March 3, 2011
Backpacking with a Book

Boracay and Notes to a Woman Traveler

Was it not their task to walk, helping the sun to rise? They fulfilled their obligation, perhaps. Are we fulfilling ours? Are we walking? Are we living? —Mario Vargas Llosa, The Storyteller NOTES: TO A WOMAN TRAVELER 1. Being a woman is not an excuse to unnecessarily seek help from men. A real woman is—has to be—independent. 2. Don’t pack more than you can carry. Be independent. Carry your own load. Don’t be a burden to others and to yourself. 3. Everything can’t be possessed with smiles, you—more often than not—have to work hard to acquire it. 4. Traveling is a […]
October 31, 2010
Backpacking with a Book

Boracay: Traveling with Llosa

Life gets difficult when a person goes to live somewhere else. . . Luckily we know how to walk. Luckily we’ve been walking for such a long time. Luckily we’re always moving from one place to another. What would have become of us if we were the sort of people who never move. We’d have disappeared who knows where. —Mario Vargas Llosa, “The Storyteller” NOTES TO SELF: 1. You’re not a tourist rather a fleeting visitor, a place sniffer. So, please, don’t be treated like royalty. You want to see the place as it is, without the pampering, without the […]
October 18, 2010
Backpacking with a Book

CURRENT READS: Llosa and Munro

Currently reading Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Storyteller. Halfway through Munro’s The Progress of Love, which I started first before Sacks’s The Island of Colorblind.  Why did I temporarily stop reading it? Because Munro penetrated the border one created: the wall between what is labeled as personal and what is knowledge. Yes, because it is all about love—the one I consider scariest.
October 9, 2010
Backpacking with a Book

Mario Vargas Llosa and Notes on Latin American Literature

  “The lies in novels are not gratuitous — they fill in the insufficiencies of life. Thus, when life seems full and absolute, and men, out of an all-consuming faith, are resigned to their destinies, novels perform no service at all. Religious cultures produce poetry and theater, not novels. Fiction is an art of societies in which faith is undergoing some sort of crisis, in which it’s necessary to believe in something, in which the unitarian, trusting and absolute vision has been supplanted by a shattered one and an uncertainty about the world we inhabit and the afterworld.” —Mario Vargas […]