October 21, 2011
Backpacking with a Book

Savoring Others’ Lives at Calea

There are innumerable sensations that the mouth can achieve that our entire body can’t. “Mura siyay boss sa office. Close baya mi ——. Nya mura siyag malain. Hasta akong trabaho, kuti-kutihon. Manghilabot siya sa trabahong di iya.” “—— and —— had a conflict because of her.” “Si—— ba, okay ra siya para nimo?” “Okay ra man. Wap-a man sad ko kaila kaayo niya. Ngano diay.” “Pagbantay lang. She might turn you into an enemy as she usually does.” The stories cruised to figures I’m vaguely familiar with. With half an ear on the conversation, I scouted the place. Calea, Gen says, […]
March 8, 2011
Backpacking with a Book

Concluding the Year with Mt. Kanlaon

MUSING OF ITINERARIES Is it possible to treat realities like itineraries—impersonal, detailed, stern? Yet, life—on its microscopic self—is unpredictable. Planning cannot impede life to go on with its unpredictability; and the least we can do is anticipate its possible turns and twists. We hang on to the possibilities. Itineraries can’t be religiously executed; yet we see ourselves more excited about the  unincludeds, about the unwrittens. OF PEAKS Reaching the peak, for others, is the ultimate, the apt conclusion for a mountain climbing activity. For me, however,  the whole length of the travel, the pre-peak moments matter most; after all, they […]
March 4, 2011
Backpacking with a Book

Mt. Kanlaon: The Language of Its Faunas and Floras

Plants and animals are also a language, even in our reduced, domesticated English, where children grow like weeds or come out smelling like roses, the market made up of bulls and bears, politics of hawks and doves. Like cards, flora and fauna could be read again and again, not only alone but in combination, in the endlessly shifting combinations of a nature that tells its own stories and colors ours, a nature we are losing without knowing even the extent of that loss. —Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost   Parents want to grow their daughters like daisies: […]