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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.