December 18, 2013

Interaksyon | Down South | #BangonVisayas Series: What Remains Sturdy in Bohol

“Waaa. Ang ginaw,” shivered Hazel in the dead of the night. Her bed since the October 15 quake was three dining chairs she connected while her son, Elizer, and Elmer (her civil partner) and Mark (a relative) occupied the single katri—a bamboo bed. They positioned their tolda (a makeshift tent) by the wall of Sagbayan Public Market. A tall pile of packed bread fenced one side of their temporary house. To somewhat protect themselves from intruders at night, they barricaded their tent with several market tables turned on one side. Before darkness descended, Hazel went across the street and entered […]
November 3, 2013

Manila Bulletin | Newbie Encounter with the Siargao Waves

“They are rather small,” the hippie selling souvenirs at Cloud 9’s boardwalk shrugged her shoulders when I motioned the fierceness of the waves. “They seem furious enough,” I countered. We were at the three-story boardwalk, looking at the lapping tongues of the Pacific piqued and exploded by the lighthouse. Its roaring and breaking left shy tremors beneath our feet. But she just continued singling out hair strands from her scalp and uprooting them while I was already entertaining possible tsunamis hitting the Siargao shore. “Ber months, come here in –ber months,” she said swinging her hammock with her body. In […]
July 25, 2013

Manila Bulletin | Searching for the Wreckage at Malapascua Island

“Logon?” An old man asked me—like others did—where I was going. I shook my head. “Leyte?” “Malapascua,” I answered, somewhat tired of the guessing game. “Ah, Logon,” he said—a fleeting delight like a beautiful memory—crossed his face. Locals especially the old ones, he then shared, insisted that Malapascua is Logon. “So nganong gitawag man siya’g Malapascua? (So why it is called Malapascua?)” I asked interested in the two conflicting names. “Ambot anang mga poreners, day (I don’t know with those foreigners, day),” he said with resignation in his voice. “Magdive ka didto, day? (Will you go diving, day)” Tatay then […]
July 10, 2013
Kawasan Falls, Badian, Cebu

Manila Bulletin | Writing the Muse

Kawasan Falls Cebu Philippines I have an obsession with rivers, living, rushing rivers. They burst with life.  They are destined to flow, to be perpetually moving. They never know what stagnation feels like. When I think of a living river, I think of Kawasan—my favorite among the many rivers I have trekked and been to. Kawasan’s location is remarkable. Most living rivers I have known are in the bosoms of mountain ranges, cocooned in the great unknown; while Kawasan is the tail of the entire river system—a wilderness found at a walkable distance from the highway. During my last traverse […]