April 26, 2011

SUNSTAR: Places of Memories

 [Past] does change. The present changes the past. Looking back you do not find what you left behind. —Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss A traveler intrudes upon the privacy of a place. Yet, is it possible to be part of its privacy in a time too limited, too short, too constrained? Possibly not. To reconcile the gap between time and understanding the place, one creates a version of the place on memories. And the place becomes truthful, sincere to memory. Mt. Timbak: The Mini-Calvary Experience the relief of being an unknown transplant to the locals and hide the perspective […]
May 31, 2011
Backpacking with a Book

Homebound

A lot happened, some were rewarding, some surprising, some unwelcome, some outrageous. But May indeed was a rewarding month.  I’m back on trails again. A call from a travel editor prodded me to reacquaint myself to the trails. Mountains, trails—they remind me of us, humans. They can be unpredictable, predictable.  They can be selfish, inamiable, indifferent. The boyfriend said geography could not be selfish, humans could, are. “You were trying to personify geography,” he said. No, I wasn’t. It’s a cold fact. And nature has every reason to be. It reminds me of Arundhati Roy’s passage from her The God of […]
June 10, 2011
Backpacking with a Book

City of the Smiling Mask

THE cheeks are overly pinched. The eyes are shadowed with purple. The lips are painted red. The lips form a sickle. The mask smiles. Why do most masks smile? Happiness is hard to suppress. We wear it. Assuming it is contagious, it is our utmost intention to infect others with the happy virus. Or perhaps happiness is contrived. We exhibit our happiness as to make others covetous. Suffering fills the world, and happiness is the white dot on the black paper of suffering.  Why do most masks smile? There is art in sadness. It requires discipline. Bending a concave into […]
September 20, 2011
Aguinid Falls, Samboan, Cebu

Dao, Binalayan, and Aguinid Falls in Samboan

Not all mountains tax its climber to see fulfilling scenery. Not all mountains require six hours or a day to reach the peak. Not all mountains find happiness to see its climber gruel from muscle pain. Not all mountains are like Samboan’s Mt. Bartolina. With the aid of experienced habal-habal drivers, who maneuver even on a foot-wide trail, a fifteen-minute assault is realizable. Pressed for time, climbers can be dropped on the saddle in Brgy. Monteverde. From the peak, the distant islands of Bohol, Negros, Siquijor, and Sumilon punctuate the still sea. One can feel unworthy of the rewards, who barely […]