About Maida

WOODWARD Maida-1946 (B&W) sm-VERSION2

Are you hungry?



We are all hungry for something. It may be food, fancy job titles, or the next promotion. But what we truly hunger for is something more. We long for rich EXPERIENCES that push us to be brave, that gives us courage, that gives us a glimpse of deeper lives, and propel us to journey to become our best selves.


MAIDA’S TOUCH is a blog that aims to feed restless appetites.


I am MAIDA PINEDA. I have been a food and travel writer since 1998. I am also the author of two books: Do’s and Don’ts in the Philippines and Six Degrees of Expatriation: Uncovering Lives of Expatriates in Singapore.


This 40-something freelance writer never really fit in the corporate world. Wearing a suit feels like I’m dressed for a costume party. I get hives from sitting behind a desk from 9 to 5. I cannot keep still at meetings. Yet, I boldly call myself the CEO of maidastouch.com. For this free spirit, CEO means Chief Experience Officer. Always hungry for the richer experience, I’ve curated a delicious and enriching life for myself. I am a Filipino by birth, but a global citizen most at home in gallivanting the world.


At 17, I left Manila, Philippines and moved halfway around the world to Massachusetts, US to study. Little did I know, it would spark a lifetime journey feeding my restless appetite. Embracing my craft, I vowed to go where my writing takes me. I have lived in the Philippines, the US, Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. It has brought me to numerous countries around the world. Whether it is traveling solo for 28 days in Spain, seeking happiness in Bhutan, sipping the best Malbec in Argentina, eating my way on the Orient Express from Bangkok to Singapore, or even the struggle to shed more than twenty pounds in my forties, it is about getting lost and finding myself. I will always be a seeker. Food, travel, and wellness can be a delicious escape, but it can also be enriching journey back home.


I am a natural extrovert who often travels solo. Blessed with a gift for talking to people, I can get even introverts to freely open up to me. I love connecting with people from different cultures, and not letting language barriers get in the way. In turn, I find joy in weaving words together to tell their stories. I am a storyteller. I am most nourished by engaging with people passionate about something- be it art, food, books, fitness, wellness or wine. Although I will admit, I love interviewing chefs and home cooks for I am most at home speaking the language of food with them (and they often feed me well).


I have a liberal arts degree, BA in Psychology from Smith College in Massachusetts, USA (yes, where Julia Child, Gloria Steinem and other great writers graduated from) and a Master of Arts in Gastronomy from the joint program of the University of Adelaide and Le Cordon Bleu. I have been published everywhere from CNN to Reader’s Digest, Business Traveller to Silver Kris Magazine. You can find some published clips on my portfolio page.


Maida’s Touch aims to feed restless appetites, especially of this hungry free spirit. The blog does not aim to feature the latest restaurant or hotel openings. The goal is not to have the most stamps on my passport. I am a wanderer most at home in airports and I do my best thinking in airplanes. In my forties, I am aware we all have excess baggage. But I aim to travel lighter, thread gently, and to feel comfortable in my own skin. If I inspire you to do the same, that would be wonderful.


I am not suggesting that you pack your bags and abandon your jobs and families. I’m just asking you to leave your comfort zones, to overcome your fears, to do the things you never thought you could do, to be exhilarated again, and to feel alive in every fiber of your being. In the process, if you see more of the world, meet amazing people, eat phenomenal meals, and find the best ice cream (please tell me where to get it) along the way, then Maida’s Touch has been golden in feeding your restless appetite!