Happy Tummy Travels' Chichi Tullao on finding passion, positivity, and hole-in-the-wall food

Food is life, in more ways than one.

(SPOT.ph) PayMaya #NowNation ambassador Chichi Tullao’s zest for food and life, as reflected in her Happy Tummy Travels (HTT) Instagram account, has gained her nearly 20,000 regular followers. SPOT.ph asked her a few questions about her food adventures:

Were you always a foodie?
My mom was a pastry chef – immortalizing 3D art in food – and I've been immersed in her cookbooks since I was five. But I guess you could say I'm an accidental food stylist. I'm a Finance Major from DLSU. I only did food, travel and food styling in my off-time. Of course, since I started HTT, I don't have any off-time anymore!

What made you decide to start HTT?
Three years ago, I was badly injured in an accident. I needed an outlet to help me forget what happened, and that outlet was food. Basically, Happy Tummy Travels on Instagram was a passion outlet for me. A way of being positive, of bringing out the positive experiences in life.

I finally made the account public in 2014, after I finished rehab, but I didn't really expect the brand to grow this way! I'm doing something I love, and as long as you're doing what you love, it will never be simply a 'job'. It has also opened up avenues for me to explore.

What do you look for in your food explorations?
When I travel, I make it a point to look for hole-in-the-wall stuff. Stuff only the locals know, where tourists are seldom seen.

Can you share a little about your favorite foodie adventures?
There was one place in Osaka near a cemetery that was only open on Wednesdays. I actually got lost looking for it! Then there was the time we literally ate our way across Taiwan. We ate every two hours! One of my best discoveries there was oyster misua, at the local equivalent of a carinderia, for only 90 pesos.

Which do you do more – cook, or order out?
Nowadays, I order out more. I don't have as much time to cook. I'm so busy! I prefer ordering online rather than via phone. Ordering online—there's less hassle than calling. I'm a very visual person, and I like seeing what I'm going to order. You don't need to have everything repeated back to you over the phone, and you don't get double orders!

Do you have any special tips for ordering food online?
I use PayMaya. PayMaya works with Food Panda, too, so you can order anything on the site and receive it in just thirty minutes. And since it's a prepaid system, you can easily track and control your usage.

Is there anything you wouldn’t order online?
I love chirashi-don, but it needs to be ordered and eaten fresh, otherwise it's not as good. And it's hard finding good uni (sea urchin).

The success of HTT and Chichi Tullao just goes to show that silver linings can show up in the most unexpected places. Follow Happy Tummy Travels on Instagram to see more of Chichi’s adventures and her infectious passion for good food.

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This article was created by Summit Storylabs in partnership with PayMaya.
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