the job easier, and the message so much clearer. Now I can’t wait to share more of my quirky travel finds with you!

En route to Mt. Pulag, March 2015

2. More fashion and beauty. As a beauty editor, I’ve learned to find the balance between roughing it outdoors and keeping some style essentials. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to completely ditch vanity to enjoy the wilderness. Allow me to show you how to keep your lipstick game on while you travel—without turning into a high-maintenance diva and getting kicked out by your mountaineering group!

3. Interact with me! I’ve opened more ways to mingle with my readers and collaborate with like-minded brands and communities. Starting October, I’m giving away a prize to my “Subscriber of the Month.” Click here for more details. I also can’t wait to unveil collabs with travel and lifestyle brands.

Talim Island, September 27, 2015

Thank you to my loyal readers who have supported my journey and read my stories since I launched this blog in 2011, and to the new subscribers who have discovered Kate Was Here through other channels and the publications I work for.

Cheers to more travels—and your signature shade of lipstick!

Peace, love, and light,

September 28, 2015