“If you feel that you don’t fit into your country or culture, it’s probably because you don’t! It’s probably because you don’t, so go see somewhere else.”

—Damon Dominique

Hi! I’m Cate, a book author and former lifestyle columnist and editor from Manila. I moved to Madrid in September 2020 to be an English language assistant to fulfill my need for lateral growth.

I was born and raised in the Philippines, but over the years I started to feel more and more like a misfit in my home. And so, in the middle of the pandemic, I moved to Europe. This is a personal blog about that move.

Cate in Madrid is nothing like Emily in Paris—which I love and watch religiously. But in my own storytelling, I am not a fan of painting big and glamorous pictures. I like the details—the little, pivotal moments that may not be Netflix material, but they infuse the life I am building here with warmth, meaning, and sometimes the necessary heartbreak. I’m sure you have them, too—the small things that mean everything.

Below are my stories as a Madrileña from Manila


2023: Taking a stab at depth

I moved from Manila to Madrid in 2020 to fulfill my need for lateral growth. I was tired of the narrow and upward title-centric trajectory in Asia that didn’t offer much else in other directions. On the ride to the…

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I lost my dad one month after moving to Madrid

Confident, shy Kind, unkind Noisy, quiet Tidy, untidy Generous, selfish Friendly, unfriendly These 12 adjectives were the English lesson of my fourth-grade students in Madrid. My job as an English language assistant was to have practice conversations with them. We…

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The move to Europe (One year update)

“This isn’t just a fun year abroad anymore. This is your life.” – Mindy to Emily in Emily in Paris Probably the only bit of truth in the entire glossy series. I was telling someone recently about how when I…

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On boys and scooters

“Should I pick you up? We can adventure on my scooter,” a Tinder boy offered. I was fresh off the boat in Bali. All my life I had grown up in Manila, where I was warned not to get into…

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