VARKALA, KERALA, INDIA—“If we are going to live together, our kitchen should not look like that,” said Tobi. The kitchen downstairs repelled him. What could we expect from a kitchen we borrowed for some hours from two hippie men? They played the guitar, one taught yoga upstairs, while the other prepared spicy lassi downstairs. Curls crowned their head. Both wore dhoti. Both forgot to water a family of sweet basil outside our room. Both took turns in puffing on a joint on some languid nights. Tobi and the two even thought of preparing bhang lassi.
Ma’am Hope asked me if there is a travel narrative I could include in a book on creative nonfiction she is working on. I had “Tales from the Lake” (a narrative on Lake Sebu) or “We Are Called Langitnon” (a narrative on Dinagat Group of Islands). I labored a lot on these two. But she opted for “On Being a Dark-Skinned Filipina Traveling around the Philippines,” a rant more than an essay. Haha! I modified some of the answers and shared them here.
A week ago, I sent a version of this to the subscribers of Backpacking with a Book. Dear, I found it awkward to write a newsletter. A romantic, I found it more charming to write a letter instead. The word newsletter sounds so formal and business-like and personally I am not. I laugh like a hyena, some say; like a witch, others say. And a newsletter for what? A non-successful travel blog? Haha! So, a letter is more befitting. So what’s new with me and my struggling little blog? Let us start with the things that cannot be found on […]
CEBU, PHILIPPINES—I cannot write without facing a window, vain it may sound. If not a window, then by open spaces—facing the sea’s vastness for example. The air thick with salinity. The wind teasing the ears. Perhaps it is my way to conquer the wall that scares any writer’s wit: the writer’s block—that moment when I stare at the blinking | in a rather bright and immaculate white screen. When that occurs, indeed it is scary. How can I be a writer without writing? How do I fight the wall? A literal space is my weapon of choice in defeating the […]