March 27, 2014

Buscalan, Kalinga | Getting Inked by Fang Od

Ruel said, on holidays, she could earn about P50,000 from tattooing alone. She was able to buy the surrounding lands and carabaos. Sometimes the neighbors would borrow money from her. Whang Od’s short stature was always wrapped in silence, regardless of the domestic noises around her: kids crying, black hogs squealing. She said the centipede, the design I chose for myself, is the guide for the lost. There is nothing, I guess, more fitting for someone who has a terrible sense of direction, who, later on, would find herself at a loss after a heartbreak. Heartbreak is one of the […]
March 21, 2014

Beautiful Photos from Coron, Palawan, Philippines

The islandness of Busuanga is different from that of Siargao or Malapascua. Restaurants, coffee shops, bars interjected between small local stores, oddly positioned between a cement shop and a vulcanizing shop. Everything is scattered and in disarray. Everyone seemed comfortable with the indistinguishableness between the seeming luxury and utter poverty. Everything shared a place named Busuanga. But. But. It was the extremes—the richest and the poorest that were pushed towards the sea: the most extravagant resorts stood proudly, exclusively on surrounding islands, while the poor’s stilt houses staggered in the slum. Snippets from the Diary: *** The moon in its […]
March 4, 2014

Photo Essay : To Zambales to Mend

Zambales Photo Essay: To Zambales to Mend What did I do to deserve this extravagance of my color: green? Do I deserve this much happiness? Yes, the color of happiness. Brown. Blue. And I, a woman, with uncontrollable black hair.  I had the guts because I was alone. Ah, no, the boatman was watching me from the distance. 🙂 It is a great sky and a great island How to model a sickle locally called “tabas”The madwoman at Anawangin CoveAnawangin Cove Traveling, in many ways, is an act of mending, of coming to terms with reality. Traveling is always, always […]
February 20, 2014

My Essay “Placed” on Cruising Magazine

We live in words—some beautiful, some painful, some hopeful, some gnawing, some dark, some lucid, some heavy, some light. We live in words. This one was for a certain someone. I gift words—but sometimes they don’t come out right. More than three years ago, I quoted Mary Oliver on one of the letters. To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go. *** Yes, yes. […]