May 11, 2014

Building Readers Project: Kawasan Edition

As a kid, I did not have access to books, but I always love reading. Back in high school, a teacher accused me of ripping a book into two and had my sister, a senior then, notified. My sister cried out of humiliation. The allegation stemmed from the fact that I was the sole soul reading that book every lunch break. But I had no memory of ripping the book. When I transferred to a Catholic school, which had a relatively big library, I stole most of its Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys hardbound collection. Until now, I still have […]
August 2, 2012

My July According to Words

“I love reading books,” a certain Japanese answered the trivial getting-to-know-each-other question, “what are your hobbies?” though we both know to know was misplaced. I expected another bout of suspense thrillers since most Japanese find Haruki Murakami too baffling. “Do you know Kobo Abe?” The science of coincidence! My eyes widened because Kobo Abe’s The Woman in the Dunes was on my desk—to reacquaint myself to the ambiguousness of his sand for a travel essay. Rewriting is a painful process; it is an emotional and intellectual bloodshed. While rereading doubles the pleasure. Every read, another layer of meaning, understanding peels […]
December 2, 2011

Jorge Luis Borges | You Learn

  Pico Iyer, according to the  New York Times Book Review,  is “a post-modern traveler, rooted nowhere and moving in order to disprove the illusion of home. Travel for him is a metaphysical project—a meditation on space, a sermon on our estrangement.” Tuburan, Cebu, Philippines
May 31, 2011
Backpacking with a Book

Homebound

A lot happened, some were rewarding, some surprising, some unwelcome, some outrageous. But May indeed was a rewarding month.  I’m back on trails again. A call from a travel editor prodded me to reacquaint myself to the trails. Mountains, trails—they remind me of us, humans. They can be unpredictable, predictable.  They can be selfish, inamiable, indifferent. The boyfriend said geography could not be selfish, humans could, are. “You were trying to personify geography,” he said. No, I wasn’t. It’s a cold fact. And nature has every reason to be. It reminds me of Arundhati Roy’s passage from her The God of […]