May 18, 2016

Dear Isa: It Is All Right to Not Travel

My name is Isa, I’m  also from the Philippines. I discovered your blog through your recent travel essay on leaving everything behind to travel the world. Consider me a new follower of your blog; while I envy that you have seen as much of the world as you possibly can (a goal that I’m setting for myself); I’m also thankful for the piece you wrote which echoes my own thoughts on the constant in-between-ness of indulging one’s wanderlust and the constraints that real life presents. I used to share the same mentality of filling one’s passport with adventure and what-not, […]
November 15, 2015

PHOTO ESSAY: Why I Did Not See the Petronas Towers

It takes time to love big cities. Its character is not fixed, its face varied, it is or can be unpredictable. To love a city is to linger, to stay for months or years perhaps. It is not meant for place sniffers, those who can only afford to stay for three days, a week utmost: visit the Petronas Tower on the second night, go to Batu Caves in the morning, haggle at Chinatown in the afternoon. To fully love a city is to abandon the self’s restlessness, the self’s hunger for the places one has never been to. To love […]
February 20, 2014

My Essay “Placed” on Cruising Magazine

We live in words—some beautiful, some painful, some hopeful, some gnawing, some dark, some lucid, some heavy, some light. We live in words. This one was for a certain someone. I gift words—but sometimes they don’t come out right. More than three years ago, I quoted Mary Oliver on one of the letters. To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go. *** Yes, yes. […]
June 26, 2012
Backpacking with a Book

Of Being Thankful and Afternoon Walks

BISLIG, SURIGAO DEL SUR, PHILIPPINES  I. AFTERNOON WALKS I walked. I only had an hour break, but I decided to walk and risked being late at work. Mango Avenue changes every time I walk: two stores closed, another eatery/restaurant opened. Last month, a boutique opened. Daytime Mango means  a few pedestrians, scarce street kids, less pretensions. I walked with a purpose: wedges, book, Sbarro. I walked to clear my mind. I walked to understand the reason we love.