Oral Origins 2: Gago and Leche

There are certain curse words that have become part of daily conversations. But do we really know where these words come from? After discussing Putang Ina and Yawa in the first edition of our special report Oral Origins, our sequel presents two more familiar utterances. Gago We all have probably gone through the nasty habit of christening our childhood…

Oral Origins: The Etymology of Putang Ina and Yawa

Editor’s Note: Here is the sequel — Oral Origins 2: Gago and Leche I faintly remember what led to our teacher’s ire that afternoon and why she was scolding the class. All I can clearly recall now were the dusty black shoes I was wearing. They were the first things I saw when I looked down in shame…

From Disasters to Shelters

Two years ago, super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) made its third of six landfalls over the town of Daanbantayan in northern Cebu. That time, Felisa Amistoso and her family were still living in Sitio Samar in Barangay Agujo among fish pens and a creek, in a small, dilapidated shanty on a plot of land that was…

The Ghosts of Siquijor

Siquijor has the distinction of being the mystical island of the Philippines, a name the province may have earned through numerous tales of supernatural superstitions that originated here. I don’t know if it helped that Siquijor rhymes with horror. But this province has always been at the forefront of conversations when it comes to sorcerers,…

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…

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…