Jona | Backpacking with a Book

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 […]
July 29, 2012

| Travel Essay | The Clouds of Bantayan Island

There is something about the clouds. Their beauty is their fleetingness. They are “unburdened by memory of any kind” unlike us. I could remember the pile of cup noodles below the television swaying, and if they had fallen down, it would have been a signal that the waves won over the ship. Luckily, the waves were not furious enough, but they constantly reminded us with their disturbing presence. A man steadied himself on the lower rail of the ship while painting its exterior white. He was left unperturbed by our cloud imaginings on the second deck. Everything was moving—the clouds, […]
July 22, 2012

Benguet Horizon: Coloring Distance

The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land […]
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.