BlauEarth turns 9


Thank you to each and everyone who has been a part of BlauEarth since day one! The blog is exactly 9 years old today!

To all that have read a post or scrolled up or down this maze of slipshod stories reflecting the capricious moods of the author, my heartfelt thanks, and hoping you’ll be around for more of my adventures in Los Angeles, or in Ilocos, or anywhere else in this frigging awesome world.


I still do and enjoy the same things, like in this post, I rode the Metro, went to random places like the Hammer Museum of UCLA, and walked through a block of fresh produce and social enterprise goods (benefiting  the marginalized like former gang members) at the Westwood Village Farmers Market, open only on Thursdays (12-6PM), before hopping the bus, again, to an extremely fashionable neighborhood for the previous post.

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Here, buying my favorite diet food. Beet me up!

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Admission to the Hammer Museum is free. It also has a theater. A lot of private Hollywood events happen there as well.


Van Gogh’s 1889 Hospital at Saint-Rémy  where he voluntarily went in for recurring mental illness.

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Again, it’s been wonderful sharing my discoveries and snippets of my daily life with you.

Tina Tan


Edmaration vs BlauEarth | Make empanada, not war

Vigan Empanada

Opposite poles attract, I hit it off right away with Edmar Guquib, the blogger from Vigan, Ilocos Sur. We had the honor to tape (guest) for FoodPrints with Chef Sandy Daza in Ilocos Sur (still to be aired this May on the Lifestyle Network). Of course, an Ilocos Sur experience is not the same without the Vigan empanada, just like Ilocos Norte is not complete without the Batac, or Laoag, empanada. According to Bigueños, the yellow Vigan empanada traces its roots to tacos, introduced by the Mexicans during the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade, while the Batac empanada, according to Nana Glory Cocson of Glory’s Empanada, her very own empanada creation inspired all the other orange empanandas in Ilocos Norte. Edmar and I both agree, each empanada is different from the other.

FoodPrints Ilocos Sur BTS

BlauEarth deconstructs Edmar Guquib aka Edmaration.

What is Edmaration all about?
Edmaration is a fusion for Edmar and admiration, a name coined by an old friend of mine when I was in college. I thought the name is cool and unique, so I used it to watermark my then photos uploaded on the now defunct social networking site Friendster. College friends started to call me Edmaration. I also used it to name my first ever blog, Edmaration. No longer about my college life, the name Edmaration is all about my blog now. Everytime people call me Edmaration, they are referring to the blogger in me and the blog they read. Edmaration is a travel blog I created to pen down my first motorbike adventures with my brother. However, I discovered later on that travel is a very broad realm, so it was hard to ignore the other wonderful experiences traveling could give like culture, heritage, food and people to name a few. Through Edmaration, I am able to share my stories, insights and my take on anything related to traveling.

What do you do apart from blogging?
I am a full-time nurse assigned to the Emergency Room and Outpatient Department. I also work in the Operating Room though it is not a part of my official designation. If I’m not in the hospital, you’ll see me singing videoke, traveling leisurely or eating empanada in Plaza Burgos.

Vigan empanada and okoy

I’m also a nurse. You’re The Town Explorer, how many miles have you traveled on your bike?
I measure qualitatively how far I’ve traveled. The travel memorabilia and souvenir shirts in my closet, as well as the scars, sun burn and skin abrasions I’ve earned show how far I’ve traveled in the name of adventure. The countless memories and thousands of photographs I’ve taken remind me that I’ve walked, trekked, ran, hiked, flew, sailed and road-tripped far and beyond.

How often do you post?
I don’t maintain a regular set of posts within a time period. There were months that I can publish 13-16 entries in 4 weeks time. Sometimes I don’t write at all. October 2014 to February 2015 was a major blogging hiatus of mine when I didn’t publish new articles due to personal reasons. However, I’m more than happy that I’m back in the blogosphere and I am aiming to post a minimum of two articles weekly. So help me God.

FoodPrints Ilocos Sur BTSFoodPrints Ilocos Sur with Chef Sandy Daza (photo with Edmaration)

Travel or food?
I consider travel to be very broad, so it can be narrowed down to subcategories. I don’t find traveling complete without trying and discovering the local food. It can represent a culture, a group of people or the destination itself.

Describe your hometown of Vigan
My hometown is indescribable. Though not perfect, it is a place that nurtures its citizens through culture and heritage, both the seen and the unseen. We Bigueños take pride in our culture and heritage. It is also culture and heritage that binds as together. While trying to preserve our heritage, the city, in return, has given us the opportunity to live, grow and succeed in a peaceful, culturally-rich community that stays strong and intact. The well-preserved ancestral houses are living testimonies that the citizens of Vigan care so much of the wisdom of our ancestors and the good values they wanted us and the next generations to have.

What to you is the best part of blogging?
The best part of blogging is when one day you wake up and your family, friends and your community are already very proud of you, regardless of your social status, and they realize you are a kickass blogger using your influence to spread hope, inspiration and… wait, uhm, world peace!

Selfie with Edmaration (photo by Edmaration)Lampong (photo by Ali Co-CallejaAt Calle Crisologo with Edmaration

FoodPrints BTS photos by Edmar Guquib, Alina Co-Calleja, Melanie de Leon and BlauEarth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

Spot Me In A Crowd


Hello, dear readers! For 5 years I thought it was cool to be the nameless blogger of BlauEarth. I regret not introducing myself properly in the beginning. Reports reached me that a crafty local female tour guide creates a whopper of a spiel to rope in unsuspecting visiting tourists in Ilocos Norte. The author of BlauEarth is the object of this fake’s folly. Though I am a trained ecoguide as well, I don’t do it for a living. I guide for FREE.

My name is Tina Tan. I’m not too young, neither am I too old. I smile a lot. I also laugh a lot. I can look serious when groping for Tagalog.

Please don’t be misguided. Keep safe, everyone.

*Artwork of Khervin Gallandez.

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014