The Problem with UP

What if you could revisit and download the questions you took during the UPCAT (University of the Philippines College Admission Test)? I received information that this will be a possibility. It’s not yet official though. For some people including yours truly, these were the same set of questions that made and unmade dreams. Not all UPCAT takers make…

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…

Ang Romansa Ko sa Bangkok

Isang karagatan lang ang pagitan ng Maynila at Bangkok. Wala pang anim na oras ang biyahe sa eroplano para marating ang kapitolyo ng kaharian ng Thailand na tinuguriang City of Angels. Pero kung pagkukumparahing maigi, tila milya-milya na ang pagitan ng dalawang syudad. Wala na sa hinagap ko kung kailan ko nakilala ang Bangkok. Sa apat…

How I Outgrew the Night Life

Where do broken hearts go? They say this is the perfect place — because you can barely hear your own heartbeat. There I was in a bar, hoping I could heal myself. I was all set. I put on heavy makeup to look a bit more mature and wore the tightest dress I’ve ever tried…

Cliff Jumping at Tali Beach

On normal days, the waves in Tali Beach, Nasugbu, Batangas would have been more bearable, more calm even. But this was not that day. The waves seemed stronger, angrier. The rocks, made slippery by the onslaught of sea waves, glistened like sharp fangs. It was a monster — heaving and turning. Waiting for the next…

Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Man

Opening Act The curtains rise, the music plays, the backstage hushes stop and the house lights dim. You step onto the stage and the spotlight is on you. That moment, you’d feel infinite. It’s one of the idiosyncrasies of theatre. At any given point, you could be anyone or anything. You could be a king, a peasant,…

Abortion in the Philippines: A True Story

10:30pm. Three girls were about to meet in a fast food chain. A girl in a jacket arrived with her boyfriend, planted a peck on the boy’s cheek and wished him a safe ride home. The other girl was carrying a box of blueberry cheesecakes with a note: “It gets worse before it gets better.” The…

Reporter Notes: Year One

July 24, 2012. It has only been a month since I became a reporter. But I received an important assignment: the arrival of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from the hospital to her home in La Vista, Quezon City.  I waited in my position for hours. And then in a flash, the convoy of Congresswoman Arroyo…

Stories We Leave Behind

There is nothing in the world more fluid than the news. We rarely take our stories home – but there are the stories you don’t want to leave behind.

Note to Self (and Colleagues)

Antonio, Lagi’t lagi sa tuwing gagawa ka ng mahalagang desisyon sa buhay, napaparasal ka nang taimtim kahit hindi madasalin, sukdulang mabulabog ang lahat ng mga santo at santa sa kalangitan. Noong 2012, hindi ka pa nakuntento sa mga nobena. Dumayo ka pa sa pusod ng Maynila para magpahula. Marami siyang sinabi pero ang ilang daang…

Tambay Chronicles by Isay Reyes

Basta tambay, kadalasan, tamad na agad — walang ginagawa, walang magandang patutunguhan. Pero sa mga tulad kong naghahatid ng serbisyong totoo sa balita, isa ang pagtambay sa kailangan naming pag-aralan at paghandaan. Minsan ngarag kami at kailangang mabilisang makapagbato ng balita. Minsan naman, may ilang oras na kailangan naming maghintay at tumambay! Yung tipong nabasa mo na…

Conquering Pico de Loro

I never liked the whole idea of climbing mountains. But I ended up on top of the Pico de Loro monolith in Cavite. How and why I got there? It’s a long trek but let me walk you through my journey. Early this year, I found a new (and rather eccentric) hobby: mountaineering. I have climbed…