Manila Minorities
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House of Open Doors: The Manila You Don’t Know

MANILA, Philippines — Guidebooks paint two-dimensional portraits of Manila: Intramuros here, Chinatown there, traffic everywhere. Online accounts reveal all her glaring flaws: she’s noisy, highly disorganized, a little suffocating, and totally insane. Yoshke Dimen takes a leap of faith in this sorely misunderstood megacity in search of her good side and finds that only those…

Zhangjiajie
Featured

Conversions

ZHANGJIAJIE, China — He looks at my passport, and I know something is not right. The bank teller stares at my currency exchange form and gives me a look I can’t decipher. My stay in Zhangjiajie is ending, and I need some yuan to catch the last train out. His fingers tap the desk anxiously,…

Australia Campfire

Safe Zone

“How do we keep the snakes away?” one of us finally speaks up after Nick, our tour guide, told us we would be sleeping on the ground. Good question. It is the first night of our camping tour across the middle of nowhere (aka the Australian Outback), and we are all surprised to find there…

Casablanca

Lost in the Middle of…

“Hey, take a picture of me here. I’m gonna pose like I’m lost.” “In the middle of the rocks?” “Yes.” “Lost in the middle of rocks?” “Your tone implies that it’s a ridiculous idea. People get lost in the middle of rocks all the time! Where are you from?” “Lost in the middle of r…”…

Mourning

Twinkle in Her Eyes

BATANGAS, Philippines — Not too far from our house stands a small store, owned by a woman, a distant relative. I remember, on the way to school when I was a kid, she would always wave at me and try to convince me to buy something. She was always friendly and a bit talkative. She…

Yoshke with Dog

Winter Warmth

I’m usually scared of big dogs, so when this doggie here walked closer to me, I WAS TERRIFIED at first. I would move away, but he would follow. It wasn’t long until I realized what he was trying to do.

Yoshke Storm

Superhero

“Do a superhero pose.” “Okay.” “WTF is that pose?” “Storm. Duh?” #AlamNa Photo taken in GOREME, Turkey.

Maxine Casaclang

Drive

TAGAYTAY, Philippines — When I woke up, I found her driving the car downhill. My friend Maxine and I came from another friend’s wedding, where I had too much to drink. On the way to the hotel, I passed out, leaving Max on her own, navigating around an unfamiliar territory at midnight. “Where are we…