Bodies

Somewhere in this image a lifeless body lies. An alleged robber, a chase, gunshots rang in the middle of the night. A victim in the police mobile, hiding her face. The scene of the crime, opened to spectators, until the men in uniform tape off a defined area, an undefined square-footage of open space bordered…

Musubi

There was a time when I had a word define my year. It was inspired by Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, and although it somehow sounds lame now (as there are times you can’t admit you were desperate for that game), I truly liked her “word”: attraversiamo. Attraversiamo. The word seems full of possibilities. Movement. Last year,…

This is Tomorrow

Today, a child in the slums of Manila is starving. A troop of students is traveling to their school, miles away, across rivers and mountains, trudging through mud, stomachs almost empty. Today, on the other side of the world, children are dying because of war, because of famine, because politics are keeping aid away that…

Remembering 

Fifteen years ago, it was past 9pm and I was on my usual station in front of the computer, engaged with friends from school via our Yahoo Group. Behind me, my aunts and uncles were watching CNN International. It’s a habit at home; if there’s nothing interesting anywhere else, we tune in to the news…

Dreams

In a small shop tucked in one of the historic walls in the city, a woman highlighted the uniqueness of this roll of t‘nalak from a T’boli community on Lake Sebu in Mindanao. A male weaver made this, she said, and male dreamweavers are not very common. Many know of the T’bolis’ weaving tradition, how the…

Arms Free

Concealed between the trunks of the towering trees, a group of soldiers found their spot on the ground and took a break from shooting. Fortunately, they were not in the middle of a war; they were part of a short film that aims to benefit the children of those who fell. This image taken last…

A River Ran Through It

It wasn’t until I examined the soil I was standing on when I realized I had been trudging on what was a riverbed. As the river struggled to swell enough to cover its former territories, a small cattle took comfort in the sprouting greens that signalled their widening grazing land. The grainy earth had been…

Diaspora

A group of young farmers from the lowlands found themselves trying their luck in the highland farms of the Cordilleras. The elevation didn’t matter; it was about survival. It also didn’t matter that they could potentially displace local workers as a number of farmers from the mountains, ironically, want to try their luck down in…

Profile

The shared instruction was, “Make sure it’ll make a FANTASTIC PROFILE PIC!” Imagine the pressure. The shot would be a no-brainer. The sunset was so dramatic, it would generate substantial attention to those who are suckers for #sunset. The beach — oh that beach — is a popular vacation spot that #Boracay #summer #islandlife #beachlife…

Stuff, roll, bite

The method cannot be more simple: grab a leaf, pile a reasonable amount of selected toppings, roll. Bite. One can approach this clockwise, starting from the lower right quadrant: leaf, raw shallots and ginger, chopped lime, nuts, fried krill and pork fat. Top with sauce. Roll, bite. Every bite is as complex and as bright,…

Tres Solitaire

The place was almost full: pre-dinner drinks, post-work gab. The sun showed itself after hours of drizzle, and was setting amidst purple and pink clouds, and towers that were lighting up as dusk, then darkness, set in. The day called for three mojitos, glowering over an observation that would lead to a realisation. It was one…

Departures

A small group of Chinese locals stared as two foreigners departed on a raft on a river in Guilin. The wonder was, perhaps, the possibility of two female Asians traveling without fear and without care, but brimming with curiosity and fascination. We wondered, too, as everybody was friendly and accommodating, despite being without a clue…