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 […]
July 3, 2013

Manila Bulletin | Baliw-Baliw: Olango’s Bizarre Culture

“Pizza hut! Pizza hut!” shouted a muscular man in a tight red tank top his face caked with too much powder. He carried a tray of dung topped with ketchup as red as his tank top. While he coped with and righted his padded bra underneath the red top, a woman dropped an open gallon attached to a rope down the well. While a man in cream lingerie stroked his pink goose’s feather, a woman cut the innards into thin slices. Another man in his 40s held a frog up high and asked me if I wanted octopus for lunch, […]
May 26, 2013

Sun.Star Yearbook | Healthy Thai and Viet at Lemongrass

“It is an acquired taste for meat lovers,” the manager warned. I dipped the goi cuon (summer rolls) into hoisin sauce. Surprisingly, it tasted good even without the shrimp. Richly flavored dippings waltz with other ingredients in Viet and Thai food culture. Lemongrass picks the best of these two culinary worlds and make them available in Cebu. “The element of spiciness is always present,” I commented after nibbling the rolls dipped into a peanut-tinged sauce. It is an even strip of radish, carrots, cucumber, and lettuce wrapped in rice paper. The original menu included a shrimp in it, but since I specifically […]