April 12, 2015

DOWN SOUTH: Holy Week that I Knew

A different kind of silence settled on Paradise Street. Gone were the neighbors’ motherly morning nags; the handsome neighbor’s roosters, however, insisted their cockiness. A carpenter pounded the roof across from my place. On normal days, he would not fail to shout “Hi, Ma’am” while pedaling his trisikad across the oval-shaped neighborhood. A Vietnamese rose ignored the early April heat and bloomed throughout the day. I contemplated why it was hard to grow rosemary while mint, green tea, cilantro, and basil did not take much time or effort to take roots. It was Maundy Thursday, with the sparrows’ nesting chirps […]
September 14, 2014

DOWN SOUTH | Capul Island |Gimata, the Word that Stays

This essay appeared on my travel column DOWN SOUTH with a different title,  ‘Gintama’ or new moon: The pleasures of Capul and its dialect, on September 6, 2014. Text and photos by Jona Branzuela Bering | Lifestyle Section, InterAksyon “Lagas” was the only word I understood.  I was walking with three girls fresh from high school to the lighthouse and we met a boy on a motorbike. I assumed he was their classmate. He asked a question to the girls, which they answered but all I could catch was the word “lagas.” They must be talking about me. Lagas, back at […]