“We love you too, yaya. Asa lagi ka karon? (Where are you now?),” replied Mama after receiving my New Year’s greeting. I just finished witnessing the city burst into orgasmic colors at the view deck somewhere Transcentral Highway. I was supposed to leave Cebu to pursue something entirely new, but Seniang delayed my plans for two days. It was good in a way. In the past eleven years of residing in the city, I never had had the chance to stroll around days before the year ends. I would be on my way home, or my idea of home: Tuburan, via the silent, […]
It takes time to love big cities. Its character is not fixed, its face varied, it is or can be unpredictable. To love a city is to linger, to stay for months or years perhaps. It is not meant for place sniffers, those who can only afford to stay for three days, a week utmost: visit the Petronas Tower on the second night, go to Batu Caves in the morning, haggle at Chinatown in the afternoon. To fully love a city is to abandon the self’s restlessness, the self’s hunger for the places one has never been to. To love […]
“Where are you now?” “In the middle of the bridge?” Yes, with a question mark because I was really on the bridge at four in the afternoon, yes, with a question mark because I could not really believe that I was on the bridge and had not checked in yet. I was kinda embarrassed to admit that I totally overlooked the simple truth that all travel guides I have read on Guiuan were pre-Yolanda (Haiyan). And that’s the thing about places hit by the supertyphoon. These places have now modifiers “before” and “after Yolanda” attached to their names.
I remember it well: I was busy writing a travel assignment on my phone. Nassefh—a handsome poet from Mindanao and my guardian during my drunk nights in the 54th Silliman University National Writers Workshop, the most sought-after writer workshop in the Philippines—approached me and said that I was not enjoying the moment at all. Indeed, he was right. We were aboard a big boat on our way to Manjuyod Sandbar as our midweek escape from the slaughtering called writing workshop. And there I was glued on my phone, finishing a deadline! Writing a 1000-word travel article on my phone was […]