Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Traveling’

Would you watch a travel show hosted by these two?

March 21, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Projects, Television, Traveling 6 Comments →


Me and Pepe Diokno (With our advertising team Crizza and Mick at the back). Yes, it’s an odd combination, but in a good way or a bad way?

Looking for Kafka in Prague

January 27, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Places, Traveling 1 Comment →

It’s been 14 years since we went to Prague with our sister. We’re old. We saw a hotel called Metamorphosis. Cracked us up. Check in as a person, check out as a cockroach. It was snowing in late March. A man on the street sold us cheap tickets to the opera. Our seats were just below the ceiling and we froze our butts off. People were eating ice cream in the snow. It was supposed to make you feel warmer. Not true. We had an attic room in a pension—Airbnb had not yet been invented, so we found it on a site called Eurocheapo. Our first choice was a converted mental hospital turned Soviet torture chamber but someone had already booked it. Our landlord wore a different costume every day. It made him happy. A typical meal consisted of a slab of meat, breaded and fried with cheese, with an egg on top. That made us happy.

9 years, 9 stories: Travel, music, and world domination

September 27, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Music, Travel Diary: Turkey, Traveling, World Domination Update No Comments →

From 2013: Turkey Travel Diary, featuring some of the handsomest cats we’ve ever seen


From 2008: Sad, Sadder, Saddest, in which we wound up at a “Lost 80s” concert.

Either all the ticket-holders had already gone inside, or they were all late, because there were no queues of any sort. Ernie went up to some people standing by the flower beds and asked them if they needed tickets.

Sad: They all said, “Hindi kami manonood niyan (We’re not watching that),” with matching expressions of loathing.
Sadder: A woman glared at Ernie and said, “I already have tickets.” What she meant was, “Extra tickets to an 80s concert is a problem I don’t need.”
Saddest: Later, Grungella realized that they probably mistook Ernie for a scalper.
Positively funereal: Being mistaken for a scalper to A Flock Of Seagulls show.
Lugubrious: They literally could not give the tickets away!

World Domination
From 2012: Let’s Buy Spain. We can afford it, it would be our revenge for three centuries of colonial oppression, and we can call them our muchachos and muchachas.

Why you should care about travel insurance

September 20, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Traveling No Comments →

Train station, Budapest

Dear Ms. Zafra:

Based on your Affidavit of Loss your MacBook Air and cash was stolen when you fell asleep inside the train.

Premises considered, we regret to advise that we cannot act favorably on your claim as the policy covers loss of personal money due to robbery and loss of baggage/personal belongings covers in-flight only.

We trust you understand your position on this matter.

It was signed by a “Manager, Non-Motor Claims”.

Do they mean I had no right to make an insurance claim because I fell asleep, so I deserve to be robbed? Did my loss not qualify as a robbery because I was not threatened with weapons? Do they mean that the policy doesn’t cover train rides, only airline flights? And does their word processing program not have a spelling and grammar checker?

The second part of our column on travel insurance is now at InterAksyon. Read the first part here.

Travel insurance: What is it for?

September 14, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Places, Traveling 1 Comment →

Reuters photo of the jobless in Europe.

Whenever Filipinos apply for a Schengen visa, we are required to buy travel insurance. This way if we require medical care in a foreign land, we do not become a drain upon the state. However, the typical travel insurance policy also covers lost property and travel hassles. Most of us don’t pay attention to our travel insurance policy—it doesn’t cost much, and it’s just a pain we want to get out of the way so we can go to Europe.

Read our column at InterAksyon.

Biri, Samar: An otherworldly landscape at the edge of the sea

August 09, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Traveling 2 Comments →

All photos by Boboy Consunji.

We tend to think of Samar as a typhoon-stricken place, better known for natural calamities than tourism. But there is more to Samar than storms.


Fashion designer Dennis Lustico is from Bobon, Samar. Our friends James, Boboy and Ivar joined him on a recent visit to Samar. During the trip, he took them to Biri in Northern Samar.


To get to Biri, you take a 20-minute jeepney ride from Catarman airport to a town called Lavezares. Then you take a 45-minute motorboat ride to Biri.



The frequent storms have hewn the rock formations into strange, otherworldly shapes. You could film a science-fiction movie there.


Or any movie. Anyone seen Leviathan? It’s so familiar, it could’ve been set in the Philippines.


Or do a fashion shoot. If Ivar is channeling Audrey Hepburn at the Louvre in Funny Face, it is not working. Correction: He was channeling Linda Evangelista. Not working, either.