Batanes and the Search for Purity

It was less a story than a prayer. For this place that had seized me to remain pure, to become constant, so that I could return one day and find its place in my heart still intact. 

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I got published on Roam Magazine!

It’s a piece on the rich, varied, and sometimes disjointed textures of my home, Manila, and how this has come to define me as a traveler and a citizen of a global world. Read it here.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on it too. Leave it at the comments section below.

Manila Textures: Binondo in Expired Fujicolor Superia

Grand old Spanish buildings sit side by side with tacky contemporary storefronts. Display windows feature random assortments of Chinese products, while street vendors roll carts piled high with produce. And the sea of people penetrates every cranny.

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When my friend, Bernice, and I started talking about going up to Kalinga, she was still unsure of whether to get a tattoo. She wanted one but her parents were against it, and so she didn’t know if getting permanently inked was worth the trouble. As we went through the harrowing journey however, and finally…

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Kalinga Making Marks

In late January, my good friend, Bernice, and I traveled way up north of the Philippines to the mountains of Buscalan, Kalinga. Getting there took one night and one day, three different vehicles on countless cliffs, and so many miles on foot, all totaling 15 hours of travel from Manila. Buscalan, Kalinga made for an…

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The Second Time Around

Four years ago I hopped on a rickety G Lizardo bus with doors held by rusty hinges, seats that felt like hardboard, and creaky windows that let the full force of the cold mountain wind through. It traversed the winding, unpaved roads of the legendary Halsema Highway, weaving through patches of galvanized iron villages, yellow-green…

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Escaping Summer Heat

We’re at the heart of summer in the Philippines, and with temperatures averaging 39 degrees C a day (hotter than freakin body temperature!), it’s no surprise my mind is getting slowly fried. All I’m consumed with now is thoughts of the ocean, or the cool mountains, or anywhere away from the searing city, longing for…

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A couple of weeks back my photography group finally got its act together and managed to land ourselves in the beach. It was the laziest, coolest, chillest two days I’ve had all year, I think. Swinging gently in a hammock all afternoon for siesta, waking up to eat, driving to the beach, eating again, drinking every…

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