UJ Almocera is a blogger based in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay, located at the western part of Mindanao Island, Philippines. He works for the local government unit of the city's municipality as a consultant for ongoing flagship programs. New in traveling, UJ's blog is just on its second year with articles mostly of tourist spots in the region.
He writes my articles to guide travellers who come to visit the Philippines since there aren’t so many articles that can guide them. UJ says he's an advocate of Community Based Eco-Tourism (CBET) which aims to develop tourist spots through community empowerment and environmental protection.
He admits he is a heavy packer - he believes that redundancy pays well. He considers his outfit as an integral part of the photographs he takes that is why he needs a bag that can carry all his clothes, gadgets, and toiletries.
What's usually in your carry-on?
Clothes, laptop, gadgets, chargers, and accessories are usually on my carry-on. I have small pouches inside my bag where I put small items such as my toiletries. Power is very important for someone like me who cannot disconnect from the internet, I keep my gadgets charged, bring extra batteries, organize my wires and keep my tiny gadget essentials with me in organized bags. I am an advocate for the prevention of HIV/AIDS, I make sure that I bring a condom with me just incase someone would need it.
Tell us about the usual type of clothes you bring when traveling?
I plan my wardrobe carefully when I am on a trip. Bringing extra clothes can really help specially if there are spontaneous events that I get invited to. My clothes are usually cotton shirts and dri-fit tanks that I match with the destinations in my itinerary. My luggage can get extra heavy every time I extend my business trips and go backpacking.
What's the best packing tip anyone has given you? Who gave it?
Always bring a dry bag specially if you are on an island trip. The bag will keep your gadgets and other important things dry. I was given a dry bag as a gift by a group of backpackers that I helped tour around our region and I never leave home without it.
What is the best thing about packing light/heavy?
The best thing about packing heavy is that you have extra clothes with you and you have more options depending on your activities. Always bring the essentials such as a quick drying top for hot weather and a fleece jacket for cold bus rides.
How does your packing for a travel routine look like?
I do my laundry four days before my trip to ensure that I have fresh clothes and I can keep the clothes that I need for the trip. The night before my trip, I lay everything on my bed or on the floor, check them one by one, and put them in small pouches according to their kind. I do not roll my clothes because the cube shape of Cabinzero backpacks is perfect for folded clothes.
How do you deal with "excess baggage" situations?
Honestly speaking, I never had an excess baggage situation. I plan my trip meticulously and the things I need. I try carrying my things at home and make sure that my wallet, cellphone, and handkerchief are easily accessible. My trips are always on a tight budget.
What's your best-kept packing secret?
Compartmentalize! It’s unavoidable to bring liquids such as sunscreen and other toiletries. Always secure in a plastic container to avoid messing your bag if they leak. Chargers and other electronics go in one pouch, keep your wallet, phone, and handkerchief accessible. Plan your clothes ahead so that you won’t need to.
Photo Credit: @ujalmocera
- Favourite region? Western Mindanao
- Favourite country? Philippines
- Favourite city? Zamboanga City
- Favourite beach? Gubat, Sorsogon
- Favourite food? Seafood!
- Favourite mode of transpo? Jeepneys!
- Favourite book? The Alchemist
- Window or aisle seat? Aisle
- Carry-on or check-in? Carry-on
- Hostel or hotel? Hostel
- What's your favourite design from the Cabin Zero collection? Urban!!
You can follow UJ's adventures on his Instagram, @ujalmocera.