October 31, 2013
Sambawan Island, Biliran

Sun.Star | Reaching Sambawan through Kind Hearts

BILIRAN, PHILIPPINES. “ADTO KAG SAMBAWAN? Kuyog nalang nako,” suggested Noe. We were at Naval, both booked at the modest pension house near the port. After checking in and informing the front desk of my whereabouts, the lady on duty informed me that there were no boats for Maripipi on Sundays. I sat on the bamboo bench, mouth agape, overwhelmed by stupidity and sleepiness, while she disappeared to prepare my instant coffee. After handing it to me, she disappeared again to attend to her laundry at the back. When she returned, she pointed to the man sleeping in the open room […]
September 17, 2013
Sambawan Island, Biliran

To Sambawan Island in Images

An excessive dose of stupidity and an excessive reliance on kind hearts: that is how I reached Sambawan. I was in Ormoc, Leyte fooling students that they could take the ambiguous “travel writing” (in the Philippine context) as a career. Sleepless and restless, I answered several wise questions from students. One of them, do I make money from writing—travel writing specifically. There was that hackneyed anecdote on love. “Do you make money from love?” “No.” “Writing started like that. You do it as an act of unconditional love. But money comes in later.” I was half-asleep when I said that. […]