September 23, 2014

Word Traveling: On Emotions and Eula Biss’ “No Man’s Land”

It is hard, admittedly, to finish a creative nonfiction book. Perhaps because they are driven by emotions—often dominantly singular, negatively singular: hatred, loss, anger. These emotions wittingly, consciously creep into the reader and weigh her down with heaviness and sighs, rendering her helpless and boneless to the point that taking a break from the book is necessary. That is how I feel mostly with narratives detailing collective pain: diaspora, slavery, racial discrimination, corruption, death, violence, injustice. James Baldwin’s. Jamaica Kincaid’s.  (And perhaps Joan Didion’s. No, I haven’t read the pile of Didions for the sheer reason that it is not the […]
August 8, 2012

Quotes from Jeffrey Eugenides’ “Middlesex”

“What time did you go to bed last night?” asked P, who is always concerned about my crazy sleeping habits, which he thinks detrimental to my health, health-conscious as he is. “Hmm. Four, I guess?” I answered. There is no point in lying because he could easily see them through my eyebags and constant yawns. “Reading?” “Yeah. Middlesex.” “Thought you didn’t like it.” “Yeah, I didn’t like the first five pages.”
June 26, 2012
Backpacking with a Book

Of Being Thankful and Afternoon Walks

BISLIG, SURIGAO DEL SUR, PHILIPPINES  I. AFTERNOON WALKS I walked. I only had an hour break, but I decided to walk and risked being late at work. Mango Avenue changes every time I walk: two stores closed, another eatery/restaurant opened. Last month, a boutique opened. Daytime Mango means  a few pedestrians, scarce street kids, less pretensions. I walked with a purpose: wedges, book, Sbarro. I walked to clear my mind. I walked to understand the reason we love.
June 19, 2012

An Entry of Happiness

The fledgling ventured beyond its one-meter realm. With its still fluffy feathers, it returned to its nest once in a while. Its chirps accompanied my veranda mornings in Tuburan, my seemingly sleepy yet happy hometown in midwest Cebu. Nestlings confront life as soon as their wings can take it. They never hesitate. They fly. In the past three weeks, I measured my life with chirps, waters, early mornings, greens, bites and devours, coffee, and mouthing Iloveyous in the crowd or in a room. I lost count. I’m happy. Life has never been this beautiful. And it’s scary. I. WORDS Words—they pain […]