“MOULI NA KA, YA?” asked my younger sister upon seeing my backpack ready. “Unsay mouli? Molarga nako oy,” I retorted. Mouli in my Cebuano mind means “go home” while molarga, “leave. ” I found it rather interesting—even disheartening—that my family viewed me as a city daughter and a mere visitor of my hometown. But I cannot blame them. I left Tuburan to pursue my degree in the city and hopped from one job to another afterward and visited this unheard-of, yet biggest town in the province when time allowed it. “Sige lang kag suwat sa ubang lugar, wa gyod ka […]
Somewhere mid-2013, I embarked on a photography project I named “Images from the Bus Window.” Instead of randomly shooting subjects from the bus window, this project now comes with a theme. Let me start with the theme yellow. For Hannah Reyes, a very young and hot photographer I admired a lot. For hope. For light. For 2014 to be as yellow as hope. Because, there is no dark subject that yellow cannot brighten up. Aboard a public bus bound south.
“Ingon sila silot daw nis Ginoo nato. Pero para nako, grasya ni,” Tatay in his ’50s claimed after taking several gulps from his glass of tuba. “Daghan kaayog grasya naabot human sa linog,” he further shared. The tuba vendor scooped a spoon of lilong doused in native vinegar and spiced with onions and sliced siling hangad sa langit for me. Her two relatives removed the gut of this small fish on a bamboo bench next to her table of small trading. A fellow market vendor complained why the anchovy-looking fish were not halved and deboned like kinilaw should be. Nanay […]
Let me start with a confession. My little story “Tubod”—a story about water—won a Palanca (1st prize on Cebuano short story), and the awarding was held in Manila on September 1st. It was my first try to join a major literary contest. Yes, I did not expect a win. I just wanted my little story out which has been evolving and kept secret for the past five years. It won despite its flaws. Now, what is the connection between the story and Davao Oriental. A lot. I chose the place over the ceremony. My aim was to have the story […]