August 15, 2016

DOWN SOUTH | Of Trails and Traces in Chiang Mai

This post first appeared on my travel column Down South on interaksyon.com on June 12, 2016. Included more photos here. 😉 I grew up climbing trees, hunting wild guavas, assigning names to animals to pass them off as friends, and wishing there was a living river nearby. Life would have been a lot easier for me and my siblings. Life would have been graced with laughter—the kind unique to constant frolicking in the water. T grew up biking the hills and climbing snow-capped mountains and swimming in a massive lake—so massive they called it “der see,” which literally means “sea.” […]
August 29, 2016

Twenty-four Words from the Philippines that Show How Beautiful Our Languages Are

I drew a map of the Philippines on the board (it was a terrible drawing!) and asked my weekday humans where the center was. It was our first meeting in our Philippine literature class; and I found it befitting to start the lecture with a lesson on geography. How do we define center in the first place? So their answers varied.  Center is where the capital is. Center is where Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao meet. Center is where home is. Some months ago, in a small island in Bohol, I met a woman in the process of feeding her […]
August 31, 2016

Capitarise-Cebu| Reseeing Lapu-Lapu City

CEBU, PHILIPPINES—I cannot write without facing a window, vain it may sound. If not a window, then by open spaces—facing the sea’s vastness for example. The air thick with salinity. The wind teasing the ears. Perhaps it is my way to conquer the wall that scares any writer’s wit: the writer’s block—that moment when I stare at the blinking | in a rather bright and immaculate white screen. When that occurs, indeed it is scary. How can I be a writer without writing? How do I fight the wall? A literal space is my weapon of choice in defeating the […]
September 1, 2016

What’s New? On Plans and Routes

A week ago, I sent a version of this to the subscribers of Backpacking with a Book. Dear, I found it awkward to write a newsletter. A romantic, I found it more charming to write a letter instead. The word newsletter sounds so formal and business-like and personally I am not. I laugh like a hyena, some say; like a witch, others say. And a newsletter for what? A non-successful travel blog? Haha! So, a letter is more befitting. So what’s new with me and my struggling little blog? Let us start with the things that cannot be found on […]