Monday, March 5, 2012

the quintessential flashpacker named Hendri

Mention the word flashpacker and you have the image of a backpack and a hostel bunk bed with a Mac book. 

The last two years saw a new breed of travelers called flashpackers—backpackers with bigger budget and typically carry gadgets that marry style and function. Flashpackers stay in hostels but with their disposable income, they splurge extra to eat in real restaurants. 

One afternoon, in the mad rush between shows of the musical “Children’s Letters to God”, I pinned down quintessential flashpacker (also Cebu’s renowned theatre producer) Hendri Go for a quick, quirky and wacky interview. Hendri radiates with the energy of a little boy and clowns around between questions I throw at him. 

The BA Communication Arts graduate from De La Salle University-Taft has been in the forefront of Cebu’s theatre scene with LittleBoy Productions (LBP), a production company he established a decade ago. He has also done co-productions in Manila including the Asian premiere of Disney’s “High School Musical” with Ateneo Blue Repertory.

In this playpool interview, Hendri shares his favorite cities, travel tips and the real score about missing kidneys in India while sleeping on trains.  By the way, Hendri was one of the few people who helped me mapped out my first Southeast Asia backpacking trip a couple of years ago.

It’s an honor for playpool to have Hendrison Go. Let’s get started. Here’s the transcript of the interview.

 10 questions. 

1.       Cat or dog?

2.       Rice or noodles?

3.       Right-handed or left-handed?
I’m left handed. They say left handed people are creative.

4.       Tell me something about your recent trip to India.
I consider India to be my most challenging trip so far because that took around 5 weeks. I tried to explore as much as I could. I flew in to Delhi and flew out of Kerala, desert to sea (with ten cities in between, staying in one city for 2 to 3 days).  I took the bus and hopped on a train. It was an interesting time because it was Diwali (the festival of lights). India was in a festive mood.

I always thought that I should do India now while I’m young because it is challenging and it requires a certain frame of mind.

5.       In India, did you ever have the fear of one day waking up with one of your kidneys missing?  
No, surprisingly. When you go on a trip, don’t naman go really ultra-budget. My rule of thumb is do what the middle class do, take or eat and that’s what I do. That was very interesting because I took the second class cabin and I get to meet educated middle class Indians. They are quite open to conversations. In the cabin, you get to interact more with them.  For me, that was one of the pros of taking the train, you have more time to interact with the people.

Hendri in The Netherlands

6.       Do you travel alone or in a group?
I like traveling alone, generally. I don’t like following people around or people following me around. Although when I find the rare compatible travel partner, when interests are in sync, and you allow each other some private exploring time, I also enjoy traveling with others.

7.       What are your favorite places in the world?
1.       New York
2.       Cambodia
3.       Hongkong
4.       Portugal
5.       India

8.       What are your five travel essentials?
1.       comfortable footwear
2.       day pack
3.       quick-dry shirt in dark colors
4.       cellphone (on roaming)
5.       My Citibank ATM card because Citibank is the only bank that I know of in the Philippines where you can just withdraw money from any Citibank ATM or any bank affiliated with them. Citibank converts your peso into local currency without extra charges. No need to carry a lot of cash.

9.       What was the looniest thing you did while on the road?
When I missed my train in Bangkok, without thinking, I just hopped on a motorcycle (for hire) and asked the driver to bring me to the next station where I could catch the train. That was crazy! No planning. Dere-derecho lang. I didn’t even haggle how much. It was during those moments when I realized that there’s inherent kindness in people.

10.   Bucket list of the places you want to visit.
1.       South America (Brazil, Argentina and Chile)
2.       Galapagos Islands
3.       Bhutan

Hendri shares: "I prefer staying long enough to get to know one place really well. I like big, expensive cities and being naturally kuripot I have to justify saving on some things (transportation, accommodation, tours) to splurge on others (theater, food, books)."

 He enthuses “All my close friends are buang. I get along quite well with people who are crazy, unapologetic, and direct.”

There you have it,'s first poster boy for March. 

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

*all photos courtesy: Hendri Go

1 comment:

  1. You have a nice and cool photos, I enjoy reading your post. Thanks for sharing. I will keep come back to this site.

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