January 12, 2014
Kawasan Falls, Badian, Cebu

Starting 2014 with a Visit to the Muse | Kawasan Falls Cebu Philippines Photos

It is a personal pilgrimage. To visit my muse, that is. Despite my countless visits, Kawasan’s vigor strikes me as exciting as the first time I set eyes on her. We were supposed to visit this place on New Year’s Day to lead off the year with rush, flow, exuberance. Yes, my personal superstitions. We pushed our trip down south on the fourth and visited the muse on his last day in Cebu. Kawasan has changed. Considerably.  Last year’s earthquake collapsed the rocks at the second falls and the tiny falls between the first and the second. The lanky guy […]
July 3, 2013

Manila Bulletin | Baliw-Baliw: Olango’s Bizarre Culture

“Pizza hut! Pizza hut!” shouted a muscular man in a tight red tank top his face caked with too much powder. He carried a tray of dung topped with ketchup as red as his tank top. While he coped with and righted his padded bra underneath the red top, a woman dropped an open gallon attached to a rope down the well. While a man in cream lingerie stroked his pink goose’s feather, a woman cut the innards into thin slices. Another man in his 40s held a frog up high and asked me if I wanted octopus for lunch, […]
December 20, 2012

Travel Essay: The City in December

DECEMBER is sweltering like mid-May. Along General Maxilom ave., passengers and motorists squinted as the sun gradually descended behind the Christmas tree at Fuente Osmeña Circle. From where I stood—in the middle of the street near a food mart waiting for the perfect time to jaywalk—the unlit Christmas tree looked foreboding, even apocalyptic—the late afternoon sun looming behind it. With the dissonance of the road congestion, it would be surprising if the pedestrians and motorists even notice it.
July 29, 2012

| Travel Essay | The Clouds of Bantayan Island

There is something about the clouds. Their beauty is their fleetingness. They are “unburdened by memory of any kind” unlike us. I could remember the pile of cup noodles below the television swaying, and if they had fallen down, it would have been a signal that the waves won over the ship. Luckily, the waves were not furious enough, but they constantly reminded us with their disturbing presence. A man steadied himself on the lower rail of the ship while painting its exterior white. He was left unperturbed by our cloud imaginings on the second deck. Everything was moving—the clouds, […]