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.
October 4, 2016

Money Guide for Travelers from Developing Countries: Why You Must Have a Separate Travel Fund Bank Account

Otherwise Known: How Not to Feeling Guilty for Spending for Your Trip Over coffee and dessert, Ellen (I mentioned her in my “What’s Wrong with ‘Leave Everything behind and Travel the World”) said that she feels guilty everytime she travels. She considers traveling a personal pursuit, a selfishness that she must curb down or deprive herself of. I am pretty much aware of her financial status. She often consulted me especially when financial concern meets travel confusion. I am her sinister, bitchy, loud ate in the city. She would ask me: should I book this flight? Is it too expensive? Should I extend my stay? […]