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Montebello Villa Hotel: Its Lines and their Subtlety

On Memories, Drawing, Truth, and David Foster Wallace

“What is drawing?” my high school TLE teacher once asked us.

“It is the combination of colors,” a classmate answered for the sake of class participation.

“It has shadows.”

“It depicts nature and life.”

“It shows emotions.” He nodded to some by-the-book tries, which sounded novel—not attempts on novelty—to the high-school Jona. I did not know the word “novelty” th.en

“But, basically,” he momentarily stopped to build suspense perhaps, “drawing is a combination of lines,” he continued. We wore the look of stupidity.

We blurted out rather vague concepts such as emotions and life with certainty yet overlooked such basic truth: a drawing is composed of lines.

Years later, I encountered David Foster Wallace‘s two fish who forgot what  water was. The similarities just hit me while writing this.

The most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about. Stated as an English sentence, of course, this is just a banal platitude – but the fact is that, in the day-to-day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have life-or-death importance.

It might be too pretentious to drag  such a big name here like DFW to introduce this series of line photographs found at Montebello Villa Hotel. Of course, he talked about a different set of truths—”the most real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us.”

I took it literally to suit my case: because lines are often unnoticed. Because the world is connected by tangible and intangible lines. That’s a truth I’m certain about.

For more line photographs, check: Montebello Villa Hotel: Its Lines

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Jona | Backpacking with a Book

Hi, I'm Jona! I write stories and poetry and take a lot of photos, which I'm too lazy to upload. If you want to receive some photos that I don't share here on the blog, please leave your email here. I'm crazy about cats too. Feel free to browse through BWAB, and I would love it if you say hi! For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com For more stories about BWAB, check here. Connect with us through

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4 Comments

  1. Nice pictures. Dramatic 😀

  2. Mildred says:

    Hello! Im interested in paying a visit to explore the city of Cebu. I reckon you’ve visited the place several times. Any recommendations with regards to places and food? 🙂

    • hi there, mildred! I live in the city, but most of the beautiful spots are outside the city. The city is more on historical sites, for beaches and falls, one must leave the city. I recommend Badian’s Kawasan Falls, for beaches, there is a lot to choose from: Moalboal, Alcoy’s Tingko Beach. For islands, Camotes, Bantayan, and Malapascua. If you love the crowd and snorkeling, Malapascua is the best. 🙂

      For barbecue, Larsian is the place.

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