The first time I heard about this guy was from a friend who couldn’t stop talking about him. Karan always tells me, “Kilala mo si Potpot?” (Do you know Potpot?), to which I’d say, “no.” She would then proceed on telling me a story about something that he did or something that he said and I tell you they are always funny. Before long, I’ve grown a curiosity about who this Potpot person is and why does my friend love him to pieces. Eventually, I had a chance to meet him, start reading his blog, and have become an instant fan. Potpot is a traveler and a writer and if you care to hear my opinion, he is one of the best there is.
And I am happy that he agreed to be featured in my blog. So ladies and gents, I present to you the man behind Travel Trilogy. Here’s Potpot, the star of our November Travel Bug series.
First, tell us some things about you
Friends & colleagues call me Potpot & I just love the way it is. The last person who asked for my real name was hung upside down. I try to live in Manila but if given a brighter opportunity, I would love to go back to my hometown in Iligan.
I am a travel writer. But it doesn’t pay the bills so I make ends meet by doing all sorts of part-time jobs like marketing consultancy, events management, even writing collection notices, & death threats.
Why do you travel and why do you love it?
I don’t travel to find myself, that’s cheesy. That Book & That Movie is the biggest travel illusion. I travel for sensory explosions — the fleeting sights, the myriad of colors, the gustatory spin, and the experience of being anonymous. I travel to shake your hands.
When did you discover the joys of traveling?
I have been traveling solo since I was 9 years old. Since then my parents gave up on me.
What inspired you to start your travel blog, Travel Trilogy?
It started as a sewerage of my toxic life in the corporate world. It was really trashy. Then I realized that I could use it as a therapeutic exercise for my brain — the happiest departure from eating excel sheets, reading graphs, & analyzing trends everyday.
What are the challenges that you met along the way when it comes to blogging and how did you deal with them?
The battle whether to write for Google or to use my own writing voice has always been my greatest challenge. Writing is already a tough thing to do, let alone writing for searchability of content. I am still exploring various techniques —once any of my stories go viral, that would probably be it.
What are the things that you are looking for in your trips, which you deem as blog-post material?
Everything around us is blog-post worthy as long as you know how to write about it. It’s not always the rarity of things or experience that makes it a special material because even the mundane & ordinary can be turned into a stellar piece.
The challenge really lies in how you present the story with human interest factor. Of course, you need to have a creative style of writing to make all of these to happen.
Among all of your stories, which one do you think is your best one yet? Why?
Just don’t backread the ones I have written a few years back, otherwise I find the recent ones easy to read. It’s really hard to pick the best ones because every material is an attempt to improve from the previous article. But if you really want to juice me with a sample, read my short Facebook shout outs — that’s a caboodle of hot-off-the-brain, tongue-lashing antics.
Do you like to travel solo or with a group?
I hate dramas. SOLO.
Out of the places you’ve been to, which one is most memorable and why?
I always make memorable moments in all of my trips. It is a conscious effort to make it all worthy. But probably, dancing on the streets of Paris for money or almost getting married in The Netherlands would join the rank of my top unforgettables. [Read: My Favorite Places in the Philippines]
What are your travel must-haves?
Smartphone, sarong/malong, skimpy shorts, cotton buds, toothbrush, cigarettes, & 3-in-1 coffee.
What is the scariest thing that ever happened to you while traveling?
When I got caught in the most unimaginable waves off the coast of Palaui Island at the height of the northeasterly winds. Boy, my balls were up my throat! [Read: Palaui Island: Your Untitled Piece of Theatre]
What is the best thing that you learned from traveling?
That Eat Pray Love is not true. That there’s nothing chivalric about traveling. That it doesn’t heal wounds. That travel one-night stands are differently beautiful. That you have a lot of bills to settle when you come home. That there’s no difference between a traveler & a tourist.
What is your ultimate dream destination?
To do the trans-Siberian journey. After that, I would probably retire from traveling. Oh, wait let me think it again.
What is your non-negotiable term when traveling?
Not to try at least one local food. I am a yummyeologist & it’s one of the reasons why I keep on moving. My waistline says so.
What are the tips that you can share with travelers who want to follow in your footsteps and dream about starting a travel blog of their own?
Many travelers cannot write. Many great writers do not have blogs. So if you know that you can’t write well, then don’t add up to the piling trash on the web. You have a responsibility to your readers too.
“I want to blog because I want to immortalize my journey through words & photos”, says the traveler. Facepalm! Didn’t you know dohlink that it just takes three fingers to press CTRL+ALT+DELETE?
Join Potpot in his travel adventures in his blog, Travel Trilogy.