March 28, 2012

Where Does Siquijor’s Magic Come from?

Siquijor, Siquijor, Philippines While sitting under the thick foliage of Acacia trees lining Dumaguete’s boulevard, we spied a blur of an island riding the edges of the sea. “Siquijor,” a friend said. The way the tongue curls for “jor” elicits an immediate longing to walk its beaches and start a […]
March 21, 2012

Cebu Yearbook 2012: Knowing Cebu through Its Mountains

It started with a call from Kristin Lerin, the travel editor of Sunstar’s Live. She asked if I was willing to write about the mountains of Cebu for Sunstar Yearbook 2012. Of course, I giddily yes-sed.
March 2, 2012

Mary Oliver | A River Far Away and Long Ago

Kawasan Falls, Matutinao, Badian, Cebu, Philippines  It was a sleepless night. I was reading this poem in the wee hours of the morning at McDonald’s Mango while waiting for Mara, the PR consultant of Terra Manna Camping and Resort. I didn’t know that we would visit the river that kept […]
March 1, 2012
Backpacking with a Book

Moonwalking at The Walk’s Moon Cafe

Jo’s Fajita Salad | P107.14* “Manglibre ka, ron, te? (Will you treat us out, te?)” Virhenia asked. “It’s not my birthday! But let’s eat out!” It’s thirty past midnight. I told Jo, Judy, Ellen, and Sachi to go ahead because I had to drop by  my place to get the camera. […]
February 29, 2012

Local Midweek: Water Vendor on Taal Volcano’s Foot

Water Vendor | Taal Volcano, Batangas Perhaps Brandi Carlile had this kind of face on mind while writing the first stanza of “The Story.” All of these lines across my face / Tell you the story of who I am / So many stories of where I’ve been / And how I got […]
February 28, 2012
Backpacking with a Book

Wislawa Szymborska: Openness

P, Poetry is the sincerest gift I could think of. For your birthday,  a day shy from  a leap day, I read a Wislawa Szymborska. Perhaps a sensitive soul like Szymborska  can understand why I have to do some tweaks to make the poem more particular and intimate: changes like teacup […]
February 27, 2012
Backpacking with a Book

Intramuros in Pictures

Why, Intramuros? Because the bridge signals you are about to say hi to History
February 26, 2012

Sunset at Terra Manna Camping & Resort

TERRA MANNA CAMPING & RESORT BADIAN, CEBU  February 25, 2012 I visited Terra Manna again yesterday. It is arrogant of us to perceive that we know the place well after our first visit. Places have ways of surprising us. Have a happy Sunday, everyone. Love and Laugh, Jona of Backpacking […]
February 21, 2012

Photo Essay: Baclaran Church

Baclaran Silhouettes at 5:30 in the morning
February 14, 2012

Louise Glück: Happiness

I desire to write a poem as beautiful as this, for you, P. Bear with the amateurish work of mine, in the meantime. 😉
February 14, 2012

Images of Love on Valentine’s Day

Travel allows me to witness a moment of love. But love is too strong a word, too beguiling. For a lover of literature, an entry won’t be enough to enumerate—much more argue about—the myriad discourse about love defined by my preferred writers, from Julian Barnes to Toni Morrison. But the […]
January 27, 2012
Backpacking with a Book

Cebu’s Tail: Santander

“Asa diay mo manaog, day?” the conductor asked. “Sa kanang naay beach.” Clueless as we were, Virhenia and I rode the bus bound south with the hope of finding emerald water, tempting enough to yell “manaog mi!” to the bus driver. The provincial road in southern Cebu constantly hugs the […]