I find this Filipino habit of describing a place in the Philippines by comparing it with something found outside it to be depressing. For example, the tourism motto of the Municipality of Kibungan used to describe its mountains as the Switzerland of Benguet; the Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig City is often captioned as the Niagara … More Philippine tourism and the sin of originality
I once found myself in an awkward situation while seated inside a car with a friend and his entire family. He was giving instructions to one of his daughters in the typical English you’d hear from Filipino-American comedians spoofing their moms: with a broken syntax and a hard, rough accent. The daughter rolled her pretty … More Filipino is in the Heart. Or is it?
I dreamt that I died a sudden and tragic death. It was very clear to me: I was the victim of a robbery, and the perpetrator ended my life after he dispossessed me of my valuables. Strangely enough, it was daytime when the crime took place, and the visions in my dream were edited seamlessly … More I woke up this morning from a very strange dream
There was a vile and persistent rumor that swung among the towering coconut trees in the sprawling hillside property of the d’Abovilles: that this would be the last Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival. The signs were ominous as they were obvious: gate attendance has been waning over the last few years, and on the Sunday … More Have we seen the last of Malasimbo?
The trail from Sitio Cawag to Silanguin Cove is barren and burnt. There is virtually no shade, save for the pockets of trees that line the streams. Had it not been for the wind and the clouds, our Saturday hike would have been an extreme form of self-flagellation. There was an easier and more relaxing … More Scorched earth: Mount Cinco Picos-Silanguin Cove traverse
Over a month ago, I teased a photo of a famous restaurant from Cebu that was still under construction. I just happened to have biked past it on my way to my favorite deli, and my caption talked about kamias shake being available in my neighborhood.
I identify with a religion that doesn’t have festivals, although as I understand it, the modern fiesta is more pagan in origin than Catholic. If you look at the history of the most famous festivals in honor of the child Christ, for example, the street dancing evolved into its current form when “natives” celebrated their conversion … More The excesses of Ibajay: religious festivals as protest