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 […]
September 7, 2016

MT. BROMO | Finding Beauty in Ashes: A Photo Essay

EASTERN JAVA, INDONESIA. As we faced heavenward to admire the constellations that reminded me a lot of a city’s nightscape, we felt the soft arrival of the ashes in our face. This is how we arrived. This is how Mt. Bromo welcomed us. Outside our bare room, the railings were all covered in ashes. Even the terrace’s tiled floor was no exception. We curled and bundled up inside. *** A dog played with a dead pigeon on an ashen field of leeks. It rained ashes once again. The nase goreng by Mt. Bromo’s viewing deck tasted good. We brought our […]
September 12, 2016

An Interview on Travel Writing

Ma’am Hope asked me if there is a travel narrative I could include in a book on creative nonfiction she is working on. I had “Tales from the Lake” (a narrative on Lake Sebu) or “We Are Called Langitnon” (a narrative on Dinagat Group of Islands). I labored a lot on these two. But she opted for “On Being a Dark-Skinned Filipina Traveling around the Philippines,” a rant more than an essay. Haha! I modified some of the answers and shared them here.
September 13, 2016

KITCHEN TALE | The Sand on the Shrimp and Fish

VARKALA, KERALA, INDIA—“If we are going to live together, our kitchen should not look like that,” said Tobi. The kitchen downstairs repelled him. What could we expect from a kitchen we borrowed for some hours from two hippie men? They played the guitar, one taught yoga upstairs, while the other prepared spicy lassi downstairs. Curls crowned their head. Both wore dhoti. Both forgot to water a family of sweet basil outside our room. Both took turns in puffing on a joint on some languid nights. Tobi and the two even thought of preparing bhang lassi.