Monday, February 20, 2012

A blob of quicksilver called Gringo

Austistic or artistic, I can either be both says Filipino backpacker Gringo Benedicto.

A man of disarming contradictions, the twenty-something Bacolod-based photographer and painter (who also dabbles in acting and has appeared in indie films and music video) finished Culinary Arts at the University of St. La Salle. I studied culinary arts so I can deal with cravings, he enthuses.

"I am usually up for anything fun as long as time, money and mortality allow it." --Gringo

Gringo the man-about-town has traveled to Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States. As an active member in the couchsurfing (CS) community, he has been hosting couchsurfers since 2007 and having a blast at it. I was hosted by him once during the Masskara Festival and I’d have to say that he does it with a confident dash of a topnotch host.

10 questions. chanced upon the blob of quicksilver that is Gringo for this interview. Let's get started:

      1. Do you like Jerry or Tom?

      2. Who would win a battle between a ninja and a pirate?
If it's a drinking battle, I think the Pirates win. But the ninjas got some sneaky tricks up their sleeves too.

      3. Tell me how uniquely crazy are you as a person?
I've slept in a dumpster once.

"Funky" experience, wasn't it?

      4. Now, tell me about your recent traveling experience. 
Early this year. I braved the harsh weather climbing Mt. Kinabalu (4,009 m.).

Any epiphanies?
... that photos can never ever convey the magnificence of Mother Nature.

5.       What are some of the looniest things you’ve done while on the road?
I sat on a hill on a beautiful breezy Sunday afternoon watching goats poop.

6.       What are the back stories of each of your tattoos?
I designed my first tattoo, tribal stuff, doesn't really mean anything.  My second tattoo is a turtle (that looks like a flower according to some people) chosen upon impulse browsing through a tattoo book in Tonsai Beach in Krabi. Well, a turtle travels to the farthest of places but still knows its way home. So, something cheesy like that. The third tattoo I have is Jesus and the two dudes being crucified (tattooed in Cambodia). I found the design on google images. Just recently, I got my fourth one inked on my left shin. It’s a picture of a Filipino head hunter. I'm usually very impulsive with my tattoos so no significant back story really.

7.       What are the talents or skills you have that will come in handy while you travel?
The art of doing nothing has become very handy.  (Editor's note: he cooks well and his chilli dynamite dish is a bomb!)

8.       What are the top three places in your bucket list?
Antarctica. Jamaica. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

9.       And your philosophy in life is?
1. LOVE.
2. Forgive.
3. Try not to quit.
4. Appreciate the simple things.
5. Look on the bright side.
6. Smile.
7. Laugh.
8. Don't hate, congratulate.
9. Believe in something.
10. Have FUN.

10.   What qualities do you feel a global Pinoy traveler should have?
A sense of humor.

"I laugh easily: at you, at myself, at strangers. We all should." --Gringo

I am up for the thrill, the distance, the bizarre, the mystery, he added. Looks like there's no sign of slowing down anytime soon for this thrill-seeking Pinoy traveler. 

Catch Gringo at where he blogs about his travels. His artworks can be accessed here. 

*You've just read 10 questions: Happy Mondays playpool, first of a series of features on discerning and inspiring (and of course uniquely crazy) Filipino travelers. If you know of somebody who fits the profile to a T, please shoot a message at

all photos courtesy: Gringo Benedicto


  1. great interview and an inspiring one. I loved the photos you took Gringo. Inspiring indeed.

    Relaxed interview too.

    1. thanks doki wends. be more inspired. happy journeys to you :D

  2. Once met him in a press convention in USLS-Bacolod (college) years ago. Yeah, he always had this feisty vibe going on in him. Funny guy.

    1. cool! to the uniquely crazy people, cheers!

  3. OMG I KNOW HIM FROM SCHOOL (but he doesn't know me).

    I think he ran for a position in the student council sa DLSU? TAPAT? Anyhoo. He was one of my crushes. Still lookin fine, I see. LOLOLOL.

    Hello Gringo (if you're reading this)!!! Wahaha.


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