Category Archives: Philippines

Dinagyang, With Eyes Wide Open


A sustained whistle followed by three successive short blows signals the beginning of a multi-sensorial feast. Consider the tribal warrior covered in paint wearing  fire-colored headdress making aggressive steps towards the center. Behind him, the tribe members aim their arrows … Continue reading

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Solitude: The Glory of Being Alone


“Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god” – Aristotle   In this sense, I guess solo travelers are wild beasts – never hindered by personal limitations, and always feeling the need to roam. For many, … Continue reading

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Chasing Dreams and Sunrise: Two Mornings at San Juanico


Looking outside the plane window made me realize I won’t make it to the bridge before sunrise. It was only 5:35 am but the golden disc is already rising from the sea. I first saw San Juanico Bridge as a child … Continue reading

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Solitude and Disappointment


I woke up this morning with a slightly heavy head from the drinking session with colleagues last night. Despite not feeling well, I went around the resort area as planned. While the following photos might look ‘inviting’, this is not a place … Continue reading

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The Philippine National Museum


I felt infinitely small when I first visited the Philippine National Museum last February. Being surrounded by tangible reminders of history was a humbling experience – the artifacts and artworks connived to remind me that in the grand scheme of things, … Continue reading

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Camiguin as a Mysteriously-Veiled Woman


It’s raining. The ferry from Balingoan slowly pierces the veil-like fog that partially covers the view of Mt. Hibok-Hibok from a distance. A teary-eyed, seasick boy of about seven is constantly directing his little mouth to a plastic bag while his … Continue reading

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A Letter to my Future Self (whitewater rafting in CDO)


Dear James, I hope you still remember the time when you used to bathe at agricultural irrigation pumps in the province when you were 4 or 5 years old. During that time, you were too young to care either about the … Continue reading

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Northern Mindanao in Three Days


It only takes a few minutes from Lumbia airport in Cagayan de Oro for a non-suspecting visitor to be freed from the chains of this (wrongful) generalization: The whole of Mindanao is a resource-rich island unfortunately marred by rebellion and terrorism. European-themed subdivisions line both … Continue reading

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