From Perspectives

Top 20 Songs I Listened to During Travel in 2013

In another life, U2’s Beautiful Day or the Beatles’s Across the Universe would be my travel anthems. But in this life, I love *pop* just as much as I love any other genre of music. Perhaps even more, to be honest. And while it’s productive to use travel time to reflect and make life-changing decisions,…

Five-Hour Connections*

MALACCA, Malaysia — We stepped out to the garden almost at the same time. And almost at the same time we placed a bottle of softdrink on separate tables. “Would you mind if I smoked?” I asked politely. “Absolutely not, I’m here for the same reason,” he smiled and introduced himself. His name is Aurelien,…

Layers

Outer Cover. TAAL, Philippines — It took two teenage boys to get the sacks of rice from the back of the pickup truck into the building, a shelter exclusively for abandoned or abused little girls . From the passenger seat, a middle-aged woman emerged and walked without looking at either of them. Until that moment when…

6 Things About Childhood That We Miss Terribly

Children avoid it and adults will give everything to have a piece of it — rest, staying still, a moment of nothing. When we were kids, our parents would force us to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon and we would do just about anything to resist it. We escaped to the…

Today I made a decision.

Today I made a decision. Six years ago, I had one dream. I wanted to become a diplomat, a herald of peace. I hold a degree in Film so I had to work my hardest and gave my all to reach it — sleepless nights of memorizing the ASEAN Charter by heart, mornings of burying my…

The Price of Intimacy: Relatives, Romance, and Roommates

MANDALUYONG CITY, Philippines — The thick dust that carpeted the floor felt like hotel grade cotton when I lay on it carelessly. It was the second day of painting our newly rented condo unit, and much like the afternoon before, I was alone tackling the gallons of colors. I stared at the ceiling and the…

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.…