May 11, 2014

Building Readers Project: Kawasan Edition

As a kid, I did not have access to books, but I always love reading. Back in high school, a teacher accused me of ripping a book into two and had my sister, a senior then, notified. My sister cried out of humiliation. The allegation stemmed from the fact that I was the sole soul reading that book every lunch break. But I had no memory of ripping the book. When I transferred to a Catholic school, which had a relatively big library, I stole most of its Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys hardbound collection. Until now, I still have […]
August 8, 2012

Quotes from Jeffrey Eugenides’ “Middlesex”

“What time did you go to bed last night?” asked P, who is always concerned about my crazy sleeping habits, which he thinks detrimental to my health, health-conscious as he is. “Hmm. Four, I guess?” I answered. There is no point in lying because he could easily see them through my eyebags and constant yawns. “Reading?” “Yeah. Middlesex.” “Thought you didn’t like it.” “Yeah, I didn’t like the first five pages.”
August 2, 2012

My July According to Words

“I love reading books,” a certain Japanese answered the trivial getting-to-know-each-other question, “what are your hobbies?” though we both know to know was misplaced. I expected another bout of suspense thrillers since most Japanese find Haruki Murakami too baffling. “Do you know Kobo Abe?” The science of coincidence! My eyes widened because Kobo Abe’s The Woman in the Dunes was on my desk—to reacquaint myself to the ambiguousness of his sand for a travel essay. Rewriting is a painful process; it is an emotional and intellectual bloodshed. While rereading doubles the pleasure. Every read, another layer of meaning, understanding peels […]
May 1, 2012

Of Reading Fiction and Damaged Camera: Sad, Promising, Consoling Stories

Daku Island, Siargao Group of Islands, Surigao del Norte, Philippines  One of my camera’s last winks . . . A Sad Story “I have to admit, when you found out your camera was broken, you just laughed about it. I guess, others would cry,” Brian declared, whom I met during my Siargao trip. “I had a camera, not because I wanted one. I needed one.”  I was tempted to say that photography, in some ways, covered my writing frustrations. Others would cry.  I know, not because they are materialistic, Brian. The camera becomes an integral part of one’s being.  I didn’t cry, but […]