From Personal Life

Tales from Behind the Wheel: Si Aida, si Lorna, at si Fe

MALACCA, Malaysia — The driver greeted us with a smile as we hopped into his cab. “To Melaka Sentral, sir!” My friend Ces, as usual, took the passenger seat while Asta and I occupied the back row. The driver beamed, nodded, and responded, “Okay, okay,” and started to drive. It was our last afternoon in…

Responsible Travel: The Bliss in Ignorance and the Pain in Information

“Is that because of us?” was Nix’s question after telling her how I ended up not scratching anything off my bucket list when I visited Chiang Mai, Thailand. Nix Nicolas is a co-founder of Save Philippine Seas (SPS). “Yes,” I replied with an unblinking stare. The month before, I found myself reluctant to try some…

What I Think About When I Think About Blogging*

My scriptwriting professor failed to show up in class that Wednesday afternoon because of a schedule conflict and I was left in between two choices on how I would spend the rest of the day. The left side of my brain was trying to persuade me to go to the mall and watch a movie.…

From My Handwritten Journal: Not the Coffee Kind of Love

MANILA, Philippines — I have no idea what had gotten into me. Maybe it was the rain or the slow ballads that I had been listening to the whole day. I was feeling a little down again, thinking about my childhood and the idea of talking to a shrink came up again but the idea…

Traveler vs Tourist: Traveling Without Labels

The traveler-vs-tourist debate has been around for ages. To some, a tourist is somebody who is more interested in the destination and not the journey, who usually avails of pre-arranged tours and sticks with the guidebooks, who books accommodations beforehand, and who only admires the place and not make attempts to connect with the locals…

Robert, Robbie, and the Robbery

The rain was just about to pour when a man approached us. It was five past nine o’clock in the evening and my friend Ces and I were walking towards a cake shop along Tomas Morato in Quezon City. “Hello, sir,” said the man. “Can I ask you a small favor?” While he was remarkably…

A Sharp Memory

It was a weekly event. Every Saturday morning, all the kids in the neighborhood, including myself, gathered at the living room of my grandfather’s house to watch Maskman (a Japanese Super Sentai series similar to Bioman and Power Rangers). Just like every other kid there, I grew up in a poor family and my grandfather…

The Promil Kid and the Bottled-up Secret

The oil on the pan was barely heated as I was cooking lunch when I heard two voices coming from one corner of the kitchen. It was my now 8-years old nephew with Min-min, a second cousin and his constant playmate, talking about something that he was preparing. “Don’t tell anyone, Min-min,” said my nephew…