March 4, 2011
Backpacking with a Book

Mt. Kanlaon: The Language of Its Faunas and Floras

Plants and animals are also a language, even in our reduced, domesticated English, where children grow like weeds or come out smelling like roses, the market made up of bulls and bears, politics of hawks and doves. Like cards, flora and fauna could be read again and again, not only alone but in combination, in the endlessly shifting combinations of a nature that tells its own stories and colors ours, a nature we are losing without knowing even the extent of that loss. —Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost   Parents want to grow their daughters like daisies: […]
September 20, 2011
Aguinid Falls, Samboan, Cebu

Dao, Binalayan, and Aguinid Falls in Samboan

Not all mountains tax its climber to see fulfilling scenery. Not all mountains require six hours or a day to reach the peak. Not all mountains find happiness to see its climber gruel from muscle pain. Not all mountains are like Samboan’s Mt. Bartolina. With the aid of experienced habal-habal drivers, who maneuver even on a foot-wide trail, a fifteen-minute assault is realizable. Pressed for time, climbers can be dropped on the saddle in Brgy. Monteverde. From the peak, the distant islands of Bohol, Negros, Siquijor, and Sumilon punctuate the still sea. One can feel unworthy of the rewards, who barely […]
October 30, 2011
Puerto del Sur Santander Cebu

Waiting at Puerto del Sur

Located at Liloan, Santander—the southernmost tip of Cebu—it is aptly called the Port of the South. A familiarity with the Spanish language taught me that puerto also means opening, door, entrance.
January 27, 2012
Backpacking with a Book

Cebu’s Tail: Santander

“Asa diay mo manaog, day?” the conductor asked. “Sa kanang naay beach.” Clueless as we were, Virhenia and I rode the bus bound south with the hope of finding emerald water, tempting enough to yell “manaog mi!” to the bus driver. The provincial road in southern Cebu constantly hugs the coastline. The view on the right The towns we passed by looked like  framed pictures in a digital media frame. From the bus window, the view automatically changed in a millisecond’s span. The view on the left: Santander’s Puerto del Sur