December 11, 2014

Travel Essay: The Banal and the Sublime at Donsol

“We are all whitewashed,” Shane admitted. Godo dismembered the bihag we bought from the cockpit. He poured water into the basin, rinsed the meat, and poured the water into the sandy ground. The boys stared at the meat in all its grandeur. Or gruesomeness: bones, flesh, blood. While for them—Tupe, Freyal, Godo—it was just the usual bihag they had every Sunday. It was nothing short of ordinary.   Poultry, on the other side of the world, is boneless—the boring tenderness of meat, they said. Years ago, someone spitted out the tinolang manok upon feeling the hardness, the finiteness of a […]
August 11, 2014

Photo Diary | Reaching Isla De Higantes

I was at the port by 11:30 a.m., quite unusual for me who had made others wait for more than two hours. According to an online guide I read, the boat would leave by noon or 1 p.m. There is only one passenger boat every day, and I could not possibly miss it or else I would have to shell out a hefty Php5,000 or so to reach my destination. At Estancia Port, I was the earliest passenger. Boatmen were busy loading the sides with pieces of styrofoam. They would be used as buoys for a crab farm.  Despite the […]
July 30, 2014

The Cuatro Islas Adventure in Photos

I passed port security without a ticket. I had no idea which ship my mountaineer friends board.  They were not at Pier 3. I boarded the ship without really knowing if it was the right one. I missed my phone at my nook.  The adventure began.
July 3, 2014

Sun.Star | The Flowering Tree That Nobody Knows

Round and nothing short of grand, the moon lit our way to the hundreds of stilt houses outlining the coast of Busuanga. Rigor—the young Tagbanua I met at the entrance of Baracuda—guided me through the pathways and alleys that got narrower after several turns. Busuanga’s islandness 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 seemed scattered and in disarray. Everyone seemed comfortable with the indistinguishableness between the seeming luxury and utter poverty. Everything shared a place. Everything had its own […]