June 7, 2010
Backpacking with a Book

2nd Friendship Climb: Befriending Nature and Mountaineers

A river is a source of mystery: it is a sanctuary of raw emotions. Its current sometimes articulates happiness, desolation, sometimes a dangerous silence. A river is―can be―a master of deceit and pretension.
September 8, 2010
Backpacking with a Book

Antique: Understanding One’s Place

What gives value to travel is fear. It is the fact that, at a certain moment, when we are so far from our own [place] we are seized by a vague fear, and an instinctive desire to go back to the protection of old habits. —Albert Camus, Notebooks Distance, memories, I often consider them as one entity. There is a gap, space between the present and the past, and we often reconcile them through memories. A long travel―though physically draining―is a mind exercise. It allows the mind to remember, revisit, reconstruct, reaffirm memories. Distancing One’s Self Philippines’ scattering islands and […]
September 22, 2010

Benguet: Black-and-White Photographs

What, I wondered, would the visual world be like for those born totally colorblind? Would they, perhaps, lacking any sense of something missing, have a world no less dense and vibrant than our own? Might they even have developed heightened perceptions of visual tone and texture and movement and depth, and live in a world in some ways more intense than our own, a world of heightened reality—one that we can only glimpse echoes of in the work of the great black-and-white photographers? Might they indeed see us as peculiar, distracted by trivial or irrelevant aspects of the visual world, […]
November 5, 2010
Backpacking with a Book

An Act of Returning

Ex-stasis: where one does not belong to any place, where anything can lead to something, where something can lead to nothing, where the self is not located nearby, where the self is left somewhere else. Notes on Baguio Houses constructed on mountains’ shoulders looked like painted boxes arranged drastically like they are about to stumble, somersault, and then fall, pulp into pieces on the mountain’s foot. They are like moments frozen, stilled in photographs. It reminds me of Kiran Desai’s Darjeeling’s houses: “the weight of more concrete pressing downward had spurred the town’s lopsided descent and caused more landslides than […]