Meet John and Nelson of 2FrenchinManila.com

John Fisalbon is a French-Filipino living in Manila for 2 years. He came to the Philippines with his best friend named Nelson Jolivet. Both having the desire to travel around the country, they decided to stay in the Philippines and do travel videos that you can find their FB page.

John and Nelson of 2frenchinmanila in Zambales
John and Nelson of 2frenchinmanila in Zambales

Learn more about John and Nelson by reading their answers to few of our travel related questions below:


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When did you start blogging, Why do you blog?

In 2017, we started 2frenchinmanila as video creators and on social media. Then, in January 2019, we launched our travel blog: www.2frenchinmanila.com. At the same time, I have another blog: www.johnfisalbon.com  where I teach the basics of blogging.

Tell us more about your hometown.

I was born in Paris and the other “frenchinmanila” in the south of France. It is very different compared to the Philippines. For sure, it can be very cold and there is no tropical life. Although, we have one of the best food in the world! Plus, as you might know, French culture is very different. So, learning English was tough for my friend and I. But thanks to Filipinos, we really improved ourselves.

John in Avani Resort in Malaysia
John in Avani Resort in Malaysia

When did you start traveling, inspirations?

Since we’re very young, we always wanted to know more about what is happening outside of our country. We think it’s the best way to grow and to open our minds. Plus, you know we saw beautiful things on TV and we always dreamed about getting there. So, now that we’re growing up and are more able to travel, we are starting to tick off destinations our bucket list.

Do you have any funny travel stories?

All the time, I guess. Just imagine two French people traveling around the Philippines and you’ll know why… First, we’re not the best in English, and even if I have a Filipino blood, I never learned the language. So, just talking to people is a fun adventure. In the Philippines, we had (and hope we will still have) our funniest travel stories. People love joking around, thus it’s more fun in the Philippines. We spent a lot of hours in karaoke, getting lost in some villages or just enjoying some Red Horse with locals.

2frenchinmanila in Club Punta Fuego
2frenchinmanila in Club Punta Fuego

Lessons you learned on the road?

In a more practical side, prepare an “error budget” :p As much as we want to plan financially during our trips, we always end up doing things that were not planned. So, instead of getting mad, we know we have to plan what we called an “error budget”. It is money that you know you’re going to lose anyway just because you’re going to spend badly. Like a last minute hotel because you ended up lost or a boat ride that you did not plan because you don’t know the place.

Adventures of 2 French in Manila
Adventures of 2 French in Manila

Then, spiritually, a lot. There are so many lessons you can learn when traveling. Especially, if you are from a developed county. The gaps are sometimes huge and it’s our goal to stay grounded and accept the differences.

Top 5 Destinations on your Bucket List? 

  • Japan (the whole country)
  • Batanes in the Philippines (and many other places here)
  • Peru (Machu Picchu, not sure of the spelling)
  • Hawaii
  • Gobi Desert (Mongolia)

Beach or Mountain?

Even if we enjoy adventures, we’re sloths, so beach!

2frenchinmanila in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
2frenchinmanila in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

How often do you travel by air/land?

We try at least once or twice every two months, we have a corporate job in Manila so we have to be selective in our trips.

What’s your favorite airport?

The one in Singapore is very nice: clean and fast.

What is your favorite Hotel?

This we still have to discover more.

Nelson in Bali
Nelson in Bali

What is your preferred Airline and why?

No preferred ones, but we like Cathay Pacific, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Air France (we’re French, we have to).

How do you beat jet lag / Motion sickness?

We don’t beat it, we just die slowly inside until one day, it gets better.

What are your favorite travel gadgets?

Fortunately or unfortunately, our phones to capture the moment and remember it when talking with friends.

Any Tips on how to travel light?

Be minimalist. There are so many clothes that we bring and we don’t use in the end when we travel.

2frenchinmanila in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (traditional)
2frenchinmanila in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (traditional)

Best Backpack Brand?

Quechua, that we bought in Decathlon Philippines in Alabang or Pasig (it’s a French brand, cheap and reliable).

Top 3 International Destinations?

Paris, London, and Tokyo.

John and Nelson of 2 French in Manila
John and Nelson of 2 French in Manila

Top 3 Philippine Destinations?

Palawan, the island of Cebu and Manila because we live there and it’s great to check where 13 million Filipinos live.

John trying Scorpio in Bangkok during the 48h challenge with Air Asia
John trying Scorpio in Bangkok during the 48h challenge with Air Asia

Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travel bloggers?

As travel bloggers, we sometimes spend too much time trying to find the best spot for content for our blog and social media. So sometimes we forget to live in the present. Try to take some time to appreciate the beauty with your eyes and not only for your lens.

Favorite Travel Quote:

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. — Mark Twain

You can also follow them on Instagram and also check their Travel Vlogs on Facebook.

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