May 11, 2014

Building Readers Project: Kawasan Edition

As a kid, I did not have access to books, but I always love reading. Back in high school, a teacher accused me of ripping a book into two and had my sister, a senior then, notified. My sister cried out of humiliation. The allegation stemmed from the fact that I was the sole soul reading that book every lunch break. But I had no memory of ripping the book. When I transferred to a Catholic school, which had a relatively big library, I stole most of its Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys hardbound collection. Until now, I still have […]
April 24, 2014
Batad Rice Terraces

Photo Essay | Missing Batad Rice Terraces and Some Notes on Love

In Batad, the village shaman can predict the couple’s future using a chicken liver. He can read the liver’s veins and interpret them. Yes, the couple’s love and future are at the mercy of the liver.  I met a couple then—an environmentalist Filipina and an Italian cook—who suggested they would try it.  I respect traditions. But I wonder if love can be restrained with such village tradition. Love itself has its own traditions that it keeps on breaking, reaffirming, modifying. Love itself changes, withers, buds anew, dies, resurrects, metamorphoses. I believe love is hard work. I believe love is magical. […]
April 8, 2014

A Travel Guide to Anawangin Cove and Capones Island, Zambales

A Travel Guide to Anawangin Cove and Capones Island, Zambales  How to Get There From Pasay or Sampaloc, ride a bus bound for Iba, Zambales. Inform the teller, you are dropping off at San Antonio, Zambales; or else, he/she will charge the full fare for Iba. Via NLEx, time travel is around 4-5 hours. Mine was from Dau Terminal at Clark City. I missed the bus to Iba, Zambales and opted to ride the bus bound for Olongapo City via SCTEx, which was faster and more scenic. It only took two hours. From Olongapo City, I rode a bus to […]
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 […]