April 24, 2014
Batad Rice Terraces

Photo Essay | Missing Batad Rice Terraces and Some Notes on Love

In Batad, the village shaman can predict the couple’s future using a chicken liver. He can read the liver’s veins and interpret them. Yes, the couple’s love and future are at the mercy of the liver.  I met a couple then—an environmentalist Filipina and an Italian cook—who suggested they would try it.  I respect traditions. But I wonder if love can be restrained with such village tradition. Love itself has its own traditions that it keeps on breaking, reaffirming, modifying. Love itself changes, withers, buds anew, dies, resurrects, metamorphoses. I believe love is hard work. I believe love is magical. […]
April 30, 2013

Northern Luzon: Self-Portraits

Healing started with an itchiness that asked for some serious scratching. But I had to resist, or else it would bleed anew. I patted the embossed centipede, my protective guide, on my lower back and scratched the surrounding areas instead. It’s been a week since I came back in Cebu from a ten-day solo trip in northern Luzon. By far, my recent birthday trip was the most storied and writable I’ve ever had. It’s been a year since I went to Siargao, broke Pawlita, and met new friends. And I thought, it was the most storied and writable. It’s been […]