March 27, 2014

Buscalan, Kalinga | Getting Inked by Fang Od

Ruel said, on holidays, she could earn about P50,000 from tattooing alone. She was able to buy the surrounding lands and carabaos. Sometimes the neighbors would borrow money from her. Whang Od’s short stature was always wrapped in silence, regardless of the domestic noises around her: kids crying, black hogs squealing. She said the centipede, the design I chose for myself, is the guide for the lost. There is nothing, I guess, more fitting for someone who has a terrible sense of direction, who, later on, would find herself at a loss after a heartbreak. Heartbreak is one of the […]
March 21, 2014

Beautiful Photos from Coron, Palawan, Philippines

The islandness of Busuanga is different from that of Siargao or Malapascua. Restaurants, coffee shops, bars interjected between small local stores, oddly positioned between a cement shop and a vulcanizing shop. Everything is scattered and in disarray. Everyone seemed comfortable with the indistinguishableness between the seeming luxury and utter poverty. Everything shared a place named Busuanga. But. But. It was the extremes—the richest and the poorest that were pushed towards the sea: the most extravagant resorts stood proudly, exclusively on surrounding islands, while the poor’s stilt houses staggered in the slum. Snippets from the Diary: *** The moon in its […]
February 10, 2014

Giving Malapascua a Chance: Photos

Here are some Malapascua Island photos: Snobbery is an unlikely character of a traveler. But sometimes I cannot help but label islands either too touristy or superficial and tend to avoid traveling to these places I—who prided herself a traveler—reduced to tourist consumption. It did not help that Malapascua has an exotic-sounding name—so foreign in a region of the Bisdaks. It took me awhile to have the will to dispel the snobbery away. An island like Malapascua taught me that I should question the trappings of tourism and mundanity found in brochures. Traveling, if one is patient, can teach us the […]
February 5, 2014

Mt. Apo Climb in Photos

Mt Apo Photos during our climb. February 27-March 4, 2013