May 11, 2013

Sun.Star Cebu | To Siargao’s Tres Marias

Cloud 9, Siargao, Surigao del Norte, Philippines EVERYTHING starts with strangeness and being estranged: unfamiliar faces in the resort’s restaurant, unfamiliar laughter on the beach, a familiar sleeping position on an unfamiliar figure in the airport lobby, familiar driving on an unfamiliar road with unfamiliar hands behind the wheel. Everything starts with strangeness and being estranged. It took a confident “Hi, where are you from?” at the resort’s restaurant to make strangeness and being estranged less intimidating. A simple hi, when permitted, can superficially lead to adding yet another friend on Facebook or can favorably lead to a serious conversation.
May 3, 2013

Blog: Terra Manna’s Beautiful Marine Paradise

Before I took the risk of traveling northern Luzon for ten days, I paid my monthly visit to Terra Manna, waiting for a group of Cebu-based travelers/travel bloggers/freedivers who would survey TM’s marine paradise. I badly needed a paradoxically deep dip before I hit the Cordilleras—the mountain ranges.   Johnn of Focal Glass, Doi of  the Travelling Feet, Dylan of Wandering Dylan,  Edcel and Sheena of the Wandering Couple, and of course, Edwin of Lakbay Diva were the right companions. I am not accustomed to using snorkeling gear and fins yet. But there is always a sea—not a room—for improvement, […]
April 30, 2013

Northern Luzon: Self-Portraits

Healing started with an itchiness that asked for some serious scratching. But I had to resist, or else it would bleed anew. I patted the embossed centipede, my protective guide, on my lower back and scratched the surrounding areas instead. It’s been a week since I came back in Cebu from a ten-day solo trip in northern Luzon. By far, my recent birthday trip was the most storied and writable I’ve ever had. It’s been a year since I went to Siargao, broke Pawlita, and met new friends. And I thought, it was the most storied and writable. It’s been […]
April 23, 2013

Travel Essay | The Grand Parade: The Uncaptured, the Uncapturable

Sweat trailed downward like small translucent rivers on the dancer’s darkened face, his eyes reddish, his face painted gray, his lips black, his breath ragged. His brows furrowing, he eyed the contingent in front of them. He touched the corner of his right eye lightly. By the look of it, he stopped himself from ardently rubbing it. Curiosity got the better of me, I stopped framing him in my camera, crossed the short distance, and asked “What’s the matter?” “Ang pintal man gyod,” he paused, his brows furrowing again, “di body paint. Baratuhon ni. Hapdos sa mata,” he supplied. So […]