November 18, 2016

Sun.Star Cebu | Mouli Ka, Ya?

“MOULI NA KA, YA?” asked my younger sister upon seeing my backpack ready. “Unsay mouli? Molarga nako oy,” I retorted. Mouli in my Cebuano mind means “go home” while molarga, “leave. ” I found it rather interesting—even disheartening—that my family viewed me as a city daughter and a mere visitor of my hometown. But I cannot blame them. I left Tuburan to pursue my degree in the city and hopped from one job to another afterward and visited this unheard-of, yet biggest town in the province when time allowed it. “Sige lang kag suwat sa ubang lugar, wa gyod ka […]
December 2, 2015

Changes! Changes!

It feels like April here in Cebu; for someone who brags about the seeming eternal summer in her country, I find the heat almost unbearable. And for someone who brags about having a life-work balance, here I am so caught up with revising Backpacking with a Book’s feel and content. These past years, I took BWAB as a repository for my published articles and photos. I never considered it a possible place of and for awesomeness; by awesomeness, I mean a beautiful, interactive travel blog that readers can visit again and again, a place where they can find not only […]
July 3, 2015

DOWN SOUTH | The Mountain, the Sea (Father Essay)

It was rare, he said, to find the seedling. He surfaced from the banana groves with it in hand. He had the soiled roots in his right while supporting the two-foot fragile stem with his left. He pointed to the tree next to a mango standing beside my cousin’s house. It was old, the tree, but I did not bother knowing its name. It registered in my head as a tree like the countless unnamed, unnameable ones surrounding our unfinished and semi-abandoned house up in the mountains, around thirty minutes away from where we lived. “Parrot, that’s the name.” He […]
June 15, 2015

DOWN SOUTH | A Travel Manifesto (Or the Problem with Labeling)

On my pad’s door, inches above the knob, was a small Philippine map I ripped out from a travel diary. I marked the places I have been. I paused and rolled the phrase “have been” on my tongue. I questioned its authenticity and truthfulness. By “have been,” exactly on what terms and terrains am I navigating myself through, a domestic traveler and a writer. When can you say that you have been to a place? My brother, a graduating college student at the age of 24 and never had the urge to wander, inspected the little map and decided I […]