January 29, 2017

DOWN SOUTH | I Travel, I Eat, I Got Diarrhea

Last week, I was on a boat of mixed races: Filipino, Chinese, Korean, French, Belgian, and perhaps other races that I overlooked or forgot to ask. It was a happy, odd mix, I would say—a boat of strangers that sometimes ended up as Facebook friends or more often than not, started and ended as strangers. Our boat crew was admirable: they took our pictures, provided a rough course on swimming for those who could not swim, complimented us when needed, taught us Coron’s history, and fed us. Adobo at Malapascua Island, Cebu, Philippines Aside from maneuvering the boat, our captain […]
May 15, 2014

SUN.STAR | Those Women, Mt. Talinis and Jeanette

She arrived. She positioned her backpack beside her. It was almost as tall as her and perhaps as heavy. This would be our second climb together, and somehow, I expected her bag would be as interesting as the one she brought to Kan-Irag. About 30 meters from the jump-off, her nostrils flared from exhaustion. We all panted, but her huffs were more audible. Always, the start is the most arduous. “Pwede mag-weight distribution ta? (Can we have a weight distribution?),” I suggested. There were six of us: two of us were women, three men, and one young capable guide. Obliged […]
March 26, 2014

DOWN SOUTH| Experiencing Someone Else’s Bantayan Island

“Karon pa ka kaanhi? (Is this your first visit?)” asked Emil, the only trisikad driver who agreed on bringing me to Sayaw—a coastal sitio of Bantigue. Earlier, he passed me by waiting for a ride. He drove two passengers nearby, and he shouted he would come back for me. He knew how scarce a trisikad could be in Bantigue and I would be waiting in the very spot he saw me earlier. The others I tapped at Bantayan’s public market either said they were waiting for a particular passenger or picking someone somewhere.  Or worse, they would pretend nonchalance like […]