July 20, 2011

Baliw-Baliw Festival: The Story

With trash lumping by the swamp, people started to crowd around, waiting for the tide, waiting for the ferry that carried the patron—St. Vincent Ferrer. Three women remained undisturbed by the growing crowd and continued cleaning the innards of the slaughtered pig for paklay, a menu of pig’s innards and spices.  A woman dropped an opened gallon attached to a rope down the well. The other two chopped the innards into chunks. Slaughtering a pig is a symbol of festivity. A pig is an archetype of lavishness, of corruption, of extremes. And barrio fiestas exactly mirror this culture, this belief. […]
June 20, 2011
Backpacking with a Book

To Ioannes and His Island’s Baliw-Baliw

“It’s part of Lapu-Lapu City,” you said. You’re a native of Olango,  who finds your home island all too familiar to the brink of boredom—its lifestyle too laid-back, too ruralish. “Isn’t Olango good material for writing?” It sounded like more of a statement than a question. You looked uninterested with the idea.  Or perhaps I was just affected from the hype of the award-gatherer Ang Damgo in Eleutoria, a local full-length filmed in Olango. And perhaps this drove me into wanting to create a story out from this island. “Look at that guy with a weird faux hawk. Katol ng kamot.”  He […]
June 18, 2011
Backpacking with a Book

On Boat to Olango

Olango alters my idea of an island. A break from a mountainous May: an island Olango. It’s just recent that my fascination for islands grows. I misconceived islands. I often equated them with their glossy-magazinish existence. And it was because of Oliver Sacks that I realized tourism is not a place, it is an act; that although one is foreign to an island, one doesn’t have to act all touristy. Although the island becomes a tourism enterprise, a visitor doesn’t have to be a tourist. In my case, I don’t have to gloss this online abode with catchy and deceitful […]