Rina Diane Caballar

Rina Diane Caballar

I'm a freelance writer for hire.

I write about culture, food, travel, lifestyle, and women's issues. I also do content marketing for travel pubs and hotels. I have a background in tech and academia.

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Toa heftiba 257403 article

What the Philippines can teach us about giving

"But pasalubong is more than simply a souvenir or gift, with layers of meaning and ritual lying behind the word."

Bracelets article

Is the Philippines really the best country for female social ...

"Combined support from academia, the state and the private sector is likely needed to enable social enterprises to expand and strengthen their role in supporting women."

Blue 88315 960 720 article
The Atlantic

Three Millennia of Safety Pins

"The safety pin’s origins as a fibula highlight class differences, but its current use to signify solidarity emphasizes support for marginalized communities. The safety pin has always offered a way to hold clothing together. Now it transcends that utility, promising to hold people together too."

Rain article

The devastating aftermath of the nameless Louisiana floods proves that naming storms increases awareness, speeds recovery, and saves lives

"As evidenced by what has been carried out in different areas of the world, using names for natural weather events helps citizens, the media, and the government prepare, respond and recover. Naming natural weather events can be a solution to lessen the destructive effects of meteorological catastrophes—but it has to be done responsibly and by the right bodies for the right reasons."

Woman crossing article

How Manila Is Making Streets Safer for Women

"These incidents have not gone unnoticed as lawmakers and city officials are starting to take action to make women feel safer on the streets. Quezon City, the largest and most populous city in Metro Manila, revised its Gender and Development Code on May 16 to include penalties for sexual harassment of women in public spaces."

Jazmin quaynor 35847 article
Fresh Cup Magazine

Café Crossroads: Commune Café and Bar

"Coffee shops like Commune provide an opportunity for Filipinos to broaden their taste buds and embrace the specialty coffee movement."

Kriselle marian gueco 85055 article

Manila: A City Full of Life

"As the capital city of the Philippines, Manila welcomes you with open arms and the signature warmth of Filipino hospitality. Its hustle and bustle keeps you on your toes and makes you feel more alive than ever. It’s a city that never sleeps, with an energy so contagious it brings out the life in you."

Brother and sister article

Bringing Up Brother

"I worry about him—I will for as long as we both live—but I’m also learning how to let him go a little. If this is what it’s like to have loved and raised a child, I know I’m fortunate to have experienced it. For now, though, I’m still learning what it means to live my life for me."

275098182 66abf39925 o article

How to Make Polvoron: Growing Up With a Mother Overseas

"Making polvoron was as much a part of my childhood as Mama’s absence was. It was a tradition, then a rite of passage made more poignant by my mother’s brief visits home. With each return came the knowledge of a new step in the polvoron process, and with each new step came the promise of my mother’s permanent return – her homecoming."

Father daughter liane metzler article

How Cancer Brought My Family Closer Together

"My life is intricately tied to my father. For every day that I am alive, so is he. It’s not only because his blood runs through my veins or because we have the same chocolate brown skin. It’s because, on my 27th birthday, my father got a second chance at life."

Pan de sal eggs butter article

Remembering Sweet Bread and Salty Butter Far From Home

"Back in Manila, pan de sal are often part of my weekend breakfasts. After all, those soft and crumbly bread rolls are the quintessential breakfast bread of the Philippines. But for me, pan de sal will always remind me of my father, and my home."

Drinks article

How We Drink in the Philippines

"Even though they belong to everyday experiences like drinking with friends, customs like tagay and kampay affect us profoundly. The simple acts of having a designated pourer, of drinking from a single glass, of toasting, bring us together."

Sapin sapin edited article

5 Sticky Rice Delicacies to Try in the Philippines

"Sapin is a Filipino word which means “layer” and is an apt name for this three-layer rice cake made of steamed glutinous rice mixed with coconut milk. Each layer has its own flavor and color: purple yam for the top purple layer, coconut milk for the middle white layer and jackfruit for the bottom yellow layer. Sapin-sapin is topped with latik, a desiccated coconut reduction cooked until brown, which gives it added crunch and texture."


What It’s Like to Be the Daughter of a Foreign Worker

“They did not realize, however, that being a foreign worker is difficult. It entails a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Instead of being there and taking care of her family, my mother was taking care of other people. She missed birthdays and holidays. She missed milestones. She was on her own in a foreign land, worrying about her family, feeling guilty for leaving them. She was alone, and the loneliness was palpable.”

Coron article

The Philippines' 5 Most Romantic Islands

"Our trip to Coron, part of Busuanga Island in Palawan, was memorable for lots of reasons. We climbed more than 700 steps to reach the summit of Mount Tapyas, where stunning views of the surrounding islands more than made up for the tiring uphill journey. We visited Kayangan Lake, often called the cleanest lake in Asia, and were amazed by its crystal clear waters surrounded by limestone formations. We went island hopping on a banca, or outrigger boat, stopping by different beaches for a quick swim. And on our last day, my husband proposed."