January 22, 2014

Sinulog 2014: The Grand Parade Photo Essay

Walkers are ‘practitioners of the city,’ for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities. Just as language limits what can be said, architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents other ways to go.―Rebecca Solnit, “Wanderlust: A History of Walking” Alaska, Mambaling. The only contingent that doesn’t have a queen. Lee Gonzaga, the boy on my right, is the prince of his fisherfolk tribe. Despite their lack of coordination, they are the most grounded, the […]
March 27, 2014

Buscalan, Kalinga | Getting Inked by Fang Od

Ruel said, on holidays, she could earn about P50,000 from tattooing alone. She was able to buy the surrounding lands and carabaos. Sometimes the neighbors would borrow money from her. Whang Od’s short stature was always wrapped in silence, regardless of the domestic noises around her: kids crying, black hogs squealing. She said the centipede, the design I chose for myself, is the guide for the lost. There is nothing, I guess, more fitting for someone who has a terrible sense of direction, who, later on, would find herself at a loss after a heartbreak. Heartbreak is one of the […]
April 21, 2015

CRUISING MAGAZINE: Meeting Whang Od

Cruising magazine published my photo essay on my encounter with the phenomenal Whang Od. The essay, just about 700 words, was hard to write especially I already wrote an exhaustive essay on Whang Od and Her Village. To read the whole essay, you can buy Cruising #GoingPlaces at any bookstores nationwide. I included some parts here as a teaser. ***
January 22, 2016
Mt. Ulap, Itogon, Benguet

Places in the Philippines to Avoid This Summer

A note: Hi there! I would constantly update this list. If you have been to overcrowded destinations in the Philippines that you want to include in the list, email us at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com—Jona In April and May, some Filipinos take three showers a day while others suffer from the absence of water on daytime—a polar representation of how our society works. This is summer for most Filipinos: the drought hits us hard, especially the most marginalized in the country. I’m typing this away in Siquijor where I met a lovely Filipino-European gay couple who has the means to have a second line of […]