May 5, 2016

DOWN SOUTH | Why We Must Revisit Places

My friend Pie and I forgot about the key. We were sound asleep inside the room and perhaps slightly snoring after a day of following the must-dos in Siquijor to heart: San Juan’s Capilay Spring: checked. Salagdoong’s molave forest: checked. Jumping from Salagdoong’s Beach Resort’s outcrop: checked. Taking photos of Lazi’s chuch and convent: checked. Lazi’s balete tree: checked. Taking a dip at Cambugahay: checked. Photos of San Juan sunset: checked. We were young and did not know any better. We remembered about the key when we were about to check out and started looking for it. It was where […]
November 12, 2015

SUN.STAR | We Are Called Langitnon

This narrative, “We are Called Langitnon” (first of two parts originally appeared on Sun.Star on November 19, 2015.  Paradise, said the old man to his friend, is in Davao. Davao del Norte’s Christ the King Cathedral—which he claimed cost P70 billion, the biggest of its kind in the Philippines—is the sole determiner of a paradise.  His neighbor cocked his head, as if by doing so, the old man’s words would flannel their way down to his head without any unnecessary sifting. I expected him to contradict his friend, but he did not; rather he shifted the conversation to Satan and declared […]
August 21, 2015

SUN.STAR | Tales from Lake Sebu

This post divided into two parts (can be found here and here with the title Tales from the Lake) originally appeared on Sun.Star on August 13th and 20th, 2015 respectively.   1 THE healed tears on her earlobes reminded me of a cock’s crest: soft to the touch but arresting to look at. They reminded me of little deaths, the kind I have to live through, to live with every day. Three nomongs dangled from her rugged ears. They were light and made dry little sounds once fondled. She must have spent the whole morning on her farm behind the range, and […]
March 22, 2015
Guiuan, Eastern Samar 2015

VIRAL | On Being a Dark Filipina Traveling the Philippines

This article, On Being a Dark Filipina Traveling the Philippines, I wrote was originally published on Rappler.com on March 7, 2015. It went crazily viral! I was actually crying when I wrote this. The years-long burden attached to one’s skin. “Porener imong uyab no?” (Is your boyfriend a foreigner?) asked the passenger beside me. We were on the old van to Biliran from Ormoc. I knew this question was coming, but I asked nonetheless why she thought so. I have the looks, she supplied – slender, long-haired, dark. Foreigners go for that “exotic” look. I could let it pass if she stopped […]