‘Allah Valley’ at mga Lumad

Wala pa ring katulad. Ang langit, isang karagatan ng asul. Nakakalat ang malabulak na mga ulap na minsa’y naghuhugis ayon sa lawak ng imahinasyon. Ilang dipa na lang ang layo nito sa lupa, halos abot kamay na ng mga tao. Pinapagitnaan ng bulubundukin sa kanluran at silangan ang mga sakahan ng palay at mga tirahan….

The Rising Burma

Five years ago around this time, in one hot summer day in Singapore, I woke up to a good news from a dear friend that I’ll get a chance to tour Myanmar for free.  I was set to go back home in Manila after finishing a 10 month-contract in an F&B company, so I thought…

#Taiwanderlust: Discovering the Underrated Asian Dragon

It’s only been half a year since Taiwan has opened up and relaxed its visa rules for its Asia Pacific neighbors, and already we’re seeing a surge in tourists arrivals in Taipei. In 2016 alone, there was a 25% spike in the number of Filipinos who visited this island-nation barely the size of Luzon. These were 172,475…

Orapronobis

The commemoration of the Passion of the Christ is an opportune time to pause for a while and reflect on all that has been and all that will be. And while a very few blessed kababayan can afford to travel either to the Sistine Chapel in the Holy See or the Holy Land in Jerusalem, you…

Sulu: A Lost Paradise

Berwina Timbang, a grade six student in Sultan Jamalul Kiram Elementary School in Maimbung, Sulu, was diligently listening to her English teacher when I first saw her. I was in Sulu then for a one-day news coverage. Occasionally, she would glance outside the window, her eyes innocent and her face hopeful. In a class of…

Kayumanggi and Proud: Life as a Filipino Gay Immigrant in Denmark

Alvin Tuling, 37, has always been reserved and shy. He admits he is not openly gay as some of his friends are. He wears typical men clothes and tries to “act like a heterosexual man.” “I do not like drawing attention to myself,” he says. Alvin comes from the Philippines, a country populated mostly by Catholics….

8 Things I Learned in Kansai

Here are a few things worth noting when visiting what is dubbed to be the cultural and historical heart of Japan that is the Kansai region.

Christmas In London, Finally

The story starts at a high end hotel on Drury Lane in London one summer day in June of 1997. Regina ‘Regie’ Laborce, then 31 years old, was scrambling to get in contact with someone she knows in the United Kingdom. If they don’t answer their phones, she has nowhere else to go. The fancy hotel was…

A London Busker: Chinese Music in the Streets

Busking is how they call it. It is the term for musicians playing in public places for voluntary donations. I see buskers in London everyday. Sometimes they’re just the right fillers for a Londoner’s short attention span, a pleasant entertainment for three seconds before rushing off to catch the train or the bus. I hear…

Exploring Myanmar: Smiles, Spirituality Shine in the Golden Land

Time is gold, as the popular saying goes. In the country known as The Golden Land, time is ticking, development is creeping in, and now is the time to pack your bags and witness its beauty. Myanmar, formerly named Burma was secluded under the military rule for more than 50 years. It was only five…

Creating Waves in Siargao

You see, I have never been a public school teacher. I was once behind the lens, doing the interviews, listening for inspiring sound bites that I may share to the viewing public. I met these teachers in the mountains, on remote islands and across far-flung barangays, each of them willing to traverse dangerous seas and…