August 27, 2012

| Travel Essay | Stories from Britania

“Nganong naabot man ka diri, Nong?” (What brought you here, Nong?) “Unsaon ta man, day, diri man nako nakit-an ang akong pikas sa kinabuhi (It can’t be helped, day, I found my other half here),” answered Nong Tony who has lived in Britania for 15 years. The tone he used for unsaon ta man appealed to me as a resignation: a resignation that life needs the other half to continue living, a resignation that a person must leave a place to find another for a sole reason: love. 
August 16, 2012

Camera Evolution: Some Deaths, Some Hopes

They arrived, Nikkita and Pawlito,  but their arrival was not as definite as the sudden death of my first professional camera, Pawlita, a Canon 1100D. Sammy, a Samsung ES10 | Mt. Pulag, Kabayan, Benguet, Philippines The earliest images that graced Backpacking with a Book were captured by Sammy, a Samsung ES10, a secondhand camera. I bought it from a “Kawat Store” for P4, 500. A college friend called it such since, according to her,  it is the pawnshop where snatchers and burglars sell their loot. It is across from Metro Colon, along Colonade Mall. 
July 29, 2012

| Travel Essay | The Clouds of Bantayan Island

There is something about the clouds. Their beauty is their fleetingness. They are “unburdened by memory of any kind” unlike us. I could remember the pile of cup noodles below the television swaying, and if they had fallen down, it would have been a signal that the waves won over the ship. Luckily, the waves were not furious enough, but they constantly reminded us with their disturbing presence. A man steadied himself on the lower rail of the ship while painting its exterior white. He was left unperturbed by our cloud imaginings on the second deck. Everything was moving—the clouds, […]
July 22, 2012

Benguet Horizon: Coloring Distance

The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land […]