A Tribute to Visayas and Mindanao

It was the hottest time of day inside a rickety bus last April that I think I fell in love with Visayas. My skin was dark and burnt, having spent the last four days on polar ends of Cebu, and my forehead was dripping wet with sweat as we made our way from the Remegio…

Let’s Fall in Love and Build a Nation

The road snaking through the heart of the town of Jagna was decorated with colorful banderitas that day. It was my first time in Bohol, and I had not come to see the tarsiers or the chocolate hills. I came to see something more wondrous: Love. And it wasn’t just any kind of love. It was a…

Go Places, Fall In Love

On May 25, 2012, Che Gurrobat, the blogger behind Backpacking Pilipinas, wrote: The world will not stop for a girl with a broken heart. Tomorrow the sun will continue to rise and shine, rock stars will continue staging sold-out concerts, football superstars will continue striking goals, verdict will be cast on to the Chief Justice…

This Victory Matters

At around 7:30 pm, Thursday, June 25, Edma Remillano, our head writer on State of the Nation and one of the officers of Talents Association of GMA (TAG), whispered to me while we were writing our scripts: “Nanalo tayo sa NLRC.” (We won in the Nataional Labor Relations Commission) We were told our Association President…

I’m Quitting Tinder

“The New York Times makes a big deal out of Tinder,” reads my own Tinder profile. After much egging from my friends, it was the New York Times that convinced me to download the app. It published Op-Eds, Modern Love columns, and Feature articles on the increasingly popular dating app, offering perspectives that ranged from…

Bantayan Island Will Never Be Paradise Lost

On November 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) made its fourth landfall on Bantayan Island, the northernmost tip of Cebu. For days, the remote island had no communication to the world beyond the sea. The storm destroyed 90% of houses, including resorts and other establishments that sustained tourism in the island. In the days that…

We Are the Yayas of the World

It’s 1991 in the modest town of Moncada, Tarlac. Her husband just died. Her father followed shortly after. She’s 30 years old, a mother of two — the youngest just 6 months old. And up until that moment, she has not worked a day in her life. She could take over the family business —…

A Nation of Broken Hearts

I think I have a broken heart, literally. I’m back at the University of Santo Tomas, my Alma Mater — not at the plaza or my old building or even the walkways I spent endless hours in college just burning time, but at the hospital. I’ve never been inside the UST Hospital before. I never…

Kristel’s Battles

Dear Kristel, I have no right to write about you. Most of us never had a chance to know you. We have no idea what you went through; there is no way we can ever understand why you decided to take your own life. But I remember that day. It was a Friday, March 15th, 2013;…

Why Manila Is Better than London

My editor asked this question right after I went back to work: “Bakit umuwi ka pa? (Why would you want to return?)” The Executive Producer of a morning newscast asked me the same, with additional input: “Something is very wrong with you.” This was not the first time I heard these remarks. I have just returned from a two-week vacation…

Where Shakespeare Lived, Loved and Died

Editor’s Note: Last June 21, 2014, Lian Buan visited Stratford-upon-Avon in England. This town is the birthplace of William Shakespeare, the celebrated bard and wordsmith. His grave is also here. Today is the longest day of 2014, the start of summer. It is the midsummer day and I luckily experienced it here in England, where the…